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Ranil-CBK in closed door meeting

Apr 9 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has held a special discussion with former President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Tuesday morning to work out a mechanism to resolve problems with regard to the proposed constitutional amendments. The discussion has been cordial and two leaders were on the same page about resolving problems on the 19th Amendment, political sources said. more..

TISL sets up new outfit to battle corruption

Apr 9 (Island) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) unveiled its latest sub organization Corruption Watch (CW) which oversees the progress of actions taken by the present govt against corruption. Senior Manager of Corruption Watch Shan Wijetunga told a media briefing at the SL Foundation Institute that by yesterday 1,595 complaints had been lodged against several persons including MPs, more..

Bhutan PM arrives in Sri Lanka

Apr 9 (GDI) The Prime Minister of Bhutan Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay arrived in Sri Lanka today (April 9), commencing a three-day visit, at the invitation of President Maithripala Sirisena. During the visit, the Bhutanese PM will meet the Sri Lankan President, Prime Minister and other senior govt officials. A MoU on Foreign Office Consultation will be signed between Bhutan and Sri Lanka during the visit. more..

UN to back 100-day programme

Apr 9 (AD) “The UN system and UNDP in particular is pleased to continue to provide support to the 100 days programme, at the request of the Govt,” UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP’s Asia-Pacific Regional Director Haoliang Xu has said. The observation was made when Xu held discussions with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, today. During discussions Xu also thanked the Govt of Sri Lanka for more..

Sri Lanka’s new leader to dissolve Parliament

Apr 9 (TIME) Sri Lanka’s new leader plans to dissolve the country’s Parliament in May, setting the island nation on course for general elections in late June or early July — around the same time that he plans to announce details of a probe into allegations of human rights abuses during SL’s long civil war, he said. Sirisena had earlier indicated that he would set up the probe within a month of a visit to the U.K. in March. more..

23-member armed robber group arrested

Apr 9 (CT) Wijeratne The Special Investigative Unit of the Police arrested 23 members of an armed group responsible for robbing high profile houses in six different areas within six months. Reports stated that a female suspect was apprehended along with the rest of the suspects under the supervision of Superintendent Mevan Silva. Police suspect that most of the robberies that took place in Ambalangoda, Wadduwa, Balangoda, Horana, Kiribathgoda and Ja Ela, where more..

Inclusion is a necessity, not an option

Apr 9 (CT) Dr Ajith C S Perera, in his article ‘Access to Justice : Constitutional Protection for All’ succinctly encapsulate the wide range of issues faced by persons living with disabilities in Sri Lanka. His emphasis is ‘access’ of all forms, not just to the built environment but to the entire social, political and legal fabric of the country. This is not the first time Dr Perera wrote about access. He being the only Disability Rights Activist in Sri Lanka to approach mainstream print media in more..

Abridged memoirs of a wartime General

Apr 9 (CT) Ceylon Today were privileged to have a frank and casual chat with the highly decorated, former Army Chief, General Daya Ratnayake at his residence, listed below are excerpts of this informal conversation. Q: For starters let us begin with who you are and what you do A: Well, I am Daya Ratnayake, a retired Commander General of the Sri Lanka Army. Q: Tell us a bit about your childhood more..

Sri Lankan stocks retreat, foreign buying in JHK, Com Bank

Apr 9 (EN) Sri Lankan stocks retreated for the second straight day Thursday in thin but volatile trading with foreign buying seen in John Keells Holdings and Commercial Bank, brokers said. The All Share Price Index fell 14.44 points (0.21%) to close at 6,899.89 while the S&P SL 20 index, 9.83 points (0.25%) to close at 3,894.49. Turnover was 658 million rupees with crossings or off-the-floor negotiated deals in John Keells Holdings, Commercial Bank and Dialog Axiata. more..

Rs.400 bn. bonds to finance Rajapaksa regime’s high interest loans: Govt.

Apr 9 (Island) The govt says that its move to issue Rs.400 billion worth Treasury Bills which was thwarted by the Opposition on Tuesday was meant to finance the many unsolicited projects that had been initiated by the previous govt with high interest loans and also to provide more relief to farmers and Samurdhi recipients. "Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva spread a canard that that we were trying issue Treasury Bills worth Rs.400 billion to pay public sector salaries. more..

CEB engineers to take TU action

Apr 9 (CT) The Engineers' Union of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEBEU) has warned that they will engage in strict trade union action if any action is taken against former General Manager of the CEB, Shavindranath Fernando because of his issuing circular No. 2014/GM/46/Pers dated 27 Nov 2014 approving a separate salary structure for the Unified Engineers Service. Engineers' Union said, "This trade union action can take the form more..

Furore over police move against MP Alles

Apr 9 (Island) MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena raising a privilege issue said that MP Tiran Alles’ diplomatic passport had been impounded and a child of MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage had been interrogated by the police and such actions amounted a breach of those MPs’ privileges. "Police headquarters announced through media that the diplomatic passport of MP Alles had been impounded. It is a serious issue because the MP has not even been questioned nor has he more..

Transparency at the toss: Reforming the protocols at televised cricket

Apr 9 (CT) At the World Cup Match between Australia and Sri Lanka at the SCG on the 8th March 2015 the designated home team captain, in this case Michael Clarke, tossed the coin by stepping away from the cluster so that the florin landed some distance away. The Match Referee, Jeff Crowe, walked over and indicated that Angelo Mathews had called wrong. So Clarke and Australia were able to bat first on what turned out to be a gem of a batting pitch (undermining the pitch-readings more..

SC determines 19th Amendment consistent with Constitution

Apr 9 (AD) Supreme Court has determined that the 19th Amendment is consistent with the constitution and that, however, certain sections require a referendum, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa informed Parliament today. PM Ranil Wickramanayake stated that the sections which require a referendum will be omitted from the 19th Amendment. Speaking to heads of media organizations with regard to 19th Amendment more..

CBK booed in Kurunegala

Apr 9 (DM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga was hooted and jeered at by a mob while she was taking part at the Kurunegala District SLFP Bala Mandala meeting held this morning at the Kurunegala Maliyadewa Girls’ School Auditorium. The group of people scorned the former President with harsh and rude language during the meeting held under the chairmanship of President Maithripala Sirisena. The crowd ran amok when Mrs. Kumaratunga was invited to light more..

How Sri Lanka won the war

Apr 9 (TD) How to win a civil war in a globalized world where insurgents skillfully exploit offshore resources? With most conflicts now being such wars, this is a question many govts are trying to answer. Few succeed, with one major exception being Sri Lanka where, after 25 years of civil war the govt decisively defeated the LTTE and created a peace that appears lasting. This victory stands in stark contrast to the conflicts fought by well-funded Western forces in Iraq and Afghanistan more..

Cabinet approves Interpol permit

Apr 9 (CG) Cabinet has approved a special travel permit for Interpol Police Officers and the Law Enforcing Officers who need to visit Sri Lanka to conduct investigations. International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) has issued a special travel permit facilitating the obtaining of Emergency Visas for the Interpol Police Officers and the Law Enforcing Officers engaged in cross border investigations relating to Interpol activities. more..

Police question Tiran Alles

Apr 9 (AM) The police Special Investigation Unit on Thursday recorded a statement from MP Tiran Alles over an alleged financial fraud. The Fort Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday impounded the passports of Tiran Alles and five other Directors of a private company owing to an alleged financial fraud occurred through funds allocated for tsunami-affected people. The company, RADA Institute, had been set up in 2006 with the approval of the Presidential Secretariat with the stated aim of building houses for more..

Colombo schools overcrowded

Apr 9 (CT) Minister of Education, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said several popular schools in Colombo have exceeded the number of students who can be admitted and therefore, the number will be reduced. "We will reduce the number of students in these schools. The Prime Minister wanted the number of students in a classroom to be limited to 35. Then the number of students will be reduced to 25. Then the other schools in the area can also be developed," he said. more..

Pushpa Rajapaksa foundation under probe

Apr 9 (DM) The Colombo Fort Magistrate today ordered the managers of two state banks and a private bank that the bank account details pertaining to the Pushpa Rajapaksa Foundation named after former Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s wife be handed over to the Police Financial Fraud Investigations Unit in connection with a financial fraud investigation. The Police Financial Fraud Investigations Unit began more..

Sri Lankan importers charged with abusing port storage

Apr 9 (EN) Sri Lankan importers of containerised cargo are delaying clearing of cargo in order to make use of cheaper storage available at the Colombo port, Sri Lanka Ports Authority officials said. They said large numbers of containers are not cleared for several days because the consignees found it more convenient and less costly to keep it inside the port. "35% of containers stay in port for five days or longer," an SLPA official said. "That should not be the case." more..

Sri Lankan Airlines spent over Rs. 86 million for Namal's pet projects

Apr 9 (CT) A sum of over Rs. 86 million has been spent by Sri Lankan Airlines since 2009 without any consideration made regarding the return for the expenses, to fund the pet projects of Namal ‘baby’. The BOI inquiry has revealed that due to lack of transparency in SLA’s policy on sponsorships, large sums had been approved as sponsorships by the former Chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe and the former CEO Kapila Chandrasena for two specific annual events – the Carlton Rugby 7s more..

Workshop to train Lankan officials on Integrated City Planning

Apr 9 (Island) After a 30-year long conflict Sri Lanka as a country was reviving; it was faced with new challenges while moving towards a globally integrated, competitive, knowledge based economy, said Minister Rauff Hakeem while addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Capacity Building programme, on Monday. The success of the transition would depend on how well Sri Lanka managed its urbanization," he said. more..

Ravana Balaya calls for CIABOC DG's removal

Apr 9 (CT) Ravana Balaya filed a complaint at the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) against its Director General, Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe, calling for her resignation over allegations of corruption. General Secretary of the Ravana Balaya, Ven. Iththekande Saddhatissa Thera said CIABOC and the 'good governance' government should be investigating the Rs 10 billion Treasury bonds issue involving Central Bank Governor, Arjuna Mahendran, more..

Ex-aviation minister exploited over Rs. 3 Million Sri Lankan Airlines funds

Apr 9 (CT) Former Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratne has exploited Sri Lankan Airlines funds worth over Rs. 3 million as fuel reimbursements, vehicle maintenance expenses and food expenses. The BOI inquiry into the financial misappropriations of the national carrier has revealed that former Minister Jayaratne had obtained unauthorized fuel-bill reimbursements during the period of April 2011 – Nov 2014, by SLA. A monthly payment close to Rs. 75,000 had been made to more..

'T20 leagues offer great learning opportunities'

Apr 9 (CI) Thisara Perera is the archetypal modern cricketer offering his services in leagues across the world. But, he didn't play a single game in the Big Bash League last season; he was denied permission to take part, with Sanath Jayasuriya, the then Sri Lanka chief selector, questioning his work ethic. He didn't get to play a single game either for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2014, although he turned out for them five times in more..

Man shot at in Tissa and H’tota

Apr 9 (DM) A man who was shot at by an unidentified person in Tissamaharama town today, was later shot again at the Hambantota Hospital while undergoing treatment, police said. The victim, a resident of Pasyala had gone to Tissamaharama to appear in a divorce case when he had been shot at by a man who later fled the scene. The injured was admitted to the Debarawewa Hospital and then transferred to the Hambantota Hospital where he was shot again. more..

Sri Lankan tea prices below 2013 levels

Apr 9 (EN) Sri Lankan tea prices fell further at this week's Colombo auctions, with the monthly averages for the first quarter lower even than 2013 levels, brokers said. While Low Grown teas continued to meet with reasonably good demand the High and Medium Grown varieties saw a disappointing sale with prices on average falling by 20-30 rupees a kilo. The volume of unsold teas continued to be high, brokers said. "The weakening tea prices, particularly for the High and more..

MR finds Indian astrologer to replace Sumanadasa

Apr 9 (AM) Significant changes are taking place at the Peacock Mansion in Rajagiriya, before its new occupant, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa is to move in. These changes were said to be carried out at the recommendation of an Indian astrologer. The swimming pool of the mansion was filled up with sand, apparently because the astrologer said that it was inauspicious to have water to the western direction of the house. more..

I will not respond to baseless charges: Bribery DG

Apr 9 (DM) Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe, the Director General of Bribery or Corruption Commission today said that she is attentive on the complaint made against her by the Ravana Balaya Organisation charging her of misconduct and said the true nature of these allegations would be revealed to the people soon. “I am fully aware of the consequences of making baseless allegations. False allegations were made by various people even against the Buddha. But Buddha remained unaffected, more..

Navin admits to mistake on 18-A

Apr 9 (CG) Minister Navin Dissanayake today admitted in Parliament that he had made a mistake in backing the 18th Amendment to the constitution. Dissanayake, who was a member of the Rajapaksa administration before he extended support to Maithripala Sirisena at the last Presidential elections, said that he needs to absolve himself from the mistake he made. “I understand the mistake I made,” Dissanayake said when speaking on the proposed 19th Amendment to constitution, more..

Kotakethana murder: Victim’s son arrested

Apr 9 (AD) Police today arrested the 18-year-old son of the woman recently killed in the Kotakethana area in Kahawatta in connection with the shocking murder. Chandrani Swarnalatha, a 39-year-old mother of three, had been reported missing last Sunday. A search operation was launched to locate her following a complaint lodged with the Kahawatta Police by the husband of the missing woman. more..

Wealth of a New Nation

Apr 10 (NS) Cemetery and the office: Do not fear death. After all, the cemetery is a better place than the office. U and V: Uyangoda is much better than Viyangoda. Viyan: Viyangoda knows nothing and that is why he can talk endlessly. Wimal’s speech: A friend of mine asked, ‘What do you think about Wimal’s speeches?’ I said, ‘Beautiful, as attractive as a Bollywood or Bollywood film, they take us to a different world; but there is not much substance. The country, therefore, will never be more..

Bastiat & Neoliberal Hegemonic project

Apr 10 (CT) Dr. W A Wijewardena’s article, Is Capitalism Immoral: Not at All Says Atlas Network’s Tom Palmer, turns me back to my pet subject, the history of social and economic thought. Some economics departments in Sri Lankan universities have already dropped this important subject while others are downgrading its significance in the course structure. Dr. Wijewardena was referring to a talk given by Tom G Palmer at the Sri Lanka Chapter of Bastiat Society. more..

Migration management is in the spotlight

Apr 10 (SO) With a boom in the construction industry in the Middle East since 2012, Sri Lanka appears to have changed its migration trend- and was sending more men than women. Changing trends apart, some of the issues, though addressed from time to time, still remain. With nearly two million Sri Lankans working abroad and their remittances forming the largest source of foreign exchange to the island nation, more..

You are being monitored

Apr 10 (NS) New Year shoppers have the assurance of being protected from the gimmicks of traders this festive season because the authorities have taken several measures to tighten the screws on cheats. According to the Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA), Rumy Marzook, 7,500 errant traders were apprehended by the CAA last month. When queried regarding the plans of the CAA during the festive season to make sure that the consumers do not face any unfair situation, more..

Editorial: Confessions of an ex-prez

Apr 10 (Island) The first thing a politician loses upon savouring power is his or her head. Thereafter, his or her faculty of reason atrophies and common sense deserts him or her. We have seen this happen to all executive presidents in this country save D. B. Wijetunga, who was in power only a little over one year. Presidents intoxicated with power regain their senses and begin to behave like normal men and women only when they are out of power. Then, they own up to their mistakes and more..

'No imported model will fit Sri Lanka'

Apr 10 (CT) Ivor H. Jenkins of South Africa, received a honorary doctorate from North Park University, Chicago, USA for his years of anti-apartheid activism and — since the end of the apartheid era — for his efforts in justice, reconciliation and democracy-building within and far beyond the borders of South Africa, and he has been involved in reconciliation and peace building initiative for SL for almost 8 years. more..

EU re-imposing ban on LTTE welcome step

Apr 10 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, according to him, had written to the EU to reconsider the ban on the LTTE as the then Leader of the Opposition. The deputy minister stated that this was a great diplomatic victory for Sri Lanka after the previous govt failed to take adequate measures in this regard. Wickremesinghe had also written to the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini last November urging the EU to file an appeal against the EU Court Order on the LTTE. more..

Post conflict reconciliation

Apr 10 (SL) Following is the full text of the speech made by Asanga Abeyagoonasekera former Executive Director of LKIIRSS (Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies) on Post conflict reconciliation at the annual Strategic Studies Summit held in Antalya, Turkey. The summit was organised by the Strategic Studies Network (SSN) and the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM). Theme of this year’s Summit was Building Partnership. more..