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China plays down Port City issue

Mar 5 (CG) The Chinese Govt today played down the decision taken by Sri Lanka to suspend the Colombo Port City project. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said that the review on the project conducted by the Sri Lankan side, which is not exclusive to China’s cooperation projects in Sri Lanka, aims to create a better investment environment. She recalled that when Foreign Minister Mangala more..

Video: Port City project suspended

Mar 5 (DM) The Cabinet has decided to suspend the Chinese-funded Colombo Port City Project as it had started without relevant approvals from concerned institutions, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said today. Addressing the weekly cabinet news briefing in Colombo, the minister said the Cabinet had yet consented to a decision to advise the company which is carrying out the port city project to present approvals obtained from the relevant authorities within two weeks. more..

Ex-ministers yet to return over 300 vehicles

Mar 5 (AD) The authorities are yet to locate some 300 vehicles used by the ex-govt’s ministers, Cabinet Spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne said. The observation was made while addressing the weekly cabinet briefing held at the Govt Information Department, on Thursday morning. Senaratne added in spite of regulations that a minister is eligible to use two state owned vehicles, they received information of some former ministers had taken possession of over 20 vehicles. more..

Zeid warns Sri Lanka on rights probe

Mar 5 (CG) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein today warned the Sri Lankan Govt not to repeat the failures of the past. Speaking at the 28th session of UNHRC in Geneva, after presenting his annual report, al-Hussein urged the authorities in Sri Lanka to consult deeply with the people, especially the victims, in order to design mechanisms that will work and not repeat the failures of the past. more..

JCPSM members to strike, demanding the same allowance as doctors

Mar 5 (Island) Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine (JCPSM) will launch a one-day strike on March 12 from 7 am to 7 am the following day unless they were given the same Rs.15,000 Disturbance, Availability and Transport Allowance (DAT) as doctors. JCPSM General Secretary Saman Jayasekera said that about seventeen professions such as nurses, medical laboratory technologists, x-ray technicians, physiotherapists, pharmacists, dental surgery more..

SLFP to challenge appointment of Harin as Uva CM again

Mar 5 (Island) The SLFP yesterday said that it would file a fresh petition against the appointment of Harin Fernando as the Chief Minister of Uva Provincial Council, as the UPFA had the majority in that council. Addressing the media at the party head office UPFA General Secretary and SLFP National Organiser Susil Premajayantha said that the Court of Appeal had dismissed former Chief Minister Shasheendra Rajapakasa’s petition on some procedural shortcomings. more..

PM Modi to ramp up help for Indian Ocean nations to counter China influence

Mar 5 (Reuters) PM Narendra Modi will offer island nations in the Indian Ocean a broad range of military and civilian assistance next week in a bid to wrest back some of the influence China has gained by spending billions of dollars in the region. Modi will make the pledges during a visit to Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles after decades of neglect by successive Indian govts. His trip to Sri Lanka will be the first in 28 years by more..

Armed Lankan fishermen abduct seven TN counterparts

Mar 5 (PTI) Lankan fishermen abducted seven of their counterparts from Tamil Nadu early today off Kodiakarai and demanded a ransom from their relatives to release them. Fishermen from Pamban had put out to sea in a country boat late last night. Kennedy said armed SL fishermen abducted them, called up their relatives on their mobile phones and told them they would released only if some money was paid. They did not specify the amount but said the ransom could be negotiated, more..

Rajitha threatens legal action against NFF National Organiser

Mar 5 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne vowed to institute legal action against NFF National Organiser Jayantha Samaraweera, who had lodged a complaint with the Bribery Commission against him for allegedly misappropriating Rs. 2 billion. He said that the complaint made by the (NFF) was baseless. It maintained that when he was the Fisheries Minister (2010-2014) he had imported eight trawlers at a cost of Rs. 400 million under his co-ordinating Secretary Lalith Seneviratne for more..

Sri Lanka's growth favorable but needs fiscal consolidation to cut debt: IMF

Mar 5 (Xinhua) The IMF said on Wednesday that Sri Lanka's economic prospects remain favorable under the new govt but a mid-term fiscal consolidation is essential. An IMF mission led by Todd Schneider was in Sri Lanka to conduct a post-program monitoring after the completion of a 2.6- billion-U.S. dollar stand-by agreement in 2012. "Growth is likely to continue in the relatively robust range of 6-7% in 2015. more..

Meetiyagoda double murder: OIC interdicted

Mar 5 (DM) Meetiyagoda Police OIC has been interdicted following investigations into the killingof a couple in Meetiyagoda on Sunday. Police said preliminary investigations had found that OIC Chandana Gamage had not properly investigated a complaint made by the couple on an earlier occasion regarding an assault on their son. ASP Gunasekara said the OIC had also not provided some necessary information in the report submitted to court with regard to the killing. more..

45-year-old male was shot dead

Mar 5 (CT) A 45-year-old male was shot dead in Maharambaikulam-Vavuniya on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. The deceased was identified as Vadivelu from Vairavapuliyankulam-Vavuniya. Vadivelu is the owner of a food outlet in Vavuniya. On the day of the incident he was travelling in a three-wheeler from his food boutique, from where he was followed by gunmen. The owner of the food boutique was dead on the spot and the gunmen fled as soon as they shot him. more..

Video: Allowance for pregnant mothers from March 21

Mar 5 (DM) The proposed provision of nutritional food worth Rs. 20,000 for expectant mothers will be provided under the maternal health programme from this month, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He said the govt planned to implement the programme from March 21 as part of the govt’s 100-day programme. Accordingly all pregnant mothers who register themselves at govt’s maternal clinics and who regularly attend more..

Tobacco Company files writ application relating to health warnings

Mar 5 (Island) Ceylon Tobacco Company, filed a Writ Application in the Court of Appeal, requesting the Court to issue a mandatory order on the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol, and also on the Secretary to the Ministry of Health asking them to provide the petitioner on time a compact disc containing the prescribed 80% health warnings, which should be printed on tobacco packs. The petition said that the need to carry 80% pictorial warnings had been passed in more..

Prasanna Ranatunga leaves for Australia

Mar 5 (AM) Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga left the country for Australia in a trip which he described as unavoidable. It was reported earlier that he was planning to take part in the rally in Kandy tomorrow in support of naming Mahinda Rajapaksa as the next PM candidate of SLFP. However, he issued a statement through his facebook page from Australia saying that he had to leave the country in an unavoidable trip which could not be postponed, more..

Namal appeals to stop political revenge

Mar 5 (Xinhua) A son of former President Mahinda Rajapakse said that political revenge on his family and his political party supporters continue in the island nation and urged the authorities to put an end to it. Namal Rajapakse, the eldest son of the former president and a MP representing the opposition SLFP said that political revenge by trade unions also continued and 'innocent' people continued to be victimized. more..

New Pinnawala zoo to open later this month

Mar 5 (Island) The new zoological garden constructed on a 44-acre land would attract more tourists who visit the nearby popular Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. According to Minister Navin Dissanayake the newly constructed zoo would give a new experience to visitors as it was an open zoological garden. After inspecting the new zoo, Minister Dissanayake said that it would be a major tourist attraction. The garden would be declared open by the end of this month. more..

Special harvesting festival of potatoes

Mar 5 (CT) As a result of successful harvesting of potatoes in the Mannar District a special harvesting festival was held recently in Vidalaitheevu-Periyamadu potato village. Two important types of potatoes were planted in 10-acre land as pilot projects and 48 beneficiaries were given potato tubers by the Agriculture Department to cultivate potatoes. Beneficiaries were selected from Periyamadu, Eechalavakkai, Kayanagar, Vellankulam, Seethuvinayagapuram and more..

Karunaratne out of World Cup with broken finger

Mar 5 (CI) Sri Lanka batsman Dimuth Karunaratne has been ruled out of the World Cup after a fracturing the little finger on his left hand at practice in Sydney, chairman of selectors Sanath Jayasuriya has said. "Dimuth injured his hand during a fielding session and X-rays indicated a fracture just above the base of his left small finger," Jayasuriya said. "He has to undergo surgery and will be out for about four weeks. more..

Quality assurance certificates issued to Colombo eateries

Mar 5 (Island) The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council yesterday morning commenced issuing quality certifications to be displayed in eating houses in the city. Acting Food Inspector, M.B. Lal Kumara said that the programme had been launched with certification being provided to a Chinese restaurant at Milagiriya Avenue, Bambalapitiya. Certifications were awarded to 12 eateries yesterday morning in the Bambalapitiya and Wellawatta areas. more..

WC 2015: Bangladesh beat Scotland

Mar 5 (CI) Bangladesh tackled the pressure of a stiff target - they had to chase down 319 - and losing their specialist opener to injury in the field to post their highest ODI chase to beat Scotland by six wickets and keep their chances of making the quarter-final alive. Scotland, powered by Kyle Coetzer's magnificent 156 towards their 318 for 8 in 50 overs, lost their best chance to win a World Cup match. They struggled to break partnerships and seize the momentum, as Bangladesh more..

EU is to help families in the east

Mar 5 (CG) Responding to the impact of the floods that hit various parts of Sri Lanka in late December, the European Commission is providing €238,000 (36,000,000 LKR) to meet the needs of the most vulnerable families in the Eastern part of the country. Triggered by prolonged heavy rains related to the North-East monsoon, the flooding badly affected standing crops throughout the region, jeopardizing the food security of more..

Coming together for common good

Mar 5 (CT) In the days when each electorate had its Member of Parliament, the notion was that each one of them had to think and act locally as well as nationally, not forgetting the international implications of their decisions and actions, thereby international relations . In practice however, even the Ministers seem to think and act locally, thinking more of their electorates and voter base than of the larger nation and the national interest, sometimes completely ignoring the international more..

Is the Bibile drug policy outdated?

Mar 5 (CT) The Bill to establish the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA), which in turn is expected to replace the Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs Act No. 27 of 1980 (CDDA), was presented to Parliament on Tuesday. It was the CDDA which gave birth to the Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs Regulatory Authority (CDDRA). In the event the new Bill is passed and the NMRA established, it will presumably replace the CDDRA. What is seemingly different between more..

WikiLeaks: Why JVP left CBK-led coalition; ‘We can’t take responsibility or blame’

Mar 5 (CT) A leaked confidential US diplomatic cable written by the US Embassy Colombo has raised questions about the true nature of the drama staged by the JVP when they left the Chandrika Kumaratunga led coalition govt. At that time the JVP said that they had quit in protest at govt’s plans for a tsunami aid deal with the LTTE which could help efforts to set up a Tamil state. According to a leaked US diplomatic cable, more..

Without any promises made to them, Tamils risked their future

Mar 5 (CT) The last regime not only did the Mullivaikal massacre and went further to eradicate the roots of Tamil existence but also changed the governance of the country by constitutional changes and plundering of the state. A wise coalition of leadership in the south brought out a common-candidate and the regime change was democratically effected with the contribution of all – Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. Tamils, encouraged by the courageous call of their leaders to more..

Fraud Bureau summons former CEB Directors

Mar 5 (Island) The Colombo Fraud Bureau summoned the former Board of Management of the CEB in connection with an inquiry yesterday at its office at Wellawatte. A former Board member confirmed that they had summoned by the police. CEB trade unions said that it followed police investigations into a massive salary hike given to its engineers without the prior approval of the Cabinet and the Treasury. CID Director SSP C.R.L. Ranaweera recently wrote to the more..

JVP urges govt to investigate on alleged coup attempt

Mar 5 (CG) The JVP has demanded that an investigation continue into the allegations that former President Rajapaksa had attempted to stage a coup in order to stay in power after the Jan 8 election. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that he was told the former President was always confident of winning the elections and the loss came as a shock. He said that subsequently there were reports that more..

Butterflies have returned to North

Mar 5 (CT) The civil war affected the whole country of SL in one way or the other, but the North experienced the bombs the guns and the land mines first hand. People suffered. They suffered more than anyone who only felt the horrors of war through the news could ever imagine. They lost friends, family and sometimes their own limbs. They went through unimaginable hardship. Some broke. Others remained strong and moved on in life. more..

No presidential residence in KKS: MR

Mar 5 (DM) Former president Rajapaksa said that no presidential residence was being built in Kankesanthurai for his exclusive use as reported in the media. “Wide publicity has been given to images of what is purported to be a half-built presidential residence in Kankesanthurai said to have been constructed for my exclusive use. I wish to inform the public that no presidential residence was being built for me in Kankesanthurai,” more..

Agree on electoral reform

Mar 5 (CT) It is reported that President Maithripala Sirisena has informed a group of SLFP parliamentarians that the UNP has agreed to simultaneously implement the Amendment to the Constitution, limiting the powers of the Executive Presidency and amending the electoral system. A meeting of the parliamentarians was held yesterday at a committee room in the parliamentary complex under the patronage of President. more..

Special court to clear backlog of drug cases

Mar 5 (Island) A special court would soon be set up to hear drug related cases in the country to speedily clear the backlog of narcotic cases and to eradicate the drug menace from the country, Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said early this week. He was addressing a special discussion held by the National Drug Prevention Working Committee appointed under the guidance of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Justice Ministry on more..

Prof. P.S.N. Gunaratne is new UGC Chairman

Mar 5 (CT) Govt has appointed a Chairperson for the UGC after almost a month since Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama's resignation, Minister Kabir Hashim, said. Other staff members were also appointed. Professor P.S.N. Gunaratne, Management Faculty of the University of Colombo was appointed Chairperson while Malik Ranasinghe, former Vice Chancellor of Moratuwa University was appointed Vice Chairperson and more..

Muslims want their land back

Mar 5 (SL) Nearly six years after the end of the war, there still are many who are still displaced from their original homelands and are unable to return to their homelands. Land is a key issue requiring attention through a variety of measures which should pay due attention to individual’s land rights and claims, and the history of the land. Land issues are a matter of grave concern to the Tamil-speaking people, both the Tamil people and more..

CEA submits preliminary report on Jaffna ground water pollution

Mar 5 (Island) The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has submitted a preliminary report on the ground water pollution in some parts of the Jaffna Peninsula. President Maithripala Sirisena took take up the matter on Tuesday when he visited Jaffna. He told the officials present that the issue of water pollution had to be taken very seriously and everything possible done to remedy the situation and prevent contamination. more..

Food outlet scoring system will benefit consumers

Mar 5 (ST) Customers at food outlets will be able to satisfy themselves that the food they are buying meets legal standards with all outlets required to display certificates of compliance issued by Health Ministry. Move comes in response to concern by PHIs over food being treated with harmful chemicals and poor food preparation hygiene by middle and low-range food establishments even after offenders have been taken to court. more..

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