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China moots trilateral cooperation with India, Sri Lanka

Feb 27 (PTI) China today proposed trilateral cooperation involving India and Sri Lanka for regional stability as the new government in Colombo sought to re-balance its ties with China, preferring to follow a "non-aligned" policy. "China is open-minded about trilateral cooperation between China, India (and) Sri Lanka," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during a joint press conference with Sri Lankan counterpart Mangala Samaraweera. more..

Video: Even wives of politicians must be protected from govt: MR

Feb 27 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said that not only politicians but even their wives and children have to be safeguarded from the govt now as they are being “harassed” one by one. He was referring to the recent arrest of former Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s wife Shashi Weerawansa on charges of falsifying documents to obtain a diplomatic passport. Speaking to reporters after visiting Mrs. Weerawansa at the Colombo National Hospital, Rajapaksa said more..

Video: Shashi granted bail

Feb 27 (DM) Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s wife Shashi Weerawansa was released on bail, with two sureties of Rs 500,000 each by the Colombo Magistrate’s court, today. Despite two sureties, she was ordered to furnish a bail bond of Rs 15000. Moreover Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya ordered Shashi Weerawansa to report at the CID every Friday. Shashi Weeransa was arrested at a private hospital in Malabe over the charges of obtaining diplomatic and general passports illegally. more..

'Sri Lanka's foreign policy back to centre'

Feb 27 (PTI) Sri Lanka has shifted its foreign policy "back to centre" in the interest of its people, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said today as he dismissed the notion that the new govt is moving away from China to warm up ties with India. On his first visit to Beijing after the new SL govt headed by President Sirisena took over replacing pro-China Rajapaksa regime, Samaraweera today held extensive talks with more..

'Don’t resettle in North SL refugees from TN'

Feb 27 (DM) The JHU said it would oppose any move to resettle the Tamils who fled to India during the 1983 insurrection, on the basis that this matter was settled through an agreement signed with J.N. Dixit. JHU national organizer Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said according to the agreement, India had agreed to grant Indian Citizenship to the Tamils who fled to India while the Sri Lankan Govt had agreed to grant Sri Lankan Citizenship to Tamils of Indian origin and added that more..

Sam and Suma get CTC backing

Feb 27 (CG) The Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) has strongly condemned the burning of effigies and images of TNA leaders, R Sampanthan and M A Sumanthiran. CTC says it believe these acts are aimed at weakening the democratically elected leadership of Tamil people in Sri Lanka and thereby silencing the democratic wishes of Tamil people. “In the last presidential elections, the Tamil people voted in large numbers to bring about change, as per the advice of these very TNA leaders. more..

Executive powers to be slashed under new constitutional reforms?

Feb 27 (AD) According to the proposed constitutional reforms currently under discussion, the President will always act on the advice of the PM, however may request the PM to reconsider advice given to him and request Parliament to reconsider a Bill presented to him for assent. 19th amendment to the Constitution primarily aimed at abolishing executive presidency in the country is expected be tabled in more..

Karuna says 1990 massacre of Policemen was war crime

Feb 27 (AM) MP V. Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman stated that the massacre of more than 600 unarmed policemen after they had surrendered to the LTTE can be considered as a war crime. Taking part in a live political talk show, he said that while massacres that took place under Pol Pot in Cambodia and using chemical weapons against the Kurdish people in Iraq could be considered war crimes, the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka did not see war crimes committed by SL Forces. more..

Arjuna tells private airline Pay up dues within two weeks

Feb 27 (CT) Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation, Arjuna Ranatunga, stated that he would not allow anybody to misuse property owned by the ministry. A private airline company had rented the runway and the aero yard, attached to the Ratmalana Airport, but had not paid dues, amounting to Rs 24 million, to the authorities, and continued to utilize the runway and the aero yard. The ministry however, has decided to continue to rent the runway and the aero yard to more..

Beijing commits to maritime cooperation with Sri Lanka amid fears over port deal

Feb 27 (SCMP) Beijing is committed to launching maritime cooperation with Sri Lanka amid concerns over the cancellation of a port development project in Colombo led by a Chinese company. In talks today with SL Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera – on his first official visit to Beijing – China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said two nations were all-time friends who could withstand both domestic and international changes. more..

More than half the enamel paints sold in country contains high lead levels

Feb 27 (Island) Key findings of a new report released by the Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) shows that more than half of the enamel paint samples contained lead concentrations above 600 parts per million (ppm), the legal limit for lead in enamel paints permitted to be sold in Sri Lanka. CEJ Executive Director Hemantha Withanage said that eight of the 15 brands had a lead content beyond the recommended standard and that was a cause for grave concern, especially for children, more..

Govt takes measures to prevent spread of renal disease

Feb 27 (GDI) The govt has taken a series of steps to control and prevent the renal disease that is spreading mostly among the agriculture community in the country. President Maithripala Sirisena said the treatment and preventive routines for kidney patients had been radically progressed while a Presidential Task Force has been established and national level projects have been propelled in this respect. President was participating in an event Wednesday at the Gall Face Hotel more..

Video: SF's parliamentary seat: Respondents noticed

Feb 27 (DM) Court of Appeal today issued notice on the Respondents to the writ petition filed by General Sarath Fonseka on the restoration of his parliamentary seat with the case fixed for March 9. The General said his rights were unfairly removed under a corrupt regime and that he was confident that the new regime will restore justice. “Petition we filed was against the removal of my rights by the corrupt former head of state more..

Polls Chief preens himself on his department’s integrity

Feb 27 (Island) The Elections Department had never miscounted votes at any election whether the election observers were in Sri Lanka during the poll or not and its officials were totally independent, Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said on Wednesday. Addressing the launch of the Electoral Integrity, a review of the abuse of state resources and selected integrity issues during 2015 Presidential Election by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) at the BMICH, more..

Christian Evangelists hail move

Feb 27 (CG) National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) has welcomed the appointment of a Coordinator for Charismatic, Evangelical and Pentecostal Christian Churches by Minister John Amaratunga. Established in 1952, NCEASL represents a constituency of traditional and non-traditional Evangelical churches that has been present in the country for over a century. NCEASL noted that in the recent past, there has been a significant trend of increasing religious more..

Supreme Court stops polls to 2 PS in North

Feb 27 (CG) Supreme Court (SC) today issued an order postponing the elections scheduled to be held tomorrow at two Pradeshiya Sabhas in the north. The elections for the Puthukudiyiruppu and Maritimepattu Pradeshiya Sabhas in the Mullaitivu District were to take place tomorrow. However a fresh petition had been filed against it and the SC issued a stay order till March 27, Department of Elections said. more..

WC 2015: South Africa beat West Indies

Feb 27 (CI) West Indies must be sick of AB de Villiers and South Africa by now. As if all those records broken in Johannesburg earlier this year were not enough, South Africa returned to embarrass them with another plethora, this time in a World Cup match. The most significant of those were 261 runs in the last 20 overs, a World Cup record and second only to the Johannesburg loot in all ODIs, de Villiers smashing the fastest 150 in ODIs, & highest team total on Australian soil, more..

Norwegian expert offer help

Feb 27 (CT) Two Norwegian environment experts met the NPC Minister of Environment, P. Ainkaranesan to discuss the ground water pollution problem, long prevaling in the Valikamam area of Jaffna Peninsula. Norwegian experts and a team of Lankan experts also discussed how to prevent waste oil from the nearby coal power plant entering the ground water and contaminating the wells, which the people in Valikamam region depend on as their only source of fresh water. more..

Senior Police officers arrested over Biyagama Village wner's murder

Feb 27 (AM) SSP Ajith Rohana said that SSP Weewasinghe Pathiranalage Wimalasena from Jaffna and IP Ananda Rajakaruna from Alpitiya, arrested by CID over the murder of the owner of Biyagama Village Hotel. Senior Police officers have been arrested for withholding information from the CID with regard to the murder. The owner of Biyagama Village Hotel, Bernard Jayaratne (65) was hacked to death in one of his estates in more..

PMK alleges 66 fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka from Indian waters

Feb 27 (PTI) Demanding the immediate release of 66 Tamil Nadu and Puducherry fishermen from Sri Lanka, NDA ally PMK today alleged that they were arrested from Indian waters and urged the Centre to warn the neighbouring country that such arrests will affect bilateral ties. "The assault and arrest of our fishermen is regretful. Centre should prevail upon Lanka to release them immediately and warn SL that bilateral ties will be affected if such arrests continue," PMK leader S Ramadoss said. more..

Family of murdered Loku Seeya seeks justice from President, PM

Feb 27 (Island) Wife and two sons of M.S.M Niyas, alias Loku Seeya, well known exorcist at Ragama Devalaya who was abducted and murdered in the most inhuman manner in 2011, are seeking justice from President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as, they say, the previous govt did not have the crime investigated. They made the appeal to the country’s leaders during media briefing on Wednesday along with WPC member Susil Kindelpitiya of the Democratic Party. more..

BMICH ordered to pay Rs. 180m as compensation to Samitha

Feb 27 (AD) Colombo Chief Magistrate Court today ordered the management of BMICH to pay Rs. 180 million as compensation for Dr. Samitha Samanmali who was paralyzed after a shelter collapsed at the Deyata Kirula exhibition in 2008. Samanmali who was a medical student at the time sustained severe injuries in the accident on Feb 15, 2008 at BMICH when she was organising setting up of stalls for a medical exhibition. more..

CB removes lower repo penalty rate

Feb 27 (Reuters) Central bank said on Friday it had scrapped a lower repo penalty rate of 5% from March 2, five months after it adopted the measure to boost credit growth. "The 5% special standing deposit facility rate is withdrawn with effect from March 2," central bank told the country's commercial banks in a directive. The standing deposit facility (repo) rate and the standing lending facility (reverse repo) rate would remain at 6.5%, and 8%, respectively, it added. more..

Chairman CPC among 11 remanded

Feb 27 (Island) Chairman Central Provincial Council and Chief Organiser for Pathahewaheta, Mahinda Abeykoon and ten others accused in an election violence incident on Dec 5, 2001 were remanded until the hearing of the case was over by the High Court Judge of Kandy. The suspects were earlier remanded till Wednesday after the case was called the previous day. The eleven suspects stand charged with being in an unlawful assembly, trespass and several other counts. more..

Inflation hits 11-year low in Jan 2015

Feb 27 (EN) Sri Lanka's consumer prices rose 0.6% in the 12-months to Feb 2015, slowing sharply from 3.2% in January, the lowest since the 0.5% reported in January 2004. Index dropping 2.3% in the month. Colombo Consumer Price Index fell to 178.9 points by end February from 183.2 points in January as the state cut fuel prices and taxes in a number of consumer goods. Foods dropped 2.1% and non-foods dropped 2.6% more..

Call the CID

Feb 27 (CT) On Wed, this newspaper carried an article under the heading 'Fuel import contracts continue.' That was in relation to substandard fuel imported by the State-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) during the previous regime. Contracts signed by those companies expire this year. Till then those companies will continue to supply fuel to CPC. While testing mechanisms are in place to ensure that no substandard fuel would be imported in the future, the article quoting more..

Defend the right of NPC to pass Genocide resolution

Feb 27 (CT) United Socialist Party unequivocally defends the right of the NPC in its attempt to bring the focus of the world on the Brutal war that killed 100’s of thousands of innocent Tamils in the North & the East of this country. Especially this resolution was passed by the NPC in the circumstance where the new Maithri govt is pressurising the human right council in Geneva not to present the report in March and postpone the their sub-committee report till next September. more..

Sri Lanka says China to be consulted on any project re-think

Feb 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will not make any decision on Chinese projects it is reviewing until it consults China, Sri Lanka's foreign minister said, pledging that his new govt would welcome Chinese investors. President Sirisena has unnerved China with his re-examination of certain projects that China has invested in, including a $1.5 billion port city project in Colombo. India, which lost out to China in infrastructure development more..

Kelaniya undergrads cause traffic chaos during noon rush hour

Feb 27 (Island) Traffic on the Colombo-Kandy road came to a standstill at Dalugama yesterday causing much inconvenience to the public due to a demonstration by the undergraduates of the Kelaniya University. Hundreds of undergraduates staged a protest march from the administrative building of the university around noon. Addressing journalists during the demonstration, President of Kelaniya University Students’ more..

Growing Chinese arrivals boost Sri Lanka's tourism numbers to record highs

Feb 27 (Xinhua) Helped by growing Chinese travelers, Sri Lanka's post-war tourism industry hit yet another high ending 2014 with unprecedented 1.5 million arrivals, the Central Bank said. With the significant increase in tourist arrivals in December, the total for 2014 was recorded at 1,527,153. "Surpassing the 1.5 million milestone figure for the first time, the industry has hit a 19.8% annual growth. more..

Wiggy responds to Ranil's comment

Feb 27 (CT) Exposing the truth cannot be racism, reconciliation maybe achieved only through finding the truth, pointed out Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, responding to PM Ranil Wickremasinghe's comment over the passing of the genocide resolution at NPC. "Releasing the truth to the people cannot be identified as racism, and Prime Minister's comment on our move has saddened the council. more..

Pro-LTTE groups protest in London

Feb 27 (Island) Pro-LTTE groups set ablaze pictures of TNA heavyweights R. Sampanthan and M.A. Sumanthiran opposite the US embassy in London on Wednesday, demanding that Washington pressures UNHRC to submit the war crimes dossier on Sri Lanka at its next sessions scheduled to begin in March. The protesters rejected Sri Lanka’s assurance that a domestic inquiry would be held in keeping with UN standards. more..

Govt’s pro-western policy counter-productive: LSSP

Feb 27 (Island) LSSP General Secretary and former UPFA Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharane said the LSSP had taken a firm decision that the executive presidency should be abolished though certain powers enjoyed by the President could be retained. He said the excessive powers enjoyed by the executive presidency had been the bane of the country. Vitharane said that the next general election would be a crucial one and if the people more..

Twin tussle over trawling: Sri Lanka’s traditional fishermen caught in the net

Feb 27 (ST) The newly elected leaders of India and Sri Lanka renewed their govts’ commitment to resolving the fishing dispute between the two countries when they met in New Delhi last week. Another round of fishermen-to-fishermen talks, as announced by India at the end of the talks, will, however, not lead to a solution. The last round of talks between Sri Lankan and South Indian fishermen held in Colombo in March last year more..

DWC playing wild games?

Feb 27 (SL) Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) has come under severe criticism for not taking action against Ajith Gallage who is a strong supporter of the previous regime, for violating Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance (FFPO). Gallage is accused of keeping wild animals in his possession at the Bird Research Center in Nagarawewa, Hambantota and questions have been raised why DWC is ignoring repeated more..

Bad-boy Dilshan develops good habits

Feb 27 (CI) There is nothing in the world more like Tillakaratne Dilshan than the shot he brought to cricket in 2009. Like the man, the stroke treads the line between daring and embarrassment. If he wears the Dilscoop on the helmet, nothing looks so foolish. If he connects, he sends stadiums into raptures. It's a shot that has the feel of a heist. Modern captains have never put men behind their wicketkeeper. They probably never will. more..

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