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BBS head meets Mahasona

Mar 26 (Island) General Secretary of BBS Ven. Galagodatte Gnanasara has visited Anuradhapura prison over the weekend to inquire after the health of Mahason Balakaya leader Amith Weerasinghe and other activists held there over their alleged involvement in recent attacks on Muslims in the Kandy District. Ven. Gnanasara, who had been overseas recently, visited those in custody immediately after his return. Ven. Dambara Amila said that Ven. Gnanasara, in spite of serious more..

Australia in turmoil over cricketers' ball-tampering shame

Mar 26 (AFP) Sports-loving Australia is in uproar over the ball-tampering scandal that has ensnared the national cricket team in South Africa with demands for heads to roll. It's been called the most shameful chapter in Australian cricket since Australian captain Greg Chappell infamously directed his brother Trevor to bowl the final ball of a tense ODI underarm against New Zealand in 1981. Australia captain Steve Smith and team-mate Cameron Bancroft sensationally admitted to more..

Looters as Rulers: President abolishes PM-led Economic Committee

Mar 26 (CT) Cabinet of Ministers last week approved the Cabinet Paper on the abolition of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) under PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, a high profile Cabinet official said. “The paper was presented to the cabinet by President Maithripala Sirisena, for the second time at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting and it was approved, the official said. more..

Nature-based solutions for water crisis

Mar 26 (DM) The single minute, humble door it may be makes the mighty ages of eternity. Similarly, it is a reality that little drops of water make the mighty ocean. We need to ponder deeply on such immortal words when observing vital events such as World Water Day which was marked on March 22. UN Environmental Programme (UNEP), playing an important role in the battle against global warming says this year’s theme is Nature for Water and we need to explore nature-based solutions to more..

More than what meets the eye

Mar 26 (DM) Sri Lanka emerged from three decade-long ethnic hostilities which claimed numerous lives and inflicted economic havoc. It saw Sri Lanka retrograding in many respects. Adding insult to injury, Sri Lanka had to face global opprobrium at international forums. SL thus became a virtual pawn in pertinacious scheme of geopolitical machinations pursued by vested interests that are propelled by influence-peddling pro-LTTE Diaspora. Excesses perpetrated by the then ruling elites more..

Chinese money gushes into Sri Lanka

Mar 26 (TG) Little disturbs the serenity of Guan Yin, the bodhisattva of compassion, as her statue sits in contemplation at the centre of Mattala Rajapaksa international airport. The last flight from the airport departed at 7.50am. The next is scheduled for 7.50am tomorrow. In the meantime check-in counters are empty, car rental desks deserted, and the only sign of life a handful of staff laughing around an information desk more..

UNHRC presents two tough choices to SL

Mar 26 (CT) The warning from the UNHRC is simple and stark. Institute a special court to check on the alleged war crimes or face universal jurisdiction. The terse warning issued in Geneva at the periodic review of progress with regard to alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka means that this country has to begin a legal process of trying people who are alleged to have committed war crimes during the separatist war or more..

Police, politicians accused of joining Sri Lanka's anti-Muslim riots

Mar 26 (Reuters) Police and politicians backed by the country’s former strongman President Mahinda Rajapaksa joined anti-Muslim riots that rocked Sri Lanka’s Kandy district this month, according to witnesses, officials and CCTV footage reviewed by Reuters. Scores of Muslim mosques, homes and businesses were destroyed as mobs ran amok for three days in Kandy, the central highlands district more..

No faith motion against PM: TNA to decide on April 2

Mar 26 (DM) The TNA, which enjoys 16 seats in Parliament, said it would take a decision regarding the no confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe only on April 2, party official said. Last week the JO handed over a No-confidence Motion against the PM to the Speaker. It is scheduled to be debated only on April 4. Already however some ministers of SLFP and JVP have come out & said they would support motion. more..

Cabinet divided over Glyphosate ban

Mar 26 (ST) The Cabinet is to decide whether the ban on the controversial Glyphosate weedicide should remain, amidst lobbying by ministers for and against the ban. The move comes after a committee of experts recommended to the Dovernment that Glyphosate was not directly linked to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKDU) epidemic, a cabinet minister said. Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake said that the committee’s more..

Navin sounds ominous warning to his party

Mar 26 (Island) If the UNP couldn’t resolve a number of serious issues within the next three months, the govt might collapse within six months, Minister Navin Dissanayake said addressing a meeting in Nuwara Eliya, on Saturday. Dissanayake said the defeat of the 70-year-old UNP by the four-month-old SLPP was truly an upsetting development. "We must ask ourselves how it happened. We are all to blame. more..

Govt to introduce Freedom of Speech Act

Mar 26 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the govt is contemplating introducing a freedom of speech Act as one of the alternatives for the racial and religious unrest. PM who was speaking at the 44th convention of the Bar Association of Sri Lanaka (BASL) on Saturday said Sri Lanka is looking at this option and also other alternatives such as Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act of Singapore, Racial & Religious Hatred public more..

Vedda chief calls for conserving forests

Mar 26 (Island) Veddha Chief Uruwarige Wannile Eththo calls for a campaign against the alienation of forest reserves in Sri Lanka. He said so addressing a media conference in Kandy to mark the launch of planting one million new trees countrywide. The campaign is sponsored by the Family Yoga Centre. Demonstrations were held against various projects which caused the destruction of forest reserves and more..

Doing away with race-based schools

Mar 26 (CT) Minister Mano Ganesan is to forward a Cabinet Paper, in the coming months, to completely do away with race-based schools, in order to tackle racism in children and to foster communal harmony. He made this comment in the wake of revelations, by the CID, which indicated that a number of school children had been involved in spreading hate speech via their parents’ mobile phones. more..

Renovated Batticaloa airport opens

Mar 26 (DM) ore domestic airports in the country would be developed to accommodate 60-seater aircraft, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said while commencing civil aviation at the Batticaloa Domestic Airport today (25). The airport after renovation was declared open by President Sirisena on July 2016. However, operations were deferred as the airport had to conform to international civil aviation requirements, more..

Police commandos nab Kudu Nuwan

Mar 26 (Island) A notorious underworld figure, Nuwan Gunathilake alias Kudu Nuwan, was arrested by the police commandos yesterday. The Special Task Force arrested him at Ganemulla, Gampaha, with a hand grenade. Gunathilake is alleged to have been involved in a number of crimes. Close associate of former Minister Mervyn Silva, Gunathilake was also a suspect in the attack on employees of Rupavahini Corp on Dec 27, 2007. He was handed over to Kadawatha Police. more..

Scary Gun Culture

Mar 26 (CT) Police Crimes Division has made a startling revelation on the gun culture which is rapidly taking shape in the country throwing a big challenge to the law enforcement officials. The recent shooting incidents in the past three weeks – have led to the deaths of several people and injuring several more. The manner shooting incidents have taken place in the country in recent weeks have even made the top Police officials to work out new strategies to deal with the deadly situation. more..

විශ්වවිද්යාල අනධ්යයන සේවක වැඩ වර්ජනය

Policy disagreement in Unity Govt has been the killer of the economy

Mar 26 (FT) SL’s economy has grown in 2017 by 3.1%. This is a continuation of the deceleration of the growth rate since the new Govt – till August exclusively of UNP and since then, a unity govt – took charge of the economy in early 2015. In 2014, SL’s economy had grown by 5%, up from 3.5% in the previous year. The country under the new Govt had been able to maintain the same growth rate in 2015 as well though it was not sufficient to deliver an economic miracle to Sri Lankans. more..

Why we must reform the education of Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka

Mar 26 (LSE) We are less than a decade after the end of a civil war in Sri Lanka, which lasted for over two decades and cost thousands of lives. We also work in a context where many Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka (as well as some groups of monks in Buddhist Myanmar) are perceived, rightly or wrongly, as adopting a hard line against minority groups. Prior to the recent example of the involvement of Buddhist monks in violence by Sinhala Buddhists against Muslims in Sri Lanka, more..

When the uneducated are.... Nourished on a diet of myths and infertility pills

Mar 26 (DM) Life in Kandy and Ampara Districts has returned to normalcy now. The country is at present experiencing calm after a storm. The unrest in Ampara sparked with the speculation that a pill that causes infertility had been mixed with food served in New Cassim Hotel, a small scale local restaurant in Ampara town. The violence that followed, encouraged by deep-rooted racial bigotry, spread from Ampara to Kandy, more..

Sri Lanka to call for offshore oil exploration bids in May

Mar 26 (EN) SL will call for fresh bids for offshore oil and gas exploration in May, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said. Govt is making final preparations for the call for bids with Cabinet approval expected shortly, he said. Fresh bids are likely to be called in the first week of May. SL’s Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat, the national regulatory authority administering petroleum upstream operations, had said the third bid round will be in the first quarter of 2018. more..

Video: Shots fired at residence of a state minister’s private secretary

Mar 26 (AD) Two unidentified gunmen are reported to have fired at the residence of State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe’s secretary early this morning. Police said the shooting had taken place at around 2.40am today and that a T-56 assault rifle was used to open fire at the house, located on 14th Lane in Jothipala Mawatha. Several window panes and the wall of the house were damaged in the shooting, but nobody has been injured. Athurugiriya Police is conducting further investigations. more..

‘No second-generation Tamil leaders, Sri Lanka needs some’

Mar 26 (IE) Namal Rajapaksa, 31, is former SL president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s eldest son. An MP and a rugby player, Namal was arrested in July 2016 on charges of money-laundering in a crackdown on members of the previous administration. Namal spoke to Indian Express from Colombo, before catching a flight to Russia as an independent observer in the presidential polls. Q: You are seen as the next-generation more..

CB requests CIFL depositors to submit their details of deposits

Mar 26 (LBO) Central Bank has requested all CIFL depositors to submit the details of deposits that they have placed with the finance firm and loans obtained from them in a bid to consider the repayment of insured deposits. CB said the purpose of this is to obtain the details of the deposits placed with CIFL and loans obtained from CIFL by individuals and other legal entities for the consideration of repayment of insured deposits as per the provisions of the SL Deposit Insurance and more..

Police probe prove JHU not involved in Kandy riots: Champika

Mar 26 (DM) JHU General Secretary and Minister Champika Ranawaka said that in the wake of Police investigations ruling out any JHU involvement in the unrest in the Kandy district, the police should now reveal the political forces behind the violence. He said that most of those arrested were identified as members of the SLPP though the SLPP had blamed the JHU for the violence. “Pro-Rajapaksa groups spread a rumour that the JHU was behind the Kandy riots. more..

Sri Lankan casinos, gems, real estate under financial regulator scrutiny

Mar 26 (EN) SL’s financial regulator is closely monitoring the activities of people involved in the casino, gems and jewellery and real estate businesses to ensure compliance with international anti-money laundering laws, an official said. D M Rupasinghe, Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit of Central Bank, said the authorities were taking action to correct deficiencies in its anti-money laundering rules identified by the EU. more..

Video: Tense situation during election of Hatton-Dickoya UC chairman

Mar 26 (AD) Sadayan Balachandran of the CWC has been chosen as the Chairman of the Hatton-Dickoya Urban Council. The Chairman was chosen through the drawing of lots as the open ballot held today to elect the chairman had ended in a draw. Balachandran and Alagamuththu Nandakumar of the UNP had received an equal number of votes during the open ballot resulting in a tense situation at the council. Council members reportedly used abusive language while launching verbal attacks more..

Stay order preventing action against Gotabaya extended

Mar 26 (AD) The stay order issued by the Appeal Court, preventing the FCID from taking action against former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa under Public Property Act, has been further extended until March 28. Petition filed by former Defence Secretary was taken up before Appeals Court chairman Preethi Padman Surasena and Justice Shiran Gunaratne today. Court announced that the petition will be taken up for consideration tomorrow while the stay order more..

CPC losses to increase after IOC price hike

Mar 26 (EN) SL unit of Indian Oil Corporation has raised fuel prices though state-run CPC is yet to do so, boosting its sales and making it suffer more losses. LIOC has raised 92 Octane petrol by 9 rupees a litre to 126. Auto Diesel has been raised by 5 rupees to 100 a litre. But 95 Octane and Super Diesel, would be unchanged. CPC Chairman Dhammika Ranatunga said that it was not yet hiking prices because it was a more..

O/L results on Wednesday

Mar 26 (DM) Results of the 2017 GCE O/L exam will be released on Wednesday, Commissioner General of Examinations, Sanath Pujitha said. Results would be uploaded to the examination department website on Wednesday night while Colombo schools could collect their results from the ministry on March 29. He said results of the outstation schools would be posted on Thursday. Meanwhile, it was revealed that the results of 969 applicants were suspended due to irregularities. more..

PHU complains to OMP over Mahendran’s disappearance

Mar 26 (DM) While saying that the Central Bank’s former governor Arjuna Mahendran, the mastermind of the bond scam claimed to be the largest financial fraud in Sri Lanka, is still missing, Deputy Leader of PHU, Madumadawa Aravinda said today they would complain to the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) about Mr. Mahendran going missing. He told a news conference that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was connected to Mahendran’s disappearance. “It was Premier Wickremesinghe who said more..

Stanley Dias of SLPP elected Mayor of Dehiwala-Mt. Lavinia

Mar 26 (AD) Nawalage Stanley Dias of the SLPP has been elected as the Mayor of the Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Municipal Council, which was won by the UNP at the LG polls. He was elected with 23 votes in an open ballot held this morning while Sunethra Ranasinghe of the UNP received only 21 votes. UNP claimed victory at the Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia MC at the 2018 Local Authorities Election after polling 36,985 votes in total more..

SL Navy denies reports on harassment on fishermen

Mar 26 (DM) The SL Navy denied the Indian media reports of harassment against Tamil Nadu fishermen who forcibly entered the Lankan territorial waters near Katchatheevu islet in the recent past. When Daily Mirror inquired of several reports published in the Indian media, Navy Deputy Media Spokesman said it was a regular allegation made by several Indian media and was baseless. According to SL Navy, over 1,000 fishermen across the TN coastal belt enters into SL territorial waters more..

Contest to find new name for Colombo Port City

Mar 26 (Island) A competition has been initiated to find a new name for the Colombo Port City by CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, the Ministry of Megapolis and the UDA. The winner of this competition will receive a prize of Rs. 100,000. The name of the city must be under three words and can be in English or Sinhala or a combination of the two. The name should appeal both to local and international audiences and must not have any negative connotations, City by CHEC Port more..

Child sexual exploitation in Sri Lanka

Mar 26 (Roar) There are no recent statistics concerning children in the sex trade in SL. Child prostitution exists, though govt organisations and officials will deny it being so. Even the most recent reports are old—reports by UNICEF, for instance, date back to 2001. While some do not even include any numbers for Sri Lanka, the others have vastly different statistics. Even UNICEF’s 2001 report titled more..

No change in the post of PM: Chandrika

Mar 26 (AD) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga says there will be no change in the post of PM. The former President expressed these views, responding to questions raised by journalists. Meanwhile, MP Shehan Semasinghe says that a group of UNP MPs are ready to vote in support of no- confidence motion. “Even the MPs who signed against the no –confidence motion, agreed to vote for the motion at the parliament.” Meanwhile, MP Ananda Aluthgamage stated that more..

Chinese national arrested with gemstones worth Rs 21m

Mar 26 (AD) A Chinese national has been arrested at the BIA in Katunayake with 12 pieces of gemstones valued at around Rs 21 million. The 39-year-old suspect arrived from Shanghai at 11.25pm last night on flight CX611 and was apprehended by airport customs staff at around 12 midnight while attempting to smuggle the pieces of gemstones into Sri Lanka. SL Customs spokesman said 12 pieces of gemstones weighing 68.87 ct and valued at Rs 21,131,227 were found in his possession. more..

No-confidence motion: SLFP, JHU & TNA hold cards close to chests

Mar 26 (CT) Ten days to the debate on the motion of no-confidence against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, the SLFP, JHU and the TNA remain undecided. The SLFP, the major partner of Wickremesinghe’s UNP in the Yahapalana Govt, despite much braggadocio over ousting him and forming a new Govt immediately after the February 10 election debacle, is yet to state its position. more..

The crisis of the JVP today is that it has lost its purpose

Mar 27 (CT) In the original days of the JVP, it had a clear sense of purpose. Whether that purpose or general goal had been right or apt or realistic is another issue altogether. The important thing is that the party had a clear and unambiguous eventual goal to which it had been working under the leadership of Rohana Wijeweera, Gamanayake etc. Ask the JVP today what its political purpose is and you will not get a valid answer. The crisis of the JVP today is that it has lost a purpose. more..