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Resisting resistance against reconciliation

Apr 6 (NS) The recovery of suicide jackets and ammunitions in the North last week once again created ripples and concerns over re-emergence of armed groups after almost a seven year hiatus. The opposition has urged the govt to probe the matter seriously and to ensure that this does not pave way to the re-emergence of the LTTE, which would eventually lead the way to the past. It is important for the defence establishment to probe the matter and find the truth behind the discoveries of more..

Plantation sector quagmire; Is there a light at the end of the tunnel

Apr 6 (CT) I recently visited Sri-Lanka after a two-year spell. Pleasantly surprised to see that people are happier and no apparent tension among the citizens which is a healthy situation in a democracy. They are very free to express their views and the media seem to be freer. There is a general euphoria among the citizens. People talk about ease of transport due to excellent road network. Mobility to the masses gives another dimension to their thinking and living, which is good for the nation’s more..

'Nothing tangible has been achieved as far as Tamil people are concerned'

Apr 6 (SL) Even though the people in the South think that all Tamils are pro LTTE and in favour of separatism, even in the last election, the Tamil people voted for Sarath Fonseka, in spite of him being the past Army Commander and him being responsible for the damage done to the North and the Tamil people. These were the sentiments expressed by the Chairman of the NPC C.V.K. Sivagnanam. more..

Politics of making a city beautiful

Apr 6 (SL) The terrific brouhaha – ho-ha as we Sri Lankans say – over the walking track dug up by some authority at Mabole in Wattala may even convey the impression that it was paved with marble and not paving stones. Rarely have we seen such outbursts of passion anger expressed even on the destruction of a road or street quite apart from walking track. Walking tracks have developed a high degree of sanctity particularly to the Rajapaksa faithful during their heyday. more..

Editorial: Fighting a sea monster

Apr 6 (Island) Paradoxical as it may sound, peace, which is, no doubt, a blessing to one and all, can cause problems to a country which has succeeded in putting a protracted, bloody conflict behind it. This has been SL’s experience in the post-war period. Today, people enjoy the freedom of movement. HSZs have been dismantled; checkpoints have been reduced to a bare minimum and random checks are almost non-existent. Fishers no longer face restrictions in engaging in deep sea fishing. more..

T. B. Ekanayake

Over-politicisation of explosives seizure in forgotten war-zone

Apr 6 (SL) It’s sad that Govt and self-styled joint Opposition of majority Sinhala parties and factions have ended up over-politicising the recent police recovery of explosives material from a house at the Meesalai area of Chavakachcheri in Tamil-majority Northern Province. It also remains to be seen what, if at all, the all-Tamil provincial administration and/or the TNA, which is also the officially-recognized Opposition in Parliament, has to say about the entire episode. more..

The Forgotten Genius

Apr 6 (Island) The deft hand which created many a beautiful painting and many a memorable melody including our National Anthem, reached for a bottle of sleeping pills, perhaps hesitantly, on 2nd April 1962 and silenced the golden voice of Ananda Samarakoon, for ever, three days later. Maybe it is due to inherent ingratitude of our nation or negative attitude to suicide, that the genius of Anada Samarakoon has been forgotten even though there were heated exchanges, earlier in the year, more..

Sampur Power Project draws local ire

Apr 6 (SO) Land levelling and fencing at the controversial 500 megawatt proposed coal power plant has begun in Sampur, Trincomalee. Authoritative sources at the Ministry of Power and Energy said that the project has hit an unexpected snag. Fierce opposition from environmentalists and residents lobbying for a relocation of the plant were unfavorable and could bring construction work to a grinding halt. more..

How Dharmasena saved the day for WI

Apr 6 (Island) On Sunday, the West Indies stunned the cricketing world with their come from behind victory against England in the finals of the ICC World T-20 at Eden Gardens in Calcutta. Barbadian Carlos Brathwaite and Jamaican Marlon Samuels were the stars in West Indies’ win. However, victory wouldn’t have been possible for West Indies if not for SL umpire Kumar Dharmasena. West Indies had made dreadful start losing three wickets for just 11 runs and the game looked well beyond their reach more..

SL women’s hockey team for Singapore

Apr 6 (DN) An 18-member strong Sri Lanka women's hockey team will leave for Singapore today to participate in the first round of the World League Hockey Championship which will be played in Singapore from April 9 to 20. Sri Lanka team will be led by former Seetha Devi Balika Vidyalaya and Sri Lanka Navy centre half Madura Dharmaratne and goal keeper Jeewanthi Keerthiratne also from Sri Lanka Navy and Seetha Devi Balika Vidyalaya will be the deputy captain. more..

Govt bets on global floor price to lift rubber industry

Apr 6 (FT) Amidst an oil glut and severe weather, Govt is hoping a global floor price for rubber exports under discussion by the world rubber producing countries would give the industry a much-needed reprieve. The possibility of a floor price, which has been under discussion by the handful of East Asian natural rubber producing countries, will be under discussion yet again at an international summit to be held in Colombo in June, more..

Development of electricity sector in Sri Lanka: Some non-initiatives

Apr 6 (Island) In a letter written to The Island of 04.04.2016, Neil Perera (NP), a former employee of CEB from its inception and who has held high positions in it, has said the CEB’s Long Term Generation (Expansion) Plan was never allowed to be implemented fully, by politicians and environmentalists, and the entire country is suffering as a result. There have been a few questions in my mind about the recent development of the electricity generation capacity, and since more..

Pakistan whitewash SL in Blind T20 series

Apr 6 (APP) Pakistan whitewashed Sri Lanka on Tuesday in the Interloop Twenty20 Blind Cricket series played at the Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad. Pakistan had earlier defeated Sri Lanka in two T20s. In the third match, Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets on Tuesday. After winning the toss, Sri Lanka decided to bat first. But Pakistan’s Israr Hassan sent Sri Lankan star batsmen Deshapriya and Dimthu Ravindra back to pavilion in the first couple of overs, says a press release issued. more..

Hyundai mulls steel plant in Trinco

Apr 6 (DN) Hyundai Steel Co, one of the largest steel manufacturers in the world is keen to set up a steel plant in Trinomalee harbour. State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said that in addition automobile companies, Hyundai and Kia too are keen to set up car manufacturing plants in Trincomalee. "This is provided that Hyundai Steel Company, the oldest steel making company in Korea sets up a steel plant." more..

Sri Lanka to call for competitive bids for coal plant with India

Apr 6 (EN) Sri Lanka will call for international bids for a 500MW coal-fired power plant to be built in Sampur, in eastern Trincomalee, the CEB’s General Manager M C Wickramasekara said. The plant, with two units of 250MW, will be a joint venture between CEB and India’s largest power utility, NTPC. “We have just got conditional environmental clearance,” he said. A key change would be the requirement to change the location of the power plant’s cooling water outlet. more..

‘More and more bank customers converting their savings accounts into fixed deposits’

Apr 6 (Island) Sampath Bank MD Aravinda Perera said that there are a number of customers who are now converting saving accounts into fixed deposits due to the ever increasing interest rates offered by banks. "Right now there is a drop in deposits in every bank and financial institution and in the future there would probably be an increase in the interest rates, especially of fixed deposits. "Therefore, many customers would convert their savings accounts into fixed deposit accounts, more..

No ISIS in Sri Lanka: Sagala

Apr 6 (FT) ISIS operations are not carried out in Sri Lanka and the Govt has taken adequate measures to prevent foreign terrorist organisations from making use of Sri Lanka, Minister Sagala Ratnayaka confirmed to Parliament. Creating a religious dialogue and awareness with the co-ordination of Muslim politicians, religious leaders, Ministry of Education, Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs and civil org more..

Sri Lankan biz delegation to visit Pakistan

Apr 6 (DN) A nine member Sri Lankan business delegation will visit Pakistan from April 6 to 9 to explore trade and investment opportunities. The delegation, led by the Sri Lanka – Pakistan Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, will also take part in the Textile sector specific exhibition TeXpo 2016, which will be held at the Karachi Expo Centre. The delegation to Pakistan will be led by the Minister Rishard Bathiudeen. Lankan businessmen, apart from attending more..

FINA lifts suspension on Sri Lanka

Apr 6 (CT) The suspension imposed on Sri Lanka by the International governing body of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and open water swimming, FINA, has been lifted as of 30 March 2016. Cornel Marculescu, Executive Director of the FINA, issued the letter lifting the suspension which was imposed on 17 June 2015 following the successful conduction of elections and the AGM on 31 Jan 2016. AGM was conducted by the FINA appointed Interim Committee. more..

SL opens doors to FDI from down under

Apr 6 (FT) Sri Lanka, backed by an IMF arrangement, is ready for foreign investment from Australia said Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday. Kicking off a visit to the land down under Samaraweera was enthusiastic of the ties between the two nations and insisted Sri Lanka was in need for investment to complete the transition that began with the presidential election in January 2015. “We are leveraging SL’s unique geo-economic more..

Police fire at fleeing tri-shaw; arrest two suspects with ganja

Apr 6 (Island) Two policemen attached to the Dodangoda police opened fire on Monday night at a trishaw at Bombuwala in the Dodangoda police area, when it attempted to speed away without heeding orders to stop. Two men were taken into custody with a packet of cannabis. They were unhurt. Police personnel who gave chase to the fleeing suspects on a motorcycle, initially tried to stop the speeding trishaw that did not stop. One of the suspects under the influence of liquor more..

NTC promises 3,000 additional buses during festive season

Apr 6 (Island) National Transport Commission (NTC) said 3,000 additional long-distance buses would be deployed during the new year festive season commencing from April 8. NTC Chairman M.A.P. Hemachandra, said those buses would operate from the Bastian Mawatha bus stand from April 08 to 15 and from bus stations in other areas from April 15 to 25. Hemachnadra said the Western Province Transport Authority had also promised to operate buses from Katunayake, Biyagama, more..

Gypsies’ Sunil terms UNP, SLFP bane of the country

Apr 6 (Island) Castigating UNP and SLFP for the deplorable state in post-Independence SL, Gypsies leader Sunil Perera on Monday alleged that they were the bane of the country. Perera lambasted the two major parties for ruining the country while questioning their right to advice the media. The audience applauded the versatile singer as he attacked the two major parties now ruling the country after forming a coalition, more..

Fifth stage of Drugs Free Country launched in Kurunegala

Apr 6 (ITN) Govt is shouldering the national task of building a country free of drugs as narcotics have become a menace at present. Govt is facing the challenge of liberating the people from this menace launching a number of programmes. It is under the full mediation of President Sirisena that the national drugs prevention programme has been started themed A country Free from Drugs. The seventh stage of the national drugs prevention programe was launched in Kurunegala under more..

Sea Planes a threat in Batticaloa

Apr 6 (CT) The use of the Batticaloa lagoon by sea planes has begun to destroy aquatic life that abounds in it while also posing a threat to the historic buildings, such as the Dutch Fort, which stand in the area. Sea Planes which land and take off frequently in and from the Batticaloa lagoon perhaps shuttle tourists in significant numbers to the Eastern Province. That does not detract from the fact that the vibrations constantly emanating from their engines pose a huge threat to aquatic more..

Aravinda hits critics for a Six!

Apr 6 (CT) Selection Committee Chairman Aravinda de Silva has finally come forward to reply the strong criticism made by former captain Lasith Malinga and former Selection Committee Chairman Kapila Wijegunawardene while accepting the responsibility for Sri Lanka's group stage exit in the recently concluded ICC World Twenty20 held in India. De Silva who was appointed as Selection Committee Chairman on Mar 8 more..

Four fishermen held by Lankan navy

Apr 6 (Hindu) Amid reports that Sri Lanka has ordered the release of 99 Indian fishermen from TN languishing in its prisons, the Sri Lankan Coast Guard has arrested four Rameswaram fishermen with their trawler on a poaching charge. The fishermen, who had set out for fishing from the fishing jetty here on Monday, were fishing near southwest of Delft island, when SL Coast Guard, assisted by the Navy, arrested them in the wee hours of Tuesday. more..

Govt to focus on reviving film industry

Apr 6 (DM) The govt will focus on reviving the local film industry from its present state, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Speaking at a function held to mark the 97th birthday of popular film personality Dr. Lester James Peiris at his residence, the PM said what had become of the local film industry today is an issue that should be looked into. “ Dr Peiris pioneered the development of the local film industry through his great work such as Rekava and Gam Peraliya but the issue today is more..

Sri Lanka starts moves to grant Tamils more autonomy

Apr 6 (AFP) Sri Lanka's parliament Tuesday launched a process to draw up a new constitution aimed at preventing a return to ethnic war by granting minority Tamils greater autonomy. Parliamentary speaker Karu Jayasuriya opened a constitutional assembly, seeking public views on reforming the charter, 7 years after the end of the separatist war that claimed at least 100,000 lives. "This is an historic occasion and we have more..

Public given an opportunity to express views on reconciliation

Apr 6 (CG) Consultations Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms has invited submissions from the public on the design of structures, processes and measures to seek truth and justice, ensure accountability and offer redress to the victims of the war. The Govt has indicated that it is considering an Office of Missing Persons, a Truth, Justice, Reconciliation and Non-Recurrence Commission, a Judicial Mechanism with a Special Counsel and an Office of Reparations more..

Expectations high from Ranil’s China visit

Apr 6 (Hindu) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe arrives in Beijing on Wednesday on an upbeat note after his govt cleared the stalled $1.4 billion Colombo Port City, which had become an irritant in the ties between the two countries after a change of guard in Sri Lanka. Cabinet had formally cleared the project last month, paving the way for Mr. Wickremesinghe’s visit. The decks were cleared after Minister Malik Samarawickrama visited China and held talks with the Chinese authorities on more..

Constitutional Council sits in Parliament

Apr 6 (FT) Constitutional Council (CC) assembled yesterday for the first time in Parliament with the mandate to draft a new Constitution with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe appointed to head the Operations Committee. CC will be chaired by Karu Jayasuriya along with seven other deputy chairmen. Making a historical move to repel the 1978 Constitution, Speaker Jayasuriya said: “A serious public consensus was seen to more..

Who’s kidding about kidneys

Apr 6 (DM) Sri Lanka appears to be facing a major kidney problem -- not only physically but also morally and legally. On the physical side there is a kidney disease epidemic mainly in the North Central Province where tens of thousands of farmer families have been affected with more than 10,000 deaths during the past few years. It is officially described as a chronic kidney disease of unknown origin, but most soil scientists and other analysts believe it is directly connected to more..

Laminated manioc chips: True or false?

Apr 6 (DM) A rumour has spread like wildfire; initially travelling through the bustling streets of Colombo and eventually reaching the ears of the whole nation. A rumour that convinced people that as a practice vendors added plastic to oil when frying local munchies. A rumour that has been used by teachers to wake up the back rows of classes. A rumour that has been discussed at length in offices whenever someone brought a pack of chips to share. more..

Estate workers: Deprived working community in Sri Lanka

Apr 6 (SL) With the new govt coming into power with a bagful of promises, especially towards the interests of the country’s deprived working community, The estate sector salary issues are yet to fall upon the govt’s watchful gaze. Several sources from the plantations sector raised concerns over the deteriorating standards of the sector and said that the govt should divert more attention towards investing in the wellbeing of the more..

'Oluvil Harbour to become economic centre'

Apr 6 (DN) Oluvil Harbour will be transformed into a Significant Economic Centre by redeveloping it, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said. This was disclosed by minister during a discussion in Oluvil on Monday. He said Oluvil Harbour was set up with the aim of developing eastern economy. But, it was affected by a number reasons. By developing this harbour, it will be upgraded to international standards in the future. more..

CMC lab comes under govt audit microscope

Apr 6 (ST) Irregularities said to be taking place in the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC)-run City Microbiological Lab are being probed by the Govt Audit, CMC sources said. They said the audit investigation was launched after CML chief Anna Kariywasam wrote to Colombo Mayor A.J. M. Muzamil alleging that CMC authorities were responsible for huge losses suffered by the lab last year. It is alleged that the lab was deprived of more..

'Apparently a well-planned job of the Diesel Mafia'

Apr 6 (DM) During an interview with the Minister Champika Ranawaka on the issues that surfaced with the power outages that affected the entire country, he categorically stated that this was the work of a Mafia within the CEB. Q: You were once the Minister of Power. What was this issue connected with the power supply? A: I wish to state frankly that in SL there was no power issue that occurred due to an unavoidable situation. more..

Sri Lankan expats in Oman hopeful of voting rights in home country

Apr 6 (TOO) Sri Lankans in Oman are optimistic about getting voting rights soon as the Sri Lankan parliament is set to pass a motion enabling voting rights for its citizens abroad on Wednesday. “If the parliament passes the motion, then we would be happiest lot. Getting a say in our country’s politics is not a small thing. The demand for voting rights for migrant Lankan workers is a long standing one. Hope it becomes a reality this time,” more..