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Govt-owned five star hotel serving tortoise meat raided

Apr 25 (Island) Wildlife Conservation Department believes that some five-star hotels in the city and its suburbs are serving tortoise meat. Wildlife officials on Wednesday raided govt-owned hotel in the city after receiving a tip off. Sources said that Wildlife officials detained the General Manager of the hotel after saving three tortoise. National Organizer of Hotels Workers, B.I. Abdeen said that a minor worker employed as a gardener had been fined Rs. 30,000, more..

7.5 magnitude earthquake rumbles Nepal, no impact on Sri Lanka

Apr 25 (AD) DMC says that the 7.6 magnitude earthquake which hit Nepal this morning, causing massive tremors lasting well over a minute across northern India, had no impact to Sri Lanka. The quake has caused damage in various parts of Kathmandu. There are reports of buildings coming down in the Nepal capital. The shaking was perceived by people who contacted the USGS as severe to violent, nearly the highest rating on the intensity scale. more..

Deaths due road accidents: Compensation increased

Apr 25 (Island) The govt has increased the amount paid to the family of a person who had died as a result of a road accident from Rs 100,000 to Rs 200,000. Internal Transport Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara said that the increased amount would be paid from April, 2015. Admitting that a life couldn’t be measures in terms of compensation paid to a loved one, Minister Bandara emphasized he would explore ways and means of tackling road accidents. more..

Sacked SLFP CC members await response

Apr 25 (CT) Central Committee members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) who were sacked from the party's CC are yet to receive a reply from the President Maithripala Sirisena to letters they have written to him. T.B. Ekanayake, one of the five sacked CC members said that they sent individual letters to President Sirisena who is also the chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) nearly a week ago asking reasons for their sacking, but had not had a response to date. more..

Video: Gammanpila regrets distorted flags controversy

Apr 25 (AD) General Secretary of the PHU, Udaya Gammanpila, expressed regret over the presence of several distorted national flags during a protest staged yesterday opposite the Bribery Commission. The protest was organized, by the PHU and certain members of the UPFA, against the summoning of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa for questioning pertaining to certain financial irregularities in Sri Lanka’s state-run budget carrier Mihin Lanka. more..

Wife kills husband with crowbar

Apr 25 (CT) A woman allegedly killed her husband yesterday morning in the Kibissa area in Sigiriya. Police added that the suspect's husband was asleep at home when his wife assaulted him with a hexagonal crowbar. The victim is a 43-year-old father of two children and a resident in the Kibissa area. He was in a critical condition when he was admitted to the Kibissa Hospital, but died shortly after admission to the hospital. The reason behind the killing is unknown, the Police added. more..

Amnesty for army absentees ends

Apr 25 (AD) The recently declared General Amnesty period of Sri Lanka Army has come to an end today, said Military Spokesperson, Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera while speaking to the media. Accordingly, 23600 army absentees have reported to respective Regimental Centers to receive their legal discharge from the service. Thus far, over 18500 of them have been released on completion of the procedure and the pending amount would be released without delay, he also noted. more..

Great expectations from A tour for Pakistan, Sri Lanka

Apr 25 (CI) Pakistan A's tour to Sri Lanka, which commences in Matara on Sunday, is being looked at by both countries as one that could help fill vacancies created in their senior sides. Pakistan have been the first country to suffer from the aftermath of the 2015 World Cup following retirements of senior players after suffering a 0-3 ODI series whitewash in Bangladesh. Along with Pakistan, SL also had some senior players quitting ODIs after the World Cup. more..

Sri Lanka to airlift emergency medical help, food to earthquake-struck Nepal

Apr 25 (EN) Sri Lanka will fly in medical personal drugs and food aid to earthquake struck Nepal and also evacuate students and other citizens trapped in the country, a government statement said. A Sri Lanka Air Force aircraft with medical staff drugs and food will leave overnight at 7.00 am, the office of the Prime Minister said. A civilian SriLankan Airlines aircraft with relief workers, emergency supplies and food will also leave for Nepal tomorrow. more..

Mother, three children drown at Hambanthota sea

Apr 25 (DM) Three children and their mother drowned at sea, while playing on the beach off Old Tangalle Road in Hambanthota this morning, the Police said. The children were aged 2 and a half, 6 and 10 years old. The Police said the children had been washed away into the sea and their mother, aged 31, had gone to rescue them. Bodies of two boys and their mother were recovered, while search operations were under way to locate the 6 year-old girl, the Police said. more..

Gnanasara thera challenges MR to produce files against BBS

Apr 25 (AM) BBS General Secretary Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera slammed former president Mahinda Rajapaksa for claiming that BBS is a Western-backed conspiracy to alienate the Muslim community against him. Gnanasara Thera said that the former president must produce evidence to prove his statement. “He said he has many files with details of everyone. He can use those files to prove the allegations against us, if he has any,” Gnanasara Thera said. more..

Fears that Sri Lanka's right to information law may block economic data

Apr 25 (EN) A proposed right to information law has proposed the blocking of information that 'could seriously harm the economy' an excuse the rulers and state workers did not specifically previously have to withhold economic data. The draft right to information draft law that was passed by the cabinet and has included as many as 11 provisions where rulers and state workers could find refuge and deny information to the ruled. Senaratne told reporters that when he had asked, more..

May day Major Plans by UNP, JVP

Apr 25 (CT) Deputy General Secretary of the UNP, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said the UNP May Day rally this year will be the party's largest ever May Day Rally in history. He said the workers' march this year from Maradana to the Campbell Grounds will also feature several items of entertainment and since it is being held close to an imminent election, it will be a very special May Day Rally. Kariyawasam added that it is fortunate to be able to organize a May Day Rally under more..

Mahinda Rajapaksa says distorted national flags could be a conspiracy

Apr 25 (AM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that the distribution of altered national flags to participants of two anti-govt demonstrations could be a conspiracy. He made this observation at an event in Galle on Friday. Incidentally, both protests were organized in support of Rajapaksas. On Tuesday, some protesters could be seen carrying the flag outside the parliament when a demonstration was held in support of the former president. more..

President appooints five new SLFP electoral organizers

Apr 25 (GDI) Five new SLFP Organizers have been appointed. The handing over of the letters of appointment to the new organizers took place at the Presidential Secretariat under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday. Chief Minister of the Northwestern Province Dayasiri Jayasekara has been appointed as the SLFP Organizer of the Bingiriya electorate. Ampara UC Chairman Nalin Jayawickrema received the appointment as the organizer of the Ampara South electorate. more..

Norway lauds President's dedication to the Nation

Apr 25 (GDI) Norway is satisfied with the success of the Sri Lanka Govt’s 100-day programme. Norwegian Ambassador Grete Lochen expressed her satisfaction over this programme during a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena. Norwegian Ambassador lauded the initiatives taken by the President for good governance and to further strengthen democracy amidst various obstacles. She expressed her pleasure over the President’s dedication. Norwegian diplomat mentioned that the President’s Address to more..

WFP extends health improvement assistance to Sri Lanka

Apr 25 (GDI) The Govt has taken effective measures in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP) to improve the health status of children and lactating mothers by recognizing the importance of the balanced growth of a child. The WFP has agreed to extend the food aid assistance through the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) under the umbrella of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (2013 - 2017). more..

Don't bar opposition right to protest: Dr. Mahanamahewa

Apr 25 (CT) Obtaining injunctions to prevent peaceful opposition protests and demonstrations violate the freedom of speech, expression, assembly and association guaranteed in Article 14 (1) (a) (b) (c) of the Constitution and constitutes an affront to good governance and democracy, Attorney-at-Law, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa said. Equal treatment must be meted out to all and the govt must provide opportunities for reasonable criticism rather than objecting to and more..

Sri Lanka raises import duties of potatoes and onions to protect local farmers

Apr 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s import duties on potatoes and big onions have been increased, the Finance Ministry said in a statement. The import duty of one kilogram of potatoes has been increased from 40 rupees to 55 rupees while the import duty of big onions has been increased from 10 rupees to 30 rupees. The taxes came into effect from Friday (24). Farmers will have an opportunity to sell their harvest at a fair price with this import tax, the statement said.

PM pledges to carry forward the mission to deal with corruption

Apr 25 (GDI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday reiterated that the govt's mission to deal with corruption will not stop merely because a group of parliamentarians makes a noise. Addressing the media after accepting a report that looked into the alleged corruptions and financial irregularities that have taken place at the Sports and Tourism Ministry at Temple Trees, the PM said “We came with a promise of wiping out corruption and more..

Paduru party in the House

Apr 26 (SO) The photographs of MPs rolling orgiastically about on the carpet in the chamber of Parliament as they supposedly held their 'protest' sit-in in Parliament must surely drive home the extent to which the national legislature has been undermined and devalued in recent years. It is important to note that those MPs who abused the norms of Parliament in this crude manner last week are no more than just one faction of a single parliamentary group in the national legislature. more..

Constitution: Handle With Care

Apr 26 (SL) The 100-Day Time Limit for implementation of election pledge given by President Maithripala Sirisena lapsed last week and to the credit of the president it must be said that a great many pledges have been implemented although some still remain to be done. The usual practice after hectic election campaigning is for candidates to take a rest and after that commence work by going on voyages of discovery on the mistakes of their predecessors accompanied more..

I want to come back: Varatharaja Perumal

Apr 26 (SO) Former Chief Minister of the United Northeastern PC, Varatharaja Perumal believes that Sri Lanka needs a Devolution Commission to look into the various aspects of power sharing and ensure the full implementation of the 13 Amendment in spirit and letter. Perumal who is visiting SL at present, said such a body should be autonomous and should work towards achieving consensus between the Centre and the PCs. more..

Presidentiality Restored

Apr 26 (NS) President Maithripala Sirisena has appeared to have preferred a backseat in political affairs since being elected. He informs us that this is not true. Indeed it can be argued that being President is more than making a song and dance about each and everything one does. Work is one thing, talking about it and getting it all recorded and disseminated is something else. The former is what is preferred. The President’s address to the nation on Thursday was clearly timed to more..

Exciting week ahead

Apr 26 (Island) Since the Jan. 8 presidential election which saw the stunningly unexpected defeat of President Rajapaksa who came into office in 2005 solemnly pledging to abolish the executive presidency and then proceeded in his second term to abolish the two-term limit, the Bring Back Mahinda proponents have had a mantra-like chant: The majority of the minority and the minority of the majority defeated Mahinda Rajapaksa. While most observers and analysts agree with this more..

Can’t judge in 100 days: Hasan Ali

Apr 26 (SL) A lot was said last week as the Govt completed 100 days in office and was preparing to seek Parliament approval for the 19th Amendment to the constitution and electoral reforms through the 20th Amendment. The SLMC, which is a partner in the coalition Govt of President Sirisena, said that it is happy with what the Govt has achieved since taking office. General Secretary of the SLMC and Deputy Minister Hasan Ali said that more..

If you are Honourable, put country before self

Apr 26 (ST) The spectacle in Parliament earlier this week speaks for itself. It reminds us of a postprandial speech made by the late Lakshman Kadirgamar at a UK-SL Friendship Society dinner, before he turned from lawyer to lawmaker. He said that in Britain, MPs were not referred to as the Honourable MPs, but some are, while in Sri Lanka all the MPs are called ‘Honourable MPs, but some are not. One really does not know whether to laugh or to cry at the sight of Honourable MPs more..

Basil’s beeline into political babel

Apr 26 (ST) My dear Basil, I thought I must write to you at first to welcome your return but then I realised I would have to send this letter to prison. Now, even that has changed, so I am thinking of sending a get well soon card, while you recover in hospital. Honestly, Basil, I was taken by surprise when I heard that you had decided to return. Mahinda maama has enough problems on his hands without having to deal with what would happen if you returned. more..

'Opposition will get on the streets'

Apr 26 (SL) The opposition says the Govt has so far failed to prove the allegations against members of the former Govt and is now on a witch hunt targeting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brothers. PHU General Secretary Udaya Gammanpila says the people feel they have been misled by the Govt and want Rajapaksa back in power. Gammanpila also accused the Govt of failing in its economic management. more..

Maithripala Sirisena holds the trumps

Apr 26 (NS) The 100 days are done. Much of the key elements of the program part of it remain undone. This should not worry President Maithripala Sirisena. An electorate that has been burdened by a draconian constitution for more than 36 years can wait a few months more. Indeed they have no option but to wait, at least until the next General Election. At most they have to wait for just one more year. The question now is whether or not the promised reform will see the light of day. more..

Political Darwinism & Plight of Sri Lankans

Apr 26 (NS) President Maithripala Sirisena was elected with 6.2 defeating Mahinda Rajapaksa with 5.8. We all know what Rajapaksa was trying to defend. It was a corrupt regime where the economic resources of the country were stagnating around a few families connected to the Rajapaksas. The former president tried to fool the public by using giant cutouts, state and private media, donation of public property, using of public property for campaigns. more..

Dudes and Dons of cricket

Apr 26 (ST) Through the travails of life down the order in the annals of our little nation, we have had many kings with strong-character — like Walagamba and Gemunu — and weaker characters in the calibre of Yasalalakatissa and Don Juan Dharmapala. Of course still their names are discussed in various situations and for different reasons. May be those are some of the highs and lows in our history. more..

Govt crosses the thin red line

Apr 26 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena addressed the nation last Thursday to mark the conclusion of the new govt’s 100 day programme. At the end of it, many people were left wondering why he addressed the nation all. In contrast to Sirisena’s confused meanderings, the interview that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had on ITN with Upul Shantha Sannasgala on the same day certainly sounded more like an address to the nation than Sirisena’s speech even though Sannasgala’s full tosses more..

Duplicity and blatant cover up at its best

Apr 26 (SL) Over several years in politics Ranil Wickremesinghe has built up a following some admire him for the way in which he has managed to deflect his opponents from within his party even if has meant that Wickremesinghe has been somewhat dictatorial in his behaviour. As party leader he has filled the Working Committee with his faithful so that when it came to amending the party constitution he was on a planet all on his own. He tried the same stunt when it came to more..

Fresh Interpol alert to arrest former CIFL chairman

Apr 26 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena’s intervention in the crisis at the battered CIFL (Central Investment and Finance Ltd) where depositors are struggling to get their money back has led to a renewed Interpol alert to arrest the company’s former chairman Deepthi Perera said to be hiding in Thailand. K.W. Gunawardena, President, CIFL Depositors’ Association (CIFLDA), said that on April 17 at the request of more..

Sri Lanka's 100 day reform period bows out with weak results for media freedom

Apr 26 (IPI) Today (23) officially marks the end of an ambitious 100-day reform period announced by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena shortly after snatching a surprise victory over former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa in the country’s Jan. 8 presidential vote. Rajapaksa was once hailed both at home and abroad for bringing Sri Lanka’s long-running civil war to a close in 2009. But he is now widely viewed as having failed to turn a military victory into a political one. more..

Stop this wanton destruction of animals

Apr 26 (CT) In his address to the public of Sri Lanka recently, the President expressed his displeasure with Lankan's slavish attitudes. In a country where anything coming down from the top is taken without complaint Ceylon Today recently brought to light the lone struggle of one young lass who was harassed by a wannabe tough man using his position in the Turf Club. The young lass using her background and knowledge screwed up his intentions taking her troubles to the authorities showing more..

Pricing formula for bread also soon

Apr 26 (NS) The Consumer Affair Authority (CAA) has commenced discussions on a fresh pricing formula for bread based on its weight instead of the prevailing system, a senior official said. Director General, CAA, J.M.A. Douglas stated that according to the current pricing regulations, it was mandatory for bakers to maintain the weight of bread at 450 grams. “That is the standard weight according to the current pricing regulations,” more..

Adopting Pakistan’s policies

Apr 26 (Island) Pakistan cricket, it seems, has hit rock bottom. Earlier this week, they suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat against minnows Bangladesh. As criticism mounted on the Pakistan team, a stern voice in the form of their former captain Misbah-ul-Haq spoke in support of the team. In recent times, some men heading Pakistan cricket have shown little sense. Misbah is quite the contrast. And he reads the game differently from others. After Pakistan’s thrashing, Misbah who still leads more..

Global tea promo gets cabinet nod

Apr 26 (ST) The govt has approved the long awaited global promotional campaign aimed at boosting the tea industry, officials at the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) stated. The global promotional campaign set to be carried out in 25 identified markets would cost a total of US$9 million (Rs.3.8 billion). The cabinet approval was obtained last week for the global campaign and that they were awaiting the official letter of award to the agency from the ministry. The creative work related campaign has been more..