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SL leverages ITB to wow German market

Mar 10 (FT) Sri Lanka Pavilion was a star attraction at the ITB Berlin 2017 international travel show which opened in Germany on Wednesday. The eye-catching Sri Lanka Pavilion was declared open by Minister John Amaratunga. Among those present at the inauguration included Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Germany Karunathilaka Amunugama, Sri Lanka Tourism Chairman Paddy Withana, officials of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and leaders of key tourism stakeholders in Sri Lanka. more..

UK warns travellers on dengue

Mar 10 (DN) The UK’s govt has issued a travel advisory cautioning travellers to take extra precautions to be protected from dengue. “All regions of Sri Lanka experience outbreaks of the mosquito-borne dengue fever; 19,419 suspected cases of dengue fever have been reported between January and March 8 2017,” the advisory said. An official from the Sri Lanka travel sector said this is very damaging to the Sri Lankan hospitality sector and the issue should addressed. more..

Financial Mafia?: Ravi met Primary Dealers

Mar 10 (CT) Presidential Commission learned that Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake met the Primary Dealers at the Treasury Bond auction that took place on 27 Feb 2015, which is probably the first time such a meeting has taken place. Former Additional Superintendent of CB's Public Debt Department U.L. Muthugala being cross examined yesterday revealed that Minister had met with the Primary Dealers of Bond auction more..

A role model in RTI Commission

Mar 10 (DM) It is encouraging to see that Sri Lanka’s Right to Information (RTI) Commission has released its 2017 budget estimate, including the salary scales of the Commission members and staff along with its recruitment procedures and cadre provision. As the Commission Chairperson has pointed out in a response sent to a citizen, who had requested that information, this is only an estimate, which is now being discussed by the Commission with the Ministry of Finance, more..

Accountabilty: Govt caughtin the trap

Mar 10 (DM) Going by the recent statements made by the leaders of SL and the UNHRC, which is stressing the need for reconciliation among various communities in Sri Lanka, it is puzzling as to how long the reconciliation between them would last. During the last regime of President Rajapaksa, the relationship between the two had gone so sour that many doubted whether the leaders of the then Govt would be hauled before the International Criminal Court for Human Rights violations, more..

Farmers threaten to look for alternatives

Mar 10 (SL) Successive govts have given assurances that farmers will be protected at all costs.  However the systems put in place to protect the farmers and their crops have so far failed to meet its goals. This has caused innocent farmers to suffer tremendous hardships. Several farmers have now threatened to look for alternatives as the govt has failed to provide them any form of security for their vocation. more..

Sri Lanka clinches continued C’Wealth trade support in London

Mar 10 (GDI) Sri Lanka has clinched continued support for its international trade work from the Commonwealth. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen is representing Sri Lanka at the inaugural Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting (CTMM) that opened in London on 9th March.  Minister Malik Samarawickrama and many other Trade Ministers from the Commonwealth joined the meeting. “I am pleased that talks with more..

Suspects in police custody have right to life, stress rights activists

Mar 10 (ST) Death of a 42- year-old man, last week, while in the custody of Peliyagoda police emphasises the need to tackle the issue of torture of suspects in the police cell. Charitha Chamara (42) was found dead within five hours of his arrest. Father of two was arrested around 4 a.m. on Feb 25 and around 9 a.m. the same day his wife was informed that he was dead. JMO report said the man had died of assault injuries. more..

‘SAITM & University students made pawns’

Mar 10 (NR) State Minister Mohan Lal Grero says university students and students of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine have been made pawns by various groups over the controversy surrounding SAITM. He joining the debate on SAITM in Parliament yesterday said the issue has been created to fulfil narrow political objectives. Minister said 80,000 students receiving free education in universities more..

GTF wants UNHRC to closely monitor SL

Mar 10 (CG) The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) today welcomed the report on Sri Lanka by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights backed the observation that ‘stronger, tangible results needed to be forthcoming without further delay to prevent any further dissipation of hard-earned trust.’ While acknowledging the Sri Lankan Govt’s constructive engagement with UN human rights mechanisms; visible progress on more..

SL: Growing hub in the Indo-Pacific: envoy

Mar 10 (SLE) “Sri Lanka is eager to work with the maritime powers of the Indian Ocean and beyond, to make our oceans secure for unimpeded commerce and peaceful navigation”, Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam said, earlier today. The Ambassador was addressing a public event hosted by the Hudson Institute, a Washington-based think tank, on “Sri Lanka, A growing hub in the Indo-Pacific.” more..

No one being detained under PTA: CHR

Mar 10 (CT) Center for Human Rights (CHR) stated that Sri Lanka has no detainees held under the dreaded article 72 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), also known as Executive Custody. "This is a commendable development. However there are 89 persons held in remand custody for terrorism related offences, their cases are being taken up in High Courts. Cases against 75 others (29 arrested by TID and 46 by Police) more..

Sri Lanka faces international censure over police inaction

Mar 10 (EN) Sri Lanka has come under renewed international criticism over police failures to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of what it calls emblematic cases, including the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunga. The UNHRC received a report outlining systematic failure of SL's police to prosecute suspects in 11 high profile cases it considers emblematic of the culture of impunity even after the end of a decades-long war. more..

President urged to name NGOs trying to influence govt

Mar 10 (Island) Wartime Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama yesterday said that those civil society organizations pushing for UN-led war crimes investigation at the behest of their foreign sponsors should be exposed without further delay. Bogollagama, who held the foreign ministry portfolio from Jan. 2007 to April, 2010, told The Island that an influential section of civil society campaigned against the military throughout the offensive. more..

House divided on SAITM issue

Mar 10 (Island) People had taken to the roads against Malabe Private Medical College – SAITM but the govt was trying its level best to protect the institute, the JVP said in Parliament yesterday. JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa: "We are against the privatisation of education and health care. The SAITM sought the permission of the Board of Investment to offer degrees in nursing and allied health sciences. more..

Kashmir resolution & Colombo

Mar 10 (CT) If the first shot to destablise Sri Lanka was fired after the re-election of Indira Gandhi in January 1980, ipso facto with disastrous consequences to the island, then the second shot may well be fired if the international community insists upon international jurists sitting in judgement over the island. This is in respect of Colombo's war against Tamil terrorism, more specifically against LTTE terrorism, post-July 1987, where, in July '87, all other Tamil terrorist groups, more..

Our people have come to the very end of their frustration

Mar 10 (CT) I raised this question, because our people have come to the very end of their frustration. Today, in the blazing sun, in the rain when it is rainingand in the night when there is dew, they are protesting with their families. Their wives, their children, their infants are all joining in the protest and it is unbearable. This situation cannot continue. It must be brought to an end and we want the Govt to realize and take very early action to bring this situation to an end. more..

පරම්පරා තුනක නර්තන මහිම 2

Ports Authority aims at 51% stake in new terminal amid delays

Mar 10 (EN) State-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority would like to retain a 51% in a terminal for which a private investor is being sought, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said, as top global shipping lines up to invest in Colombo, amid delays. Top lines including Mearsk, MSC, CMA CGM came with SL and Indian partners offering to build and operated the second (East) terminal in an expanded Colombo Port last September, with the expectation that the landlord would have a minority stake. more..

Sagala to probe how former SLFP organiser keeps three policemen for security

Mar 10 (Island) Minister Sagala Ratnayake told Parliament that he would order a probe to find out how a former SLFP organiser of the Kotikawatte-Mulleriyawa area was having three policemen as security personnel. He said so in answer to a question raised by UNP MP S.M. Marikkar, who said that the deployment of three policemen to protect a party organiser had to be investigated as only two policemen were assigned to provide security to a Member of Parliament. more..

Polls to all PCS to be held on one day?

Mar 10 (DM) Govt is mulling over the possibility of conducting polls to all provincial councils on a single day rather than having staggered elections, it is learnt. The terms of three provincial councils- North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern- will end this year. The terms of other councils are due to end next year. However, the govt is now contemplating whether the elections to the North Central, Sabaragamuwa & Eastern more..

Bandula Gunawardene must stop lying: Ravi

Mar 10 (NR) Minister Ravi Karunanayake has requested MP Bandula Gunawardene to refrain from deceiving the public by making false statements. Commenting on the warning issued to MP Bandula Gunawardene over false statements on the Presidential Commission of Treasury Bonds, Minister commended the commission for making independent decisions. Finance Minister noted the Commission of Inquiry must be thanked for revealing MP Bandula Gunawardene’s true nature. more..

Female candidates more successful before PR system: CaFFE

Mar 10 (CT) There are 32 local councils which have never had an elected female representative, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, Executive Director of CaFFE said. He added that local council elections have been held under the Proportional Representation (PR) system from the beginning and that there is evidence that PR system, in Sri Lanka, is disadvantageous to female candidates. "If you look at elections before the PR system, more female candidates were elected than now. more..

SLAF’s costly procurement plans hit more turbulence

Mar 10 (Roar) President Sirisena was among the many visitors who thronged the Ratmalana Air Force Base for a special exhibition to mark the 66th anniversary of SL Air Force (SLAF) last weekend. President showed much enthusiasm as he toured the exhibits and watched the skilled pilots put their aircraft through their paces. But Sirisena probably had more on his mind than the displays, as Pakistan steps up the pressure to persuade more..

Parakrama Samudra reaches spill level

Mar 10 (DM) Parakrama Samudra in Polonnaruwa reached spill level on the day before yesterday due to heavy rain experienced in the area. The capacity of the reservoir had reached 112,500 acre feet by last morning. The maximum capacity of the reservoir was 110,000 acre feet and that the spill gates would be opened when the water level reached 160,000 in the Maha season. The spill gates would not be opened in the Yala season when continual rains were not experienced. more..

PM’s team meets EP Admin on 14 March

Mar 10 (CT) A meeting between PM's representatives and the administration of the Eastern Province, to discuss the filling of vacancies in the education sector of the Province, is scheduled to be held at the Treasury on 14 March, according to Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, Naseer Ahamed. Unemployed graduates have been carrying out a continuous protest for the past 11 days demanding employment. There are 4,703 vacancies in Eastern Prov education sector. more..

MR’s Security Underpaid?

Mar 10 (CT) The lack of aptitude training not being provided to personnel in former President Rajapaksa's security detail should be referred to an appropriate committee so that a report could be presented to Parliament to ascertain the facts of the matter, PM told Parliament. PM made this observation in response to a question raised by MP Wimalaweera Dissanayake, who asked why the monthly travelling and special allowance more..

'JO can file no confidence against Speaker'

Mar 10 (NR) UNP says Joint Opposition has the ability to bring forth a no confidence motion against Speaker Karu Jayasuriya if the so-called JO is in disagreement with his decisions and way of work. UNP MP Mujibur Rahman said the primary individual in charge of Parliament is the Speaker. However, he said the Speaker’s decision could be either right or wrong, claiming that if Speaker’s decision is wrong, a no confidence motion can be brought against him in order to remove him from his post. more..

Parliament adjourned due to tense situ

Mar 10 (DM) Today’s Parliament session was adjourned till March 21 by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya a short while ago following a tense situation between MPs of the govt and the joint opposition. Govt MPs opposed the Speaker’s move to allow three joint opposition MPs to speak during the session, leading to the tense situation. Leader of the House, Minister Lakshman Kiriella had opined that the decision was unfair and that it would consume the time allocated for other Parliamentary proceedings. more..

Sri Lanka in control after setting 457

Mar 10 (CI) A sparkling Soumya Sarkar fifty set Bangladesh's fourth innings off apace, but the visitors remained 390 runs adrift, on a pitch expected to become prickly on the final day. That they had as many as 457 to chase was partly thanks to Upul Tharanga, who sailed to his first home Test century in the afternoon session, as well as a conservative declaration from Rangana Herath. At the time of declaration, 125 overs remained more..

UNP makes light of UPFA question on Tamil Diaspora using internet to spread racism

Mar 10 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament that a group of Joint Opposition (JO) members had joined hands with LTTE cadres to stage a protest against him while he was in Australia when the Deakin University conferred an honorary degree on him. PM said that the JO activists and LTTE extremists had protested against him and they were together shouting at him using public address systems. PM said so while responding to a question raised by UPFA MP Padma Gunasekera, more..

Sri Lankan artist exhibition inspired by fashion to open CFW

Mar 10 (LBO) Under the theme Celebrate Colombo, Colombo Fashion Week (CFW) will include a new initiative called Art Connect which will exemplify the connection between the creative streams of Fashion and Art, its organizers said. Art Connect will be the first of the series of events during the week of CFW and is the kick-off event. For the first time five major artists will come together to create work that is inspired by fashion. Their means of expression are distinctly unique and more..

Prison riot: Move to compensate victim families condemned

Mar 10 (DM) Committee for protecting rights of prisoners vehemently condemned the Govt's alleged attempt to hold back the 2012 Nov 9 brutal killing of prisoners during the prison riot, by compensating the victims and their families President of the organisation Senaka Perera in a statement said that the STF and some members of the armed forces invaded the prison premises on the instruction of a former VIP more..

Preeching Yahapalanaya doing Marapalanaya: A.S.P. Liyanage appointed envoy to Qatar

Mar 10 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed businessman A. S. P. Liyanage as the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Qatar, Mr. Liyanage told the Daily Mirror today. He said the appointment was made at a function held at the Presidential Secretariat today. Parliament’s High Posts Committee decided to examine the nomination of Mr. Liyanage as the country’s ambassador to Qatar, in January this year. more..

Burglars who broke into Kusal Mendis’ house arrested

Mar 10 (DM) Two suspects, including an individual going by the name Anguruwathota Pinuma, who had been wanted for a series of burglaries including the break-in that occurred at the home of National cricketer Kusal Mendis in Gorakana, were arrested by the Wadduwa Police. Kusal Mendis’ house at Aruna Mawatha, Gorakana in Panadura was burgled last month and cash and jewellery valued at Rs.315,000 had been stolen. The both suspects, aged 22, were arrested on Monday, more..

SAITM issue: GMOA threatens major TU action if deadline elapse

Mar 10 (DM) GMOA yesterday threatened to resort to major trade union action next week if the committee appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to probe the SAITM issue does not give its final decision within one week. GMOA Media Spokesman Dr. Samantha Ananda said that the GMOA took this decision following an unanimous approval of its Central Committee. He said they also decided to make a written more..

Speaker Missing in RTI action

Mar 10 (CT) A full five days after the Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya had returned to Sri Lanka after a brief trip overseas during the weekend, his Office is yet to respond to references made to a ruling by the Speaker by the Office of the Prime Minister and the Office of the President in denying requests for the Assets and Liabilities Declarations of the head of the executive and the head of the legislature lodged under Sri Lanka’s Right to Information Act. more..

Pakistan Naval Ships NASR & SAIF in SL

Mar 10 (APP) Pakistan Naval Ships NASR and SAIF will arrive at Colombo Port for a four-day goodwill visit on March 12, 2017. The port call is part of the strong traditional, professional and brotherly relationship between the Navies of Sri Lanka and Pakistan. According to a message received here, Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) SAIF is a SWORD class F22P Frigates of Chinese origin. It is equipped with state of the art weapons, sensors and machinery, making it capable of undertaking more..

TN fishermen hit SL Navy water scooter, claim officials

Mar 10 (Hindu) Officers investigating the case of the gunning down of a TN fisherman allegedly by SL Navy have claimed that the incident could have been triggered by the Rameswaram fishermen allegedly ramming against SL Navy’s water scooter or inflatable boat. It is being claimed that such an incident of ramming occurred when the SL Navy had cornered the fishermen who were fishing on the high seas on Monday night. more..

Govt mulls introducing military grade filter to fight CKDu

Mar 10 (DM) Sri Lankans with poor access to clean drinking water will be able to use British military grade Lifesaver water filters for an affordable price in the near future to convert polluted water available in their community to clean water, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. “A four-member family can have access to clean water at a cost of 50 cents a day for 3 years,” he said. Although the project could run into billions of rupees, and that SL govt’s degree of involvement in the project is yet to be more..