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No agreement on power devolution: JO

Apr 4 (DM) The joint opposition yesterday hit out at TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran for claiming that broad agreement had been reached on power devolution and as such the interim report could be now presented. JO’s parliamentary group leader Dinesh Gunawardane said that what Mr. Sumanthiran said was untrue. He said no agreement had been reached on key matters such as the presidency, power devolution, electoral reforms and the parliamentary system. more..

Double-lane tunnel for Kandy

Apr 4 (DM) Cabinet has today approved a proposal by Minister Lakshman Kiriella to construct a 5.5 kilometre long double-lane tunnel in Kandy with financial assistance from South Korea’s Economic Development Cooperation Fund. It will consist of two interchange points and help to reduce traffic congestion. “With the construction of the tunnel, traffic congestion will ease in the Kandy City and nearby areas. It is to be constructed according to international standards and more..

CEB strike starts Wednesday midnight

Apr 4 (DM) A 24-hour-strike would be launched from Wednesday, April 5 midnight by CEB Joint Trade Unions Alliance against the alleged oppression of trade unions and to urge Govt to rectify CEB employees’ salary anomalies. “We are looking at a massive strike, which involves drivers, storekeepers and all the employees. In a case of a breakdown, no employee will be available to repair them, till Friday morning,” more..

Daughter running father’s Ministry

Apr 4 (DM) A meddlesome daughter of a powerful purohita has become a nuisance to the white collar high-ups including the Ministry secretary and heads of departments coming under the purview of the Ministry, they say. She has made it a practice to coerce the white collar high-ups into awarding project contracts to her friends and generally running all financial affairs according to her wishes. This female fluent in English would speak to even non-English speaking white collar ones in English, more..

Indian Coast Guard Ship Shoor arrives on a goodwill visit

Apr 4 (SLN) Indian Coast Guard Ship Shoor arrived at Colombo port today on a goodwill and training visit. The ship was ceremonially received by the SL Navy in compliance with naval traditions and customs on arrival at the port. Upon her arrival, the Commanding Officer of the ship DIG Surendra Singh Dasila paid a courtesy call on Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Niraja Atigala. Signifying the importance of the official meeting, mementoes were also exchanged. more..

Video: Police fire tear gas on students protesting in Colombo

Apr 4 (AD) Police officers used teargas and and water cannons to disperse university students engaging in a protest march near Lotus Roundabout in Colombo. The Galle Face entry road was closed from Lotus Roundabout due to the protest march by a group of university students. The protest march has been organized by the Inter University Bhikkhu Federation, against the private medical college in Malabe (SAITM) more..

Manivannan Incident & UN Hypocrisy

Apr 5 (CT) The stories of Tamil lobbyists storming the corridors of UNHRC must be recorded for posterity. In future generations no one will understand the efforts expended and the sweat excreted in the name of lobbyism. An astonished diplomat did ask why are you all here? The poor fellow genuinely didn’t know. Why Tamils from all over the world swarm his palace had remained a mystery for him over the last years. Little did he know, one of the mythical doors in the UN more..

Muslim Matters…

Apr 5 (SL) Recently, the unassailable yet frequently-challenged leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and senior Minister, Rauff Hakeem has talked about Constitution-making, power-devolution and related issues. As Sauvé and non-controversial as he has always been in public exposition of the cause of the community and the party, he has in effect revived the forgotten aspects of power-devolution impacting on the nation’s Muslim community. more..

Conspiracy to kill

Apr 5 (NS) On March 23 Hakka Patas, an explosive used by farmers on wild animals that damage crops, was recovered from the bank of Ma Oya hidden in a fruit on an Attikka tree. The discovery was made by mahout of the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Ajith Wickramasinghe, when he had taken the elephants for their daily bath. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Deputy Director, Renuka Bandaranayake immediately alerted both more..

President Maithri must use the sword

Apr 5 (CT) British PM Theresa May signed the official document connected to Britain leaving the European Union, on 29 March. That official document is due to be sent to the President of the European Council Donald Tusk. This is a decision that Britain made together as a country. Even though various opinions have arisen regarding this decision within Britain, the British Govt held a referendum. The opinion of the people was that Britain should leave the European Union. more..

Human Rights: Can the British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka clarify?

Apr 5 (CT) British Govt has welcomed the decision by Govt of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to co-sponsor the new UNHRC resolution which reaffirms to complete during the next two years, country’s commitments undertaken when it co-sponsored UNHRC resolution 30/1 in Oct 2015. A release issued by the British High Commission in Colombo states, GoSL has demonstrated its commitment to human rights, accountability and reconciliation, all important elements for a lasting political settlement for more..

'These people are Sri Lankans; They are not Kallathonis'

Apr 5 (CT) President Sirisena must look into the concerns of the IDPs languishing for the past 25 years in camps situated in Puttalam, and other areas said UNP MP Mujibur Rahman. He spoke at length with regard to the issues faced by IDPs whose lands in Mannar were denied first due to the war and at present, due to a gazette signed by the President which declares their lands as part of the Wilpattu forest reserve. more..

Shifting trend towards rural tourism

Apr 5 (DN) According to Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, we have reached above two million tourist arrivals in the year 2016 giving us a net receipt of over US Dollars three and half billion as a whole. Tourism is now becoming one of the fastest growing as well as a promising industry in Sri Lanka. Although we can be happy about this achievement, can we be equally happy about the distribution of its benefits to common people in the non-urban sector? more..

Editorial: Lester, the Lodestar

Apr 5 (Island) Today is a special day; internationally acclaimed icon of SL cinema, Lester James Peries, turns 98. He, in our book, is a national hero in that he almost single-handedly led the freedom struggle of the SL cinema and liberated the local movie industry from the clutches of foreign invaders. Living legend is a national treasure! Lester, with his Rekawa (Line of destiny), premiered in the mid 1950s, ended the ennui of a cinematic winter Sri Lankans had been facing for years. more..

Mervyn Silva

Chagie’s plight grim reminder of Sri Lanka’s failure in Geneva

Apr 5 (Island) Having defended Sri Lanka, in Geneva, during the recently concluded 34th session of the UNHRC, Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera grudgingly acknowledged the power of the foreign funded NGOs backing war crimes and crimes against humanity allegations, against the govt of Sri Lanka (GoSL). Obviously, the naval veteran hadn’t been fully briefed about the well funded NGO operation, conducted in Geneva, over the years, much to the detriment of the GoSL. more..

Singapore to share digital tourism experience with Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (SLT) The Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) and Temasek Foundation International (TFI) announced a partnership with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) on the 29th March in BMICH, to share Singapore’s experience in digital tourism destination marketing and promotion. The 3-year programme, which will include the training of 100 govt officials from tourism-associated ministries and agencies, is supported by TFI with a grant of US$ 460,200. more..

Time out of Sri Lankan side gave Kusal renewed determination

Apr 5 (CI) Kusal Perera said that a renewed determination to bat through the innings enabled him return to form with a match-winning 77 from 53 balls in his side's 6-wicket win over Bangladesh on Tuesday. Having suffered a lean run of scores on the tour of Zimbabwe last year, and then having failed somewhat spectacularly in the Boxing Day Test in Port Elizabeth, Kusal was dropped from all of Sri Lanka's squads. more..

Not just about a toss

Apr 5 (CI) Before the Bangladesh openers took guard, before Lasith Malinga plodded in to deliver the first delivery, Premadasa Stadium put the players to a test of their respect for their nation - or at least their national anthem. The drizzle started after Amar sonar Bangla began, but by the time it ended, the light shower had become a downpour. Faithfully, and unflinchingly, though, SL side began singing Sri Lanka maatha, and were drenched in the rain even before they knew. more..

SL Schools beat Bangladesh

Apr 5 (DN) Sri Lanka Schools beat Bangladesh by 68 runs on the first day of the International Under 15 cricket challenge for Tuanku Ja’afar Trophy at Kelab Aman Stadium Malaysia yesterday. Prashan Kalhara (Royal Panadura) scored an unbeaten 32 and took 3 wickets for 10 runs. Pawan Ratnayake scored 41 and Sukhitha Prasanna 35 for Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka, South Africa, Bangladesh and hosts Malaysia are participating in this tournament. Sri Lanka emerged champion last year. more..

Kusal Perera 77 aces Sri Lanka chase

Apr 5 (CI) Kusal Perera made a roaring return to Sri Lankan colours, cracking 77 off 53 balls to lead the hosts on a successful hunt of Bangladesh's 155 for 6. That Sri Lanka had so few to chase was partly the work of Sri Lanka's bowlers, who made breakthroughs whenever a partnership threatened, though they were helped to that end by off-colour Bangladesh batting. Mashrafe Mortaza, who as it turned out, was playing his more..

Sanguinary memories: 1971 JVP insurgence

Apr 5 (DN) The plan was simple, the orders had come and all they had to do was to execute it. Rohana Wijeweera, the charismatic leader of the JVP was in prison in Jaffna, and via a message sent through Lal Somasiri, he had asked that, “Posters should be published and leaflets distributed calling for his release, and in the case of an attack, 500 comrades should be sent to Jaffna to secure his release.” He had also stated, “If you cannot obtain my release legally, you may create more..

CID seeks AG’s advice on future action against astrologer

Apr 5 (DN) The CID conducting investigations against Astrologer Vijitha Rohana Wijayamuni for allegedly exciting feelings of disaffection for President Maithripala Sirisena, after making a prediction that the President would die on a particular day in January, informed Court that they have sought the Attorney General’s advice regarding future legal action against the suspect. He is currently out on bail and further magisterial inquiry was fixed for August 1 by more..

CPC and LIOC agree to Trincomalee Tank Farm business plan

Apr 5 (ST) Govt is going ahead with a business plan to develop the Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm jointly by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Lanka IOC, Minister Chandima Weerakkody said. Despite disputes on the lease agreement of the tank farm tainted with legal issues and protests of trade unions, a new venture has been proposed between CPC and Lanka IOC under a business plan devised by Ernst & Young. more..

Chittagong Ports Authority team visits Colombo Port

Apr 5 (FT) A special delegation which included the Deputy (Traffic) Manager from the Chittagong Ports Authority of Bangladesh Md. Mashiur Rahman Beg visited the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) on 3 April.   The delegation also included officials from Bangladesh’s Ministry of Shipping. During the visit the delegation held talks with SLPA Chairman Dammika Ranatunga to discuss matters pertaining to mutual goodwill and maritime exchanges between the two ports. more..

Private sector uneasy about growing role of govt in wage issues

Apr 5 (FT) The private sector is apprehensive about State intervention in wage-related matters and wants the Govt to adopt a more consultative approach, a survey conducted by the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) revealed. However, employers accept the obligatory role played by the State in the wage matters of both the private and public sectors. Placing more emphasis on a more consultative process to be adapted by the State in dealing with wage-related matters, more..

Relishing reigning, royal Ranil

Apr 5 (FT) The launch of a biography on Ranil Wickremesinghe last night at the BMICH saw praised being heaped on the PM, who credited patience for his success but said that it was time to ensure victory for Sri Lanka by uniting for peace and development. “There are many who helped me but it is time for all of us to unite for lasting peace and equitable development,” PM told a packed audience at the BMICH comprising political leaders, more..

SriLankan Cargo to wet lease freighter

Apr 5 (DN) SriLankan Cargo is mulling on wet leasing a freighter aircraft to expand operations, SriLankan Airlines’ Cargo Head Chamara Ranasinghe said. He said that cargo volumes are growing and they see a greater demand in the future as well. “Due to the pull out of Frankfurt and Paris we lost out from the cargo segment and we want to capture this back firstly through Code Share agreements with other airlines upto the Middle East and then connect to our network. more..

Agalawatte Plantations to take legal action against previous management

Apr 5 (LBO) Agalawatte Plantations has resolved to take legal actions against the previous management shortly to recover the funds misappropriated during their tenure of office. The current director board said that any such funds recovered will be utilized to settle the outstanding balances of the stake holders. The accumulated losses of the company based on the draft financial statements as at 31st Dec 2016 is expected to be over 1.2 billion rupees. The total outstanding statutory liabilities, amounts more..

Buses without route permits: Fine increased to Rs. 200,000

Apr 5 (DM) Parliament today gave approval to the National Transport Commission (Amendment) Bill which proposed to increase the fine on inter-provincial buses plying without valid route permits from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 200,000. Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva told parliament that several complaints had been received by the National Transport Commission (NTC) from passengers and bus associations that more..

Sand mining for Port City poses no threat

Apr 5 (CT) Reports from NARA, based on extensive research, has confirmed that the areas which the sand is taken from in order to proceed with the development of the Port City Project does not pose any direct threat to the sites it is being taken from. It also details that there are neither coral nor any rock formations in the particular areas that would pose a threat toward the marine life in the area. This research was conducted in response to claims made by fishermen in these areas more..

Ja-Ela land grab: Mafia carries on regardless

Apr 5 (NS) Muthurajawela land grab mafia has recently targeted the illicit filling of 240 acres of low lying mangrove lands at Malwatte, Ja-Ela, within the reserve area. It is also reported that this land grab is a part of the major illicit filling of the Muthurajawela low lying area against which a presidential directive was issued earlier. The recent targeting of the 240 acres of land is also by the same group operating under the protection of a powerful politician. During an inspection tour by our sister paper more..

Sri Lanka debt office sells 38% more bonds than offered

Apr 5 (EN) Central bank accepted up to 38% higher volumes than offered in 5 and 7 year bonds, seemingly going back on a promise to conduct transparent auctions without misleading potential bidders. Market participants say the move may have prevented rates from falling further. CB offered 4 billion rupees of 4 year 08 month bonds maturing on Dec 15, 2021 and accepted bids of 5,520 million rupees, or 32% higher than offered. more..

CSE Chief says entry of SOEs critical to strengthening capital market

Apr 5 (FT) Listing of sound state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the immediate future is unavoidable in order to make the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) attract the sizable new funds required to lift the market to the next level of visibility among global investors. Despite the fact that there are a lot of new funds coming in, CSE Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka said SL was losing out on the opportunity as it was not looking at Colombo due to a lack of interesting or sizable stocks in the market. more..

Sail to Katchatheevu agitation on April 25

Apr 5 (Hindu) Expressing dismay over the continued arrests of fishermen from Tamil Nadu by the SL Navy and the stoic silence of the Centre on this issue, fishermen leaders have announced a Sail to Katchatheevu agitation on April 25 if the Centre fails to find a lasting solution to the problem by then. The decision was taken at a meeting of community leaders including Sesu Raja, N.J. Bose, Emirat and Sagayam here on Tuesday, amid continuing arrests of fishermen and more..

BASL clears Kannan's appointment

Apr 5 (DN) An expert committee appointed to look into the controversial appointment of High Court Judge R. Kannan has informed the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) that there was no just cause in asking for the removal of the judge under the Constitution. BASL Secretary, Amal Randeniya said BASL could only intervene if the appointment was unconstitutional. “Expert committee consisting of past presidents pointed out more..

Centre not for separate Eelam in Lanka: Raja

Apr 5 (DC) BJP national secretary H. Raja appears to stoke a controversy when he has expressed that Centre is not in favour of separate Eelam in Sri Lanka. Senior leader who had opened up his mind on various issues, tweeted: How can India divide another country in reply, when a Twitter user sought to know why “no step has been taken for Tamil eelam by govt, then how Vaiko speech becomes anti national?” “Vaico is behind bars for anti-national speech. Seeman will follow suit,” more..

JP titles for 100 war veterans

Apr 5 (CT) In appreciation of their service to the nation, veteran military officers are to be made Justices of the Peace. With the objective of getting these veterans involved in community services, the Ministry of Justice has decided to give 100 persons, the title Justice of the Peace. The title would be given to selected military officers from the three armed forces, a media release from the ministry said. The awarding ceremony will be held today at 12.30 p.m. at the ministry auditorium more..

Military cannot be exempted from controversial probes: Police Spokesman

Apr 5 (Island) Denying the JO’s allegations that law enforcement authorities had been targeting military personnel as well as the police over several high profile cases, police headquarters emphasised that they couldn’t be exempted from investigations. Police spokesman DIG Priyantha Jayakody said that those who believed people could be excused as they were members of the military or the police should have their heads examined. more..

Eran exposes alleged corruption in Canwill Holdings

Apr 5 (FT) Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne told Parliament that no action had been taken to investigate allegations over the misuse of public funds by Gamini Senarath, the Chief of Staff of former President Rajapaksa, and Piyadasa Kudabalage, who functioned as Directors of the companies associated with controversial Canwill Holdings Ltd. Minister said: “Piyadasa Kudabalage has been paid a considerably large allowance of Rs. 600,000 on a monthly basis. more..