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Army to erect Vesak pandal in Malaysia

Apr 23 (SLA) Arrangements are underway to put up the first-ever Vesak pandol erected by Army in Malaysia on account of the forthcoming Vesak season, in an attempt to show the glamour and significance of Vesak spirits to Malaysians.Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army who paid a visit to the Brickfield Buddhist temple in Kuala Lumpur while he was in Malaysia to attend the 16th edition of Defence Services Asia Exhibition more..

Fuel pricing formula, an IMF condition: JO

Apr 23 (Island) JO spokesman Bandula Gunawardena, MP, alleged that the govt was about to introduce a fuel pricing formula at the behest of the IMF. He accused the govt of having given in to IMF dictates. The JO strongly opposed the pricing formula, as the people were struggling to make ends meet, Gunawardena said. Predicting that the pricing formula would be introduced on May Day, he said that JO May Day rally would more..

New cabinet: Prez wants numbers reduced

Apr 23 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena had told the UNP to reduce the number of Cabinet ministers to 43 from the proposed 49. Sources said that several ministers would retain the same ministerial portfolios, though the UNP and the SLFP were yet to agree on the number of ministers. In accordance with the 19th Amendment, two political groups could decide on the number of ministers in case they formed a coalition. Otherwise, 19-A restricts the number of ministers to 30. more..

Three persons to be in charge of Sirikotha

Apr 23 (DM) UNP Headquarters is to be handed over to three persons who will be holding three major positions in the party as per the reorganization of the party. The party headquarters will be divided into three sections in accordance with the responsibilities which will be given to General Secretary, National Organizer and the Propaganda Secretary which is going to be a newly created position. General Secretary will be in charge of administration of Sirikotha while more..

Beach Boy menace: Industry slams govt

Apr 23 (CT) The travel and hotel industry slammed the authorities for failing to stem the Beach Boy menace in the country’s tourist hot spots, adding that it was one attributing factor to the recent assault on foreigners at a location in Mirissa. “The Govt is locking the door after the horses have bolted and this should never have been the case”, Trevor Rajaratnam, President of the Hotel Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) said. more..

The end of an era in Cuba

Apr 23 (DM) On April 19, President Raul Castro stepped down from his position as President of Cuba. National Assembly swore in Diaz-Canel, the 57-year-old vice president as President of Cuba. It marked a generational shift. For the first time since Marxist revolutionaries seized power in the island nation, the country will be led by a person who did not participate in the 1959 revolution and whose name is not Castro. On Jan 1, 1959 Fidel Castro together with his brother Raul, Che Guevara more..

16 squad promoting SLFP-SLPP alliance?

Apr 23 (DM) The 16 squad is extremely busy, in fact three of them flew to London in the wake of latest developments, to convince the boss on the importance of patching up with former strong man, the most popular politician of the day; did they carry a message from the former boss? In today’s context there is just one thing that interests our politicians; that is their own survival. The mission of the three beleaguered MPs, Dilan Perera, Chandima Weerakkody and Lakshman Perera more..

The lesser known museums of Colombo

Apr 23 (roar) Colombo’s National Museum is definitely one of our capital city’s biggest—and oldest—landmarks, which should be visited at least once in a lifetime. This elegant structure, with its white walls and wide lawns, dates back to late 19th century Ceylon, and with its central location in Colombo 07, it is a place quite hard to miss. The museum was the brainchild of Sir William Henry Gregory—British Governor of Ceylon more..

20th Amendment in Parliament next month

Apr 23 (NR) JVP today said the 20th Constitutional Amendment to abolish the Executive Presidency will be presented in Parliament next month. MP Nalinda Jayatissa said the 20th Constitutional Amendment has been drafted and will be presented as a private member bill. MP said no political party can oppose the bill in principle. He noted all major parties have proposed to abolish the Executive Presidency during several elections more..

Post-NCM developments: Yuthukama questions rationale behind SLFP-UNP pact

Apr 23 (Island) Civil society group Yuthukama convenor Gevundu Cumaratunga questioned the rationale behind the UNP’s readiness to continue with the controversial yahapalana arrangement with Prez Maithripala Sirisena as the SLFP leader had personally requested PM Wickremesinghe to resign immediately after the humiliating defeat the coalition partners suffered at the Feb. 10 LG polls. more..

Committee appointed to look into Education Sector political victimisation

Apr 23 (DM) A three-member investigation committee had been appointed by the Ministry of Public Administration and Management to look into the possibilities of providing relief to about 1,000 education sector employees, who faced political victimisation during the recent past. Following a meeting held on Friday, the committee headed by the PM’s Coordinating Advisor for Public & Trade Unions Jinasena Dadallage and two officials more..

Immediately screen 49 peacekeepers deployed in Lebanon, UN tells Lanka

Apr 23 (ST) SL Govt must immediately prioritise the completion of the screening of 49 soldiers deployed to Lebanon in February, a spokesman for UN Peacekeeping has told Inter Press Service (IPS). The UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) has also notified Sri Lanka that, if concerns arise regarding the 49 personnel already deployed to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), it may request that more..

Sri Lanka foreign reserves fall to US$ 7.3 billion in March

Apr 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s official reserves have dropped to US$ 7,309.11 million in March from US$ 7,914.33 million in February. Foreign currency reserves were US$ 6,343.17 million and reserves in gold were US$ 894.73 million in March. Reserve position in the IMF was US$ 69.57 million. CB’s Treasury bill holdings were down from 13,262.03 million rupees by end February to 12,916.56 million rupees by end March. more..

Maha 2018 rice production rebounds 62%

Apr 23 (EN) SL's rough rice production in the main Maha cultivation season has been upped to 2.4 million metric tonnes, rebounding 62% from the drought stricken season last year, though output will be 14% below normal. The forecast by Dept of Agriculture is based on 643,161 hectares of paddy land sown up to Feb 2018, up from an earlier forecasts of 2.14 metric tonnes based on 601,000 hectares sown. more..

No Chinese militarization of H’tota Port: PM

Apr 23 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has rejected the reports of Chinese militarization of the Hambantota Port. When Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan called on the PM on Friday, Premier said, “There is no issue of Chinese militarization of the Hambantota Port at all. Sri Lankan Navy is the sole military force responsible for the security of the Port,” he said. At the meeting, it has been noted that more..

Capacity building to manage public debt and liability is need of the hour: Eran

Apr 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka as a developing nation needs to focus on building capacity for public debt and liability management as matter of priority, State Minister of Finance said. “We recognize the importance of putting in place policies to reduce debt vulnerabilities and also look forward to hearing the perspectives of the WB and the IMF on supportive multilateral responses,” State Minister of finance, Eran Wickramaratne said more..

Looters as Rulers: SL needs real ministers, a real cabinet and a PM to play monitor

Apr 23 (EN) Corruption in Sri Lanka's govts is partly due to the lack of an independent public service and permanent secretaries, but also due to the structure of administration where the PM of President holds key portfolios. Sri Lanka's current administration with PM Wickremesinghe under fire for corruption in the central bank which is part of his portfolio, and for the auctions of a dubious gatekeeping committee under him, more..

Exemplary Indian legal action

Apr 23 (CT) Indian Govt has approved the death penalty for child rapists, after the gang rape and murder of an eight year old girl child in Kashmir recently. Indian PM Narendra Modi soon after returning to the country from attending the Commonwealth summit in London a few days ago had convened a Cabinet Meeting and made the legal action effective to punish the child rapists in India with death sentence. Indian Govt’s action initiated by PM Narendra Modi is more..

Six persons killed on two days

Apr 23 (Island) The police headquarters yesterday said that on 21 and 22 April six killings had been reported from Teldeniya, Ragama, Mahiyanganaya, Kurunegala and Nittambuwa. The victims was Mujil Mohamed Akram (35) of Rajawella, Kumukkandura in Teldeniya. He had been attacked with a sharp object, police said. The suspect had gone into hiding. In Nugegoda, Ragama two persons were attacked with and one person died. The deceased was Tuan Usman Rahim (35) of Nugegoda. more..

අපේ ගීතයේ ගමන කොතැනද?

Yahapalana marriage to continue in reduced circumstances

Apr 23 (CT) The unity arrangement between the SLFP and UNP will be rebooted once President Maithripala Sirisena returns to the island upon the conclusion of the CHOGM. Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera, who is currently in the UK speaking to a group of journalists at a private gathering in last 20th evening disclosed that the current impasse with respect to the reshuffling of the cabinet is likely to be resolved when the President returns. more..

Designers of Sri Lanka’s Future: Episode I Nihal Ranasinghe

Apr 23 (FT) To sustain economic growth, Sri Lanka needs a critical pool of daring people who would see things differently and design a new future. The Austrian-American economist Joseph Schumpeter identified four ground requirements for a country to attain sustained economic growth: Invention, innovation, diffusion and imitation. Sri Lanka has such people, but they are hidden from the limelight. In a new series, we bring out the innovations they have made so that, as Schumpeter expected, more..

Let Sajith, Navin bat for party: Ranjan tells UNP hierarchy

Apr 23 (DM) UNPers such as Sajith Premadasa and Navin Dissanayake should be allowed to play a major role in running the party, Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said today. “Members like Sajith and Navin should be allowed to bat now that Mr. Wickremesinghe had got several chances to bat for the party,” he said using cricketing jargon at a media briefing last morning. "Mr. Wickremesinghe batted in 2002 and more..

SLFP will leave the Unity Govt. if President decides: SB

Apr 23 (DM) Former Minister S.B. Dissanayake said it would be easy to prevail upon the Central Committee of SLFP to leave the unity govt if President Sirisena decided for it. Mr. Dissanayake, along with 15 others, relinquished their ministerial responsibilities. He said that all the 16 members would join the Opposition in Parliament next time. He said this group was trying to prevail upon the entire Central Committee of the SLFP to take a common stand to leave the govt. more..

'No lavish spending during new Parliamentary session'

Apr 23 (NR) Office of the Speaker of Parliament rejected media reports that claimed that an exorbitant amount will be spent to inaugurate the Second Session of the Eighth Parliament. It is due to commence on the 8th May after President issued a proclamation to prorogue the Parliamentary session. The sitting will commence after the lunch break on the 8th of May and noted that the office will not spend an excessive sum to hold the opening sitting of the new Parliamentary session. more..

No debate or vote on Presidents policy statement: Experts

Apr 23 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena is expected to deliver the Policy Statement of the coalition govt at a ceremonial sitting when the second session of the Eighth Parliament commences on May 8. This statement however, will not be up for debate or a vote, contrary to unfounded claims. Based on Article 33 of the 1978 Constitution, President has the power to summon or prorogue Parliament at any time more..

Attack on Kataragama Police: PS Chairman remanded

Apr 23 (NR) Chairman of the Kataragama Pradeshiya Sabha Chanaka Amil Rangana and 2 others have been remanded over damaging public property. Trio were remanded on charges of attacking the Kataragama Police Station and damaging property. The order was issued after the group surrendered to the Tissamaharama Magistrate's Court through an Attorney today. Accordingly, court ordered to remand the suspects till the 2nd of May. more..

Suspect arrested with heroin worth Rs 1 million

Apr 23 (AD) A 31 year old was arrested for possessing of heroin worth around Rs 1 million near Pothanagama Junction in Anuradhapura. Police said that 10g and 750mg of heroin was found in the possession of the suspect. Police media spokesperson said the arrest was made today (23), during a raid based on a tip-off received by the Police. Meanwhile another 31 year old was also arrested by Modara Police for the possession of 2g 350mgs of heroin, at Modara. more..

Sri Lanka inflation slows to 2.8% in March, lowest since April 2016

Apr 23 (LBO) SL’s headline inflation measured by National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) has decreased to 2.8% in March, lowest since April 2016, from 3.2% in Feb 2018. The country reported 2.2% inflation on year-on-year basis in March 2016 and 4.3% inflation in April 2016. The monthly decline in Food prices in March this year supported by the favourable supply conditions attributed to this sharp decline in year-on-year inflation. more..

Bandula: Once bitten, twice shy

Apr 23 (Island) Joint Opposition (JO) Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena, MP, declined to comment ton his recent declaration that the JO would back the 20th Amendment to do away with the executive presidency if provision was made to dissolve parliament upon its passage. The JO has drawn heavy flak over his statement. Gunawardena told the media that he would only discuss economic matters at Sunday’s media briefing, whose focus was on the IMF-govt agreement on fuel pricing formula. more..

Potta Naufer bags awards for Avurudu games

Apr 23 (DM) Underworld drug kingpin Potta Naufer serving a term for life for the assassination of High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya had won several awards for his skills in games at an Avurudu festival held at the Badulla Prison yesterday. In the New Year celebrations held at the prison premises, Potta Naufer alias Mohamed Niyas Mohamed Naufer won prizes at Carrom and Badminton Championship. more..

President attended the Cultural Ceremony at Harrow Leisure Centre, London

Apr 23 (PSL) President Maitripala Sirisena attended the Cultural Pageant at the Harrow Leisure Centre in the afternoon of 21 April 2018, organised by the Sri Lanka Education, Cultural and Welfare Foundation and the Kingsbury Buddhist Temple, London presided over by its patron, Aggamahapanditha Ven. Galayaye Piyadassi Thero. A large gathering of Sri Lankans around 4000 from all over UK were present more..

Former immigration controller makes admission over Shashi’s passport

Apr 23 (AD) The case filed by the CID against MP Wimal Weerawansa’s wife Shashi Weerawansa on charges of submitting forged documents to obtain a diplomatic passport was taken up for hearing at the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court today. Former Immigration and Emigration Controller Chulananda Perera, testifying before the court, said that although the normal passport of the defendant states that the year of her birth is 1967, her diplomatic passport shows her birth year as 1971. more..

Sri Lanka the only South Asian country to provide 24-hr power: Ranjith

Apr 23 (AD) Sri Lanka is the only country in South Asia that provides uninterrupted power throughout 24 hours a day, says Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya. Attending an event in Kegalle, minister further states that this service is provided in midst of many challenges such as only 25,000 employees, more than 60 Trade Unions and unending climate disturbances. He states that SL has not received the Northeastern monsoon that is needed to generate hydroelectricity, in 3 yrs. more..

Video: GMOA to take TU action against KDU Bill

Apr 23 (DM) GMOA today said it would join other anti-SAITM groups to launch trade union action if the govt attempts to pass proposed Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) Bill. It said though the GMOA asked the Govt to enroll the SAITM students at the KDU, the govt’s mechanism to do so had further aggravated the issue. GMOA Secretary Haritha Aluthge said that the proposed KDU Bill violates the Medical Ordinance and University Act. more..

Rajitha stresses need for UNP-SLFP alliance to contest future polls

Apr 23 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne faulted a group of lawyers in the UPFA/SLFP parliamentary group for the debilitating defeat suffered by the UNP and the SLFP at the Feb. 10 LG polls. He alleged that those SLFPers had thwarted his proposal for the UNP and the SLFP to contest LG polls as an alliance. The UNPer said so at a public gathering at the Panadura DS. Dr. Senaratne said that PM had accepted his proposal, though those close to Prez Sirisena had blocked the move. more..

Video: Govt owes Rs 315 billion to CPC: Trade union

Apr 23 (AD) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has incurred heavy losses and a pricing formula for fuel should be introduced in order to prevent further loss. Secretary of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (Petroleum Branch), Ananda Palitha said. According to him, at the present the CPC has to pay a sum of USD 2.3 billion to the People’s Bank and Bank of Ceylon. He said that the govt isn’t paying the Rs 315 billion owed to CEYPETCO for the Kerosine oil subsidy. more..

SL mulls import permits after Mercantilist gold tax kills export competitiveness

Apr 23 (EN) SL's jewellery industry is calling for tax-free import quotas for gold, after authorities slapped a 15% Mercantilist tax hitting the exporters, as the rupee fell to a new historic low, hitting exports and sales to tourists. M L Gammanpila, Director General of the state National Gem and Jewellery Authority that is in talks with the Finance Ministry to start an import quota system. He said the agency was assessing gold requirement for exports. more..

Social Registry for Govt social welfare programmes

Apr 23 (GDI) As per an initiative taken by Ministry of National Policies & Economic Affairs in 2015, Dept of Project management & Monitoring (DPMM) took has taken steps to develop a social registry, which is a Management Information System (MIS) on social welfare programmes implemented under the Govt of SL. This MIS has been developed by Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) with the coordination and support from DPMM and Policy Development Office of the PM’s Office. more..

Removing executive presidency not effective when 13A remains: Wimal

Apr 23 (DM) The abolishment of the executive presidency is not a good move when the 13th Amendment remains as it is, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa said. He said 13th Amendment to the Constitution was brought to dilute the executive powers of the president by establishing provincial councils. “The proposal of the JVP is contracted to challenge the unity of the country. Abolishment of the executive presidency will culminate in losing the powers of the prez on provincial councils. more..