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New securities law to give finance minister more flexibility

Mar 21 (LBO) The PM has asked for a new securities law which gives the finance minister flexibility to raise a lower or higher amount specified in treasury bill and bond issue notices. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament Tuesday that the govt has asked the Attorney General to look into it. Wickremesinghe said the new legislation will set up a procedure where once the minister takes a decision, it will be advertised in the papers. more..

Four foreigners flee from Detention Centre

Mar 21 (DM) Four foreigners, who were detained at the Mirihana Detention Centre had escaped last night. Accordingly, two Nigerians, one Turk and a Maldivian, who were detained for violation of immigration and emigration laws, had escaped from the detention centre. Mirihana Detention Centre, which is controlled by the Department of Immigration and Emigration, is used for detaining foreigners arrested in the country. Mirihana Police are conducting investigations. more..

Two Aava group members arrested

Mar 21 (NR) Two key figures of the armed group Aava have been arrested by police in Kotahena. The suspects were arrested after questioning. The two suspects were in possession of a hand grenade, three swords and a hatchet. The suspects will be produced before the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court today. Special teams have been deployed to arrest other members of the AAWA group. Several persons of the Aava group have been arrested and remanded in the past for engaging in violent incidents more..

Eight women ASPs promoted as SPs

Mar 21 (DM) Eight women Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) have been promoted to the rank of Superintendent of Police (SP) with effect from Feb 20 by the National Police Commission (NPC), Police said today. IGP Pujitha Jayasundara had recommended the promotions based on their service period and skills. Accordingly, State Intelligence Service ASP A.G.N.D. Senevirathne, Fraud Investigation Bureau more..

'Govt ready to hold elections this year'

Mar 21 (DM) The govt was ready to hold elections for local govt bodies and three provincial councils this year, UPFA General Secretary and Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. Amaraweera refuted claims that the election was postponed due to the instability of the govt. “We have no reason to be afraid of holding the elections. It was delayed because of the delimitation report,” he said. Speaking of the rumors of a cabinet reshuffle, Amaraweera said the govt had not made more..

SAITM: Ravi wants govt. to act without giving in to protesters

Mar 21 (Island) Academy of Health Professionals in Sri Lanka (AHPSL) urged the govt to reveal its policy on the SAITM. President AHPSL Ravi Kumudesh said that if the govt was planning to make Sri Lanka an education hub, then it had to do its part by articulating its policy on SAITM. "It cannot wait for the issue to be resolved by student unions and trade unions on the streets." A majority of student unions participating in these agitations were not even medical undergraduates, more..

Sri Lanka reiterates not to allow foreign judges to probe war

Mar 21 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka on Tuesday reiterated it will not allow foreign judges to be involved in the post war transitional justice system. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that while Sri Lanka is open to accept technical advice or observations, it will not invite foreign judges. PM said that Sri Lanka had backed a resolution at the UNHRC in 2015 as it recognized the efforts of the govt to take the post-war more..

India invites applications for Self-Financing Professional Courses

Mar 21 (HCI) Applications are invited form Sri Lankan students (excluding PIO, OCI Card holders & NRIs) for nomination to Undergraduate Courses in Bachelor of Engineering (BE) and Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) under the Self Financing Scheme for the academic year 2017-18 against the reserved seats of the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India. The applicants are requested to fill-up the applications forms available at the Education Wing of High Commission more..

Govt snubs shipping industry on policy initiative

Mar 21 (EN) Efforts by SL’s shipping professionals to initiate discussions with the govt on a policy for its ports and shipping sector have been unsuccessful despite the new regime’s professed commitment to transparency and dialogue. Existing shipping policy was drawn up about a decade ago and has not been updated despite appeals by professional bodies keen to better exploit the island’s location close to the main East-West trade route across the Indian Ocean with a coherent, consistent policy. more..

India to remain engaged with Sri Lanka on fishermen's issues: FM

Mar 21 (Xinhua) Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that the country would remain engaged with Sri Lanka for getting the Indian fishermen and their boats in the custody of authorities in the neighboring island nation released. This assurance was given by Swaraj to a delegation of fishermen from the southern state of TN who had called on her in the Indian capital, in the wake of the recent death of an Indian fishermen more..

Call for International probe on Sri Lanka Tamils: AIADMK

Mar 21 (ENS) India must oppose a resolution in the UNHRC moved by the US, the UK and some other countries on giving two more years until 2019 for Sri Lanka to submit its report on the killing of Tamils, the AIADMK said in Parliament. AIADMK leader V Maitreyan raised the matter in Rajya Sabha during Zero Hour and urged the Centre to take the initiative to see that an independent international investigation is ordered. Requesting PM Narendra Modi to bring justice to Eelam Tamils, more..

Army Corporal arrested over Keith Noyahr attack remanded

Mar 21 (AD) The Army Corporal arrested in connection with the abduction and assault on journalist Keith Noyahr, has been remanded till March 30 by Maount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court. The 34-year-old suspect, attached to the Army Intelligence Directorate, was arrested by the CID last night and produced before Magistrate Lochana Weerasinghe today (21). Five army personnel including a Major were previously arrested and remanded in connection with the case.   more..

India joins hands to offer a help in drought affected people in Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (PSL) Govt of India donated eight water bowsers to supply water to the people in drought affected areas. Donations were officially handed over to President Sirisena today. High Commissioner of India, Taranjit Singh Sandhu  symbolically handed over the relevant documents and keys of water bowsers to the President.  Presently, there are 16 districts directly affected by the water shortage due to the prevailing dry more..

Video: Court rejects Wimal’s bail application

Mar 21 (AD) Colombo High Court has rejected the  bail application filed by MP Wimal Weerawansa. Attorneys representing the former minister had submitted a bail application to the High Court after the Colombo Magistrate Court had rejected the previous bail request.  MP Wimal Weerawansa who was arrested on charges of misusing state vehicles, was further remanded till the 3 of April when the case was taken up yesterday. NFF leader was arrested more..

Sri Lanka's old guard proves its worth again

Mar 21 (CI) 8: Rangana Herath (16 wickets at 18.00) In a home series, who else but Herath to lead the wicket charts, wrapping his little tentacles around Bangladesh in Galle, then wangling out the tail at the P Sara? For the first time in a year, though, he failed to bowl his side to victory in the second Test - foiled on this occasion by a precise and inspired Tamim Iqbal. He says he has more cricket left to give, and Sri Lanka will probably need him decades into the future, even if he has to approach more..

Video: OISL report: Mangala accepted it sans govt consent: JO

Mar 21 (DM) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has accepted the report on the OHCHR investigation on Sri Lanka and had co-sponsored the resolution on Sri Lanka without the consent of the President and the Cabinet, joint opposition told the UNHRC. JO member Sarath Weerasekara who spoke from Geneva said he told the UNHCR that Sri Lanka was involved in a non international armed conflict between the govt more..

Ceylon Tea Boutique attracts a large number of ITB visitors

Mar 21 (GDI) Ceylon Tea being among the most recognized tea brands in the world, were amongst the most popular items for the German visitors who visited the Sri Lanka Pavilion at ITB 2017. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau organized an exclusive Tea Promotional Boutique at the ITB with three Sri Lankan tea hostesses. Over 4,000 visitors visited the Ceylon Tea Boutique during the five day promotional campaign. Minister John Amaratunga, and P.M. Withana, Chairman of SL Tourism more..

President’s Commission on SAITM

Mar 21 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena has declared that the committee appointed by him on SAITM will come to a decision at the earliest, GMOA declared. Secretary of the GMOA, Dr. Navin De Soyza said that, President had mentioned that this problem cannot be solved through a Court verdict and that the continuous protests of the students of State universities is also a problem. Although the discussions held with the President were at an effective level, more..

National inflation surges to 8.2% in Feb

Mar 21 (EN) Sri Lanka's country-wide price rises measured by the National Consumer Price Index rose 8.2% in the 12 months to 7 Feb 2017, accelerating from 6.5% in January. Index rose 0.5% in February to 119.9 points. In January, prices rose 1.1%. Food prices rose 10.2% in the 12 months and non-foods rose 6.8%, the statistics office said. A re-based Colombo Consumer Price Index rose 6.8% in the 12 months to February. more..

Selection criteria for prospective MPs

Mar 21 (CT) I wish to draw the attention of all public-spirited citizens to the following extract in the Island Editorial, under the topic, Speaker’s plight, “The most effective way of addressing the problem of the deterioration of political institutions is to end the deplorable practice of nominating unsavoury elements to contest elections, which they win by spending a fraction of their black money to bribe voters. The blame for this sorry state of affairs should be apportioned to all political leaders. more..

e-commerce seen hampered by regulations

Mar 21 (EN) Despite the growth of electronic commerce in Sri Lanka it remins constrained by regulations that make digital payments a hassle for consumers, according to the head of an online retailer. “One of biggest challenges in digital age is sometimes with regulation especially with or peer-to-peer transactions,” said  Lahiru Pathmalal, CEO of Takas Ltd. Although P2P payments were happening their growth was held back by regulations that confine most online transactions to banks. more..

Parliament Mafia: Divide people and rule

Sri Lanka arrests 10 Indian fishermen in northern waters

Mar 21 (Xinhua) SL Navy arrested 10 Indian fishermen for poaching illegally in waters South of Delft Island, in the country's north, on Tuesday, the navy media unit said here. One Indian fishing trawler was also taken into custody. The arrested fishermen were brought to the Naval Base SLNS Elara and were handed over to the Jaffna Assistant Director of Fisheries for onward legal action. The arrest came a day after Minister, Mahinda Amaraweera said that Indian fishermen will continue to be arrested more..

Dengue out to cull our population

Mar 21 (CT) Every year we experience at least two dengue outbreaks. Both of which are accompanied by the monsoon rains. This year, sticking to its strict schedule has turned up again to cull our population. Dengue cases are in record level this year during the year's first outbreak. During the first 3 months of this year 22,562 suspected dengue cases have been reported islandwide, while the most number of cases were reported in this current month of March where disease reached an epidemic level. more..

Ex-leader's brother shifts blame for killings

Mar 21 (AFP) The brother of Sri Lanka's former president Mahinda Rajapakse denied Tuesday involvement in war-era death squads, blaming the then army chief for an alleged secretive campaign of extrajudicial murders. Gotabhaya Rajapakse has been accused of giving orders to a shadowy military outfit allegedly involved in murdering journalists and political dissidents during Sri Lanka's long-running civil war. more..

Island nation in Indian Ocean now a big draw for US, China

Mar 21 (S&S) The answer to why a state-of-the-art port exists in a remote part of one of Asia’s smallest nations lies a short distance out in the Indian Ocean. A critical sea lane is the reason China built the little-used Hambantota port in the first place, and why — besides a long-­standing regional humanitarian mission — the U.S. military was keen to visit for nearly two weeks this month. More than half of world’s container more..

Asst. Governor reveals how Mahendran went against Monetary Board decision

Mar 21 (ST) Assistant Governor of the Central Bank and Secretary to its Monetary Board H. A. Karunarate, testifying before Special Presidential Commission, said that the former Governor of CB Arjuna Mahendran had overridden the decision made by the Monetary Board to keep the interest of its daily deposits at 5% and arbitrarily increased it to 6.5 %. Karuratne said Mahendran gave instructions to do so on Feb 27, 2015. more..

UNICEF appeals for 1 million dollar funding for Sri Lanka's drought

Mar 21 (Xinhua) The UNICEF on Tuesday appealed for 1 million US dollars in funding to support Sri Lanka during its ongoing drought. Sri Lanka was currently in the midst of its worst drought in 40 years, with over 1.2 million people, including 365,232 children directly affected and in need of humanitarian assistance. A report released by UNICEF on World Water Day said that 36 countries across the globe were currently facing more..

Gazette minimum standards of medical education: GMOA

Mar 21 (DN) A letter had been sent to Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne requesting him to gazette the existing minimum standards of the medical education within two weeks. The duration ends on March 30, GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said. He said the minimum standard of the medical education in Sri Lanka existed for decades but according to the Court of Appeal ruling, it is not a law. more..

SriLankan Airlines partner may be in place by year end

Mar 21 (EN) A partner to turn around loss-making state carrier may be in place by the end of the year, with private equity firm TPG Capital being selected through an international bidding process now being the sole contender. Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said the selected PE firm has been given the nod to begin a due diligence examination of SriLankan Airlines, a process that may take up to three months from March. more..

Offering goodwill, US cultivates partnership in South Asia

Mar 21 (S&S) The line began forming hours before sunrise at Kirinda Peripheral Hospital, in a rural, south coast town known mostly by the nation’s big-city folk for its nearby elephant sanctuary. The Sri Lankan, U.S. and Australian military teams expected about 400 patients to show up. By afternoon, there were well over 1,000. Army medics, Navy nurses and dentists, Australian midwives and doctors of more..

President to undertake official visit to Russia

Mar 21 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena will undertake an official visit to the Russian Federation on 22-24 March 2017 at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin. The upcoming visit will be the first official visit to Russia by a Sri Lankan leader since 1974, when PM Sirimavo Bandaranaike visited Moscow. The visit takes place as both countries celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment diplomatic relations this year.   more..

CEA to ban PET bottles under one litre

Mar 21 (ST) The Central Environment Authority (CEA) is to ban the sale of carbonated drinks and fruit juices in PET (PolyEthylene Tetraphthalate) bottles below 1 litre, to control the plastic menace in the country. CEA Waste Management Director, J.M.U. Indraratne said that, instead, the Beverage industry will be encouraged to sell drinks in glass bottles. However, industry could use PET bottles of 1 litre or more, for their beverages. more..

SLC indirectly ignores court ruling

Mar 21 (SL) Sri Lanka Cricket is alleged to have indirectly disregarded a court ruling delivered against them. Cricket Board has come under criticism for not heeding a court ruling given against them preventing from holding inter-club limited cricket tournament. Although the inter-club tournament had been suspended following the court ruling, same clubs representing the same players are now playing at hurriedly more..

Dispossession and Landlessness in North

Mar 21 (DM) Land struggles that were little fires during the repressive years after the war, have now lit up the political landscape of the North. If the democratic wind with regime change provided oxygen for these struggles, the rural economic crisis affecting the war-torn people drives their desperation to recover land as a resource for agriculture and landing sites for fisheries. Indeed, land for these people is not only the ground on which to build dwellings, but also a resource to reproduce more..

Be aware: War over fresh water imminent

Mar 21 (DM) Tomorrow (22) is World Water Day and the main aim is to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and advocate the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This day is important and significant for Sri Lanka because we have been blessed with many major rivers, canals and streams and we need to ensure that no one is allowed to pollute these vast resources or to plunder them through subtle means. The theme this year is, Why Waste Water and we call upon more..