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Drug dependents crying out for rehab centres and counsellors

Apr 1 (ST) Many of the nearly 300,000 drug dependents, mostly young and male, yearn to get their lives back, but there is a shortage of full-time counsellors and rehabilitation centres within the community and in prisons. The National Dangerous Drugs Control Board, the competent authority, estimates there are between 45,000 and 50,000 heroin users, and 250,000 cannabis addicts in the country. more..

Fishermen struggle to survive

Apr 1 (SL) Despite much development taking place throughout the country, one field that has seen the least development is the country’s fisheries sector. In many areas fishermen still employ conventional fishing methods, while their counterparts in many countries employ state of the art methods in this regard. Meanwhile, the local fishermen face many issues while the relevant authorities are placing much more..

Drug prices to be regulated

Apr 1 (GDI) Health Ministry is to implement a mechanism to regulate the prices of drugs in the market under the provisions of National Drug Policy Act. Accordingly, prices of drugs will see a reduction by one third with the implementation of this mechanism. The prices of some varieties of drugs are four times higher than their Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) prices in the open market and he has started discussion with more..

PM orders immediate medical attention

Apr 1 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered Mullaitivu District Secretary to make arrangements to immediately provide medical assistance to school children who have pieces of shrapnel embedded in their bodies as a result of getting caught to shellfire. A civil representative had informed PM Wickremesinghe during a discussion at the Mullaitivu District Secretariat that more than 1,000 war-affected more..

Student protest crushed

Apr 1 (CT) Protesting undergraduates charged that it was President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who had ordered the brutal teargas and water cannon attack on them yesterday, which left many hospitalized with injuries and several taken into police custody. Journalists from Mawbima, Rivira and TNL along with undergraduates including bhikkhus were viciously assaulted by police anti-riot & STF more..

Video: 'I will not interfere with the interim committee'

Apr 1 (NF) Former Cricket Test Captain Sidath Wettimuny assumed duties as chairman of the new Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) interim committee today. Prior to assuming duties, Wettimuny attended a media briefing at SLC alongside Minister of Sports Navin Dissanayake and the other members of the interim committee. Minister noted that the decision to appoint a new interim committee was one that was made objectively and more..

Polls Chief: New electoral system in jeopardy unless...

Apr 1 (Island) Elections Chief Mahinda Deshapriya said that a mixed electoral system wouldn’t be a reality unless political parties represented in Parliament agreed to increase the number of members. Political parties are discussing whether to increase the number of members from 225 (196 elected and 29 appointed) to 250 (150 elected under the first-past-the-post system, 80 under district proportional representation more..

Ban’s Assistant to visit Sri Lanka

Apr 1 (CG) Haoliang Xu, UN Assistant Secretary-General, Chair, UN Development Group Asia-Pacific and UNDP Assistant Administrator & Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific will be visiting Sri Lanka from April 4-10, 2015. During the visit, which will be his second visit to the island, Xu is expected to meet and exchange views with high-level Govt officials, development partners and and the civil society on learning more..

Safe sex among same sex

Apr 1 (CT) AIDS a sexually transmitted disease for which, like cancer, there is no apparent cure, is on the rise in the island, according to an article in this newspaper. Originally discovered in the 1980s by scientists in the West, the source of the AIDS virus has been attributed to a species of the African monkey. Hence, it may be safely presumed, that the entry of the AIDS virus to humans was from the monkey, possibly by an abnormal sexual encounter with this primate. more..

CMO reveals sad truth about enforcing food hygiene in public eateries

Apr 1 (Island) Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMC) Dr. Ruwan Wijaymuni said public health inspectors and CMC officials involved in raiding eateries, restaurants, street food stalls and hotels, especially in the Colombo city were not vested with adequate powers to close down eating places which did not conform to stipulated standards. He said the authorised officers such as PHIs and flying squad personnel engaged in raiding food outlets were facing numerous problems more..

Ada Cartoon

Sri Lanka stocks close up 1.4%

Apr 1 (LBO) Stocks closed higher for the second consecutive day with telco and tobacco stocks gaining amid net foreign buying. Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index closed 95.74 points higher at 6,916.08, up 1.4%. The S&P SL20 closed 48.24 points higher at 3,900.67, up 1.25%. Turnover was 616.53 million rupees, down from 666.34 million rupees a day earlier with 143 stocks closed positive against 33 negative. Foreign investors bought 226.54 million rupees worth more..

Who should be the leader of the opposition?

Apr 1 (CT) Today the question is posed as to who should be the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament in the present context where the SLFP the major party in the opposition is said to have taken a decision to support the Maithripala/Ranil led govt. Our constitution has made no provision regarding an office of Leader of the Opposition. Ceylon (Constitution) Ordering Council (Soulbery Constitution) 1947 as well as the Republican Constitution of 1972 & 1978 had made no more..

Video: I thank Yahapalanaya for this opportunity: Duminda

Apr 1 (DM) MP Duminda Silva today said that he was thankful to the Good governance regime for providing him the opportunity to absolve himself from allegations of a murder. Silva who appeared before the Colombo High Court, in the case of the murder of Barahtha Lakshman Premachandra and three others where he stands accused spoke to the media outside the courtroom. “Good Governance regime is going on the more..

Former Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga questioned by Police

Apr 1 (AM) Former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga was summoned to the CID this morning to be questioned over vehicles still missing from the Presidential Secretariat. It has been revealed in investigations carried out so far that 18 vehicles belonging to the presidential secretariat were still missing. Meanwhile, former Transport Director of the Presidential Secretariat Keerthi Samarasinghe Dissanayake was arrested in February by CID over missing vehicles at the Secretariat. more..

'Paperless trade reduces bribery'

Apr 1 (EN) Electronic commerce or paperless trade transactions recently introduced by Sri Lanka help to reduce corruption, the head of the investment promotion agency has said. Upul Jayasuriya, chairman of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, said he favoured use of paperless operations by introducing advanced information technology into the work process. Paperless operations contribute to the reduction of irregular payments and malpractices which exist today, he told a forum more..

Opposition for strong China ties

Apr 1 (CG) The Opposition has called for strong ties with China and warned the Govt against attempting to derail the relationship between both countries. MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena recalled a letter written to the United States by Singapore’s former PM, the late Lee Kuan Yew, where he had stated that it is better to have a good relationship with China than to try to preach to that country. more..

Sri Lanka probes violent clashes between students and police

Apr 1 (Xinhua) Police today launched an investigation into the violent clashes which erupted between local university students and the police on Tuesday resulting in several people being injured. ASP Ruwan Gunesekara said that investigations will be carried out by a police team who are in charge of the area where the clashes erupted. Hundreds of university students protested on the streets of Colombo on Tuesday urging new govt to respond to several demands to ensure students' rights. more..

Govt won’t dodge problems, will always protect planters: Kiriella

Apr 1 (Island) Thuru Saviya Fund in collaboration with the Galagedara Divisional Secretariat organised a programme to help Rubber Smallholders. Participating at the event, Leader of the House and Minister of Plantation Industries Lakshman Kiriella said that a fixed price had been set for rubber under the government’s 100-day programme and the Treasury had informed the Rubber Development Department that one kilo of rubber should be bought at Rs. 350. more..

FCID grills ex-Air Force chief Donald Perera

Apr 1 (AD) The Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) is currently questioning former Sri Lanka Air Force commander Air Chief Marshal G Donald Perera regarding the controversial MiG deal. Perera served as the SLAF Commander from 2002 to 2006 and as Chief of the Defence Staff from 2006 to 2009. He has also served as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Israel. Just last week, FCID recorded a statement from more..

Video: Not sanitary ware, but shoes

Apr 1 (DM) A 20-foot container imported from China which contained shoes valued at more than Rs. 2 million had been seized by the Customs today, Sri Lanka Customs Spokesman Leslie Gamini said. He said that the caontainer had been imported under forged documents. The raid was conducted by the SL Customs Drug Prevention unit. The consignment was imported from china on March 16 by an importer from the Kelaniya area and the goods were declared as Speakers and sanitary ware. more..

JVP condemns attack on University students

Apr 1 (AM) Govt must take the full responsibility of the police attack on the protest by IUSF on Tuesday, JVP stated. JVP stated that they strongly condemn using tear gas and high pressure water cannons to disperse the students who protested against the govt’s failure to respond to its call to resolve issues in education. Attacking students who claimed their rights without taking any steps to solve the problems cannot be accepted, the statement said. “This govt promised people to protect democracy more..

25% of population computer literate

Apr 1 (Island) One fourth of Sri Lankan population of Age 5-69 years is Computer literate and 22% of the houses are having at least one computer, these are some of the key findings of a survey conducted from Jan to June 2014. Computer Literacy of the country had been gradually increasing between 2006/07 and 2014. "Overall Computer Literacy reported in 2006/07, 2009 and 2014 are 16.1%, 20.3%, 25.1% respectively. more..

Video: Dhanuna in two minds about politics

Apr 1 (DM) Dhanuna Thilakarathne, the son-in–law of Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said he was yet to decide if he were to enter politics. He said that he had received invitations from several political parties. “Yes, I have received invitations from many parties but I am yet to make a decision on it. Let’s see,” he said, not providing a definite answer, when questioned by journalists. He spoke outside Colombo High Court where he was indicted for several offences. more..

Complaint against BC Director General

Apr 1 (DM) SLFP MP Manusha Nanayakkara today complained to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption against the Commission’s Director General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe. The complaint handed over to BC Chairman D.J. De S. Balapatabendi states that Ms. Wickramasinghe had been a recipient of two govt salaries in 2002 while being attached two different govt departments. Mr. Nanayakkara alleged that Ms. Wickramasinghe had worked at more..

Sports minister requests Sangakkara to stay on for another year

Apr 1 (AM) Minister of Sports Naveen Dissanayake said that he would like to request Kumar Sangakkara to play one more year for the Sri Lanka cricket team. Sangakkara had earlier announced that he will retire from ODI cricket after the 2015 Cricket World Cup. He is due to retire from Test Cricket in August. Sangakkara reached his peak in batting, while keeping wickets, during the 2015 World Cup. more..

India’s key to Sri Lanka: Maritime infrastructure development

Apr 1 (TD) Indian PM Narendra Modi’s recent trip to Sri Lanka highlights New Delhi’s reawakening to the strategic position that Sri Lanka holds in India’s neighborhood. Since 2008, India has watched as China built port facilities, highways, and other major infrastructure in Sri Lanka. People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy warships have also paid port visits to Sri Lanka, even taking in Trincomalee, where India has been sensitive to any extraregional presence for decades. more..

Clash between University students, Police regrettable: PMO

Apr 1 (AD) PM’s Office says the clash between protesting university students and police personnel was regrettable and that protesters refusing to allow their representatives to hand over the memorandum had resulted in yesterday’s unfortunate incident. Several students and police officers were hospitalized with injuries following the clash which was sparked with the firing of tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd marching towards PM’s Office in Kollupitiya. more..

Shandong proposes provincial trade, investments cooperation

Apr 1 (Island) China’s third wealthiest province, Shgandong with a GDP of CN¥5.942 trillion has proposed trade and investment cooperation with all provinces in Sri Lanka. Shandong’s location at the intersection of ancient as well as modern north–south and east–west trading routes has helped to establish it as an economic center. After a period of political instability and hardships that began in late 19th century, more..

SLFP to propose new reforms to 19 A

Apr 1 (AD) SLFP today said that it will propose new reforms to the draft bill on the 19th Amendment. SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa made the observation at a press conference held in Colombo. “New amendments demonstrate that the Executive President is no longer the chief of the Govt. There is a moot point as it attempts to switch several executive powers to the Prime Ministerial post. We will have to discuss this problematic situation,” Yapa Said. more..

Lease private sector underutilized land

Apr 1 (CT) The govt must take action to intervene to lease out underutilized land of the private sector, the Sri Lanka Organization of Agricultural Professionals (SLOAP) said. SLOAP noted however that the government should not take-over such lands. Highlighting the need for combining lands with other crops in view of maximizing production per unit area, President of the SLOAP and Professor in Animal Science at the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Peradeniya, more..

India to help Lankans in Yemen

Apr 1 (CG) Indian Govt is to assist in the evacuation of Sri Lankans stranded in Yemen by air and sea on special flights and ships respectively. There are around 75-100 Sri Lankan expatriates, including students in Yemen. Due to the volatile situation in the country, Govt of SL is making arrangements to evacuate all Sri Lankans in Yemen, who are principally residing in the capital, Sana’a and other main cities, such as Hodeida, Aden more..

'Champika more suitable for Presidency'

Apr 1 (DM) Commenting on reports that JHU General Secretary Champika Ranawaka was aspiring to become the Executive President and that was why he was against 19th Amendment, JHU National Organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said Minister Ranawaka was more suitable for the Presidency than any of the others who were spreading rumours linking minister and the presidency. "JHU will decide when to field him as the President or whether to nominate him. more..

Sri Lanka: Chinese leader for 3-way talks on Indian Ocean

Apr 1 (AP) Sri Lanka's govt says that Chinese President Xi Jinping has proposed three-party talks with India and Sri Lanka to clear any misgivings over its activities in the Indian Ocean region. Minister Rauff Hakeem, who accompanied President Sirisena on a four-day visit to China, said that the proposal was made at the talks between the two leaders. India has been suspicious of China's increased involvement in a region it perceives to be its traditional territory of influence. more..

New Year Auspicious Times traditional document presented to President

Apr 1 (GDI) In keeping with age old customs and traditions, the document containing the auspicious times for the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year was handed over to President Sirisena. Presentation of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year rituals time table known as Nekath Seettuwa to President took place at his residence in Colombo on today. Marking the ancient tradition a drummer presented Nekath Seettuwa to President. more..

Economy Rajapaksa left to his successors

Apr 2 (CT) In the last three years of MR’s regime economic growth was high and ranged from 7- 8.5%. The growth was driven by the govt infrastructure investment program. Roads and expressways, ports and airports were built; funded by foreign borrowings mostly from China. The interest rates varied from 5-6%. But investments funded by foreign borrowing must provide a return both in local currency as well as earn or save the foreign exchange required for repaying debt. more..

Citizens as stakeholders in governance

Apr 2 (SL) In history there occasionally arises a great opportunity to make life better for humankind; if such an opportunity is ignored, it can never be recaptured, as there can be no rewinding of time. Such a lost opportunity will continue to cloud our future for a long time to come. We see this phenomenon in the current political situation. Though the current situation may appear to be political turmoil and chaos, proper management by politicians and relevant parties has the ability more..

'Rathgama PS Chairman's killing: Victim linked to crimes'

Apr 2 (SO) Investigation into the killing of Rathgama PS Chairman, Manoj Mendis, has taken a fresh turn with the main suspect, known as Podi Lassie, fleeing the area fearing arrest. The police are on the lookout for the key suspect, a resident of Thelwatta in the Galle District. Police investigations have disclosed close links between the underworld and the murdered politician whose alleged involvement in a series of crimes more..

No big deal seen in President’s first official China visit

Apr 2 (CT) To those who were looking forward enthusiastically to the Sri Lankan President’s first official visit to China to produce something sensational in the context of growing international interest in the Indian Ocean island as an important link in East –West relations, and it developing into a potential hub over which competitive interests by two big Asian powers are looming – that includes China’s much vaunted 21st Maritime Silk Route Project and India’s re-invigorated assertion in more..

Maithri more valuable to China than Mahinda

Apr 2 (CT) The media raised many questions about the future of the China funded Colombo Port City Project when Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe met them last week. When an editor pointed out that the Port City crisis could hamper the smooth relations between the two countries, Ranil explained, that as Sri Lanka was located in a strategic location in the Indian Ocean it was essential for Sri Lanka to continue good relations with all countries. When Ranil made this observation more..