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UNP to meet Prez

Mar 19 (DM) In the wake of a no confidence motion being contemplated against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, the UNP said it was seeking a meeting with President Sirisena to discuss how to proceed with the unity govt during this trying time, it is learnt. The party hierarchy met yesterday to discuss the developing situation and decided to seek an appointment with the President thereafter. JO was said to be collecting signatures for a no confidence motion to be brought against PM more..

ඉන්දීය ක්රිකට් පුහුණුකරු රවි ශාස්ත්රි

No Confidence motion against PM: Canvassing resumes

Mar 19 (CT) With the situation in the Kandy District and elsewhere returning to normal following communal unrest there’s renewed activity with regard to a no-confidence motion being brought against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Most vocal advocate of this move, UNP MP Range Bandara has now gone completely silent. However, Minister S.B. Dissanayake addressing a gathering at a ceremony, expressed confidence that many members of the UNP and SLFP would support the motion. more..

Harsha’s plan to innovate the economy is welcome but time is running out for him

Mar 19 (FT) The State Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva, in his second incarnation in that ministry, has acted promptly to propose a strategy to convert Sri Lanka into an innovation and entrepreneurship economy. This was unveiled by him at a function last week in Colombo to launch the new facilitator for start-up tech companies – Venture Frontier Lanka – a company owned by US-based Ovibees Ventures (available here. Ovibees Ventures was founded by Ovidiu Bujorean, more..

Protecting the mangroves of our Island’s coasts

Mar 19 (Roar) Sri Lanka, as we know, is a hotspot for biodiversity—it is home to so many different creatures and plants living in various ecosystems. The mangrove forests of the coastline are one such diverse ecosystem, and are one of the most biologically important ecosystems of the world. Mangroves are species of shrubs and trees that grow near estuaries, and they can be identified by their distinctive, tangled roots. more..

Sanath Nishantha and brother remanded

Mar 19 (NR) The Chilaw High Court has ordered for UPFA MP Sanath Nishantha Perera and his brother, the former Chairman of the Arachchikattuwa Pradheshiya Sabha Jagath Samantha Perera to be remanded till the 25th of May. The duo was remanded on charges of violating bail conditions. The Chilaw High Court was hearing a case against MP Sanath Nishantha and his brother attacking the Arachchikattuwa Divisional Secretary and the accused MP had been released on bail. more..

BMW not connected to President: Police

Mar 19 (DM) Social media post, that the BMW which plunged into the Diyawannawa Oya was connected to the President, is false, Police said. Police said the vehicle bearing registration No: CBB 5005 was owned by Fahim Mohamed Hussein, a resident of Sigera road, Madiwela. They said the CCTV footage had confirmed that the owner had driven the vehicle at the time of the accident. Meanwhile a high ranking police officer said the vehicle had the garage number: WP C18-3182 when it met with more..

JVP to propose amendments to abolish Executive Presidency

Mar 19 (NR) The JVP says the party expects to propose amendments to the Constitution in order to abolish the Executive Presidency. Leader of the JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said every President appointed since 1994 acquired a people’s mandate by promising to abolish the Executive Presidency. He stressed President Sirisena vowed to abolish the Executive Presidency during funeral of Venerable Maduluwawe more..

Namal, Pavithra in Russia to monitor election there

Mar 19 (Island) Joint Opposition MPs Namal Rajapaksa and Pavithra Wanniarachchi have left for Russia to take part in monitoring the Presidential election there. Two MPs commenced monitoring activities yesterday. It was earlier reported that MP Namal Rajapaksa had been invited as an independent observer of the Russian Presidential election to be held yesterday. He was invited by the Chairman of the State Duma (Parliament) of the Russian Federation. more..

One dead, another injured in Armour Street shooting

Mar 19 (AD) One person has been killed while his wife suffered injuries following a shooting incident at Armour Street in Colombo, a short while ago. The Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said that the victim, a 42-year-old male, and his wife were in a car when gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire at him. They were both admitted to the Colombo National Hospital with gunshot wounds. However, the male has succumbed to injuries while receiving treatment, he said. more..

Buddha statue at Sri Lankan Temple in Canada vandalized

Mar 19 (CBC) Ottawa police are investigating a report of vandalism at a temple after a Buddha statue was destroyed overnight. Police were called to the Hilda Jayewardenaramaya Buddhist Temple at 1481 Heron Rd. Friday morning after two monks who live there reported the damage. The head of the statue, which sits outside the building, appears to have been smashed apart. Manoj Da Silva, the temple's treasurer, said more..

Six takeaways from the Nidahas Trophy

Mar 19 (CI) The final of the Nidahas Trophy was played before a loud crowd, with the stadium at least two-thirds full despite the absence of the home team, Sri Lanka. A common fear for countries hosting tri-series is that games between neutral teams will be a hard sell. The atmosphere at the R Premadasa was, in part, fuelled by a resentment among the SL supporters of the Bangladesh team, after an exuberant celebration at the conclusion of an ill-tempered final league game, more..

Electronic cards for Sri Lankans

Mar 19 (DN) All hospitals will be computerised by 2020 and an electronic card bearing all data will be issued to all Sri Lankans from April 7, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. He was addressing a meeting held at the Chilaw General Hospital to mark the opening of several hospital projects costing Rs.1,305 million recently. Dr. Senaratne further said with the issuing of this electronic card, there won’t be unidentified bodies lying at various places because the electronic card supplied more..

Sri Lanka pick teenager Dilhari for ODIs; Atapattu returns as captain

Mar 19 (CI) Chamari Atapattu, fresh from her excursion in the Women's Big Bash League in Australia, will take over the captaincy from Inoka Ranaweera for Sri Lanka in the upcoming home series against Pakistan. Nipuni Hansika was named vice-captain. All eyes will be on 17-year old Kavisha Dilhari, who was discovered through an island-wide talent hunt. Dilhari was recently described by Sri Lanka's high performance manager more..

Patients taking treatments at govt hospitals to get bills

Mar 19 (Island) Patients seeking treatment at state hospitals would be given a bill in the future though would not have to pay it, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He said people didn’t understand the colossal expenditure the state had to incur to maintain free health care. "The people tend to underestimate what the govt spends on treating them. When we give them a bill, the people will realise how much they would have had to spend if they had received the same treatment at a private institute." more..

Malaysian Police rescue two Sri Lanka nationals duped by employment agent

Mar 19 (Bernama) Sibu police rescued two Sri Lanka nationals last Saturday who had allegedly been tricked by an employment agency. Madusanka Edirisinghe and Dushan De Silva, both 21-year-old engineering graduates, were promised jobs as ship engineers in Malaysia by an agent in SL. They signed an agreement with the agent, paying 3.25 lakh rupees (about RM8,000) each to get the jobs. On March 8, at 11 pm, they arrived at Kuala Lumpur Int'l Airport before leaving for Kuching, more..

Sri Lanka must enhance fiscal income to offset narrowing external drains: Fin Min

Mar 19 (LBO) Finance minister says the island must optimize utilizing local resources with a well-managed and efficient tax system as a pro-growth catalyst. My contention is that the new Inland Revenue Act will bring a paradigm shift to taxation in this country that is in line with our policy of updating complex legislations to achieve our development goals in this 21st century, Mangala Samaraweera, Finance Minister said. more..

India still to play role in Lanka port

Mar 19 (ET) India continues to remain in fray to play a role in the strategically located Colombo Port in the Indian Ocean Region, notwithstanding the Sri Lanka’s decision to drop plans to privatise the port’s East Container Terminal (ECT). In a statement last week, SL minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the construction of the terminal was being expedited by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), a state-run agency in the island nation. The ECT will be operated by the SLPA more..

Colombo fast becoming a filthy ugly city: MR

Mar 19 (CT) Former President Rajapaksa has said the Govt was laying the foundation for multiple problems in the future by neglecting garbage disposal. Rajapaksa said he would question the Govt as to why it was not taking any action to collect and dispose garbage now, despite taking measures to do so before the LG elections. He pointed out that there were garbage dumps at many places, causing distress to the people. He said that he had received information of uncleared garbage heaps more..

Ravinatha Aryasinha permanent representative of SL to the UN, at UNHRC

Mar 19 (IL) I am honoured to be here today, for the adoption of the final report of Sri Lanka’s review under the 3rd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review that took place in Nov 2017. I would like to thank the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UPR Secretariat and the Troika of Sri Lanka’s review – Republic of Burundi, Republic of Korea, and Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela – for their contributions and more..

Tears and fears as prisoner attends wife’s funeral

Mar 19 (CT) There was a heart-breaking moment at the funeral of a young Tamil woman, who had died of natural causes, at a home in Maradunaru-Killinochchi yesterday. The woman’s husband is currently serving a life sentence after being convicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act in 2008. The inmate, Sachithanandam Sudakaran, was allowed to pay his last respects to his dead wife, escorted by prison and police officials, for a period of three hours. more..

Five PCs say bill needs 2/3rds, referendum

Mar 19 (DN) Seven Special Determination petitions challenging the constitutionality of the bill entitled the Judicature (Amendment), a bill to amend the Judicature Act No.2 of 1978 was yesterday fixed for argument on March 19 by the Supreme Court. President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva, Gamini Marapana, Sanjeewa Jayawardena, Manohara de Silva and Kushan de Alwis appearing on behalf of the petitioners yesterday made their oral submissions against the concerned bill. more..

OMP rejects GSLF allegations

Mar 19 (DM) Office on Missing Persons (OMP) Chairman Saliya Pieris PC today rejected the allegations made by the Global Sri Lankan Forum (GSLF) raising concerns over the conduct of the OMP. OMP Chairman said their attention is drawn to a letter purported to be addressed to the President, by an organisation calling itself the Global SL Forum. “Regrettably the contents of the letter are teeming with inaccuracies & distortions, more..

Drop the guns, Hit refresh

Mar 20 (CT) Drop the guns is my addition based on his own analysis, but Hit Refresh is Satya Nadella’s main title of the quite praiseworthy book with a vision for everyone, not only in the technology field, but also in other areas of knowledge and vocations, or even in politics. Drop the guns may be more appropriate for the eternally fighting political species. It is a rare vision to come from a CEO of a multinational, to say the least. It is an imagination of a better future for everyone more..

Are you one of them or one of us?

Mar 20 (CT) I was disturbed by a phone call today. Someone called me in the morning and was talking about the SL situation with lots of concern. I was very sympathetic and was appreciating his concern about our country of origin. However, while he was talking to me he mentioned the term your people… I stopped him and sought explanation as to what he meant by that. He told me Muslim people. I told him the following in very clear and simple language: My friend, listen very carefully to what I’m more..

'Influx of lawless elements from outside aggravated Kandy riots'

Mar 20 (SO) New Law & Order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara says, the tense situation in Digana and the suburbs would not have aggravated if not for the influx of lawless elements from outside. Minor incident spread like wildfire largely due to the disinformation campaign launched by certain sections of the social media. He said, the tense situation could be controlled as the law enforcement authorities acted in more..

Resurgence of communal violence threat to tourism, FDI and balance of payments

Mar 20 (ST) The recent communal violence has raised apprehensions on its repercussions on the economy. Although the violence was restricted to three areas in Ampara, Kandy district and Gintota, and its direct impact on economic activities was minimal, the fears of further communal violence has serious implications for the economy. Violence has already affected tourism adversely and is likely to deter foreign investment, increase int'l borrowing costs & could cause a capital outflow. more..

Cometh the Peace Corps bearing gifts

Mar 20 (ST) Students of Greek mythology and the writings of ancient Greeks such as Homer would well remember the story of the Trojan horse. That was a neat stratagem pulled on the people of Troy by a great Greek general called Odysseus which brought Troy tumbling down. Fact or fiction, it made great reading. It also threw suspicion on many Greek offerings and gave rise to the oft quoted saying “beware of Greeks bearing gifts.” But it was not only the Greeks who suffered ignominy more..

'We will never support racism'

Mar 20 (SL) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the Govt showed their inability to properly govern the country through the irresponsible way they controlled the communal violence in Kandy. He said the govt should have carried out a proper plan based on the information they received from the security forces but not after many areas of the country were destroyed by the miscreants. more..

Editorial: PM in the crosshairs

Mar 20 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s survival skills are second only to Bear Grylls’. His political journey during the last few turbulent decades has been a kind of a real-life Man Vs Wild drama. Having survived in the snake-infested jungle of politics the PM is now about to face the ultimate test of survival. JO is planning to move a vote of no confidence against PM. Process of collecting signatures for the motion is said to be gathering momentum with some Cabinet ministers also having signed it. more..

Wooing India, the Tamil Hard-liner way?

Mar 20 (SL) The Tamil politics in the nation’s North and the East has always been as bizarre as that of the Sinhala South. The majority TNA in the North and the East stopped wooing the Indian neighbour long ago, but the hard-liner section from within the local Tamil community and the TNA, represented by Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran seems wanting India to intervene on their behalf. Time was when reports said that CM Wigneswaran, on a private visit to New Delhi, more..

Face the Nation

Communal disharmony or failed security policy?

Mar 20 (Island) Could the recent violence in Digana, Ampara and earlier in Gintota be described as systemic incidents of communal disharmony or a failure in security policy to prevent violence? Judging from some headlines such as - the nation is burning in the fires of communal hatred; the beast rides again; to the question that this is not who we are the response is this is exactly who we Sri Lankans are; saffron is the colour of evil - it is communal disharmony. more..

SL Women’s Tuskers take 3rd spot, Men 4th

Mar 20 (DN) Defending champions Sri Lanka Women’s national sevens rugby team took third spot when they beat Singapore Women by 24 points (4 tries, 2 conversions) to 5 (1 try) while SL men’s sevens team secured fourth place after losing to Hong Kong by 17 points (3 tries, 1 conversion) to 20 (4 tries) in the play-off for third place in the Borneo 7’s rugby tournament concluded on Sunday at Sandakan, Malaysia. Asanga Seneviratne the president of Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) said, more..

Some wisdom spurred by a birthday bash

Mar 20 (CT) SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ajith Dias, purposefully chosen by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, to restructure, revitalize, rejuvenate, regenerate the national carrier, recently celebrated his 70th birthday at the Hambantota Shangri-La. The choice of venue for the hoopla – the Shangri-La, in the deep south reminded Narada of some recollections on how to run or how not to run airlines made by Robert Kuok, the overseas more..

Law & Order in the bin: US & Geneva kept happy

Mar 20 (CT) In 2015, one of the first things this Govt did was to take the Central Bank into PM’s hands from the Finance Minister. It was an unprecedented act and raised many an eyebrow. Yet, people were comforted that the Central Bank was in PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s hands, instead of Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s who has a penchant to get associated with one financial scandal after another. At the time also he was embroiled in a massive money laundering case. more..

Shakib broke dressing room door: Door fixed at cost of Rs. 147,000

Mar 20 (Island) There were sensational scenes at RPS Sunday night as a packed house cheered the Indian team in the finals of the Nidahas Trophy where Rohit Sharma’s side beat Bangladesh in a last ball thriller. Defending 167, Bangladesh looked to have done enough to win the title after Mustafizur Rahman bowled a maiden in the 18th over of the Indian innings leaving them requiring 34 runs off the last 2 overs. Ice-cool Dinesh Karthik then smashed 29 runs in eight balls to take the game more..

Even at times of despair faith kept Roshen on a high

Mar 20 (ST) In his first three international encounters, Roshen Silva has been almost Bradmanesque. Debuting against India during the final match of the recent bilateral series in Delhi, he fell for a five-ball duck in the first innings. Then he staked his claim in the global spotlight in the second innings with a match-saving half century. Since then, Roshen–at least for now–has been unstoppable. His next three innings returned scores of 109, 56 & 70* more..

We didn’t feel that we were playing outside India: Rohit Sharma

Mar 20 (DN) India’s victorious skipper Rohit Sharma whilst praising the SL fans for turning up in their numbers for the final of the Hero Nidahas trophy tri-nation series at the R Premadasa Stadium on Sunday said that their support didn’t make his team feel that they were playing outside India. “The crowd was brilliant, it was magnificent. To get the support from the entire crowd, I think it was 20,000-25,000 people to get their support was really good. We didn't feel that we were playing outside India,” more..

No unrest, but security beefed up in Madampe after incident

Mar 20 (Island) Police yesterday denied media reports that there had been unrest in Madampe on Sunday following an incident where a 77-year-old person suffered injury after being pushed by 28-year-old man, who was under the influence of liquor. Police have beefed up security in Madampe as a precautionary measure because the victim and the assailant belong to different ethnic communities. The Police have arrested the assailant, a resident of Thaniyawallaba, Madampe. more..