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Video: Yoshitha further remanded

Feb 11 (DM) Yoshitha Rajapaksa and four other suspects arrested on alleged financial irregularities at the Carlton Sports Network were further remanded until Feb 25 by Kaduwela Magistrate’s courts today. The other suspects include former CSN CEO Nishantha Ranatunga and former CSN Chairman Rohan Welivita. The five suspects were arrested on Jan 30 and remanded till 11 Feb, after being presented before the Magistrate more..

Unheralded SL look to trip up India again

Feb 11 (CI) In the first match, India's batsmen seemed not to know much about the pitch in Pune. They also seemed not to know much about SL's 2nd-string seam attack. Actually, no one did. Why would they? After a year of modest performances, and with the frontliners all in the sick bay, these new guys were selection Hail Marys. For a change, someone up there answered the prayers of SL's fan base. Result suggested there was truth to what SL's local coaches have been saying all along. more..

SL’s Independence Day celebrated in Geneva

Feb 11 (GDI) 68th Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence was celebrated at an event organized by Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva on Feb 6 at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) New Building. Over 250 members of the Sri Lankan community attended the event, said Permanent Mission of SL in Geneva in a release. Addressing the gathering, Mrs. Samantha Jayasuriya, Charge d’Affaires said this solemn event was a celebration of Sri Lankan identity more..

CID names Ekneligoda’s abductors

Feb 11 (CT) CID reporting to the Homagama Magistrate's Court last Tuesday said that journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda had been taken to Giritale Army Camp and to Akkaraipattu blindfolded before he was killed. According to facts reported by CID SSP Shani Abeysekare, Ekneligoda had been taken to Giritale Army Camp on 24 January 2010, as the Officer Commanding of Giritale Army Camp had stated to the CID. more..

Govt to clarify difference between CEPA & ILETP

Feb 11 (DM) The govt will clarify in Parliament as to how the proposed Indo-Lanka Economic and Technological Partnership (ILETP) differ from the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) once its finalized, Minister Malik Samarawickrama told Parliament today. Mr. Samarawickrama who was responding to an oral question, said it was not possible to the state as to how ILETP was going to differ from CEPA as the proposed agreement was yet to be finalised. more..

Canal network to be used for passenger transport

Feb 11 (CG) The canal network in Colombo is to be used for passenger transport, the Govt announced today. The 43km long Colombo canal network is maintained by the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation. Cabinet has been told that utilising the canal network for transportation of passengers and goods after several years would result in minimising traffic congestion in the city and promoting the tourism industry. Accordingly, a proposal made by Minister Champika more..

Airtel, Axiata to merge operations in SL

Feb 11 (ET) Bharti Airtel is believed to be in talks to merge its wholly-owned Sri Lanka unit into Dialog Axiata, the Malaysia-based Axiata group's telecom arm in the island nation, in a likely share-swap deal, two people familiar with the matter said. A potential Airtel Lanka-Dialog-Axiata merger is likely to be along the lines of the recent merger of Bharti Airtel and Axiata's telecom units in Bangladesh, wherein Axiata will be the dominant shareholder more..

Thimbirigasyaya Road gets back it’s name?

Feb 11 (CT) New names are to be proposed for several roads in Colombo, including Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera Mawatha, at the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Housing and Urban Development Standing Committee meeting, UPFA Councillor Saman Abegunratne said. A petition signed by 57 persons including Dhammasiddi Thera of Ashokaramaya, Colombo 5, was handed over to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe requesting to rename Thimbirigasyaya Road more..

Seenigama Devale Collections stolen

Feb 11 (CT) The management of the Seenigama Devale at Hikkaduwa says, due to the escalation of thefts and such acts they have decided to set up CCTV cameras within Devale premises. Security guard of the Seenigama Devale had complained to Meetiyagoda Police that three money boxes set up at the Devale premises had been broken into by thieves on 8 Feb night. The management of the Devale had then decided to set up CCTV cameras in a bid to reduce such thefts. more..

Sri Lanka’s maid in Saudi problem

Feb 11 (WSJ) Sri Lanka says it has a maid in Saudi Arabia problem it is trying to fix. In the past two years, the South Asian nation has had to pay to bring more than 2,000 Sri Lankan maids home from Saudi Arabia after they fled their jobs. Sri Lanka brings home overseas workers every year from all over the globe, but the number that it has to help return from the Middle Eastern kingdom is highest. more..

Sri Lankan Navy arrests 12 Indian fishermen

Feb 11 (PTI) At least 12 Indian fishermen were arrested and their trawlers seized for allegedly poaching in Sri Lankan waters, the country’s Navy said on Thursday. The fishermen, all hailing from Tamil Nadu, were arrested on Wednesday night in the Sri Lankan waters northwest of Thalaimannar, Navy said. They were handed over to the officials of Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for further action. Those arrested were fishing near Katchatheevu. Two boats were seized. more..

SL condemns North Korea’s missile launch

Feb 11 (AD) Govt has condemned the launch of a long range missile carried out by North Korea on Sunday. “Sri Lanka calls upon the Republic of Korea to abide by its international obligations and desist from any action that would adversely impact on the peace and security of Korean Peninsula,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. North Korea said it had successfully put a satellite into orbit, with a rocket launch widely condemned as a ballistic missile test for a weapons delivery system more..

Govt worse than black market; mum on oil price: Tilvin

Feb 11 (AD) JVP says that the govt is acting like a black market trader and keeping the benefit of the low global oil prices away from the people. “When we look at the policies of the govt, we can see that though the govt talks about giving relief to the masses, it’s acting like a govt which is curtailing relief,” JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said. He stated that before coming to power they talked about the high tax on oil but more..

High level Sri Lanka-Bahrain talks renew trade, bilateral cooperation

Feb 11 (GDI) A series of recently concluded high level meetings between visiting SL’s Minister of Industry and Commerce and the ruling monarch of Bahrain have ushered a fresh renewal of ties between both countries. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen who visited the Kingdom of Bahrain in early February succeeded in taking the message of Sri Lanka’s transformation not only with the Bahraini business sector but even the ruling monarch His Royal Highness Prince Salman Al Khalifa. more..

Ex-Minister Cooray indirectly blames Rajapaksas for SLFP’s sorry plight

Feb 11 (Island) Former Minister Reginald Cooray said that in spite of suffering two major defeats at the presidential and parliamentary polls during 2015, the party had not yet been able to adopt remedial measures for want of what he called self-criticism on the part of those who had previously wielded power. The ex-MP stressed that the SLFP’s internal crisis had paved the way for the UNP’s return to power. Had they managed to address contentious issues through mutual understanding, more..

'Govt attempts to cover up the reality of Geneva resolution'

Feb 11 (AD) President and PM have given UN Human Rights Commissioner an assurance that last year’s UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka will be implemented, former President Rajapaksa said. Issuing a statement, he said that having accepted the Geneva resolution, govt is now adopting various strategies to convince the public that it will not be harmful to the country. “There is now an attempt to portray UNHRC resolution more..

Chief valuer gives evidence

Feb 11 (DN) The PRECIFAC probing an alleged massive fraud involving the purchase of the super luxury Cellestian Residencies Housing Complex with an international hotel which was being built by the Ceylinco Group near Temple Trees, with the intervention of certain Big Wigs in the previous regime recorded evidence from Govt Chief Valuer Dayasena. State land on which this edifice was coming up had been offered by National Housing Development Authority under a 99 lease. more..

Defeated Mahinda to get an opportunity

Feb 11 (LT) An incident where former President Mahinda Rajapaksa declaring open a bridge on the 8th one day after former President Chandrika Bandaranayke Kumaratunga had inspected the bridge is reported from Attanagalla area. According to reports the new bridge across Attanagalu Oya to replace the old bridge was built with state funds. The money had been made available during Mahinda Rajapaksa regime by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Basil Rajapaksa. more..

Discussion to amend Bhikku Kathikawath Bill

Feb 11 (DM) Chief Adikarana Sangha Nayake of Colombo Nava Korale Ven. Diviyagaha Yasassi Thera said today several proposals were put forward to amend the Bhikku Kathikawath Bill at a meeting held at the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress (ACBC) this morning with the participation of the Mahanayake theras including Ven. Pahamune Sumangala Thera, Ven. Akuretiye Nanda Thera, Ven. Thrikunamale Ananda Thera and more..

Port entrance fee hike reasonable: Arjuna

Feb 11 (CT) Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake, in Parliament yesterday inquired as to why the entrance fee at the Colombo Port had been increased drastically plunging those who have been regular import/export visitors to the Port into very considerable financial inconvenience. Raising a question under Standing Order 23/2, the Chief Opposition Whip said that the entrance fee to the Colombo Port had been increased by 4000% under the new govt. more..

Sri Lanka hotels association defends minimum room rate policy

Feb 11 (EN) Sri Lanka’s hotels association believes a minimum room rate policy for star-class Colombo city hotels helped attract more investments and needs to be continued for several more months to prevent a rate war. At the time the govt imposed the minimum rate city hotels had lost confidence and were not making money, Hiran Cooray, president of the Tourist Hotels Association of SL, told a tourism forum in Colombo. "When the govt imposed the minimum rate policy, more..

Politicians’ responsibility is to use power for betterment of people: President

Feb 11 (PSL) “Though the common nature of the world politics as well as national politics is that power corrupts the politician, it is the responsibility of the politician not to be destructed from power but to use that power for the betterment of the people”, says President Maithripala Sirisena. He made these remarks after unveiling a portrait of late President D. B. Wijeythunga today at the Parliament premises. more..

Winning Peace

Feb 11 (CT) When UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein paid a visit to the Mahanayakas of the Malwatta and Asgiriya Chapters of the Siyam Nikaya, they informed him that the UN should not unduly interfere with the attempts made by the government to address issues of alleged war crimes through a domestic mechanism. The two Chief Prelates informed the visiting UN dignitary that the UN's assistance to the government to reach its aims would suffice. more..

Sri Lankan stocks end at over 3-wk low

Feb 11 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares fell for the fourth straight session on Thursday to end at a more than three-week low, as weaker global markets weighed and as investors stayed off risky assets on concerns over rising domestic interest rates. Turbulence tore through global markets on Thursday as investors sought the safety of Japanese yen, gold and top-rated bonds while dumping U.S. dollars on bets the Federal Reserve could be done with raising interest rates. more..

Minister Ravi Karunanayake

Rotten political culture in Hambantota needs to be changed

Feb 11 (CT) We need to examine the nature of Sri Lanka’s election system with a focus on the party nomination procedures, who get the nominations at electoral and district levels, and whether the electors are disempowered by electing representatives from major parties to the parliament? The average electors have many concerns about the way their elected representatives (MPs) function once elected to office but these concerns are not often publicly expressed except by the very brave for fear more..

Children leave their old father naked in piggery

Feb 11 (Island) Gampaha police recently found an elderly father of four left naked in a shed adjoining a piggery by his children. Inspector Edirisinghe of the Gamapaha police with the help of other officers admitted him to hospital. One of the sons of the man is a businessman according to police. When the police asked his children to clean him a woman used hose in the piggery to wash him. All four children were asked to report to the police station and make statements. more..

GMOA dares govt to reveal probe report on alleged kidney racket

Feb 11 (Island) GMOA urged Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne to reveal the content of the report of the 5-member committee which looked into the alleged kidney transplant racket centering on SL and India. GMOA Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said that the Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Mahipala had said that he had no authority to release the report. He asked Minister to make public the probe report. more..

Investigate, not promote, ex-army chief: HRW

Feb 11 (HRW) The Sri Lankan govt’s appointment to parliament of the former army chief whose forces were implicated in widespread abuses contradicts pledges to investigate alleged war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 9, 2016, the UNP of PM Ranil Wickramasinghe appointed Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to parliament as a national list member for a seat vacated by the death of an incumbent. more..

SL shows interest in Indian combat aircraft

Feb 11 (IBT) Light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas is the multi-role light fighter that is in development with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), and recently showcased its acrobatic skills successfully at Bahrain International Airshow 2016, a first such display outside India. Though the aircraft has been in development for some years now, India's southern neighbour Sri Lanka is said to be interested in LCA Tejas. more..

CID probes handing over of elephants to Gota

Feb 11 (DN) The Attorney General informed Court that the CID has commenced an investigation into incidents where former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had handed over four elephant calves to former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and two other persons through a Presidential Decree (Sannasa). Senior State Counsel Dileepa Peiris with Dr. Awanthi Perera appearing on behalf of the Attorney General more..

A whale of a problem; Saving sea giants or saving industry

Feb 11 (ST) There was heated debate over the problem of saving whales off Sri Lanka from ship strikes as a three-day forum last week heard the faster speeds at which ships now travel pose a heightened danger to these huge endangered creatures. A major maritime organisation, however, declared none of its members had ever experienced a ship strike on a whale A busy shipping route runs through more..

JVP oppose 4,000% port fee increase

Feb 11 (Island) Govt’s decision to increase the entrance fees by 4,000 percent at the Colombo Port had caused many hardships to businessmen, JVP leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament. He said, "Under the new govt the entrance fee of the Colombo Port has been increased by 4000%. Nearly 12,000 persons use the ports daily. All these clients have been victimised as a result of this sudden increase. more..

Megapolis: An ambivalent project?

Feb 11 (CT) The proposed Western Region Megapolis is driven by the govt as the panacea for the social, political, economic and environmental ills of the country. In their enthusiasm to liberate the country from stagnation, Megapolis is promoted as the change maker to change the destiny of Sri Lanka. It is a welcome gesture by the new govt seeking to connect Colombo with the rest of the world and be part of the global trade more..

Govt moves Bill to introduce minimum wage

Feb 11 (Island) Govt presented a Bill in Parliament to set the national minimum monthly wage for all workers in any industry or service at Rs. 10,000, while the national minimum daily wage of a worker will be Rs. 400. Once the law was enacted, it would be mandatory for employers in all industry or service to pay the national minimum wage which should be the wage of a worker after deduction of all contributions of all sorts, more..

SL hotel minimum room rates unhealthy

Feb 11 (EN) Sri Lanka’s minimum room rate policy for star-class Colombo city hotels was an unhealthy practice that creates market distortions and is open to abuse, said Ajit Gunewardene, Deputy Chairman of John Keells. "Fixing prices as a govt policy is unhealthy, should not be done, and is not sustainable," declared Gunewardene, whose JKH group is a big hotel operater in SL & Maldives. more..