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Sri Lanka to take action against money laundering and terrorism financing

Apr 13 (GDI) Speaking of the recent measures taken against money laundering and terrorism financing, the State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne categorically denied the claims, that the government mulls amending companies act to send the details of persons having 25 % of the shares in Public Limited Companies to CID to inquire on money laundering acts. It is also alleged that wider powers are to be given to CID to question Directors, shareholders of private companies. more..

Govt nod for three local companies for vehicle emission test certification

Apr 13 (LBO) Govt has given approval of the cabinet to award the contract for issuing Vehicle Emission Test Certificates to three local firms. “In accordance with the recommendation of Cabinet Appointed Negotiating Committee, to Laugfs Eco, Cleanco Lanka and to Auto Test Lanka,” the recently approved statement said. The proposal was put forward by Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister approval of the cabinet of ministers was granted to award the contract for issuing Vehicle Emission Test more..

Norochcholai power plant shuts down temporarily

Apr 13 (LBO) The unit one of Lakvijaya power station which is also known as the Norochcholai power station has been shut down following the release of harmful emissions from its smokestack. The provincial environmental authority of North Western province has asked the Norochcholai plant to be shut down from yesterday evening (11). “We hope to back and running in the next ten days by April 22 or so.” more..

Indian HC announces scholarships

Apr 13 (CT) High Commission of India, Colombo announced via press release the offer for the following ICCR scholarship for 2018-19 academic sessions under the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme: Five slots for PhD Degrees in all subjects, except Medicine/Paramedical (Nursing/ Physiotherapy/ anesthesia etc.)/fashion courses. Govt of India selects meritorious Sri Lankan nationals for award of this scholarship. Selection of candidates is done in consultation with more..

Two SL teams at the Youth Co:Lab Summit

Apr 13 (GDI) Two university student teams recently represented SL at the recently concluded Asia Pacific Youth Co:Lab Summit in Bangkok, Thailand. Youth Co:Lab is an initiative led by UNDP and Citi to empower youth on social innovation and entrepreneurship for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development recognizes the important role of youth in achieving the agenda, and calls for action against the challenges faced by young people. more..

Auspicious times for Sinhala/Hindu New Year

Apr 13 (GDI) BATHING FOR OLD YEAR: Bathing for old year falls on Thursday the 12th of April. DAWNING OF THE NEW YEAR: New Year will dawn at 8.13 am on Saturday the 14th of April. PUNYA KALAYA: Punya Kalaya begins on Saturday the 14th of April at 1.49 am and ends on Saturday the 14th of April at 2.37 pm. PREPARING OF MEALS: Preparing meals for the New Year should begin at 10.40 am on Saturday (14) more..

Prez buys time for political manoeuvring

Apr 13 (EN) President Sirisena has prorogued parliament for almost a month giving himself more time even as more MPs were due to ditch his faction of the SLFP and strengthen the JO led by his nemesis Mahinda Rajapaksa. In a surprise move, Sirisena ordered last night that parliament be put off till May 8 when a new session will be called when standing committees will have to be appointed afresh. The near one-month period also delays a formal break-up of the SLFP in parliament. more..

PM says new initiative will take SL forward

Apr 13 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says public issues will be resolved whilst the country will move progressively forward through a new initiative. PM said the new program will be implemented in the near future. Speaking at an event in Thalawathugoda the Premier said the new initiative was discussed with the President. PM Wickremesinghe said the program was also discussed and ideas exchanged with a group of Ministers of the SLFP and the UNP. more..

President suspends parliament until May 8

Apr 13 (AFP) President Sirisena on Thursday suspended parliament until next month in a shock move amid a deepening power struggle between him and his unity govt's PM. A govt decree quoted the president as stating that he had halted parliament's meetings with effect from midnight Thursday under article 70 of the constitution. Move, scheduled to last until May 8, came hours after at least 16 Sirisena loyalists, more..

Why SL’s Parliament has declined & decayed

Apr 14 (Island) Let me start with a confession. Last 2 weeks have been consumed rereading Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire parts of which deal with the decline and decay of that most august of bodies, the Roman Senate. Those familiar with the first three volumes cannot miss their influence throughout this essay, but in a pint-sized column such as this it is infeasible to always insert quotation marks or add dutiful ibids. I have also taken tiny liberties with a few quotations. more..

UNP: Repair roof when the sun is shining

Apr 14 (DM) The sun is slated to pass from House of Pisces to the House of Aries in the celestial sphere in a few days’ time heralding another Sinhala and Hindu New Year. By the time of this year’s New Year, the sun certainly seems to be shining on PM, having defeated the No-Faith Motion against him despite all the initial hiccups. His victory, it appeared, brought some semblance of sanity and stability after two months of uncertainty that rocked the country since February 10th LG polls. more..

Avurudu tribute to Sun and nature

Apr 14 (DN) Erabadu flowers. The sounds of a Koha in the distance. The feeling of a fresh spring is definitely in the air. It can mean only one thing - Avurudu is here again. Another Sinhala and Tamil New Year will dawn at 8.13 a.m. tomorrow, signifying one of the most important national events in the country. Yes, Avurudu or Puthandu (in Tamil) is primarily celebrated by Sinhala Buddhists and Tamil Hindus, but over the years it has more..

Enemy Within

Apr 14 (CT) ADB in a no holds barred report released on Wednesday said that Mahinda Rajapaksa’s SLPP’s shock, landslide electoral win at the Feb 2018 LG Polls could undermine investor confidence and the Govt of SL’s (GoSL’s) reforms agenda. The question, therefore, that has to be posed is what caused GoSL’s shock, landslide defeat and going forward what needs to be done to arrest this trend in future elections and thereby restore investor confidence, though possibly more..

Sinhala and Tamil New Year

Apr 14 (CT) This is so apparent in a village setting. Kumari remembers distinctly seeing the yellow stalks of paddy harvested and piled in the kamatha; the paddy threshed by a team of buffaloes and the seed measured for division between landlord and cultivator. The measured paddy grain was stored in gunny sacks to be carried to Kumari’s maternal grandparents’ home and to the cultivator’s home. The andé type of paddy cultivation was followed: our fields cultivated by village farmers and more..

7 cool(er) places to visit these April holidays

Apr 14 (Roar) The weather has been getting increasingly warmer as we head towards the SL equivalent of summer (roughly the months between April, May, and June, when the sun is at its zenith). As the heat increases, and with it our restless desire to get out of the city and head towards cooler climes, the first option that pops into your mind is a holiday staple, Nuwara Eliya. Meaning city of lights, referring no doubt to more..

President is powerless to remove the PM

Apr 14 (CT) Some commentators have persistently advanced the proposition that, notwithstanding the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, the President’s power to remove the PM is intact. It is a view that relies on a literal reading of the Sinhala text of Article 48(1) in which the phrase removal from office appears. I have, in my previous intervention on this subject, analysed the provisions of the Constitution as amended by the 19th Amendment and expressed the view that Prez no longer has this power. more..

Extending nonagate ad infinitum

Apr 14 (DN) Tomorrow is Sinhala and Hindu Tamil New Year. And the nonagate (the period in which there are no auspicious times) will begin and end. However, in a wider context nonagate or the period of relative inactivity has already begun with the results of the LG elections. The No Confidence Motion against the PM was the do-all and be-all for politicians as well as their followers since then. Country was virtually paralyzed, notwithstanding even the anti-Muslim mini-pogrom. more..


Religionisation of politics: Amour of the authoritarian personality

Apr 14 (CT) We live in dark times, times of lost hope, times of wrecked promises. Common candidate has turned in to a protean political swindler. Autocrat knocks on the door. As the blunt and bright political satirist Art Buchwald put it these are not the best of times or the worst of times. These are the only times we’ve got. New Year festivals are measures of time. From our tribal days, we have relied on festivals and rituals usually linked to harvesting times as a device that offers more..

Editorial: Not smelling of roses

Apr 14 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has not emerged from the now concluded silly side show, as aptly described by Special Assignments Minister Sarath Amunugama, smelling of roses. The president, clearly, has forgotten that he was elected on the back of UNP and minority votes. It was Dr. W. Dahanayaka, a much loved politician of yesteryear, who candidly admitted that he became prime minister of this country thanks to fortuitous circumstances. more..

Looters as Rulers: Is he the worst leader?

Apr 14 (Island) Is PM Wickremesinghe the worst leader available for Sri Lanka? The PM is witty enough to respond: except for everyone else around. He should know the trite Churchillian quote about democracy being the worst form of govt except for every other form of govt that has been tried. He would also contend that for all its disappointments, the yahapalanaya govt during the last two years has been much better than more..

Gratiaen Prize 2017 shortlist announced

Apr 14 (Island) The shortlist for the Gratiaen Prize 2017 was announced on April 2 at the British Council Library, Colombo. The Prize is awarded each year to the best submitted creative work in English, written by a SL writer resident in Sri Lanka. Both published works and unpublished manuscripts are accepted as submissions. Excerpts from the shortlisted entries were read at the event. Gratiaen Prize 2017 is the third to be awarded under a new partnership between the Gratiaen Trust and more..

Medicos make ready for dengue battle

Apr 14 (ST) As the monsoon approaches, Ministry of Health is preparing for the dengue outbreak that accompanies the rains. Last week, ministry’s Epidemiology Unit (EU) deployed 9,000 officials countrywide to check homes, schools, public places, institutions and construction sites. Health workers of the Municipal councils and pradeshiya sabhas together with army personnel and environmental police went around inspecting premises to ward off the impending dengue menace. more..

Vehicle safety features overlooked amid road traffic carnage

Apr 14 (ST) SL motor vehicle dealers import millions of used and new cars, motorbikes and three-wheelers mostly from Japan, India, and China, but none is known to have basic safety features. Experts believe safety features must now be taken into account in dealing with the epidemic of road traffic deaths, not just driver-related factors. And in the meantime, the road traffic carnage continues. Condemned wrecks are piling up. more..

Aluth Avuruddha: Essentially a thanksgiving celebration

Apr 14 (Island) All over the world thanksgiving for harvests gathered are held, maybe at different times of the year but the purpose of marking the event is the same. Celebrations too are basically similar: feasting, families gathering together, music of one sort or another, games and competitions and of course the inevitable imbibing – permissible since the hard work of agriculture needs a respite. I have not heard the koha this year. Wonder why. Was a NCM passed on the poor chappie or more..

Bogala posts small loss attributable to suspension of mining & downsizing

Apr 14 (Island) Bogala Graphite, a Colombo listed company nearly 80% owned by Germany’s Graphit Kropfmuhl GMBH which is a major player in the global graphite industry, has posted a small after-tax loss of Rs. 19.7 million in the year ended Dec. 31, 2017, down from a profit of Rs. 73.8 million a year earlier due to an underground accident early in the year under review leading to the loss of the life of a miner who had not followed mandatory instructions, the company’s recently released more..

Sri Lanka earns over US$ 161 million from UN peacekeeping

Apr 14 (DM) SL Army has earned more than USD 161 million from UN peacekeeping missions since 2004, Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake said. He said this at the opening ceremony of the Directorate for Overseas Operations (DOO) at the Old Dutch Building in Colombo 3. “Since 2004, SL has been earning a minimum of USD 2.5 million per annum from peacekeeping missions overseas. more..

Seasonal buzz and woes hit Nuwara Eliya

Apr 14 (ST) The annual Vasantha Udanaya in Nuwara Eliya which began last week will continue throughout the month in keeping with the seasonal traditions of the district. The private sector while promoting their products via banners and other advertising means are also actively involved in awareness campaigns against the use of plastic and other environmental hazards. However, residents and tourists alike complain that Nuwara Eliya town lacks infrastructure facilities to conduct more..

Sri Lanka to promote lagoon aquaculture

Apr 14 (EN) SL's fisheries ministry will start a conservation program to protect lagoon eco-systems which will boost fisheries resources and eco-tourism also introduce aquaculture, expanding incomes of fisher families. 11 metric tonnes of fish had been harvested from 10 key lagoon in 2015 and 10 metric tonnes in 2011. While capture fisheries can be doubled by conservation, aquaculture can further increase fisheries production and expand the supply of protein for domestic consumption & export. more..

Amb. Azeez presents credentials in Geneva

Apr 14 (IL) Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez presented Credentials today, (12) to Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva, accrediting him as the Permanent Representative of SL to the UN in Geneva. Welcoming the new Permanent Representative, Director General Mr. Møller apprised him of the diverse areas in which his Office remained engaged in Geneva & highlighted integrated SDG Lab, more..

Army New Year Festival at Panagoda

Apr 14 (MoD) Heralding in the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, a traditional Bakmaha Ulela (Traditional festival games and merry making event) was held at the Panagoda Army Cantonment on Tuesday (10th April). The traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year falls on Saturday (14). According to Army media, hundreds of Army personnel serving at the Army Headquarters (AHQ) attended the Bakmaha Ulela 2018 held at the 4 Sri Lanka Artillery grounds the whole day, yesterday. more..

Video: SB to sit with Opposition at next parliamentary session

Apr 14 (AD) SB Dissanayake says they expect to sit with Opposition at next parliamentary session and seek a mandate through a full peoples’ alliance with JO. The sixteen SLFP Ministers and MPs who voted in favour of the no-confidence motion against the PM decided to step down from their posts in the National Govt from April 11 midnight. Prez Sirisena, in his capacity as the leader of the SLFP, gave permission for the 16 party members to resign from their posts, MP Thilanga Sumathipala said. more..

Nuwara Eliya season tourist traffic hit by 40% slump

Apr 14 (ST) The Nuwara Eliya season has been left hurt oiling its bruises from the recent violence that erupted in Kandy, resulting in an expected drop of about 40 per cent in both local and foreign tourist traffic, hoteliers said. Kandy Hoteliers Association President Samantha Ratnayaka told the Business Times that this is in the wake of the recent violence that occurred in the hill capital. The industry is now looking at more..

US says New Year will help reconciliation

Apr 14 (NR) The United States says the upcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year is chance to celebrate US-SL diplomatic relations as well as the continued progress in good governance and reconciliation. In a press statement the Acting US Secretary of State John Sullivan, on behalf of President Trump and the American people wished a "joyous New Year to all the Sri Lankan people." The message read the New Year celebration is a chance to reflect on the milestones of the past year, more..

New Year Message of Opposition Leader

Apr 14 (GDI) My heartiest wishes to the Tamil and Sinhala people of this country on this special day of Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Lasting peace and harmony is inevitable for a country to make progress in development and other areas of concern. My prayer is that in this New Year we will be able to overcome all obstacles and challenges in framing a new Constitution which paves the way to achieve a lasting solution to the national question and gives the rights to the people to live with dignity, more..

Parliament won't be dissolved: Austin

Apr 14 (NR) Secretary to the President Austin Fernando says Prez Sirisena has no intention of dissolving Parliament. Secretary to the President said the Head of State prorogued Parliament according to provisions vested with the Constitution. Austin Fernando said the time that Parliament will convene on the 8th of May will be notified in due course. Fernando added the decision to prorogue the session will have no more..

New Year Message of the PM

Apr 14 (GDI) The dawn of spring brings the flourish of nature and nourishes the human spirit as we meditate on the ideas of cooperation, forgiveness and empathy for all life. Sinhala and Tamil New Year is the foremost national festivity celebrated across the country in the splendour of spring. It provides the ideal setting to deepen relationships with each other and share our rich cultural heritage. This New Year we will celebrate with our traditional customs to convey their importance more..

Traditional New Year celebration with a difference

Apr 14 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army troops in the East began celebrating the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year with a difference this year. According to Army media, troops, in coordination with the Wana Arana Foundation and members of the Veddah (indegenous) community took part in a Bakmaha Ulela held near Hennanigala tank on Wednesday. Events of the day saw many unique traditional games of the indigenous Vaddah community being held together with other events. more..

Record 683 acres of land released to Jaffna People

Apr 14 (SLA) In line with the govt’s policy of releasing civilians’ land, hitherto used by Jaffna Security Forces, SL Army without compromising national security interests released a record 683 acres of land in Thelippalei DS area to 964 legal owners during a ceremony, held this morning (13) in the same location, Thelippalei under the auspices of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake and more..

New Year Message of the President

Apr 14 (GDI) The evolution of human civilization has taken place from era to era enriching the people as cultured entities. The unique cultural events celebrated by various people around the world indicate the affinity and utmost dedication towards their traditional heritages. The Sinhala and Tamil New Year showcases the traditional riches of the Eastern people. Aluth Avurudda is indeed an introduction of a new human with a new vision and a new attitude to the society. more..