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Drone crashes into Ruwanweliseya

Jan 16 (CT) Reports came of a rogue drone camera, that was flown above the Ruwanweli Maha Seya Stupa, which had suddenly crashed onto the Sae Maluwa, after its operator lost control of it. The quad copter drone had been recording shots of the historic location when it had flown out of its radio control range. This has caused the drone to crash and fall, eventually hitting the Stupa. The incident it is said had occurred last Saturday. more..

BBQ turns toxic one dies, two hospitalized

Jan 16 (DM) One person had died and another two hospitalized following inhaling toxic fumes after cooking chicken on a BBQ, inside a room at a lodge in Nuwara Eliya. The deceased had been identified as 39-year-old resident of Nittambuwa. The three men from Nittambuwa, who had left for Nuwara Eliya on a trip had lodged at a house at Hawa Eliya on Friday. “They had used the BBQ to roast the chicken and later they brought the barbecue grill inside their room for heating and had fallen sleep," more..

Ex-Muslims come out as a group in Sri Lanka

Jan 16 (FT) A group of individuals, who chose to leave the religion they were born to – Islam, owing to different reasons, joined as a group to form Ex-Muslims of Sri Lanka (EMSL), two days prior to bidding farewell to the year 2016. Coming out to the public for the first time in Sri Lanka’s history as the very first organisation for those who left and wish to leave the religion of Islam was formed on 30 Dec 2016 at an undisclosed location closer to Colombo. Meeting for the first time as a group, more..

Become bilingual, PM tells Police

Jan 16 (FT) PM told the top brass of the Police to improve their organisation’s structure, use of technology and bilingual skills to provide a more people-friendly service. Discussing moves to enable SL Police to deliver a more people-friendly service, in a meeting held on Saturday, PM said the training mechanism in the department needed to be restructured to ensure officers from lower ranks also periodically underwent training. more..

National Fisheries Policy in 2017

Jan 16 (NR) The govt has decided to formulate a National Fisheries Policy. Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development Mahinda Amaraweera said a sustainable national fisheries policy will be initiated with the assistance of Norway. He said Sri Lanka intends to minimise discrepancies in the industry and to avoid misuse of natural resources. Accordingly, Minister had requested the Norwegian PM Erna Solberg to support the govt to prepare a National Fisheries Policy. more..

Remove Sampanthan: JO

Jan 16 (NR) UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardene demanded an overhaul in opposition appointments in parliament. He claimed that the joint opposition should be granted the post of Leader of the Opposition and the chief Opposition Whip post. MP said as the Joint opposition has a majority of 51 MPs in the house, it should be given those two positions. He said TNA has 16 MPs and 6 MPs are from the JVP adding only 22 members are supporting Oppsotition Leader R Sampanthan. more..

Video: Lottery dealers to boycott sales for five days

Jan 16 (DM) All Island Lottery Dealers Association (AILDA) would boycott selling lottery tickets for five days from today as their demands were not met as promised by the President. Minister Ravi Karunanayake also strongly maintains that the new price of Rs.30 would not be changed at any cost. FM said that govt was not in a position to fulfill these demands and prices or commissions that they anticipate to be amended more..

Video: Wijeyadasa doesn’t know what he is talking about: Ravi K

Jan 16 (DM) Replying to a statement made by Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe with regard to the access to temporary resident visas, Minister Ravi Karunanayake maintained that Rajapakshe was misinformed and did not know what he was talking about. Criticizing Karunanayake’s statement that temporary resident visas would be issued to foreigners who invest a minimum of US$300,000, Rajapakshe had earlier made a comment that such a move only opens door for beggars to enter more..

Air-conditioning in state buildings restricted

Jan 16 (NR) Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says new directives will be issued pertaining to the usage of air-conditioning in state buildings in the country. Minister speaking during an event held in Ruwanwella said the Ministry will issue a circular for all state institutions considering the adverse weather conditions experiencing in the country at present. Accordingly, air-conditioning temperatures in state buildings will be limited to 26 degree Celsius. Minister said the Department of Meteorology more..

Govt to restrict protests to 2 locations in city

Jan 16 (Island) The govt has unveiled a plan to restrict protests in Colombo and its suburbs and areas surrounding Parliament. Minister Sagala Ratnayake has directed his ministry Secretary Jagath Jayaweera to take immediate steps to issue a gazette notification naming two places where people could gather to carry out protests. Minister gave the directive in response to representations made by Senior DIGs more..

The system strikes back

Jan 16 (DM) On Nov 8, 2016, Donald Trump won the US presidential elections. The unthinkable had happened and the effect is somewhat like the Boxing Day tsunami which hit the Asia region in Dec 2004.   If he sticks to his campaign pledges, many of which were shocking, the victory of the president elect will see a complete overhaul of decades-old US practices and policies. The run-up to the election itself saw a seismic rupture with past presidential elections, with candidates attacking more..

Where is democracy in Sri Lanka heading to?

Jan 16 (DM) It is now time that we discuss some key factors relating to democracy, given that the name of our country is the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. But, unfortunately, ours is still far from being a true democratic state. Democracy, which refers to the idea that people should rule themselves, was first established in Greece in the 5th century B.C. Henceforth, many countries, using different methods, have experimented to govern their societies and it is today more..

'Climate change: Preparedness of Sri Lanka is absolute zero'

Jan 16 (DM) Leading academic on climatology Prof. Senevi Epitawatte, in an interview, speaks about the effects of global warming or climatic changes on Sri Lanka in the decades to come. Asserting that Sri Lanka would face severe effects of it in another 25-30 years, he called for action to stand up to the situation in terms of adaptation and mitigation. He recently published two volumes on  geomorphology. more..

A Royal fraud for Grade-1 admissions

Jan 16 (SL) Ministry of Education has decided to suspend grade one admissions to Royal College Colombo for the new academic year in response to complaints received by the Education Ministry in  November, 2016 with regard to alleged irregularities that took place during the selection process of students for grade one. The grade one admissions were scheduled to take place on January 11. more..

Lasantha admits obtaining vehicles, denies wrongdoing

Jan 16 (Island) Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanne, said that he had intervened to obtain vehicles for three persons assigned the task of supervising State Engineering Corporation (SEC) implemented projects in the Gampaha District during the then president Rajapaksa’s second term. At that time, MP Alagiyawanne was the deputy to NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, who held the construction, engineering service, housing more..

Video: Archaic Parliamentary Standing Orders should be updated: Thilanga

Jan 16 (DM) Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala said that Parliamentary Standing Orders introduced over 30 years ago need to to be amended to keep up with the times. He emphasised that a significant improvement could be seen in the conduct of our MPs after the introduction of several changes that had already taken place. He made these remarks to the media after receiving the blessings from more..

'Sri Lanka prepared for power crisis in 2017'

Jan 16 (LBO) Power minister says that steps have been taken to face the hydro power generation loss due to the record drought in 2016. Nevertheless, consumers are advised to conserve electricity. “We have only 36% capacity in our Randenigala, Victoria, Samanala reservoirs because of the drought and this dry spell is expected to continue on for another 3-4 even 5 months according to our meteorological officials,” more..

Three-wheeler drivers flay new proposals 

Jan 16 (CT) The National Joint Three-Wheeler Drivers' Association has requested the Transport Minister to amend some points issued in a Gazette Notification regarding three-wheel operators. The President of the Association K. D. Alwis said they agree as an association with the proposals presented overall but hinted that there should be some changes. "We have cited some amendments. One is the fact that more..

JO flays govt for offering croton and jak leaves to hungry people

Jan 16 (Island) Top Joint Opposition Spokesman Prof. G.L. Peiris said that recent government declaration Sri Lankans should get accustomed to living on croton, jak leaves (kos kola) as well as yam was in accordance with the foolish agricultural policy of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration. Those who had been boasting of the yahapalana rule should be ashamed of the govt they elected in Jan. 2015, Prof. Peiris said. more..

Lawyers to have access to suspects in police custody

Jan 16 (ST) The Govt will propose an amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Act giving statutory recognition to the right of an attorney-at-law to have access to a police station in which a client is being held. It will equally recognise the entitlement of such attorney to meet the OIC of the police station and to ascertain from him the reasons for arrest, when and where the client is to be produced before a magistrate. more..

GSP: No promises given to the EU, says Ajith

Jan 16 (DM) Sri Lanka had not agreed to any condition that would be unfavorable to people to gain GSP Plus, a Deputy Minister said. “ We have not agreed to grant federalism or to take away the status given to Buddhism in the Constitution and such things have not been presented as conditions,” he said at a media briefing while highlighting that the conditions that had been put out by EU were minor ones pertaining to more..

Rathana Thero to act as an independent MP

Jan 16 (AD) MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero says he will act as an independent MP hereafter without affiliations to any political party. The observation was made during a press conference held in Colombo on Monday. However, Rathana Thero also apprised reporters that he has no intention of joining the opposition. “I would form a broader national moment that could make an impact in a case of national crisis,” Thero added. more..

Govt needs to take on the challenge of the consultation Task Force Report 

Jan 16 (CT) The disquiet about the govt’s commitment to deliver on its promises is now extending itself to those sections of the international community that gave their support to the govt on the basis of its commitment to human rights and reconciliation. The sense of disenchantment amongst the general population is also getting more pronounced.  The common factor is the failure of the govt to deliver on its promises.  With regard to the general population it is the continuing failure more..

Devastating drought

Jan 16 (CT) The present drought conditions throughout the country have threatened agriculture, the drinking water supply as well as the generation of hydropower. President Maithripala Sirisena has issued a directive to create a special task force to deal with the consequences of the prevailing drought conditions in the country. The latest reports indicate that catchment areas as well as the agricultural areas have been severely affected in more than thirteen districts in the country. more..

රට කොයිබටද?: අශෝක අබේගුණවර්ධන

Coca-Cola mulls production hub in Sri Lanka: Finance Ministry

Jan 16 (EN) Coca-Cola, a US-based beverage firm has met Sri Lanka's finance minister to sound out the possibility of setting up a regional production hub catering to South Asia. President of Coca-Cola Asia Pacific, John Murphy and Executive Vice President Irial Finan had met minister Ravi Karunanayake and discussed the opportunity of producing some of the group's brands in Sri Lanka for export to India. However they had been concerned about the stability of taxation of investments. more..

Release of amended list of Royal College admissions demanded

Jan 16 (Island) Ceylon Teachers’ Union has demanded that the names of students admitted to Royal College, Colombo in place of 31 children fraudulently removed from the original list of admissions be released to the media. General Secretary of union Joseph Stalin said that amended list should be released to ensure transparency in the process. Stalin said Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam should release the original list of admission and the amended version thereof. more..

'Take action regarding loss of Rs.15 billion from EPF or we take action'

Jan 16 (LT) President of Inter-Company Employees Union and the Member of the Central Committee of the JVP Wasantha Samarasinghe said members of more than 200 trade unions will storm the Central Bank over the alleged loss of a sum of Rs. 15 billion from the EPF through the Central Bank bond scam. He said this action was agreed by the representatives of trade unions who met in Colombo on Sunday. more..

Navy Commander gets Mervyn-type relief

Jan 16 (CT) Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravi Wijegunaratne is set to get relief of the kind that former minister Mervin Silva got after engaging in acts of thuggery when the victim of the verbal and physical abuse perpetrated by Wijegunaratne pleaded that investigations be stopped. Ranga Kalansooriya, Director General, Department of Govt Information said that Roshan Gunasekera, the victim, had intimated to officials of the department who had sought to record more..

'Constitution outdated; needs to be changed'

Jan 16 (DM) UNP has not changed its stance on changing the current Constitution, UNP MP Nalin Bandara said. “The party believes that this Constitution is outdated and it should be changed in keeping with today’s needs. It is interesting to see those who opposed the 1978 constitution now attempting to cling to the Constitution,” he said. It was too immature to talk about the next presidential election because no decision has been taken on abolishing presidency or on new Constitution. more..

Travel ban imposed on Maj Gen. Fernando, Senadipathi

Jan 16 (AD) A travel ban has been imposed on Maj Gen. Palitha Fernando and Nissanka Senadipathi over the Avant Garde case. The decision was made when the case was taken up for hearing before Colombo Chief Magistrate Lal Bandara on Monday. The Court has also ordered to surrender the passports of the suspects. The CIABOC has filed action against former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and 7 others more..

JKH files patent on energy storage nanomaterial

Jan 16 (LBO) John Keells Holdings filed its first patent jointly with Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) India, in the area of energy storage materials. Patent application filed at an Indian patent office in Dec 2016 is related to a composite nanomaterial which could be used in energy storage. Composite nanomaterial can be synthesized with raw materials found in Sri Lanka and has biocompatibility and low cost per unit of power stored as major advantages more..

Video: MP Weerakumara at FCID

Jan 16 (DM) Deputy Leader of the NFF, MP Weerakumara Dissanayake was summoned to the FCID this morning. He was called to record a statement with regard to investigations being carried out in connection with the misuse of vehicles belonging to the Presidential Secretariat during the previous regime. A spokesman for the FCID said that MP is being questioned at this time. MP Wimal Weerawansa was arrested by the FCID last week in connection with the same allegation. more..

'Don't imprison soldiers for GSP+'

Jan 16 (DM) Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said that security forces personnel should not be imprisoned in connection with war crimes for the sake of regaining the GSP+ facility from the EU. After remaining politically silent for some time he told a media briefing that the govt had mentioned about a hybrid court as one of the conditions to regain this trade concession. “Do we have to imprison military personnel who defeated more..

Mangala to visit Sweden

Jan 16 (Island) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will visit Sweden on the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Margot Wallström, from 17 to 18 January 2017. Minister Samaraweera’s  discussions with his Swedish counterpart are expected to focus on the progress of bilateral activities initiated during Minister Wallström’s visit to Sri Lanka in April 2016 and  cooperation on shared interests at the United Nations and other international fora. more..

Unidentified fly spreading across Ratmalana

Jan 16 (DM) Residents of Ratmalana are worried about an unidentified species of fly spreading fast in home gardens, in the beach and even in houses. Chief Medical Officer, Dehiwala Mount Lavinia Municipal Council said the swarms of flies posed a threat to public health. PHIs pointed out that the flies were found even under the grass in the beach and stung individuals walking along the beach. They said the unidentified creature was found on the walls, windows and furniture in houses. more..

Changes cannot be made without referendum: TNA

Jan 16 (DN) TNA reiterated its position that it would not settle for any Constitutional Amendment that does not require a referendum, but for a new Constitution which ushers in fundamental changes including the abolition of executive Presidency. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, reminding that the mandate President Sirisena received from the people was to make significant changes to the Constitution, pointed out more..

Aluthgamage predicts new faces at Nugegoda rally

Jan 16 (AD) Some people who conspired to topple the previous govt are overwhelmed with fear after realising that people are still with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, MP Keheliya Rambukwella says. He made the observation while speaking to reporters at a press conference held in Colombo on Monday. “And they thought Mahinda would just stay in his home after the election defeat, but the opposite happened,” he said. Rambukwella also underlined that the Yahapalana govt assured more..

SC postpones contempt case against Namal

Jan 16 (NR) The case filed by the CIABOC against MP Namal Rajapaksa was taken up for hearing at Supreme Court today. The case was taken up before a three-bench supreme court panel headed by Chief Justice K Sri Pawan. The charge sheets against MP Rajapaksa were explained in detail during the hearing today. CIABOC filed the petition citing MP Rajapaksa failed to adhere to instructions issued by the Commission pertaining to investigations over misappropriation of funds more..

MR refused to pawn SL to regain GSP+: GL

Jan 16 (DM) Former president Rajapaksa had an opportunity of regaining the GSP+ facility during his tenure if he had agreed to the conditions laid down by the European Union (EU) at the risk of compromising the country’s sovereignty, SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris claimed today. He said that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was only speaking a lot about GSP+ but not about the conditions laid down by the EU to grant more..