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Video: Lankan woman in US wins a car by kissing it for 50 hours

Apr 20 (Fox) A 30-year-old Austin woman won a new car Wednesday by keeping her lips locked on it for 50 hours. Dilini Jayasuriya got the keys to a 2017 Kia Optima LX after winning a drawing that included the six other people who had finished the Kiss a Kia contest held by 96.7 KISS FM radio at Southwest Kia in Round Rock. Jayasuriya, who is married and works in a state health lab, is a native of Sri Lanka. She said she and her husband were sharing one car since since she had to give up more..

Champika, Isura continue blame game: JO

Apr 20 (DM) The Joint Opposition (JO) said Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya and Minister Champika Ranawaka kept dragging in finding solutions to the Meethotamulla garbage issue by always disagreeing with each other and even today they are continuing the blame game. MP Gamini Lokuge said they too attended some of the meetings held to discuss the issue but the meetings always ended without any outcome as the CM and the Minister couldn’t come to an agreement. more..

Modi to discuss Trinco oil tank farm

Apr 20 (DM) Indian PM Narendra Modi is to have bilateral discussions with the Lankan leaders on the sidelines of UN Vesak Day celebrations here, on matters of mutual interests and concern, including the proposal for joint development of the oil tank farm in Trincomalee.  Mr. Modi will arrive in the country on May 12 on a two-day visit in view of the UN Vesak Day Celebrations in the country. This is his second visit to SL during his tenure. more..

Non-white lives do matter Mr. Trump

Apr 20 (DM) On Thursday April 6, US President Trump ordered US warships in the Persian Gulf to launch a unilateral and totally unexpected cruise missile strike on a Syrian airbase in Idlib in retaliation for Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons in the rebel-held province. The attack was undertaken without consulting Russia – a major player in the Syrian civil war.   Daily Mirror in its editorial on April 10, said, The attack on Syria did not make the world a safer place… more..

Dump, dumber, dumbest

Apr 20 (DM) The collapsing of the over 90 meter high, 25 million tonne waste dump in Meethotamulla, Kolonnawa, marks the darkest Sinhala-Hindu New Year in Post-Independent Sri Lanka, which had left around 145 slum dwellings in the vicinity damaged, over 600 people including children displaced and 26 people reported killed. This tragedy has been in the making for over eight years now due to the callous and irresponsible attitudes of both the political leadership and the bureaucracy.  more..

Dialog Telecom, customers pay Rs. 317 billion to State

Apr 20 (EN) Dialog Telecom paid income taxes and levies of 31.7 billion rupees to the state, on net revenues of 86.7 billion rupees, data published by the firm said. The firm itself paid 10.7 billion rupees in fees and levies to the govt. Dialog pays income taxes at a 2% of revenue under a long term deal with the BoI concession, which can be a high rate of taxation in a low margin business or a low rate in a high margin business. more..

Sleep-deprived bus drivers complain of risky trips

Apr 20 (ST) Drivers who cause fatal road traffic accidents when they fall asleep at the wheel are continuing to wreck the lives of thousands in the country. Just last week, 52 people were injured after a bus driver fell asleep in Nawalapititya in Gonewalapathana area at about 12.55 pm, police reported. The driver was also among the wounded. Several similar accidents have been reported over the past three months. more..

Court rejects request to transfer Sri Lankan envoy’s assault case

Apr 20 (FMT) The High Court today dismissed the govt’s application to transfer a criminal trial involving a Sri Lankan envoy from the Sepang court to Kuala Lumpur on security grounds. Justice Nordin Hassan said the grounds raised in the application pertained to law and order. “The applicant and the witness could complain to the trial judge and law enforcement agency if they are unhappy about a crowd outside the Sepang court,” he said. more..

Long-term solution to Palk Bay conflict elusive: Sri Lankan fishermen

Apr 20 (Hindu) Although New Delhi and Colombo have expressed satisfaction over recent bilateral talks on the Palk Bay fishing conflict, northern Sri Lankan fishermen say a much-needed long-term solution remains elusive. Following resistance from the fisherfolk and some efforts taken by the two govts, the number of Indian trawlers coming into Sri Lankan waters has reduced, observe fishermen. more..

NCPA works to uplift mental conditions of Meetotamulla disaster affected children

Apr 20 (Island) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) would be conducting programmes to resettle and uplift the mentality of children affected by the Meetotamulla garbage dump disaster, spokesman for NCPA said. About a dozen officers of the authority have been employed in the process of collecting data on the children who have lost parents or family members in the disaster that took place on Sinhala & Tamil New Year day. more..

Cey-Nor manufactures large scale vessel after 12 years

Apr 20 (GDI) After 12 years, Cey-Nor launched its first large-scale fishing vessel larger than 60 ft in length. Approximately 1,480 multiday fishing vessels are engaged in deep sea fishing on international waters. However, 40% of the harvested fish remain unfit for consumption due to the inadequacy of facilities in these fishing vessels. Fish exports to the international market require high-quality fish and SL is able to satisfy only 30% more..

Karadiyana bound garbage tractors turned back by angry crowds

Apr 20 (DN) Garbage trucks entering the Karadiyana Waste Management Facility were stopped by protesters yesterday who asked that garbage from Colombo not be taken to the Facility. The protesters obstructed the movement of all garbage trucks from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. despit scores of tractors filled to the brim with garbage from Colombo on their way to the Karadiyana Waste Management Facility were turned back by angry protesters at more..

President announces speedy solutions to SAITM and Meetotamulla issues

Apr 20 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena said that the controversial private medical college, SAITM issue would be solved by broad-basing its management, which is now a single ownership and open it to the stock market by listing it with the Securities Exchange Commission. He said the medical college will be governed by a council of professional administrators. Addressing the editors and media heads at the President’s House more..

The politics of elephants in the room

Apr 20 (Nikkei) I grew up in a corner of Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, where a domesticated elephant was a regular presence in daily life. Our elephant belonged to the Buddhist temple near our home. On some mornings, it would lumber past our front gate, the chains tied to its legs producing a rhythmic rattle. Vehicles that clogged the road during the morning rush had to give way. It is a slice of life that many Sri Lankans can relate to more..

President says shake up in two weeks

Apr 20 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena announced he will carry out sweeping changes in the govt, but stopped short of announcing a cabinet reshuffle. President said the economy was on a stronger footing compared to when he assumed office in January 2015 and said economic management was carried out well. However, he said there would be sweeping changes in individuals holding key positions within two weeks. more..

Political crap about Meethotamulla

Apr 20 (CT) Had someone told US President Donald Trump about the Meethotamulla crisis, he would have blurted out his cryptic and now famous Not good, quip. He would also have then frowned at the death toll 30, and still counting, as we reported, and said to Mattis and McMaster "Drop the attacks on Syria. The same number of people has died in that garbage dump called Sri Lanka and without Assad's chemical stuff". Mattis and McMaster quip "You want us to take out anyone in Colombo then? more..

Govt’s land grab: The bigger picture

Apr 20 (CT) President Sirisena’s gazette notification to declare lands occupied by the IDP Muslims in the Mannar District on the pretext of widening the perimeter of the Wilpattu National Park and protecting the environment should be viewed not simplistically as an anti-Muslim measure but more than that it should be considered in the overall context of policies embedded in the ruling neo-liberal economic paradigm. In this light the battle for revoking that notification should more..

'මට රඟපාන්න දක්ෂතාවක් නැහැ'

‘National programme needed for waste management’

Apr 20 (NR) Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala says a national program to address the prevailing garbage issue in the country must be introduced promptly. Speaking at an event today n Kandy the Deputy Speaker said 8 metric tons of garbage is collected by urban centres daily. He said the country needs a national program, since garbage disposal has become an urban issue adding that when a country is a middle income country the amount of waste within the country sees an increase. more..

Govt should pay at least Rs.3 million compensation: Tissa V.

Apr 20 (DN) Govt should pay at least two or three million rupees as compensation per person killed under Meetotamulla Garbage Mountain, LSSP Leader Tissa Vitharana said. He said that during the last two months the Govt has printed money worth Rs. 9100 million and the Govt is pushing people and the country towards a huge crisis. According to Prof. Vitharana, now govt has added fuel to the burning fire by offering Trinco harbour to US, which is about to commence a war with North Korea. more..

Rs 3 million for 30 M'mulla victims; Rs 600 million for President’s luxury benz Cars

Apr 20 (CT) While the official website of the Ministry of Disaster Management has no information whatsoever regarding the recent tragedy at Meethotamulla where slippage of a massive garbage dump wreaked havoc on residents of the area, Govt has offered compensation of 100,000 rupees to the families of the victims. As of today 30 bodies have been recovered and an equal number feared dead. President Sirisena who more..

‘Norochcholai is being maintained’

Apr 20 (NR) Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy has refuted charges levelled by certain factions stating that maintenance work on the Norochcholai Coal Power plant are not being conducted according to the required standards. Media Spokesman said maintenance is being carried out accordingly. He said Norocholai power plant cannot be blamed for every power failure which takes place. If one takes into consideration any power plant, within a certain period of more..

Interviews called for new political parties

Apr 20 (NR) Elections Commission says interviews have been called for approved applications submitted by political parties for registration at the Elections Commission. Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said 95 new political parties have submitted applications for registration. Deshapriya said the commission has decided to call interviews for the relevant political parties separately. Accordingly these interviews will be carried out from today till the 22nd of April more..

Customs seize Rs 120 M contraband haul

Apr 20 (CT) SL Customs yesterday impounded in the Port of Colombo two 40-foot containers shipped from Dubai which contained contraband valued at over Rs 120 million. The contraband included 515,000 cigarette lighters, 48,000 cans of the energy drink Red Bull, 154,000 5- Watt bulbs, 1,000 kilos of almond, six tonnes of cardamom, 15,000 tonnes of hair gel, 33,000 bottles tomato sauce, 30,000 infant feeding bottles, more..

Online passport service to be introduced

Apr 20 (AD) Department of Emigration and Immigration stated that an initiative to issue passports online will be put in place in the future. The initiative is carried out as part of the innovation process of department of Emigration and Immigration. The initial steps to make this programme a success have already begun. It has been reported that an application requesting for the renewal of a passport via the internet will be available to the public, where payments more..

Australia to ship dairy heifers to Sri Lanka

Apr 20 (WT) WEST Australian cattle exporter Wellard will soon be looking for dairy heifers from Australia to fill contracts it has in Sri Lanka. The company has sourced 2000 pregnant Friesian-Jersey cross heifers from New Zealand as the first shipment to fill a 20,000 head contract. Wellard breeding and dairy general manager Colin Webb said the NZ shipment was timed to coincide with the completion of cattle handling and dairies being built in Sri Lanka. more..

Sanath set to secure another term

Apr 20 (DM) Sanath Jayasuriya is set to secure another term as Head of Cricket Selection Committee but the Board is looking at changes to the rest of the committee as their term will come to an end on May 1. Jayasuriya and Cricket Manager Asanka Gurusinha, who was recently added to the selection committee will remain in their positions but the positions of the remaining trio hangs in the balance. more..

Tear gas fired at protest against dumping garbage in Dompe

Apr 20 (AD) Police used tear and water cannons to disperse a group of people protesting against dumping garbage collected from Colombo at Dompe. A protest was held against the dumping of waste held by the Colombo Municipal council in areas such as Wattala, Pamunugama and Bopitiya.  Due to turbulent situation at present a decision was made to dump a total of 300 metric tonnes of waste within a period of two weeks, on a public property in Bopitiya.   more..

Sri Lanka tourism to pay arrears to international broadcasters

Apr 20 (EN) Sri Lanka is unable to launch an international advertising campaign to promote the country due to unpaid advertising bills for previous campaigns. Sri Lanka plans to pay half a million US dollars to Al Jazeera TV and Bloomberg for advertising campaigns carried out from Sept 2014 to March 2015, Tourism Secretary Janaka Sugathadasa said. The total claimed was higher, but the payment is expected to pave the way for advertising to resume. more..

Racist customer spits in Lankan shopkeeper's face in UK

Apr 20 (DM) This is the shocking moment a vile racist spat in the face of a Sri Lankan shopkeeper in an off-licence - because she did not have the right brand of cigarettes. CCTV footage shows thug Christopher James Callaghan abusing shop staff and then spitting over the counter in a woman's face. Callaghan, 30, became angry when staff at Stanley Foods in Bootle, Merseyside, told him they did not have brand of cigarettes he wanted. more..

'Waste management centre to be set up for future'

Apr 20 (NR) Minister Champika Ranawaka says a special programme will be initiated to manage the waste generating through the Financial City project in future. He said a special waste management centre will be set up. Waste accumulating in future through the financial city, technology city and others will not be handed over to municipal councils or pradeshiya sabhas. He also commented on alleged reports of the relocation of the garbage dump in Meethotamulla under UPFA led govt. more..

SL to upgrade Adventure Tourism standards

Apr 20 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka will strengthen the standards of its Adventure Tourism in accordance with international standards and the assistance of the tri forces will be sought for this purpose, a statement released by the PM's Office said. "Adventure Tourism and Adventure Training is fast becoming a popular industry," statement said. "There are international standards for all adventure activities, the need was for SL standards, equal to the international standards to be developed." more..

Meethotamulla issue now turmoil: JVP

Apr 20 (NR) The JVP says the issue surrounding the collapse of the garbage dump in Meethotamulla has now turned into turmoil due to the conflicts among state officials. MP Vijitha Herath said certain individuals are attempting to fulfil personal political agendas. MP said claims have been made by Ministers and Chief Ministers part of the present govt over the matter. He said according to the Chief Minister of the Western Province more..

Tamil Catholics in Sri Lanka protest throughout Easter

Apr 20 (UCAN) Catholics have been demonstrating since March 23 in front of their former village that was annexed by the navy, continuing throughout Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Mullikulam is a village and fishing area of 500 hectares, originally home to about 500 families. In 2007, the entire population was evacuated and Navy North-Western Command HQ established there, occupying their entire village. People have permanent title deeds for their agricultural lands more..

Customs investigates illegal Glyphosate import

Apr 20 (NR) SL Customs says it has launched a special investigation into the illegal importation of two containers carrying 160 barrels of Glyphosate to the island. Media Spokesperson of the Customs Darmasena Kahadawage said said measures are already in place to initiate legal action against the individual who imported the 32,000 litre consignment. The two containers imported illegally from China was examined by Customs officials this afternoon at the Grandpas Container Yard. more..

Video: Garbage dumps could be cleared after 3 years: WP CM

Apr 20 (DM) Western Province Chief Minister Isuru Devapriya today said there are about 25 garbage dumping areas in the Western Province and those areas could be cleared after three years if the govt gives full powers to the Western Provincial Council. He said several tenders had been called for large scale projects for the initiation of garbage disposal in the Karadiyana and Muthurajawela garbage dumping areas. more..

President expects foreign reserves to improve in coming months

Apr 20 (LBO) President Maithripala Sirisena says country’s foreign reserves have already exceeded five billion US dollars and is expected to improve further in the coming months. He assured that the country is heading positively towards economic stability. “The economy is very sound and there is no possibility at all about an economic collapse,” he said with confidence. He said that the international market prices of tea, rubber and coconut have increased, thus there is a positive trend more..

Iluka in talks on investment deal for Sri Lanka mineral sands deposit

Apr 20 (EN) Australian mineral sands miner Iluka Resources Ltd. has begun talks with Sri Lanka’s government on an investment agreement for its ilmenite deposit and suggested a joint working committee with government officials to work out the deal.  Sri Lankan consultants are being engaged to work on various environmental, hydrogeological and infrastructure work packages, said a statement by the firm which produces zircon and rutile used in paints, ceramics and other products. more..

President issues gazette making garbage disposal an essential service

Apr 20 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena this evening approved an extraordinary gazette making garbage disposal services by all local govt bodies an essential service with effect from Thursday’s midnight. The gazette focuses on steps that are being taken when disposing, collecting, transporting, storing, preparing, segregating garbage and disposing garbage collected from households as well as more..

People power & The fourth column: Where can it come from?

Apr 21 (CT) In a recent article on Separation of powers – the fourth pillar of State – namely people power (PP) under the Trump administration, Kumar David states that ‘Trump’s America is an example of how mass demonstrations, social media, town-hall meetings, local councils, court action by rights groups and mass pressure can make Congress, courts, media, the White House and security agencies bow to public concerns’ (Colombo Telegraph (16.04.2017). more..