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No clear cut policy on banning Asbestos

Apr 3 (ST) Despite assurance given by President Sirisena to put an end to the use of asbestos, some quarters in the govt had not taken a clear cut policy on banning asbestos immediately, officials said. Environment Ministry official said that replacing roofing sheets would be a very costly affair. Thus, there wonít be immediate steps to ban asbestos. He, however, said President had come forward with a pledge to ban use of asbestos, more..

WI win the Women's WT20

Apr 3 (CI) West Indies converted their maiden appearance in a World Twenty20 final into a historic victory in Kolkata, beating three-time defending champions Australia for the first time in a T20 international by pulling off the second highest chase in the tournament's history. The heroes of the daunting pursuit were 18-year old Hayley Matthews and the captain Stafanie Taylor, whose half-centuries and 120-partnership came at more than a run a ball. more..

Sri Lanka expects relations with China to reach new level

Apr 3 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka looks forward to further strengthening its relations with China when PM Ranil Wickremesinghe undertakes an official visit to China next week, a statement released by his office said. Wickremesinghe will be leaving for a state visit to China on April 6 and this is his first visit to China as the PM of Sri Lanka, since the govt of President Maithripala Sirisena was formed in January last year. High-level discussions to be held during the visit are expected to advance the relations more..

Power mafia draining reservoirs to coerce sales

Apr 3 (ST) Minister Champika Ranawaka has levelled allegations that the power crisis plaguing the country was precipitated by an electricity mafia comprising elements within the CEB and independent power producers (IPPs). Ranawaka, formerly minister of power and now a member of the special committee appointed by President to probe recent nationwide power failures, produced a chart showing an alarming more..

Visit Sri Lanka, the island with it all

Apr 3 (CNT) For a quarter century, Sri Lanka was largely off-limits to tourists, riven by a brutal civil war that finally ended in 2009. Now, Asia-bound isle-philes are looking beyond Bali to this tiny island thatís currently experiencing a welcome hotel boom. Makes senseóbesides its otherworldly beaches on the south coast (Aussies and Kiwis have been surfing here for years) and lush national parks in the southeast, where you can see leopards and elephants on a mini safari, more..

Team of Lankan journalists visit Bangalore

Apr 3 (Island) A group of 20 Sri Lankan journalists led by Muditha Kariyakarawana visited Bangalore on the invitation of Wickram Rao, President of the Indian Federation of Working Journalists to participate in the seminar to mark the 30th anniversary of the institution. Rao, in his address, said that journalists associations in the world, including Sri Lanka should join hands to safeguard the professional rights and secure the independence of journalists living worldwide. more..

Indiaís Rs 100m gift welcome but not its fishing boats

Apr 3 (ST) Despite Indian govtís grant of Rs. 100 million worth of boats and equipment to Mullaitivu this week, local fishermen called for a total ban on Indian poaching in Lankan seas. President of Mullaitivu Fisheries Federation, said that while fishermen were grateful for the grant, which will help to improve the livelihood of war-affected fisherfolk, they will continue to demand a complete stop to bottom-trawling more..

Amaraweera demands: Curb poaching by TN fishermen

Apr 3 (SO) The responsibility of restraining Indian fishermen encroaching Sri Lankan seas lies with India. However, if Indian fishermen are ready to give up bottom trawling, Sri Lanka would permit Indians to fish in the countryís territorial waters to a certain extent, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Mahinda Amaraweera said. The minister is scheduled to visit India in May, on the invitation of Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Suwaraj to discuss the issue. more..

Alleged thief of donation box found dead inside church

Apr 3 (ST) An individual who had allegedly tried to steal from the donation box of St. Peterís Church, Paalakudawa, Kalpitiya, was found dead inside the church last morning, police said. Kalpitiya police said the body of the alleged thief was found in front of the statue of Jesus, with a lighted flashlight nearby, and the money stolen from the donation box stuffed inside the suspectís sarong and also scattered on the floor. A stick with a piece of chewing gum stuck to one end and used to draw out money from more..

Walk the talk: Act against those who destroyed the Wattala track

Apr 3 (ST) A major controversy has erupted over the mysterious midnight destruction of a popular exercise track or walkway with angry residents alleging a cover up by the police due to high-level political pressure. At the centre of the controversy is minister John Amaratunga, who represents the area. Residents are charging that this act of vandalism is a disgrace for Yahapalanaya Govt and its leaders need to walk the talk if they wish to avoid more..

Vaddukoddai resolution: More relevant now than ever before

Apr 4 (CT) As the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Vaddukoddai Resolution, articulating a free and independent Tamil Eelam, that which won an overwhelming democratic mandate in the 1977 general elections, draws near on May 14, 2016, no one can refute how absolutely profound, and vitally relevant this declaration STILL IS for Eelam Tamils and how now at this critical time, it is undeniably even more profound and relevant than ever before! Wherever we may be, beholden to more..

Judicial decision making in the cases of Bracegirdle & Gunaratnam

Apr 4 (CT) The arrest, keeping in the remand custody for inordinate period of time, prosecution and finally the Court ruling made in the Kumar Gunaratnamís case should open the eyes of all concerned citizens of their immutable sovereign rights enshrined in the Constitution, that includes the Judicial power, the Court System exercises purely on trust. Kumar Gunaratnam is a native Lankan, who had fled the country for fear of his life. Technically he is an Australian passport more..

JVP: 46 years in politics

Apr 4 (SO) The JVP, founded in the mid 1960's, at a time when Sri Lankan politics as well as world politics were at the crossroads over political ideologies on the China-Soviet conflict and were moving towards a more revolutionary zeal to achieve its political ends. Don Nandasiri Rohana Wijeweera, a young and intelligent medical student at the Lumumba University in Moscow, who opted to sacrifice his educational & career prospects more..

Ides of April and the absence of governance

Apr 4 (ST) Sri Lankans were blithely reassured this week by President Maithripala Sirisena that they need not fear the Ides of March anymore, taking into account the annual critical focus on the country by the UNHRC. But in truth, this claim is unduly optimistic. If the concerns of Wanniís war afflicted are not prioritized in transitional justice initiatives and the end result contemplates superficially attractive packages stamped with yahapalanaya (good governance) seal, int'l scrutiny may return, more..

Without a candle to light their hopes, in their darkness they curse their foes

Apr 4 (ST) Only those with the wound know the pain. Though it may be easy and come naturally for the vast majority of Lankans to condemn the odious practice of cursing oneís enemies, spare a compassionate thought for the once privileged few for dabbling in the black art of magic in a desperate last resort bid to relive their glory days of old. Their last ditch strategy is to play the player, not the game; and curse in hope some demonic bowling hand will knock down the Yahapalana skittles more..

'There will be a complete turnaround by 2017'

Apr 4 (SL) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that measures have been taken by his ministry for the development of the lagoons in the country, in a bid to increase the depleting fish harvest. He admitted that the current regime has not been able to deliver on all the promises made to the people, but the govt has made significant strides in the right direction. He said that the countryís economy was badly affected during the previous regime, more..

Editorial: A solution burning in the sky

Apr 4 (Island) CEB has reportedly unveiled an ambitious plan to double the buffer stock of electricity to ensure a reliable power supply. The feasibility of this project may be in doubt, but such action is urgently required if the economy is not to suffer a paralysing blow. The govt is also said to have resorted to emergency power purchases to meet the current shortfall in power generation. The CEB is faced with a double whammy; the prevailing drought has not only greatly reduced more..

U-15 Cricket: SL beat South Africa

Apr 4 (DN) Sri Lanka Schools Under 15 Cricket Team beat their South African counterparts by 7 wickets in the first match of the International Under 15 Cricket Challenge for Tuanku Jaíafar Trophy commenced at RSC, Kiara in Malaysia yesterday. Sri Lanka, South Africa, India, Bangladesh, Thailand and hosting Malaysia are participating in this tournament. Sri Lanka entered the tournament as defending champions this year. Sri Lanka schools team is led by Kamil Mishara from more..

Anura Kumara Dissanayake

Consul General & Mano Ganesan cross swords

Apr 4 (Island) There were many Sri Lankans who bad mouthed the country at the time of the terrorist conflict in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka fought two fierce wars, one on the ground and the other a well oiled LTTE propaganda war worldwide. LTTE and its supporters managed to bait many from INGO/NGOs, and even politicians which was no secret. The anti LTTE Democratic Tamil Forum, in Toronto was well informed and they told me that MP Mano Ganesan was coming to Toronto, to attend a pro-LTTE meeting in Canada. more..

Sebs emerge U-19 limited over champions

Apr 4 (DN) St.Sebastian's College, Moratuwa who beat Royal College Colombo in pre-quarter finals, Isipathana in quarters, Ananda in semis finally became the Champions of Singer Under 19 all-island limited over tourney 2016 recording a tremendous four wicket win over defending champions, Trinity College Kandy in the finals concluded on Friday at R Premadasa Stadium. Trinity won the toss and took the first lease on a lively surface at R.Premadasa, but more..

West Indies win WorldT20 title

Apr 4 (CI) Write off West Indies cricket at your peril. Less than four months in, 2016 is already a year of great celebration and renewal for cricket in the Caribbean. West Indies won the Under-19 World Cup. West Indies won the Women's World T20. And now West Indies have won the World T20. In doing so, Darren Sammy's men have become the first team to win two World T20 tournaments, having also triumphed in Sri Lanka in 2012. more..

Sri Lankan business leaders meet with Mark Malloch-Brown

Apr 4 (Island) Top Sri Lankan business personalities met with Lord Mark Malloch-Brown at a dinner event in Colombo last Thursday organized by the Horton Debate Society. Mark Malloch-Brown was hosted to a resplendent dinner at the Grand Gourmet restaurant on Horton Place in Colombo, with Ranjan Hulugalle, chairman of the society, presiding over the event. Among the guests and members were Sir Desmond de Silva, Rukman Senanayake, Ananda Atukorala, Mahen Weerasekara, more..

Sampath Bank hopes to be among top three listed entities in CSE

Apr 4 (DN) Sampath Bank PLC , Sri Lanka's third largest private sector bank in terms of total assets is hoping to be among top three listed entities in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in the future, Sampath Bank Managing Director Aravinda Perera said. He made these observations while participating at the market opening bell ringing ceremony at the CSE. Sampath Bank is currently the 9th largest listed entity with a market capitalization of Rs. 39 billion. more..

US and Sri Lanka partner for growth through Millennium Challenge Corporation

Apr 4 (FT) Representatives from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent U.S. development agency, visited Sri Lanka in March to begin a partnership to address key challenges to economic growth and poverty reduction. The delegation met with President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Wickremesinghe, and other top cabinet ministers, along with a cross-section of industry, civil society, development partners, more..

Sri Lanka IMF programs should have monetary reform, not just fiscal Panadol

Apr 4 (EN) With interest rates already higher which will go some way to correct monetary excesses of central bank and taxes to be raised, which will partly correct fiscal excesses, a deal with the International Monetary Fund is expected to bring stability back to Sri Lanka. There are some expectations that Sri Lanka will go for an Extended Fund Facility or EEF, rather than a quick fix Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) as in 2009. Most of the dire forecasts made by this column (in the hope that corrective action more..

Stripe operational in Sri Lanka soon: Harin

Apr 4 (DN) Stripe, the second most popular payment gateway service provider in the world, will be operational in Sri Lanka within the next two to three weeks, soon after receiving Central Bank approval, Minister Harin Fernando said. Agreement for Stripe to enter the SL market has been finalised and was now waiting Central Bank approval. "Small, medium and large scale businessmen of the country had to face various difficulties due to the absence of a payment gateway," Fernando said. more..

Digital classrooms in 50 schools soon

Apr 4 (SO) Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) with the Ministry of Education hopes to set up 100 digital classrooms in 50 schools across the country, to enhance knowledge on the use of digital technology among students, ICTA CEO Muhunthan Canagey said. Two digital classrooms will be set up per school with digital wall boards comprising a wide range of content of all professional spheres enabling students to more..

Errant drivers beware

Apr 4 (CT) The pilot project to implement CCTV cameras at all major junctions will be implemented today (4) in order to monitor the footage for traffic violations in the city of Colombo. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that the Police will be on constant alert and will be monitoring footage regularly for traffic violations. Subsequent to a violation being noted, the Traffic Police will inform the motorists of their violation, the relevant fines and court dates via the post. more..

Landmark judgement on Marriage Law

Apr 4 (DN) Penal Code, S. 362 B - Bigamy - Muslim Marriage contracted during the subsistence of a monogamous marriage - Validity of the second marriage -Marriage Registration Ordinance, Sections 18, 19 (1), 35 (1) , 35 (2) and section 64. The accused-respondent and his first wife the appellant both Roman Catholics were married under the Marriage Registration Ordinance. During the subsistence of the first marriage, the accused registered a marriage with Miss Edirisinghe more..

Jogging track demolition: Pressure mounts on John

Apr 4 (Island) A protest was launched by fitness enthusiasts who used the Wattala jogging track which was destroyed recently. They held placards and shouted slogans, condemning the act of vandalism. One of the banners read: John, listen carefully, please repair the jogging track which has been destroyed. The protesters demanded that authorities have Minister Amaratunga arrested for the destruction of more..

Sri Lanka tax enforcement confusion affects business, society

Apr 4 (ST) Sri Lankan taxpayers are becoming increasingly confused with the lack of clarity in the implementation of tax proposals and subsequent amendments proposed with effect from Jan 1 this year. Drama and confusion continues to plague policy-making decisions governing Sri Lankaís economy with the latest being an Inland Revenue Department (IRD) circular relating to the revision of income tax proposals made in 2016 budget removed hours before its implementation on Thursday. more..

Lalith Dissanayake gets a bout of booing

Apr 4 (DM) Former Deputy Minister Lalith Dissanayake, who pledged his loyalty to President Sirisena, was subjected to a bout of booing when he addressed an electoral organizationís meeting in Kuliyapitiya of the Kuruenagala district on Saturday. The angry SLFP activists started shouting when Mr. Dissanayake was addressing the meeting. Despite that, he tried to continue with his speech. However, he finally gave way and left the place as hooting became intense. more..

IMF team in town; talks on reforms, support

Apr 4 (FT) A high-level team from the IMF is in town for nearly two weeks, during which time it is likely to provide a lifeline for Sri Lankaís economy and bolster higher growth through key structural reforms. Team is led by Mission Head for SL Todd Schneider while IMF Deputy Director of the Asia and Pacific Department Kalpana Kochhar is also part of the delegation. IMF was originally scheduled to visit Sri Lanka to hold more..

Sampanthan calls for swift strict legal action

Apr 4 (CT) Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan said that, investigations should be carried out on the discovery of a suicide bomber's kit and a stock of explosives at Chavakachcheri in Jaffna and strict legal action should be taken against those groups connected to them. He said that no one should be given the opportunity to become a threat once again to the security of SL. Everyone should focus their attention on national unity. People in the North have absolutely no need to join terrorist groups. more..

Heavy rains in CP, reservoirs not affected

Apr 4 (DM) Heavy rains that experienced mainly in Central Province have not affected the water levels of the main hydro power reservoirs in the province including Castlereigh & Maussakele. After the drought that lasted for months in several parts of the country including the Central Province, country experienced heavy showers during last two weeks. Castlereigh hydro power reservoir had experienced 12.6 mm rainfall mostly in the evening and the water level of reservoir had only reached 18.7%. more..

CID to quiz Wimal, Dinesh

Apr 4 (DN) CID is to question opposition MPs Dinesh Gunawardena and Wimal Weerawansa over the controversy surrounding the recovery of high-powered explosives from Chavakachcheri last week. CID questioned former Minister G.L. Pieris on Saturday over the statement he made on the recovery of explosives. Pieris said the explosives recovered from Chavakachcheri were to be brought to Wellawatte. more..

Clash between Lankan and Chinese workers

Apr 4 (Island) A clash between Chinese workers and their Sri Lankan counterparts at the five star Shangri-La hotel under construction at Ambalantota yesterday morning ended with six workers being warded at the Ambalantota Hospital with minor injuries. The injured were four Chinese and two Sri Lankans. A senior officer said all six had been discharged from the hospital and no complaint had been made with the police as they had come to an amicable settlement. more..

SLFP to discuss challenges to party

Apr 4 (DM) Central Committee of the SLFP will meet today evening at the residence of President Sirisena as its Chairman to discuss the present state of political affairs in the country, it is learnt. Central Committee will discuss, among others, political challenges confronting the party at the moment. SLFP seniors view that the party is contended with a serious crisis as a section of it switching its allegiance to former President Rajapaksa asking for chairmanship to be given back to him. more..

'If Champika has lied he be charged'

Apr 4 (CT) At the Magisterial inquiry it was revealed, that records were not maintained for trips made in the jeep which Minister Champika Ranawaka is alleged to have been driving, resulting in an accident where two persons were injured. When the case connected with this incident was taken up for hearing, Additional Magistrate questioning the Police asked whether there was a running chart for the jeep. more..