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New Educational facilities for the KDU

Apr 6 (MoD) The KDU CARE Research Centre and the modernized Medical Centre of the Kotelawala Defence University was ceremonially declared open today. Secretary to the Ministry of Defence BMUD Basnayake graced the event as the chief guest. KDU CARE Research Centre had been constructed under the first phase of the six storied Engineering Faculty complex of the KDU. more..

Electrically powered elevator for Sigiriya

Apr 6 (GDI) Govt has taken many steps to protect Sri Lanka's world famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress - a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Director General of Archaeology Department Dr Senarath Dissanayake said. Accordingly, it is expected to install an electrically powered elevator in Sigiriya without harming its attractiveness and cultural values. Main purpose of this step is to facilitate disabled and old people to visit Sigiriya, he said and pointed out that this type of modernisation already exists in more..

Malinga most suited for T20s: Ponting

Apr 6 (MD) Although Lasith Malinga finished as Sri Lanka’s best bowler with 12 wickets in seven matches, conceding 354 runs at the recently-concluded World Cup, the burly sling-arm pacer was far from his top form in the tournament. In the World Cup opener against New Zealand, Malinga went for 84 runs in his 10 overs without a wicket at Christchurch. His performances dipped further against the Test-playing nations as the tournament progressed. Except against Bangladesh more..

If 19A fails to secure 2/3 majority, UNP to push for immediate dissolution!

Apr 6 (DN) If the 19th Amendment failed to secure a two thirds majority in Parliament, the UNP would push for immediate dissolution of Parliament as it is the last resort, UNP General Secretary Minister Kabir Hashim said. The 19th Amendment will be taken for debate in Parliament on April 9 and 10 following the recommendations of the Supreme Court. Parliament is likely to vote on the constitutional Amendment on April 10. more..

Sri Lanka importers, exporters urged to change work hours

Apr 6 (EN) Sri Lanka's import and export trade has been urged to change their work hours to make use of the new round-the-clock Customs facility. "If this is to be successful all of us have to change gears," declared Dinesh De Silva, Chairman of the Import Section of the CCC. "This facility gives us flexibility and will help us improve our ease of doing business ranking." Companies will have to shift their work patterns and plan operations to suit the available hours of operation of Customs, more..

SLFP firm on Presidential powers

Apr 6 (CG) The SLFP today insisted that its stand on the Presidential powers remains the same and that it wants excessive powers in the hands of the President to be reduced. Opposition leader and SLFP member Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the SLFP backs the reduction of a President’s term to five years and for a President to be able to contest for a maximum of two terms. He said the SLFP also backs the proposal to limit the cabinet to not more than 30 Ministers. more..

Pakistan, Sri Lanka ink six MoUs

Apr 6 (ET) Pakistan and Sri Lanka signed on Monday six MoUs to enhance bilateral cooperation in diverse fields. “We have signed six MoUs,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, while addressing a joint press conference with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena at the PM House. The Sri Lankan president elaborated the agreements pertained to enhance economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. more..

Lasantha lives….Happy birthday!

Apr 7 (CT) The 5th of April marks the 57th birth anniversary of Lasantha, murdered six years ago on the 8th of January. Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated at the last Presidential elections also on the 8th of January. 8/1 will be etched in the history of this Island for two divergent emotions. Sadness, for the loss of a life snatched away in a meaningless excercise and Joy for snatching away power from a Leader hell bent on taking Sri Lanka down a path where it would have taken generations to more..

Champika seems to be confused

Apr 7 (CT) I was listening to the views expressed by the Minister Champika Ranawaka over the Sirasa TV on Saturday. I am afraid the Minister seems to be confused about the two different forms of govt. There is the Executive Presidential form of govt and the Westminster system. The latter form of govt which prevails in Britain is governed more by Conventions rather than by law. Alternative to the Executive Presidential form of govt is the Cabinet form of govt where there is no CEO. more..

'We need Colombo Port City'

Apr 7 (SO) President of the Chamber of Construction Industry in Sri Lanka Dr. Surath Wickramasinghe says the Govt should maintain the progress the country achieved in the construction industry during the past few years by expediting the process of reviewing the mega development projects, as delays in the process will make a bad impact on the construction industry. He insists the Govt should keep the confidence of the more..

Crisis over opposition leader post

Apr 7 (CT) According to the govt, Sri Lanka is now governed by a national govt. However, there is a crisis with regard to who should be appointed as the Leader of the Opposition. There is no such office in a national govt. Hence, it is obvious that there is no national govt in SL. This situation forces us to explore the nature of the present govt. A national govt would be a govt formed by all parties represented in Parliament for the purpose of dealing with a grave challenge faced by the nation. more..

Arjun(a) bond scandals not Greek

Apr 7 (CT) Following former Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal's multimillion rupee Greek bond scandal, a similar multimillion rupee bond scandal has now taken place within the ranks of the new Government while only in under two months into office!This bond scandal took place on 27 February. This fraud involves Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe's CBSL Governor Arjuna Mahendran and the latter's son-in-law Arjun Aloysius. more..

Caught in a high tide

Apr 7 (NS) Every morning visitors can witness the fishermen of Balapitiya trudging along the Maduganga (A river known as Maduganga) dragging their boats behind them on their way to the sea. The cause for such a strenuous task and uncommon sight even before they begin their day is due to the delta being filled up with sand. Sand banks make it dangerous and impossible for fishermen to take the boats over the river, more..

The national anthem and its versions

Apr 7 (Island) The Island of March 21, 2015 reports that a heated exchange had ensued in Parliament on President Sirisena’s decision to allow the National Anthem to be sung both in Sinhala and Tamil. After one Member of Parliament had pointed out that allowing the National Anthem to be sung in Tamil would be a violation of the Constitution, a variety of comments were made by several MPs that collectively reflected a range of perceptions regarding the National Anthem. more..

Thoughts count

Apr 7 (GV) At almost two years of age I attempted to write my own story, when I ran out of words I tried to draw. It wasn’t a worthless effort however because as I was always told “It’s the thought that counts.” At the age of four on Mothers’ Day I tried to make waffles with my older brother for my mom. It was half undone and probably tasted like shit. But she ate it anyway with happiness beaming in her eyes. Probably telling herself that “it’s the thought that counts”. more..

Karuna no direct friend: Pillaiyan

Apr 7 (CT) Eastern Provincial Councillor and Leader of TMVP Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan Alias Pillaiyan said war crimes and deaths are usual in battle fields. Therefore, it is important to form a local investigation according to the LLRC Report. Local probing will support future reconciliation in the country. Meanwhile he also said, "They cannot take any legal action against me. I was not in the LTTE until the end of war. more..

Editorial: Festina lente

Apr 7 (Island) The Supreme Court decision on the proposed 19th Amendment is expected shortly. Whatever the court decision may be, the govt is sure to have its work cut out on the political front to secure the passage of this vital Bill which has already run into opposition. Even the JHU is all out to scuttle 19A on the grounds that it seeks to reduce the executive president to a scarecrow or pambaya. The knee-jerk reaction of some of the ardent supporters of 19A has been to carry out more..

JKH considering scouring capital markets to fund waterfront project

Apr 7 (ST) John Keells Holdings (JKH), which intends to continue the Waterfront Properties project as planned despite the new govt’s amendment to restrict the ability to rent space for gaming, is contemplating going to the capital market for additional funding, officials said. This has come on the back of a delay in securing a 7-year syndicated loan to the tune of US$445 million. Last December JKH announced its intent to enter into a syndicated project loan facility with Standard Chartered more..

Diaspora professionals set up new marriage model

Apr 7 (Island) Adopting a new post-war approach, the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora has generated an unconventional model for matrimonial partnerships between local girls and young men working and living overseas. "Diaspora bridegrooms are adopting a new post-war approach bypassing previous caste, class and wealth stratifications defining an entirely new arrangement for dowry and marriage," more..

'No personal agendas in sports'

Apr 7 (CT) Minister Navin Dissanayake, emphasized that there will be no personal agendas in Sri Lankan sports, while he will guide the island nation to be a sports loving nation in the future. He said this as Sri Lanka celebrated the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace 2015, National Sports Day event held at Race course premises Nuwara Eliya. "Sri Lanka is naturally gifted with talented athletes in any sports, be it cricket, rugby, athletics, or Wushu, as we saw today. more..

Sampath Bank begins foray into Myanmar

Apr 7 (DM) Sri Lanka’s third largest private sector commercial bank said it had already applied for a representative office in the South East Asian democracy, Myanmar, becoming the second such Sri Lankan bank to do so. Back in 2013, Commercial Bank applied for commercial banking license to set up a representative office in Myanmar for which it received the license in Nov 2014 becoming the first SL bank to test the waters in an economy gradually opening up its doors for foreign firms. more..

AG argues 19th Amendment will not require referendum

Apr 7 (Island) 19th Amendment to the Constitution would not require a referendum and the sovereignty of the people enshrined in Article 3 of the Constitution was not being interfered with, said Attorney General, Yuvanjana Wijayatilake PC in the Supreme Court. He has been made a respondent in the petition filed against the proposed amendment. AG said the people needed a country governed according to Constitution, more..

Sri Lanka eager to borrow Belarusian milk, dairy production practices

Apr 7 (BelTA) Sri Lanka intends to borrow Belarus' experience of making milk and dairy products. The idea was discussed during the visit of a Belarusian delegation to Sri Lanka. The delegation was led by Belarusian Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister Igor Brylo, the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told BelTA. While in Sri Lanka members of the Belarusian delegation met with top officials of the Agriculture Ministry, Ministry of Social Development, more..

Priority and confidentiality of investigations

Apr 7 (Island) These days, the media is packed with news about investigations on line into alleged crimes, misappropriations and misconduct under the last regime. Presumably, the display is encouraged by agents of the Govt, anxious to respond to the widespread demand for quick action to substantiate the allegations made during the election. By and large, the public appears to be dissatisfied with the rate of progress in this area. They should however, appreciate the enormity of more..

Trinco oil tanks to be renovated

Apr 7 (CT) Minster Champika Ranawaka said that the govt was considering refurbishing the Trincomalee oil tanks that have been idling for a long time. He said that it was a part of a plan for energy security of the country. He was speaking at the Forum on Energy Sector Development Strategies held at the CCC yesterday. “We have now come up with strategies for energy sector development. more..

Sri Lanka’s borrowing soars ahead of parliamentary poll

Apr 7 (Reuters) Sri Lanka’s govt borrowing has risen sharply since January, central bank data showed on Monday, due to populist policies adopted by the new govt as it seeks to consolidate its grip on power at a parliamentary election. Having won a presidential election on Jan. 8, President Maithripala Sirisena appointed Ranil Wickramasinghe as prime minister, though he lacks a majority in the 225-seat parliament. Sirisena has pledged to hold parliamentary elections, more..

TISL urges govt to expedite investigations against corruption

Apr 7 (FT) While commending the efforts made by the new Govt in addressing past allegations of bribery and corruption, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has urged authorities to expedite their investigations while maintaining the highest standards of transparency and due procedure. “As the country reaches the final staged of the 100 day program, it is important to move forward from investigations to prosecutions followed by convictions according to existing laws, more..

Opposition insists no half way solutions

Apr 7 (Island) Opposition yesterday announced that it was ready to pass the much awaited 19th amendment to the constitution, but it should come into effect after the introduction of new electoral reforms. Opposition leader Nimal Siripala de Silva told the media at his office in Colombo that the opposition could pass the 19th amendment to the constitution after including certain amendments to it and the legal draftsman should include more..

Sri Lanka's first National Sports Day

Apr 7 (CT) Sri Lanka celebrated the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace 2015, National Sports Day at Race Course premises, Nuwara Eliya, yesterday with a number of sporting and display events. The National Sports Day was sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), and six ministries (Tourism, Sports, Education, Public Administration, Health and Social Services) collaborated in organizing the event. The hastily arranged programme started with more..

'SL president’s visit to strength trade ties'

Apr 7 (DT) Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to Pakistan would further strengthen economic ties between the two countries and help overcome poverty challenges. President Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Ijaz Mumtaz in a statement said visit of Sri Lankan president was an ample proof of sincere and longstanding friendship between the two countries. Mumtaz called for collaboration in construction, sugar, cement, paper and paper board, more..

BOC GM Gunasekera removed

Apr 7 (FT) Highly qualified and senior banker Bank of Ceylon (BoC) General Manager D.M. Gunasekera has been suspended with immediate effect. Minister Ravi Karunanayke said the suspension has been carried out on many grounds including misuse of power and corruptions. It is learnt that in 2011, BoC opened up a branch in Seychelles-a country considered as one of the fastest growing tax havens in the world more..

Business confidence continues to fall

Apr 7 (FT) Political uncertainties and rising economic concerns have delivered a blow to business confidence, as the unique index continues to be affected by goings on in the sphere of governance, says leading business magazine LMD. The April edition of LMD reports that the LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) “declined by eight points in March, to 152, amid what appears to be an erosion of optimism regarding the economy, inflation and longer-term business sentiment.” more..

Illegally held elephants found at polo event

Apr 7 (DM) Wild Life officers took into their custody two elephants found without proper registration documents, as they raided an elephant polo event at the Oruwala Steel Cooperation grounds on Sunday, official said. The department said following information that some elephants were being used to play elephant polo at the grounds, wild life officials raided the venue and found the two elephants which were tied to trees in the vicinity of the ground. The elephant polo event, which was organized by more..

Kumar camp claims TV talk blocked due to pressure

Apr 7 (DM) A television interview of controversial left camp political activist Kumar Gunaratnam had been prevented from being telecast due to external influence from the top, the Frontline Socialist Party charged today. Party Spokesman Pubudu Jayagoda said TV channel, Independent Television Network (ITN), had telecast a number of trailers of the interview until a few hours prior to airing the interview on April 2 at 10p.m. more..

Murali to set up US$ 63 mn beverage can manufacturing plant

Apr 7 (DM) Ex-cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan will be setting up the country’s first aluminium beverage can manufacturing facility in the near future, with an investment of US$ 63 million. “It’s for all beverages. My family will own 60-70% of the shares,” Muralitharan said. He added that the rest of the company would be owned by two foreign partners. The company will come under the Board of Investment, and Minister Eran Wickramaratne said that there would be no hiccups. more..

GMOA to implement Consultants Registry administrively

Apr 7 (Island) GMOA emphasized that the non-implementation of a specialist registry of Consultants due to intervention by private sector hospitals, many patients were unable to select qualified Consultants. GMOA President Dr Anuruddha Padeniya addressing the media said that recently some unqualified foreign cardiac surgeons had performed unsuccessful heart operations at some private hospitals. Then those patients had been referred to the NHSL, where qualified SL cardiac more..

Sri Lankan Airlines: Paradise for sexual predators

Apr 7 (EN) Sri Lankan Airlines was a paradise for sex predators with the top management demanding sexual favours from cabin crew and young employees leading to a breakdown of discipline at virtually all levels, a probe has found. Board of Inquiry found that Pradeepa Kakulawala, the head of Human Resources adopted a laissez-faire attitude towards sexual harassment that allowed perverts a free run. more..

Ampara prepares for the New Year

Apr 7 (DN) People in the Ampara district are getting ready to celebrate the Tamil and Sinhala New Year on a grand scale. The towns have turned into a hive of activity. Sinhalese and Tamils in the districts are out shopping and busy purchasing their requirements. Shops and Textiles in Ampara, Dehyattakandiya, Akkaraipattu, Kalmunai, Pottuvil and Sammanthurai are open till late in the night for the convenience of the people, as they have to fulfill their religious obligations more..

USAID backing for Rajarata entrepreneurs

Apr 7 (DN) The USAID is supporting interested and prospective entrepreneurs of Rajarata to expand their enterprises, businesses and projects in the field of technology. Pertaining to this vision Wheel Masters an automobile engineering agency in Anuradhapura, opened Auto Paint Lab in Anuradhapura Industrial Zone. Vehicle body and engineering software was opened by USAID's Director, Paul Richardson, on the invitation of Wheel Master's Head Amal Piyathilake. more..

'Ranil hatching a Constitutional Conspiracy'

Apr 7 (CT) JHU General Secretary and Minister Champika Ranawaka said the 19th Amendment will only come into effect under a new Parliament and Prime Minster. He said JHU would only support the 19th Amendment if electoral reforms are passed along the other constitutional changes. JHU also asked that the constitutional changes be passed through a referendum, thus bringing it legitimacy from the people. more..