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TNA wants more aid for IDPs

Apr 21 (CT) TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said the Ministry of Resettlement should make arrangements to provide basic needs to the people who were permitted to resettle recently in Valikamam-North. "Simply releasing the lands is not enough. The govt should consider providing the people being resettled with some basic facilities to the people to enable them to pick up the threads of life once again" he said. more..

Dialog Partners Vision 2020 Programme to eliminate avoidable blindness

Apr 21 (DN) Dialog Axiata PLC has partnered 'Vision 2020', a joint programme by the World Health Organization and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness to eliminate avoidable blindness among citizens. The Global Vision 2020 programme consists an international membership of government agencies, non-governmental organisations, professional associations, eye-care institutions and corporates around the world. In Sri Lanka, the programme is spearheaded by more..

NUF welcomes SLFP electoral reform proposal

Apr 21 (Island) National United Front (NUF) led by M.M. Zuhair, PC has welcomed the electoral reform proposals of the SLFP as a major step in the right direction to change the existing electoral system and introduce a combination of the first-past -the post (FPP) system and the proportional representation (PR) system as promised in the presidential election manifesto of the present govt. The NUF has said in a media statement: "The people of this country have, on Jan 8, clearly mandated more..

'If I can't appoint a Minister, I don’t need such a post'

Apr 21 (DM) Commenting on the charge of providing MP Tissa Attanayake a ministerial post as a bribe, former President Rajapaksa on Sunday said that there was no point of holding presidency if he cannot appoint a Minister. “National security has been challenged today. I received a New Year gift recently asking me to report to the Bribery Commission regarding a bribe. Accordingly, the bribe and my offence are providing a more..

Welikada Prison Riots: Call for transparent probe

Apr 21 (CT) The inquiry into the Welikada Magazine Prison riot and massacre in 2012 which claimed the lives of 27 prisoners is being swept under the rug by the govt, former political prisoner, Sudesh Nandimal said. Nandimal, the sole eyewitness willing to testify about the allegedly State sponsored killings inside the Welikada Prison in November 2011, said the families and relatives of the slain prisoners have planned a massive protest demonstration during the first week of May opposite PM, more..

Rs. 30 m pipe borne water project for Hambantota

Apr 21 (DN) The Housing and Samurdhi Ministry allocated Rs. 30 million for the provision of pipe borne water to the Hambantota District and to extend the existing pipe born water supply in the district, Hambantota District Secretary R.C. De Soysa said. He had instructed officials to make arrangements to provide pipe borne water to the Sithulpawwa Raja Maha Viharaya and its surrounding villages. Steps have been taken to develop and give a new lease of life to more..

Pera student union declares campus out of bounds for all politicians

Apr 21 (Island) Undergraduates of Peradeniya University warned that they would not allow the university administration to bring politicians including President Maithripala Sirisena for opening of new faculties and buildings within the university premises. President of the Students’ Council charged that govt members were trying to gain political mileage by attending ceremonies to open the new Management Faculty, more..

Landslide in Haldamulla

Apr 21 (Island) Another landslide occurred in an area encompassing five acres in Thambadiyathenna estate at Nikapotha, Haldummulla in the Badulla District yesterday morning, according to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC). The DMC however said that no damages to property or loss of life had been reported. The latest landslide had occurred in an area where there were no houses and it was not near the previous landslide area in Haldamulla last year. more..

Perumal meets Wiggy

Apr 21 (CT) The first Chief Minister of the merged North and East Province, Varatharaja Perumal and the demerged Northern Province's first Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswarn met in Jaffna on Friday. Varatharaja Perumal who had arrived from India has expressed his intention of entering politics by stating that he would act independently without aligning any political party during his meeting with Chief Minister Wigneswaran. The meeting between Wigneswaran and Perumal lasted for nearly one hour more..

'MR can seek restraining order from court'

Apr 21 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said lawyers of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa could obtain a restraining order against the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) if the latter does not want to be questioned. Wickremesinghe was responding to calls from Opposition MPs to stop harassing former President Rajapaksa by summoning him before the CIABOC. more..

Nimal named as Sub-Contractor

Apr 21 (CT) UPFA members who were protesting in the Well of Parliament yesterday called Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva a sub-contractor of the govt. Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva was not seen among all the SLFP and UPFA leaders including former Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, Opposition Whip W.D.J. Seneviratne, Susil Premajayantha and Dinesh Gunawardene who were associated with the protesting MPs after the House was adjourned. more..

UPFA constituents decide against voting for 19A

Apr 21 (Island) Constituents of the UPFA decided not to vote for the 19th Amendment to the Constitution Bill of the govt. DNA MP Vijitha Herath, who attended the party leaders’ meeting held at the Parliament complex told journalists that the SLFP-led UPFA had informed of its decision at the meeting. The final decision whether the debate on the 19th amendment Bill previously scheduled for today and tomorrow would be taken at a party leaders’ meeting to be held this morning, more..

Parliament: Opposition MPs stage fast in defence of Mahinda

Apr 21 (Island) Opposition MPs and some ministers of the UPFA commenced a continuous fast in the Well of Parliament yesterday demanding that the govt immediately put an end to what they called a political witch hunt against Opposition politicians including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and ex-defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The hunger strike commenced in protest against summoning more..

Will all or nothing wreck reforms?

Apr 21 (DM) Muttiah Muralitharan knew when to retire. Sanath Jayasuriya did not. That’s the way it is in cricket, in sports and in many other fields, politics included. Some quit when on top, some hang on and are eventually asked or made to leave. Politics is not only about entry and exit. It is also about brinkmanship, manipulation and knowing when to stop betting and cash the chips. In that sense it is not like cricket or any other sport. Some know what’s possible & know when that ‘what’ is possible. more..

Playing with the lives of hapless masses

Apr 21 (DM) People in this country voted out the previous regime a few months back hoping for radical political reforms that would make the State more democratic, govt more transparent and responsive and political leaders more accountable. No matter how desirable such reforms might be, there is no political consensus on the issue in the country today. The opposition politicians seem to do everything to deflect public attention from the real issue. This is understandable because more..

‘That was the time I thought I should flee’

Apr 21 (DM) Dhanuna Thilakarathne the former son-in-law of Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka who was on the run for over five years, and re-surfaced last December in an interview with the Dailymirror speaks about his time in hiding, his separation from his wife, and denies that there was a deal that led to his re-emergence. Q: You are known as the son-in-law of the former Army Commander and an individual who has been dodging the law. more..

Shocking move by CMC

Apr 21 (SL) Colombo Municipal Council’s (CMC) shocking decision to outsource the laboratory service to conduct specialised analysis on water and food tests and on food handlers that was earlier carried out by the CMC laboratory to a private laboratory owned by a family member of a senior UPFA politician has deprived an income to the council, it is learnt. Although the CMC microbiological laboratory is 103 years old, more..

Indian fishermen demand access to Sri Lankan waters

Apr 21 (Hindu) Over 100 fishermen from Tamil Nadu will meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj next Monday to give a petition demanding uninterrupted fishing rights in the Sri Lankan waters. According to Rameswaram-based fisher leader S. Emarit, who represents owners of mechanised boats, leaders of fishermen’s associations across the State, fishermen representing areas including Rameswaram, Nagapattinam, Karaikal, more..

Patriotic War exhibition on board Russian anti-submarine ship

Apr 21 (Island) An exhibition organized to mark the 70th anniversary of the Victory of the Russian people over fascism in the Great Patriotic War of 1941 -1945 was held aboard the anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleev, which docked at the Colombo Port recently. The Chief Guest on the occasion was Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera. He was received by the Russian Ambassador to SL more..

JVP dismisses bond scam probe as a farce

Apr 21 (Island) Former JVP MP and trade union leader Wasantha Samarasinghe said that his party was not satisfied with the recommendations of the committee appointed to probe the treasury bond scandal. None of the committee members had any experience in financial affairs, Samarasinghe said. "They have exonerated the culprit and pinned the blame on the Bank of Ceylon which has not done anything wrong." more..

MPs secretly collect signatures for impeachment against Maithri

Apr 21 (AM) The UPFA MPs who started a protest in the Parliament on Monday were collecting signatures for an impeachment motion against President Maithripala Sirisena, highly placed political sources said. Once an impeachment motion is accepted by the Speaker, the president will not be able to dissolve the parliament. An MP who was involved in the move said that the Speaker cannot refrain from accepting the motion once 75 more..

Cry over powdered milk as prices plunge in world market

Apr 21 (ST) Price of whole milk powder in the global market plunged by 43% last year, but on SL shelves the essential commodity was sold for a fixed price throughout the decline. Prices on Fonterra’s Global Dairy Trade auction started dropping in February 2014 and slid steadily for ten months. In December, they reached 5-year lows—or a reduction of roughly 43%, compared with the heights they had risen to in early Feb. more..

'BC will visit and record a statement from Rajapaksa'

Apr 21 (AD) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe on Tuesday told the Parliament that the Bribery Commission will not summon the former President to the commission instead the officials will visit him and record a statement. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa for the second time adjourned the session for 30 minutes, as a tense situation arose between the UPFA MPs and the govt. Speaker had to adjourn session for more..

MR not a god: Champika

Apr 21 (DM) Former president Rajapaksa was not a god and there was no need to protest against the Bribery Commission decision to summon him, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. He said even he had given a statement to the Commission with regard to a complaint he had made on a deal of coal. “No need to be afraid or to hesitate to give a statement to the Commission if the person had done nothing wrong. more..

Video: Basil returns

Apr 21 (DM) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa who left for the US soon after the presidential elections arrived in the country a short while ago. A large crowd including 30 members of local govt bodies and PC minister Nimal Lansa were at the BIA to welcome him. Mr. Rajapaksa told those who had gathered there that he came to the country to help the police and the judiciary to carry out investigations against him. more..

Reflections on the Polls

Apr 21 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena won the 8 January Presidential Poll over his arch rival Mahinda Rajapaksa by a majority of 449,072 votes, having obtained 52% of the 12.1 million votes cast. Whilst Sirisena got 6.2 million of the popular vote, Rajapaksa got 5.8 million of the vote, when such figures are rounded up to the first decimal point. In respect of those electoral districts where the minorities form an overwhelming majority, Sirisena got between a minimum of 65% to more..

19th amendment sabotaged; best option is to dissolve parliament

Apr 21 (CT) While it was scheduled to debate the 19th Amendment to the Constitution today and tomorrow, the objective of the ugly scenes created by the Rajapaksa scums led by Wimal Weerawansa, Dinesh Gunawardena, Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Kumara Welgama yesterday was to sabotage that effort by sleeping on the floor of the Parliament, otherwise considered the august body of people’s sovereignty, until this morning and continuing their commotions and disruptions even when more..

Police bigwig holds long telephone discussions with MR

Apr 21 (AM) A senior-most official of the Police Department has held prolonged over-the-phone discussions with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa at regular intervals, inside sources of the govt said. This fact has been revealed through telephone records of the official which were obtained by some top echelons of the govt. This has come as a surprise to the govt as this particular officer was dubbed by certain sections of the media as more..

Sri Lanka stocks close higher at 0.3%

Apr 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed higher, 0.26% with active retail investors trading and banking sector stocks showing gains, brokers said. The Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index closed 18.22 points higher at 7,098.60, up 0.26%. The S&P SL20 closed 05.83 points higher at 4,039.65, up 0.15%. “The market was driven by retail investor activity and last week’s surprise the interest rate cut by the Central bank is still having a positive impact on the market,” more..

81 banks and financial institutions ordered to help CID probe

Apr 21 (Island) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gehan Pilapitiya had ordered 81 banks and financial institutions in the country to help officers of the CID probe accounts of former President’s Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath if he had accounts with them, ASP Ruwan Gunasekara told The Island yesterday. ASP Ruwan said that the CID was investigating his bank accounts under the provisions of the Money Laundering Act. Senarath was the former Chairman of the Peoples’ Bank and People’s Leasing. more..

'Sirisena and Rajapaksa must join hands to save Sri Lanka'

Apr 21 (ENS) Sri Lanka’s once powerful Defense Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, wants President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to join hands to give the island nation a functioning govt and lift it from the abyss of political confusion and economic stagnation. “Maithripala Sirisena has been elected President for six years. Therefore, he will have to continue. But he can quickly call for more..

Veteran journalist D.F. Kariyakarawana passes away

Apr 21 (AM) Veteran journalist and former editor of Silumina newspaper D.F. Kariyakarawana passed away earlier this morning, at the age of 93. Daniel Francis Kariyakarawana was born on Feb 8, 1922, in Kurana, Negombo. He was a past pupil of Bolawalana Boys’ School and later at Maris Stella College, Negombo. He became a prolific writer at a younger age. No Sinhala newspaper or magazine escaped this young man who contributed short stories under the name more..

Don't drag my wife in: Ranil

Apr 21 (CT) Director General of the Bribery Commission is a close friend of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's wife and she was appointed to take revenge on rival politicians, NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa alleged in Parliament. He added that the Director General has told Bribery Commission officials that Wickremesinghe has agreed to make her a judge in the Supreme Court. Responding to the allegations, Wickremesinghe said that he does not appoint judges to the Supreme Court. more..

Sri Lanka eyes strong economic dealings with China

Apr 21 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is increasingly focused on a strong investment and trade relationship with China, executive director of Sri Lanka's Board of Investment (BOI) said. "Sri Lanka is in the final stage of negotiating a free trade agreement with China, which could give us access to Chinese goods in the Sri Lankan market duty-free, and vice versa, SL goods in a very large Chinese market," Duminda Ariyasinghe said. more..

Finance minister challenges opposition to bring no confidence motion

Apr 21 (LBO) Finance minister Ravi Karunanayake urged the opposition to bring the no confidence motion against him immediately. "Bring that no confidence motion as soon as possible. But before that they should understand the real responsibility of the opposition," Karunanayake said. He also made a comment with regard to the opposition members who protested in parliament, yesterday. "We are strongly opposing the way they behaved after parliament was adjourned yesterday." more..

Police to give Basil reasonable time to report to FCID

Apr 21 (DM) Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said the police would give former Minister Basil Rajapaksa a reasonable time to report to the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) based on acourt order against him. He said it was issued by the Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court. He said they would decide on the next step if Mr. Rajapaksa did not turn up at the FCID. “We will have to inform the Court if he does not turn up at the FCID but we have not decided on a second step yet,” more..

Pakistan set for full tour of Sri Lanka in June

Apr 21 (CI) Pakistan will likely play three Tests, five ODIs and two T20 internationals in Sri Lanka during the tour planned for June and July, a Sri Lanka Cricket official has said. The tour itinerary, which is close to being confirmed, shows Pakistan will begin their tour with a three-day practice match in Colombo. The teams will then move to Galle, where the first Test is scheduled to begin on June 17. The two other Tests are set to be played more..

UNP to oppose more 19A delays

Apr 21 (CG) Ruling UNP says it will oppose another attempt to delay the 19th Amendment to the constitution from being submitted for a vote in Parliament. Deputy Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said that the Govt will push for the debate on the 19th Amendment to take place on Monday April 27 as scheduled and for the vote to be conducted on the proposal the next day. He said that if there is another attempt by the SLFP to postpone it then President Maithripala Sirisena, as chairman more..

Record number of visitors to country’s first open air zoo

Apr 21 (Island) Nearly 100,000 people have visited the country’s first Open Air Zoological Gardens at Pinnawala within the first three days of its opening. Zoological Gardens, Director General Anura de Silva said there had been 29,500 visitors on April 18 and about 26,000 people had visited the place on the following day. However, he said that they didn’t have any records of the number of visitors on the opening day April 17. He said between April 17 and April 30 entrance would be free to the new zoo and more..

Protest held in Sri Lanka in support of former president

Apr 21 (Xinhua) Thousands of supporters of Mahinda Rajapakse staged a protest outside the parliament on Tuesday, demanding the bribery allegations against the former president be dropped. The demonstration, organized by a group of opposition MPs from the UPFA, was held within the High Security Zone outside the parliament building. Meanwhile, a tense situation also arose inside the parliament with the speaker having more..