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DMT’s delayed e-motoring project now hits legal snag

Feb 20 (DM) It has been reported by the Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) that plans are underway to initiate a project called e-motoring which would eventually lead to large-scale frauds when implementing it. The biggest concern is that the project has been planned for without the calling of tenders. In 2018, the DMT initiated steps to introduce a new software for the project, which is an e-motoring project. more..

Fishermen protest against Cardinal

Feb 20 (CT) A group of fishermen from the Negombo Fisheries Market, commonly referred to as Lellama, held two protests yesterday, one of which took place in front of the Archbishop’s Residence in Colombo. They protested carrying placards with slogans such as “Cardinal, don’t you have any shame?”, “Don’t interfere with Lellama,” and “Lellama is the heart of the fishermen.” The Negombo District Court recently issued interim orders appointing a Receiver to manage the Lellama. more..

Gammanpila wants Harin sentenced to death

Feb 20 (CT) Minister Harin Fernando is in hot water over his recent remark, made in India, that Sri Lanka is a part of India. MP Udaya Gammanpila, leader of the PHU, called for Harin Fernando to be sentenced to death. Gammanpila made this statement during a press conference held in Colombo. He asserted that Minister Fernando’s recent comment during his visit to India, where he declared that Sri Lanka is now a part of India, directly violates the sovereignty and independence of Sri Lanka. more..

සිරිල් ගාමිණී පියතුමන්...

Govt hints out at further restrictions on vehicle imports

Feb 20 (DM) State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya today informed Parliament that the imports of vehicles will be continued. "We have appointed a committee to look into how we could restrict the vehicles and to determine how many vehicles we need," the State Minister said. "Sri Lanka has imported only 29 vehicles during the recent past, including 21 double cabs for the Ministry of Health and three ramps for SriLankan Airlines. These ramps are used for airlines," more..

14th round of ETCA negotiations between India, Sri Lanka in March

Feb 20 (AD) The 14th round of negotiations between Sri Lanka and India on the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) are scheduled to be held in New Delhi, in the first week of March 2024. At its meeting on Monday (19), the Cabinet of Ministers took into consideration the submission made by President Ranil Wickremesinghe regarding the current situation of the ECTA, and the 13th Round of discussions which took place in this regard. more..

Video: Wimal questions Harin’s statement in India

Feb 20 (DM) The govt must inform Parliament whether the statement made by Minister Harin Fernando in India that Sri Lanka was part of India was the govt's official stance or his personal opinion, MP Wimal Weerawansa said. He told Parliament that the Minister had stated in India that SL was a part of India and the three airports will be given to India. "The govt must reveal if the Minister's statement is the official stance of the govt or more..

Air quality-health issues: NBRO prescribes no. of precautions

Feb 20 (TM) Although the deteriorating air quality issue seen in several parts of the island earlier this year (2024) has alleviated and poses no significant threat at the moment, according to the NBRO, the public can take certain measures to reduce the health-related impacts of air quality-based issues. Noting this, NBRO Senior Scientist and Coordinator – Air Quality, Noise and Vibrations, H.D. Sarath Premasiri, said that it is advisable for those with health issues to refrain from more..

Video: Dr. Bellana says ready to resign if transferred from NHSL

Feb 20 (AD) Deputy Director of the National Hospital of SL (NHSL) Dr. Rukshan Bellana has stated that he is ready to resign at any moment, if required. Dr. Bellana explained that if he is transferred from his current post, as demanded by the junior staff of the Colombo National Hospital, he is willing to resign. Dr. Bellana further accused the Ministry of Health and high-ranking officials within the health sector of having adapted to an easy administration policy, within which more..

Video: SC conveys determination on Anti-Terrorism Bill to Speaker

Feb 20 (AD) The Supreme Court on Tuesday conveyed its decision on the much-disputed Anti-Terrorism Bill to Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena. Accordingly, Supreme Court determined that while several clauses of the proposed legislation require to be passed by a special majority, several other provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Bill need to be passed by both, a special majority and a referendum, more..

Plans to provide Galle Face Aragalaya site for casino centre: Vijitha

Feb 20 (DM) The govt is planning to provide the Galle Face agitation site where the GotaGoGama Aragalaya was conducted, to establish a casino centre, NPP MP Vijith Herath alleged today. He told Parliament that the government is planning to provide a license through the Urban Development Authority (UDA) to an institution bearing a Chinese name to open a casino centre on the Aragalaya site and that a famous gambler in Negombo was behind this particular institution. more..

Sri Lanka to allow English as court language in selected courts

Feb 20 (EN) SL will allow court proceedings to be conducted in English in selected courts, to expedite court proceedings, the cabinet spokesman has said. Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe proposed that Certain courts be allowed to conduct proceedings in English, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. “Especially courts that deal with international trade or business related disputes, commercial disputes.” Court proceedings and documents are in Sinhala, State language. more..

ජනාධිපතිවරණ ක්‍රියාදාමය ජූලි...

Protecting the farmer is protecting the food security

Feb 20 (FT) Farmers face two main types of risks: production risk and price risk. The risk of production, or risk of return, concerns events of chance origin, related to the nature, to which the producers are exposed. These shocks are linked to either rainfall and climatic variations, invasions of insects, or the occurrence of diseases. Price risk due to price volatility refers to unexpected price fluctuations that are so large and rapid that it becomes impossible to meet expectations. more..

Accessibility of microfinance

Feb 20 (FT) A new Micro Finance and Credit Regulatory Bill has been tabled in Parliament towards regulating the existing money lending business of various entities to protect borrowers from any unfairness. The proposed bill, it has been reported, will repeal the Microfinance Act No: 16 of 2016. At present it has been revealed there are close to 11,000 institutions involved in lending for this sector and only five among them are registered. The remainder operate on their own without more..

IRES: Cabinet halves fund allocation for presidential and general elections

Feb 20 (Island) The Cabinet-of-Ministers is used by Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe as a cat’s paw to postpone elections, says Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Reforms and Electoral Studies (IRES) Manjula Gajanayake. A decision made by the Cabinet about elections, on 5 Feb, was detrimental to democracy, Gajanayake said. A statement issued by the Media Ministry about the Cabinet decision at issue, more..

Fr. Cyril Gamini on anti-Cardinal protests in Colombo

Feb 20 (DM) Archdiocese of Colombo today assured that the fisheries harbour in Pitipana, Negombo will be handed over to an authority. It ensures that the fisherfolk in the area get maximum benefit from it. “The Cardinal never had any intention of using the property for his personal purposes at any point,” Cardinal’s spokesman Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando said. He made this remark in relation to a protest held by a group claiming to be fishermen, in front of Archbishop's House today. more..

Relatives of enforced disappearances to hold mass procession in Kilinochchi today

Feb 20 (DM) In completion of seven years of truth-seeking agony to learn the whereabouts of their missing kith and kin during the war, the family members of the enforced disappearances are to stage a mass procession in Kilinochchi this morning. Hundreds of members of the Association for Relatives of the Enforced Disappearances (ARED) from the five branches of the Northern and Eastern Provinces will rally around in Kilinochchi to mark their grievances. more..

NGOs/CSOs seek meeting with Prez on proposed law

Feb 20 (TM) Amidst rising concerns surrounding the proposed non-governmental organisations (NGO) (Registration and Supervision) Act of 2024, NGOs and civil society organisations (CSOs) are seeking a meeting with Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe to discuss their concerns. This is in a context where the concerns raised by them with regard to the proposed law with the NGO Secretariat have not received satisfactory responses. more..

Govt talks of budget deficit & revenue shortfall

Feb 20 (TM) Govt is still not in a position where it can afford its expenditure, even though it has taken measures to cut down its expenditure as much as possible, said the Cabinet Spokesperson Dr. Bandula Gunawardana. He said that the Govt is running with a shortfall of Rs. 10 trillion to meet the Govt's expenditure with its revenue, according to the statistics for last year (2023). However, he said that the Govt has been able to manage the country’s economic issues while more..

Health Minister distances himself from Dr. Bellana’s statements

Feb 20 (Island) Health Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana on Sunday urged all health professionals not to make incendiary statements against each other at a time when they had to come together to revitalise the state health sector. Responding to questions from journalists on the sidelines of a function in Colombo, Minister Pathirana said that he did not condone the statements made by Dr. Rukshan Bellana, Deputy Director at the Colombo National Hospital about health workers. more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

Women’s T20: Dambulla secure final spot with thrilling victory over Kandy

Feb 20 (CT) An all round show helped Dambulla edge Kandy by 2 wickets in another game of the NSL Women’s T20 Tournament 2024 worked off at Colts Cricket Grounds, Colombo on Monday. Set to chase 128, Dambulla’s Skipper Harshitha Samarawickrama and Imalka Mendis came out all guns blazing as they gave the perfect start to the chase with a 72 runs partnership for the first wicket. However, their progress was halted when Harshitha departed for a well made 29 runs more..

French Ambassador for Indo-Pacific affirms commitment to inclusive cooperation

Feb 20 (FT) French Ambassador for Indo-Pacific Marc Abensour underscored the significance of SL as a key partner in France’s strategy for the region, whilst highlighting its commitment towards regional inclusivity and stability. Speaking to a group of journalists during his 3-day visit to SL, he highlighted France’s deep engagement in the Indo-Pacific proactive engagement in the region aiming to strengthen partnerships and ensure regional stability amid evolving geopolitical dynamics. more..

Rise in Russian tourists engaging in prostitution sparks concerns

Feb 20 (DM) In the wake of an influx of tourists particularly from Russia following the implementation of a visa-free entry programme, concerns have been raised regarding the involvement of some Russian female tourists, engaging in illegal activities such as prostitution during their stay in SL. In recent months, SL has seen a surge in int'l visitors, particularly from countries like India, China and Russia more..

G.L. to back Sajith at Presidentials

Feb 20 (FT) FPC member and independent MP Prof. G.L Peiris yesterday publicly announced his endorsement of SJB leader Sajith Premadasa’s candidacy in the upcoming Prez election, along with several other independent MPs. Peiris stressed that the Prez election should take place between 17 Sept and 19 Oct, with the new President being sworn in before 17 Nov. Peiris emphasised the necessity for the Presidential election to adhere to the designated dates within the current year, more..

Fast and accurate Pathirana big hope for SL

Feb 20 (Island) Int'l cricket returned to Dambulla after six years and a packed house turned out to witness the game with the tickets sold out 48 hours before the game at the 18,000-capacity stadium. SL have been unbeaten in this multi-format bilateral series against Afghanistan and they had to thank their bowlers, who defended a below par target of 161 in the first T-20 on Saturday. Afghanistan needed 14 off the last two overs with three wickets in hand and more importantly their captain more..

ඒ නිසා, අපිටත් දෙන්න එපා

SLINTEC’s coconut husk natural dye to restyle textile industry

Feb 20 (ST) SL Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC) is set to revolutionise the textile industry with its latest breakthrough – a natural dye from coconut husks, with an estimated value of nearly US$50 million after commercialisation. This innovative development comes on the heels of SLINTEC’s successful creation of a natural dye from king coconut husks, known as Kingco. Officials said that currently the bulk testing on this latest natural coconut husk dye is being conducted for more..

Dispute over jailed Indian fishermen: Boycott of Katchatheevu feast next week

Feb 20 (ST) Tamil Nadu’s Rameshwaram fisherfolk have threatened to boycott the upcoming annual feast of St. Antony on Katchatheevu next week, demanding the immediate release of their fishermen, who were serving jail terms for illegal bottom trawling in SL’s territorial waters in the north. On Friday, Kayts Magistrate Court handed in a six-month jail term for two skippers of Indian mechanised bottom trawlers in addition to one-year imprisonment suspended for five years for engaging in more..

Key US official hails SL’s economic recovery as greatest comeback story

Feb 20 (FT) US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu has described SL’s economic recovery as the greatest comeback story. “Americans love a comeback story. In the region I work on there is no greater comeback story than the story of SL. If you were to go back with me in time, a year and a half you will remember a country in crisis, you will remember mass riots on the streets, you will remember more..

Sri Lanka serves up six straight wins

Feb 20 (DN) SL’s young tennis stars, both boys and girls, triumphed in all six matches they contested against Mongolia and Qatar at the ITF Junior Billie Jean King Cup and Junior Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Pre-Qualifying event. Tournament commenced at the SL Tennis Association (SLTA) courts in Colombo yesterday. In the boys’ division, Ganuka Fernando, Lithum Jayabandu, and Aahil Kaleel represented SL. They played three matches, comprising two singles & one doubles encounter, against Mongolia. more..

Teachers’ unions commence protests

Feb 20 (TM) Ceylon Teachers' Union (CTU) is to commence a series of union actions from today (20) onwards, demanding solutions for issues in the education sector, including salary anomalies in the teachers-principals service. CTU General Secretary Joseph Stalin said that the series of protests is to commence from Kandy today and is to be continued in all parts of the island. He noted that the unions representing teachers and principals are planning to launch a strike if they do not more..

Mathews, bowlers rout Afghanistan to seal T20I series for Sri Lanka

Feb 20 (CI) Angelo Mathews bashed 42 not out off 22 balls, then claimed two early wickets, as SL stormed to a 73-run win in the second T20I to seal the T20I series. There were contributions from throughout SL's top order - Pathum Nissanka struck 25 off 11, Kusal Mendis struck 23 off 14, Sadeera Samarawickrama played an innings of substance as he hit 51 off 42, and Wanindu Hasaranga was hyper-aggressive again, hitting 22 off 9. more..

FIU imposes Rs. 14 m penalty on 3 institutions over AML/CFT failure

Feb 20 (FT) The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has collected penalties amounting to Rs. 14 million in total from 27 Sept to 31 Dec 2023 to enforce compliance on financial institutions. The institutions concerned are Bank of Ceylon, People’s Bank, and MMBL Money Transfer. The money collected as penalties were credited to the Consolidated Fund. FIU is Sri Lanka’s regulator for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT). more..

Dialog returns to profitability; NPAT soars by over 100% in FY 2023

Feb 20 (FT) Dialog Axiata yesterday positive topline performance across all business segments, namely, mobile, fixed, digital pay television, international, digital platforms and tele-infrastructure in FY2023. Group consolidated revenue was recorded at Rs. 187.8 billion for FY 2023 demonstrating a growth of 5% Year-to-Date (YTD). Group revenue for Q4 2023 was recorded at Rs. 43.4 billion down 7% Quarter-on-Quarter (QoQ). Downstream of topline performance Group Earnings Before Interest, more..