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Ravi K gets The Banker’s title

Mar 27 (FT) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said yesterday that the financial discipline of Sri Lanka had been recognised internationally with the selection of him as the Best Finance Minister of the Asia Pacific region by prestigious London-based international financial magazine The Banker. The Minister pointed out that the award was not his personal victory but an achievement for the entire country. more..

More than 15,000 TB patient in Sri Lanka

Mar 27 (DM) There were more than 15,000 Tuberculosis patients in the country, Consultant Chest Physician at the Polonnaruwa Hospital Dr. Nandika Harischandra said. The World Tuberculosis Day was marked this year on Friday, March 24. “More than 10,000 persons are diagnosed with TB in the country every year and in addition there are about 5,000 patients at large and not receiving treatment,” he said. The patients who refrained from obtaining treatment endangered more..

National Zoo in Sri Lanka and National Zoo in Singapore to exchange technology

Mar 27 (ITN) MoU to be singed between National Zoo in Singapore and National Zoo in Sri Lanka. Singapore Zoo has been known to have among the most beautiful settings in the world, where animals roam freely in open and natural habitats. It is also recognized as the world's best rainforest zoo. The proposal made by Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, to sign the above MoU for exchange of technological knowledge, information for the scheduled developments in Dehiwala Zoo more..

Rajinikanth row: Namal taunts Tamil Nadu netas, Lyca saddened

Mar 27 (TOI) A day after actor Rajinikanth cancelled his visit to SL, after some pro-Tamil outfits urged him to withdraw from a charity event organised by Lyca Group's Gnanam Foundation next month, bowing to pressure from pro-Tamil outfits MDMK, VCK and others, former SL president Mahinda's son Namal jumped into the controversy. Namal Rajapaksa alleged that TN politicians have done little for Tamils there except for politicizing more..

Flemingo to open new BIA duty free on 1 July

Mar 27 (TRB) Flemingo International CEO Atul Ahuja has confirmed that the company has won a five-year contract to operate the larger of two duty free shops at Colombo BIA. This latest award is understood to correspond to just one of two concessions that were originally tendered last June, with each business historically operated by Flemingo International and World Duty Free in competition with each other. Flemingo International CEO Atul Ahuja confirmed to more..

Fasting Wimal transferred to prison hospital

Mar 27 (AT) Doctors moved NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, who has been fasting at the Welikada remand prison since March 22, has been transferred to the prison hospital on Sunday morning, officials said. Former Minister, who is currently in prison on allegations of misusing state vehicles, said to have caused a huge loss to the state by misusing vehicles, is continuing the hunger strike for the fifth day urging for his release. Prison officials said that they had decided to move more..

MPs’ duty free vehicle permit controversy: CIABOC urged to take action

Mar 27 (Island) Public interest litigation activist Nagananda Kodituwakku has requested Sarath Jayamanne, Director General of the CIABOC to seize duty free vehicles imported by sitting members of parliament and initiate action to recover levies defrauded at the time of the importation. Additional Solicitor General Jayamanne, PC, succeeded Additional Solicitor General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe as DG, CIABOC last Nov. more..

Saint in front of the people: A private visit that went public

Mar 27 (DM) There is a monk who played an active role in several popular movements responsible for bringing about a series of far reaching political developments in the recent past. This monk who had been closely associated with several political parties from time to time has of late embarked on a new mission after severing his latest political ties. The excuse he often proffers for this conduct is that he has always been above petty and narrow sectarian politics. more..

Some custom duties removed for Sri Lankan Immigrant workers

Mar 27 (ITN) Govt has decided to completely free the duty imposed of nine goods being brought into the country by migrant Sri Lanka workers. They need to be in foreign employment for at least one year to get this benefit. Deputy Customs Director, said that the Customs has decided to give more benefits to the Sri Lankans who are returning after working in overseas. He said that they can bring a bathroom set, a bedroom suite and a motorcycle below the capacity of 350 CC, tax free. more..

CB bond scams: Monetary Board probe reveals heavy EPF loss 9.5 Bn loss

Mar 27 (Island)  A special investigation, commissioned by the Monetary Board of the CB, has revealed that bond scams under the current govt have caused a staggering loss of about Rs. 10 billion to Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF). A report prepared by the investigation committee is scheduled to be submitted, within next few days, to Committee on Public Accounts and Presidential Commission on bond transactions. more..

The Ides of March and confusion compounded in Sri Lanka

Mar 27 (DM) Sri Lanka once again co-sponsored the US-sponsored UNHRC draft resolution titled Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka. And out of the goodness of its heart, UNHRC granted the country two more years to fulfil the recommendations of the 2015 resolution, which include the setting up of hybrid courts and the involvement of foreign judges in trials of alleged war crimes. Sri Lanka is not as fortunate as the state of Israel. more..

Public policy failures, social unrest and economic decline

Mar 27 (DM) There are more than enough signs of social unrest in the country today. In fact, the prevailing state of affairs in could be described as unsettling, to say the least. Inhuman ragging in the universities is nothing new but has become more endemic within the system. Our streets have become unmanageable, even by an ever-increasing number of traffic police officers. They built environment in and around urban centres is a big mess and threaten public health as well as more..

Red faced Chathura hits back

Mar 27 (SL) Young MP Chathura Senaratne has been on the wrong side of social media these days. He has more or less become the laughing stock of social media over a statement he had made on the late Vijaya Kumaranatunga. Senaratne had claimed that he had done politics with Kumaranatunga. The problem is when Kumaranatunga was killed Senaratne was just a child. Video clips of Senaratne's statement more..

Sirisena faction extends olive branch to Mahinda, but not Basil

Mar 27 (Island) It was the duty of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and others to join forces with President Maithripala Sirisena for the sake of the party, SLFP Chief Organiser for Kotte former Mayor Janaka Ranawaka said on Saturday. He said: "We hold former President Rajapaksa in very high esteem. But, in the meantime, we know that it was his brother Basil Rajapaksa, who caused the defeat of the SLFP. more..

No one to investigate millers poisoning rice in storage

Mar 27 (ST) A highly toxic  fumigant that can cause liver and kidney damage as well as damage to the lungs, nervous system and circulatory system, is allegedly being used in warehouses storing SL’s staple food, rice. But food safety and health officials, consumer watchdog and the pesticide regulator are toothless in the face of the danger posed by pesticides that should not be used on raw agricultural produce. more..

Waterboard TU action adds to its losses

Mar 27 (Island) The work-to-rule campaign launched by the Technical Officers’ Union (TOU) and Engineering Diplomates Association (EDA) of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) would continue as the ministry had failed to provide a solution, Vice Chairman of the TOU Anura Perera said. Perera said the members of two major trade unions had commenced their trade union action more..

'Independent Commissions toothless'

Mar 27 (Island) The independent commissions established under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution have become white elephants, Minister Champika Ranawaka says. He said: "The independent commissions were set up amidst much fanfare. Some pundits predicted they would help restore democracy. Now what has happened today? There is an independent election commission but it cannot act because more..

Arjuna Aloysious' newspaper Janayugaya to hit the market in early April

Mar 27 (AM) Janayugaya, the newspaper funded by the Perpetual Treasuries company, is to be launched in early April. The initial publicity campaign of the newspaper is currently underway. Arjuna Aloysious, the owner of Perpetual Treasuries and the son-in-law of former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, has formed a company titled Integrated Media Network to publish the newspaper. more..

Sri Lanka and India in talks over advanced light helicopter

Mar 27 (Hindu) As part of efforts to enhance defence cooperation and boost exports with friendly countries, India is in discussions with Sri Lanka and several Southeast Asian nations for the supply of Dhruv, the indigenously developed advanced light helicopter (ALH). Supplying defence equipment and providing assistance in setting up domestic manufacturing capability have become the new normal in India’s defence cooperation more..

SL drafting new immigrants & emigrants law

Mar 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka is drafting a new immigrants and emigrants law to comply with developments in the international environment and the island’s priorities. So far the Immigrant and Emigrant Act No 20 of 1948, reflecting the past colonial era, has been the foundation for immigration and emigration matters. The act governs border management activities including visas for entry for non-Sri Lankans to the country, more..

Hold the Polls MS tells Faiszer

Mar 27 (DM) President Maitripala Sirisena had instructed Minister Faiszer Musthapha to hold the elections to the Local authorities without further delay. Minister told the Daily Mirror that he would call for the immediate amendments of current laws governing such elections to sort out some technical issues. Earlier, Elections Commission highlighted more than 50 shortcomings in the prevailing laws, to be rectified. more..

Video: Gota rejects Death Squad claims

Mar 27 (DM) Former Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa has rejected news reports published by AL Jazeera and AFP that he operated a death squad with the intention of silencing his critics. On March 20, foreign news agencies reported that the CID had told the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate's Court that Mr. Rajapaksa led a top secret death squad, targeting journalists and dissidents. The news report said the alleged unit was also accused of more..

CBK in Chelva’s hometown

Mar 27 (CT) Former President and Chairperson of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) Chandrika Kumaratunga, in Jaffna, while assuring the families of the disappeared persons that the govt would adopt remedial measures to solve their grievances said that the Security Forces personnel who sacrificed their lives to eradicate terrorism would be respected. Kumaratunga was in Jaffna on Saturday in her capacity as Chairperson of ONUR, participating in several events more..

War crimes being pivot of transitional justice stalls progress 

Mar 27 (CT) The govt achieved its main goal at the UNHRC at the session just completed in March. It was able to obtain a two year extension to deliver on the promise it made at a previous session of the UNHRC in October 2015. There is a consensus that the govt’s performance has been inadequate. The govt itself has not denied this. Not one of the four reconciliation mechanisms that the govt promised to establish are yet operational. Only one of them, the Office of Missing Persons, more..

කච්චතිව් දුපතේ සිට රියද් අල්මිරාල් පියල් ද සිල්වා

Cambodia, Sri Lanka and the China debt trap

Mar 27 (AT) The influx of Chinese economic assistance into Sri Lanka and Cambodia has raised questions regarding the intentions behind these massive loans. While China may still be considered a developing economy, its current strategy of providing soft power loans and aid to its regional neighbors is reminiscent of the tributary system that the country employed back in its empire days. Cambodia is one of China’s closest international partners and diplomatic allies, as well as more..

Maligawa Road will remain closed: Kiriella

Mar 27 (CT) The road adjacent to the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, Maligawa Road, will remain closed to vehicular movement as long as the present govt is in power, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. "Certain factions are circulating false rumours that the road will be opened to the public again," he said stressing that these rumours were false. Minister then accepted that the traffic congestion in Kandy was an issue and requested the public to be patient until a proper solution is found. more..

We didn’t ask Rajinikanth to cancel Sri Lanka visit, says VCK

Mar 27 (DC) Refuting Lyca Production’s charges, VCK and TVK said their motive was not to oppose Rajinikanth’s visit to Sri Lanka, but only asked him to reconsider his trip since the atmosphere was not conducive.  “Our motive is not to oppose Rajinikanth or Lyca or seek publicity. If Lyca thinks so, it is sheer imagination,” VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan said, while appreciating the superstar for his maturity in understanding more..

Wimal unable to attend court due to poor health

Mar 27 (NR) Prison officers have informed the Colombo High Court, that Leader of the NFF, Wimal Weerawansa cannot be produced before court today, due to his poor health condition. Court was informed of the matter by the Director of the new Magazine Prison and the Chief Medical Officer of the Prison Hospital. A case has been filed against Former Deputy Minister Mohammed Mustapha, pertaining to an incident where he allegedly attempted to bribe present Spokesman more..

Sri Lanka banks, tech firms urged to co-operate to push e-commerce

Mar 27 (EN) Banks need to co-operate among themselves and with technology companies to encourage greater use of digital transactions, Channa De Silva, CEO of LankaClear. He said LankaClear, an electronic clearing house owned by banks which handles inter-bank funds transfers and provides links for a common automated teller machine network, was keen to encourage digital transactions and reduce use of cash. “We’re also interested in identifying why things are not more..

Sri Lanka state credit surge to new high in January 2017, private down

Mar 27 (EN) SL's credit to govt from the banking system surged to 141 billion rupees in Jan 2017, in what could be an all-time high, while state enterprises also continued to borrow, though private credit slowed sharply. Private credit fell sharply to 17.9 billion rupees, down from 78.7 billion rupees a month earlier. Whether it is temporary crowding out due to large state borrowings or a more sustained trend is not clear. more..

Indian naval ship INS Darshak in Colombo

Mar 27 (SLN) The hydrographic survey ship, INS Darshak of the Indian Navy arrived at the Port of Colombo today on a training visit. The ship was ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in compliance with naval traditions on her arrival. The Commanding Officer of Darshak Captain Peush Pawsey paid a courtesy call on the Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Niraja Attygalle at the Western Naval Command Headquarters and they held cordial discussions. more..

Workshop on flood risk management

Mar 27 (DN) A workshop on Flood Risk Management organized by the Sir John Kotelawala Defence University's Faculty of Engineering, with the collaboration of three German universities, was held recently. The resource persons were Prof. Robert Jüpner, University of Kaiserslautern, Prof. Juergen Jensen, Research Institute for Water and Environment, University of Siegen, Prof. Achim Schulte, Freie University of Berlin, and Prof. Wolfgang Breit, University of Kaiserslautern. more..

Harin Fernando

Archives and evidence room of Balapitiya High courts broken into

Mar 27 (DM) The archives and evidence room of the Balapitiya High courts, where some 300-500 confidential documents related to court cases were kept, has been broken into, sources said. Police said that there were around 300-500 confidential documents related to court cases at the time of the robbery. A court official said there had been some documents connected to cases of murder, rape and theft in the room. Details regarding the amount of missing documents were yet to be revealed. more..

Youth knocked down by Megapolis SUV hospitalised after partial recovery

Mar 27 (Island) Sandeep Gunawardena, the youth who received serious injuries when his motorcycle collided with an SUV belonging to the Megapolis and Western Province Development Ministry, last year, was admitted to National Hospital for another surgery yesterday. The victim had been recuperating at home after he was discharged from the Rehabilitation Hospital at Ragama some months ago. Doctors, treating him, said he would have to undergo surgery as some devices, more..

Withholding of evidence: SF should be arrested: Udaya

Mar 27 (DM) Field Marshal and Minister Sarath Fonseka should be arrested and put in jail on charges of withholding evidence on the killing of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickramatunge in 2008, MP Udaya Gammanpila said today. He said the minister should be arrested just like what happened to former DIG Anura Senanayake who was arrested on charges of withholding evidence in the killing of rugby captain Wasim Thajudeen. more..

Train strike suspended

Mar 27 (DM) The 24-hour trade union action scheduled to be launched by the Locomotive Engineering Operators from midnight today has been called off, Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry announced. The token strike was organised seeking several demands including salary anomalies and it has been abandoned due to the moves made by the Ministry to resolve the matters of locomotive operators, Locomotive Engineering Operators Union (LEOU) said. more..

Sri Lanka at ASTINDO fair 2017

Mar 27 (AM) Indonesian Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya ceremonially inaugurated Sri Lanka’s tourism stall at Astindo Fair 2017 on Friday morning (24) at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) in Indonesia. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Jakarta, Dharshana Perera, Embassy Officials, Sri Lankan tour operators / companies joined in the opening ceremony. This is the first time Sri Lanka is participating at Astindo. Six prominent Sri Lankan travel and tour companies - Lanka Sportreizen, Deluxe Vacations, more..

Interim order against appointing a military officer as Sports Director of Edu Ministry

Mar 27 (DN) Supreme Court today issued an interim order staying the appointment of Colonel Manjula Kariyawasam as the Education Director of the Ministry of Education until the final determination of a Fundamental Rights petition is filed challenging his appointment. Supreme Court made this order pursuant to a Fundamental Rights petition filed by Sri Lanka Educational Administrative Service Professional Association. more..