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Editorial: Alleged plot to derail presidential contest

Feb 13 (Island) Speculation is rampant in political circles that the SLPP-UNP govt is planning to put off the presidential election on the pretext of amending the Constitution to scrap the executive presidency. SJB and Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa has said he sees a govt hand in the ongoing campaign against the executive presidency. Neither the govt nor the Opposition can be expected to tell us the truth, which they are notorious for stretching to serve self-interest. more..

Harin says Indian companies likely to acquire major hotel chains in Sri Lanka

Feb 13 (FT) Minister Harin Fernando disclosed that three out of four potential parties are Indian companies that are shortlisted to buy Hotel Developers Lanka Ltd, owning company of the popular five-star Hilton Colombo. “Most probably it will go to an Indian firm,” he said speaking at the SL Tourism Networking Evening held recently in Mumbai. He also revealed plans for the sale of Grand Hyatt, which is currently under Govt ownership, with two Indian companies among more..

NPP Press Conference

Excise Dept gears up to collect the highest revenue target of Rs.232 bn

Feb 13 (ST) Having the highest annual revenue target in 2024 of Rs.232 billion in history, the Department of Excise has to grapple in collecting a sum of Rs.60 billion more than the last year’s income of Rs.172 billion from the liquor industry hit by tax hikes, Excise Dept. chief M.J. Gunasiri, said. The department has been able to gain an income of Rs.165 billion in 2022 when the volume of production of absolute alcohol was in the region of 432 million litres, he said more..

SIU investigation on Asian Games badminton selection further delayed

Feb 13 (ST) The investigation by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) for Preventing Sports Related Offences of SL Police, located at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, in connection to a complaint made by Mrs. Preethi Illeperuma, the mother of the national badminton champion Buwaneka Goonathilake, has faced further delays, as reported by the Sunday Times. Following the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s order for Sri Lanka Badminton (SLB) to assist the SIU in its more..

Asalanka pitches for batting-friendly tracks in Sri Lanka

Feb 13 (CI) Two matches down and two matches the team batting first has scored over 300. This isn't common in Sri Lanka, and for it to happen in consecutive games is even rarer - in fact, there have been only 10 instances across 358 ODIs in Sri Lanka, prior to this series, where two consecutive games have seen a score of 300 or more. In terms of games where 350 or more runs have been scored by the team batting first, SL's 381 in first ODI more..

EU - Sri Lanka discussions on enhancing bilateral trade ties

Feb 13 (FT) EU - SL Working Group on Trade and Economic Cooperation was organised by the Department of Commerce and was held on 6 Feb virtually with the participation of high level delegates from the two sides. The session was co-chaired by EU side Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission Director (trade relations with Africa, Caribbean and Pacific regions, South and South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Trade and Sustainable Development, more..

COYLE’s Diplomats’ Evening 2024 marks strategic steps for Sri Lanka’s economy

Feb 13 (FT) COYLE, successfully hosted the annual Diplomats’ Evening on 25 February at Hilton Blue Colombo, marking another milestone in furthering global marketplaces for SL’s economic resurgence. With a commitment to fostering equitable growth, this exclusive event aimed to fortify the local employee base through foreign investments obtained via diplomatic relations. The event, enforced COYLE’s annual theme Evolution highlighting the resilience and transformative more..

උරුමය කරුමයකට පෙරළෙන ලකුණු

Rambukwella’s arrest disgrace as alleged sins come home to roost

Feb 13 (ST) The litany of sins which ex-Health Minister Rambukwella stands accused of, came home to roost in a magistrate’s court last Saturday. But there was not even a single Govt MP present when he was brought to court, with hands cuffed to disgrace, to hear his accuser, Deputy Solicitor General Lakmini Girihagama spell out the atrocious claims of corruption against him. Only 5 months ago, he had been the toast of SLPP MPs and had strutted like the cock of the well in Parliament, more..

Abolishing Executive Presidency: A political gonibilla

Feb 13 (TM) As much as the abolition of Executive Presidency remains one of the most stale topics in SL’s politics and socio-political activism, it still holds considerable importance, especially during elections. Successive regimes have used both the real and perceived dangers of the Executive Presidency as a bait to gain leverage at elections. While some promised to abolish the Executive Presidency, some tried to point out how previous Prezs abused the powers/privileges associated with the same. more..

Urumaya: Before it becomes a karumaya for SL’s smallholder farmers

Feb 13 (TM) SL Govt's Urumaya (heritage or inheritance) programme, aimed at providing freehold land titles to two million farmers and individuals utilising lands on permits and conditional grants, has sparked both hope and concern among stakeholders. "Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe's vision of empowering farmers through land ownership takes shape as the Govt announces plans to grant freehold titles to two million families. more..

A plan for beyond the blackboard

Feb 13 (CT) The importance Sri Lanka now gives mental health is fortunately palpable, however, we still have some work to do. In the last few years, we have seen more and more people talk about the mental well-being of children and adults alike. There is more awareness about the repercussions of not paying attention to a deteriorating mental state which impacts every aspect of our daily lives. Finally, we see that mental health is looked at through the lens of holistic well-being. more..

SL’s economic recovery, fourth industrial revolution & Professor Siegfried Zuern

Feb 13 (CT) I will start with citing a brief speech I made as an associate of FabLanka Foundation in welcoming Professor Dr Siegfried Zuern to FabLab and SL today. As an associate of FabLanka Foundation, I Welcome Professor Dr Siegfried Zuern to FabLab and SL. Professor Zuern, Director of the Int'l Centre and the Graduate School of Esslingen University, Germany in coordination with FabLanka Foundation in Makandura, particularly with Mr Chaminda Hettiarachchi, Director and more..

'Labour migration: A desperate decision in challenging times'

Feb 13 (TM) International Organization for Migration (IOM) Chief of Mission for SL and the Maldives Sarat Dash explained the experiments which were digitising the labour migration process through the Integrated Guidance and Referral System – a pilot project successfully completed as of now. The IOM, in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Foreign Employment, tested working with this platform, which Dash said they were more..

Putting fetters on live-in relationships

Feb 13 (DM) Earlier this month, the Legislative Assembly of Uttarakhand, a North Indian State at the foot of the Himalayas, passed a Uniform Civil Code (UCC). While most of the provisions were progressive, there were some which put fetters on “live-in” relationships, to the extent of criminalizing them. These provisions have come in for much criticism on the grounds that they invade privacy and individual liberty guaranteed by the Indian constitution. The law defines living-in as more..

Living happily off loans

Feb 13 (DM) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe presented his latest policy statement while opening the new Parliament session on Feb 7. Contrary to his previous policy statements and special statements on the economy it did not contain so many plans that his govt is going to implement, yet it has much food for thought. Wickremesinghe at the outset painted a rosy picture on the situation. He said that the inflation, which stood at a daunting 50.6% last year, has dramatically decreased to a mere 6.4%, more..

ටෙලිකොම් විනාශ කරපු රටේ...

Binura Fernando comes in for injured Dushmantha Chameera for Afghanistan T20Is

Feb 12 (CI) Sri Lanka have brought in left-arm fast bowler Binura Fernando in place of the injured Dushmantha Chameera for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Afghanistan. The 16-member squad is otherwise unchanged from the one that faced Zimbabwe last month. Chameera has been out of action since injuring his left quadricep in the first ODI against Afghanistan, which SL had won by 42 runs. At 6ft 7in, his replacement Binura is a rare breed as far as quick bowlers go, more..

Prez allocates funds for critical surgeries benefiting children's health

Feb 12 (Island) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed financial assistance from the President’s Fund for liver transplant surgeries for young children at the Ragama Teaching Hospital and cochlear implant surgeries at the Sri J'pura General Hospital. Acknowledging the substantial costs associated with pre and post-tests and treatments for liver transplant surgeries in children under 16 years old at the North Colombo General Hospital (Ragama Teaching Hospital), Prez has approved more..

Surge in shootings amidst intensified crackdown on crime

Feb 12 (DM) Amidst an intensified crackdown on crime and narcotics, SL is witnessing a surge in shootings again despite a decrease in the first month of the launch of the Yukthiya operation. As the Yukthiya operation against organized crime gains momentum, concerns have mounted regarding the recent shooting incidents. According to police reports, gun-related violence has surged recently, causing panic and chaos. more..

CID arrests convicted woman after 35 years

Feb 12 (CT) A woman who had been evading the authorities for 35 years following her involvement in a murder case and subsequent death sentence, was apprehended by the Homicide and Organised Crime Investigation Unit of the CID. The incident dates back to 1989 when the Borella Police initiated an investigation into the murder of a quality inspector from the CEB in Wellawa, Athurugiriya. The investigation was prompted by a complaint filed by the deceased’s wife. more..

Sri Lanka produces its largest pizza

Feb 12 (CT) To celebrate World Pizza Day on 9 Feb, TukTuk Wine & Dine in Negombo embarked on a challenge to create the largest pizza in SL. Executive Chef Duminda Wanigasekera spearheaded this endeavour, which took place on 9 February evening at the hotel premises. The pizza measured an impressive 50 inches and weighed 12 kg. To put this dish together, Chef Wanigasekera and his team utilised a tomato base blend, incorporating a medley of ingredients such as Mozzarella more..

India’s UPI payment service launched in SL

Feb 12 (AD) India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) transactions, via LankaQR, was officially introduced to SL at a virtual launch held on Monday (12). The real-time payment system aims to enhance digital payments for Indian tourists in SL. India’s instant payment technology Unified Payment Interface (UPI) services were simultaneously launched in SL and Mauritius on Monday, in the virtual presence of Indian PM Narendra Modi, more..

Iran to double tea imports from Sri Lanka

Feb 12 (Island) Iranian tea importers had offered to double the quantity of tea they buy from SL under the Iranian tea-for-oil barter mechanism from its current US$ 5 million to US$ 10 million during the winter months – December to March -Niraj de Mel, President of the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) said. De Mel added that the Iranian New Year, celebrated in the third week of March, and Ramadan, would also lead to an increase in the demand for tea. Since the commencement of the tea-for-oil more..

Sri Lanka interim mechanism discusses reconciliation bill

Feb 12 (EN) SL’s Interim Secretariat for Truth and Reconciliation Mechanism (ISTRM), recently held a forum to discuss the draft bill for a Commission for Truth, Unity, and Reconciliation (CTUR), amidst Human Rights Watch criticism. “The primary objective of the forum was to discuss various aspects of the draft bill for a CTUR, which will play a pivotal role in addressing grievances of persons affected by the conflict in the North and East, promote reconciliation and non-recurrence,” more..

ඔයාලා උත්තර දෙන්න

Executive Presidency: SLFP ready to support abolition: Luxman Piyadasa

Feb 12 (TM) The SLFP is ready to support the abolition of the Executive Presidency at any time, senior party leadership said. However, the party would however oppose any attempt by the incumbent Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe to remain in power beyond his term under the pretext of doing so, SLFP's Senior Vice President, Prof. Rohana Luxman Piyadasa stressed. He said that they had no objection regarding the abolition of the Executive Presidency, but they would not allow more..

Video: Armed gang shoots cashier, flees with cash from Meegoda Economic Center

Feb 12 (DM) A woman was injured when two armed men broke into the Meegoda Economic Center, shot at her and robbed a shop before fleeing early this morning. The woman, who was the cashier at the time, was hit by three bullets in her abdomen and was admitted to the Homagama Hospital. A CCTV camera installed in the shop recorded the robbers looting cash from the drawer. Robbers stole money from the top drawer of the store and shot at the woman after demanding for the key to get more..

SLPP MPs not consulted on ETCA, alleges govt member

Feb 12 (Island) SLPP parliamentary group member Sarath Weerasekera yesterday took exception to a govt decision to finalise technical level talks on the proposed Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India before the end of March this year. The issue hadn’t been taken up at a govt parliamentary group at any level or discussed in Parliament, the former Public Security Minister said. more..

Defence Secretary, Army Commander asked to apologise to MP Weerakkody

Feb 12 (DM) Privilege Committee of Parliament has recommended that Defence Secretary Kamal Gunaratne and Army Commander Vikum Liyanage must apologise to MP Chandima Weerakkody for making threatening statements against the MP during a committee meeting inside the Parliament Complex. Privilege Committee has issued the recommendation after investigating into a privilege issue raised by MP Weerakkody in Parliament last October, stating that the Defence Secretary more..

Australia Under-19s emulate their seniors by beating India in World Cup final

Feb 12 (AFP) Australian dominance of major cricket events continued on Sunday when they beat India by 79 runs in the U-19 World Cup final in South Africa. Australia's senior men's team won the world Test championship and Cricket World Cup in 2023 – beating India in the finals on both occasions. Australian women's team are the current 50-overs and T20 World Cup champions. Sunday's final between the only unbeaten teams in the tournament was surprisingly one-sided. more..

Govt accused of giving Indian companies access to Lankans’ biometrics

Feb 12 (Island) The Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) flayed the govt for having agreed to grant some Indian companies access to the biometrics of Sri Lankans under the proposed Unitary Digital Identity Framework project. FSP Education Secretary Pubudu Jayagoda said the High Commissioner of India to SL, Santosh Jha had, on 01 February, told the media that an Indian company would print national identity cards more..

Rs 20 billion needed for presidential and general election

Feb 12 (DM) A total sum of Rs 20 billion is needed for the presidential and general elections, Director General Election commission Saman Sri Ratnayake said. Ratnayake told journalists that he had already informed this matter to Parliament and to the finance ministry. Prez election is due this year while the term of the present Parliament would end in 2025. However there are constitutional provisions for the President to dissolve Parliament anytime after it completes four and a half years of its term more..

Shell-RM Parks and CPSTL sign agreement for fuel storage, distribution

Feb 12 (AD) The Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals (CPSTL) signed an agreement with US-based petroleum products distributor Shell-RM Parks today. The relevant agreement was signed at the CPSTL Head Office, pertaining to the storage and distribution of fuel in SL. As per the newly signed agreement, CPSTL is now able to store and distribute Shell-RM Parks petroleum products in SL. On 8 June 2023, the Govt of SL signed an agreement with RM Parks Inc, more..

පාළුයි අනේ