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Motor car registrations down 11% in January

Mar 1 (LBO) Motor car registrations fell 11% to 3,101 in January, from 3,487 in Dec, with the implementation of a budget proposal to restrict credit for car purchases. Total vehicle registrations fell to 42,443 in January from 45,218 in Dec, although the number is up from a low of 32,006 in January last year. Two-wheelers accounted for a bulk of these vehicle registrations in January at 31,158 units. more..

I have moved on from the past: Haturusingha

Mar 1 (Island) The Gospel of St. Luke quotes Jesus to have said, "Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in his hometown." That exactly what happened to former Test opener and Bangladesh’s Head Coach Chandika Haturusingha during his stint with Sri Lanka Cricket eight years ago. As Sri Lanka ‘A’ coach, Haturusingha had helped players like Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal develop while others like Tilan more..

Katukurunda Tragedy: Regulations clearly violated

Mar 1 (SL) Phillip Neri Church, Katukurunda is in the process of assisting especially children and other members of the victims who lost their lives when the boat they were on capsized last Sunday in the southwest coast. The boat capsized in the seas off Katukurunda while participating in a boat parade at the annual feast of St. Lazarus Church in Beruwela. A special service was held under the patronage of Archbishop. more..

Prison bus shooting: sniffer dogs lead police to abandoned factory

Mar 1 (AD) Police today said that both vehicles allegedly used to carry out the attack on the prison bus in Kalutara have now been found and that the suspects would be arrested within a short time based onteh information uncovered from the owners of the vehicles. Investigations are being carried out by five police teams from Colombo and Kalutara, under the supervision of DIG Nandana Munasinghe. more..

Legal expert warns COI powerless to take action

Mar 1 (Island) Attorney-at-law Chrishmal Warnasuriya has warned that the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) currently probing the Central Bank bond scam case lacked the power to take action against the culprits. Addressing a gathering at the launch of Rusiripala Tennekone’s Bedunkara Andaraya, Warnasuriya compared the CoI established in accordance with the Commission of Inquiry Act with the COPE. more..

Tamils want Sri Lanka to fulfill promises to UN rights body

Mar 1 (AP) Sri Lanka's main ethnic Tamil party has said the govt has not fulfilled promises made to the UN including allowing a probe into war crimes allegations from a civil war that ended nearly 8 years ago. M.A. Sumanthiran, a lawmaker from the TNA, told reporters from the foreign media in Colombo that his party was willing to give the govt more time to fulfill promises made to the UNHRC in 2015, more..

Dr Wijewardena points out glaring omission in CBSL bond scam probes

Mar 3 (Island) Former Deputy Governor of CB, Dr W.A. Wijewardena, alleged that even 2 years after the mega bond scam govt hadn’t conducted a thorough investigation to ascertain how primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries had received prior information as regards the CB’s last minute decision to issue treasury bonds to the value of Rs. 20 bn in spite of its initial call for bids for only Rs 1 bn worth of 30-yr treasury bonds. more..

Ceylinco Insurance ups consolidated profit by 29% to Rs. 4.7 b

Mar 1 (FT) Marking another remarkable year, Ceylinco Insurance Plc, the holding company, recorded a mammoth consolidated after tax profit of Rs. 4.7 billion for the year ended 31 December 2016 while the profit before tax stood at an exceptional Rs. 5.9 billion.  Contributing to this remarkable performance, Ceylinco General Insurance and Ceylinco Life Insurance recorded profits after tax of Rs. 1.3 billion and Rs. 2.9 billion respectively. Ceylinco Insurance CEO more..

Colombo Fashion Week aims to expand Sri Lanka's fashion industry globally

Mar 1 (Xinhua) Colombo Fashion Week, one of SL's most extravagant fashion events, will take place in middle March with an aim to expand the island nation's fashion industry, organizers announced Wednesday. In line with its vision, Colombo Fashion Week (CFW) will expand the scope of the fashion industry with multiple initiatives that aim at developing and showcasing Sri Lanka's fashion design industry to the world and to the fashion consumers of Sri Lanka, organizers said. more..

හමුදා ප්රකාශක බ්රිගේඩියර් රොෂාන් සෙනවිරත්න

Firearms found at Mt Lavinia court complex

Mar 1 (NR) A stock of weaponry suspected for the use of an attack has been discovered at the Magistrates court complex in Mount Lavinia. Accordingly the police stated, a Chinese firearm, 4 live bullets, a revolver and an additional 6 bullets have been discovered concealed in a bag. In view of the discovery all court proceedings have been halted and all persons at the court complex have been rounded up for questioning. Police dogs have been brought to the complex to aid investigation. more..

A costly mansion at no cost

Mar 1 (DM) An affluent purohita holding a key portfolio in yahapalanaya is said to be putting up a big mansion in Sri J'pura area. Mansion is estimated to cost a whopping Rs. 200 million. However, funding is no problem for the purohita as practically all building materials are being supplied gratis by some businessmen. Two container loads of floor tiles of a variety considered most expensive in the world market had been unloaded at the construction site quite recently. more..

We should build a country which opens schools and closes prisons: President

Mar 1 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says we should build a country which opens schools and closes prisons. “We should also build a country where healthy people are living while the number of hospitals minimized”, he added. President made these remarks at a ceremony held today (1) to celebrate the 150th anniversary of St. Mary’s College in Kegalle. He recalled the statement of Martin Luther King, “greatest tragedy of more..

Verbal abuse at Divulapitiya coordinating committee meeting

Mar 1 (DM) When the Divulapitiya Divisional coordinating committee meeting was in session yesterday, an argument between the Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake and Gampaha District MP Indika Anuruddha grew so tense that the meeting had to be abruptly adjourned. The meeting had commenced yesterday with the Co-chairmen of the committee presiding. Controversial Divisional Secretary Ms H.M.L.S. Herath was also present. When Deputy Minister Ramanayake more..

Stop deadlock in medical education

Mar 1 (CT) The SAITM crisis has brought normal medical education in this country to a standstill. Students studying medicine in the medical faculties have absented themselves from lectures from the beginning of this year, as a protest against the decision to award medical degrees to SAITM products that they claim to be unqualified to receive such awards. The hiatus created in their studies by this standoff is bound to create an unbridgeable gap in their carrier that would accrue to more..

Cops hunt Angoda Lokka, Madhuja

Mar 1 (CT) Police have launched search operations to track down underworld leaders in Kaduwela named Angoda Lokka and Madhuja – who lead underworld gangs in the South and are believed to be the masterminds behind the assassination of underworld gang leader Samayang, five other prisoners and two prison officials who were in transit in two prison buses at Ethanamadala in Kalutara North. more..

Travails of constitution making

Mar 1 (CT) When a Head of State, in this case President Sirisena, defines bilateral relations with a specific country, in this case the United States, as having reached a new height, there's more than a mere passing significance to such a statement. He said this at the conclusion of talks last week with the US Congressional Delegation at the Presidential Secretariat which the US Embassy in Colombo called a reaffirmation of the Bipartisan US Support for Sri Lanka. more..

Army promotes Prasanna and Asela

Mar 1 (DM) Cricketers Seekkuge Prasanna and Asela Gunaratne were promoted by the Army Commander following their all round performances in Australia. The promotions had been made on the recommendations of the Army Cricket Committee. Accordingly, Prasanna has been promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer 1 while Gunaratne has been promoted to the rank of warrant officer 2. Gunaratne attached to 6 Field Regiment- SL Artillery of Army was promoted to the rank of Sergeant more..

Victims of 2012 Welikada prison riots to be compensated

Mar 1 (AD) Cabinet has approved a proposal to compensate 37 victims of the Welikada prison riots in 2012. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that a sum of Rs 2 million will be granted to the families of each inmate who died during the incident while the inmates who were injured in the riots will be granted Rs 500,000.  At least 27 inmates died and several others injured in clashes between inmates and guards on 9 Nov, 2012. more..

Controversial LakSathosa to import 20,000MT rice monthly

Mar 1 (EN) LakSathosa, a state-run trading firm is mired in corruption scandals running into billions of rupees has again been given approval by the cabinet to import rice ostensibly to bring down prices. LakSathosa will import 20,000 metric tonnes of rice a month under a proposal submitted by Trade Minister Rishard Bathiudeen. Private traders are already importing rice, but according to Minister Bathiudeen has noted that prices have not come down fast enough. more..

SL drug lord Thel Bala dies in India

Mar 1 (AD) The body of notorious drug trafficker Muniyandi Vappu Balan popularly known as Thel Bala, who was a well known gang leader and mobster during the late 90’s and early 2000’s, has been brought to the country after he passed away in India. The remains arrived in the country last night on SriLankan Airlines flight UL 126 and was handed over to relatives this morning . Thel Bala had been living in Tamil Nadu and was one of the main drug traffickers operating between India and SL. more..

Need to change school uniform: Akila

Mar 1 (DM) Education Ministry was mulling changing the school uniforms and the dress code for pregnant teachers of the State schools, based on the different climates of different districts so as to make it comfortable for the children and teachers, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. He said school children were facing a lot of difficulties to keep their white uniforms clean. more..

Rajitha orders transfer of prison hospital doctors

Mar 1 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne directed all doctors attached to Prison Hospital to be transferred after mounting accusations that these doctors provide undue assistance to VIPs who are imprisoned. He has instructed Deputy Director General of Health Services to implement this directive. Minister received a number of complaints that VIPs, including politicians & businessmen, who are imprisoned are immediately transferred to Prison Hospital with the assistance of these doctors. more..

SL, US Navies discuss means of strengthening defense partnerships

Mar 1 (SLN) Deputy Commanding General Marine Corps Forces – Pacific, Brigadier General Brian Cavanaugh called on the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne at the Naval Headquarters today (28). Senior Enlisted Leader to PACOM Commander, Admiral Harris B Harris, Sergeant Major Anthony Spadaro, Office Director for Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South Asia, Ms. Brittany Billingsley, Deputy Defence Attaché at US Embassy, Mr. Jacob English, more..

Video: Rajitha imported Rs. 1,500 min. worth of useless vaccines: JO

Mar 1 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne has committed a crime by importing Rs. 1,500 million worth of vaccinations which are detrimental to cancer patients putting their lives at risk, the joint opposition said today. It said the vaccinations had been imported by violating tender procedures. JO said the vaccine Taxacad known as Hearticad in Sri Lanka was a product of Russian-based BIOCAD Biotechnology Company and that vaccinations had rejected more..

President directs to expedite construction of ICU at Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children

Mar 1 (PSL) President directed relevant sections to expedite the construction of the fully equipped Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children. President made these directions at a meeting to discuss the required actions to ensure speed and efficient implementation of the construction project. The fully equipped ICU which will be ten-storied building will consist of units for heart diseases, units for inborn intensive care and space for training of the staff. more..

Video: 'Gota controlled underworld activities'

Mar 1 (DM) The PHU yesterday charged that there should be brave leaders like former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to control the underworld activities. PHU General Secretary MP Udaya Gammanpila told a media briefing that the underworld activities have now been awaken again during the past two years, unlike in the period of the former govt. “The underworld activities are usually carried out in any country with the assistance of a political aide. more..

'Land & Police powers should be given to NP'

Mar 1 (DM) Land and Police powers should be given to the people of the Northern Province, said MP Athuraliye Rathana Thera. Addressing the inaugural conference of SL National Council, he said that some MPs were constantly claiming to make a new Constitution to resolve the National issue -- which they define as Northern people’s land issues and Tamil speaking police in their areas. “We, too, agree on giving land more..

100MW floating solar power plant

Mar 1 (LBO) Govt will call international competitive bids to build a 100 megawatt floating solar power plant in the Maduru Oya reservoir and allocate funds for a training project for prototype manufacturing of solar panels. The solar power plant will cover four percent of the surface area of the reservoir which is spread over an area of 500 acres. The proposal was made by President Sirisena as minister of Mahaweli Development and Ranjit Siyabalapitiya, minister of power and renewable energy more..

HIV among Sri Lankan youth on the rise

Mar 1 (DN) New HIV infections among youths in SL shows an upward trend around the past 5 years. Earlier it was among young adults around 30 and 35 but now this age has reduced to 20 to 25. Currently, 2,557 persons are living with HIV in SL. A total of 239 new HIV infections were reported from SL last year, Former Country Manager UNAIDS SL Dr. Dayanath Ranatunga said. The main reason behind this negative upward trend is the lack of education and knowledge on reproductive health. more..

'TNA may have objections in allowing govt more time'

Mar 1 (DN) As a TNA member I would not rush to say that the party has no any objection in allowing more time for the Govt to implement the UNHRC recommendations, TNA MP Easvarapatham Saravanapavan said. He said eight TNA MPs already had informed the UNHRC in writing not to grant any longer for the govt to implement its recommendations. “We should not rush to make such statements since more..

UK to maintain strong trade ties with Sri Lanka post Brexit

Mar 1 (CG) British Govt says as it leaves the EU, its aim is to avoid disrupting the strong trade relationship the UK has with Sri Lanka. Minister of State at the Department for International Trade, Lord Price, said that in the future the UK will consider all opportunities to deepen the relationship with Sri Lanka and expand bilateral trade. “I look forward to discussing this with the Sri Lankan Govt at the meeting of Commonwealth Trade Ministers in London this March,” he told House of Lords. more..

Can hold election any time: Deshapriya

Mar 1 (NR) Chairman of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya says he is prepared to hold the Local Govt election at any given time. Speaking at a function in Galle today the Chairman said the Commission is prepared to face a Presidential Election, a General Election or any other election. He referred to Fire Brigade Units, claiming the duties of the Elections Commission are similar to that of the Fire Brigade. In the context of a meal the Chairman of Elections said consuming rice, coconut more..

CB responsible for bond gazette: Rajitha

Mar 1 (NR) The govt says the gazette paper on the controversial Bond issue carrying the signature of Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is an issue concerning the Central Bank. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said certain gazettes for several years were not signed. Minister said on the 9th of January a gazette was issued signed by the new Finance Minister, or was issued under his name adding that a gazette cannot be submitted more..

IMF, McKinsey not the panacea for our ills

Mar 2 (FT) The past 18 months have been, possibly, one of the darkest, and bleakest, periods, in recent times, for SL businesses and entrepreneurs. While there has been an improvement during this subject period, relative to the five-year period pre-Jan 2015, in areas such as freedom of expression, law and order and facilitation of the rights of citizens, the enablement of enterprise, entrepreneurship, risk taking, capital formation, investment and business confidence has hit an all-time low. more..

Planning for less hospitals

Mar 2 (CT) “I would like to see less hospitals, as a consequence of public health being less compromised.” What an enlightened statement! President suggested these goals in his speech the other day in a marked contrast to those seeking to sell our well-being and our children’s well being for their greed and profit. At a time when the very basis for life, our land and water is being negotiated away by corrupt and uncaring politicians, there must come a point when the public has to stand up more..

Peradeniya uni authorities catch them in the very act: Ragging identifies with violence

Mar 2 (SO) Peradeniya University Proctor, knew they were taking a huge risk when they decided to check out a tip off received on a possible ragging incident outside the university premises, last Sunday. It was the break they were waiting for. University administration was looking for ways to stop the harassment of newcomers to the university under the guise of ragging. They have heard about incidents taking place in rented more..

Muslim feminists, Anti-reformists, MMDA & Ground realities

Mar 2 (CT) The anti- reformist sections within the Muslim community, in relation to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA), allege that the Muslim feminists are stirring issues, asking for all sorts of things, making a mountain out of a molehill, want to change the Shariah, and other accusations. They also allege that the Muslim feminists have made it so detrimental to the point of no return that all that is left is damage control. They fail to understand that reform conversation more..

Journey to heal our souls

Mar 2 (DN) In March our past and future will be debated at the UNHRC. The purpose of this piece is to argue we have sufficient knowledge and means to show acknowledgement of our past. As a country as have many others internal strife has been part of our history. More recently two insurrections in the South and the other in the Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka. Each has left scores as victims and victimizers. Back In 1971, I woke up in London learning of an insurrection in Sri Lanka. more..

'We are against sale of education and health'

Mar 2 (CT) JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa said that the JVP opposes SAITM not only because of non compliance to standards, but in principle. Q: Why is the JVP opposing SAITM? A: We are not only opposing the standards of SAITM. The JVP policy is against the sale of education and health which are people's rights. If fair access to education and health services is to be maintained, these sectors should be held by the govt. more..