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Fresh tenders for Kalpitiya islands

Apr 5 (ST) Sri Lanka’s new administration will be calling fresh tenders for 11 islands under the Kalpitiya development project to be given on 30-99 year leases. Three out of 14 islands were given on lease previously to investors however, work is yet to commence on these. Fresh tenders will be called for Kalpitiya, SLTDA Director General Malraj Kiriella said adding that the authorities would be commencing work on more..

SL Tourism under new brand

Apr 5 (CT) Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau (SLTPB) Chairman, Rohantha Athukorala said the SLTPB was focused on promoting Sri Lanka as a complete brand in the hope of drawing top-end tourists to the country, as opposed to a more varied demographic plan. This represents a major shift in the country's policies regarding tourism. In the past, numbers were key, but today, said Athukorala, numbers count for little after they have arrived. "One challenge that we have," he said, more..

Six things to do while in Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (DM) Sri Lanka, with its shimmering sandy beaches, enthralling wildlife and relics of ancient civilisations, is high on lists of places to visit in 2015. Gareth Huw Davies enjoys the new stability on the teardrop-shaped island in the Indian Ocean, where the holiday industry is recovering, and expanding with a crop of smart new hotels, after the dual torment of a tsunami and a bitter civil war. 1. Pure serendipity: This is the spiritual home of serendipity – lucky discoveries by accident – more..

'Send firm message to Sri Lanka'

Apr 5 (Hindu) Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam urged PM Narendra Modi to take up the arrest of 37 fisherman from Nagapattinam at the highest diplomatic-level and secure their release and 18 boats now in the custody of Sri Lankan Navy. In a letter to Mr Modi, the Chief Minister said it should be ensured that this unfortunate incident received the much needed attention it deserved. “It is unfortunate that this incident has taken more..

Jesus Christ was one of the greatest teachers born in this world — Ranil

Apr 5 (Island) Jesus Christ, who transformed the death to a supreme sacrifice through life, is one of the greatest teachers born in this world. He, who committed to show the path of salvation to the mankind was crucified since being a challenge to the religious and political systems that prevailed at that time, PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe said in an Easter message. "Lent is a season of penance, reflection and fasting which remembers the Suffering and Death of Jesus Christ and more..

Over 100 Young Inventors in the fray for the YIC Trophy

Apr 5 (ST) YIC (Young Inventors Club), the first ever TV reality show organised by the Sri Lanka Inventors Commission for the school level inventors, is telecast every Sunday at 10.30 on ITN. YIC is co-sponsored by Sampath Bank. This is the second successive year this programme goes on air which won the coveted best educational quiz programme award at the 2013/2014 Raigam Tele Awards, according to the Inventors Commission. “This is being conducted with a view to promote the more..

KP under 24-hour surveillance

Apr 5 (CT) A fine example of expecting the unexpected occurred when Ceylon Today went to cover the Senchcholai Children's Home in Iranaimadu, Kilinochchi, run by Selvarasa Pathmanathan/ Kumaran Pathmanathan or plain and simple KP – the probable last man alive in the leadership level of the LTTE proper. Ceylon Today reached Senchcholai imagining that it would be one of those fun-filled children's home more..

TNA briefs UN on war crimes

Apr 5 (SL) The TNA has briefed the visiting UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Pablo de Greiff, on incidents related to alleged war crimes said to have taken place during the war. Pablo de Greiff met with representatives of the TNA at the Taj Samudra hotel in Colombo last week. TNA leader R. Sambanthan, MP Suresh Premachandran, Selvam Adaikalanathan, and M. A. Sumanthiran participated in the meeting. more..

Actresses in Wele Suda's harem

Apr 5 (CT) Six SL actresses are believed to have been closely associated with drug baron Wele Suda the ongoing probe into the kingpin's life has revealed. Samantha Kumara, Alias Wele Suda has had close connections with these six popular actresses and they have even accompanied the drug kingpin on various foreign trips, prior to his arrest, the probe has revealed. The police hope to uncover evidence whether these connections with the actresses included any narcotics deals. more..

JHU threatens to block 19A

Apr 5 (ST) Fresh issues arose this week within the new Govt as a ruling coalition partner, JHU, said yesterday that it would move amendments to the 19th Amendment — now before the Supreme Court — charging that the draft did not conform to what was agreed to by party leaders. JHU directly accused PM Ranil Wickremesinghe of arrogating to the Prime Minister the powers vested in the President. “We have the support of more..

Fishermen threaten fast unto death

Apr 5 (NS) Fishermen in Balapitiya threaten to launch a fast unto death claiming that repeated calls for authorities to build a fisheries harbor in the vicinity of the Madu Ganga (Madu River) have fallen on deaf ears. Currently the fishermen are unable to set out to sea from the port due to the accumulation of sand where the Madu Ganga enters the sea. According to them, this occurs every three months and requires the extraction of sand through mechanical means. more..

Tax only on mansions built after April 2000

Apr 5 (ST) Mansion Tax of Rs one million a year introduced in the interim budget would apply only for residential constructions after April 1, 2000 and those exceeding 10,000 square feet, the govt has decided. According to the gazette the value of the building should be not less than Rs 150 million as determined by the Govt Chief valuer or an authorised agent. Manision Tax will apply to condominium property as well. Soon after the tax was announced there was confusion as more..

Ministry team goes to Seychelles for probe

Apr 5 (ST) Finance Ministry is sending investigators to Seychelles to probe allegations of illegal transfer of funds and assets during the former regime, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. Officials would have discussions with Seychelles authorities in a bid to gain more information about the funds illegally transferred from Sri Lanka. Any transfers of Sri Lankan funds from Seychelles to other countries would also be discussed. more..

Leftist parties to sign MOU with SLFP

Apr 5 (SL) Several Leftist parties have decided to sign a MOU with the SLFP for the next general election. The leader of the Sama Samaja Party, Prof. Tissa Vitharana said that the agreements reached with the former Chairman of the SLFP for the past general election and the presidential election are now not valid. He said that the Leftist parties are yet to decide if they will back the SLFP at the next elections. “We hope that we are able to contest in the future as well via more..

Spirit of Easter shows path for our own advancement as a nation: President

Apr 5 (PRIU) As Easter revives the Christian spirit, which contributes to achieving social justice and reconciliation, it also gives an important lesson for our own advancement as a nation, said President Maithripala Sirisena in his Easter message. Easter stands out as the most important celebration for Christians, as it marks the conquest of death through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the President added. The message further stated The conquest of death, shown by more..

President cracks the whip: Let’s get down to work, fulfil promises

Apr 5 (ST) President Sirisena forecast in just two words the upcoming political events. Api bahinawa or, we will get down to work, he declared at Thursday’s meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC), the apex body that steers the Yahapalanaya (good governance) policies. The context in which the remarks were made underscores its significance. It came after JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake raised more..

Easter Sunday and Bak Poya Day

Apr 5 (Island) Sri Lanka, the chosen land of Buddhism, has been home to the world’s four major religions for centuries. The four faiths have co-existed without strife until recent years. Part of the current good governance reforms is to see the end of those who orchestrate religious strife for political gains. Every religion has its political messages. Messages of inclusion and tolerance enhance the meaning that religion has in the lives of people, while messages of hate and intolerance more..

Avant Garde, table police report

Apr 5 (CT) The Avant Garde (AG) issue is seemingly becoming curiouser by the day. Said to be a private security agency, current investigations have had however revealed that powerful names of the previous regime are behind its activities. As reported by this newspaper's yesterday's edition, AG is also suspected to have had been involved in weapons laundering. Those weapons laundered had allegedly belonged to the LTTE. Arms dealing is lucrative business. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Apr 5 (ST) The diplomatic passport issued to Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador in Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga, whose whereabouts are not known, has been withdrawn. Move by Department of Immigration and Emigration comes after the Ukrainian Govt complained that he gave weapons to pro-Russian rebels fighting Ukraine’s east. Details of this protest through a Third Person Note (TPN) from the Ukrainian Embassy in more..

SL tea stall at Cairo Fair a major attraction

Apr 5 (IL) The Sri Lanka Embassy in Cairo organized a tea stall at the Cairo Fair held from 18th to 26th March. This initiative was supported by the Sri Lanka Tea Board. A wide collection of Sri Lankan tea samples from Amazon Trading Pvt. Ltd., Stassen Exports Limited, Tea Tang Pvt. Ltd, Ranfer Teas Pvt. Ltd., and Basilur Tea Pvt. Ltd. were displayed at the stall. Multi-flavoured tea bags packed in gift boxes became attractive and more..

Consumers devoured by Food Act!

Apr 5 (NS) Improving food hygiene in the country is hampered by deficiencies in the Food Act, Chief Medical Officer of the CMC, Dr. Ruwan Wijayamuni said. He pointed out that there are no provisions currently in the Food Act to immediately shut down eateries which are found to be selling unhygienic food. “In order to shut such places down, we need to file action either under the Nuisance Ordinance or under Section 98(1) more..

Port City project: Over 5000 suspended

Apr 5 (SL) Over 5,000 employees contracted by the two companies involved in the Port City Project, have been suspended from their contracts with immediate effect. 5,924 workers attached to the two Chinese companies have had their contracts suspended. A media spokesperson from the CHEC Port City Colombo Limited confirmed the suspension of the contracts this week. Accordingly, 900 Chinese & local employees more..

Mother digs up alleged Moscow murder of ex-envoy’s Attanagalla aide

Apr 5 (ST) The elderly mother of a former employee at Sri Lanka’s embassy in Russia alleged yesterday, her son had been murdered. Josephine Nona, 71, told the Sunday Times that her son, Noel Ranaweera, first worked at the Club Lanka restaurant owned by former ambassador Udayanga Weeratunga, in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. Weeratunga is now deemed missing and cannot be contacted for comment. more..

CB Treasury bond deal deepens: Will Arjuna survive?

Apr 5 (CT) The three-member committee which probed the controversial Treasury Bonds deal of the Central Bank has concluded inquiries and the report will be handed over to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on 10 April, authoritative sources said yesterday. Highly placed very reliable sources disclosed that according to the findings of the committee the crisis has deepened with political circles keeping fingers crossed about the more..

Excuses won’t fly when unregulated drones go wild

Apr 5 (ST) A remotely-piloted aircraft the size and weight of a laptop could malfunction in flight and kill or severely injure someone. Should such craft, popularly known as drones, be allowed over populated areas and who could be called to account for an accident caused by hardware or software failure? A concerned public is wondering whether a regulator should step in and lay down the rules. more..

Ex-EU envoy’s teenage daughter dies in train tragedy

Apr 5 (ST) 18-year-old British teernager who fell off a moving express train last Sunday has been identified as the daughter of a former European Union Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Bernard Savage. The girl was travelling on the footboard of the Matara-Kandy express train on March 29 when the tragedy occurred. “Our staff observed she was taking photographs while travelling on the footboard,” said Gamini Dharmaratne, OIC more..

Defence Hq project continues?

Apr 5 (SO) A special committee may now be probing the scandal-hit multi- billion rupee Defence Headquarters construction project but construction work seems to have resumed despite the earlier ordered work stoppage. Sunday Observer’s efforts to learn the truth by visiting the project site is, however, blocked by the Defence Ministry’s persistent refusal of entry. The govt earned Rs.19.9 billion when CACTIC – Shangri La purchased more..

UN War Crimes probe: US to wait until Sept

Apr 5 (SO) The United States will not prejudge but wait until September when the differed human rights report on Sri Lanka is placed before the UNHRC to adopt a stance of supporting a UNHRC-driven initiative or a bilateral mechanism, visiting US Assistant Secretary on Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Tom Malinowski, said yesterday. He said: “ What happens in September and beyond is still to be determined. more..

Chandrananda De Silva: A Distinguished Public Service Career

Apr 5 (Island) Chandrananda De Silva was one of the most eminent public servants of the latter part of the 20th century. As Elections Commissioner (EC) for 14 years from 1982 to 1995 and as Secretary of the Ministry of Defence from 1995 to 2002, he was one of the key figures who managed the two challenging issues the country faced during that time. As EC, he had the task of implementing a new electoral system amidst growing threats to the integrity and fairness of the electoral process, more..

Politics of Eye for an Eye, Tooth for a Tooth

Apr 5 (CT) Parliamentary politics and politics in the centre stage countrywide are in a state of confusion with internal squabbles within the govt and the opposition heightening day by day. Upon the return of President Maithripala Sirisena from China, the SLFP led UPFA opposition in Parliament was in a state of utter confusion divided over the Opposition Leader's post. A section of the UPFA led by Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Wimal Weerawansa were pushing to propose Dinesh more..

Minister has the real deal in grip

Apr 5 (CT) The old saying goes Set a thief to catch a thief; with the untainted background of our sports minister how he is going to deliver what he said about catching thieves at SLC is unclear, as with his stand to have another interim committee. Who he has appointed to lead that committee Sidath Wettimuny has never tarnished his image either. He is not the sort of person to use the position for personal agendas nor will he more..

Death fall caused by lack of safety measures

Apr 5 (ST) A 52-year old construction worker who had been working without taking safety precautions had fallen from a height of about 60 feet and died at the National Hospital, the Coroner’s Court was told. The victim, Devage Rupasena, from Walasmulla was employed at a construction project in Kadawatha. The father of two had been rushed to Ragama Hospital and later transferred to National Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU). His friend Suranga Gamlath, (40), giving evidence said more..

Pay US$ 100 to enter a casino

Apr 5 (ST) Anyone who wants to go to a casino or a registered gambling centre can do so only upon an entry payment of US$ 100 (Rs. 13,000), according to an amendment to the Betting and Gaming Levy Act. The Betting and Gaming Levy (Amendment) Bill, gazetted on March 30 in keeping with the Govt’s interim Budget proposals, states: “Every person who carried on the business of gaming in Sri Lanka for any year commencing on or after Jan 1, 2015, shall collect a levy more..

A full-face fiasco

Apr 5 (CT) Measures taken to eradicate crime from a country should not instead end up removing the first protection against accidents. Misuse of a safety measure by someone to engage in some illicit activity has to be corrected in an appropriate way. Trying to avoid bank robberies by banning full face helmets which prevent the police from recognizing burglars' faces is not an effective measure, according to many. more..

JVP stalwart to speak at party event in London

Apr 5 (Island) Wasantha Samarasinghe, a JVP central committee member, is billed to speak under the topic "The present political situation in Sri Lanka" in London. He also serves as a North Central provincial councilor and the convener of the Voice Against Corruption and the president of Inter-company Employees Union. This meeting will be held at Whitton community centre in Twickenham on April 19 2015 at 3 pm. It has been organised by the JVP Committee in the UK. more..

Couple disappears after defrauding Rs.50 million

Apr 5 (NS) A group of television drama producers has accused a private company and its owners of a large scale fraud amounting to fifty million rupees. The alleged company registered under the name Red Apple One International under the Companies Act No 7 of 2007 on Sept 23, 2014, has provided the address Alvitigala Mawatha, Arawwala Road, Pannipitiya. It was registered as a company which coordinates between audio/video production companies and media institutions. more..

Basil to make statement on April 24

Apr 5 (SO) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa will make a statement to the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) on April 24, his Attorney Udaya Rohan de Silva said. Refuting reports that the former minister had fled the US to Vietnam, de Silva said Rajapaksa had been in the US since January and will arrive in Sri Lanka after his medical check up. This has been communicated to the relevant authorities including the IGP and more..

Purchase of 300 cars under the microscope

Apr 5 (SO) Investigations will be launched soon on the purchase of 300 cars with poor fuel efficiency ordered by the Treasury at a cost of Rs. 1.68 billion, a few days before the Presidential election. The Secretariat has received information that the Treasury had placed the order for the Nissan Seder cars prior to the Presidential election and the vehicles were delivered recently. State officers who had received these cars for their use need to return them, the sources added. more..

Kuragala shrine: Vested interests trying to stir trouble: Archeology DG

Apr 5 (SO) Sri Lanka's archeology chief warned that unscrupulous elements with vested interests were trying to creat a crisis situation over one of Sri Lanka's oldest Muslim shrines in Kuragala, near Balangoda. He said that the relevant authorities would take all stepts to counter such behaviour. Archaeology Director General Dr. Senerath Dissanayake addressed a media briefing yesterday to explain the controversy over the mosque in the Kuragala Archaeological reserve. more..

Medical Administrators protest against moves to re-employ retired officers

Apr 5 (Island) The College of Medical Administrators of Sri Lanka last week voiced concern over attempts to re-employ two retired medical administrators to head key positions in the govt health sector. There is an ongoing bid to recall these two officials, who headed key medical institutions at one time, through the intervention of the Cabinet. One of them is earmarked to be appointed Gampaha Regional Director of more..