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'Aluth Avurudu traces back to Naga people'

Apr 6 (DM) With the pulse and smell of New Year or Aluth Avurdu in the air, people get nostalgic about celebrations and observation of rituals. It is noteworthy, yet to throw some light on the origin of this festival and its uniqueness with the Sinhala Buddhist culture. According to Prof. Nalin de Silva who did extensive research into the astronomical and astrological aspect of Avurudu, it is very much linked with Nekath (auspicious) more..

Call to monitor ground water extraction

Apr 6 (SL) Scientists and environmentalists are to strongly urge state sector policy makers to introduce a system or regulation to monitor ground water extraction. There are fears on some firms, especially foreign organizations, exploiting the loopholes in the country. A senior scientist pointed out that there is no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) or any other assessment up to half a million liters of ground water, more..

Environmentalists join forces to protect Wilpattu

Apr 6 (Island) Environmentalists are calling for action against a powerful Cabinet Minister from the Vanni electoral District for going ahead with what they call unlawful settlements in the forest reserves in and around Wilpattu in defiance of President’s orders. Dineth Mallikarachchi, leading environmentalist, addressing journalists at a news conference organised by the National Joint Committee at the National Library Services more..

Sri Lanka lifts price control on chicken, reducing room for corruption

Apr 6 (EN) Sri Lanka has lifted price controls on whole chicken, a legacy of the ousted Rajapaksa regime, which analysts say removes one source of corruption in a third world govt. Price controls which were a part of the controlled economy up to 1977 was abandoned when the economic freedoms improved from 1978. However during the last regime, price controls returned in a wide scale under the then trade minister Bandula more..

Parliament adjourned following heated debate

Apr 6 (NR) Parliament proceedings were adjourned for the day today following a heated situation that broke out in the House over the time allocation for the JO. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the issue pertaining to time allocation was an internal matter within UPFA claiming it should be addressed internally. JO MP Dinesh Gunawardene charged that the JO was not granted adequate time to express their views. more..

Energy Mafia: LNG terminal: BOI slams moves by ministry

Apr 6 (ST) The Board of Investment (BOI) has expressed dissatisfaction over a decision by the Power and Renewable Energy Ministry to go ahead with plans to set up a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Colombo Port at what the BOI claims is a colossal cost to the Govt. Its objection comes on the basis that several BOI projects  for LNG terminals and plants were already in the pipeline. more..

Sri Lanka PC ownership dips, usage of smartphones and tabs up

Apr 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s computer literacy, the ability to operate a computer by oneself, increased slightly to 27.5% in the first half of 2016 from 26.6% YoY. Over two-thirds of the population said that they had acquired the skills at school or at university, according to the data. Higher the level of education, higher the computer literacy. Group with GCE(A/L) or above level of education shows highest computer literacy rate (71.3%). more..

Body parts taken from SAITM are not Thajudeen’s

Apr 6 (DN) A DNA report submitted by the Genetech Institution has confirmed that 26 body parts recovered from the SAITM institution in Malabe were not those of Wasim Thajudeen. When the case came up before acting Magistrate Prasad Silva, Deputy Solicitor General Dilan Ratnayake appearing for the CID informed Court that the DNA report pertaining to 26 body parts recovered from SAITM institution in Malabe more..

Navy won’t leave Vanni camps: PM

Apr 6 (Island) The govt would not remove the Navy camps at Silawathura and Mullikulam as they were necessary for curbing arms and drug and human smuggling operations, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament. In answer to a question raised by SLMC MP MHM Salman, who demanded that the removal of the Navy base at Silawathura and release of land to civilians, PM said that a Navy Base had been established more..

Nature of state repression in the seventies

Apr 6 (CT) At the outset let me express my gratitude to the comrades of the 71 Fraternity, for having invited me to express a few ideas on the Nature of State Repression in the Seventies, at the 46th Commemoration of the 1971 April Uprising. Each time we speak of the 1971 April Uprising, the topic that always comes up is that the JVP had been bent towards violence from its inception. To find answers to this, I like to pose a parallel question. That is, did the international and more..

Sri Lankan Muslim clerics ignoring reality of Muslims, reforms held hostage: MPLRAG

Apr 6 (CT) A statement signed among academics, professionals and civil society groups ( Muslim Personal Law Reforms Action Group) call on the govt to immediately take action on the issues emanating from the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act currently enforced in the Island. Statement, titled Statement; We demand accountability on MMDA reforms also calls on the Muslim Personal Law reforms committee to  release its report to the public which is due for submission in May. more..

දේශපාලනඥයින්ගේ අධිකරණයට අතපෙවීම්

Case against Dhammaloka thera; order on preliminary objection fixed for May 3

Apr 6 (DN) Colombo Additional Magistrate Dulani Amarasinghe yesterday set date for order regarding the preliminary objection raised by Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka of Alan Mathiniyaramaya Temple in Polhengoda over a private plaint filed against him for allegedly using loudspeakers in a manner of causing nuisance. Accordingly, the private plaint filed against Dhammaloka Thera fixed for May 3. The Additional Magistrate will announce her order on that date. On December 6, 2016, the Court more..

Influenza situ in SL not serious enough for a travel warning: Liyanage

Apr 6 (DM) The influenza situation in SL was not at an epidemic level to issue a travel warning preventing Qatari citizens from visiting the country, SL Ambassador to Qatar A.S.P Liyanage said. Liyanage said he had discussed the issue with Minister Rajitha Senaratne who confirmed that the influenza situation at the Peradeniya University was limited to its premises. On April 4, the Qatari Foreign Ministry urged its nationals, through its official Twitter page, not to travel to Sri Lanka due to more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

GMOA with its political agenda is fast losing public support: Rajitha

Apr 6 (Island) The Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) is scheduled to meet tomorrow to decide minimum qualifications required for studying medicine at private universities. Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne told yesterday’s Cabinet press briefing that the SLMC meeting would coincide with the strike planned by the GMOA against the SAITM awarding medical degrees. Senaratne recalled that in response to a ruling requested by SAITM in 2010, SLMC had said that there was no need more..

GMOA Terrorism

Apr 6 (CT) A few years ago a reporter asked the then High Commissioner of India to SL Alok Prasad what the status of the now seemingly discarded Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was? Prasad who was HC from 2006 to 2009 in a tongue in the cheek reply said, Don't worry. Your journalist job will be safe. There are no plans to open-up the journalism sector under CEPA. Now, CEPA has been replaced by the proposed ETCA (Economic & Technology Cooperation more..

The April Struggle

Apr 6 (Roar) It was April 9, Good Friday, 1971. Dr. Rex de Costa, a retired and decorated lieutenant colonel and a reputed medical practitioner, was at his quarters with his family in Deniyaya, down south. The day had just begun. The family probably hadn’t even sat down for breakfast. Around 9:00 a.m., shouts were heard from outside the door. A group of armed men ‒ all JVP insurgents ‒ had gathered, demanding that Dr. de Costa more..

President Sirisena, SLFP’s 2020 Presidential candidate: SB

Apr 6 (DN) The SLFP Presidential candidate for the 2020 Presidential Election is Maithripala Sirisena. The SLFP has already nominated President Maithripala Sirisena as its Presidential candidate and hopes that he would agree to the request of the party members and the supporters, Social Empowerment and Welfare Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. He said that President Sirisena had never made a promise to the people that he will not contest the 2020 Presidential Election. more..

Khuram Sheikh Murder: Appeal re-fixed for support

Apr 6 (DN) The Court of Appeal today fixed for support on September 15, the appeal filed by the Attorney General against the sentences imposed on the convicts of British aid worker Khuram Sheikh’s murder saying they were not sufficient. The bench comprised Appeal Justices Deepali Wijesundara and Lalith Jayasuriya. Four convicts; former Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath Chandrapushpa Vidanapathirana, Lahiru Kalum, Saman Deshapriya & Prageeth Chaturanga more..

MAS to open first US manufacturing facility

Apr 6 (JS) Sri Lankan apparel and fabric manufacturing conglomerate MAS Holdings is to open its first production and development centre in the US in a move designed to improve speed to market and flexibility for its customers. The facility, which will be in North Carolina, includes a pending acquisition of Asheboro-based textile manufacturer Acme-McCrary, and additional facilities in Chatham County and the Republic of Honduras. more..

Yahapalanaya: Talking point

Apr 6 (CT) A green politico, now serving as an envoy in a powerful Asian country, is stashing neat sums of cash away for his family, through his son, who's charging illegal fees and commissions from prospective investors who want to invest in the land where every prospect pleases and only man is vile. He charges US$ 200,000 to arrange a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena and the assurance of a 10% commission on all business deals in the event that prospective investor wants more..

Court order against cutting down Bo Tree in Pannipitiya

Apr 6 (AD) Supreme Court has issued a stay order preventing the RDA’s decision to cut down and remove a Bo tree located in Pannipitiya, Maharagama. The order was issued after a fundamental rights petition submitted by a group of residents in the area including a Buddhist monk, was taken up for consideration today. The petition claims that the tree is around 400 years old and that it is a sacred treasure. RDA had attempted to remove the tree as part of its road expansion project. more..

Sri Lanka's World Cup winners introduce charity to help past cricketers

Apr 6 (CB) Sri Lanka's World Cup-winning team has come forward to launch a charity to help the country's former cricketers who are struggling to make ends meet. 1996 World Champions were present in Colombo for the launch of 96 Legends Square, a 69-storey luxury apartment complex to be constructed by 2021, to celebrate 25 years of SL World Cup triumph. The project is initiated by Wills Realtors Pvt. Ltd. more..

Philippines provides USD 100,000 to rebuild Sri Lanka

Apr 6 (CG) The Got of the Philippines donated USD 100,000 to the Govt of Sri Lanka to rebuild the infrastructures affected by cyclone Roanu which caused heavy damage in May 2016. The donation was handed over by Enrique Manalo, Acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Philippines (Minister), to Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Mrs. Aruni Ranaraja, at a special ceremony held at the Department of Foreign Affairs of Philippines in Manila. more..

Duminda Silva fined Rs. 3, 000 for non-declaration of assets

Apr 6 (AM) Former MP Duminda Silva was fined Rs. 3, 000 for the non-declaration of his assets during the three years he was MP. The Bribery Commission filed the case against the former MP before the Colombo Magistrate. When the case was taken up for hearing, Duminda Silva pleaded guilty. The former MP is currently serving a death sentence for his role in the killing of MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra. He was formerly the Monitoring MP of the Ministry of Defence more..

Sirisena and Rajapaksa import brand new Jeeps using MP duty free permits

Apr 6 (CT) Both President Maithripala Sirisena and former President and MP Mahinda Rajapaksa have imported brand new jeeps using MP Duty Free Permits. President Sirisena has imported a brand new Toyota Land Cruiser on 14th Oct 2016 for USD 62.500. Total tax waived off for Sirisena’s vehicle is Rs 33,457,500.00. Former President Rajapaksa has imported a brand new Toyota Diesel more..

JO May Day rally statements misleading: UNP

Apr 6 (NR) The UNP says the Joint Opposition is misleading the public via statements regarding the May Day rally. MP Mujibur Rahman said there is no reality to the statements made by members of the Joint Opposition. MP said it is evident that the feat they claim they can achieve is impossible. MP Rahman added numerous internal issues have arisen within the JO claiming factions within the group are attempting to hold separate May Day Rallies, thereby rendering null and void more..

Moratuwa Police Chief Inspector before Panadura High Court

Apr 6 (DN) Moratuwa Police Headquarter Chief Inspector Nishantha Rodrigo arrived at the Panadura Provincial High Court to make a statement regarding the misplaced Police Information Book yesterday. The Police Information Book contained Police records of the statements made by the witnesses and the suspects regarding a murder case in Moratuwa, dated back in 1992. State Counsel Priyani Abeyardena who conducted the Prosecution on the Moratuwa Murder case more..

Video: Kandy May Day rally to remind MS he is President: SLFP

Apr 6 (DM) The main objective of holding the SLFP May Day rally at the Getambe Mahanama grounds in Kandy is to convince party leader Maithripala Sirisena that he is the president of the country, the party today. SLFP spokesperson and Minister Dilan Perera said President Maithripala Sirisena was a person who turned right after putting signals to the left. “President Sirisena, who followed leftist politics, embraced politics of the right. more..

It is a dangerous piece of legislation: GL

Apr 6 (DM) The JO said the Bill to give legal effect to the Int'l Convention to Protect All Persons from Enforced Disappearances was a dangerous piece of legislation with provisions enabling a foreign govt or an institution on behalf of it to appeal for the extradition of a Sri Lankan political leader or military leader on the ground of command responsibility. Former Minister G. L. Peiris said the Bill had been presented to Parliament on March 7 by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

TU action cannot be condoned: Health Min.

Apr 6 (DM) Ahead of the proposed strike by the GMOA, the Health Ministry said today such action could not be condoned at a time when the hospital authorities were grappling with the spread of H1N1 influenza in the country. A Ministry spokesman said there was an influx of patients down with fever at state hospitals to be diagnosed if they were hit by Dengue or H1N1, and therefore the GMOA strike was bound to inconvenience people during the festive season. more..

GMOA to go ahead with strike tomorrow

Apr 6 (DM) GMOA is to go ahead with the planned 24-hour countrywide strike tomorrow over the SAITM issue. GMOA Secretary Dr. Naveen de Zoysa said that about 150 trade unions and associations have joined hands with them to protest against the SAITM. He said all state medical officers would be refraining from engaging in services from 8 am tomorrow to 8 am on Saturday. “All medical officers including ayurvedic doctors, dental and more..

7% SL adolescents have attempted suicide

Apr 6 (DN) The report detailing the mental health of adolescents in Sri Lanka and the WHO South-East Asia Region has revealed that seven percent of adolescents aged between 13 and 17 have attempted suicide one or more times. Report also shows that 9% of adolescents have considered committing suicide. 5% of adolescents have anxiety while 9% experience loneliness. 39% adolescents have experienced bullying once or more in the past 30 days (prior to the researched date). more..

Pay hikes for judges

Apr 6 (Island) Parliament decided to increase the salaries of the Chief Justice and judges of the Supreme Court and Appeal Court.  Minister Dr Wijayadasa Rajapakshe, moving the resolution for debate, said the salaries of the judges of other courts would also be revised shortly. The resolution had no connection with the salaries of MPs. He said that there had been some media reports to the effect that the revision of salaries of judges was a measure aimed at raising the salaries of MPs. more..

Ready to take up aborted debate: Govt

Apr 6 (DM) The govt today said it is ready take up the aborted debate on the UNHRC resolution on another day. This was mentioned by Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapaksshe at a joint press conference he held with Chief Govt Whip Gayantha Karunatilake last afternoon. “We are ready to hold the debate on another day but the joint opposition has to resolve the issue on time allocations with UPFA leadership,” he said. more..

Avurudu Sale of Sri Lanka: Who will stop it?

Apr 7 (CT) A country usually rolls out the red carpet for a visiting foreign dignitary but can a country turn into a carpet? Well, ours just did. We live in a time and a country in which a visiting celebrity from India can think nothing of openly criticizing and cautioning us against our old friend China while speaking at the launch of a biography of Sri Lankan PM, with the said PM and the President in the audience. “Congress MP and former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor flagged India’s concerns over more..

Depression- Let’s Talk

Apr 7 (CT) World Health Day is celebrated every year on the 7th of April and marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organisation (WHO). WHO has chosen the theme Depression: let’s talk to celebrate World Health Day this year. Rationale for choosing this theme is due to the rising number of people living with depression across the world but a significantly low number of people coming forward seeking help. This is despite depression being a treatable illness. more..

Dr. Shashi Tharoor talks India way for SL

Apr 7 (FT) It is presumptuous for a second-term MP to congratulate a fourth-term PM, but I am emboldened by Ranil Wickremesinghe’s own graciousness and generosity to me. At one level, it can be claimed that nothing could be easier than speaking about India-Sri Lanka relations. After all, Sri Lanka is India’s closest neighbor, and the relationship between our two countries is more than 2500 years old. more..


Apr 7 (NS) To give the devil his due, Wimal Weerawansa is a human headline. You may not agree with his politics and you may not like his cantankerous personality, but you have to concede that he is never out of the news. Whenever you thought that he will be silent for a while and that it is safe to read your newspaper or watch the news on television, there he is – again! Except that, at times, what he does is downright daft. This time, he is staging a fast unto death. more..