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PM removed AG and UL representatives to facilitate deal with Qatar Airways

Feb 6 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had removed the representativeness of the Attorney General’s Department and SriLankan Airlines from a team, negotiating a deal with Qatar, to allow more Qatar Airways flights to land in Colombo, in 2003 because they had objected to certain demands made by Qatar, PCoI was told, yesterday. Nimal Senanayake, Senior Manager- international relations of SriLankan told PCoI more..

Sri Lanka axe clean man Chandimal from South Africa tour

Feb 6 (Island) Selectors have axed captain Dinesh Chandimal from the tour of South Africa handing the reins to deputy Dimuth Karunaratne. Chandimal will not tour SA and instead return home and play First Class cricket. The extreme measure by the national selection panel comes as a surprise. Chandimal was stripped of the ODI captaincy six weeks ago and now he has been not only relieved of captaincy duties in the longer format of the game but has been axed from the side as well. more..

Charles back in charge

Feb 6 (FT) Under pressure from unions and importers, Govt yesterday reinstated Director General of Customs P.S.M. Charles, who was to be replaced by a retired Navy officer. Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday withdrew the proposal presented to the Cabinet to remove Charles and appoint retired Rear Admiral Shermal Fernando to the job following protests and a week-long work to rule campaign by Customs officials. “Director General was given a 3-month extension more..

Powdered milk to undergo foreign lab tests

Feb 6 (DN) Samples of imported milk powder will be sent to a world recognized laboratory to be tested for animal fat, palm oil and lactose, Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Buddhika Pathirana said. Making a special revelation in Parliament yesterday, the Deputy Minister said that the Ministry had received complaints that certain imported milk powder varieties are contaminated with pig fat (animal fat), palm oil and lactose. more..

How ethical is puffing up of the Cabinet?

Feb 6 (DM) Although some comments made by President Sirisena during his Independence Day speech might be inappropriate to the occasion, the view he expressed on the move by the Govt to increase the number of Ministers hiding behind the term National Govt might have been endorsed by the majority of people in the country. He said that attempting to increase the number of Ministers through a National Govt with a political party which had only one MP was ethically wrong. more..

Are we ready to drop independence?

Feb 6 (DM) Sri Lanka didn’t forget to celebrate its 71st National Day with all the pomp and pageantry forgetting however that seven decades have passed after British rule with her true potential as an island nation not being realised. The country showed loads of potential when it ended a civil war which dragged on for almost three decades. Its people showed that the unthinkable could be achieved if time, resources and effort are channeled towards a righteous cause; not forgetting the patience more..

‘We’re bringing discipline to the Fiscal Policy’

Feb 6 (DM) Non-Cabinet Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva spoke to the Daily Mirror regarding his engagement with the IMF and future plans. Q: Recently, you interacted with the key officials of the IMF. What are your arrangements with regards to the Extended Fund Facility (EFF)? A: On Oct 26, 2018, the Central Bank reached a staff level agreement with the IMF. It means everything was going well at that moment. more..

Unions dangled a dream wage for tea workers but reneged on promise

Feb 6 (ST) Trade unions led tea plantation workers to a Rs. 1,000 daily wage was right and achievable during two years of protests before unaccountably signing off this week on a Rs. 700 wage – a mere 20-rupee increase in take-home pay –plantation worker Jeyaram Marimuttu from Theliwatta, Patana in the Central Province, said. “This basic wage increase to Rs. 700, while scrapping other allowances, more..

Dairy farming for displaced

Feb 6 (CT) Under the UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) Resettlement in Newly Released Areas (RNRA) scheme, a rapid assessment was carried out to identify families in the North, in sectors such as Fisheries, Agriculture and Livestock, who could benefit from support and training, the UNDP, said in an article filed in its website recently. The project emphasised helping these vulnerable households engage in more..

Sri Lanka to manufacture a 20-barrel MBRL

Feb 6 (DM) The Centre for Research and Development (CRD) is now gearing itself to manufacture a 20-barrel multi-barrel rocket launcher (MBRL) in the wake of its experts successfully manufacturing a ten-barreled MBRL, CRD Director General Brigadier Dr. Thiran de Silva said. The multi-barrel rocket launcher (MBRL), manufactured by the CRD of the Ministry of Defence, was unveiled for the first time at Independence Day more..

New Constitution a front to pass budget: Viyathmaga

Feb 6 (CT) The Govt is suffering from a shortage of a majority in Parliament to get their proposed budget approved so they are trying to hunt MPs by proposing a national Govt, claimed President’s Counsel Dr. W.D. Rodrigo. He claimed that there was no need to present a new Constitution and neither was there a need for a new Constitutional Amendment as what the public required now was economic development. more..

Bid to resume judicial executions: Ball now in President’s Court

Feb 6 (Island) Justice and Prisons Reforms Minister Thalata Atukorale said that the Department of Attorney General had revealed that there was no legal impediment to hanging five death row inmates, convicted of drug related offences, in a report sent to the Presidential Secretariat, Parliament was told yesterday. Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorale said there had been no response from the Presidential Secretariat. more..

PC polls: SLPP explains delay in taking legal action

Feb 6 (Island) The SLPP, claimed that it had held up court action against the inordinate delay in PC polls to allow Parliament to take action to conduct elections. SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris alleged that the UNP had sabotaged the parliamentary process and, therefore, the SLPP had decided to seek legal recourse. He said that his party refrained from responding to the situation hastily. more..

Island wide drug shortage, due to 26 Oct crisis: Rajitha

Feb 6 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that it would take another three to four months to address the drug shortage in Govt Hospitals. He blamed the political crisis which lasted for 56 days from 26 Oct 2018 for the current drug shortage in Govt Hospitals island-wide. "The Govt appointed on 26 Oct 2018 had done nothing to bring the necessary drugs when there were signs of a possible drug shortage. more..

MR slams govt over DG Customs removal leading to strike

Feb 6 (Island) The country has been plunged into a full-blown crisis by the govt’s arbitrary policy of pacifying its local and foreign political friends, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa said in Parliament, yesterday. Making a special statement, Rajapaksa described the ongoing go-slow by Sri Lanka Customs as just another example of the govt’s capricious policy of playing politics with crucial issues. more..

Sri Lanka to ask Dubai to extradite Makandure Madush

Feb 6 (AD) Sri Lankan authorities are reportedly now in talks with Dubai to extradite underworld drug kingpin Makandure Madush to Sri Lanka. The wanted Sri Lankan drug lord was among several prominent underworld figures arrested red-handed in a raid at a hotel in Dubai. Among the 20 suspects arrested was a visitor carrying a diplomatic passport and popular singer. A large quantity of drugs was recovered from the suspects more..

Target Presidential Poll

Feb 6 (CT) Confidants of former President and SLFP/UPFA leader Mahinda Rajapaksa and/or incumbent SLFP/UPFA leader President Maithripala Sirisena, on Monday presented Sirisena the Professionals’ National Front’s (PNF’s) interim report on formulating a national trade policy at the Organisation of Professional Associations premises in Colombo, targeting the forthcoming presidential poll to be held in either Nov or Dec, according to EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya. more..

Let’s play like a girl?

Feb 6 (FT) As we complete 71 years of independence and look back on 2018 – it is unmistakable – once again women and girls from SL have emerged triumphant in sport! It was heartening to see a series of news headlines, social media posts and videos celebrating women in professional sports and their victories late last year, but the comments & conversations around these posts left Cat’s Eye with no doubt that more needs to be said on the matter, before it can be laid to rest. more..

ශ්රී ලංකා නාවික හමුදාව

Qatar Ambassador deprives Lankan kids from sitting their school exams

Feb 6 (CT) Scores of children of Stafford SL School Doha were deprived from sitting for the first semester examinations recently, as Ambassador A.S.P Liyanage ordered the school authorities to not permit those from doing so, as they had not paid their school fees. The school authorities under the orders of Ambassador Liyanage had then rounded up all the children who could not sit their exams into a classroom and had proceeded to further ridicule them by filming them off their mobile phones. more..

Japanese invest in US$ 3.9 million hotel in Dambulla

Feb 6 (EN) Japanese investors are to build a four-star hotel in Dambulla area at a cost of US$ 3.85 million. It has signed a deal with Arihara Lanka Dream Company (Private) Limited to construct and operate a 36 roomed hotel which when completed will employ 80 people. Chairman and Managing Director of Arihara Lanka Dream Company Hiroshi Arihara said they initially were interested in building a hotel in the Maldives but since this was difficult, so decided to visit Sri Lanka. more..

JVP asks PM why Mahendran, Jaliya & Udayanga not arrested in the same way ...

Feb 6 (CT) The JVP today questioned in Parliament as to why the same Police that arrested drug kingpin Makandure Madush has failed to arrest former CB Governor and bond scam suspect Arjuna Mahendran. Posing a question to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament, JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa asked as to why the Police have failed to take action against Mahendran, former SL Ambassador to Russia Udayanga more..

R. Kelly plans Sri Lanka tour amid sex abuse allegations

Feb 6 (AD) Controversial R&B singer R Kelly, who is facing sexual abuse accusations spanning decades, has announced a tour of three countries including Sri Lanka. The embattled American entertainer announced on social media Tuesday that he’ll be going to Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. See y’all soon the post said, accompanied by a picture of Kelly and the declaration The King of R&B. No dates or venues were revealed. Kelly’s career has been stifled since a #MuteRKelly campaign more..

Video: FM should resign for removing Customs DG: Opposition

Feb 6 (DM) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera should resign from his post for removing Customs Director General P. S. M Charles, the Opposition said today. MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said Ms. Charles had been removed because she had continued to investigate incidents of smuggling at Customs, irking some individuals. “By reinstating Ms. Charles, Minister Samaraweera has admitted that it was wrong to remove her from the post of Customs Director General. more..

CB urges vigilance during ATM transactions

Feb 6 (AD) Central Bank of SL (CBSL) today requested the public to exercise due care and vigilance when using payment cards and ATMs in order to ensure the safety of ATM transactions. “Any unidentified or unauthorized transactions and lost or misplaced cards should be notified to the relevant bank, immediately,” CBSL said. Issuing a statement, CBSL said that payment cards provide customers the convenience more..

Madush will face legal action in Dubai: PM

Feb 6 (DM) Legal action against underworld figure Makadure Madush, who was arrested in Dubai, would be taken in Dubai, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe informed parliament today. He said the courts in the countries where the criminals were arrested could take final decisions on them. The Premier said this in response to a question raised by JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa as to why no action was taken to bring down Udayanga Weeratunge, Arjuna Mahendran and Jaliya Wickramasuriya just as more..

Mahesh Amalean of MAS Holdings receives prestigious Humanitarian Award

Feb 6 (FT) MAS Holdings Chairman and Co-founder Mahesh Amalean was honoured with the Humanitarian Award at The Underfashion Club’s annual Femmy Awards Gala held on 4 Feb. The event unfolded at the Cipriani, 42nd Street, New York, USA, among the presence of many other well-established names in the int'l arena. Femmy Awards, sponsored by The Underfashion Club, honours individuals and companies that contribute significantly to the growth and creativity of more..

TNA calls for implementation of PRECIFAC recommendations

Feb 6 (Island) The TNA, yesterday, demanded from the government that it should take immediate action to implement the recommendations of the PRECIFAC. Moving a motion at the adjournment of the House for a debate on the PRESIFAC report, TNA MP MA Sumanthiran said that the commission had found serious acts of misconduct. Those offences had been committed at 34 institutions and names of those responsible more..

Cross-examining witnesses of Gamini Senarath’s case continues

Feb 6 (AD) Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar today heard the case against former President’s Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath and three others for allegedly misappropriating Rs 500 million in funds belong to Litro Gas. The case was taken up before the Special High Court 3-judge bench comprising Justices Sampath Abeykoon, Sampath Wijeratne, and Champa Rajaratne. FCID has recorded witness statements from Chief Inspector Chaminda Ranasinghe during today’s hearing. more..

Rs. 600 mn Sil redi case: appeal by Lalith, Anusha to be argued on March 8

Feb 6 (Island) An appeal jointly filed by Lalith Weeratunga, the Secretary to the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Anusha Palpita, the former Director General TRC, was fixed for argument before the Court of Appeal on March 8. The appeal is to be argued before Justice Deepali Wijesundera (Acting President) and Justice Achala Vengappuli. Yesterday, the appeal was called before Justice Achala Vengappuli as Justice Deepali Wijesundera was on leave. more..

Milk powder issue: Women for Justice wants govt’s immediate intervention

Feb 6 (DM) Referring to the revelation made by Deputy Minister Buddkia Pathirana in Parliament regarding mixture of lactose powder and animal fat in imported milk powder, Women for Justice’ today urged the Govt to look into the issue immediately. Women for Justice Co-President Sharmila Gonawala said some of the milk powder importing companies had been involved in a racket where a mixture of lactose powder, more..

Proposal on National Govt to be debated despite objections

Feb 6 (AD) The govt has decided to take up the debate on forming a national govt ignoring the opposition from other parties, stated MP Dinesh Gunawardena. Reportedly, this decision has been taken at the special Party Leaders’ meeting held this afternoon (06). He said that all opposition parties expressed their objection to debating the proposal on a National Govt at the House tomorrow (7). However, the ruling parties decided to go ahead with it regardless. more..

Indian Naval ship Jamuna leaves Colombo after successful survey mission

Feb 6 (SLN) The Indian Naval Ship Jamuna which arrived at the port of Colombo on last 20th Dec to take part in a joint programme of hydrographic survey in Sri Lankan waters departed the Colombo harbour on successful completion of their survey mission, today. SL Navy bade farewell to the departing ship in accordance with naval traditions. Accordingly, during their stay in the SL waters, the crew of INS Jamuna engaged in the joint survey mission with SL Navy and more..

Bank of China's $300 million loan to Sri Lanka faces delay: Govt officials

Feb 6 (Reuters) A $300 million loan offered by Bank of China to Sri Lanka is facing delays, govt officials familiar with the negotiation told Reuters. The Indian Ocean island nation, a key battleground in the tussle for influence in South Asia between China and traditional regional power India, was due to receive the loan before the end of January, but it is now unlikely to be finalised until later this month, according to four officials. more..

Security to be beefed up at Colombo Port

Feb 6 (DN) Minister Sagala Ratnayaka has instructed the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) to beef up security in and around the Colombo Port in view of ongoing raids on drug dealers and traffickers across the country. Minister has told the SLPA senior management to coordinate with SL Police, Customs Department and other relevant institutions and come up with an advanced security plan for the Colombo Port. The Minister held a special meeting with the SLPA senior officials at more..

Tense situation at Rupavahini

Feb 6 (DM) A number of employees of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation had surrounded the offices of its Director General and the Chairperson demanding explanations to some of the transfers which had been made recently. An employee of the corporation said they have asked for reasons why the transfers were made but neither the DG nor the Chairperson had answers to their questions. “The transfers had been made arbitrarily,” he said. more..

President says CID recorded his statement on assassination plot

Feb 6 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena says that the death penalty will most likely be implemented within the next month or two, against individuals already convicted for drug-related offences based on existing reports. “I have taken a decision to definitely carry this out regardless of what objections are raised,” he said delivering a statement in Parliament. Prez also stated that it is wrong for human rights org more..

Lankan passenger on SriLankan dies of heart attack

Feb 6 (CT) A passenger travelling on a SriLankan Airlines flight, from Kuwait to SL yesterday, died while on board, an officer-in-charge at the BIA said. The passenger was a 59-year-old Sri Lankan who had died of a sudden heart attack, medical officers at the Airport said. The flight on which the deceased travelled was UL230 travelling from Kuwait to Sri Lanka landed at 6.10 a.m. Further investigations are being carried out by Airport Police on instructions from OIC, Inspector Jayanath Wanasinghe. more..

Appointments ended in WPB!

Feb 6 (DM) A certain senior purohita decided to appoint hand-picked persons to top positions in several institutions coming directly under the purview of his Ministry. By the way, Number One had already sent out a circular letter laying down the guidelines to be followed in making such appointments. However, the senior purohita sent his lists to Number One without bothering to follow those guidelines. When Number One received these lists, he had carefully gone through more..

The unending Cricket mess

Feb 6 (DM) Cricket, once revered in Sri Lanka, has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons of late. As evident from a sequence of events during the last few weeks, both players and officials have contributed in no small measure to the crisis that besets the game today. While an international investigation is now underway to ascertain whether match-fixing and corruption have played a part in the sport’s downfall here, several other issues more..