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Sri Lanka road trip finds north and south still divided after civil war

Mar 28 (LAT) The road from Colombo, Sri Lanka's graceful seaside capital in the south, to the northern town of Jaffna has rarely been a straight shot. Most of the 250-mile journey follows the A9 highway, which slices through palm groves and green carpets of farmland that were the main battlegrounds of the country's three-decade civil war. During the worst fighting between an army dominated by the Sinhalese ethnic majority more..

Fishermen not to use high power boats, banned fishing nets

Mar 28 (OI) Fishermen of this island today resolved to cooperate with their Sri Lankan counterparts and not use high power motor boats and banned fishing nets. A meeting of the fishermen here also postponed their planned agitation, scheduled to be held here, demanding action against those who used banned fishing nets. They also resolved to launch a state wide stir if fishing boats seized by Sri Lankan naval-men were not released, said N J Bose and T Jesudass, the two main functionaries more..

More than 20% of youth are unemployed

Mar 28 (NF) Department of Census and Statistics revealed that more than 20% of the youth are unemployed. Their latest report states that a 20.6% of the youth between the ages of 15 and 24 are currently unemployed. Central Bank released its Labour Force -Statistics Quarterly Bulletin for last year. According to statistics, 4.2% of the population are unemployed. However, 24.5% of the women between the ages of 15 and 24 and 18.2% of the males in the same criteria are unemployed. more..

Wiggy snubs Ranil

Mar 28 (CT) Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran and the Northern Provincial Councillors boycotted a visit by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to Jaffna yesterday, following an exchange of views over the military presence in the North and the views expressed by the PM in an interview with an Indian TV station. PM Wickremesinghe, State Ministers Rosy Senanayake, Vijayakala Maheswaran more..

Probe on missing persons will be completed within 6 months: PM says in Jaffna

Mar 28 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that there were no secret camps in the country. He also said that investigations with regard to missing persons would be completed within 6 months. Premier made these statements at a meeting held with the MPs of all political parties of the Jaffna District at the Jaffna District Secretariat yesterday. PM, who arrived in Jaffna yesterday for a three-day visit, first travelled to the Naga Viharaya and participated in religious activities. more..

Positive step towards reconciliation: Singing of national anthem in Tamil

Mar 28 (CT) President Sirisena's decision to provide official sanction for the singing of the national anthem in the Tamil language is a cheerful development for the country, which was battered for a long time due to racist politics of the two main political parties, the UNP and the SLFP. This is a good omen for a better future as the two main political parties, the UNP and the SLFP, which were responsible for curtailing the right to sing the national anthem in the Tamil language more..

Sri Lanka is to work with friends

Mar 28 (CG) Sri Lanka as a maritime nation with natural ecological advantages will work in tandem with friendly countries to maintain cooperation in the maritime age, President Maithripala Sirisena said today. Speaking at the Boao Forum for Asia 2015 held in China today, the President noted that Sri Lanka is currently identified as a country with relatively high growth among emerging market economies. more..

On a mission to link Matara – Beliatta

Mar 28 (SL) Matara – Beliatta railway line, which is currently under construction, is the first rail track to be constructed since the end of British colonial rule. This newly constructed railway line does not only upgrade Sri Lanka’s railway network, but will also improve the economic development of the region. The contract of phase one of the Matara – Kataragama new railway line (127 km) between Matara and Beliatta was signed on August, 2010 between Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) and more..

Payment delays by Govt. badly hit small and medium contractors

Mar 28 (ST) The cash-strapped Sri Lanka State Engineering Corporation’s (SEC) delay in paying over Rs.1 billion of outstanding payments for 11 small and medium scale construction firms has brought the housing development programme for under-served settlements in Colombo and suburbs to a standstill, a top official of the SEC disclosed. The construction of housing units at Kalinga Mawatha in Colombo 5, Angoda Hospital premises land and hospital quarters at Mandawela more..

LTTE’s suicide cadres turn a new leaf, females face social rejection

Mar 28 (ENS) In a startling revelation, the Sri Lankan Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Maj. Gen. Jagath Wijetilleke said that 6 to 7% of the 12,346 cadres of the LTTE who had surrendered to the Sri Lankan armed forces at the end Eelam War IV in May 2009, were members of the dreaded suicide squad called the Black Tigers. The squad contained females as well as males. more..

Obama honours Sri Lankan science mentor

Mar 28 (IANS) An Indian-American and a Sri Lankan-origin scientist and teacher are among fourteen individuals and one organization named winners of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). Andhra University graduate Murty S. Kambhampati, a professor of biology at Southern University at New Orleans, and Sri Lankan origin Tilak Ratnanather, an associate professor in the biomedical engineering department of the more..

Police tries to arrest victim

Mar 28 (NS) Neurosurgeon Dr. Maheshi Wijeratne who allegedly attacked a woman last month (Feb 28) at a hotel in Colombo has filed counter charges against the person she attacked, the victim’s family claims. Victim Rhonda de Ley said the Police had attempted to arrest her last week on the charges of assault based on a statement made by Dr. Maheshi Wijeratne to the Police. “A statement had been made to the Police claiming my sister had attacked Dr. Maheshi’s mother” said brother of the more..

'Sri Lanka to ease entry barriers for FDI'

Mar 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka needs to ease foreign investment entry obstacles to attract more foreign direct investment, finance minister Ravi Karunanayake says. He made this comment while delivering a keynote address at the 18th Asian Investment Conference organised by Credit Suisse. The conference is an exclusive business gathering in the Asia Pacific region attended by prominent political, economic, financial, and academic more..

PM refutes claims on secret military camps

Mar 28 (AM) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe stated that there were no secret army camps in the country at present. He made this observation at a discussion with local representatives in Jaffna. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran recently declared that there was a secret camp named Gota Base within the Navy Camp in Trincomalee. Meanwhile, answering another question, Wickremasinghe added that the government hopes to end investigations on disappeared persons within six months. more..

Gangaramaya to provide meals at affordable prices

Mar 28 (ST) Gangaramaya Temple, Colombo 2, is organising a programme, with the assistance of food suppliers, to provide nutritious and wholesome meals at affordable prices to workers, a press release from the Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo said. The programme will be inaugurated on March 25, at 11.30 a.m. at the Seemamalakaya adjoining the Gangaramaya Temple, with free lunch, as in a Dansala, while lunch and dinner would be sold at cost price from the following day onwards. more..

New Zealand in form, but Australia formidable at home

Mar 28 (CI) New Zealand are electrifying, but Australia are clinical at home. The visitors are unbeaten, but the hosts have big-tournament pedigree. The teams have largely kept things classy, sure, but on both sides of the Tasman, there is an edge to this final. In the New Zealand media, the Australia side has been described as arrogant and self-absorbed. On talkback radio, David Warner's potty mouth has become a lightning-rod for more..

A/L qualified residents of estates as Teacher Assistants for Estate schools

Mar 28 (ST) Govt is in the process of recruiting 3,000 A/L qualified- 3 Passes, persons from the estate to be posted as Teacher Assistants, exclusively to estate sector schools, said Education Ministry Secretary Upali Marasinghe. Appointments will be given by the end of this month. “Interviews are now being conducted for the applications we called earlier,” he said. Reason for making such appointments to this sector is because education standards in the estates have dropped. more..

Avurudu flu: Avoid crowds, don’t infect others

Mar 28 (ST) With the holiday season approaching, health officials have warned that large gatherings — whether they are family get-togethers, crowded buses, musical shows or avurudu celebrations –could be feeding or breeding grounds for flu viruses. Sri Lanka has not been affected by the A(H1N1) influenza outbreak that claimed a number of lives here in 2009 and is now spreading rapidly in India. But health officials are urging the people to take basic preventive measures and more..

UN reform must benefit all countries

Mar 28 (IPS) U.N. anniversaries are occasions for stocktaking – not all of it positive. But there is a lot of good that the U.N. has done and is doing and there are many good, dedicated people working silently but effectively within the U.N. system where I have also worked for a part of my long diplomatic career. It is however, sadly, not always the moral compass of humankind such as when raisons d’etat dictate the U.N. Security more..

Need to rebuild investor confidence

Mar 28 (CT) Sri Lanka needs foreign direct investments (FDI) for many reasons. They are required to strengthen its foreign reserves, currently built, mainly on debt, and increasingly being buttressed with foreign commercial loans. Due to the drying up of foreign aid, both in the form of grant aid and concessional loans, Sri Lanka's infrastructure, some of which are white elephants, like the Mahinda Rajapaksa Hambantota seaport and the Mahinda Rajapaksa Mattala airport, more..

Local residents speak on Priyantha Sirisena's murder

Mar 28 (AM) Local residents in Polonnaruwa spoke to Asian Mirror on various claims circulating in certain websites on the murder of Priyantha Sirisena, and said that the dispute which led to the incident was ongoing for some time. Priyantha Sirisena, a younger brother of President Maithripala Sirisena and a well known businessman in Polonnaruwa, passed away early this morning after being attacked on the back of his head with an axe on Thursday. more..

Full Text: Amendments proposed to the gazetted 19th amendment

Mar 28 (CT) Pproposed amendments give effect to the changes to the 19th Amendment agreed to by the Cabinet after the 19th Amendment Bill was Gazetted. According to new amendment, the executive presidency will be abolished but the President will have certain powers. President will no longer be the Head of Govt. The phrase Head of Govt will not appear in the Constitution, which was the case during the Soulbury and First more..

A Troika without credibility & A merry-go-round for people

Mar 28 (CT) What’s important in all these quotes are their inherent contradictions, ambiguity and deceptions in saying what should be told to the people, not being told straight and direct. PM Wickremesinghe tells NDTV’s Srinivasan Jain, the difference between Rajapaksa and his govt is that, his govt would engage the UNHRC. President Sirisena is quoted by Al Jazeera as saying there will not be any outside investigators. Does he then mean, not even UNHRC engagement as more..

The Bond Issue goes to Supreme Court: Full Text of the petition

Mar 28 (CT) A team of professional and experienced bankers and treasury managers and Good Governance activists Dr G. Usvatte-Aratchi, Dr. A.C. Visvalingam and Chandra Jayaratne yesterday have submitted a petition to the Supreme Court the controversial Treasury Bond issue. (a) The Monetary Board to carry out an independent inquiry by a competent panel of professionals well versed in the rules, systems, procedures and processes applicable to the public debt management more..

Some DPL passport holders asked to explain

Mar 28 (DM) Defence and Urban Development Ministry is reviewing the issuance of DPL passports and have requested some of the DPL passport holders to explain the rationale for obtaining this class of travel document entailing many privileges. Assistant Controller, Department of Immigration and Emigration said that the department had asked certain DPL passport holders to explain how they had obtained a DPL passport and more..

28 Missions still Headless

Mar 28 (NS) 28 Sri Lankan overseas missions remain headless over two months after the political appointees who were serving in those positions were recalled to Colombo. In late January, the govt of President Maithripala Sirisena recalled 29 Heads of Mission, all of whom had been appointed by the Rajapaksa regime as political appointees. Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P. Perera said Ministry was still in the process of finalizing replacements more..

Udayanga Weeratunga goes missing

Mar 28 (DN) Former SL Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga whose service was terminated based on two complaints by the Ukrainian govt, has gone missing, said Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera. He said that following the termination from his eight year service in Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga neither returned to Sri Lanka in keeping with the proper procedure nor submitted his diplomatic passport. more..

Sri Lanka says EU LTTE ban to remain

Mar 28 (CG) The Govt says it has managed to convince the European Union (EU) to maintain a ban on the LTTE despite an earlier EU court decision to lift some sanctions on the group. Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera said that efforts of the new Govt headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had ensured the rebels remain on the latest list of banned groups issued by the EU. more..

Sri Lanka activists in court seeking independent probe for bond deal

Mar 28 (EN) Sri Lankan governance activists have petitioned Supreme Court for independent probe for alleged insider dealing in a bond sale and sought better processes to improve gilt auctions in the future. G Usvatte-aratchi, A C Visvalingam and Chandra Jayaratne have gone to court saying their fundamental rights have been violated. The Monetary Board of the Central Bank, Governor Arjuna Mahendan, his son-in-law more..

History of the National Anthem of Sri Lanka has been Mired in Controversy

Mar 28 (DBS) A very effective message regarding the contentious issue of the national anthem being sung in Tamil also was sent out early this week to the nation in general and the Tamil people in particular in the form of exemplary concrete action by the triumvirate comprising President Maithripala Sirisena, Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga. more..

No extra funding for probe team

Mar 28 (CG) The UNHRC was told that extra funding will not be required for the investigations team on Sri Lanka appointed by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights as a result of the decision to postpone the consideration of the report on Sri Lanka. The Programme Support and Management Services of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that the decision to postpone the submission of the more..

Display price list or face jail

Mar 28 (ST) Shop owners and eating house operators including those who run canteens have been ordered to display a price list of items on sale or risk heavy fines and jail terms upto six months, CAA Chairman Rumy Marzook said. He said that in terms of a new regulation, prices of food items — from bakery products to hoppers, string hoppers and beverages such as cool drinks, processed fruit drinks, tea, milk tea, coffee more..

Child abuse raises its ugly head

Mar 28 (SL) With the recent report of a 16-year-old girl’s death in the Vanni after being gang raped, it has once again raised concerns over the plight of children in our country and their safety. However, the new State Minister for Child Development Rosy Senanayake has vowed to take all measures needed to protect the children of this country. Child abuse comes in four different forms such as physical, sexual, psychological or more..

Extend GSP+ to FTA: JAAF

Mar 28 (NS) Sri Lanka’s garment industry umbrella body – the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) says that while GSP+ tariff concession will assist the industry in the short-term, the long-term desire of the industry is to elevate the trade relations to that of a Free Trade Arrangement (FTA) as it will provide stable long-term market access with predictability. Addressing a six-member EU delegation at a working luncheon held more..

Lee’s five powerful lessons for Lanka

Mar 28 (DM) All that man wants is freedom from fear and hunger. The entire gamut of human rights stems from these two basic freedoms which ensure man’s right to life, property and dignity. In a society where there is freedom from fear and hunger, there is little place for destructive politics. This was the essence of the social contract Singapore’s founder and great statesman Lee Kuan Yew conceived and sustained. In this social contract, State was honest and expected from its citizens discipline and more..

Who really leads The Opposition?

Mar 28 (DM) One of the biggest problems that have plagued democracy in Sri Lanka according to many political commentators is the lack of a credible opposition. 1978 Constitution while giving exceeding and dictatorial powers to the President when taken in totality made a weak opposition inevitable. Current PM and long-serving former Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe was perhaps unfairly criticized for being ineffective when in fact his position was a product of a system more..

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