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State astrologers reject faulty auspicious times

Apr 19 (GDI) Rejecting the allegations of following wrong directions and faulty auspicious times during the recent Sinhala and Tamil New Year, State Astrologers’ Committee today confirmed the accuracy of customs followed. This committee established in 1983 by then Minister V.J.M Loku Bandara, comprised of 30 prominent senior astrologers and almanac compilers collectively decide auspicious times on an annual basis. The committee took the responsibility of accuracy more..

Global Ambassador of Cochlear Brett Lee on a visit to Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (LBO) Wickramarachchi Opticians and Hearing Aids. subsidiary of J.M. Wickramarachchi & Co. celebrated its 40th anniversary as well as serving over 400 Cochlear Hearing implant success stories at a gala celebration launched together with Global Ambassador, Australian Cricketer Brett Lee. The celebration was held at the Galle Face Hotel, amidst a gathering of over 100 stakeholders in the health and govt sectors. The company also launched a mobile hearing unit. more..

EU to lift ban on Lankan fisheries products this month

Apr 19 (CG) European Union (EU) is expected to lift the ban on Sri Lankan fisheries products this month, the Fisheries Ministry said. The Ministry said that the EU has informed Sri Lanka that the ban will be lifted on April 21. EU imposed a ban on fisheries products from Sri Lanka as the former Govt failed to prevent Sri Lankan fishermen from violating the international fisheries laws. The new govt had later prepared and more..

Police hunt for culprits who molested two Scot girls

Apr 19 (DN) Three Police teams have been deployed to track down the culprits involved in sexually abusing and molesting two girls from Scotland at Hanatana, Kandy on April 15. The two Scots aged 20 and 21 years are in Sri Lanka undergoing family health training courses at the Kandy General Hospital. The DIG said the culprits involved had assaulted and criminally intimidated the girls and robbed Rs. 122,000 and two mobile phones they had in their possession. more..

Sri Lankan delegation meets Speaker of Punjab Assembly

Apr 19 (BR) A Sri Lankan delegation led by Speaker of the parliament Karu Jayasuria on Tuesday met Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Muhammad Iqbal here at Assembly chambers. The matters pertaining to continuity of democracy in Pakistan, strengthening of institutions, freedom of media, besides other topics were discussed during the meeting. The PA speaker briefed the delegation about priorities of the Punjab govt regarding elimination of poverty, under development, more..

Sri Lankan Christians blocked from using public cemeteries

Apr 19 (CD) Sri Lankan Christians cannot bury their dead in public cemeteries because Buddhist monks are stopping them from doing so, charity group Release International says. Persecution of SL Christians has now reached the level where Buddhist monks have joined forces with nationalists and prevented Christians from burying their dead in public cemeteries. Local govt officials have also been shutting down churches and more..

Shares edge up; eyes on IMF loan deal

Apr 19 (Reuters) Shares ended slightly firmer on Tuesday as investors turned cautious ahead of an imminent loan deal with the IMF and uncertainty over a tax policy. The benchmark stock index ended up 0.09%, or 5.54 points, at 6,387.85, hovering near its 10-week closing high of 6,401.32 points, that was hit on Friday. Foreign investors were net buyers of 178.8-million-rupees worth equities on Tuesday, but these investors were net sellers of 3.14 billion rupees worth of shares so far this year. more..

Cops stalk Sudarshani’s stalker

Apr 19 (CT) Cinnamon Gardens Police informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate's Court that it has begun inquiries to nab a suspect alleged to have made unsavoury proposals, over the phone, to Minister Sudarshani Fernandopulle. Cinnamon Gardens Police have initiated the inquiries following a complaint lodged by the minister. Minister in her complaint to the Police had stated that a person had regularly contacted her on her mobile phone and that she had disconnected her phone as more..

CEB agrees to recommendations from PUC

Apr 19 (DN) The CEB has agreed with the recommendations made to prevent island wide power failures and to improve the transmission system and system control in the country made by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The PUC prepared a report following an investigation on the power failures experienced by the country in the recent past. The PUC has made several recommendations to the CEB based on more..

Excise raid unearths moonshine secret

Apr 19 (Island) An innovative moonshine distiller who found a novel way of preventing the spread of the tell-tale smell of goda (semi-brewed rotgut) during its aging process by using cream cracker biscuits was among those nabbed by the Excise Department officials during their special New Year raiding week from April 11 to April 17. The distiller concerned was caught while he was distilling spirit out of a stock of goda in a hideout on the banks of Bentara Ganga at Meegama near Dharga more..

Sri Lanka deeply saddened by loss of lives in Ecuador

Apr 19 (CG) The Govt and people of Sri Lanka are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of many lives caused by the sudden earthquake in Ecuador on 17th April, Foreign Ministry said. The Govt said it conveys heartfelt and profound condolences to the bereaved families of those who lost their lives. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Govt and people of Ecuador, including the families of victims who grieve over this terrible tragedy, and those injured,” Foreign Ministry added. more..

Mobitel Chairman's tender procedure violations cost company US $ 20 million

Apr 19 (LeN) Mobitel chairman Kumarasinghe Sirisena has caused a loss of US $ 20 million to the Mobitel Co. because of grave tender procedure violations committed by him. Therefore a complaint is to be made against him to the Commission inquiring into allegations of bribery and corruption. Kumarasinghe who has misconstrued the people’s victory on 8 th January as a mandate to make him the chairman of SLT mobitel more..

DV Upul files case against Ranjan

Apr 19 (AM) Southern Province Fisheries Minister DV Upul filed a case with Colombo District Court against Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake, claiming Rs 500 million as damages for allegedly defamatory statements made by the latter. Upul informed court that Ramanayake had made a claim that he obtained a loan of Rs 76 million from Lankaputhra Development Bank in a fraudulent manner. Ramanayake had made this claim during a press conference on Feb 20, more..

59 ASPs in limbo due to NPC delays

Apr 19 (CT) Promotions that are due to be granted to 59 ASPs have been delayed due to delays at the Independent Police Commission, informed sources said. The Police Department has reportedly sent the names of 116 ASPs for promotions to the Police Commission and of that lot only 59 have been recommended to be granted promotions, these sources said. The final decision on the list of 59 ASPs were to be taken at the Police Commission, which is slated to convene today (19). more..

Video: MR invited to SLFP May Day Rally: Amaraweera

Apr 19 (DM) UPFA General Secretary and Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said today he had sent the official invitation to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the SLFP May Day Rally to be held in Galle. Mr. Amaraweera said they hoped to meet Mr. Rajapaksa shortly to discuss his attendance at the rally. “Some people are trying to separate us and divide the party. We need to begin the victorious trend with the May Day rally,” he said. more..

Nine illegal migrants on way to Australia nabbed

Apr 19 (DM) Nine Sri Lankan illegal immigrants who were heading towards Australia were apprehended by the Navy in the seas off Negambo on Monday. Five men, a woman, two boys and a girl were among the apprehended people onboard. “The migrants had left from the Negombo harbour onboard a Multi-Day Fishing Vessel. They were apprehended on a tip off received by intelligence personnel and they were brought to Colombo Harbour and handed over to more..

Nimal Siripala pledges never to leave SLFP

Apr 19 (Island) Minister and Senior Vice Chairman of the SLFP Nimal Siripala de Silva said that he would always be where the hand symbol was. He pledged never to desert the SLFP. De Silva said so when he visited Asgiriya Maha Vihara to pay a courtesy call on newly elected Mahanayake Most Venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanaratana Thera. Minister said that he was now with the SLFP led by President Sirisena. He warned SLFPers not to be misled by utterances of various persons. more..

Bond auction process back in spotlight

Apr 19 (DM) Questions have again been raised over the govt securities (G-Secs) auction process as a recent treasury bond issue had accepted triple the amount it offered at a significantly higher interest rate, driving up the govt’s cost of borrowing. On March 29, Central Bank offered a 14-year and one-month bond (2030 bond) to raise Rs.10 billion. But the bank accepted bids up to Rs.29 billion, almost thrice the amount offered more..

Why Liberals opposed Mahinda?

Apr 20 (CT) In 2005 Liberal Party decided to support Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa candidacy in the Presidential Election though there were dissenting views in the party against that decision. The relationship continued till 2010 Presidential election and Liberal Party was also considered as an alliance party though there was no formal agreement with the UPFA. In 2010 over 30 political parties rallied under Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa and he won the presidential election comfortably. more..

Will Sri Lanka follow the example of Nepal?

Apr 20 (CT) TNA has consistently called for power sharing arrangements in a merged Northern and Eastern Provinces based on a Federal structure in a manner acceptable to the Tamil Speaking Muslim people. In all the elections held since May, 2009 voters have given a clear mandate to the TNA’s manifestos calling for a federal form of govt giving Northern and Eastern provinces maximum autonomy. In the parliamentary elections held in April, 2010 within a year after the war ended more..

'Lankan team only lacks experience'

Apr 20 (SO) ICC elite panel international umpire Kumar Dharmasena does not see any crisis situation in the Sri Lanka national team. In an exclusive interview during his short visit to Colombo for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Dharmasena said he does not see any crisis or an alarming situation in the Sri Lanka team. Former SL all-rounder who was a member of the 1996 World Cup-winning team, attributed the recent more..

Trying to cleanse the Augean Stables

Apr 20 (ST) April, wrote the poet T.S. Eliot in The Wasteland, is the cruellest month. Early this month a leading German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung dropped a bombshell by publishing the first reports on what has come to be known as the Panama Papers. These reports and subsequent writings in media in the US, UK and elsewhere exposed the financial shenanigans of the rich and the powerful some of whom have stashed away ill-gotten monies in secretive off-shore tax havens. more..

Hopes and expectations in New Year and beyond

Apr 20 (ST) The Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations last week was a time of enjoyment when economic difficulties and hardships are forgotten. Economic problems were hardly in the minds of people as they enjoyed the reunion of families, partook of games and exchanged gifts and sweet meats. The economy was on holiday. Different parts of the world celebrate New Year in different ways and at different times. The Chinese New Year is known for its long drawn-out more..

'PM’s visit to China will put an end to disagreements'

Apr 20 (SL) The Prime Minister’s recent visit to China has put an end to all the disagreements and misconceptions that had prevailed between China and the new govt, Minister for labour affairs John Senevirathna said. He also predicts that due to positive talks between the two governments many Chinese funded development projects that had been put on hold after the fall of the Rajapaksa regime may start again. more..

Megapolis and the Myth of Progress

Apr 20 (GV) The question remains. For Sri Lanka, in terms of its list of priorities, is Megapolis an absolute necessity or just another luxury that we can’t afford? or worse, a luxury that will eventually drive us and the world over the precipice? There is a popular proverb. Look before you leap. Nonetheless it has been our tradition in Sri Lanka to look only after we have leapt, but still we don’t seem to have learnt anything. A generation that intends to make money out of everything is well capable of more..

Prospects for Transitional Justice in SL

Apr 20 (GV) An interview with Howard Varney a few weeks ago held in Colombo attempted to demystify transitional justice and map out the challenges around reconciliation in Sri Lanka. As noted on the website of the International Centre for Transitional Justice. Howard Varney is a senior program adviser with ICTJ. His areas of expertise include truth-seeking, national prosecutions, institutional reform, reparations, and public interest litigation. Howard is a practicing advocate at Johannesburg Bar. more..

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe

Sampath Bank venture to tackle carbon emissions

Apr 20 (Island) Sampath Bank announced their latest innovation in the Banking sector. Teaming up with The Carbon Consulting Company, the country’s leading provider of Corporate Sustainability Solutions – The Bank announced unveiled its Carbon Neutral Hotel Stay programme. Certified by the Carbon Consulting Company as a ZeroCarbon® Hotel Stay, the Bank from now on undertakes to completely offset the carbon emissions of any hotel stays made through their credit cards. more..

Will Ranil do to China what JR did to India?

Apr 20 (CT) There is an amazing similarity between the trip to Sri Lanka by Rajiv Gandhi to sign the Indo-Lanka Agreement in 1987 and the visit to China by Ranil to escape from the Chinese Debt Trap. Ranil's uncle JR agreed to sign the Indo-Lanka Agreement in 1987 because there was nothing else to do to escape from the Eelam War, India set as a trap to Sri Lanka. JR had set the trap himself. During the 1977 general election, JR ridiculed the former PM of India and her son politically. more..

Greedy animal nearly tips tourists’ vehicle

Apr 20 (MO) A hungry elephant demanded food from terrified tourists on safari - and nearly sent them flying when it tried to reach inside their vehicle. The cheeky tusker stuck his trunk inside a broken-down truck while begging for treats at Yala National Park. Photographer Sidath Wanaguru captured the extraordinary moment from a vehicle travelling in convoy behind. There are an estimated 6,000 elephants in Sri Lanka but more..

Tire Market in SL to grow at 12% annually

Apr 20 (PRN) According to TechSci Research report, Sri Lanka Tire Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2021, tire market in Sri Lanka is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 12.59%, during 2016-2021. Growth in the market is anticipated on account of rising two-wheeler and three wheeler demand, expanding automobile fleet and favourable fiscal policies. Moreover, backed by stable business environment, sound economic conditions, availability of loans at low interest rates and more..

Rains calm tea worries

Apr 20 (FT) Ambiguity experienced by the tea industry in April dissipated somewhat this week with the return of rains and hope of improved crop yields over the next two months, John Keells Tea Brokers said yesterday. “A week or two of uncertainty continued around the markets with buyers having to adjust to missing auctions for Sinhala/Tamil New Year last week. In addition there have been climatic and production uncertainties. The scorching hot days that were experienced in more..

Citizens uncertain whether there’s been change, poll reveals

Apr 20 (FT) The latest nationwide survey conducted by research firm TNS Lanka, for business magazine LMD, reveals that citizens are unsure whether things are good, bad or ugly – uncertainty is certainly on the minds of the people of Sri Lanka. The magazine noted that, according to the poll results, a slim majority (52%) acknowledge that the govt has performed well thus far, while 38% reject this claim and 10% are sitting on the fence. more..

Eshan Pieris does Sri Lanka proud

Apr 20 (DN) Former Thomian, young Eshan Pieris won second place in the Rotax Max Challenge Asia - Round 2 held at the Elite Plus Speedway Circuit, Malaysia on recently. This came on the heels of another excellent performance, earlier in March, when he was a podium finisher, placing 5th in the Senior Category at Round 1 of X30 Challenge Singapore 2016. This is Singapore’s biggest internationally sanctioned race. Driving for RL Karting Team Malaysia, Eshan in a new more..

Mahela to join armchair critics

Apr 20 (Island) Former Test captain Mahela Jayawardene will join a host of former England captains in Sky Sports commentary team during Sri Lanka’s tour of England that gets underway next month. Sky Sports’ commentary team comprises former England captains Sir Ian Botham, David Gower, Nasser Hussain, Michael Atherton and Bob Willis. Sri Lanka will play three Tests, five ODIs and a T-20 International during their tour. This will be Mahela’s first stint as a cricket commentator. more..

SLC needs to get the balance

Apr 20 (DN) SLC administrators need to get the balance right on how they treat and handle their players. Not all players can be treated alike for there are some who need to be handled very carefully because they are not ordinary cricketers but icons in the eyes of the cricket world. These cricketers are special and they are match-winners and by their performances they have put their country on the world map. more..

Editorial: Stargazers at war

Apr 20 (Island) Stargazers are at war! Members of the so-called State Nekath Committee, responsible for preparing auspicious times for national events, are on the warpath. Exasperated beyond measure, they insist that their counterparts in the Opposition camp have misled former President Rajapaksa, who claimed the other day that avurudu auspicious times were wrong. He said those nekathas had been prepared in such a way that they would have beneficial effects on the govt and its leaders. more..

MS orders end to illegal gold exports

Apr 20 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has directed the govt to take tangible measures to prevent illegal export of gold from the country. The directive was issued on Tuesday at a conference attended by high ranking officers of the Finance Ministry, Treasury, heads of state and private sector banks and senior officers of the police and security forces. President revealed that there was a large scale racket of smuggling out gold bought at auctions conducted by state & private banks. more..

140 projects launched under Megapolis

Apr 20 (FT) A facelift for the Western Province is in the offing as the Megapolis project kicks off 140 development projects to boost infrastructure and lay the groundwork for larger ventures. Western Region Megapolis Planning Project Director Lakshman Jayasekera said under the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, an estimated $62,000 has already been earmarked for these projects. more..

Lankan Tamil held

Apr 20 (Hindu) Q Branch police detained a Sri Lankan Tamil when he attempted to smuggle 10 kg of ganja from Pamban seashore near here in the early hours of Tuesday. Acting on a tip-off, a special team, led by Q Branch Inspector of Police R. Kennedy, detained the Lankan Tamil when he was preparing to smuggle the contraband to Talaimannar in Sri Lanka through the sea route by engaging a boat. The police identified the accused as S. Prasanthan (24) of Mannar district. more..