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Hashim slams politicos of previous regime for sorry state of coconut lands

Apr 19 (Island) Minister Kabir Hashim alleges that the coconut lands were fragmented and misused by politicians of the previous regime to develop hotels etc. Minister Hashim stressed that the coconut lands had decreased to 360, 000 hectares in 2010 from 444,000 ha in 2000. "We are having discussions to introduce structural changes to the sector by getting the support from the Plantation Industries Ministry," he said. more..

Criticizing Sri Lanka war leads to exile

Apr 19 (GJ) When columnist and human rights activist Sunanda Deshapriya criticized the Sri Lankan govtís war against Tamil rebels, he didnít know he wouldnít be able to return to his country for six years. Deshapriya was in Geneva in May 2009 when the Sri Lankaís army defeated the LTTE, ending a 26-year civil war marred by alleged atrocities by both sides. The freelance journalist and activist had traveled to Geneva to voice his concerns about the Sri Lankan govtís war conduct more..

Women staff strike hits work at Brandix India

Apr 19 (Hindu) Production came to a standstill at Brandix India Apparel City, the Indian arm of Brandix Lanka here, about 50 km from Visakhapatnam, after workers, mostly women, launched a strike on Monday demanding minimum monthly salary of Rs.10,000. As tension gripped this industrial area, District Collector N. Yuvaraj, Superintendent of Police Koya Praveen, Joint Collector J. Nivas, Anakapalle MP Srinivasa Rao and Yelamanchili MLA Panchakarla Ramesh Babu more..

Finance Ministry launches Global Opportunities Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (DN) Ministry of Finance in partnership with CNBC, world's leading business and financial news network, recently launched Global Opportunities Sri Lanka, a series that looks into Sri Lanka's key industries and investment opportunities. Global Opportunities Sri Lanka campaign will run until June 2016. Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Chairman of CNBC Sri Lanka Representative office, Chandima Udabage penned down more..

Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority mobile service goes online

Apr 19 (SLT) Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) re-launched its flagship Mobile Service after a long absence which delivers various SLTDA services such as hotel inspections, issuance of business licenses, tourism training etc. in Arugmbay in end of last month. SLTDA conducted the mobile service with assistance of International Finance Corporation (IFC). The concept behind the mobile service is to provide licensing and other related services to the tourism industry more..

Lankan stickers edged out in Singapore

Apr 19 (DN) Sri Lanka menís hockey team put up a dazzling display to hold mighty China to a three all draw but were edged out 2-4 in the penalty shoot out which was implemented in the semi finals of the first round of the World League Hockey Championship 2016 in Singapore on Sunday night. Sri Lanka mens team played extremely well to fluster the Chinese with some power play and were unlucky to be held to a draw. When the tie breaker penalty shoot out was implement once again more..

Stakeholders unite to implement SDGs

Apr 19 (FT) In a historic move, SLís public sector, think-tanks, corporate and industry bodies will combine to integrate national policies to meet the UNís Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while incorporating innovation to foster development. Ministry of National Policies & Economic Affairs and UNDP signed the areas of cooperation for the first national summit on Foresight and Innovation for Sustainable Human Development more..

UK envoy hails Sri Lankaís first Chevening CRISP Fellows

Apr 19 (CG) British High Commissioner James Dauris, met SLís first Chevening CRISP Fellows Dilan Fernando and Shehani Gomes before they left for the UK to pursue their special course of study. CRISP (Chevening Rolls-Royce Science and Innovation Scholarship Programme) is a Chevening Fellowship programme funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Rolls-Royce, which provides funding for a three month tailor-made course in the Said Business School (SBS) at more..

Missing Persons Commission to meet in Kilinochchi for four days

Apr 19 (ITN) The Presidential Commission inquiring into missing persons is scheduled to commence public sittings in the Kilinochchi District on the 25th of this month. The sittings at the Kilinochchi District Secretariat will continue until the 28th. Accordingly evidence will be recorded at the District Secretariat from the 25th to the 28th from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm. The Presidential Commission on Missing Persons said that recording of evidence on the 28th will end at 3.30 pm. more..

Authority to regulate electronic media

Apr 19 (DM) The govt is considering setting up an independent authority to regulate the electronic media in the near future, sources said. According to govt sources, there had been a request from the electronic media for such an authority. Authority would have the power to handle complaints made against the electronic media just as the press complaints commission does. However, in this case, the authority would be legally bound to more..

Underworld figure Kennedy arrested

Apr 19 (DM) A prominent underworld figure, Stanly Kennedy, known as Kennedy, who has been accused of several recent murders in the Southern Province was arrested by the STF, on Sunday, in Galle. When arrested he had had a 9mm pistol in his possession. He had been handed over to the TID for further action. Initial investigations have revealed that the 29-year-old suspect had undergone military training under the LTTE and been in the Charles Anthony brigade of the LTTE more..

SL Embassy in Oman commences inquiry into report on killing of SL maid

Apr 19 (NF) Following reports brought to light by News1st, Sri Lankan Embassy in Oman has commenced inquiries into the reported murder of a Sri Lankan woman in the Middle Eastern country. The alleged murder is reported to have taken place in Al Sehel in the Omani capital, Muscat. The murdered woman was a resident of Kurunegala. News1st made inquiries from the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Oman, M.K. Pathmanathan. Ambassador K. Pathmanathan noted: more..

Bangladesh says has identified eight Lankans in cyber theft

Apr 19 (Reuters) Bangladeshi investigators have identified 20 foreigners - 12 Philippine nationals and eight Sri Lankans - suspected to have been involved in the cyber heist of tens of millions of dollars from its central bank, a police officer said on Monday. The officer gave no other details, but the suspects appear to be those who received some of the payments, and not the hackers. more..

Champika ignores ĎJOí protest: Sits in IGP selection meeting

Apr 19 (CT) Joint Opposition (JO) MP Dinesh Gunawardene told this newspaper that they will be raising their voice in Parliament against the decision taken to appoint the new IGP as Minister Patali Ranawaka was a member of the Constitutional Council notwithstanding the opposition to it by the JO. The MP stated that the JO had specifically written to both the President and the Speaker requesting them not to allow Ranawaka to be a part of the group selecting the new IGP as more..

Indiaís Tejas jet fighter catches Sri Lanka, Egypt attention

Apr 19 (PTI) India's Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, which was several years in the making, has now caught the attention of foreign buyers with Sri Lanka and Egypt evincing interest in the indigenously built fighter jet. Sri Lanka had recently rejected Pakistan's JF-17 aircraft built with Chinese help, while Egypt had last year signed a contract for 24 French-made Rafale fighter jets. The two countries are interested in the current version of the Tejas and not the upgraded one which will be rolled out later. more..

Constitutional Council split over new IGP

Apr 19 (EN) Sri Lanka's newly-established Constitutional Council on Monday decided on Pujith Jayasundara, 56, as the country's next IGP following a secret ballot and an intense debate over the propriety of the procedure. At least one member of the council objected to their having to choose one out of three candidates nominated by President Maithripala Sirisena in contrast to the practice adopted in appointing the Attorney General in February. more..

I will attend JO May Day rally: MR

Apr 19 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he would be attending the May Day rally at Kirulapona, organised by the Joint Opposition, because he had received a formal invitation to attend that rally. Rajapaksa said that he had not received a formal invitation to the May Day rally of the SLFP. "In a civilised society invitations are not extended haphazardly", ex-president said. Even if an invitation had been received it would have been impossible for him to attend more..

President to hold meeting with CB Governor, military heads

Apr 19 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena has summoned a meeting with Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and heads of all security forces today. Issuing a statement, the Central Bank stated yesterday that the meeting had nothing to do with any recent issuance, as reported by some sections of the media. Central Bank sources said the meeting with the President would focus on a completely different matter that involves the Central Bank and the defence apparatus of the country. more..

TNA blasts selection of tender for building 65,000 houses

Apr 19 (Island) TNA has called on the govt to undertake a review of the latterís ambitious project of building 65,000 houses for the civilians in the war-hit Northern and Eastern provinces. "If the Govt is committed to reconciliation, then its actions must reflect that," says TNA leader R. Sambandan in a letter addressed to President Sirisena. "I write consequent to a unanimous decision of TNA Parliamentary Group to raise more..

Daunting tasks for new Police Chief

Apr 19 (DM) The 34th Inspector General of Police (IGP) is to be sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena soon. The people in Sri Lanka were concerned as to who would be the new IGP for the past few days -- since the 33rd IGP N.K.Ilangakoon had retired -- whoever will hold the post will be responsible for the general publicís peaceful life as well as securing their democratic rights. Hence, the integrity of the new IGP will be a cardinal importance to the people of this country. more..

Stop the Bridge over Palk Strait before itís too late

Apr 19 (DM) Your Excellencies, TN appears determined to annex Sri Lanka. This news is certainly not the most auspicious note on which to commence our New Year. Indian Union Minister Radhakrishnan had said this week that the Centre was firm in its proposal to build a bridge across the Palk Strait, connecting Dhanushkodi, the eastern tip of Rameshwaram island and to Talaimannar in SL. Talking to reporters in TN he had said that the project was in the preliminary stages but more..

Realigning State Sector

Apr 19 (DM) The State sector is undergoing several changes, as the Govt attempts to streamline processes in State services and provide better benefits for its employees amidst loop holes with regard to its efficiency and productivity. Minister of Public Administration and Management Ranjith Madduma Bandara shed some light on issues pertaining to the State sector and several other issues faced by his Ministry. more..

'Divided May Day rally will only benefit UNP'

Apr 19 (DN) The SLFP has taken a decision to hold the party May Day rally in Galle. It will proceed with the decision although several parties are attempting to go separately, Minister Lakshman Seneviratne said. He said if a party member wants to hold a May Day rally separately that would bring direct benefit to the UNP as the party would split into two. ďHence, it would be considered as a statement made with more..

A bad start for the future IGP?

Apr 19 (CT) Constitutional Council met yesterday to consider the three names proposed by President Sirisena as the 34th IGP of Sri Lanka. Three men in the fray are DIGs S.M. Wickramasinghe, C.D. Wickramaratne and Pujitha Jayasundara. The transitional period between IGPs, the months leading to the retirement of an IGP and the first few weeks of the tenure of the new IGP, have almost always been turbulent times. more..

Paddy Mafia suffocating farming community

Apr 19 (SL) Large-scale paddy purchasers will no longer be able to buy paddy for a pittance once the Court of Appeal determination is delivered instructing the govt to implement Clause 7 of the Paddy Marketing Board Act No. 14 of 1971. The much-awaited court determination, expected to be delivered on Tuesday, April 26, will ensure registered paddy buyers will be able to purchase paddy stocks only at govt guaranteed price. more..

FUTA tells Kelaniya VC to cool situation

Apr 19 (Island) The FUTA has called on the Vice Chancellor of the University of Kelaniya, where teacher-student discord has been noticed developing over the past month, to take immediate action to control the situation and to create a situation in which students and the faculty can carry on with their academic work unhindered. A FUTA media statement signed by its President Dr. Rangika Halwatura and Secretary more..

Some crossings to be removed to prevent pedestrian deaths

Apr 19 (ST) Pedestrians account for more than 75 per cent of the deaths on roads and so many of them die on pedestrian crossings that the authorities are going to remove some crossings to, they say, prevent further carnage. A Buddhist monk died after being knocked down near dawn on a zebra crossing on the High Level Road at Pannipitiya late last month. The driver of the vehicle was arrested and the car impounded. more..

PM orders probe into power cuts during local New Year

April 19 (Xinhua) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe instructed authorities to submit a report over the sudden power cuts in some parts of the country during the local New Year. Sri Lanka celebrated its traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year this week but many electricity consumers complained to the PM that they were faced with power outages despite an assurance from the govt of uninterrupted power supply more..

'Maithri-Ranil regime is not second to that of Rajapaksas'

Apr 19 (LT) MaithriĖRanil govt is not second to Rajapaksa regime in making the country indebted and burdening the people with taxes and the debt the country has to pay. Hence it is time that the old economic model is swept aside and bring in a new economic model says JVP MP Vijitha Herath. The partners of yahapalana govt who boasted that they were economic experts increased the VAT to 15% and threw the people from the pan to more..

Uniform material for rural students till stocks last

Apr 19 (Island) Education Ministry has decided to provide uniform materials to schoolchildren in difficult areas instead of newly introduced vouchers. Students in remote schools were eligible to receive uniform material under the additional project to be implemented in the middle of the year, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. Ministry had received the new stocks from the suppliers whose material was rejected due to poor quality, more..

The cream of U-19 cricketers on show

Apr 19 (DN) The Super Under 19 Provincial Tournament 2016 conducted by Sri Lanka Cricket with the aim of selecting the under 19 national squad for the forthcoming tours of South Africa and England will commence today with eight of the ten provinces in action. The matches scheduled for today are: Eastern v Central at Surrey grounds, Uva v Northern at Mattegoda, Western South v North Central at Panadura and, more..

New Year Kokis to luxury permits

Apr 19 (CT) The Kokis eaten on our traditional New Year didnít have much time to digest when the news broke that the luxury vehicle permits worth US$ 62500 was issued to all 225 MPs which they can sell for close to Rs 20m each permit. What is the change we voted for? Is this the culture we want to take forward? According to Daily News editorial 25th Nov 2015 ďMinister Ravi Karunanayake mentioned during his long Budget speech that the Government would abolish all kinds of vehicle permits, more..

Customs detains two North Koreans smuggling foreign currency

Apr 19 (KT) Sri Lankan customs officials detained two North Koreans and confiscated about $168,000 from them. This is the first case of currency confiscation after U.N. Resolution 2270 took effect following North Korea's fourth nuclear test and long-range missile firing. An anonymous source said the two North Koreans were arrested on March 14 while waiting at a Colombo airport to transfer to a flight to China. SL govt has fined the North Koreans 800,000 won ($700) for violating customs laws. more..


Pastor killed in accident

Apr 19 (Island) A 56-year-old pastor died on the spot in Mannar when a van he was travelling in with 10 others veered off the Jaffna-Mannar road at Thaladi and toppled to one side yesterday morning. Investigations have revealed that the driver of the van falling asleep at the wheel. He, too, had been injured and hospitalised. Nine others travelling in the van had escaped without injuries. The pastor was identified as Subramanium Davinduraj of Periyagamam, Thalaimannar. more..

Hanuman bridge not for us!

Apr 19 (CT) Recently India's Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari has said the Indian Govt was firm in its proposal to build a bridge across Palk Strait, connecting Dhanushkodi, the eastern tip of Rameswaram Island and Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. Although the Sri Lanka Govt is so far silent on the matter, Minister Gadkari had said that the Sri Lanka Govt is expected to give its nod for the project. Raising more concerns on the matter, more..

Video: VAC charges MS, RW of nepotism

Apr 19 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisenaís brother, who is the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), had awarded the insurance deal of Mobitel to a company owned by someone close to him causing Rs. 3 billion loss to the Govt, the Voice Against Corruption (VAC) charged. VAC Convener Wasantha Samarasinghe claimed the SLT Chairman was receiving a monthly allowance of Rs. 750,000 as his house rent. more..

Severely burnt SL girl helped by South Korea

Apr 19 (EN) A Sri Lankan teenage girl who was severely burnt as a baby when she was set on fire by her own father, has had reconstructive surgery in South Korea and is on the way to a full recovery. The surgery was sponsored by the Korea Food for the Hungry International (KFHI) a charity, and Koreaís Hanyang University Hospital. 13-year-old, Rochelle is now recovering in South Korea. She had been set on fire by her late father, while being high on narcotics when she was a just a baby. more..

Commercial Bank wins top Global Brand Excellence Award

Apr 19 (DN) Commercial Bank of Ceylon was recognised on the international stage recently when the Bank was presented the award for Marketing Campaign of the Year at the 2016 CMO Asia Awards for Excellence in Branding and Marketing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. With this award, the bank has reaffirmed its status as one of the strongest brands in Sri Lanka and the Asia Pacific region. The award won by the Bank was the only one presented in that category. more..

Video: CC had no right to approve name of new IGP: Gammanpila

Apr 19 (DN) Taking exception to the decision of the Constitutional Councilís (CC) to grant approval to the appointment of Senior DIG Pujith Jayasundara as the 34th IGP, MP Udaya Gammanpila claimed the appointment was both illegal and unethical. He said the CCís approval of Mr. Jayasundara as the IGP went against the 19th Amendment as President Sirisena had recommended three senior Police officers to more..