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Editorial: Public bearing cost of corruption

Feb 17 (Island) Trade unions are on the warpath, demanding pay hikes, and the ordinary people are struggling to keep their heads above water mostly due to unconscionably high tax and tariff hikes. The govt insists that such painful measures are necessary to help the country come out of the present economic crisis. But it will be possible to ease the economic burden on the public if action is taken to eliminate corruption and waste in the state sector. It has now been revealed that more..

CC mired in storm of controversy

Feb 17 (CT) With the presidential race heating up and regional dynamics constantly evolving, Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe, in an interview with Indian news channel WION, said both the Prez and General Elections would take place this year. He also exuded confidence about his chances of securing re-election in the upcoming Prez Polls. The interview, conducted during Wickremesinghe’s participation at the 7th Indian Ocean more..

Govt should walk the anti-corruption talk

Feb 17 (CT) Corruption might be an omnipresent issue almost every govt in the world is forced to deal with, but the examples from other parts of the world reveal that it could at least be kept at bay with rigorous countermeasures. In SL however, where the legislature and the executive are known to be corrupted, corruption is deep-rooted and doesn’t stop or pause, even for a global pandemic or an economic crisis. With an economy so brittle, the effects of corruption is often snowballed more..

Proposed NGOs (Registration & Supervision) Act under fire

Feb 17 (TM) The proposed Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) (Registration and Supervision) Act of 2024 (which currently remains a Bill), which is to repeal and replace the Voluntary Social Service Organisations Act of 1980 (VSSO), raises a number of concerns pertaining to the freedoms available to civil society organisations (CSOs) and NGOs, both in terms of their legal recognition and operations. While certain provisions of the Bill remain questionable, more..

Upali Wijewardene, Free Trade Zone and The Island

Feb 17 (DM) Today is the birthday of SL’s popular business magnate Philip Upali Wijewardene. If Upali Wijewardene were among the living now, he would have celebrated his 86th birthday this year. Alas, this was not to be as the Lear Jet he was travelling in disappeared on 13 Feb 1983, just 4 days before his 45th birthday. It was my privilege to be associated with Upali Wijewardene slightly and briefly during the years 1978 to 1983. more..

Rocking the cradle while pinching the baby

Feb 17 (DM) One of the main points that were highlighted by the media from the policy statement presented by Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe on Feb 7 after opening of the new session of the Parliament was the need for unity among major political parties in Parliament. He questioned as to why the SJB cannot join the govt if the SLPP can do so in the interest of the country. He also questioned as to why the JVP could not join hands with his govt if they could work with his party in 2015 with a view more..

Health Sector and a Nation held to Ransom

Feb 17 (DM) The health sector is one of the most important departments in any country. Recently, we had a Health Minister who dumped drugs unfit for human consumption on an unsuspecting population. Trade unions demanded his prosecution, and they were right. Now these self-same unions are attempting to hold the nation to ransom via unreasonable demands for what amounts to a huge Rs. 35,000 travel allowance. Two days ago, striking health workers once again called off their more..

Economic Stability : Myth or Reality?

Carpenter’s widow demands Rs. 200 million from police

Feb 16 (DM) The widow of the carpenter who died in the Narammala police shooting incident today filed a Fundamental Rights petition before the Supreme Court seeking a compensation of Rs. 200 million from the police officers including Acting IGP Deshabandu Tennakoon. The deceased Roshan Kumarasiri was shot dead by Sub Inspector Gunawardena who was on duty in civvies when the deceased was returning home after work. The petitioner Kamani Priyangani stated that more..

Gammanpila to present private bill to remove police powers from Sri Lanka’s provinces

Feb 16 (EN) MP Udaya Gammanpila plans to present a private member’s bill to parliament seeking a 22nd amendment to SL’s constitution seeking the removal of police powers devolved to the provinces by the 13th amendment. Gammanpila said that devolving police powers to the provincial councils could pose a threat to national security. “If there is a separatist war in the future, that war will be fought between the provincial police of the north and SL Army. Both will be official armies,” more..

Money allocated for Oxygen used to buy substandard drugs

Feb 16 (DM) Rs. 14.5 million was given to the supplier to purchase substandard human immunoglobulin injections, which was intended to be used for purchasing oxygen, Deputy Solicitor General Mrs. Lakmini Girihagama informed Maligaknada Magistrate Mrs. Lochani Abeywickrama. Judge also directed to match the signature of former Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella with the signatures of more..

Sri Lanka to host first-ever Chinese marathon in May

Feb 16 (DM) Sri Lanka will host the first-ever Chinese marathon this May, where over 2000-3000 Chinese athletes will arrive under the ‘Ni Hao Zhong Guo’ programme, Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management Chairman Shirantha Peiris announced. Peiris recently visited the municipality of Chongqing in China to finalise an agreement under the Ni Hao Zhong Guo programme to bring in additional Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka over the next two-year period. more..

Body of missing girl found half naked in Talaimannar

Feb 16 (DM) Talaimannat Police have launched an investigation after the body of a 10-year-old girl, who had been reported missing, was found half naked. The girl's grandmother lodged a complaint with the Talaimannar Police on Thursday night, reporting that her grand daughter had gone missing from their village. This morning, police found the body of the missing girl approximately 300 metres away from her home. When the body was found, the girl was wearing a dress & her lower body was naked. more..

President, parliament clash heightens with judiciary coming into play

Feb 16 (DM) The crisis involving the Executive and the Legislature has heightened to a new level with the judiciary also coming into play over the Constitutional Council’s (CC) rejection of appointment of Court of Appeal President Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne as a SC judge and Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena informing Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe that the lack of majority support resulted in the stalemate. more..

Saman Ekanayake’s petition against PCoI on political victimization heard before SC

Feb 16 (AD) Supreme Court has heard the petition challenging the decisions and recommendations made against the current President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) appointed by former Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa to investigate alleged incidents of political victimisation. A group of individuals including the then-Prime Minister’s Secretary and current Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake had filed the petition requesting to more..

SLNS Sayurala leaves for India to take part in MILAN 2024

Feb 16 (SLN) SL Naval Ship (SLNS) Sayurala today left for India from Trincomalee to take part in MILAN 2024. MILAN, the multilateral naval exercise hosted by the Indian Navy for the 12th time, will be held from 19th to 27th Feb in the Visakhapatnam Port and in the Bay of Bengal, eastern seas of India. Theme of this year’s edition is Camaraderie Cohesion Collaboration. Navies and maritime partners from many regional and extra-regional countries will take part in the multilateral more..

රටක් රැවටූ මේ මූණු දැක්කාම හිරිකිතයි

Sarath Fonseka to be axed from SJB chairmanship

Feb 16 (DM) SJB is to expel its MP Sarath Fonseka from the post of party chairman shortly over his latest remarks affecting the party politically, a source said. A source close to party leader Sajith Premadasa, said expulsion will be done very soon. Asked whether he will be removed from the party, he said it will lead to a process involving litigation but the party leader has the discretion to expel him from chairmanship. MP Fonseka has been openly critical of SJB and its leadership despite warnings. more..

10,000 child abuse complaints received last year: NCPA

Feb 16 (TM) NCPA said that it has received close to 10,000 complaints regarding child abuse over the course of last year. NCPA Chairman Udayakumara Amarasinghe said that as many as 9,434 complaints were received between 1 Jan and 31 Dec 2023, as opposed to the 7,466 complaints received in 2022. Among these are 2,242 complaints of cruelty, 472 on sexual abuse, 404 on severe sexual abuse, 51 on the rape of female children, and six on using children for obscene posts, he said. more..

JMO Dr. Ruhul Haq files FR in SC

Feb 16 (TM) Judicial medical officer (JMO) Dr. Ruhul Haq, who recently sparked controversy for having continued to hold office despite a suspension imposed by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC), has filed a fundamental rights (FR) petition before the Supreme Court (SC), seeking the restoration of his SLMC registration and quashing the appointment made to the Colombo Chief JMO post as the latter had allegedly more..

Prez Awards Prizes to NLB lottery winners

Feb 16 (PMD) In a ceremony held at the Ministry of Finance Auditorium today, Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe presided over the awarding of prize cheques to the winners of the lottery tickets sold in 2023 by the National Lotteries Board (NLB). Prez handed out the cash prizes and vehicle awards to the lucky winners of the Super Prizes Govi Setha, Mega Power and Mega Power 60 lotteries. Additionally, certificates of appreciation and prizes were presented to dedicated lottery sales more..

Direct flights between Sri Lanka and Israel from March

Feb 16 (DM) Agreements have been signed to initiate direct flights between BIA and Tel Aviv in Israel. It said diplomatic agreements were signed today between Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, and Israeli Transport and Road Safety Minister Ms. Miri Regive. According to Ministry sources, the new service will commence from March this year on a scheduled timetable. Since last December, five chartered aircraft belonging to Arkia Israeli Airlines have already operated air services to BIA. more..

Sri Lanka needs more support from Washington, former President says

Feb 16 (WT) SL is back in the geopolitical spotlight ahead of elections slated for later this year, and former Prez Maithripala Sirisena says Washington should be paying attention. Outside powers — specifically China — are exerting influence amid what Mr. Sirisena says is a moment of great instability for his country, a teardrop-shaped island just off India‘s southeastern coast that has become entangled in great power politics more..

Financial Intelligence Unit, Excise Dept unite to fight money laundering

Feb 16 (EN) The Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank of SL has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Excise Department to exchange information related to investigations and prosecutions of money laundering, terrorist financing and other related crimes. “Money laundering and terrorist financing are financial crimes with a global presence, which could threaten the stability of national and global economic and financial systems. The MOU between the Excise Department of more..

Doctor remanded over attempt to sell narcotics

Feb 16 (CT) A doctor from Peradeniya Children’s Hospital, arrested by Ethgala Police, during a raid in Jayamalapura, Gampola, on suspicion of involvement in the sale of intoxicant tablets, has been remanded until 19 February. Produced before Gampola Chief Magistrate Wasana Navartne, the suspect, Dr. Madduma Banda Wardana Kumbura, is a resident of Karamada in Gelioya. OIC Ethgala Police, Senerat Kekulandara, informed the Court that the suspect was apprehended with more..

පොලිස් හොරා පොලිස්

Anti-riot squad deployed as tense situation emerges in front of NHSL

Feb 16 (AD) A tense situation arose in front of the National Hospital of SL (NHSL) in Colombo this evening, as the minor staff of the hospital commenced a demonstration against the Deputy Director of the hospital Dr. Rukshan Bellana. Thus, police anti-riot squad had also been deployed to beef up the security of the hospital premises, Ada Derana reporter said. Earlier today, it was reported that Dr. Bellana was forcibly held inside his office by the minor staff of the hospital. more..

Rubber workers get certified, coconut pluckers and toddy tappers to follow

Feb 16 (EN) SL’s National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority is working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Plantation Industry to upskill informal sector workers in the country. 169 rubber workers, or those who harvest the sap, were awarded NVQ-3 certificates by NAITA in a first for the country, on Thursday (15) at the Agalawatta Rubber Research Institute. “Today these rubber harvesters were given nationally and internationally recognised competency certificates. more..

Video: NHSL deputy director forcibly held inside office by hospital’s minor staff

Feb 16 (AD) The Deputy Director of the Colombo National Hospital, Dr. Rukshan Bellana is currently being held hostage in his office by the minor staff of the hospital. A collective of 72 health sector trade unions recently carried out an island-wide strike action over disparities in allowances, a move heavily criticized by Dr. Bellana. However on Wednesday (14), the health trade unions decided to call off their strike after Health Minister more..

Duo of Iranian Naval Ships arrive in Colombo

Feb 16 (SLN) The Iranian Naval Ship (IRINS) Bushehr and Tonb arrived at the port of Colombo on a formal visit this morning. The visiting ships were welcomed by the SL Navy in compliance with naval traditions. IRINS Bushehr is a 107 meter long ship manned by 270 crew members and she is commanded by Commander MAHDI BALVARDI. IRINS Tonb is a 94.94 meter long platform with a crew of 250. It is commanded by Commander MOHAMMAD HAJI ZADEH. more..

Parliament to meet three days next week

Feb 16 (AD) Committee on Parliamentary Business which met on Thursday (15) under the chairmanship of Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana has decided to convene the parliamentary sittings on three days next week – 20, 21 and 22 February. However, the Parliament will not meet on Friday (23), as it is Poya Day. Accordingly, on Tuesday, Parliament will meet at 9.30 a.m. and the Second Reading of the Secured Transactions, Trust Receipts (Amendment), Mortgage (Amendment), more..

Lanka Premier League 2024 set for July

Feb 16 (DM) The fifth edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2024 will be held from July 1 to 21, SLC announced today. The five-team competition will feature a total of 24 games, with the first round comprising 20 matches and the final round consisting of four matches, including Qualifier-1 and 2 and the Eliminator. Each team will be comprised of a minimum of 20 players and a maximum of 24 players, more..

Reckless Russian fined Rs 1.8M

Feb 16 (CT) Galle Additional Magistrate Lakmini Vidanagamage yesterday (15) fined a Russian national Rs 1.8 million on his pleading guilty, through his lawyer, of causing significant revenue loss to the Department of Railways, when driving his car recklessly through a rail gate, resulting in it being struck by a train. The suspect Russian tourist was identified as Loskutov Alexander. He had arrived here as a tourist 10 years ago, and had resided at a house in Ahangama. more..

Detention orders issued against Piyuma under PTA

Feb 16 (AD) The CID has secured detentions orders against criminal gang member Piyum Hasthika alias Piyuma, who was repatriated to Sri Lanka from Dubai, UAE last morning. Thus, the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court has issued a 72-hour detention order under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) to interrogate the suspect, after the CID reported facts to the courts regarding the repatriation of Piyuma. However, the Colombo Fort Magistrate has also ordered that the 72 hours be counted more..

ශ්‍රී ලංකාව පළමු ටෙස්ට් තරගය ක්‍රීඩා...

AKD’s diplomatic odyssey: NPP’s foray into India and the road ahead

Feb 16 (FT) The recent 5-day sojourn of Anura Kumara Dissanayake, leader of the NPP, and his delegation to India has become a focal point in SL’s political discourse. In an unprecedented move, the Indian Govt extended an official invitation to NPP leaders, signalling a departure from conventional diplomatic interactions. As the visit unfolded, it not only deepened bilateral ties but also shed light on the evolving political dynamics within SL, presenting both challenges & opportunities for NPP. more..