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U-15 team leave for Malaysia

Apr 4 (NS) Sri Lanka Schools under-15 cricket team left for Malaysia on Saturday to participate in the International Under-15 Cricket Challenge for "Tuanku Ja'afar Trophy”.Sri Lanka, South Africa, India, Bangladesh, Thailand and hosts Malaysia (six countries) will participate in this tournament. Sri Lanka schools under-15 team emerged champions last year. Sri Lanka schools Under 15 team will be led by Nipun Dhananjaya from St. Joseph Vaz College Wennappuwa and Kamesh Nirmal more..

Sri Lanka to attract more Chinese tourists

Apr 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka plans to attract more Chinese tourists through a recently launched marketing strategy by Sri Lanka Tourism with a private- public partnership focusing only on China. “If we can build the new markets in china like Sichuan province which has 90 million people including two million who travel overseas to come to Sri Lanka will be ideal,” Rohantha Athukorala, Chairman of Sri Lanka tourism promotion bureau said. “We will firm up the marketing plan for China and more..

Sanath happy despite quitting

Apr 4 (CT) With the power changing at SLC, all members of the selection committee headed by Sanath Jayasuriya forwarded their resignation letters to Minister Navin Dissanayake yesterday. Despite his resignation, former Sri Lankan captain, Jayasuriya was pleased with the national side's achievements during his tenure. "I am extremely proud and happy that during my tenure Sri Lanka was able to emerge more..

Two Japanese naval ships arrive in Sri Lanka on a goodwill visit

Apr 4 (SLN) Two Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) ships, Ikazuchi and Murasame arrived at the Port of Colombo on a goodwill visit on 03rd April 2015. They were welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on arrival. The Commander Escort Division I, Captain Atsushi Nakasuji and Ships’ Commanding Officers, Commander Kazuharu Hokazono and Commander Kenji Fujii paid a courtesy call on the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy, more..

National Chamber expresses concerns on CEPA

Apr 4 (Island) National Chamber of Commerce of SL, counting over 65 years of service to the business community in Sri Lanka and having a membership of over 630 corporates and over 1500 Small and Medium Enterprises, is concerned over the proposed signing of the CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) with India. NCC press release said: ‘The FTA signed between Sri Lanka and India which was operational from the year 2000 had only minimal benefits for SL more..

Five firms miss split deadline

Apr 4 (NS) Five registered composite insurance companies in Sri Lanka are yet to segregate their long-term and general insurance business in line with the segregation requirement laid down in the Regulation of Insurance Industry (Amendment) Act No. 3 of 2011, despite a lapse of over a month after the stipulated deadline for companies to do so, Insurance Board of Sri Lanka (IBSL) confirmed. All insurance companies were required more..

Canada continues to support SL's de-mining

Apr 4 (GDI) High Commission of Canada to Sri Lanka ahead of marking the 'International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action' on 4 April, announced that Canada will continue to support demining activities in Sri Lanka's war-torn north. "The High Commission of Canada to Sri Lanka is pleased to mark International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action on 4 April with the announcement of continued Canadian support more..

Japanese assistance to develop railway network and agriculture

Apr 4 (GDI) The govt of Japan has agreed to provide grant assistance under non-project grant aid amounting to Japanese Yen 500 Million (Approximately Rs. 550 million) in the Japanese fiscal year 2014 for provision of Japanese equipment to develop railway network and agricultural facilities in Sri Lanka. The equipment to be procured under this grant have been selected in consultation with the Ministry of Internal Transport and the Ministry of Irrigation and Agriculture. more..

Govt agrees to pursue 19 A after sorting out electoral reforms issue

Apr 4 (Island) The proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution which has run into opposition from some sections of the Opposition is to be pursued once a consensus is reached on electoral reforms. Minister Rajitha Senaratne addressing the Cabinet News conference said that divergent views had been expressed with regard to the proposed electoral reforms which sought to introduce a mixture of the First Past the Post more..

SriLankan flight forced to return to BIA

Apr 4 (AM) A SriLankan Airlines Airbus plane which took off for Shanghai this afternoon retuned to Katunayake BIA due to a mechanical failure. UL 866 took off from Katunayake to Shanghai at 2.10pm and returned to Katunayake at 4.50pm, Asian Mirror reported at Katunayake said. There were 166 passengers and 16 crew members on the plane. An alternative airplane took off from Katunayake to Shanghai at 5.50pm. This comes just days after a Dhaka bound Mihin Lanka airplane was also more..

Easter messages

Apr 4 (DN) Easter invites us to discover the joy of believing in Jesus by being a solidarity with the poor and the marginalized, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of SL stated in an Easter message. The message: "Easter is the most sublime feast of the liturgical year where we proclaim Jesus of Nazareth as the Risen Lord and Saviour. We let the words of the angels resound in our ears, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen." (Luke: 24,5). more..

Avant Grade - Boko Haram arms deal under probe

Apr 4 (CT) The govt is conducting investigations to either establish or dismiss suspicions of whether controversial Maritime Security services company Avant Garde has been supplying weapons to Nigerian terror group Boko Haram, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne revealed yesterday. The probe into Avant Garde, suspected of dealing with various foreign govts because of cloudy issues relating to its floating armouries and security services, more..

Vasan condemns Sri Lanka’s rejection of Indian fishermen’s demand

Apr 4 (Hindu) Tamil Maanila Congress leader G.K. Vasan condemned the Sri Lankan’s Govt’s rejection of Indian fishermen’s demand for fishing rights in the Sri Lankan waters for a specific period annually. Mr. Vasan, referring to the failed third round of talks between the two countries, where the Tamil fishermen’s demand for fishing rights for 83 days across the Palk bay was rejected, said President Maitripala Sirisena’s rejection of the demand was condemnable. more..

CAA lays net tocatch errant traders

Apr 4 (Island) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has launched a special programme to nab errant traders during the festive season countrywide. CAA Chairman Rumy Marzook said that more than 1500 complaints had been received by them from consumers during the last few days. "We launched a consumer awareness programme from near the Maradana railway station on Wednesday," he said adding that next programmes will be held at leading towns including Pelawattte, Balangoda, more..

SL to raise trawler issue with TN

Apr 4 (ENS) President Maithripala Sirisena has told North Sri Lankan Tamil fishermen and MPs of the TNA that he proposes to take up the issue of the intrusion of Tamil Nadu bottom trawlers into Lankan waters with the Tamil Nadu and Indian govts, through diplomatic channels. “We should make the TN and Indian govts realise what harm, Indian trawlers are doing to the sea on our side and to the livelihood of our fishermen. more..

Galle contractors protest demanding payments

Apr 4 (DN) A group of contractors of Galle district on Thursday staged a protest opposite the Galle District Secretariat demanding authorities to settle their outstanding bills for completed projects. Galle regional politicians also participated in the protest. However, demonstrators who were staging their protest abruptly entered the premises of the secretariat and tried to go to the District Secretary's office. As District Secretary Ravindra Hewawitharane was not in the office, more..

Erstwhile comrades celebrate their fallen heroes separately

Apr 4 (Island) The JVP and its breakaway Frontline Socialist Party will hold separate events to commemorate their April heroes on Sunday. JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath said their April heroes celebration, April Viru Samaruwa, will be held at the Tangalle Town Hall. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake and other heavyweights would attend the annual event conduct for the 44th time, he said. The FSP will hold its April heroes celebrations in four towns. more..

Two key amendments before April end

Apr 4 (DN) Parliament will vote on two constitutional amendments before the end of April, UNP sources said. When UNP Working Committee met on Thursday, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had told the Working Committee members that the 20th Amendment to the Constitution would also be presented to Parliament before the end of April. 20th Amendment, which deals with electoral reforms, will introduce a mixed electoral system more..

No official word about Dalai Lama visit: Ajith

Apr 4 (DN) Govt has not received any official word about a possible visit to the country by exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said. Minister dismissed as mere speculation, some news appearing in the media that Sri Lanka may deny visa to the Dalai Lama due to the influence of China. Some foreign media reported that China has appreciated Sri Lanka's stance on the Dalai Lama, as it seems unlikely their govt would grant him a visa. more..

Ranil wrong on SLC debts

Apr 4 (NS) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has refuted the statement made by PM Ranil Wickremasinghe in parliament that they owe Rs. 500 million to the State Engineering Corporation. SLC sources stated that at the time the stadiums were constructed in 2010-11 it was understood that the govt would look after part of the funding for the stadiums. SLC drained all their money for the stadiums and even borrowed US$20m from the Bank of Ceylon which debts The Nation learns they are still paying. more..

Rajitha: ‘I repeated what Ranil said’

Apr 4 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that it was PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who had told him that the Chinese contractor building a section of the Colombo Outer Circular Road connecting the Highways had agreed to reduce the cost of the project by Rs. 30 billion. He was responding to a denial by the Chinese Embassy in Colombo of a statement made by him on Wednesday that the contractor from China more..

Future mine action in post-war Sri Lanka

Mar 4 (DM) The victim-activated vicious killer hidden under the ground which is called the Anti-personnel landmine or AP mine is still haunting the lands of North and East of Sri Lanka where many continue to be killed or maimed. It was believed that this vicious weapon was introduced to Sri Lanka by the LTTE in 1980s that massively produced and used them in the North and East regions of Sri Lanka as an offensive weapon. Later, the Govt security forces imported and used AP-mines more..

To dream the impossible dream

Mar 4 (DM) In the afterglow of a Holy Week which testifies to the everlasting truth that love, compassion, self sacrifice and dialogue will eventually triumph over hatred and violence, we need to reflect deeply on one of the vital issues in Sri Lanka. The Yahapalanaya govt headed by President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe -- with former President Chandrika Kumaratunga also playing a vital role -- had listed constitutional and electoral reforms more..

19a riddled with confusions, complications and contradictions

Mar 4 (DM) Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said the 19th Amendment to the Constitution is riddled with confusions, contradiction and complications. Former Minister said the govt should not rush in enacting it, as people are constitutionally entitled to their right to express their views on the Bill. Q: What is your position regarding the current process for the enactment of constitutional amendments? more..

Colombo Port City suspension creates uncertainty for foreign investors

Mar 4 (SL) When Sri Lanka successfully defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009, putting an end to Asia’s longest civil war, there was hope to transform the island nation into a Miracle of Asia. Successive govt’s had dreamt of transforming the capital Colombo into a major economic and tourism hub but the 30-year conflict had left no room for development. Foreign Investments were an alienated thought with more..

Homecoming for 579 displaced families in Sampur by end April

Mar 4 (ST) More than 500 families displaced from the Sampur area in Trincomalee are to be resettled in their original locations before the end of next month, Eastern Province Governor Austin Fernando said. He said that an existing Naval training camp will be moved to an adjacent area, enabling the displaced families to return to their original lands. The move comes with the Govt’s decision to go ahead with two proposed more..

Worcestershire sign Senanayake

Mar 4 (CI) Worcestershire have signed Sachithra Senanayake, the Sri Lanka offspinner, as an early-season replacement for Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal. Senanayake has played one Test, 45 ODIs and 17 T20s for Sri Lanka. Ajmal, who was included in all three of Pakistan's squads for their upcoming tour of Bangladesh, is unlikely to be available to play for Worcestershire until the second half of the season. more..

China ties more important to govt than buddhist leader

Mar 4 (IBT) Sri Lanka’s recent elections may have brought to power a govt more willing to stray from its longstanding partnership with China -- but that does not mean newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena is prepared to provoke Beijing by extending a historic invitation to the Dalai Lama. Despite a push by Buddhist monks to invite the Tibetan spiritual leader, Sri Lanka’s govt indicated this week that it would not likely allow more..

Sri Lanka NGO rescues war widows from despondency

Mar 4 (ENS) Among the deep and seemingly indelible scars of the 30-year war in North Sri Lanka is the existence of an estimated 40,000 widows in the Northern Province - the scene of an alleged massacre towards the end of the conflict. Among the victims of the senseless destruction, those widowed were the most affected. Widows were forced to become family breadwinners overnight even while carrying the stigma of more..

SL's trade sleeps as Customs stay awake

Mar 4 (EN) Sri Lanka's Customs are now open round-the-clock but companies are still reluctant to make use of the extended hours meant to improve trade facilitation by working nights and weekends. Minister Ravi Karunanayake, who pushed for flexible hours after the new govt was formed in January, said that Customs were complaining that while they remained open, the facility was still not fully used by the trade. more..

Court order drives wedge into GMOA

Mar 4 (Island) Consultant ENT Surgeon Dr. Ravi Dhayasena attached to the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) said that about 60 medical consultants at NHSL, another 60 from the Kandy Teaching Hospital and some other specialists from leading hospitals had decided to resign from the Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) due to its failure to implement the Specialist Registry. Many consultants had urged the GMOA more..

Broadlands Hydro Power Project to be completed in 2017

Mar 4 (Island) The Broadlands Hydro Power Project would be completed as planned in 2017, a top official said yesterday. He said that Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) was closely monitoring the project apart from their routine reports. He stressed that they had taken all possible steps not to hamper the White Water Rafting. Rs. 200 million has been provided to 50 families in the area as compensation. more..

Fishermen arrest: Karunanidhi seeks Modi's intervention

Mar 4 (PTI) Expressing concern over the latest instance of arrest of 33 Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka, DMK president M Karunanidhi today sought PM Narendra Modi's intervention to hold talks with President Maithiripala Sirisena to find a solution to the vexed issue. Karunanidhi, however, welcomed Sirisena's statement that his country wanted a solution to this issue without affecting the long-standing ties with India. more..

Did Tamara Kunanayakam destroy records on Sri Lanka in the UN?

Apr 4 (CT) It is just a few weeks since the UNHRC – UN HRC completed its 28th session. While some are relaxing, others are worried, some have mixed feelings and many of us are disappointed and frustrated! There are many reasons for our disappointment and frustration. One reason was obvious to the High Commissioner for Human Rights – HCHR, President of the UN HRC and others. This was the fact that the investigation report on Sri Lanka, expected to be out during the 28th session, more..

Why UNP wants early polls

Apr 4 (CT) Yesterday this newspaper reported that the UNP Working Committee (WC) wanted elections to be held after 23 April 2015. Presumably, the timing of the general election, as expected by the WC will be in another two months time in June, as had been touted soon after President Sirisena's polls victory at the 8 Jan election. However, according to the Constitution, the life of the present Parliament can go on till next year, ie. serving its full life span of six years. more..

Memories of two giants

Apr 4 (CT) Like every other work of art, movies tend to come and go. They are advertized and in other ways promoted. They are targeted at certain audiences. We have family films and those made for children, even though some are clearly aimed at adults. Other genres crop up too, but at the end of the day these distinctions are forgotten and their stories remembered. Through this, their directors are celebrated too. SL can't really boast of a cinema culture. more..

13A after 19A & Wigneswaran Vs. Wickremesinghe

Apr 4 (CT) What is the future of the 13th amendment if the 19th amendment is passed into law? The 13th amendment was possible only because of the executive presidency. The system of provincial councils which was mooted by the Donoughmore Commission was never implemented under the Westminster model. Every time anything came even close, it was rolled back or shut down. That was because of the ethnic outbidding which the first-past the post electoral system and the Westminster model more..

Stooping to Rise: An Easter Reflection

Apr 4 (Island) Jesus did not die by accident. He was killed through a conspiracy by those whose oppressive ways were exposed by his dual thrust of compassion and truth. But death was not the last word. Jesus was raised by God as a sign that compassionate-truth surpasses the evil schemes of the wicked and will eventually overcome violence. This clarifies nation building in a nut shell; a people rise when compassion and truth flourish above all else. more..

Effective war crimes inquiry could heal Sri Lanka’s old wounds

Apr 4 (IPS) Jessi Joygeswaran seems like your typical 23-year-old young woman. She has an infectious smile and laughs a lot when she talks. Like many other young women anywhere in the world, her life is full of dreams. “I want to go to university, I want to do a good job,” she tells IPS. She seems sure that she can make her dreams come true. In fact, Joygeswaran’s life has been anything but ordinary. She grew up in a war zone, and now spends her days more..

Police suspect Indian couple committed suicide due to loss at casino

Apr 4 (Island) Investigations were being conducted to ascertain the cause of the death of an Indian couple at a hotel in Wellawatte, an officer attached to the Wellawatte Police Station said. Initial police investigations have revealed that the Indian couple committed suicide inside a hotel in Wellawatta after losing heavily at a casino. Police described the couple as inveterate gamblers. Their bodies were found inside a hotel room in Wellawatta yesterday afternoon. more..