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Mahindra partners Ideal for US$ 60 mn Made in Sri Lanka car

Mar 9 (DN) Sri Lankan automobile history will be re written when Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd a part of the USD 17.8 billion Mahindra Group India and their partners in Sri Lanka Ideal Motors manufacture Sri Lanka’s first Made in Sri Lanka car. Ideal Motors Chairman, Nalin Welgama said that the Mahindra Group top management met Minister Malik Samarawickrama in New Delhi recently to discuss this project. “In addition we met the Finance Minister to brief him on the project.” more..

Possible SriLankan, TPG deal may take over six months: Eran

Mar 9 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines restructuring plan with the shortlisted private equity fund TPG may take over six months to arrive at a possible agreement, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. He told reporters that discussions with regard to the subject of airlines is a complex matter to be deal with. “There were eight bidders initially then it reduced to three and now shortlisted to only one party,” he said. more..

SL to release all 85 Indian fishermen in jail

Mar 9 (Hindu) Sri Lankan govt on Wednesday decided to release all 85 Indian fishermen who are now in its custody. “The fishermen will be released as soon as possible, the orders have been passed,” a top source in the Sri Lankan govt told The Hindu. Indian govt too is likely to reciprocate the gesture and release the 19 Sri Lankan fishermen in its custody, the source said. The development comes two days after Tamil Nadu fisherman K. Britjo was shot dead in the Palk Bay. more..

MK Stalin seeks retrieval of Katchatheevu

Mar 9 (DC) DMK working president M.K. Stalin urged external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to initiate immediate steps to retrieve Katchatheevu to restore the traditional rights of the Indian fishermen and to stop the inhuman killings by SL navy. Citing the killing of Indian fishermen K. Britjo, Stalin said SL navy had violated the agreement arrived at the tripartite talks so far held with the fishermen of both the countries. “On the fateful day, the fishermen entered into the sea only for their livelihood more..

‘If Prez, PM oppose foreign judges, who co-sponsored Geneva resolution?’

Mar 9 (Island) JO has sought an urgent explanation from the govt in respect of Geneva Resolution 30/1 in the wake of both President and Premier ruling out foreign judges’ participation in the proposed judicial process. The 47-member UNHRC adopted Resolution 30/1 on Oct 1, 2015. Prof. G.L. Peiris said the govt’s position was certainly comical as Geneva Resolution 30/1 was co-sponsored by yahapalana administration more..

Police officers accused of killing Jaffna students ask CA to transfer case out of N&E

Mar 9 (FT) Five Police officers arrested in connection with the shooting of two Jaffna University students are seeking the Court of Appeal to transfer their case out of the Northern and Eastern provinces. They are also seeking the Court to issue an interim order restraining the continuation of their case in the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court until the final determination of their application. The bench granted the respondents time until 6 April to file objections. more..

Arjun Mahendran before PCoI tomorrow

Mar 9 (DM) Former CB Governor Arjun Mahendran has been summoned to appear before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) that has been set up to investigate the alleged scam tomorrow to record his statement. Notice has been sent to him by the Commission's Secretary asking him to present himself before the commission at 10 am tomorrow. Meanwhile, the PCoI officers had recorded a statement from former Central Bank Deputy Governor P. Samarasiri yesterday. more..

Chaos in parliament

Mar 9 (CT) Leader of the JO Dinesh Gunawardana, was suspended yesterday for a period of one week from attending Parliament sittings on grounds that his conduct tarnished the dignity and decorum of the House. The decision to suspend MP Gunawardana – who stressed in the House that the NFF should be allowed to function as an independent Party in Parliament; was taken following a chaotic situation in the House and more..

Before the wheels come off…

Mar 9 (DM) Just after Chandrika Kumaratunga came to power there was a spate of strikes. The phenomenon was celebrated at first by the then Govt as an indication of increased space for the expression of democratic freedoms. Not too long afterwards the very same regime decried strikes as an abuse of freedom. The line changed to, “The strikers are irresponsible and are demonstrating nothing but the freedom of the wild ass.” It is happening all over again. more..

The politics of script-flipping

Mar 9 (DM) Not too long ago, there was a call for an international inquiry into allegations of war crimes. The call came from both within the country and without. From within it was the usual suspects, the rights-fixated NGOs and outside it was their int'l counterparts, backed of course by the West, primarily the USA and Britain. UNHRC was where these voices gathered into a chorus. The chorus was actually an echo of pro-LTTE groups, again within and without the country. more..

More VIP brawls at night clubs

Mar 9 (SL) More incidents of clashes involving the sons of some VIPs have been reported to the police, even as previous incidents remain unresolved. Police Media Spokesman, DIG Priyantha Jayakody said that a complaint had been filed last week over an incident at a leading five-star hotel in Colombo. He said the incident involved a relative of a Minister. Another complaint was also filed over a clash at a club in Maradana. more..

SLFP contemplates quitting Govt

Mar 9 (DM) Nearly one-and-a-half years has rolled by after the formation of the National Unity Govt between UNP and SLFP. A MoU is underway in this regard. The timeline, stipulated for governing together, will lapse in September making way for the two parties to take stock of things and decide on the next course of action. With just six months ahead of the deadline, fissures within the govt manifest in all fronts. more..

'Cricket Board and I didn’t see eye to eye'

Mar 9 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket recently appointed Asanka Gurusinha, a member of the 1996 World-Cup- winning team as the Cricket Manager in a bid to help the transition of the national team. Asanka domiciled in Australia for about two decades since leaving SL soon after the World Cup triumph speaks of the challenges faced by him as manager, national team and also what forced his premature retirement from cricket. more..

Cardinal and leading monk plead for recycling solution to garbage problem

Mar 9 (Island) Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo and Most Ven Kotugoda Dhammawasa Maha Thera have urged President to adopt a comprehensive long- term plan to tackle the garbage problem.  They have issued the following statement: "In the first place we wish to express our sincere and heartfelt gratitude to President Sirisena, for having personally informed us through telephone that the plan to dump garbage collected from more..

National campaign should target perverts on buses and trains, says official

Mar 9 (ST) A national campaign is needed to tackle the pervasive culture of sexual harassment of women on public transport, an official says. Such a campaign must include a national dialogue, efforts to raise awareness, and educating people on the consequences of sexual harassment. Swarna Sumanasekera, who chairs the National Committee on Women under the Ministry of Women & Child Affairs, said campaigns must more..

N&E rice farmers badly hit by drought

Mar 9 (EN) Rice farmers in North and East have been worst hit by an ongoing drought, with Jaffna district where almost all rice cultivation is rain fed, where almost of all the crop is facing total destruction, official data shows. In the Northern Jaffna district where 10,400 hectares of rice rainfed rice was cultivated almost 99 percent was fully or partially destroyed by drought, during the ongoing Maha or main cultivation season, more..

Sale of loose fags will be banned: Rajitha

Mar 9 (DM) A memo that seeks approval to ban cigarettes in single sticks will be presented to the Cabinet as another step to eliminate the habit of smoking among Sri Lankans and among the youth in particular, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. “We have won the fight against the use of tobacco and smoking but we have a long way to go to fully eliminate smoking in the country. People now think smoking in open is a stigma. more..

Sri Lanka, India to release 104 fishermen to defuse tensions

Mar 9 (PTI) Sri Lanka and India today agreed to release the fishermen held in each other's custody after a high-level discussion between the two sides in Colombo following the killing of an Indian fisherman. Sri Lanka would release 85 Indian fishermen, the source said, adding that India would free at least 19 Lankan fishermen.  This move is being made to defuse the current tensions. more..

UNP MPs ask Speaker to get tough with unruly counterparts

Mar 9 (Island) The UNP would not fall into the trap laid out by the Joint Opposition to disrupt Parliament and instead urge the Speaker to take stern action against the unruly elements, Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said. Addressing a press conference he said the JO MPs had staged what he called yesterday’s drama to plunge the House into chaos. "We as the UNP condemn such tactics because they are aimed at disrupting more..

A Royal fall-out?

Mar 9 (DM) Sri Lanka’s stock market was all abuzz yesterday with the unexpected news of leading corporate figure Nimal Perera resigning from the director boards of the companies controlled by the business magnate Dhammika Perera amid speculation of a massive fall-out between the duo. Nimal Perera yesterday informed the Colombo Stock Exchange of his resignation from boards of Royal Ceramics, Amaya Leisure, more..

twixt truth and treachery

Mar 9 (CT) It's the most incredible thing one could ever hear of at any level of politics in this country! We've heard of the theatre of the absurd, we've heard of descending from the sublime to the ribald, from sense to crass stupidity and so on. We know that the original Colombo Port City blueprint included provision for 20 hectares of land free and gratis to the Chinese. Hambantota Project, being totally land-based, involves no deep dredging and excavation of the sea bed for filling up more..

Solidifying legitimacy for an independent Tamil Eelam

Mar 9 (CT) TGTE’s intervention, challenging SL’s 6th Amendment at the UNRC would have the necessary effect, regardless of Sri Lanka’s response and the likelihood of it citing sovereignty issues – the usual lame excuse that it hides under. The observations and recommendations the UN body could make would have a formidable and favourable impact very definitely on correcting false perceptions; to quote TGTE’s PM, Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, “we believe this campaign more..

පරම්පරා තුනක නරතන මහිම

SL man in Philippines arrested on child sex abuse charges

Mar 9 (IA) A Sri Lankan wanted for sexually abusing mostly young children was captured by police early this week in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. Senior Superintendent Edwin Quilates, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Luzon, said Kokila Ekanayake was arrested at the Old Capitol Compound in Barangay San Roque Monday morning. The arresting team was armed with a warrant for Kumara’s arrest on charges of violating Republic Act 9262, more..

FUTA temporarily and conditionally suspends trade union action

Mar 9 (CT) Two-day token strike launched by the FUTA has been temporarily and conditionally suspended at the end of the first day (8) due to the positive written response received by the UGC on behalf of the Govt, says the Secretary of the FUTA, Prof. Arjuna Parakrama. Issuing a statement today Prof. Parakrama said: “This trade union action in the form of a token strike was undertaken, albeit reluctantly, by FUTA because there was no progress achieved on the demand for more..

How over the history MPs salaries and perks increased

Mar 9 (DM) Supplementary Estimate for the financial provision of Rs.537,962,790 to purchase vehicles for seven ministers, three State ministers and two Deputy ministers was tabled in Parliament this week. The Supplementary Estimate states that it was necessitated, as provisions allocated last year for this purpose were not utilized. Accordingly, Supplementary Estate sought approval to purchase a vehicle for the Special more..

Shangri-La says over half of apartments in city hotel sold

Mar 9 (EN) More than half the units in the luxury apartment and hotel complex Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is building in Colombo have been sold, an official said. “The buyers are a mix of investors like Sri Lankan diaspora and international investors,” said Rajeev Garg, deputy general manager of Shangri-La Sri Lanka Colombo and Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa. The apartments start from US$800,000 for the smallest, a 1,700 square foot three-bedroom unit, he told the media. more..

Info DG claims RTI commission’s funds released, but status still unclear 

Mar 9 (CT) Director General of Information Department, Ranga Kalansooriya announced yesterday that the Treasury had released the Rs 76 million requested by the Right to Information (RTI) Commission but the source to which it had been released remained unclear. Posting a message on his twitter account, he congratulated the media for taking up the matter and highlighting the issue. Earlier, Colombo Telegraph, Sunday Times, Financial Times & Daily Mirror had more..

'Hambantota port deal with China to be revamped'

Mar 9 (EN) SL plan to bring a Chinese state firm as an investor to Hambantota Port to will be revamped to bring it in line with the country's existing law, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said. SL's Trade and Investment Ministry spearheaded a plan to incorporate Hambantota Port as a separate company with a 99-year lease and sell 80% of it to China's CM Port Holdings, instead of following the int'l practice of leasing land more..

Sri Lanka welcomes Indian devotees for Katchatheevu festival

Mar 9 (GDI) SL warmly welcomes the Indian devotees coming for the Katchatheevu festival on 11th and 12th March, said the Dy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva. He said that SL is expecting about 1,500 Indian devotees with about 150 boats for the festival despite the recent shooting on a fisherman. “We like to welcome all of them. We once again mention here in brotherhood that we will look after and our Navy is going to facilitate all the devotees who will be coming to Katchatheevu festival more..

Video: Teen arrested over double murder in Deraniyagala

Mar 9 (AD) Police have made an arrest in connect to the double murder incident reported from Deraniyagala earlier this week, police said. An individual believed to have involved in the case was apprehended following a raid carried out at the Sri Pada forest reserve early hours of this morning. The suspect is identified as a 19-year-old person who is a resident of Magala area in Deraniyagala. The suspect was evading police since Tuesday morning and five police teams had been more..

Corrupt Vs Corrupt: PM reveals progress of Presidential Commission of Inquiry

Mar 9 (LBO) Presidential Commission of Inquiry has carried out in-depth investigations into 400 complaints to date and investigations into 49 complaints have been finalized, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe revealed. Special commission was appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena on March 3rd, 2015 to investigate and inquire into serious acts of fraud, corruption and abuse of power, state resources and privileges. more..

Video: Fishermen arrested for killing dolphins

Mar 9 (DM) Nine fishermen were arrested by the Trincomalee Anti-Corruption Unit yesterday for killing 12 dolphins. The suspects, residents of Trincomalee, were arrested with two boats following a tip off. Police said they had received information that several dolphins were being held captive at a buoy in the inner Trinco harbor. The suspects, between the ages of 44 and 76, were arrested with fishing equipment and are to be produced to the Trinco Magistrate Court today. more..

SL’s planned parking high-rises will be costly

Mar 9 (EN) Sri Lanka plans to build high rise parking structures to cater to growing private vehicle use under the planned Western Region Megapolis project given limited availability of on-street parking but they will be expensive, an official said. The authorities also plan to better enforce parking rules violationof which not add to traffic congestion, said Dimantha De Silva, senior lecturer at Uni of Moratuwa and Megapolis transport planner. “We want to move out from on streat parking more..

Bangladesh avoid follow-on but SL in control

Mar 9 (CI) Rain, and a 106-run seventh-wicket stand between Mushfiqur Rahim and Mehedi Hasan put the brakes on Sri Lanka's advance in Galle, but loose dismissals from the Bangladesh top order had already gifted the hosts an imposing position. When the rains came to wash out the third session of day three, the first innings had been completed, and Sri Lanka led by 182 runs. Nevertheless, they may have to move quickly more..

Northamptonshire re-sign Seekkuge Prasanna for T20 Blast

Mar 9 (BBC) Northamptonshire have re-signed Sri Lanka international spinner Seekkuge Prasanna for the T20 Blast. The 31-year-old leg-break bowler played 11 times in the competition for Northants last season, taking 12 wickets at an average of 24 runs. Prasanna has appeared in 34 one-day and 14 Twenty20 internationals, including February's series against Australia. "The more match-winners on your teamsheet the better," head coach David Ripley told BBC Radio Northampton. more..

Permanent dates for O/L, A/L & Scholarship results

Mar 9 (NR) Permanent dates have been allocated for the results of the O/L, A/L and Grade 5 Scholarship exams to be released annually. Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said the results of the A/L exam will be released annually on the 27th of Dec. Results of the O/L Exam will be released on the 28th of March and Grade 5 Scholarship exam results on the 5th of October. The Minister said attention has been drawn to hold the O/L and A/L exam in the month of December from 2019. more..

Teenagers brutally attack Sri Lankan shopkeeper in UK

Mar 9 (Echo) Three schoolboys used a mobile phone to record themselves brutally assaulting a Norris Green shopkeeper in a sickening racist attack. A 15-year-old and two 16-year-olds, who cannot be named for legal reasons, repeatedly kicked Thirkkumaran Siththampalam, 38, in the head. They confronted their victim with a knife, branded him a “f***ing p*** and told him Go home, this is my country as he opened his store. more..

Commercial flights to operate from Ratmalana Airport

Mar 9 (ITN) All plans are afoot to commence international commercial air services from the Ratnmalana Airport after a lapse of 50 years. Three flights from the Maldives are scheduled to arrive with the commencement of air service operations from the Ratmalana Airport. Accordingly it is intended to operate six air flights between Ratmalana and the Maldivian capital Male. This initiative has been taken at promoting the tourism industry between the two countries. more..

PCoI on Bond issue severely criticizes Bandula

Mar 9 (DM) Commissioners of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) appointed to look into the Bond Sale issue today severely criticized JO MP Bandula Gunawardane for making false comments to the media and advised the MP to prevent from doing so in the future. MP Gunawardane today admitted before the Commission that the comments he gave to media saying he had sent a report to the PCoI, was false. Commissioners, who advised the MP, recordered a statement from him as well. more..