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Jonny sacked: SLFP reshuffles Kurunegala

Apr 12 (CT) The SLFP yesterday made some dramatic changes in its Kurunegala District party hierarchical order. UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said, that he believed the move as replacing the inefficient and the hated with the efficient and popular, which was a segment of the Party revamping strategy. Kurunegala District MP Johnston Fernando has been removed from the post of SLFP Organizer for Nikaweratiya. more..

SriLankan and JAL expand codeshare

Apr 12 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines is strengthening its presence in the Japanese travel market with the expansion of its codeshare agreement with oneworld alliance partner Japan Airlines (JAL). The agreement would introduce six new routes and provide passengers with connectivity on 84 flights a week between Japan and South Asia. The six new routes, subject to approvals, are: Narita/ Bangkok, Narita/ Singapore, Narita/ Kuala Lumpur, Haneda/ Bangkok, Haneda/S'pore, Narita/New Delhi more..

Rashid Khan is a special talent: Murali

Apr 12 (PTI) SL spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan, who is bowling coach of Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday lavished praise on rookie Afghanistan leg spinner Rashid Khan terming him a special talent. Rashid has already taken five wickets in two matches including 3/19 against Gujarat Lions in the second game. "I have seen (Rashid) only for a couple of days. We choose him because we saw him playing international cricket and bowling well against quality batsmen," he said. more..

President push reconciliation in New Year

Apr 12 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena has urged Sri Lankans to use the traditional New Year as a turning point to usher ethnic reconciliation and ensure peaceful coexistence. Sirisena, who came to power on a pledge to ensure accountability for war crimes said to have been committed under his predecessor, said the new year shared by both the Sinhalese and Tamil communities should help unite them. more..

Lover lops cop's sex organ after two-timing

Apr 12 (EN) A 30-year-old police constable had his penis completely severed by his enraged lover who had suspected him of having an affair with another woman, police and hospital sources said. The policeman attached to the Minneriya police was rushed to the local hospital where doctors tried to re-attached the penis, but given the complexity of the procedure, he was brought to the National Hospital in Colombo. A large meat cleaver had been used to separate the cop from his organ. more..

CFW showcases Colombo as emerging fashion capital

Apr 12 (Island) Colombo Fashion Week ( CFW) and the HSBC team ensured the event concerned was one of grandeur and glamour. Managing Director CFW Ajai Vir Singh with Director CFW Dirk Flamer Caldera literally had the fashion world in Colombo on their toes portraying designs, and creativity of Colombo based designers. At the press conference, two weeks before the show took to the boards, main sponsor, HSBC CEO for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Mark Prothero said more..

Health Minister accuses GMOA of trying to bring back Rajapaksa to power

Apr 12 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne accused the GMOA of making various statements in a bid to bring back former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to power. He said that according to claims made by the GMOA they had received the power to make such statements from God Natha. That was why the GMOA was resorting to strikes making the SAITM an excuse. The union aimed to topple the govt, Health Minister alleged. more..

'Truth Commission will be set up soon'

Apr 12 (DM) Govt will be in a position to set up the Truth Commission soon and to gazette the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) under a selected ministry, Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva said. He said reconciliation was not an easy task but assured the Govt would go ahead despite obstacles by racists and those with petty political agendas. “We are moving ahead as fast as we can to achieve reconciliation. As a sovereign country & people, we have taken steps within a democratic setting,” more..

SLMC insists – A/L Bio 2C,1S a must

Apr 12 (DM) The minimum qualification for student admission to a Government or Private medical college should be at least two credit passes and an Ordinary pass ( C 2, S 1) in the biology stream at the GCE (A/L), according to the minimum standards prepared by the Sri Lanka Medical Council stated. A spokesman of the SLMC said the above minimum qualifications had been prescribed by the council in 2011 and that no change had been made in those qualifications. more..

SAITM says willing to corporate on govt proposals

Apr 12 (FT) SAITM said yesterday it would abide by the laws of the country and extend its fullest cooperation to the Govt in order to formalise a just and expeditious solution for its MBBS students subject to Court proceedings. “SAITM will also extend its fullest support to the Govt’s efforts in maintaining quality and standards in medical education of Sri Lanka,” SAITM Chairman Dr. Neville Fernando said in a statement. more..

All my hat-tricks are special, I worked hard for them: Lasith Malinga

Apr 12 (DC) Lasith Malinga has lost the count on the number of hat-tricks he has grabbed in international cricket. The 33-year-old pacer took yet another international hat-trick during the second SL-Bangladesh T20 Int'l. "Hmmm…Is it four or five? It is five," said Malinga, who has arrived in Mumbai for the IPL season. "I have a double hat-trick against South Africa, and one hat-trick each against Australia, Kenya and Bangladesh. So my tally is five, one more than Wasim Akram,” he said. more..

'PM, many ministers are non-performers'

Apr 12 (Island) Socialist Alliance member Jayoda de Sllva flayed govt calling PM Wickremesinghe and Ministers surrounding him non-performers. de Silva said the unity govt had failed to make good on its promises even after two years in office and it still kept making bogus promises. The leftist alleged that PM and his colleagues did not feel for the ordinary masses struggling to make ends meet. "People will not be able to celebrate this Sinhala/Tamil New Year owing to financial difficulties, more..

Foreign Exchange Bill taken to Court

Apr 12 (FT) A public interest litigation lawyer filed petition for the Special Determination of SC challenging the Bill titled Foreign Exchange, 2017. Petitioner Dharshana Weraduwage alleges that certain Clauses of the said Bill are drafted to enable Finance Minister to have an upper hand and/or unwarranted control over the affairs, powers and/or duties of Central Bank and to negate the entrenched provisions of the Monetary Law Act. more..

Happy New Year! In Sri Lanka, a time to celebrate many things – and to think

Apr 12 (WB) Happy New Year to all our Sri Lankan friends and colleagues celebrating the Sinhala and Tamil New Year this month; and Happy Easter to those celebrating it. This is my first opportunity to celebrate these various holidays in my adopted country. I love the energy, the buzz of excitement everywhere and the decorations coming up in many of the commercial districts. I have been asking so many questions about the importance of the New Year holiday; and at the same time more..

Customs seize illegally imported tobacco powder, beedi leaves

Apr 12 (AD) Around 30,000 small vials containing tobacco powder (snuff) and over 2,000 beedi leaves, illegally imported to the country, have been seized by customs officers. SL Customs spokesman Dharmasena Kahandawa stated that the detection was made upon inspecting 61 packages which had arrived from the Chennai Harbour in India.  He stated that the tobacco powder and beedi leaves were declared as fabrics to the customs and imported by a businessman from Pettah. more..

PM emphasizes no Sri Lankan harbour will be given for foreign military purposes

Apr 12 (ITN) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe has emphatically mentioned that not a single port in SL will be given for military purposes of foreign countries. He declared that the security responsibilities of the harbours in SL are vested only with SL Navy. PM emphasized that SL would be dedicated with responsibilities for regional peace and security. PM laid emphasis on these matters at a leading investment business conference. more..

ADB says further monetary tightening by CB cannot be ruled out

Apr 12 (DM) Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently said it could not rule out further tightening of the monetary policy by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka during this year to fend off any adverse developments in the economy. ADB’s remarks on the country’s monetary policy comes just two weeks after the Central Bank raised its key policy rates by a quarter of a percentage to 8.75% to guard against the potential inflationary pressures, which hit almost four-year highs in March. more..

Govt’s revenue from liquor, cigarettes down for the first time: President

Apr 12 (AD) President Sirisena says that for the first time in the country’s history, the revenue collected by the govt from the taxes imposed on liquor and cigarettes has gone down.  He stated that the programme initiated by the govt to save the future generations form the drug menace, is showing good results. He said that three weeks ago the Treasury had reported to the Cabinet that the govt’s revenue from taxes on liquor and cigarettes has reduced sharply for the first time in history.  more..

Prez in pow-wow with civil society: Reaffirms commitment to abolishing presidency

Apr 12 (Island) Civil society groups are planning to intensify their campaign in support of constitutional reforms including the abolition of executive presidency. Co-convenor of Purawesi Balaya Gamini Viyangoda said that they would launch a campaign at the village level after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Viyangoda emphasised that the abolition of the executive presidency was on top of their agenda and more..

Use space research for the common good of all

Apr 12 (DM) Today is the International Day of Human Space Flight celebrating the beginning of the space era for the people. The United Nations General Assembly, in a 2011 resolution declared April 12 as the International Day of Human Space Flight. The aim is to celebrate each year at international level the beginning of the space era for the people, reaffirming the important contribution of space science and technology in achieving sustainable development goals and more..

Wijeweera and Prabhakaran: Two sides of the same coin

Apr 12 (DM) Rohana Wijeweera was a remarkable man. At the height of the cold war in the international arena, when the USA was in constant confrontation with the then Soviet Union (USSR) in every possible global forum, Wijeweera played his logical role as the leader of the first revolutionary political party in post-Independence Sri Lanka. The JVP, which Wijeweera started as a cellish-organisation driven by indoctrination-oriented transformation of the minds and political thinking of the rural youth in SL more..

Parliament Mafia: A hobby-turned-perk for all ministers?

Apr 12 (DM) Recently the govt sought Parliament approval for spending a total of Rs.288.2 million in order to purchase vehicles for several ministers, deputy ministers and state ministers. According to a report submitted in view of these supplementary allocations, it states that the supplementary provision does not change the approved total expenditure limits of the annual estimate by Parliament. more..

Video: JVP to oppose move to impose tax on EPF and ETF

Apr 12 (AD) No room should be given for the govt to impose a tax on the EPF and ETF, JVP stresses. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the workforce must be given the privilege to enjoy the benefits of these funds in which they invested after years of work. “The govt is currently eyeing to impose a 14% tax on these funds,” he pointed out. Dissanayake however vowed to take possible measures in a bid to prevent govt more..

Judicial appointment in turmoil

Apr 12 (SL) The Sri Lankan judicial system, which is a fusion of English Common Law, Roman-Dutch Civil Law and Customary Law is considered the last resort of the common man to peruse their grievances. As such, everyone alike holds the SL court system highly as the apex of justice. Judicial appointments to SL’s judiciary hold a prominent and important place. As an independent arm, its appointments are highly anticipated more..

Multi-prong probe into white van abduction

Apr 12 (Island) Police have commenced a multipronged investigation into Sunday’s abduction of a businessman in a white van at Ipalogama in Kekirawa. A special police team was scrutinizing the details of records of the victim’s mobile phone while fingerprint specialists and others were probing the incident from other angles, police said. The businessman, Ajantha Biyagama (38), was abducted in a white van by a group of armed more..

Opportunity to provide appeals and suggestions regarding harassed journos

Apr 12 (DM) The Cabinet Sub Committee on granting measures of relief to media persons who were subjected to various harassment and oppression during the period 2005 — 2015,announced that it would once again provide the opportunity to persons and organizations to make appeals and submissions to it. A notice by the committee stated that it had decided to expand its recommendations and thus provide more..

Constitutional reforms: Courts to be allowed to decide on referendum

Apr 12 (DN) A member of the Steering Committee said the priority has been given to agree on the substance of the Constitutional reforms and present the draft report before the Constitutional Assembly. “Whether it would be a new Constitution or an Amendment will be decided later,” he said. However, it is learnt that President and PM in a meeting with the Steering Committee members recently had expressed that more..

New Year sales drop by 40%: AIEC

Apr 12 (DM) New Year sales have dropped by 40% when compared with last year because of the reduced purchasing power of the people, says Hemaka Fernando, the spokesman for the Association of Importers of Essential Commodities (AIEC). He said the drop could be seen in the sales of both clothing and food items and pointed out that there was a dwindling in the sale of potatoes and big onions. more..

No deficit of drugs to treat influenza: Rajitha

Apr 12 (NR) Ministry of Health has refuted charges of a deficit of the Oseltamivir drug used to treat patients who have contracted the Influenza virus. In a statement the Ministry said Sri Lanka has imported sufficient quantities of the drug. A demand for medication has increased 15 times in the past several weeks due to the rapid spread of the Influenza across the country. The excess demand was met through stocks more..

Warring GMOA to its guns

Apr 12 (Island) The GMOA said it was not agreeable to the govt proposals by way of a solution to the SAITM issue. GMOA Secretary Dr Naveen D. Zoysa his union would not accept the govt proposal to take over the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) while SAITM continued to function as a private institute. "We cannot allow the use of a hospital functioning with public funds to be used by a private organisation," he said. more..

Opposition ferments against Mendis distillery

Apr 12 (ST) Resistance is growing in the East to W.M. Mendis’s proposed ethyl alcohol plant, approved by Finance Ministry within 18 months of Maithripala Sirisena winning the presidency, on a platform that decried, among other things, the ethanol mafia. Batticaloa District Coordinating Committee met on March 27 and resolved to oppose the project. Members wanted it removed from the Batticaloa District; addressed a memorandum more..

Ranil’s worst betrayal: Giving Trinco to India

Apr 13 (CT) PM Wickremesinghe is about to give Trincomalee to the Indians—and by this (upcoming) Vesak! According to the Political Column of a respected English-language Sunday paper, he rejected the mild concerns of two SLFP Ministers, derisively addressing the pair in Sinhala as “Oi!” at the last Cabinet meeting. The imminent ceding of strategic Trincomalee is summarized by Meera Srinivasan in The Hindu:  “India and Sri Lanka have, in principle, agreed to jointly operate more..

Editorial: Another New Year

Apr 13 (Island) Another Sinhala-Tamil New Year will dawn shortly. People are getting ready to celebrate it on a grand scale in spite of their pecuniary difficulties. Funds have been either earned or begged or borrowed for the national festival which usually last for days. The past couple of weeks have seen a shopping spree; left with little money to tide them over for the next few weeks, people will soon start whining and cursing governments, both past & present, for their straitened circumstances. more..

Homemaker’s Avurudda

Apr 13 (Island) Kamala gazed at the house in front of which the cab came to a halt. She was looking at it from the rear seat of the car that she had hired from the airport taxi stand early that morning on her return from Kuwait, five long years after her last visit home. Kamala momentarily wondered whether cab driver had misunderstood her directions and stopped at the wrong address. But no, he hadn’t made a mistake, she quickly realized. more..

Call of the season

Apr 13 (DN) Dawn of the Sinhala Hindu New Year is the most welcome news to both Buddhists and Hindus in Sri Lanka. It is a delightful event of historic and cultural significance. It has been given pride of place in the annual calendar. In short it is the most significant of the annual events organized and celebrated by the two communities. The role played by the New Year has come down the annals of history reviving the islands cultural heritage. History records that this national event more..

Spring is in the air

Apr 13 (DN) Isn’t it strange that many years ago, in a far off land, a poet called Chaucer wrote these famous lines in his Canterbury Tales Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote/The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote, capturing the very essence of what we are experiencing at this very moment, in our island nation in the 21st century. The heat of March is thankfully over. For most of us, the best days of our lives lie ahead; Sunshine and more..

'Minorities’ frustration a powder keg'

Apr 13 (CT) Certain factions in the govt are creating extremists and fuelling the fire of racial and religious discord, said SLFP MP Vidura Wickremanayake. He noted that the minorities of the country are frustrated by these actions and are being pushed against the wall. The people of Sri Lanka do not have the right to practice their religion or culture as enshrined in the Constitution, he said, more..

Yahapalanaya: Lunacy, Idiocy or Plain Hubris?

Apr 13 (Island) When absolute virtue is your launching pad, there is no way but down thereafter and that has been the sad story of the Yahapalanaya regime from its laboured birth. Yahapalanaya is a collage of intrinsically incompatible points of view and an uneasy cohabitation between groups and individuals who would not, normally, bed with each other. Given its current state of incompetence and paucity of achievement, the union between a mare and more..

Kuwait to provide additional loan for Kalu Ganga development project

Apr 13 (LBO) The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAD) will provide an additional concessional loan of Kuwait Dinar 5 million (16.5 million dollars) for the Kalu Ganga Development Project. The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment with the financial assistance of Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAD) and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID). more..

Trincomalee Oil Tank Issue