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Three local drug Tsars arrested

Apr 5 (Island) Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) yesterday arrested three Sri Lankan heroin kingpins in connection with the latest and biggest ever haul of heroin detected in the southern sea in a joint operation with Sri Lanka Navy last Wednesday and brought ashore on Friday. The narcotics weighed 110 kilos and 14 foreign drug smugglers were earlier taken into custody with a multi-day fishing craft used to smuggle the contraband. more..

KG sentenced; what use is FSP’s protest

Apr 5 (DM) It was ludicrous for members of the FSP to have clashed with the police on Friday in an attempt to forcibly enter the Immigration and Emigration Department demanding Sri Lankan citizenship for their politburo member Premakumar Gunaratnam. They staged this hilarious drama on the day after the Kegalle Magistrate sentenced Gunaratnam, an Australian citizen, to a one year jail term and a fine of Rs. 50,000 after finding him guilty of overstaying his visa. more..

Let there be sanity and light

Apr 5 (DM) Reading in newspapers of various solutions to overcome the power crisis, I am reminded of efforts taken earlier when the country faced similar situations some of which were hilarious. The present authorities too have resorted to what was done earlier. Power cuts, Bodhi Poojas, invoking the Devas to send down rain, or advancing the clock by half an hour. POWER CUTS As stated in one of my earlier letters, when a similar situation arose, there was a conflict of opinion among more..

Norochcholai coal power plant: Another broken promise?

Apr 5 (DM) The Norochcholai coal power plant, which was acknowledged as the country’s largest profitable entity, was beset with many faults and shutdowns since its inception. Amidst many controversies, Sri Lanka experienced a series of island-wide power cuts recently. The power plant is located in a neighbourhood where 50 families live. their main occupation is farming and fishing. more..

Maestro Lester James Peries: Doyen among Sinhala film directors

Apr 5 (DBS) Maestro Lester James Peries will celebrate his 97th birthday next Tuesday. The master movie maker of Sinhala Cinema was born on April 5th 1919. Lester James Peries is the man whom I regard as the greatest Sri Lankan film maker of them all! This article is a birthday tribute to the nonagenarian Lester now basking in the serene, golden twilight of his illustrious life. I have already written many articles about more..

Shalika says I’m innocent, vested interests used Foundation for illegal cash transfers

Apr 5 (ST) Founder of the controversial Sri Lankan NGO allegedly embroiled in an elaborate money laundering scheme involving three countries and the US Federal Reserve, is claiming innocence and that, her bank account credentials were abused by unknown persons. Shalika Foundation Director Shalika Perera said that her company’s credentials were used by vested interests for illegal cash transfers. more..

Top investors say Sayonara as Kabir Stalls 200-Million-Dollar Project

Apr 5 (SL) At a time when Sri Lanka is seeking to attract large-scale investors, a situation has arisen where a couple of Japanese investors have been kicked out due to an insane act of a minister. Minister Kabir Hashim has come under fire for inspiring the two Japanese investors, who came to the country to invest in a US$ 200 million mixed development project in Vauxhall Street, Colombo, to leave the country last week. more..

Sri Lanka to encourage energy conservation

Apr 6 (EN) Govt is to launch a program to encourage energy conservation, to reduce demand as the country faces a crisis caused by three successive islandwide blackouts amid a drought that has cut hydropower capacity. Deputy Minister Ajith Perera said energy is a key sector expected to contribute to development programs if the economy is to maintain high growth. “We are also trying to ensure that energy supply is of more..

Left takes up cudgels for GL

Apr 5 (Island) The Socialist Alliance strongly condemned the govt decision to summon the former Minister G.L. Peiris to the CID to question him over the finding of explosives and two suicide jackets from a house at Chavakachcheri last week. DLF leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara said Prof. Peiris had revealed the details which had been hidden by the govt and, therefore, the govt had decided to launch an inquiry against him. more..

7,200 mn Prado Scam: TU faults President for reneging on promise to launch probe

Apr 5 (Island) Sri Lanka Independent Govt Trade Union Organisation (SLIGTUO) of the Customs Department complained that President Maitripala Sirisena had failed to launch a probe into a mega racket which had deprived the country of Rs. 7,200 mn. In a letter addressed to President Sirisena, the SLIGTUO  has pointed out that he promised trade unionists on March 09 that he would immediately set up an independent committee comprising more..

Joint Opposition in Geneva: IPU to act if talks fail

Apr 5 (Island) Secretary General of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Martin Chungong had promised to take action if problems could not be solved by discussion between the govt and the Joint Opposition, MP Udaya Gammanpila said. He said they had complained to the IPU of the harassment the Joint Opposition faced at the hands of the govt. There were 52 MPs in the Joint Opposition, but the post of Opposition Leader more..

UNP announces changes in party positions

Apr 6 (LBO) UNP on Tuesday carried out several changes in party positions, although there were no significant changes to the line up. The UNP Working Committee appointed Minister Daya Gamage as Senior Deputy Chairman of the party by abolishing the existing National Organizer post. Minister Daya Gamage’s wife, Deputy Minister Anoma Gamage has been appointed as President of Lak Vanitha Peramuna. more..

Private hospitals under scrutiny

Apr 5 (DM) Surgeons at private hospitals are mandatory required to monitor the recovery of a patient after a surgery and stay with the patient a minimum of one hour according to a new circular issued by the Health Ministry. In the wake of widespread medical negligence, mishaps and kidney transplant scams at private medical institutions, the Health Ministry has introduced far reaching amendments to the Private Health Services more..

To China with high hopes

Apr 5 (CT) The first Foreign Minister of Singapore late S. Rajaratnam once said that a small country like Singapore should have good relations with all countries for its prosperity. Late S. Rajaratnam of Lankan origin remained a lieutenant of Singapore's founder late Lee Kuan Yew and contributed immensely towards building Singapore as an economically prosperous country in South Asia. It was the dedication, commitment and the farsightedness of the leaders Lee Kuan Yew more..

Need the world’s support for the next innings

Apr 5 (CT) On January 8th last year, in a historic election, the people of Sri Lanka cast their votes for democracy, reconciliation and development. They chose free and fair elections, good governance and the rule of law over authoritarianism and impunity; they chose stability, reconciliation and peace over the politics of fear and hate. And they eschewed isolationist crony capitalism for openness to the world and a competitive, transparent rules-based economy. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka shares jump to 5-wk closing high on retail buying

Apr 5 (Reuters) Shares rose 1.3% on Tuesday to a five-week closing high, as local retail investors bought beaten-down banking and diversified stocks while continued offloading by foreign investors amid worries over macroeconomic stability weighed on sentiment. Foreign investors sold a net 226.2 million rupees worth of equities, their fourth straight session of selling, and extending the year-to-date outflows to 2.85 billion rupees. Share index ended 1.31%, at 6,159.02, its highest close since Feb. 29. more..

Greece deports four Lankans under controversial deal

Apr 5 (CG) Greece has deported four Sri Lankans under a controversial deal which saw 202 migrants from two Greek islands being shipped back to Turkey. A controversial European Union plan to curb migration and smash smuggling rings in Turkey began today as 202 migrants from the two Greek islands were piled onto boats and shipped back to Turkey. Greek authorities said a total of 191 men and 11 women were sent back. Those included 130 people from Pakistan, 42 from Afghanistan, more..

Sri Lanka firms want to import labour owing to shortages

Apr 5 (EN) Investors in Sri Lanka are asking to be allowed to import labour at a time local professional are opposing a new economic pact with India fearing job losses, Sujeewa Senasinghe, State Minister of International Trade, said. Companies registered with the investment promotion agency, Board of Investment, are finding it difficult to fill vacant positions in their factories, he said. “There are 50,000 job vacancies but no takers,” more..

Govt afraid of Sivajilingam: Gammanpila

Apr 5 (CT) Govt fears the slain LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, thus they choose not to question TNA Provincial Councillor M.K. Sivajilingam regarding his comments on the suicide kit found in the North, UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila claimed. "Sivajilingam is Prabhakaran's brother-in-law; he made a statement which showed that he had substantial knowledge on the suicide kits. However, Prof. G.L. Pieris, who only conveyed his opinion about the suicide kit, was questioned. more..

Gratiaen prize short list announced

Apr 5 (Island) A special feature of this year’s Gratiaen short list is that one of the authors, Chammi Rajapathirana, is an autistic. Rajapathirana’s mother speaking on the occasion explained how the young author had studied and learnt to read and write despite his condition. She said Chammi’s book contained essays he had written while he and his family were in the UK. She said the book would be translated into Sinhala and Tamil and copies thereof would be more..

Video: 'Too early for Sanga to be selector'

Apr 5 (DM) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said he was dissatisfied with the Sports Minister’s decision to appoint Veteran SL batsman and former cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara as a member to the National Selection Committee, so early after his retirement. Instead, Sangakkara should have been appointed to the administration of Sri Lanka Cricket, Minister said in a discussion held with regard to the current scenario of SLC. more..

SLMC in no hurry to discipline Gen. Sec.

Apr 5 (CT) SLMC is not in a hurry to take disciplinary action against its Secretary General Hassan Ali, but the party is sincere in making an attempt to come to an understanding with him. The status of Ali in the SLMC would remain the same in the party, said Leader of the Party Rauff Hakeem. He said that Hassan Ali is one of the senior leaders of the party and currently holding the post of Secretary General of the SLMC. Reconciliatory talks are held with him to resolve differences. more..

Laugfs invests Rs. 1.4 b to boost Bangladesh LPG biz

Apr 5 (FT) Laugfs has invested Rs. 1.4 billion to boost its prospects in the Bangladesh LPG business. This is following Laugfs Gas Plc acquiring a 31% shareholding in Laugfs Gas (Bangladesh) Ltd., from Malaysia’s Elpiki M SDN Bhd. “As a strategic investment Laugfs Gas Plc has decided to acquire 31% shares through its wholly owned subsidiary Slogal Energy DMCC Incorporated in Dubai, UAE,” the Company said. Laugfs Gas owns 69% of the Bangladesh entity. more..

'Sri Lanka seeks closer trade, economic ties with China'

Apr 5 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is seeking to expand its economic and trade ties with China and has invited more Chinese companies to invest in the island nation, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has said. Ahead of his four-day official visit to China on April 6, Wickremesinghe said that he would be looking to set up a long-term economic and investment relationship with China, which will help expand trade between the two nations. more..

PAC to train its guns on PCs, LG authorities

Apr 5 (DN) Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has directed its special attention in ensuring managerial efficiency and financial discipline of Provincial Councils and Local Govt Authorities. PAC Chairman and Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna said none of the PCs or LG Authorities had been summoned before the PAC since 2007. He said since summoning the officials of all the LG bodies and PCs before the PAC is impossible, PAC has decided to obtain the relevant information by more..

CCM orders Police to give progress report

Apr 5 (CT) Colombo Chief Magistrate, Gihan Pilapitiya ordered the Police to conduct an international investigation in connection with the large scale kidney racket that has taken place in this country. He also ordered that the 8 Indian nationals who were taken into custody in relation to the Kidney Racket be remanded until 18 April. Attorney-at-Law Lakshan Dias who represented the Indian suspects said yesterday, when the case was taken up for hearing that these persons can be introduced more..

Video: Reconstruct walking path at minister’s expense: JVP

Apr 5 (DM) JVP Provincial Councillor Sunil Watagala said that the walking path at Mabola, Wattala must be reconstructed at Minister John Amaratunga’s expense instead of using public funds for the purpose. He said UDA had begun the reconstruction of the walking path and claimed that this was unacceptable because the path was not removed by the UDA. “Reconstruction of the walking path should more..

Mother, daughter among 4 arrested for heroin racket

Apr 5 (AD) Four persons including a mother and her daughter have been arrested by Aguruwathota Police on charges of possession and distribution of heroin. Acting on a tip-off regarding a drug racket, police raided a residence in the Horagasmulla area in Aguruwathota and arrested the 4 suspects who were engaged in the packaging of heroin into small packets. Police discovered 920 packets containing 200g of heroin in total at the residence in question. The arrested suspects are to be produced at more..

Officials instructed to regulate drug issuing

Apr 5 (DN) Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has instructed Health Ministry officials to regulate drug issuing processes and treatment given to patients by all private hospitals. Minister said that he will not stand by the private hospitals which violate the circular and all politicians should follow the same, a Health Ministry spokesman said. According to the spokesman, the instructions issued to the officials by Senaratne last Friday. Regulation will be done under the new Drug Policy. more..

Why no autopsy held on Ven. Sobitha Thera?

Apr 5 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya ordered National Hospital Director Dr. Anil Jasinghe to conduct a full inquiry comprising a group of eminent medical experts on the failure to conduct a proper autopsy into the death of late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera and to submit a comprehensive report to court soon. He ordered this when the CID requested the Court to order the National Hospital director to conduct more..

No-confidence motion against Champika

Apr 5 (AD) A motion of no-confidence was handed over against Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka by the Joint Opposition today (05). Over 42 opposition MPs have signed for the motion, Ada Derana reporter said. The motion of no-confidence was submitted to the Speaker as the Minister is allegedly trying to evade the law in connection with the accident that left two youths injured in Rajagiriya, the Joint Opposition announced. more..

MR's military security replaced with police

Apr 5 (DM) Military personnel attached to the security detail of former President Rajapaksa had been reportedly replaced with police personnel. About 50 army personnel from the former President’s security had been asked to report to the Army Headquarters on Friday. It had been reported that Mr. Rajapaksa had been informed that his security would be replaced with police personnel. However, Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachi refused to comment on matter. more..

NFF requests to be recognized as an independent

Apr 5 (DN) NFF Wimal Weerawansa today in Parliament requested the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to recognize the NFF MPs as an independent group in the Opposition. Rising to a point of order MP Weerawansa said he had already submitted a letter to the Speaker signed by 5 NFF MPs stating they intend to work as an independent group in the Opposition by breaking away from the UPFA. more..

Mosquito larvae found in 105 schools, 114 govt institutions

Apr 5 (DN) Health authorities have found 105 schools, 30 educational institutions, 93 public places and 114 govt institutions with mosquito larvae, during the National Mosquito Control Week which ended on 4 April, Health Ministry spokesman stated. According to the spokesman, there were 90 religious places, 159 construction sites, 434 private institutions and 73 factories among the places found with mosquito larvae. A total of 10355 houses had mosquito larvae it was revealed. more..

Govt approves compensation for victims of Rathupaswala incident

Apr 5 (AD) President Sirisena has given his approval to provide 4.68 million rupees as compensation for 33 victims of Rathupaswala incident. Accordingly, President will present the compensation money to 24 persons, who are fully disabled or partially disabled or who are admitted to hospitals for treatment in the Gampaha Divisional Secretariat and 9 persons belongs to the Mahara Divisional Secretariat, on April 8. During the last few weeks the President paid special attention on more..

Video: Tough action against those who violate party discipline

Apr 5 (DM) The SLFP Central Committee will sack the MPs who attend the proposed rival May Day rally to be organized by the joint opposition on May, a senior SLFPer said today. When asked about the reported preparation by the joint opposition to hold a separate May Day rally at Kirula Grounds in Kirillapone, said he believed that no SLFP MP would participate in that rally by violating party instructions & discipline, more..

Attempts to rescue Pirapâharan et al In 2009

Apr 6 (CT) Stephen Spielberg’s blockbuster film Saving Private Ryan was a fictional war film that was as dramatic as effective because of its realistic portrayal of the horrors of war, notably the D-Day landings. The realism was rendered feasible by the availability of solid accounts of the D-Day invasion that included film footage. In contrast any review of the efforts made to save the LTTE leader, or talaivar, Velupillai Pirapâharan (also presented as Prabhâkaran) has to negotiate more..

Prasad Gunewardene: An ageless friend

Apr 6 (NS) He was no respecter of people, perhaps so, as no one could measure up to the values Prasad Gunewardene, held ideal. He was the personification of the textbook description of a scribe of the fourth estate. It was not by your leave of the people, but the story first and last. Perhaps, there could be two reasons, firstly, Prasad cut his journalistic teeth under legendary icons with whom he either worked under or associated, like Clarence Fernando, Reggie Michael, Elmo Gunaratne, more..

A man of the wilds takes over the reins

Apr 6 (ST) He is in one of the hottest seats in Sri Lanka and not because of the current heat wave scorching the country. It is a seat which has been rocked by the strong winds of political pressure and turbulence of accusations against its occupiers over sacrificing duty at the altar of alleged vested interests and personal gain. The just-appointed Director-General of Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya, more..