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'President assured SLFP support for the 19th Amendment'

Apr 8 (DM) Minister Lakshman Kiriella, in an interview with the Daily Mirror, said the country needed a new Parliament to implement the policies of the new President. Also, he said President Maithripala Sirisena assured that he would ensure the support of the SLFP for the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution through Parliament. Q: How do you assess the progress of the 100-day programme of your govt? more..

Defeat of resolution: Govt asked to resign

Apr 8 (Island) Following yesterday’s defeat of a resolution under the Local Treasury Bills Ordinance seeking the approval of the House to raise additional Rs. 400 billion the govt has come under pressure to resign. The vote taken at the end of the debate on the resolution received 31 votes in favour and 52 votes against. All parties in the Opposition except the TNA voted against the resolution which sought the approval of more..

Uni students back on the streets

Apr 8 (SL) Teargas, water cannons and policemen charging at university students; the Sri Lankans have witnessed these scenes many a time last year. Once again they saw university students clashing with the police last week. A protest march by the IUSF from the Sri J'pura University towards Temple Trees met with police resistance which later resulted in a violent confrontation as the police blocked the students from nearing more..

UN official on northern field visit

Apr 8 (CG) Haoliang Xu, the visiting UN Assistant Secretary-General, Chair, UN Development Group Asia-Pacific and UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific conducted a field visit to the North as part of his visit to Sri Lanka, the UN Office in Colombo said. In the North, Xu travelled to Mullaitivu to assess the support extended by UNDP to the community in the District. more..

SriLankan Airlines: The big lie in the sky

Apr 8 (ST) A govt-appointed committee into the crisis-hit SriLankan Airlines has called for criminal prosecutions against its former chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe, CEO Kapila Chandrasena and some other heads of departments for blatant abuse of power along with a flawed US$ 2.3 billion re-fleeting exercise, frauds in the award of tenders for duty free deals and the appointment of General Sales Agents. more..

19th Amendment: Parliamentarians take wait and see attitude

Apr 8 (DM) The 19th Amendment is a much discussed and debated topic currently, with certain parties and individuals having conflicting views on the crucial elements in the Amendment. In this context, Dailymirror sought the views of several politicians from different parties on their views of the controversial 19th Amendment. Dew Gunasekera: When this constitution was brought in 1972, we were the ones who opposed it even though we were not in more..

Anandasangaree petitions Polls Chief against recognising TNA

Apr 8 (Island) Secretary General of the TULF V. Anandasangaree has requested Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya not to recognise the four-party TNA under any circumstances. He said that poll chief’s recognition would be a great injustice to those who had suffered due to LTTE terrorism. He released the letter headlined 'Protest against the use of the term Tamil National Alliance aka TNA' handed over to EC. more..

Fishing: Failure to heed EU concerns costs Sri Lanka dear

Apr 8 (Island) Sri Lanka was paying a very heavy price for not heeding EU warning on tangible action to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated (ICC) fishing, a media conference chaired by Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera was told. He said that the country was losing much needed foreign exchange due to EU ban on fish imports from Sri Lanka. Amaraweera represents SLFP in PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s govt. more..

Chief Prelate of Asgiriya Chapter passes away

Apr 8 (AD) The Chief Prelate of the Asgiriya Chapter of the Siam Nikâya (sect), Most Ven. Aggamahapanditha Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Rathanapala Mahanayake Thero, has passed away. The Maha Nayake Thero passed away while receiving medical treatment at a private hospital in Singapore. Thero was admitted to the hospital after falling gravely ill recently. Funeral will be held 12 April at Police park Asgiriya.

Kapila Wijegunawardene replaces Jayasuriya as chief selector

Apr 8 (CI) Former Sri Lanka fast bowler Kapila Wijegunawardene has been named the chairman of Sri Lanka's new four-member selection committee, replacing Sanath Jayasuriya. Two former wicket-keepers Amal Silva and Brendon Kuruppu, and middle-order batsman Hemantha Wickremaratne were the other members. The new committee replaced the five-member panel headed by Jayasuriya that resigned last Friday after more..

Sri Lankan index slips on banks, telecommunications; volumes thin

Apr 8 (Reuters) Shares ended slightly weaker on Wednesday as investors offloaded telecommunications and banking stocks on thin volume as many investors and brokers stayed away ahead of holidays, dealers said. Index ended 0.2%, or 13.52 points, weaker at 6,913.73 on Wednesday. "Telecom shares were down on a taxation effect impacting the counter and there is no major selling or buying ahead of the holidays," said Dimantha Mathew, research manager at First Capital more..

Simple regulations to promote good governance

Apr 8 (CT) It is with great sadness that I speak today, for the first time as a Member of the Opposition. Last year I recall a member of the Govt saying in a Committee that there was no need for an Opposition when members like me were present. He was being critical, but I am proud of my constant quest for reform, in line with the basic principles of Liberalism. But it is very sad to have helped to have a govt elected for the purpose of Reform, and to find no interest in promoting the changes more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Use DNA to solve Kotakethana murders

Apr 8 (CT) The Kotakethana serial killer has struck again, or so it appears, devouring his 26th victim and his 16th or 18th woman victim on Sunday, after apparently lying low for six months, before striking again. (See also Ceylon Today's yesterday's, Sunday's and 5 July, 2014 editions). The first murder apparently had taken place seven years ago in 2008. His last victim was a 39-year-old mother of three, as mentioned above, who was killed on Sunday. more..

Mahinda to join UPFA rebels on May Day?

Apr 8 (Island) Following the SLFP’s announcement that it would invite both former Presidents Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa to attend their May Day rally with incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena, the Opposition groups campaigning to back Rajapaksa to active politics hinted that former President Rajapaksa would be on their May Day stage. DLF leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that they would organise a massive rally to commemorate the May Day more..

Kumar Sangakkara named Wisden's top cricketer for 2nd time

Apr 8 (AFP) Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara has been named as the Leading Cricketer in the World in the 2015 Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. Australia's Meg Lanning has been chosen as the cricket 'bible's' inaugural Leading Woman Cricketer in the World -- the first time the England-based annual has bestowed such an award in 152 editions of continuous publication dating back to 1864. But editor Lawrence Booth was more..

Harsha alleges Opposition heaped more burden on people

Apr 8 (Island) Deputy minister Dr. Harsha De Silva said that the Opposition thwarted a prudent debt management exercise by voting against the govt move. Dr. de Silva said: "The govt attempted to take advantage of the low rates at the short end of the market and let go some of the more expensive debt. But given the limits imposed on Treasury Bills, we had to increase the limits to give us the flexibility to shift part of the debt there. By defeating this regulation all what the Opposition has more..

Gem mine collapse leaves 4 dead

Apr 8 (Xinhua) Four people were killed and one seriously injured when a gem mine collapsed in Ratnapura, almost 100 km southeast of Colombo on Wednesday, police said. The accident occurred when five employees of a gem mining company were at work searching for gems. Four of the employees were killed on the spot when the mine collapsed while the injured was rushed to the Ratnapura Hospital for treatment. Local police have launched an investigation into the incident. more..

Video: Motion defeated because split in opposition: Kiriella

Apr 8 (DM) Minister Lakshman Kiriella said the voting on the increase on the Treasury Bills’ threshold showed a split among members of the opposition. “Yesterday we realised this situation in the opposition and it is clear that some opposition members are supporting the govt while some are not. However every member in the opposition had assured they would support the govt to secure objectives of 100-day programme,” more..

Killing of sleeping SI a mystery

Apr 8 (Island) Panadura South police probing the mysterious killing of Sub Inspector (SI) cum Prosecution Officer (PO) of the Bandaragama Police Station, Ruwan Palihawadana in his sleep at his residence, No. 76/C, Sugatha Kanda, Gangarama Road, Henegama, Panadura, have failed to gather any clue, Police said. Asked whether any finger prints were found anywhere in the house suspected to be of assailants or assailant, an investigating officer answered in the negative. more..

Sunday National day of mourning

Apr 8 (AD) A decision has been taken to declare the 12th of April, 2015 as a national day of mourning for the Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thero, the Chief Prelate of the Asgiriya Chapter of the Siam Nikâya (sect). Most Venerable Aggamahapanditha Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Rathanapala Mahanayake Thero had passed away this morning at a private hospital in Singapore while his final rites are to be performed on April 12 at Police Park in Asgiriya. more..

'Govt contradicts itself so we voted against'

Apr 8 (DM) SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said today they defeated resolution to raise the Treasury Bills threshold because the Finance Minister had informed Parliament that they had enough funds to pay salaries thus contradicting the Govt’s earlier reason for the need of a bond issue. He asked why the Govt needed to raise the TB threshold if it had enough funds and said govt had acted in a callous more..

54 Sri Lankans evacuated from Yemen

Apr 8 (AM) Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday stated that 54 Sri Lankans have already been evacuated from Yemen. Forty three Sri Lankans were evacuated to Djibouti by a Chinese vessel on 6 April 2015, while India and Indonesia each evacuated three Sri Lankans. In addition, 5 Sri Lankans crossed the Mukallah – Oman boarder and were received by Sri Lankan mission officials at Sallah, who then facilitated their return to Sri Lanka, MFA said. more..

Kerala Tourism to organise first roadshow in Sri Lanka

Apr 8 (FE) Kerala Tourism will be organising its first roadshow in Sri Lanka this month end. Anupama TV, IAS, additional director, Kerala Tourism informed, “We have 19 suppliers registered for the roadshow in Sri Lanka. We thought of going to the destination because of several reasons. For Sri Lankans, visiting Kerala will be more like a domestic trip due to the close proximity. Also, there are a lot of similarities between Sri Lanka and Kerala but at the same time the backwaters will be a different more..

SriLankan Airlines Romeo's days of wine and roses

Apr 8 (EN) Sri Lankan airline chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe's penchant for young stewardesses is well documented, but his tastes in wine and anything duty free has left a legacy of losses and reputational damage for the national carrier. The latest investigation into the conduct of Sri Lankan airlines during the former regime of Rajapaksa, the brother-in-law of Chairman Wickramasinghe, has more..

Over 5500 errant traders caught

Apr 8 (CG) The Consumers Affairs Authority (CAA) has made over 5500 detections across the country since January this year, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen warned sellers, warehouses, stores and supermarkets not to tamper with labels and change prices or the expiry date in any manner. Bathiudeen was addressing his top officials with regards to the measures being taken for the New Year by the CAA and Lanka Sathosa. more..

GL: 19A recipe for national calamity

Apr 8 (Island) Wilful disregard of mandatory provisions relating to constitutional reforms would lead to anarchy, former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris warned. Prof. Peiris said that the public shouldn't be deprived of their right to move the Supreme Court in case they felt their rights were threatened. He warned if the proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution was presented to Parliament tomorrow as planned by the UNP the country could end up in chaos. more..

Sri Lanka targets US tourists through Monkey Kingdom Disney movie

Apr 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka tourism promotion office says that the country is set to receive a massive boost from in its seventh key market USA with the recently launched Disney documentary movie Monkey Kingdom. “We need to do everything we can”, said Minister Navin Dissanayake. “To make sure our tourism authorities get the maximum benefit from this fantastic opportunity to introduce Sri Lanka as more..

Sri Lanka to raise fish consumption to reduce under-nutrition levels

Apr 8 (EN) Sri Lanka aims to increase fish harvests and per capita consumption of fish to try to reduce alarming levels of under-nutrition, considered excessive for a lower middle income country, officials said. "Fish consumption in Sri Lanka is inadequate. Sales of fish have dropped and that's also a reason for under-nutrition," said Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, noting that alternatives like chicken may be cheaper. The country is lagging behind in nutritional indicators with more..

Sagarika new Hilton Colombo owning firm’s Chairperson

Apr 8 (FT) Top professional Sagarika Delgoda has been appointed as the Chairperson of Hotel Developers (Lanka) Plc., the owning company of Hilton Colombo. She replaces the influential Tirukumar Nadesan. The appointment was made by Finance Minister Ravi Karunananayake under whose purview the Hotel Developers comes under. Delgoda holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) 2nd Upper, Political Science and Govt from the University of Peradeniya. more..

Confused Sirisena yielding ground to resurgent Rajapaksa

Apr 8 (ENS) The fledgling Maithripala-Ranil govt appears to be yielding ground to a resurgent former President Rajapaksa because of internal disunity, contradictory policies and indecisive political leadership. The first concrete sign of deep trouble appeared on Tuesday when the govt’s bid to get parliament’s nod for raising the threshold of Treasury Bills by LKR 400 billion to meet vital govt expenditure was defeated by more..

Mapping China's new Silk Road initiative

Apr 8 (Forbes) When China’s president Xi Jinping laid out his plans to establish a New Silk Road across Central Asia in 2013, he was doing more than invoking China’s distant past. Instead, he was sketching out a new direction for Chinese trade and investment, one that aims not only to improve China’s links with Europe, but also to facilitate China’s macroeconomic priorities and its integration in the global economy. However, such a bold, long-term plan will face challenges, more..

Speaker puts ball in UPFA court

Apr 8 (CG) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa today asked the UPFA to decide who the next opposition leader should be. Rajapaksa, who was to decide on the post, today informed UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha to make the decision. Speaker was expected to announce his position on the opposition leader yesterday after some political parties opposed SLFP member Nimal Siripala de Silva continuing to be in the post. However Rajapaksa informed Parliament yesterday that more..

Air Taxi operations launched without govt’s written consent, feasibility study

Apr 8 (DM) The Weliamuna Report has revealed that the Air Taxi operation of SriLankan Airlines—re-launched in 2010 but discontinued later—was carried out without written govt consent and a feasibility study establishing its viability. The report noted that former SriLankan CEO Manoj Gunewardena, immediate past CEO Kapila Chandrasena, COO Druvi Perera nor any other official at SriLankan have been able to furnish more..

Field Marshal's daughter ties knot

Apr 8 (AM) Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka’s elder daughter Apsara Fonseka, who was married to Danuna Tillekaratne earlier, recently got married for the second time. Her engagement to Ishviyan de Saram, a Sri Lankan based in New York, took place last week. De Saram is a Senior Consultant at Ernst & Young in New York. Apsara Fonseka married her first husband Danuna Tillekeratne in 2007. Tillekeratne, a first cousin of cricketer turned politician Hashan Tillekeratne, more..

We’ll walk the talk with India, Mamnoon tells Sri Lankan counterpart

Apr 8 (PT) Pakistan says it wants a constructive, sustained and result-oriented dialogue with India on all issues, including Kashmir. This was stated by President Mamnoon Hussain while talking to his Sri Lankan Counterpart Maithripala Sirisena in Islamabad. The President said Pakistan believes in friendly relations with all its neighbouring countries. He expressed confidence that the signing of various MoUs and agreements with SL in different fields will further enhance bilateral relations. more..

Army deserters show good response to general amnesty

Apr 8 (GDI) In response to the general amnesty period commenced last month, 2,135 army deserters have voluntarily reported to their regimental centers so far, the Ministry of Defence said. Sri Lanka Army on the directions of the Ministry of Defense and the Commander of the Army on April 2, offered a general amnesty period for Army absentees, enabling them to receive their legal discharge from the Army. more..

A Primer on Treasury Bonds: Part III

Apr 9 (FT) The last article, “A Primer on Treasury Bonds – Part II: Economic of Treasury Bonds Yields” Daily FT, 31 March 2015 (read here), discussed how to disaggregate Treasury bond yields into economic components such as real economic growth, inflation premium and term spread, as well as how to evaluate the appropriateness of a given yield. Recent public debate has also involved methods of selling government securities. In order to facilitate public understanding of more..

Universities; something is very wrong in SL

Apr 9 (CT) On the 31st of March, a cordon of Sri Lankan Police – in full riot gear, truncheons and shields at the ready – stood on one corner of the Kollupitiya junction. One of them carried a gun that rained tear gas cartridges on the road ahead. In front of them was a short stretch of Galle Road, empty save for one young monk with a stick in his hands and a few university students, fleeing back into the army of protestors that all but blocked Galle Road. more..

Errant recruiting agents to be punished

Apr 9 (SO) Minister of Foreign Employment Thalatha Athukorala was interviewed by the Sunday Observer to ascertain the situation of institutions coming under her purview and the action taken to nab errant job agents. Q: It is the belief that your Ministry and its affiliated institutions are riddled with corruption and malpractices. Your comments? A: I agree with what you say to a great extent. more..