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Video: Cabinet nod for media guidlines

Apr 28 (DM) Cabinet has given green light to legalise criteria or guidelines issued by Elections Commissioner during elections to be complied by print & electronic media, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. Proposal had been made by PM. Criteria or the guidelines would be Gazetted and passed in Parliament as a resolution for compliance by electronic or print media and activists, to ensure free & fair referendum or an election. more..

Udayanga still uses DPL passport

Apr 28 (CT) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weerathunga, wanted by Sri Lanka for alleged commission of serious financial crimes, was still using a diplomatic passport issued by the previous regime statements of his assets and liabilities and given no justifiable explanation for his lapse. The former minister who has been released on bail was present in Court when the five connected Cases were called for hearings. more..

MoU inked between Japanese institute and University of Sri Jayawardenapura

Apr 28 (Island) A ground breaking MoU to promote international academic research cooperation in the field of science and biotechnology was inked between Japan and SL on 19th April at the Board Room of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Sri J'pura (USJP) with the participation of a distinguished gathering of academics from Japan, SL and India. The MoU was signed between the USJP and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), more..

Treasury takes over Rs. 461 billion SriLankan Airlines debt

Apr 28 (FT) Cabinet gave approval for the Treasury to absorb Rs.461 billion total liabilities of SriLankan Airlines and make it more attractive to an international partner as the govt continues on its efforts to form a joint venture. The national carrier’s total debt was calculated at Rs. 461 billion or $3.2 billion, which also includes payments from a $2.3 billion deal with Airbus for eight A350 aircraft entered into by the previous govt. more..

Dilan sheds tears for Sajith

Apr 28 (Island) The UNP would face a split soon as PM Wickremesinghe was sidelining the party’s Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa and his backers, State Minister Dilan Perera hinted. He told the media that the PM was giving top positions within the party to Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and Minister Sagala Ratnayake at the expense of Premadasa. The TNA and the EPDP were also likely to suffer splits. An SLMC heavyweight was trying to leave the party, Perera stressed. more..

Italian pilot swindled by Sri Lankan

Apr 28 (DN) The CID has commenced an investigation into an incident where an Italian pilot had been defrauded to the tune of nearly Rs. 6.8 million by a Sri Lankan after promising that he will make arrangements to extend foreign pilot’s service term at the Mihin Lanka Airline. When the case came up before Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne, further magisterial inquiry into the matter was fixed for May 4. The CID told Court that suspect Anton Wilbert Warnasuriya had allegedly more..

BIA Stage Two ready for tender

Apr 28 (DN) The much awaited US$ 500 million Stage 2 development of the BIA will get underway soon. It is expected to be completed by end 2017. The tender for the Package B – Remote Apron and Taxiways will be announced shortly in the print media. The airport will be partially closed from January 2017 for urgent runway repairs. The airport will be closed for about six hours from 9 a.m. for a period of three months. more..

Sashi before CIABOC again

Apr 28 (CT) Sashi Weerawansa, wife of NFF Leader and former Minister, Wimal Weerawansa, was questioned by the CIABOC for up to three hours yesterday. A spokesman for CIABOC said, she was questioned in connection with a complaint made to the Commission relating to alleged illegal acquisition of assets by her husband, former Minister Wimal Weerawansa. Meanwhile, the PRECIFAC also questioned Sashi Weerawansa regarding the former Minister's assets a few months ago. more..

JO urges govt not to hush up issues concerning national security

Apr 28 (Island) The Joint Opposition yesterday urged the govt to conduct an impartial investigation into the complaint lodged with the Police by Army Commander Lt. General Krishantha de Silva against Opposition and TNA leader R. Sampanthan for forcibly entering an army camp in Kilinochchi on April 16 with a group of others. MP Dullas Alahapperuma said according to their information, the police had been advised by top govt politicians to hush up the investigation. more..

Battle scars: Sri Lanka's north counts the cost of a 26-year war

Apr 28 (CNBC) Seven years after the end of a devastating civil war, Sri Lanka's northern province lags behind the rest of the country on economic development, and the catch-up process is proving long and tough. The UN estimates about 40,000 people were killed in the 26-year civil war between the govt and a separatist group, the LTTE. International observers accuse both factions of human rights abuses during the conflict, more..

Pathfinder Foundation and China Institutes of Contemporary Int'l Relations sign MoU

Apr 28 (FT) A 5-member delegation from one of China’s oldest and largest think-tanks, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), undertaking a three-day visit to Sri Lanka, held discussions with Milinda Moragoda, founder of Pathfinder Foundation (PF), and senior officials of foundation on 27 April. Following the conclusion of discussions, the two institutions signed a MoU to enhance mutual understanding and cooperation through collaborative institutional relations. more..

Construction of two domestic airports to commence this year

Apr 28 (DM) Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation said yesterday that construction work on two out of four proposed domestic airports would be commenced this year in Bandarawela and Palavi. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva visited the Nayabadda Estate in Bandarawela where one of airports is to be constructed. The airport, with a run-way length of 1.5km and a width of 20 metres, is to be constructed at a cost of Rs.1.3 billion. It would also include a small terminal building more..

Vehicle price hike predicted from May 2

Apr 28 (Island) Sri Lanka's vehicle prices are expected to increase substantially from May 2 due to the increase in VAT. This VAT hike would have a major impact on vehicle sales, chairman, Vehicle Importers Association Indika Merinchige said. "Although it is still not clear as to how much the increase will be, prices will be definitely increased many fold, he said. There was uncertainty in the local automobile market. more..

Yoshitha lacked credentials for recruitment?

Apr 28 (CT) The Sri Lanka Navy is continuing its investigation into Yoshitha Rajapaksa, a former Naval officer and a son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Military Spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said. "The investigation is two pronged. One aspect of the investigation is to determine whether Yoshitha Rajapaksa had the necessary qualifications to join the Navy as an Officer Cadet. The Navy wants to determine whether the correct procedure had been followed. more..

From tuk-tuk driver to graduate teacher of Chemistry

Apr 28 (CT) How many times have we given up our ambitions without actually putting up a true fight to accomplish them? How many times have we refused to even take one single step forward, believing our future hopes and expectations will remain as they are, forever unfulfilled and unrealized? As a true academic enthusiast who never wanted to give up his passion towards Chemistry, Janaka Prasad Kaviraj refused to give up even when the odds were stacked up against him. more..

Video: TPP trade deal to challenge Sri Lanka’s apparel export sector

Apr 28 (CNBC) In today's world of Instagram and fast fashion, Sri Lanka's garment exporters have found a nice niche thanks to their design-to-deliver supply chain. But the industry could get caught out by challenges from a fast-changing global trade environment. With the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact — of which SL is not a signatory — on the horizon, competition from TPP signatories such as more..

Wild times in Sri Lanka: On safari or in the city, the elephant has the right of way

Apr 28 (NP) We had to settle for paw prints in the powdery dirt of a potholed road and not the leopard itself. Of course, it’s a bit much to expect to see one of the iconic big cats in the wild. We were hoping for just that, though, during our jeep safari at Yala National Park on the east coast of Sri Lanka. About an hour into our three-hour ride, the driver pulled the jeep to a halt and began speaking excitedly in Sinhala and gesticulating towards a tree-line about 200 metres away. more..

The lessons of 1994 for constitution making in 2016

Apr 28 (Island) SL elected a new President, full of promise of reforms, of re-democratizing SL, of correcting the wrongs of the past, of making govt more people friendly, of resolving long outstanding issues of inclusivity and tolerance towards minorities, and reforming the economy from a crony capitalist one to a social market economy. Winning coalition overthrew an entrenched incumbent administration, which had successfully, if somewhat brutally, crushed a concerted armed rebellion more..

Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva in Test squad

Apr 28 (CI) Rookie batsmen Dasun Shanaka and Dhananjaya de Silva have been named in Sri Lanka's Test squad to tour England, in which Lahiru Thirimanne has also found a place. Also included are wicketkeeper-batsmen Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella. The 17-man squad features 10 batsmen, five pacemen and two spin bowlers. Dhammika Prasad, Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal more..

Rugby: Sri Lanka set to battle sans stars

Apr 28 (CT) Sri Lanka will be sans some of their key players when they battle it out in the Asia Rugby Championship which is scheduled to be held in Malaysia next month. Kandy Sports Club's league winning trio of scrum half Srinath Sooriyabandara, wing three quarter Vishvamithra Jayasinghe and full back Richard Dharmapala are all unavailable for selection as these players are currently overseas. National Selection Committee Chairman, Michael Jayasekara confirmed that these players more..

Independent report on the proposed 65,000 houses by ArcelorMittal in the N&E

Apr 28 (GV) The Govt’s controversial 65,000 housing project in the North and East continues to come under heavy criticism with the latest call for review of the entire project by the TNA. A team of experts, all faculty members from the University of Moratuwa has recently released a preliminary report of their comparison of the proposed steel houses by ArcelorMittal to constructed block wall houses, following a two day visit to Jaffna in April 2016. The three experts are engineers more..

Satana: Private Universities in Sri Lanka

Editorial: From Kilinochchi to Galle

Apr 28 (Island) PHU leader and Joint Opposition firebrand Udaya Gammanpila has challenged newly appointed IGP Pujith Jayasundara to arrest Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan for forcibly entering an army camp in Kilinochchi on April 16. Gammanpila is being very naïve. The IGP cannot do so for obvious reasons. Sampanthan is a member of the Constitutional Council (CC) which selected Jayasundara as the IGP without following any procedure or rules, which, to begin with, more..

Floating Market: The stink hole of Pettah

Apr 28 (DN) The stench emanating from the Beira Lake seem to deter those visiting the Floating Market except for a brave few who are in dire need to spend their time unnoticed and undisturbed. Many shops though occupied, lacked any shopper. The market which was declared open with much pomp and pageantry two years ago, has lost much of its glamour. The market which was transformed in to a small night bazaar in the years gone by, has been reduced to a loitering ground for beggars, more..

Power hunger - the energy future: Looking to Sun, wind and water

Apr 28 (SO) Renewable energy is the only option to overcome power cuts and blackouts. Chairman of the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA) Keerthi Wickramaratne was optimistic that the only way out of this issue was to make a gradual switch to renewable sources of energy. He said although initial costs in setting up renewable energy power plants were high, it is as costly as some claim. more..

Batticaloa SLFP office being turned into a restaurant

Apr 28 (Island) I walked around in Batticaloa meeting and speaking to people. Most people have stories to share. Some elderly women told me how former chief minister Pillayan who is now happily or unhappily boarded at the Sri Lanka prisons or the govt boarding house these days took revenge from the people living in a village (I cant remember the name now) They said Pillayan took revenge because the villagers didn't vote for him, he refused to build roads in that village. more..

Citizen’s constitution, at long last!

Apr 28 (DN) Constitution of a country is said to be the basic law of the country. Constitution is also said to be the document that sets out the relationship between the three main organs of the State, that is, the legislature, executive and the judiciary. Constitution is also seen to be the agreement between the state and its’ citizens as to how the citizens are to be governed. The State is the most powerful institution with powerful repressive arms, the armed forces, the police, more..

'We are giving one million jobs to Youth'

Apr 28 (CT) If the 'JO' was in govt today would the price of gas, fuel and milk powder be reduced? MP Kavinda Jayawardana who was recently appointed leader of the UNP National Youth Front says "I have been given this responsibility so that I can get together with seniors of the party in carrying out future work of the party and to build up the National Youth Front (NYF)". Q: Why were you appointed President of NYF of the UNP? more..

Who established SL College of Journalism

Apr 28 (CT) Let him take credit for it if he wants. What does it matter? Waruna Karunatilake told me among other things when I called him to verify if Ranga Kalansooriya was indeed the person who established the Sri Lanka College of Journalism (SLCJ). Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya, a former Director General of the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) stood up before an audience of Young Global Leaders (YGLs) of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and claimed – I quote verbatim more..

Ambedkar’s legacy

Apr 28 (CT) May I begin my talk this evening by thanking His Excellency Y. K. Sinha the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo for inviting me to deliver this lecture on B.R. Ambedkar? This event is part of a series of celebrations in connection with the 125th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar, which fell on the 14th of April. I am afraid my talk may not celebrate great Ambedkar’s memory and legacy as such. It will only present some disjointed and hurriedly constructed thoughts more..

Jayasuriya back to lead selection panel

April 27 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed the return of Sanath Jayasuriya as chief selector, little more than a year since he stepped down from the role. The board had expressed a desire to reinstall Jayasuriya as chief selector for several weeks but was awaiting the sports minister's approval, which it has now received. The new selection panel takes office on May 1 and will serve for two years. more..

21 TN fishermen arrested by the Navy

April 27 (CG) 21 Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested by the Navy on charges of crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line. The three boats of the fishermen, hailing from Pamban and Thangachimadom near Rameswaram, were also seized by the Navy personnel, Assistant Director of Fisheries Department D Gopinath said. The fishermen were arrested while fishing near Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to SL by India by two agreements of 1974 and 1976. more..

Sri Lanka says no discussions with India over building sea bridge

April 27 (Xinhua) The govt said it had not held any discussions with India over constructing a sea bridge and tunnel connecting the two countries. Govt spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne said that despite media reports stating that Sri Lanka and India were in discussions over the connectivity bridge, there had been no talks held between the two countries. "Formally and informally, no talks have been held. We have not entered into any talks with India on this subject," he said. more..

TNA demands probe over illegal occupation by Sri Lankan Army

April 27 (PTI) The TNA on Wednesday called for a probe on the alleged illegal occupation of civilian lands by the military in the Northern Province. The TNA was responding to accusations that on April 16, a group of party legislators led by the main opposition leader R Sampanthan had forcibly entered a military installation at Paravipanjan area in the northern Kilinochchi district. “There is no camp there so there was no illegal entry. more..

SL govt stable, cannot be toppled: Sirisena

April 27 (PTI) Rejecting reports of internal disputes in the party, President Maithripala Sirisena today said his government was completely stable and could not be toppled. Addressing the heads of media institutions here, Sirisena said the group supporting former president Mahinda Rajapaksa was less than 50 in the 225-member assembly. "So they need more than 60 more to cross the 113 mark. Without my blessings they would not be able to do anything", Sirisena said. more..

Court refuses to release Tiran's passport

April 27 (AM) Colombo Fort Magistrate today refused to release the passport of Tiran Alles, which has been impounded regarding the inquiry into the RADA. Alles, through his lawyers, told court that he wants to visit England and requested the release of the passport for six weeks. However, the Magistrate said that he had been named a suspect in a large scale financial fraud by the police Special Investigations Unit. Therefore, his passport cannot be released even for a short period of time, more..