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Anti-SAITM protests to take ominous turn

Mar 28 (Island) Govt doctors gave a one-week-deadline to authorities to resolve the SAITM issue or face mass mobilisation in their agitation against what they alleged as privatisation of medical education. GMOA demanded that the govt implement its agreement with the Deans and lecturers of state medical faculties to prevent the SAITM from enrolling students and issuing degree certificates. GMOA Secretary, Dr Naveen Zoysa said the union had been able to rally formidable forces more..

Deputy CB governor wants PDD subjected to forensic audit

Mar 28 (DN) The Deputy Governor of the Central Bank P. Samarasiri called for a forensic audit yesterday to examine massive irregularities that have taken place in the Public Debt Department when issuing Bonds under direct placements. He said the forensic audit should not be carried out internally but by an external audit firm. Samarasiri was testifying before the Presidential Commission to inquire into the Treasury Bond Issue. more..

Govt assures action on anyone guilty in bond scam

Mar 28 (CG) Govt has assured action will be taken on anyone found guilty in the alleged treasury bond scam. Minister Kabir Hashim said that the Govt has for the first time allowed investigations to be launched on its own officials. He said that no one found guilty in the alleged treasury bond scam will be protected, even if they are members of the UNP. “We will allow the investigations to move forward independently,” he said. Hashim also said that former President Rajapaksa held more..

CB to take action on accused in EPF scam

Mar 28 (DM) Central Bank said the Monetary Board has decided to take disciplinary action against any official of the bank for wrongdoing with regards to the EPF transactions in govt securities. A statement by the bank said the Monetary Board during its recent meeting had a discussion on the Report on the Examination of the Employees’ Provident Fund Transactions in Govt Securities with a view to decide the suitable course of action to be followed in respect of the findings. more..

Disappointed Jaffna citizens protest

Mar 28 (CT) A mass protest was held in Jaffna at 3 p.m. yesterday against Tamil Nadu politicians Thol. Thiruvmavalavan, T. Velmurugan and Y. Gopalaswamy, who prevented the superstar of Tamil cinema, Rajinikanth, visiting Jaffna to hand-over the keys of 150 houses, built by Lyca, (a private firm based in London) to homeless people who had been affected by the separatist war. The protest was organized by an organization called more..

MDMK, VCK hypocrisy blocks Rajinikanth’s visit to Sri Lanka

Mar 28 (DM) Tamil Nadu superstar Rajinikanth on Saturday announced that he had decided not to attend an event to be held in Vavuniya on April 10 to hand over keys to 150 houses built by an Indian firm for people displaced by the war. His decision appears to have come in the wake of opposition from Tamil Nadu’s pro-LTTE groups, including the VCK and the MDMK. Rajinikanth was supposed to inaugurate the housing scheme built by the Lyca Group’s Gnanam Foundation, more..

Addressing the misconceptions on reform to MMDA

Mar 28 (DM) The pending reforms to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) have resulted in both interest and controversy from within and outside the Muslim community in Sri Lanka. Some members of the community, perceive the reforms to be a result of western/NGO pressure, whilst others believe that the reform is long overdue. In the ensuing debate there have been many perceptions and misconceptions regarding the process, of which some I intend addressing. more..

Vehicles for Ministers: What does it mean for democracy?

Mar 28 (DM) Govt has sought parliamentary approval for Rs. 288 million to buy vehicles for several ministers, deputy ministers and state ministers. This comes in the wake of a previous supplementary estimate to the tune of Rs.791 million approved by Parliament last year to purchase vehicles for 25 MPs. Under perfect circumstances, especially in a country where average folks are forced to cough up nearly three times of more..

Sri Lanka Visa payments grow 22% in 2016

Mar 28 (LBO) Sri Lankan market has showed 22% growth in Visa payment volumes last year, according to VisaNet Data, along with a 61% growth in ecommerce, the top payments technology firm said. Company said the growth comes off the back of a number of initiatives and investments made by the company in developing the acceptance infrastructure and driving awareness around the benefits of electronic payments in Sri Lanka. more..

Shaddick exposes Gammanpila

Mar 28 (SL) Startling evidence has been revealed in courts against Joint Opposition member and Leader of PHU, Udaya Gammanpila by his onetime boss over a massive fraud. Australian Businessman Brian Shaddick who was in Sri Lanka early this month giving astonishing evidence in High Court No: 5 claimed Gammanpila defrauded him to the tune of over Rs. 119 million using a fraudulent power of attorney. more..

Separate Council for Muslims if North and East re-merged

Mar 28 (DM) SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem, speaks about the aspirations of Muslims in Constitution making and the current crisis of his party with the sacking of the General Secretary. Minister Hakeem, who is also the Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage Minister, responds to allegations about radicalisation of his community. Q: How do you look at the current political situation of the country? more..

US, Sri Lanka Marines, Sailors work together on disaster relief operations

Mar 28 (NNS) 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Colombo, for a Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) engagement. This is the second military-to-military exchange with Sri Lanka for the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 11th MEU during their multimonth deployment to both the Indo-Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions. USS Somerset (LPD 25) and embarked Marines of 11th MEU participated more..

School children have responsibility to win the coming century: President

Mar 28 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says that the school children have the responsibility to win the coming century by building on the past experience. He was speaking at the centenary celebration of Ferguson High School, Rathnapura, today (27) at the school premises. He was the chief guest of the ceremony. “As evident, the history of a country is the foundation for what would happen in that country in the future. more..

Murdering civilians under cover of war won't be condoned: CBK

Mar 28 (DM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said that anyone proven guilty of murdering innocent civilians under the pretext of fighting a war will be held accountable through a due process and that accountability means being fair on both sides of the conflict. She said this when addressing a workshop for the security forces to create awareness about the work being carried out by the ONUR and more..

BASL in hands off policy over High Court Judge R. Kannan’s removal

Mar 28 (ST) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) this week decided not to get involved in recommending the removal of High Court (HC) Judge R. Kannan, whose appointment was opposed by the Judicial Services Association (JSA), saying, the removal of the judge now needs to be done only on the basis of disciplinary action recommended by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) to the President. more..

Colombo, second most expensive city in South Asia

Mar 28 (DN) Research from the Economist Intelligence Unit indicates that Colombo is the second most expensive city in South Asia, and 108th most expensive in the world. A total of eight South Asian cities, including New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Karachi and Bangalore, were included in the survey. Results showed Dhaka was the most expensive city in South Asia, followed by Colombo and Kathmandu. more..

Probe committee head faults IGP for not heeding request for policemen

Mar 28 (Island) Chairman of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the alleged Central Bank bond scams, Justice K.T. Chithrasiri, said IGP Pujith Jayasundara had failed to respond to a request made by the Commission to release some policemen to facilitate its work. Chairman said the IGP hadn’t even had the courtesy to acknowledge receipt of his letter. Justice Chithrasiri said so in respect of a reply by more..

Cabinet reshuffle: Kiriella to get justice ministry - Wijeyadasa higher education?

Mar 28 (AM) Speculation is rife that Highways and Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella is likely to be appointed as the Justice Minister at the next Cabinet reshuffle.  Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, who currently holds the position as the Justice Minister, is likely to be given the Higher Education Ministry. Govt sources confirmed that the Cabinet reshuffle would happen within the next few days. However, they added some new arrangements might be changed at the last moment. more..

President Sirisena dismissed Muslims, when he gazetted lands around Wilpattu

Mar 28 (CT) President Sirisena’s Friday (24) gazette notification, declaring nearly 100,000 acre lands adjacent to Wilpattu National Park as forest reserve has not surprised anyone as he has been pampering the very Sinhala racists whom he pledged to contain. In fact this has been racists wish and President has fulfilled it. Muslims in the area fear that this Gazette covers their lands too. The past two years had shown the Muslims that President and his govt have abandoned the island’ Muslims. more..

කච්චතිව් දේවස්ථානය ඉදිකළ හැටි

Sri Lanka energy regulator mulls guidelines on outages

Mar 28 (EN) The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the energy sector regulator, is considering introducing guidelines covering a range of issues concerning consumer interests including planned and unplanned power outages. “The challenge for the utilities and the regulators is to strategize on how we should exploit the service quality and the product quality in a responsible manner and deliver a value that will be sustainable in the long term,” PUCSL Director said. more..

President Sirisena accused of using public funds to boost his image via Facebook

Mar 28 (CT) President Sirisena has been using public funds to boost his image via social media, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns. Last night the President’s official Facebook page carried a sponsored post saying “President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the Sri Lankan community in Russia at the Embassy of SL in Moscow.” A group of concerned citizens are already drafting a right to information request to find out, who paid these monies to Facebook to boost his image. more..

Viru Daru Vidu Piyasa to be opened on March 29

Mar 28 (DN) The ceremonial opening of the three-storey Viru Daru Vidu Piyasa at the Kurunegala Defence Services College (VDVP) will take place on March 29 at Kurunegala. President will grace the occasion as its Chief Guest. The awarding of 2,000 Virusara Privilege Cards to Tri-service, Police and Civil Security Department War Heroes in the North Western Province will also take place during the ceremony. more..

Indian authorities seize over 16 kg gold smuggled via sea from Sri Lanka

Mar 28 (Hindu) In a post-dusk operation, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officials seized gold bars weighing 16.032 kg with foreign markings after intercepting a courier van and arresting the driver at RS Mangalam, near here on Sunday night. Based on specific intelligence provided by DRI Chennai zonal unit, officials from the regional units of Thoothukudi, Coimbatore and Madurai intercepted the van around 8.15 p.m. and seized 107 gold bars concealed in bags. more..

Beware of H1N1 influenza!

Mar 28 (CT) Following many news reports that surfaced in the last few weeks, there has been an increasing interest in the H1N1 influenza virus among the public. With 400 patients reported from the North alone earlier this month and two deaths reported from Kandy last January, this is the second outbreak since 2015. Moreover, authorities have been on alert since the number of patients tested positive for the H1N1 influenza virus in the Maldives rose to 176; the BIA quarantine division more..

'Take precautions against AH1N1'

Mar 28 (DN) Health Ministry advised the general public to take necessary action to prevent the spread of AH1N1 virus in Sri Lanka which is common and rapidly spread during December to February, in a statement. The public should wash hands regularly, should use a handkerchief when coughing and sneezing, should avoid crowded places if suffering from flu like illness, should avoid crowded places if a person is in the high risk more..

Minister slams port union leaders as corrupt

Mar 28 (DN) Most of the port union leaders are connected with corruption that occur in the port, but they are pretending that they want to protect the Port,” Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranathunga said. Addressing the passing out ceremony of Port security personnel held in the Mahapola Ports and Maritime Academy at the Ports Authority, Ranatunge said similar to the previous govt period, in this period too there are corrupt persons who were connected to the previous period. more..

Nadarajah Raviraj Murder: CID to assist AG

Mar 28 (NR) Court of Appeal today ordered the Attorney General to obtain the assistance of the CID in handing out notice to the suspects in the murder of Former TNA MP Nadarajah Raviraj. The order was issued when the petition filed by the wife of Raviraj, Sasikala Nadarajah, was taken up for hearing. Attorney representing the defendants tabling details before the Appeals Court said the notice could not be handed over as the details of the suspect’s locations could not be traced. more..

Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Five individuals, a toddler and 9 yr old missing since last week

Mar 28 (DM) Police requested public assistance to locate seven individuals including a toddler, a nine year old child and a teenager who were reported missing from various parts of the island as of March 24. Police said that Kanchana Mahanama (29) and her one and a half year old son, Imesh Umayanga, were reported missing from Buttala since March 24. A nine year old child, Nimsara Sandeepa, was reported missing from Kuttigala since March 25 and a teenager, Madage Sampath, more..

Champika promises cattle free roads, Kelani development

Mar 28 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka said his Ministry would remove stray cattle from the streets within the next three months. He said cattle shouldn’t be allowed to roam public roads and, therefore his Ministry, had asked the owners to remove their cattle from the roads. Defiance would be met with heavy fines, he said. Referring to the garbage issue, Minister said there were several solutions to the problem in urban areas and they required public cooperation. more..

Video: GMOA warns of TU action against SAITM in April

Mar 28 (DM) GMOA has warned it would launch a countrywide trade union action next month April against the SAITM. GMOA spokesman Nalinda Herath said several unions had pledged their support to the GMOA in its effort to safeguard the country’s healthcare services. “We met more than 100 unions and most of them are of the view that the SAITM issue should be resolved sooner than later,” he said and added that more..

UNP willing to take back Tissa: Kabir

Mar 28 (DM) The UNP can consider taking its former general secretary Tissa Attanayake back to the fold if he makes a formal request to re-join the party, his successor Kabir Hashim said. “Several UNPers have left the party and rejoined later and there is no obstacle for Mr. Attanayake doing the same,” Mr. Hashim told a media briefing in response to a question asked by journalists about the speculation in political circles of the possibility of Mr. Attanayake rejoining the UNP. more..

Fernandopulle warns of minority parties

Mar 28 (CT) Certain minorities within the UPFA are trying to tap in to the SLFP voter base, State Minister Sudarshani Fernandopulle said yesterday. She requested the public to be wary of these elements and to be vigilant with regard to the machinations of these non-SLFP members. She added that these minority parties, which are not part of the SLFP, do not have large voter bases and were also responsible for the defeat of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

President presents prizes to 2016 A/L and grade 5 scholarship winners

Mar 28 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisana presented awards and prizes to the students who passed 2016 GCE A/L exam and grade five scholarship exam with outstanding results. Function was held at Presidential Secretariat today. 35 students who were among the top five in 7 main subjects in GCE A/L Exam held in 2016 and 12 students who topped the Year Five Scholarship Exam were presented prizes by the Prez. more..

MR files objections against amended plaint filed by SLTB

Mar 28 (DN) Three defendants including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, named as defendants in connection with misappropriating a sum of Rs.142 million owed to the SLTB, whose buses were used to transport people to election rallies of former President during the 2015-Presidential Election campaign, yesterday filed objections against the amended plaint filed by the SLTB. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, presidential election committee members more..

President of the German Bundestag to visit Sri Lanka in April

Mar 28 (GDI) President of the German Bundestag, Prof. Norbert Lammert accompanied by a Parliamentary delegation is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka in April 2017 on an invitation by Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of the Parliament. President of German Bundestag appreciated the achievements of the Govt of SL and has stated that he decided to visit SL out of so many other countries in recognition of SL’s achievements on re-establishment of democracy and human rights, more..

Not averse to Rajinikanth visiting Sri Lanka when situation improves: VCK

Mar 28 (PTI) Pro-Tamil outfits, including the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, on Tuesday said they were not averse to actor Rajinikanth visiting Sri Lanka to meet Tamils after the situation for the minorities improves there. VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan said an all-is-well carnival atmosphere, being sought to be projected by the pro-govt organisers, was inappropriate now when Tamils were struggling for their rights. more..

SL is not China’s Pearl in the Indian Ocean

Mar 28 (WR) Why were Sri Lankan schoolchildren dancing to a U.S. Navy band? Sri Lanka has just finished welcoming a U.S. military operation that seeks to build relationships in the Indo-Pacific region. In fact, this long-running engagement mission in the Asia-Pacific, known as Pacific Partnership, made its first-ever visit to South Asia with this deployment. Through Pacific Partnership, U.S. armed forces and civilian personnel provide medical, dental and engineering assistance more..

Public indifferent towards voting: Deshapriya

Mar 28 (NR) Chairman of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya says there is a clear reduction in the number of names on the 2016 voter register. Deshapriya said the reduction was witnessed from the estate including the Colombo District. He said a lack of interest among the people has led to the decline. Deshapriya stressed on the importance of respecting one’s right to vote. He said the 2016 voter register in comparison with 2015 has seen only a 190,000 increase, while more..