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Ranil tells UNPers: Withdraw NCMs against SLFPers

Apr 7 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has asked the UNP MPs, who filed seven No-Confidence Motions against SLFP Cabinet Ministers, who voted in favour of a similar Motion against the PM in Parliament on Wednesday, to withdraw the Motions. PM has issued this directive. UNP MP Mujibur Rahman said that the UNP had filed the Motions as these SLFP Ministers had opposed the PM during the NCM more..

President says Facebook invited to set up office here

Apr 7 (CT) The Govt is continuing its discussions with Facebook and other social media sites to add safeguards, which will not allow users to spread hate and false news, President Maitahripala Sirisena said yesterday. He said that social media sites, such as Facebook, are facing increased scrutiny around the world. “Singapore has appointed a Parliamentary Committee to look into the issue and one social media head has been summoned by the United States Senate for an inquiry,” he said. more..

Thilanga quit month ago!

Apr 7 (Island) The parliament was told that Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala had quit his post about a month back. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said Sumathipala had tendered his resignation to President Maithripala Sirisena about a month back. Jayasuriya said that Sumathipala had informed him of his decision several weeks back. Sumathipala was quoted as having said that he wished to refrain from performing the duties of the Deputy Speaker as he wanted to engage in active politics. more..

Prez explains his role in no-faith move

Apr 7 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that the current dispensation would continue with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the PM. SLFP leader Sirisena asserted that the failed attempt to oust Wickremesinghe through a tripartite No-Confidence Motion (NCM), moved in parliament couldn’t be an impediment to the continuation of the unity govt. Sirisena said so at a special media briefing more..

Restoration of Trust vital for Lanka’s Future

Apr 7 (DM) Addressing the first media conference after Wednesday’s no-confidence motion which produced conflicts within conflicts, divisions within divisions and crises within crises, President Maithripala Sirisena said he did not get directly involved in the motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Apparently trying to prevent further splits or friction, the President told editors and other senior journalists he had met leaders or representatives of all parties and told them more..

No-Confidence Motion winners and losers…

Apr 7 (DM) Within the narrow confines of winning and losing, the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) that was defeated in Parliament yesterday produced, among others, a variety of winners and losers. The euphoria was created by a vocal few, amongst whom were Susil Premjayanth, S B Dissanayake, W J Seneviratne, Chandima Weerakkody, Udaya Gammanpila, Wimal Weerawansa, Dinesh Gunawardene, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana and others. It died at the stroke of the hour more..

Glyphosate back on the table as Govt. bows to pressure

Apr 7 (ST) The govt of Sri Lanka, one of the first to ban glyphosate, then used indiscriminately as a weedicide in the agriculture sector, is now pondering a lifting of the ban. Bowing to pressure from the tea industry, which has suffered losses worth billions of rupees in foreign exchange, the govt has appointed a committee to review the ban – the committee is, however, headed by an MP who is actively lobbying against the lifting of more..

President, now a political orphan, wandering in the wilderness

Apr 7 (ST) It was President Ranasinghe Premadasa, who, on winning the presidential election in 1988, declared that what he had inherited was a torch lit at both ends. Premadasa was referring to the twin insurrections then raging in the North and the South of the country, due to actions of the LTTE and the JVP. Thirty years later both those rebellions have been quelled but the man occupying Premadasa’s chair, Maithripala more..

Jobs for City beggars by year end: Champika

Apr 7 (DN) Minister Champika Ranawaka said that beggars would not be in the Colombo city by the end of this year. “Megapolis and Western Development Ministry is ready to offer employments for all the beggars in the Colombo city and therefore they need not to beg thereafter,” he said. Ministry has conducted a survey on the beggars in the Colombo city. After that the Ministry officials have talked with all the beggars more..

2017: An economy on crutches

Apr 7 (ST) The residence of my one-time teacher, named as wana leheba (shrubbery) is located in a beautiful piece of forest-like garden, hidden within the Kurunegala city – a sanctuary with shades of big trees and beautiful natural landscaping for art-lovers as well as bird-lovers. It was after many years that I recently had an opportunity to visit my teacher whom I called Munasinghe Ayya – not a teacher of economics, but of arts and design. more..

Death threats on Deputy Speaker: Navin ready to cooperate

Apr 7 (Island) Deputy Speaker and National List MP Thilanga Sumathipala has received death threats from Minister Navin Dissanayake for voting for the no-faith motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday night, parliament was told yesterday. JO parliamentary group leader Dinesh Gunawardena briefed Parliament on the alleged incident involving Sumathipala and Dissanayake in Parliament. more..

Govt rejects administering contraceptives to female migrant workers

Apr 7 (DM) The got said yesterday no contraceptives were administered to Lankan female migrant workers and added that only a medical check-up would be conducted prior to leaving the country. The Guardian reported yesterday that Lankan women who take up domestic work in the Middle East to support families were being targeted by recruiting agents who order them to take contraceptives before leaving and 6 recruiters more..

Sri Lanka exports up 11.6% in Jan 2018

Apr 7 (EN) Sri Lanka's exports rose 11.6% to US$ 965.4 million in January 2018, and the imports rose 12% to US$ 2,014 billion, driven by rising incomes from labour tourism exports and higher financial sector inflows, official data showed. Textile and apparel exports rose 20% to US$ 434.8 million in January 2018 from a year earlier, with garments up 1% to US$ 409.3 million and textiles up 25.9% to US$ 18.5 million, central bank said. more..

MIG aircraft deal: Six suspects noticed

Apr 7 (DM) The Colombo Fort Magistrate issued notices on four individual suspects and a Ukrainian and Singapore business institutions during the magisterial inquiry on the US$14 million loss caused to the government when purchasing four Ukraine–built MiG 27 aircraft in 2006. Among the suspects named in the report filed by FCID were two Singaporeans, two Ukrainians and a Ukrainian & Singaporean business entities. more..

Fertiliser subsidy programme reintroduced

Apr 7 (DN) The govt has taken measures to reintroduce the fertiliser subsidy programme from yesterday onwards. Cabinet approval has been granted to provide a 50 kg bulk of fertiliser for the use of paddy cultivation at a price of Rs.500 and a 50 kg bulk of fertiliser for other crops at a price of Rs 1,500, Minister Duminda Dissanayake said. The fertiliser subsidy programme implemented during the previous regime had been cancelled by more..

Govt reps performed exceptionally well: Prez

Apr 7 (ST) President and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces Maithripala Sirisena said that SL’s Permanent Representative in Geneva and the ministerial delegation that had represented the country at the 37 session of the UNHRC had performed exceptionally well. President Sirisena said so when The Island inquired from him why representatives of his govt hadn’t brought recently released wartime British HC more..

Won Battle, Not War

Apr 7 (CT) Wednesday’s convincing victory of UNP led UNF coalition leader and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe over the no-confidence vote moved against him by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Parliament conveys four messages. Wickremesinghe garnered nearly a 2/3 majority of the total votes cast, obtaining 122 votes against the motion, while the pro vote was a mere 76, 26 MPs were absent at the vote in the 225-seat Parliament. The first message was that the 106 strong more..

Bring back the kings !

Apr 7 (FT) When discussing a serious issue, it is amazing to note how often we Sri Lankans fall back on the wisdom of the ancients. The ancients knew better; if only we could begin to think and act like them, is the fervent wish of most Sri Lankans it seems. It may be the prevalence of diseases like cancer or heart ailments often blamed on lifestyle changes , the shaky foreign policy of the Govt or even the rapid depreciation of the rupee; the ancients knew what ought to be done, more..

කබීර් හශීම්ගේ සහ කිරිඇල්ලගේ ඉඩම් මංකොල්ලය

Lives at risk as kerosene is pumped illegally into private bus tanks

Apr 7 (ST) The widespread practice of buses and other commercial vehicles using kerosene mixed with diesel is posing a high risk to passengers in addition to causing heavy losses to CPC, officials and bus operators warned. In order to increase profits, private bus companies are putting kerosene oil, which is heavily subsidised for low-income groups, into their tanks. Other culprits misusing the kerosene subsidy for commercial purposes include lorries, tippers & industrial plants. more..

PAFFREL urges EC to take legal action on LG polls violations

Apr 7 (DM) The PAFFREL urged the Election Commission (EC) to take legal action on reported election law violations during the last LG Elections. PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi in a letter sent to the Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya had stated that although due to immediate intervention of relevant authorities most of shortcomings were prevented it was appropriate to probe and take legal action over the complaints received. more..

GMOA urges Prez to intervene to resolve health crisis in East

Apr 7 (DM) The GMOA yesterday in a letter urged President Maithripala Sirisena to intervene in the unrest created among doctors in the Eastern Province due to what it called sluggish and arbitrary nature of the Eastern Province Governor. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that the health service in the Eastern Province had been disturbed due to the irresponsible actions of the Governor and some other politicians. more..

3 Royal Thai Naval Ships arrive in Colombo

Apr 7 (SLN) Three Royal Thai Naval Ships; HTMS Bangpakong, Makutrajakumarn and Pattani arrived at the port of Colombo on a training and goodwill visit today (6). SL Navy welcomed the visiting ships in accordance with naval traditions upon their arrival. Subsequently, the Commander Royal Thai Naval Cadet Training Unit, Rear Admiral Sompong Poowang and Commanding Officers of the ships; Captain Niwat Jitpoolphol, Commander Nattapon Sungakitboon and Commander Narunat more..

Diving activities restricted in Mullaitivu

Apr 7 (Island) The number of vessels carrying divers would be reduced by 50% to curb illegal fishing in Mullaitivu District, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. The number of crafts that carried divers was about 67 in 2017 but it had increased to 174 during the first four months of this year with the prospect of expansion of the fleet further by 82 soon. Following the complaints made by the fishermen in the area, Minister Amaraweera held a discussion with the divers in the Mullaitvu District more..

Uni staff calls for President’s intervention to end stalemate

Apr 7 (NR) A group of university non-academic staff currently engaged in a trade union has requested Prez Sirisena to intervene to resolve the stand-off between Higher Education Ministry and university non-academic. Accordingly the university non-academic staff has requested the Prez in writing, to resolve issues concerning the uni non-academic staff and mediate to revive the university system. more..

Judge orders lowering kovil volume, admonishes priest

Apr 7 (DN) Jaffna High Court Judge M.Ilancheliyan had ordered to lower the sound of the loudspeaker of the Nayanmarkandu Kovil in Jaffna. He admonished the kovil priest in court saying Gods hear better than humans. Several citizens of the city had filed a petition three weeks back against the kovil for its high levels of volume which disturbs the day to day activities of nearby citizens. Petition states that students and patients of the nearby schools and hospitals suffer from more..

Tenants in for shock as strangers occupy the house

Apr 7 (ST) A family who had legally rented a house in the Dehiwala area were in for a shock last week when they found that another family claiming ownership to the place had broken into the premises, removed their goods and was forcibly occupying the house. The house, located on Siriwardena Road, was used by the tenant, a businessman dealing in CCTV cameras and air conditioners, largely as a store. The house itself was fitted with CCTV cameras to ensure more..

JVP Press Conference

More houses for Jaffna IDPs

Apr 7 (MoD) Thirty (30) new houses constructed by the SL Army in Jaffna were vested with the beneficiaries at a ceremony held at Thellippalai on Thursday (5). According to Army media, the houses had been constructed by the Security Force Headquarters - Jaffna (SFHQ-J) for the IDPs in the Jaffna peninsula. The houses were built with the skill and expertise of the SL Army Engineers of the SFHQ-J while the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu more..

SLPP councillors clash for Chilaw PS chair

Apr 7 (DN) A tense situation erupted in Chilaw when two councillors of the Chilaw Pradeshiya Sabha representing the SLPP arrived at the Pradeshiya Sabha to assume office yesterday. SLPP secured power in the Chilaw Pradeshiya Sabha and had appointed Sarath De Silva as the chairman and Eric Samson as the vice chairman. However, Sunil Paaris and Janitha Devapriya who had obtained the highest percentage in terms of preferential votes at the recently concluded LG election had more..

Gift of Life International CEO visits Sri Lanka

Apr 7 (FT) Rob Raylman, CEO of Gift of Life International, a Rotarian-based organisation which operates with a global mission to heal the failing hearts of thousands of children, visited Sri Lanka recently to discuss and extend the ongoing support of the organisation to SL. During his visit, Rob Raylman met the Health and Indigenous Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and assured the organisation’s support for the waiting list of more..

Back in the wild

Apr 7 (ST) Nine orphaned elephant calves that were brought up at the Udawalawa Elephant Transit Home were released into the Maduruoya National Park on Friday (30) by Wildlife Minister Ravindra Samaraweera. The five male and four female elephant calves all have GPS tracking collars fitted to them, which would enable authorities to track where the animals are, said Vijitha Perera, Chief Veterinarian at the Udawalawa Elephant Transit Home. He added they would continue to track more..

'Tariffs on SL exports to US among highest'

Apr 7 (EN) Sri Lanka's exports faced the third highest average tariffs when entering the US, after Bangladesh and Cambodia, Pew Research, a US based think tank has found. SL's exports, on average, faced tariffs of 11.9%, after Cambodia (14.1%) and Bangladesh (15.2%), Pew Research said analysing 2017 trade data. Last year SL's tyre exports were hit by countervailing duties, which are charged through an obscure process on alleged export support received from the state. more..

3 herbs that saved hundreds of lives

Apr 7 (AT) At the height of the war in Sri Lanka, Dr Kurunathan Srigananathan realised they were running short on medicines in Jaffna. With local pharmacies sold out of vital drugs, the population were struggling. Malaria, in particular, was a huge problem. Sriganananthan had a solution. Since 1993, he had been part of a producer group called Siddha Medicine Production Sales & Service Cooperative Society. more..

Sotheby's int'l realty brand enters Sri Lanka

Apr 7 (PRN) Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced it has signed a 25-year franchise agreement with Realpro Realty Solutions Private Limited to further expand the Sotheby's International Realty® brand in South Asia with the formation of Sri Lanka Sotheby's International Realty. Sri Lanka Sotheby's International Realty will be led by CEO Amit Goyal and President Ashwin Chadha, who also stand at the helm of India Sotheby's International Realty. more..

Rathnavali Kekunawela passes away

Apr 7 (DM) Veteran film, stage, tele-drama and radio artiste Rathnavali Kekunawela who became a household name following her hit character as Menike in the Muwan Pelessa radio play passed away today at the age of 87. Her funeral will take place at the Borella General Cemetery at 4 pm on Monday, April 9. Having entered the radio scene in the early fifties inspired by her elder brother Victor Miguel, Rathnavali first acted in the film Sath Samudura in 1967 and followed it up with more..

16 SLFP Ministers decides to resign from posts

Apr 7 (NR) All 16 members of the SLFP who voted in favour of the No Confidence Motion tabled against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe by the JO have requested the approval of President Maithripala Sirisena to sit in the opposition. When inquired Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said the request was directed to the President in writing. However the group has also requested the President to permit them to continue to be part of the SLFP. more..

4 persons drowned while bathing in Hulu Ganga

Apr 7 (NR) Four individuals have drowned while bathing in the Hulu Ganga in Panwila, Kandy. The Police Media Unit said a search operation is currently underway to find another missing individual. Preliminary investigation has revealed a sudden downstream surge has caused the accident. Police has recovered the bodies of three females and a body of male. The victims are employees of an apparel plant in Gothatuwa. Magisterial inquest into the incident is scheduled for later today. more..

Save our treasures: Plea to Arch. Dept. by chief incumbent of twice robbed temple

Apr 7 (ST) Twice robbed of some of its priceless artefacts, Kotasara Piyangala Rajamaha Viharaya in Bibile, an ancient temple dating back to the A'pura era, has sought assistance from the Archaeology Department to ensure that its remaining artefacts are safeguarded. Chief incumbent of the Viharaya, Ven. Badullagama Gunaratana Thera said that he is eager to ensure that the remaining artefacts in the Temple are safeguarded and preserved for future generations. more..

UNP decides leadership shouldn’t be changed immediately

Apr 7 (DM) The UNP Working Committee and the Parliamentary Group which met today had decided that the party leadership should not be changed immediately, Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said. However, he said it was decided that other positions of the party should be changed. Meanwhile, a special committee has been appointed to take decisions with regard to the appointments of new office bearers of party. more..