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Paddy to be removed from Mattala Airport by march

Jan 4 (AM) Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera stated that the paddy stored in Mattala International Airport will be removed by March and that steps would be taken to attract airplanes to the airport. Speaking at an event in Ranna in Hambantota District, Amaraweera said that he was responsible for the people who elected him to the Parliament above anyone else. He joined the govt to serve the people and his step has paid dividends, Amaraweera also argued. more..

Eight Tamil fishermen held by Lankan navy

Jan 4 (ANI) The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested eight Tamil fishermen from Nagapattinam. The arrest reportedly came following a skirmish in mid-sea with Lankan fishermen. The Tamil fishermen from Akkarapettai in Nagapattinam district were fishing near Mullatheevu when their boat collided with the boat of Lankan fishermen, which sank in the mid sea as a result of the impact. Lankan fishermen cornered the fishermen from Nagai and with ropes dragged the fishing boat to Sri Lanka. more..

Video: 'Why is police not arresting Hirunika'

Jan 5 (DM) Police are behaving like kids in the case where a man was allegedly abducted and assaulted by supporters of MP Hirunika Premachandra, Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said. He said that reports about police seeking advice from AG was incorrect. Thera said they were unhappy about the police failing to take legal action against the MP on this matter. “Several arrest warrants were issued against me, more..

CKD patients on the increase in A'pura

Jan 5 (DN) A survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine has revealed that kidney disease, initially confined to around 4000 people in rural areas in the Anuradhapura district, has found its way to 10 other districts. Secretary to the Ministry of Social Empowerment and Welfare, Mahinda Seneviratne made these observations. He said that patients are being given relief, including a monthly allowance of Rs. 3000, by the Social Empowerment and Welfare Ministry. more..

Suspects face ID parade tomorrow

Jan 4 (CT) The eight suspects who were arrested over abducting and assaulting a youth in the Dematagoda area were further remanded until 6 January by the Colombo Magistrate. Police Media Unit (PMU) said, an identification parade is to be held on 6 January. Till such time they are to remain in remand custody as ordered by the Colombo Magistrate yesterday. The suspects have been arrested on two occasions over this abduction. The suspects are residents of Borella. more..

Jayalalitha sends another letter to PM over fishermen arrest issue

Jan 4 (PTI) In the wake of the latest instance of arrest of 12 Indian fishermen by SL navy, TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today shot off another letter to the Centre, seeking PM Narendra Modi's intervention in the matter. Jayalalithaa said people of the state were "unhappy with the lack of any concrete measures on behalf of the Govt of India on the vexed fishermen issue." In the letter to the PM seeking his intervention more..

Video: Corn production rate may be decreased this year: Dissanayake

Jan 4 (AD) Due to the ban on sale and use of several pesticide ingredients including Glyphosate here, the production rate of corn may be decreased by approximately 20% this year, Minister for Agriculture Duminda Dissanayake predicts. Minister Dissanayake also said pesticides were banned not to take revenge from any party, but owing to the reports on dramatic increase of kidney disease in the North Central Province due to the use of these pesticide ingredients. more..

Jaffna District crime free

Jan 4 (CT) Jaffna High Court Judge M. Illanchelian has pledged to make Jaffna District a region free of criminal activities. Judge Illanchelian was addressing his staff on 1 Jan and emphasized the need to work towards building a crime free Jaffna District. On the first day of 2016 the judicial officials of the Jaffna District gathered at the Jaffna Courts along with the Court staff to take their oaths ensuring efficiency and promising to render their service to the judicial service with dedication. more..

Sri Lanka – Pakistan sign eight agreements

Jan 4 (PSL) Sri Lanka and Pakistan today signed eight (8) important Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) to enhance the cooperation between the two countries in several fields. These MoUs were signed at the Presidential Secretariat in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif and Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Following are the MoUs signed between the two countries; more..

Probe Mahindananda’s claim that Lalith, Kugan were murdered- FSP

Jan 4 (CT) The Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) has requested the govt to resuscitate the investigations into the alleged disappearance of two of its activists Lalith Kumar Weeraraju and Kugan Muruganandan. The FSP has told the govt that UPFA Kandy District MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage who was a Cabinet Minister of the UPFA regime when the two activists had disappeared on 10 December 2011 had now publicly stated on 2 January that the two activists had been allegedly murdered. more..

Kepapilavu villagers demand return of land, protest army occupation

Jan 4 (AM) Mullaitivu villagers protested against militarization and demanded the return of their occupied lands on Monday. Kepapilavu residents demonstrated against the occupation of 475 acres of their land and called out slogans demanding the army get out. Placards saying we want our land and we need our land were held by the protesters. The protest was led by TNPF's Mullaitivu co-ordinator Mrs Inthirani Vivekananthan. Police were seen at the protest photographing demonstrators. more..

Norway seeks to renew political contact with Sri Lanka

Jan 4 (AFP) Norway's foreign minister will visit Sri Lanka this week in a bid to re-establish political contact, his office said Tuesday, almost 10 years after Oslo failed in a bid to mediate in the island's civil war. Borge Brende's visit, which begins Thursday, will be the first by a Norwegian minister to Sri Lanka since 2006, the foreign ministry said in a statement. "The aim of the visit to Colombo is to re-establish political contact with SL," more..

Sri Lankan tourism may gain from Kerala's liquor policy

Jan 4 (ET) The recent Supreme Court verdict endorsing Kerala's liquor policy may find the state losing out to Sri Lanka on the tourism front. "Sri Lanka is the biggest gainer from the liquor policy of Kerala particularly when it comes to meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) and weddings," said Jose Dominic, CEO of CGH Earth group of hotels. Participating in a meet the press programme arranged by Ernakulam Press Club, he said in the current season he had to deal more..

Wilfrid Laurier University graduate lands UN internship in Sri Lanka

Jan 4 (TR) A Wilfrid Laurier University grad is helping to shape public policy as an intern at the United Nations. Manomi De Silva, a graduate of Laurier Brantford's human rights and human diversity program, started an internship position at the UN Office for Project Services in late October. "It was very surreal," said De Silva. "To find out that I had been selected for an internship to work with the UN was such amazing news." Like many other students, De Silva wasn't exactly sure what more..

Thajudeen's killing: UCSC recommends video footage be sent to FBI

Jan 5 (DM) Although the CCTV footage showed a vehicle in the vicinity of rugby player Wasim Thajudeen's killing, its license number could not be matched with the licence No: WP KU6543 supplied by the CID, the Colombo University's School Of Computing (UCSC) said. It informed Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris that the poor quality of the video footage and the UCSC's limited technical facilities were more..

EIA report on the environmental impact of the Colombo Port City

Jan 6 (CT) A representative group of over hundred people are submitting their responses to the Director General of the Coast Conservation and Coastal Management Department at Maligawatta on the 6th of Jan. A period of 30 days was given to the general public to submit their comments on the EIA report on the Colombo Port City. If the authorities were genuinely interested in obtaining public opinion on the assessment, they should have been sensitive to two important realities. more..

Crisis in Oluvil: The perils of politicisation, desultory policies, & privatisation

Jan 6 (CT) Following the Z-score fiasco of 2011, the government hurriedly opened up an engineering faculty in the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka (SEUSL), Oluvil, to absorb an additional hundred engineering students. In the subsequent years, two more batches joined the faculty without improvements in human or physical resources to render it commensurate with established engineering faculties. Despite multiple forewarnings from the students, the authorities concerned more..

'Party unity supersedes reform'

Jan 6 (CT) 2015 was a year when the SLFP and the alliance which it is a constituent of, UPFA went through a rollercoaster of changes initiated by President Sirisena who is also the Chairman of the Party. Following its marginal defeat in the last parliamentary polls, the President has ordered major structural changes. According to SLFP spokesperson, Dilan Perera, the UPFA will eliminate racist elements and more..

Improving basic nutrition in rural Sri Lanka

Jan 6 (SL) What follows has no pretense in the matter of bringing rural Sri Lankans into the First World overnight. However, the few elements of their lives that I intend referring to in this piece can be improved immeasurably without some revolutionary change in local administration or miraculous transformation of corrupt and venal officials who are the epitome of parasites on the helpless. When I returned some years ago to the land of my birth and that part of Sri Lanka in which I grew up, more..

Need for a time-bound process

Jan 6 (SL) The govt is set to make some headway in the reconciliation process this month but the failure to set deadlines to complete the process has raised some eyebrows. The govt, like the former regime, has been saying as of late that it needs to be given time to address the issues at hand. However going by past experiences, giving time and space for the got to show results does not seem acceptable anymore. Human Rights Watch noted that it is crucial that govt act in a time bound manner. more..

'Senadhipathi must come clean'

Jan 6 (CT) Sri Lankan High Commissioner to South Africa and Attorney-at-Law, Sarath Kongahage explained the intricacies of the Presidential Commissions and their role in prosecuting many of the biggest cases in recent history. Q: Chairman of Avant Garde Nissanka Senadhipathi did not appear before the Presidential Commission although he was called to do so four times. What do you think of this? more..

Is Mahinda going to China to topple govt?

Jan 6 (CT) When the then Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe lost the Local Govt elections in 2014, he proceeded to America to study at a university and also to deliver lectures. Before he left to US Ranil told a media conference in Colombo that he was going over there to learn tactics to topple govts. He studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for one month and returned. Without wasting time, he started a dialogue to unite with Sajith Premadasa. more..

Universality of Uni Education Worldwide

Jan 6 (DM) Knowledge is universal, historical and shared by educated and intellectuals in the world. Access to education is recognized by the Constitution, UN and worldwide, as adopted in the academic Charter Academia Constituio at university of Bologora in 1158 or 1155 granting the right of travelling of unhindered passage of Knowledge and Education. It is said that Knowledge is power which is based in storage in University Education which is the cradle of knowledge of any Nation, more..


Even with its idiosyncrasies Yahapalanaya is infinitely better than its predecessor

Jan 6 (DM) During his first year in office, President Sirisena sailed a perfect, politically-correct political voyage. He struck a contrast not only from his predecessor, but also from many other political strongmen (and women) currently ruling the roost in the developing world. To a greater degree, he eschewed aggrandizement of power and trappings of an executive presidency. He publicly announced in his inauguration not to seek a re-election and oversaw the clipping of excessive powers more..

Wither the rule of law?

Jan 6 (CT) On Monday, Colombo Additional Magistrate M.M.M. Mihal suspended hearing of the case concerning the alleged attack on those demonstrating against the Kolonnawa garbage dump and left his chair following a tense situation between the Police and the attorneys. The tense situation occurred when the attorneys appearing on behalf of the plaintiffs had started shouting and creating a disturbance inside the Courtroom, hurling accusations at Police officers, which led to more..

'Even the best constitution can be abused'

Jan 6 (SO) Constitutional reforms should increase the participation of people to strengthen democracy and good governance, says President's Counsel Geoffrey Alagaratnam who also believed constitutional reforms should help create a people's constitution. However he pointed out that even the best constitutions can be abused for petty political gains, and adds "People should realise the need to strengthen democracy". more..

In the throes of political reform

Jan 6 (Hindu) Writing about constitutional change in SL is like watching a video that does not have a pause button. If the viewing is interrupted for some reason, it has to be watched from the beginning again. Each time there is a pause in the ceaseless quest for ethnic and national unity in the island nation, one has to go back to where it all began: how much devolution for Tamils will lead to an acceptable resolution of the ethnic question? And, more pertinently, will this be yet another more..

Dynasty breaks up

Jan 6 (CT) Mrs. Nirmali Samaratunga, co chairman and co managing director of Mackwoods Ltd., has resigned from at least two of their listed subsidiaries effective from this year. Those are Mackwoods Energy plc and Mackwoods Plantations plc respectively. Her brother Dr. Chris Nonis is the Chairman of the company while the other Co- managing Director is Lalith Fonseka. Mackwoods, the parent company is not listed. The group is controlled by the Nonis family. more..

Grim winter for local hoteliers

Jan 6 (FT) The tourism industry fell short of its bullish expectations as hoteliers complained of insignificant occupancy rate growth during the winter season compared to the previous year. Although hoteliers had high hopes for the season to boost revenue targets further, many hotels in the country have ended up with empty hotel rooms. Tourist arrivals in 2015 amounted to 1.79 million, up by 17.8%, falling short of 1.8 million target. more..

Southee ruled out of Sri Lanka T20s

Jan 6 (CI) New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee has been ruled out of the upcoming two-match T20I series against Sri Lanka after scans showed a bruise on the bone of his left foot. Southee had sustained the injury during the third ODI in Nelson, and was subsequently replaced in the ODI squad by Matt Henry. An NZC release confirmed that Henry would stand in for Southee even in the T20s. "Tim was feeling really fresh after coming back from a break for the first two ODIs, more..

Commercial Bank the highest ranked bank in latest LMD 100

Jan 6 (FT) Commercial Bank has topped the LMD 100 ranking of Sri Lanka’s leading listed companies in terms of assets, taken second place overall on Profit After Tax (PAT) and fifth place overall on turnover in the magazine’s just published rankings for 2014-15. The bank also won the Sector Award for Banking at the ceremony. The highest-ranked bank in the LMD 100, Commercial Bank is also ranked second overall in terms of shareholders’ funds in this prestigious list more..

Finance Ministry assigns Customs Rs. 886b revenue target for 2016

Jan 6 (FT) Ministry of Finance has set a revenue target of Rs. 886 billion for the Customs for 2016. Rs.125 billion is expected via import tax, Rs.280 billion from vehicle import duties, Rs.95billion from port and airport development levy (PAL), Rs.85 billion from excise duties, Rs.75 billion from value added tax (VAT), Rs.65 billion from special commodity levy (SCL) and Rs.54 billion via import cess levy. more..

Gunasekera to captain Americas team

Jan 6 (CT) ICC Americas Team, led by Canadian player, Ruvindu Gunasekera, took wing to Trinidad & Tobago on 4 Jan to take part in the Nagico Super-50 cricket tournament conducted by WICB. It will start on 7 Jan and conclude on 24 Jan. Eight regional teams including all Caribbean National players will be in action and the teams are divided in to two groups. Americas are pitted against very strong opposition with hosts T&T, Guyana and Jamaica. The other group – Leeward, more..

SEC to revisit public float rule

Jan 6 (EN) Capital market watchdog the SEC is planning to defer a rule requiring companies to publicly list up to 20% of issued shares. Companies listed on the main board of the Colombo Stock Exchange were required to increase their public floats to 15% of issued share capital by end Dec 2015 and increase it up to 20% by the end of this year. “We will revisit this rule and hold public consultations during the first quarter of 2016, and then decide what needs to be done. more..

Parking wardens for Colombo

Jan 6 (DM) Parking wardens have been deployed to 1,600 parking units in Colombo City for the next six months until parking meters are fixed in the city, CMC said. Wardens of a private company had been deployed at the slots along the Duplication Road and Galle Road. Rs.10 will be charged from motorbikes per an hour, Rs.20 from three-wheelers, Rs.30 from vans and Rs.50 will be charged from buses and lorries. more..

Litro Gas partners with Galle Season 2015

Jan 6 (Island) Litro Gas, the largest importer and market leader of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in SL, stepped up as the co-partner for Galle Season, the recently concluded annual event which is considered to be one of the most significant and popular fair and exhibition held in the southern province. With a motive to exhibit and promote the rich traditions and potential of Galle as a tourist destination, the Galle Season began on the 27th of Dec and concluded on the 31st Dec 2015. more..

Rodrigo appointed acting President of SAFF

Jan 6 (CT) Former President of FFSL Ranjith Rodrigo was appointed as acting president of South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) at the SAFF executive meeting held on 2 Jan, in India. Meeting was presided by Ranjith Rodrigo in the absence of SAFF President Kazi Salahuddin, due to health reasons. At the meeting some important decisions were made: To grant US$ 25,000 to all Member Associations of SAFF as the preparation subsidy inclusive of Host Member Associations; more..

University intake to increase by 25%

Jan 6 (DM) UGC has decided to increase the university intake by 10% for the next academic year based on the results of the 2015 GCE A/L Exam released this week. UGC Chairman Mohan Silva said his office would wait for the results of the re-scrutinized answer scripts as requested by candidates. For the first time the candidates sat the exam under the new stream titled Technical Scheme in addition to the four other streams. more..

Water, petroleum to come under Sri Lankan utilities regulator

Jan 6 (EN) Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL), which now regulates the electricity sector, said the water and petroleum industries will soon be brought under the commission’s purview. Releasing its Activity Plan for 2016 the PUCSL said the govt provided policy and legislative backing through its 2016 budget presented in Nov 2015 to broaden and strengthen the commission. PUCSL would be given regulatory powers over the water services industry and petroleum industry enabling more..