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CID finds children promoting ethnic and religious hatred

Mar 25 (IE) Using mobile phones of their parents, some school children have been involved in spreading hate speech against ethnic groups and religions, the CID has found. A senior CID officer said detectives had found that a number of school children had formed social media groups and were spreading hatred or promoting violence against other communities and religious groups. In addition to five cases where children were directly more..

OMP receives 13,294 Feedback Data Sheets

Mar 25 (Island) The Office of Missing Persons (OMP) which commenced operations late last month had so far received 13,294 completed applications or Feedback Data Sheets (FDS), Secretary to the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation (MoNIR) V.Sivagnanasothy said yesterday. The OMP comprising Saliya Pieris (Chairman ) Dr. Sriyani Nimalka Fernando, Major General (Rtd.) Mohanti Antonette Peiris, more..

18 Ministers, MPs off to China

Mar 25 (Island) While Sri Lanka and China negotiate the finer points of the Hambantota Industrial Zone project, an 18-member parliamentary delegation headed by Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, is scheduled leave on a nine-day visit to Beijing and Guangdong Province today. Addressing a farewell reception for the departing delegation, Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan said that they would be able to see a peaceful, developing more..

Corrupt doctors & officials protect Duminda

Mar 25 (SL) Corrupt doctors and officials at the Welikada Prison and prison hospital have allegedly received bribes to keep convicted criminal Duminda Silva at the prison hospital. Duminda Silva is serving a death sentence for committing the murder of four people, including former MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra. Sources said that some doctors at the Welikada Prison and prison hospital officials have more..

UAE fears Black Money investors

Mar 25 (CT) The authorities in the UAE are reluctant to apprehend the fugitive, former SL Ambassador to the Ukraine-Russia Udayanga Weeratunga, since it will send the wrong message to thousands of expatriates who have made huge black money investments in that desert kingdom, senior most officials with the Foreign Ministry in Colombo warned yesterday. They said the former envoy is known to be a proxy for more..

CBK demands suspension of multimillion dollar Chinese water project

Mar 25 (ST) A multimillion dollar Chinese-funded water supply project has run into controversy with former President Chandrika Kumaratunga openly demanding its suspension and an inquiry on the grounds that it is overpriced. In August 2016, Water Board awarded a contract to China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) for the Gampaha, Attanagalla and Minuwangoda Integrated Water Supply Scheme. more..

Hakeem warns of divorce: ‘Difficult to continue political marriage with UNP’

Mar 25 (CT) With Joint Opposition members being busy, mustering support from all parties to win the no-confidence motion moved against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, the SLMC indicated it is running out of patience with its coalition partner, the UNP. SLMC Leader, Minister Rauff Hakeem, after swearing in Local Govt members elected from his party, on Friday has said that he will be compelled to respond in a serious manner more..

Islamism = Wahhabism – Confused Cassandras

Mar 26 (CT) Just the other day I happened to watch a video on the recent anti-Muslim violence in SL in which the reporter claimed that Islamism is on the rise in the country and went on to equate it on the spread of Wahhabism. I was appalled at the reporter’s confusion between Islamism and Wahhabism. In fact it is this confusion that is creating unnecessary alarm within the Sinhalese community and is being exploited by the ultra-national Buddhists to promote their own more..

Political bankruptcy of SL Muslims threaten community’s future & country’s stability

Mar 26 (CT) Response of Muslim politicians, religious organizations and even civil society to the failure of the govt to prevent violence against Muslim in the central hills early this month is deeply disturbing. The senseless destruction of Muslim owned property and their commercial establishments striking at their very survival are enough for any Muslim politician with an iota of self-respect to leave the govt as a mark of protest against its failure. more..

Ganemulla schoolgirl faces HIV stigma again

Mar 26 (SO) The ten-year-old refuses to go to school citing harassment by the school authorities again, after the Human Rights Commission and politicians stepped in to help last year The 10-year-old schoolgirl from Ganemulla complained to President Maithripala Sirisena again last month, saying she continues to face harassment and stigma at her Govt administered school, because her mother more..

Flip-flopping on accountability: A timeline

Mar 26 (GV) On March 21, Minister Tilak Marapana flagged the operationalisation of the Office on Missing Persons, the use of the Right to Information Act, release of land to civilians, and the replacement of the Prevention of Terrorism Act as points of progress for SL, at 37th session of the UNHRC. He also said Cabinet approval had been granted to set up an Office of Reparations, while draft legislation on a Truth and Reconciliation Commission was in an advanced stage of consultation. more..

Will no-confidence motion be a learning curve?

Mar 26 (SO) The cat is finally out of the bag. The motion of no-confidence against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has been submitted to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and will be taken up for debate on April 4. Reportedly, 55 MPs have signed the motion. These include four members of the SLFP. The vast majority of the signatories are from the JO faction of the UPFA. The trigger for this motion of no confidence was the recently concluded LG elections won by the newly formed SLPP. more..

'Only simple majority in the chamber needed to oust Ranil'

Mar 26 (CT) JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath said that all Parliament needs is a simple majority of MPs in the Chamber on the date the No Confidence Motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was taken to remove him from office. He said that there was no need for a simple majority of 113 in the House for the NCM to be successful. If there are 41 MPs in the House on the date of the vote and if 21 vote for the Motion and more..

Picking out the racist beam in our own eyes

Mar 26 (ST) There is a cheery though dangerously complacent view articulated by senior Muslim politicians, (andechoed by others), that the recent communal violence in Ampara and Kandy was perpetrated through organised attacks by outsiders on Muslim residents of those areas. As is often the case, this explanation is only part of the truth. Certainly thugs masquerading as monks and racist organisations wrapping the banner of Sinhala Buddhist militants around them, more..

Editorial: Throttling senior citizens

Mar 26 (Island) Parliament has approved a huge increase in the Supreme Court (SC) judges’ pensionable allowances. Interestingly, there was no division in the House when a proposal to that effect was taken up. It was a very rare moment of unity. We thought the govt was so broke that it couldn’t increase the salaries of any category of public officials; it is desperate to draw more loans to keep the economy afloat with the help of the newly passed Active Liability Management Act. more..

1934 Sri Lanka documentary

The ominous cracker lit behind Joint Opposition’s puswedilla

Mar 26 (ST) Elated, no doubt, by winning the popular vote at last month’s LG polls, the joint opposition’s new move this month was to take its battle to the UNP heartland and make a bid to end its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s long stay atop Sri Kotha’s pinnacle. The strategy deployed was to bring a no-confidence motion in the House against his position as prime minster of the govt. If it succeeds on April 4 — when it will be taken up for debate and vote– it would mean curtains for more..

SSC win Premier Limited Overs Trophy

Mar 26 (Island) SSC overcame NCC by four wicket to win the Premier Limited Overs title yesterday at Maitland Place. NCC were shot out for 236 runs inside 49 overs. Test captain Dinesh Chandimal made the only significant score anchoring the innings with a fine 103. Chandimal faced 123 deliveries and hit five fours and three sixes. But there was little support for the 28-year-old from the rest of the batsmen as the next best score was Niroshan Dickwella’s 33. more..

Interview with the Komali King: King Ratnam

Mar 26 (Roar) The newest addition to Sri Lanka’s cinemascape has been making quite a stir. As the first fully Sri Lankan Tamil movie to be released island-wide in 40 years, Komaali Kings had a lot riding on its shoulders. While recently there have been some Tamil productions, they were very limited releases on a low budget. It is also no easy feat to compete with the giant that is the South Indian film industry, and create a movie more..

Colombo Port 13th best in connectivity in the world

Mar 26 (FT) The Port of Colombo has improved by five places in the global Best Connectivity rankings to 13th place as of end of Q4 2017, from 18th place previously. According to the rankings, the Port of Colombo is also the best connectivity port in South Asia. The Drewry Global Container Port Connectivity Index recently announced the top 20 ports with new entries of Jebel Ali and Algeciras to the listing for the 4th quarter of 2017. Shipping consultancy Drewry launched a regular, more..

Inbuilt instability of the presently constituted local authorities

Mar 26 (Island) In 2012, the Rajapaksa govt took the first step to make the transition from the proportional representation and preference vote based elections system to a hybrid first past the post and proportional representation system. The elections system for the local government level that the Rajapaksa govt introduced through the Local Authority Elections (Amendment) Act No: 22 of 2012 would have seen each local govt area being divided into a number wards returning one member more..

Economy to recover in 2018, gather pace next year

Mar 26 (FT) Asia Securities predicts 2019 will see faster economic pickup than this year as Govt expenditure is likely to increase with a number of consumer-friendly policies coming into play ahead of the 2020 Presidential Election. Expecting the economy to grow at around 3.9% this year, up from 3.1% in 2017, Asia Securities Research Manager Mangalee Goonetilleke said 2019 would be the year to look forward to. Making a presentation on more..

Shang Properties, UDA sign 99-year land lease deal worth over Rs. 12.8 b

Mar 26 (FT) Shang Properties Ltd., a joint venture of Kerry Properties Ltd. and Shang Properties, has signed a 99-year land lease agreement with the UDA for a land parcel in Colombo 2. The company has acquired this site through a public tender for a consideration of Rs. 12.8 billion excluding taxes. The site is located at Sir James Peiris Mawatha in Colombo 2 and has an aggregate site area of six acres. Colombo 2 is an up-and-coming area where many developments more..

Monk helming Rotary in SL and Maldives focusing on early childhood education

Mar 26 (Island) Rotary District Governor Sri Lanka and Maldives Ven. Dr Bandageriya Somawansa Thero said this year he has a plan to work for the benefit and development of early childhood education with assistance from Rotary International. 'For that purpose we want to promote teacher training and develop pre childhood education in Sri Lanka, in order to move out of the outdated Montessori system, which does not allow children to be independent, Somawansa Thero said. more..

Vidanage aiming for at least four golds in weightlifting

Mar 26 (ST) For SL lifters–Commonwealth Games have been a happy hunting ground. Not that medals have come in great numbers but they have made at least a single podium finish in each of the Games since 2006. Leading from the front: Chinthana Vidanage among medal hopefuls in Gold Coast. On April 4, Vidanage–the overall team captain will lead a squad of 80 athletes across 11 disciplines at Carrara stadium in Gold Coast, more..

7 listed firms up for trading suspension

Mar 26 (FT) The Colombo Stock Exchange has announced that seven companies are up for suspension of trading from 1 April unless they rectify non-compliances over the submission of interim and annual accounts. The firms are Lanka Cement Plc, PC House Plc, PC Pharma Plc, Ceylon & Foreign Trades Plc, Standard Capital Plc, Adam Investments Plc and Adam Capital Plc. They are already on the CSE’s Watch List and the CSE has given them time until 29 March to comply. more..

Indrani Sugathadasa to step down

Mar 26 (CT) Chairperson of the Insurance Commission of Sri Lanka (formerly Insurance Board of Sri Lanka), Mrs Indrani Sugathadasa, has decided to step down from the post, which she has been holding since May 2010. Under her dynamic eight-year leadership, the Sri Lankan industry has witnessed major changes and path breaking regulations, enabling growth and ensuring long-term sustainability of the industry. Mrs Sugathadasa handled the transition of the industry from more..

SL to raise controlled price of milk powder

Mar 26 (EN) SL is expected to raise the controlled price of milk powder by Rs 80 for kg or Rs 35 rupees for a 400 gram pack as world market prices rise and the effects of a currency collapse in 2015 and 2016 begins to bite. A govt committee on cost of living had approved an 80 rupees per kg hike in milk powder following a rise in world market prices. The prices have to be published by gazette by the CAA which can prosecute retailers more..

SriLankan Airlines’ new board

Mar 26 (ST) A new board of directors to SriLankan Airlines has been finalised and expected to be appointed next week with a former banker tipped to be appointed chairman, airline sources said. They said that the delay in the appointment of a new board after the current board chaired by Ajith Dias, agreed to step down on Nov 30 to help in the restructure of the airline, was also due to last month’s elections and a new minister (Lakshman Kirella) being appointed to the Ministry of more..

Unregistered ‘excess’ HNB shares of Harry companies disposed in toto

Mar 26 (Island) A total of approx. 18.35 million unregistered voting shares of Hatton National Bank PLC held in the CDS accounts of three Harry Jayawardena controlled/influenced companies have now been disposed in the market in its entirety HNB said in a Stock Exchange filing last week. These companies are Milford Exports (Ceylon) Ltd., Stassen Exports Ltd. And Distilleries Company of SL, related parties who together held 17.84% of HNB which is in excess of the 10% limit more..

Judicature Amendment Bill: A bid to weaken CJ alleged

Mar 26 (Island) A consensus between those who had challenged the Judicature Amendment Bill in the Supreme Court and the govt could have been easily reached if the latter abandoned the move to further weaken the judiciary through constitutional means, Gevindu Cumaratunga, convenor of Yuthukama said. Enactment of the Judicature Bill would strengthen the minister in charge of the justice portfolio more..

Bankers in limbo on debt repayment levy

Mar 26 (ST) Commercial banks haven’t still received clear directions on the tax on transactions proposed in the last budget, despite their official communication to the Treasury through the SL Bankers’ Association more than five months ago, officials say. The budget proposed a 0.02% tax (this is down from 0.05% 2016 when it was first proposed) on banking transactions. This tax has to be borne by the banks, not customers. In 2016, Rs. 106 trillion was recorded as transactions and more..

CBSL prints Rs 7,262 million

Mar 26 (CT) Net excess liquidity (NEL) suffered a Rs 9,126 million drawdown, Friday over the previous day Thursday due to Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s (CBSL’s) swap settlements with domestic banks and/or Govt of SL foreign debt servicing commitments. Conversions are based on the middle rate of the closing value of the ‘spot’ as at Wednesday which was Rs 156.05 to the US dollar. However, due to CBSL printing money equivalent to a face value of Rs 7,262 million on Friday, more..

Govt mulls replacing vehicle tax formula 3 months after its introduction

Mar 26 (ST) Almost three months after presenting the Blue-Green budget in Parliament, govt is mulling to replace the current engine capacity based taxation formula with vehicle engine power output based taxation (engine horse power) criterion. The revenue loss incurred under the present taxation formula has prompted the govt to change the present system, a senior govt official said. more..

SriLankan Airlines scores a hat-trick at Golden City Gate Awards 2018

Mar 26 (Island) SriLankan Airlines, the National Carrier of Sri Lanka and a member of the oneworld alliance, reaffirming the global appeal and innovativeness of its marketing communication endeavors yet again, won three awards at Golden City Gate Awards 2018 at ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade fair. The 18th edition of the awards saw a jury 40 members judging 157 submissions sent by over 30 countries. SriLankan Airlines was awarded the first star more..

Heroin racket: Ex-LTTE cadre and four others arrested

Mar 26 (DM) Five drug smugglers, including an ex-LTTE member have been arrested by the Organized Crimes unit of the STF with 510 grames of heroin valued over Rs. 5 million during a raid at a hotel in Rathmalgoda, Polgahawela. STF said the suspects were arrested on Friday night following a tip-off received to the STF intelligence unit. The main suspect, Rasayya Maheshwaran alias Simon, a resident of Jaffna who was a member of the elite Charles Anthony Brigade of LTTE has been more..

Letter asking principals to invite politicians, respect them irks teachers’ union

Mar 26 (DM) Colombo Zonal Education office issued a letter to the Principals of Colombo schools to give due respect for MPs and PC members who attend to special school functions. In a letter dated Feb 20 sent to all schools within the territory of Colombo Zonal Division, Zonal Education Director had ordered the principals to invite MPs and PC members, who represented the area to special school functions and principals were bound to more..

Vietnam, Sri Lanka look to increase bilateral relations

Mar 26 (ND) Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan had a meeting with Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament Karu Jayasuriya on the fringes of the 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU-138) in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 25. She told her Sri Lankan counterpart that Vietnam always attaches importance to the time-honoured friendship with Sri Lanka and wishes to advance the relationship on the basis of potential and advantages of each side. more..

Ranjan calls opposition MPs for public debate

Mar 26 (DM) UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake called the opposition MPs including former President Rajapaksa who accused him of insulting Supreme Court judges for a public debate. He was responding to the allegation made by the opposition MPs that he had insulted judicial offices using his parliamentary privileges. MPs last week complained to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya that Mr. Ramanayake was insulting SC judges. MPs said Mr. Ramanayake should not have been allowed to insult the judges. more..

No power cuts, assures Minister

Mar 26 (DN) The demand for electricity surged to a whopping 2500 MW on Friday extending to the weekend making it the highest demand for electricity in recent months. This is particularly owing to the prevailing and rising temperature. Officials however, assured that there won’t be any power cuts despite this continuing increase in demand, Minister Ajith P. Perera said. “We have enough power on National Grid. more..