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Sri Lanka asks UNHRC member states not to do vote bank politics

Feb 28 (DM) Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Sabry urged the members of the UNHRC not to allow short-term political gains or domestic vote bank politics to overtake the work of the Council, when addressing the High-Level segment of the 55th Session of the Council through a pre-recorded video statement on 27 Feb. Minister Sabry highlighted that despite the severe constraints faced by the country, SL continued to engage actively and more..

School outdoor activities suspended as atmospheric temperatures rise

Feb 28 (AD) Education Ministry has instructed all respective school authorities to refrain from making students participate in strenuous outdoor activities until Friday (1) at schools as the prevailing high atmospheric temperatures are expected to rise further. Accordingly, Sports Day events, sports practices or any other scheduled outdoor activities are urged to be suspended for the time being. Provincial and zonal authorities of education have been instructed to brief school principals more..

UNFPA Asia Pacific Regional Director arrives in Sri Lanka

Feb 28 (DM) United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Sri Lanka welcomed Pio Smith, the UNFPA Asia Pacific Regional Director, who arrived in the country for a formal visit. Mr. Smith's visit aims to bolster collaboration with policymakers, govt officials, civil society, and key partners to advocate for the rights of women and girls. During his stay, he will also visit grassroots communities to assess their needs firsthand and identify areas for effective UNFPA support. more..

Video: IMF team to visit Sri Lanka for second EFF review

Feb 28 (AD) A team from the IMF is to arrive in Sri Lanka for the second review of the EFF programme which is to begin on 07 March, according to State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe. He said he believes the second review for the third disbursement under the EFF will be carried out across a period of around two weeks. “The second review will commence from the 7th of March and we are very confident that will be a smoother more..

Jeffrey Vandersay, Avishka Fernando called up for Bangladesh T20Is

Feb 28 (DM) SL have retained largely the same T20 squad, that beat Afghanistan in their three-match T20I series, for next month’s tour of Bangladesh, with Jfferey Vandersay and Avishka Fernando the only additions. Fernando has been drafted in in place of Pathum Nissanka, who is still recovering from injury, while Vandersay has been added to the squad, as cover for Wanindu Hasaranga, who will miss the first two T20Is due to suspension. In Hasaranga’s absence, Vice Captain more..

Sri Lanka to improve infrastructure on its hilly terrains

Feb 28 (EN) SL will improve public infrastructure in the mountainous areas of the country over a 10-year span, its Urban Development and Housing Minister has said. The rural development program will be implemented in 11 districts; Kandy, Matale, Nuwara Eliya, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Matara, Galle, Kalutara, Badulla, Kurunegala and Ampara. “The kandukara dashakaya [Mountain Decade] program is being implemented to improve the public infrastructure of people living in the mountainous areas more..

හිරුණිකා ප්‍රේමචන්ද්‍ර

AKD and Chanakya Manthras

Feb 28 (FT) As a schoolboy, I was in Tambuththegama with an uncle who served in the Rajanagana Irrigation Project. Inquisitively then, I went to see the Tambuththegama Yodaya-Herath Banda. Anyone visiting him was surprised by his physique. Today, many thousands congregate to listen to another Tambuththegama product that eloquently addresses the masses, rooting his rural origin, on contemporary socio-economic-political problems, seeking mandate to rule country. more..

SLPP MP accused of land grab in Kalpitiya

Feb 28 (DM) Puttalam District SLPP MP Chinthaka Mayadunna is accused of being involved in land grabbing in Kalpitiya to distribute amongst the Muslim and Tamil communities, eyeing their votes at the upcoming elections. Mayadunna and his Secretary Mendis have instigated the Muslim and Tamil communities in the area to trespass private lands promising them ownership to these lands. Meanwhile, Acting Divisional Secretary (ADS) Kalpitiya, S. Nandasena too has come under more..

TUs affiliated to UNP, SLPP, JVP endorsed CBSL pay hikes

Feb 28 (Island) The controversial salary hike granted to the employees of the Central Bank of SL (CBSL) had been endorsed by three trade unions affiliated to JVP, UNP & SLPP, informed sources said. Of the other trade unions at the CBSL, two independent groups represent executive officers. The scheme under which the latest collective agreement on salaries was extended for a three-year period was based on a formula more..

AG says will not represent former President Gotabaya

Feb 28 (CT) Attorney General informed the Supreme Court on Monday (26) that he would not represent former Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa in three Fundamental Rights petitions filed challenging the legality of the proclamation declaring a State of Emergency issued by him. Senior State Counsel Shavendra Wickrama told the Supreme Court Bench comprising Justice P. Padman Surasena, Justice Gamini Amarasekara and Justice Shiran Gooneratne that AG would not represent former Prez. more..

PHIs in shock over gunning down of colleague inside his residence

Feb 28 (Island) President of the PHI’s Union Upul Rohana said that members of his union had been shocked by the brutal killing of their Treasurer and Karandeniya PHI Roshan Kumara on Monday. “Our members have complained that they are now not in a position to carry out their duties. We have lost one of the best officers we ever had. He is a man who discharged his duties without fear or favour. We urge the authorities to conduct a thorough probe and trace his killers. more..

Appointment of Deshabandu as IGP illegal: SJB

Feb 28 (FT) FPC MP Prof. G.L. Peiris alleged that the appointment of Senior DIG Deshabandu Tennekoon to the post of IGP has occurred in an illegal manner. Peiris said while the Prez can only appoint an IGP with the approval of the Constitutional Council (CC), due approval from the Council had not been obtained for the appointment. He said therefore the appointment of Tennekoon as IGP is unlawful. more..

Ronnie de Mel no more

Feb 28 (DM) Ronnie de Mel who was instrumental in introducing the open economy in Sri Lanka in 1978, passed away at the age of 99 today. He introduced the open economy in SL after becoming the Finance Minister of late President J.R. Jayewardene’s Cabinet in 1977. Late Mr. de Mel is the longest serving Finance Minister in the country and one who has presented the most number of budgets from 1977 to 1987. He began politics joining the SLFP and later crossed over to the UNP. more..

Nearly 200 micro-credit complaints in 2023

Feb 28 (TM) Central Bank of SL (CBSL) has received close to 200 microfinance complaints in 2023 mainly related to higher interest rates and unethical loan recovery practices. In response to an email query, Financial Consumer Relations Department (FCRD) of CBSL said they have received 51 complaints on microfinance loans provided by licensed microfinance companies or finance companies while receiving another 148 complaints on microfinance loans by more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

Nations Trust Bank demonstrates steady performance in 2023

Feb 28 (Island) Nations Trust Bank reported strong performance to close the financial year ending 31 Dec 2023, demonstrating steady growth amidst prevailing macroeconomic conditions. Bank’s ability to navigate these challenges while maintaining a strategic focus highlights its commitment to delivering value to all stakeholders. Director and CEO of Nations Trust Bank, Hemantha Gunetilleke, said, “We are pleased to announce strong results for the financial year ending 31 Dec 2023, more..

More opposition parties to support NCM against Speaker

Feb 28 (FT) More political parties in the opposition have expressed their support for the no-confidence motion brought forward by the SJB against Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena. Accordingly, the NPP party, Supreme Lanka Coalition (SLC) and Freedom People’s Congress (FPC) yesterday expressed their support for the no-confidence motion. MP Udaya Gammanpila confirmed the SLC’s support for the move, while MP Dullas Alahapperuma, the party leader, announced the FPC’s decision. more..

City hotels enjoy good Dec. quarter aided by tourist influx, minimum room rate

Feb 28 (FT) City hotels have enjoyed a good quarter ending on 31 Dec 2023 aided by influx of tourists as well as the introduction of minimum room rate from October. A review of interim results released by listed city hotel companies reveal not only healthy top line growth but improvement in operating profit and to some better bottom line. Several also reported reduced losses due to the improved operating environment though more..

Delegation from Saudi Fund arrives in SL

Feb 28 (DM) Saudi Arabian ambassador Khalid bin Hamoud Al-Kahtani received a delegation from the Development Evaluation Dept of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) today, a statement from the embassy said. The visit aims to conduct a post-implementation evaluation of the Epilepsy Hospital and Health Centres project in SL, which was implemented by Ministry of Health at a cost of USD 75 million, with a contribution from the Saudi Fund for Development amounting to USD 32 m. more..

Schools Cricket in full swing

Feb 28 (TM) Royal College Colombo hosted their traditional rivals from the hill capital, Trinity College Kandy in their annual 1st XI Cricket Encounter at Reid Avenue recently. This encounter which dates back to the 19th-Century is the third oldest continuing Inter-Collegiate Cricket match in SL after the oldest being the Royal-Thomian and Royal-Wesley the second oldest encounter which all started in the latter part of the 1800s. The hosts were bowled out for 234 with Malith Rathnayake more..

සටන: වත්මන් දේශපාලන තත්ත්වය

S. C. Mutukumarana to fill MP seat vacated by Premarathne

Feb 28 (AD) S. C. Mutukumarana is tipped to fill the vacancy in parliament created after the resignation of MP Uddika Premarathne. The Anuradhapura District MP stepped down from his post for reasons yet to be made public. Premarathne has thus submitted his letter of resignation to the Deputy General Secretary of Parliament Chaminda Kularatne. Accordingly, in compliance with Section 64(1) of the Parliamentary Elections Act No. 1 of 1981, Secretary General of the Parliament more..

Sri Lanka launches ambitious Sports Tourism campaign

Feb 28 (DN) Sports and Tourism Minister, Harin Fernando, announced the initiation of comprehensive plans aimed at promoting sports tourism in the country. Minister Fernando highlighted the positive impact of these measures on both tourism and sports. In a bid to attract attention, the Minister mentioned roping in one of India’s biggest cricketers for their advertising campaign. “Then people will realise how it happens. Also, we take steps to promote golf tourism. more..

Video: Amendment to Parate Law expected in future parliament session: Wijeyadasa

Feb 28 (AD) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, on Tuesday (27) disclosed plans to introduce an amendment concerning the temporary suspension of Parate execution, indicating its imminent presentation to Parliament. This proposed legislative change signifies a proactive approach towards addressing legal matters crucial for the country’s governance and justice system, he added. Furthermore, Minister Rajapakshe more..

LankaPay launches JustPay Web and PayMe

Feb 28 (SO) LankaPay, SL’s national payment network launched JustPay Web and PayMe, adding two new products to its portfolio. The two solutions are expected to transform the way people transact, work and live, adding greater convenience to their day-today life. PayMe is an innovative and secure messaging service that generates universal payment links, permitting customers to make convenient and secure payments in real-time via any PayMe-enabled mobile or web applications. more..

Prison laundry: The untold story

Feb 28 (ST) The laundry washing machines used in the British era between1943-1948 are still in use and functioning well at the Welikada prison. These machines imported during the British rule are functioning better than the modern ones as they are handled by prisoners and officers with their expertise. No one is called for any repairs because the prisoners themselves are able to attend to them. Eighty bed sheets could be washed at a time by these old washing machines made of more..

Millions chopped off national power grid over unbearable bills

Feb 28 (ST) Thousands of homes are being cut off from the national electricity grid in the wake of 18% tariff increase in October when the domestic category of up to 30 kilowatt hours was increased from Rs. 150 to Rs. 180. The latest figures from the CEB show that in Nov and Dec last year, some 145,000 homes have been disconnected from power supply. October increases came after the Govt imposed a 66% revision in Feb last yr more..

Cabinet approves Children of Gaza Fund to aid violence victims

Feb 28 (FT) Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal by Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe to create a Children of Gaza Fund in aid of Gaza violence victims. PMD announced that all Ministries and Govt institutions are directed to forego Ifthar celebrations and to contribute to the said fund. It added that the public’s contributions are encouraged and to support the health needs of affected children, Govt’s donation of $ 1 million will be distributed through official UN agencies. more..

Hannibal was brought in for Palliyaguruge due to fatigue

Feb 28 (Island) Umpire Lyndon Hannibal has become a marked man with plenty of criticism placed at his doorstep after he failed to detect a no ball in the tensed third T-20I between SL and Afghanistan on Wednesday at Dambulla. Hannibal was the on-field umpire in the third T-20I and he was at square leg when he failed to call a no ball for a waist high full toss. There was disappointment expressed by the Sri Lankan team, coaching staff and fans as the delivery to Kamindu Mendis more..

රනිල්ට ඇරිය සිද්ධාලේප බන්දු...!

Shippers’ Council raises alarm over 300% rise in freight rates

Feb 28 (FT) Sri Lanka Shippers Council (SLSC) expressed concern over an alleged 300% increase in freight rates and warned of damaging ripple effects. “While welcoming the substantial uptick in container arrivals and movements at the Port of Colombo, SLSC is deeply concerned over the unprecedented 300% increase in freight rates imposed by shipping lines navigating the waters of the Cape of Good Hope en route to Europe and the US,” lobby group for exporters and importers more..

CCC hosts high-level Vietnamese delegation to explore opportunities in agriculture

Feb 28 (FT) Ceylon Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a high-level delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam, engaged in a working visit to strengthen bilateral relations between Vietnam and Sri Lanka, in the fields of agricultural, forestry and fishery. Organised in association with the SL – Greater Mekong Business Council and the Embassy of Vietnam in SL, the delegation led by Vietnam’s Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Le Minh Hoan, more..

Pathum Nissanka set to miss B'desh T20s

Feb 28 (Island) It’s been a brilliant start for Pathum Nissanka this year as the opening batter has put bowlers to the sword giving captains headaches and, in the process, breaking batting records. Nissanka in the recent ODI series against Afghanistan broke Sanath Jayasuriya’s long-standing record for most runs in an ODI innings. That innings produced 210 runs not out, the first double hundred by a Sri Lankan in more..

Editorial: Constitutional quandary

Feb 28 (Island) The SLPP-UNP govt and its legal pundits interpret the Constitution in such a way that we are reminded of a character in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass — Humpty Dumpty, who says, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” The ruling party politicians and their legal advisors want the Constitution to mean what they want it to mean—neither more nor less. Acting police chief, Deshabandu Tennakoon, was appointed more..

Cabinet nod to implement National Tourism Policy

Feb 28 (FT) After a prolonged period of four years, the Cabinet of Ministers approved implementation of the 10-year National Tourism Policy following a thorough review process and consultation with industry experts. On 4 Sept 2023, the Cabinet agreed that the draft National Tourism Policy required a comprehensive approach and should be further reviewed by a committee comprising of experts in the tourism industry. Subsequently, Prez’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake appointed more..