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Man beaten to death at Union Place

Apr 12 (DM) A 30-year-old man was found severely beaten at the Union Place bus halt in Slave Island last night, the Police said. Police said that an argument over a personal issue had led to the fatal assault. The victim, a resident of Vauxhall Street, Colombo had succumbed to his injuries after he was admitted to the National Hospital. A 45 year old suspect living in the same premises was arrested last night, the Police said. He is to be produced before the Fort Magistrate today. more..

Live soldiers and dead rebels: What happened to LTTE cemeteries?

Apr 12 (CT) "My brother is dead but destroying a graveyard does not destroy memories of him. Yet, his body is out there buried under a Military camp. It is very painful," Since the days of yore this was holy ground, revered ground, where loved ones were given their final earthly resting place. Every family here lovingly called it Thuyilum Illam or the Abodes of Rest. Once revered by parents, kith and kin of lost loved ones, this more..

Dissanayake resigns as Ampara SLFP chief organizer

Apr 12 (AM) Former Eastern Provincial Council Minister Wimalaweera Dissanayake said on Sunday that he decided to step down as Sri Lanka Freedom Party Chief Organizer in Ampara. He said that he made this decision in protest over the removal of four MPs from the SLFP Central Committee. President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday ordered the removal of Bandula Gunawardena, T.B Ekanayake, S.M. Chandrasena and Salinda Dissanayake from SLFP Central Committee. more..

BOC explains why GM was sent on leave

Apr 12 (Island) Explaining the reasons for sending its General Manager, Mr. D M Gunasekara, on leave until investigations into several matters concerning the Bank of Ceylon are completed, BOC Chairman Ronald Perera explained that this was done to ensure that the conduct of such investigations is independent and impartial. "We will take all steps to complete these investigations and clear the issues, within a short period of time," he said. Gunasekera is on paid leave and enjoys all his perks and more..

Auspicious times for New Year - 2015

Apr 12 (ST) Bathing for the old year will be on Monday, April 13. Naanu (herbal mixture) made of woodapple-leaf juice must be applied on the head before the bath. The New Year dawns at 1.47 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14. Nonagatha (inauspicious time)- Inauspicious time is from 7.23 am till 8.11 pm on Tuesday, April 14 . Finish any partaking of food before 7.23 am, and engage only in religious activities during this period. more..

21-year-old fake doctor arrested in Dambulla

Apr 12 (AD) A 21-year-old individual, who reportedly impersonated as a doctor, has been arrested by the police at the Dambulla Base hospital on Sunday. Police have also found an identity card believed to be a fake in which it says it was issued by the U.S. Department of Science & Health (Doctors). The suspect has been identified as Harshana Bandara who is a resident of Medirigiriya. “The individual had been walking towards the operation theater at the time another senior doctor questioned him more..

At least 30 Lankans opt to stay on in Yemen

Apr 12 (ST) A group of some 30 or more Sri Lankans has opted to risk staying back in war-torn Yemen, even as thousands of locals and foreigners continue to flee that country, a senior official said yesterday. This group had ignored the earlier rescue mission that brought home some 52 Sri Lankans, for reasons best known to them, and there is very little the authorities in Colombo can do about it, SLBFE Additional General Manager, Mangala Randeniya told the Sunday Times. more..

Sri Lanka releases army-controlled land in Northern Province

Apr 12 (PTI) Sri Lanka's new govt has released 570 acres of privately-owned land in the Tamil- dominated Northern Province that were until now held by the army, as part of a reconciliation with the minority community. Sri Lanka Army's Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said that privately-owned land held by the military in Jaffna Peninsula's Valikamam sector was released to the charge of the chief administration officer there. more..

'Follow buddhist philosophy': Fonseka hits out at Gnanasara Thera

Apr 12 (AM) DP leader Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka hit out at BBS General Secretary Galagodaaththe Nanasara Thera, saying that he had no right to demand President Maithripala Sirisena’s resignation. He also added that by practicing the philosophy of Buddhism, Gnanasara Thera could do a better service for the country. Fonseka said that Gnanasara Thera could speak in that manner only because the ‘good governance’ government does not seek revenge like past governments. more..

SLFP and UPFA to deny nominations to MPs who oppose proposed 19A

Apr 12 (Island) The SLFP and UPFA have decided to deny nominations to their parliamentarians to contest the forthcoming parliamentary poll in the event they decline to vote in favor of the proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution. This decision has been arrived at following agreement reached by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that the proposed 19th Amendment should be pushed through Parliament. The proposed amendment is expected to be more..

'Sri Lankan leaders have no time for fishermen’s issue'

Apr 12 (ENS) Tied up in knots over critical political and constitutional issues, Sri Lankan leaders appear to have no time for the Indo-Lankan fishermen’s question. With even TN being preoccupied with the killing of 20 Tamil woodcutters in Andhra Pradesh, there is no unease here over the detention of 37 TN fishermen since early this month. After talks between the fishermen’s associations of India and Sri Lanka at Chennai on March 24, more..

GMOF raises issue over poor hygiene and safety standards in fast food outlets

Apr 12 (Island) Govt Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) called on health authorities to be vigilant of the deteriorating sanitary conditions in various multinational fast food outlets in Sri Lanka, which sell fried chicken, burgers and pizzas etc., and initiative action to ensure that food hygiene and safety are maintained. It is also equally important to ensure the working conditions of local employees of these food chains, Dr. Jayantha Abayarathne, Secretary of the GMOF, stressed more..

'Sri Lanka will need 200,000 ICT professionals by 2020'

Apr 12 (Island) There are around 75,000 persons employed as professionals in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry in Sri Lanka at present. By the year 2020, the demand for ICT professionals will zoom to around 200,000 to take the country’s economy to greater heights. These observations were made by Dr. Dayan Rajapakse, Managing Director, ESOFT Metro Campus, at the ceremonial opening of the new Computer Laboratory at the Kottukachchiya more..

Bhutan, Sri Lanka to continue talks

Apr 12 (CG) Bhutanese PM Tshering Tobgay who visited Sri Lanka at the invitation of President Maithripala Sirisena, concluded his three-day official visit today. Foreign Ministry said that two sides will meet at an early date for the first consultation to maintain the momentum generated by the PM’s visit. The President of Sri Lanka, accompanied by several Cabinet Ministers engaged in bilateral talks with the visiting PM and more..

175 arrested for drunk driving

Apr 12 (AD) Legal actions were taken against 175 motorists who were driving under the influence of alcohol, following operations carried out within 24-hours in various parts of the island, the police announced on Sunday. The round-the-clock operation was started since 11 April in a bid to apprehend drunk drivers in view of the festive season. Cases have been filed against a total of 175 motorists so far, since the commencing of the operations, out of which 91 are motorcyclists. more..

President’s family will not contest

Apr 12 (CG) President Maithripala Sirisena says his family members will not contest the upcoming General elections as he feels family rule should be kept kept out of local politics. The President said that if his family members contest the election he is sure they will be able to obtain seats in Parliament. However he said that he will set the example of keeping a President’s family members out of politics by ensuring his children and his brothers do not contest the polls. more..

IOC, FIFA issue red notice on Sri Lanka

Apr 12 (DM) International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its member FIFA - the world governing body for football, have asked Sri Lanka to reverse its decision to hold elections under controversial provisions of the Sports Law in order to ensure autonomy and jurisdiction of national sports associations. Failure to do so would leave Sri Lanka at risk of international status, they have warned. “This unilateral action goes against the more..

Resolution for Sinhala-Tamil New Year; get to the bottom of this chaos

Apr 13 (CT) All Constitutional Pundits who talked popular politics prior to and during the past presidential elections have been proved quite silly in how they guaranteed the constitutional amendment process for abolition of presidency. Abolition of the Presidency cannot be constitutionally handled in the simple way they said was possible. The SC decided it needs more than the 2/3 majority these pundits said is enough and could be manipulated from within this parliament. more..

Constitutional games and a nation’s expectations

Apr 13 (ST) Even if we give the most compassionate rendering of the extraordinary sequence of events that served as constitution-making by the Wickremesinghe govt during recent weeks, there is much to be perturbed about. However let me follow this up by acknowledging that even the necessity for this discussion would have been redundant in the discordant era of the Rajapaksas. Govt MPs would have fallen over themselves in supporting any Bill that was proposed, rather like sheep more..

Gam maduwa: An emotive ritual revisited

Apr 13 (SO) No matter how much we’ve come to depend on modern trappings, the lure of traditions and rituals still hold sway, perhaps reminding us of the inner spirituality that had us beseeching the gods for blessings and blaming the evil spirits for natural disasters, misfortunes and sicknesses. So it comes as no surprise that a gam maduwa, a virtual rarity in 21st century Sri Lanka, should become a mega event, attracting a more..

Sri Lanka sports: Losers in the Interim?

Apr 13 (CT) Current Interim govt led by Interim PM Ranil Wickremesinghe appointed Mr. Navin Dissanayake as the Interim Minister for Sports to administer the Ministry of Sports and introduce policies of Yahapalanaya during the 100 day programme which was approved by the overwhelming majority of Srilankans on 8 January 2015. We have placed our hopes in the new administration to uphold the free press, freedom for all citizens and national institutions more..

Editorial: Honouring Grero

Apr 13 (Island) We often hear people who whine about the rapid deterioration of the law and order situation in this country say that the police have gone to the dogs. They should stop using such adages that disparage and affront poor canines. Some irate voters call their representatives buffaloes. But, those creatures do not commit offences such as rape, arson, murder and robbery unlike the beasts in kapati suit, do they? Koha usually hogs limelight during festive season. more..

'Can muster a 2/3 majority'

Apr 13 (CT) New Year festivities not- withstanding Sri Lanka's political landscape has captured unprecedented public interest as the debate on the 19 Amendment and electoral reforms picks up steam. Ceylon Today interviewed Deputy Minister Ajith Perera about the current political situation. Q:Supreme Court had given its opinion on the 19th amendment to the constitution and the President has said that more..

Constitution faces critical juncture next week

Apr 13 (NS) As the Maithripala Sirisena govt’s self-imposed deadline of April 23 nears, both the UNP and the SLFP are flexing their political muscles as they vie for power at the general elections that could be called as in two weeks’ time.The SLFP is insisting that it would support the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that seeks to prune the powers of the Executive Presidency only if electoral reforms aimed at combining the first past the post (FPP) system with proportional representation (PR) more..

Let’s dissect the Mahinda-Resurgence

Apr 13 (NS) It’s an inauspicious number. That’s ‘13’. Maithripala-Ranil Regime (or Ranil-Maithripala Regime if you will) is in its 13th week. It’s the worst so far for PM Wickremesinghe and the UNP. First, a proposal for obtaining 400 billion rupees through Treasury Bills was defeated in Parliament. According to some constitutional experts the defeat of this kind of ordinance amounts to a no-confidence motion. Tradition, thankfully for Ranil and UNP, is (conveniently) not strongest suit of our MPs. more..

Boston Lanka: Royal Ball in USA

SLFP lets the cat out of the bag: Call off crackdown or no dice

Apr 13 (ST) The first duty of the opposition is to oppose. And the opposition members of Lanka’s 14th Parliament took its traditional role literally and opposed at every turn even the selection of a leader to lead them until finally an exhausted, exasperated Speaker of the House gave up the ghost and passed the buck to UPFA’s Secretary on Wednesday to perform the anointment rites and to forward the name of the person who had the confidence of the opposition members. more..

Ministerial perks

Apr 13 (Island) Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s defence of his taking a young man with him to New York was entertaining, but it was also very sad. Instead of concentrating on the problem of public funds being spent on private predilections, he engaged in a defence of what he evidently thought was a slur, if not on his character, on that of the young man in question. As a defence to charges he evidently took seriously, even if they had not been articulated, he claimed that the person more..

Sri Lanka, if not for an independent judiciary

Apr 13 (EN) Sri Lanka would have returned to a parliamentary system of govt from April 22 if not for the Supreme Court striking down the 19th amendment which was drafted in line with President Sirisena's election manifesto. Supreme Court effectively shot down all proposed provisions to reduce the powers of the president and left only a few minor reforms such as the reduction of the presidential & parliamentary terms to 5 years more..

Chathurika - three Sri Lanka records

Apr 13 (DN) Chathurika Weerasighe, an old girl of Vijitha Maha Vidyalaya, Dikwella came out with a sterling performance to set three new Sri Lanka records in Weight lifting (trials) held last week at the Weight lifting Centre of the Ministry of Sports, Colombo. These trials were held to select for the International Weight lifting Contests to be held in the near future. She erased her own two records when she clean Jerked 90 Kgs contesting the 69 Kg women's weight class. more..

Cronyism and conflict of interest

Apr 13 (ST) Dealing with conflicts of interest in the political, public and private sectors has been one of the biggest challenges society has faced in Sri Lanka. When the conflict between Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius whose firm Perpetual Treasuries figured in the recent Treasury bond issue, was once again raised at a meeting, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne responded saying, “conflict of interest is a serious issue.” more..

Defence headquarters for fresh tenders

Apr 13 (ST) The Akuregoda-based Defence Headquarters project that was recently stalled will be calling for fresh tenders with the cancellation of the existing contract. Defence State Minister Ruwan Wijewardena responding to a query at the American Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (AMCHAM) business forum said the govt would cancel the contract and call for fresh tenders for the project due to malpractices identified. more..

Paradise once more in Sri Lanka

Apr 13 (JP) My late grandmother Victoria Gonzales once told me that Sri Lanka was really beautiful. “Even more beautiful than Kerala,” she said, which is quite a thing for a Malayalee to say. But she was talking about Sri Lanka in the late 1930s when she stopped over on the way from India to Malaya. I have always been quite keen to visit Sri Lanka. About a decade ago, I was assigned to go there, but the trip was cancelled because of two bomb attacks. I took it in my stride because more..

Launch of the 'Skills Gap in Four Industrial Sectors in Sri Lanka'

Apr 13 (CT) The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the report on 'Skills Gap in Four Industrial Sectors in Sri Lanka' on 7 April at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel. In response to a request from the former Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development to carry out an assessment of the skills gap in four initial priority sectors identified by the Govt of Sri Lanka, the ILO commissioned this study to identify the critical issues that need to be addressed in order to bridge the gap more..

A suspect is seized in Kotakethana – but are there more in the woods?

Apr 13 (ST) Terror of a serial killer lurking in the woods of Kotakethana, Kahawatte grips local villagers despite Friday’s arrest of a man charged with the latest homicide in the death-filled area. Chandrani Somalatha, 39, a mother of three, went missing in the early hours of last Sunday morning. Police found her decomposing body near a stream close to her house 36 hours after she was reported missing. A post-mortem examination showed more..

Millennium Development Goals: Sri Lanka’s achievements and challenges ahead

Apr 13 (IPS) In 2000, world leaders signed the Millennium Declaration, which was followed by a set of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to be achieved by 2015. There are 44 MDG indicators in total, of which 27 have clear targets. Table 1 gives a snapshot of the status of MDGs at national level for Sri Lanka. The table also compares the status of the indicators in the base year (1990 or closest) with the current status (2013 or closest). Sri Lanka has achieved the targets for 13 of these indicators more..

Not enough safety signage in Colombo’s new high-rises

Apr 13 (ST) Colombo’s upcoming high-rise buildings do not have the necessary safety signage and procedures in place to facilitate evacuation in case of a fire or Emergency blackout, according to research conducted by Zeppelin Advertising Services. A recent statement by this homegrown Sri Lankan advertising firm, said “The City of Colombo has suddenly evolved into a burst of high rise buildings, with many presently under construction and many more on the drawing board more..

Consumer Authority cracks down on fake bargains, New Year discount illusions

Apr 13 (Island) Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) detected 5500 trade-linked malpractices from Jan 1 to April 10 which included clothes bargains carrying craftily-engineered discount illusions, a Ministry of Industry and Commerce source said. Our sources also stated that over 30 textile outlets were detected by the CAA, while selling 'outdated clothes' to the customers claiming that they are the latest clothing trends. more..

Central Finance goes for a Rs. 3 Billion Debenture issue

Apr 13 (CT) Central Finance Co will go in for a Rs. 3 Billion Debenture issue where the proposed debentures will have tenors of between three and five years, and fixed- rate coupons. CF expects to use the proceeds to fund lending growth, reduce structural maturity mismatches and diversify the funding mix. The debentures are secured by receivables from identified hire-purchase and lease agreements exceeding 110% of the total outstanding value of the debenture at any given time. more..

Dudley Senanayake 42nd death anniversary falls today

Apr 13 (GDI) The 42nd Death anniversary commemoration of Second Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Dudley Senanayake will be held today at the site of his statue near the Borella Kanatte roundabout at 4.00 p.m. The Chief Guest at the commemoration will be Buddha Susana Religious Affairs Minister Karu Jayasuriya. The commemoration is organized by the newly reorganized Dudley Senanayake Foundation. Following the garlanding of the statue, more..