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JO rakes up CIABOC DG’s controversial deals

Apr 21 (Island) Chairperson of the Commission to Investigate allegations of Bribery or Corruption Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe had engaged in a number of controversial deals, details of which were found in the Hansard, former UPFA Minister Bandula Gunawardena said yesterday. He said, "But, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has turned a blind eye to those charges; he insists that she continue in the post despite protests from other parliamentarians. more..

Sri Lanka moves up in 2016 World Press Freedom Index

Apr 21 (DM) Sri Lanka has moved up 24 notches and ranked at 141st place in the 2016 World Press Freedom Index compiled by the Reporters Without Borders - Reporters sans frontieres (RSF) which was published on Wednesday. The country was ranked at 165th place in the index in 2015. The index report published on RSF website said Sri Lanka had freed itself of the reign of terror imposed by the Rajapaksa family and its allies by more..

No bail for Sicille Kotelawala

Apr 21 (CT) The CID is obliged to take a statement from any defendant, regardless of the scale or the gravity of the case, Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne said reprimanding a CID officer. She added that the CID has to adhere to the laws of the land and that they are not permitted to follow their whims and fancies. Jayaratne made this statement after Saliya Peiris, the Attorney-at-Law representing Sicille Kotelawala, wife of the former Chairman of Ceylinco Group Lalith Kotelawala who more..

Veteran filmmaker Nihalsingha passes away

Apr 21 (DM) Veteran filmmaker D. B. Nihalsingha passed away this afternoon at the age of 77. Mr. Nihalsingha who was born on May 27, 1939 was last year conferred with the title of Professor in Cinema and Television - the only Sri Lankan to be honoured with the title. Mr. Nihalsingha who made award winning movies like Welikathara, Maldeniye Simion, Kelimandala and Ridee Nimnaya was the pioneer who introduced cinemascope film technology to Asia, the first cameraman who used more..

UK notes improvements in Sri Lanka but will push for probe

Apr 21 (CG) There was an improvement in the overall human rights situation in Sri Lanka in 2015, although some concerns remain, the British Govt said in its annual Human Rights and Democracy Report. Report noted that the Govt of Sri Lanka took positive steps last year to improve freedom of expression (including the media) and freedom of movement, reduce inter-community tensions, and restore independence of institutions such as more..

Sri Lanka to sign Paris Agreement on Climate Change tomorrow

Apr 21 (DN) Sri Lanka will sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at its Signing Ceremony to be held tomorrow at the United Nations headquarters, New York. Minister Susil Premajayantha will be signing the agreement on behalf of the Sri Lankan govt. Sri Lanka at the 21st session of the United Nations Framework Convention held in Paris on Environmental disaster (UNFCCC) from 30th Nov 2015 till 11th December agreed to contribute to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. more..

Dutch govt helps SL fight kidney disease

Apr 21 (CG) The Dutch Govt has come forward to help Sri Lanka fight Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Sri Lanka said today. The Embassy said that following a request made by President Maithripala Sirisena in July 2015 for assistance from the diplomatic community on the CKD issue in Sri Lanka, the Dutch Government responded positively by offering the services of the Dutch Risk Reduction (DRR) Team. more..

EU lifts ban on Sri Lanka's fish exports

Apr 21 (CG) The European Union (EU) today lifted the ban on fisheries products imported from Sri Lanka. The EU said that after a lengthy dialogue process Sri Lanka has now successfully reformed its fisheries governance system. “The country was issued with a yellow card in 2012 and been listed by the Council in Feb 2015. By today it has amended its legal framework, strengthened sanctions and improved its fleet control,” more..

Organic farming, an unworkable fairytale

Apr 22 (DN) Chemical based paddy farming is geared towards achieving higher yields with new improved rice varieties and new farming techniques. Therefore, the popular argument against the adoption of organic paddy farming is that it does not generate enough yields and that might constrain the supply of rice for Sri Lankans. However, a majority of organic farmers defend their efforts guaranteeing same yields as chemical based paddy farmers. (Organic farming also provides additional more..

Editorial: A challenge for new IGP

Apr 22 (Island) The police super star contest, as it were, is thankfully over. It was preceded by weeks of intense lobbying and campaigning. Pujith Jayasundara has emerged the winner. Beaming from ear to ear he received his letter of appointment from President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday. It was no mean achievement for a cop. Why he is so tickled pink is understandable; the Constitutional Council has considered him better suited for the post than even his senior colleague more..

'We reduced price of gas'

Apr 21 (CT) Deputy Minister Anoma Gamage says, although it is being said so, the prices of goods has not increased so much. "When compared with last year we have made a considerable difference in the price of goods. We reduced the price of gas by a substantial amount. There is no difference in the price of dhal though." Q: Are you satisfied with the latest re-organization of the UNP? A: Yes, we are happy about it. more..

The Left alternative in Sri Lanka

Apr 22 (CT) As the country drifted towards chauvinism in the post-independence years, the Left until the early 1960s offered hope as an alternative to a politics entrenched in feudalism and the past. In the first Parliament, the Left was almost in a position to form the govt. Citizenship Bills which turned Tamil plantation labour into virtual serfs was largely intended to take a huge slice off the Left’s support base. The battle to resist the Bills was staunchly fought by the Left and lost. more..

The Fifty–Fifty Interlude: Communalism or Nationalism?

Apr 22 (CT) Communalism has wreaked havoc in Lanka. It is embedded in our prejudices and our backwardness. Sri Lankan political establishment’s complicity in violence against a minority is a scandal that would impede us for years to come, particularly in view of the lack of will to do away with impunity and hold the armed forces to account. Equally culpable are the Tamil leaders who have inflamed passions where a little sympathy and restraint could have cooled them and hindered more..

Elevated highways to link Colombo, Peliyagoda and Rajagiriya

Apr 22 (SO) Govt plans to build two elevated highways linking Colombo to Peliyagoda and Rajagiriya to ease traffic congestion and connect the suburbs to the Expressways. The construction of elevated highways will be one of the govt’s top priorities and the project is due to begin in September, Director General of RDA, M.P.K.L. Gunaratne said. The heavy vehicular traffic on Colombo roads has adversely affected more..

Cry-wolf syndrome

Apr 21 (DN) SLFP, headed by President Maithripala Sirisena, is now running into a fresh issue with the pro-Rajapaksa group deciding to hold a separate May Day rally, distancing themselves from the May Day event organised by the party. Non-SLFP partners of the UPFA coalition, including the NFF, MEP and PHU, are the main organisers of the Rajapaksa group’s May Day rally. In addition, a group of MPs representing the SLFP rebel camp are likely to attend the event. more..

In awe of the Lankan recipe

Apr 21 (DN) South Korean Ambassador Won-sam Chang has a secret to his youthful charm. It is a spoonful of Ginseng, everyday! Ginseng, he says, is a herb found commonly in South Korea that provides all kinds of goodness to keep healthy. Chang has a huge jug of Ginseng immersed in alcohol in his dining room which he has kept for many years and hopes to open before he leaves Sri Lanka. This is Ambassador Chang’s second year in Sri Lanka and life here is still beginning for him. more..


Questions of haste, urgency and consultations in transitional justice

Apr 22 (GV) On a recent visit to the United States, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera made a revealing series of comments in response to a question at a forum organized by the United States Institute of Peace. When asked about the government’s timeline to introduce what the govt calls reconciliation mechanisms, his response reflected his view that controversial Transitional Justice (TJ) mechanisms must be initiated quickly, without much delay. more..

Wild times in Sri Lanka

Apr 22 (OC) We had to settle for paw prints in the powdery dirt of a pot-holed road and not the leopard itself. Of course, it’s a bit much to expect to see one of the iconic big cats in the wild. We were hoping for just that, though, during our jeep safari at Yala National Park on the east coast of Sri Lanka. About an hour into our three-hour ride, the driver pulled the jeep to a halt and began speaking excitedly in Sinhala and gesticulating towards a treeline about 200 metres away. more..

From War-policing to Community policing

Apr 22 (DN) From adversary to protector- SL Police have turned to Community Policing as a way to build bridges between communities and the police at a time when public faith in the police is at an all-time low. Retired Senior DIG, M. Gomes spends much of his retirement as the President of Wellawatte Civil Security Committee but this time, he remains outside police station and helps people connect with the police. more..

SL on a budget: An affordable long weekend

Apr 22 (WO) On Sri Lanka’s southwest coast you can experience beautiful beaches, surf adventures and incredible wildlife – all without breaking the bank. Here’s how to have a long weekend in Sri Lanka on a budget…Surf’s Up: There’s one way to guarantee you’ll fit right in on Sri Lanka’s southwest coast – grab a surfboard. From October to May, the region is a surfer’s paradise, thanks to its endless sunshine, warm blue water, beginner-friendly beaches and challenging reefs more..

May Day: A Clash of the giants

Apr 22 (CT) While Political parties and Trade Unions flex their muscles to observe May Day in just a week's time, the enormity of the explosive emotions sizzling just beneath the surface of the two major political parties can be expected to manifest themselves in grandstanding such as that seen in the days of the Second WW by Hitler on the one side and Churchill on the other. Make no mistake about it May Day in Sri Lanka is just an euphemism for venting political venom on more..

Almost seven year after end of conflict Sri Lanka is still a divided society: CPA

Apr 22 (CPA) According to the latest Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka survey conducted by Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, Sri Lankans have a low level of confidence in the Govt’s commitment towards eradicating corruption in the country. While 40.8% are of the opinion that govt is not committed towards eradicating corruption in the country, 34.5% say that govt is committed. more..

Avurudu in Mahayaya and Bandusena’s with love

Apr 22 (Island) It was avurudu again, Sinhala and Tamil New Year, when get mixed feelings, but more sadness since last year. However, it was a bit different for me this year thanks to the Sirasa News First - New Year celebrations held in Mahayaya in Dambulla. It was a memorable celebration where we met villagers. We managed to record three Pathikada programmes, one on the banks of the Kandalama tank and the other two at an avurudu festival itself. more..

People’s Bank wins Bank of the Year award

Apr 22 (Island) The reputed international finance and business magazine The European bestowed the title Bank of the Year - Sri Lanka to People’s Bank at the recently concluded Global Banking and Finance Awards 2015. The awards ceremony which is recognized internationally by the global financial sector saw a judging panel with individuals possessing extensive experience across a range of sectors. They are also proficiently supported by a highly dedicated research team more..

Preliminary squad of 20 announced for Tests

Apr 22 (DN) A preliminary squad of 20 national players began training at the R. Premadasa Stadium yesterday morning in preparation for next month’s cricket tour of England. The squad will travel to Kandy today to continue training at a higher altitude ahead of the tour and will engage in training sessions. It will be followed by a two-day game at the Pallakelle Cricket Stadium on Saturday and Sunday whilst training sessions more..

BoC ATMs dispensed record breaking Rs. 30 billion during Avurudu season

Apr 22 (Island) The Bank of Ceylon, set a bench mark of dispensing a record breaking Rs.30.72 billion from its ATMs during Avurudu season. The Bank has made every possible arrangement to provide the utmost convenient and easy access to cash for its customers during this festive season. Bank has installed over 50 Cash Deposit Machines (CDMs) covering the entire country enabling BOC customers to deposit money into their accounts on real time 24 hours a day and accepted more..

Loud music complaint leads trishaw driver to expose himself

Apr 22 (DN) A three wheeler driver who showed off his private parts to a nurse when the latter told him to reduce the volume of his cassette player, was arrested by Bandaragama Police. The three wheeler driver had turned on the volume of his cassette player during the past few days inconveniencing neighbours. The nurse who is a neighbour, told the three wheeler driver that she would lodge a complaint with the police, if the volume of his cassette player was not turned down. more..

'Sampanthan’s decisions questionable'

Apr 22 (CT) Leader of the EPRLF and former TNA Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran stated that, certain decisions taken by the leader of the TNA and Opposition Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan are questionable. Former MP Premachandran further said that TNA's election manifesto has emphasized the Federal Constitutional System and the need of combining of the North-East. more..

JO promises massive turnout at Kirulapone

Apr 22 (Island) Former President of Gampaha PS Ranjith Gunawardena said that 99% of local govt UPFA politicians were rallying round former President Rajapaksa and it could be proved at their forthcoming May Day rally at Kirulapone organised by the Joint Opposition. Gunawardena, addressing the media at former President’s political office at Battaramulla said those at grassroots level were convinced that Rajapaksa should lead SLFP campaigns if the party was to win elections. more..

UNP gentleman politician quits in disgust

Apr 22 (Island) Senior Attorney-at-law Harendranath Dunuwila said that he had resigned from the post of UNP Chief Organiser of Pathadumbara electorate. Dunuwila said that he had decided to resign as he was disappointed with the UNP-led govt. The one-time MP and Minister said Venerable Maduluwawe Sobhitha Nayaka Thera had also expressed displeasure with the govt. He said that the organisers of the electorates did not receive adequate support from the govt despite more..

MR's words of wisdom for new IGP

Apr 22 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the new IGP should be alert on police officers who act according to the whims of the govt and harass those with dissenting political views, expecting favours in return. He made these remarks at a function held in Thorakolayaya, Embilipitiya on the occasion of the birthday of Ven. Pusselpitiye Suneetharathna Thera. Though the celebrations were scheduled to be held in more..

Injuries to spectators mar Nuwara Eliya Races

Apr 22 (DN) Nuwara Eliya Road Races 2016 one of the most exciting motor racing events in the country left a black mark when several onlookers suffered injuries during the race. The incident happened during the practice sessions, a day prior to the race. The competitors participated in four motor car and 13 motor cycle events. Dhammika Pieris, Kushan Pieris, Rajitha Uluvita and Sachith Pathirana won the motor car events while Riza Odayar, Pramuka Sesath, Ananda Wedisinghe, Suraj Perera more..

Colombo port eyes 10% rise in box throughput in 2016

Apr 22 (HSN) Colombo port is eyeing a 10% rise in container throughput in 2016 over the previous year, relying heavily on transhipment cargoes, according to Tissa Wickramasinghe, general manager of commercial and marketing at Colombo International Container Terminals. “Colombo port is mainly a transhipment hub with 80% of throughput coming from transhipment,” he told delegates at the TOC Asia conference held as part of the Singapore Maritime Week 2016. more..

Prez reveals why he left Rajapaksa govt

Apr 22 (Island) President Maithrippla Sirisena accused his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa of having thwarted a bid to take disciplinary action against the then Chairman of the Tangalle PS, Sampath Vidanapathirana in the wake of his alleged involvement in the killing of British citizen Khuram Shaikh Zaman, (32) in late Dec, 2011. President Sirisena claimed that the former President had strongly opposed more..

University intake to be increased by 10%

Apr 22 (DN) UGC will increase the number of undergraduates by 10% for the new academic year, UGC Chairman Prof. Mohan de Silva said. Accordingly, 27,603 students will be enrolled for various undergraduate courses conducted at 15 universities and 18 higher educational institutions for the new academic year. “Last year the figure was 25,200 and therefore this is an increase of 10%,” he said. Meanwhile, UGC will issue applications for recruiting new undergraduates for more..

Thailand, Sri Lanka FTA talks begin

Apr 22 (DN) Thailand and Sri Lanka are once again looking at formulating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries. International Trade Department’s Deputy Director General, M. Susomboon said this topic was discussed when Deputy PM, Somkid Jatusripitak visited Sri Lanka last month. He also had discussions with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in this regard. The Thai Deputy PM also followed up the topic of a Sri Lanka Thailand FTA with Minister Mangala Samaraweera more..

'Large-scale gem fraud during last regime'

Apr 22 (DN) A financial fraud involving the loss of vital foreign exchange earnings beyond calculation had been caused to country through the smuggling out of large stocks of gems since 2013, Chairman of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority Asanke Welagedara said. He said the fraud was uncovered as a result of a state audit. He said the large-scale fraud had occurred by way of a voucher system called more..

Sri Lankan short film receives Silver Award at Houston Festival

Apr 22 (ITN) Sri Lanka succeeded in winning the Silver Award for the best creation in the Short Film Category at the Forty-ninth World Fest International Film and Video Design Awards The Awards Festival was organized in Houston in the United States. The film I am Backoy received the Silver Award. Communication expert Dr. Kapila Sooriyarachchi of the Health Education Bureau of the Health Ministry received the Award for its direction. The Sri Lanka National Authority for Tobacco and Alcohol more..

Master Chef Pabilis introduced in Vietnam as Ambassador of authentic Sri Lanka cuisine

Apr 22 (DN) Chef Dr. Pabilis Silva visited Vietnam to participate at the International Food Festival recently, attended by top Chefs from 12 countries; Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Slovenia, UK, Sweden, Mauritius and India, where he was introduced as the Ambassador of authentic Sri Lanka cuisine. The food festival lasted a week and the publicity received by Master Chef Pabilis was immense. He was lent full support by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Vietnam, more..