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Multi Million Rupee facilities for Dehiwela and Mt. Lavinia

Mar 26 (MoD) The foundation stone to the proposed sports stadium in Dehiwela was laid today (25) during a ceremony held in this regard at the old ground premises. Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa accompanied by Namal Rajapaksa MP laid the foundation stones for the proposed modern sports facility. Rs. 200 million project is carried out under Dehiwela-Mt. Lavinia Municipal area development programme. more..

World T20: West Indies beat Bangladesh

Mar 26 (CI) West Indies had batted poorly against India in a seven-wicket defeat on Sunday. Their batsmen didn't look entirely convincing against Bangladesh either, but they scored 171, thanks to Dwayne Smith's 43-ball 72 and some amateurish work in the field. The target proved well beyond the reach of the hosts, who were bowled out for 98. Dew, which had been a big factor in Mushfiqur Rahim sending West Indies in at the toss, barely played a role as Samuel Badree, Sunil Narine more..

Blaming the govt instead of the west

Mar 26 (Island) After the Geneva meeting there will be a competition among the opposition parties as well as some well wishers of the govt to blame the govt for the outcome at the UNHRC meeting. The outcome is pre decided and all that the govt has to do is to expose the west and the UNHRC for what they are doing and will be doing in the future. Even after the UNHRC meeting last year some who can be called supporters of UPFA blamed govt for not having done what they call ‘homework’. more..

Tamil Heritage Month Act passed

Mar 26 (LR) Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne congratulated the community following the passage of Bill 156, Tamil Heritage Month Act, 2014 today. Earlier, political parties quarreled over who would take credit over the Bill. Lieutenant-Governor David Onley gave Royal Assent to Bill 156, An Act to Proclaim the Month of January Tamil Heritage Month. “I am pleased to extend my congratulations to more..

Sri Lanka Insurance 'BB-' rating confirmed

Mar 26 (LBO) Fitch Ratings has confirmed a 'BB'' issuer financial strength rating of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation with a stable outlook. Fitch said it had a franchise built up since 1961 and an asset base of over 140 billion rupees. It was the market leader in non-life insurance taking 23 percent of gross written premium and was the second largest in the non-life category. But the strengths were balanced by significant investments in non-core subsidiaries made according to more..

Women inspire: Championing change in SL

Mar 26 (HP) Throughout the world, both men and women feel pressure to conform to traditional roles and responsibilities. Discrimination and violence against women and girls are common. Changing long-accepted behaviors and beliefs about roles and women's rights cannot happen overnight. But one by one, champions for change are building a better world for themselves and changing what has too long been accepted as "normal" to make a better world for future generations. more..

Sri Lankan army heightens security

Mar 26 (Hindu) Sri Lankan army has heightened security in the country’s Northern Province through a host of measures, including vehicle checks, it is learnt. Jaffna Commander Udaya Perera said the move was aimed at preventing a possible regrouping of LTTE sympathisers. “We hear that sections of the diaspora are funding some of those elements here,” he said. The “precaution,” he said, was also necessary to more..

Writ application of teacher who climbed Royal College roof dismissed

Mar 26 (Island) The Court of Appeal has dismissed a Writ Application filed by a female teacher of Royal College, Colombo, who climbed the roof of the school in protest against a transfer order. She and another female teacher petitioned the Court of Appeal, seeking to quash a transfer orders, made by the principal on July 16, 2013. The first petitioner, Kalyani Dissanayaka, climbed the roof of the school in protest against the transfer soon after she was informed of the transfer. more..

Northern CM’s circular curtails officials’ freedom of movement

Mar 26 (Island) Many an eyebrow has been raised over an attempt by Northern Chief Minister, C. V. Wigneswaran to restrict public servants’ freedom of movement through a special circular which, he has said, is in keeping with practices adopted in other provinces, various existing procedures and guidelines as well as expert advice received at a two-day seminar in late January this year. Northern Chief Minister has introduced the new regulations with effect from February 15, 2014. more..

Sri Lanka’s trade unions seek clarification on Sino – Lanka MoU on labour issues

Mar 26 (ST) Sri Lanka’s trade unions have sought immediate clarification relating to contents of the MoU signed in November last year between Sri Lanka and China on strengthening cooperation on labour-related issues as it was kept as a secret during the past three months. Trade union leaders have been kept in the dark by the state authorities by not disclosing details of the Sino –Sri Lanka MoU, the Secretary of the more..

Sri Lanka must engage more with Tamils and their issues

Mar 26 (DNA) The resolution coming up in the UNHRC has revived the debate on Sri Lanka's war crimes, justice to the Tamils and the urgency of ethnic reconciliation. The resolution has brought to the fore issues more important than how India votes on it. The core issue is a political solution to the tribulations of the Tamils in the aftermath of a war that has wrecked their lives, ravaged their land and economy, heightened their insecurity and condemned them to a grim battle for survival. more..

Chandrika’s move, a sign of return to politics?

Mar 26 (SM) Govt and its affiliates have been strongly criticising former president Chandrika Kumaratunga after she handed over to the UNP on March 11 a set of recommendations for religious harmony in Sri Lanka, which the South Asian Policy and Research Institute headed by her has prepared. BBC Sandeshaya has asked govt minister Dullas Alahapperuma to comment on these criticisms at a time when the country was experiencing religious discord due to acts by certain groups. more..

Employees threaten to hold Colombo port to ransom

Mar 26 (Island) Trade unions have threatened to cripple the Colombo Port unless the administration grants their demands. They want their annual bonus increased up to Rs. 150,000. Combined Trade Union Alliance of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority will stage a demonstration at 12.00 noon today opposite the Khan’s clock tower in Fort. President of the JSS said that they would launch their protest with six demands. more..

Over 25,000 kilos of rotten oranges seized

Mar 26 (Island) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) yesterday raided a large scale fruit wholesaler in Pettah and took into custody 25,000 kilos of imported oranges unfit for human consumption. Media spokesman of the Ministry of Co-operatives and Internal Trade Nipun Ekanayake told The Island the consignment of oranges worth six million rupees was being prepared to be sent to a fruit drinks manufacturing company at very low prices when CAA officials raided the store. more..

DIG denies sexual abuse in North

Mar 26 (CT) DIG of Jaffna, Rohan Dias, has categorically denied the allegations made by the wife of a former LTTE leader that there are soldiers stationed near private residences in the North, and that women and girls are being sexually abused by the Security Forces personnel. DIG Dias said, the reports of investigations into these allegations had revealed that it is their relatives, fathers, grandfathers or neighbours who had committed sexual abuses on these victims. more..

Ban on glyphosate: President’s order put on hold

Mar 26 (Island) President Rajapksa’s decision to ban weedicides containing glyphosate had been put on hold and the Pestcides Technical Committee (PTC) had asked President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunge to give an appointment to meet the President to convince him on the far-reaching repercussions of the ban, Director General of Agriculture Dr. Rohan Wijekoon said. He said that though President had given orders more..

Two Lankan teachers feted at Microsoft Global Forum

Mar 26 (LBT) Two Sri Lankan Teachers received international recognition when they were selected to participate in the ‘Microsoft in Education Global Forum 2014’, held in Barcelona, Spain from March 11 to 14. Shiroma Weerathunga from Presidents College, Ambilipitiya and Champa Rathnayaka from Kandy Model School were picked from 23,000 teachers worldwide for their innovative and effective use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the classroom. more..

Sri Lankans in Toronto protest US resolution

Mar 26 (FT) Hundreds of expatriate Sri Lankans in Canada held a large protest Monday to show solidarity against the United States sponsored anti-Sri Lankan resolution at the 25the session of the UNHRC in Geneva. Canadian Sri Lankans in Toronto staged the “Hands Off Sri Lanka” protest rally in front of the U.S. Consulate on Monday from 2 pm to 5 pm. Canadian Sri Lankans in Ottawa held a similar rally outside the U.S. Embassy on Tuesday, from 2 pm to 5 pm. more..

Centre concedes giving training to SL Navy

Mar 26 (Hindu) Union Ministry of External Affairs has conceded that the Centre has been imparting long-term and short-term training in technical and non-technical streams for Sri Lankan Navy personnel in order to enhance maritime security in the region. However, it has refused to disclose details of training modules and domestic locations where such training is being imparted on the ground that they relate to information more..

Rains in catchment areas insufficient for reservoirs

Mar 26 (DM) Although the catchment areas have received a significant amount of rain, it has not been sufficient to have an impact on the reservoirs. The decline in the water levels had resulted in a noticeable drop in hydropower generation while thermal power generation had increased to meet the shortfall. As of yesterday hydropower generation had amounted to 16% of our electricity requirement while 84% was from thermal power generation and a minute 0.3% from wind power. more..

SCB upgrades Lankan growth forecast after surprise 2013

Mar 26 (FT) Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) has revised its forecast for Sri Lanka’s GDP growth for 2014 following a surprising rebound in 2013. “2013 GDP growth, released on 17 March, surprised on the upside at 7.3% (versus our forecast of 6.8%). We have therefore raised our 2014-16 growth forecasts),” SCB’s latest economic alert on Sri Lanka stated. SCB has revised 2014 GDP growth forecast to 7.5% from 7% previously and 7.8% in 2015 from 7.2% earlier. more..

Jayasuriya reconciles with senior players

Mar 26 (CI) Sri Lanka's selectors have reconciled with Mahela and Sangakkara, after their displeasure at not being informed of the senior players' Twenty20 retirement plans had played out in public. Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya said he had spoken to both players and eased the tension. "I had a very good chat with Sanga and Mahela. There was a small miscommunication from their part also, but nothing like that will happen again," more..

Curtain falls on campaigning

Mar 26 (Island) Campaigning for the March 29 PC Poll will come to a close at midnight today. President Rajapaksa as the leader of the SLFP the main constituent party of the UPFA will address the final propaganda campaign rally at Deberawewa in Tissamaharama this evening. UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will address his party’s final rally at Kosgashandiya in Grandpass. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake is due to speak at several rallies in all six districts going to the polls. more..

Garment factory MD arrested over Rs. 2 M. in fake notes

Mar 26 (DM) The CID arrested the managing director of a garment factory in connection with the handing over of 400 counterfeit 5000-rupee notes to another party -- after the Cinnamon Gardens branch of the HSBC had identified them as counterfeits as they were about to be deposited. Dulanjalie Jayakody,-daughter of former president Ranasinghe Premadasa, had gone to the bank at about 2.00 pm today to deposit Rs.2 million (comprising 400 counterfeit 5000 rupee notes) which more..

Four Maha Nayakes say-Certain politicians are to blame for US resolution

Mar 26 (CT) The actions of certain MPs and ministers have contributed towards the resolution being brought against the country at the UNHRC concerning alleged human rights violations, the Maha Nayakes of the Asgiriya and Malwatte Chapters of the Siyam Nikaya and Amarapura and Ramanna Nikayas said. An epistle signed by the respective four Maha Nayakes to be sent to the UNHRC in Geneva today. more..

Misdeeds on seeds and weeds

Mar 26 (DM) With an economic cold war erupting in the aftermath of the Russian Federation’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula in neighbouring Ukraine, Sri Lanka needs to focus more on sophisticated economic neo-colonialism through which the rich countries and their trans-national corporations (TNCs) are continuing to plunder our resources including foreign exchange, while virtually forcing us to buy poison. The latest of a multitude of such instances is the case of more..

'Towards a rational and educated society'

Mar 26 (DM) Randima Gamage, a second time contestant for the SPC election from the UPFA, spoke to the Daily Mirror on his candidacy for the upcoming elections, his vision and allegations against his party. Gamage is an old boy of Royal College Colombo and a graduate in law, having completed his law degree in England. Q: This is the second time you are contesting as a young politician - what difference do you see in the political sphere from the last time you contested? more..

'Give us five years to prove ourselves'

Mar 26 (DM) JVP District leader for Colombo District, K.D. Lal Kantha says that this election would be a turning point for the party. In a discussion with the Daily Mirror he said Marxism was a philosophy that would be suitable to Sri Lanka if it was applied in the right way. Furthermore, he said the present Sri Lankan economy had capitalistic features which were detrimental to the people. Q: One of the candidates from the JVP said more..

A crackdown on dissent?

Mar 26 (SL) Some say it was a big mistake. Some say it was part of a Govt plan. Whichever it maybe, the arrest of three activists in the North over the past two weeks only contributed to add pressure on Sri Lanka in Geneva ahead of the formal release of Navi Pillay’s report and the vote on the US sponsored resolution. Pillay’s report on Sri Lanka and a debate on the report will take place on Wednesday and there is no doubt concerns more..

Mishandled dream of caring for sacred city strays turns to nightmare

Mar 26 (ST) A Health Ministry plan to provide shelter and veterinary care for hundreds of stray dogs in Anuradhapura has run into controversy with a Rs. 6 million shelter packed with sick, dying and dead animals on the verge of closure. The shelter was set up in mid-2013 at Nellikulama, a village 13km from Anuradhapura, as a treatment centre for weak and sick strays but it turned became a neglected dumping ground more..

Lankan parents seek pardon for son from murdered Indian's family

Mar 26 (E24|7) An old couple living in a remote village in Sri Lanka is pleading for the mercy of an Indian family to save the life of their son who is facing the gallows in the UAE after being found guilty of murder. Bandula Piyasena hailing from Kantharuwa, Madewechchiya, was sentenced to death in the UAE. To avoid the death penalty, he has been ordered to pay Dh1 million as blood money to obtain the pardon of the family more..

'UNHRC resolution: President violating Polls laws to slander UNP'

Mar 26 (Island) President Rajapaksa, in violation of guidelines set by the Elections Commissioner, was using PC polls campaign meetings to slander the UNP by making baseless allegations with regard to the accountability resolution to be presented against his govt, at the ongoing UNHRC session, the party’s General Secretary Tissa Attanayake MP, said. "I have brought the unethical conduct of President Rajapaksa in violation of more..

Stern warning on flouting election law after campaigning ends officially

Mar 26 (Island) Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya had asked candidates of political parties, independent groups and especially to media institutions to adhere to tonight’s deadline for ending campaigning by midnight on Wednesday. Executive Director PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi and Executive Director of CaFFE Keerthi Tennakoon said that they had deployed hundreds of observers in more..

'Sri Lanka rights resolution watered down'

Mar 26 (PTI) The US has failed to win support for its resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC as the latest draft does not call for an international probe, a senior minister claimed today. "We have achieved a victory as the draft resolution now is without the words 'international investigation,'" Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. "US was telephoning govt leaders to seek support, but they have failed to win support for more..

UK says probe will help Sri Lanka

Mar 26 (CG) The British Got says it will take nothing for granted on the Sri Lankan issue and feels the time has now come for an international investigation into alleged human rights abuses committed during the war. Speaking at a debate on Sri Lanka at Westminster Hall at the House of Commons yesterday, British Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth office, Hugo Swire, said an international investigation in Sri Lanka will more..

LTTE regrouping claim dismissed

Mar 26 (CG) Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran said the story of the LTTE re-emerging was being floated in order to justify the heavy military presence in the north. Observing that the story was “very weak”, he said many unanswered questions remained about the suspect Gobi, the policeman said to have been injured when he reportedly opened fire, and the delay in nabbing him. “We have been repeatedly asking more..

Sri Lanka faces toughest UN censure

Mar 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka faces fresh condemnation at the UN's top human rights body this week in a move that observers say could lead to an international criminal investigation for war crimes. A US-led resolution demanding accountability for thousands of deaths of ethnic Tamil civilians five years ago is almost certain to be adopted at the UNHRC in Geneva. President Rajapakse has launched a diplomatic more..

Pensioners’ gratuity imbroglio

Mar 26 (CT) A Lake House newspaper, in its issue of 14 March, 2014; quoting Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister, W. D. J. Seneviratne, had said that the government has arranged to grant the gratuity as a bank loan with the assistance of govt banks. The interest of the loans will be paid by the govt. The new procedure will be launched from 1 April (next month) and it will help all pensioners waiting to obtain the gratuity, the news report further said. more..

The need of the hour; Raise our voice against militarization and lawlessness

Mar 26 (CT) Bar Association of Sri Lanka is a body completely apolitical. We respect the rule of law, independence of Judiciary and other democratic values. We have consistently opposed the gazette vesting Police powers on the Army, Navy and the Air Force on a continuing basis applicable for the entire country. We have moved resolutions at the Executive Committee of the BASL and the Bar Council and issued press releases. Other professional bodies too have condemned it. more..

Pirivena Act to be amended this year

Mar 26 (DN) Govt will amend the Pirivena Act this year to uplift Dhamma education aiming at a society with high moral standards and ethical values, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. Ministry has prepared the draft after a series of seminars, workshops and discussions with stakeholders in the field. Draft has been referred to the AG's Department for approval. Main pirivenas will be empowered to conduct more..