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Establish reconciliation in party, Rajapaksa challenges Sirisena

Apr 4 (AM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa challenged President Maithripala Sirisena to at least establish reconciliation within his party, the SLFP, before attempting to achieve reconciliation in the north and east. Rajapaksa said that the party members are being suspended or expelled while the govt continues to speak of reconciliation in the former war zone. Rajapaksa also said that the reconciliation should not be attempted according to the wishes of the terrorists. more..

Protest against port city project

Apr 4 (AP) Hundreds of people, including priests, environmental activists and fishermen, protested in Colombo, demanding the govt halt a $1.5 billion Chinese-funded port city project. The city is to include a golf course, marinas, apartments, hotels and malls. About 500 people demonstrated in Colombo, shouting slogans and displaying placards reading, Port city will destroy the whole country, Don't disturb our fishing & Save our nature. more..

CGR worker up on signal post over transfer

Apr 4 (DM) A 49-year-old Railways Department employee climbed up a signal post at the Maradana Railway Station today demanding the Department to annul his transfer to Pothuhera from the Slave Island Railway Station. The man, claimed his quarters at the Slave Island railway station had been taken away by the Department and then he was transferred to Pothuhera. He said his children were schooling in Colombo and therefore, the transfer had caused great inconvenience to his family. more..

UDA to cancel contracts awarded to Hyderabad-based construction firm

Apr 4 (DN) Urban Development Authority (UDA) is set to cancel its housing project contracts awarded to Hyderabad-based construction firm IVRCL under the former government to build low-cost housing units for under served settlers in Colombo. UDA General Secretary N. Rupasinghe said they will meet IVRCL officials in a few days to terminate all its contracts pertaining to building relocation housing units for under served settlements. “The projects do not have steady movement except that more..

Corrupt vs Corrupt: Arjuna urges President, PM to dissolve Cricket Board

Apr 4 (DM) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga today urged President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to dissolve the Cricket Board (CB) with immediate effect and appoint an Interim Committee under him. Minister Ranatunga said he had no clue at all as to who was the Sports Minister as Sports Minister did not take decisions on cricket right now and added when an interim committee was in charge of cricket, more..

Thoughts on PM’s first official visit to China

Apr 5 (CT) Now one can speak firmly about the impending visit to China by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe from April 6th 2016. According to Sunday Observer based on Prime Ministers statement in Parliament and other more recent news emanating from Beijing Foreign Office sources, this first visit by PM Ranil Wickremeasinghe is the sixth visit by SL Prime Ministers /Presidents in the course of six decades since both countries established diplomatic relations in 1957. more..

ICES in Sri Lanka is under investigation

Apr 5 (CT) In response to the exposes in the Colombo Telegraph during the latter half of January 2016 (see below for titles and the web links) and a formal complaint lodged with the Counter Fraud and Whistleblowing Unit (CFWU) of the Department for International Development (DfID, UK) by this author, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada) has launched a forensic audit of the financial accounts of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES, Colombo, SL) more..

'Country will see a large scale development soon'

Apr 5 (SL) State Minister Ravindra Samaraweera assures large scale development in the country very soon. According to him, the main economic problem in the country is finding ways to repay huge loans that Mahinda regime took throughout the past years. As a result the public have to suffer. However, present govt has already initiated many viable plans to improve the economy of the country and provide a high income to more..

Faculty of Law submits Bill of rights proposal to PRC

Apr 5 (GV) Undergraduates of the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo presented their proposals on Constitutional Reforms on Wednesday (30). Among the proposals was the draft Bill of Rights designed by the final year undergraduates following the Human Rights course, accessible here. The proposals were received by the Members of the Public Representations Committee (PRC) headed by Lal Wijenayake. Committee members and the undergraduates engaged in discussions on more..

Art and Truth Telling: Singularity of Truth

Apr 5 (GV) The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), and the Vibhavi Academy of Fine Arts (VAFA) exhibition of 14 artists from different parts of Sri Lanka imagining transitional justice which recently exhibited at the JDA Perera hall was exciting from an aesthetic point but depressing from a political one. While all art is, in one way or another political, atrocity art offers a trenchant opportunity to capture the scope and scale of a horrific act, and allows for the examining of some elusive imaginative more..

Di-Mu trudged a mighty trek

Apr 5 (SO) Dimu trudged from Gampola to the national legislature and concluded his decades-old political legacy culminating in being PM. He is the oldest living member of the SLFP and was the 13th member to join the party when it was initiated. Suave in appearance but vibrant and defiant at times, his voice resonated the legislature many a time in the past. Retired from active politics, this humble MP could now be seen in his more..

Who is responsible for the economic crisis?

Apr 5 (ST) There have been plenty of accusations and counter accusations on who caused the current economic crisis. Govt accuses previous govt and previous regime accuses new govt of causing the economic crisis. This politically biased debate is not based on economic facts and figures. Statements on both sides of the political divide lack substance and cogent arguments. In this context of confused thinking, former President Rajapaksa made a well crafted statement on the ides of March. more..

Editorial: Big Brother on highway

Apr 5 (Island) Police have come to be dependent on wayside CCTV cameras so much in conducting probes that one may wonder how on earth they managed without those gadgets and other such widgets a few decades ago. Time was when cops in baggy shorts worked their fingers to the bone and solved many a crime like the Kalaththawe murder. But, today, the police are in the same situation as cricket umpires who cannot ever so much as lift a finger without the benefit of video replay. more..

Bengamuwe Nalaka Thero

Culture commissars and The Talibanisation of society

Apr 5 (ST) As usual I made my regular pilgrimage to Colombo for the annual Royal-Thomian cricket encounter. Besides meeting old friends and school mates now domiciled in different parts of the world, it is an opportunity to recount tales of yesteryear and listen to new ones as camaraderie is renewed at the Mustangs that holy of holies where women are taboo and the brew that is true (in the words of comedian Danny Kaye) flows uninterrupted unlike electricity from the national grid. more..

Should it be an opportunity for balancing economic and strategic relations?

Apr 5 (Island) Now, one can speak firmly about the impending visit to China by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe from April 6th 2016. According to a newspaper report based on PMs statement in Parliament among other things, this first visit by PM Wickremesinghe is the sixth visit by Sri Lankam PMs /Presidents in the course of six decades since both countries established diplomatic relations in 1957. The opening of relations with China was historically far more significant than that with India, more..

The April 5: The day that shook the South and its legacy

Apr 5 (GV) A revolutionary mood gripped Sri Lankan youth in the mid-1960s, particularly our universities. There were half a dozen or so revolutionary groups that had sprung up but the movement later known as the JVP, led by elusive and charismatic Rohana Wijeweera was unmistakably in the ascendant. It was the most successful, serious and determined organization amongst Sinhalese youth. more..

CKD: What more can SL do to save lives?

Apr 5 (Island) Acknowledging the fact that kidney diseases affect millions of people worldwide including many children, the global awareness campaign is aimed at encouraging and facilitating education, early detection and a healthy life style in children, from birth,so that they are free from such health issues during old age. Diabetic nephropathy and high blood pressure are the leading cause of Kidney Diseases in Australia, Europe and North America. more..

Horse racing at Nuwara Eliya from April 10

Apr 5 (DN) The Horse Racing Festival sponsored by Royal Turf Club Nuwara Eliya is ready to kick off on April 10 with nearly 30 Thoroughbreds and 10 Three Quarter-breds and Half-breds participating. With the featured race Kuningal Stud Magic Million scheduled for the 16th April. Race entries have been economical with many horses reserved for this exciting event paying out the largest stakes in the history of Sri Lanka. John Baker, the Brother of Samuel Baker is credited with starting more..

Sri Lanka faces twin threat

Apr 5 (BN) Sri Lanka today is one of the safest countries in the world. The country has returned to peace and prosperity, after a long and bloody war ended in May 2009. Yet this peace is fragile. Efforts from abroad to influence a revival of the old separatist group LTTE and, separately, the emergence of support for Islamic State (IS) among the island-nation’s small Muslim minority threaten to unravel the postwar fabric. more..

A bridge between TN and Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (Hindu) Yazhpanam Thedchanamoorthy was an unlikely thavil player in every respect. He dressed immaculately and could be seen riding a Royal Enfield motorcycle, and, occasionally, a car, at breakneck speed. His admirers say the music world is yet to see talent that can match his style of playing, marked by speed and imagination. A documentary on the great thavil has now won a national award for the Best Arts/ Cultural Film. Yazhpanam Thedchanamoorthy: more..

Sri Lanka monetary and exchange rate policy has no logic: economist

Apr 5 (EN) A decision by Sri Lanka's central bank to intervene in foreign exchange market and keep printing money to keep interest rates makes no economic sense and such policies will have to be given up sooner or later, a top economist has warned. "To keep low interest rates, it has to keep on printing more money but it would threaten future price stability," W A Wijewardene a top economist and a former Deputy Central Bank Governor wrote in Sri Lanka's Daily FT Newspaper. more..

Japanese lawyers object to repatriation of former LTTE member

Apr 5 (Asahi) A group of lawyers is protesting the repatriation of a Sri Lankan man in February, saying it may have violated international law and that the self-described former rebel was preparing a lawsuit over being denied political asylum. Japan Lawyers Network for Refugees protested the deportation in a letter submitted to the justice minister and other officials on March 2. Eri Ishikawa, secretary-general of nonprofit more..

Lankan women cagers wins first ever SABA Championship

Apr 5 (DN) Sri Lanka won the first ever South Asian Basketball Association (SABA) Women's Basketball Championship with a 75- 49 victory over Nepal in Kathmandu. In the last league match of the tournament between the top two teams, Sri Lanka dominated the game from the beginning. Sri Lanka opened with a four- point lead in the first quarter which they won 15- 11 before taking the second quarter 20- 13 extending the advantage to 11 points going into half time. more..

New Central Province Governor out to tame province’s bureaucracy

Apr 5 (Island) Central Province Governor Niluka Ekanayake has decided to appoint a flying squad to enhance the efficiency of state institutions in the Central Province. Governor told a media conference on Sunday that she had decided to appoint a flying squad following a spate of complaints against state institutions, especially those in the health sector. Governor said she would call for a report from the Chief Secretary on the state of affairs in the Central Province. more..

I am committed to bring transformation required by the country: President

Apr 5 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says the people of Sri Lanka handed over the country to him on Jan 8, thus giving him the responsibility to bring in the required transformations for the country. “Whatever insults, slander and criticisms I have to face, I will fulfill that responsibility bestowed on me”, he said. President made these remarks at the opening ceremony of the newly built Vahalkada at Sankagiri Temple in Welimada. more..

Joint lead managers to advise on international sovereign bond issue

Apr 5 (Island) Central Bank is in the process of appointing joint lead managers and is also calling for open tenders to appoint them to get their professional advice to go for a US $ 3 billion international sovereign bond issue in the international market. "At present we have called open tenders to appoint joint lead managers (JLM) for the next few years in order to get their professional advice in this regard and we have still not decided to go for an int'l sovereign issue, more..

SEC to engage listed companies on Minimum Public Float

Apr 5 (LBO) Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) with the participation of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) will conduct a forum to discuss the rules imposed on maintaining a Minimum Public Float. The forum will be held on the 6th of April 2016 at Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo. Minimum Public Float: An Open Discussion is designed to extend an opportunity for Listed Companies to air views on the policy directive promulgated by the SEC, a statement said. more..

'Use modern technology to develop Police service'

Apr 5 (DN) It is important that we utilise modern technology to develop the country's Police service, Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said. He was speaking at the launching ceremony of the Crimes Intelligence Data Analysis System held at the BMICH yesterday. He said "Sri Lanka is blessed to have an abundance of human resources for the development of technologies. But, still the country is not at a satisfactory level in equipment more..

More passenger vessels call at Colombo Port

Apr 5 (DN) According to recent reports during March 2016, 11 super luxury passenger vessels have called at the passenger terminal and other terminals of the Port of Colombo. Among them were MV COSALAM INOSA, MV COSTA NEORIVIERA, MV ISLAND SKY, MV ROTTERDAM, MV PACIFIC PRINCESS, MV AIDA BELLA AMESTERDAM, MV Europa - 2, MV AURORA and MV MEIN CHIFF. SLPA has extended all services required to local agents of these shipping lines towards timely more..

Cooler times ahead

Apr 5 (CT) Inter-monsoonal conditions are gradually setting in over the island, according to the Met Department, effectively ending the dry season which has adversely affected the country this past month. Showers or thundershowers are expected at several places after 2 p.m in the coming days, except in the Eastern Province. Fairly heavy rainfall (above 50mm) is also likely at some places. Temporary localized strong winds during thundershowers are also expected and more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 22% in March, India surges ahead of China

Apr 5 (EN) SL's tourist arrivals surged 22.8% in March 2016, from a year earlier, with India surging ahead of China, and key Western European generating markets growing 30 to 40%. In the first quarter of 2016, arrivals were up 22.1% to 584,818. Visitors from South Asia rose 28.6% to 96,913 with Indian arrivals surging 38.2% to 30,170 from a year earlier. Indian arrivals in the first quarter rose 32.2% to 85,624, more..

Eradication of mistrust vital for country's forward march: Ruwan

Apr 5 (DN) Suspicion and mistrust among ethnic groups should be eradicated to move forward as a country and moreover to create a good rapport and co-existence among all communities, Defence State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said. Sate Minister was participating in a ceremony organised to hand over keys of newly constructed houses in Vavuniya on Sunday. Fifty one houses constructed by the Defence Ministry were handed over to security personnel and civilians by the State Minister. more..

Sri Lankan joins Fiji judiciary

Apr 5 (FT) A new magistrate has joined the ranks of the Magistrate Court in Fiji after being sworn in by Fiji's President, Jioje Konrote, yesterday. Magistrate Gammaddagoda Priyantha of Sri Lanka was formally appointed by the head of State with the Chief Justice, Judge Anthony Gates, and Chief Registrar Yohan Liyanage present. The event took place at the State House. Mr Priyantha joins a number of Sri Lankans who joined the Magistrate Court in Fiji over the years. more..

NP Governor for changes in housing scheme

Apr 5 (Hindu) Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray has sought changes in the design of the contentious housing project in the Northern and Eastern Provinces that has proposed to build 65,000 houses in the conflict-hit region in four years. Mr. Cooray, who took over in mid-February, said: “Do not stop [the project]. Continue [the project] with various amendments.” He refused to divulge details of his suggestion, but more..

Today is JVP’s April heroes’ day

Apr 5 (CT) The JVP and the FSP are expected to commemorate their fallen comrades of the two parties at their respective April Heroes' Day events that are to be held today 5 April. It was on 5 April 1971 that the JVP led its maiden insurrection against the then regime of Sirima Bandaranaike, but it ended unsuccessfully two months later. The insurgents were able to capture and hold several towns and rural areas for several weeks until they were recaptured by the armed forces. more..

Crucial UNP Ex-Co meeting today

Apr 5 (CT) UNP is expected to ratify a set of proposals at its Working Committee meeting slated for this evening at Sirikotha geared towards the creation of a third-level set of leaders of the party as well as amending the party's Constitution in keeping with the proposed new Constitution of the country. A group of young UNP MPs are also expected to be given additional responsibilities at today's Working Committee meeting following a proposal to that effect by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Constitutional Assembly to have inaugural session in Parliament today

Apr 5 (Island) Constitutional Assembly, approved recently by Parliament for formulating a new constitution and a new electoral system, is scheduled to meet for the first time today. The House will meet at 1 pm and the first hour has been allocated for questions. At 2 pm it will be converted to the Constitutional Assembly (CA) with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya presiding. At the last party leaders’ meeting Speaker Jayasuriya said more..

Bangladesh investigators to visit Lanka this week to probe bank fund heist

Apr 5 (CG) Bangladesh investigators are expected to visit Sri Lanka this week to probe a major Bangladesh Bank fund heist. Three Bangladesh CID officials involved in the investigation into the case will also leave for the Philippines this week. An official of Interpol’s Bangladesh wing, National Central Bureau, and two officials of the rank of special police superintendent and assistant police superintendent are expected to visit Sri Lanka. DIG of CID Saiful Alam is among the 3 officials more..

Kidney transplants: 8 Indians re-remanded

Apr 5 (Island) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya, further remanded till April 18, eight Indians who had violated SL Immigration laws, and lived in SL, allegedly for kidney transplants. Attorney-at-Law Lakshan Dias told the court that at present those suspects were held in custody for violation of SL Immigration laws. Generally, kidney transplants were done with the approval of the Ministry of Health. But, whether those suspects obtained approval was a matter still being investigated. more..