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JHU calls for Sangha Convention tomorrow

Jan 24 (SO) JHU has called a special Sangha Convention to be held in Colombo tomorrow, to seek the views of the clergy and intellectuals from the laity on Theravada Bhikkhu Kathikawatha Bill which was presented in Parliament. JHU Central Committee which met on Jan 12 had extensive discussions on this issue. There are positive aspects in the Bill JHU Leader Ven. Omalpe Thera said adding that at this juncture, country needs this kind of legislation to ensure future progress of Buddha Sasana. more..

Shiranthi snubs Commission

Jan 24 (SL) Former First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa who has been asked to appear before the Presidential Commission on large scale fraud tomorrow, has avoided accepting the notice from the Commission. As a result, the Commission says, it has not taken steps to send the notice to her residence at Carleton House in Tangalle. Sources from Presidential Commission said notice had earlier been sent to Rajapaksa’s residence in Nugegoda, but no one was available to accept it. more..

Sri Lanka’s role in solving Maldivian crisis

Jan 24 (ST) It was well choreographed, but the play did not keep to the script last Saturday. US Secretary of State John Kerry was trying to reach out to Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen on the telephone from Austria. It was to praise him for releasing his predecessor Mohamed Nasheed to go for medical treatment in Britain. Nasheed had been banished to an island jail to serve a 13-year sentence, after a trial which Kerry said more..

Why aren’t more of our women working?

Jan 24 (Island) First of all, I would like to say congratulations; the chamber has had a long and successful history. Looking at the various people who headed the Chamber in the past, their life stories are an inspiration to people in this country. We have very few biographies written of Sri Lankans, and those written are unfortunately mostly about politicians. I hope that some of the biographies of those mentioned today are written, to inspire the younger generation with stories on more..

Family background report for foreign employed housemaids

Jan 24 (Island) A Family Background Report (FBR) is an administrative necessity before housemaids are permitted to be employed abroad. Under it, no mother having children less than five years of age, is approved for foreign employment. There had been pressure for its cancellation because of a tight housemaid supply market and a claimed infringement on freedom to engage in a chosen field of work. Therefore, there is a frenzied call to widen bandwidth, to mine this supply market. more..

Dialogue heats up on Theravada bhikku bill

Jan 24 (SL) The proposed Theravada Bhikku Dialogue Act which will enable every Bhikku to act in compliance with the provisions of the registered Chapter or Kathikawatha, was presented to parliament. According to the Bill presented by Minister Gayantha Karunathilake, it provides provisions for the formulation and registration of Kathikawatha (Dialogue) in relation to Nikaya (chapters) of Theravadi Bhikkus. more..

Army yet to provide details in Eknaligoda case

Jan 24 (SL) Homagama Magistrate’s Court had recently issued orders to the Army Commander to provide all the required details, documents and assistance to the officers investigating the disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda. However, sources from the CID said that when officers visited the Giritale Army Camp as part of the investigations, they were not given the required details as ordered by Court nor were they given an audio tape more..

Disappearance of Rs 3 B: CEB unions flex their muscles

Jan 24 (CT) Trade unions of the CEB have warned that if the Rs 3 billion that had allegedly disappeared from its EPF account is not distributed among the contributors, they would be compelled to take drastic action to ensure that this is done. CEB in a complaint lodged with the CID last month said that Rs 3 billion invested in Treasury Bills through Entrust Securities (Pvt) Ltd had been withdrawn by the firm. more..

FCID chief’s email hacked; questions over delay in VIP arrests

Jan 24 (ST) Since being set up almost one year ago, the FCID has probed a multitude of cases, some high profile while others are of lesser importance. Senior DIG Ravi Waidyalankara, the man who directs those investigations, did not perhaps envisage that he would have to oversee a probe that concerned him. The reason — someone had hacked into his private e-mail account. To make matters worse, an e-mail directed to his more..

Traffic Dept. contemplating centre lane for buses

Jan 24 (DM) The Police Traffic Department is looking at plans to allocate the centre lane only for buses in Battaramulla, in a bid to reduce the extreme traffic congestion in the area. At least 475,000 motor bikes, cars and vans travel to Colombo each day. However, the number of individuals entering Colombo by 21,000 buses outweighed the number of individuals coming into the city using other modes of transport. more..

'SL monorail plan to suburbs not feasible'

Jan 24 (EN) A planned monorail along a key traffic corridor from Colombo to the suburb of Malabe is not feasible until 2015, but tracks of shorter distances could be possible, a minister Champika Ranawaka said. "Monorail is also one of the options but according to our calculations, that is not financially feasible of the time being," he said. "But here is city areas we will introduce monorail rather than out of Colombo areas. more..

CPC cuts off supplies to CEB

Jan 24 (CT) The Sapugaskanda 'B' and Barge diesel electricity power generators installed in the Colombo Port premises have been shut down since 17 January after the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) suspended diesel supplies to the Port. These MW240 generators belong to the CEB. A senior CEB engineer said that the board has had to dispatch costlier power generators in a sequel to the CPC action. CEB is CPC's main client. more..

Govt launches two pronged diplomatic offensive ahead of UN Rights chiefs visit

Jan 24 (Island) In the run up to the UN Human Rights Commissioner Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein’s scheduled visit to Sri Lanka prior to the June deadline that his organization has set for Sri Lanka to establish an independent domestic mechanism to investigate war crimes allegations, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt has launched a diplomatic offensive aimed at both the local and international community. more..

Sri Lanka on track for GSP Plus but a long way to go: EU Envoy

Jan 24 (ST) Sri Lanka has not yet made a formal application for the GSP Plus trade facility and there is still a lot that has to be done before it can be considered, said Ambassador and Head of Delegation to the European Union (EU) to Sri Lanka David Daly. Similarly the country has made advances on governance, human rights and reconciliation, but there remains an awful lot to do in transforming many excellent commitments more..

Sri Lanka to establish first pro food test lab

Jan 24 (GDI) In a new turn for Sri Lanka’s processed food sector, the first ever specialised Lankan scientific laboratory to test food products is to be unveiled this year. New lab is expected to perform more than 500 food tests a month and more than 40% of Lankan MSMEs are involved in the food sector! This was revealed by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen addressing the launch event of Pro Food-Pro Pack-Ag Biz exhibition more..

The offline effect

Jan 24 (Island) Curating, as I have since 2008, online media during election violence monitoring offers insights into the way voters react to propaganda, political parties and politicians. Take for example the lead up to the Presidential Election in January 2015 and the General Election in August of the same year. Mahinda Rajapaksa’s online social media campaigning was at its most febrile. Hundreds of newly spawned accounts on Twitter, dozens of Facebook pages coupled with more..

A long view of constitution making

Jan 24 (Island) Hard determinists say that leaders of the day cannot shape history; they, like the rest of us, are adrift on a sea of titanic waves. This is going too far; to a degree men do make their destiny, though not under conditions of their choosing but under "circumstances existing and transmitted from the past which hang like a nightmare on the brains of the living". Tamil extremists say that RW and MS are no different from Sinhala racists and deep-down do not wish to concede anything to Tamils. more..

Minister chandima weerakkody

Prasanna to be removed

Jan 24 (SL) Joint opposition member and SLFP MP Prasanna Ranatunga is to be removed from the post of chief organiser for SLFP in Minuwangoda electorate. Sources said several changes are expected to be made in the party organiser positions and as part of the changes, Ranatunga is to be replaced. Ranatunga has been fully involved in promoting the joint opposition which is working against the govt now. He is also known to be a strong supporter of former Prez Rajapaksa. more..

AG protects elephant thieves?

Jan 24 (SL) A delay by Attorney General’s (AG) Department to issue instructions to court has resulted in the failure to arrest the venerable Uduwe Dhammaloka thero over the possession of an elephant using fake documents. Sources at CID said that all the relevant details on investigations conducted on the venerable Uduwe Dhammaloka thero, former President Rajapaksa, and 21 others have been given to the AG. CID, however, says AG has so far failed to give a positive response more..

ETCA will help kidney racket: NFF

Jan 24 (DM) Multi-million international kidney transplant racket, which is allegedly conducted by Indians, will spread more and more in Sri Lanka after the signing of the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India next month, NFF said today. “The majority of those who take part in kidney scam are Indian doctors, who are practicing in Sri Lanka. Others who are being part of the scam more..

Unqualified officer to be sent for training

Jan 24 (SL) An unqualified officer who has allegedly had prepared false documentations is to be sent to Malaysia for a special United Nations training exercise for the military. A second level officer in the Army, Sri Lanka Volunteer Force hierarchy, is said to have been involved in obtaining clearance for the unqualified officer to attend the training exercise in Malaysia. The decision has resulted in qualified officers losing the opportunity to attend the UN sponsored training session. more..

Sri Lanka plans economic corridor with Andra Pradesh

Jan 24 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning an economic corridor with the coastal state of Andra Pradesh, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had told top industrialists from India at a global forum in Switzerland. Indian business could invest in a port city being reclaimed out of the sea, the Colombo Port, Trincomalee port, Wickremasinghe had said at meeting with members of the Confederation of Indian Industry on the sidelines of a World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. more..

Sri Lanka expresses commitment to protect endangered wildlife species

Jan 24 (IL) Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife, Mr. Gamini Jayawickrama Perera has re-iterated Sri Lanka's commitment to protect endangered wildlife species. He said consistent with this policy, the Govt had decided to destroy a confiscated blood ivory shipment on 26th January 2016 at the Galle Face Green in Colombo. The consignment consists of 359 pieces of blood ivory, equalling 1.5 tonnes. more..

Tourism Authority to probe Mirissa resorts

Jan 24 (DM) An investigation had been launched by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) on the reports that some resorts located in the Mirissa Bay had refused to serve food or provide accommodation to locals because of their unruly behavior. Responding to a Daily Mirror article SLTDA said it would immediately investigate into the matter and initiate appropriate action according to the direction of the Minister of Tourism Development. more..

Open Uni. closed until further notice

Jan 24 (DM) Open University will be closed until further, Vice-Chancellor Professor S.A. Ariadurai said today. He said the University was closed on Friday after several students attempted to forcibly enter two lecture rooms. The University’s Council had taken a decision to close the University until further notice, he said.“The decision as taken as there was a tense situation between the students and the staff. Exams and lectures have all been postponed until further notice,” he said. more..

Find our loved ones: People urge TNA

Jan 24 (CT) A statement made by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at a Thai Pongal event in Jaffna recently, seems to have enraged the relatives and friends of missing persons, and motivated them to agitate more towards pressurizing the govt to find their loved ones. The PM said the majority of the missing persons should be considered deceased. There was widespread condemnation of the remark by the relatives, and they turned their anger more..

Palitha refuses to vacate his house

Jan 24 (SL) UNP MP and State Minister Palitha Range Bandara has raised concerns with President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe over the failure to give him the perks which was promised to him. Bandara claimed that State Ministers were not given the perks which were promised to them despite the painstaking efforts to bring back the UNP to power. Among the concerns he has is that he has not been given enough vehicles and staff to carry out his work. more..

PM holds meetings with Branson, other investors

Jan 24 (LBO) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and govt officials met several business leaders and heads of state on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. Richard Branson of the Virgin group, Cyrus Mistry, chairman of the Tata Group, Kevin Sneader of McKinsey and Company and Jean-Philippe Courtois, President of Microsoft International were some of the investors who expressed interest in investing in the island. Courtois said a delegation will visit SL to discuss a technology agreement more..

Sound the trumpets: State funeral for slain Tanzanian elephants

Jan 24 (ST) The eyes of the world will be on Sri Lanka on Tuesday when 359 African elephant tusks detected by Customs four years ago will be ceremonially crushed after religious observances to bestow merit on the fallen elephants. The ceremony at the Galle Face Green will be attended by President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Wildlife Minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera and more..

Sri Lanka cooks up tasty treats for Koreans

Jan 24 (KT) Korea and Sri Lanka know how to enjoy spicy, hot foods, says Sri Lankan Ambassador to Korea Manisha Gunasekera. Following the success of a food promotion last year, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Seoul will hold another at the Millennium Seoul Hilton, starting Thursday and running until Feb. 7. The Sri Lanka Food Festival is part of celebrations for the country's 68th anniversary of independence, which falls on Feb. 4. "Two experienced chefs from the Hilton Colombo more..

CEB fears power shortage in 2018

Jan 24 (SL) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) expects a power shortage in 2018 if steps are not taken to commence more power plants in the country. The CEB has proposed setting up 29 power plants at a cost of USD 13,000 million to meet the need for the generation of electricity. However, Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyabalabitiya recommended doing away with five of the 29 plants, thereby bringing down the cost to USD 11,000 million. more..

GMOA suspects hidden motives behind kidney racket claims

Jan 24 (CG) The GMOA today said it suspects hidden motives were behind the allegations of a kidney racket involving Indian patients and Sr Lankan doctors. Secretary of the GMOA Dr. Nalinda Herath claimed that there is an attempt by India to discredit Sri Lankan doctors through the allegations. He said that as far as the GMOA is aware, the Indian police have yet to formally inform SL about the involvement more..

Principals, teachers perplexed over eligibility for SLEAS Class III exam

Jan 24 (ST) Public Service Commission (PSC) last week called on all suitable officers in the education sector to sit for a competitive exam to fill 515 vacancies in Class III of the Sri Lanka Education Administrative Service (SLEAS). But this has placed many teachers and principals in a dilemma. Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) claims that the limited competitive exam for recruitment to Class III of SLEAS 2015/2016, under the new service minute, has placed many candidates in doubt with more..

Arjuna faults FCID for summoning Mathews

Jan 24 (DM) Former world cup winning cricket captain and Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said the summoning of Sri Lanka Cricket captain Angelo Mathews to the FCID was regrettable. Since FCID officers visit the homes of politicians to record their statements and make enquires, summoning the captain of the National Cricket Team was questionable, he said. He also said that there was a need to ask why the officer did not go to Mathews’ house and record his statement there. more..

Passikudah, Arugam Bay to get a facelift

Jan 24 (SL) Tourism infrastructure in Passikudah and Arugam Bay will receive a facelift following an inspection tour of the east coast by Tourism Development Minister, John Amaratunga. The neglected East coast has seen renewed interest in recent times with the opening up of many luxury hotels especially in Passikudah and Arugam Bay. Well established local hotel chains such as Aitken Spence, Amaya, Theme Resorts and Jetwing more..

Last night he slept in father’s care

Jan 24 (CT) Maduluwave Sobhitha Thera was Rathnsekara, a student learning in Grade Six of Ananda Sastralaya, Kotte. He went to school from the temple while his schoolmates came from their homes. The teachers also understood that Rathnasekara was to ordain soon. However, he was a happy, innocent boy, unlike the mischievous lad of Maduluwawa. He had to read books like Sirithmaldama, Gana Devi Hella, Nam Potha, Navashta Shathakaya and so on in temple. more..

GHOST in white coat

Jan 24 (CT) The Kirindiwela Police Station is located in our ancestral home which is called Bogahawaththe Walawwa. It is situated majestically on a high land on the right hand side of the road from Kirindiwela to Gampaha, about one and half kilometers away from Kirindiwela town. Don't think I am trying to boast about my family. No. This is the reason. A rumour spread recently that there are ghosts in the Kirindiwela Police Station. Ghosts are seen by people who have shaky minds. more..

CEB expands digital/electronic meter installation into household sector

Jan 24 (ST) CEB is expanding the installation of digital or electronic meters to the household sector. “These meters were first introduced in 2011 to general purpose and bulk customers, but are now available to three-phase domestic customers at an installation fee of Rs 8,700,” said Additional General Manager Bandula Tilakasena. He explained that these were not the same as smart meters which have more sophisticated more..

Criminal probe on SLRC official who allegedly solicited sexual favours

Jan 24 (ST) A criminal investigation has been launched into the allegation against Sri Lanka Red Cross (SLRC) official who was accused of soliciting sexual favours from a woman in the north, police said. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said the police would report to the Kilinochchi magistrate the proceedings of the investigations and would seek the advice of AG Department on how to proceed. “Following the directive of IGP, police started recording statements from various individuals including the victim. more..