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India sends water, rice as Sri Lanka faces severe drought

Apr 10 (ENS) With Sri Lanka staring at one of the worst droughts in the last four decades, India has provided an emergency assistance of water and rice to the Island country. The govt has already handed over eight water bowsers to Sri Lankan authorities and the consignment of rice would be delivered soon. “In response to a request from the Govt of SL for drought relief assistance, Govt of India has announced the decision to provide 8 water bowsers and 100 metric tonnes of rice to Sri Lanka. more..

Heat wave: Be cautious on dehydration: CNH

Apr 10 (DM) The high temperature in the island may affect the children and the elderly people causing dehydration, the Colombo National Hospital (CNH) warned today. The prevailing heat had affected people severely causing many health issues, especially skin diseases and eye diseases. When contacted, CNH Deputy Director Dr. Samindi Samarakoon said that people should take a lot of fluids to prevent dehydration. She also advised people to avoid exposure to direct sunlight. more..

Hambantota port ball now in SL's court: Malik

Apr 10 (CT) SL Govt is likely to seal the deal with China, on the Hambantota Port, by the end of April, Minister Malik Samarawickrema said. He added, The delay is on our side and the ball is in our court. He said that the delay in signing the strategic investment deal with China was due to Sri Lanka having to decide what could be agreed upon. He asserted that there was no pressure at all from Chinese Govt to proceed with the agreement more..

The US missile strike on Syria

Apr 10 (DM) On Thursday, US President Donald Trump ordered US warships in Persian Gulf to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a scarcely used Syrian airbase in Idlib from which Syrian warplanes purportedly carried out chemical attacks which killed numbers of civilians including children. Charges of past chemical attacks against the Syrian people by the Bashar al-Assad regime led to past US President Obama to draw a redline threatening military response in the event of a chemical more..

Wanted: Presidential Commission on GMOA

Apr 10 (DM) These views are aimed at addressing public interest issues affecting the socio-economic development of Sri Lanka. Becoming an hub for education in South Asia -although belatedly- can help Sri Lanka earn billions of dollars in foreign exchange, through enrollment of foreign students in Law, Medicine, Agriculture, Information Technology, Engineering, Accounting, Business Management and Marketing to name a few. Adding new courses can also contribute towards upgrading the more..

'Difference of opinion among the rulers'

Apr 10 (DM) There are many who foresee an explosion of the govt close at hand. Minister Champika Ranawaka deals with this matter and other allied crucial subjects. Q: However much you all attempt to hide the disagreements within the govt, it is now clear these attempts were in vain. How do you respond to this? A: There is no dispute within the govt, there is only a difference of opinion on the issues. With the present freedom of Media, more..

Navy accused of concealing evidence

Apr 10 (SL) Sri Lanka Navy is once again exposed for their involvement in abducting Tamils to collect ransom and the present Navy Commander for concealing evidence. Despite of President Sirisena’s assurance that he will not protect those found guilty of acts that are not connected to national security but involved in killing media personnel, sportsmen and the civilians, Navy Commander Ravindra Wijegunaratne more..

Yah(m)palanaya or Y(w)ahapalanaya?!

Apr 10 (CT) Hot on the heels of the govt messing up with the UN by agreeing to co-sponsor the UN resolution with the US which was extensively debated in this column just last Monday, then comes another a piece of dangerous legislation which is already tabled in the House of Parliament. That is a Bill which is aimed at punishing the heroic members of the Armed Forces who successfully and at great sacrifice and zealous & passionate more..

Dousing a mega ship fire

Apr 10 (CT) Navy spokesman Lieutenant Commander Chaminda Walakuluge talks to Ceylon Today on how the fire aboard the container vessel MV Daniela which broke out on Tuesday morning, was jointly doused by the Navy, SLPA and the Indian Coast Guard vessel It was on Tuesday (4), Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRCC) Colombo, had received a fire distress call from the local agent of MSC Daniela as the vessel more..

Rajitha promises to reveal all killings, corruption and frauds during MR govt

Apr 10 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne has warned the JO that information pertaining to all killings, corruption and fraud perpetrated by the previous Rajapaksa administration would be revealed within the next couple of months. Dr. Senaratne, who was a Cabinet minister of the Rajapaksa govt switched his allegiance to the UNP in Dec. 2014 in the wake of Maithripala Sirisena, who decamped to challenge Prez Rajapaksa more..

Poaching crisis: Lanka expresses its displeasure at India’s failure

Apr 10 (ST) Sri Lanka has expressed disappointment over the failure by the Indian authorities to honour the pledges made at the last round of joint Indo-Lanka talks on the fisheries issue. Fisheries Ministry Secretary Rani Adhikari, who headed SL delegation at the talks held on Friday in Colombo, said she requested the Indian delegation to implement the agreement reached during the previous round of talks to increase patrolling more..

Hambantota Port deal amended again

Apr 10 (DM) Cabinet Sub Committee appointed to work out guidelines for leasing out the Hambantota Port, had taken up for consideration, among others, a proposal to reduce the lease term from 99 years to 50 years, it is learnt. Committee headed by Minister Sarath Amunugama met last week. There were a number of proposals put forward to the committee seeking to amend the original draft of the agreement to hand over more..

More than 50% inmates are mere suspects!

Apr 10 (Island) More than half of the persons held in prisons throughout the country were not convicts reveals a task force appointed by the Cabinet to find solutions for the problem of overcrowding of prisons. Prison data reveal that there are currently 9,552 unconvicted persons in remand custody and they constitute more 52% of the total prison population. It is an unnecessary contributor to overcrowding, says a report of more..

'Even those who pass GCE A/L end up as trishaw drivers'

Apr 10 (Island) Some youth who scored top marks at the GCE A/L examination end up as three-wheeler drivers owing to lack of career guidance and shortcomings in the education system, says State Minister Ravindra Samaraweera. He said: "Many people say that there are no jobs or there is a lack of job opportunities in the country. The truth is that we do not produce people with skills for the available jobs. more..

GMOA has no right to interfere in SAITM issue: Kiriella

Apr 10 (DM) Minister Lakshman Kirella criticized the GMOA saying it had no right to interfere in Sri Lanka’s medical education. He said that the matter connected to the provisional registration of medical graduates, who passed out from SAITM would be addressed by the govt in consultation with the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). He said the GMOA was merely a trade union and had no right to interfere in this matter and more..

To SAITM or not to SAITM: Is that the question?

Apr 11 (CT) For some it appears so. For any of them who are rational, it must instead be: can medical education be provided by the private sector? After all, SAITM also awards other degrees as a UGC recognized higher education institution. Many of the arguments for abolishing SAITM are actually calls for reversing some 25 years of private tertiary education in Sri Lanka! The issue has been so politicized, that for the uninitiated, the issue actually is: what is the question? more..

Sri Lanka must NOW begin the task of filing charges & establishing a hybrid court

Apr 11 (CT) In the wake of a hybrid judicial mechanism being rejected outright by Sri Lanka, this article digs in, regardless of its unconscionable behavior, to examining what SL must do NOW, the obligations the country promised to deliver and its blatant duplicity, the Council’s missed opportunity in Geneva and what should have been the outcome of the 34th session as a result of Sri Lanka’s wilful non-compliance and to exploring the avenues for justice available for Tamils. more..

New Inland Revenue Act hits a sang : President calls for discussion

Apr 11 (SO) The need for having discussions on the proposed Inland Revenue Act was highlighted at the Inland Revenue Department AGM held last week. President Sirisena, who was present at the meeting said, he is aware of the shortcomings in the proposed Act, and that it should be discussed with all stakeholders and sorted out. Commissioners of the Inland Revenue Department however criticized the proposed Act saying that it only fulfils more..

Balance of payments difficulties reflect structural weaknesses

Apr 11 (ST) The current crisis in the balance of payments and the low external reserves of the country are symptomatic of fundamental weaknesses in the structure and performance of the economy over a period of time. Balance of payments (BOP) crises will continue to recur if bold decisions are not taken to remedy the fundamental weaknesses in the economy. Although the BOP deficit of US$500 million (499.7 million) in 2016 was appreciably lower than the 2015 BOP deficit more..

It is the media stupid

Apr 11 (ST) Politicians and others in search of a scapegoat to cover their blatant abuse of power, privilege and deplorable conduct find the media a convenient peg on which to hang their dirty linen. This is not a recent phenomenon. But it is increasingly becoming a major tool in today’s blame game. Nor is it a game played only in Sri Lanka by decrepit and fading politicians, ambitious young bucks and lacklustre individuals who find the greatness thrust upon them sits uneasily on more..

'Rajapaksa sought advice from McGuinness'

Apr 11 (CT) Indika Perera, attorney at law and the former Director – Programme for Initiative for Political and Conflict Transformation (INPACT) spoke about Martin McGuinness, the legendary Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) leader, who passed away a few weeks ago, and his involvement in the Sri Lankan peace process. In the first months of Mahinda Rajapaksa's tenure as President, Perera who played a key role more..

A shameless trade union

Apr 11 (NS) This Friday, the trade union of the majority of doctors in govt hospitals, the GMOA staged an island-wide strike protesting against the SAITM being granted recognition. The propaganda war is in full force. GMOA claims the strike was a huge success. It accuses the govt of dragging its feet over the SAITM issue and colluding with that institution to enable it to gain recognition, without subscribing to the minimum standards set out by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). more..

SLFP & SLPP: Enemies, rivals or allies?

Apr 11 (Island) UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is mightily helped by the confusion in the ranks of the SLFP and Oppositional forces in general. SLFP voters and the broader constituency of non-UNP (or non-hardcore UNP) voters are being sent three messages, all of which are wrong. The three messages come, NOT from Mahinda Rajapaksa but from President Sirisena, ex-president Kumaratunga and architect-strategist of breakaway SL Podujana Peramuna, Basil Rajapaksa. more..

දියවන්නා ඔයේ බෝට්ටු සවාරිය

Reconciliation incomplete without understanding

Apr 11 (NS) Thirty years of war and the eight years that followed the end of fighting has resulted in the biggest challenge for SL in the form of reconciliation. Yes, it is the most commonly used terminology in the post war scenario, but achieving it is no easy task. Over the years, many programmes and plans were proposed, discussed, and implemented in order to ensure that the country does not go back into the darkness it was a few years ago. One key aspect which was discussed was reconciliation. more..

Sri Lanka’s Most Valuable Brands to be released this week

Apr 11 (FT) The publisher of leading business magazine LMD, Media Services, has announced that the 2017 special edition of the Brands Annual will be released to supermarkets and bookstores later this week. Published in collaboration with the UK-based Brand Finance, the all-encompassing special issue features Sri Lanka’s most valuable brands, in addition to the most loved brands in the country and leaders in other categories such as conglomerates, exporters and multinationals.  more..

Who should deal with the human-elephant conflict?

Apr 11 (roar) It was 2:30 a.m., in rural Anuradhapura, when M. Dharmasena woke to the sound of his wife’s piercing screams. Before he could react, a deafening roar of brick and glass drowned her out, as a young male elephant bulldozed the side of his house. The elderly farmer, along with his wife and two children, was lucky to escape unscathed. But the encounter left their house destroyed, & to make matters worse, more..

Editorial: Terror, doves and flowers

Apr 11 (Island) The Swedish police have confirmed that the man who carried out a truck attack in Stockholm, the other day, killing four persons, has had links to extremist groups including the ISIS. He went underground after being denied asylum in 2014, police have said. There must be many more brainwashed terrorist cadres in sleeper cells in Stockholm and other parts of Sweden, and the daunting task before Swedish authorities is to find them out. People have been laying flowers more..

Foreign buying boosts Bourse

Apr 11 (FT) After many months of pessimism, the Colombo stock market has shown signs of positivism spurred by heavy foreign buying boosting overall sentiment. As of Friday, both price indices were up year-to-date - All Share Index by 1.04% and the more active S&P SL Index by 2.5% after being negative during most of the first quarter. More importantly, foreign buying has accelerated, thereby swinging interest back into the market and boosting sentiment as confirmed by a near 4% gain more..

SL going through a slow death at the hands of corrupt and power hungry politicians

Apr 11 (NS) The much hyped Cabinet reshuffle has been postponed indefinitely, because the two major parties in the govt, the UNP and SLFP, failed to come to an agreement. Contemporary SL politics has become a gigantic swindle perpetrated by many of the people, elected by the people and supposedly for the people. But they are anything but for the people who are beginning to recognize the bitter reality that more..

Go-slow campaign by SAGT workers over Avurudu bonus hits Colombo Port

Apr 11 (FT) The prevailing go-slow campaign by workers at the South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) due to a dispute over their Avurudu bonus has affected Port of Colombo operations, with some ships bypassing it. “Since last Tuesday operations at the terminal have been slower than normal. We have been advised that the workers are disgruntled about the annual bonus,” SAGT CEO said. The bonus has been paid in accordance with the Collective Agreement which was reached more..

‘New insurance regulations pose challenges to companies’

Apr 11 (DN) Matthew Maguire, Partner Two of NMG Consulting said that recent changes in the SL regulatory landscape have resulted in companies having to think more strategically about their underlying business, and the consequences from a risk based perspective. Speaking at the NMG Consulting networking reception for its clients to celebrate its 25th anniversary, he said that this has led to a step change in the ways companies approach their business. more..

President joins redemption of vow at Sorivila Devalaya

Apr 11 (PSL) The ritual organized to redeem the vow made on the 24th of Dec 2016 by the Mahaweli farmers under the auspices of President at the Sorivila Devalaya in Dimbulagala for receiving showers, ending the drought weather condition, having bountiful of harvest, and making Pulathisi Puraya more prosperous was held at the Sorivila Devalaya premises in Dimbulagala under the purview of the Mahaweli Authority today (9). more..

Bertie Wijesinghe’s funeral on Wednesday

Apr 11 (Island) The funeral of late Bertie Wijesinghe will take place at Kanatta on Wednesday. Wijesinghe, the oldest Sri Lankan cricketer passed away on Saturday at the age of 96. He coached generations of SL cricketers both at S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia and Trinity College, Kandy. Former captain Anura Tennekoon was coached by him and more recently Kumar Sangakkara benefited by his coaching. Late Mr. Wijesinghe also taught English and Latin at Trinity. more..

SL cling on for draw in U19 series-opener

Apr 11 (cau) Australia Under-19s have been denied victory despite a valiant final-day bowling effort in their series-opening match against Sri Lanka U19s at Kingston's Twin Ovals. Setting the visitors 268 to win from nearly two sessions, Australia made steady inroads but fell three wickets short of a win in the only red-ball match of the six-game series in Hobart.  Fast-bowler Ryan Hadley did best for the hosts, picking up 4-41 from 12 overs to take his match haul to 5-72. more..

JO wants fresh date for war crimes debate

Apr 11 (Island) Joint Opposition intends to seek a parliamentary debate on Geneva Resolution which seeks to establish a hybrid war crimes tribunal. JO leader Dinesh Gunawardena, said that his outfit would certainly push for a full day debate next month as the one scheduled for April 6 couldn’t take place. JO, loyal to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, comprises 52 members of parliament elected on the UPFA ticket. more..

Rs. 600 million cars for vehicle crazy Prez

Apr 11 (LT) Two Mercedes Benz S 600 (Customized Limited Edition) cars valued at Rs. 574,270,099 have been bought for the use of the President say reports. The Secretary to the President has made a request to Customs for a tax relief for the two cars that have been unloaded in the port (Chassis No. WDD2229762A295414 WDD2229762A295805). The two vehicles have been custom-built to meet security needs and cost a lot more than normal vehicles of the same range. more..

'Recent Treasury Bond auction above board'

Apr 11 (DN) Central Bank (CB) clarifying its position on misinterpretations reported by certain electronic media in relation to the recent auction of Treasury Bonds held on April 4 said it has maintained the best market practices of limiting the acceptances to the offered amount in aggregate terms in the primary issuance of govt securities. The auction was announced to issue Rs. 11.5 billion of Treasury bonds under three maturities viz. 4 years 8 months, 6 years 9 months and 9 years 4 months more..

White vans roaming again

Apr 11 (CT) An unidentified group, disguised as Police officers, who had arrived in a white van, had abducted a 38-year-old father of two from Ipalogama in Punchikulama on Sunday night. This was stated in a complaint lodged at the Ipalogama Police by the abducted individual's wife. The abducted individual named Ajantha Biyagama, a businessman, had been a private security officer to several MPs from the Anuradhapura District more..

SriLankan Cargo tasked with raising one fifth of airline’s revenue

Apr 11 (Island) Sri Lankan Cargo is tasked with raising its current business volume which accounts for 11% of the total revenue of the Airline to 15-20%, and make nearly one-fifth of the total earnings of the Airline in the near to mid term. After SriLankan Airlines dropped its European flight routes last winter followed by changes in flight schedules, SriLankan Cargo faced a dip in its revenue earned from its cargo lift. Against this backdrop SriLankan Cargo authorities are looking more..