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SLFP parliamentarians sacked from CC to seek legal remedy

Apr 13 (Island) SLFP MP S. M. Chandrasena said he intended to challenge in courts the removal of him and several others from the party’s Central Committee. Briefing the media at his home in Anuradhapura, Chandrasena, who is also the party District Leader and Kalawewa electoral organiser said that they had received the notice of removal by registered post on Saturday signed by Party Chairman President Sirisena without more..

President opens Sevanapitiya Public Fair

Apr 13 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena said that the development of the economy of the farming community will be considered as a priority of the Govt and a policy. The President mentioned this on Sunday while vesting in the public the Sevanapitya Public Fair built at a cost of 20 million rupees. The President said that the development of the economy of farmers led by the paddy farmers, is a priority of the present Govt. He said that the Weekly Fair which was opened would add value to the area. more..

Traders, shoppers a happy lot

Apr 13 (DN) Both traders and consumers expressed happiness - the former over their ability to obtain a good price for what they market and the latter to purchase goods of their choice at ease unlike in the past few years. Chandana and Nirosha from Ingiriya returning after a round of shopping said that there was much healthy competition and they were able to purchase household requirements without having to roam about and waste their valuable time. “Prices are very reasonable & there is ample choice. more..

SC orders Principals to submit reports

Apr 13 (CT) The Supreme Court ordered principals of popular national schools to submit reports pertaining to the admission of children to their schools from grade 2 to 6 in the years 2010–2014. Court also ordered that reports be supported with graphic illustrations. Justices Priyasath Dep, Upali Abeyratna and Anil Gunaratna made this order after considering a Fundamental Right Petitions filed by 16 parents and the Ceylon Teachers' Union. more..

‘Port City Project should proceed’

Apr 13 (SL) The construction of the Colombo Port City should proceed, say a number of business leaders, who claim that the farce of environmental concerns was a mere gimmick propagated by certain politicians during the pre presidential poll to harness more votes. “The most important aspect is the long-term economic benefits to the country. There have been concerns voiced on various projects undertaken over the years such as the Mahaweli Project, certain tourism projects more..

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera appointed as Board Director for IBSL

Apr 13 (GDI) Asanga Abeyagoonasekera has been appointed as a Board Director of the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka (IBSL) by Minister Ravi Karunanayake on 10th April 2015. The IBSL safeguards policy holders through supervisory control of Insurance Companies. Professionals with experience at IBSL advise the government on policy and laws that would make the industry remain viable, able to meet its commitments to policy holders by helping them overcome risks. more..

Western intelligence services looking for ex-SL ambassador to Russia

Apr 13 (Island) The US Embassy declined to comment on the Sri Lankan govt’s request for its help to track down former ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga alleged to have supplied weapons to pro-Russian Ukrainian rebels. The alleged transactions had taken place during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s tenure as the President, Ukrainian govt has alleged. US embassy suggested that The Island obtain a clarification from more..

Sri Lanka rice harvest enough till September

Apr 13 (EN) Sri Lanka's paddy production in the main 'Maha' season is enough to meet domestic rice consumption needs till September 2015, the Department of Agriculture has forecast. With a cultivated extent of 800,303 hectares, the production forecast for this season is 2.65 million metric tonnes, two percent higher than the average production of last three 'Maha' seasons. The crop forecast by the Socio Economics and Planning Centre Page, Department of Agriculture in Peradeniya more..

Consultants’ register issue sorted out?

Apr 13 (Island) The GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that the Consultants’ meeting held last Thursday with Director General Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala had been fruitful. Dr. Padeniya pointed out that some Consultants attached to leading hospitals had made statements to the media that they wanted to resign from the GMOA as it had failed to maintain a specialists’ register. During the meeting Health Ministry Legal Officer Riyza Ahmed had explained to more..

MS offers olive branch to dissidents, rules out one-on-one with MR

Apr 13 (Island) President Sirisena has offered to meet his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa as well as dissenting SLFP MPs shortly to iron out differences, according to SLFP sources. President Sirisena has said the issues should be discussed among members of the parliamentary group with the participation of the former SLFP leader. President was responding to a request by MP Kumar Welgama & MP T.B. Ekanayake more..

President orders to make immediate payments to farmers

Apr 13 (GDI) President Sirisena has ordered relevant officials to make immediate arrangements to effect payments to the farmers for their harvest purchased. The farmers had recently complained that the payments for the paddy purchased had been delayed and accordingly, the President has instructed relevant authorities to immediately settle the amounts due to the farmers for the paddy purchased by the govt. On the President's instructions, Treasury has already released more..

Details of SL refugees sought from Australia

Apr 13 (DN) The Puducherry government has written a letter to the Australian authorities seeking details of investigations into the illegal trafficking of Sri Lankan refugees from Puducherry to Australia, Inspector General of Police Praveer Ranjan said. The 157 asylum seekers (50 children) comprising Sri Lankan Tamil refugees residing in camps in Tamil Nadu set sail by a boat from Puducherry to Australia in mid-June, 2014 in a bid to seek asylum in Australia. more..

CB Governor to face legal action in S'pore

Apr 13 (DM) Voice against Corruption is to file legal action against Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran in Singaporean High Courts on violation of emigration laws of that country, its Convener Wansantha Samarasinghe said. He said that legal experts of Voice against Corruption are planning to file action against Mr. Mahendran in Singaporean Courts for violating that country’s emigration laws. more..

Dawn of a New Year and a new era

Apr 13 (DM) Millions of Sri Lankans and others in several parts of the world will celebrate their National New Year or the festival of the Sun when the star at the centre of the Solar System moves from the House of Pisces to the House of Aries. For Sri Lanka, the National New Year, starting tomorrow, is of special significance because we are in a historic new era of good governance, democracy and social justice. After the silent rainbow revolution of the people on Jan 8 this year, more..

This Avurudu is different !

Apr 13 (DM) This Avurudu is different because after a long hiatus, Sri Lanka has both peace and democracy. Those two attributes are important for they have a soothing effect even for the least political man and woman, though he or she may not fully comprehend its impact. However, absence of it is felt more acutely, and Sri Lankans of all- walks of life have bitter experiences about that. For over three decades, this country had been confronted by the twin evils of terrorism & authoritarianism; more..

A perfect launching pad for racial and religious harmony

Apr 13 (DM) One of the oldest national festivals of the world is the Sinhala-Hindu New Year- the customs, traditions and rituals of celebrations bring the two major communities together. It is Sinhala it is known as Avurudhu. New Year signifies the movement of the sun from the Meena Rasi to Mesha Rasi, covering a period of one year. This marks the beginning of Saka Era’s New Year. more..

Roadblock on projects and related payments- Rs 250 billion, pending re-evaluation

Apr 13 (ST) Govt has put on hold road construction projects valued at Rs 250 billion, thereby withholding payments due to the contractors. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that, as a result, payments for these projects including some of which have been partially completed, have also been withheld. Public Health Inspectors carry out a surprise check on food items for sale during this New Year season in Aluthgama. more..

A bleak Avurudu for Port City workers

Apr 13 (SL) They were expecting to celebrate the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year (Avurudu) in high spirits. But those hopes were dashed when they were informed that they are being suspended from work. Over 5000 employees who had been working under the Port City Project have lost their jobs due to the suspension of the project by the govt. Environmental Manager of the project, Thusitha Chandrasekera said more..

Rajiva tells parliament about mess govt has created in guise of good governance

Apr 13 (Island) Govt which came to power promising to adopt a scientific basis to appoint a cabinet of ministers instead made an alphabetical soup in doing so, leader of the Liberal Party Prof Rajiva Wijesinha told Parliament. Participating in a debate on a resolution under the Local Treasury Bills Ordinance moved in Parliament to get approval for a sum of Rs 400 billion to be borrowed by the govt by issuing Treasury Bills, more..

Split in MR camp !

Apr 13 (DN) Over five Parliamentarians of the SLFP, who previously aligned themselves with the group supporting former President Rajapaksa, are now holding discussions with President Maithripala Sirisena’s associates to switch allegiance, highly placed political sources told the Daily News. The group is likely to back President Sirisena, Chairman of the SLFP, ahead of the forthcoming Parliamentary election. more..

Nearly all towns to be provided free Wi-Fi

Apr 13 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena launched the 'Free Wi-Fi for Regional Towns programme' from the Polonnaruwa District General Hospital premises last Thursday. Simultaneously authorities unveiled free Wi-Fi zones in 100 major towns in the country. Under the free Wi-Fi programme, Sri Lankan users will be able to access the internet up to 100 MB free of charge per month at locations where the facility is available. more..

Video: Minister Lakshman kiriella says won't give Katchatheevu Island to India

Apr 13 (ANI) Minister Lakshman Kiriella, on Sunday said that Katchatheevu Island was given to Colombo by Indian govt in an agreement and there was no chance of giving it back. Kiriella, who is on a private visit to Chennai, said that things were going well between the two nations after PM Narendra Modi's visit to the island nation in March this year. However, when asked about the claims made by few political parties more..

Sri Lanka - Exim Bank of China, CATIC aircraft deal murky

Apr 13 (EN) A Sri Lanka govt inquiry into aircraft purchases has uncovered shocking details of how an opaque deal sanctioned from the top and justified with cooked up feasibility studies were made with the Exim Bank of China and a Chinese state firm. Board of Inquiry that probed into Sri Lanka's loss-making state-run airlines during the ousted Rajapaksa regime recommended that the procurement of two Chinese-made more..

Minister denies political interference

Apr 13 (DM) Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake has written to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) categorically denying that any pressure was exerted to any sports body or federation by the Sports Ministry as alleged in its letter to him on April 7, 2015. “We categorically deny that any pressure had been exerted to any sports body or federation by our Ministry,” Minister Dissanayake wrote. more..

Electoral reforms ready by Apr 22

Apr 13 (DM) The Cabinet on the proposed electoral reforms will be taken up for discussion by the Ministers at the meeting scheduled for April 22, the first after the April New Year vacation, informed sources said. The electoral reforms will be evolved for implementation along with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution as an initiative by the SLFP. Already the SLFP has appointed a committee to work out electoral reforms in consultation more..

Financial profligacy, back to square on

Apr 13 (CT) In the Aluth Avurudu week, the new govt's seemingly insatiable lust for rupees continues, with Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) due to hold two Treasuries' auctions on behalf of the Govt of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to borrow Rs 29 billion from the market in the week beginning Monday, 20 April. GoSL is billed to borrow Rs 24 billion from a Treasury (T)-Bill primary auction to be held on Wednesday, ie the first day after the dawn of the New Year (Aluth Avurudda) and more..

Indian Ocean source of major cyclones

Apr 13 (Hindu) The north Indian Ocean is a potential source of energy as it is a land-locked ocean. Most of the super cyclones that hit the coastal areas, including the latest category four super cyclone Hudhud originated from this part of the ocean, said Prof. S.S.V.S. Ramakrishna Rao from the Department of Meteorology, Andhra University. The north Indian Ocean was the first to experience the phenomenon of global warming and since 1999, we are heading towards a major climate change. more..

Sri Lanka lifts temporary ban on fresh coconut exports from May 1

Apr 13 (ST) Sri Lanka is lifting a 4-month temporary ban imposed on raw coconut exports from May 1, to maintain the country’s foreign market share. Recent ban was enforced from Jan 15 to April 31. CDA has been imposing a ban on the export of raw coconuts from time to time to stabilise prices during periods of low crop. Coconut exports were suspended to control rising local prices of nuts due to a shortfall in production during this period. more..

Dear PM, FOI act is generally good, but changes are needed

Apr 13 (CT) Dear PM, Thank you for sending me today the draft of the proposed Freedom of Information Act. It is generally good, and I am glad that Section 8 makes it clear that basic information should be readily available. I would suggest the following changes a) Add to 8 (2) b (vii) Declarations of Assets of Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Secretaries of Ministries, Chairs of Public Authorities and all officials responsible for contracts or expenditure over the value of Rs 1 million. more..

Legal action against traders who had violated hygienic rules after New Year

Apr 13 (Island) Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council (PHD) said that it would take legal action against over 10 eateries, ‘juice bars’, temporary food outlets and warehouses in Fort and Pettah after the New Year for selling poor quality food items. Acting Food Inspector M.B. Lal Kumara said that the PHD had inspected over 150 such places in Pettah and Fort during the last several days. "Our focus was on Bastian Mawatha, Olcott Mawatha, 4th and 5th Cross Streets." more..

Amend standing orders, govt should follow COPE recommendations: DEW

Apr 13 (CT) Some remarkable recommendations had been made with concern to increasing the efficiency and promptness of implementing the COPE report recommendations, when the report was tabled in the parliament last Thursday by MP DEW Gunasekera. A recommendation has been made by the Committee on Standing Orders in consideration of the problems raised in previous COPE reports, more..

National Chamber Seminar on April 29

Apr 13 (Island) The National Chamber of Commerce is seriously concerned over the proposed signing of the CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) with India. The business industries feel that before the authorities come to a conclusion, the CEPA Agreement should be analysed in greater detail as regards the implications involved, advantages/disadvantages and most of all how it will affect the economy, business and industries in Sri Lanka. more..

Fire at Brandix export apparel factory

Apr 13 (EN) A factory belonging to Sri Lanka's Brandix apparel group had caught fire early on Monday, while it was closed for traditional New Year holidays, the investment promotion ministry said. The factory was in Sri Lanka's Board of Investment export processing zone in Katunayake. The fire-fighting units at the BOI, Sri Lanka Air Force and the airport had responded and the blaze had not spread to other factories. One of the buildings in the factory complex had caught fire and more..

Minister Wijedasa to attend AALCO session in China

Apr 13 (AD) Minister of Justice Dr. Wijedasa Rajapakse is to attend the opening of the 54th session of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) and deliver a key-note speech, which is scheduled to take place in Beijing, China, the Ministry said. The annual AALCO session, which will take place in Beijing from April 13 to 17, will involve delegates from AALCO members and international organizations. more..

Morecambe Cricket Club sign Sri Lankan international Suraj Randiv

Apr 13 (LG) Morecambe Cricket Club believe they have pulled off a coup with the signing of a Sri Lankan international as their professional for the 2015 season. All-rounder Suraj Randiv has played 12 tests and 30 one-day internationals for his country with big things expected of him at Woodhill Lane this summer. The off-break bowler replaces South African Corne Dry who is unable to come over to England this summer as he has Twenty20 Champions League commitments with more..

Political consensus drifts away

Apr 10 (FT) We face an unprecedented situation in the political history of this country and in the political history of any other democratic country in the world. The common opposition and the civil society got together to defeat the most autocratic ruler out of the rulers after the independence. Autocracy was gradually developing from one ruler to the other, but it came to the zenith during the last regime. The autocratic nature of the rule of the past president was evident by observing what more..

Star-studded Sinhalese Film on Silappadhikaram to Hit Screens Soon

Apr 13 (ENS) A star-studded and big budget Sinhalese film on Kannagi, the feisty heroine of the Tamil classic Silappadhikaram, is to hit screens across Sri Lanka soon. Titled Pattini, as Kannagi is known in Lanka, the film is directed by Prof. Sunil Ariyaratne, a veteran with 20 feature films under his belt. South Indian star Pooja Umashankar, a heart throb of the Sinhalese masses, is playing Kannagi. Former Miss SL, Aruni Rajapakse, more..

SLFP members may retain posts

Apr 13 (CG) SLFP members who were removed from the SLFP Central Committee last week, T.B Ekanayakemay get their posts back. Former Ministers Bandula Gunawardena, SM Chandrasena, T.B Ekanayake and Salinda Dissanayake were removed from the SLFP central committee by President Maithripala Sirisena. However T.B Ekanayake told reporters that he has now been informed by the SLFP that the President is to reconsider the decision. more..

Drug peddler caught

Apr 13 (Island) Boralesgamuwa police nabbed a drug dealer and recovered 200 sachets of heroin with a street value of about Rs. 100,000 at Bellantara on Saturday. He had been loitering opposite a vehicle emission testing centre near the Bellantara Junction waiting for his customers, police said. The arrest had been made on a tip-off received by the anti vice squad of the Boralesgamuwa police, an officer said. The packets of heroin had been hidden inside the undergarments of more..

COPE releases latest findings

Apr 13 (DM) There had been only 13,371 passenger arrivals and 16,712 departures at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport in Mattala for 9 months from January to Sept 2014, the latest findings by the COPE had revealed. This is against 5.3 million passenger movements handled by the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) during the same period. However, officials of Airport and Aviation Services Sri Lanka Ltd, who more..