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SL pacer Prasad to grace community tourney

Apr 15 (GT) Sri Lankan speedster Dhammika Prasad is coming to Doha next month for a six-a-side softball cricket tournament being organised by Sri Lankan Sports Club (SSC), Wakrah. Prasad, who spearheads the Lankan attack, was ruled out of the recently-concluded World Cup in Australia-New Zealand due to a fractured hand, an injury sustained when Prasad attempted a return catch at practice prior to the opening match of the showpiece event against New Zealand. more..

Sri Lanka cuts interest rates despite state borrowing, revenue concerns

Apr 15 (EN) Sri Lanka has cut its policy interest rates by 0.5% despite concerns over higher domestic borrowing to cover state spending, saying counter measures could be taken if there are negative fallouts. The policy rate corridor is now 6% to withdraw excess liquidity in money markets, which sets the rate floor. The rate at which money is injected has been brought down from 8 to 7.5%. Sri Lanka's inflation fell to 0.1% in March from more..

Unawatuna raised in Jamaica parliament

Apr 15 (CG) Damage caused to the Unawatuna beach has gone international, with the issue being raised at the Jamaican parliament. Shahine Robinson, Opposition Spokesperson for Tourism raised the issue while discussing concerns about the way in which developments in the prominent Jamaican resort town of Negril is being handled by Jamaica Govt. Robinson noted that the Unawatuna Beach, named the World’s Best Beach in 2004, is fast disappearing today. more..

Tourism Minister anoints elephants at Pinnawala orphanage

Apr 15 (LBO) Tourism Minister, Navin Dissanayake anointed about one hundred elephants at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, which is one of the major tourists attraction point in the Island. This was taken place at the auspicious time of 09.06 this morning parallel to the National oil anointing ceremony which is a part of traditional Sinhala – Tamil New Year celebration. A large number of local and foreign tourists were at the Elephant Orphanage to witness the occasion, more..

Young girl sent back to Sri Lanka under Hague Convention

Apr 15 (JT) A 5-year-old girl was returned to live with her Japanese father in Sri Lanka in early April after being abducted by her mother and brought to Japan, a govt official told The Japan Times on Wednesday. It was the first time Japan fulfilled a court order mandating the return of a child to his or her country of habitual residence, in accordance with the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. more..

SLAF due millions in helicopter rentals during Rajapaksa campaign

Apr 15 (AM) Defence Ministry confirmed that Sri Lanka Air Force has not been paid millions of rupees to be paid as rentals for hiring of helicopters during former president Rajapaksa's election campaign. Newspaper reports had earlier said that SLAF had not been paid the rent for scores of such helicopter tours including 23 tours ordered by MP Namal Rjapaksa. A source within SLAF said on condition of annonymity that the media reports were based on a report compiled by SLAF. more..

Sobhitha thera supports 19th amendment

Apr 15 (AM) Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera said that he is prepared to accept the 19th Amendment with the removal of certain clauses as determined by the Supreme Court. Sobhitha Thera said that he will continue his struggle for the total abolition of the executive presidency. However, he is prepared to accept the positive changes for the moment, Thera added. He further stated that he will continue his fight for abolition of executive presidency even after the next govt is formed. more..

SLFP agrees on new electoral system

Apr 15 (AM) Cabinet Spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne said that the SLFP agreed to a mixed electoral system where 165 MPs will be elected under the first past the post system while 85 will be elected in proportional representation systems. He said that 165 members will be elected from 160 constituencies, since several of them will be multi-member constituencies. He added that 60 MPs will be elected in a District based PR more..

Education experts in restructured NIE: DG

Apr 15 (ST) The National Institute of Education (NIE) will be re-structured with the NIE Council to include Education sector experts representing the North and East, the Estate sector and the Business Community, said the new NIE Director General (DG), Prof Gunapala Nanayakkara. “The NIE needs to be revamped. There is a lack of administrative control and is experiencing obstacles common to public administration. Changes in attitude, adapting to change of duties, lack of factual analysis, more..

Amnesty period for army deserters further extended

Apr 15 (DM) The General Amnesty period offered to army absentees enabling them to receive their discharge from the army, that scheduled to end tomorrow, has been extended until April 25, the Army said. Military Spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said that following several requests, the Army Commander on the instruction of President Maithripala Sirisena and the Defence Ministry Secretary, the army has extended the period by ten more days. more..

Sri Lanka’s first open air zoo sets to open in April 2015

Apr 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s first open air national zoological garden adjacent to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is ready to open on Friday, April 17. Sri Lanka has invested approximately 862 million rupees to build the zoo which 488 million rupees were funded from the Treasury and the rest from the Zoological Development Fund. However, it has taken about 17 years to complete the construction of the zoo more..

Shares rise to 3-week closing high after unexpected rate cut

Apr 15 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's main stock index rose over 1% to a more than three-week closing high on Wednesday after the central bank in a surprise move cut key monetary policy rates by 50 basis points. The main index gained 1.16%, or 79.97 points, to 6,981.03, its highest close since March 24. Sri Lanka's central bank early in the day surprised markets by cutting key policy rates to record lows in a move aimed at boosting economic growth, but some analysts warned that more..

President at New Year oil anointing ceremony

Apr 15 (GDI) The oil anointing ceremony to mark the Sinhala and Tamil New Year was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Polonnaruwa Kaduruwela Jayanthi Viharaya at the auspicious time of 9.06 am today. The state ceremony of anointing oil has been organized by the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine with the guidance of the Maha Sanga. The Ministry has distributed Nanu required for the oil anointing occasion freely throughout the country to 10,000 temples and more..

'Sri Lanka reserves expected to boost from Indian currency swap'

Apr 15 (PTI) Sri Lanka's official reserves are set to receive a boost by the currency swap arrangement with India, signed during PM Narendra Modi's visit, the country's Central Bank said today. "The official reserves are projected to strengthen further with the proceeds pending from the currency swap arrangement between Sri Lanka and India and other identified regular investment inflows to a level of official reserves more..

SriLankan Airlines ramps up flight frequency to Chennai

Apr 15 (PTI) SriLankan Airlines today said it has increased the frequency of flights between Chennai and Colombo with the resumption of a daily flight from tomorrow. "The addition of fourth daily flight from April 16 will bring the total frequency of flights between Sri Lanka and India to 86 flights per week," the airline said in a statement. Due to drop in traffic between Chennai and Colombo, the airline reduced frequency of flights to Chennai from 28 to 14 per week with effect from March 21, 2013. more..

Ranil’s real agenda revealed

Apr 15 (CT) It was none other—and no less—than PM Wickremesinghe, who in an interesting article in the world press, provides us with the key phrase in understanding what’s going on in this country, how we came to be at this point, who benefits and who were probably involved, what the agenda is and where we are headed. In a piece published in the Japan Times, he uses the phrase: “…resetting our strategic position in the world.” (‘Winning Sri Lanka’s Peace’, The Japan Times, April 8, 2015). more..

UNHRC lists out urgent tasks for SL govt

Apr 15 (ENS) UNHRC has listed out certain urgent tasks for the Sri Lanka government so that the charges of human rights abuses and war crimes are meaningfully addressed in a reasonable period of time. Pablo de Greiff, UNHRC Special Rapporteur for Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence said in his report on Tuesday, that SL should take immediate action to clarify the fate of the disappeared; more..

Motorist wins 4-year case over ‘alternative’ charge

Apr 15 (ST) A company director charged with reckless driving after being stopped by traffic police for speeding has been exonerated following a four-year battle in the courts over whether a person can be arrested for one offence but charged over another. Kanchana Dissanayake, 34, was cleared of all charges by Puttalam Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake. Magistrate Dissanayake cleared him over the charge of exceeding the speed limit in accordance with a 2008 Supreme Court order more..

The Kandy Esala Perahera 2015 will be held from Aug 15 - Aug 30

Apr 15 (GDI) The Esala Perahera in Kandy held in the month of Esala is one of the oldest and grandest of all Buddhist festivals, featuring dancers, jugglers, musicians, fire-breathers, and beautifully decorated elephants. Esala Perahera is held to honor the Sacred Tooth Relic and the four 'guardian' Gods Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama and Pattini. The Kandy Maligawa Perahera is followed in order by those of the Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama and Pattini 'devales' (temples dedicated to these Gods) more..

Nishantha Ranatunga questioned by FCID

Apr 15 (AD) Police Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) is currently questioning former SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga, regarding a financial transaction of a private media organisation. The transaction had reportedly taken place while Ranatunga had served as the television channel’s CEO. Ranatunga’s tenure as Secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) ended on March 30 when the Minister appointed an Interim Committee more..

An expatriates lament!

Apr 16 (CT) It is Avurudhu time again and here I am in a foreign country, not ungrateful for the lifestyle but missing so much… Missing the smell of frying kavun and kokis. The general hustle and bustle and excitement around the house. The ever prevalent call of the KOHA, in the background. We do get some of the Avurudhu sweet meats here but pani walalu, Konda kavum, Kalu dodol freshly made, or hot hot off the pan as we used to say, are luxuries beyond our reach. more..

A light of the nation extinguished

Apr 16 (CT) “Death is inevitable….” (Sutta Nipata. vss 574-93). “Death is certain for the one who is born…” (Bhagawad Gita 2:27). “Death is certain and appointed for every man” (Hebrews 9:27) of the Bible. “Every soul will taste death and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.” more..


Apr 16 (SO) The spate of killings in the recent weeks has caused a sense of apprehension in the public, exerting pressure on the authorities to ensure safety and prevent the country from spiralling into a vortex. However, the spate of recent killings across the country have sent shock wave. The discovery of decapitated bodies and severed limbs in the Diyawanna Oya and other areas, the murder of a Police SI in Panadura, more..

How to serve your country at talk shops

Apr 16 (SL) Dr. Dasa Bahubootha, authority on all matters political and allied subjects, was delivering the key- note address on Stable governments and good governance at a seminar sponsored by the Stop Maithri-Ranil Movement. History has shown that stable governments lead to good governance, declared Dr. Bahu. A heckler: Like your ideal Joe Stalin killed millions in 23 stable years of governance; Adolf Hitler– stable rule for 12years. How many millions killed?; more..

An Indian Ocean Region shared by India and China

Apr 16 (Island) Evidence that Cold War rivalries were extending to the Indian Ocean threatening the peace and security of its littoral states emerged when the USA secretly acquired the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) of Diego Garcia as a military base moving its indigenous inhabitants to Mauritius. During the third conference of the Heads of State / Government of Non-Aligned countries held in Lusaka from 8 to 10 September 1970, Sri Lanka’s newly elected PM Mrs Sirima Bandaranaike more..

'We have no intention of lessening attention on the vital issue of National security'

Apr 16 (DM) As a former PM, General Sir John Kotelawala was one of the most brave, honest, capable and benevolent leaders in the modern political history of our country. He had faced many challenges in his life and he faced them fearlessly. He had the great quality of benevolence, a quality that is alien to most present day politicians. It is my belief that this very place that I am addressing you is a good example that more..

Avurudhu: Season for everybody

Apr 16 (DM) Avurudhu is a season to be happy, Some would say Avurudhu is commercialised; yet with our life styles those commercialised goods too add a bit of colour to Avurudhu. It feels so good to get gifts and gift hunting too is important. With the sky rocketing cost of living it is a bit difficult to buy gifts for many. Hence many would go to Pettah with the expectation of buying goods at a cheaper price. Pettah, the main commercial hub in Sri Lanka has an array of goods catering to more..

US checkmates China with Modi and Sirisena

Apr 16 (CT) The govt has used the US to influence the UN to postpone the probe report's publication until Sept, a mere 150 days away. The report will be made public irrespective of whether the govt initiates its own domestic probe on par with global standards which meet UN specifications. Despite all the ballyhoo, MR knows that the west and Sirisena and company will in the final essay allow the UN to throw the book at MR come Sept. Besides the anti-west foreign policy issue that more..

Sithmal Yaya: Haroon Lanthra

Seeking UN approval compromises independence

Apr 16 (CT) Our lead story on our Avurudu eve edition of Monday, carried some seemingly good news for the incumbent minority UNP Govt which has to face the polls at the latest by next year. The article titled "No immediate war crimes probe," with a strap line called "Only report on modalities to UN in September," it, quoting Deputy Minister, Ajith P. Perera said, "There will be no immediate domestic probe on war crimes as the govt will only submit a report to the UNHRC in September more..

Sri Lanka 2 to 4-year bonds yields plunge after rate cut

Apr 16 (EN) Sri Lanka's 2 and 4 year bond yields fell 70 to 80 basis points in the secondary market after a 50 basis point cut in the policy rate, dealers said, while longer end tenors fell less sharply and stocks soared 1.2. At a Treasuries auction Wednesday, yeilds of 3,6 and 12 month bills fell exactly 30 basis points. A 2-year bond maturing on 15.05.2017 closed at 7.40/50 percent levels Wednesday down from 8.18/23 percent levels on April 10, the last trading day, dealers said. more..

Program launched to modernize Sri Lanka railway system

Apr 16 (GDI) Ministry of Internal Transport has launched a programme to modernize the country's intercity train service network. Under this programme the Kelani Valley railway track in the Colombo operating region that runs to Avissawella from Colombo will be developed while the railway track to Sapugaskanda will be reconstructed. The programme also plans to extend the double track on the coastal line up to more..

Foreign reserves down US$ 2.2B

Apr 16 (CT) Sri Lanka's foreign reserves in the 7½ month period from end August 2014 up to Saturday (11 April) has fallen by US$ 2.2 billion (24%) to US$ seven billion, latest Central Bank statistics showed. The fall in reserves is due to Sri Lanka running a deficit in the current account in its balance of payments with no sizeable inflows in the form of commercial or concessional borrowings or foreign aid coming by, to boost the same. A further US$ 1.1 billion from its foreign reserves more..

Meeting the Bribery Commissioner

Apr 16 (NS) This is a dream I really have to share with you. It must have been about an hour after I went to bed. All of a sudden there I was with a file in hand standing before the newly appointed bribery ma’am. ‘Amdan, what are you doing here?’ she asked, welcoming me warmly. She was curious about the contents of the file: ‘Most of the material people bring in files are cartoons, you know what in America they call “the funnies" I thought you had also brought that kind of stuff for me.’ more..

'Majority pledges fulfilled in 100 Day programme'

Apr 16 (DN) Most of the pledges in the 100 Day programme of President Maithripla Sirisena's Presidential Election Manifesto is being fulfilled while the most crucial one to reduce the powers of the Executive President is in progress, said Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne. He said that most of the people have forgotten the fact that the 100 Day programme is a pledge of common candidate Maithripala Sirisena's Manifesto to more..

Meeting of Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS)

Apr 16 (AT) Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha, in his capacity as the Chair – Designate of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) for 2015, opened the week long 'Meeting of Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS)', held within the framework of the CCW on Monday at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The Convention, which 120 States are party to, seeks to ban or restrict the use of specific types of weapons that are more..

Lankans set to usher in New Year festivities

Apr 16 (GT) Sri Lankan expatriates will welcome Bak Maha Ulela 2015, the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, with a grand celebration tomorrow. A large number of community members participate in the annual celebrations organised by Sri Lankan Coordinating Committee (SLCC) under the patronage of Sri Lankan embassy in Qatar. The SLCC, like in the past, has planned numerous activities to engage men, women and children in the annual event. The festivities will begin at 7am more..

Unlawful arrests in East continue: TNA MP

Apr 16 (CT) TNA Batticaloa District MP P. Selvarajah says unlawful arrests were still continuing in the Eastern Province and warned that if the situation continued the people would not hesitate to teach the new govt a lesson as the previous govt was also taught a lesson. "The people in the North and East continue to live in uncertainty because of the attitude of the new govt with regard to the issues that still remain unresolved," he added. more..

Tense situation at N'Eliya Race Course

Apr 16 (DN) There was a tense situation at the Nuwara Eliya Race Course yesterday when doctors attached to the Sri Lanka Anti Doping Agency who tried to conduct a doping test on horses participating in the Nuwara Eliya Races were obstructed by a group of lawyers representing the horse owners. The doctors attached to the agency thereafter lodged a complaint at the Nuwara Eliya Police saying they were obstructed from carrying out their normal duties. more..

SL cuisine featured at April 30 benefit

Apr 16 (MS) For the second time, a local water district engineer is holding a gourmet fundraiser to improve conditions for underserved people in Marin County and in her home country of Sri Lanka. Carmela Chandrasekera of Novato, an engineer for the North Marin Water District, is opening her heart and her book of recipes for A Taste of Sri Lanka, a special buffet event featuring Sri Lankan cuisine on April 30. The event will take place at the Key Room at Homeward Bound of Marin more..