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'Australia will support a better Sri Lanka'

Jan 26 (Island) Outgoing Australian High Commissioner Robyn Mudie says that her country believes in working constructively with the govt of the day regardless of which party it is, to support a better Sri Lanka. Asked about Australia’s apparent conciliatory approach with regard to war crimes allegations against Rajapaksa govt during 23rd CHOGM held in Colombo in Nov 2013, despite it being considered to be part of the UK block, more..

Activists urge EU to safeguard worker rights

Jan 26 (UCAN) Sri Lankan labor activists lobbied a delegation from the European Union asking for help to improve the rights of low-paid apparel factory workers. Anton Marcus, a Catholic labor rights activist, told EU delegates in Colombo Jan 22, that infringements on worker rights are ongoing in Sri Lankan apparel factories. "Workers today are not allowed to engage in trade union activity or open discussions with more..

'Constitutional reform a sinister smokescreen'

Jan 26 (Island) Former Minister G.L. Peiris, addressing a gathering of Buddhist monks and political activists in Aranayake over the weekend described the constitutional reform initiative as a smoke screen intended to mask other measures which the government was planning to implement surreptitiously, hoodwinking the public. Former Constitutional Affairs Minister referred to the agreement between govt of Sri Lanka more..

Malwatte prelate welcomes legislation to cleanse Bhikku order

Jan 26 (Island) Most Venerable Mahanayake of Malwatte Chapter of the Siyam Maha Nikaya, Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera, expressing his views on the govt introduced Registration of the Theravada Bhikshu Nikayika Kathikavath Act welcomed it as a fulfillment of a long felt need. In a memorandum addressed to Justice and Buddhasasana Minister, prelate has stated that it is a correct move taken by govt, more..

Fonterra to transfer dairy know-how to boost Sri Lanka milk yields

Jan 26 (EN) New Zealand's Fonterra Brands is building a 117 million rupee demonstration farm and boosting extension staff to transfer knowledge to dairy farmers in Sri Lanka to help boost milk yields and income. The demonstration farm will have a training centre, free stall barns, milk chilling facilities, a milk shed, and a fodder cultivation area. Saman Perera, who helps local dairy development says even without more..

Water from trishaw driver costs cop gold and cash

Jan 26 (Island) A police constable who quenched his thirst with some water offered by a trishaw driver lost unconscious and spent a night on the roadside near Alawathugoda on the Kandy-Matale main road recently. According to complaint received by the Alawathugdoa police station, a constable attached to a police post of an expressway in Colombo was returning to Akurana with a colleague at night. On the way he broke journey at a bar in Kandy and hired a trishaw. more..

On investment promotion & protection agreements

Jan 26 (CT) This government was elected on a mandate to create one million jobs within five years by increasing investment and boosting exports. It is now the responsibility of the govt and this House to make that vision a reality. The PM’s Economic Policy Statement delivered here on November 5th last year, as promised, outlined more detailed plans to boost investments, exports and growth so that Sri Lanka could meet this target by 2020. He said that: “In order to achieve these results, more..

MP Athuraliye Rathana Thero

Shares fall for 2nd day to near 1-wk low

Jan 26 (Reuters) Shares fell for a second straight session on Tuesday to their near one-week closing low in thin trade after the central bank kept its key policy rates unchanged and as investors worried over volatile global markets and rising returns on risk-free assets. Turnover slumped to 341.3 million rupees, the lowest since Dec 31, and well below this year's daily average of 791.7 million rupees. The main stock index ended 0.5%, or 31.96 points, lower at 6,322.87, the lowest close since Jan 20. more..

Only talk about re-gaining GSP Plus

Jan 26 (CT) Last week, it was reported that Swedish PM Stefan Löfven had extended his helping hand to SL to regain GSP Plus facilities and to lift the fish export ban imposed by the EU. Swedish Premier had made this announcement when he met PM Ranil Wickremesinghe during the World Economic Forum annual meeting held at Davos in Switzerland. At this important juncture, regaining GSP Plus would be a great relief to SL given the desperate need of the country to increase exports. more..

Opposition questions contradictory comments on war crimes probe

Jan 26 (CG) The opposition today questioned the contradictory comments being made by the Govt on the war crimes investigation. MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena said that while the Foreign Ministry had told the UN international judges will be allowed to assist the probe on the war in SL, President Sirisena had said the opposite in an interview with BBC. Gunawardena told Parliament today that the contradictory statements by more..

Counsel argues amendment bill unconstitutional

Jan 26 (Island) President’s Counsel, Manohara de Silva, told the Supreme Court that Article 99 A of the Constitution, was applicable to the Bill to amend Local Authorities Election Laws and if the Bill was made law by Parliament, even persons not mentioned in the National List could be appointed to Local Govt bodies after the results were declared. It would have the same effect as selecting defeated candidates to Parliament through National List. That had to be prevented, he said. more..

TISL hands over amendment to Assets and Liabilities Act to President

Jan 26 (DN) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) handed over an amendment drafted by it to the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Act to President Maithripala Sirisena to enable the sharing of information pertaining to the assets and liabilities of people’s representatives, TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeysekara said. He said currently if someone shares the information he or she obtained through the Act, they will be subjected to a Rs. 2,000 fine or a two year imprisonment. more..

Sri Lanka destroys elephant tusks in pledge to protect endangered species

Jan 26 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan authorities today destroyed more than 359 African elephant tusks (blood ivory) worth more than Rs 350 million, in Colombo in a firm commitment to protect endangered wildlife species. Ivory was seized in 2012 by SL Customs while it was en route to Dubai from Kenya. Total weight of the ivory was around 1,500 kg. Ivory stock was publicly destroyed at the Galle Face Green in Colombo, more..

Video: Hirunika’s Defender released on bond

Jan 26 (DM) UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra’s Defender vehicle, which was used by several staff members of the MP to allegedly abduct a man from Dematagoda was released on Rs. 4.5 million bond by Additional Magistrate Mohamed Mihar today. The Police informed the Magistrate that the investigations relating to the vehicle had been concluded and that they had sent the extracts of the investigations to the AG’s Department for further consultation. Case was fixed for April 18. more..

Forger meets his Waterloo

Jan 26 (Island) A suspect arrested for abusing a police officer on the phone has revealed he is a forger. Officers of Peliyagoda Crimes Division who searched his Nittambuwa residence took into custody several rubber stamps bearing the names and designations of heads of some key govt institutions. Investigations have revealed that the suspect had charged Rs. 2,500 each for bogus certificates. The other charge against him was that he had falsely advertised in newspapers more..

Yoshitha was sent to UK, Ukraine for training on state expense

Jan 26 (CG) Yoshitha Rajapaksa, son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was sent to the UK and Ukraine for training on state expense after he joined the navy, Parliament was informed. Responding to a question raised in Parliament by the JVP, Minister Gayantha Karunatillake said that Rajapaksa was recruited to the navy when the former Govt was in power, reportedly in an attempt to encourage youth to join the navy. more..

Ratnapriya wants alleged racket investigated and docs exposed

Jan 26 (Island) The Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) yesterday urged the govt and the CID to investigate the Sri Lankan doctors allegely involvement in kidney racket exposed by the Indian media recently. Addressing the Media at the Govt Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) office at Punchi Borella, HSTUA President Saman Ratnapriya said that according to the Indian law only a relative could donate an organ. The situation is similar in Sri Lanka. more..

Court allows Aksha to shoot film in India

Jan 26 (DN) Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishanta Peiris permitted teledrama actress Aksha Sudhari to travel to India following her request that she intends to engage in a film shoot there. In this case, Sudhari who is alleged to have had an affair with an Indian, had allegedly defrauded him of Rs.140 million. The Court had issued an order to freeze her bank accounts. The CID alleged that the actress had allegedly lured the Indian and had fraudulently cheated him of Rs. 140 million. more..

Work on Central Expressway to begin in May

Jan 26 (Island) Construction of Central Expressway Project (E4), which the govt says is of vital importance to provide improved travel conditions for long distance traffic, thus relieving congestion on the A1 road will commence in May this year. Minister Lakshman Kiriella said the land acquisition process was underway from Galagedara for Colombo-Kandy Expressway project. He said, "The construction will start in May more..

No harassment of female MPs: Speaker

Jan 26 (DM) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said today there was no truth about female MPs being subjected to any kind of sexual or other harassment in Parliament as claimed. “On the basis of media reports, I conducted a fact-finding inquiry into the allegation, but I have found nothing, so I can confirm that no such harassment has taken place in this Parliament,” the Speaker said. He said that he and his officials inquired from female MPs whether they had faced any kind of harassment more..

'Inquiry will be held on Homagama protest'

Jan 26 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said he had ordered a full investigation into the incident which occurred at the Homagama Courts where a certain group had held a protest against the remanding of Ven. Gnanasara Thera. He said he would submit a report to the most Venerable Mahanayaka Theras. PM told Parliament that law would be enforced on anyone no matter who they were. “Everyone is equal before the law and we will not allow Somaramas and Buddarakithas to emerge again," more..

SC shows solidarity with reporters

Jan 26 (EN) Supreme Court Tuesday entertained a complaint from the Editors' Guild against police action in preventing local correspondents covering an inquest into the controversial death of a 29-year-old man. Chief Justice K. Sripavan told Guild President Siri Ranasinghe that he took the complaint seriously and advised that it merited a fundamental rights case that could see the IGP cited as a respondent. more..

Pregnant mother takes last ride in ambulance

Jan 26 (DN) A pregnant mother transferred in a serious condition from Agrapatana Hospital to the Nuwara Eliya General Hospital in an ambulance with a drip and oxygen supply under the care of only an attendant. was pronounced dead on admission to the Nuwara Eliya Hospital on Sunday. The deceased was identified as Muttiah Jodi Muller, 36, of Mandarasiri Bazzar, Agrapatana. The six months pregnant mother of two had been admitted to Agrapatana Hospital with a history of more..

Video: Sri Lanka from the sky: spectacular drone footage of the island

Jan 26 (Telegraph) Sri Lanka's tea plantations, palm-fringed coasts and extraordinary temples shrouded in thick forest are shown in a beautiful aerial video. Even those unable to visit the island south of India in Indian Ocean can explore the mist-shrouded mountain sides and waterfalls in the footage, which is one of 18 destinations around the world shot by London-based MOFILM. The video also shows swooping shots of SL's rail network, which was begun by the British colonial rulers more..

Tamils seek power devolution in Sri Lanka's new Constitution

Jan 26 (PTI) Sri Lanka's main Tamil party demanded devolution of powers in the new Constitution to resolve ethnic issues. "The only solution to the national problem could be the devolution of power. We hope the new Constitution will address this issue," TNA front line MP MA Sumanthiran told reporters on Tuesday. The need for a new Constitution is felt by all in that the process will lay the ground for a new arrangement. more..

Mohamed Shariff Thowfeek takes oath as MP

Jan 26 (AD) Mohamed Shariff Thowfeek on Tuesday (26) took oath as a member of Parliament to fill the UNP National List seat vacated with the resignation of A.R.A. Hafeez. The Elections Commission of Sri Lanka earlier said that Mohamed Shariff Thowfeek has been appointed to fill the seat. M.S. Thowfeek was nominated by the General Secretary of the UNP. UNP National List MP Abdul Rauf Abdul Hafeez resigned as a Member of Parliament on Tuesday (19), citing personal reasons. more..

NPC dispatches investigative team

Jan 26 (CT) The National Police Commission (NPC) will be sending a three member team today to investigate into the allegation that Police are responsible for the death of a youth in Embilipitiya earlier this month, Secretary of the NPC, Ariyadasa Cooray said. He added that the names of those who will be sent to Embilipitiya will be revealed later today, saying that "The NPC is taking this matter seriously, and we will be conducting an impartial investigation". more..

SLC to restructure selection procedure

Jan 26 (CT) The procedure of selection for the Sri Lanka cricket team is set to restructure as Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) President, Thilanga Sumathipala said that they had taken necessary steps to change the past negativity and allegations surrounding selections by carefully laying a selection procedure to identify the most talented players from different parts of the country. "We have initiated five Provincial Selection Committees more..

US envoy insists on foreign judges

Jan 26 (CG) US Ambassador to UNHRC in Geneva, Keith Harper, says Sri Lanka must have foreign judges in the accountability process on the war. Harper, who was involved in talks with SL Govt when the resolution on SL was drafted before it was submitted and eventually adopted by UNHRC last Oct, said that accountability process can be credible only if foreign judges are involved. “For SL – credibility of any accountability mechanism requires involvement of foreign judges etc. more..

President joins Physical Health promotion programme

Jan 26 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena joined in a Physical Health promotion programme held at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya in Colombo, today. The event was organized to mark the Sports and Physical Health promotion week from 25 to 30 of this month. The programme was organized by the Ministry of Sports under the guidance and advices of the President to promote health of the people, thus preventing the spread of non-communicable diseases in the country. more..

Video: Tense situation near Homagama Magistrate’s Court

Jan 26 (AD) A tense situation has arisen in front of the Homagama Magistrate’s Court as a group of about 200 monks have gathered there in protest over the diction to remand Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera. Monks representing BBS, Ravana Balaya, and Sinhala Ravaya have blocked the road near the court to prevent the prison bus from leaving the premises. Several police teams and officers attached to more..

Ravi K’s gimmicks do not work in economics

Jan 27 (CT) Sri Lanka is an interesting country. Its currency, the rupee has been depreciating for a while. Minister Ravi Karunanayake, it seems was convinced that rupee was depreciating due to depleting foreign reserve levels. So, the obvious common-sense solution was to boost foreign reserves. He did find an innovative solution. He got a rich Belgian man to deposit U.S. dollars one billion in Sri Lanka – And as a result official foreign reserves were increased by $ 1 billion. more..

Politics of Beef: A diversionary tactic?

Jan 27 (CT) Muslim community voted en masse for President Maithripala Sirisena in the 8 Jan 2015 presidential elections to free themselves from the persecution of handful Sinhala racists such as Bodu Bala Sena who are suspected local and foreign mercenaries. However Muslims and non Muslims alike who voted for him now raise the question following the shocking meeting of BBS team led by its extremist leader Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera with President Sirisena more..

Alone and scared

Jan 27 (SO) The death of Sumith Prasanna, a father of one from Embilipitiya, and the questionable conduct of the police, which generated widespread public protest and intense public scrutiny, are now under investigation, with the National Police Commission (NPC) and the Human Rights Commission (HRC) taking lead roles. Last Thursday, the NPC summoned the IGP, N.K. Ilangakoon, for questioning, while more..

Going nuts over a constitution

Jan 27 (SL) Sri Lankans are going nuts about the proposed new constitution or rather not a new constitution. It can’t be a new constitution the rhetorical acerbic Joint Opposition has argued although it has to be different from the old — sorry former - constitution. This is all splitting of hairs. Old JRJ, wherever he may be, will be guffawing at the way constitutional rebels have been tearing and pulling their hair out trying to confine his 44-year-old constitution to the dustbin of history but more..

In a Nutshell

Jan 27 (SL) Deaths and funerals are no longer a solemn occasion for politicos in Paradise Isle. In fact, it is time to calculate and see how the loss could be used for another’s advantage. This situation was witnessed when a ministering angel in the yahapalana cupboard passed away last week. It was Bonny Fonny who sprung into action. It was Fonny’s aides who were busy making calls around to see how Bonny Fonny the one marshaling fields could play a role in the funeral. more..

'Finance min. stalling fuel pricing formula'

Jan 27 (CT) Criticism pertaining to the increasing price of fuel in Sri Lanka being widespread, and the implementation of the pricing formula being delayed, the Ministry of Petroleum and Petroleum Gas, has done its utmost in formulating the much awaited pricing formula for fuel, however, the matter is still yet to get the thumbs up from Finance Ministry, Deputy Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Gas, Dr. Anoma Gamage said. more..

Editorial: BBS and gavel blow

Jan 27 (Island) Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Ven. Galabodaatte Gnanasara Thera has been arrested and remanded for creating a scene at the Homagama Magistrate’s Court on Monday. When he made an uproar following the Magistrate’s decision to remand a group of military personnel further over the disappearance of Ekneligoda he may have thought he would be able to avoid a judicial gavel blow as he had done previously. He was sadly mistaken. Matter is best left to the judiciary. more..

Land, police and provincial councils

Jan 27 (Island) 13th Amendment gave Provincial Councils rights over "Land, land tenure, transfer and alienation of land, land use, land settlement and land improvement." It specifically says "Land shall be a Provincial Council subject to certain limitations." Land is not on the concurrent list either. It was therefore assumed that Land was the exclusive preserve of the Provincial Councils. If a Provincial Council needed any state land, govt has to hand it over, no questions asked. more..