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Unemployed graduates threaten to take to the streets unless ...

Feb 5 (Island) Unemployed graduates threatened to take to streets if the govt did not solve their problems within two weeks. Addressing the media at the Centre for Society and Religion at Maradana, Convener of the Combined Association of Unemployed Graduates (CAUG) Dhammika Munasinghe said there were 32,000 vacancies in the public sector according to govt information, but no action was being taken to fill them. more..

Megapolis plan aims for flexible working hours

Feb 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s recently unveiled Megapolis plan of development envisages flexible working hours as one aspect of transport demand management to address Colombo traffic congestion. “Flexible working hours can be introduced in public and private institutions to spread peak load of traffic flow,” the Megapolis masterplan states. “Employees can adjust their working time without any more..

Neville Fernando Hospital offered to Govt by chairman

Feb 5 (DM) Chairman of the SAITM in Malabe, Dr. Neville Fernando said he offered the Dr. Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital to President Maithripala Sirisena to be used as a semi-govt hospital. He said the decision was made by him after realizing that poor patients, who come for treatment to his hospital, could not afford to pay for hospital charges. President was recently informed by Dr. Fernando regarding his offer through a letter, more..

Till collection at Kalutara Bodhiya taken by trustees

Feb 5 (SL) Following the revelation of how the Chief Incumbent ship of Sri Abhayarama Temple Narahenpita had been obtained unlawfully by Ven. Muruttettuwe Ananda Thera deceiving the lawful Chief Incumbent Ven. Pathberiya Wimalagnaga Thero, it has now come to light how the ownership of the sacred Kalutara Bodhiya had been unlawfully obtained by a Trust that comes under a group of laymen. more..

54% schools have dengue breeding sites

Feb 5 (DN) Health authorities found that over 54% of schools have dengue mosquito breeding sites. In addition, 40% of religious institutions and 36% of construction sites have either dengue larvae or dengue mosquito breeding sites, Director General health Services, Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. 5,263 dengue cases had been reported countrywide this year and the death rate has gone down to 1.5%. 58 dengue deaths were reported last year. more..

CEB notches Rs. 20 bn profit

Feb 5 (Island) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) had recorded a profit of Rs. 20 billion in 2015 due to the increase of hydro-power generation with the heavy rains in the catchment areas, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. The board was now in a position to handle its finances without being a burden on the country. CEB would also invest in a wind-power project to be established in Mannar to generate 100MW, he said. more..

The Name, Flag & Anthem of the nation

Feb 5 (DM) There has been a lot of discussion on the appearance in public of a sticker with a particular spin on what can be argued to be the true name of this island, Sinhale. Sinha-Le, literally (of the) Lion (Sinha) Blood, with the first part in yellow and the last or le element in red first appeared in social media when someone got a tattoo done, took a picture and posted it on Facebook. Since then it has gone viral in SL. more..

What is delaying Right to Information Bill?

Feb 5 (DM) D.S. Senanayake, Minister of Agriculture and Lands and Leader of the State Council, on his return from England having discussed the reforms, moved in the State Council that “This House expresses its disappointment that His Majesty’s govt has deferred the admission of Ceylon to full dominion status, but in view of the assurance contained in the White Paper of October 31, 1945, that His Majesty’s govt will cooperate with the people of Ceylon so that such status may be more..

Who is behind Sinha Le

Feb 5 (DM) What is this movement Sinha Le? Who is behind it? Who are the leaders? These questions had been within the society until a few weeks ago by a group of its leaders who emerged from nowhere who made a scene in front of the Dalada Maligawa in Mahanuwara. In fact the creatively designed Sinha Le logo started appearing on vehicles since late November last year. Many started wondering about this newly emerging possibly ultra-nationalistic movement. more..

President: Geneva Resolution misinterpreted to cause discord among armed forces

Feb 5 (Island) Alleging that an attempt was being made to misinterpret Geneva Resolution, President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday emphasised the utmost importance of facing the Geneva challenge with patience, discipline and decorum. President Sirisena, who is also Commander-in-Chief of armed forces, asserted that country could regain international recognition by addressing issues raised in Geneva. more..

Rs 65 Mn busted on MR’s Presidential campaign

Feb 5 (CT) Former Chairman of the National Lotteries Board (NLB), Chaminda Athuluwage was questioned for a third day at a stretch by the FCID Wednesday on allegations of several cases of fraud at the NLB during the previous regime. A senior FCID investigator told this newspaper that a Court Order had also been sought banning foreign travel by the former NLB Chairman. It has bween revealed that in the run-up to Presidential poll, NLB allegedly misused a sum of Rs. 65 million. more..

Consulate marks Sri Lanka's 68th Independence Day in Dubai

Feb 5 (KT) Consulate-General of Sri Lanka in Dubai marked the nation's 68th Independence Day with an official function at its premises on Thursday. Programme featured hoisting of the National Flag followed by the National Anthem, an oil lamp lighting ceremony, a moment of silence in memory of Sri Lanka's war heroes as well as a speech by the consul-general alongside representatives of different religions. Messages from President, PM and foreign minister were conveyed to the attendees. more..

Prado Scam: Customs union claims to have proof, challenges minister to TV debate

Feb 5 (Island) Making matters worse for Minister Ravi Karunayake, trade unions are fighting to expose an alleged Prado racket which has cost the govt coffers Rs. 3 billion. It is being investigated by the Customs CIB. A SLIGTUO top ranking officer said that all unions were willing to join the live TV debate that JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake had asked for with the Minister Ravi Karunanayake to explose the scame. more..

CID probes FB threats against President

Feb 5 (DM) CID has launched an investigation into the recent publication of death threats and defamatory remarks against President Maithripala Sirisena via social media websites by several people including women, Police said. The number of messages had increased in the wake of the arrest of Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera. “The presidential secretariat has complained to the police about this matter and the investigations have been now handed over to CID,” he said. more..

Int'l Footwear and Leather show opens today

Feb 5 (DN) The Footwear and Leather Fair 2016, the eighth in its successful series, opens at the BMICH today. The Footwear and Leather fair series is a joint effort of Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, Export Development Board (EDB), Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Industrial Development Board and SL Footwear and Leather Products Manufacturers Association. It has been attracting more and more global exhibitors since its start in 2007 more..

Conspiracy ousts top NMDRA officials with impeccable credentials?

Feb 5 (Island) Contrary to the accusations made by certain parties the National Medicinal Drug Regulatory Authority (NMDRA) refused to take the blame for drug shortages which were allegedly caused by their delay in registering them. NMDRA sources said that proper registration procedures needed to be followed to prevent the unethical importation of unregistered low quality drugs. more..

Standard Credit Finance depositors seek new investor

Feb 5 (DN) Standard Credit Finance Co Ltd (TSCFCL) depositors are making fresh representations seeking a new investor to take over the company. TSCFCL, formerly known as Ceylinco investment and reality limited five years ago was given over to Entrust to be managed by the Central Bank. “This company too has now crashed and now we are helpless,” Deposit Protection Society of TSCFCL said. “We wish to categorically state all of us are fed up of waiting for that tomorrow more..

9,000 forces men strike tremendous tattoo

Feb 5 (CT) Over 9,000 Defence and other services personnel turned out in their impressive regalia at 68th Independence Anniversary celebrations parade on the Galle Face Green and promenade with President Maithripala Sirisena, Chief of the Armed Forces, receiving the salutes in the company of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said 167 personnel represented the Army while 3,857 soldiers made up the impressive march-past conducted to perfection. more..

North, south fishers to protest in Colombo today against Indian poaching

Feb 5 (Island) Fishermen from North and South will hold a protest in Colombo today to urge Indian govt to stop TN fishing fleet from poaching in Sri Lankan waters. All Island General Fisheries Federation (AIGFF) said that the Sri Lankan fishermen faced numerous hardships due to the continuous poaching by TN fishermen in northern sea areas. AIGFF National Organiser Rathna Gamage said that federation together with more..

El Nino has intensified dry spell: Met Dept

Feb 5 (DN) The current dry spell experienced in the country is a result of the EL Nino phenomenon, Department of Meteorology said. A duty forecaster from the Department said that the dry weather normally prevailed at this time of the year brought on by the dry winds which blows from the North but said it had intensified this year as a result of the El Nino. El Niño is a climate pattern that describes the unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. more..

SL moots business partnership with State

Feb 5 (ENS) The Sri Lankan industry is exploring opportunities in ayurveda, coconut and rubber products in Kerala, said Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka president Sarath Kahapalarachchi. He was speaking to Express on the sidelines of the Kerala Business-to-Business Meet - 2016 at the CIAL Trade Fair and Exhibition Centre at Nedumbassery. Kahapalarachchi is leading a 20-member delegation from SL, one of the biggest at the meet. more..

Northern Province Governor on the way out?

Feb 5 (Hindu) Northern Province, where Tamils constitute a predominant section of the population, may soon get a new Governor. The incumbent, H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, has conveyed to the govt about his willingness to leave the post. Enquiries made in Colombo and Jaffna reveal that the govt is expected to make an announcement shortly in this regard. Asked about his possible exit, Governor, who has held the post for a year, more..

EPF back to old games?

Feb 5 (ST) Questions are raised in capital market about recent behaviour of EPF pertaining to a blue-chip company with many pointing fingers at the state pension fund for manipulating the share market. ”EPF has called more than four stockbrokers and placed sell orders on John Keells Holdings (JKH) in a bid to bring its price down,” an analyst said. The EPF is eyeing a larger parcel at a lower price. “They quoted Rs. 140 per share for a large block, but didn’t specify the quantity. more..

SLT Mobitel mCash records over Rs. 5bn transactions

Feb 5 (Island) With 11,000 channel partners serving 750,000 mCash customers, we have been able to carry out over Rs. 5 billion worth of transactions out of which Rs. 3.5 billion accounts for utility bill payments, but still we have a long way to go because there’s a mobile-money market of Rs. 75 billion out there, Kalana Gamage, Head-Mobitel mCash said Wednesday at Cinnamon Lakeside. Kalana made this comment where SLT Mobitel mCash celebrated its 2nd anniversary more..

Speed up, Ravi K tells State agencies at ease of doing Biz forum

Feb 5 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake on Wednesday made it clear that key Govt agencies must improve their efficiency. “We cannot run a Govt with delays of this nature. As Govt servants, you all have to be more efficient in making the processes hassle-free for industries to expand their economic activities,” he pointed out at the sixth Ease of Doing Business forum. Minister’s remark was in response to delays highlighted in granting approval to more..

City hoteliers want minimum rate maintained

Feb 5 (DN) Colombo City Hoteliers Association President M. Shanthikumar said that the minimum rate for city hotels should be further maintained. "It has sent positive signals to potential investors such as international hotel chains looking at opportunities to open hotels in Colombo. When they know there is a minimum guaranteed price they like to invest. Its like having a minimum buy back price for a product." He said it's this rate that is seeing the investments of top international players like Shangri La more..

Rs 800m Chick Mill upgrade

Feb 5 (CT) Bairaha, together with Crysbro, is engaged in a Rs 800 million venture, to meet the working capital requirements of its feed mill located at Gampola. The two chicken producers operate a feed mill in Gampola under the umbrella Fortune Agro Industries (Pvt.) Ltd. Bairaha in this connection has raised Rs 400 million from Amana Bank and Fortune the balance, from MCB Bank. Fortune is a Rs 1.65 billion investment between the two poultry giants. It was set-up two years ago. more..

Govt needs to keep hardcore LTTEers under microscope: Gota

Feb 5 (FT) The former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa urged the Govt to strengthen the mechanism to monitor the hardcore LTTEers before releasing the remaining hardcore LTTE operatives in jails. He said without strengthening surveillances with the assistance of the military intelligence agencies, releasing hardcore LTTE cadres will pose a grave threat to the country’s peace and security. more..

Will Indian selection policy play into Sri Lanka hands?

Feb 5 (CT) A number of top Indian athletes including six medal winners at the 2015 Asian Championships will not feature in the Indian athletics team for the 12th South Asian Games (SAG) which begins in India today. This will no doubt be in favour of the Sri Lankan athletes who had earlier beaten India only once in the SAG history - in 1991 when Sri Lanka were the host. According to reports from India, the athletes have been excluded from the team for two reasons. more..

Basketball in jeopardy

Feb 5 (CT) Basketball at the upcoming 12th South Asian Games to be held in India is thrown into jeopardy after the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) stated that it will not recognise the competition because of 'unacceptable interference by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in the affairs of the Basketball Federation of India'. In a letter addressed to the Basketball Federations of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, SL and Maldives whose teams are due to participate more..

Minister backs Controversial Wijenayake

Feb 5 (CT) Sports Minister defended the decision to go ahead and send a team for the lesser known sport Kho Kho to the South Asian Games with the controversial Athula Wijenayake as its coach, stating if the ministry didn't allow them to participate it would be an injustice to the players. In fact, it was Wijenayake who introduced the sport and trained the team. Wijenayake was the team captain of Sri Lanka's infamous handball team which more..

SLC membership reinstated

Feb 5 (Island) ICC Board held its first meeting of 2016 at the ICC Headquarters in Dubai on 3 Feb. Among the decisions made and reports received were: * Review of the ICC’s constitution and governance structures: The Board considered amendments that had been made to the ICC’s constitution in 2014 and agreed that, in order to avoid any potential conflicts of interest and to follow best practice principles of good governance, it would seek to re-establish as quickly as possible more..

Super 20 Provincial Tournament final today

Feb 5 (Island) Taking the past games and the form of players into account, Colombo Commandos, led by Milinda Siriwardane, has slight upper hand over Galle Guardians, skippered by Dinesh Chandimal, when the two teams clash today in the final of the Super 20 Provincial Tournament which is scheduled for 7 p.m. under lights at the R. Premadasa Stadium. In a tournament where a stiff competition was evident, Colombo lost only one game which was at the hands of Hambantota Troopers while more..

Sri Lanka is going green

Feb 5 (CT) New research reveals 79% of real estate agents surveyed in Sri Lanka believe interest in green buildings increased between 2014 and 2015. This is according to the recently released Lamudi Real Estate Market Report, which shares insight into sustainability in Sri Lanka. One survey conducted by Lamudi Sri Lanka showed over 64% of respondents consider sustainable features to be significant in the house-hunting process. more..

The dark side of Mirissa - Apartheid

Feb 5 (Island) I was prompted to write this with the recent concerns raised about segregation in Sri Lanka railway’s toilet facilities. Sri Lankans are second class citizens in their own country, as seen in Mirissa and many popular southern beaches explicitly and openly. It might as well read No locals allowed. In Mirissa the locals are harassed by goons and hoteliers of the area, and even on the public beach area, they have been known to ask local visitors to leave. more..

The morning after the political honeymoon: President Sirisena’s future

Feb 5 (GV) With days turning into weeks and weeks into months, President Maithripala Sirisena appeared to have realized that power is ultimately the primary concern of politics and political leadership. What necessarily follows from this is also the realization that, to sustain a good govt in trying times one has to engage in practices which are antithetical to the very idea of good governance. Ever a contradiction to the ordinary mind, this is an uncomfortable reality in politics. more..