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Time not mentioned in the gazette

Apr 21 (CT) Though the second session of the ninth Parliament was scheduled to begin on 8 May, it is now impossible to summon the session as the Gazette Notification on it had failed to state the time for the commencement of the session. Although a special Gazette notification was issued by the President, at midnight on 12 April, that the new session would begin on 8 May, it had failed to mention the precise time for the convening which makes it impossible to open the new session more..

Story behind the Tamil refugee believed to be Bruce McArthur’s eighth victim

Apr 21 (TS) To much of the world, man in the unsettling photograph — bearded, with unkempt hair, partially shut eyes and slightly parted lips — was nameless. But as the image circulated for weeks on the news and in social media, family and friends recognized Kirushnakumar Kanagaratnam. Kajendthiran knew from the moment he saw the photograph. He’d first met the man on the grounds of a SL elementary school. more..

JO set to defeat President’s policy statement?

Apr 21 (CT) A group of Joint Opposition (JO) MPs have decided to defeat the policy statement of the current regime, that is expected to be presented to Parliament by the President, when it convenes for its new session on 8 May, sources said. A group of JO MPs contend that if the President delivers a policy statement, as anticipated on that date and if it could be defeated in the House, the President will be forced to dissolve Parliament and call for a snap Poll. more..

JO delighted over Interpol Red Notice on Mahendran

Apr 21 (Island) Interpol has issued a Red Notice on former CB Governor, Singaporean Arjuna Mahendran, on a request by the CID. Police headquarters confirmed the issuance of the Interpol Red Notice yesterday. Fort Magistrate Court recently directed the Attorney General Department to take necessary measures to apprehend Mahendran, wanted in connection with the Treasury bond scams of 2015 and 2016. Mahendran's son-in-law Arjun Aloysius, owner of suspended Primary more..

Looters as Rulers: Will boost economy in 100 days if given responsibility: Ravi

Apr 21 (DM) UNP Assistant Leader Ravi Karunanayake said he could build up the economy in 100 days if he was given the responsibility. He said state officials who go behind politicians do not change with the change of govt. “It is they who mess up the country's economy. The action of a few people attached to the govt had put the economy in a mess,” he said. Meanwhile, he said it is a common fact that the tusker with sacred relics usually more..

Our care for others is the measure of our greatness

Apr 21 (DM) Religious leaders have told us that anyone who wishes to be a leader must be ready to be the servant of all and that our care for others is the measure of our greatness. Our political leaders especially need to reflect on this in their hearts and minds as Sri Lanka goes into a crucial period in our history. President Maithripala Sirisena, when he was elected to office in the historic presidential election of Jan 8, 2015 pledged he would be a servant leader. more..

Castes and Votes

Apr 21 (DM) That period from 01.49 a.m. is called Nonagathaya: The time Sinhala Buddhists also call Punyakalaya, literarily meaning meritorious time. Sinhala Buddhists generally refrain from routine work they usually indulge in and keep this time to go to temple and engage in deeds they understand as meritorious. Thus, I thought, if rational thinking and intellect could not make most Sinhala Buddhists accept and treat others as equals entitled to the same rights they enjoy, more..

'Unity Govt failed due to subjective factors'

Apr 21 (DM) Senior veteran politician former Minister and General Secretary of the Communist Party D.E.W Gunasekara discussed the current domestic, economic and political situation in the island and the new tax regime introduced from April 1st. Q: You have been in the forefront among tax experts, politicians and economists who campaigned for a new tax regime with far reaching amendments to the tax law. Govt has introduced a new more..

No-confidence motion against leader of Opp

Apr 21 (DM) Hell hath no fury as an Opposition thwarted in its bid to pass a No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against a PM! SL’s self-styled Joint Opposition led unofficially by Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa and officially by Colombo District MP Dinesh Gunawardane is still smarting from the defeat encountered while attempting to pass a No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Sri Lanka's coal power bounty has ended; costs shooting up: Union

Apr 21 (EN) SL's power generation costs are rapidly outpacing selling prices and a bounty from a 900 MegaWatt coal plant had now run out, and there is no relief on the horizon, executives at the island's power utility warned. "The last 300 Mega Watt plant was built in Norochcholai in 2014," Saumya Kumarawadu, Prez of CEB Engineers Union said. "After that no low cost power plant has been built. So costs can only go up." more..

Amendment entitles women to 84 days maternity leave

Apr 21 (DN) Govt has amended the law lifting hitherto prevailed restrictions on maternity leave for women with two or more children. New amendments to the law make all women entitled to 84 days of maternity leave irrespective of the number of children they have. As per the existing law, women with two or more children are only entitled to 42 days maternity leave whereas women who give birth to 1st & 2nd child get 84 days maternity leave. more..

House prorogued fearing impeachment motion by UNP: SLPP

Apr 21 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena prorogued Parliament because he feared an impeachment motion to be brought against him by the UNP backbenchers, SLPP said. MP Prasanna Ranatunga said that the UNP backbenchers were planning to submit a impeachment motion against the President. “They are reaching out to other political parties seeking help in this regard. more..

Meters and bills made mandatory for 3-wheelers

Apr 21 (CT) National Council for Road Safety (NCRS) yesterday said that it was implementing the much delayed regulation that all three- wheelers have a meter. Chairman of the NCRS, Dr. Sisira Kodagoda said that the Govt was implementing a regulation which made meters mandatory, the implementation of which had been repeatedly postponed upon requests from trishaw owners. more..

Iran calls for broadening of ties with SL

Apr 21 (FNA) Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in a meeting with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Colombo underlined the need for enhancing mutual cooperation between the two countries. "Considering the age-old trade relations between Iran and Sri Lanka, the chambers of commerce of the two countries can play a bold role with their familiarity with the areas of cooperation,” Larijani said during the meeting in Colombo on Thursday. more..

Mahendran spotted at Little India in S'pore?

Apr 21 (DM) A photograph showing Arujana Mahendran seen waiting for a cab at Little India in Singapore is currently going viral in the social media. When asked about it, Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said he was aware of such a photograph but could not say when it might have been taken. However, he said would look into the matter. Former CB Governor, who holds a Singaporean citizenship, fled SL for S'pore more..

US report notes limited progress, rights abuses in Sri Lanka

Apr 21 (SL) The annual US human rights report noted that the SL Govt has made limited progress toward establishing additional transitional justice mechanisms. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017 made public by Acting US Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, noted that there were some reports that the Government or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings. According to the report, interviews by more..

Ban on pandals on Vesak, Poson Poya days to remain: Minister

Apr 21 (DM) Buddhasasana Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said the ban of pandals on Vesak and Poson Poya Days would not be changed and stressed the need to focus on the spiritual aspect of religion rather than on mundane activities. He said that this prohibition on pandals would only apply to May 29, the Vesak Poya Day and June 27 the Poson Poya Day and that pandals could be put up on the other days. more..

Reversing the political tide

Apr 21 (CT) Due to inefficiencies in the wholesale market system, food prices in the Colombo District are high, our yesterday’s lead story, quoting a recently released Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report, said. Food inflation is a major driver of overall inflation in the country, despite it being classified as a middle income country by the IMF. According to the FAO, what drives high food inflation in Colombo, are not demand pull causes led primarily by money printing. more..

President is powerless to remove the PM

Apr 21 (FT) Some commentators have persistently advanced the proposition that, notwithstanding the 19th Amendment, 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 the President no longer more..

What is the role of the public trustee in SL?

National policy on injury prevention and management

Apr 21 (ST) A national policy and strategic framework on injury prevention and management has been prepared by the Health Ministry as the country faces an alarming increase in the number of persons suffering from debilitating injuries mainly due to road accidents. Ministry said the policy was a long-felt need and would provide policy guidance to the national, and provincial authorities and other stakeholders in the effective implementation of the National Injury Prevention Programme. more..

Sri Lanka to remove unauthorized constructions on coastal belt

Apr 21 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan Coast Conservation Department have decided to remove all unauthorized constructions on the coastal belt, an official here on Saturday. Director General of the Department Prabath Chandrakeerthi said that his office has identified 1,500 such unauthorized constructions along the coastal belt to be removed. He said these unauthorized structures included tourist hotels. "We will remove all of them step by step," Chandrakeerthi said. more..

Bang goes the future of small-time cracker makers

Apr 21 (ST) Traditional small-time firecracker manufacturers, who have exploded in numbers and mostly work in small, highly dangerous premises, face being snuffed out by tightened licencing procedures that favour the bigger manufacturers. Govt has restricted the issuing of chemical components needed to manufacture firecrackers to only 176 makers who have licences for the trade while thousands of makers more..

Dengue clean-up before schools reopen

Apr 21 (Island) The Ministry of Education has instructed all principals to carry out dengue eradication programmes at their schools prior to the commencement of the new school term on April 23. The principals had been instructed to implement the cleaning programmes on Sunday with the assistance of teachers and parents. The South-Western monsoon rains are expected to increase mosquito breeding. 15703 suspected dengue cases had been reported this year and 15 deaths more..

Matale drying up

Apr 21 (ST) Climate change, accelerated by man-made degradation of the environment, is drying up the Matale District, which once had annual rainfall of 2500mm. Now trees such as teak and halmilla, which like drier conditions, are growing well in areas of Matale that used to be considered wet zone areas – areas such as Raththota, Ukuwela, Yalawatta and Pallethota, which now also host different forms of wildlife. “Wildlife such as peacocks and weavers birds are coming to this area in great more..

Tainted medicinal drugs: Urgent need for quality assurance labs

Apr 21 (ST) Lack of quality assurance labs to evaluate imported medicinal drugs has led to dozens of product recalls, adverse reactions among patients and also rejected or outdated stocks piling up in the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation stores, awaiting destruction. There are more than 8,000 registered pharmaceutical drugs and not every one of them is tested for quality. There is also no known drug formulary in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka's central bank among top inflators in Asia in 2017

Apr 21 (EN) SL's central bank is among top three emerging and developing Asia in 2017 just after Tonga and Mongolia, both countries also suffered currency collapses in 2015/2016 data from the International Monetary Fund shows. Sri Lanka generated 7.1% inflation in the year to Dec 2017 after a currency collapse in 2015 and 2016 and continued to depreciate in 2017, while well-managed Asian nations appreciated their currencies as oil prices rose and the dollar weakened. more..

Govt to deploy Navy to protect tourists if necessary: John

Apr 21 (Island) Minister John Amaratunga blamed the increasing use of synthetic drugs in tourist hot spots in Sri Lanka for violent incidents. He said dangerous drugs such as hashish and synthetic drugs such as Ecstasy, Crystal Meth, Ice, Ketamine and LSD were now available in tourist destinations in SL. About eleven foreigners had been arrested with narcotics in their possession and 18 cases were pending against Sri Lankans in High Courts in the coastal areas, police said. more..

Seating to be rearranged if 16 SLFPers sit with opposition

Apr 21 (DM) Parliament Secretary General Dammika Dassanayaka said the seating in Parliament would have to be rearranged if the 16 former SLFP ministers, state and deputy ministers opt to sit in the opposition on May 8 when the Parliament reconvenes after the prorogation. He said this in the wake of media reports that they were likely to sit in the Opposition after officially informing Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. more..

Brother and sister’s fatal visit to Beruwala Lighthouse

Apr 21 (AD) Two persons, a brother (27) & sister (24) from Colombo have drowned in seas off Beruwala while visiting the Beruwala Lighthouse, Police spokesman said. The two siblings, residing in Slave Island along with their family members have gone on a family trip to visit Beruwala Lighthouse today morning. Four of them have remained in a nearby rock cliff when the two siblings have been swept away by the high tide, reports claim. The bodies of the two siblings were later more..

4 murders reported within 24 hours

Apr 21 (NR) Police say four murders have been reported within the past 24 hours including the hacking of a mother and daughter. A 59 year old woman and her 40 year old daughter were found murdered at their residence last night. A sharp weapon had been used to commit the murder. Police investigations have been launched following a complaint lodged by an individual claiming his sister and mother had been murdered. Meanwhile two murders were also reported in Teldeniya & Kurunegala. more..

Assault on tourists: IGP asks victims to return to Sri Lanka

Apr 21 (Island) IGP Pujith Jayasundera, requested the foreign tourists who were attacked in Mirissa and Midigama to return and help identify the assailants. He said: "We can't force them to come back but if they can come and give evidence at an identification parade, it will be much easy for the police to identify the culprits." According to the police, the first identification parade would be held on April 26 in respect of the alleged assault more..

The Senior Laboratory Assistant of Horana rubber factory arrested

Apr 21 (AD) Senior Laboratory Assistant of the rubber factory in Horana has been arrested over the death of five persons in the ammonia tank incident. The female suspect, a resident of Horana, Dikhenapura who was arrested today evening will be produced before Horana Magistrate Court. Meanwhile, the manager of the rubber factory in Horana, who was arrested over the death of five persons in the ammonia tank incident, was remanded until April 25 by the Horana MC. more..

More trees in Sri Lanka will help the beleaguered macaques

Apr 21 (Island) Since the middle of last century, SL has lost more than half of its forest cover to family farms, firewood collection, and tea plantations, reports bioGraphic – which has been bad news for the macaques, as well as all the other arboreal creatures that call the trees their home. With such devastation to their canopy habitat, the fruit-eating primates have taken to hunting on the forest floor, raiding crops, digging in garbage piles, and even sifting through fire pits looking for food. more..

Construction projects approved only if headed by qualified persons

Apr 21 (ST) Under a new regulation introduced by Construction Industry Development Authority (CIDA), all local authorities have been directed not to grant approvals for new construction projects, unless qualified persons are employed to implement the project. New law comes in view of the increasing number of new constructions collapsing even before completion. Act will provide for many provisions more..

By 2020, a massive 24-hour market complex

Apr 21 (ST) The Manning Market relocation programme is now underway with the awarding of the contract for the Rs. 5 billion-plus project. Land-filling and sitework had commenced earlier. The contract was awarded for the construction of the buildings, set to be completed by 2020. The new market complex, at Peliyagoda, will be convenient for both traders and consumers, Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development Additional Secretary Anjalie Devaraja said. more..

CBSL buys $146.46M from Treasury

Apr 21 (CT) Central Bank bought US$ 146.46 million (Rs 22,903 million) from the Treasury yesterday, which helped it to retire Rs 18,442 million of its face value money printing (FVMP) holdings, thereby helping to defray inflationary pressure by keeping demand on check. This $ 146.46 million is part of the $ 2.5 billion the Govt raised last week, by issuing sovereign bonds to the international market. Conversions are based on the middle rate of the closing value of the benchmark spot as more..

Wattala drug raid documents to the CID

Apr 21 (NR) The Police is due to hand over the passports and other documents that were found at a residence in Hekitta, Wattala where the Police Special Task Force seized narcotics amounting to 10.5 million rupees earlier today, to the CID. Police Media Unit said two passports that were seized belonged to the tenant's brother in law. The two suspects who rented the house have fled the area. more..

UNP changes must be discussed: Navin

Apr 21 (NR) Minister Navin Dissanayake says the opinion that the leadership of the UNP should undergo changes should be discussed cordially within the party. Speaking to media in Kandy the Minister said several members are being considered for leadership posts especially among grass root level supporters. Minister said even in the past there have been clashes between the leadership adding no good comes out of such conflicts. He said it is the responsibility of the party leader more..

'Public inconvenienced due to political instability'

Apr 21 (NR) JO says the public is inconvenienced on a daily basis due to the ineffectiveness of the present govt. UPFA MP Keheliya Rambukwella said the solution to all concerns could be reached through by calling a general election. MP stressed the govt is incomplete since 16 Ministers, Dy Minister and State Ministers recently left the govt. He noted several Ministries lost their relevant subject Ministers as a result adding it has led the country to political instability. more..