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Sexual harassment is a criminal offence cads on the buses

Mar 6 (CT) In a study commissioned by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) on sexual harassment against women in public buses and trains in Sri Lanka, it was revealed that 90% of women were victim to sexual harassment at least once on public transport. Even more alarming is the fact that only 4% of the victims have reported their encounters to authorities. Sexual Harassment, according to the official definition given by more..

Kuwaiti sponsor agrees to pay Sri Lankan maid 4 years salary

Mar 6 (AT) A Kuwaiti woman has pledged to pay KD 3,300 to her Sri Lankan housemaid to prevent the authorities from slapping a ban on her to hire overseas domestic workers in future. This happened after a representative from the Sri Lankan embassy of filed a complaint with the Office of the Director-General of the General Department of Residence Affairs Major-General Talal Ma’arafi. In the complaint the official said the housemaid sought refuge in the Embassy after more..

TN fishermen to boycott Katchatheevu festival

Mar 6 (Hindu) Expressing dismay over the continued arrest of fishermen by the SL Navy and detention of their boats, Rameswaram fishermen have decided to boycott the two-day annual Katchatheevu festival at St Antony’s Church in the islet on March 11 and 12 and launch an indefinite strike from March 7, seeking the release of all arrested fishermen and boats. Hours after the SL Navy arrested 24 fishermen, including 15 from the island, leaders of 11 mechanised boat fishermen associations more..

Video: FUTA threaten token strike; uncertainty over uni students' exams

Mar 6 (DM) FUTA threatened to go ahead with its planned trade union action on March 8 and 9 even though it might jeopardize the exams of undergraduates. FUTA President Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that not only the students but it would even hamper the work of the lecturers. “We have waited so long hoping that our demands will be granted. Students’ exams are also scheduled to be held on Wednesday and Thursday. more..

MoU signed to purchase new train engines and power sets

Mar 6 (GDI) Department of Railway signed an MoU to purchase 10 train engines and six power sets made in India. B.A.P. Ariyaratne, General Manager of SL Railway and Puneet Kumar, Executive Director of manufacturing Company signed the MoU in the presence of the Economic Counsellor of the Indian High Commission in SL Mrs. Suja K. Menon. Sri Lanka has been granted USD 42 million for the 10 engines, and USD 58 million for the six power sets under the Indian Credit Line. more..

Sri Lanka seeks turnkey contractor for U$68mn Heda Oya reservoir

Mar 6 (EN) Sri Lanka will call bids to choose a turnkey contractor who will build a reservoir that can store 147 million cubic metres on Heda Oya, that will provide water to eastern areas of the island. The cabinet of ministers had approved a proposal by the ministry of irrigation to call international competitive bids for a contractor who build the reservoir estimated to cost 10.25 billion rupees (68 million dollars) and also provide finance. The reservoir will provide water to irrigate land and more..

Video: Appoint SPC to probe H'tota Port deal

Mar 6 (DM) PHU MP Udaya Gammanpila asked President Sirisena to appoint a special presidential commission (SPC) to review the Hambantota Port Agreement, which would result in Sri Lanka losing Rs.1.4 trillion during the 99-year lease period. He said the final agreement with Chinese Company had been approved by the Attorney General and awaits Cabinet approval. more..

Shashi Welgama released on bail

Mar 6 (NR) Former Chairman of SLTB Shashi Welgama arrested on charges of misusing state funds has been released on bail. Welgama was released after he was produced before Colombo High Court today. Shashi Welgama was released on a 200,000 rupee cash bail and three 5 million rupee surety bails. Order was issued by HC Judge K Heiyanthuduwa. He was also banned from travelling overseas while he was ordered to hand over his passport to the court. more..

Police request help to hunt down two individuals

Mar 6 (AD) Police are hunting down two individuals who have allegedly stolen Rs. 102300 and had withdrawn a sum of Rs.27705 from a credit card. The alleged robbery had been carried out in the late hours on the 27 February, where the contents were stolen from a woman bag while on a bus.  Police Media Spokesperson, Priyantha Jayakody stated that the police have requested the public to come forward with any information regarding the individuals identified. more..

'Sri Lanka meets fiscal targets, key IMF benchmarks, reserve collections slow'

Mar 6 (EN) Sri Lanka has reached fiscal targets and also met key structural benchmark under a program with the IMF, but foreign reserve collections has been slow amid bond outflows, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. SL is currently in talks with an IMF mission over completing the second six month review involving targets in Dec 2016. He said Sri Lanka has met 14 structural benchmarks. more..

75% of BIA runway resurfacing completed

Mar 6 (NR) Around 75% of the resurfacing of the runway at Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake has been completed. The runway, which was closed on the 6th of January for maintenance, is scheduled to be completed on the 6th of April. Accordingly, the width of the runway will be increased to 75 meters from 60 meters. According to international standards, maintenance and resurfacing of the runway should be conducted once in every 10 years. more..

Kabir condemns system of switching parties

Mar 6 (NR) Minister Kabir Hashim has condemned the system of switching political parties in the name of the country’s development. He said the country’s problems remain at large despite such efforts. Minister Hashim questioned the reasons as to why the ruling parties of the country have been switching back and forth within the past 20 to 25 years. Minister said the method has not worked as the public still has reasons to protest against the state of affairs. more..

CAA launches probe following raid on skin cream warehouse

Mar 6 (CG) Officers of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) commenced a probe on one of the largest ever cosmetics contraband to be discovered to-date at a warehouse in Wellampitiya. CAA estimates the value of seized contraband is around Rs 15.7 million. “These fake creams could have resulted in skin issues and injuries. Thanks to our alert CAA officers, we prevented it,” Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said. more..

Govt eyes to privatize five key state institutions: Vasu

Mar 6 (AD) The Secretary of Socialist People’s Front, Raja Kollure Monday charged that the govt has failed to uphold law and order in the country. He made the observation while speaking to reporters at a press conference held in Colombo. Citing the recent incidents of shooting happened in Kalutara and fully loaded weapons found from a court in Mt. Lavinia, Kollure went on to say a move is underway to threaten the judicial system of the country as well. “If the relevant minister is unable to more..

Sri Lanka to test automated traffic management system

Mar 6 (EN) Sri Lanka will soon test an automated traffic offence management system using closed circuit television with number plate recognition capability in Colombo under the planned Western Region Megapolis project, an official said. Use of an efficient traffic enformenent system with CCTV cameras is one of the projects that will be implemented to improve transport in the Megapolis, said Dimantha De Silva, senior lecturer at Uni of Moratuwa and Megapolis transport planner. more..

Can Kusal, Dhananjaya build on early promise?

Mar 6 (CI) Upul Tharanga was once the future. He stood tall and tranquil at the crease, had shots through the offside so beautiful that entire stadiums bawled when he drove, and he had the Kumar Sangakkara stamp of approval. Eventually, though, oppositions began to study him. A technical flaw to the angled ball outside off stump was exposed. For entire series, Tharanga became like an usher at a film theatre, forever directing more..

GMOA to sue SAITM for Rs.1,000 m

Mar 6 (DN) GMOA will file a case demanding Rs. 1,000 million against SAITM for tarnishing its image by stating that the GMOA is connected to the shooting incident of former SAITM CEO, GMOA Editor and former Secretary Dr. Nalinda Hearth said. Addressing the media, Dr. Herath said that the SAITM tarnished the image of the GMOA and slang mud on the GMOA stating that the GMOA was connected to the shooting incident involving in former SAITM Chief Executive Officer. more..

Govt to amend OMP Act

Mar 6 (DM) The Govt has drafted legislation to amend the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Act and a gazette notice has been issued in this regard. The draft legislation will be presented in Parliament shortly. The Govt decided to set up the Office of Missing Persons last year through an Act of Parliament but it is not operational as yet. The move to amend the Act comes in the wake of the UN Human Rights Office calling for speedy action in ensuring transitional justice. more..

Station Masters’ Association and Transport Minister to meet

MarMar 6 (NR) A special discussion will be held between members of SL Station Masters’ Union and Minister of Transport Nimal Siripala De Silva this afternoon. Station Masters’ Union said the meeting will commence at 2pm at the Ministry of Transport. Union said it will withdraw from launching the trade union action scheduled to commence at midnight tomorrow if the Union’s concerns are addressed through the discussion. more..

Underworld will be wiped out promptly: IGP

Mar 6 (NR) IGP Pujith Jayasundara says the underworld and its activities will be eradicated and wiped out promptly. He said the Police Special Task Force will be directed to eradicate underworld activities. IGP said operations have been launched according to the law. He noted steps are being taken in order to arrest criminals, however added all all steps were being carried out legally, void of any illegal activity, alongside Police officers and intelligence services more..

Battle-hardened Bangladesh threaten Sri Lanka's home run

Mar 6 (CI) Last time Bangladesh came to Galle, they played on perhaps the flattest pitch seen in Sri Lanka this decade - one which saw the visitors amass 638, while Mushfiqur Rahim hit his nation's first ever international double-hundred. Four years later, things have changed. Bangladesh no longer need a placid surface to prosper. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, has consistently thrown up the most difficult batting conditions in the world. Despite frequent rains, and relatively early sunsets, more..

US navy establishes presence in Hambantota beating China to it

Mar 6 (ENS) US Pacific Fleet symbolically moved into the strategically located Hambantota port on Monday, beating China in the race to establish great power presence in the port and the region. The US embassy here announced on Monday, that the Pacific Fleet’s transport ship USNS Fall River will be on a Pacific Partnership goodwill mission to Hambantota and its environs from March 6 to 18. more..

Politics of foreign judges in Geneva process

Mar 7 (CT) The weekend after the opening session of the UNHRC in Geneva, I went to the public library to exchange books. While standing in line to return the borrowed books, I was approached by one of the other library members standing in line. He had seen me on television at the opening session in Geneva where I was part of the govt delegation but representing a civil society perspective. This event had received wide coverage in the Tamil media in particular. more..

A portrait of a false revolution

Mar 7 (CT) Professor Kumar David in an article titled Centenary of the February Revolution in Russia tries to draw parallels between the Leninist coup and Maithripala Sirisena’s election. His point of comparison itself is flawed, but for now let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. What compels my attention isn’t his handling of history, but his handling of the caveats that flow from it. He claims that the Revolution (in Russia, not here) could have almost ended in capitulation, more..

'PCs exercising land powers will not lead to separation'

Mar 7 (SO) TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran says, it is not a question of land powers being given to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC). It is really a question of land powers being devolved to the Provincial Councils (PCs). He said, as provided for in the Constitution, land powers should have been devolved, but it has not been implemented since 1987, following the 13th Amendment. In addition to the TNA, more..

Who will cleanse this right royal mess?

Mar 7 (ST) Last Sunday Political Editor of this newspaper exposed some shady dealings at SriLankan Airlines which Minister Kabir Hashim had brought to light at a recent cabinet meeting. Sunday Times said that what appeared to be closely guarded deals which had shocked many of the ministers including earlier Minister Kabir Hashim, the minister under whose purview the national carrier (or should it read national carrion?) is said to operate. All this has only added to national disgrace more..

Remove obstacles to agricultural exports

Mar 7 (ST) The sluggish export performance of recent years has been one of the main reasons for the country’s balance of payments difficulties, economic instability and slow economic growth. The country is in a situation when it must increase exports or face serious economic difficulties. The expansion and diversification of agricultural exports is one way of achieving this. There has been a limited diversification of agricultural exports. Vegetables, fruits, flowers, spices, seafood, more..

'Easterners want all Muslim parties to unite'

Mar 7 (CT) One time Secretary General of SLMC and one of its founding leaders, M.T. Hasen Ali said, the focus of the current leader of his party was just to obtain a ministerial position in any govt and therefore, is failing to address the aspirations of the Muslim community. Ali, who was recently removed from his long-term post of Secretary General of the party said, "I'm still a member of the High Command of the party. more..

Reforming Sri Lankan Muslim personal law

Mar 7 (GV) Muslims of Sri Lanka are governed under Muslim Personal Law. This means that in the areas of marriage, divorce and inheritance, all Muslims of this country will find themselves in a situation at some time or the other that will ensure they get to know about Muslim personal law. When I was quite young, I discovered that if my parents were to die without making wills there was an intricate system of inheritance laid out in a way that prescribed precise portion of my inheritance. more..

President’s dilemma

Mar 7 (CT) I returned from Azerbaijan on 23 June and had to go that morning to Parliament for a COPE meeting. Report on the Bond scam was being drafted, and it was clear that it would show that Arjuna Mahendran had interfered egregiously with bond placements to the great detriment of the economy. Opposition was feeling quite confident, but this made it push its luck and indicate that it would press for a motion of No Confidence on the PM, who had clearly been responsible for more..

Face the Nation

Can Sri Lanka maintain clean sheet over Bangladesh?

Mar 7 (Island) Sri Lanka go into the two match Test series against Bangladesh with a lot at stake and will be eager to maintain their unbeaten record against the minnows. The first Test gets underway today here in Galle followed by the second Test at P. Sara Oval, which will be Bangladesh’s 100th Test match. There have been 16 Tests between the countries so far and Sri Lanka have won 14 of them while two have ended in draws. On paper Sri Lanka should do well, but B'desh have improved immensely more..

The double hundred for ‘A’ team has given me confidence: Dimuth

Mar 7 (Island) The place of opener Dimuth Karunaratne was uncertain for the Test series against Bangladesh after he managed just one half-century in South Africa. To be fair by Dimuth, all batsmen had failed in South Africa, but for some reason, the failures of the openers were highlighted. On his return to Sri Lanka, he scored a hundred against Colts in his first game, but the returns were paltry for rest of the season as he managed scores of 4, 2, 0*, 15 and 17. more..

Drought leaves 80,000 Sri Lankans in need of life-saving food aid

Mar 7 (IRIN) Close to one million people in drought-hit SL are in urgent need of food assistance with tens of thousands needing life-saving support, according to an assessment by the govt and UN that has yet to be made public. SL has been dealing with its worst drought in decades over the past year, and people are reaching the breaking point. In a situation report, DMC referred to 1.2 million people affected by the drought. more..

Editorial: Sword of Damocles in Geneva

Mar 7 (Island) Rajapaksa govt preened itself on saving the country from terrorism and pledged to defend the armed forces against international forces bent on pressing war crimes charges against them. The present administration, some of whose leaders the previous govt branded as traitors, boasts of having saved the saviours! It says its foreign policy has helped win over the world powers and obviate the need for an international war crimes probe. In a dramatic turn of events replete with irony, more..

It’s President Sirisena’s call now

Mar 7 (Island) Standoff between Bar Association of SL and Judicial Services Association over the appointment of a member of the Batticaloa bar as a High Court Judge has ended. Accordingly, members of JSA will be officiating at the BASL elections to be held on 15 March. Earlier, in a strongly worded letter to BASL, JSA had made it clear that they would not officiate at the BASL elections unless the latter took steps to undo the damage done by some members of BASL in canvassing for this appointment. more..

Fags smugglers, beedi makers burn hole in State coffers!

Mar 7 (FT) According to the latest reports, country has seen a sudden surge in smuggled cigarettes during Jan and Feb 2017. The first two months of the year saw law enforcement authorities detecting over 10 million sticks of illicit cigarettes, compared to the four million sticks detected during the whole of 2016. This indicates a massive influx of illicit cigarettes flooding local market. This escalation in smuggled cigarettes comes against more..

Sri Lanka in top 10 wedding and honeymoon destinations for 2017

Mar 7 (LBO) Kuoni, a luxury tour operator, has named Sri Lanka as one it’s top ten honeymoon and weddings abroad destinations, a recently released report shows. The Swiss firm, a leader in honeymoons and weddings abroad, has released the results of its 2017 trend report which show Sri Lanka climbing four notches to number 4 in the wedding destination and hitting the top three spot for honeymoon destinations for the year. “Nowadays, couples are opting for a wider range of more..

Sri Lanka: China’s reluctant ally

Mar 7 (EJI) As President Xi Jinping has been implementing the One Belt One Road strategy at full throttle, SL has emerged as a key hotspot for Chinese investments. Beijing is desperate to win over the tiny country in order to use it as a gateway to the Indian Ocean. Straddling the important sea route between the Middle East and East Asia as well as connecting the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific, SL has tremendous strategic value both from commercial & geopolitical points of view. more..

Who’s responsible: MR or Ravi?

Mar 7 (CT) One of the most extraordinary financial frauds to have ever taken place during the Yahapalana Govt's tenure in its very first year in power is still being argued and debated in the public forum. It is the 2015 Treasury Bond scam. And just when things seem as if they are about to come to a much awaited conclusion, something new and exciting happens that more often than not, tends to more..