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Why India is excited about Sri Lanka’s new Ministry of Megapolis

Sep 16 (IE) When Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe put together a new cabinet after his election victory in August, he surprised many by creating a new portfolio, the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Province Development, handing it over to the right-wing Sinhala-Buddhist leader Champika Ranawaka, who is part of the UNP-led coalition. Ranawaka’s brief: to implement an estimated $300 billion city development more..

Inaugural ceremony of national coastal cleaning program

Sep 16 (GDI) Even though, Sri Lanka has beautiful coastal areas, we are losing that beauty, due to the increasing coastal pollution in the country. Govt has taken steps to implement a national program to clean up our local beaches as a solution to this issue. The Inaugural ceremony of the national coastal cleaning program will be held under patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena on Sept 19 at 7 a.m. at the Galle Face Green. more..

Good Governance under fire over ministries?

Sep 16 (SL) The Maithripala-Ranil govt has come under fire over the decision to expand the size of the cabinet. Sole purpose in bringing in the 19th amendment was to limit the cabinet to 30 cabinet ministers and 40 state and deputy ministers. Political observers have criticised the current rulers for disregarding Constitution to consolidate their power while trying to hide behind the term national govt to justify their jumbo-cabinet. more..

'Political uncertainty has constrained FDIs'

Sep 16 (FT) The latest island-wide poll conducted by TNS Lanka, for business magazine LMD, finds that a “whopping 95% of those polled agree that foreign investors are crucial to Sri Lanka. The strengthening of the economy, and creation of job opportunities and income generating ventures, is the main reason cited for this broad consensus,” magazine reports. LMD’s September edition notes: “Nine-in-10 respondents deem Sri Lanka more..

Gadkari discusses $5 billion India, Lanka road link with Wickremesinghe

Sep 16 (TOI) India on Wednesday took up the issue of constructing a sea-bridge and an underwater tunnel for both road and rail transport that would connect Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu with Sri Lanka through the Palk Strait, with Colombo. Shipping ministry sources claimed that the ADB has shown interest to carry out the socio-economic feasibility study for this 23 km project linking Dhanushkodi & Sri Lankan boundary. more..

US based Hindu body calls for international probe into Sri Lanka war crimes

Sep 16 (PTI) A US-based Hindu organisation has called for an international independent probe into the alleged war crimes during Sri Lanka's final assault on the LTTE as America is set to bring a resolution in the UN rights body supporting a domestic probe. "The US and other UNHRC member countries have a moral responsibility to deliver justice to the victims of Sri Lanka's civil war, particularly estimated 40,000 Tamil civilians more..

New Zealand hails promises made by Mangala

Sep 16 (CG) New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully has welcomed the Sri Lankan Govt’s announcement it will establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to help the country recover from its decades-long civil war. “New Zealand welcomes the measures announced by Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the UNHRC this week,” McCully said. “They constitute a significant step towards genuine reconciliation more..

CA orders CEA to ascertain if Rathupaswala ground water is safe for humans

Sep 16 (Island) The Court of Appeal ordered the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) to scientifically test the ground water of Rathupaswala, Gampaha and to find out whether the water is suitable for human consumption. The CEA was also ordered to submit a report on the issue for the perusal of the court by Nov. 13. The petitioners, Pramitha Hetiarachchi, the Chairman of the Siyane Jala Surakeeme Sangamaya and Centre for more..

Sri Lanka's revised GDP grows 6.7% in 2Q

Sep 16 (EN) Sri Lanka's gross domestic product grew 6.7% in the second quarter of 2015 from a year earlier under a revised methodology. Agriculture sector grew 5%, services grew 7.9% and industry grew 2% under the old base. A fourth category taxes less subsidies grew 14%. The highest contribution to GDP came from the services sector with a contribution of 61.2%, followed by industry with 23.5% more..

Sensitivities, Post UNHRC Sessions

Sep 16 (CT) USA, the world's largest superpower, militarily and economically, reaffirmed the stance it took a few weeks ago in Colombo when its International Organization Affairs Bureau's Deputy Assistant Secretary Erin M. Barclay addressing the 30th Session of the UNHRC at Geneva on Monday said the USA will engage with the Govt of Sri Lanka to develop a resolution that will gain UNHRC's consensus support and will assist Sri Lanka in achieving meaningful and credible more..

UNPer petitions CA to fill vacancies in Uva PC according to preference list

Sep 16 (Island) K.P.G.P. Wijewardene of the UNP filed a Writ Application in the Court of Appeal requesting the Court to order the Commissioner of Elections to appoint him as the first member to fill one of the two vacancies in Uva Provincial Council (UPC), created by the election of two former PC members of UNP, Harindra Fernando and Ravindra Samaraweera to Parliament. Petitioner has said that at the UPC polls, in 2014, he secured 9th place on UNP’s preferential vote list. more..

OHCHR press conference on Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka launches producer price index

Sep 16 (EN) Sri Lanka has started releasing a producer price index (PPI) which is useful for firm and can also give early warning on impending inflation, head of the state statistics office A J Satharasinghe said. The index was 98.38 for April 2015, 99.95 for May and 98.82 for June 2015, indicating a fall in overall prices from the base. The index measures factory and farmgate prices. The PPI has a base of the 2013 fourth quarter. While energy prices had fallen, more..

Common economic partnership with India

Sep 16 (CT) There is much opposition to CEPA among various people. But I could not find any concrete arguments put forward by any one as to why they oppose. We seem to be inhibited by fears of domination by big brother. But we are living in a globalised world and India being our closest neighbor will have the cheapest cost of supply of goods and services to us. Hasn’t this Agreement been worked out through exhaustive negotiations between officials of both sides that have more..

We succeeded in stopping use of 54 chemicals harmful to Ozone layer: President

Sep 16 (PSL) President Sirisena says he undertook the Ministry of Environment as no politician, irrespective of the divisions of parties, has fulfilled the responsibility for environmental conservation. He stated that 54 chemicals out of 97 chemicals that cause damage the Ozone Layer have been removed from use as a result of strict action taken by Ggvt. President made these remarks at the national ceremony more..

Gomin praises Mangala’s Geneva statement, reiterates concern over int’l intervention

Sep 16 (Island) Senior lawyer, Gomin Dayasri, commended Maithripala-Ranil govt for assuring the Geneva-based UNHRC Sri Lanka’s readiness to conduct a thorough domestic investigation into accountability issues. Dayasri appreciated Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s statement made on behalf of the new administration at the UNHRC sessions. Dayasri, who has represented the military on numerous occasions asserted FM Samaraweera’s overall statement as prudent. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.2%

Sep 16 (LBO) Stocks closed down 0.21% on Wednesday with losses in the banking and finance stocks following a Central Bank directive to banks to reduce loan ratio on motor vehicles, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed down 15.03 points at 7,137.40 lower 0.21%. S&P SL20 closed 15.50 points lower at 3,899.63 down 0.4%. “The much anticipated Fed policy meeting, domestic economic concerns along with the outcome of the UNHRC meeting are seemingly keeping the investors more..

'Not wise to breakaway from UPFA'

Sep 16 (DM) DLF Leader and UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara opined that it was not wise to create a breakaway party of UPFA as it would pave the way for the Maithripala - UNP alliance to take control of the party. MP Nanayakkara who refused to accept the leadership of President Sirisena in UPFA, instead proposed that the party should contest the provincial council election without the backing of the President. more..

Pakistan gifts IT Lab to Sri Lankan College

Sep 16 (PT) Pakistan has donated a fully equipped IT Lab comprising 15 computers and related equipment to Hameed Al Husseinie College in Colombo on Wednesday through its High Commission in Sri Lanka. The new IT Lab will be used to impart diploma certificates in various IT fields to the students as well as old students of the college for increasing their skills and improving prospects for better employment opportunities. The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka, more..

NPC members seek UN led judicial process

Sep 16 (CG) NPC members M K Shivajilingam and Ananthy Sasitharan have urged the UNHRC to ensure a judicial process on the war in Sri Lanka, under the control of the UN. In a letter to the UNHRC member countries, Shivajilingam and Sasitharan noted that the judicial process must have the jurisdiction to handle all international crimes, including Genocide. They urged the Council to include their request in the resolution on Sri Lanka expected to be submitted to the Council more..

'Hope India-Sri Lanka relations will scale new heights'

Sep 16 (PTI) President Pranab Mukherjee today expressed hope that India-Sri Lanka relations will scale new heights under the leadership of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who expressed keenness to have close cooperation with India. The two leaders exchanged views when Mr Wickremesinghe called on President Mukherjee in New Delhi. Welcoming Mr Wickremesinghe who is on his first visit to India after becoming PM more..

Sri Lanka offers off-peak tariffs to charge electric cars at home

Sep 16 (EN) CEB is offering off peak power at 13 rupees a unit to charge electric cars at home. Off peak rate will be available from 10.30 pm to 05.30 am the next day. A peak tariff of 54 rupees unit (kilowatt hour) will be charged from 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm. A 25 rupee a unit charge will be applied for the balance 13 hours. CEB customer who has a 30 Ampere three-phase supply could apply for the tariff. A time of day meter will have to be installed. SL's electric car ownership has been growing more..

SriLankan Airlines flight diverted to Mattala

Sep 16 (DM) A SriLankan flight was diverted to the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) today due to inclement weather in Colombo, Spokesman for the SriLankan Airlines said. “The SriLankan Airline flight UL 504 from London to Colombo with 244 passengers onboard was diverted to MRIA and landed safely at 13.54,” he said. The passengers had been served refreshments and the flight took off from MRIA at 16.30 hrs heading Bandaranaike International Airport. more..

Govt says report not a criminal probe

Sep 16 (CG) The Govt says the report on Sri Lanka by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is not a criminal investigation. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a response to the report, said that Sri Lanka took note of the Report of the OHCHR, and the recommendations made by the High Commissioner. The Govt response said: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka more..

'Eradicating drugs is everyone’s baby not just the govt’s'

Sep 16 (Island) Colombo Plan Director,  Tay Bian How, said every one had a role to play in eradicating the drug menace but many passed the responsibility to the government. The Colombo Plan senior executive appealed to all citizens to do everything in their power to rid the country of the scourge of narcotics. He said according to 2015 World Drug Report, an estimated 246 million people or one out of 20 people between the ages of 15 and 64 years had used illicit drugs in 2013. more..

Police give conflicting accounts about Seya’s murder probe

Sep 16 (Island) Police teams conducting investigations into the brutal killing of five-year-old Seya Sadewmi Bakmeedeniya of Akkarangaha, Kotadeniyawa, have not been able to identify the suspect or suspects involved in the crime until last night, Police Media Unit (PMU) said last night. The funeral of the victim was held yesterday with police protection amidst massive media coverage and a huge influx of people from every corner of the country as it was beyond belief. more..

Power should be devolved within united, not unitary state: TNA

Sep 16 (Island) TNA says that it is for maximum devolution within a united and not unitary state. TNA MP M. A.Sumanthiran said over the phone from Geneva, where he was attending UNHRC sessions said that he had been misqouted as saying that TNA was for devolution within a unitary state. "That is not correct, the TNA having taken history into consideration believes that maximum devolution within a united State more..

S’gamuwa U’grads in coventry: Claim death threats from the IUSF

Sep 16 (CT) Undergraduates of the Sabaragamuwa University have lodged a complaint with the Balangoda Police alleging that they had been assaulted and threatened with death by the Inter-University Students Federation (IUSF). One of the undergraduates of a group of seven who had thus been intimidated by the IUSF and representatives of the Sabaragamuwa (Maha/Main) Students’ Union, who had also witnessed the assault of a fellow undergraduate on the 11th, who wished to more..

Inquiry into Rathupaswala incident continues: Army

Sep 16 (DM) The Army today said the recording of Summary of Evidence (S of E) into the Rathupaswala incident was still being carried out ahead of the Court of Inquiry (C of I) completion. In a statement, they said the Magisterial Inquiry regarding the incident had been fixed for hearing on November 6 this year. “In consequence of the incident on August 1, 2013, an Army C of I was appointed to investigate the matter in accordance with military provisions. more..

Victims and activists back special court on Sri Lanka war crimes

Sep 16 (Reuters) Victims and activists welcomed a U.N. call for Sri Lankan state forces and Tamil Tigers to face prosecution for alleged war crimes, including mass killings of civilians, by a special court with international judges. Despite pledges by the new govt of President Sirisena to pursue perpetrators, the criminal justice system was not up to the huge task alone, said the report by UNHRC office. more..

Video: Daala accused of bribing to get votes

Sep 16 (LT) At the election held on the 8th to elect the Diyawadana Nilame for the historic Temple of the Tooth Pradeep Nilanga Daala Bandara attempted to give him a bribe of Rs.500,000 to get his vote says the incumbent of Aukana Raja Maha Viharaya Ven. Shrasthaveliye Dhammakiththi Thero. Thero further said he had tried to file an objection to the Commissioner General on Buddhist Affairs at the time of the election but the Commissioner did not take any notice of his complaint. more..

Ministers visit to evaluate situation

Sep 16 (CT) With a view to inspect the damages caused by sea erosion and to take immediate remedial measures Ministers Rauff Hakeem and Rishad Bathiutheen paid separate visits to Oluvil on Saturday. Both the Ministers were accorded a warm welcome by their supporters. Minister Rauf Hakeem who arrived first to Oluvil was greeted by his supporters and was taken to the lighthouse at the Oluvil Harbour where sea erosion has severely affected the site of the outer areas and more..

Full Text: Report of OHCHR on Sri Lanka

Sep 16 (NS) United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein today urged the creation of a special hybrid court in Sri Lanka to investigate allegations of war crimes during the country’s civil war. Speaking at a media briefing in Geneva on the release of the new UN report from the Office of the High Commissioner’s Investigation Committee on Sri Lanka (OISL), he said a hybrid court, with international judges, more..

MP Chathura noticed over Ragama clash

Sep 16 (DM) MP Chathura Senaratne, who was recently elected to Parliament, was noticed to appear in the Negombo Court on October 20 for allegedly threatening some suspects in the Police custody at Ragama. SSP Priyantha Jayakody said five people were arrested in connection with a clash that took place between supporters of MP Kavinda Jayawardane and MP Chathura Senaratne at the Ragama town on Monday night. Three men involved in the clash were admitted to Hospital. more..

TNA will not stop agitating until justice is meted for atrocities committed

Sep 16 (CT) Internal probe in the war crime allegation would not provide a solution to the Tamil problem, only an international probe would provide a satisfying solution to the war crime allegation, said Prasanna Indrakumar, Deputy Chairman of Eastern Provincial Council at an event in connection with Batticaloa Sathurukondan massacre remembrance day. He said several massacres had taken place in the Eastern Province. Several commissions were appointed to inquire into these massacres. more..

UN report on Sri Lankan war crimes seeks internationalized special court

Sep 16 (ENS) UN report on war crimes in Sri Lanka has recommended the establishment of an internationalized Special Court to try cases of war crimes committed by both the Lankan armed forces and the LTTE. The report which was released at the 30th session of UNHRC on Wednesday, identified grave violations between 2002 and 2011, which strongly indicated that war crimes and crimes against humanity were more..

Two immoral acts of Sirisena-Ranil govt

Sep 17 (CT) The artificial situation now created by the President and the Prime Minister has led to an unsavory political climate in the country. When we look back on the promises made during the election campaign nobody expected the creation of a mega cabinet or the appointment of the rejected ones as Ministers and MPs under Yahapalanya. Surely this is nothing else but cheating the gullible masses. The appointment of a jumbo cabinet going against the 19th amendment and more..

The National List fraud

Sep 17 (CT) An in-depth investigation conducted into the National List provision (Article 99A) introduced to the Constitution on 04th May 1988, reveals that there had been an instance of abuse of people’s Executive and Legislative power in unimaginable scale by the then govt headed by the President JR Jayewardene. The then PM, R Premadasa, who had introduced this bill in Parliament had stated that the 14th Amendment was the result of the deliberations of more..

'Abolish the Press Council'

Sep 17 (SO) Convener of the Free Media Movement (FMM), Seetha Ranjani, called on the govt to co-operate and carry out investigations into the killings and disappearances of journalists. She was of the view that a conducive environment prevailed for journalists to carry out their duties. “Media Institutions too can function without any hindrance. This was after the January 8 silent revolution,” she said, in the interview. more..

Yahapalakaya chokes on Yahapalana cabinet

Sep 17 (NS) Aug 17 election was called by President Sirisena when it became obvious that the minority govt imposed on the country as a result of an electoral pact between the President and the main opposition group UNP was no longer tenable. The convoluted electoral arrangement between the President and Ranil Wickremasinhe had created a weird and dysfunctional political creature. At the time of dissolution, the majority of MPs belonged to President’s coalition, UPFA (not the UNP). more..