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Chamath declares Google Loon project is win-win for all

Apr 8 (FT) Sri Lankan born Silicon Valley based venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya declared that the Project Loon by Google, aspiring to provide reliable internet connectivity to all and being piloted in Sri Lanka was a win-win for all stakeholders in steering the country to greater prosperity. On a short visit to Sri Lanka, the former Facebook employee and now a major venture capital investor and social entrepreneur, Palihapitiya said Sri Lanka was courageous enough to take onboard more..

Vehicle tax collection to fall dramatically

Apr 8 (ST) Sri Lanka’s revenue collection from taxes on vehicle imports this year is likely to fall dramatically owing to motor traders’ current stance of reducing imports due to a drop in sales, market analysts predicted. Minister Ravi Karunanayake has been quoted as saying that tax revenue in 2016 from vehicle imports is expected to reach Rs. 280 billion this year from Rs. 230 billion in 2015. more..

Salter adds to war of words on CFA

Apr 8 (Island) Gamini Gunawardene’s comments on my most recent response to your correspondent Shamindra Ferdinando have been brought to my attention. I don’t propose to respond on every issue he raises, just those that relate directly to my earlier reply – Gunawardene’s scattershot historical assertions are probably best left to others to address. Gunawardene begins by wondering why Norwegians singled out the majority Sinhala community for assistance in efforts to more..

Carrom among National sports

Apr 8 (Island) Naming of carrom as a National sport by the Ministry of Sports and the Department of Sports Development, a workshop was held recently at the premises of Sports Ministry to make an awareness among players island-wide regarding carrom and participation of carrom players for the National Sports Festivals, to be held in future. A large number of sports officers representing all provinces in the island participated in this one-day workshop organised by Nobert Perera, more..

SriLankan may revamp aircraft order

Apr 8 (DN) SriLankan Airlines may look at resizing the order to purchase new aircrafts and may also look at a sub lease, CEO Suren Ratwatte said. Sri Lankan has ordered eight A350s with three due in 2016, one in 2017 and another four from 2020 onwards. Ratwatte said the airline is also forwarding a restructuring program to run the airline profitably. Speaking at the launch of their new website he said that he personally feels that more..

Jayanthi, Johann from 3,440m above sea level

Apr 8 (DN) Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala and Johann Peries, on their quest to conquer Mount Everest and bring glory to Sri Lanka, have left Namche Bazaar (3,440m), the last town and first acclimatization point on their Everest Expedition. The hike to Namche Bazaar from Monjo (2,835m), was a continuous, steep uphill climb taking 4 hours. Jayanthi and Johann had to consume a lot of water and walk very slowly, breathing in and out with every step, to prevent altitude sickness. more..

Bangladesh grants long term visas to Sri Lankan businessmen

Apr 8 (Island) Bangladesh has offered Sri Lanka long term business visas and also reduced the fee to coincide with 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, which falls this month. To mark the occasion its national airline Biman would also be commencing flights to Colombo shortly, High Commissioner Tarik Ahsan revealed last week. Addressing a ceremony to celebrate his country’s 45th anniversary of independence at the Kingsbury Hotel, Ahsan said that more..

Cashing in with China

Apr 8 (FT) Cabinet granted approvals to a slew of fresh deals with China including a sweeping framework agreement that will include major new infrastructure projects, tourism development and a MoU with China Development Bank to be signed during PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s ongoing visit to Beijing. Much anticipated visit will anchor economic cooperation with a landmark agreement titled more..

DG violates Sports Law

Apr 8 (CT) Director General (DG) Sports K.D.S. Ruwanchandra has made a blind side move during the selection of the Sri Lanka hockey team for the World Hockey League (WHL) round one, which is scheduled to be worked off from 9 to 17 April in Singapore. Two players each from the men's and the women's team had opted out due to personal issues after being selected. DG had asked the team coach to fill those vacancies without the knowledge of the National Selectors. more..

'SL committed to national, regional security'

Apr 8 (PSL) Sri Lanka is totally committed to safeguarding national security as well as regional security. Stating this to a delegation of German Parliament, President Maithripala Sirisena said that the foreign policy of the govt based on the principle that the relationship with one country should not have any adverse impact on another country. He said this in reply to questions asked by the delegation on Sri lanka’s foreign policy and relations with giant neighbours. more..

'Produce owner of 1000 cc bike in courts'

Apr 8 (DM) Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranawithana said police must immediately arrest and produce before courts the owner of the 1000 CC, high powered motor cycle that allegedly hit from behind a jeep belonging to Megapolis and Western Development Ministry at Rajagiriya on the night of Feb 28. The 999 CC motor cycle bearing registration number WP BAK 2011 was not permitted to use for normal travel on more..

Meetotamulla garbage mountain to persist for two years

Apr 8 (FT) The long-standing garbage dump at Meetotamulla will remain for at least two more years till the Govt finalises a solution to solve the escalating waste management problem and promote recycling. Currently five ministries have joined forces to find a solution to remove the garbage dump from Meetotamulla and to recycle. According to Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna, more time is required to complete the process by following stringent Govt regulations. more..

Rs. 4.7 million prize for best renewable energy idea

Apr 8 (Island) At a time efforts are being made to double the national buffer stock of electricity to 4,600 Mw from 2,300 Mw as a response to the looming power crisis in Sri Lanka, a different approach towards the same goal is being taken by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy of Sri Lanka, with a country-wide competition titled Green Energy Champion Sri Lanka. Green Energy Champion SL country-wide competition more..

Sports Minister says no interim committees

Apr 8 (Island) Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera told Parliament that he would not permit the appointment of interim committees for sports associations as long as he held the sports portfolio. Participating in the debate on Regulations under the Convention against Doping in Sports Act, Minister said that he had information of moves by certain persons to create interim bodies to govern several sports associations. more..

Two naval ships leave for Maldives

Apr 8 (SLN) Two naval ships of SL Navy, SLNS Suranimala and SLNS Shakthi left for Maldives from the Port of Colombo on 5th April 2016, on a training visit. The two ships arrived at the Port of Male today (7) and they were ceremonially welcomed in accordance with the Maldivian traditions. Sri Lankan naval ships comprise of 249 officers and sailors as well as 28 Officer under trainees. The Commanding Officers of the two ships, Captain Pujitha Vithana and Captain Priyal Withanage called on more..

Seven army personnel, three naval ratings arrested under PTA

Apr 8 (Island) Seven army personnel and three naval ratings had been taken into custody under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act since Janauary 14, this year, parliament was told. A document tabled by Minister Sagala Ratnayake said that four other army personnel and four police personnel, too, have been taken into custody since Jan 14 under the provisions of other laws. The document was tabled in response to a question raised by UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila. more..

Death threats to Karu: Speaker’s refusal to assist in police probe baffles Opposition

Apr 8 (Island) UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said the Joint Opposition was in a dilemma over Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s refusal to assist police investigations into alleged death threats received as revealed by him to Parliament during the second week of February this year. Claiming that the police investigation had been crippled by Speaker’s refusal to cooperate, MP said police had not been able to more..

Pak-Lanka business councils sign agreement

Apr 8 (TN) The business councils of Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Thursday signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to accelerate bilateral trade and utilise benefits of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The MoU was signed by Rohita Thilakaratne, President Sri Lanka-Pakistan Business Council of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Khalil Naseer, Chairman of the council established under the umbrella of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI). more..

Bahu certain MR's name in Panama Papers

Apr 8 (DN) Nava Sama Samaja Party Leader Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne is certain that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's name to be among three other names of Sri Lankans 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 foreign funds received by the former government for the development of the country were misplaced during the past regime. more..

Video: JVP condemns addition of ministers

Apr 8 (DM) JVP charged that the Govt was offering ministerial portfolios to certain MPs to please them, going against peoples’ mandate and wasting people's money. JVP general secretary Tilvin Silva said it was a serious offense to appoint ministers to establish power and that it was what happened in the Rajapaksa regime as well. “Appointing ministers has become a joke now. No one can tell exact number of ministers today more..

SAITM a private entity: Kiriella

Apr 8 (CT) The govt did not have legal authority to probe the admission process observed by the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) as it was a private organization, Minister Lakshman Kiriella, informed Parliament. Responding to JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, the minister said that SAITM was a private entity and hence not legally bound to share information on the A/L results and Z scores of students admitted to follow its medical degree courses. more..

Joint Opposition demands membership of COPE and COPA

Apr 8 (FT) Joint Opposition called on the Speaker to allow them to represent the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) and Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) which have yet to be moved in Parliament. MP Dinesh Gunawardena visibly unhappy about the delay said: “We were expecting to nominate MPs Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Prasanna Ranatunga for these two committees. I wonder why the chair is reluctant to make this announcement allowing Joint Opposition to more..

China, Sri Lanka pledge to further advance strategic cooperation

Apr 8 (Xinhua) China and Sri Lanka pledged to further push forward their strategic cooperative partnership and inked a series of documents in such fields as economic cooperation, finance, medicare and transportation. During the talks with SL PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Beijing, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang hailed the profound friendship between the two countries, saying the bilateral ties have withstood the test of time. more..

Diabetes; Dear parent see that your child does not die before you

Apr 8 (DM) To mark World Health Day yesterday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for global action to halt the diabetes pandemic and improve care for the growing number of people in most countries—including Sri Lanka afflicted by this slow and silent killer. WHO issued its first global report on diabetes and the figures were blood curdling. It revealed that 422 million adults are afflicted with diabetes, mainly in developing countries, 4-fold increase from 1980 figure. more..

Whither the JVP...

Apr 8 (DM) April 5 marks the 45th Anniversary of the famous 1971 insurrection. It claimed many thousands of lives; destroyed an untold number of families, small businesses and aspirations of a whole generation. It was led by the JVP. JVP has a storied history. Ever since its beginnings in the late Nineteen Sixties, first as a revolutionary movement and then as a recognised political party, it has been amongst the leaders in the following five categories: A Marxist-Socialist political entity with more..

Like Oliver Twist, our political fat-cats want more

Apr 8 (SL) The main duty of those who enter parliament is to serve the public. That is the accepted norm in a democratic country. However, more than serve, today’s MPs it seems are busy earning as much as possible for themselves during their tenures in parliament. The present govt too, five months into governance, have introduced a proposal to increase salaries of MPs. The proposal was brought by Parliamentary House Committee more..

Banned rogue drug supplier back in business with Health Ministry

Apr 8 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) urged the Director General Health Services (DGHS) to reopen an investigation into an alleged fraud by a drug supplier to the National Cancer Institute, Maharagama which had cost the govt Rs. 4600 million. GMOF said the Ministry had taken steps to ban a medicinal drug company importing and supplying a cancer drug vial in 2013. Drug was name-patient drug which more..

Video: Hold LG polls to fulfill people’s democratic right: NFF

Apr 8 (DM) The NFF urged the govt to immediately hold the local govt election in order to offer peoples’ democratic rights. Addressing a media briefing, NFF Media Spokesman Mohammed Muzammil said the local govt election had been postponed since a year by depriving the peoples’ voting rights in an anti-democratic way. “The authorities stated delimitations issues in provincial council level as the reason for this delay. more..

EX LTTE negotiator wants Tamil Nadu polls to focus on Eelam

Apr 8 (CG) Former LTTE negotiator Viswanathan Rudrakumaran has urged political parties in Tamil Nadu to focus their campaigns at the Assembly elections next month to create a Tamil Eelam State in Sri Lanka. Rudrakumaran says political parties of TN must take positions that go to strengthen the struggle of the Eelam Tamil people for their rights, in their Election Manifestos for the forthcoming TN Assembly Elections more..

Special unit to tackle human trafficking launched

Apr 8 (Island) The govt was working on the prevention, protection and prosecution of human trafficking and stern legal action would be taken against human traffickers, Minister Thalatha Athukorala said. Addressing the launching of a newly established special unit to investigate human trafficking at the SL Bureau of Foreign Employment the Minister said the move was part of govt’s overall strategy to tackle the problem. more..

Video: Sri Lanka to finalise talks with IMF after PM’s return: Ravi

Apr 8 (AD) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake says that the govt will finalise discussions with the IMF, on the loan it is seeking, after the Prime Minister returns from his visit to China and that they intend to conclude talks on Monday. “To be very frank, the discussion are going on down in Sri Lanka,” he said, speaking to Bloomberg’s Haidi Lun from the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong. more..

Draft Code of Conduct for MPs presented to them

Apr 8 (Island) MPs are barred from assaulting, harassing or intimidating another person under the draft Code of Conduct prepared by Parliament. The draft given to all MPs yesterday in three languages says that MPs shall act in a manner that is respectful of their fellow MPs and citizens including parliamentary staff with dignity and courtesy, without diminishing the dignity of the Parliamentary institution. more..

'Sri Lanka is neither pro-India nor pro-China'

Apr 8 (Hindu) A year ago, Sri Lanka’s PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, who had just then returned to power after a gap of over 10 years, chose Guruvayur, a temple town in India’s southern State of Kerala, to make a pertinent observation on his country’s ties with two big neighbours, India and China. “Sri Lanka is neither pro-India nor pro-China” was his crisp comment. Mr. Wickremesinghe, now on his maiden tour to China, is acutely conscious of more..

'Group within CEB fuelling sabotage'

Apr 8 (DM) Sabotage cannot be ruled out in the recent events in the power sector as a certain group within the CEB was attempting to disrupt its work, Minister Champika Ranawaka told Parliament. He pointed out that the water in reservoirs have been reduced deliberately by some interested persons. He said though the water levels were adequate in the months of Jan, Feb and Mar in 2012 during his tenure as Energy Minister, more..

Hambantota project talks with Lanka should be speeded up:China

Apr 8 (PTI) China has called for fast-tracking negotiations with Sri Lanka over the USD 750 million second phase of the Hambantota port which in the past caused unease in India over concerns that the project is part Beijing's string of pearls strategy to contain it. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said both sides should speed up the negotiations on the second phase operation of the Hambantota Port in the southern part of Sri Lanka. more..

Why investigations into mass graves failed so far

Apr 8 (CT) The existence of a mass grave may come to the notice of the public by many different ways; a statement by a witness made during a court hearing – as in the case of Chemmani Mass Graves: discoveries of some scattered remains of bones by workers when digging a site for constructions purposes, as in the case of the Matale mass grave; or by surfacing of some remains of human bodies as a result of heavy rains or due to any other accidental reasons. However, what happens after more..

India… Pirate salves his bloody conscience

Apr 8 (CT) The pithy Sinhala saying Oluwa Athagala Passata Paing Gahanawa sprang to mind when we received a release informing us yesterday that India has entered into an agreement with our Ministry of Fisheries to gift no less than 150 boats to poor fishermen in Mullaitivu District. Now we all know that Mullaitivu is a safe distance away from where High Commissioner Y.K. Singha's folks plunder our fish and priceless aquatic life forms quite unashamedly from right under our noses. more..

පැතිකඩ වැඩසටහන

Treasury bond scams continue at the CB

Apr 8 (CT) As the country continue to plunge into a deeper economic crisis, another bond scam is alleged to have taken place at the Central Bank, with former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank W. A. Wijewardena also leveling allegations of the same in a column that was published recently. Meanwhile, in a letter addressed to the Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, the Anti-Corruption Front has demanded for an explanation over the issuance of treasury bonds to the tune of more..

Shares gain for 4th session on retail buying

Apr 8 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares rose for a fourth straight session on Friday to end at their highest close in eight weeks as retail investors bought beaten-down stocks. However, continued foreign outflows on worries over macroeconomic stability weighed on sentiment, dealers said. Foreign investors offloaded a net 56.6 million rupees ($391,695.50) worth of equities, their seventh straight session of selling, and extending the year-to-date outflows to 3.3 billion rupees. more..