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Video: MR visits Basil at CNH

Apr 24 (DM) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa today visited his brother Basil who was admitted to the Colombo National Hospital (CNH). The former economic development minister, the ministry’s former secretary Nihal Jayatilake and former Divineguma Department Director General R.R.K. Ranawaka were on Wednesday ordered by the Kaduwela Magistrate to be remanded till May 5. Except for the former minister who was more..

Robbing State assets

Apr 24 (CT) Yesterday this newspaper reported that the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) of the police has begun probing into the activities of Lanka Sathosa, a govt owned company retailing fast moving consumer goods in the country. FCID was set-up by the new regime to investigate into cases of misuse and abuse of State property, with such investigations taking a pecuniary flavour in particular. This probe was as per an order given by Colombo Chief Magistrate, Gihan Pilapitiya. more..

Applications to sit Korean language exam issued from April 27

Apr 24 (Island) Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) announced yesterday that the applications for the 14th Korean Language Proficiency Exam (KLPE) would be issued from April 27 to 30. The examination was scheduled to be held on June 13 and 14 in Colombo and the Korean job seekers could receive their exam application at 16 countrywide SLBFE district offices. It is envisaged to provide about 5000 Korean jobs for Sri Lankans in their manufacturing sector and more..

President Sirisena's Special Statement

Shares rise to over 6-week high on banks

Apr 24 (Reuters) Shares rose to over six-week high on Friday, despite foreign outflow from risky assets, as investors picked up shares of finance companies on expectations of better earnings, with positive sentiment continuing due to lower interest rates. The main stock index ended 0.22% or 15.39 points firmer at 7,129.78, its highest close since March 10. It has, gained 3.31% since the central bank cut key rates on April 15, while yields on t-bills have fallen 26-36 basis points since then. more..

Gota’s journey had its humour

Apr 24 (CT) Oh! What an era we live in! Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, most powerful sibling of the most powerful President Sri Lanka ever had, on a journey to the Bribery Commissioner’s Office! On the first of January this year did you, reader, ever imagine this journey? Even on the 8th of January Maitripala Sirisena had no clue that Gota will have to make his way to the Bribery Commissioner’s Office under his watch as President. Maitri was hiding that fateful day in a secret place fearing that more..

SL reiterates warning on Indian fishermen

Apr 24 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan govt on Friday reiterated its warning that Indian fishermen who violate Sri Lanka's maritime border and illegally fish within its waters will be arrested. Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Mahinda Amaraweera told journalists that the Sri Lankan Navy had been ordered to arrest the Indian fishermen and have their boats confiscated if they stray into local waters. more..

SL sets up international arbitration centre

Apr 24 (EN) Sri Lanka has set up an international arbitration centre with the aim of making use of professional skills available in the island to promote legal services, a govt spokesman said. The activities of the centre are expected to start from May, Minister Rajitha Senaratne told a news conference. Cabinet of Ministers Wednesday approved a proposal made by Minister of Justice Wijedasa Rajapaksha to start a govt company to carry out the activities of the centre. more..

Biggest ever funding for health Service

Apr 24 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena has allocated Rs. 285 billion for the free health service in 2015 and this is the biggest ever allocation made for the free health service in Sri Lanka which is 3% of the National income, Director General, Health Services, Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. In previous years only 1.2 or 1.5% of the national income was allocated for the free health service. Now there are adequate funds available locally in order to strengthen the free health service more..

Video: 'Hold general election after 19A'

Apr 24 (DM) NMSJ Leader Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera said today parliament should be dissolved and the general election held after enacting the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. He said what they wanted was not to bring any political party to power but to abolish the executive presidency through the required amendments to the Constitution. “We are not interested in which party comes to power more..

73 cell phones, other contraband detected in prisons since January 08

Apr 24 (Island) Prison Department announced that they had taken into custody 73 mobile phones, 54 SIM cards, seven sachets of heroin, and one gramme of ganja from convicted prisoners serving jail terms for different crimes they had committed. Those had been detected by the officers during surprise raids they had been conducting since January 08 to date in the main prisons around the country. The raids had been conducted on the directive of Justice Minister Wijedasa more..

Transparency International salutes Bribery Commission

Apr 24 (CT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), the local chapter of the global movement against corruption, salutes the proactive nature in which the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) is currently operating, after years of suppression and political interference. Based on an increasing number of complaints, the CIABOC has initiated several investigations and probes against allegations of large scale corruption running into billions of more..

UPFA politicians summoned on contempt charges

Apr 24 (AD) The Colombo Magistrate’s Court today issued notice on 27 persons including 10 UPFA MPs to appear before the court on May 8 on contempt of court charges, after they violated a court order and staged a protest opposite the bribery commission. Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilipitiya issued notice on the individuals after considering a report presented to the court by the Cinnamon Gardens Police. more..

NEC discusses President’s, Ven Rathana Thera’s electoral reform proposals

Apr 24 (Island) National Executive Committee which met yesterday in Colombo had discussed proposals on electoral reforms submitted by both President Maithripala Sirisena and Pivithuru Hetak Convenor Rathana Thera. Minister Rajitha Senaratne addressing a news conference said that in terms of the Presidents proposal the number of seats in the national legislature would increase from the current 225 to 255. Jaffna and Kandy Districts comprised 11 and 13 electorates, but were represented by more..

Bangladesh PM to open entirely Lankan built power plant in Dhaka

Apr 24 (Island) Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina will soon inaugurate the Sri Lankan engineers built USD 50 million Power plant of Raj Lanka Power Company, in Dhaka. The complete Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) solution was done solely by Sri Lankan Engineers and it is a trademark of Sri Lankan expertise being established overseas. Raj Lanka Power Company Ltd (RLPCL) (a subsidiary of LTL Holdings Group (LTL) or Lanka Transformers) incorporated in Bangladesh more..

'Takes time to fill up void created by Mahela, Sanga'

Apr 24 (PTI) With the yoeman service Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara have given to Sri Lankan cricket for over a decade and a half, it would be difficult to find their replacements overnight, feels Angelo Mathews. "The retirement of Mahela Jayawardene and impending one of Kumar Sangakkara will certainly create a vacuum. It take a bit of time for sure to fill up the void created by them," more..

PM refuses to combine 19A, 20A

Apr 24 (CG) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says the 19th Amendment to the Constitution and the 20th Amendment cannot be combined and submitted to Parliament at the same time. PM made the comment on a live television interview this evening. During the interview, the PM also said that he was happy with the achievements of the Govt since it came to power. He also noted that while there is a push to arrest those accused of corruption, the law will be allowed to deal with such people. more..

President, SLFP panel bury hatchet

Apr 24 (ENS) President Maithripala Sirisena and the Central Committee of the SLFP torn by serious differences thus far, closed ranks on Thursday to face the emerging challenge from former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In a surprise move, the SLFP’s Central Committee unanimously agreed to support the 19th Amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution, a project close to Sirisena’s heart. Previously, the Central Committee had insisted that the 19th Amendment (which reduces the powers of more..

Video: Dullas apologises for using wrong flag

Apr 24 (DM) UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma today apologised for using a lion’s flag without the two coloured strips -- reprsenting the minorities -- at the protest held outside the Bribery Commission yesterday. Several organisations and political parties including the PHU participated at yesterday’s protest outside the commission over the Commission summoning former defence secretary more..

Injectable polio vaccine being introduced from July

Apr 24 (Island) Epidemiology Unit announced the introduction of the latest injectable Polio vaccine into the National Immunisation Programme from July this year as yet another step to eradicate poliomyelitis (polio) from the country. Addressing the media at a briefing held to announce the World Immunisation Week from Friday (24) to Thursday (30), Chief of the Epidemiology Unit, Dr Paba Palihawadana said the Injectable Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) was a part of the global effort to eradicate polio. more..

Govt goes for 3rd phase of Outer Circular Highway

Apr 24 (AD) The govt is preparing to begin the construction work on the Kerawalapitiya to Kadawatha 9.32 kilometre stretch which is the third phase of the Outer Circular Highway connecting the Southern Expressway at Makumbura in Kottawa. The approved civil construction contract for this phase is Rs. 66.6 billion and 95% of this cost would be through a loan from the EXIM Bank of China, said the govt. While the land acquisition for this project is nearing completion now, more..

Rajapaksa fears prosecution of entire family by new Sri Lanka govt

Apr 24 (PTI) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today expressed fears that the new govt led by his successor Maithripala Sirisena might end up prosecuting his entire family, a day after his two younger brothers faced questioning by anti-graft investigators. "Next, it will be Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Namal Rajapaksa and Yoshitha Rajapaksa", the former President said. more..

Govt purchase 150,000 MT of paddy

Apr 24 (GDI) The govt has purchased 150,000 MT of paddy from farmers island-wide at a cost of Rs. 7.2 billion during the Maha season 2014/2015, Secretary to the President P.B Abeykoon told a media briefing. He said that the the country was receiving massive paddy harvests and the government had allocated Rs. 10 billion to purchase paddy during the Maha season. Accordingly, funds would be provided to farmer associations through District Secretariats. more..

'NPC must be considerate of their people'

Apr 24 (CT) Former Chief Minister of the merged North-Eastern Province Varatharaja Perumal has requested the Northern Provincial Councillors to be considerate about the people who had elected them and not to focus towards fulfilling their own needs. Varatharahja Perumal, who is currently in the island, addressed a gathering in Jaffna under the theme, 'My experience as Chief Minister' last Sunday. A large gathering of people listened to the talk delivered by him. more..

Did Wigneswaran break protocol writing to Modi to free convicts?

Apr 24 (ENS) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran may have broken protocol when he officially wrote to Indian PM Narendra Modi requesting him to consider releasing four Sri Lankan Tamils sentenced to life imprisonment in the 1994 Premananda rape and murder case, Lankan officials said. A Foreign Ministry official said that as per protocol, the Chief Minister should send his letter to the Foreign Ministry first. more..

Pakistan announces​ prestigious​ Jinnah Scholarships 2015

Apr 24 (PHC) High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka invites applications for award of Jinnah Scholarship from deserving Sri Lankan students pursuing their studies at O/L and A/Ls. Govt of Pakistan is awarding Jinnah Scholarships for Sri Lankan students for past 10 years through its High Commission in Sri Lanka. The scholarships are named after the great statesman and leader of the Sub Continent, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who is the founder of Pakistan. more..

Ranjan Ramanayake files complaint against MR at Bribery Commission

Apr 24 (AM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake filed a complaint at the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption against former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Ramanayake told media that he filed the complaint against siphoning of funds received for Tsunami relief. He added that since Rajapaksa was the PM at the time of the incident, he does not enjoy the immunity accorded to the executive president. UNP MP Kabir Hashim had seeked judicial remedy in 2005. more..

Bond issue: JVP wants President to appoint new committee

Apr 24 (DM) JVP led Voice Against Corruption had written to President Sirisena requesting him to appoint a new committee to look into the controversial bond issue. Convener of Voice against Corruption Wasantha Samarasinghe said that they had requested the President to appoint a committee of experts who knew the subject. He said the report of the earlier committee which investigated into the bond issue could not be more..

Gota’s Journey Had Its Humour

Apr 25 (CT) Oh! What an era we live in! Gotabaya Rajapaksa, most powerful sibling of the most powerful President Sri Lanka ever had, on a journey to the Bribery Commissioner’s Office! On the first of January this year did you, reader, ever imagine this journey? Even on the 8th of January Maitripala Sirisena had no clue that Gota will have to make his way to the Bribery Commissioner’s Office under his watch as President. Maitri was hiding that fateful day in a secret place fearing more..

100 days of uncertainties

Apr 25 (CT) The much promised good governance of the 100-day govt of Sirisena-Wickremesinghe has come to the end of its promised period. No dissolution of parliament as expected has taken place. A confident president went on national media and claimed a successful 100 days of governance. The promise of dissolution of the parliament on the 24th of April and early general elections is unlikely to happen until the 20th amendment to the constitution is passed and sufficient time more..

'I am against Maithripala'

Apr 25 (CT) Northern Provincial Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan, who's membership was suspended by ITAK for calling to boycott the recently held presidential election says she still has no faith in the new govt as it has not even hinted at sorting out some of the major issues faced by the Tamils. Q: How is the present scenario in the Northern Province under the new govt? A: If I speak on behalf of the war-affected people, more..

SLFP stood up for Socialism and Progress

Apr 25 (NS) In today’s context when some of our own leaders have thought it fit to balkanize the SLFP, it is necessary for the current leaders as well as the Sinhala masses to be aware that the SLFP was the only Political Party that stood for the masses of the Sinhala people- the downtrodden- those who have suffered since the colonial period. As Rohana Wasala recently said, “The SLFP is the only strong national party that honestly works to promote interests of the majority community more..

Disabled and Denied?

Apr 25 (GV) Although a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities since 2007, the rights of people with disabilities in Sri Lanka has remained at a dismal state over the past several decades. A recent manifestation of this issue has occurred at my Alma Mater, Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo, where a mother of a student was forced to file a complain with the Human Rights Commission to obtain adequate accommodations for her differently-abled more..

'Mahinda and Sirisena should work together'

Apr 25 (FT) Deputy Minister Shantha Bandara emphasised most SLFP MPs who find fault with the present Govt are only trying to secure votes from Mahinda Rajapaksa loyalists. He said that some of the SLFP MPs had to accept ministries in this Govt to honour a party decision, but some party members were criticising and accusing the Govt without valid reasons in order to secure votes. “Those people have personal agendas. more..

National Development blueprint: It at home and school

Apr 25 (NS) The progress and advancement of Sri Lanka in all its spheres depend on all its citizens getting a wholesome education. Children spend much of their time in the classroom and in the school for various extracurricular activities. In today’s education system, schools focus much emphasis on the aspects of scholastic achievements and passes in exams and the achievements of the various sports teams of the school. Great care and concern is concentrated on a percentage of students. more..

Disaster coming again Lalkantha, Somawansa following Wijeweera philosophy

Apr 25 (CT) When the JVP was on the top after so many brutal killings Somawansa Amarasinghe was on the top. When the JVP was going downhill Somawansa vanished abroad. How he went God only knows. Then he comes back with garlands and flowers. He becomes the leader again. He comes to Sri Lanka during Chandraika's reign and forms an alliance with the SLFP which didn't last long; it broke. Now Somawansa has left the JVP and wants a new political party. more..

Gypsies Dinner Dance in Los Angeles

Sri Lankans celebrate Sinhala & Tamil New Year in Dubai

Apr 25 (FT) Sri Lankan Cultural Centre under the patronage of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Dubai organised an event to celebrate the Sinhala & Tamil New Year at the Lathifa Ladies Club ground on 10 April in Dubai. A large gathering of Sri Lankan families in Dubai and Northern Emirates, as well as members of the Diplomatic community, took part in the celebrations. Consul General of Sri Lanka in Dubai Abdul Raheem along with the Consul Generals of Australia, Thailand and Italy more..

The Three Musketeers of Corruption

Apr 25 (Island) The end of a hundred days of Yaha Palanaya or Good Governance has produced some interesting developments in the whirligig of Sri Lankan politics. What strikes one most is the acceleration of the battle against corruption - with a sharper focus on those once considered untouchable by the forces of law and order. The eve of the 100-day climax became a celebratory event for some, with a new ritual of protest in parliament against the summoning of a mere citizen to more..

Mother Courage

Apr 25 (ST) There are no tears now. The weeping ended a long while ago, leaving behind a heavy but mute sorrow. Not one, nor two, but three of Nadira Harshani’s four children are autistic. As if this overwhelming burden is inadequate, the father of her children has abandoned her for another woman. It is on a cloudless, humid afternoon that we arrive at the appointed time at Harshani’s home at Welsiripura, Madiwela, Kotte, bypassing posh more..