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Video: Pro-LTTE group protest against President in London

Apr 20 (AD) A group of LTTE supporters are reportedly protesting in front of the venue of the CHOGM in London, against the visit of President Maithripala Sirisena. Protest, organized by the Tamil Coordination Committee in Britain, is being held in front of the Marlborough House in Pall Mall, London. Prez is in London with Heads of Govt of the 53-member Commonwealth at the CHOGM being held from 16-20 April. more..

High-rise construction in Colombo reaching dizzying heights as property values spiral

Apr 20 (Island) Some 25 property developers have continued to hold sway in the high-rise market; and that too while property values are spiraling with the upper level ceiling nowhere in sight, said CEO Paramount Reality, Dr. Nirmal de Silva at a press meet held to clarify the Asia Property Awards scheme and its criteria of excellence. Property Guru, Asia Property Awards, Sri Lanka, is part of the Regional Asia Property Awards Programme established in 2005. more..

Air trip baggage delay: Court orders Kuwait Airways to pay Rs. 2 m damage

Apr 20 (FT) Commercial High Court issued an order to Kuwait Airways to pay Rs. 2,000,000 as compensation for a baggage delay. Colombo Commercial HC Judge Mahinda Samayawardana issued this order granting compensation to two lawyers, Mahinda Jayawardana and his spouse, for the immense hardships they suffered during a trip to Egypt in 2010 due to the alleged negligence on the part of the Defendant, Kuwait Airways, attributed to baggage delay. more..

Sri Lanka’s ICT/BPM brand Island of Ingenuity debuts in London

Apr 20 (FT) The national brand for the Sri Lanka ICT/BPM sector was launched in London yesterday. Launch was held in the presence of Ministers Mangala Samaraweera, Rishad Bathiudeen, Dept of Commerce Director General Sonali Wijeratne, Deputy Director of Commerce Alexi Gunasekera, Export Development Board Chairperson Indira Malwatte, SL Association for Software and Services Companies more..

15% import duty on Gold creates more room for smuggling: Bandula

Apr 20 (DM) The govt’s decision to increase the import tax on Gold by 15% would only create more room for illicit ways to smuggle gold to Sri Lanka, JO Member MP Bandula Gunawardana accused. Addressing the media, he stressed that increasing the amount of tax rates on goods like Gold would be of no use because when tax is imposed on such goods, the smugglers tend to import them illegally so that the govt would not be able to accumulate its tax revenue as expected. more..

Thisara to play for ICC World XI

Apr 20 (Island) ICC World T20 winners, Thisara Perera, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik were the first set of players to confirm their participation for the ICC World XI in a T20I against the Windies to be played at Lord’s on 31 May. The match is being organised to raise funds for stadia in the Caribbean that were badly damaged following Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year. Afridi and Malik were part of the Pakistan squad that won the ICC World T20 2009 at Lord’s, while Perera was a member of more..

SLFP rebels rush to London to meet Prez

Apr 20 (CT) SLFP's Group of 16, who resigned from their respective portfolios in the Govt after voting in favour of the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against PM, is to rejuvenate its campaign demanding that the Party quit the Govt from 23 April. Meanwhile, sources revealed that MPs Dilan Perera and Chandima Weerakkody have flown to London, in a bid to meet Prez Sirisena to discuss some salient points, ahead of SLFP CC meeting. more..

Sri Lanka to push ahead with reforms, sees revenue on target

Apr 20 (BN) Sri Lanka will continue to press ahead with reforms and revenue for the start of the year is on target, junior finance minister Eran Wickramaratne said in an interview. We are more or less on track with the reform program, said Wickramaratne, who represents the UNP in the coalition govt. A fuel price formula will be implemented as planned and sales of state-owned hotels will proceed, he said in Washington, where finance chiefs and central bank bosses more..

National youth summit in Colombo on peace and sustainable development

Apr 20 (AN) The National Youth Summit 2018 will open today at the BMICH in Colombo.Under the auspices of the Sri Lanka Development Journalist Forum (SDJF), the event will bring together young people from around the country and from every social and ethnic background to talk about peace and sustainable development."More than 250 young people are expected from all over Sri Lanka, including members of marginalised groups,” said SDJF Project officer Dhaneshi Yatawara. more..

'Fuel price revision after consulting Prez, PM'

Apr 20 (DM) A price revision on fuel will only be carried only after consulting Prez and PM, Petroleum Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said. He said the govt had to decide whether the CEYPETCO needed to be operated as a public service utility because it had incurred heavy losses over the years. The minister told CEYPETCO and CPSTL employees when he met them on the first day after the New Year, that the losses incurred by more..

'All must unite to resolve national issues'

Apr 20 (NR) Speaker of House Karu Jayasuriya says all groups and parties should unite in order to solve the country's national issues. Addressing an multi religious Conference at the Parliamentary Complex Speaker stressed that it is the duty of every Sri Lankan to ensure the protection of the civic rights of all communities and establish a law abiding country. Speaker further noted that strikes launched with the intent of enacting revenge against one another should entirely cease. more..

'MRIA commercial image damaged by paddy'

Apr 20 (DM) The image of the Mattala Rajapaksa Int'l Airport (MRIA) had been tarnished after storing tons of paddy at the airport premises, a senior official at the MRIA said. “Even after the landing of the world's largest cargo aircraft, Antonov An-225 Mriya on Wednesday, people kept on saying ‘the largest aircraft landed at the Mattala paddy store.’ He said MRIA was constructed as an int'l airport built by the previous Govt. “MRIA was internationally and locally a well-recognised airport but more..

Sagala gets tough on southern tourism trade

Apr 20 (FT) In a hard-hitting move Southern Development and Youth Affairs Minister Sagala Ratnayake directed all hotel and restaurant owners in the Southern Province to strictly adhere to the registration process of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA). He pulled no punches while addressing a gathering of around 100 tourism industry stakeholders of the Southern Province and govt officials at a meeting more..

Vital way to restore stability among the people

Apr 22 (DM) In developing countries especially most social and political scientists believe that major structural changes are required in vital areas to bring about stability and security. One of these key areas is poverty alleviation as we highlighted in our editorial on Wednesday. In Sri Lanka, structural changes are needed even in the govt -- meaning the Executive and the Legislature where instability has increased specially after the unexpected results at the Feb 10 LG elections. more..

Workers can surely highlight their woes on May 7

Apr 22 (DM) It is reported that a group of Trade Unions, offended by the decision to declare May 7 as Workers Day, had decided to protest. This decision to change the date had apparently been taken by President Sirisena on the advice of the Maha Nayake Theras who had pointed out that the week following Vesak Poya, which falls on April 29 and 30 will be one of religious observances and therefore, not opportune to have May Day rallies on May 1, immediately after 2 Vesak holidays. more..

Govt simmering in its own soup

Apr 22 (DM) Feb 10 LG Elections and the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) presented by the JO against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe were the immediate causes that transformed an already simmering conflict in the Govt into chaos. The two incidents have thrown, the country in general and the ruling coalition in particular, into utter confusion. The two main parties in the ruling coalition, UNP and SLFP have been bewildered as to whether more..

Revisiting northern Sri Lanka’s battlefields

Apr 20 (Hindu) A group of Indian Peace Keeping Force veterans revisits the battlefields of northern SL, where their lives and destinies were interwoven with those of the LTTE three decades ago. We were in SL to remember our comrades, those we had cremated or buried here in the days of 1987-1990, when we were part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force fighting the LTTE. Now, we are 69-year-old veterans, and unlike more..

UNP Politburo discusses election of new office bearers

Apr 20 (Island) The newly elected UNP Politburo discussed the election of new office bearers yesterday and put off deliberations for Monday. Asked if a consensus had been reached on the names proposed to fill vacancies for key positions such as Chairman, General Secretary and National Organiser, a member of the Politburo said that discussions were continuing. "We took up internal issues and implementation of measures more..

'Lankan Premier League launch this year will reap success in 3 years'

Apr 20 (SLC) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), President Thilanga Sumathipala is confident of making the upcoming Lankan Premier League (LPL) a commercial success within three years of the launch. “Enormous as the task is we will definitely see that the LPL takes off this year in implementing the IPL concept that has caught on in countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Australia and South Africa. SL had to get moving with it and more..

Food prices skyrocket: FAO

Apr 20 (CT) Due to inefficiencies in the wholesale market system, food prices in the Colombo District are high, a recent Food and Agriculture (FAO) report said. This has resulted in high levels of food insecurity, said the FAO. There is also a concern for food safety as pesticide use is not well controlled in SL, report said. Food system is also affected by climate change, making environmentally sound agricultural and coastal management, more..

Sri Lanka Cricket elections on May 19

Apr 20 (AD) Elections for new board members of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will be held on May 19, according to SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala. The nominations will close on the 27th of April, the board’s Secretary Air Commodore Roshan Biyanwala said. Sumathipala said that he too will contest the election this year. The likes of Mohan de Silva and K. Mathivanan (Vice-Presidents), Biyanwala (Secretary) and more..

Awards from foreign companies: Many Lankans duped

Apr 20 (Island) The Customs have requested the CID to investigate an organised racket where unsuspecting Sri Lankans are cheated out of millions of rupees. Customs Spokesman Sunil Jayaratne said that the gang comprised Sri Lankans and foreigners. "Initial contact is made by a foreigner, who identifies himself as John Harry. He informs the targeted person that he or she has won an award more..

New deal on future of unity govt. to be signed after April 24

Apr 20 (DM) The SLFP ministerial committee appointed by President Maihtripala Sirisena to look into the future of the unity govt has made strong recommendations to drastically bring down the Cost of Living and provide facilities to achieve accelerated development in agriculture, industrial and education sectors and create employment opportunities, committee chairman & Min. Sarath Amunugama said. more..

At all-party religious convention Committee to prevent communal riots appointed

Apr 20 (CT) An all-party religious convention, chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, was held yesterday. It was attended by all political parties represented in Parliament and religious leaders, with the aim of establishing national and religious reconciliation among all citizens. A minister, who participated in the convention, said that the reasons for holding it had been to take steps to prevent communal riots from erupting, like those more..

Interpol Red Notice issued on former CB chief Arjuna Mahendran

Apr 20 (SL) An Interpol Red Notice has been issued on former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran. Mahendran is wanted in Sri Lanka to be questioned over the CB treasury bond scam. Mahendran is believed to be in Singapore and is evading arrest. Mahendran, Perpetual Treasuries head Arjun Aloysius and the former CEO of Perpetual Treasuries Kasun Palisena were in February named by the CID as more..

Strengthening school education system a must

Apr 20 (CT) The Ministry of Education recently introduced a hotline (1988) for parents and students to complain in the event the students are compelled by school teachers to attend tuition classes conducted by them. Tuition classes have come to dominate the academic activities of students so much so that they are dependent on classes outside school hours. In this context, the move by the Govt, to crack down on tuition warning teachers who hassle pupils, can be seen as a solution more..

Too many ministers positively harmful to the running of Government

Apr 20 (FT) The President, by extraordinary gazette, has prorogued Parliament with effect from 13 April and the next sessions will be on 8 May. It was earlier reported in the media that Prez Sirisena has accepted the resignation letters tendered by 15 SLFP ministers, including six Cabinet members, and the Deputy Speaker, who voted for the No-Confidence Motion against PM. Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said that a new Cabinet would be sworn in after the New Year holidays. more..

අද තියෙන්නේ වෛරී දේශපාලනයක් අස්ථාවර රටක්

A woman lawyer exposes some disgusting abuses of Sri Lankan justice system

Apr 20 (CT) A woman lawyer has exposed the utterly confused, silly, and sad situation that prevails in some of the courts, which she had been practicing for over seven years. It is a revealing speech, which shows the lowest depths that the justice system in SL is faced with. She exposes some of the judges and also lawyers including some members of the Bar Association of SL. For example, she, Sugandhika Fernando, speaks of going to a court where she found that three people more..

Two underworld gang members arrested

Apr 20 (AD) Two persons suspected to be part of an underworld gang involved in a series of organized crimes have been arrested by STF personnel at Thotalanga. The suspects were arrested this morning and that the suspects were engaged in drug trafficking by the organized criminal gang. The arrested suspects are resident of Ferguson Road, Colombo 15 and are aged 23 and 26. The suspects who were arrested by the STF have been handed over Organised Crimes Investigation Division more..

The SOS Children’s Villages in Sri Lanka

Apr 20 (Roar) Over the past thirty six years, the SOS Children’s Villages, an international NGO which focuses on providing foster-care for orphaned, abandoned or neglected children, has supported over 41,000 such children in Sri Lanka. The main concept of the organisation’s children’s villages is to provide a safe, family-centred and village-centred upbringing for the children taken in. The organisation has opened six Children’s more..

Russian Naval Training Ship Perekop arrives at port of Colombo

Apr 20 (SLN) The Russian Naval Training Ship Perekop arrived at the port of Colombo on a goodwill visit yesterday (18). Sri Lanka Navy welcomed the ship in accordance with naval traditions on her arrival at the harbour. The crew of Perekop that are on a five-day official visit in Sri Lanka, is scheduled to take part in friendly sporting events, cultural events and engage in sightseeing tours organized by the Sri Lanka Navy. Meanwhile, the Commanding Officer of the ship, more..

Bimal complains to PM about Vajira’s letter to job seekers

Apr 20 (Island) JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake has complained to PM that Minister Vajira Abeywardena’s attempt to coerce some persons, seeking employment in the state sector, into visiting his office at Uluwitake, Galle on Friday. Ratnayake has sent a copy of Abeywardena’s letter to PM along with his complaint. JVP MP has said that a competitive examination was held in 2017 September to fill about 2,000 Grama Niladhari vacancies. About 180,000 candidates sat more..

Ammonia tragedy: CEA suspends factory operations

Apr 20 (DM) Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has ordered to suspend the functions and operations of the Rubber Factory in Horana where five people were killed due to an ammonia gas exposure yesterday. Director General of the CEA Hemantha Jayasinghe said the functions of the factory would be halted until the investigations were concluded. “The factory will be shut down after considering the report of the investigations more..

Hashish haul suspect admits receiving previous packages

Apr 20 (Island) Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) is conducting investigations to find out whether a former freelance journalist, arrested on Tuesday (April 17) at the Colombo Central mail Exchange with 1.4 kilos of hashish, had acted alone. The suspect was detained till April 23, after being produced before Maligakanda Magistrates’ Court. Under interrogation, the suspect has admitted that he had received similar packages in the past from Spain. more..

UNP backbenchers write to Ranil

Apr 20 (CT) UNP backbenchers have suggested that MP Mujibur Rahman be made the Deputy Speaker of Parliament. A group of UNP backbenchers submitted a letter to PM requesting that Rahman be appointed to the position. UNP MP Professor Ashu Marasinghe, who signed the letter, told Ceylon Today that they had a right to make such a suggestion to the Premier, adding that Rahman was suitable for the post. “He is an active MP and can speak in all three languages more..

UNDP supports SL to build back better

Apr 20 (UNDP) United Nations Development Programme in SL together with the Ministry of Disaster Management launched a project at the Ministry premises to support the Govt’s vision of resilient recovery from Disasters, to help SL build back better in times of a disaster. Exactly one year ago, heavy rainfall and high winds triggered by the Southwest monsoon caused severe floods and landslides which affected 15 districts more..

Compulsory Dhamma Schools proposal: HRCSL to study further

Apr 20 (CT) Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) is to further study the Govt’s plan to make Sunday religious schools compulsory. Recently, the Ministry of Buddha Sasana revealed that they would forward a Cabinet Paper in collaboration with other religious leaders to make it compulsory or all children to attend Dhamma schools. However, according to Article 10 of the Constitution, every citizen has the freedom of choice with regard to having or adopting a religion or belief. more..

ADB invests $12.6mn for SL women-led businesses

Apr 20 (NR) Asian Development Bank has received $12.6 million of funding for 2018 to 2020 from the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative to generate more resources for SL women-led businesses. The grant enhances the ADB’s support for women-led small and medium-sized enterprises vital for economic growth and job creation in Sri Lanka. ADB Financial Sector Specialist Amanda Tan said the We-Fi financing supports ADB’s SME Line of Credit Project to foster a better environment for more..

Support for 20-A: JO urged to reconsider its decision

Apr 20 (Island) Federation of National Organisations (FNO) urged the JO to reconsider its decision to support the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, to be moved by JVP to abolish the executive presidency. Alleging that India and Western powers were behind the 20-A project, the FNO claimed that it was in line with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s promise to those involved in a high profile operation in 2014/2015 to more..