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Jaffna puts govt on notice

Apr 27 (SL) The people of Jaffna have put the govt on notice. The govt has been told to be prepared to lose Tamil votes if the North fails to experience real change sooner than later. The warning comes as the govt completed two years in office this year and prepares to join the country in celebrating the May 2009 defeat of the LTTE. Traders, businessman and ordinary people in Jaffna told The Sunday Leader that more..

Good news! Country recovering from bad bout of flu

Apr 27 (ST) Influenza A including H1N1 or the flu seems to be on the wane. But be careful about the next peak that is usually experienced around May. This is the good news and precautionary advice being issued this week by Consultant Virologist Dr. Jude Jayamaha who is in charge of the National Influenza Centre, Department of Virology of the MRI. As the country recovers from a bad bout of the flu caused by a virus which more..

First poll to be held this year should be LG election: Amaraweera

Apr 27 (DM) UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said the first election to be held this year would be the local govt election and dismissed claims that there had been discussions within the SLFP about a referendum being held instead. We definitely intend holding LG election soon and this was stressed when Cabinet met on Monday. Disaster that occurred in Meethotamulla was a good wake-up call to the authorities more..

A dengue vaccine exists, but Sri Lanka has yet to approve it

Apr 27 (Roar) Sri Lanka has seen an unprecedented outbreak of dengue this year, overwhelming hospitals throughout the country. Since Jan 2017, Epidemiology Unit has recorded over 37,000 cases of dengue, more than double last year’s case count of 16,661 for the same period (Jan to Apr). While fatality rates from dengue are relatively low in Sri Lanka, being about 0.4% in 2016, experts still consider the spread of dengue to be one of more..

SF appointment: SB says not serious; Zoysa says otherwise

Apr 27 (DM) Commenting on President Sirisena's request for Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to take up the post of Army Commander or Overall Commander for two years, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said the President had not taken the appointment as a serious matter while Minister Wijith Wijayamuni Zoysa said the appointment was very serious. Minister Dissanayaka said the request for the appointment of Field Marshal Sarath more..

Sri Lanka overturns ban on adopting baby elephants

Apr 27 (IBT) The Sri Lankan govt has decided to overturn its ban on the adoption of baby elephants in a bid to overcome difficulties maintaining the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage as well as overcoming the issue of overcrowding. The Cabinet has approved a proposal put forward by Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, which opens the doors for baby elephants to be adopted by individuals and religious places under more..

Sri Lanka should make urgent structural reforms: Central Bank

Apr 27 (EN) Sri Lanka has to make urgent structural reforms by gaining broad public consensus to boost growth and link with global production networks, the Central Bank has said. In 2016, budgets have improved with the help of an International Monetary Fund program, though foreign reserves fell and there was a balance of payments deficit, amid continued weakening of the currency. more..

Govt contemplates rigid control on Trade Union action

Apr 27 (DM) Around 1,500 petroleum workers could cripple fuel distribution in the country through their strike action. This appeared to have rung alarm bells for the Cabinet Ministers regarding the operation of state affairs smoothly. It became apparent at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting when they remarked that a handful of workers should not be allowed to bring the activities of the govt to a standstill in this manner. more..

EU Parliament rejects motion to deny GSP+ for Sri Lanka

Apr 27 (CG) The motion to deny Sri Lanka the GSP plus trade concession was defeated by the EU Parliament today. Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva said that Sri Lanka won the vote in Brussels with 436 members voting against the motion, 119 in favor and 22 abstentions. The Govt held urgent talks with several EU MPs ahead of the vote at the EU Parliament on the resolution not to grant Sri Lanka the GSP+ trade concession. more..

PM must safeguard SL’s national interests

Apr 27 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is currently on a visit to India, having high level negotiations regarding a few pivotal economic matters. According to the Hindu reports, discussions involve signing a MoU to develop Trinco port's prospects through operating a major oil-storage facility, LNG plant and piped-gas projects and developing it as a key transit point with major expressways and industrial zones in the region. The reports further stated that discussions will take place regarding more..

Power sharing in Sri Lanka

Apr 27 (CT) When we were political cubs, we knew of Chelvanayakam as one who was the father figure of Tamil Nationalism. He was one Tamil political leader who was affectionately called Thanthai – meaning Father – Chelva. Samuel James Velupillai Chelvanayakam dominated Tamil politics in the first 3 decades in post independent Ceylon. I would say that Chelvanayakam was fortunate. He did not live to see the agony of the Tamil people and of SL that got dragged into a long brutal war. more..

ජාත්žයන්තර සම්මානයෙන් පිදුම් ලැබූ ඇල්වින්

Sri Lanka plans sovereign bond by June; seven lead managers

Apr 27 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning to launch a sovereign bond by June, armed for which seven lead managers including two Chinese have been appointed, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. Citicorp, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered, Morgan Stanley and two Chinese lenders have been appointed to manage the bond, he said. Sri Lanka may go to the market by late May armed with a renewed deal with the IMF, for which talks are in progress. more..

Civil society urges the President to revoke Musali gazette

Apr 27 (CT) 2,680 Civil Society activists and 38 organisations have today urged Maithripala Sirisena to review and revoke the recent gazette declaring about 40,000 hectares of Musali DS division land as Mavillu Forest. The gazette declares 40,030 hectares of land in Musali DS division in the Mannar District as Mavillu forest reserve under 3A of the Forest Conservation Ordinance. As a result of the gazette notification a number of villages in Musali including Karadikkuli, Marichchukatti, more..

Three strange Sri Lankan customs and the stories behind them

Apr 27 (Roar) Sri Lankans had, and still have, some strange traditions that are thought of as indigenous. However, much of these have their origins in other parts of the world, especially in India, and, to a lesser extent, in the Middle East. Here are three such local beliefs and customs with exotic origins: Dola-Duka (Pregnancy Craving): Sri Lankans, and especially the Sinhalese, believe that mothers-to-be experience a more..

Kalutara shooting: another suspect arrested

Apr 27 (NR) Police have arrested another suspect over the attack on a prison bus in Kalutara in which 7 individuals were killed. Suspect was arrested by officers attached to Peliyagoda District Crimes Division. 38 year old suspect is a resident of the Buthpitiya, Malwathu-hiripitiya area. The suspect was remanded for several crimes in the past. Among several charges against the suspect, he has been accused of murder in the year 2001 and the theft of a van in 2003. more..

Anura Senanayake further remanded

Apr 27 (NR) Former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake arrested on charges of concealing evidence in the murder case of former national rugby player Wasim Thajudeen, has been further remanded till the 4th of May. The order was issued by Colombo Additional Magistrate. Meanwhile the Additional Magistrate ordered the remains suspected to be of Wasim Thajudeen, which was submitted to the SAITM for DNA testing, to be transferred to the GeneTech Medical Laboratory in Borella. more..

Tamil parties protest in north and east provinces

Apr 27 (PTI) All the major towns in SL's war-ravaged northern and eastern provinces today observed a shutdown after the Tamil and Muslim political parties held a protest demanding the release of military-occupied land. Offices, businesses, schools and public transport came to a halt after the two provinces observed a shutdown. "We hope the govt would respond after looking at this protest action. All Tamil & Muslim political more..

Iran Defense Minister, senior Lankan official meet in Moscow

Apr 27 (MNA) Iran Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan held talks with Additional Secretary to the SL Ministry of Defense Sarath Kumara on Thursday in Moscow. Meeting was held on the sidelines of the 6th Conference on Int'l Security currently underway in Moscow. During the visit, the two sides called for expansion of all-out defense cooperation. Dehghan arrived in Moscow on Tuesday to take part in the Conference and a trilateral meeting with his Russian and Syrian counterparts. more..

SL continues talks with IMF in Colombo

Apr 27 (EN) Sri Lanka is continuing talks over reaching a staff level agreement with the IMF for the next phase, officials said. Treasury Secretary R H S Samarathunga said an IMF team was in Colombo for talks. The December 2016 review of the programme, which began in mid-2016, was stalled after the December review was not completed. There were expectations that a staff level agreement would be concluded in April, with talks continuing in Washington. more..

President appoints 25 President’s Counsels

Apr 27 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena today appointed 25 senior lawyers including TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, J. C. Weliamuna, Upul Jayasuriya and Nizam Kariapper as President’s Counsel. A statement from the President’s office said these lawyers were appointed in recognition of their professional integrity and diligence. The other lawyers were Daya Pelpola, Ariya B. Rekawa, Anura Meddegoda, more..

China Heavy Machinery Corp to carry out water, sewerage feasiblity

Apr 27 (LBO) China Heavy Machinery Corporation is to carry out a feasibility study to identify and implement a reliable water and sewerage sector implementation plan in Hambantota covering the harbor and proposed special industrial zone. Minister Rauff Hakeem said the water supply demand of the Hambantota area will increase in the next five to 20 years with forecast development in the area. Hakeem said an MoU between the Chinese firm, Water Board more..

President presides over discussion on progress of irrigation projects

Apr 27 (PSL) A discussion was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Siriena to review the progress of the irrigation projects implemented under the Ministry of Mahaweli Development, yesterday (26). During the meeting it was discussed in detail regarding the ongoing irrigation projects and the future projects. The President also directed the officials to take relevant decisions for the future development activities of the irrigation projects by carrying out a proper study on more..

Sacking SLFP organizers calculated move to strengthen UNP: MR

Apr 27 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that removing popular figures in the SLFP from their electoral organiser positions is a move calculated not to strengthen the SLFP but to ensure the victory of the UNP. He charged that from time to time during the past two years, SLFP parliamentarians in the opposition have been removed from their electoral organiser positions by the SLFP leader.  more..

Yahapalanaya in theory and favouritism in practice

Apr 27 (DM) A letter containing this appeal had been presented to the political authority when the latter attended a New Year oil anointing ceremony. The politico making a case for promoting his man had described him as an exceptionally efficient officer in the public service, but those familiar with his track record say that he is a just mediocre type and is facing allegations of sexual harassment made by several female employees.  Besides, there are several white collar ones more..

Suspected cop killer dies after shootout with police

Apr 27 (AD) An exchange of fire took place in Hambantota, killing a suspect and injuring 2 Police officers. Police Spokesman stated that the deceased was the main suspect in the murder of a Police officer in Maspotha, Kurunegala which took place in 2016. The Central Anti-Vice Unit of Walana and STF had conducted an operation in Hambantota to arrest the suspect. Reports state that the Police had received a tip revealing the suspect’s hide-out in a wooded area. more..

Guidance given by spiritual leaders important in finding solutions for...: Prez

Apr 27 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says the guidance given by the spiritual leaders are very important in finding solutions for the current issues in world. He made these remarks at the inauguration ceremony of the international seminar, organized by SL Islamic Center. The opening session of the seminar was held today (27) at Temple Trees. Representatives from Middle East & Asian countries more..

India, Sri Lanka to hold talks on ISIS threat

Apr 27 (PTI) India and Sri Lanka will hold a dialogue on how to check the growing threat of the Islamic State in South Asia and any attempt by the terror outfit to destabilise the region. The issue was discussed when Home Minister Rajnath Singh called on visiting PM of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe here today. The home minister welcomed the SL PM and emphasised on the close political ties between the two countries. Both the leaders expressed concern over the growing ISIS threat more..

President invites Malaysian investors

Apr 27 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena invited leading Malaysian entrepreneurs to explore possibilities of expanding investment and trade and look for the potential of new trade opportunities in Sri Lanka. He stated this when the CEO of Malaysia’s petrochemical giant, Petronas, Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin called on him with a delegation at the Presidential Secretariat today. The CEO of Petronas, the only Malaysian company to be listed in the Fortune 500, more..

British tourist sues tour operator over accident in Sri Lanka

Apr 27 (TT) A British holidaymaker has told how she feared she would never walk again after being crushed by a palm tree while sunbathing at a resort in Sri Lanka. Claire Saywell, 42, was relaxing at the four-star Club Hotel Dolphin resort with her husband David when a 50ft tree fell across her sun-bed, shattering her legs. Commercial insurance broker Mrs Saywell, from Sittingbourne, Kent, feared she may have been left disabled as more..

Tissa says he never left UNP, says he is still a member

Apr 27 (CG) Former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake says he never left the party and that he is still a member of the party. He said that he decided not to support Maithripala Sirisena at the last Presidential election as the UNP had not put forward its own candidate. Attanayake supported Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last election and took a break from politics after Rajapaksa lost the election. He says he has now been informally invited to return to UNP politics and he will decide on more..

Cabinet approves amended version of white paper on new counterterrorism law

Apr 27 (FT) Cabinet on Tuesday approved an amended version of a white paper on the proposed new counter-terror laws, following observations by the Minister of Defence, a portfolio held by President Maithripala Sirisena, and discussions with other ministers. In his Cabinet Paper, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said the Policy and Legal Framework relating to the proposed Counter Terrorism Act (CTA) of Sri Lanka had been deferred to enable members of the Cabinet to present more..

Fundemental Rights petition filed challenging garbage gazette notification

Apr 27 (DN) An environmental activist and an environmental organization today filed a Fundamental rights petition in the Supreme Court challenging the gazette notification issued by President Sirisena in the capacity of Minister of Environment over garbage issue in the country. Minister of Environment issued a gazette notification bearing No.2015/53 on April 20 under the Public Security Ordinance declaring that more..

No war against North Korea !

Apr 28 (CT) The rapid journeys the leaders of the US and Australia executed recently appear to indicate that Donald Trump, Malcolm Turnbull and several other leaders supporting them, may be planning another war in the Korean Peninsula or against Iran; a tried and true policy many of the worlds political leaders have used since time immemorial to cover up their economic failures and the increasing unpopularity. The main cause for the current tensions in the Korean peninsula more..

M'mulla disaster & The unraised question

Apr 28 (CT) The collapse of the garbage mountain at Meethotamulla has killed around 40 people so far. This is indeed a terrific tragedy and it is not the first time that innocent people have lost their life because of inverse prioritization of management objectives and tasks by state agencies and their private service providers. However, since this event happened a number of so called experts have raised the question of waste management in Colombo and suggested a number of possible solutions more..

Earning the Green Beret

Apr 28 (SO) As the commander’s guttural voice cracked, the trainees stood in. I stood along with the other young men trying to adjust my mind and body to take the most difficult challenge before me; that is to go through a two-day training program at the STF Training School at Katukurunda, Kalutara. To me the most significant moments were at the firing range: realizing that a single bullet can take away a life in a fraction of a second. more..

Editorial: End of yahapalanaya?

Apr 28 (Island) The yahapalana administration has unwittingly admitted that there is only one person with a backbone within its ranks. Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told the media on Wednesday that the govt had decided to prove that it had a backbone vis-a-vis what he called politically motivated protests. President Maithripala Sirisena would, he said, put Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka in charge of the armed forces and police to bring order out of chaos. more..

The fate of muturajawela?

Apr 28 (DN) Colombo garbage crisis has taken a new turn with the govt’s decision to dump garbage in the Muthurajawela Wetlands. The tragedy of the garbage collapse in Meethotamulla has led to several residents around the country taking to protest against their own neighborhoods being turned into the next dump site. Given the environmental significance of the Muthurajawela Wetlands, the dumping of garbage in its vicinity has doubled its environmental threat and while more..

BIA: Runaway Renovations

Apr 28 (Roar) As many overseas travellers are aware, the BIA underwent a major facelift at the beginning of this year, and closed down its runway for eight hours a day, for three months straight, so that long overdue renovation could take place. Although the runway is now fully operational once again, it came as a rude shock when a recent report pointed out that the newly renovated runway still fails to meet int'l more..

Ranil, Sirisena set for term two already

Apr 28 (CT) Before long there's going to be the usual wildfire effect when the common man begins talking about the LG elections which President has hinted would be possible before the end of this year. Voting is all about different segments of people going to the polls for different reasons, not many of which are balanced or sensible. There's the blindly stupid political loyalty controlling a larger section of the electorate which others will bring to bear some wisdom into their choices. more..