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Kasun says wife acted in defence

Mar 21 (DN) Southern Provincial Council Member K.K. Kasun who is in remand over an alleged assault case attended a meeting of the Southern Provincial Council yesterday escorted by prison guards. Council Chairman Somawansa Kodagoda presided. Kasun describing the assault incident said a group of 20 people including the bus driver began assaulting him and his wife only tried to come to his rescue. He said his wife had to get remanded due to her affection towards him. more..

SC determines Active Liability Management Bill consistent with Constitution

Mar 21 (FT) Supreme Court has determined the Active Liability Management Bill is not inconsistent with the Constitution, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament, paving the way for crucial legislation for better debt management. Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs moved the Active Liability Management Bill on 19 Feb in Parliament with the aim of authorising the raising of loans within the country or offshore more..

Junior National’s postponed due to Sugathadasa track relaying

Mar 21 (CT) Junior National Athletics Championship which was to be held from 27th to 29th March has been postponed to 2nd April due to delays in the re-laying of the new Synthetic Track at the Sugathadasa Stadium Colombo. The new dates for the Championship will be from 2nd to 4th April. Junior National Championship which will be staged in four age categories (U-16, 18, 20 and 23) will be worked off as a selection trial for Under 20 athletes to be included to the Sri Lanka team more..

Yala Toilet Frog named after departing Tea Board chairman

Mar 21 (FT) A team of Indian and SL scientists led by Dr Sonali Garg of the University of Delhi has discovered that a frog commonly found in Sri Lanka’s dry zone in fact represents a new, previously-unrecognised species, which they have named Uperodon rohani. The scientists explain that This species is named after Rohan Pethiyagoda, in recognition of his contribution to biodiversity studies in India and Sri Lanka, especially on frogs and fishes. more..

Non-declaration of assets: Fine to be increased to Rs 100,000

Mar 21 (DN) A minimum of Rs 100,000 fine has been proposed to the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Act for non declaration of assets and liabilities. The current penalty for such offence is Rs 1,000. CIABOC Director General Sarath Jayamanne said far reaching amendments have been proposed to the current law of assets declaration which was last revised in 1988. Providing false information in the declaration more..

TNA leaders urged to quit

Mar 21 (CT) Relatives of Missing Persons staged a protest in front of the ITAK Party Office, situated at Stanley Road in the Jaffna Town, urging that Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan and the rest of the TNA to resign from their positions. The protestors blocked the entrance of the ITAK office claiming the leaders of the Pwarty have failed to fulfil the promises. The protest was staged on Monday in front of ITAK Office when they were not allowed to meet Prez Sirisena during his Jaffna visit. more..

No-confidence vote: JO divided

Mar 21 (Island) Joint Opposition (JO) parliamentary group members are divided on the no-faith motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. There were heated arguments at JO’s parliamentary group meeting yesterday. Parliament sources said dissenting views had been expressed by the JO members over submitting the NCM. JO MP Ramesh Pathirana, Nimal Lansa, Prasanna Ranatunga and Kumara Welgama severely criticized the decision to move the no confidence motion against PM. more..

Counsel supporting Judicature Act Amendment Bill speak of its merits

Mar 21 (Island) The present Judicature Act was about forty years old, situations had changed for the worse and remedies had to be found. Dr. Jayampathy Wickramarathne PC, told the Supreme Court yesterday, when he supported an intervenient petition in favour of the proposed amendment to the Judicature Act. Dr. Wickramarathne, President’s Counsel said that by the proposed amendment to judicature act. more..

Video: Sri Lanka's Office of Missing Persons seeks disappeared

Mar 21 (AJ) The office has been set up to locate thousands of people still missing seven years after the defeat of separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. An Office of Missing Persons has finally opened in Sri Lanka, nine years after the end of its civil war. The office will have powers to investigate the unexplained disappearances of thousands of people in decades of fighting that ended in 2009, but it will not have the power to prosecute anyone suspected of committing crimes. more..

Policy blunder causes govt Rs 3 billion tobacco revenue

Mar 21 (DN) Tax revenue from Tobacco to the govt coffers have dropped by Rs 3 billion and this is expect to continue, said Founder Research Intelligence Unit (RIU) Roshan Madawela. Speaking at a Research Forum he said that the govt targeted Rs 105 billion of tax revenue from Tobacco. Madawela said that today tax on Tobacco and other overheads has resulted in the increase of a cigarette price by 257%. “With SL currently having the highest cigarette prices in Asia Pacific region (PPP) more..

2017 sinks to slowest economic growth in 16 years

Mar 21 (FT) The country’s economy in 2017 had grown by only 3.1%, the slowest rate in 16 years and lower than the 4.4% achieved in 2016, as per data released yesterday. GDP for 2017 (Jan to Dec) at constant (2010) price has reached Rs. 9,315,488 million while GDP value reported for 2016 was Rs. 9,034,290 million. The four major components of the economy - agriculture, industry, services and taxes – more..

Numbers, proportions and extraordinary conclusions

Mar 21 (DM) It’s more than a month since the LG elections were held. The elections themselves were held a long time after the local govt bodies were dissolved. The vast majority of the elected are yet to be sworn in to office. The electors are in the dark about who got elected. They don’t know the full details of the result, for example the breakdown of postal voting. Then there’s the issue of female representation and quotas. That’s yet to be resolved. The Elections Commissioner more..

Something radically wrong

Mar 21 (DM) It is not limited to the systematic racism and sexism that we unwittingly engage in on a daily basis. It is not even limited to the lack of substantive education, the reasoning expected of people beyond the achievement of literacy. The wrongs of our country were instead brazenly laid bare in our collective reactions to the ban on social media, in the wake of the events in Digana and Teldeniya. I need to dispel any misrepresentations of my opinion, at this juncture. more..

Wonky attitudes and weird approaches in political class

Mar 21 (DM) Ranil Wickremasinghe (RW) corresponds closely in style to his Right-Royal classmate with a keener sense of impish humour – amiable late Anura B (AB). Two buddies were’ loyal to Royal, more than to their voters? Hallowed hollow traditions of overgrown masonic schoolboy networks are still alive. RW wedged on the edge of a precipice from where none refuse to shove him down a bottomless pit. more..

FLSP vows to launch fresh struggle against proposed MBBS-KDU (SAITM) degree

Mar 21 (Island) Front Line Socialist Party yesterday said it would stage public protests against what it calls govt efforts to jeopardise the future of the students of state medical faculties. Propaganda Secretary of the party, Pubudu Jagoda accused the govt of having messed up the SAITM issue. "The govt is planning to admit SAITM students to the Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) and award MBBS degrees to them. more..

Future dark if coal plant splutters

Mar 21 (ST) While authorities insist that the public need not worry about any potential power cuts during the Avurudu season and beyond, the country will have to rely heavily on the smooth functioning of the breakdown-prone Lakvijaya coal power plant in Norochcholai to ensure uninterrupted power. The 900-megawatt (MW) Lakvijaya plant has been working at full capacity since early February as water levels in many hydropower reservoirs more..

The silent, suffering masses

Mar 21 (DM) The burning question today seems to be transport!!! The trains and buses in our country are indeed a sorry sight. Today’s ADA newspaper says the Govt is thinking of raising the fare of train tickets. They want to increase the train fare for the poor people, who are forced to travel on the footboards risking their lives every day. The Ceylon Daily News of March 13 carried banner headlines Age limit raised from 8 to 12. more..

SLIEOA Intensifies Trade Union Action

Mar 21 (DM) The Sri Lankan Immigration and Emigration Officers’ Association (SLIEOA) yesterday launched a trade union action in response to the failure of the govt to provide a resolution to their demands. President of the SLIEOA, Aruna Kanugala said the association made its grievances known six months earlier at a press conference. He stated the problems officers face have not been addressed for almost two decades. more..

Defence Ministry cuts JEDB lifeline

Mar 21 (FT) A move to award the supply tender for tea for this year to a private company is threatening the profitability of the Janatha Estate Development Board despite a Cabinet decision to procure supplies from the state-owned entity, highly-placed sources claim. The Defence Ministry is currently finishing up the procurement process to select a private supplier to procure 35,000 kg of tea needed for the Sri Lanka Army every month, more..

SLFP ministers to tell Prez they'll support no-faith motion

Mar 21 (DM) SLFP ministers are reportedly hoping to inform President Maithripala Sirisena in writing that they would support the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said that a few SLFP ministers would sign the no confidence motion but the rest would act during the voting. “We are signing a separate letter to be handed over to the Prez. We will inform him that we will support the motion more..

Arjun Aloysius and Kasun Palisena file revision applications

Mar 21 (AD) The attorneys representing owner of Perpetual Treasuries Arjun Aloysius and CEO Kasun Palisena filed revision applications today seeking for bail before Appeal Court. The OIC of CID’s financial crimes division, director of the CID and Attorney General have been named as respondents in the petition. The petitioners point out that their bail application was rejected by Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court, more..

Video: Nalaka Godahewa confronts Global Tamil Forum in Geneva

Mar 21 (AD) Tensions flared during an event organized by the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) on the sidelined of the 37th session of the UNHRC as members of the Patriotic Professionals Forum including Dr Nalaka Godahewa raised objections to the views being expressed on Sri Lanka. GTF members were speaking regarding Attack on Tamil-speaking Muslims in Sri Lanka, when Dr Godahewa interrupted and reminded of the time when more..

NPC Secy retired for asking IGP to submit report?

Mar 21 (Island) The National Police Commission (NPC) has removed its Secretary, Ariyadasa Cooray abruptly following a closed door meeting yesterday. Cooray was employed under public administration circular 9/2007 which allowed him to work until the age of 67 but a new circular (Circular No 03/2018) introduced last month states that a retired Public Official over 60 should not be employed in the Public Service, more..

Politics vs Economics

Mar 21 (CT) CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy recently said that good economics make good politics. He underscored this view not in so many words, but by saying at a seminar yesterday that the recently won economic gains should not be sacrificed to politics. Among those gains that he elaborated on were the country’s foreign reserves increasing from US$ 6 bil last year to US$ 8 bil this year led by quality uplift, underscored by CBSL’s short term swaps more..

World moves forward; We move backwards

Mar 21 (FT) Communal riots emerged once again. It will emerge over and over again since we, those who govern and those who are governed, over and over again prove that we do not learn from the past mistakes. My first experience of communal riots was black July 1983. In the first day of the violence I was walking from the office I then worked at Fort Colombo to the Colombo Fort Railway Station. I will continue to have the memory of a man, half-naked, wounded, fallen by the side of the road, more..

අපේ දේශපාලනඥයින්ගේ මෝඩ උද්ධච්ඡකම

President to embark on 3-day state visit to Pakistan

Mar 21 (NR) President Maithripala Sirisena is due to travel to Pakistan on a three day official visit starting tomorrow to attend the National Day of Pakistan. Head of State engages in the official visit at the invitation of Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain. President Sirisena will hold discussions with his Pakistani counterpart President Hussain and PM Shahid Abbasi. Following talks the President will oversee the signing of four MoU on Youth Development between SL and Pakistan, more..

Dialog and Ideamart host Sri Lanka’s first ever NB-IoT Hackathon

Mar 21 (LBO) Dialog Axiata, in collaboration with Ideamart, hosted Sri Lanka’s first NB-IoT Hackathon (NB-IoT: Narrowband Internet of Things). The first to launch the technology in South Asia in October 2017, NB-IoT is a narrowband radio technology specially designed to enable seamless connectivity amongst devices using Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology. Held on the 17th of March, the hackathon consisted of 9 teams tasked with creating NB-IoT solutions using Dialog’s IoT platform more..

Port city stands tall despite civil society protests

Mar 21 (DM) The People’s Movement against the Port City (PMAPC) has since 2011 been protesting against the construction of the Port City and continue to thoroughly denounce the Govt’s decisions and actions in relation to the same. A press conference and seminar were held at the Methodist Hall by the Creation Care Desk of the Methodist Church on Feb 28 in collaboration with the People’s Movement to oppose Port City. more..

MR's Sister in law passes away in Texas

Mar 21 (AM) Dr. Yatendra Rajapaksa, sister in law of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, passed away in the US. She is the wife of Dudley Rajapaksa, a younger brother of former President Rajapaksa. Born in 1957, Yatendra Rajapaksa was an engineer by training. She obtained her Bachelor of Science, in Civil Engineering from the University Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, in 1980. Then she received her Master of Science in Civil Engineering from University Oklahoma, 1985. more..

Captain of Govt. responsible: Dayasiri

Mar 21 (DM) Captain of the Govt should take the responsibility when it was defeated in an election, just like the way a captain of the SL cricket team was responsible for its defeats, Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said. He said this in response to an oral question raised by MP Rohini Wijeratne in Parliament last afternoon. Ms Wijeratne questioned as to who should be blamed for the defeat of SL Cricket Team in recent matches. “Is it you or SLC Chief or is it the team, who is responsible?” more..

Social media blackout: Reasons, causes and effect

Mar 21 (Roar) In an attempt to curtail the Kandy riots which flared up on 04 March, the govt issued directions via the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) to restrict internet access. The order was sent directly to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and was implemented with immediate effect in the early hours of 07 March. Despite govt officials initially stating that the restrictions were only on for 72 hours, it lasted for over a week. more..

Non-academic staff grievances to be solved before April

Mar 21 (DN) State Minster Mohan Lal Grero said today that the govt is putting its best effort to resolve the grievances of university non-academic staff before April. Grero further said that the issue was discussed again today at a meeting held with the General Treasury in order to bring about a swift solution. Pointing out that the non-academic staff has not received their salaries for this month and they will also not receive their bonus payments for the New Year eve, more..

IFC helps Sri Lanka reach under-banked, under-insured

Mar 21 (EN) International Finance Corporation (IFC) is providing financial and technical assistance to Sri Lanka's Central Bank to develop a national strategy to help under-banked and under-insured people and small businesses get the financial services they need. "As Sri Lanka looks to grow, a strong, inclusive financial sector is crucial, simply because, financial inclusion is pretty much the need of the hour for sustainable, continued economic development," IFC Country Manager more..

Ada Cartoon: Parliament Mafia

Building an inclusive culture at LSEG Sri Lanka unit

Mar 21 (EN) Sri Lanka unit of the London Stock Exchange Group has launched a diversity and inclusion programme aimed at building an inclusive culture in the company. "We believe our focus on diversity will enable LSEG Sri Lanka to build a culture where all our employees are inspired to share their talents and ideas,” Bani Chandrasena, Head of Human Resuorces, LSEG SL said. “At LSEG, we are strongly committed to diversity and inclusion, and this programme is a reiteration more..

No statements impacting independent judiciary: MR

Mar 21 (NR) Former President MP Mahinda Rajapaksa says statements made in Parliament that make an impact on the independent judiciary should be prevented. Former President Rajapaksa made this statement in Parliament this afternoon. Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said it is allowed for you to express your views in Parliament and recalled how a statement made by Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle led to a fine of around 50,000 rupees despite his correction. more..

Soil covers 42% of Mahaweli Reservoirs

Mar 21 (CT) Subject experts at the University of Peradeniya emphasized that due to the soil erosion that is taking place in the central hills, 42 per cent of the Mahaweli reservoirs, that had been built to save water for electricity generation, had been covered in soil. They are of the view that the main reason for the soil erosion is the haphazard development that is taking place in the central highlands along with haphazard more..

Tri-Forces and Police get boats

Mar 21 (CT) Boats were distributed among the tri-forces and the Police, for use in flood relief when necessary, at a function organized by the Disaster Management Centre (DMC), at Dept of Meteorology premises, yesterday. Forty eight boats were given to the Army, while nine, five and 65 boats were given to the Navy, the Air Force and the Police respectively. Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, speaking as the chief guest, said that due to the inefficiency of divisional secretariat offices, more..

Thewarapperuma tenders resignation as organiser

Mar 21 (DM) Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma today tendered his resignation as Bulathsinhala Organiser of the UNP, to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. In his resignation letter, he stated the failure to obtain the votes in Bulathsinhala PS at the recent LG Elections and the failure to get a good Police OIC to Bulathsinhala Police Station were among the main reasons behind his resignation. Speaking to the Daily Mirror the Deputy Minister explained that though he fulfilled the duties more..