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No approval for FDIs hurting local industries

Mar 7 (CT) At a time when SL is focusing to develop its economy through increased Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and exports, Prez has issued instructions to the investment promotion agency to refrain from approving investments challenging local businesses. Govt hopes to attract more than US$ 2.5 billion worth of FDI during this year, to propel economic growth after the country managed to post only a 3.7% growth during last year, shattering predictions by local & int'l agencies. more..

More powers for Police, Tri-Forces

Mar 7 (DM) Following the imposition of the State of Emergency, the Police and Tri-forces had been empowered to arrest anyone who creates violence or communal disharmony with the arrested being either sentenced to 20 years imprisonment or sentenced to life imprisonment, Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said. Based on the intelligence reports, Govt in a extraordinary Gazette No 2061/18 declared more..

Hakeem wants PCoI on wanda pethi issue

Mar 7 (CT) Minister Rauff Hakeem, said that a Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) should be set up to investigate the recent communal clash which occurred in Ampara based on allegations that a Muslim shop owner mixed wanda pethi (sterilization pills) in meals served to a group of Sinhalese. Hakeem said, there are humorous allegations that Muslims use wanda pethi to sterilize Sinhalese permanently and therefore, the Sinhalese population is at a risk of dwindling. more..

Stocks in dramatic dip as political uncertainty deepens

Mar 7 (Island) SL shares fell yesterday and finished the CSE session near a two-week closing low as investors sold stocks amid continued political uncertainty, stock brokers said. Both CSE indices went down, ie, the All Share Price Index by 20.07 points and S and P SL20 7.8 points in the wake of a decision to declare a state of emergency in the country yesterday. Turnover touched Rs. 436.84 million, less than this year’s daily average of Rs. 967.9 million with one crossing from JKH, more..

Video: Obstructing reconciliation punishable by life in prison: Police

Mar 7 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena has promulgated a state of emergency for a limited period of one week by bringing into force section 2 of the Public Security Ordinance, Police Spokesman said. SP Ruwan Gunasekara said that under the prevailing situation in the country, steps are being taken to arrest people who are trying to create disharmony among communities by engaging in violence, looting, causing property more..

In response to Teldeniya, Digana unrest: Full-scale hartal in Ampara

Mar 7 (CT) In protest against the attack on mosques, business establishments and other properties of Muslims in Digana, Teldeniya and Katugastota in the Kandy District, and a mosque in Ampara, a full-scale hartal with the recitals of dua were observed yesterday in the Akkaraipattu, Addalaichenai, Maruthamunai Sainthamaruthu, Kalmunai and other predominantly Muslim areas of Ampara District, bringing the day-to-day life to a total standstill. Tyres were burnt and road blocks more..

Outside Premadasa cricket stadium: Protest against unrest in Kandy

Mar 7 (CT) Several protesters of the SL Thawheed Jama'ath (SLTJ) gathered outside the R. Premadasa Cricket Stadium where India and SL were playing the first match in a series, in protest of the ongoing violence in Ampara and Teldeniya areas, against a minority. Speaking at the protest, the Leader of SLTJ said that they would not continue the protest further as a state of emergency had been declared, and also because there was a possibility of the protesters being arrested. more..

Relative calm descends over Kandy

Mar 7 (CT) A fine veil of sedate composure descended gently upon Teldeniya and Digana in the Kandy District yesterday, after Security Forces roamed the streets to bring the region under control, in the wake of two full days of violent racial strife that claimed one life. Police curfew that was imposed on the Kandy Administrative District was lifted last morning, a body of a 28-year-old resident was discovered inside a burnt out house at more..

UN political chief to visit Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (Xinhua) UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman will visit Sri Lanka this week as planned while the country is in a state of emergency. Feltman will meet with a wide range of Sri Lankan leaders, including President, PM and other senior officials, political parties and civil society groups, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN chief. The visit, scheduled for March 9-11, was planned before the state of emergency was imposed, said Dujarric, adding that more..

Turmoil in Kandy: Muslim MPs protest

Mar 7 (CT) Demanding that the Govt take measures to protect the Muslim people, 11 Muslim MPs yesterday staged a demonstration by sitting in the Well of the House during the adjournment debate to discuss the prevailing communal unrest in the country. The group of MPs was led by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. Apart from Bathiudeen, MPs H.M. Hariz, Ameer Ali, Faizal Cassim, Mujibur Rahuman, M. Thowfeeq, Imran Mahroof, Ishak Rahman, M.N. Mansoor, A.L. Nazeer and more..

Govt declares state of emergency

Mar 7 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena declared a state of emergency yesterday for the first time since 2011 as the Govt struggled to rein in violence in the Kandy District, after one person was killed when violent mobs attacked homes, businesses and places of religious worship in the Muslim majority town of Digana. The remains of Abdul Baslith, a 24-year-old resident of Digana town, were found in a burnt house last morning, more..

Let sanity prevail

Mar 7 (DM) In the aftermath of violence in Ampara last week and in some areas of Kandy on Monday, govt yesterday declared a state of emergency for ten days. Reports yesterday afternoon said the situation in Digana, Teldeniya and some other areas was calm but certain groups could exploit the sensitive feelings and create more trouble. Thus we hope the police including the STF and the armed services will act fast and firmly to prevent such elements from creating trouble. more..

The country in chaos

Mar 7 (DM) It is about time we had a Minister of Law and Order, who could uphold and administer Law and Order in the explicit. We need a man with a spine, a man with guts, one who is not afraid to call a spade a spade, to put his foot down with a firm hand. Sarath Fonseka is the only man who can fill that post and carry it to perfection. The man has guts. This country needs Sarath, not a namby-pamby; who is insipidly pretty, sentimental and weak!!! We need a man who can say more..

A divided Digana falls: Isolated incident used to fuel tension

Mar 7 (DM) “They create a communal clash or put fuel to the fire to intensify the on-going clash. Every Govt maintains its power with the full awareness of separating the society into race and class.” This particular dialogue from Sahodaraya (Brother) teledrama telecast on ITN every weekend indicates the bitter truth behind communal clashes and issues related to racism. The ugly head of racism rose its head recently more..

Ven. Daranagama Kusaladhamma Thera: His lifework revered and alive

Mar 7 (DN) The collective Sri Lankan soul suffered a benumbing shock, just a couple of weeks ago. This was brought on, by the sudden and tragic demise of Ven. Prof. Bellanvila Wimalaratana Anunayaka Thera, Chancellor, Sri J'pura University. Before those tears could have the time to dry up, destiny was poised to deal the SL mass mind, yet another shattering blow. It fell on the elitist Buddhist Missionary Monk, Ven. Daranagama more..

Teldeniya mayhem: Govt to take legal action against offenders

Mar 7 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday told Parliament that the Cabinet had decided to impose a state of emergency for a period of seven days if necessary. PM was addressing Parliament as the govt stepped up security at Teldeniya and Digana areas following incidents of ethnic violence. Cabinet had also decided to impose other necessary laws for a short period, he said. more..

155 T-56 automatic weapons used in Welikade Prison massacre

Mar 7 (ST) A total of 158 weapons carried by Army personnel into the Welikada Prison, on the day of the Welikada Prison incident of 9.11 2012, has been sent to the Govt Analyst, to ascertain how many of them were used to quell the unrest in the prison, which left 27 inmates dead and several others injured. Of the 158 weapons, 155 T-56 automatic weapons were carried by the Army personnel, while 3 pistols belonged to police more..

NCPA internal issues escalate

Mar 7 (CT) The Employees Association of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) threatened to render the 1929 Child Line complaint system inoperative by halting its operation, if the internal issues pertaining to the management of the NCPA are not resolved within the next seven days. Secretary of the Employees Association Indika Jayawardena alleged that the NCPA is dysfunctional due to clashes between the Chairperson of more..

'UN envoy's trip pre-planned'

Mar 7 (ICP) The UN did little during the killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka in 2009. Then the UN even accepted a military leader implicated in the mass killing, Shavendra Silva, as a Senior UN Adviser on Peacekeeping. On 5 March 2018, ICP asked long time UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: now that you've announced this Jeffrey Feltman visit to Sri Lanka, is it fair to say… there's been wildly reported more..

UN condemns incidents of communal violence in Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (AD) The United Nations in Sri Lanka today expressed concern about the recent incidents of communal violence in the country and condemned the acts in the strongest possible terms. The UN urged Sri Lankan authorities to take immediate action against perpetrators and to ensure that appropriate measures are swiftly taken to restore normalcy in affected areas. “The UN also urges authorities, and all citizens to ensure more..

TRC instructs to slow internet speeds in Kandy

Mar 7 (AD) The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) of Sri Lanka has instructed internet service providers to restrain internet access in the Kandy District. Service providers say that based on the instructions of the TRC, internet access (4G/3G) in the Kandy District has been restrained until further notice. As a result, they say, that their customers in Kandy will not have access to the internet on mobile networks. more..

Teldeniya unrest: BBS urges calm

Mar 7 (CT) In the wake of the Teldeniya incident, the BBS has requested the people to remain calm and stop the prevailing violence. While addressing the media yesterday, Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera requested the public to act in a peaceable manner and refrain from being involved in acts of violence. "This incident is so pathetic. One innocent man was harassed and beaten up. Finally he passed away. more..

US, UK, Aus. issue travel advisories on SL

Mar 7 (DM) The US, Britain and Australia had issued travel advisories regarding Sri Lanka, following the violence in the Kandy District and the declaration of State of Emergency for a period of one week. The US State Department advised US citizens to monitor local media updates as further incidents could occur in the next few days. “SL Govt declared a State of Emergency and curfews have been imposed in some regions, more..

5th Columnists

Mar 7 (CT) Law and Order Minister PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, and Defence Minister and President Sirisena, prudently declared a 10-day state of emergency yesterday. This is in the context of Monday's Sinhala-Muslim riots in Kandy which killed at least two people while causing damage to both public and private property which prompted the Govt to declare a police curfew in Kandy which was lifted yesterday. However, curfew was re-imposed at Teldeniya & Pallekelle yesterday, more..

A big match between fire and fury

Mar 7 (FT) If you live in Sri Lanka and truly love it, what’s happening right now must hurt real bad (as the vulgar phrase goes). The hopes and aspirations of a peace-cherishing citizenry have gone up in smoke and flames, or so it seems this week. What really triggered the riot in Teldeniya or started the rot off in Ampara, even set the faggots alight in Gintota earlier in the year, is a moot point. There is sufficient warrant from past conflagrations for the finger of suspicion to point at more..

Lalithasiri Gunaruwan

No more violence: Let’s all build a new pluralist lankan society: FUTA

Mar 7 (CT) “No individual, community or group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and/or to wreak vengeance against real or imagined grievance, as in the most recent instance of communal violence,” says the Federation of University Teachers (FUTA). Issuing a statement today FUTA says: “Regrettably, Govt’s inability, even reluctance, to enforce the law strongly and impartially against perpetrators of such communal violence, as well as against their instigators more..

Patriotic Professionals Forum goes to Geneva to challenge resolution against SL

Mar 7 (Island) A delegation led by retired Navy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara is scheduled to challenge UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Al Hussein’s action against Sri Lanka based on the UNHRC resolution adopted in 2015. The delegation including Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, Anuradha Yahampath and Rear Adm. (Rtd.) Mohan Wijewickreme would attend the 37th session of the UNHRC in Geneva. Patriotic Professionals Forum (PPF) told the media more..

Marine Environment Council holds its first meeting under President’s patronage

Mar 7 (PSL) Steps have been taken to set up a Marine Environment Council comprising academics and activists in all sectors of the society to advice on the new dimensions of protection of the marine environment. Council met for the first time at the Prez Secretariat yesterday under the patronage of President Sirisena. Marine Environment Protection Authority was established by the Govt under the Marine Pollution Prevention Act more..

A neutral character for the coveted job?

Mar 7 (DM) Most Green party members favour the proposal to offer the controversial war hero the law and order portfolio now being held by the Green leader, they say. However, a billionaire businessman with a blood tie to a very high authority has put his foot down that this portfolio should not go to the war hero under any circumstances. The kinsman’s strong objection has reportedly sent down the drain all efforts made by the doctor in the top team to put his soldier friend in charge of key portfolio. more..

'Unrest in Kandy result of organized act'

Mar 7 (NR) Minister Lakshman Kiriella has charged the unrest in Kandy is a result of an organized act. He said steps had been taken to inform Police of the groups who had arrived to carry out the violence prior to the incident. Speaking to media in Kandy, Minister said people came in crowds for this adding the police was aware of such crowds. He added two days ago the police was notified that such groups were gathered and to be vigilant over the matter adding unfortunately, that didn’t happen. more..

Rajapaksa urges citizens to refrain from all acts of violence

Mar 7 (AD) Former President Rajapaksa says that there is a need to create in the country a nationalistic alliance comprising of Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim leaders resembling the first post-independence govt. “Today, the situation is such that a dispute or clash between individuals belonging to different religions or ethnicities, automatically leads to a communal riot that spreads throughout the area.” more..

Governor explains his decision to remove Municipal Commissioner

Mar 7 (Island) Governor Western Province, K.C. Logeswaran said he had only carried out the instructions of the Presidential Commission set up following the collapse of the garbage dump tragedy in Meetotamulla last April. Logeswaran said that the Commission had held Commissioner of the CMC, V.K.A. Anura accountable for the tragedy which claimed 30 lives. He said the Presidential Commission headed by retired Justice Dr C. Nanayakkara had found that more..

24-hour Police curfew re-imposed in Kandy

Mar 7 (NR) Under emergency regulations, IGP Pujith Jayasundara has ordered a curfew to be re-imposed within the Kandy administrative district from 4pm today to 4pm tomorrow. Accordingly, Govt has requested the general public in the Kandy administrative district to remain at their homes during the curfew. The presence of Police Special Task Force personnel in the Teldeniya and Digana areas has been beefed up, in order to uphold law and order in the relevant areas. more..

'Access restricted to certain social media'

Mar 7 (DM) Minister Harin Fernando today said extraordinary measures were taken to restrict access to certain social media websites and phone messaging applications. In a statement, the minister said these measures have been taken by the TRC as an extraordinary but temporary response to limit the increasing spread of hate speech and violence through social media websites and phone messaging applications. more..

Some pvt hospital charges regulated

Mar 7 (Island) Health Ministry pledged to issue a gazette notification regulating 53 types of fees charged by private hospitals within two weeks. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the gazette would be issued to regulate the maximum charges of 53 out of 193 types of charges levied by private hospitals from patients during the first phase. He said the KPMG Services a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services had submitted a comprehensive more..

President in Kandy to discuss unrest

Mar 7 (NR) President Sirisena is currently in Kandy discussing the prevailing situation with religious leaders and law enforcement authorities. President’s Media Division said during discussions, the Head of State ordered to strengthen security in the area. The gazette notification declaring a 7-day State of Emergency was issued last night. The gazette was signed by President Maithripala Sirisena, stating the emergency was declared in the interests of public security, protection of public order more..

Those involved in violence identified: Rajitha

Mar 7 (NR) Govt says those involved in the unrest in Digana and Teldeniya have been identified. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said those involved in the clashes belonged to a political party. Minister said of the four individuals involved in the incident in Digana, two were newly elected at the recent LG Election, another was a Head of the party and a district organizer and the other was a monk involved in the party. more..

'Paddy lands should be in dry zone'

Mar 7 (CT) Paddy lands should be in the dry zone and not in the Western Province, Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said on 5 March. He said that whereas paddy harvesting in the WP yielded a mere 20-30 bushels per acre, nonetheless in the dry zone, where successive Governments have invested billions of rupees for agriculture development, it has a higher productivity rate of 90-100 bushels per acre. He was responding to a request made by the Ceramic and Glass Council President more..

Turkey voices concern over anti-Muslim rioting in Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (DS) Turkey voiced concern Tuesday over the recent violent acts targeting Muslim populations in Sri Lanka as the anti-Muslim rioting flared anew in the hills of the country's central district despite a state of emergency. Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement that "Sri Lankan govt will take the necessary steps to ensure that different religious and ethnic communities continue to live together in peace across the country." Ministry also offered condolences to the families of the victims more..