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Mass Media Ministry Sec. transferred

Apr 22 (DM) The Mass Media Ministry has transferred its Secretary with immediate effect, it was reported. Mr. Vajira Narampanawa who served in the post has been transferred to the Ministry of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages. The reason for the transfer was not yet revealed by the Ministry. However, issuing a statement it said Mr. Narampanawa would be replaced by Mr. Bopage Nimalweera and that he would assume duties on Monday. more..

Video: SLFP affirms disciplinary action against rebels

Apr 22 (DM) Disciplinary action would be taken against all MPs, provincial councilors and organisers of the SLFP if they attended the May Day rally organsied by the joint opposition in Kirulapone, SLFP General Secretary Minister Duminda Dissanayake today said. He said the party Central Committee (CC) has directed all members to attend the SLFP May Day rally which would be held in Galle. Meanwhile, the minister said that former President Rajapaksa’s is damaging his image more..

NPC adopts resolution backing federal solution

Apr 22 (PTI) TNA- controlled northern provincial council today adopted a resolution seeking a federal solution to the long-pending issue of political independence for the counry's minority Tamil community. Resolution adopted by TNA aims to have the federal solution included in the current constitution-making process. Govt has already launched a process to formulate a new Constitution replacing the 1978 statute. more..

Federalist call and new constitution

Apr 23 (NS) The word federalism has re-emerged in the political spectrum with the TNA and the Northern Provincial Council openly calling for a federal solution to the ethnic issue. This has already triggered bitter opposition from some nationalists in the south. The call for federalism is not new and it has been in our political currency for over half a century. Having originated from politics of G G Ponnambalam and S J V Chelvanayakam, federalist demand has dominated more..

The Bracegirdle Incident

Apr 23 (CT) It was during this period 79 years ago in 1937, the Bracegirdle Incident flared up giving considerable impetus to the young Left movement in Sri Lanka, also creating potential for the nationalist movement to call for independence from the British rule. It was on 22 April 1937 that Bracegirdle was served with a deportation order which was defied with the backing of the leftist leaders in the country. What follows here is a translation of what I wrote in 1973, about the incident, more..

Construction industry builds case for foreign labour

Apr 23 (FT) As Sri Lanka attempts to become a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) hotspot, top construction industry experts yesterday warned the sector is ill-equipped to absorb inflows due to a growing labour shortage. Noting that the industry would find it extremely difficult to grow at a fast pace in the next few years, Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI) of Sri Lanka cautioned the labour shortage would be highly visible once more..

Celebrating Earth Day: Historic steps & humane efforts

Apr 23 (CT) April 22, 2016 marks the 44th anniversary of International Earth Day. Earth Day’s origins lie in two individuals. Peace Activist John McConnell who at a UNESCO Conference in 1969, put forth the idea that there should be a day to celebrate the Earth, and US Senator Gaylord Nelson, on April 22nd. In 1990, the organization Earth Day made the event a truly global celebration, with 141 states participating. In 2009 the UN General Assembly decided that April 22 more..

Brouhaha over appointing IGP

Apr 23 (NS) Much attention was focussed on the appointment of the new IGP. This week the Constitutional Council, after interviewing the three nominees forwarded to them by President Sirisena, recommended Pujith Jayasundera as the country’s top policeman. The opposition has been up in arms over the issue. They claim that the Constitutional Council is only empowered to confirm or reject a nominee from the President. They argue that President Sirisena has no authority to more..

Amendments to the Code of Ethics for MPs

Apr 23 (NS) Former Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and well – known civil society leader Chandra Jayaratne in a letter to the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya while welcoming the govt’s initiative to introduce a code of ethics for the MPs has suggested some useful amendments to the draft code. Following are the suggested Additions and Amendments: 1. Re; Article 3 Duties of Members – Include under Article 3 following amendment more..

Editorial: Thunder sans rain

Apr 23 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena saw red, nay blew a gasket, in Polonnaruwa the other day. He said he had gathered from media reports that VAT would be increased! Waxing eloquent on his govt’s commitment to public welfare, he valiantly took up the cudgels on behalf of the hapless masses. He would not allow more tax burdens to be heaped on the public, he thundered, issuing not-so-veiled threats to govt policymakers. We thought he would put his foot down, more..

May Day, May Day warning ahead for SLFP

Apr 23 (Island) What are you doing about Earth Day? Why, what do you expect me to do? Are you not even planting a tree? You mean to put more weight o Earth or to give a chance for someone to cut in down in the future? Are you not doing anything about carbon pollution? What do you want me to do when we are planning to build another coal power station? Will you do nothing to help keep the Earth cleaner, like throwing your garbage into a can? Why me and a garbage can? more..

Keheliya Rambukwella

An year of high growth for Sanasa Development Bank

Apr 23 (Island) SDB posted an outstanding financial performance in 2015. Bank had a string year in terms of profitability, despite a challenging macroeconomic and regulatory environment, SDB has recorded an impressive performance with the bank’s net profit before tax surpassing Rs.1 billion mark for the first time in the history. This is an exceptional 48% growth compared to the previous year and ended up with a post-tax profit of Rs.720 million for financial year ended 31st Dec. more..

Thinking of the future

Apr 23 (CT) Though the war continued apace, we felt at the Peace Secretariat that we should also be concentrating on reconciliation and reconstruction. I did not believe that this was served by the sort of idealistic artistry that we had spent so much money on through the UNDP project that had been designed, it seemed, for Colombo high society rather than the people of the North. Fortunately at the time I took over we had a Director of Economic Affairs, Rohantha Athukorale, who more..

Sweden Foreign Affairs minister to visit SL

Apr 23 (ST) Sweden's Foreign Affairs minister Margot Wallström will pay an official visit to Sri Lanka from April 24 to 26 April at the invitation of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera. Minister Wallström will hold official bilateral discussions with Minister Samaraweera on April 25 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Two ministers will make remarks to the Media at the conclusion of bilateral discussions at the Ministry. more..

SLFP to see blue with May Day rivalry

Apr 23 (DN) With Avurudu celebrations over leading to the rapid approach of May Day, all signs show the political divide within the SLFP growing wider, raising key issues of policy and unity in the leadership of the party, and thereby the policy and direction of the consensual govt of national unity, too. Mahinda Rajapaksa’s announcement of attending the Joint Opposition (JO) rally at Kirilapone in Colombo, while the SLFP May Day rally in Galle, chaired by more..

Muslim identity and caste

Apr 23 (Island) One of the most important matters to be cleared up in promoting Muslim-Tamil relations is that of Muslim identity in relation to the Tamil caste system. Among the most prominent of the Tamil attacks set off by my four-part article on Tamil racism and 13 A have been the ones by Paul: he has been inveighing, week after week in response to my articles as well as other articles, against the Sri Lankan Muslims for denying that they are largely Tamil converts to Islam who married more..

Pakistan President seeks increase in security ties with Sri Lanka

Apr 23 (CG) Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain says Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with Sri Lanka, which are cordial and friendly. Talking to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and his delegation comprising Minister of Budha Sasena, Justice and Labour Relations Dr. Wijedasa Rajapaksa, Senior Monks, Civil Servants and Academicians, he said that recent high-level exchanges have been very productive and more..

Magistrate files contempt of Court action against Ven. Gnanasara Thera

Apr 23 (DN) Homagama Magistrate filed a Contempt of Court action in the Court of Appeal against BBS Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera seeking the Appeal Court’s constitutional jurisdiction against Ven. Gnasara Thera’s alleged offensive behaviour in Homagama Magistrate’s Court amounting to Contempt of Court on Jan 25 this year. In a surprising turn of events, on Jan 25, Gnanasara Thera began to address Open Court after the court hearing pertaining to the disappearance of more..

'Colombo - India ferry talks underway'

Apr 23 (NS) For many decades, visitors to Sri Lanka have been provided with identical packages, which included beaches, round trips covering the cultural triangle and the hill country and to a lesser extent wildlife parks. The only noteworthy new addition to the old repertoire is whale and dolphin watching off Mirissa, Kalpitiya and Trincomalee. Recognizing the need to provide new experiences to tourists, MMBL Leisure Holdings has teamed up with Jetwing Group to provide a totally new experience more..

China notes potential in marine cooperation

Apr 23 (CG) China says there is a huge potential in marine cooperation between China and Sri Lanka, such as cooperation in the fields of maritime connectivity, marine economy, fisheries, marine scientific research and environmental protection, and disaster management. Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang said the friendship between China and Sri Lanka dates back centuries ago and bilateral cooperation is carried out more..

Sri Lankan delegation visits Taxila museum

Apr 23 (AAP) A 40-member high ranking delegation of Sri Lankan senior Buddhist monks and Buddhist scholars led by Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and Buddha Sasana, justice minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and Ven Bangala Upatissa, advisor to the minister of finance including politicians, academicians and officials visited ancient Taxila museum and ancient Taxila University on Friday. During the visit they also offered their religious rituals and preached at Taxila Museum. more..

Fresh retention plans for TN returnees

Apr 23 (NS) In a bid to attract and retain Sri Lankan refugees domiciled in Tamil Nadu, Govt has upgraded the assistance provided through a newly approved Cabinet paper. The move comes in amidst reports of at least 40% of refugees who return to the country from India are forced to go back as the Govt cannot match the facilities given by TN State Govt. Accordingly, Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs has decided to more..

'S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike proposed federalism to isolate Tamils'

Apr 23 (ENS) In a controversial statement made on Friday, Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran said that S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, who proposed a federal constitution for Sri Lanka way back in 1926, had made the suggestion with the ulterior motive of isolating the Tamils and confining them to Northern & Eastern Provinces. He said Bandaranaike had made the proposal with an intention to bottle up the Tamils more..

Sahanagama launched under the revived Udagam concept is vested in the public

Apr 23 (ITN) Another stage of the Model Village programme revived after a lapse of 22 years was vested in the public today. The programme which generates a revolution in housing development in Sri Lanka, is sure to fulfil the aspirations of the people. It was former President the Late Ranasinghe Premadsa who directed the country’s housing programme to a revolutionary change with the intention of making every citizen a proud owner of a block of land and a house. more..

Seven new diplomats present credentials

Apr 23 (ITN) Several new state diplomats have been appointed to Sri Lanka. Five new Ambassadors and two new High Commissioners presented their credentials to President Maithripala Sirisena. The newly appointed Ambassadors of Uruguay, Turkmenistan, Hungary, Slovenia and Mali and the new High Commissioners of Malaysia and Mauritius presented their credentials to the President. These new diplomats presented their credentials to the President at the President’s Office. more..

Sri Lanka’s interest in TN politics wanes

Apr 23 (Hindu) Territorially, Tamil Nadu is the closest Indian State to Sri Lanka. If not geography, at least history — especially contemporary history — should have impelled the people and political class of the island nation to keenly follow the upcoming elections on the other side of Palk Strait. But, politicians here are not concerned, says Rajitha Senaratne, spokesperson of the Cabinet who is considered to be close to President Sirisena. more..

Jaffna docs decry statement

Apr 23 (CT) Jaffna Hospital sources said doctors of the Jaffna Hospital had expressed their opposition against a statement made by the Secretary to the GMOA during a discussion held in Jaffna on Wednesday at the Jaffna Hospital. While the Secretary of the GMOA Dr. Naveen De Soysa was speaking at the discussion, several doctors of the Jaffna Hospital had hooted derisively at Dr. Soysa expressing their opposition against the views expressed by him, the source added. more..

TNA given data on Arcelor Mittal Project

Apr 23 (CT) Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs issued a press release responding to concerns raised by the TNA for the housing project awarded to ArcelorMittal. The statement said contractors with a concessionary financing arrangement will be able to get project sub-contracts in conflict affected areas in Jaffna. Cabinet appointed a Negotiating Committee and a Project Committee (Technical Evaluation) to ensure more..

Health authorities call to decriminalize homosexuality

Apr 23 (NS) Health authorities have called for the decriminalization of homosexuality in light of increasing cases of HIV due to homosexual activities. Director of the National STD/AIDS Control Programme, Dr. Sisira Liyanage said that Govt including the Ministry of Health needed to look at decriminalizing homosexuality in the country. “50% of the 70 cases are due to sexual activities among homosexuals. more..

Misleading public by misinterpreting Defence Ministry web glitch

Apr 23 (MoD) It is noted that a few websites have been misled by a news article published in the official website of the Ministry of Defence Sri Lanka ( on 30th Oct 2014 under the headline Foreign Passport holders traveling to the North. As the defence ministry web site was subjected to a technical upgrade recently and all old news publications have been reappearing under a new modified date 03-03-2016, as the technical change was done on that date. more..

SL may buy high-tech Russian war-ships

Apr 23 (NS) Upon a visit to Rostec’s exhibition stand at the International Defence Services Asia Exhibition (DSA-2016) by Sri Lankan defence delegation foreign reports recently highlighted that Sri Lanka has shown interest in purchasing Russia’s gepard-class frigates, which are warships. According to the head of the International Cooperation Department of Russia’s state technology corporation Rostec, Viktor Kladov, a SL defence delegation has visited the Rostec’s exhibition stand at the DSA-2016, more..

IT industry leverages niche appeal

Apr 23 (OBG) Consistently ranked as a top global destination for BPO and IT, Sri Lanka’s tech services industry has grown substantially in recent years, with high expectations and ambitious targets going forward. Challenges remain, notably in supplying the advanced IT graduates necessary to spur future growth; however, with fundamental infrastructure largely in place, SL should continue to expand its role in a burgeoning global market. more..

Airbus enroute to Dubai lands at the BIA due to technical problem

Apr 23 (DN) An Airbus which was on its way to Dubai from Sydney was forced to make an an emergency landing at the Bandaranaike International Airport after it developed a technical problem. This Airbus with a seating capacity above 500, left for Dubai after rectifying its technical fault. Airport authorities told the Daily News that 244 passengers including 22 members of its crew, were on board the Airbus, when it made an emergency landing at the BIA. more..

Bangladesh Bank exposed to hackers by cheap switches, no firewall: police

Apr 23 (Reuters) Bangladesh's central bank was vulnerable to hackers because it did not have a firewall and used second-hand, $10 switches to network computers connected to the SWIFT global payment network, an investigator into one of the world's biggest cyber heists said. The shortcomings made it easier for hackers to break into the Bangladesh Bank system earlier this year and attempt to siphon off nearly $1 billion using the bank's SWIFT credentials, said Shah Alam, more..

Special Audit at Public Trustee’s Dept

Apr 23 (CT) A special audit has commenced to look into corrupt deals alleged to have taken place in the past at the Department of the Public Trustee. Investigations have been launched into irregularities regarding temple properties acquired by the govt in construction of roadways and compensation paid for alienation of such properties as well as payments made under the Common Trust of Religions and Social Services as more..

Fresh talks with China on Norochcholai plant

Apr 23 (NS) Govt is to commence fresh talks with the Chinese Govt to ensure smooth functioning of the controversial Norochcholai Lak Vijaya power plant. The talks have been initiated by the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy following several breakdowns of the power plant which had resulted in frequent blackouts islandwide in the recent past. Accordingly, a directive has been issued by Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya to the Ministry Secretary to commence talks with Chinese Ambassador more..

Acting positions in Health Ministry abolished

Apr 23 (ITN) Minister Rajitha Senaratne has decided to cancel all Acting positions within the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine. The Health Ministry said that the relevant instructions have already been issued to the Ministry Secretary. Minister Rajitha Senaratne has issued instructions to Health Secretary Anura Jayawickrema to immediately nullify all Acting designations of the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine. more..

Former OIC spills the beans

Apr 23 (DN) In a statement to the CID, former Narahenpita Crimes OIC Sumith Perera told that he received instructions from higher ranking police officers not to conduct further investigations in connection with the murder of former rugby player Wasim Thajudeen. Filing a report in the Colombo Magistrate’s Court, the CID said its detectives were able to record a statement from the former Narahenpita Crimes OIC prior to his arrest for more..

Let’s start celebrating books again today

Apr 23 (DM) In this era when we are tempted to go overboard, misuse or abuse television and digital technology’s marvels such as the smart phones, tabs and iPads, World Book day today calls for deep reflection on the need to turn a new page or chapter. World Book Day or World Book and Copyright Day is a yearly event on April 23. It is organized by the UNESCO, to promote reading, publishing and copyright. World Book day was celebrated for the first time on April 23, 1995. more..