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Sampanthan too refined to be Leader of the Opposition!

Apr 11 (CT) TNA Leader Rajavarothiam Sampanthan entered Parliament with the sweeping victory gained by the TULF from the Northern and the Eastern Provinces at the General Election in 1977, which had paved the way for the TULF to become the main opposition party and allowing the General Secretary of the TULF late Appapillai Amirthalingam to adorn the position as the Leader of the Opposition. It was for the first time one of the main national political outfits SLFP led by more..

Badureliya SC Twenty20 Champions!

Apr 11 (DN) Badureliya Sports Club created history in Sri Lanka domestic cricket arena, winning their first ever premier title after pulling off a sensational 10-run win over the SSC in the SLC Twenty20 Tournament final played at the SSC grounds, Colombo yesterday. A match winning fourth wicket partnership of 122 runs by Badureliya SC skipper Milinda Siriwardene (66 off 37 balls) and Gihan Rupasinghe (74), set SSC a more..

Protest in city over pension anomalies

Apr 11 (Island) Pensioners from around the country, representing numerous pensioner societies, from as far away as Polonnaruwa, gathered on Thursday near the Fort Railway Station and launched a protest, demanding of the govt to fulfil the state’s promises to pensioners. They wanted these pledges to be honoured without amending any decisions that were mentioned in the former Mahinda Rajapaksa administration’s final budget in relation to pensions. Jayaratne Dharmadasa, who was among more..

Vinothen John heads Women's Cricket Selection Committee

Apr 11 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket has appointed former Test cricketer Vinothen John as the Selection Committee Chairman of the Women's cricket team yesterday. Chairman John, 54, former Sri Lanka fast bowler and current local match referee will head a three-member committee which comprises John's contemporary cricketer Uvais Karnain and former first class player Varuna Waragoda. John, who played six Tests and 45 ODIs for Sri Lanka, has gathered vast experience in refereeing more..

TN fishermen protest continuing arrests by Lankan navy

Apr 11 (Hindu) The fishermen of Rameswaram staged a demonstration here on Friday, protesting against the arrest of fishermen and confiscation of their boats by Sri Lankan navy and urging the authorities to secure their traditional fishing rights in the Palk Bay. Members of all mechanised boats fishermen associations, assembled in front of the bus stand and raised slogans against the Lankan navy more..

Sri Lanka helps develop aviation professionals across South Asia

Apr 11 (ST) With the global aviation industry moving forward in terms of technology to make air travel the safest and the most convenient mode of transportation, it becomes a daunting task for the Sri Lankan Aviation College to deliver aviation professionals who can adapt to the industry’s needs, said the Deputy Minister of Civil Aviation Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena. He was speaking at the Sri Lankan Aviation College Graduation Award Ceremony held at the BMICH last week. more..

Colombo Port City Project: Monster or transformative opportunity?

Apr 11 (Island) Since the beginning of the recent Presidential election campaign, development projects initiated or implemented by the Rajapaksa administration have come under severe criticism by the Opposition, mainly on the grounds of corruption or wasteful expenditure. Although the allegations are still being made and are yet to be substantiated in a court of law it is reasonable to assume that a perception has been created among the public against corruption and malpractices. more..

SL to increase its export target for 2020

Apr 11 (GDI) The govt is reconsidering to increase its export target of US$ 20 billion for 2020. Export Development Board (EDB) has stated that Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, under the guidance of President Maithripala Sirisena, is reconsidering the US$ 20 billion export target for 2020. EDB CEO Bandula Egodage has said that the Minister believes that Sri Lanka's export sector is more capable than the US$ 20 billion. more..

Woutersz is new Cricket team manager

Apr 11 (CT) Former first class cricketer Jeryl Woutersz (Jerry) has been appointed as the new Sri Lanka Cricket team manager at the first Interim Committee meeting held at SLC Wednesday Ceylon today learns. Former first class cricketer Woutersz has replaced Michael de Zoysa who was team manager during the 2015 World Cup. Woutersz was part of the infamous Sri Lanka 'rebel' team which toured South Africa in 1982 and was seen as coach and manager. He was the coach of Wesley more..

Insurance industry shows growth

Apr 11 (DN) Research and Markets, one of the largest market research stores have stated on their 'The Insurance Industry in Sri Lanka, Key Trends and Opportunities to 2018' report that the Insurance industry in Sri Lanka has grown in terms of written premium recording a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.2% during the review period from 2009-2013. The non-life segment in the field of insurance posted a CAGR of 11.2 % during the review period of four years from 2009-2013. more..

Chinese tourists flock to Sri Lanka

Apr 11 (SCMP) Derrick Wong's gambit is paying off. There's no stopping the rising wave of Chinese tourists in Sri Lanka even as relations between the two nations have receded from last year's high-water mark. "If politics affected tourism, there wouldn't be so many Chinese tourists in Japan," said Derrick Wong, the owner of Grand Beijing Chinese Restaurant in Colombo 3. In February, China quietly replaced the UK as more..

Fawad to lead Pakistan A in Sri Lanka

Apr 11 (CI) Fawad Alam will lead the Pakistan A one-day and four-day squad on their month-long tour of Sri Lanka. Pakistan A are scheduled to play three one-day and as many four-day games between April 26 and May 23. Alam, 29, has played three Tests and 35 ODIs and averages over 40 in both formats. Umar Amin has been named Alam's deputy. Amin had scored 410 runs in nine List A games this season at an average of 51.25, including two successive hundreds in the Pentangular more..

House pays respects to Asgiriya prelate

Apr 11 (CT) A one minute's silence was observed in Parliament yesterday as a mark of respect to the Most Ven. Mahanayake of Asgiriya Chapter Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha Thera who passéd away last Wednesday. NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa who rose to his feet at the commencement of businesses for the day, suggested that Parliament should observe a one minute silence in honour of the late Chief Prelate. Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody who more..

Govt not desperate for funds but will tap into international markets

Apr 11 (FT) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that the Govt would look into cheaper borrowing from the international markets but promised that they had enough cushioning at present. “Our borrowing limit is at Rs. 850 billion and we still have room to raise another Rs. 35 billion to Rs. 50 billion. You will see things happening in the next week,” he noted. Karunanayake said that the Govt had not increased the borrowing limit more..

SLASSCOM’s salary survey shares new insights

Apr 11 (Island) SLASSCOM compensation and Benefits Survey 2014/15 was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for the fifth consecutive year and reported the highest number of industry participation thus far. Over 40 companies accounting for a workforce of close to 14,000 representing the Information Technology (IT) and Business Process Management (BPM) industry in Sri Lanka had participated in the 2014/15 survey. The survey report is a comprehensive study more..

Dialysis centres for two Northern Province hospitals

Apr 11 (DN) Two dialysis centres built at Rs. 120 million were opened at Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi General Hospitals recently. The projects were funded by the Netherlands govt, a Health Ministry spokesman said. The two dialysis centres were opened under the govt's 100 day programme. The government spent Rs. 51 million for the centre at the Mullaitivu District General hospital while Rs. 68 million was for the Kilinochchi District General Hospital Dialysis Centre. more..

Public tribunal unanimously opposes Port City project

Apr 11 (DM) A public tribunal hosted by anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International SL decided that the Port City project should be cancelled, as all benefits it may provide are outweighed by economic, social, environmental and political harm. “They (China Communications Construction Company) simply say that there are no impacts. The economic, environmental and social harms far outweigh the benefits. more..

'CID and police hijacked by MPs'

Apr 11 (CT) Former President Rajapaksa said MPs of the govt had hijacked the CID and the Police. Addressing a gathering of Southern Provincial Councilors attached to the SLFP and the UPFA at the Abayarama Temple, Narahenpita, yesterday, he said false charges were being made against MPs affiliated to the former regime. He noted that the 100-day plan was not meant to serve the people but to engage in acts of political revenge. "As of now, the Central Bank's Treasury bonds issue more..

Dead gem miners to be honored

Apr 11 (NS) Twenty one gem miners who died due to accidents at gem mines will be felicitated with an honorary title by the National Organization of Gem Mining Workers. The organization’s General Secretary Swarna Mallikarachchi said, “The event will be held in May or June and will felicitate twenty one miners, including the four that were killed on April 8, and the families will be assisted financially, especially with regard to the children’s education.” The event was to be held on April 9, but more..

58 former Ministers in Bribery net

Apr 11 (CT) UPFA charged that 58 ministers of previous govt are facing bribery and corruption charges of which 90% were initiated by anonymous letters. Challenging Police Chief, CID and Director General of Bribery Commission (CIABOC) on allegations brought against him, former Minister Aluthgamage said it would have been easy for the govt if it opened a branch of CIABOC in Parliamentary complex itself. more..

Release of 1000 acres from HSZ completed

Apr 11 (SLA) An extent of 570 more acres of land in Valali and Kankasanthurai South in the Grama Seva Division, Valikamam sector in the Jaffna peninsula were released by the Security Forces to the District Secretary for Jaffna Friday for distribution among rightful owners. Under today’s phase, 397 acres from Kankasanthurai South and 173 acres from Valali in the Valikamam sector have now been released to the District Secretariat, thus completing the extent of 1000 acres assured by the govt. more..

Govt says no need for referendum to establish good governance

Apr 11 (FT) Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said that the Govt would establish good governance in the country without holding a referendum. He said that this would be done by abiding by the Supreme Court decision regarding the 19th Amendment Draft Bill after making the required changes to the Bill. “We will not consider the six chapters that require a referendum. However, after making the changes to the Draft Bill we will obtain a 2/3 majority in Parliament and get the 19th Amendment more..

Fate of 19A in the balance: President appoints electoral reform committee

Apr 11 (Island) A five-member committee was appointed at the SLFP group meeting chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday to help bring about electoral reforms as the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. The committee headed by MP Prof. G.L. Peiris comprises MPs Mahinda Samarasinghe, Dilan Perera, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva. UFPA MP Ranjith Zoysa, addressing the more..

What matters is Gross Domestic Happiness

Apr 11 (DM) With Bhutan’s PM Tshering Tobgay on a state visit to Sri Lanka there is much we need to learn from this tiny and remote kingdom nestling in the Himalayas between its powerful neighbours, India and China. Most Sri Lankans may remember Bhutan especially for the Thimpu declaration which comprised four conditions put forward by the Tamil delegation at the first round of peace talks with Sri Lankan govt leaders in 1985 in an abortive bid to end the civil war. more..

They are not fairy tales

Apr 11 (DM) Shocking stories are now being unearthed by various investigative committees that are inquiring into various allegations of scandals during the past regime. The most recent revelation was by the J.C. Weliamuna led inquiry committee on Srilankan Airlines which detailed outrageous instances of corruption and misuse of power by its former bosses, mainly by its chairman – a strong branch of Rajapaksa family tree. The report not only exposes the former bosses of national career more..

Living without an address in estate sector

Apr 11 (SL) An oldern Sinhala phrase about vilaasmak nathim anusayek refers to the isolation of a person without any communication. However it is apparent today that an entire community has evolved without a secure way of receiving their correspondence: more than 200,000 families living in Sri Lanka have never had an address to call their own. They are found among the Tamil plantation sector workers, more..

Confusion will reign until a new govt is elected: DEW

Apr 11 (DM) General Secretary of the Communist Party, DEW Gunasekara talks about the current political situation in the country. Q: What are your comments on the National Govt? A: I cannot identify it as a National Govt in terms of correct political terminology. I would rather call it a coalition govt or cohabitating govt or preferably a probationary govt since the existence of the govt is dependent on the support of the opposition. more..

Mechanized plucking ushers new hope for tea

Apr 11 (NS) High labor costs, scarce labor and lower productivity among estate workers have forced a few of Sri Lanka’s Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) to consider investment in mechanized plucking, industry, sources said last week. Experts have pointed out that they expected that over 50 percent of tea plucking would be mechanized in 2025 owing to the above issues. Secretary General, Tea Planters Association more..

Tribute to AN Erudite Mahanayake

Apr 11 (DM) The passing away of the Most Ven. Mahanayaka Thera of the Asgiri Chapter, Aggamaha Pandita Udugama Saddharmakeerthi Sri Dhammadassi Ratnapala Buddharakkittabhidana Maha Nayake Thera on Wednesday, April 8 morning in Singapore, sent shock waves across the global Buddhist community. He was the 20th Maha Nayake of the Siyamopali Mahanikaya of the Asgiri chapter. Late Mahanayaka was born on Mar 17, 1930, more..

Uma Oya: A stream of negligence

Apr 11 (ST) Serious lapses by the contractor and negligence by the then Govt to prevent the heavy seepage of water in the excavation of the Uma Oya tunnel have plunged thousands of people into a hell hole of disastrous misery and destitution, an experts’ committee has reported. The experts’ report, says the contractor for the multi-million-dollar project has not taken adequate measures to seal off the water leak although more..

'Electoral reforms require more than 1 year'

Apr 11 (Island) Following the removal the sections needing a referendum from the 19th Amendment, no party including the JHU and a faction of the SLFP could oppose it in Parliament when it was taken up for vote, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said. He said the JHU had claimed that presidential powers had been transferred to the Prime Minister, but those sections would be removed as the Supreme Court decided that more..

Only fifty restaurants pass CMC quality test

Apr 11 (NS) Out of the 580 registered restaurants in Colombo, only 50 of them have been given registrations from the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), following a stringent quality checks as part of new project which began earlier this week. “Since the inception of this task, we’ve been able to give only 50 restaurants our seal of approval,” said Dr. Ruwan Wijeyamuni, Chief Medical Officer of the CMC. more..

'Massive highway frauds due to a President holding ministry'

Apr 11 (EN) Massive frauds running into tens of billions of rupees in Sri Lanka's highway projects was possible because the country's President held ministerial portfolios, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. President Rajapaksa held portfolios of finance and highways and also ports where most of the lucrative construction deals were awarded. In road building in particular projects were awarded at inflated prices without competitive more..

Alleged abduction of underage girl: NCPA seeks AG’s advice

Apr 11 (Island) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has sought the Attorney General’s advice as part of its investigation into the alleged abduction of 17-year-old Dinithi Aloka Ranasinghe. The preliminary investigation into the alleged abduction was initiated on a complaint lodged by the victim’s father, Gamini Ranasinghe, a businessman of Kirulapana, on March 21. "The father’s complaint is now being investigated more..

US says change in Sri Lanka positive

Apr 11 (CG) The United States (US) noted that this year the Sinhala and Tamil New Year is being marked by the extraordinary positive change that has occurred in Sri Lanka. US Secretary of State John Kerry, in a statement wishing all Sri Lankans for the traditional New Year, said that the change represents a renewed opportunity for the people of Sri Lanka to join together in the spirit of reconciliation, tolerance, and peace. more..

Politics of constitutional reform

Apr 11 (CT) The change of govt in January 2015 in Sri Lanka turned the attention of the nation, at least partially, to constitutional reform. President Sirisena won the presidential election promising to make changes to the system of governance. Without wasting too much time, the present govt, first released a draft proposal, then published the draft bill called the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, and finally announced amendments to the 19th Amendment. more..

Voter taken for a ride

Apr 11 (CT) UNP and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe were seemingly stumped by the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday. This was by the SC's decision that any whittling down of Executive President's powers, vis-à-vis Cabinet appointments, may be done only by receiving the approval of the voter at a referendum. Wickremesinghe, through the 19th Amendment (19A), sought to clip executive presidential powers, as promised to the voter at the last presidential elections. more..

Chunnakam Ground Water Contaminated

Apr 11 (CT) Minister Rauff Hakeem said in Parliament that a report compiled by the Ministry had revealed that ground water surrounding the Chunnakam power plant was contaminated with oil and was not suitable for drinking. Responding to a question raised by leader of the EPDP under Standing Order 23/3, he said the report compiled by the experts' committee appointed by the National Water Supply and Drainage more..

Railway raids

Apr 11 (ST) Amidst the daily rush at the Fort Railway Station, commuters are often troubled by beggars and illegal vendors both within the station premises as well as on the trains. The Head of Security of SL Railways, J.M.N.S Jayasena said that with the increasing number of complaints from travellers both local and foreign, authorities have decided to continue their raids for beggars and illegal vendors and take legal action. He said beggars need to be sent to rehabilitation centres, as most of them more..

Use plastic at your own peril

Apr 11 (Island) Be the change by minimizing the use of hazardous plastics, Dr. M.A.B. Prashantha said. Be the Change is a movement that was initiated by Sri Jayewardenepura University to raise public awareness of the adverse effects of plastic. Dr. Prashantha said 60% plastic was used as packing material which had become a serious issue for many countries as the burning of plastic contributed to global warming and released toxic gases into the atmosphere. more..