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'CEB is in a quagmire; retrieving is a herculean task'

Apr 6 (DM) Currently the issue in connection with power failures and black outs, the pointing of fingers at various quarters and institutions are continuing. It has now become a widely-talked subject at the COPE too. JVP MP Sunil Handuneththi who is also the Chairman of COPE revealed the following facts. He said that the issue was something, but there is another crucial issue relating to CEB. more..

Yahapalana Deal: Govt spends Rs. 31 million on Farmers' Conference

Apr 6 (AM) President Maithripala Sirisena's govt, which came to power with a pledge to limit state expenditure, is spending nearly 31 million rupees for a Farmers' Conference held today at BMICH. The conference, organized by Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resource Management, the conference is held to discuss the Nation without Poison and Overcome Kidney Disease programme. more..

Australia announce Test cricket tour of SL

Apr 6 (CI) Australia's 3-Test series on the tour of SL is scheduled to begin from July 26 - unusually - in Pallekele, as authorities seek to avoid a clash between the Kandy Perahera festival and the Test. Australia will also play five ODIs and two T20s on the tour, spread between Khettarama, Dambulla and Pallekele from Aug 21 to Sept 9. Hambantota is the only functional international ground that will not host matches. more..

All measures to protect national security: IGP

Apr 6 (DN) Outgoing IGP N.K. Illangakoon said that no one should have any suspicion about national security as the Police and Security Forces have taken all measures to protect the country's security. The IGP is to retire from the Police service this month. He was IGP for five years. Addressing the media after performing religious rites at the Sacred Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, Illangakoon said that he endevoured to uplift more..

Video: Govt should be serious without cracking jokes: Arundika

Apr 6 (DM) The UNP and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake should take responsibility on taking the country forward, while boosting the country’s economy, without cracking jokes on loan repayment, Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs Deputy Minister Arundika Fernando said today. “We have discussed the development issues in the country during a meeting, which held yesterday. more..

Reducing expenses by Rs. 10 mn for farmer conference: DG

Apr 6 (DM) Though Rs. 30.8 million had been approved for the expenses of a Farmers Conference organised by the Irrigation Ministry, Irrigation Department Director General today said that they were trying to reduce expenses to Rs. 20 million. “We prepared the basic estimate draft to keep the event within a budget framework. However, we expect to reduce the organising expenses by Rs.10 million,” Director General S.S.L. Weerasinghe said. He said Ministry Secretary more..

Sports: A tool for development and peace building

Apr 6 (CT) Sport has long being recognised as a tool for peace promotion. Its disregard for borders across nations, and the ability to bring together societies has enabled sports to play a significant role in promoting social integration, and economic development. Sport is also a powerful tool to address many issues of the society, including the promotion of peace and development. Having the capacity to strengthen social ties and networks, promote ideals of peace, fraternity, more..


Shares rise for second day on retail buying

Apr 6 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares recovered from early losses to post their second straight gain on Wednesday, as local retail investors bought beaten-down banking and diversified stocks, though continued selling by foreign investors on worries over macroeconomic stability weighed on sentiment. Foreign investors sold a net 190.95 million rupees ($1.32 million) worth of equities, their fifth straight session of selling, and extending the year-to-date outflows to 3.05 billion rupees. more..

Address NTBs before inking ECTA

Apr 6 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told the UNP activists at Sirikotha recently that govt has focused on Non Tariff Barriers (NTBs) militating against Lankan exports to India. He added there are a lot of administrative obstacles in India. "A number of SL businessmen have shown us this and we are also negotiating changes for our benefit with India. We have no administrative obstacles against Indian imports to Sri Lanka. We must address these issues and I think we can sort these problems out," more..

Video: Wimal's tit-for-tat: Probe farmer conference

Apr 6 (DM) Joint Opposition requested the FCID and the Bribery Commission to launch an investigation into the Rs. 30.8 million of expenditure of the Farmers’ Conference which was held at the BMICH today. “We request the FCID, Bribery Commission, and those who are concerned about money laundering, to probe this amount if they could,” NFF Leader MP Wimal Weerawansa said. Rs. 6 million had been allocated for foods more..

Ranil's China visit to put Sri Lanka on new economic trajectory

Apr 6 (ENS) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s three-day visit to China beginning on Wednesday, is aimed at putting Lanka on a new economic trajectory with new systems in place to revive the ailing mega projects of the Rajapaksa era and to make the proposed US$ 1.4 billion Colombo Port City an international business hub with its own financial and other laws. The difference between the Rajapaksa regime and the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt is that while the former simply got the Chinese more..

Friday Forum wants scheme to build 65,000 houses stopped

Apr 6 (CT) Friday Forum has called on the Govt to immediately halt the controversial 65,000 housing project in the North and East, while emphasizing upon the need to consult the communities concerned and systematically review the options available for suitable housing and a process of construction most beneficial to the affected communities and the public interest. Friday Forum, an informal and self-financed group dedicated to democracy, good governance, human rights more..

'LTTE cannot revive its separatist movement in Sri Lanka'

Apr 6 (PTI) LTTE cannot revive its separatist movement in Sri Lanka without its leader V Prabakaran, a senior Northern Province official today asserted, downplaying fears of re-emergence of militancy after the recent discovery of a cache of ammunitions from Jaffna. Chairman of the NPC C V K Sivgnanam was responding to opposition parties in the southern part of the country who expressed fears of a comeback by the LTTE following more..

Nekath Seettuwa presented to President

Apr 6 (PSL) In keeping with the New Year customs and traditions, the Sinhala and Tamil New Year rituals time table known as Nekath Seettuwa was presented to President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s Official Residence, today. Marking the ancient tradition a person, symbolizing the Nakath Mohottala, presented the Nekath Seettuwa to the President. The Nekath Seettuwa includes the auspicious time for the dawn of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, more..

A sudden meeting between Mahinda & Ranil

Apr 6 (LT) Former President Rajapaksa has met PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at PM’s office in Parliamentary Complex a few moments before the PM left to China. PM and Mr. Rajapaksa had a secret discussion for about 20 minutes on a special matter say reports. Despite several MPs from Mahinda faction had come to the PM’s office with Mr. Rajapaksa, they had been asked to wait outside by Mr. Rajapaksa saying the discussion he was having with the PM was a private affair. more..

Video: Sri Lankan politicians named in Panama Papers: Ranjan

Apr 6 (AD) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake says that the names of three Sri Lankan politicians are featured in the Panama Papers revelations, the publication by a coalition of media outlets of an investigation into offshore financial dealings by the rich and famous. The leaked documents have shone a light on the finances of politicians and public figures from around the world, causing public outrage over how the powerful more..

Video: Experiencing a politically motivated hunt: Basil

Apr 6 (AD) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa suggested that the close members of the previous regime are experiencing a politically motivated hunt these days. The observation was made while responding to media personnel after attending the 8th commemoration ceremony of late Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle in Weliweriya this morning. He pointed out the new trend as a reason why he had to appear before law enforcement agencies recently including commissions, courts and more..

AR Rahman's Colombo Concert Postponed

Apr 6 (AM) Oscar winning music composer AR Rahman postponed his Colombo concert indefinitely. Concert was to be held on April 23. Indian media reported that this was a result of anti-Sri Lanka protests outside Rahman's home. The protestors have questioned Rahman on how he can go ahead and collaborate with a govt that is responsible for the killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka. The organisers, however, claim that the postponing has nothing to do with the posters. more..

US State Department officials conclude visit

Apr 6 (USE) Special Coordinator for the U.S. Department of State Office of Global Criminal Justice Todd Buchwald and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Manpreet Anand (DAS) concluded a several-day visit to Sri Lanka, during which they met with govt and political leaders and civil society from across the country to hear their thoughts on reconciliation. more..

Sri Lanka releases 99 Indian fishermen

Apr 6 (UNI) Sri Lankan govt today released 99 Indian fishermen, who were arrested on various occasions on charges of straying into the Island nation's territorial waters and indulged in illegal fishing activities. "The fishermen were released, sans their fishing vessels after being formally produced in Judicial Magistrate Courts (JM) at Puttalam, Mannar, Mallakam and Kaytes," said U.Arulanandam, President of Alliance for Release of Innocent Fishermen (ARIF), here. more..

Sicille further remanded

Apr 6 (DM) Former Ceylinco Chairman Lalith Kotelawala's wife Sicille was further remanded till April 20 by Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya today over the F&G case. Chief Magistrate noticed the Colombo Judicial Medical officer (JMO) over the delay in submitting a report on the health condition of the suspect. CID submitting another report to the court said they needed more time to record a statement from the suspect. Mrs. Kotelawala was the 8th suspect in the case more..

China's Belt and Road Initiative boosts poverty relief in Sri Lanka

Apr 6 (Xinhua) In Sri Lanka, global visitors yearn for the buddhist culture of the sacred city of Kandy, which dates back to thousands of years ago, and the picturesque scenery of the old British-style town of Nuwara Eliya, or city of light. For Chinese tourists, when shuttling between the two scenic places through mountainous areas carpeted with velvety green tea plantations and if observing carefully, they may find some signs written more..

Namal demands reason for MR’s security reduction

Apr 6 (CT) Namal Rajapaksa has demanded to know on what grounds did the govt clip the security detail provided to his father. “As security deteriorates, how can the govt justify removing Army protection of President Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s only leader to end the brutal terrorist war?,” Namal queried in a tweet. His call for explanation comes after the security detail of the former President was pruned, with army personnel assigned to him, being replaced by police personnel. more..

99 fishermen from Sri Lankan prisons likely to be released

Apr 6 (ENS) As many as 99 fishermen belonging to five coastal districts who were detained by the Sri Lankan navy in past three months charged with the offence of violating the IMBL are likely to be released from the Sri Lankan prisons on Wednesday. Though the 99 fishermen including eight Nagapattinam fishermen are to be released after formally after being produced in four Sri Lankan courts on Wednesday, about 94 fishing vessels so far confiscated by the Lankan navy more..

Sri Lanka to further consolidate longstanding relations with Australia

Apr 6 (CG) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera today reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s commitment to further consolidate the longstanding and enduring relations with Australia for mutual benefit, when he met Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Sydney. Minister Samaraweera was in Australia from 4-6 April on an official visit as a guest of the Australian govt. This is the first visit to Australia by a SL Cabinet more..

Video: MR security not reduced: Minister

Apr 6 (DM) The military security detail of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had not been reduced, Minister Chandima Weerakkody said today. He said nothing had been done to remove or reduce the Army protection of the former President. “The protection given to him cannot be removed or reduced and we won’t let anyone harm him,” he said. “We are bound to protect the former President. Govt and even the SLFP won’t let anything happen to him because his is our patron,” more..

Asphalt cowboy goes berserk

Apr 6 (Island) A Upali Newspapers driver was assaulted by an unidentified youth who drove an SUV belonging to a ministry, at the Wijerama Junction, on the Bauddaloka Mawatha. The unidentified man driving the vehicle (KJ-6245), tried to turn to Wijerama Road obstructing other vehicles. The attacker fled the scene soon after the incident though the police were present there. A complaint in this regard has been lodged with the Cinnamon Garden police station. more..

Sri Lanka to negotiate $125 mln Chinese firm seeks for port delay

Apr 6 (Reuters) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is heading to Beijing on Wednesday to negotiate a $125 million penalty that a Chinese state firm is seeking from SL for suspending work on a big port development project. SL ordered a review of the $1.4 billion Colombo port city project last year, citing irregularities in the award of the contract to state-owned China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) by a previous govt. more..

Sri Lanka PM's China visit will further boost bilateral ties: Chinese ambassador

Apr 6 (Xinhua) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's visit to China will inject new impetus into the development of China- Sri Lanka ties, Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang has said. Wickremesinghe left for an official visit to China on Wednesday, his first visit as PM to China since the govt of President Sirisena was formed in January last year. Ambassador said that "China has maintained good relations with the SL govt, political parties and people, despite changes in the international situation." more..

Champika not named as accused: Secretary

Apr 6 (DM) With reference to the No-confidence motion against Minister Champika Ranawaka, his media secretary Danushka Ramanayake said that his minister has not been named as the accused in the hit and run accident either by the courts or the police. The aggrieved party did not mention Mr. Ranawaka as the suspect in the original complaint. He said second complaint had been made by a group implicating his minister’s name. However, police investigations were in progress. more..

Three New Deputy, State Ministers Appointed

Apr 6 (DM) Two deputy ministers and a state minister were appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena today. UNP MP Palitha Thewarapperuma and UPFA MP Manusha Nanayakkara were appointed as Deputy Ministers while UPFA MP Lakshman Seneviratne was appointed as a State Minister. MP Nanayakkara was sworn in as Foreign Employment Deputy Minister while MP Thewarapperuma was sworn in as more..

Govt must be vigilant

Apr 7 (CT) A suicide jacket, and explosives, was discovered from the North in recent weeks. While this discovery in itself is not a threat to the national security, thousands of such discoveries have been made in the last few years, the abundance of weapons, the presence of powerful pro-LTTE Diaspora in the western World and that Tamil political parties, continually stoke separatist and militant sentiments raises serious concerns for the future. more..

Editorial: MR’s security

Apr 7 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa has complained that the army personnel attached to his security contingent are being withdrawn apace and his bullet proof vehicle has not been returned after repairs. Govt is sure to trot out some lame excuses, as it has done previously, in a bid to justify such politically-motivated action. True, the Rajapaksas sinned; they resorted to revengeful action against their political enemies, real and perceived, while they were ensconced in power. more..

'Monks behave in a manner designed to turn Buddhists against Buddhism'

Apr 7 (Island) Leaders of the international conspiracy have studied characteristics of individuals and selected the most suitable bhikkus for what they had in mind. These hand-picked monks talk and behave in a manner designed to turn Buddhists against Buddhism. That is the nature of the conspiracy. Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera was in the news recently after he was arrested and remanded for possession of more..

Why trying to protect religion often does more harm than good?

Apr 7 (CT) When asked whether religion is important in life, reportedly 99% of Gallup survey respondents in SL answered yes. Leaving aside questions of what religion means or how it is perceived here, it is reasonable to say that many people use religion to guide their worldview in some way or form. Moreover, religion plays an important role in contributing to ethnic identities. Naturally, there is a strong political incentive to appeal to religious institutions to reach out to constituents. more..

LTTE version on suicide jacket

Apr 7 (CT) On Tuesday 31 January 2012 the Police discovered a suicide bombers' kit filled with powerful explosives at a pilgrims' rest in Kataragama. This suicide bombers kit was not found in the North or East, but in Kataragama in Hambantota which is like the heart of the Rajapaksas. Given below is how it was reported in The Island newspaper of 1 Feb 2012. A group of workers repairing a pilgrim's rest in Kataragama on Tuesday found a suicide jacket hidden in a washing machine. more..

'Media does not praise, only denigrates'

Apr 7 (CT) We thought after the govt was elected the media will not get attached to the govt but as usual they did and they are not highlighting main issues created by the minorities. Q: What is your opinion of the current govt? A: We believe that the current govt and the previous govt clearly did not solve the problems of the society. They did not solve the economy issues. If they had worked adequately, certain issues would not arise during more..

The contentment of adolescence

Apr 7 (FT) The crowd was heavier than usual, something big was happening in the bustling provincial town, something that suspends the normal order, disturbs and disrupts the place. Noticeably younger, mostly male, in nondescript casual wear, they were also far less orderly than the usual town-goer, more aggressive, empowered; no longer autonomous individuals, but carried by the unpredictable collective. It is a town I pass through at least once a month. more..

Case for a kidney bank

Apr 7 (FT) The kidneys are vital organs of the human body which need to be protected and looked after for good health and long life. Kidneys are beneficial and essential vital organs for the future and the health of a nation infested with poisonous/junk food, polluted water Untitled-3and a polluted environment. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is on the rise at an alarmingly high rate in Sri Lanka and worldwide. The kidneys are among the main precious organs in the human body more..