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New system control centre for CEB

May 17 (PMD) The new system control centre of CEB in Sri j'pura which can control all the data of the power generation and electricity sub stations was declared open by President Sirisena today (16). Fulfilling the need of a main controlling system to control and monitor electricity grids of Sri Lanka with a firm management of electricity and with a motive to provide efficient service, this centre was built with a Rs 3 billion loan provided by ADB. more..

GMOA strike affects hospitals island-wide

May 17 (NR) The 24 hour token strike launched by the GMOA has widely impacted several state hospitals across the island including the Colombo National Hospital and the Galle Karapitiya Teaching Hospital. Clinical services in many hospitals have also been severely affected as a result of the ongoing strike. However kidney disease wards and emergency services remain unaffected whilst services at all maternity, children’s and more..

PCs can conduct polls if govt. puts them off further: Ex-CM

May 17 (Island) Former Eastern Province Chief Minister Naseer Ahamed said that if the govt made an attempt to put off provincial council (PC) polls, scheduled for later this year, the PCs could take over the task of conducting them under the provisions of PC Elections Act No 2 of 1988. Declaring that it was one of the options available to PCs, Ahamed said since the govt had miserably failed in discharging its more..

Immigration officers launch work to rule: Passengers requested to arrive 3 hrs early

May 17 (NR) SriLankan Airlines has requested all passengers to arrive at the Bandaranaike Int'l Airport three hours prior to departure time today. SriLankan Airlines informed passengers that the notice is in effect from 12.00pm until further notice. The request was issued in order to minimize delays that may arise due to a ‘work to rule’ trade union action carried out by the Immigration and Emigration Officer’s Association at the BIA. more..

Deaths of two British rugby players: Police probe drug use

May 17 (DM) Police are investigating whether drugs contributed to the death of two British rugby players after a visit to a nightclub in Colombo. 27-year-old Thomas Baty, who died on Tuesday (15), had given a statement while he was undergoing treatment at the hospital, stating that they had consumed brown sugar drugs. British rugby player Thomas Howard (26) passed away while undergoing treatment at the hospital more..

Govt debt up by Rs.836bn due to Rupee depreciation: PHU

May 17 (DM) Govt’s debt had increased by Rs. 836 bn following the depreciation of the SL Rupee against the US Dollar during the past 40 months, PHU leader and MP Udaya Gammanpila said today. He said although the govt always complained that the Rajapaksa Administration caused a huge debt crisis, it was created not be anybody but the incumbent govt. “In 2014, the total govt debt was Rs. 7.4 trillion. more..

Video: Two Maldivians arrested with ecstasy pills worth Rs.10 mn

May 17 (DM) Two Maldivians were arrested by the Police Special Task Force (STF) on charges of possessing 1,925 ecstasy pills with a street value of more than Rs.10 million during a raid at Nadimala in Dehiwala last night. The STF said this was the largest quantity of such pills it had detected. It said the two Maldivians had imported the pills from The Netherlands through a courier service. The suspects aged 19 and 25 were residing at apartments in Kalubowila and Dehiwala. more..

Squandering opportunities: SL’s overlooked development potential

May 17 (FT) If people spend hours in roughly-driven buses filled with blaring music and getting off is a traumatic experience; if girls and women have to constantly defend themselves from boys and men in public transport and public spaces and their comfort zones are highly limited; if people are stressed out and constantly struggling to cut in front of others and are not reluctant to look down upon others due to ethnicity, caste, class, sex, or political allegiance; if education requires tuition and more..

එ.ජා.ප ය ගැන සසනිකා ජයලත්

Question number one: Gota a wanker over his concerns of public sector corruption

May 17 (CT) Corruption cases against Gotabaya Rajapaksa currently in court considerably dampen enthusiasm over his recent tirade against public sector corruption. Gotabaya, who is widely expected to run for President, speaking at a Viyathmaga event last Sunday underlined pubic sector corruption as one of the factors that need urgent attention. He was unveiling his Vision 2030 which is essentially a policy statement of Viyathmaga, an organization many believe was put together to promote more..

President in multi-pronged initiative to uplift rural villages

May 17 (EN) President Sirisena is driving a multi-pronged initiative to reduce poverty, combat narcotics use, protect the environment and cut the risk of kidney disease in up to 1,000 remote villages across the country. Program under the banner of Grama Shakthi is implemented in partnership with private and community partners across the country, Prez's Secretary Austin Fernando said. One thousand villages from among the poorest areas in the country had already been identified, more..

Sri Lanka Magic Circle: More than just pulling rabbits out of hats

May 17 (Roar) Regent Street, Feb 10, 1922. A riveting public show, a flamboyant Ceylonese illusionist, the seed of an idea from a seller of magical books and five other dabblers in magic. These were the elements which converged to form the Association for Ceylon Magicians nearly a hundred years ago in colonial Ceylon. The society first saw the light of day as a small circle of enthusiasts who shared a common passion more..


May 17 (CT) For a Govt that has lambasted corruption and injustice, harped on Yahapalanaya until the strings started playing an off-tune, it sure has forgotten to impose the law against those under its wing, who have been accused of wrongdoing. Sure, the Govt has shown interest in partially meting out justice, when it comes to arresting individuals who have been directly accused of day-to-day villainy. Recall the case of President Sirisena’s Chief of Staff who was arrested red-handed, more..

SB Navinna calls work-to-rule unjust

May 17 (NR) Minister of Internal Affairs SB Navinna says a meeting will be arranged between the PM and Immigration and Emigration officers. The Minister termed the sudden work to rule campaign unjust as steps have been taken to address all previous demands of Immigration and Emigration officers. Minister Navinna said the Ministry that was previously assigned under the Ministry of Defence was then separated and he was appointed as the subject Minister adding any individual has more..

Do not criticise President: Mangala

May 17 (DN) Finance Mangala Samaraweera asked recently not to criticise President Maithripala Sirisena in public or in private even if we would be able to elect a UNPer as President in future. Minister was addressing the councillors elected to the Local Govt Bodies from the party in the Matara district. “By agreeing to contest the 2015 Presidential Election as the common candidate, President Sirisena risked his freedom & life. more..

NCDs risk factors survey from August

May 17 (CT) A national survey to identify risk factors for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) is scheduled for implementation this August. The Govt yesterday announced that the national survey will be conducted at an estimated cost of Rs 50 million, which received Cabinet approval on 15 May. The national survey for identifying risk factors for NCDs was launched in 2003. The survey is implemented once in five years. The last survey was conducted in 2013. more..

Interpol Red Notice called for Chandana Prasad

May 17 (NR) Court today called for an Interpol Red Notice to be issued for the arrest of Former Navy Lieutenant Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi over the abduction of 11 youth in 2008. Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne accordingly ordered for the warrant to be obtained through the Interpol. Two other suspects arrested over the incident were further remanded till the 31st of May. Another group was arrested by the CID in July 2017 on charges of assisting and issuing instructions for more..

Meethotamulla tragedy: AG's report blames CMC

May 17 (DM) Auditor General had held that the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) was responsible for the death of 32 people and for the damage caused to properties as a result of the collapse of the Meethotamulla garbage dump in April last year. Report of the audit carried out by the AG's Department into the tragedy has said the CMC was responsible for it. It blamed CMC for failing to manage garbage disposal process more..

Tax increase triggers gold smuggling spree

May 17 (Island) Attempts to smuggle gold into Sri Lanka has increased since the 15% tax on gold was imposed in April, Deputy Director of Customs, Vipula Minuvanpitiya says. He said that a large number of persons had been caught smuggling gold and three Sri Lankans attempting to smuggle in 22 gold biscuits, worth over 14 million rupees, had been detained by the Customs at BIA between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Two Sri Lankans returning from Singapore and Chennai more..

Wimal’s Rs 75M case postponed to 6 Aug

May 17 (CT) Colombo High Court postponed the hearing of the case filed against MP Wimal Weerawansa by the CIABOC for having allegedly illegally accrued Rs 75 million during his stint as a Minister, to 6 August. This decision was taken when the case was called up before High Court Judge Vikum Kaluarachchi yesterday. Attorney representing the Commission told the Court that although a notice had been submitted to the defence in order to inspect computer evidence related more..

Passport to the murky world of contraceptives for housemaids

May 17 (DM) Two months ago, unrest sparked across the country due to the speculation that a pill that causes infertility had been mixed with a food served in a small restaurant in Ampara. Particle was later found to be mere lumps of flour. Nevertheless, did you know that a considerable number of SL women, who work in the Gulf as housemaids, regardless of their race, have been unwillingly taking the most dangerous more..

Man fined Rs.10,120 for not paying 30-rupee parking fee

May 17 (DM) A man who failed to pay a parking fee of Rs. 30 at a parking slot in Wellawatte, has been fined Rs. 10,120 after a lapse of 13 days. The man had parked his car in Wellawatte on April 25 and had forgotten to pay the fee of Rs. 30 via a machine placed near the parking place. The person had not been aware that the payment should be done via a machine. When he found that there was nobody to collect the payment, he had departed the place without paying the fee of rs. 30 per hour. more..

3 injured in grenade explosion at SLAF Training School in Diyatalawa

May 17 (AD) Three persons including two instructors and a female trainee have been injured and hospitalised following a grenade explosion during an exercise at the SLAF Combat Training School in Diyatalawa. SL Air Force Media Spokesperson, Group Captain Gihan Seneviratne, said that the incident had occurred at around 10.00am today during a training exercise in the Nariyakanda area. The wounded persons have been admitted to the Biyatalawa Base Hospital more..

SLCERT gets 900 Facebook related complaints in four months

May 17 (Island) Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT) said that it had recorded 900 Facebook related complaints since April this year. SLCERT Media Spokesman Roshan Chandragupta said that 80% of the complaints were related to Facebook and about fake accounts. SLCERT has recorded 3,900 complaints last year, out of which 3,600 were related to Facebook. In 2016 there were 2,350 more..

10 districts prone to landslides: NBRO

May 17 (NR) National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) said ten districts within the country have been identified as areas with landslide threats. Director General of NBRO Asiri Karunawardena said accordingly Nuwara-Eliya, Badulla, Matale, Kegalle, Ratnapura, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Hambantota and Kurunegala districts may experience landslides. He stressed NBRO has identified several areas in and around these districts as high risk, medium risk and low risk areas. more..

US economic boom adversely affects SL: PM

May 17 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today said the economic growth in the US has had a negative impact on Sri Lanka and other developing nations. PM said this at the International Nurses’ day programme at Temple Trees. He said the US dollar had picked up with the economy boom in the USA and that had resulted in the devaluation of currencies of countries such as SL and Argentina. However, he said SL would be able to manage the economy as the CB Governor recently said. more..

Mathews, Lakmal declared fit for WI tour

May 17 (CB) Sri Lanka will be glad that they will have the services of two of their most experienced players for the upcoming tour of West Indies after senior batsman Angelo Mathews and seamer Suranga Lakmal passed their fitness tests. Both players were picked in the squads named last week, but their participation was subject to fitness. Both players' match fitness was assessed during an eight-day residential training camp more..

Her sanctum burnt down

May 17 (DM) A mysterious fire has destroyed the outhouse where the Rajarata sorceress cum soothsayer well-known as Penakiyana-maani practiced her occult crafts, they say. Many people from all walks of life including politicos would throng her devalaya daily either to get their future read or seek her magical powers to fulfil various other purposes in life, they say. Leading politicos in the country have been among her clientele and some people claim that making significant more..

Mechanism to combat increasing financial crimes strengthened

May 17 (Island) The composition of the Committee to Prevent Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing would be expanded due to an increase in the number of financial crimes, govt said. Minister Gayantha Karunathillake said that better coordination among state institutions was essential to combat financial crimes which had increased with the expansion of technology. In this regard a proposal submitted by the Minister Mangala Samaraweera to expand the composition of more..

Living the high life with people's money: Rs.5.7m to refurbish toilets at Mayor's house

May 17 (DM) A sum of Rs.5.7 million has been allocated for the modernisation of the toilets at the Colombo Mayor’s official residence, CMC member Sumith Passaperuma revealed at the CMC meeting held yesterday (16). He said it was sad to witness such a waste of taxpayer's money for such a purpose when public toilets within the city were in such a unhygienic condition. In reply, Mayor Rosy Senanayaka more..

Puzzle of the Presidential Hopeful

May 18 (DN) The declaration by President Maithripala Sirisena at the SLFP May Day rally that he would not retire from politics in 2020 has ignited discussion in political circles about prospective presidential candidates for the election which is due that year. Previously, the President had pledged that he would not run again for President. He did so while campaigning for the Presidency, shortly after taking his oath of office, when he visited the Dalada Maligawa a few days later and more..

Developments and opportunities for SL

May 18 (CT) Being the second largest emitter, agriculture produces 13% of total Green House Gas (GHG) emissions of the world. Organic agriculture is rapidly becoming an alternate method of production as the traditional way of producing food causes water pollution, soil erosion and environmental unsustainability due to the high use of synthetic chemicals, including fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Organic agriculture is also known to be a source of poverty reduction & good health. more..

Ramadan: A month of benign blessing for reaping rich rewards

May 18 (Island) Muslims across the globe actively and eagerly make preparations to warmly welcome the advent of the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, the Ramadan that is certainly packed with the power of benign blessings and a great mercy of Allah for the whole world. In Ramadan, Gates of paradise are opened, Gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained up - Sahihal Bukhari. more..

Delusions & dead-end of Tamil nationalist politics: Reply To Mr. Thangavelu

May 18 (CT) Mr. Thangavelu’s diatribe against me is so full of crazy lies that it would be a waste of my time answering it, except that it is quite symptomatic of Tamil nationalist politics and the Tamil nationalist mindset, that this can turn into a teaching moment. First off, I would ask Mr. Thangavelu to give the source for the outrageous quote he attributes to Mahinda Rajapaksa speaking in Kilinochchi. Now let’s dispense with the stuff about me. I can hardly be a Sinhala Buddhist nationalist or more..

In a land like no other

May 18 (DN) When I joined the Police as a Probational ASP in 1958, Brigadier Anton Mutucumaru, the Commander of the Ceylon Army who was on the Interview Board chaired by the then SD and EA Gunasena de Soyza did not have a Chief of Staff under him. As far as I am aware, this exalted position in the Army came into existence with the phenomenal growth of the Army when the war against LTTE terrorism escalated. The loud sounding term, Chief of Staff was unheard of more..

'Sri Lanka committed to gender equality'

May 18 (DN) Many national commitments have been made by the SL Govt regarding gender equality and there are also thriving civil society organisations that work to make sure that gender rights are respected, said French Ambassador to Sri Lanka Jean-Marin Schuh in an interview. France is continuing its ambitious action to promote equality through its third International Strategy for gender equality (2018-2022), a strategy that more..

Holy month of Ramadan begins

May 18 (CT) Religions and philosophies that practice fasting include Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Jainism, just to mention a few. All utilize fasting in one form or another, whether for purification, spiritual vision, penance, mourning or sacrifice. Ramadan, also known as Ramadhan or Ramazan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. The word Ramadan is derived from an Arabic word for intense heat, scorched ground or dryness. more..

Asphalt cowboys and yahapalana puppets

May 18 (Island) Private bus owners have once again proved that they are no respecters of govt decisions; they are a law unto themselves. They contemptuously rejected a Cabinet approved 6.56% bus fare hike and forced the govt to grant a 12.5% bus fare increase and a minimum fare of Rs. 12. No govt seems equal to the task of taming them. Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration claims to do everything very scientifically, and it must have used some scientific method to work out more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

The OMP and the aspirations of families of the missing and disappeared

May 18 (CT) The first permanent official body created to search and trace missing persons in SL is the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) established under Act No. 14 of 2016. This was done to comply with a recommendation in the 2015 UNHRC Resolution which was co-sponsored by the Govt of SL. However the office was set up about two years after the Act was passed. It started functioning only in May 2018 with members visiting Mannar to meet the victims of disappearances in that District. more..