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Amunugama calls for govt. boycott of UNHRC session

Mar 29 (NR) Minister Sarath Amunugama today said govt must boycott the next year’s regular session of the UNHRC in Genčve. He said the govt has ensured an independent judicial system in the country and therefore called for an end to int'l pressure on SL to address allegations of human rights violations during the conflict with the LTTE. He said next year marks a decade since the end of the conflict adding it is unnecessary to attend session annually & submit reports as respondents. more..

Govt: MP being questioned on Ampara-Digana riots belongs to Mahinda led Opp

Mar 29 (Island) The govt yesterday identified a member of Parliament, being questioned by the Police in connection with the recent mob attacks on Muslims in Ampara and Digana, as a member of the Mahinda Rajapaksa-led Opposition. Asked at the weekly Cabinet press briefing in Colombo, why the MP said to be involved in the riots had not been identified as yet, Minister Rajitha Senaratne replied, "A member of the Joint Opposition led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa." more..

Arjun Aloysius’ FR petition: Justice Prasanna Jayawardena declines to take Bench

Mar 29 (DN) Supreme Court Justice Prasanna Jayawardena yesterday declined to sit on the Bench regarding a Fundamental Rights petition filed by Arjun Aloysius, the Chairman of W.M. Mendis & Company Limited, challenging the Central Bank’s decision to impose restrictions on his company’s bank accounts. When the petition came up before Supreme Court three-judge-Bench headed by Justice Sisira de Abrew, more..

Over than 400,000 persons affected by drought in Sri Lanka

Mar 29 (Xinhua) The Disaster Management Centre said in its situation report on Thursday that as many as 436,340 persons remained affected by drought in nine districts of Sri Lanka. According to the report, six affected districts are in the northern and north-western parts of Sri Lankan and the remaining two in the central hills. Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said that the lack of rainfall in the agriculture areas resulted in crop failure or reduced harvest. more..

With President Sirisena entering the fray no-faith motion will succeed: Mahinda

Mar 29 (Island) The no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe would succeed as President Sirisena was backing it, former President Rajapaksa said. He said the SLFP would support the motion and that the President was supportive of it. "Some UNP MPs will also support the motion. Several of them have already told me that they will vote against the PM." Rajapaksa said that the focus on the no-confidence motion should not divert the attention from the bond scams. more..

UNP decides to unanimously support PM

Mar 29 (NR) The Working Committee of the UNP has decided to support party leader PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and defeat the No Confidence Motion tabled against him by the JO. Decisions were also reached at the Working Committee meeting held this morning to initiate party reforms before the New Year. Speaking to media following the meeting Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said the Working Committee more..

Emil, Rangajeewa now in Prison Hospital

Mar 29 (DM) Prison Department’s Rehabilitation Commissioner and Magazine Prison’s former superintendent Emil Ranjan Lamahewa and Police Narcotic Bureau Inspector Neomal Rangajeewa who were admitted to the Colombo National Hospital were transferred to the Welikada Prison Hospital a short while ago, Prisons Spokesman T.N. Upuldeniya said. The Colombo Magistrate who today visited the Colombo National Hospital remanded the two suspects till April 10. more..

'Social media falsely blamed for violence'

Mar 29 (Island) The economic cost of the partial shutdown of social media platforms in SL from 7-15 March is around USD $30 million, the American non-profit organization The Internet Society has estimated. The govt tried to cut off communications among organizers of violent mobs, but the shutdown had a huge impact on a wide swath of internet users, they claim. "Businesses and other organizations use WhatsApp and Viber as productivity tools, and their customer more..

SL February vehicle registrations up 26%

Mar 29 (EN) Sri Lanka's vehicles registrations rose 26.6% from a year earlier to 37,354 in Feb 2018, with motor cars up 131% to 4,949 units and broad-based double digit growth in all categories, data shows. Total registrations of all vehicles in February was down from 42,783 unit in January, with working days down in the second month of the year, J B Securities, said in an analysis of SL's vehicle registry data. more..

Coca-Cola CEO meets PM in Sri Lanka

Mar 29 (LBO) President and CEO of Coca-Cola, James Quincey has met with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe during his maiden visit to Sri Lanka. Affirming the company’s commitment to Sri Lanka, the company and its bottling partner has committed to contribute 50 million dollars into the ecosystem of the country over the next 5 years. Quincey’s visit to Sri Lanka, within his very first year of taking office, follows the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola in January 2018. more..

Kiriella-Thilanga lock horns

Mar 29 (DM) The Leader of the House, Lakshman Kiriella was reported to have locked horns with Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala at the party leaders’ meeting over his participation at a press conference along with Minister S.B. Dissanayake. At this press conference, Mr Dissanayake said it would be difficult for the SLFP to vote against the No-Confidence Motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Mr Kiriella took Mr Sumathipala to task over his participation in this meeting. more..

Army defends delay in deployment of UN peacekeepers

Mar 29 (SL) SL Army on Thursday defended the delay to deploy peacekeepers for UN operations. In a statement, the Sri Lanka Army said it considers it important that the personnel deployed for UN missions at all levels should be individuals of the highest integrity and maintain the highest standards of conduct at all times. “As you would be aware, there have been certain instances in the past where personnel more..

Individual arrested over Avant Garde case remanded

Mar 29 (NR) Former OIC of the floating armoury operated by the Avant Garde Maritime Services Limited, Alfred Wijethunga, arrested over the case filed by the Bribery Commission has been remanded until the 9th of April. The order was issued by the Galle Magistrate’s Court today. The CID arrested the former officer-in-charge last night. The CIABOC has filed a case against seven persons including against the Former Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. more..

9 arrested over Digana unrest further remanded

Mar 29 (NR) Nine suspects including the leader of the Mahason Balakaya Amith Weerasinghe arrested in connection to the recent unrest reported in Digana and Theldeniya, have been further remanded till the 10th of April. The order was issued by the Theldeniya Magistrate’s Court. Meanwhile SLPP Kundasale Pradeshiya Sabha Councillor KM Samatha Perera arrested last evening will be further remanded till the 2nd of April. The suspect was arrested by Terrorist Investigation Division. more..

Liquor quota regulations to be implemented strictly for inbound passengers

Mar 29 (DM) There has been growing concern among the authorities with regards to increasing number of Sri Lankans returning to the country for the upcoming festive holidays and the excessive amount of alcoholic spirits they would bring along, pointing out that an individual was only entitled to bring 2.5 litres of liquor into SL. Many Sri Lankans living in European and Middle Eastern countries, returning for the upcoming festive more..

Should we support a usurping govt?

Mar 30 (CT) Varying opinions have been expressed in the aftermath of the communal violence in Kandy and Ampara Districts. As usual the Govt blames its political rivals for inciting violence. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who was also the Minister in charge of Law and Order gave a full description in Parliament about the violence that had taken place and put the blame on the Govt’s saboteurs and added that the law enforcement authorities had erred. more..

Muslim demographics: Facts & Fiction

Mar 30 (CT) For some time since the Sept 11 infamy and US’s declaration of the so called War on Terror, alarming statistics about Muslim population explosion and their imminent takeover of the world have been circulating in the social media globally. This demographic paranoia about Muslims is part of a growing international Islamophobia industry. That industry appears to have opened its branch in Sri Lanka also under the auspices of BBS. Statistics and graphics have been plucked from thin air more..

Women make 75% contribution in Agri sector

Mar 30 (CT) Insisting that men and women should always have equal rights, K.T. Somalatha a member from the Uva Wellassa Women’s Organization aired her views representing the agricultural sector at the Round Table Discussion-2017 organized by the Human Rights Commission of SL in lieu of the 2017 Women’s Day. Somalatha shared that those women who are engaged in farming activities and sugar cane cultivation more..

Matter and the 3 holiest days of Christians

Mar 30 (Island) The Christian mysteries of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday acutely illustrate the Teilhardian concept of matter evolving into life, into human consciousness and finally into divinity. On Thursday food (matter) turns into the body of Jesus (Eucharist), on Friday we witness the suffering body of Jesus, or conscious matter in an evolutionary struggle and on Sunday we witness the bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ or the glorification of matter (Jordan Peterson, more..

Kandiah Neelakandan

Mar 30 (CT) I came in contact with, Mr. Neelakandan in the Chambers of my Guru, Late Mr. P. Navaratnarajah, Q.C. through his father-in-law late Mr. V. Murugesu, in early 1970. Our friendship had spanned over for a period of more than 4 decades to be precise for 47 years. He is a true and genuine friend. A friend in need is a friend indeed. I was admitted and enrolled as an Advocate (now Attorney-at-Law) of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka in June 1971. more..

Today is Good Friday

Mar 30 (DN) Jesus had not had any rest nor had any food for some time when he was unjustly arrested, judged, sentenced to death on a cross and then stripped of his clothes, scourged, crowned with thorns, spat upon, mocked and made to carry the cross to Golgotha to be crucified. The agony preceding his arrest, the unbearable sufferings he underwent, the degrading crucifixion, death and resurrection became the foremost more..

Confidence set in motion

Mar 30 (DN) The motion of no-confidence against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe which will be taken up for debate in Parliament and voted on next Wednesday has become the focus of all political activity in the major political parties, who are lining up to take up their respective positions on the issue. The motion is based mostly on allegations that PM Wickremesinghe should take responsibility for the Central Bank bond sales debacle which was the subject of an inquiry by a Prez Commission. more..

Best foot forward

Mar 30 (DN) or some, easy and graceful movements come naturally. Once you find your groove, nurturing a love for music and enjoying rhythmical movements everyday come with great value. This allows them to foster their sense of physical expressions and spark creativity. The dance troupe of Lyceum International School Nugegoda recently took part in the Int'l Dance Festival and Competition which was held in Moscow, Russia, recently. They won first place in the traditional folk dance category more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Reconciliation, reparations and domestic compulsions

Mar 30 (Island) Independent of what UNHRC in Geneva may have to say on the war-crimes probe, reconciliation and reparations (not to miss out on the Office of the Missing Persons) back home, it may be time that the incumbent Govt thought and spoke about certain ground realities – and sought to convince the int'l community on domestic compulsions. It is more so, whatever the fate of the current no-trust motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, or the future of more..

Editorial: Interesting times

Mar 30 (Island) SL politics has been in an unusual state of flux during the last three years or so. Political realignments occur, from time to time, in a mind-bogglingly erratic manner. There have been quite a few political marriages, honeymoons and divorces. Certain marriages of convenience have lasted longer than expected, but the partners concerned have been far from faithful to each other. One shouldn’t be so naďve as to expect politicians who opt for political marriages to be like more..

'We will support no-faith motion'

Mar 30 (CT) JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake says the tussle for power between President and PM has not come to an end even though the govt got weakened. Q: There is an allegation, that on certain instances, the people have disliked the JVP due to its leadership overestimating themselves. What is your view on this? A: Is there such an allegation? As the JVP and as individuals we live in a humble and fair manner. more..

DCSL-Melstacorp deal gets SEC nod

Mar 30 (FT) The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the off-the-floor transfer of approximately 7.5% of Distilleries Company (DCSL) shares to the shareholders of Melstacorp Plc as of the ex-dividend date. Melstacorp announced in February this year that it would give eight DCSL Plc shares for every 27 Melstacorp Plc shares held as a dividend in specie. This will allow the recommencement of trading of the DCSL Plc share on the Colombo Stock Exchange. more..

Fishing cat cubs separated from mother

Mar 30 (CT) Environmentalists and animal welfare activists are protesting over the separation of two fishing cat cubs from their mother from the Gregory Tea Estate, after tea estate workers complained to the Dimbulapathana Police that their lives are at risk from the cubs. Workers from the tea estate have alleged that their lives are at risk due to the presence of the fishing cat cubs and informed the Dimbulapathana Police to remove the cubs from the Gregory Tea Estate. more..

Jaffna tobacco industry collapses

Mar 30 (SL) Jaffna tobacco farmers insist that they will not grow tobacco after this season since their tobacco cultivations are undergoing unprecedented obstacles and barriers. Therefore, tobacco cultivation in Jaffna is now rapidly declining dragging down Jaffna farmers with it. Among the varied cultivations in Jaffna, growing tobacco provides Jaffna farmers with good revenue. However, the present dire situation of more..

DG Bandara to leave his post

Mar 30 (CT) Director General of Sports at the Department of Sports Development, Saman Bandara resigned from his post and his resignation will be effective followed by the Commonwealth Games 2018. Saman Bandara is set to travel as an official with the Sri Lanka contingent for the Commonwealth Games even though his presence is not needed in the SL team to function at Gold Coast. Buwaneka Herath will be the acting DG until a formal appointment is made. more..

Cabinet green lights draft Bill on Sri Lanka Light Rail Transit System

Mar 30 (FT) The draft bill for the SL Light Rail Transit System was given the green light by the Cabinet this week. A rapid transit system to be set up via light rail transit technology, coming under the proposals formulated by the Western Region Megapolis Plan (MTMP) for 2030 of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, was approved by Cabinet on Tuesday. The bill for the light rail transit system would be presented to Parliament once it had been finalised by more..

Muslims faced hatred & violence in SL; then Facebook came along & made things worse

Mar 30 (LAT) With Sri Lanka under a state of emergency after a spasm of anti-Muslim bloodshed, lawyer Jeevanee Kariyawasam went on Facebook to complain. The company hadn't blocked users inciting violence, she wrote, and the govt hadn't arrested those sending out the offending posts. Facebook's response was swift: It suspended Kariyawasam's account. The company restored her account within 24 hours, but more..

Fourteen teams for LSR- Sri Lanka T-Cup

Mar 30 (DN) The 2nd edition of LSR- Sri Lanka T Cup, an International Cycle Race organized by Lanka Sportreizen (LSR) in Sri Lanka, bringing the experience of an international racing circuit to Sri Lanka's sports enthusiasts will be worked off from May 4 to 6. The race will begin from Passikudah on May 4 and will proceed to Mahiyangana via Welikandy, Dimbulagala, Pallegama, Dehiattakandiya and Giraandurukotte over a distance of 133 kilometers. more..

Agri labour picks up in 4Q

Mar 30 (FT) SL’s labour survey for the fourth quarter of 2017 showed agriculture employment had picked up from 24.3% in the previous quarter to 27%, with services and industries showing a marginal decline. Dept of Census and Statistics (DCS), releasing the labour force survey for the fourth quarter of 2017, said industries had reduced from 29.1% in the third quarter of 2017 to 28.3% while services had contracted from 46.6% to 44.7% in the same period. In 4th quarter of 2016 agriculture was 27.6%, more..

GCE O/L 2017: 10,000 candidates secure ‘A’ passes for all subjects

Mar 30 (Island) Outstation students have secured top fifteen places at the G.C.E. O/L exam 2017 according to results released at Wednesday midnight. The results were first released on the Department website first and then posted to schools and private candidates countrywide. Six students had scored identical marks for the first place. They are Kasuni Seneviratne and Chamodi Subasinghe of more..

Moratuwa University teams dominate SLASSCOM Hackathon

Mar 30 (CT) Team Phoenix from the University of Moratuwa was adjudged the winner of the inaugural SLASSCOM 4iR Hackathon at the grand finale of the event held at the Kingsbury Colombo recently. Organized by the SL Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) in partnership with Virtusa, the event sought to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among Sri Lankans and help startups in the country embrace the 4th Industrial Revolution. more..

Central Bank of Sri Lanka launch’s revamped corporate website

Mar 30 (LBO) The revamped corporate website of the Central Bank of SL was launched by Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Wednesday. URL for the site is main features of the new website include additional content, more dynamic and interactive features with improved functionality, mobile compatibility and active social media integration. This will provide a better browsing experience for web users such as professionals, the public, media, and students more..

Navin lashes out at groups objecting to lifting of glyphosate ban

Mar 30 (FT) In a hard-hitting speech, Minister Navin Dissanayake lashed out at groups that were opposed to the lifting of the ban on controversial weedicide glyphosate, noting that this ban had caused extensive damage to plantation companies, planters and the agricultural economy of SL. He questioned as to how the farming community would continue moving forward without weedicides as utilising human labour alone to control more..

Political bourgeoisie kill Ceylon Tea

Mar 30 (ST) Threats, intimidation and political pressure are mounting against the tea industry, minister and Tea Board officials by factory owners opposing detections that revealed 53 factories had adulterated the 150 year old Ceylon Tea. Out of the 740 tea factories in the country the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) found 53 to have added sugar into the teas to increase the weight and dark colour as a result of which the Tea Factory Owners Association (TFOA) President Harith Ranasinghe has more..