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Vasu wants Mangala removed

Mar 21 (Island) DLF leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara demanded the resignation of Minister Managala Samaraweera citing reasons that the latter was subservient to western powers. He said Samaraweera acted in a manner which was inimical to the national interest. Nanayakka said foreign minister should have been removed much earlier. He also criticised PM for misleading the masses claiming that there would be no foreign judges to investigate alleged war crimes. more..

'Needs holistic approach to piracy'

Mar 21 (ENS) A former SL navy chief who is now an academic, Admiral Jayanath Colombage, has said that the seizure of an oil tanker by Somali pirates in the Horn of Africa on March 13 after a gap of five years, shows that there is an urgent need for a holistic approach to piracy which should include political, economic, military, administrative, legal and financial components. The pirates had seized the bunkering tanker more..

South supports Tamil demands

Mar 21 (CT) Several progressive organizations and individuals in the South have extended their support to the demands of the people in the North and East, such as to release their lands from the possession of the security forces, providing information on the missing people and the abrogation of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The protest which commenced outside Fort Railway Station last week included several progressive organizations and university students. more..

'Some State officials discourage investors'

Mar 21 (CT) At a time when Sri Lanka was attempting to improve foreign direct investments to the country, a senior official said that some State officials were discouraging potential investors who show keen interest in the country. Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Upul Jayauriya revealed that the BOI received an investment proposal for a sugar refinery and farming project in Vavuniya, which was discouraged by some State officials. He said that these State officials opined that more..

National Honours – 2017 held

Mar 21 (PMD) The Investiture Ceremony of conferring National Honours on distinguished personalities, who rendered a noble service to the country and its advancement, held today (20) at the Nelum Pokuna Theater, under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. These awards were bestowed on the most distinguished persons who have made outstanding contributions to the country and its advancement. more..

Shortlist announcement of Gratiaen Prize

Mar 21 (CT) The shortlist for the Gratiaen Prize 2016 will be announced on Monday, 3 April, at 6 p.m. at the British Council Library, Colombo. All are invited to attend the announcement and listen to the reading of excerpts from the shortlisted entries. Gratiaen Prize was founded in 1993 by the Sri Lankan-born writer Michael Ondaatje, after he won the Booker Prize for The English Patient. The Gratiaen Prize 2016 is the second to be presented under the Gratiaen Trust's more..

‘Sri Lanka needs to implement 27 conventions for GSP+’

Mar 21 (DN) Sri Lanka needs to ensure that there is no serious failure on its part to implement the 27 international conventions at the desired level to be qualified for the GSP+ concession, Commerce Director General Sonali Wijeratne said. “Looking at the regulations which are applicable to the European Parliament and Council, the facts of the case and the experience of others countries that have also thought of applying under various conditions, Sri Lanka has an excellent case.” more..

UNP members turn hostile towards anti-SAITM officials

Mar 21 (Island) The COPE yesterday took up the SAITM issue and its sitting looked like a repetition of what had happened when it investigated the controversial Treasury bond issue; some UNP members of the committee had turned hostile towards the professionals opposed to the private medical college, a senior COPE member said. Committee sitting, which commenced at 9 am in parliamentary complex, lasted till 12.30 pm more..

Tourism yet to settle US$ 3 mn media bill

Mar 21 (DN) Sri Lankan Tourism is yet to settle over US$ 3 million to several global advertising companies and media houses. These have to be paid to Bloomberg, Sky News, Aljazeera and to CNN. These payments are now long overdue by more than two years. Minister John Amaratunge accepted that they are yet to pay several international media houses. “But I must tell you that these advertising deals were sealed during the previous regime and former administrators more..

SLMC Asst. Registrar’s vehicle attacked

Mar 21 (Island) The vehicle belonging to the Assistant Registrar and Council member of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC), Dr C. Atapattu was attacked on Sunday. An unidentified person riding a motorcycle had pelted stones at Dr Atapattu’s vehicle near his house in Mulleriyawa during the wee hours of Sunday, damaging it. CCTV footage in a neighbour’s house has revealed that the culprit hurled stones at the doctor’s vehicle. A complaint had been lodged with the Muleriyawa Police. more..

'Pacts with China will not harm independence and security of Sri Lanka'

~Mar 21 (ENS) President Maithripala Sirisena told the visiting Chinese Defense Minister and State Councilor, Gen.Chang Wanquan, that the pacts which Sri Lanka is to sign with China “will not do any harm to the pride, independence and national security of Sri Lanka.” Sirisena’s assertive remark assumes significance in the context of the raging controversy over the 80 % stake to be given to a Chinese state-owned more..

Elephant bone ornaments found in Basnayake Nilame’s home in Kandy

Mar 21 (DN) Wildlife officers yesterday seized several ornaments carved out of elephant tusks from the home of the Basnayake Nilame of the Kataragama Devalaya in Kandy. The officers had inspected the Basnayake Nilame’s house following a complaint that he owned ornaments made out of elephant tusks without a valid permit. The wildlife officer had found a couple of two and half feet tall ornaments made to look like elephant tusks. They had been made out of elephant bone. more..

Sampanthan’s ancestral home under siege

Mar 21 (CT) A group of family members of the disappeared persons had stood outside the ancestral home of Leader of TNA, R Sampanthan at 4:45 p.m. on Sunday. The protestors pointed out that the TNA was ignorant of their plight and to express their dismay, they had staged the protest outside Sampanthan's residence. The people who participated in the protest had been sitting outside the office of the Eastern Province Governor Austin Fernando for the past fifteen days in rotation. more..

SL ex-leader's brother led death squad: court

Mar 21 (AFP) Former president Mahinda Rajapakse's brother Gotabhaya directed a top-secret death squad which targeted journalists and dissidents, a court was told Monday. CID told the Mount Lavinia magistrate's court that Gotabhaya Rajapakse, who was Sri Lanka's defence secretary during his brother's rule, directed a secret unit which is accused of assassinating a newspaper editor in January 2009. more..

Be aware: War over fresh water imminent

Mar 21 (DM) Tomorrow (22) is World Water Day and the main aim is to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and advocate the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This day is important and significant for Sri Lanka because we have been blessed with many major rivers, canals and streams and we need to ensure that no one is allowed to pollute these vast resources or to plunder them through subtle means. The theme this year is, Why Waste Water and we call upon more..

Dispossession and Landlessness in North

Mar 21 (DM) Land struggles that were little fires during the repressive years after the war, have now lit up the political landscape of the North. If the democratic wind with regime change provided oxygen for these struggles, the rural economic crisis affecting the war-torn people drives their desperation to recover land as a resource for agriculture and landing sites for fisheries. Indeed, land for these people is not only the ground on which to build dwellings, but also a resource to reproduce more..

SLC indirectly ignores court ruling

Mar 21 (SL) Sri Lanka Cricket is alleged to have indirectly disregarded a court ruling delivered against them. Cricket Board has come under criticism for not heeding a court ruling given against them preventing from holding inter-club limited cricket tournament. Although the inter-club tournament had been suspended following the court ruling, same clubs representing the same players are now playing at hurriedly more..

CEA to ban PET bottles under one litre

Mar 21 (ST) The Central Environment Authority (CEA) is to ban the sale of carbonated drinks and fruit juices in PET (PolyEthylene Tetraphthalate) bottles below 1 litre, to control the plastic menace in the country. CEA Waste Management Director, J.M.U. Indraratne said that, instead, the Beverage industry will be encouraged to sell drinks in glass bottles. However, industry could use PET bottles of 1 litre or more, for their beverages. more..

President to undertake official visit to Russia

Mar 21 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena will undertake an official visit to the Russian Federation on 22-24 March 2017 at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin. The upcoming visit will be the first official visit to Russia by a Sri Lankan leader since 1974, when PM Sirimavo Bandaranaike visited Moscow. The visit takes place as both countries celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment diplomatic relations this year.   more..

Offering goodwill, US cultivates partnership in South Asia

Mar 21 (S&S) The line began forming hours before sunrise at Kirinda Peripheral Hospital, in a rural, south coast town known mostly by the nation’s big-city folk for its nearby elephant sanctuary. The Sri Lankan, U.S. and Australian military teams expected about 400 patients to show up. By afternoon, there were well over 1,000. Army medics, Navy nurses and dentists, Australian midwives and doctors of more..

SriLankan Airlines partner may be in place by year end

Mar 21 (EN) A partner to turn around loss-making state carrier may be in place by the end of the year, with private equity firm TPG Capital being selected through an international bidding process now being the sole contender. Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said the selected PE firm has been given the nod to begin a due diligence examination of SriLankan Airlines, a process that may take up to three months from March. more..

Gazette minimum standards of medical education: GMOA

Mar 21 (DN) A letter had been sent to Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne requesting him to gazette the existing minimum standards of the medical education within two weeks. The duration ends on March 30, GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said. He said the minimum standard of the medical education in Sri Lanka existed for decades but according to the Court of Appeal ruling, it is not a law. more..

UNICEF appeals for 1 million dollar funding for Sri Lanka's drought

Mar 21 (Xinhua) The UNICEF on Tuesday appealed for 1 million US dollars in funding to support Sri Lanka during its ongoing drought. Sri Lanka was currently in the midst of its worst drought in 40 years, with over 1.2 million people, including 365,232 children directly affected and in need of humanitarian assistance. A report released by UNICEF on World Water Day said that 36 countries across the globe were currently facing more..

Asst. Governor reveals how Mahendran went against Monetary Board decision

Mar 21 (ST) Assistant Governor of the Central Bank and Secretary to its Monetary Board H. A. Karunarate, testifying before Special Presidential Commission, said that the former Governor of CB Arjuna Mahendran had overridden the decision made by the Monetary Board to keep the interest of its daily deposits at 5% and arbitrarily increased it to 6.5 %. Karuratne said Mahendran gave instructions to do so on Feb 27, 2015. more..

Island nation in Indian Ocean now a big draw for US, China

Mar 21 (S&S) The answer to why a state-of-the-art port exists in a remote part of one of Asia’s smallest nations lies a short distance out in the Indian Ocean. A critical sea lane is the reason China built the little-used Hambantota port in the first place, and why — besides a long-­standing regional humanitarian mission — the U.S. military was keen to visit for nearly two weeks this month. More than half of world’s container more..

Ex-leader's brother shifts blame for killings

Mar 21 (AFP) The brother of Sri Lanka's former president Mahinda Rajapakse denied Tuesday involvement in war-era death squads, blaming the then army chief for an alleged secretive campaign of extrajudicial murders. Gotabhaya Rajapakse has been accused of giving orders to a shadowy military outfit allegedly involved in murdering journalists and political dissidents during Sri Lanka's long-running civil war. more..

Dengue out to cull our population

Mar 21 (CT) Every year we experience at least two dengue outbreaks. Both of which are accompanied by the monsoon rains. This year, sticking to its strict schedule has turned up again to cull our population. Dengue cases are in record level this year during the year's first outbreak. During the first 3 months of this year 22,562 suspected dengue cases have been reported islandwide, while the most number of cases were reported in this current month of March where disease reached an epidemic level. more..

Sri Lanka arrests 10 Indian fishermen in northern waters

Mar 21 (Xinhua) SL Navy arrested 10 Indian fishermen for poaching illegally in waters South of Delft Island, in the country's north, on Tuesday, the navy media unit said here. One Indian fishing trawler was also taken into custody. The arrested fishermen were brought to the Naval Base SLNS Elara and were handed over to the Jaffna Assistant Director of Fisheries for onward legal action. The arrest came a day after Minister, Mahinda Amaraweera said that Indian fishermen will continue to be arrested more..

Parliament Mafia: Divide people and rule

e-commerce seen hampered by regulations

Mar 21 (EN) Despite the growth of electronic commerce in Sri Lanka it remins constrained by regulations that make digital payments a hassle for consumers, according to the head of an online retailer. “One of biggest challenges in digital age is sometimes with regulation especially with or peer-to-peer transactions,” said  Lahiru Pathmalal, CEO of Takas Ltd. Although P2P payments were happening their growth was held back by regulations that confine most online transactions to banks. more..

Selection criteria for prospective MPs

Mar 21 (CT) I wish to draw the attention of all public-spirited citizens to the following extract in the Island Editorial, under the topic, Speaker’s plight, “The most effective way of addressing the problem of the deterioration of political institutions is to end the deplorable practice of nominating unsavoury elements to contest elections, which they win by spending a fraction of their black money to bribe voters. The blame for this sorry state of affairs should be apportioned to all political leaders. more..

National inflation surges to 8.2% in Feb

Mar 21 (EN) Sri Lanka's country-wide price rises measured by the National Consumer Price Index rose 8.2% in the 12 months to 7 Feb 2017, accelerating from 6.5% in January. Index rose 0.5% in February to 119.9 points. In January, prices rose 1.1%. Food prices rose 10.2% in the 12 months and non-foods rose 6.8%, the statistics office said. A re-based Colombo Consumer Price Index rose 6.8% in the 12 months to February. more..

President’s Commission on SAITM

Mar 21 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena has declared that the committee appointed by him on SAITM will come to a decision at the earliest, GMOA declared. Secretary of the GMOA, Dr. Navin De Soyza said that, President had mentioned that this problem cannot be solved through a Court verdict and that the continuous protests of the students of State universities is also a problem. Although the discussions held with the President were at an effective level, more..

Ceylon Tea Boutique attracts a large number of ITB visitors

Mar 21 (GDI) Ceylon Tea being among the most recognized tea brands in the world, were amongst the most popular items for the German visitors who visited the Sri Lanka Pavilion at ITB 2017. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau organized an exclusive Tea Promotional Boutique at the ITB with three Sri Lankan tea hostesses. Over 4,000 visitors visited the Ceylon Tea Boutique during the five day promotional campaign. Minister John Amaratunga, and P.M. Withana, Chairman of SL Tourism more..

Video: OISL report: Mangala accepted it sans govt consent: JO

Mar 21 (DM) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has accepted the report on the OHCHR investigation on Sri Lanka and had co-sponsored the resolution on Sri Lanka without the consent of the President and the Cabinet, joint opposition told the UNHRC. JO member Sarath Weerasekara who spoke from Geneva said he told the UNHCR that Sri Lanka was involved in a non international armed conflict between the govt more..

Sri Lanka's old guard proves its worth again

Mar 21 (CI) 8: Rangana Herath (16 wickets at 18.00) In a home series, who else but Herath to lead the wicket charts, wrapping his little tentacles around Bangladesh in Galle, then wangling out the tail at the P Sara? For the first time in a year, though, he failed to bowl his side to victory in the second Test - foiled on this occasion by a precise and inspired Tamim Iqbal. He says he has more cricket left to give, and Sri Lanka will probably need him decades into the future, even if he has to approach more..

Video: Court rejects Wimal’s bail application

Mar 21 (AD) Colombo High Court has rejected the  bail application filed by MP Wimal Weerawansa. Attorneys representing the former minister had submitted a bail application to the High Court after the Colombo Magistrate Court had rejected the previous bail request.  MP Wimal Weerawansa who was arrested on charges of misusing state vehicles, was further remanded till the 3 of April when the case was taken up yesterday. NFF leader was arrested more..

India joins hands to offer a help in drought affected people in Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (PSL) Govt of India donated eight water bowsers to supply water to the people in drought affected areas. Donations were officially handed over to President Sirisena today. High Commissioner of India, Taranjit Singh Sandhu  symbolically handed over the relevant documents and keys of water bowsers to the President.  Presently, there are 16 districts directly affected by the water shortage due to the prevailing dry more..

Army Corporal arrested over Keith Noyahr attack remanded

Mar 21 (AD) The Army Corporal arrested in connection with the abduction and assault on journalist Keith Noyahr, has been remanded till March 30 by Maount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court. The 34-year-old suspect, attached to the Army Intelligence Directorate, was arrested by the CID last night and produced before Magistrate Lochana Weerasinghe today (21). Five army personnel including a Major were previously arrested and remanded in connection with the case.   more..

Call for International probe on Sri Lanka Tamils: AIADMK

Mar 21 (ENS) India must oppose a resolution in the UNHRC moved by the US, the UK and some other countries on giving two more years until 2019 for Sri Lanka to submit its report on the killing of Tamils, the AIADMK said in Parliament. AIADMK leader V Maitreyan raised the matter in Rajya Sabha during Zero Hour and urged the Centre to take the initiative to see that an independent international investigation is ordered. Requesting PM Narendra Modi to bring justice to Eelam Tamils, more..