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Sun directly over Sri Lanka today

Apr 5 (AD) The Sun is going to be directly over Sri Lanka from today (5) to 15 April, the Meteorology Department said. On the apparent northward relative motion of the sun, it is going to be directly over the latitudes of Sri Lanka during 05th and 15th of April in this year. The nearest towns of Sri Lanka over which the sun is overhead today, are Koggala, Nakulugamuwa and Denipitiya about 12:13 noon. The Met. Department also forecasted that showers or thundershowers will occur at more..

42 Foreign Service aspirants to be interviewed for 25 vacancies

Apr 5 (Island) Over 5,000 graduates have sat a competitive examination for admission to Grade 111 for the Sri Lanka Foreign Service 2013/14 and a list of 42 applicants selected on the basis of a competitive written exam conducted by the Examinations Department has been approved by the Public Service Commission, the Foreign Ministry said last week. Given the undue influence commonly used to gain entrance to the Foreign Service, the procedures followed included more..

Centre to solve women’s issues

Apr 5 (CG) Govt has taken a decision to establish a National Centre for the Upliftment of the Households headed by women in Kilinochchi, the PM’s office said in a statement. PM Ranil Wickramasinghe has initiated this decision on a request made by the people of the North to establish this Centre in their area since many women who lost their husbands live in Kilinochchi. “It is a well known fact that most suffered more..

Sri Lankan power producers told of Pakistan prospects

Apr 5 (EN) Private power producers in Sri Lanka have been asked to invest in developing electricity generating plants in Pakistan which suffers from a severe energy shortage with regular power cuts. "There's a lot of potential in Pakistan for investment in power generation," said Hazan Ali Zaigam, First Secretary, High Commission of Pakistan in SL. "We know Sri Lankan companies are experienced in mini-hydro power development." Regular power shortages in Pakistan have created more..

Demand to ban niqab even as govt bans hate speech

Apr 5 (Dawn) A Sinhalese-Buddhist radical organisation has asked the police to ban the Islamic niqab even as the country’s cabinet decided to ban hate speech which creates communal tension. Convener of the Sinhala Ravaya, Magal­kande Sudaththa, alleged here that men wearing niq­abs or burqas, as he put it, had robbed banks and therefore these attires should be banned. He was reacting to the ban imposed on full-face helmets used by motorcyclists on security grounds. more..

SLFP bigwigs say No to Dinesh

Apr 5 (NS) Minister Rajitha Senaratne at Cabinet press briefing held on Friday claimed that JVP and TNA are the only parties who are eligible to hold the post of Opposition Leader in Parliament. “No one who belongs to the UPFA or to the SLFP is eligible for the post,” he said. He also mentioned that if Nimal Siripala de Silva is not eligible and has no rights to hold the post of the opposition leader, Dinesh Gunawardena too cannot be more..

Ranjan slams the govt

Apr 5 (SL) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake, charged that 97% of those involved in fraud were lawyers. “I am ashamed to say that the whole world would not have seen such rogues as the lawyers in this country. They scream their hearts out on political stages about corruption but they know that they are the biggest rogues in the country,” he said. He also said that the former Govt had hired a top-of-the-line computer hacker from Britain to manipulate the computer systems, more..

SriLankan-Mihin merger within three months

Apr 5 (NS) The govt expects SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka to be merged within three months irrespective of the political climate, Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. He was responding to a query regarding the proposal to merge the two airlines. “Discussions between the managements of the two airlines are currently ongoing. We expect the merger to happen within three months,” Abeywardena stated, adding that the merger would definitely go ahead. more..

India can move international court for fishing rights: Ramadoss

Apr 5 (IANS) India can establish the traditional rights of its fishermen to fish in the Bay of Bengal, including inside Sri Lankan waters, by approaching the International Court of Justice, said PMK founder S. Ramadoss. He said as per international laws traditional rights are legally enforceable. Indian fishermen have a traditional right to fish in the Bay of Bengal between India and Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka’s President due in Pakistan today

Apr 5 (Dawn) President Maithripala Sirisena will pay a three-day state visit to Pakistan from Sunday. This will be Mr Sirisena’s first visit to Pakistan, but since it comes at a time when Colombo is reviewing its foreign policy, analysts attach great importance to it. Lankan president will meet his counterpart, Mamnoon Hussain, and PM Nawaz Sharif during the visit. “A number of MoUs and agreements of cooperation will be signed during the Sri Lankan president’s trip,” the Foreign Office said. more..

Lanka Sathosa posts record Rs. 3.2bn sales revenue in March 2015

Apr 5 (Island) Lanka Sathosa has broken new ground by achieving the highest-ever sales revenue of Rs. 3.2 billion in March 2015, in comparison to Rs. 2.1 billion in the corresponding month of last year. During March 2013, the sales revenue earned was Rs. 2.2 billion. March 2015 witnessed a record growth in sales revenue due to best management practices which has given this govt institution a new direction, trade officials said last week. Commending the commitment and dedication more..

Sirisena's Pakistan visit to allay fears of foreign policy shift

Apr 5 (ENS) President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to Pakistan from April 5 to 7 is expected to allay any anxiety Islamabad may have of a significant shift in Sri Lanka’s foreign policy since the exit of President Rajapaksa who had been exceptionally friendly to Pakistan and China to the chagrin of India. Pakistan’s anxiety arises from the Sirisena govt’s efforts to recast Lanka’s relations with China and explicitly demonstrate closeness to India, more..

What Velupillai Chelvanayakam envisaged Velupillai Prabakaran

Apr 6 (CT) Samuel James Velupillai Chelvanayagam was born in 1898 March 31st in the Malaysian State in the town of Ipoh. In Malay language the word Ipoh conveyed the meaning as the cleanest city. Perhaps it was the fitness of things that late Mr. Chelvanayagam’s life was marked by a cleanliness unknown in contemporary politics of Sri Lanka. Mr. Mervyn De Silva, the then Editor of Ceylon Daily News, has written that Chelvanayagam known for his physical frailties is known in Jaffna more..

Is Capitalism immoral? Not at all, says atlas network’s Tom Palmer

Apr 6 (CT) “Is capitalism immoral?” This was the question which Tom G. Palmer of Atlas Network – a US-based non-profit organisation that networks liberty and free enterprise promoting think-tanks world-wide posed to a select audience of the newly-formed Sri Lanka Chapter of Bastiat Society in Colombo last week. He answered his question with a resounding negative, “Not at all”, and went onto justify his stand. Formed in 2004, the Bastiat Society takes its name from French Economist, more..

Money laundering: How the law works...

Apr 6 (SO) We are mindful of the fact that a culture of corruption has evolved over the years. Ensconced in that culture were the corrupt mega deals which had come in the guise of development involving millions of rupees, sterling pounds or American dollars, Japanese yen or other currencies. These monies unlawfully grabbed enriched the pockets of many corrupt politicians and their henchmen. more..

Editorial: Of that hermaphrodite

Apr 6 (Island) The late President J.R. Jayewardene, who was notorious for abusing his executive powers in every conceivable manner and setting very bad precedents in the process, once said the only task he could not accomplish was to cause people to undergo sex changes. But, today, it looks as if the unbridled executive powers he vested in the presidency have helped render lawmakers, save a few, gender confused. Having actively backed President Maithripala Sirisena’s successful more..

The test of Yahapalanaya

Apr 6 (ST) Recent fiasco concerning the bond scandal has given the anti-Maithri clique a welcome full toss to smash over the pavilion so early in the new innings. Rightly they have accused the Govt of making a pig’s breakfast of the Central Bank Governor’s appointment and even taken their protest to the streets. But however great and grave the error, howsoever sour the taste allegations of insider dealings have left in the nation’s mouth, was it justified to have put concept of yahapalanaya more..

'Railway employees threaten strike'

Apr 6 (CT) Today’s Trade Union Talk focuses on the Railway. In the recent past, trade unions in the Railway Department have raised many concerns and some of them ended in countrywide strikes. Ceylon Today interviewed the Convenor of the Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA) of Railway Employees, Janaka Fernando. He speaks about issues faced by Railway employees as well as issues in the Railway Department. more..

Quandary over 19th Amendment

Apr 6 (NS) The three-month-old Maithripala Sirisena–Ranil Wickremesinghe administration is struggling to achieve stability in governing the country and its latest move is introducing the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which has become the focus of attention in legal and political circles. Unlike the preceding 17th and 18th Amendments which only altered some aspects of the Constitution, the 19th Amendment seeks to completely overhaul the presidential system of govt, more..

Tom Malinowski needs to sleep

Apr 6 (NS) The US has a huge HR problem. Actually it has two HR problems to deal with. The first refers to its problematic fascination with ‘human rights’ issues all over the world even as the very eyes that scour the world and note rights abuses do not see Washington’s own violations and complicity in other violations. Then there’s another HR problem. Human resources. Human resources capable of seeing, let’s add. It is hard to tell whether one HR problem is a product of the other HR problem or if they are more..

Colombo Fashion Forecast: Episode 9

Abberrant actions cannot cure the Sri Lankan judiciary of its ills

Apr 6 (ST) Even close to one and a half decades later, it is heartening to see the virulent politicisation of the Sri Lankan Supreme Court from the year 2000 amidst the bypassing of honourable judges of the Court under the Presidencies of Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa being publicly recognised by the Bar. One may indeed be forgiven for a somewhat acerbic reminder that such recognition comes better late than never, even as we chuckle from a merciful distance more..

Last nail in the coffin

Apr 6 (Island) We have already had a bitter experience with Mr. Wigneswaran and we mustn’t repeat or compound it. Mr. Sampanthan is a cultured gentleman, a superb speaker and fine parliamentarian in the old tradition. But he would be most unsuitable to be made Leader of the Opposition. It is neither because he is an ethnic Tamil nor because he is the leader of the TNA that Mr. Sampanthan must not be appointed the Leader of the Opposition of the SL parliament. more..

'GoSL must turn promises into action'

Apr 6 (CT) Assistant Secretary US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Tom Malinowski who visited Sri Lanka from 2 to 4 April briefed the media on the progress under the new Maithri Govt. He also visited Jaffna and Aluthgama to see and hear the voice of the people. He met a couple of journalists before his departure on Saturday. "He said, after following events in this country more..

Role of tourism in the development process

Apr 6 (Island) Sri Lanka has been a tourism destination since colonial era, due to its natural beauty and heritage. Being an Island, Sri Lanka is blessed with wonderful coastal belt that is capable of attracting tourists into the country. Tourism industry is a rapidly growing industry in the country, mainly because of the peaceful environment. Tourism is now the fourth highest foreign exchange earner to the country and it is slowly moving to the third place. Currently several top global hoteliers are more..

Sunset to sunrise for SL’s senior citizens

Apr 6 (ST) Having been criticised for weeks over flawed handling of the 15 per cent interest for deposits of elders, the authorities now deserve to be praised for finally implementing the proposal as promised in the budget. Apart from this much-looked-forward to concession, senior citizens received another bonanza this month when a proposal in the Mahinda Rajapaksa-2015 budget exempting senior citizens from interest income was also implemented. more..

Govt urged to make Hambantota a common user bunker facility

Apr 6 (FT) Association of Licensed Bunker Operators of Sri Lanka (ALBOSL) has urged the Govt to operate Hambantota as a common user bunker facility in the national interest as opposed to restricting it to a single player. Call by ALBOSL is apparently over fears that certain parties are trying to make a deal on the Hambantota oil tank farms behind closed doors. Industry sources warned that unsolicited and secret deals were more..

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf opens Rs 50mn store in Colombo

Apr 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Californian coffee brand founded in 1963 in Los Angeles, has opened a new coffee store with an investment about 50 million rupees to cater to the trending coffee demand, an official said. “Other fast developing countries have shown the same pattern that Sri Lanka is going through,” Founder Chairman of Calamander Capital Roman Scott who holds ownership of Sri Lanka’s Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf chain said. more..

CBK ready to take on Mahinda

Apr 6 (CT) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga stated she was ready to take on her successor, former President Rajapaksa if the latter tried to destroy the attempts of the govt to rebuild the country. She charged that Rajapaksa attempted to destroy the SLFP when Ms.Bandaranaike was deprived of her civic rights spreading stories that a person without civic rights could not lead the party. Ms. Kumaratunga scoffed at Rajapaksa's claim that the national security was in danger more..

Inter School U-19 Cricket: D.S. Champions!

Apr 6 (Island) D.S. Senanayake clinched their first Under-19 Cricket title in more than ten years as they survived a threatening assault from Sammu Ashan (167 runs in 103 balls) to beat Ananda by 42 runs in a thrilling Singer Cup Inter School Under-19 Limited Overs Cricket tournament final at P. Sara Stadium on Sunday. After winning the toss and deciding to field first, Ananda conceded 317 runs as the entire DSS batting line-up more..

SL Tea Board agrees to pay for trade fairs

Apr 6 (ST) Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) will introduce a scheme that will allow increased private sector participation at international tea trade fairs. Through this scheme at least 50% or a full cost of participation would be borne by the board that would help small scale tea owners to participate. This would be provided through the monies collected for brand promotions through which the request for the reimbursement of at least 50% of private sector cost to participate at trade fairs more..

FITIS proposes National ICT Directory

Apr 6 (CT) Initiatives have been implemented towards the development and progress of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry as a whole in Sri Lanka. With this in view a plan has been put under way the Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka to link all ICT societies in the country bringing it under one umbrella. FITIS the Infotel 2015 information and Technology exhibition committee has proposed the launch of a National ICT Directory. more..

Sri Lanka should look at regional trade and be less Europe centric: Official

Apr 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka should look at diversifying its export market from its Europe centric and north American trade habits and move towards exploring a more lucrative regional export markets, a senior official said. “That Europe centrist approach is still there in SL, simply because it is the number one market in Sri Lanka and still continues to be so, followed by north America but we have very good market opportunities in the region,” more..

UTE contributes to supplying drinking water in Ampara

Apr 6 (Island) UTE recently contributed to the efforts of Sunpower Constructions (Pvt) Ltd, in their quest to supply piped water to over 500,000 people living in the Ampara district of Sri Lanka by March 2016. UTE supplied a large fleet of Cat machines to the main contractor of this project, Sunpower Constructions. The Ampara Distribution Network Water Supply Project spanning 15 months, has been undertaken by the Sri Lankan Govt in selected areas in the Ampara district. more..

‘New nurses only for PC run hospitals’

Apr 6 (Island) All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) General Secretary Gamini Kumarasinghe alleged that only the hospitals run by provincial councils had been allowed to recruit 1,367 nurses and no nurses had been appointed to the hospitals under the line ministry. As a result many nurses who were expecting transfers to hospitals run by the govt had been left without replacements. Health Secretary Dr. D.M.R.B. Dissanayaka, contacted for comment, dismissed the allegation more..

Tourist arrivals up 18% in March 2015

Apr 6 (EN) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 18% from a year earlier to 157,051 in March 2015, with Western European arrivals recovering after a lull during election in the island and China performing strongly. Total arrivals were up 13.6% from a year earlier to 478,838 in the first three months of the year. Arrivals from China which surged in Feb to 27,425 during the Chinese New Year becoming the top generating market more..

Welegedara equals T20 world record

Apr 6 (CC) Fast-bowler Chanaka Welegedara gives up just two runs in four-over spell for Tamil Union. He has equalled the world record for the most economical four-over spell in the history of Twenty20 cricket. Playing for Tamil Union in Sri Lanka's domestic league, Welegedara finished with the incredible figures of four wickets for two runs from four overs, including two maidens. The left-armer equals the record set by South African Chris Morris last year, who took 2-2 from four overs more..

Amunugama thanks India for scholarships

Apr 6 (DN) The annual get-together of the India Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) alumni and Sri Lankan students who studied in India under various scholarship schemes of the Indian government was held recently. Higher Education and Research Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama was the Chief Guest. About 300 alumni of Indian educational and training institutions from various parts of the island attended the reception. Dr. Amunugama lauded Maulana Azad's leading more..

Kahawatte mysteries resume: Woman goes missing

Apr 6 (CT) The Kahawatte mystery murders seem to be continuing as a woman 39-years-old, a mother of three children was reported missing in the Kotakethana area, Kahawatte yesterday. According to the Police the woman disappeared at around 1:00 a.m. The Police suspect that the woman has been murdered and the body has been hidden. Police said that 17 women have been murdered before yesterday's incident. more..

University protests: Namal Rajapaksa asks if history is repeating itself

Apr 6 (AM) UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa recently stated that the protest organized by university students on Wednesday (01) made him wonder if ‘history is about to repeat itself.’ Updating his blog for the first time in nearly two months, Rajapaksa used a flow chart to express his view with more clarity. “We’ve seen this dangerous situation before in our history. Political instability —> economic instability —> increasing unemployment —> youth unrest—>”, he said. more..