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Govt stamps Rs.1.5 b subsidy for plantations

Mar 18 (FT) After strong appeals, Govt has allocated a fertilizer subsidy of Rs.1.5 billion for the tea, rubber, and coconut industries. The appeal, which was made by Minister Naveen Dissanayake after intense lobbying by the sector, particularly smallholders, was responded to by the Govt this week. Subsidy will be distributed to the apex bodies of the relevant industries with Rs.900 million being given to Tea Small Holdings Dev Authority, more..

Piyumi Hansamali reveals all

Mar 18 (NS) Responding to an enquiry regarding a fight that broke out at hotel in Kiribathgoda last Thursday, popular model, actress and TV presenter  Piyumi Hansamali revealed to our sister newspaper Rivira,  that she had gone there with about six friends. “There were some people attending a party and they were singing and enjoying themselves. One person in that group looking at me and made some foul remarks. We heard it very well. My best friend Venura got very angry. more..

Enterprise based project to boost entrepreneurship

Mar 18 (FT) Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) chaired by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has conducted an extensive survey with the District Secretaries of eight districts in Northern and Eastern provinces resulting in the design of an Enterprise Based Village Development Project (EBVDP). On submission of the Cabinet Memorandum by President Sirisena as the Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation, more..

Mobitel-Ericsson MoU for first 5G Island of Innovation

Mar 18 (FT) Ericsson in collaboration with Mobitel and the Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure has formally signed the 5G Island of Innovation MoU in Colombo. MoU signed on 10 March, representing a landmark strategic ICT partnership that aims to bring 5G Internet of Things (IoT) innovation and entrepreneurship to Sri Lanka for the first time in South Asia. more..

Protest over Welikada prison riots

Mar 18 (NS) A protest campaign was held last week in front of the Welikada prison demanding that the Govt bring to justice the perpetrators of the riots which took place in 2012 and address issues faced by inmates. The protest was conducted on March 14. In solidarity, approximately 3500 prisoners at the Welikada prison engaged in a fast, a protest which they were subsequently scheduled to continue in order to bring to the attention of the authorities the issue regarding more..

Survey on drought concludes

Mar 18 (NS) Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Disaster Management are presently conducting a survey with regard to ascertaining information pertaining to those affected by drought and are faced with food insecurity, for the purpose of providing relief. National Disaster Relief Services Centre (NDRSC) as per requests made by district secretariats and divisional secretariats are providing monies to them along with the facilities such as tractor & lorry bowsers required for purpose, more..

Berkeley conservation group wins $1 million grant for Sri Lanka project

Mar 18 (EBT) Seacology has won a grant of almost $1 million for a conservation project in Sri Lanka. The Berkeley-based organization is a winner in this year’s Water Window Challenge sponsored by the international Global Resilience Partnership. A goal of the competition is to bolster the resilience of flood-prone communities in Central/East Africa & South/Southeast Asia against climate change & natural disasters. more..

LOLC acquires majority stake in Cambodia’s PRASAC Microfinance

Mar 18 (Island) LOLC International Private Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lanka ORIX Leasing Company (LOLC)) and The Bank of East Asia, Limited (BEA) announced that they have acquired a majority interest in PRASAC Microfinance Institution Limited (PRASAC) from Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries SA (BIO), Dragon Capital Group Limited (Dragon Capital) and Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO). more..

Colombo Fashion Week kicks off with Emerging Designers’ Showcase

Mar 18 (ST) Day one of Colombo Fashion Week kicked off with the Emerging Designers’ Showcase yesterday  at the Hilton Colombo. Set in the Foyeur of the GRAZE restaurant, show featured 8 new up and coming designers. Namely Dinushi Pamunuwa, Anushika Perera, Poorni Wijesinghe, Savindri Kuruppu, Vathsala Gunasekara, Marlon Rae, Mihiri De Silva, and Yathra Jayawardene. The night saw two brands being launched when their debut collections were showcased on the runway. more..

President calls for better coordination between politicians, SLAS officials

Mar 18 (DN) The link between politicians and members of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) should be strengthened for the speedy implementation of development projects, President Maithripala Sirisena said. President also said that due to poor coordination between public servants and politicians, most of the funds allocated for various development programmes is sent back to the Treasury at the end of the year. more..

Oppose UN resolution, Vaiko tells Centre

Mar 18 (Hindu) MDMK general secretary Vaiko on Friday urged the Indian govt to oppose the resolution in the UN that would give two more years to Sri Lanka to submit its report based on investigation into alleged war crimes against the Tamils. “With all sincerity and anguish, I would request you that the Indian Govt should oppose this resolution,” he said. If India supported the resolution, then it would be recorded in the history as a country that supported the genocide of Tamils, more..

Govt faces rupee crisis

Mar 18 (Island) A decline in foreign investments and reserves has caused the govt to face a rupee crisis. Last year foreign investments dropped to USD 444.5 million (34%) and investment in Treasury bonds also declined. In 2016, the govt lost USD 324.3 million due to withdrawals by Treasury bond investors and this year up to February 14 there had been a loss of USD 309 million in Treasury bonds withdrawal. As a result, investments made by foreigners in Treasury bonds had dropped to USD 4.4 million, more..

PIA’s CEO rebukes allegations of acquiring plane from Sri Lanka on exorbitant charges

Mar 18 (DP) Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) CEO Bernd Hildenbrand, who is facing travel ban and charges of corruption in airlines, rebuked all allegations leveled against him and termed them baseless. He claimed that investigation agency did not have enough information regarding lease of planes. Instead of conducting his media trial, all procedures of acquiring planes on lease could be learnt in more..

'Extradite fisherman murder case accused from Sri Lanka'

Mar 18 (Hindu) A public interest litigation petition (PIL) was filed in Madras High Court Bench here on Friday seeking a direction to the Centre as well as State Govt to extradite the accused in a case registered in connection with the death of Rameswaram fisherman K.Britjo (21) who was allegedly shot dead by the SL Navy on the high seas on March 6. Case, filed by D. Raju of NTK, has been listed for hearing before a Division Bench of Justices A. Selvam and N. Authinathan on Monday. more..

Sri Lanka cursed with corrupt and incompetent leaders: Shuffle shuffled?

Mar 18 (NS) Speculations were rife on Friday in Colombo of a possible Cabinet reshuffle after a meeting of the govt high rankers at the Presidential Secretariat. The meeting saw the participation of President Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, and several ministers including Mahinda Amaraweera, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Susil Premajayanth, Dr. Sarath Amunugama and Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena. President earlier hinted of a change in Fisheries Cabinet portfolio more..

Rescued Sri Lankan crew expected back in Colombo today

Mar 18 (Island) Sri Lankan crew members of the hijacked Aris 13 vessel said that the Somalian pirates had robbed all their possessions before leaving the ship. They were left with only their clothes and mobile phones, they said. Chief Engineer of the vessel, Jayantha Kalubowila said over the phone that Aris 13 with eight SL crew members on-board had arrived at the Port of Bosaso in NE Somalia Puntland region yesterday. more..

Stop ethnic profiling and hate speech

Mar 18 (DM) On Tuesday (21) the world marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, with this year’s theme being racial profiling and incitement to hatred, including in the context of migration. This is significant in view of the emergence of the explosive Donald Trump as President of the US and his two executive orders imposing a temporary ban on immigrants from six Muslim majority countries. In the states of Hawaii and Maryland, federal judges have ruled that more..

Self in place of people

Mar 18 (DM) Are the loyalists of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who call themselves the Joint Opposition (JO) playing into the hands of the Government by fighting for the demand made by Wimal Weerawansa’s National Freedom Front (NFF) to recognise it as a separate party in the Parliament? Wittingly or unwittingly, they have totally diverted the focus of the masses from skyrocketing cost of living and many other burning problems by this agitation. more..

Sri Lanka a different side of dairy farming

Mar 18 (ODT) Dairying in Sri Lanka is a much different scene to the lush pastures of West Otago. Kelso dairy farmer Marloes Levelink returned this month from a three-week stint in Sri Lanka, as part of a new farmer volunteer scheme to work with  dairy farmers there. From more than 100 applications from Fonterra shareholders, she was one of four selected to spend time at Fonterra’s demonstration and training farm in Pannala, more..

How Sri Lankan militants tried to topple the Maldives govt in ’88

Mar 18 (Roar) There is a Maldivian legend about a Sri Lankan prince named KoiMalé who was marooned in a Maldivian lagoon with his wife, daughter of a Sinhalese king, and who then went on to rule the nation as its first Sultan in the 12th century AD. Nearly 800 years later, a group of SL mercenaries, armed to the teeth, would attempt to help unseat the then Maldivian president in a coup d’état that has now become something of a more..

Implement commitments soon to strengthen credibility, says NPC

Mar 18 (Island) The on-going session of the UNHRC in Geneva is generating strong hopes and emotions especially in the former war zones of the north and east of the country and amongst the Tamil Diaspora.  Many of the people living there have been direct victims of the war that lasted nearly three decades.  They look to the process unfolding in Geneva to obtain justice for themselves and for their kin. more..

New Counter Terrorism Act will comply with int’l HR norms: Sagala

Mar 18 (Island) SL Govt has developed a policy and legal framework for a new Counter Terrorism Act, which would comply with international human rights norms, while the draft is currently going through revisions following Cabinet approval, Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayake says. "Prevention of Terrorism Act had earned notoriety as one of the most draconian pieces of legislation in Sri Lanka," he has said. more..

The crown prince of Sri Lankan politics who was never crowned as King

Mar 18 (DBS) Politics is a blood sport was a famous saying by former president J.R. Jayewardene. In the cut-throatish competitive world of SL politics there have been many casualties who aspired to high office but failed to fulfil their ambition. Even people with powerful bloodlines in SL’s dynastic political realm fell or were felled in this blood sport arena. One such striking political personality was Anura Bandaranaike who more..

High spirited opposition to alcohol distillery in Kalkudah

Mar 18 (ST) A liquor manufacturing firm helmed by Arjun Aloysius, is fighting local authorities in Batticaloa District, over plans to build a grain-based alcohol distillery in Kalkudah. Last year, Excise Dept gave approval to W.M. Mendis & Co Ltd (of which Aloysius is Chairman) to set up alcohol manufactory on instructions from Dept of Fiscal Policy, both of which fall under purview of Ministry of Finance headed by Ravi Karunanayake. more..

In just 10 weeks dengue infections rocket past 19,400

Mar 18 (ST) Dengue infections in the Western Province has risen sharply in the first 10 weeks of the year. Cases have soared by 43% compared with the same period of last year. Data show that there were 19,419 cases of dengue since the beginning of the year. Highest numbers of cases was reported during the third week of the year. Most of the cases were reported from Colombo (4,846) Jaffna (1,172) and Gampaha (2,502). more..

Drug trafficking on a high despite major detections in the recent past

Mar 18 (ST) Sri Lanka can no longer be considered a soft transit point for narcotics given the record number of drug detections in the past few years and continuing, authorities say. While 46kg of heroin were seized in island-wide raids in 2015, last year the amount seized had increased to 206 kg. This statistic included 101 kg of heroin seized from a dhow off the island’s southern coast on March 30 in a joint operation by the PNB and SL Navy. more..

Govt allegedly in bed with millers to rig rice market

Mar 18 (ST) Standing by the roadside, farmers of Polonnaruwa often watch lorries hauling paddy to the stores of private millers. The paddy is being transported from the interior areas of Ampara and Batticaloa, where the harvest has been good. In two weeks, the harvesting is expected to begin in most other districts as well. So why is the Govt importing rice? Farmers in Polonnaruwa ask. They say Govt & private millers have paddy more..

SC grants leave to proceed

Mar 18 (DM) The Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices Eva Wanasundera and Nalin Perera granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights petition filed by MV Avant Garde's Ukrainian Captain challenging his arrest and detention. Court fixed April 4 to consider interim relief and fix the date of the hearing. Petitioner 49-year-old Gennadiy Gavrylov said he was arrested in October 2015 outside SL territorial waters more..

Climbing mountains, to develop football

Mar 18 (CT) There was the case of an Ex-national football player who was faced with a critical financial situation and circumstances arising from it had turned him into a grave digger to feed his family. At the time this man was severely criticized by the financial manager who was an ex- president of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL), for publicizing his story in newspapers, blaming him for his situation, dug out by none other than himself. According to what was said by more..

Colombo Swimming Club plagued with corruption

Mar 18 (SL) Colombo Swimming Club- the only free hold club in SL with an elite membership, which was earlier under British management, is now plagued with corruption the members complain. Accusations have been leveled against the Committee Members and the Additional Trustees for not taking any action against the allegations leveled against the Club President until a strong worded letter was sent to the Club General Secretary recently by one of the senior members requesting to hold an inquiry. more..

ඉතිහාසයේ ප්රථමවරට හෙද හෙදියන් සඳහා පීඨයක්

Govt planning to sell key institutions: C.B.

Mar 18 (DN) Former Minister and MP C.B. Rathnayake alleged that the government was planning to sell key government institutions such as SriLankan Airlines, Colombo Port, CEB, CPC and Water Board citing they were inefficient and suffering losses. He said it was an utter lie to claim that they were being sold due to their inefficiency and losses. CPC earned a profit of Rs.9 billion last year while the Sri Lanka Ports Authority earned a profit of Rs.10 billion. more..

UNP hopes to appoint three deputy leaders

Mar 18 (DM) UNP seniors are expected to meet next week to discuss the proposal to appoint three deputy leaders to the party, sources said yesterday. They said the proposal to make changes to the party came up at the working committee meeting held on March 8 and at this meeting it was also decided that senior party members like Ranjith Madduma Bandara and several others including Minister Sarath Fonseka should be appointed to the working committee. However, the final decision on more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Only one-sixth of eligible students gain university admission: Grero

Mar 18 (Island) More than 150,000 students qualify for university admission annually, but only 27,000 can be accommodated in state-run universities, State Minister of Higher Education Mohan Lal Grero said. He said others, numbering around 130,000 were left out and some of them opted for vocational education and related areas in the governmental institutions. He was addressing a seminar organised by the Agriculture Faculty of the Peradeniya University, under the theme more..

Permits of fishermen killing dolphins to be cancelled

Mar 18 (Island) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed the Director General of Fisheries Department to terminate the permit of the beach seine operator involved in killing twelve dolphins. Minister Amaraweera has ordered the Director to carry out further investigations into the case. Last Thursday (09), Police Crime Prevention Unit of Trincomalee, acting on a tip-off, arrested nine fishermen alleged to have killed twelve dolphins. The suspects were nabbed when more..

Karunaratne battles but Bangladesh can dare to dream

Mar 18 (CI) The Test is tantalisingly poised. Sri Lanka, holders of a proud home record, have stretched their lead 139 runs thanks largely to two centuries: of runs from Dimuth Karunaratne and of balls by Dilruwan Perera. But Bangladesh, playing in a landmark game of their own, can rightfully consider themselves in control of the contest after picking up 8 wickets on Saturday. The day ended on a sour note for Bangladesh after umpire more..

Sri Lanka exporters get full pavilion

Mar 18 (CT) Sri Lankan exporters will have access to the one billion plus Chinese export market when the 31st China-Dalian Imports and Commodities Fair takes place in mid May 2017. The exhibition will take place at the Dalian World Expo Centre between May 11 and 14, with a large number of countries expected to participate. It was only last Thursday that the China-Dalian International Chamber of Commerce and the Sri Lanka International Business Council endorsed an MoU between more..

Delimitation gazette today

Mar 18 (CT) The amended gazette notification pertaining to the Delimitation Committee report, will be released today ahead of the anticipated 2017 Local Govt polls. Only the gazette notifications in English and Sinhala languages are to be released today while the gazette notification in Tamil is still being finalized and will be released shortly thereafter. Secretary to the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Govt Kamal Padmasiri stated that the gazette notification relating to more..

Parliament mafia bankrupting SL: The truth about supplementary scam

Mar 18 (LT) The supplementary estimate presented to Parliament regarding govt expenses for the month of January has divulged very important information. While nearly 5 million people from 1.2 families were affected due to the drought Rs. 50 million was allocated on 14th January as extra expenses for the Ministry of Disaster Management. Rs. 24000 million has been allocated to restore financial companies that tumbled down more..