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Rajinikanth's Sri Lanka visit next month triggers opposition from Tamil outfits

Mar 24 (PTI) Superstar Rajinikanth's visit to Sri Lanka next month to inaugurate a housing scheme has met with opposition from pro-Tamil outfits here, who cautioned him from getting involved in the emotive ethnic issue. VCK and TVK urged the top actor not go ahead with his two-day visit starting April 9 during which he is slated to hand over 150 houses to displaced Tamils. VCK founder Thol.Thirumavalavan alleged that efforts more..

Russia offers to set up helicopter maintenance center in Sri Lanka

Mar 24 (SN) Russia has proposed to set up a service center for Russian-made helicopters in Sri Lanka, a deputy chief of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said. "We’ve submitted our proposals to equip a helicopter maintenance center and provide spare parts for armored hardware to the SL side," agency’s Mikhail Petukhov said at LIMA 2017 military show in Malaysia. SL has 12 Mi-8/17 military transport helicopters, six Mi-24P attack helicopters, more..

Sri Lanka gets World Bank, Australian aid for reforms

Mar 24 (WB) The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade (MODSIT) and the World Bank launched today a joint program of technical assistance and advisory services to the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to enhance the competitiveness of the private sector and unleash the potential of SL exports. The program aims to address most significant obstacles to creation of new private enterprises more..

TNA welcomes the adoption of UNHRC resolution

Mar 24 (CT) While welcoming the adoption of resolution 34/L 1, at the UNHRC, TNA has urged the govt to honor its commitment with regard to these resolutions and implement the same in letter and spirit. TNA said: “The TNA welcomes the adoption of UNHRC resolution 34/L 1 which reaffirms the full implementation of resolution 30/1 of 2015, promoting reconciliation, accountability & human rights in Sri Lanka. more..

Will close Perpetual distillery: Faizer

Mar 24 (CT) Minister Faiszer Musthapha said, as a member of the SLFP, he will force the closure of the new liquor distillery, which is due to be set up in Kalkudah by the Perpetual Treasuries Company, which is the main accused in the CB Treasury bond scam. He was responding to a question raised by a journalist, at a media discussion yesterday (23) regarding the new distillery, which will be established on a special tax relief granted by the Ministry of Finance. more..

Muthuhettigama writes to President

Mar 24 (CT) Deputy Minister of Ports & Shipping, Nishantha Muthuhettigama wrote to President stating that the letter sent by Cabinet Secretary S. Abeysinghe to the Secretary of his ministry, regarding the Concessionary Agreement on the Port of Hambantota, was contradictory to the decision taken at the Cabinet meeting. "During the Cabinet meeting, held under your chairmanship, on 21 March, the Ministers considered the Concessionary Agreement on Port of Hambantota sent by more..

Insipid ODI form a worry for Sri Lanka

Mar 24 (CI) Bangladesh have exulted, the Sri Lanka team have been verbally flagellated, and after Sunday's result, a tour that had been flying under the radar on the island has suddenly sparked widespread interest. While Bangladesh's second major Test victory in the space of a few months has been interpreted as a another sign of the team's arrival at the top level, Sri Lanka's loss has split opinion at home. more..

'Govt hasn’t taken any action over SAITM'

Mar 24 (NR) The Govt Medical Officers Association says the government has not taken any valid course of action over the issues surrounding the Malabe South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine. Secretary of the GMOA Naveen De Soysa said the association will engage in a strike action if the govt fails to take action in this regard. When inquired by NewsRadio, Naveen De Soysa said the Central Working Committee of the GMOA is scheduled to convene on the 27th of March. more..

Russia, Sri Lanka nearly finalize contract on Gepard 3.9 corvette deliveries

Mar 24 (SN) Deputy Director of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Mikhail Petukhov told the agency this week that the contract was under discussion. "The draft contract is practically coordinated with the SL side, discussion of certain technical details is in the final stage," the source said at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition LIMA-2017. An export version of Gepard-class Project 1166.1 frigates, Gepard 3.9 may be used more..

'Maithri–Putin friendship makes a new landmark in SL–Russia relations'

Mar 24 (PSL) “The close friendship which has been built between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will create a new landmark in the bilateral relations between two countries”, says Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Igor Morgulov. These remarks made at a ceremony held yesterday (23) at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Moscow, to mark the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relations more..

Mahendrans run govt: Basil

Mar 24 (Island) Former UPFA Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday said the govt was being run by Arjuna Mahendran and his son-in-law, Arjuna Aloysius and they had left senior Cabinet ministers in the shade. Basil Rajapaksa, taking questions from journalists said that those who had committed a daylight robbery in the Central Bank, got away scot free. He alleged that a distillery constructed in Kalkudah by Arjun Mahendran had been granted huge tax concessions. more..

President mulls PPP for Colombo Port: Yapa

Mar 24 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena would take key political and economic decisions within the next three weeks to strengthen govt and SLFP, State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said yesterday. He said the President’s decisions might not be to the liking of some. Asked whether the President would sack SLFPers who were currently with the Joint Opposition, Abeywardena said the SLFP was determined to forge ahead with all its members without sacking anyone. more..

Hambantota Port Deal getting curious by the day: CaFFE

Mar 24 (AD) With the latest turn in connect to the controversy surrounding the deal with between Sri Lanka and China Merchant Port Holdings Company sparks doubts whether there is an attempt to manipulate this deal, Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) says. CaFFE in a statement said, it notes this development with distress because this is not the first time that there was an attempt to manipulate this deal. more..

Regular protests, strikes have led to student violence: Akila

Mar 24 (DM) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said today the protests and the work stoppage by extremist groups may have led the school children to resort to violence and aggressive behaviour especially during big match season. He said such behaviour during the big match season had occurred even in the past but unfortunately today the trend seems to be on the rise and needed to be controlled before it gets out of hand. He said the ministry had discussed this matter with principals more..

Sri Lanka expects US$7.5bn forex reserves by year-end: CB Governor

Mar 24 (EN) CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said he expects foreign exchange reserves to grow to US$ 7.5 billion by end-2017, helped by inflows from syndicated loans. Gross official reserves were estimated at US$ 5.6 billion at end-Feb 2017 compared to $6 billion at end-2016. Current reserves amounted to less than 3.5 months of imports and was not a comfortable position. “We are operating on a thin margin and if there is some shock or volatility then there can be a crisis. more..

'Russia will commit to provide benefits of bilateral relations to Sri Lankans'

Mar 24 (PSL) Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia will commit to provide more benefits to Sri Lankans in the field of bilateral economic relations between two countries. President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to Russia is a beginning of a new chapter in bilateral relations between the two countries, he further said. The Russian PM made these remarks when he met the President Maithripala Sirisena in Russia, today. more..

Germany appreciates Sri Lanka’s approach to achieve democracy

Mar 24 (CG) Germany appreciates Sri Lanka’s approach to achieve democracy in the country, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement today. The President of the German Bundestag, Professor Dr Norbert Lammert accompanied by a Parliamentary delegation is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka in April 2017 on an invitation by Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of SL Parliament. The President of the German Bundestag, appreciated the achievements of the Govt of Sri Lanka and has stated that more..

Dinesh explains JO absence at Constitutional Assembly Steering Committee meeting

Mar 24 (Island) MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament that action should be taken to provide a report to the House on the MPs’ participation in parliament committee meetings outlining the names of MPs attended them and those who skipped them. The Joint Opposition MPs had not been able to attend a meeting of the Constitutional Assembly’s Steering Committee responsible for preparing a Draft Constitutional Proposal the previous day since they were more..

Video: SLFP lost its status after MS took over leadership: Basil

Mar 24 (DM) The SLFP reputation was damaged soon after President Maithripala Sirisena became its Chairman, former Minister Basil Rajapaksa said. Initiating the SLPP membership drive targeting the Provincial Council elections, Mr. Rajapaksa said that the SLFP’s down turn in popularity could be seen when you see the plight of the Habaraduwa and Rathgama SLFP organizers, who were kicked out. more..

Rathupaswala shooting: Three army personnel arrested

Mar 24 (AD) Three army personnel have been apprehended in connection with the shooting in Rathupaswala which claimed the lives of three persons in 2013. The suspects were apprehended by a team attached to the CID on Friday afternoon. The shooting sparked an outcry across the country due to the deaths including two youths. President Maithripala Sirisena had also given his approval to provide 4.68 million rupees as compensation for 33 victims of Rathupaswala incident earlier. more..

Video: MR at PRECIFAC

Mar 24 (DM) Former president Rajapaksa arrived at the PRECIFAC this morning to give a statement over financial loses to SL Rupavahini Corporation during last Presidential election. A spokesman said that they will record a statement from the former president over financial loses to the SLRC when broadcasting election advertisements during the last presidential election campaign. MP Rajapaksa was issued summons to appear before the Commission of Inquiry on the 16th of March. more..

Wijeyadasa blasts int’l community

Mar 24 (DM) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe charged that the international community is making unrealistic demands from Sri Lanka. Mr Rajapakshe who was speaking during a debate on several regulations in Parliament said looking into the crimes committed during the war time and bringing about reconciliation at the same time is not realistic at all. ‘Reconciliation and probing crimes which took place during more..

Seya murder: FR petition filed by student in court

Mar 24 (NR) The fundamental rights petition filed by a school student against his arrest and remand over the kidnap and murder of Seya Sadewmi in Kotadeniyawa claiming he was wrongly accused will be taken up for consideration in Court today. The petition will be heard at the Supreme Court. The petition filed by the student cites despite him having no involvement in the incident to the murder he was arrested and subjected to various mistreatment including assault. more..

Disappointed in MPs violating Standing Orders-Speaker

Mar 24 (NR) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya says it is disappointing that certain MPs violate standing orders. Speaker addressing the House said Hansard report indicates that several false and baseless allegations were hurled at the PM by MPs who addressed the House on Wednesday. Speaker said MPs should not hurl allegations at fellow MPs and speak degradingly claiming Standing Orders as cited indicate the code of conduct for MPs, and brought this to the attention of the House. more..

සිනමාවේදිනි සුමිත්žරා පීරිස්ť part 2

Yesterday, today & tomorrow: Whence, where & wither

Mar 24 (CT) “Gotabaya can build a new urbanized technocratic civilization which is the 21st century equivalent of the magnificent civilizations that this island once built; civilizations that put us ahead of the rest of South Asia, until the Tamil invaders drove us downward and the Western invaders finished what they started” says Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka. I will leave the brazenly chauvinist, historically erroneous part about Tamil invaders and Western   conquistadors completing what more..

London terror attack

Mar 24 (CT) Three important happenings affecting Sri Lanka took place in two major cities of the West on Wednesday. The first was the terror attack in London which left at least five dead and 40 injured, according to reports. The other two took place at Geneva where the alleged Sri Lanka war crimes issue is being discussed. In this context, Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva speaking at the UNHRC sessions, said that Sri Lanka will be co-sponsoring a Resolution with the USA and more..

UK calls for meaningful devolution in SL

Mar 24 (CG) The British Govt today encouraged Sri Lanka to deliver meaningful devolution through constitutional reform, establish credible transitional justice mechanisms, return all remaining military-held private land and replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act with human rights compliant legislation. British High Commission in Colombo said that the UK welcomes the co-sponsorship of the new UNHRC resolution more..

Video: Dilrukshi had to resign due to questioning frauds of the powerful

Mar 24 (LT) Former Director General of the CIABOC Ms. Dilrukshi Dias Wickremesinghe had to leave the position not due to any weakness in her duties but due to a political reason says JVP MP Anura Dissanayaka. When Ms. Wickremesinghe was made to resign investigations in connection with a powerful minister of the govt and a state minister, who had also served as ministers of the previous Rajapaksa regime had begun, he said. more..

Chagie’s visa application under consideration: AHC

Mar 24 (Island) Australian High Commission said that no final decision had been taken in respect of Maj. Gen. Chagie Gallage’s visa application. Veteran Gajaba Regiment officer is Director General of Infantry. Australian HC was responding to a query whether any other SL military officer had been denied visa over unsubstantiated war crimes allegations. HC said that Gallage’s application remains under assessment. more..

Sri Lanka hikes policy rates 25bp after inflation spiked to 8.2%

Mar 24 (EN) SL raised policy rates 25 basis points to 8.75% as inflation rose to 6.8% in Colombo on Feb and nation-wide inflation rose 8.2%, after loosening policy in Nov and Jan. Central Bank said it was raising policy rates as "a precautionary measure, in order to contain the build-up of adverse inflation expectations and the possible acceleration of demand side inflationary pressures through excessive monetary & credit expansion." more..

EU welcomes Sri Lanka for advancing human rights agenda

Mar 24 (AD) The European Union (EU) has welcomed the UN High Commissioner’s report on Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Government’s continued engagement with the Council. The EU, welcoming the Sri Lankan Govt’s continued engagement with UNHRC, said it fully acknowledges the progress made in Sri Lanka in terms of advancing the broader human rights agenda and restoring fundamental freedoms. more..

India will go with consensus on Sri Lanka resolution at UNHRC: Govt

Mar 24 (PTI) India said on Thursday that it will go with the consensus at the UNHRC on the US-sponsored resolution which proposes to give two more years beyond 2017 to Sri Lanka to fulfil its promises on protecting the interests of Tamils there. Minister Sushma Swaraj said in the Rajya Sabha that India’s approach in the UNHRC is been guided by the belief that promotion and protection of human rights can be best pursued through more..

JO defends MPs’ right to sell duty free vehicles

Mar 24 (Island) UPFA MP Shehan Semasinghe has strongly defended the right of members of parliament to sell duty free vehicles imported by them on special permits issued by parliament. Joint Opposition loyalist Semasinghe said the matter had been taken up in court and often raised by the media though as a MP he believed in their right to transfer ownership of such vehicles. JO comprises nearly 50 members elected on UPFA ticket. more..

Ravi amended 30 of 57 clauses: SLASA

Mar 24 (CT) The Sri Lanka Audit Services Association (SLASA) has revealed that Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake has modified 30 of the 57 clauses included in the Audit Bill, according to his preference. SLASA President, Attorney-at-Law K.N.M. Kumarasinghe said that the amended clauses have an impact on the independence of the Auditor General and Financial Auditing Power, as well as a number of other points. more..

Dengue expert and team bring hope

Mar 24 (ST) Sri Lanka is fighting a losing battle with dengue as intermittent rains are sending the number of men, women and children affected by this mosquito-borne disease soaring. Into 2˝ months of the year, the number of dengue cases is reported to be 21,000, the highest ever the country has experienced for similar periods in other years, while the death toll is also rising steadily, more than what has been seen in the last three years. more..

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