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Sri Lanka faces more challenges this year

Jan 28 (TP) Sri Lanka and Maldives have always been good neighbours and often lent support to the other in a crisis or whenever a situation arose. However in recent months relations have soured after the SL govt expressed concern over the imprisonment of former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed. Sri Lanka was joined by many western countries including Britain and US in urging the Maldivian authorities to release Nasheed, jailed over alleged interference in the judiciary more..

Out of the shadows

Jan 28 (FT) He’s back. After a year in the shadows, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, the controversial monk who leads the radical Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), is front and centre of the news cycle again. He is storming into courtrooms, insulting Govt lawyers and threatening, allegedly in foul language, the woman who has been searching for her missing husband for the better part of six years. more..

Towards sustainable wildlife tourism

Jan 28 (DM) Sri Lanka Tourism took the first step in addressing one of the tourism industry’s major concerns and its impact on wildlife tourism by hosting a lecture on the theme CITES and wildlife trade – What CITES does and how it links to wildlife tourism at The Galle Face Hotel on Monday. Lecture was delivered by Secretary General of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), John Scanlon. He was here to attend the Destruction of Blood Ivory Event more..

Sri Lanka commercial property demand will expand with FDI: Regus

Jan 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s commercial property market will see a rise in demand as local firms expand their businesses and foreign firms start setting up in the island, a global work-space provider said. “There is huge demand for the commercial property in post war Sri Lanka and in the last 12 months the sentiment has improved with our local businesses expanding and foreign firms setting up,” Nirmal De Silva, Country Manager, Regus Sri Lanka said. “There seems to be more FDI potential more..

Injury stricken Sri Lanka likely to send depleted squad

Jan 28 (DN) With several key players carrying injuries Sri Lanka are likely to send a depleted squad for the three-match T20 international series to India next month. Both countries are set to play a series of three matches prior to the Asia Cup as they look ahead to the World T20 in March. The matches in India are scheduled at Pune on Feb 9, Delhi on Feb 12 and Visakhapatnam on Feb 14. T20 captain Lasith Malinga is still recovering more..

Ambassador urges nationals to take advantage of opportunities

Jan 28 (KT) While calling on his countrymen who are illegally staying in Kuwait to turn themselves over to the authorities, the Sri Lankan ambassador to Kuwait noted that the current partial amnesty is not attractive enough to convince expatriates to take advantage of it. “When we communicate with our people, especially those who call with regards to the amnesty, they don’t seem to be convinced,” said Kandeepan Bala. “A regular amnesty means that you are allowed to leave the country without more..

No room for complacency as Sri Lanka U19 aims to top table

Jan 28 (ICC) Sri Lanka has taken good care to ensure that its preparation would be thorough in pursuit of a maiden trophy in Under-19 World Cup 2016. It started way back in Oct 2014, when it beat Australia by a 6-1 margin at home. There was a 2-3 loss to Bangladesh in January thereafter, a 3-0 victory over Pakistan at home and a loss to India in the final of a tri-series that also involved England. It has had matches aplenty under its belt, and enough time to settle on a combination. more..

Video: BBS accuses law enforces of double standards

Jan 28 (DM) Different standards were applied by the law enforcers to MP Hirunika Premachandra (when she was arrested for allegedly kidnapping someone) and the Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera when he was charged with contempt of court and the disruption of court proceedings, alleged the Collective of National Bikkhu Organisations today. The Collective of National Bikkhu Organisations comprises more..

Chinese, Indian suppliers engage Sri Lanka’s packaging industry

Jan 28 (Island) Many members of the Asian Packaging Federation which includes China and India are scheduled to participate in the 16th edition of Lankapak 2016, to be held in Colombo from May 6 to 8, this year. President of the Sri Lanka Institute of Packaging (SLIP) J.D.C Perera said that he looked forward to the active participation of the Asian Packaging Federation (APF), especially members such as China and India who were the biggest suppliers of packaging material to SL. more..

Second win for Hambantota Troopers

Jan 28 (DN) Hambantota Troopers secured their second successive win in the Super T20 provincial tournament when they defeated Colombo Commandos by six wickets yesterday. Niroshan Dickwella made his second consecutive half century for Colombo but finished on the losing side as Hambantota chased down the total of 162/8 to win with 11 balls to spare. Despite the early dismissal of Hambantota skipper T Dilshan for four, Seekkuge Prasanna thumped 40 off 21 balls to set them more..

Ravi K reassures Parliament on economy

Jan 28 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake assured Parliament that leading the country to a safe but steady path is among the key priorities of the current Govt. Moving an Order under the Customs Ordinance, six Orders under the Special Commodity Levy Act, and a resolution under Inland Revenue Act, he explained the recent actions of the govt to settle pending payments for local parties for services rendered more..

Punish those who disrupt Court hearing of Eknaligoda abduction case: FMM

Jan 28 (FT) Free Media Movement (FMM) condemns in strongest terms the unruly behavior of extremist Buddhist monks who tried to disrupt court hearing of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda disappearance case. This disruption took place 25 Jan at Homagama Magistrate Court. BBS GalabodaAtthe Gnanasara Thero entered the court by force and shouted in uncivilised language blaming lawyers and court officials for conducting the case of Eknaligoda’s disappearance. more..

WFP funds Country Programme Action Plan 2016-2017

Jan 28 (GDI) The UN, World Food Programme (WFP) has agreed to extend the food aid assistance through the Country Programme Action Plan 2016 – 2017. The objective of this two year Country Programme Action Plan is to improve food and nutrition security, and build resilience of vulnerable communities to climate shocks. The total cost of the Country Programme Action Plan 2016-2017 is US $ 19,705,165. Accordingly, WFP will extend the support using in-kind and cash-based more..

'Rebuilding SLFP shouldn’t be Maithri’s priority'

Jan 28 (Island) Convenor of the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) Prof. Sarath Wijesooriya yesterday alleged that President Maithripala Sirisena had deviated from his original mandate to restore democracy. Prof. Wijesooriya of the Sinhala Department of the University pointed out that the President had been engaged in a political project at the expense of the much-touted pledges made at presidential and parliamentary polls. more..

Rajitha wants nurses and family health workers to bury the hatchet

Jan 28 (Island) Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine (MHIM) Rajitha Senaratne has urged nurses and family health workers to set aside their differences and work in unity. Addressing the gathering at the opening of the Administrative section of the new Nurses Training School, of the National Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS), Kalutara on Tuesday (26), Dr. Senaratne said different ethnic and religious communities had to get together to develop the country. more..

Sieren's China: No bearer of grudges

Jan 28 (DW) Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena made no secret of the fact that he was looking for other partners in recent months. He showed the cold shoulder to China, which until then had been a reliable partner to the country. Immediately after being elected almost a year ago, he put a huge port project that his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa had clinched with Beijing on hold. The official justification was that the project did not meet environmental standards. more..

Live Events will pay up

Jan 28 (DM) Live Events, (the company that organised last December's controversial Enrique Iglesias concert) had agreed to settle tax payment to Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) after it was accused of not paying the correct amount, said Municipal Commissioner M.K.V. Anura. He said the CMC had decided not to file a lawsuit against Live Events though they had earlier contemplated legal action. more..

JVP concerned about Indian, Korean cultural invasion of local prime time TV

Jan 28 (Island) Prime time of local TV stations from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm had been hijacked by Korean and Indian teledramas and govt should take immediate action to change the situation for local artistes to get preference, JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa said in Parliament. What the JVP called indianisation of local channels would only facilitate India’s cultural invasion of Sri Lanka, MP said, pointing out that cheap Korean tele dramas had become a threat to local TV artistes. more..

Paranagama Commission says 40,000 figure a myth

Jan 28 (CG) Missing Persons Commission, also known as the Paranagama Commission says the figure of 40,000 civilians killed during the final weeks of the war is a myth. A statement signed by the Chairman of the Commission, Maxwell Paranagama, said that the issue of how many people were killed has been raised once again by Channel 4 presenter John Snow during a recent visit to Sri Lanka. The Commission says it has dealt extensively with the issue and all available figures more..

Yoshitha to be court martialed?

Jan 28 (DN) Speculation is rife that Lieutenant Yoshitha Rajapaksa, the second son of former President Rajapaksa would be summoned before a military court in connection with the abuse of his position in violation of the Navy Act, authoritative defence sources said. Navy conducted a full scale investigation into the charges leveled against Rajapaksa and the investigation report has already been referred to the President. more..

'Politically bankrupt trying to divide SLFP'

Jan 28 (DN) Senior President of SLFP and Minister A.H.M. Fowzie said that a group of persons who have been politically stranded are trying to divide the party by forming a new political party. He said that these persons who do not have a popular base, are trying to create rifts within SLFP using former President Rajapaksa as a cat's paw. "Such a new party will not last long," he said. He was addressing the media after calling on Mahanayake Theras of Asgiriya and Malwatte chapters more..

Bribery Commission to serve indictments against several persons

Jan 28 (DN) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption has taken steps to serve indictments against several persons, including millionaires after completing investigations into allegations of bribery and corruption received against them. Among them are several politicians, Ministry Secretaries and corporation heads and other public officers belonging to Education Health and several other sectors including the defence establishment. more..

Presidential outburst stirs post-Cabinet meeting with UNP Ministers

Jan 28 (FT) During a post-Cabinet meeting with UNP Ministers including PM, President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday vented his frustration over what he described as nothing happening. President was visibly very angry and emphatic when he had said a common claim was that nothing is happening, and people and the private sector were losing patience. Sirisena has claimed that he cannot face the people when touring the provinces as more..

Practise what you preach

Jan 28 (CT) A tense situation prevailed at the Homagama Magistrate's Court on Tuesday as a group of monks disrupted Court proceedings by protesting against the arrest of General Secretary of the BBS Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera. The Thera, however, was remanded until 9 Feb on the charge of contempt of Court and intimidating Sandya Ekneligoda inside the Courtroom. Around 200 Buddhist monks entered Court premises protesting the arrest, with some even scaling more..

Embilipitiya attack: Police probe yourself

Jan 28 (DM) Bar Association of SL has joined several other independent civic action movements in expressing it’s grave concern over what it calls the unacceptable conduct of the Police as seen in a series of recent incidents. BASL’s Rule of Law Standing Committee says the latest incident was a youth’s death where Embilipitiya Police Station officers are implicated, with their alleged conduct and behaviour unbecoming of any person in any responsible position, specially the Police. more..

New oil spill shows CPC keeps on ‘repeating mistakes’

Jan 28 (ST) In the third major oil leak in five months harming the environment, about 12,000 litres of diesel fuel from a storage tank is believed to have leaked into the Nilwala Ganga at Akuressa. The Ceylon Petrol Corporation (CPC) failed to check if the fuel depot that had the faulty tank had taken basic steps to prevent such a leak, Central Environmental Authority (CEA) Deputy Director in Matara, Susantha Wedage, said. more..

Open University to reopen shortly

Jan 28 (Island) The main campus and Colombo Study Centre of the Open University which was closed indefinitely and declared out of bounds for students recently would re-open shortly, Vice Chancellor Prof. S. A. Ariadurai said. He said that the university had been closed due to the unruly behaviour of a group of students who forcibly occupied a classroom. He said university authorities were having discussions on reopening more..

LGBTIQ rights : Taboo forever?

Jan 28 (DM) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning (LGBTIQ) or the Queer community has been a laughing stock of society for decades. Although equality is a term that has been interpreted in more or less the same way, equality on the terms of gender identity and sexual orientation still remains at a primary level. In an attempt to highlight the current status on LGBTIQ rights, we spoke to former Commissioner more..

Most Sri Lankans looking to buy property

Jan 28 (EN) About 72% of respondents to a survey were looking to buy property in Sri Lanka,, an online portal dealing in real estate said while international interest was also growing. Lamudi Sri Lanka’s Managing Director, Jafar Jafarov, commented: “Our research highlights the fact that Sri Lanka is on the right path to growth. The country’s GDP is growing; as is the amount of international interest in real estate. more..

Cabinet not decided on Anthem language

Jan 28 (DM) The Cabinet is reportedly divided over the opinion on the proposal to sing the National Anthem both in Sinhala and Tamil languages at the National Independence Day event this time, it is learnt. A committee working on national reconciliation has proposed this to the Cabinet yesterday. However, a section of the Ministers was opposed to the idea. Therefore, a final decision was not taken. more..

Time to consign the death penalty to the history books

Jan 28 (SL) The sentencing of a Sri Lankan maid in Saudi Arabia to be killed for sleeping with the wrong man was a reminder to all Sri Lankans of the terrible risks involved in having the death penalty on the statute book. Last week’s anniversary of President Maithripala Sirisena’s govt was rightly highlighted across the country. However, Jan 9 was also an anniversary of a different more grisly event. In 2013, Rizana Nafeek was more..

US notes missing in Sri Lanka at informal UNSC meeting

Jan 28 (CG) The United States discussed the issue of missing persons in Sri Lanka during an informal meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC). During a UN Security Council Arria-Formula Meeting on the Global Challenge of Accounting for Missing Persons, the Permanent Representative of the US to the UN, Samantha Power spoke about her visit to Sri Lanka and the missing persons issue. more..

PM to make statement on overseas accounts

Jan 28 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will make a statement in Parliament with regard to the revelations made by Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne on bank accounts in Dubai belonging to a former VVIP family, an MP and a head of a govt institution, which exceeded USD 3 billion. Minister Lakshman Kiriella said the PM would make a statement on the issue, when a question was raised by Chief Opposition more..

Arjuna sends letter of demand to Thilanga

Jan 28 (AM) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga has sent a letter of demand to Deputy Speaker and President of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Thilanga Sumathipala, demanding Rs 1000 million as damages to his reputation. He also informed that he will initiate legal action if the demand is not met within 14 days. The recent dispute began on January 3, when Ranatunga hit out at Sumathipala, following the latter's victory at SLC elections. more..

Gnanasara thera violates prison regulation while in remand

Jan 28 (AM) In stark violation of prison regulations, the officials of the Welikada prison had allowed more than 50 visitors to meet Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Glaagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera who is currently in remand. According to prison regulations, only three visitors are allowed to visit a suspect in custody, on a daily basis. In addition, any MP can visit the prison at any time of the day without prior approval. more..

Principle elements to be enshrined in the new constitution

Jan 28 (CT) To the Public Representation Committee on Constitutional Reform; I, A. Varatharaja Perumal, former Chief Minister of the North-East Province, humbly submit this note of my Suggestions, before the Honourable Public Representation Committee, with an honest intention of presenting it to the consideration of the makers of the new Constitution of Sri Lanka. 1. Supremacy of the Constitution; 2. Basic Principles to be Entranced in the PREAMBLE; more..

Representative democracy & constitution making

Jan 28 (CT) Sri Lanka has suffered heavily in the hands of dishonest and self-centred people who have highjacked the governance of this island nation for decades since the British rule was withdrawn in 1948. What the people have experienced since then was not a representative democracy but a pseudo democracy that provided a group of dominant individuals to thrive at public expense, particularly since the introduction of the 1978 Republican Constitution. more..


Shares snap three-session losing streak

Jan 28 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares snapped a three-session losing streak and closed marginally higher on Thursday as investors picked up some beaten-down large-cap stocks. The main stock index ended 0.05%, or 3.43 points, higher at 6,319.89, after posting its lowest close since Jan. 20 on Wednesday. The index had fallen 8.4% so far this year through Wednesday as foreign investors, unnerved by global concerns over China's economy, have cut their exposure. more..

Supreme Court moved against FCID

Jan 28 (Island) Supreme Court fixed for support on March 16, the fundamental rights violation petition filed by former Transport Minister and MP Kumara Welgama against the FCID. President’s counsel Gamini Marapana, who appeared for Welgama, told the Court that the Attorney General should study the credibility of the ‘B-Report’ filed in the Magistrate’s Court by the FCID. The Counsel said that he would submit further documents to the AG to explain the credibility of the MP. more..