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Sri Lankan children still seen at risk despite good health indicators

Mar 7 (EN) Although Sri Lanka has some of south Asia’s best health indicators, with almost universal primary schooling, children are still seen facing risks such as violence, including physical abuse in the home. Sudarshani Fernandopulle, MP and chairperson of the SL Parliamentary Caucus for Children said they had formed the group to address issues of children in Sri Lanka. Four members of the Sri Lanka caucus joined fellow lawmakers from across South Asia in the first meeting of more..

Maldives national carrier to resume flights to Colombo

Mar 7 (Xinhua) Maldives national airline Maldivian will resume flights to Colombo in the coming weeks. The authorization was given following discussions held between Maldives' Minister of Tourism Moosa Zameer and SL's Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva. Maldivian operator Island Aviation Services (IAS)'s head of administration Ali Nashaath told the local media in Male that the company is currently preparing to commence flight operations to Colombo. more..

Undergrads exhorted to end lecture boycott

Mar 7 (Island)  Minister Lakshman Kiriella exhorted university students to end their lecture boycott and resume studies without falling prey to sinister political elements fishing in troubled waters. During an observation tour of the Institute of Technology, University of Moratuwa (ITUM) at Diyagama, Homagama to inspect the final phase of construction of a new building complex, he alleged that many external forces were manipulating more..

All 9 Russian tourists released from custody in Sri Lanka, ready to fly home

Mar 7 (Sputnik) Reports of nine Russian citizens detained in Sri Lanka emerged on Friday. The Russian embassy has said that some of them were charged with violation of rules of stay in the country. "All detained Russian nationals have been released. They will fly to Russia on Monday night," the embassy official said. The embassy said over the weekend the detainees would be released by Monday and return to Russia by Tuesday. more..

Dusit Thani starts work on $ 200 m beachfront apartments in Balapitiya

Mar 7 (FT) Capitalising on the country’s booming leisure and real estate sectors, Dusit Thani Sri Lanka yesterday announced it would commence the first phase of the construction of the 8.5-acre apartment project in Balapitiya on 20 March with an investment of over $ 200 million. The construction contract for the beachfront project in Balapitiya was awarded to Sino Great Wall International Engineering Ltd of China, a listed company on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.  more..

‘Govt’s political opponents using online space to distort country’s image’

Mar 7 (DN) Hitting out strongly at fake news, President Sirisena said govt’s political opponents were misusing the cyber space to paint a wrong picture about SL. “Sri Lankans living overseas are particularly vulnerable to such fake news campaigns,” he said, speaking to SL community in Jakarta. President, addressing the meeting, urged SL expatriates not to fall victim to fake news on web and social media platforms. more..

Sri Lanka bank on solid home record

Mar 7 (WI) Sri Lanka will look to maintain their solid record at home when they take-on buoyant Bangladesh in the first of the two-match Test series starting on today at the Galle Int'l Cricket Stadium. Sri Lanka has won each of its last five Tests at home, a perfect record they want to maintain no matter who their opponents are. The match is of significant importance for either side as Sri Lanka look to restore its pride following a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Proteas more..

Elusive reconciliation

Mar 7 (Hindu) A UN report released last week on the progress of reconciliation efforts by the SL govt should be a wake-up call for President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Raising serious concerns about the delay in addressing allegations of war crimes and in meeting other promises Colombo made when it co-sponsored a resolution at the UNHRC in 2015, the report warns the govt that the lack of accountability threatens the momentum towards lasting peace. more..

AG accused of failing in duty in SAITM issue

Mar 7 (Island) GMOA urged President to take action against the Attorney General’s Department for its failure to make necessary representations at the recently concluded hearing of a petition filed by a graduate of the SAITM. GMOA Secretary, Dr Naveen Zoysa said it would make written representations to President Sirisena regarding the role played by the AG’s Department in the SAITM issue and the circumstances that led to more..

Shehan exposes Lions' frailties against spin

Mar 7 (CI) Beneath the shadow of Elephant Rock, England Lions produced the sort of under-par display that even an elephant would want to forget in a hurry. There are some Lions on this tour, batsmen and bowlers alike, who will hope the selectors also have an uncharacteristic attack of amnesia about the events of the past week as Sri Lanka A have taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series. Sri Lanka's tormenter with bat and ball was Shehan Jayasuriya, stocky and bearded, more..

Vaiko writes to PM on Lanka issue

Mar 7 (Hindu) MDMK general secretary Vaiko on Monday urged the Indian govt to change its position in the UNHRC in favour of an independent international investigation into the alleged genocide of Tamils by the Sri Lankan armed forces in 2009. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said that in the ongoing session of the UNHRC in Geneva, the Indian govt should not continue the wrong stance taken by the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) govt. more..

SL Navy opens fire on TN fishermen, 1 killed

Mar 7 (ANI) A group of Indian fishermen, who were fishing between Danushkodi and Katchatheevu off the Tamil Nadu coast, were allegedly fired upon by SL Navy in which one fisherman was killed. Deceased was identified as a 22-year-old man named Pricho and his body was brought to Rameshwaram Hospital at around 12:30 p.m. Around 500 boats went for fishing on Friday evening from here and around 9 p.m. more..

Rs.800 m worth heroin seized at Grandpass

Mar 7 (DN) Grandpass Police arrested a suspect and seized 13 kg of heroin worth Rs.800 million at around 3.30 p.m. yesterday. DIG Prishantha Jayakody said it was the largest haul of heroin seized in Grandpass Police Division. Suspect was a 37-year-old person. The haul of heroin was seized during a raid conducted by Police in search for firearms in the Mawatta area. However, when the Police checked a man on suspicion, the haul of heroin had been found in his possession. more..

President in Jakarta to attend IORA Summit

Mar 7 (PSL)  President Maithripala Srisena arrived at Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta Int'l Airport this afternoon (6) to attend Indian Ocean Rim Association Leaders’ Summit and to pay a state visit to Indonesia. He was warmly received on arrival by a special delegation, including Indonesian Minister, Basuki Hadimuljono. Indian Ocean Rim Association Leaders’ Summit will commence tomorrow (7), with the aim of sustainable and balanced development of the member states in the Indian Ocean region. more..

TNA asks armed forces to vacate land including LTTE runways

Mar 7 (Island) Leader of the Opposition R Sampanthan has requested President Sirisena to remove more camps in the North, especially where the LTTE had constructed runways. Full text of Sampanthan’s letter: "I wish to draw your kind attention to two instances of occupation of private lands by the Armed Forces in the Northern Province, which lands I submit should be released to the Civilians entitled to same at the earliest. more..

NZ biz delegation upbeat over Lankan investment prospects

Mar 7 (DM) A business delegation of 14 New Zealand companies arrived in Sri Lanka this week to further strengthen business links between the two countries. Sri Lanka is New Zealand’s 23rd largest export market and is worth NZD $ 254 million. New Zealand is Sri Lanka’s 54th largest export market worth NZD $ 55 million. New Zealand’s top exports to Sri Lanka are milk powder, butter and fruit. Sri Lanka’s top exports to New Zealand are tea, retreaded tyres and gloves. more..

UK company to invest $150 mn in Kanthale sugar plant revival

Mar 7 (Island) UK investor SLI Developers will invest US$ 150 million in the revival of the defunct Kanthale sugar plant, which was inoperative for mare than 24 years. The feasibility study will be done by a German company, Bosch, on behalf of the investor, Board of Investment (BOI) chairman Upul Jayasuriya said. "The company signed the agreement with BOI in 2015 August and will go ahead with its operations once the land is released by the Agriculture Ministry. more..

Deepa says Mahendran ordered her to accept bids worth Rs. 10 bn

Mar 7 (Island) Former Superintendent of Public Debt Department Deepa Seneviratne told the Special Presidential Commission, that former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran had ordered her to accept Rs. 10 billion worth of bids on Treasury bonds. Seneviratne who served as the head of the Public Debt Department at the time of controversial bond sale said that the order had been given in the presence of two Dy Governors more..

CJ condemns denial of justice to the poor

Mar 7 (DM) The restoration of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary were among the important promises made by the rainbow coalition when President Sirisena took office on Jan 8, 2015. While the National Govt has taken some important steps to implement these promises there is a long way to go and some of these issues were spotlighted during the National Law Week which was marked from Feb 27 to March 5. The newly-appointed Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, more..

Prisoner’s dilemma in local politics

Mar 7 (DM) In game theory, there is this hypothetical strategy game that is used to explain why two rational individuals may not cooperate even when it is in their mutual interest to cooperate. It goes like this: Police arrest two criminals, but cannot find evidence to indict either of them on the principal charge, so decide to charge them on a lesser crime. In the meantime, police try on a strategy, hoping that the two suspects, who are held in solitary confinement without means to more..

Eliminating ragging: Who is willing to do what it takes?

Mar 7 (SL) It is good to observe the prevailing public uproar following the arrest of student thugs of the University of Peradeniya for ragging new entrants in a torture house they had set up for this purpose. However as someone who has seen it all before and can look back on a lifetime of frustrating endeavor against ragging (an unfortunate euphemism for human torture in campus), one may be excused for being somewhat skeptical more..

Proposal to run SAITM as PPP

Mar 7 (Island) Sri Lanka Freedom Graduates’s Association (SFGA) has called upon President Maithripala Sirisena to run the SAITM as a public-private partnership after preparing methodology to maintain the required standards. General Secretary of SLFGA Manula Perera said they had already sent their proposals on SAITM to President Sirisena in a letter. He said there were private universities in the world, more..

Doping test on cricketers

Mar 7 (DM) The Sri Lanka Anti-Doping Agency (SLADA) yesterday collected urine samples from four Sri Lankan cricketers on a request made by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Accordingly, samples were collected from Kusal Mendis, Dimuth Karunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella and Skipper Rangana Herath while they were preparing for the opening Test in Galle as part of an out-of-competition testing. more..

Communicable diseases: Private hospitals must inform Health Ministry

Mar 7 (DN) Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne had ordered all private hospitals to inform about patients with communicable diseases to the Health Ministry, a Health Ministry spokesman said. Hereafter all private hospitals should inform the Health Ministry details of their patients who suffer from communicable diseases. They should do this by contacting the  Private Health Services Regulatory Council. more..

Ruwanpura Expressway may go to China, but major questions persist

Mar 7 (ST) The Highways Ministry has sought Cabinet approval to hire consultants for Ruwanpura expressway’s Section 1 which is expected to be awarded on a single proposal — without competitive bidding — to a Chinese firm. The company identified for the 26.3 km stretch from Kahathuduwa to Ingiriya is China National Technical Import and Export Corporation (CNTIC). The Cabinet paper dated Feb 20, 2017, more..

BIA risks being blacklisted if renovations are delayed: Minister

Mar 7 (DM) The Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) was in risk of being blacklisted if renovations of the main runway were further delayed, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. On a visit to inspect the progress of the project, he said the authorities were forced to expedite the renovation due to the risk of being blacklisted. The main runway at BIA was closed for renovation on Jan 6 and will be reopen for use on April 6. more..

SL Navy denies allegations of shooting TN fishermen

Mar 7 (DM) Sri Lanka Navy today denied allegations of shooting dead a 22 year old fisherman from Tamil Nadu while he was fishing allegedly a short distance off the Katchatheevu islet. TN fisheries officials pointed the finger at SL Navy personnel for the death of one fisherman and injuring another. Fisheries Department Assistant Director Kulanchinathan said the incident occurred when the fishermen from Thangachimadam more..

225 page report on bond scam to Presidential Commission

Mar 7 (LT) The convener of Voice Against Corruption (VAC) Central Committee Member of JVP Wasantha Samarasinghe reveals that internal audit reports have confirmed that former Governor of CB Arjun Mahendran had given Rs. 31,000 million from Central Bank funds to his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius to buy CB bonds. Arjun Aloysius has earned a profit of Rs. 4600 million from the Rs. 31,000 mil he received from his father-in-law more..

Sri Lanka to boost economic diplomacy with Harvard University

Mar 7 (EN) SL's govt is boosting its economic diplomacy capacity with Harvard University which will help boost investments and exports, Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva said. "Traditional diplomacy was to bring peace," he said. "Economic diplomacy is to bring prosperity." Sri Lanka had a presence in over 60 countries spending about 9 billion rupees a year, de Silva said. "Sri Lanka is running a race, where we are behind more..

President proposes stable legal order to prevent drug trafficking by sea

Mar 7 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena today urged members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to adopt a comprehensive framework to prevent the trafficking of illicit drugs by sea. President, in his address to the IORA Leaders Summit said it was necessary to examine the dangers setting off from the sea such as piracy and terrorism. He observed that trafficking of illicit drugs by sea has become an industry of sorts. more..

RTLTP, don’t be money guzzling, lie generating

Mar 7 (CT) There are many who claim that democracy is a failure. As a concept it might seem foolproof but in practical terms it's not so much. Despite its flaws, humanity has no other alternative that has proved somewhat successful compared to other governing systems. Not every day does, a democratic society rebuild some faith in its citizens but recently something happened that notched the faith levels up in certainly considerable amounts. That is, a group of rehabilitated LTTE cadre more..

New information uncovered over SAITM CEO’s shooting

Mar 7 (NR) Minister Sagala Ratnayake says new information has been revealed pertaining to the shooting incident involving the former CEO of the SAITM. Minister was responding to a question raised over the incident. Minister said the police are on the lookout for the two suspects allegedly involved in the incident. Minister Ratnayake said the police forwarded all evidence gathered adding the Organised Crimes Division is conducting further investigations into the matter. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

FR application fixed for mention

Mar 7 (Island) Supreme Court fixed for mention on March 17, the fundamental rights violation petition filed by the Ukrainian captain of the Avant Garde, who was allegedly taken into custody by SL Navy, while his ship was sailing in international waters. The petitioner has complained of wrongful arrest and prolonged undue detention for over six months. He has requested the SC to grant him interim relief by directing the Defence Secretary and the SL Navy to release him from custody. more..

Real estate industry calls for more regulation

Mar 7 (LBO) SL’s real estate brokers, agents and developers need to professionalize services with the involvement of the govt to ensure future growth, industry officials said. “The emerging and perhaps urgent need of the real state industry is for some type of regulation to be introduced in order to regulate the activities of all players in the sector including agents and developers,” Roshan Madawela, CEO of Real-estate Intelligence Unit (RIU), said at a recent forum. more..

PM's involvement in Bond Scam

Tension in Tamil Nadu as fisherman dies in alleged Lankan navy firing

Mar 7 (ENS) Escalating the tensions in Palk Straits further, a 21-year-old fisherman from TN was shot dead while another suffered bullet injuries when their boat came under attack late on Monday night, allegedly from SL Navy. K Bridjo from Thangachimadam in coastal Ramanathapuram is the first fatality in about 5 years that is blamed on SL Navy. His neighbour and fellow boatman, Jeron (28) suffered injuries to his hand, and undergoing treatment at Ramanathapuram hospital. more..

Dhamma School teachers to get incentive allowance 

Mar 7 (CT) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that it is pointless to create scholars who cannot make a significant contribution towards the wellbeing of the nation. According to reports he made this remark during a Dhamma school ceremony organized by the Ministry of Buddhasasana in Negombo. In the purpose of creating scholars who are beneficial to the villages, the country and also to themselves, the Dhamma school system is a vital factor, he emphasized. more..

Letter to UNHRC: Sumanthiran says some TNA MPs’ signatures were forged 

Mar 7 (CT) “It has been brought to our attention that at least 3 MPs belonging to the TNA have not signed the purported letter alleged to have been signed by 8 or 11 MPs stating that no further time should be granted to Govt of Sri Lanka to implement Resolution 30/1 of Oct 2015,” says TNA Spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran. Issuing a statement today TNA spokesperson said: “Hon. G. Srinesan, Shanthi Sriskantharajah and more..

Two new Govt Medical Colleges

Mar 7 (CT) Govt is planning to establish two new State-owned medical colleges in North Western Province and Ratnapura District, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. Speaking on the SAITM issue, Kiriella further said that Govt cannot change the verdict given by the High Court. Former President Rajapaksha granted Rs.600 million to the SAITM. Back then, no one dared to speak against it, because they were too afraid of white vans. However, current Govt is always willing to more..