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Douglas accused of illegally occupying property

Apr 29 (SL) The people of Jaffna fondly remember going to Sridhar Cinema from the 1970s to the early 1990s. It is located close to the railway crossing on Stanley Road. The majestic building was built by Chelliah Ratnasabapathy and his wife Mrs. Maheswari Ratnasabapathy around 1974. It became a landmark in Jaffna. Ratnasabapathy died intestate in 1974 and by presumption the new owners were his widow and children, more..

PC polls in peril

Apr 29 (SO) Provincial Council (PC) elections could be postponed indefinitely unless the Speaker appoints a review committee on the de-limitation report as mandated by the new PC election law within the coming weeks, National Election Commission sources said. PC Election Amendment Act No.17 of 2017 dictates that the delimitation report must be tabled in Parliament with a 2/3ds majority within two weeks of more..

Purawesi Balaya to back 20A

Apr 29 (SO) Civil Society movement, Purawesi Balaya along with 48 other civil society groups will fully back the 20th amendment to the Constitution to be brought forward by the JVP in May. The proposed 20th Amendment will seek to abolish of the Executive Presidency and will be presented as a private member’s Bill to Parliament, the JVP announced last week. JVP also claimed it will seek the support of all political parties more..

Ammonia tragedy: Factory ignored two warnings

Apr 29 (ST) The Horana factory where five deaths occurred last week had been under a warning to improve safety condition for workers after two previous visits by inspectors before the incident, a senior Labour Department official said. Labour Department Commissioner General R.P.A. Wimalaweera said his officers and inspecting engineers reported that the factory had not provided its employees with adequate safety gear. more..

Sri Lanka can use UN Convention against corruption to seek Udayanga’s extradition

Apr 29 (SO) The Attorney General’s Department was last week busy compiling paperwork, in collaboration with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, to bring down detained former SL’s Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga. A senior official at AG’s Department said, “We are processing further material to be sent to the UAE authorities on their request,” denying the assertion that the UAE had refused to hand in Weeratunga more..

Over 10,000 nabbed in islandwide Police swoop

Apr 29 (CT) Over 10,000 persons were nabbed in an islandwide Police crackdown on Friday night. 2,630 suspects were rounded up for various offences from drug running to the distilling of illicit liquor, theft and various other offences. A large number of persons who were absconding Court were also taken into custody. In addition to that a total of 8,276 errant motorists were also nabbed for various traffic violations from speeding to more..

SLNS and GMOA battle heats up over nutritionist jobs at state hospitals

Apr 29 (ST) Sri Lanka Nutrition Society (SLNS) has alleged that the GMOA is blocking moves to employ Wayamba University graduates of Agriculture, Livestock and Nutrition from taking up nutritionist jobs in state hospitals. SLNS President Anoma Chandrasekera who is also the head of the Dept of Applied Nutrition, Wayamba University, said the GMOA had claimed that the graduates were not trained to look into human nutrition. more..

Legal action if PC polls postponed

Apr 29 (CT) A polls watchdog has threatened to take legal action against the Govt if it attempts to under various pretext, postpone the Provincial Council elections scheduled to be held this year. PAFFREL said, they take the Govt to Court if the PC elections are postponed. PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said that as an elections observation organization they will not allow the Govt to postpone the PC elections. more..

Price of lunch packet to increase by Rs.10

Apr 29 (NR) All Island Canteen Owners Association says the price of a packet of rice will be increased by Rs.10 with the hike in the price of essential food items. Chairman of the Association Asela Sampath said the price increase in a cylinder of gas also led to the decision. Sampath noted in canteens at govt institutions, the price of food is Rs.30, 40 and 50 which means the food that the university student gets is Rs 50, more..

The SJV Chelvanayakam’s legacy to Sri Lanka: Unity recognizing diversity

Apr 30 (CT) April 26, 1977 was the day that Samuel James Veluppillai Chelvanayakam, Esquire, QC, the founder-leader of the Federal Party (a.k.a. the Ilangai Thamil Arasuk Katchi or ITAK) who is affectionately known as SJV, passed from this realm to the next. This 26th morning, promptly at 9:30 the 45th SJV Chelvanayagam event started as scheduled. The venue was the location of his memorial stupa across the Jaffna Public Library and next to Subramaniam Park. more..

Conflict between power supplier and regulator II: President’s ruling

Apr 30 (Island) The conflict that has arisen between the CEB and the Public Utilities Commission Sri Lanka (PUCSL) was described in detail in my article in The Island of 21.04.2018. As the the conflict between the two organisations remains unresolved even with the intervention of the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy (MP&RE), President Maithripala Sirisena has taken up the task of resolving it. One state TV channel in its evening news programme telecast on 25.04.18, more..

'A call for democratization of the UNP'

Apr 30 (SO) State Minister Ajith P. Perera says, the key issue for the UNP is the democratization of the party since the Party Leader enjoys almost all executive powers within the party. He said, the UNP rank and file, and even the Ruwan Wijewardene Committee report have recommended that the party should have a democratic constitution. Therefore, we have to change the relevant sections of the constitution, especially, giving the right more..

A Despot Disrobed

Apr 30 (CT) In a rebuttal of a newspaper report on the investigation in to the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge the former Defense Secretary and 2020 Presidential hopeful, Gotabaya Rajapaksa is at pains to explain that then commander of the army- Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka was in charge of army intelligence and he was above the brawl and broil. That he was and is Lillywhite in his dealings in the shadowy world of intelligence. “The Directorate of Military Intelligence of the Army is more..

Editorial: Flogging a lame horse

Apr 30 (Island) It has been reported that the govt is planning to legislate for the CIABOC to be vested with powers to deal with the private sector as well. This is something long overdue. We have, over the past several years, pointed out, in this space, the need for new laws to tackle bribery and corruption, involving non-state actors, who, in most cases, operate hand in glove with the corrupt in the state sector. It takes two to tango, but action happens to be taken against only a handful of corrupt more..

Battling kidney diseases

Apr 30 (CT) The country’s major renal care institute, the National Institute for Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation (NINDT) had more than 2,800 patients with kidney disease last year and also performed 52 kidney transplants during this period. Director of the Institute, Dr. Ratnasiri Hewage says that NINDT performed 19 kidney transplant surgeries to date this year. Patients receiving treatment at NINDT comprise both more..

The Mirissa attacks and a minister’s (peculiar) argument

Apr 30 (ST) It is somewhat amusing (to put the matter mildly) that there is confusion as to whether Rs 200 million or Rs 1 billion has been allocated for repairs of Sri Lanka’s august parliament complex, deemed as urgent for its maintenance. Regardless of the amusing aspects thereof, this is a queer state of affairs. A Minister has castigated the allocation of Rs 1 billion for the same as amounting to a national crime, pointing out that the colossal sum will suffice to build 2,000 houses for the poor. more..

The four omens that inspired Siddhartha’s search for truth

Apr 30 (ST) Nine months before Siddhartha’s birth, his mother Queen Mahamaya Devi, who had long been childless, has a strange dream. She dreams being carried forth by the four world deities to the tableland of the Himalayas where the wives of the four guardians welcome her and take her to the lake Mansarovar. They bathe her in its cool waters and then dress her in robes of exquisite beauty. They deck her with gold ornaments and garland her with heaven scented flowers. more..

Vesak 2018: Back to basics, be honest, sîla shines…

Apr 30 (CT) After eight hours’ drive from Colombo, through picturesque tea-estates and enchanting waterfalls and hamlets, we took a long hike up the steep Knuckles Mountain Range. There were neither sights, nor sounds of humans nearby, only thick forest inhabited by the curious deer, grunting wild boars, shy leopards, and a wide plethora of singing birds, reptiles, and other critters. Having traversed this serene environment more..

Cabinet reshuffles: No one is holding their breath, not this time!

Apr 30 (SO) The nation does not await with bated breath the swearing in of the new Cabinet. Already, it has been several weeks in the making, necessitated by the motion of no-confidence against PM and delayed because Prez Sirisena was overseas, attending the CHOGM. There is a sense of déjà vu about Cabinet reshuffles. Remember the recent local government elections? There, the verdict of the people was clear: The SLPP was the obvious winner, UNP was a distant second more..

Experiences of the Jaffna displaced

Apr 30 (GV) Many middle-aged displaced Tamils who have resettled in Colombo remain reluctant to return to their places of origin in Jaffna due to personal and professional reasons. This article explains how they have reconstructed their lives in Colombo, in the wake of displacement. The ethnic violence of 1983 in Sri Lanka forced Tamils to flee their homes as well as abandon many material belongings and seek refuge in different parts of their country and also abroad. more..

Sri Lanka’s Secret Sigint Stations

Apr 30 (Roar) If you drive north from Nilaveli along the B424 towards Pulmoddai, you come to a turn-off to the left: the B366, the Perkar Road. Drive about 2 km along this road and you encounter the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Radio High Power Transmitting Station. In 2011, the SLBC took over the Perkar station from the German broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, which operated a large relay station here from 1984 onwards. more..

China Harbour Engineering to construct 7-star Achilleion project

Apr 30 (Island) Sri Lanka’s real estate major, Blue Mountain, has signed an agreement with China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC) to build Achilleion, its Seven Star Luxury Project, which will be a landmark development in the country and the South Asian region. Currently, CHEC operates in over 80 countries around the world and in Sri Lanka is responsible for building the eagerly awaited Port City project. By coming onboard the iconic Achilleion project, CHEC is affirming the credentials of more..

US Secretary of State reiterates significance of Vesak

Apr 30 (USE) On behalf of the people of the US, I extend our warmest wishes to all those celebrating Vesak Day around the world. As Buddhist communities everywhere celebrate the life and teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, we pause to reflect on and honor the universal values of peace, tolerance and compassion the founder of Buddhism embodied. US is proud to host a vibrant and diverse Buddhist community, as it joins Buddhists around the world in celebrating Vesak Day. more..

Programme to be launched to inspect tea

Apr 30 (NR) Sri Lanka Tea Board says a special programme to inspect tea in SL prior to exporting in order to determine if harmful chemicals are being carried will be launched in the near future. Chairman of the Board Lucille Wijewardena said SL did not follow such programme previously. He stated inspections cannot be done in SL adding it has to be done in another country like India or Japan by sending a few samples. more..

Detained Udayanga appeals to Interpol

Apr 30 (Island) SL’s former Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga, now detained in Dubai, has appealed to Interpol to remove the Red Notice issued on him. Weeratunga, wanted over his role in the alleged financial fraud in the acquisition of seven MiG 27s by the previous govt, has informed Interpol the govt action against him was unlawful. Weeratunga has written directly to Interpol, amidst ongoing negotiations between SL and Dubai to extradite to Colombo to face charges more..

Sanjeewa Wins inaugural PFGP

Apr 30 (ST) The Pin Fernando Grand Prix April Edition sponsored by UTE Engineering played at the Army Diyatalawa Golf Course, created history at the Army Diyatalawa Par 70 Golf Course. The relatively short but challenging Course provided a great experience to the National players. New Course record of 66 (4under Par) was set by J M D Indika, in the Final Round. B A Sanjeewa led the 4 Round Event from Day One, with an opening 1 Under par round followed by 2 under par to hold more..

SL's currency suffers as debt trap deepens

Apr 30 (Nikkei) Sri Lanka, which has loaded up on Chinese-funded infrastructure, is sinking deeper into a debt trap as its currency weakens and economic growth decelerates to its slowest pace in 16 years. SL rupee has depreciated 3% against the greenback this year to 157.4628 per dollar, according to forex data that the country's central bank tracked on Friday. It is at its weakest point ever and has softened nearly 20% more..

Suspect arrested at National Vesak Festival remanded

Apr 30 (NR) The suspect arrested over suspicious behaviour at the national Vesak celebrations yesterday at the Devagiriya Rajamaha Vihara held under the patronage of Prez Maithripala Sirisena has been remanded till the 3rd of May. Police said it was revealed that the individual was suffering from a mental illness. The suspect had been arrested by the President's Security Division and was handed over to Bingiriya Police yesterday. 57-yr old suspect is a resident of Maligawatte, Colombo. more..

INSEE investing Rs. 2.2m to upskill 4,400 local construction workers

Apr 30 (Island) In a major boost to Sri Lankan entrepreneur development efforts, the country’ sole and fully integrated cement giant stepped in to support one of the biggest industry-entrepreneurial development projects introduced in the country. "INSEE Cement is part of Thailand’s SIAM Group with operations in Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. Together with INSEE Cement team we want to strengthen the construction practices in Sri Lanka" more..

Veteran film director Dr. Lester James Peiris passes away

Apr 30 (AD) Internationally acclaimed SL film producer and film director Dr. Lester James Peiris has passed away at the age of 99 while receiving treatments at a private Hospital in Colombo. Dr. Peiris celebrated his 99th birthday on April 05 under the patronage of Prez Sirisena at his residence in Thimbirigasyaya. He has earned several honors and awards both locally and int'ly including the Sri Lankabhimanya tile; more..

South Asian Junior Athletics Championship 2018-Colombo: SL finalize team of 84

Apr 30 (CT) A team of 84 athletes have been selected for the forthcoming South Asian Junior Athletic Championship (SAJAC) to be held at the Sugathadasa Stadium Colombo during 5 and 6 May. Team includes 44 boys and 40 girls from the junior national athletic championships held from 23 to 27 at the same venue. SL will field three athletes for each event during the two-day meet which will be held from 2.00p.m. to 5.30 p.m. on both days. This will be the first int'l athletic championship in SL more..

Second fish cannery soon: Amaraweera

Apr 30 (DM) Investors had expressed interest to start the second canned fish factory in Hambantota, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera said. The major part of the fish products imported to the country is canned fish representing 28% of the total import of fish products. During 2016, 26,845 metric tons of canned fish valued at Rs.7,196 million had been imported while it was Rs.7,130 million worth 30,638 metric tons in 2017, Minister said. more..

Five RPCs under the scanner

Apr 30 (ST) Govt is keeping a check on at least five regional plantation companies (RPCs) over their performance threatening to cancel their lease agreements if they did not meet expectations, and thereby making way for new investments to enter an already ailing sector. Minister Navin Dissanayake said that he had had discussions with plantation companies about the underperformance observed in some RPCs. more..

John Keells Foundation interaction with Morawewa farmers

Apr 30 (ST) John Keells Foundation (JKF) recently organized a Govi Hamuwa for the benefit of farmer organizations of the Morawewa DS Division in collaboration with Morawewa Irrigation Project Management Office (Morawewa Major Irrigation Projects) and World Vision Lanka. This initiative was organised under the village adoption project of Livelihood Development focus area with the aim of poverty alleviation at village level through sustainable and integrated development more..

Sri Lanka’s reputation at stake: Talk less and do more Bates CEO

Apr 30 (CT) A veteran hotelier eloquently attributed SL’s failure to attract the desired investments, tourists and exports due to Sri Lankans themselves slinging mud at one another at international fora. Jetwing Hotels Chairman, Hiran Cooray addressing a Forum organized by Bates Strategic Alliance said SL’s int'l reputation was ruined by the citizens of this country. According to him, family issues should remain within the family and should not be communicated to outsiders, more..

Buddha Rashmi Vesak Festival opens

Apr 30 (DN) Buddha Rashmi Vesak Festival to mark The Buddha’s 2562 Birth, Enlightenment and the Passing Away, organised by the PM’s Office under the direction of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Hunupitiya Gangaramaya Temple was declared open last evening. Vesak festival is held along Nawam Mawatha, surrounding areas of the Temple and the Temple Trees premises. more..

ICC hopeful of cricket inclusion at Olympics

Apr 30 (DT) Cricket may finally return to the Olympics in Los Angeles 2028 after the International Cricket Council (ICC) has expressed its strong desire to pitch for the sport’s inclusion in the quadrennial Summer Games on the final day of its quarterly meetings. ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said if all goes well cricket would be a part of the Los Angeles Olympics. Cricket has not been played at the Summer Games since it featured only once in Paris 1900. more..

SA reps more than happy on a pre-tour Sri Lanka recce

Apr 30 (PO) Two officials from South Africa are on a visit to Sri Lanka. According to sources in Cricket South Africa (CSA), representatives named as Ms. Michele Schmidt and Volvo Masubelele are on the pre-tour recce. South African team is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka to play two Test matches, five ODIs’ and one T-20 including two warm up matches between July 7 and Aug 14 this year. “The initial pre-tour recce was done sometime back and this is the 2nd visit by our logistics team”, more..

CPC, Treasury to arrive at final decision on fuel prices

Apr 30 (DN) Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga yesterday said it was highly likely that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and the Treasury will be able to arrive at a final decision on fuel prices within this week. He said that the General Treasury and the CPC had held a series of discussions for a prolonged period of time with regards to a fuel pricing formula. more..

Korea to help automate sub-national agency tax in Sri Lanka

Apr 30 (EN) Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) is to help establish an automated taxation system in Colombo which generates considerably high amounts of tax revenue. The support from Korea Eximbank, which provides Official Development Assistance (ODA) for int'l development and cooperation, will include an analysis of the current status of the tax system and property information in Colombo. The South Korean embassy said in a statement the project, more..