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Video: Rajanganaya drinking water project suspended after uproar

Mar 2 (AD) A decision has been taken to temporarily suspend the Rajanganaya drinking water project, which had been the cause for yesterday’s tense situation in Thambuttegama. Anuradhapura district secretary R.M. Wanninayake said that a decision on whether the project will be recommenced will be taken after discussions with representatives of farmers, officials of the irrigation department and other relevant authorities. more..

Video: People have become fed up with politics: Ravi

Mar 2 (AD) Former Minister Ravi Karunanayake says that certain individuals who entered parliament through the National List and are holding top positions in the UNP are currently engaged in an attempt to destroy the party. He said that the UNP requires true change from within as demanded by the people and that the party has to undergo restructuring. He charged that certain individuals who only entered Parliament through the National List and have no voter base are today taking more..

International community welcomes Govt activating OMP

Mar 2 (DM) The international community praised and welcomed the move by President Sirisena to appoint seven commissioners to the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) on Wednesday, two days after 37th UNHR Council session commenced in Geneva. A number of foreign ambassadors in Sri Lanka yesterday tweeted expressing their optimism over the move. US Ambassador Atul Keshap said the establishment of a robust and independent OMP is an important step forward for more..

Contentious issue: National Payment Platform not discussed at Cabinet meeting

Mar 2 (Island) In spite of major discussion at the last meeting of cabinet whether to continue with the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM), controversial move made by the outfit to establish a hybrid company to facilitate single button transactions in accordance with proposed National Payment Platform (NPP) hadn’t been taken up. Minister Rajitha Senaratne confirmed that the matter hadn’t been discussed, more..

OMP; A major step towards reconciliation

Mar 2 (DM) A crisis ridden Sri Lanka began March on a positive note with the high-powered Office of Missing Persons (OMP) starting work after President Maithripala Sirisena gave the letters of appointment on Wednesday to the chairman and seven OMP commissioners. Though the OMP law was approved by Parliament in August 2016, there were objections from some circles to certain provisions of the draft and later over the nomination of the Commissioners by the Constitutional Council. more..

Back to square one: The long journey in search of a flawless electoral system

Mar 2 (DM) Three years after the last Presidential Election the political balance of power in the country has changed diametrically with the loyalists of former President Rajapaksa and the anti-Rajapaksa camp swapping positions. Rajapaksa’s camp that was by then at the receiving end is on the offensive now- after Feb 10 LG elections, whereas the main adversaries of it, the UNP and the SLFP are on the defensive and beleaguered. Tide has started to turn in favour of the former President more..

Mega mess 19A

Mar 2 (DM) I wish to honestly thank the people of this country who elected me with a clear majority on the basis of our election manifesto and the principles laid before the people, at the presidential elections held a few days ago on Jan 8, to choose the supreme servant to serve the people…… From this most sacred and venerated land here, I wish to pledge to my dearest people, citizens of this country, as mentioned and more..

Sri Lanka: The return of Rajapaksa

Mar 2 (IT) Among rural Sinhalas, the belief that former president Mahinda Rajapaksa was cheated out of a victory in the last presidential election held in Jan 2015 resonates strongly. Many even believe that Rajapaksa's defeat was a conspiracy hatched by the western powers. Apparently, these voters were largely responsible for the victory of the political party backed by Rajapaksa in the LG poll held on Feb 10. more..

MP Rahuman calls on Govt. to root out extremist elements

Mar 2 (DM) UNP MP Mujibur Rahuman called on the Govt to make good on its promises to root out extremist elements, adding that continuing impunity will pave the way for continued violence. Rahuman added that continuing impunity coupled with the lack of political will serve as incubators for continued violence. “It doesn’t matter if these acts of violence are perpetrated against Muslims, Tamils or Sinhalese, what matters is action being taken more..

Sri Lanka small car, heavy truck imports rebound in January

Mar 2 (EN) Vehicle imports recovered in January 2018 with big increases seen in small cars, scooters and heavy trucks, especially tipper truck. January has seen a strong rebound in vehicle registrations compared to Dec 2017 specifically in the small car segment, 2-wheelers and heavy trucks. Total car registrations in January rose to 5,306 units, significantly up from 3,394 units in Dec and 3,487 units yr ago, more..

Education sector unions suspect cover-up

Mar 2 (Island) Teachers Unions dismissed the investigation carried out by the Ministry of Education regarding the death of the principal of the Ambalantota Suchi National School Rohini Atapattu as an eyewash. Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) Joseph Stalin said the ministry had faulted 11 officials for the incident and have transferred them, however the decision to handover a program which was more..

Northern Province: 70% of women don’t write

Mar 2 (CT) Women in the Northern and Eastern Provinces have poorer self reported writing skills, the World Bank (WB), in a recent report, said. "We see that much more women in the Northern and Eastern Provinces (70 and 65% respectively) report to have never used writing skills in the previous 12 months, compared to 42 and 55% of women in the Western Province (WP) and other Provinces, respectively," it said. more..

Forts and Fortresses of Ancient and Colonial Sri Lanka

Mar 2 (Roar) There are many forts and fortress cities in SL which were built by Sinhalese kings, Portuguese, Dutch, and British settlers. Each of these buildings are landmarks of the different historical eras of our country. Here’s a look at some of the ancient fortress cities—which have been mentioned in the chronicles such as the Mahavamsa—and some of the notable forts which date back to the colonial eras. more..

Secret birth control project: Suspected contaminated food sample sent for testing

Mar 2 (Island) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, said that he was ready to assist in the ongoing investigations into allegations that birth control pills had been mixed with food served at a roadside eatery. Commenting on media reports, Dr. Senaratne said that over the years there had been a spate of allegations, in some instances directed at doctors. But, subsequent investigations had proved there was no basis for such accusations. more..

JO says PM wasting time in Singapore despite political turmoil here

Mar 2 (Island) JO MP Ranjith de Zoysa said the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt couldn’t attract foreign investment for want of political stability. Zoysa warned that the situation would further deteriorate unless the govt restored normalcy without further delay. MP was reacting to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe launching Invest Sri Lanka project in Singapore at the Four Seasons Hotel there today. PM left for Singapore yesterday. more..

Premier hold talks with Singaporean Trade and Industry Minister

Mar 2 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe held a meeting with Singaporean Trade and Industry Minister S. Iswaran to discuss on ways to strengthen trade and economic ties between the two countries, today. Meeting which was held in Four Seasons hotel in Singapore, was based on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed between SL and Singapore on Jan 23. PM emphasized the importance of strengthening trade and more..

Immediate review needed on kidney racket

Mar 2 (CT) Illegal human and organ trafficking is considered one of the most lethal and increasingly developing unconventional security threats to nation states. It's fast growing nature and widespread incidents that were reported, surpasses conventional global borders. Targeting both citizens of a nation state and its economic status (because most of the developing countries depend on the tourism industry and incidentally tourists are considered as prime victims for the illegal trade and more..

Lalith Weerathunga allowed overseas travel

Mar 2 (NR) Court of Appeal today granted permission for Former Secretary to the President Lalith Weerathunga to travel overseas. The order was issued by Chairman of the Appeals Court judge Preethi Padman Surasena and judge Tiran Guneratne. Bench issued an order to the Colombo High Court to release the passport of Lalith Weerathunga. Appeals Court accordingly informed Immigration & Emigration Controller to temporarily remove the travel restriction on more..

ශ්රී ලංකා ගුවන් හමුදාව

Fonseka’s law and order aspirations create new stir in Yahapalana govt

Mar 2 (CT) Talk of Sarath Fonseka being given the Law and Order portfolio just over a week after PM Ranil Wickremesinghe conferred the subject on himself has caused consternation in several circles. Sources close to Fonseka said that he had been told by Prez Maithripala Sirisena that the Ministry would be given to him, when he met the latter on Wednesday morning. President, as per provisions in the 19th Amendment [Article 43(2)], has to appoint Ministers only on the advice of the PM. more..

Alosiyus & Palisena further remanded

Mar 2 (NR) Owner of Perpetual Treasuries Limited Arjun Alosiyus and CEO Kasun Palisena have been further remanded by the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court. The duo was further remanded till the 15th of March when the case was taken up for hearing this morning before Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. Arjun Aloysius and Perpetual Treasuries Limited CEO Kasun Palisena were arrested on the 4th of February at their residences over the controversial Treasury bond issuance. more..

Twists and turns in the Jaliya W. case

Mar 2 (DM) In a new twist in the saga of SL’s former Ambassador to the US, it has emerged that the US Authorities were in communication with the former Ambassador, Jaliya Chitran Wickramasuriya, about becoming a prosecution witness in an U.S. investigation into allegedly dubious financial transactions made by persons connected to the former First family. Surprisingly, development came to light in more..

A new do not attempt approach to nation-building and other non-starters

Mar 2 (FT) A recent announcement from the retiring editor of a citizen-journalism forum had us reaching for our French dick. It said, Plus ca change. The rest should have read, Plus c’est la meme chose. What it meant to say is that the more things change they remain the same. Maybe more accurately it may have done better to intimate that the more some things change, the more they stay the same. In the case of the ground-breaking cj-f it was an obvious reference to the DNA of the organisation more..

SriLankan flight diverted to Frankfurt due to medical emergency

Mar 2 (NR) SriLankan Airlines flight UL504 en-route from London to Colombo has made an diversion in Frankfurt. The flight was diverted last night due to a medical emergency. The most important factor was the health and safety of the passenger in concern. Perera said 268 passengers and 11 crew members were on board the diverted flight. The Airline said all arrangements were made to meet the needs of passengers who were affected as a result of the incident. more..

Army officer arrested over grenade explosion in Diyatalawa bus

Mar 2 (AD) Sergeant Major of the SL Army has been arrested in connection with the recent grenade explosion inside a bus at Diyatalawa. Army officer was ordered remanded until Mar 15 after being produced at Bandarawela Magistrate’s Court. Sergeant Major attached to Army’s 6th Electrical & Mechanical Engineering Regiment was allegedly responsible for carrying the grenade which exploded inside the bus, more..

Media flayed for insufficient reportage of MiG deal

Mar 2 (Island) Co-cabinet spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne on Wednesday (Feb. 28) alleged that the media had largely ignored massive financial fraud in the overhauling and acquisition of MiG 27s by the previous govt. Addressing the post-cabinet media briefing, Dr. Senaratne estimated the fraud at USD 7.5 mn. He said that the financial fraud involving the MiG deal had been one of the biggest frauds perpetrated by previous administration. In the run-up to Feb. 10 LG polls, more..

15-year-old girl dies after fainting at school

Mar 2 (AD) A 15-year-old girl who had fainted at her school in Pussellawa has reportedly been pronounced dead ion admission to the hospital, police said. Police said that the girl in question had fainted and collapsed this afternoon near the dancing room of the school in Atabage, Pussellawa. She was immediately rushed to Gampola Govt Hospital, however was pronounced dead on admission. The remains of the girl, a 15-year-old from Panwilatenna in Millagahatenna, more..

WP Governor removes CMC Commissioner

Mar 2 (NR) Governor of the Western Province, KC Logeswaran has decided to remove the Colombo Municipal Commissioner, VKA Anura, following recommendations issued by the PCoI, appointed to investigate the Meethotamulla garbage dump collapse. Report compiled by the Commission headed by retired HC judge Chandradasa Nanayakkara has recommended action against Municipal Commissioner. more..

State University exams postponed

Mar 2 (DM) State University examinations scheduled to be held during the weekend have been postponed until further notice because of strike action by non-academic staff, UGC said. Chairman's office of the UGC said exams in the several universities including Colombo University has been postponed due to the strike action. Non-academic staff stopped work early this week demanding a salary increase. Candidates have been inconvenienced because of the sudden postponements of the exam. more..

Facebook ends Explore Feed test in SL

Mar 2 (NR) Facebook says it is ending a months-long test, which was also conducted in Sri Lanka, in which its core news feed was split into two, one focused on showing people posts from their families and friends while the other showed posts from companies, celebrities, or media outlets. Facebook’s news feed chief Adam Mosseri said the company is ending the test because of feedback it received from its users. Facebook was testing two separate news feeds in SL, Bolivia, Cambodia, Guatemala, more..

Unity govts with two major parties are always a challenge: PM

Mar 2 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday said that the recent LG election was a barometer and a very strong message to the govt to be more active and that the changes promised have not taken place fast enough. “Last LG election was a barometer and a very, very strong message to the govt that they should be more active,” he said, participating in a discussion during the Invest Sri Lanka Forum more..

Air Force celebrates 67th anniversary

Mar 2 (Island) Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) will be celebrating its 67th Anniversary on 2nd March 2018. In upholding its rich history, the AIR FORCE DAY is the premier event in its calendar. Event will be celebrated with great pomp and pageantry this year. SLAF was formed on the 2nd of March 1951 as Royal Ceylon Air Force and when Sri Lanka became a republic in 1972 the Royal Ceylon Air Force was re-designated as the SLAF. In the 67 years that ensued, service has come under more..

Sri Lanka wholesale rice prices fall dramatically in February

Mar 2 (EN) Wholesale rice prices at the Marandagahamula market, which is a benchmark for the rest of the country has fallen dramatically in February with key grades down 20% from Dec 2018, as domestic harvests start to come in. Marandagahamula Samba, a domestic premium rice fell to 82.30 rupees a kilogram on Feb 23, plunging 27.1% from 104.63 rupees a kilo peak reached on Dec 29. Marandagamula White Kekulu (Raw) rice fell from 20.3% from 90.75 rupees a kilo more..

Sri Lanka’s leadership at Disarmament Conference commended

Mar 2 (IL) The decision arrived at during Sri Lanka’s Presidency of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) to resume substantive work and the role played in this regard by Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, has been commended during the High-Level Segment of the CD held in Geneva this week. In his address to the Conference on Monday, more..

Protesting Rajanganaya farmers reject minister’s temporary solution

Mar 2 (Island) Farmers’ Associations of Rajanganaya have dismissed Minister Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa’s statement that Ministry Secretary was directed to stop all projects using water from Rajanganaya tank for purposes other than agriculture. They said the ban was temporary. "We met the District Secretary of A'pura, who gave us a letter saying the project would be suspended temporarily; we held a protest about two months ago and Zoysa promised that there would be no more..

UK assures trade agreement with Sri Lanka post-Brexit

Mar 2 (DM) The UK Govt said it intends to provide continuity and stability to Sri Lanka’s current trade agreements with the EU, even after the Brexit comes into affect. Minister of State for Trade and Investment Greg Hands said Sri Lanka’s exports to the UK are made under the EU's unilateral trade arrangement, GSP+ at present. “Govt intends to provide continuity and stability whilst leaving the EU, which includes maintaining the effects of our trading relationships as we leave. more..

OIC voices concern over attacks against Muslims in Sri Lanka

Mar 2 (SG) Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has expressed deep concern over the tense situation in Sri Lanka after a mosque, several hotels and vehicles owned by Muslims were vandalized by mobs in the town of Ampara, Saudi Press Agency reported. While expressing its concern over the highly explosive situation in the island nation, the OIC stressed the need to protect the rights of the Muslim minority, foremost of more..

Professionals’ Front resorts to legal action against ETCA

Mar 2 (Island) Professionals' National Front (PNF) said that it was seeking to file action against those involved in negotiations on bilateral trade agreements. Secretary PNF, Kapila Perera said his union had sought legal advice. He said that Sri Lanka had signed a Free Trade Agreement with Singapore on Jan 23, 2018 while negotiations were underway on the signing of the SL-India Economic and Technology Corporation Agreement (ETCA). Engineer Perera warned that Secretary of more..

Coalition govt still unstable: SB

Mar 2 (NR) Minister SB Dissanayake says a certain sense of instability still exists within the coalition govt. Speaking to media in Kandy, he said the SLFP is still attempting to establish a SLFP govt. Minister noted discussions are underway about the future of the good governance govt adding discussion are being held with members of the joint opposition and with UNP members at present. Minister Dissanayake stated there are several issues adding however the SLFP wants a stable govt. more..

Ranjan says No to no-confidence motion

Mar 2 (NR) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake says Ministers and Parliamentarians representing the good governance govt cannot table a No-Confidence Motion against the PM. He said this fact is clearly stated in the 19th Amendment. Deputy Minister noted according to the existing constitution, a member of the govt, be it a Minister or a MP cannot table a no-confidence motion against the PM adding that more..