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No Confidence against PM postponed

Mar 6 (NR) The Joint Opposition has decided to refrain from handing over the No Confidence Motion filed against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to the Speaker of House today. When inquired, MP Ranjith De Zoysa said additional time is required in order to obtain the signatures of other party representatives for the No Confidence Motion. MP Ranjith De Zoysa said the No Confidence Motion will be presented to the Speaker after signatures of other party representatives are obtained. more..

TISL tells UDA not to flout regulations

Mar 6 (Island) Transparency International has urged the UDA to ensure that building regulations are followed rigorously. It has stressed the importance of relevant authorities not subverting the judicial process. TISL made this statement commenting on reports that Minister Champika Ranawaka has issued a gazette notification authorising a mixed development project at Layards Road, Colombo 5. It is reported that the project will also include an area which is legally disputed between more..

Outside group has created violence: PM

Mar 6 (DM) The violence in Kandy was unleashed by a group people who had come from outside and not by the people in the area, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament today. "Buddhist and the Islamic clergy in Digana and Theldeniya were engaged in a dialogue to resolve the issue peacefully but a group of extremists who had come from outside were the culprits who were engaged in violence," he said speaking during more..

Constitution making process: Pera Alumni Association divided on resolution

Mar 6 (Island) An attempt by retired Senior DIG H.M.G.B. Kotakadeniya to move a resolution, at the AGM of the Uni of Peradeniya Alumni Association held at the SLIDA, against the ongoing constitutional making process has been thwarted. The resolution has been endorsed by former Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. A.M.U. Seneviratne. President K. M.D. Gunaratne and Secretary R.M.B. Ratnayake of the association have sought the membership’s consent to call for a special general meeting within more..

Inter-communal violence needs to be taken seriously: BHC

Mar 6 (DM) British High Commissioner (BHC) in Sri Lanka James Dauris today said recent inter-communal violence needs to be a serious concern for everyone in Sri Lanka. “I am sure that people in every community will be looking to religious, community and political leaders to stand up against the spreading of mistrust and hate,” he tweeted. Meanwhile, issuing a statement, the US Embassy said rule of law, human rights and equality are essential for peaceful coexistence. more..

Unrests due to inefficiency of Law and Order Minister : GL

Mar 6 (DM) Referring to the recent incidents in Digana, Ampara and Thambuttegama, SLPP Head Prof. G.L. Peiris said such incidents took place as there was no effective Minister for Law and Order portfolio. He said it was sad to say that Prez Sirisena had been unable to appoint a Law and Order Minister, who would bear and accomplish responsibilities for the well-being of society. “President’s ineffectiveness of being more..

Shenanigans cause of delay in establishing newly elected local bodies

Mar 6 (Island) Delay in establishing local councils has nothing to do with ensuring the 25% female quota as it is possible to ensure 25% female quota in 325 councils, out of the 340 local councils, says polls monitor Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE). CaFFE Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said: "That means there are no issues with implementing 25% quota for women in 96% of the councils. Most of the councils where the quota has become a problem are in North & East. more..

IGP dispatches CID team to Digana

Mar 6 (AD) IGP Pujith Jayasundara dispatched a team of officers from the CID to the Digana area in the Teldeniya police division to carry out investigations this morning. President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday ordered the police to conduct an immediate impartial probe after violent mobs clashed in Kandy. The govt said in a statement that police were put on alert to prevent the violence from spreading and asked the people to act with responsibility and remain calm. more..

Sri Lankan passport ranked 94

Mar 6 (Island) The Sri Lankan passport is ranked 94 th in the 2018 Henley and Partners Passport Index. Sri Lankans can visit 42 destinations without visas including Singapore, Indonesia and Bahamas. The 2018 Henley and Partners Passport Index places the Japanese and Sinaporean passports in the number one position. Germany is ranked second while Denish, Finnish, French, Italian, Swedish, more..

Malaysia-Sri Lanka flights operating as usual

Mar 6 (TS) Flights to Sri Lanka are operating as usual despite the country declaring a nationwide state of emergency for 10 days to stop the spread of communal violence. In a statement on Tuesday (6), AirAsia said it was aware of the current state of emergency and is monitoring the situation. "At present, AirAsia flights to Sri Lanka are operating as per scheduled. "AirAsia will continue to observe the situation and keep guests informed on the latest updates," it said. more..

It's safe to travel to Sri Lanka says envoy

Mar 6 (GN) People travelling to Sri Lanka do not need to worry about the state of emergency declared in the island nation, according to a top Sri Lankan diplomat. “The emergency declaration is just a preventive step taken by the govt. It is a measure to prevent the violence from spreading to other parts of the country, which is otherwise limited to some villages in Kandy district,” Sulaiman J Mohideen, the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the UAE, told Gulf News on Tuesday. more..

Sri Lanka: State of emergency must respect human rights

Mar 6 (AI) SL authorities must respect human rights under the state of emergency that was declared today, Amnesty International has said. Yesterday, a mob set homes, shops and a mosque belonging to the local Muslim community alight in the Digana area of Kandy, in central Sri Lanka. This was the second serious incident of violence against a Muslim community in the country over the past week, more..

Kotakadeniya’s resolution on constitutional reforms

Mar 6 (Island) 1. A Resolution was adopted by the SL Parliament in March 2016 empowering the establishment of a Constitutional Assembly tasked with making recommendations to usher in a new Constitution for our Motherland. 2. This is a direct result of the adoption of the UNHRC Resolution, sponsored by the United States and the Sri Lankan Govts in Geneva on 1st Oct 2015, in which under clause 16, it calls on the SL Govt to devolve power on the basis of the 13th Amendment more..

BBS says it is being unfairly accused of links to violence

Mar 6 (SL) BBS says it is being unfairly accused of links to violence targeting innocent Muslims. General Secretary of the BBS, the Venerable Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera said that every-time an incident takes place the BBS is blamed. The monk had visited Kandy and there was a feeling that he instigated the violence but Gnanasara Thera insisted that he attempted to calm the people in the area. He said that the BBS has changed its ways and is pushing for unity among all communities. more..

Prince Mired witnessed the mine clearance activities in the North

Mar 6 (GDI) Prince Mired Raad Zeid Al-Hussein, Special Envoy on the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention to SL, who is on a four-day official visit to SL made a field visit to a mine-clearance site in Muhamalai, Jaffna today. Prince himself witnessed the mine clearance activities in the area carried out by the SL Army Humanitarian De-Mining Unit and other de-mining agencies including DASH, SHARP, MAG, & Halo Trust. more..

One Year in Keppapilavu

Mar 7 (GV) The gates of the 59 Division Mullaitivu Security Forces Headquarters dominate the view 10 kilometres inwards from the Nandikadal lagoon and the Eastern coast. The protest tent a few metres away appears particularly small next to this towering presence. On March 1, the residents of Keppapilavu had been protesting for one year inside this tent. They are asking for the right to return to their ancestral lands, which lie within the bounds of the military complex. more..

Way forward amidst confusion!

Mar 7 (CT) Threatening Radical restructuring programs following the last LG elections debacle experienced by the govt appears to be consigned to cold storage. The hullabaloo created with a big noise by the general Secretary of UNP, Kabir Hashim has ended up with the window dressing of a cabinet reshuffle falling far short of people’s expectations. His earlier rhetoric may have been designed to diffuse the antipathy that was building against certain ministers.! more..

UNP MPs pooh pooh claim of No Faith Motion against PM

Mar 7 (SO) UNP is focused on sorting out its differences and bringing about internal party reform as soon as possible, UNP frontliners and backbenchers said, dismissing claims that a No Confidence Motion against PM and Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was even under discussion. UNP seniors said, earlier the Govt parliamentary group had met PM and extended their fullest support to him to continue in his post. more..

From the safest to an insecure Sri Lanka for Muslims

Mar 7 (CT) From the 8th century, when history recorded its first evidence of Muslim arrival in SL, to the 16th century, when the Portuguese set foot in the island, the Land of Rubies (Jazirat al-Yakut), as SL was described by Al-Balazuri, a 9th century Arab historian, was the safest abode for Muslims in the Asian region. Arab and Persian traders, travellers and mystics frequented the island, not only in search of spices and precious stones but also in pursuit of that legendary footprint of first man, Adam. more..

Govt continues to ignore UK wartime dispatches

Mar 7 (Island) Nearly a decade after the successful conclusion of the war, SL is still struggling to achieve national reconciliation. The previous Rajapaksa administration brought the violent conflict to an end on the morning of May 19, 2009 on the banks of Nanthikadal lagoon, on the Vanni east front, by militarily crushing the world’s most ruthless terrorist organization. In spite of rhetoric, Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt has pathetically failed to accomplish a genuine rapprochement. more..

'People lost trust as leaders berated each other'

Mar 7 (CT) Leader of the House, Minister Lakshman Kiriella says that people lost their trust in the Govt when powerful figures of the Govt criticized each other during the election campaign and says As a result both parties got destroyed. Putting to rest the controversy, whether this Govt would be toppled and a new Govt established, it was decided that this Govt would continue itself. more..

Re shovelling the Yahapalana graveyard

Mar 7 (CT) Assistant Leader of the UNP and backbencher in Parliament Ravi Karunanayake has recently said that the Cabinet reshuffle was a joke and an eyewash. Ravil Karunanayake should know. From his Penthouse on top of Monarch Residencies he has a bird's eye, nay, a hawk's eye view of people's aspirations. "The difference between the almost-right word and the right word is really a large matter." It is as large as the contrast between the glow of a firefly and the flash of lightning. more..

Revival of the unity govt

Mar 7 (CT) Media reported that Speaker had stated in Parliament that legal experts had advised that there was no issue with the continuation of Unity Govt, as the related parties, have expressed their willingness to continue, He said he was advised that it was required to submit a written agreement to ensure the legitimacy of the said govt. Some opposition MPs were of the view that the relevant parties had answered only the political matter and not the constitutional aspect of the issue. more..

Susil Premajayantha

Dinesh and Dilan dominate Eliyakanda Hill Climb

Mar 7 (CT) Last weekend of February seemed to be the perfect setting for racing as spectators witnessed two days of excitement and adrenaline. Event saw Mobil Brand Ambassadors Dinesh Jayawardana and Dilan Seneviratne start SL's racing season in dominant fashion, recording wins in their respective race categories states a media release. The crowd in attendance was also treated to something special as Dilan Seneviratne, driving a Formula, set a new course record at more..

Editorial: From Aluthgama to Teldeniya

Mar 7 (Island) The govt has decided to declare a state of emergency, if necessary, following the ethno-religious violence in Teldeniya. A police curfew was clamped on the trouble-torn areas immediately. Necessary as such extraordinary measures may be in view of highly contagious racial violence, which has to be prevented from spreading at any cost, the govt ought to admit that what led to the unfortunate incidents was a serious lapse on the part of the police. more..

A boom from the past

Mar 7 (ST) If only Fort Ostenberg in Trincomalee could talk, it would brag of its lost glory: the wars waged to claim the prized naval base it watched over and the cannon which were fired over it. The Portuguese, the Dutch and the British, suspicious of the entire world, would not compromise the coastal defence of their tiny colony which was too good to lose. Forts were erected, men were stationed and cannon installed. more..

Cascading regime change

Mar 7 (Island) Paul Krugman’s column in the New York Times last week galvanised a number of conversations I have recently had with journalists and others based in the US around the state of democracy, in their country, post-Trump. My Democrat American interlocutors are despondent, but also realise the many Americas that reside within the United States is not a phenomenon understood by most including those in power, and resulted in those who felt under-served & marginalised more..

JVP at a crossroads

Mar 7 (Island) From the commonsense point of view of the average voter in SL, there are four broad political groupings, or blocs, that contest elections with a view to taking part in democratic govt. These are: (1) the neoconservatives (or neoliberals) usually represented by the UNP that is committed to free market capitalism and allows interventionist Western influence, (2) nationalists principally organized under the SLFP (currently being reincarnated in the SLPP) who value political independence, more..

SLADA to ensure that only clean athletes are sent to world events

Mar 7 (ST) SL Anti Doping Agency (SLADA) says it will ensure that only athletes, who are above board, are sent to the forthcoming int'l sports events, starting with the Commonwealth Games. SLADA Secretary General Dr Seevali Jayawickrema said that they are bent on a mission to send athletes worth their accolades. He said, “We started our programme in November last year and it is still ongoing. As you know, in January we identified 2 athletes more..

Lankan squad to Special Olympics MENA 2018 seeks support

Mar 7 (DN) Serandib Special Olympics, an affiliated organization to International Special Olympic Committee through the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka conducted a workshop to SL contingent that will take part in the Special Olympics MENA 2018 which is to be worked off from March 14 to 23 in Abu Dhabi at the Rangiri Aqua Hotel in Dambulla recently. Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities more..

Return of the Peace Corps

Mar 7 (Island) President Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe may not be the only people afflicted by the current political impasse. Several secret and publicly announced initiatives suggests that those in the American fortress in Colombo are also distressed, and are working overtime attempting to preserve the status quo. It is weirdly natural that they would be keen to save the product of their manipulation of SL’s domestic politics that was started by the man who thought he ruled more..

Kusal's assault helps SL hunt down 175

Mar 7 (CI) Sri Lanka rode a 22-ball fifty from Kusal Perera, and a proficient finish from Thisara Perera, to victory in the Nidahas Trophy opener against India, though the chase of 175 was not without its tense moments. With four overs remaining in the chase, Sri Lanka needed 35 and had two relatively new batsmen at the crease. Although India's quicks were briefly ascendant, a six and a four down the ground from Thisara more..

Nidahas tri series: A test of bench strength

Mar 7 (DN) The Hero Nidahas T20 tri-series that commenced at the R Premadasa Stadium yesterday was a test of bench strength of the three participating countries – India, SL and Bangladesh. Missing from the line up are several top cricketers from each of the teams either due to injuries or with their Cricket Boards deciding to rest some of them from player burn out due to the heavy international scheduling of matches. Hosts SL are without their white ball captain Angelo Mathews more..

Powerplay woes cost India: Dhawan

Mar 7 (CI) How each team fared in the first six overs of their innings was instrumental to the eventual result in the Nidahas Trophy opener. That was the summation of Shikhar Dhawan and Kusal Perera, the two highest scorers, who hit 90 off 49 and 68 off 37 respectively. Where India were 40 for 2 at the end of the Powerplay, Sri Lanka powered ahead to 75 for 2. There lay Sri Lanka's advantage, on what Dhawan believed was otherwise a slow-paced surface. more..

Not a political conspiracy, shows UNP’s inaction: MR

Mar 7 (DM) Former President and MP Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday rejected the reports of Digana violence stemming from a political conspiracy and said the incident reflects the inaction of the UNP. “This is not a political conspiracy. It reflects the inaction of the UNP. They are not keen on resolving the matter and the govt has deviated from its responsibilities. There is no one to turn to,” Mr. Rajapaksa responded to journalists more..

New Sri Lankan factory to reuse and recycle electric vehicle batteries

Mar 7 (ST) While electric vehicle batteries when they are worn out are reused and recycled, in SL this facility is not available for the electric vehicle owners as these vehicles are not imported through official agents. And since they are imported individually the Japanese manufacturer – Nissan doesn’t provide any such support. There are about 5,000 electric vehicles in SL whose owners have formed an association called the Electric Vehicles Club, SL (EVC) and the club has been working to more..

Sri Lanka Insurance regains No. 1 rank in General Insurance

Mar 7 (FT) State-owned giant Sri Lanka Insurance confirmed it has once again consolidated its position as the market leader in the General Insurance sector in the country. Company has emerged as the No. 1 in General Insurance with a healthy market share of 21.3% as at Dec 31, 2017. The company commands a market share of 22.69% in the Non-Motor sector and a 20.5% share in Motor, leading both sectors of General Insurance market. SLI’s General Insurance business reported a market growth of 20.5% more..

Govt urged to set up remaining three accountability mechanisms

Mar 7 (Island) Welcoming the establishment of Office on Missing Persons (OMP), a civil society grouping, Platform for Freedom which has campaigned for an internationally acceptable permanent mechanism to probe disappearances, urged the govt to establish three remaining mechanisms in accordance with Geneva Resolution without further delay. Secretary to the Consultation Task Force on more..

Advantages of GIS vital to shape SL in future

Mar 7 (DN) Isri-India, President Agendra Kumar stressed the need to fully realize the true potential of the Geographic Information System (GIS), to solve problems and take critical decisions that will shape Sri Lanka in the years to come. GIS is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage and present spatial or geographic data. GIS technology enables the real time management of geographical data and empowers institutions to take accurate and timely decisions. more..