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Drought Cascades: 644,377 persons in 12 districts already hit

Jan 19 (Island) The Ministry of Disaster Management as of yesterday has estimated that thus far 644,377 people in the districts of Trincomalee, Kandy, Kalutara, Hambantota, Moneragala, Badulla, Anuradhapura, Jaffna, Mannar, Batticaloa, Mullaitivu and Ratnapura have been affected by the drought. Most main irrigation tanks were down to 27% of their capacity while 220 medium size tanks were at 30% capacity. more..

Field officers can practically implement the government’s policies: President

Jan 19 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says it is the relevant field officers who can practically implement the govt’s policies among the people and get successful results to build a prosperous country by enhancing the agriculture. The President was speaking at a program attended by the officials of the institutes under the Ministry of Agriculture held today (18) at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. more..

Govt to amend Firearms Ordinance for security reasons

Jan 19 (DM) The govt has decided to amend the Firearms Ordinance on account of the timely requirement and for security reasons. Accordingly, the Firearms Ordinance No. 33 of 1916 (Chapter 182) as amended by Act No.22 of 1996 will be amended following on the recommendations made by a committee consisting of the Attorney General, the Legal Draftsman, the Govt Analyst, representatives of the Police and the Armed Forces, more..

SC issues notice on Lankaenews editor

Jan 19 (AD) The Supreme Court today issued notice on Lankaenews editor Sandaruwan Senadheera to appear before the court in March 3, on charges of contempt of court. On Nov 25, the Gamapaha Chief Magistrate issued an international arrest warrant on Senadheera for alleged contempt of court, to be executed through Interpol. However, on Dec 9 the CID informed court that Interpol has refused to issue Red notice more..

Bringing China’s wars to Sri Lanka

Jan 19 (CT) One of China's State controlled dailies, Global Times has taken a swipe on both India and Japan, vis-à-vis Sri Lanka. This is in the context of SL bartering debt to equity to its creditor China, such as the white elephant Hambantota Port it funded, when its minion Mahinda Rajapaksa held sway over the island's fortune till not so long ago. Unsurprisingly, this article from the Global Times, or, extracts of it, was published by DNA India, a privately run newspaper in India. more..

Dilemma of the involvement of Int'l Judges: CTF recommendations & political stance

Jan 19 (CT) The Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTF) has handed over the final report, which is a product of months of consultations with victims, citizens and civil society stakeholders among them. The ceremonial handing over of the important report, which is produced by a Task Force commissioned by the Prime Minister was neither to the Head of State nor to the Prime Minister, but to the former president Chandrika Kumaratunga, on 3rd January 2017. more..

මේ දිනවල ගුවන්තොටුපොළේ සිදුවන්නේ කුමක් ද?

Sri Lanka VOA shortwave station has 4.2MW of thermal power: US embassy

Jan 19 (EN) A Voice of America shortwave relays station that has been closed and is being returned to the govt has 4.2 MegaWatts of power generation capacity. "US govt is returning with gratitude its lease of over 400 acres of property in Iranawila back to the Govt of Sri Lanka in its entirety, including any and all improvements," the embassy said. "During the time of its operation, U.S. govt has developed the Iranawila property,  building roads, clearing and levelling the land, building drainage canals, more..

First Capital Holdings signs MOU with Oxford Business Group

Jan 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s efforts to boost capital inflows through the gradual liberalisation of its trade and investment laws will be explored in a forthcoming report by the global publishing firm Oxford Business Group (OBG). Report: Sri Lanka 2017 will look in detail at what the country’s capital markets sector is doing to prepare for an era of higher investment. Key developments set for analysis include a drive under way to modernise the industry and the emergence of new private more..

Ex-Governors gang up against constitutional reforms

Jan 19 (CT) Several ex-Governors have ganged up against the ongoing Constitutional reforms process, expressing their reservations saying that the reforms can seriously undermine the power and the role of the Governor. They have also said that the weakening role of the Governor could undermine the ability of the SL State to prevent the inexorable threat to the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, while also warning that if powers of more..

Removed official still powerful at Health Ministry, says GMOA

Jan 19 (DN) An official who had been removed by Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne from the Transfer Board which handles doctors’ transfers, is still very active and blocks all functions of the Board and even prevents the implementation of orders given by the Health Ministry Secretary Anura Jayawickrama, GMOA Secretary Dr. Navin De Zoysa said. He said that the removed official is preventing the implementation of orders given by Health Ministry Secretary Anura Jayawickrama more..

Tamil Nadu fishermen chased away by SL navy, fishing nets cut

Jan 19 (PTI) Over 2,000 Tamil Nadu fishermen were forced to return without catch after Sri Lankan Navy personnel allegedly snapped the fishing nets of 10 mechanised boats off Katchatheevu. "The fishermen from Rameswaram had put out to sea in 601 mechanised boats yesterday and were fishing near Katchatheevu, when the naval men rounded up 10 boats and snapped the fishing nets and asked the fishermen to return," Rameswaram Fishermen Association President P Sesuraja said. more..

Video: Dundee man turns Sri Lankan street dog into yoga star

Jan 19 (TC) Finlay Wilson enjoyed a trip to Sri Lanka last January with his partner, where he regularly practised yoga. Each morning as he practised, Finlay would be joined by an inquisitive young stray dog. Dismayed at the way local people treated the animal, Finlay grew close to the curious dog, who he later named Amaloh. Upon leaving SL, Finlay decided to adopt Amaloh. After his new pet spent 9 months in quarantine, more..

Red Hat brings power of open source to SL

Jan 19 (V&D) The open-source software solutions company  Red Hat has hosted a half-day technology event in Colombo at Hotel Cinnamon Lakeside. Under the theme, Power of Participation, the event discussed how enterprises can transform and innovate by learning, networking, and collaborating via open source technology. The keynote address was delivered by Amarjeet Manchanda, Director, Presales, Red Hat India who spoke about the potential of open source to influence change more..

US Navy Ship Hopper at Port of Colombo

Jan 19 (SLN) US Navy Ship Hopper arrived at the Port of Colombo today on a goodwill visit. The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer was ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on her arrival. Subsequently, the Commanding Officer of the ship, Commander John D. Gainey paid a courtesy call on the Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Jayantha De Silva at the Western Naval Command Headquarters. more..

Alibaba eyes on SL for e-Commerce: Alibaba from China; SL to provide forty thieves

Jan 19 (NF) Ministry of Finance notes that the world famous Chinese e-Commerce company Alibaba has showed keen interest to investing in Sri Lanka and to build an e-Commerce platform to further promote it’s on-line business ventures. Founder of Alibaba e-Commerce company and it’s current chairman Jack Ma has evinced his interest during a meeting with Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake on Wednesday. more..

Research shows composting as a viable option for solid waste management in SL

Jan 19 (PO) Solid waste management is growing as a major problem in urban Sri Lanka with a rising population and rapid urbanization. The present system of open dumping has caused environmental and public health hazards, a research study has found. The research published in the NSBM Journal of Management, recommends the composting of organic matter as the most socio-economically viable method of waste management. Researchers Dr Lalithasiri Gunaruwan, Senior Researcher more..

New-look SA v battered SL in familiar format

Jan 19 (CI) In a year with no World T20, it would be easy to forget the shortest format exists at int'l level, but South Africa and SL are doing their bit to keep it alive and kicking. The three-match whirlwind series takes place in five days and will feature an almost entirely new-look South African outfit. Only four members of the squad that played in the World T20 last March, 10 months ago, have been included in the 13-man group for the first two matches as South Africa look to the future. more..

Court of Appeal dismisses Raviraj appeal

Jan 19 (NR) The Court of Appeal today dismissed an appeal filed against the verdict issued by the Colombo High Court acquitting the five suspects arrested in the case over the murder of TNA MP Nadarajah Raviraj. The petition was dismissed without being heard. The petition was filed by the wife of Raviraj, Sasikala Raviraj. The Appeals Court bench comprising judges Deepali Wijesundara and Lalith Jayasuriya attributed the decision to more..

Tissa A. wants foreign observers at his trial

Jan 19 (Island) Former General Secretary of the UNP and MP Tissa Attanayake said in Kandy that he was exploring the possibility of getting representatives of the International Human Rights Organisation as observers for the hearing of the case against him. "The case against me is so unique that it is the first ever case filed based on a speech from a political platform", Tissa Attanayake told the media after calling on the prelate of Malwatte on Wednesday. more..

GSP+ still in doubt

Jan 19 (CT) European Union Parliament, which concluded that Sri Lanka meets the eligibility criteria for restoration of the GSP Regulation, Article 9(1), still reiterates that it would be granted only if Sri Lanka implements the criteria mentioned in the 27 international conventions. EU Parliament's decision will be announced on 12 March 2017 at the latest, or in case the EU Council seeks an extension, the final decision will be announced on 12 May. On 11 January, 2017, European Commission staff, more..

Police SIU failed to execute open warrant on Emil Kanthan, AG says

Jan 19 (DN) Attorney General’s Department today informed the Colombo High Court that the Police Special Investigation Unit (SIU) had failed to execute the open warrant issued for the arrest of former North and Eastern Provinces LTTE Financial Head Emil Kanthan, in connection with a Rs. 200 million fraud that had allegedly taken place at the RADA in 2006. Additional Solicitor General Yasantha more..

Rajitha backs Rathana thera’s pressure group

Jan 19 (CT) Commenting on the decision taken by MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera to opt for independent status in Parliament and his vow to create a pressure group, minister Rajitha Senaratne said that he would also like to support him with constructive criticism of the Govt. He acknowledged that "Yes, there are mistakes and we have been slow in delivering some of our promises. But there is also a lot of freedom. Thera can now come out and openly say what and how he feels. more..

Sri Lanka eyes Europe for more tourists

Jan 19 (Xinhua) Govt seeks to attract more European tourists and have appointed a senior official as a tourism consultant to focus especially on the European continent. Minister John Amaratunga said the country hopes to attract more Europeans who are traditionally identified as good spenders with demand for high standards as several int'l hotels are now opened in Colombo. "Today with so many hotels coming up, we need to redouble our efforts to attract more Europeans to SL" more..

Sri Lanka to work with Erik Solheim

Jan 19 (CG) Sri Lanka is to work with former peace negotiator Erik Solheim once again, this time however on environmental issues. PM had talks with Solheim in Switzerland on the sidelines of the WEF. Solheim is the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme and he has agreed to work with Sri Lanka through his new role. “Green economy. Sustainable tourism. Wildlife. Water. Agreed cooperation between SL and more..

CEA, Coca Cola MoU for Kelani River environmental restoration work

Jan 19 (DN) Coca Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd. has signed a MoU with the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) to provide Rs. 150 million for environmental restoration work in Kelani River. The company which found itself in a major controversy over polluting Kelani River, the main source of drinking water for the Metro Colombo area, on August 17, 2015, has sponsored to establish an online water quality monitoring stations in selected locations in the Kelani river. more..

Son of High Court judge assaulted for refusing to be ragged

Jan 19 (DN) A second year undergraduate in Peradeniya University, who defied ragging, was yesterday assaulted by a group of undergraduates who promote ragging. The assaulted undergraduate was admitted to the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital. The assault has taken place at the Post Graduate Institute of the university around 10.30 a.m. Two students who witnessed the assault have given statements to the police. The assaulted student is a son of a high court judge. more..

Woman who went missing during 88/89 uprising returns home after 25 years

Jan 19 (AD) A woman who allegedly went missing during the 1988-89 insurrection in Sri Lanka when she was just 18 year old has reportedly returned to her home in Giraulla, Gampola after 25 years, during which she was held against her will and made to slave at a house. Her family had even collected compensation paid for missing persons by the Ihala Korale Divisional Secretariat. Padma Kumari, who is now 43 years old, says more..

Samarasinghe says talking about int’l conventions cost him FM post

Jan 19 (AD) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe says that not only the incumbent unity govt, but even the previous govts had to agree to certain conventions to gain GSP+ from the EU and this govt has only had to do implement them. However, he stated that conventions are implemented in order to promote rights in the country and not to fulfill the needs of the international community. He also said that GSP Plus is not granted permanently. He said that no country has ever implemented all 27 int'l conventions more..

Special ops to find vehicles with tinted front windows

Jan 19 (DM) Police today launched a 13-day long operation to inspect vehicles with tinted or curtained front windows. The operation will continue till Jan 31. Police said front windscreen of the vehicle should also be clear. “It has been found that the rise of accidents involving motor vehicles is largely due to tinted or curtained front windows,” police said. “The use of tinted glasses is appended in Govt Gazette 875/08 on 16.06.1995 and Gazette number 1273/28 on 31.01,2003. more..

Premier discusses impending drought with World Food Programme

Jan 19 (NR) A special discussion was held between PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) Ertharin Cousin pertaining to the impending drought to be faced by Sri Lanka and the steps necessary to curtail the issue. Special attention was drawn to negative impacts the drought is expected to have on the Agriculture industry and Hydro Power generation. more..

Executive promise!

Jan 20 (DN) Politics is sometimes all about timing and being in the right place at the right time, even if it is unintentional. The leaders of the present govt, President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will certainly agree. PM Wickremesinghe happened to be at the right place at the right time when he first assumed that office. That was way back in May 1993, when then President R Premadasa was assassinated by a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber. more..

Editorial: Koskola Mamas

Jan 20 (Island) Successive govts have taken the masses for asses. They have duped the people into voting for them by making various promises such as bringing rice from the moon and giving away eight pounds of grains. Needless to say all those promises were reneged on. SLFP-led govt (1970-77), instead of making lunar rice available free of charge, imposed restrictions on transporting rice and chillies; the barricades put up for that purpose came to be dubbed haal polu & miris polu. more..

Political furnace heating up once more

Jan 20 (CT) The political furnace is heating up once more with Athuraliye Rathana Thera's decision to remain an independent MP at a juncture when former President Rajapaksa announced that he will topple the govt in 2017. JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath commented on the prevailing political situation and noted that the govt has been rendered unstable in the last two years and that the Thera's decision to function as more..

The road taken and roads yet to be taken

Jan 20 (LMD) Sometimes I yearn for a simpler ethos in local politics. There was a time when a lay observer of parliamentary goings-on could easily discern the good from the bad, and distinguish the men from the boys in terms of grown-up policies developed and implemented in the national interest. Perhaps mere sentiment for purer separation and the division of powers clouds one’s judgement and perceptions in a milieu where coalition politics cast a long shadow over local law-making. more..

Sri Lanka’s LGBTIQ Equality Stalemate & Victorian Hangovers

Jan 20 (CT) The week of the 16th of January 2017 carried bad news for Sri Lanka’s LGBTIQ community. At the weekly meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, a number of ministers had vehemently opposed the abrogation of Articles 365 and 365A of the Penal Code. This also implies vehement opposition to the inclusion of a constitutional clause on equality to all Sri Lankan citizens, irrespective of their gender identity and/or sexual orientation. In other words, this cabinet decision, more..

'Wider participation mandatory for people-friendly constitution'

Jan 20 (CT) Chairman of the Public Representations Committee of the Constitutional Reforms Process & former Opposition Leader of the Central Provincial Council Lal Wijenayake said that, a wider contribution from society was mandatory for enacting what would be a people-friendly Constitution. "There is much more room for the wider participation in the process which is far from over. more..

All doors open to holistic care

Jan 20 (ST) It is a busy Saturday and as morning advances to noon, men, women and children gather on the spacious and airy second floor of a building with a dark blue façade. It is a baby in this bustling health square in the very heart of Colombo, home to both govt and private health facilities. It is, however, a unique baby. A one-stop-centre where people are being provided holistic care in the true sense of the word with multidisciplinary treatment along with prompt & accurate laboratory test results. more..

Tea plantations: Crisis and restructure

Jan 20 (ST) The Sri Lankan tea industry faces several problems and the major challenges that the tea industry faces are, raising productivity and remaining competitive. The area under tea cultivation is stagnant or shrinking, productivity is low, the replanting rate is low, production costs are high and there is a shortage of labour willing to work in the industry. Sri Lanka’s share of world production and share of world export are also gradually decreasing. more..