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Somali pirates demand ransom after commandeering oil tanker

Mar 15 (DW) Armed men seized an oil tanker off the coast of Somalia's northern coast, the EU's anti-piracy mission NAVFOR said. "Upon receipt of the mayday alert, an EU Naval Force maritime patrol aircraft was launched from its base in Djibouti to overfly the tanker and make radio contact with the ship's master," NAVFOR said. "Despite hailing the ship several times, no contact was made and the situation on board more..

UGC asks medical undergrads to end lecture boyott

Mar 15 (Island) UGC has requested students of all medical faculties in state universities currently engaged in a continuous lecture boycott demanding that the govt take over SAITM, to commence their academic activities without further delay. Chairman of UGC Prof. Mohan de Silva has said that the UGC is increasingly concerned about the situation that has developed in state medical faculties due to continuing boycott of more..

Super Prison opening postponed indefinitely

Mar 15 (DM) The opening of the new prison (in Angunukolapelessa, Hambantota) known as the Super Prison, which was to take place March 16, has been postponed indefinitely, Ministry of Prison Reforms said. Prison facility which was built at an estimated cost of Rupees five billion on a land more than 40 hectares in extent was to be opened with the participation of President Sirisena, who later declined the invitation. more..

When the velvet glove's a failure

Feb 15 (CT) The filthy voice of aberrant politics which we highlighted in last Sunday's editorial continues to harangue the government and the public and now seems intent on triggering a government as well as a public backlash as tolerance levels spill over into impatience at this vulgar demonstration of suspended violence by Opposition political forces intent on egging on the riff-raff in our schools and universities to do their bidding. more..

Viyath Maga: Who are intellectuals & Where are they?

Feb 15 (CT) The term intellectual is often used in the Sri Lankan media particularly in the context of political reporting.  For example, Shyaman Jayasinghe questions the use of this word in a recent meeting organised by Viyath Maga this month in Boralasgamuwa, Sri Lanka. At other times, especially before Presidential or Parliamentary elections, some university academics affiliated with major political parties appear on stage or in press conferences as intellectualsmore..

මාධ්යවේදියෙකුට මාධ්යවේදීන් කළ මාධ්ය තර්ජන

Bond Scam II?: Sri Lanka expects a billion dollars from asset sales: Fin Min

Mar 15 (EN) SL expects to raise around US$ 1 billion from sales of non-strategic assets, this year, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. The non-strategic firms will be sold through the stock exchange he said. Among the firms mentioned earlier as being slated for sale are Hyatt Hotel, a unit of state-run Litro Gas; Hotel Developers, which owns the Colombo Hilton buidlong, Grand Orient Hotel, a unit of Bank of Ceylon and Waters Edge, which comes under the UDA and Lanka Hospitals. more..

JO objects to alienation of business institutions

Mar 15 (DM) Joint Opposition (JO), accused the govt of endorsing the alienation of 18 state business institutions to obtain US$ 5.8 billion. It said Waters Edge, Grand Oriental Hotel, Litro Gas, Lanka Hospitals, Hyatt Regency Complex, Hilton Hotel, Hambantota Airport and the Port were among the 18 institutions identified by the Pathfinder Foundation as potential candidates to lure Foreign Direct Investments. “Alienation is not a practice of the SLFP or the UPFA. more..

Yahapalana Corruption: He is no pushover!

Mar 15 (DM) There is a powerful purohita who is widely believed to be the most likely one to lose his portfolio at the reshuffle said to be round the corner. This purohita has, as a token of his goodwill, distributed five super vehicles taken on rent by Ministry to some Diyawanna members loyal to him. Rental for these vehicles alone costs Ministry over Rs. 1 million a month. White collar high-up responsible for authorizing the monthly rental more..

JO files case against Ravi Karunanayake

Mar 15 (NR) The Joint Opposition has filed a case against Minister Ravi Karunanayake over allegedly insulting Former President MP Mahinda Rajapaksa through the inclusion of his name in the gazette paper pertaining to the CB bond transaction. Minister Karunanayake said received a court notice in this regard. The Finance Minister said he will explain the contributions made by Former President MP Mahinda Rajapaksa in the Central Bank bond transaction. more..

ICTA & National Museum launch Sri Lanka museums mobile app

Mar 15 (LBO) Heritage tourism has emerged as one of the most successful types of modern tourism. However, at present the access to information on cultural heritage is limited and scattered. The accuracy and consistency of available information are also concerns. “Given this context, the ICTA initiated the e-Heritage Project to introduce cutting-edge technology for the storage and dissemination of information on the cultural heritage of Sri Lanka; the aim of the Heritage Project more..

Investor confidence at risk: Ports Minister Arjuna accused of violating tender rules

Mar 15 (CT) Fresh on the heels of Senior govt Minister and General Secretary of the UNP Kabir Hashim making representations to the President and the PM of serious lapses that can lead to billions of rupees of damage to the state coffers due to actions or inactions by the management of the Sri Lankan Airlines, PM’s office was last week alerted to another possible scandal that will damage investor confidence in SL. more..

Avant Garde: Defence submits objections on maintainability of the inquiry

Mar 15 (DM) The defence counsel today submitted their written objections to the maintainability of the inquiry in the Avant-Garde Maritime Security Services case in which former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Nisanka Senadhipathi and six others are charges with corruption by the Bribery Commission. Bribery Commission had informed court that the suspects had committed an offence by permitting the Avant Garde Maritime Services to operate a floating armoury more..

Former AG’s lapse brought to successor’s notice

Mar 15 (Island) Nagananda Kodituwakku has requested AG Jayantha Jayasuriya to charge Minister Ravi Karunanayake on an amended indictment in respect of a case involving Raj Rajaratnam, now serving an 11-year jail term in the US for violation of Exchange Control Act. In a letter dated March 14, 2017, personally handed over to AG, Kodituwakku, has stated that the Colombo HC discharged Minister Karunanayake on May 18, 2015 due to an error in the indictment. more..

Loans for mega projects on hold

Mar 15 (DM) The extension of the Central Expressway up to Dambulla had been put on hold because of a decision by the Govt to stop external borrowings for any project hereafter, it is learnt. Cabinet Committee on Economic Management has taken this decision a week ago. Accordingly, Govt has also shelved the implementation of Ruwanpura Expressway project. Govt would opt for projects on Build, Operate & Transfer (BOT) model only. more..


Mar 15 (DM) PRECIFAC summoned former President Mahinda Rajapaksa tomorrow to record a statement in connection with alleged financial misappropriation. A source said the PRECIFAC will record a statement from the former President over financial loses to the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) when broadcasting election advertisements during the previous presidential election campaign. The PRECIFAC summoned the former President on a previous occasion to more..

Asylum seekers from Australia returning to Sri Lanka may not have a safe passage

Mar 15 (Scroll) In his recent visit to Australia, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, urged Sri Lankan asylum seekers to “come back, all is forgiven”. He went on to say: “They can come back to Sri Lanka and we will help them.” Immigration department figures show as of January, there were 86 Sri Lankan adult men in detention facilities in Australia. In community detention, there are 24 adult men, 19 women, 28 boys and 15 girls from Sri Lanka. more..

Video: Priority Lane project from Battaramulla to Fort: Champika

Mar 15 (DM) Priority Lane pilot project might be implemented from Battaramulla to Fort, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. Pilot project carried out in Rajagiriya allocates a lane for passenger buses as a solution to the heavy traffic congestion in the area. Trial will be conducted for a period of one week and will conclude on March 19. Implemented at Sri J'pura Kotte MC area from Ayurvedic Junction, Rajagiriya, more..

President, PM want to eliminate dictatorships

Mar 15 (Island) Amidst on-going moves to introduce a new Constitution, the govt says that it wants to ensure that there won’t be anymore dictatorships in Sri Lanka. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the Russian Revolution had been a catalyst for change in the world. Sri Lanka, too, had staged a revolution when the then Joint Opposition put forward Maithripala Sirisena as its Presidential  candidate at a time many believed that President Rajapaksa  could not be defeated. more..

Monks, Bishops propose religious councils

Mar 15 (UCAN) Top religious leaders in SL have suggested ways to improve national unity and reconciliation ahead of a proposed new constitution. Ven Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thero, a Buddhist monk, said all religious should work together to promote harmony while the new constitution sows the seeds of unity in the political sphere. "It is not the politicians but us who are close to the people so religious leaders should be given a more prominent place in the reconciliation process," more..

Parliament has 94 MPs without O/Ls

Mar 15 (DN) 94 MPs have not passed their GEC (O/L) exam while there are only 25 graduates among the 225 legislators in the present SL Parliament, Prof. M O A de Zoysa said. He observed that MPs who have been elected to make laws on behalf of the people must conduct themselves with dignity. He said the conduct of the JO MPs since the day Yahapalana govt came to power amounted to a contravention of parliamentary discipline. more..

Divineguma case: AG indicts Basil

Mar 15 (DM) Colombo High Court today indicted former minister Basil Rajapaksa in the case in which he is accused of misappropriating Rs.29 million belonging to the Divineguma Department by using the funds to print five million almanacs during the 2015 presidential election. Colombo High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga later released the suspect on a cash bail of Rs.100, 000 with two sureties of Rs.500, 000 each and ordered that theaccused be fingerprinted. more..

Identities of SL hijack victims revealed

Mar 15 (AD) Armed men are demanding a ransom for the release of an oil tanker they have seized off the coast of Somalia and the crew is being held captive, European Union anti-piracy operation in the region announced late Tuesday. An EU Naval Force statement said the operation had finally made contact with the ship’s master, who confirmed that armed men were aboard the Comoros-flagged tanker Aris 13. Monday’s hijacking was the first such seizure of a large commercial vessel off more..

Sharp Bangladesh keep Sri Lanka in check

Mar 15 (CI) Sri Lanka fought back in the last 75 minutes of the first day in Colombo, through an obdurate eighth-wicket partnership between Dinesh Chandimal and Rangana Herath, but Bangladesh claimed the day in their landmark 100th Test. Bad light stopped play at 5.16pm as dark clouds gathered over the P Sara Oval, with the home side on 238 for 7 in 83.1 overs. Chandimal was unbeaten on 86 off 210 balls more..

One Perera exits, another enters!

Mar 15 (DM) Former Sampath Bank Managing Director Aravinda Perera has been appointed the Managing Director of Royal Ceramics. Aravinda Perera’s appointment comes in the wake of the sudden resignation of Nimal Perera from Royal Ceramics as well as from all other Dhammika Perera-controlled entities. Aravinda Perera currently serves as Chairman of Siyapatha Finance, the finance company arm of Sampath Bank and as a Hayleys group board director. more..

SL to host B'desh, India in tri-nation series

Mar 15 (BDC) As part of their 70th Independence celebrations, Sri Lanka are all set to play a special tri-nation series on home soil next year. The seeies is bound for March, 2018. SLC chief Thilanga Sumathipalas announced the news during a media briefing at P. Sara Oval. The tri-nation series will be of the T20 format, and involve Bangladesh and India as the other two participating teams. BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and BCB President Nazmul Hassan also attended the media briefing. more..

South Korea vows to expand economic cooperation with Sri Lanka

Mar 15 (Xinhua) South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said here Wednesday that his country will expand economic cooperation with Sri Lanka from US$ 300 million to US$ 500 million over the next three years. Yun, who arrived here earlier in the day, held bilateral discussions with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mangala Samaraweera during which both sides agreed to further strengthen ties in several areas. more..

CEB assures no power interruption despite token strike

Mar 15 (DN) As employees of the CEB launch a token strike by calling in sick today, Ministry of Power and Energy yesterday assured that the people would not suffer a power cut. National Electricity Workers’ Association (NEWA) had threatened to go on a 24 hour strike which would cause serious power outages in the country today in protest of a recent salary increase given to CEB engineers. They allege that the engineers’ salaries were increased by 70-120% with more..

Sri Lanka reiterates objection to hybrid courts to probe alleged war abuses

Mar 15 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka reiterated that it would not allow the establishment of a hybrid court to probe allegations of human rights abuses and war crimes just weeks after the UN urged the island country to set up special hybrid courts to try war criminals. Deputy Minister Ajith Perera, said that Sri Lanka was capable of handling its domestic issues and govt had faith in the country's judiciary. "Our judiciary is very strong and we are capable of solving our own issues. more..

Sri Lanka's loss making SOEs slashed, but 50 in the red

Mar 15 (EN) Sri Lanka's new administration has reduced losses at state owned enterprises and statutory agencies, but a quarter of them are still making losses, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. SL has 403 state entities and around 20 subsidiaries, of which around 200 were making losses, but the current administration had reduced them to about 50, he said, after signing Statements of Corporate Intent with the largest 5 SOEs. more..

Ranil’s Reckless Radicalism

Mar 16 (CT) Mao Zedong once famously chided a group of young loyalists, saying “you say you want to make a revolution, but you don’t know where the bourgeoisie is! The bourgeoisie is in the party!”  Similarly, I have long wanted to see an anti-systemic movement and struggle (to use my old professor, the iconic Immanuel Wallerstein’s concept) but have not known where the most anti-systemic element is, in this country. That is until now. But I have changed. I have had an epiphany. more..

Editorial: Key shows the way

Mar 16 (Island) Nothing is, perhaps, more indicative of a country’s backwardness than its political leaders’ desire to cling on to power like limpets even when they are superannuated. Mature democracies throw up enough and more capable leaders and they don’t wait till they are long in the tooth to be put out to grass; they retire prematurely. In New Zealand, PM John Key, who retired in December last year, is planning to leave Parliament next week. Key has not made known the exact reason more..

Speaker took sides: Dinesh

Mar 16 (NS) Parliament leader of the JO, head of the MEP, MP Dinesh Gunawardena this week made to the list of Honourable Members named. He yet again joins a roll call which include political luminaries such as MPs Dr. N.M. Perera, Dr. Colvin R. de Silva, Robert Gunawardena, S.J.V. Chelvanayakam, Vivienne Goonewardena, Philip Gunawardena, Wijeyananda Dahanayake, Sarath Muttetuwegama, more..

Who is Heen Baba?

Mar 16 (CT) Ranil-Maithri govt which was appointed subsequent to the Rainbow Revolution on 8 Jan identify themselves as Govt of Good Governance. This Govt of Good Governance is hybrid. It is a hybrid that no one ever expected in the history of politics in SL. It is a joining of SLFP and UNP which never ever saw eye to eye in the history of politics. This connection lit up the expectations of the people who were disgusted with the fighting and squabbling that was existent in the ring of politics. more..

Vilification of protests and protesters

Mar 16 (CT) Victor Ivan once related a story about a man. He had been involved with the 1971 insurrection and had naturally been a wanted man. He was arrested, interrogated, and jailed, having masterminded several attacks on police stations and other places of authority. The story is not, however, about Victor. It is about another person, who had launched an assault on the Kadugannawa police station. His name (real or otherwise, we can't be sure) was Senerath. more..

Dinesh’s conduct was appalling: Speaker

Mar 16 (NS) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya talks to the Sunday edition of Rivira in relation to the decision to suspend Parliamentary Leader of the Joint Opposition, MP Dinesh Gunawardena, from Parliament for a week for disrupting Parliamentary proceedings and disobeying the orders of the Chair and the political situation that arose subsequently. Q: What was the pandemonium that took place in Parliament. more..

Passion driven Royal-Thomian match

Mar 16 (DN) Hilmy Cader of MTI Consulting has been generous in a piece in the Sunday Observer on the subject 138 years of cricket between Royal and S. Thomas and what businesses could learn from it. He says. “profit is the only driver of a business, here is an exception where passion is the driver of the business, a cult brand status for their brands, strong sub-brands, efforts of the different Brand Evangelists”. This piece turns the light inward and asks what Royal and S. Thomas more..

To heal the world

Mar 16 (DN) Our people congregate in religious shrines. They are instructed, taught, advised, exhorted and counseled by religious leaders. The people listen to them, heed their advice and follow their guidance. The religious leaders who are most listened to are those who relate to people, have a sympathetic ear, who give just and unbiased advice appropriate to the person and/or the situation. As their wise counsels are invariably followed they are also influential and most respected. more..

Mahinda Amaraweera

Morality, Politics and The farce behind the UNHRC resolution

Mar 16 (CT) There was nothing fundamentally wrong in SL endorsing UNHRC resolution in Oct 2015. That was the best the country could achieve politically in that forum, under the circumstances, after 2009 resolution. This does not mean that it is the best for reconciliation, accountability or human rights in the country. Many of the recommendations of the resolution are ambiguous, legalistic or lack realistic perspectives. Some of them could even be undesirable or intrusive. more..