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Global health leaders adopt Colombo Statement on migrant health

Feb 25 (IOM) Global health leaders adopted the Colombo Statement, which calls for international collaboration to improve the health and well-being of migrants and their families. Move aims to address the health challenges posed by increasingly mobile populations. Declaration was adopted on the closing day of the 2nd Global Consultation on Migrant Health, hosted by the Govt of SL, IOM and WHO in Colombo. more..

The pen cannot be laid down

Feb 25 (NS) Everyone is aware that in this nation of ours, the wheels of justice turn at different speeds. Sometimes, they turn at breakneck speed, often they turn very slowly and at other times, they don’t turn at all. When Keith Noyahr, the then associate editor of this newspaper was abducted in May 2008, many close associates initially feared for his life. He was eventually released but not before he was badly beaten up, tortured and threatened with death. At that time, there was speculation more..

Keep big matches to the field

Feb 25 (NS) It is the season of big matches once again. It’s a season of celebrating the history, tradition, and rivalry between schools that have been battling it out for supremacy of the Gentlemen’s game each year. Cycle parades, trucking and all sorts of processions adorn the main roads of Colombo as the days draw closer. Sri Lanka boasts of the second, longest running domestic cricket tournament in the form of the much hyped, much celebrated, Royal-Thomian encounter. more..

Sri Lankan youth are using RTI to help war-affected families

Feb 25 (Roar) Hundreds of displaced families lined up outside the Vavuniya DS yesterday (22), precious documents in hand, hoping to find answers about the legal status of lands they were resettled on by paramilitary groups during the war. Perhaps the most stunningly organised use of the Right To Information Act yet, entity responsible for this is a little-known youth organisation called Association for Friendship more..

Norlanka and the Made in Sri Lanka legend gain UK and US exposure

Feb 25 (Island) Norlanka, apparel manufacturers and exporters, conducted an information seminar recently to detail their new distribution network and moves to market garments originating in manufacturers here, to new markets world wide. Outgoing CEO Gwyn William said Norlanka is now a strong marketing window for the garments industry. With an investment programme of approximately 80 million dollars and expanding markets demanding garments made in Sri Lanka, more..

Wigneswaran’s irrationality leading Tamil’s astray

Feb 25 (CT) "A system consisting of principles identified as the most logically suitable guidelines on which the people of a nation can be protected upholding the aspirations of the of those people in the most harmonious manner can be called an ideal Constitution all the people would love, respect and cherish. It is not something that can be created by a set of specialists who do not represent popular bases. At the same time, conciliation is a word that resembles the godly quality, more..


Let’s pray for the Family Silver

Feb 25 (Island) Don’t you think the recently established National Asset Protection Centre would be better named as the Family Silver Protection Centre? C’mon…what has family silver to do with national assets? I’m only going by what former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the brains behind National Asset Protection, has said. What has he said? He says the new centre is necessary because the selling of Family Silver was the only strategy the UNP knows to develop the country. more..

Editorial: Cobra-mongoose cooperation

Feb 25 (Island) JO firebrand Wimal Weerawansa has been fighting quite a battle, during the last so many months, to have his NFF recognised as an independent party in Parliament. He says he has pulled out of the SLFP-led UPFA. Strangely, resistance to his move has come not so much from the SLFP, which leads the UPFA, but from the UNP! Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has told the House that he will take up the issue with the party leaders, but it is highly unlikely that Weerawansa’s wish will more..

Don’t shun them; They are ours

Feb 25 (NS) The incidence of leprosy in Sri Lanka according to statistics is 2000 cases per year. With the cultural stigma and physical ravages the human body undergoes, task launched to mitigate the social and administrative concerns that confront leprosy patients, is commendable. Ministry of Health is scheduled to unveil new laws to protect the rights and prevent discrimination of patients with communicable diseases, more..

A tale of woe and courage

Feb 25 (CT) Senarath Ekanayaka of Welikanda, Polonnaruwa is a 44-year-old ex-soldier. His wife is 38-year-old S.P. Thushari. They had two sons, 15-year-old Kavindu Sandaruwan and 10-year-old Theekshana Bandara. Senarath served in Jaffna, Elephant Pass, Palali, Thanthirimalai, Batticaloa and Welikanda for 17 years. He was nearly blinded due to a poisonous gas used by the LTTE in 1995 at Thandikulam. He was disabled by LTTE gunfire injuries in 1996 at Thandikulam. more..

Moragahakanda: Biggest Yahapalana hybrid project

Feb 25 (SO) Within six months of launching the Moragahakanda-Kaluganga scheme by placing Nidhan Wasthu (treasures) at the bottom of the dam, President Sirisena, inaugurated the second phase, the North Western Province Canal Project (NWPCP) last week. This phase is aimed at ending the sorrowful stories of the people in the North Western Province, due to water scarcity. The project is implemented under the Mahaweli Water Security Investment Program. more..

'SAITM students will not be accepted by any country'

Feb 25 (CT) Professor Hiran Amerasekera of Sri J'pura University says, "Govt should do justice to the students who have enrolled in SAITM because the former govt allowed the establishment of SAITM." Q: Even though no one opposes private universities, there is a lot of opposition to private medical colleges. Why is that? A: Other universities grant only a degree. Finding a job based on that degree is a responsibility of more..

In formulating a new constitution: A quick response to S. Krishnanathan

Feb 25 (CT) The purpose of my article, An Appeal To Tamil Political Leaders On The New Constitution is partly achieved as Mr S. Krishnanathan has constructively responded expressing what he thinks about the main contours of a new constitution that includes some of the questions that I have raised. This is conducive to a public debate on the subject. However, I would take some exception to what he has said at the outset. He has expressed some displeasure, among other commenters, more..

Ineffectual leadership, corrupt politics & persisting problems in Muslim Sri Lanka

Feb 25 (CT) There is one irrefutable fact about the SL Muslim community and that is, this minority which has been living in this island peacefully for over a millennium since its origins in the 8th century and prospered exceptionally well in comparison to similar Muslim minorities in the rest of Asia, has, during the last two to three decades, got deliberately enmeshed in narrow ethnic politics and irrational religious fanaticism to such an extent that it is now confronting a virtual existential crisis. more..

Sri Lanka may delay fighter jet purchase

Feb 24 (DW) A Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) plan to purchase 10-12 multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) through a govt-to-govt deal could be delayed indefinitely due to budgetary constraints. Colombo has last year decided to issue request for proposals (RFP) to countries which manufacture fighter jets rather than buy it directly from aircraft manufacturers to avoid allegations of bribery and avoid middlemen. However a cut in the defence budget outlay more..

Tea prices ease after record-breaking spree

Feb 24 (EN) Sri Lankan tea prices were generally lower at this week’s auction despite some invoices continuing to hit new highs after sharp gains in recent weeks prompted international buyers to look at other origins. There was lower demand for teas from private company estates this week, while there was fair demand for low-grown teas that were on offer, brokers John Keells said. Among teas from the estate a limited selection of well-made bright teas with seasonal character sold well but more..

US, SL discuss issues of common interest

Feb 24 (DM) A bipartisan delegation from the US House of Representatives led by the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte, together with US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Atul Keshap, held discussions with Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera today. The Ministry said the discussions were focused on issues of mutual interest. Minister Samaraweera said it was a pleasure to welcome Bob Goodlatte and the House Judiciary delegation. more..

Nearly 10% of children don’t attend school

Feb 24 (CT) Nearly 10% of the children in Sri Lanka do not attend school, a Child Activity Survey 2016, conducted by the Department of Statistics, revealed. The results of the survey revealed that 9.9 % of the child population, (age 5-17) is currently not attending school and this is 10.0% for boys and 9.8% for girls. "Among the children not attending school, majority are engaged only in housekeeping activities, more..

Prof. Vajira Thero among 5 injured in Kadugannawa accident

Feb 24 (AD) Five persons including Ven. Professor Kumburugamuwe Vajira Thero were injured and hospitalised following an accident involving the vehicle they were traveling in at Kadugannawa. The incident occurred when a jeep stopped in the roadside near Ambalama in Pahala Kadugannawa had started to move backwards after the brakes failed and toppled down a precipice.  The injured passengers including the former Chancellor of the Sabaragamuwa University were rushed to more..

Dry zone small tank revival seen mitigating Sri Lanka drought impact

Feb 24 (EN) Private sector investments have been encouraged to revive small tank cascade systems in Sri Lanka’s dry zone to mitigate the impact of a severe drought, which has deprived almost a million people of drinking water and cut rice output. Most long-term recommendations to mitigate the impact of disasters like drought are about overall disaster risk reduction, said Visaka Hidellage, Deputy Country Representative of United Nations Development Program in Sri Lanka. more..

National Scout Award Ceremony under President’s patronage

Feb 24 (PSL) National Scout Award ceremony organized by the Sri Lanka Scout Association was held under the patronage of President Sirisena at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre, yesterday (22). During the ceremony, which is held once in four years, President presented Gold Lion Award to 20 distinguished members for their great contribution for the Scout movement. Chief Minister of Central Province, Sarath Ekanayake also received more..

US Zydeco band Mo’ Mojo visits Sri Lanka to strengthen cultural connections

Feb 24 (USE) Mo’ Mojo, an American zydeco band, concluded its five-day tour of Sri Lanka on Feb 16  with a high-energy, free, public concert for an appreciative crowd in Colombo.  U.S. Embassy-sponsored visit included public performances in Jaffna and Colombo; workshops for music students; and master classes for Sri Lankan musicians. “We bring American musicians here to increase understanding of the US’ diverse musical heritage and to strengthen our cultural connections more..

Professor Carlo Fonseka admitted to hospital

Feb 24 (DN) Sri Lanka Medical Council President Professor Carlo Fonseka was admitted to the Colombo General Hospital earlier today after a brief illness. Sources said that he was admitted after complaining of heart ailment and is currently undergoing several medical tests. The Professor will be discharged shortly, the sources added. Professor Fonseka will turn 84 this year in March. He received a first class MBBS (Ceylon) in 1960 from the University of Colombo more..

Kabir-Ravi: No spat!

Feb 24 (CT) Minister Kabir Hashim said, in a media release, that his attention has been drawn to several news reports incorrectly describing a Cabinet Paper that was submitted by him at the last Cabinet meeting. Communiqué said: I vehemently deny that there was any mention of Ministry of Finance recommending the cancellation of a payment of US$ 154 million. I further regret that the recent articles have attempted to make it more..

Panelist gets death threats

Feb 24 (CT) Information has come to light that a group of unidentified persons had issued a death threats to a member of the three-member panel, appointed by the Prisons Department to probe an incident, where it is alleged that a sum of Rs 2 million has been deposited by a sister of a drug lord in the Prison Superintendent's bank account. The death threat has been issued to the Assistant Superintendent of the Mahara Prison, Rajiv Srimal, who is a member of the probe panel. more..

Video: It is a strategic move: MR

Feb 24 (DM) MP Wimal Weerawansa’s request that five members of the NFF would function separately in Parliament was a strategy, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. Addressing the media, he said members of the NFF would remain as members of the joint opposition even though they would no longer be a part of the UPFA. “At a point we all will get together. We are working according to a certain plan. We cannot reveal those tactics in public,” he said. more..

Video: BASL President denies using undue influence to appoint HC judge

Feb 24 (AD) President of Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), Geoffrey Alagaratnam, says that it is very unfortunate that people have misunderstood the role of the Bar Association and its president in unofficial bar appointment to make it a political issue and a communal issue. The scheduled election of the BASL was postponed until further notice when the Judicial Service Association (JSA) refused to more..

WHO dubs Dr Senaratne the most efficient Health Minister

Feb 24 (Island) World Health Organisation recognised Health Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne as the most efficient Health Minister the country ever had. Addressing the opening of the main office of the WHO, Regional Director, Dr Poonam Khetrapal said that under the guidance of Dr Senaratne, the Sri Lankan health service had seen a development during the last two years. The main reason was his dedication towards battling tobacco and cigarettes. She said the Minister had been instrumental more..

Sigiriya toilets out of order; tourists asked to go to jungle

Feb 24 (DM) Tourists have been forced to use the jungle to answer calls of nature as the washrooms at Sigiriya heritage site are have been closed for repair. Authorities were forced to close the facility after the septic tanks in the washrooms overflowed. An employee stationed at the washroom, at the complex located near the tourists' vehicle car park at Sigiriya Moragamula, has been directing foreigners to the jungle area nearby for their needs. Several disgruntled tourists offended by the lack of more..

Top Chinese Communist Party office-bearers call on President

Feb 24 (PSL) A group of representatives of the Chinese Communist Party has stated that China will stand with Sri Lanka as a true friend in the future too. They made this remark when a group of senior members of the Chinese Communist Party including the head of the International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Song Tao met with President Sirisena at more..

Shooting of LRC director a result of a contract: Police

Feb 24 (DM) Police suspect that the alleged shooting of Wimalaraj Nesan, Director of Land Reform Commission in Batticaloa, had been a contract put out by a party involved in the unauthorized alienation of government lands in the Eravur area. Police had deployed two separate teams to conduct further investigations. 428 acres of land belonging to the National Land Commission, located in the Punnakuda area in Eravur, Batticaloa had been illegally acquired by by politicians more..

Japan to extend waste collection trucks for Clean and Green Galle

Feb 24 (EJ) Ambassador of Japan Kenichi Suganuma and Municipal Commissioner of Galle Municipal Council Ranil Wickramasekara signed a grant contract worth US$ 103,487 (Rs 15 million), on 20th Feb at the Embassy of Japan in Colombo, aimed to upgrade solid waste management process of Galle by providing 5 Japanese waste collection trucks (compacters). The project will include not only the provision of 5 trucks but also training for the maintenance of such vehicles from Japan. more..

Anti-SAITM project: GMOA strikes gather mometum

Feb 24 (Island) The 24 hour strike by doctors in the North Central and Eastern Provinces yesterday inconvenienced a large number of OPD patients who came to hospitals in the two Provinces. Director of Batticaloa Teaching Hospital, said however that the hospital had been able to conduct its clinics as usual. Hospital receives around 700 OPD patients daily. However efforts to contact A'pura Teaching Hospital and Polonnaruwa more..

Hambantota land will be leased to JV, not sold to foreigners: Sarath Amunugama

Feb 24 (FT) Promising not to sell Hambantota land to foreign parties, Minister of Special Assignments Dr. Sarath Amunugama said that land needed for development purposes would be leased through a joint venture established in Sri Lanka. “A company registered in Sri Lanka will be established partly-owned by Chinese investors and partly by Sri Lanka and the Hambantota port and land required for development purposes will be leased out to this company,” Dr. Amunugama said more..

SAITM issue: A rational approach needed

Feb 24 (CT) There have been wide ranging views expressed extensively in all media regarding the degree awarding status of the SAITM in respect of their medical degree program. I consider this as an extremely important national issue with regard to the expansion of higher education sector in Sri Lanka. Therefore, we need to address this issue without any bias and considering the current realities, global trends in university education and long term national interests in Sri Lanka. more..