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US remains concerned over SL’s online law but encouraged by amendment process

Feb 19 (EN) The US shares concerns raised by critics of SL’s controversial Online Safety Act (OSA) on its potential for repression of free speech and impact on the country’s digital economy but is encouraged by the ongoing amendments process, a top US official said, calling for a consultative dialogue. US Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Elizabeth M Allen said on Monday (19) that more..

‘Brace yourselves for imprisonment’

Feb 19 (CT) Kandy District MP Wasantha Yapa Bandara announced plans for families affected by substandard medicine to pursue legal action in the Supreme Court in the coming days. He revealed that 70 individuals have suffered complete blindness and other severe consequences due to the use of inferior medicines for eye conditions. Additionally, he highlighted the plight of 28 individuals, including a pregnant woman, who lost their lives after consuming substandard & counterfeit drugs, more..

Port City to offer duty free shopping in April

Feb 19 (EN) Duty free shopping will be available in Colombo soon, the Belt and Road Initiative SL (BRISL), an international development organization, has said. “Colombo Port City duty free shop will be opened in April,” BRISL announced on Monday (19). There was to be a 5,000 US dollar allowance for returning Sri Lankans and any amount for foreigners, according to concessions gazetted on May 29. “The Port City Commission listed up 200-300 items that would be made duty free, more..

Wanindu Hasaranga, Sri Lanka's Kapil Dev-lite, does it again

Feb 19 (CI) It's Oct 2021, and there's been a top-order collapse. Sri Lanka have lost three wickets inside two overs and things are looking bleak. There's Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka and Chamika Karunaratne all left to come, but SL have instead opted to promote Wanindu Hasaranga ahead of them. And Hasaranga is about to pretty much single-handedly rip away a historic chance of a World Cup upset from Ireland. more..

Three including two children killed in motorcycle-train collision

Feb 19 (AD) Three persons, including two children, have been reported dead after a motorcycle collided with a train in the Arachchikattuwa area in Puttalam. According to police, a 36-year-old mother, her 06-year-old daughter and 09-year-old son were killed when the motorcycle they were riding on collided with a train at a level-crossing in Maiyawa, Arachchikattuwa. The victims had reportedly been travelling home from a tuition class, when their motorcycle collided with a train more..

Injunction issued preventing SJB from removing Sarath Fonseka from party & posts

Feb 19 (AD) A court order has been issued preventing the SJB from suspending Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka’s party membership and removing him from positions held within the party. Accordingly, the relevant injunction, effective for a period of 14 days, prevents the political party from ousting Field Marshal Fonseka from the SJB, taking disciplinary action against him and removing him from posts in the party. The relevant order was issued by the Colombo District Court on Monday (19), more..

එක්සත් ජනරජ පෙරමුණේ වැඩපිළිවෙළ

SL must forge new trade and investment partnerships with complementary economies

Feb 19 (FT) Now more than ever before, it is vital that Sri Lanka engages closely with a wide range of trade and investment partners. A strong recovery from the difficulties of the past few years will only be possible with the cooperation and capital of international partners, who recognise the extensive opportunities that Sri Lanka offers. Crucially, these partners must be varied and reliable. Home to more than 2.5 billion people, and with a combined GDP of more than $ 13.1 trillion, more..

Sriyani Hulugalle’s Shadows of Hantana: A romantic experience for readers

Feb 19 (FT) Former World Bank senior economist and novelist, Sriyani Hulugalle, has published her latest novelette in Sinhala under the title Shadows of Hantana, a story she had penned when she was at the University of Peradeniya in the 1970s. This is her third published creative work, the previous two being Beyond the Rainbow and Cherry Blossoms. Contrary to these two works, the present work which she had written when she was passing her teenage years is a romantic novel more..

Sugar tax scam takes shocking turn

Feb 19 (Island) The ongoing controversy over the failure on the part of the Finance Ministry and Inland Revenue Dept (IRD) to recover taxes from companies implicated in a massive sugar tax scam in 2020 has taken a shocking turn, with the Dept of Trade and Investment Policy declaring that loss of revenue hadn’t taken place. D.M.A. Dassanayake, Information Officer of the dept that comes under the purview of the more..

Ranil is not a crafty man as claimed: AKD

Feb 19 (DM) Claiming that Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe is not a crafty man as claimed, NPP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said today he will have to go home even before the end of his scheduled term, if he attempts to evade the Presidential election by any means. He said a new discussion had arisen on the need to scrap the Executive Presidency and said it was an age-old slogan. "Some people say Ranil is a crafty man. He became Prez with a single seat in Parliament. more..

Iranian Foreign Minister to visit Sri Lanka

Feb 19 (AD) Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, Dr. Hossein Amir Abdollahian will undertake an official visit to SL from 19-21 Feb, on an invitation extended by Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry. During this visit, the Iranian Foreign Minister is scheduled to pay courtesy calls on Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe and PM Dinesh Gunawardena. The visiting Minister and his delegation will also have official discussions with Minister Ali Sabry at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In August 2023, Foreign Minister more..

Over 70% salary hike for CBSL employees

Feb 19 (Island) Dissident SLPP lawmaker Gevindu Cumaratunga said that the Wickremesinghe-Rajapaksa govt owed an explanation how the Governing Board of the Central Bank had approved a massive salary increase to CBSL employees at a time the country was experiencing developing political-economic-social crisis. MP said the recent disclosure of over 70% salary increase to several different categories more..

Indian envoy confident Nagapattinam–KKS ferry services will resume soon

Feb 19 (AD) High Commissioner of India in SL, Santosh Jha, has expressed confidence regarding earliest recommencement of Nagapattinam - Kankesanthurai (KKS) ferry service in the coming weeks, adding that efforts are also underway to resume the ferry services between Talaimannar and Rameswaram. Indian High Commissioner made these remarks during his visit to the KKS Port and the Talaimannar Pier, where he spoke of the need for expeditious resumption of ferry services more..

Two including gunman in Meegoda economic centre shooting arrested

Feb 19 (AD) Police have arrested the gunman and the motorcycle rider involved in the recent shooting incident at the Meegoda Economic Centre. The motorcycle and weapon used for the shooting have also been recovered by the STF. Earlier today (18), police reported that two suspects had been arrested in the Kirillalawala area in Kadawatha, in connection with the shooting, while the motorcycle used by the assailants along with a helmet, a knife and a shirt were also recovered from the room of more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

Health trade unions want Dr. Bellana removed

Feb 19 (DM) The collective of trade unions representing the health sector have urged the Health Ministry to remove Dr. Rukshan Bellana as the Deputy Director of the National Hospital, Colombo. President of the Federation of Health Professionals, Ravi Kumudesh said Dr. Bellana had vehemently criticized the junior staffers for their involvement in the recent strike organized by health trade unions, humiliating the health workers. “He (Dr. Bellana) is not appropriate to hold the position as more..

Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council Chairman here today

Feb 19 (FT) Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) Chairman Lord Marland will visit SL from 19 to 21 Feb, as part of a larger trip to South and South East Asia where he will meet Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe, Ministers and business leaders. CWEIC is a commercial, not-for-profit membership organisation with an official mandate from the Commonwealth Heads of Govt to facilitate trade and investment throughout 56 Commonwealth member nations. more..

'Fundamental rights: Haven’t sought AG’s guidance to prevent litigation'

Feb 19 (TM) The Ministry of Public Security has refuted media reports that the Attorney General’s (AG) Dept is going to issue a series of guidelines to the Police Dept to prevent the filing of fundamental rights (FR) petitions against it. It was recently reported by the media that the AG’s Department is to issue a set of guidelines to the Police which would help it avoid having to face FR cases. When contacted, more..

Establishing police post in NHC a deadly attack to minor staffers: Dr. Bellana

Feb 19 (DM) Due to his involvement in the hospital administration, almost 200 minor workers in hospitals were unable to continue their drug businesses at the National Hospital in Colombo (NHC) and started protesting against him, said NHC Deputy Director and Govt Medical Officers' Forum (GMOF) president Dr. Rukshan Bellana. He told the Daily Mirror that following his request, IGP had visited the hospital and established a police unit to stop the drug deals in the hospital. more..

Dispute over 90 perches of land ends after 52 years legal battle

Feb 19 (DM) Supreme Court delivered a judgment in favour of the plaintiff party over a land dispute relating to a 90-perch plot of land in Kurunegala, which had traversed the halls of the courts for 52 years. This case was first instituted in 1972 by the original plaintiff in the District Court of Kurunegala against the original defendant for a declaration of title to the land called Damunugahamulawatta, ejectment of the original defendant from the said land, restoration of possession and damages. more..

කැසිනෝ දුෂණය නිසා ජනතාවට වෙන...

Wife takes away torch and phone, leaving husband’s body in morgue

Feb 19 (Island) A story of a wife refusing to accept the body of her husband killed in an accident but taking away his torch and mobile phone has been reported from Kegalle. Rambukkana police said that they had found the body of a 48-year-old man lying near a railroad on the night of Valentine’s Day. The victim, a father of 3, had left the house under the influence of liquor and sat near the railroad, police said. He was knocked down by the Rambukkana bound night train. Police found his torch and more..

Port Access Elevated Highway to be opened in October 2024

Feb 19 (DN) The much awaited and the long overdue South Asia Sub regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Port Access Elevated Highway (PAEH) Project directly linking the Colombo harbour and the Colombo Port City to the Colombo Airport will be finally opened in Oct 2024. One of the unique features is the connection it offers from the airport to both the harbour and the Port City area extending the expressway network into the city. “Over 85% of the project work has now more..

Sri Lanka fall behind in blacklisting corrupt contractors: Verité Research

Feb 19 (DM) Sri Lanka has the worst record among South Asian countries in blacklisting corrupt contractors in public procurement, according to a new report by Verité Research. The report shows that SL is the only country in South Asia that 1) does not recognise engaging in corrupt and fraudulent activities during procurement as a valid reason for blacklisting 2) has not blacklisted contractors that have defaulted on contractual obligations more..

CR savour league glory after 26 years

Feb 19 (DN) CR and FC savoured their finest moment on the rugby field in recent years, by winning the ‘A’ Division League Rugby Title after 26 years with a 33 points (one goal, four tries, two penalties) to 25 points (two goals, one try, two penalties) win over defending champoins Kandy Sports Club in the Nippon Paint Super Round League Rugby Tournament final match played at Longden Place yesteray after trailing 6-13 at half time. CR&FC kept their unbetan record intact, more..

AmCham Sri Lanka unlocks 2024

Feb 19 (FT) AmCham SL’s annual CxO Forum: Unlocking 2024, powered by HSBC, was held on 31 January, at Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo. The half-day symposium comprised four cohesive sessions aimed at equipping members and organisations with global, local, and regional macro and microeconomic insights and inspiring and empowering transformative leadership through turbulent times. Welcoming the delegates to the sessions, AmCham SL President Shirendra Lawrence noted, more..

Debate over parate action heats up

Feb 19 (FT) The debate over parate action got heated to a new level on Saturday at a webinar with the regulator and banks defending the move and borrowers insisting immediate suspension. The response to webinar title Can suspending parate rights help MSME recovery, from the CN Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe was a categorical No. In his keynote, Weerasinghe also attempted to make a clear distinction more..

SL bank assets up to Rs. 20 trillion

Feb 19 (TM) SL's banking sector assets grew by 5.1% to Rs 20.4 trillion in 2023 mainly due to increased investments in govt securities while the Non-Performing Loans (NPL) ratio was at 12.8% by the end of the year. According to the Monetary Policy report by CBSL, despite the banking sector operating in a challenging environment during the financial year ended in Dec 2023, total assets grew by 5.1% year on year to Rs. 20.4 trillion by the end of the year, mainly due to increased more..

HNB posts strong and sustainable performance in 2023

Feb 19 (FT) Hatton National Bank PLC (HNB) said yesterday it has showcased strong and sustainable performance in 2023, in all aspects namely liquidity, asset quality, capital, efficiency and profitability amidst global and local economic uncertainties. The Bank recorded a profit after tax of Rs. 20.35 billion compared to Rs. 14 billion recorded in 2022 while the Group recorded a PAT of Rs. 23.6 billion compared to Rs. 15.7 billion in the previous year. The Board of Directors more..

බටලන්දේ වධ කඳවුර: තිරිසන් සමයක...

SL hosts record-breaking tennis tournament

Feb 19 (DN) In a historic moment for tennis in SL, Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) is hosting the largest-ever tennis tournament – the Billie Jean King Cup Junior/Junior Davis Cup Asia Oceania Pre Qualifying event. Tournament is taking place at the SLTA courts in Greenpath from Feb 19 to 24. The excitement kicked off with a grand opening ceremony yesterday at the SL Tennis Headquarters, attended by 29 countries and 44 teams. The chief guest, Prof Shemal Fernando, more..

SL aims series win with improved batting

Feb 19 (DN) SL T-20 team led by Wanindu Hasaranga is expected to win the series when they meet Afganistan in their second T-20 game scheduled to be played at Dambulla today, commencing at 7 pm. Skipper Wanindu Hasaranga is little bit worried about their batting especially top order and middle order for not clicking as expected in the first game on Saturday but skipper himself promoted in the batting order ahead of Angelo Mathews and Dasun Shanka scored more..

New flyover to connect Kotte and Nawala

Feb 19 (SO) For a nation’s development to go ahead, it requires well-developed sectors in education, health & transportation, particularly highways. Despite achieving high literacy rates and other excellent indices, our country has long grappled with the inadequate state of its highways. Efforts to implement highway and flyover projects have frequently encountered financial and other obstacles, leading to delays & setbacks. more..

Language: A catalyst to foster National Unity

Feb 19 (DM) SL is described as a multilingual country but this definition could perhaps be deceptive when reflecting on the past and present. One may be quick to point fingers at various state policies that were implemented which made one language superior to the rest. However, language is an integral part of communication and is a key marker of identity. SL witnessed a time when minority groups faced linguistic discrimination which in fact was a political recipe for disaster. more..

Exporters in quandary as rupee appreciates, freight rates high

Feb 19 (ST) Freight rates have to some extent stabilised if only marginally with the coming of the Chinese New Year however, Sri Lankan exporters are still facing issues with the rupee appreciating as a result of which there could be a drop in export volumes. National Chamber of Exporters President Jayantha Karunaratne said that there was only a marginal drop in freight rates but that most destinations are still holding onto earlier rates and they continue to be very high. more..