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Presidential Pardon for Sigiriya scribbler

Apr 2 (DN) Sinnathambi Utheny, the girl who scribbled on the Sigiriya Mirror Wall with a sharp object is to be granted Presidential Pardon on humanitarian grounds today. According to Justice and Labour Reforms Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe the relevant papers were signed by President yesterday. Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P. Perera made a request to the President to grant her presidential pardon. more..

Good governance water cannon and tear gas used: NFF

Apr 2 (Island) NFF spokesperson Mohammed Muzammil said that Tuesday’s brutal police attack on undergraduates near Temple Trees had revealed the real face of the Maithripala-Ranil administration. Alleging that the police wouldn’t have used force without a govt directive, former MP Muzammil said that those who had been strongly critical of the previous govt for using force to crush protests should reveal their position now. more..

SriLankan, a corrupted airline without any air crafts as assets: PM

Apr 2 (LBO) State owned SriLankan airlines is a huge burden on the country even though it does not own any aircraft's at present, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Accepting the first copy of a report on SriLankan Airlines, Wickremesinghe said that the procurement procedure and power abuse was comprehensively investigated in the report. “This airline is a huge burden to our country. I don’t think there is an airline in the world with more..

PTA, tool against State terror

Apr 2 (CT) Lead story of this newspaper on its yesterday's edition under the heading 'Raviraj's murder probe reopens,' said that three sailors were taken in to custody by the CID in connection with the assassination of TNA MP Nadarajah Raviraj and his bodyguard nine years ago in 2006. The article further said that they will also be questioned over incidents of disappearances of several youth in 2006. They are being detained under (the much maligned) Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). more..

Father, mother & son killed in retaliation for filing a FR against police

Apr 2 (CT) Geekiyanage Premalal De Silva filed a Petition in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka in 1989 alleging that some officers of the Panadura Police arrested him in May 1989, without a warrant, on a false charge of robbery and that he was tortured and subjected to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment while in custody. In September 1990, the Court delivered a judgment confirming the arrest of De Silva as alleged by him. Judgment held that no cogent evidence had been produced more..

All for the sake of ivory

Apr 2 (CT) Tuskers and at times herds of elephants are killed in the most brutal manner imaginable, all over the world because the ivory market still continues to thrive. But some Buddhist monks while ignoring the cruel and brutal methods used to kill these elephants have shown interest in getting the large haul of illegal elephant tusks detected by the Customs Department to their temples. The Sri Lanka Customs detected and forfeited more..

Sri Lankan shares close at more than 1-wk high on bargain hunting

Apr 2 (Reuters) Shares rose for a third straight session on Thursday, marking their highest close in more than a week on bargain-hunting in beaten-down stocks, after the index posted its biggest monthly drop since October 2012 in March. The index ended up 0.46%, or 32.06 points, at 6,948.14 on Thursday, its highest close since March 25. It has gained 2.44% in the past three sessions through Thursday. "Yesterday's momentum continued in moderate turnover levels. more..

Health Minister promises pharmaceutical industrial complex

Apr 2 (Island) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne during a recent inspection tour of the State Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC) said that a Drug Industrial Complex which could manufacture all the drugs the country needed would be established within three years. In the open commercial market, it was difficult to introduce a price control mechanism, but action had been taken to strengthen Drug Regulatory Authority to control the drug mafia, the Health Minister said. more..

Sri Lanka govt unlikely to allow Dalai Lama visit-official

Apr 2 (Reuters) Sri Lankan Buddhist monks have invited exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to make his first visit to the island, after a strongly pro-China govt was voted out in January, but an official said Colombo was unlikely to allow it. Sri Lanka's new President Maithripala Sirisena has loosened ties with Beijing and moved closer to India, which has hosted the Dalai Lama since he fled Tibet in 1959. more..

Consultants clash over circular

Apr 2 (Island) A conflict between two groups of medical consultants––those serving at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) and others posted to Peripheral Clinics––has arisen as some of them want to remain in the state service until the age of 65 without the specialist allowance of Rs. 20,000, a Consultant in a Peripheral Clinic Dr H. Nanayakkara alleged. Consultant Paediatrician Dr Rasika Gunapala of NHSL however said that as far as he was concerned the consultants more..

Sri Lanka to call bids for Kandy expressway this month

Apr 2 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning to call expressions of interest to build an expressway to Kandy in central hills this month, Highways Minister Kabir Hashim said. The 'Central Expressway' leading to Kandy would be the first phase of an expressway leading to the Jaffna peninsula. Request for proposals (RFP) for the Colombo Kandy expressway could be called as early as next week, Hashim said. The new administration will largely use the existing trace. more..

Video: No reason to enter this parliament yet: MR

Apr 2 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that ‘there is no reason yet’ for him to enter the present parliament, although many members have offered their seats in order to make way for his entry. Mr. Rajapaksa made these remarks after a meeting with lawyers at the Narahenpita Abhayaramaya on last night. He also said the current government was on a media blitz, by questioning his staff members among whom were senior citizens. more..

Ranil-Chandrika or Maithri- Mahinda-Sajith?

Apr 2 (CT) On his three day trip to the North PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, promised a political solution to the ethnic question, without which he said, there would be no stability. Meanwhile, according to an interview given to Ceylon Today, "TNA Leader Rajavarothiam Sampanthan expressed confidence in the ability of the Special Presidential Commission headed by Former President Chandrika Kumaratunge (CBK) to find a suitable solution by the end of this year, more..

Navy report reveals shocking details of Yoshitha Rajapaksa’s rise – Ukraine paid the bills

Apr 2 (CT) After violating all laid down norms for recruitment to the Sri Lanka Navy, the son of former President Yoshitha Rajapaksa received a 13th month course sponsored and paid for by Ukrinmarsh, the Ukranian Government’s “State Self-Supporting Foreign Trade and Investment Firm.” This was followed by other courses including one to become a Doctor of philosophy. It was all arranged by Udayanga Weeratunga, former SL Ambassador to Russia and first cousin of Rajapaksa. more..

Probe over Russian Embassy employee’s death

Apr 2 (DM) Attanagalla Chief Magistrate M.Y.M. Irshadeen ordered the Nittambuwa Police yesterday to report back to court after holding a full inquiry before the Attanagalla Acting Magistrate into the mysterious death of R.K.A.D. Noel Ranaweera (36), an employee of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Russia, which had occurred nine months ago in Russia. Noel Ranaweera, who was a bachelor, had died mysteriously on June 11, 2014, when he at a hotel in a town in Russia. more..

Embilipitiya UC chairman removed

Apr 2 (AD) Chairman of the Embilipitiya Urban Council, Venerable Wevelduwe Gnanapraba Thero, has been temporarily removed from the post by Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister Maheepala Herath. The Vice Chairman of the UC W.G. Lalith Dharmakeerthi has been appointed to execute the powers of the Chairman. The UC Chairman has been removed by Maheepala Herath by the powers vested in him as the Chief Minister of the Province. The relevant special gazette notification was published today. more..

Photo thieves photo-shopping FB pics

Apr 2 (CT) Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT) has received over 200 complaints on cybercrimes, Senior Information Security Engineer Roshan Chandragupta said. The overwhelming majority of these cases involve fake Facebook pages and uploading photo-shopped photos. Chandragupta said that a number of people do not impose a limit on the access to photos they upload on Facebook and that has allowed many to use them for nefarious purposes. more..

SLFP leadership says party facing risk of split

Apr 2 (Island) The SLFP was faced with the risk of a split which could threaten the stability of the UPFA coalition, SLFP General Secretary Anura Priydarshana Yapa warned. Yapa said that the reason for facing the risk was due to the discussing of party issues in public. All members had a responsibility to protect the party and they were all bound to discuss their problems at party meeting, Yapa said, adding that currently there was a huge more..

Sri Lanka 100-day program can create long-term economic damage: policy paper

Apr 2 (EN) Though there are hopes that economic policies that will bring true benefit to the people will come later, the damage created during a short-term 100-day program will have long-term negative consequences, a policy paper has warned. 100-day program of the current administration has a strong focus on governance issues agigated for many years by civil society organizations, such as reducing the arbitrary powers of the president and other elected rulers to improve rule of law. more..

Sri Lanka balances its ties with two Asian giants

Apr 2 (DS) President Maithripala Sirisena on 25th March began a four-day visit to China to rebalance Colombo's close ties with Beijing amid reports he might seek to renegotiate the 'expensive' Chinese loans and discuss the future of the suspended $1.5 billion Colombo Port project. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera who visited China last month to pave the way for Sirisena's visit had said his govt would bring Colombo's foreign policy back to centre, more..

Prabhakran is my Leader, but Modi is my political model: Sritharan

Apr 2 (ENS) Successive SL govts have dubbed Sivagnanam Sritharan, the outspoken TNA MP from Jaffna district, an LTTE agent. The fact that he is the brother-in-law of the dreaded LTTE military commander Colonel Theepan, only reinforced this view. Sritharan was also a bitter critic of India for its alleged indifference when thousands of Tamil civilians were killed in the last phase of Eelam War IV. But Sritharan has undergone a major political makeover more..

China rejects Rajitha’s claim

Apr 2 (DM) The Chinese embassy in Colombo today denied claims by Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne that the estimated cost of the Colombo Outer Circular Road was reduced by Rs.30 billion. An embassy spokesperson said that the news report on the Colombo Outer Circular Road cost reduction was not in line with the facts. "We have contacted the relevant Chinese contractor. It was proved that no agreement was reached between the Chinese contractor and more..

China to help evacuate Sri Lankans in Yemen

Apr 2 (AD) China has agreed to assist in evacuating Sri Lankan nationals stranded in Yemen following a request made by the Government of Sri Lanka, Acting Chinese Ambassador Ren Faqiang said. It has been reported that there are around 75-100 Sri Lankan expatriates, including students in Yemen. Govt yesterday announced that arrangements are underway to evacuate all Sri Lankans in Yemen, considering the prevailing volatile situation in the Arab nation. more..

Sri Lanka to remedy root causes

Apr 2 (CG) Govt today assured the European Union (EU) that it will remedy the root causes of injustice, discrimination and prejudice that have spawned hate and violence for many decades in Sri Lanka. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that the Govt is deeply committed to make its vision of a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual Sri Lanka based on the principles of equality, justice and meritocracy a reality for all Sri Lankans. more..

China aiming for coastal industrial zone project in North Lanka

Apr 2 (ENS) China has expressed an interest in setting up industrial or economic zones in the northern and southern coasts of Sri Lanka and has asked the Lankan Government to seek Chinese loans for these. This suggestion was made by the Chinese Ambassador, Yi Xiangliang, at a meeting with Lanka’s Export Development Board (EDB) here recently. By seeking to build coastal industrial zones in the Tamil-majority Northern Province, China may be stepping on India’s toes. more..

Bribery Comm. DG denies receiving two salaries

Apr 2 (DM) Categorically denying the allegations that she received two salaries Bribery Commission Director General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe yesterday requested the Commission’s Chairman to conduct a full-scale probe into her actions. Speaking to Daily Mirror at 9.30pm today from her office at the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, the DG said that she was innocent and was ready to prove her innocence at any forum. more..

US says Sri Lanka failed after war

Apr 2 (CG) United States (US) says the opportunities that existed in 2009 to bring the country together were not seized and after 30 years of war, Sri Lanka struggled for five more years to achieve reconciliation. Tom Malinowski, US Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor said that Sri Lanka has a chance now to achieve reconciliation, justice and true peace. Malinowski said that for 30 years, Sri Lanka experienced some of more..

President attends National Engineering Conference 2015

Apr 2 (GDI) The Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) held the second National Engineering Conference under the theme of “Engineering: The Change Agent” today under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Hotel Galadari. This IESL National Engineering Conference has now become an annual event in the IESL events calendar. A large gathering of prominent engineers, many distinguished personalities representing varying professional disciplines more..

'Parliament to vote on 19th amendment on April 10'

Apr 2 (AD) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake stated that the Parliament will vote on the 19th Amendment on April 10. Speaking at a press briefing, Dissanayake said that the National Executive Council took the decision when it met earlier in the day. The Bill will be further changed after considering the recommendations of the Supreme Court, he added. Dissanayake said that the 19th Amendment was presented to the parliament after a long battle. more..

IUSF says no Policemen injured during clash

Apr 2 (DM) The IUSF today rejected the news that several Police personnel were injured in a clash between the university students and the Police during the recent protest march at Kollupitiya. It also rejected the media release issued by the PM’s office saying that it allowed IUSF representatives to take part in a discussion. IUSF convener Najith Indika said that it was a fabricated story to divert peoples’ attention from the issue. more..

Latest dual citizenship plan also lacks clarity

Apr 3 (ST) So now we have still another dual citizenship scheme. After having suspended for two years or more the existing scheme, the then government announced the resumption of dual citizenship, albeit with new criteria for eligibility. It came at the butt end of last year as though Santa Claus was turning up with a basketful of goodies for Sri Lankan’s global diaspora. This revamped scheme was announced a few days before the presidential election. more..

Dayan Jayatilleka wins battles but loses wars

Apr 3 (CT) We all know who is Dayan. He is not a capable or competent diplomat. Despite his carefully constructed narratives, ceaseless self-aggrandizing and selective deployment of facts, the truth is that Dayan is not a colossus striding across the world omnisciently analyzing and shaping the ebb and flow of national and world events. The truth is more prosaic. He is not the far seeing, all knowing strategist he projects himself to be. He’s a crafty, embellishing propagandist more..

Sea Tiger suspect Bhageerathy Murugesu: Confession or confusion?

Apr 3 (SO) LTTE Sea Tiger suspect Bhageerathy Murugesu alias Mila, 42, was apprehended by Terrorism Investigation Department officers at the BIA on March 2, while she was about to catch a flight to return to France. Her daughter, Phagalvi was with her at the time and during the ten days of interrogation by the TID officers, Phagalvi was allowed to be with her mother. The French Embassy provided consular more..

Sexual violence against Tamils by Sri Lankan security forces

Apr 3 (CT) This is a difficult document to read. Shakespeare’s Macbeth speaking figuratively said that he had eaten too much of horrors. So it is with reading one testimony, eating one horror, after another. An emotional revulsion sets in; a wish to set a mental distance, if not escape. What the Report records is morally sick, and the sickening is to be avoided with repugnance, if not with aesthetic distaste. For example, when one reads that a sharp needle was inserted in the penis of men. more..

The gender paradox in Sri Lanka

Apr 3 (GV) Women make up 50% of the population but only 5% of the parliament – how can this be solved? ”If the women of a country are slaves, the men can never be free”. These were the words written by the Editorial, in the Sri Lankan magazine Voice of Women, as long back as January, 1980. Sri Lanka has a long history of female activist groups fighting for the rights of women since the 1970’s. Much has changed since then: a devastating war, a liberalised economy, more..

'Only Sinhala hardliners stifle Sampanthan'

Apr 3 (CT) In a twist of fate, the present govt is being held hostage by a strong opposition and State Minister of Health and General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), M.T. Hasan Ali questions "who is the govt and who is the opposition today?" With a faction of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) joining the Cabinet last week, one party seems to be having a grip on both the government and the opposition. more..

Tackling CKDu Is banning agrochemicals enough?

Apr 3 (NS) A gazette notification to ban five chemicals including glyphosate was imposed last Wednesday. This came with the appointment of committee headed by JHU MP Ven. Athuraliy, Rathana Thera to explore ways of preventing Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Aetiology (CKDu) in Sri Lanka. The other four chemicals which were banned are Propanil, Carbaryl, Cholopyrifos and Carbofuran. Their effects have been identified as being a contributory factor for CKDu. more..

100 Days Constructive change or election gimmick?

Apr 3 (NS) 100-Day program promised during the election campaign of the then common candidate has failed to deliver some of the vital elements of its composition. Overdue tasks of the 100-day program are establishing of Independent Commissions, National Audit Bill and the RTI Bill, Code of Conduct to be introduced and passed in the Parliament according to the stipulated time frame and the formulation of new election laws. However, it should also be noted that though some promises more..

Tharini's story

Apr 3 (CT) Her story is one of amazing courage. She entered Velupillai Prabhakaran's medical college and started training to be a doctor on the battlefield, attending to the wounded at the tender age of 17. Now, after nearly six years since the war between the LTTE and govt forces had ended, she reminisces about what led to her joining the LTTE, her experiences at the warfront and the pain of personal loss. more..

Editorial: Tiger no longer burning bright

Apr 3 (Island) Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them, as we learn from Malvolio (in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night). No truer word has ever been spoken about how people become great. However, it is also true that some people have greatness snatched from them. Among them are professionals who excel in their chosen fields, especially sports. Time was when it was thought that Tiger Woods was invincible and he would remain more..