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Mirissa assaults: Four arrested

Apr 14 (DM) Four suspects have been arrested by the Weligama Police in connection with the sexual and physical assault of tourists in Mirissa, the Tourist Police said. The four suspects are said to have been involved in the incident according to initial investigations. On early Sunday morning, male and female tourists at a Surf Bar in Mirissa were reported to have been sexually and physically assaulted by beach boys cum employees at a Bar and Restaurant in the area. more..

SriLankan, CAA in dogfight over new aircraft’s safety issue

Apr 14 (ST) SriLankan Airlines this week mounted an impassioned defence of its Maintenance Department, blaming January’s in-flight shutdown (IFSD) of an engine on UL898 to Bangkok on “a global issue that has occurred on identical engines fitted to aircraft of other airlines”. But the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL)–the industry regulator–also hit back strongly, questioning why the aircraft was dispatched more..

Reginald Cooray sworn in as Northern Province Governor

Apr 14 (AD) Reginald Cooray who was sworn in as Central Province Governor yesterday (12) again sworn in as Northern Province Governor in front of President Sirisena today (13). The appointment has been made considering the strong demand from the Northern people, Reginald Cooray said. “Prez had a discussion with all newly appointed Governors today. During the discussion, President informed all Governors except Governor-Rohitha Bogollagama to exchange more..

Govt says prorogation has no negative impact

Apr 14 (DM) The prorogation of Parliament has no negative impact on the functioning and operation of the Govt, Govt Information Department said. By Gazette notification, with effect from Thursday 12th April 2018, the Parliament was prorogued. The prorogation is the period between the end of a Parliament session and the opening of the next Parliament session. Director General of Govt Information Sudarshana Gunawardana said the next Parliament session will commence on May 8. more..

President clinches deal with UNP to continue coalition

Apr 14 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena, leader of the SLFP took the unprecedented step of urging ministers of his own party to boycott last Tuesday’s weekly Cabinet meeting – perhaps a first such move in a practising democracy. In doing so, he was cushioning a feared fallout from a widespread call by members of the Central Committee, the party’s policy making body, to quit the coalition or the national unity Govt. more..

Stepping into the New Year

Apr 15 (SO) Much of the calls of the kohaa last week may have been radio and TV blurbs rather than the bird itself but still, the trill of this beloved and auspicious bird surely portends new things for the nation and its resplendent island home. The political tumult of the previous week was ended with celebratory goodwill and ceremony in last week’s Avurudu and Puthuvarusham festival. Bitterly fought political battles at local level and in Parliament now give way to a new phase of governance as more..

Towards a National New Year

Apr 15 (CT) At the time this newspaper comes to our readers’ hands on Sunday the loudest din of the festival we call the Sinhala and Tamil New Year will be into its second celebratory day. This is the event that touches most Sri Lankans in every way. Even if all don’t celebrate Avurudu, the fact that everyone seems to be on holiday and nothing at all works reminds us that we are in the season. We are a people who celebrate many festivals and enjoy the celebrations of communities which are not more..

Phone records lead CID to big arrest in Keith Noyahr abduction case

Apr 15 (SO) All things considered, former Editor of The Nation, Keith Noyahr was one of the lucky few. Abducted and tortured in May 2008 during a time when dissenting journalists were hunted with impunity, at least he made it out alive. Murdered editor of The Sunday Leader Lasantha Wickrematunge and Journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda who disappeared without a trace in 2010 and remains missing more..

Mobitel takes the lead in helping combating Dengue among school children

Apr 15 (Island) Mobitel, launched an innovative mobile app to help combat the spread of Dengue among school children in Sri Lanka at a special event held at the BMICH on 27 March 2018. DengueFreeChild app was developed by Mobitel in collaboration with Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, University of Colombo and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The app enables users to proactively report of Dengue or suspected Dengue fever so that action more..

Back to square one

Apr 15 (ST) My dear Mahinda maama, I thought I must write to you because the no-confidence motion you brought against the Green Man appears to have boomeranged on you- although most of your pohottuwa chaps are still trying to keep a straight face and act as if you won the vote, despite having lost it by a huge margin. Usually, Mahinda maama, you are quite good at manipulating situations to your advantage. We remember how you got the courts to declare that Satellite’s 2nd term of office more..

Story of a Jaffna Boy

Apr 15 (CT) Citibank’s Managing Director and its Global Head of Electronic Foreign Exchange Solutions, Bernard Sinniah, who retired from his London office recently, describes himself as a Jaffna Boy who didn’t achieve anything remarkable during his school days, but his determination to be successful in life made him a top official at Citibank; one of the top three banks in the world, with an extensive network of branches more..

The Perfect Storm

Apr 15 (Island) The optimism that accompanied the Yahapalana govt in 2015 has evaporated. We simply seem to have exchanged the misguided and dictatorial regime of Rajapaksa for the misguided and weak govt of Sirisena/Ranil. There is a confluence of factors – political, economic, financial, inter-ethnic relations and international that are converging and will cause a major crisis within two years. My title is a nautical term – The Perfect Storm. It refers to the convergence of more..

Whither the Commonwealth

Apr 15 (ST) A somewhat beleaguered President Sirisena leaves for Britain over the weekend to attend the CHOGM. Often SL’s Heads of Govt seek solace overseas either when their astrologers advise them it is time to do so, or when things get too hot at home. Escapism is a way around pressure. Britain hosts this year’s CHOGM. The last time it did so in 1997 in Scotland, the star attraction was Nelson Mandela, the iconic South African leader who had just been released from prison to lead his more..


JVP’s renewed call to abolish executive presidency

Apr 15 (Island) JVP has already announced that they will be introducing the 20th Amendment to abolish the executive presidency on April 19 which means that this now forgotten topic will once again be at the centre of political discourse after the after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. JVP has announced that they will be willing to consider electoral reform as well if that is considered to be necessary to abolish the executive Presidency. JVP knows that no one will agree to the kind of more..

Hard work pays off for Devapathiraja and St. Anne’s

Apr 15 (Island) Hard work has paid off for Devapathiraja College, Ratgama and St. Anne’s College, Kurunegala. The two teams have realised their long held dream of advancing to the top division of the Inter-School Under-19 cricket tournament when some well established cricket teams had failed to reach even the semi-finals of the Under-19 Division II tournament. St. Anthony’s Katugastota and Royal College, Colombo are the most noteworthy casualties of the hard fought more..

President has lost control both in governance and party

Apr 15 (CT) At the close of two years, National Unity Govt (NUG) has failed to maintain the confidence and trust of the people it enjoyed during the first three months of its tenure. However, political crisis or instability in SL remains unchanged. NUG is likely to complete its full term, but it will not be a cakewalk. The strongest points of the Govt, thus far, include the following: the political will of the Prez and PM to continue the NUG till 2020; more..

Alas! Divided we fall

Apr 15 (SO) The best laid plans of mice and men, so the saying goes, go awry. In this instance it was the best laid plans of Mahinda that went haywire. What was Mahinda Rajapaksa and other leaders of the JO thinking when they brought a motion of no-confidence against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe? Obviously, they planned to oust Wickremesinghe from his job. What then was the next move? Was that thought through or was the motion of no-confidence a knee jerk reaction to euphoria more..

Pink ball cricket tests batsmen’s resolve

Apr 15 (Island) Batsmen dominated the first round of Inter-Provincial cricket but the bowlers were back in business in week two as the tournament turned into day-night pink ball cricket. With the final Test against West Indies in Barbados scheduled to be a day-night affair, the authorities were keen on giving the players a bit of exposure on what to expect and the resolve of the batsmen against the pink ball, that swings more than the red ball, was tested. There was absolute mayhem at Suriyawewa where more..

The Jamaican dream and the Commonwealth Games lessons for Sri Lanka

Apr 15 (ST) What have we learned from the Commonwealth Games or was it just a joy ride for some officials who stayed united during the elections. Yet, in sports, there is something more. For some in sport; it is you come, you fight and you conquer. In athletics, countries like the United States, Britain, China and Russia hold the whip-hand in medals. Especially the US has been in the forefront since its independence. more..

Chinese male arrested with stock of cigarettes valued at Rs 1.4 million

Apr 15 (AD) A Chinese male was arrested by the Customs officials at Katunayake BIA today (14) while attempting to smuggle 140 cartoons (28 000 sticks) of foreign cigarettes. The seized stock of cigarettes valued at Rs 1.4 million. The 44-year-old Chinese male has arrived from Singapore by SilkAir flight MI 0428 at 8.50am today. Investigations into the incident are being carried out under the instructions of Customs Director O.M. Jabeer & Deputy Director A.M. Arifa. more..

Money printing passes Rs 100B mark: Reserves drained by $506.23M

Apr 15 (CT) Govt of SL's money printing liabilities passed the Rs 100 billion mark, on Thursday (12), as Central Bank printed and lent Rs 22,041.07 million to the GoSL to meet its monetary commitments in the absence of adequate revenue. As a result, GoSL’s face value money printing (FVMP) liabilities increased by 27.23 per cent to Rs 102,997.34 million on Thursday. In related developments, the country’s foreign reserves were bludgeoned by US$ 334.46 million more..

Consumer Financial Protection Authority takes off

Apr 15 (ST) In the face of the recent debacle of several finance companies, SL is set to take more effective financial consumer protection measures to protect local and foreign consumers in the sophisticated and complex financial market at present, a senior Finance Ministry official divulged. Consumer Financial Protection Authority (CFPA) will be established to control Non-Bank Finance Institutions more..

We are on the right track: Weightlifting coach

Apr 15 (ST) Chief coach of the Sri Lanka Weightlifting contingent, R.B. Wickremasinghe, feels they are on the right track at the moment. In an exclusive interview, Wickremasinghe, the doyen of Weightlifting in Sri Lanka, said, “Definitely our standards have improved. In 2006, when we won Commonwealth Games Gold, I feel we were not as good, but since then, we have improved leaps and bounds, and now we have a team that can hold its own against a lot of competition.” more..

The never ending injury woes

Apr 15 (Island) The highly anticipated Inter-Provincial cricket tournament concluded its second round games earlier this week sans some of the finest players. More than half a dozen top players, who would have been eligible for selection for the upcoming tour of West Indies were out of action as they were either nursing injuries or on the rehabilitation process. Sri Lanka cricket has suffered immensely over the last 18 months due to injuries to leading players. more..

Anti dumping/countervailing duties act soon

Apr 15 (SO) The much anticipated measures to protect local industries and consumers by the flooding of cheap products from overseas markets, will finally see the light of the day with the Anti Dumping and Countervailing Duties Act and the Safeguard Measures Act coming into force this year. Many attempts were made since 2005 to get this vital piece of legislation enacted. However, dilly dallying by policy makers delayed more..

Dragon Boating roars into Lankan waters

Apr 15 (ST) Sri Lanka will get an addition to the existing fleet of water-sports with the introduction of Dragon Boating. This initiative of the National Association for Canoeing & Kayaking, Sri Lanka (NACKSL), is co-sponsored by the Japan Canoe Federation (JCF) and Polytex Garments, a Hong Kong-Chinese Textile Exporting Co. operating from Sri Lanka. Dragon Boating training has been conducted by Sunil Kewat, an ICF Level 2 and IKCA Level 1 coach from India, whose much more..

USAID, IOM hand over new homes to Sri Lanka flood, landslide victims

Apr 15 (IOM) USAID and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week handed over new transitional homes to 120 families affected by the May 2017 floods and landslides in the Rathnapura district of Sri Lanka. The homes, which were built by IOM in Dombagammana village over the past three months, will house some 445 people, including 194 children. The families either lost their homes to floods and landslides or were unable to return home due to the ongoing risk of landslides. more..

‘Sinhalese still occupying properties of Tamils’

Apr 15 (Hindu) SL govt has not done anything effective to oust the Sinhalese who have illegally occupied the lands and houses of the Tamils ever since they fled the island following ethnic crisis, C.V. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of Northern Province, has said. During an informal chat with reporters at Old Courtallam said that a few thousand properties of Tamils had been encroached upon by the Sinhalese after the rightful more..

The perks of being a #SLophile

Apr 15 (Hindu) As my gorgeous friend Annika Fernando cheekily commented on one of my Instagram posts: “...the world is beautiful but Sri Lanka is always better”. A week-long sojourn later, I have to agree. I have become a #Slophile — a believer in island living. When in Sri Lanka, pictures need no filters. A quick check-in at Paradise Road Tintagel Colombo, a 10-suite boutique hotel in the heart of Colombo 7, and you are cushioned in history. Built in the 1930s, and more..

'Academic activities held for less than 3 mo'

Apr 15 (NR) National University Teachers Association says university academic activities for the year 2018 have been held for a period less than 3 months due to ongoing strikes at universities. Secretary of the association Dr. Channa Jayasumana said higher education officials did not hold any examination scheduled for the beginning of the this year. He charged that not a single student of the 2017 A/L batch who are eligible for university entrance were able to enrol. more..

SLFP should quit Govt, say group of sixteen

Apr 15 (SO) The 16 members of the SLFP who voted in favour of the No Confidence Motion (NCM) against the PM have firmly resolved that the SLFP should quit the Unity Govt. They said since 122 members of the Parliament have reposed their confidence in the Premier the UNP should be allowed to run their own Govt. A resolution to quit the Unity Govt was put to the SLFP Central Committee by MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa more..

Ambalangoda schoolboy does SL proud

Apr 15 (SO) While as many as 86 SL athletes are struggling unsuccessfully for Gold at the current Commonwealth Games in Australia, a little known boy from the backwoods of Ambalangoda has given the island its first ever Gold medal at the Asian Age Group Chess championship that concluded in Thailand. Sasith Piyamantha, student of Dharmasoka College Ambalangoda, scored 6.5 out of 9 to prove that he is so precious a bet and one of the most promising young chess players more..

SLR constitution adjusted with restrictions

Apr 15 (CT) Some changes have been made to the current constitution of Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) and the extent of the position carried by the President has been identified as the most important out of all the adjustments. According to previous laws a President had no restrictions for contesting, but with the new changes the President can only stay in that position for four years and these four years have to come in, two terms separately, each for a two-year term. more..

We have the answer to Geneva

Apr 15 (CT) Over 3,500 reformed LTTE cadres, who are now being employed in the Civil Security Department (CSD) in the Vanni District, pleaded with President Sirisena to visit them. The employed cadres who expressed their gratitude to Prez Sirisena for the decision he took in making them permanent in their employment, after being on probation for almost four years, believe the answer to UNHRC is with them. more..

British MPs join Tamil new year celebrations

Apr 15 (TG) MPs joined British Tamils as they celebrated Tamil new year across the country. In London, Conservative MP Paul Scully and leader of Kingston Council Kevin Davis joined celebrations at the Sri Raja Rajeswari Amman Temple, Stonleigh. Speaking at the end of ceremonies, MP Paul Scully shared wishes from British Prime Minister Theresa May’s, who was due to join the visit. Mr Scully further spoke on the work he does as the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils. more..

Video: President performs New Year rituals

Apr 15 (AD) Keeping with the tradition, Prez Sirisena performed New Year rituals today (14) at his official residence in Colombo. President joined the ritual to light the hearth with Mrs. Jayanthi Sirisena and other members of the immediate family. President planted a Beli sapling at his official residence at the auspicious time. Thereafter he engaged in the tradition of transactions for the New Year. Many people including MPs and artists visited Prez’s residence to greet Prez for the New Year. more..

Import of potatoes, onions Farmers, traders up in arms

Apr 15 (CT) Farmer and trader groups called on the Govt to immediately stop the exports of potatoes and onions saying it was hurting the local growers and the industry. President of the Dambulla Traders Association (DTA) Channa Eraula said, the import of these items from Pakistan and India has pushed the local farmers close to bankruptcy while a few individuals behind the imports are getting rich. more..

Govt functions will continue; parliament reset: Eran

Apr 15 (EN) The prorogation of the parliament until May 8, has no impact on the immediate workings of the govt State Minister Eran Wickremeratne said. "This has no impact on the functioning of the govt," he said. "The cabinet will also continue." All pending business in parliament will lapse and parliament committees will also stand dissolved, he said. "It give the parliament an opportunity to renew itself," he said. Prez Sirisena prorogued parliament after six cabinet ministers from this SLFP resigned. more..

JO vying to form government With MR as PM

Apr 15 (CT) The JO will be vying to form a Govt by end April with Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister of the new Govt. The first step will be to get the SLFP Ministers who voted for the No Confidence Motion against PM on 4 April, sit in the Opposition benches when Parliament meets on 19 April, JO and MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena said. It is also only a matter of time that the rest of the SLFP Ministers, who abstained from voting at the NCM, join us and there will be a large number of more..