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Rolling power cuts? Batagoda denies charge

Apr 30 (SO) Some parts of Colombo and its suburbs have been facing power interruptions at short intervals in what seems like rolling power cuts for the past few days. However, Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy, Dr. Seren Batagoda denied that CEB has opted for power cuts due to lack of supply. He explained that the power interruptions could be attributed to local power failures and other maintenance that more..

May Day: Govt to deploy 7,600 cops

Apr 30 (CT) Police Department will deploy over 7,600 Police officers of several ranks in a bid to ensure the tightest possible security at all May Day rally venues as well as to ensure a smooth flow of traffic where May Day processions and protest demonstrations are scheduled to be staged. Colombo and Kandy will specifically come under tight security blankets to ensure the peace throughout the day, a top Police source said. UNP members and supporters in addition to more..

SLFP, UNP book 3,264 buses, two trains for May Day rallies

Apr 30 (ST) More than half the fleet of the state-run Sri Lanka Transport Board buses have been booked for May Day rallies by political parties with the two main parties making most of the bookings, officials said. For its rally in Kandy, the SLFP has booked 1,832 buses, while the UNP has booked 1,432 buses for its Campbell Park rally. By Friday, 3,949 buses had been booked, Chief Operating Superintendent P.H.R.T. Chandrasiri told the Sunday Times. more..

Package of Joint Ventures with India in MoU signed in Delhi

Apr 30 (ST) Some say India’s PM Narendra Modi neatly cajoled his SL counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe into swinging by New Delhi, making what was to be a private visit to attend a wedding into a one-day working visit– and then got him entrapped to sign a MoU. Others rubbish such a theory, but it seems that someone tipped off CPC trade unions and wound them up to threaten a strike if SL Premier signed an MOU in New Delhi. more..

Yahapalanaya moves to besiege freedom

Apr 30 (Island) At least there’s freedom now!  This has been the stock (consolation?) response of those who defend the yahapalana regime whenever it is pointed out that corruption, nepotism, abuse of state resources for political purposes and other wrongdoings have not ceased after Jan 8 revolution.   No more white van abductions, true.  Journalists have not been beaten up, true.  Demonstrations & marches organized by Opposition have not been attacked, this is also true. more..

Thoughts after the Meetotamulla tragedy

Apr 30 (Island) I admit I closed my eyes and mind to the man-made tragedy at Meetotamulla. It was too horrendous to consider during the national New Year season, since it was a disaster that had been in the making, and preventable. A person who reads me living in the US said I should write about it as it was not only a huge national disaster, but had been featured in The New York Times and other foreign newspapers. So I Googled, emailed a friend in Singapore, got info from others and more..

I like Russia’s war history: Uvindu Wijeweera

Apr 30 (CT) Rohana Wijeweera is a name that Sri Lankans may not easily forget. He carved his niche in Sri Lankan history with his revolutionary politics. The two insurrections he led against the State, first in the early 1970s and the second in the late 80s were aborted but the views and traditions he introduced to the left politics of Sri Lanka remain to date. He ignited hopes in the minds of people, particularly as a third force in politics, and more..

3 policemen accused of extortion in Jaffna

Apr 30 (ST) The Jaffna police are probing a complaint lodged by a goldsmith that three policemen including a sub-in spector of police had allegedly demanded hush money from him for themselves and for a particular magistrate. Initial investigations revealed the police personnel had visited the goldsmith on several occasions. According to the goldsmith they had threatened to charge him with smelting gold stolen in Jaffna. more..

SL Navy to release 100 acres of land in Mullikulam for people

Apr 30 (SLN) Commander of the Navy, Ravindra Wijegunaratne, assured to immediately release approximately 100 acres of land to the general public in Mullikulam. He expressed these views during a cordial discussion held with the families in Mullikulam, whilst on an inspection visit to the Northwestern Naval Area on Saturday.  Discussion transpired positively, as the people agreed to settle around 100 acres of more..

Kalkudah distillery: Company puts  jobless graduates in high spirits

Apr 30 (ST) Protests are growing over plans by a private company to set up a distillery at Kalkudah in the Batticaloa district, but this week the company gave what is seen as a double-distilled twist to defend this controversial distillery. It started a campaign to claim that the distillery would provide jobs to unemployed graduates who have been protesting over the past month in the eastern province seeking good jobs. more..

Crisis brewing in petroleum sector

Apr 30 (CT) The lightning strike conducted by the trade unions of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) last Monday in protest against the Govt's proposed joint venture with India regarding the oil tank farm in China Bay, Trincomalee, now appears to have been skilfully spun around by the present unity govt in a bid to utilize this situation as a licence to resort to arbitrary decision making against its citizens. more..

RTI request to Police falls on deaf ears

Apr 30 (SL) The Right to Information (RTI) Act doesn’t seems to be in operation with the Secretary Ministry of Law and Order, and in the offices of IGP, CID, TID, Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) and Special Investigation Unit (SIU) as they have failed to acknowledge receipt of this newspaper’s request made on April 22, seeking information relevant to IGP’s visit to the New Secretariat building on Tuesday April 11, 2017. more..

Acute labour shortage in Sri Lanka; 200,000 foreigners working here

Apr 30 (ST) Foreign workers, both with and without work visas, are arriving in Sri Lanka with the country facing an acute labour shortage, a cabinet minister said. Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka said that an estimated 200,000 strong foreign labour force was in Sri Lanka. He said the Govt should have strict immigration regulations to check the influx of foreign workers. more..

No Mahapola scholarship for undergrads boycotting lectures, says UGC

Apr 30 (ST) University undergraduates boycotting lectures, as part of ongoing protests against the SAITM, will have their Mahapola Scholarships suspended, UGC said.    UGC Chairman Mohan de Silva said that UGC had been notified by the Mahapola Trust Fund that, undergraduates boycotting lectures for almost 3 months, as part of the anti-SAITM protest campaign, will have their Scholarship Grant suspended.“ more..

CBSL retires Rs 64 Billion T-Bills

Apr 30 (CT) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) last Friday retired Rs 64.1 billion in Treasury Bills (T-Bills) it was holding, thereby reducing its money printing (MP) stock by 20.2% to Rs 253 billion, Friday over Thursday, data showed. MP is defined as CBSL's direct holding of T-Bills, inclusive of related borrowing costs. CBSL indulges in MP to help meet Govt's various monetary requirements due to the absence of adequate revenue or more..

New anti-terrorism law undermines RTI

Apr 30 (ST) The Counter Terrorism Act policy framework approved by the Cabinet this week has reintroduced  offences originally listed under espionage– whilst merely removing the word espionage from the document. As such, the draft makes it an offence to voluntarily engage in any illegal, unlawful or unauthorised act for the purpose of gathering any confidential information — or directly gather confidential information — more..