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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..

'අපි මීටපස්සේ, මුං එකෙක්වත් නඩත්තු...'

Digital campaign to promote SL as premier wellness destination in France, Germany

Feb 20 (FT) Interface Tourism, a leading marketing and communications agency in the tourism has announced the launch of a ground-breaking wellness campaign to promote SL, targeted at the French and German markets. This initiative, commissioned by the European Union Delegation with the support of SL Tourism Promotion Bureau, is a part of SL’s strategic effort to position itself as a premier wellness destination in Asia. Interface Tourism is launching a 2-month digital more..

Hayleys Aventura and Invertek power greener industries through energy efficiency

Feb 20 (FT) Leading industrial solutions provider, Hayleys Aventura, in partnership with global leader Invertek, renowned for cutting-edge drive technology, introduced Optidrive Eco Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) to enhance energy savings and reduce emissions in manufacturing, agriculture, and hydro-based industries. These VFDs enable clients to control fan motor speeds, minimising energy consumption and CO2 emissions throughout the energy supply chain. more..

ESA: Questions over Govt’s preemptive strike ahead of trade union action in...

Feb 20 (ST) Since January last year, govt has invoked the Essential Services Act (ESA) twenty-one times with the aim of ensuring that public services are not disrupted due to trade union action in critical sectors. Earlier, to block trade union action in vital sectors, the govt imposed regulations under the State of Emergency that ended in Aug 2022. The extraordinary gazettes under ESA are issued by Prez and have raised the ire of trade union more..

Aitken Spence Logistics opens best-in-class Container Freight Station

Feb 20 (FT) Aitken Spence Logistics unveils its latest state-of-the-art Container Freight Station (CFS) to facilitate the growing requirements of the supply chain community in the region. This 100,000 sq. ft. facility, strategically positioned within the main logistics complex in Mabole, Wattala, reflects the company’s commitment to serve the Export-Import community of the region, providing operational excellence, supply chain value creation, and unparalleled service delivery. more..

Jeremy Brohier’s reminiscences of cricketing days' at Wesley

Feb 20 (TM) Today, Daily Morning Sports will go down the memory lane to the glorious days of schools cricket in the island nation where almost all top traditional schoolboy games regardless whether they were ‘big matches’ or normal games, attracted a large fan base surrounding the venues. We spoke to Jeremy Brohier, a senior alumnus hailing from a sporting school, Wesley College Colombo. Here Jeremy takes us through timeless classics of his heydays playing for school on Karlsruhe Hill more..

කුඩු කෙරුමා කවුද ?

Laughable corruption but jokes get jail

Feb 20 (CT) SL has once again managed to secure its spot at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to battling corruption in public procurement. According to a recent report by Verité Research, SL is proudly flaunting its title as the only country in South Asia that doesn’t deem engagement in corrupt and fraudulent activities during procurement, a big deal. The report highlights two significant gaps: the legal gap, where procurement guidelines don’t allow for blacklisting contractors/suppliers more..

Editorial: Throttling democracy, the govt way

Feb 20 (Island) The leaders of SLPP-UNP govt, troubled by the prospect of having to face elections, must be having sleepless nights. They are believed to be busy devising ways and means of putting off the presidential contest due in eight months or so. Prez’s Office has however said the next prez election will be held on schedule. The promises of govts in trouble are like pie crust; they are made to be broken. Speculation is rampant in political circles that the govt is planning to postpone more..

‘Prison is for poor people’

Feb 20 (TM) Sri Lanka’s prison system has five maximum security prisons, 18 remand prisons, two youth correctional centres, 10 work camps, and two open prison camps. As at Nov 2022, World Prison Brief states that SL had placed 32,402 people in prison, including pre-trial detainees and people on remand. This number has almost tripled with the ongoing Yukthiya (Justice) operation, which has resulted in over 56,000 people more..

Mixed bag of results

Feb 20 (ST) It is the season for reporting of third quarter (2023-24) results of companies, banks and other financial services, particularly those listed at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). The public has access to these results through the CSE website. The results released cover the 3-month period Oct-Dec 2023 and the 9-month period April-Dec 2023. The flavour of the month, however, is the increase in the VAT from 15% to 18 % with effect from Jan 2024 and its impact on company results for more..

Abolishing the Executive Presidency; prudent proposal - But dissolve...

Feb 20 (DM) A prudent suggestion is to abolish the Executive Presidency through a referendum, ensuring that the process is not driven by ulterior motives. An alternative approach could involve the immediate dissolution of Parliament after securing the necessary two-thirds majority. Following this, a two-in-one approach can be adopted by combining the referendum with the Parliamentary elections, streamlining the process and saving time, manpower and financial resources. more..

'Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination ruined the Tamil cause'

Feb 20 (CT) MP Dharmalingam Sithadthan, leader of the PLOTE, founded in 1980 by Uma Maheswaran, has traversed a significant path in the Tamil struggle, transitioning from being part of the armed conflict to democratic representation, serving his people in Parliament. A soft-spoken MP Sithadthan, is an ICMA-certified accountant in the UK, where he studied and worked. He reflects on his journey, more..

Be merciful on children

Feb 20 (TM) Last week a senior US diplomat told a forum about US Indo-Pacific policy, that SL was a great comeback story in the South Asian region and highlighted the collective effort which helped SL to move forward from the crisis situation of 2022. SL recovery story, however comes at a cost, every story has one. We often forget them, perhaps because hardly anyone acknowledges them when history is written. Yes, SL should be thankful for all the support it got from regional and more..

Scrapping the Executive Presidency; Hypocrisy to the core

Feb 20 (DM) Media reports state that the govt is considering the abolition of the Executive Presidency instead of holding the next Prez election which is constitutionally scheduled to be conducted later this year - between Sept 18 and Oct 18. One website quoted former President Maithripala Sirisena as stating that President Ranil Wickremesinghe has tasked a group of lawyers with looking into the abolition of the Executive Presidency. According to the report, more..

රටේම මිනිස්සු වෙනස් වෙලා...

Prison congestion: Overcrowding and procedural issues need addressing

Feb 19 (TM) The prison health authorities said that congestion in prisons could further increase unless issues related to overcrowding and a lack of institutional cooperation are improved. Director of Prison Health Dr. Hemantha Ranasinghe said there was recently an extensive discussion between the stakeholders like the Ministry of Justice, the Police Dept, Ministry of Defence and judicial institutions. He also said that the increase in the number of people in remand custody more..

Judicial appointments: Challenges in CC approving nominees remains unresolved

Feb 19 (TM) The procedural challenges in the promotion of judges due to the Chief Justice (CJ) not providing information pertaining to their (judges) performance to the Constitutional Council (CC) remains unresolved, it is learnt. The CC had recently declined the recommendation made by Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe to promote Court of Appeal (CA) President, Justice Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne to the Supreme Court. The CC stated that the situation had arisen as a result of more..

Talks succeed, health unions withdraw strike threats

Feb 19 (DM) Following successful discussions between representatives of the health sector trade unions and Health Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, a satisfactory solution to the grievances has been reached. Ravi Kumudesh, convener of Health Trade Union Alliance, confirmed that the discussions with the Health Minister resulted in a commitment to address their demands. Hence, the unions decided to refrain from any form of more..

Health sector faces dearth of critical medical equipment

Feb 19 (DM) Health sector trade unions claimed that govt hospitals are grappling with an acute shortage of critical medical equipment, including surgical equipment. According to Swastha which is the information management system of the availability of medicinal drugs, there is a significant shortage of stent items including esophageal stent, Double J stent 3Fr etc. This concern was also raised by Dr. Chamal Sanjeeva, president of the Union of Medical and Civil Rights Physicians. more..

Ex. Presidency: NPP will not support abolition attempts

Feb 19 (TM) Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)-led National People's Power (NPP) stated that they would not provide any support for the abolition of the Executive Presidency at the moment, calling ongoing efforts a conspiracy. However, the NPP stated that a future Govt led by them, will move to abolish the Executive Presidency. In the wake of reports that there are preparations to abolish the Executive Presidency, several political parties have revealed their stances on the matter. more..

SJB refuses to acknowledge validity of OSA

Feb 19 (FT) SJB MP Eran Wickramaratne said his party does not accept the Online Safety Act as a piece of legislation that was duly passed in parliament. MP maintained that the Act had been enacted without adhering to the proper parliamentary procedures for passing a bill. “The Govt deliberately sent this bill to the Oversight Committee on Youth Affairs instead of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Justice Ministry. more..

Pensions Dept asks unethical questions: MP

Feb 19 (EN) Employees of the State Pensions Department ask questions not within their remit, and make the rules up as they go, a govt legislator has said. “In some instances, the Department of Pensions asks questions that they do not have the legal right to ask, and therefore people do not get their pensions,” Chairman of the Sectoral Monitoring Committee for an Open and Responsible Govt and MP, Jagath Kumara Sumitraarachchi, said at a press briefing on Friday (16). more..

PM Modi urged to intervene to get Tamil Nadu fishermen released from Sri Lanka

Feb 19 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Sunday expressed concern over Indian fishermen from the state continuing to be detained by the SL Navy, and urged the Central govt to take decisive action to safeguard the interests of the fishers. On social media platform X, he tagged a news report of a fishermen's protest in Rameswaram against the incarceration of some TN fishermen in SL, and said "the continuous apprehension of TN fishermen by SL Navy is deeply concerning." more..

Anura Kumara Dissanayake

Presidential candidates urged to abolish Provincial Councils

Feb 19 (DM) An organization called the Lankalokaya headed by incumbent Southern Province Governor Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena’s son Pasanda Yapa Abeywardene today presented a proposal to all candidates of this year’s Prez election urging them to abolish the Provincial Councils. The organisation proposed to abolish Provincial Councils and set up district councils while strengthening the Pradeshiya Sabhas instead. “Our intention is to present a proposal to all candidates of more..

US to donate King Air aircraft to Sri Lanka to patrol coastal waters

Feb 19 (AD) U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu has announced that the govt of US will donate a Beechcraft King Air aircraft to the govt of SL this year, to patrol its coastal waters in a bid to protect the country’s sovereignty. Speaking at the US Institute of Peace (USIP) on the Indo-Pacific strategy, Mr. Lu highlighted that part of what Sri Lanka needs is for other countries, including the U.S., to help protect its sovereignty. more..

Tamil Diaspora taking Himalaya Declaration to provinces

Feb 19 (Island) The second of the five two-day workshops to train coordinators for the National Conversation based on the Himalaya Declaration, was held in Kandy last Friday and Saturday with the participation of activists from five surrounding districts, namely, Mattale, Badulla, Ratnapura, Nuwara Eliya and Kegalle. First 2-day preparatory workshop was held in Kurunegala recently (Feb 9 and 10). more..

Official in hot water for obstructing female teacher for not wearing saree

Feb 19 (CT) Legal action will be instituted against the official who harassed and obstructed the participation of a female teacher in a module training session at the Professional Development Centre in Giragama, Pilimathalawa, for not wearing a saree, said Joseph Stalin, General Secretary of the CTU. Incident gained attention after a video circulated on social media over the weekend, showing the module training coordinator threatening the teacher in front of other participants for not wearing a saree. more..

Opposition MPs trying to bring Sajith, Ranil together, claims AKD

Feb 19 (EN) Attempts are under way to bring opposition leader Sajith Premadasa and Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe together, MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said, claiming that it would’ve already happened if it weren’t for an alleged personal animosity between the two leaders. Dissanayake said members of SJB are attempting to reconcile Premadasa and Wickremesinghe and bring the SJB and prez’s UNP together in the run-up to prez elections due to be held before Oct17 this yr. more..

Fourth phase of Indian housing project for plantation sector workers inaugurated

Feb 19 (AD) A ceremony was held at the Presidential Secretariat on Monday (19), to inaugurate a housing project financed by the Govt of India to construct 10,000 houses for plantation sector workers. Accordingly, the fourth phase of India’s housing project in SL’s plantation sector, named Bharat-Lanka, will entail building 1,300 houses across 45 estates in ten districts. Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe joined the event more..

Over 100,000 pilgrims visit Sri Pada

Feb 19 (CT) Nallathanni Police reported that over 100, 000 pilgrims visited Sri Pada during the weekend holiday. A significant influx of pilgrims arrived via train, private buses and vans, leading to the use of all available parking spaces in Nallathanni. Additional vehicles were parked along one side of the Nallathanni – Maskeliya main road, extending up to five kilometres towards Rikartan, Nallathanni. Despite congestion, many pilgrims faced challenges accessing Sri Pada area more..

Gallows for Kotakethana Serial Killer

Feb 19 (DM) Ratnapura High Court judge Lanka Jayaratne imposed the death sentence on a convict who was indicted for double murder at Kotakethana in Ratnapura. Prosecuted entirely based on DNA evidence by Senior Deputy Solicitor General (SDSG) Lakmali Karunanayake, court found accused Neil Lakshman guilty of the murder of a mother and daughter in Kotakethana in 2012. The accused was indicted for raping the daughter and committing the double murder. more..