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Video: 'I will not interfere with the interim committee'

Apr 1 (NF) Former Cricket Test Captain Sidath Wettimuny assumed duties as chairman of the new Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) interim committee today. Prior to assuming duties, Wettimuny attended a media briefing at SLC alongside Minister of Sports Navin Dissanayake and the other members of the interim committee. Minister noted that the decision to appoint a new interim committee was one that was made objectively and more..

Polls Chief: New electoral system in jeopardy unless...

Apr 1 (Island) Elections Chief Mahinda Deshapriya said that a mixed electoral system wouldn’t be a reality unless political parties represented in Parliament agreed to increase the number of members. Political parties are discussing whether to increase the number of members from 225 (196 elected and 29 appointed) to 250 (150 elected under the first-past-the-post system, 80 under district proportional representation more..

Ban’s Assistant to visit Sri Lanka

Apr 1 (CG) Haoliang Xu, UN Assistant Secretary-General, Chair, UN Development Group Asia-Pacific and UNDP Assistant Administrator & Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific will be visiting Sri Lanka from April 4-10, 2015. During the visit, which will be his second visit to the island, Xu is expected to meet and exchange views with high-level Govt officials, development partners and and the civil society on learning more..

Student protest crushed

Apr 1 (CT) Protesting undergraduates charged that it was President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who had ordered the brutal teargas and water cannon attack on them yesterday, which left many hospitalized with injuries and several taken into police custody. Journalists from Mawbima, Rivira and TNL along with undergraduates including bhikkhus were viciously assaulted by police anti-riot & STF more..

PM orders immediate medical attention

Apr 1 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered Mullaitivu District Secretary to make arrangements to immediately provide medical assistance to school children who have pieces of shrapnel embedded in their bodies as a result of getting caught to shellfire. A civil representative had informed PM Wickremesinghe during a discussion at the Mullaitivu District Secretariat that more than 1,000 war-affected more..

Drug prices to be regulated

Apr 1 (GDI) Health Ministry is to implement a mechanism to regulate the prices of drugs in the market under the provisions of National Drug Policy Act. Accordingly, prices of drugs will see a reduction by one third with the implementation of this mechanism. The prices of some varieties of drugs are four times higher than their Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) prices in the open market and he has started discussion with more..

UPFA rebels studying proposed increase in number of MP to 250

Apr 1 (Island) The rebel UPFA group on Monday told a media briefing that it was too early to comment on a proposal to increase the number of MPs from 225 to 250. DLF leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara, MP and NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP, said that they were in the process of examining the proposal. They were responding to a query whether increasing the number of members in accordance with electoral reforms would more..

Drug dependents crying out for rehab centres and counsellors

Apr 1 (ST) Many of the nearly 300,000 drug dependents, mostly young and male, yearn to get their lives back, but there is a shortage of full-time counsellors and rehabilitation centres within the community and in prisons. The National Dangerous Drugs Control Board, the competent authority, estimates there are between 45,000 and 50,000 heroin users, and 250,000 cannabis addicts in the country. more..

Fishermen struggle to survive

Apr 1 (SL) Despite much development taking place throughout the country, one field that has seen the least development is the country’s fisheries sector. In many areas fishermen still employ conventional fishing methods, while their counterparts in many countries employ state of the art methods in this regard. Meanwhile, the local fishermen face many issues while the relevant authorities are placing much more..

Drifting without a leadership?

Apr 1 (DM) Happenings around are unenviable: zany events unfold in rapid succession; voters are bewildered, skeptical, disoriented. Worse- democracy is not standing tall, as desired. Corrupt practices remain alive and made sophisticated. Are we drifting aimlessly without a leadership? Loosing moorings is sailing towards a sunset unknown. Time is insufficient to ponder. Corruption is endemic and was deemed more..

Judiciary Serving society without fear or favour

Apr 1 (DM) The unity, independence and integrity of the Bar are essential not only for its survival, and for its meaningful contribution to society, but to also ensure that the critical institutions set up for and in the service of society are able to function without fear or favour. Constitutional and legislative provisions, though urgent and required to consolidate the independence and impartiality of institutions may have no meaning in the ultimate unless we have a strong Bar and more..

Living to eat: Beware, fast foods can kill you fast

Apr 1 (DM) For the past four decades after Sri Lanka was forced to swallow wholesale the globalised capitalist market economic policies, nutritionists have been warning that we are poisoning ourselves with every meal. Last year, the Medico Legal Society of Sri Lanka held a full-day seminar on a fearful theme which could warrant a criminal charge against a wicked and selfish society. The theme was, “Are we poisoning our children?” One of the speakers, a highly qualified nutritionist, more..

EU assures President over GSP+

Apr 1 (CG) Expressing deep appreciation over the new govt’s policies on improving human rights and strengthening democratic institutions, the European Union Ambassador to SL David Daly said the EU is seriously re-evaluating Sri Lanka’s request to grant the GSP+ concession once again for Sri Lankan exports to EU and to lift the restrictions imposed on the export of fish products. more..

'Country moving backwards after MR defeat'

Apr 1 (DN) With the defeat of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa the country is moving backwards, Sri J'pura University senior lecturer Ven. Medagoda Abhayatissa thera said. Under the so called good governance the gap between communities are widening day by day instead of strengthening the ethnic bonds and harmony, Ven Abhayatissa thera added. The thera was addressing the media at a seminar at the Sunethra Mahadevi Pirivena, Pepiliyana yesterday. more..

Landmine threat impedes resettlement

Apr 1 (CT) TNA MPs requested, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, to expedite the refugee resettlement process, at a meeting held at the Kilinochchi District Secretariat, last week. MPs; M Chandrakumar of EPDP and Suresh Premachandran of TNA, pointed out that people were not permitted to resettle in Muhamalai in Kilinochchi District due to landmine threats. "The necessity of expediting the de-mining process in Palai area was also pointed out to the PM. more..

'Ukrainian MiG 27 deal beneficial to SLAF'

Apr 1 (Island) Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetileke said that an agreement with Ukraine as regards overhauling of four MiG 27s and acquisition of four overhauled MiGs had been finalized to Sri Lanka’s advantage. Agreement had been reached in the run-up to the eelam war IV in August 2006, he said, adding that the final payments were made after having used MiGs with devastating success. MiGs carried out 854 sorties using more..

Police bust Maldivian drug network in SL

Apr 1 (MN) Police have busted an international drug network operated by a group of Maldivians in Sri Lanka following a two-year long operation. SP Ahmed Shifan said three Maldivians were arrested with 165 grams of heroin and a large amount of cash in a joint operation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Department (DED) and the Sri Lankan Narcotics Bureau. Shifan, head of DED, said the three were suspected of carrying out large-scale drug trafficking through several countries, more..

Tsunami Relief Funds swindled in Ampara

Apr 1 (CT) Former Minister M.I. Munsoor, and one of the senior leaders of the UNP has sent a memorandum to President Maitripala Sirisena seeking a probe by a Presidential Commission into alleged malpractices and unlawful activities with regard to tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction activities in the Ampara coastal areas. Memorandum states that the coastal areas of Amparai District had been badly destroyed in addition to loss of lives and assets in the 2004 tsunami disaster. more..

We should respect others’ opinions and rectify our mistakes: MR

Apr 1 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa attending a function held at Abhayaramaya temple in Narahenpita yesterday said that one should respect others’ opinions and rectify one’s mistakes. Mr. Rajapaksa expressed these views after attending the function to launch the book titled Mahaweera Wansaya written by professor Raja Dharmapala. The dialogue with the former president went as follows: more..

Police to seek AG’s advice to charge Priyantha’s killer

Apr 1 (Island) Polononnaruwa police will seek AG’s advice to charge the suspect who attacked President’s youngest brother Priyantha on March 26 with an axe at Hatara Ela in the Polonnaruwa police area. Priyantha Sirisena succumbed to his injuries on March 28 in a private hospital in Colombo. The suspect was remanded till April 08 by the Polonnaruwa Magistrate. President Maitripala Sirisena could not pay his last respects to his youngest sibling as he was on an official tour more..

Poll reforms still deadlocked

Apr 1 (CT) Political parties have not agreed to a proposal presented by the Commissioner of Elections to divide an electoral district into several zones, as mentioned in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and to restrict campaigning of a candidate to a particular zone, during a meeting they had on Monday with the commissioner. This proposal would have reduced the resources necessary for a candidate to campaign by limiting the geographical area he needs to cover. more..

Video: 'SL should resolve energy issues'

Apr 1 (DM) If Sri Lanka expected to become an economic power house in South Asia it must first resolve its political and energy problems in the same manner other Tiger Economies in Asia like Malaysia had addressed those issues in their way to success, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Addressing Sri Lanka’s ambitious ten year Energy Sector Development Plan for a Knowledge Based Economy 2015 – 2025 launched by more..

'Mistaken decisions may have ruined opportunities for peaceful conflict resolution'

Apr 1 (DN) Mistaken decisions by some politicians who should and could have been statesmen and women may have contributed to destroying valuable opportunities for peaceful conflict resolution with tolerance and understanding, Prof. Savitri Goonasekera said addressing the 41st Convocation of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka on Saturday. "However many of our generation also watched passively as the rulers and extremist opinions took over our lives, and shaped them. more..

‘Sri Lanka’s exporters eagerly awaiting news of GSP+’

Apr 1 (Island) The exporters of Sri Lanka, are eagerly awaiting news of GSP+ with the aim of further boosting their sales by capitalizing on the available opportunities, the newly appointed chairman of Sri Lanka Apparel Sourcing Association (SLASA) Anil Wettewe said, addressing the 22nd AGM of the Association. He expressed the Association’s willingness to embrace GSP+ and also expressed his wish that the talks concerned would end in a beneficial way for the country. more..

Sri Lankan ex-president's vanity airport project grounded by cash crunch

Apr 1 (AJ) Almost exactly 2 years ago, to celebrate the opening of a $210 million international airport in his sleepy seaside home district, then-SL President Rajapaksa flew there on his national airline’s biggest jet with a coterie of ministers. The ensuing fanfare, replete with prayers, plaque unveilings and an elaborate red-carpet welcome for the president, was fueled by hopes that the airport would herald the development of more..

NSB boosts pre-tax profit by 360% to record Rs. 10.5 b

Apr 1 (FT) NSB recorded the highest-ever profit before tax of Rs. 10.5 billion for the year ended 31 Dec, 2014, an increase of 360% from previous year. The net profit after tax was recorded at Rs. 6.9 billion, a 480% increase. The bank mobilised Rs. 59.4 billion of deposits during the year and the deposit base of the bank recorded a growth of 10.4%. Savings deposits accounted for 44% of the total mobilisation, which is a significant improvement in its deposit mix. more..

State Wesak Festival in Mahiyangana

Apr 1 (GDI) Govt is finalizing arrangements to hold this year’s Annual State Wesak Festival centering the Raja Maha Vihare in Mahiyangana. A special discussion in this respect was chaired by Minister Karu Jayasuriya in Mahiyangana. He announced that the 2015 State Wesak Festival will be held on a grand scale centering the Raja Maha Vihare in Mahiyangana. Minister apprised the state officials of the arrangements at this discussion. The proceedings will be carried out under more..

Inflation dips to all-time low levels

Apr 1 (FT) Inflation for the month of March continued its decelerating trend with the point to point dipping to an all-time low level of 0.1% while its annualised average followed suit as well to record 2.50%. The Central Bank said inflation, as measured by the change in the Colombo Consumers’ Price Index (CCPI) (2006/07=100), decreased to 0.1% on an year-on-year basis in March 2015, from 0.6% recorded in February 2015. more..

'Sri Lanka has the most costly govt machine'

Apr 1 (CT) Govt of Sri Lanka with over 40 ministers, plus a string of deputy ministers comprises the largest human workforce, more than necessary, Atlas Network Executive Vice President Dr. Tom Palmer said In Colombo. Dr. Palmer was at a question and answer session, following his talk for the Bastiat Society, at the Buddhist Cultural Centre. Palmer suggested that some areas of Sri Lanka's domestic performance and institutions could be improved, especially in rule of law and more..

Port City: dealing with unsolicited proposals

Apr 1 (DN) The Colombo Port City has generated a storm of criticism, the latest from the Friday Forum, which has called for systematic reviews of large state infrastructure projects. The Chinese Govt is now reportedly weighing in on the side of the developer, The China Harbour Engineering Corporation. Unsolicited proposals such as the Port City are controversial. How should a govt deal with them? What should be done with the Port City project itself? more..

Plans to reduce power demand and wastage

Apr 1 (Island) Sri Lanka is to focus more on Research and Development in the energy sphere. "We plan to implement clear cut policies. Plans are underway to cut down electricity wastage from 11% to 8%, while taking steps to cut down the annual electricity demand by 2%, minister Champika Ranawake said. "Govt has set an ambitious goal of 100% energy self-sufficiency by 2030, he said while introducing a policy document titled more..

'Free market capitalism boosts wealth of all'

Apr 1 (CT) The Bastiat Society established one month, now on home soil and promotes peaceful and profitable business "that creates universal wealth" hosted a lecture yesterday. The programme was on mutually beneficial economic policies, and took place at the Buddhist Cultural Centre. Atlas Network Executive Vice President of International Programmes Dr. Tom G Palmer said that there are two types of economists today: the bad economist, and the good. more..

Tata exits from Lankan steel biz, E.B. Creasy buys for Rs. 433 m

Apr 1 (FT) E.B. Creasy and Company Plc has acquired a 100% stake in Lanka Special Steels Ltd. from Tata Steel Ltd. for Rs. 433 million. Lanka Special Steels Ltd. (LSSL) is engaged in the business of manufacturing and supplying hot dip galvansied steel wires with an installed capacity of 14,400 metric tons per annum and has an annual turnover of Rs. 1.4 billion for the current financial year. LSSL commenced operations in Sri Lanka in November 2003. more..

Jayampathy on 19th A, electoral reforms and 100-day program

Apr 1 (FT) President’s Counsel Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne expressed the importance of abolishing the executive presidency and electoral reforms under two different constitutional amendments. Dr. Wickramaratne, who is involved in constitutional reforms, expressed his candid views about the 19th Amendment, electoral reforms & 100-day program. He is also a member of the National Movement for Social Justice more..

Benchmark yourself and step towards improving water efficiency

Apr 1 (ST) Pressure is on, Climate change has put water resources in danger in terms of both quantity and quality. Meanwhile water quality is degrading as a result of poor water management practices adopted in developing countries. Agricultural, industrial and municipal sectors of SL consume 87.3%, 6.4% and 6.2% of fresh water, respectively. Although industry accounts for only 6.4% of total SL fresh water use, improving water practices in industry is a key focus for govt. more..

Defensive and corrective approaches towards destruction?

Apr 1 (Island) When we look at the developments in the economic policy arena after the Presidential elections, we hardly see any way forward for Sri Lanka. Apart for revisiting governance issues, what we find is policy actions that were defensive and corrective in form but is destructive in substance. When I bring this to the notice of others what I hear is that "The govt is now focused on the 100-day programme; and therefore, we are to wait and see how things change after that". more..

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