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Journalist Namal Perera identifies his would-be killers

Apr 13 (EN) Journalist Namal Perera has identified two men who caused him grievous injury and tried to abduct him as he travelled with a friend at Kirulapone nearly nine years ago. Perera, who was then a course coordinator at the Sri Lanka College of Journalism, was attacked weeks after deputy editor of the Nation newspaper, Keith Noyahr, was severely assaulted. Perera was summoned to Colombo Magistrate's Court more..

Finance minister queries computerisation delay at tax department

Apr 13 (EN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said he was mystified by the delay by the Inland Revenue Department to get new computers required to modernise the tax collection system. The requirement had arisen and approval given over one year ago, he said. “We told them to get computers on an operating lease as it is cheaper,” he said. “But for some reason this has dragged on.” Security concerns raised by the tax department over information leaks when maintenance on more..

Sri Lanka Naval Ships arrive home after successful visit to India

Apr 13 (SLN) SL Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessels, SLNS Samudura and SLNS Suranimila which left for Cochin, India on a goodwill and and training mission on 4th of April, returned to the Colombo port today (11) after a successful completion of tour events. Upon arrival, the Commanding Officers of the ships, Captain Jagath Premarathna and Captain Rohitha Abeysinghe called on the Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Niraja Attygalle to discuss the progress of the visit. more..

The journey home: Sri Lanka’s displaced try to rebuild their lives

Apr 13 (National) Eight years have passed since the end of Sri Lanka’s long war, which forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. Many are now returning and rebuilding what was lost but the road back is a long one. "We had a big house before, the biggest in the neighbourhood." R Kanthasamy and K Sivamalar stand on the foundations of what was once their home, in a small garden in the northern town of Kilinochchi. more..

George Steuart Health launches first ever Biosimilar in Sri Lanka

Apr 13 (Island) George Steuart Health recently launched the world’s first biosimilar known as Remsima (Infliximab), approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. The launch was held at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo recently and was attended by key opinion leaders representing vital segments of the medical industry including Rheumatology, Gastroenterology and Dermatology. George Steuart Health, which prides itself more..

Rare honour Sri Lankan to captain Harrow against Eton

Apr 13 (DN) Sri Lankan-born Rahul Wijeratne will be creating history when he leads Harrow this year in their traditional cricket match against Eton at the home of cricket - Lord’s Cricket Ground on June 24, a 55-overs-a-side contest. Rahul, son of SL business tycoon Ravi Wijeratne has been appointed captain of Harrow School for the current English school cricket season. Seldom has a Sri Lankan had the honour of leading such a prestigious institute which is over 400 years old and more..

SL struggles to build up foreign reserves

Apr 13 (Nikkei) A South Korean ship unloads its cargo of cars at the Hambantota port, the only sign of life at Sri Lanka's newest harbor on its southern coast. The rest of this $1.4 billion port, built with a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China, sits idle. Weeds are spreading and visitors to the port's administrative offices must tiptoe around feral dogs. Emptiness has dogged the port since it opened in 2012. more..

Gurusinghe is now a selector too

Apr 13 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket has included Asanka Gurusinghe to the National Selection Committee with effect from yesterday. This is in addition to his position as manager of the cricket team in which he was first appointed to be brought down from Australia where he was residing. Gurusinghe will join the rest of the team with Sanath Jayasuriya as the chairman, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Ranjith Madurasinghe and Eric Upashantha. Gurusinghe was a member of SL World Cup winning more..

Avurudu: Wheeling on with time

Apr 13 (DN) Among all festive seasons of Sri Lanka, the Avurudu must be the one that is least capable of flying under the radar. Awash goes the country’s media apparatus with experts offering descriptions, mostly unoriginal, about the history and other aspects of the ceremony. Another school takes a different path to question and pass judgement on the ceremony for its increasing commercial façade. That school is a minority, constituted mostly by the youths. more..

Auspicious times for Sinhala/Hindu New Year

Apr 13 (GDI) The dawn of the New Year: Friday 14th at 02.04 a.m.  2. Punaya Kalaya (Nonagathaya): From Thursday 13th at 07.40 p.m. to Friday 14th 08.28 a.m. 3. Cooking Meals: Friday 14th at 05.41 a.m.  (Light the hearth clad in gold, facing north and prepare milk rice with ghee and jaggery.) 4. Commencing work, Transactions, and partaking of meals: Friday 14th at 07.05 a.m. (Clad in white and blue facing north)   more..

Stellar line-up as ICC announces Champions Trophy Ambassadors

Apr 13 (Island) The ICC on Wednesday announced eight stalwarts of the modern era as Champion Ambassadors for this summer’s ICC Champions Trophy which will be staged at three iconic venues of England and Wales from 1-18 June. Shahid Afridi of Pakistan, Bangladesh’s Habibul Bashar, Ian Bell of England, Shane Bond of New Zealand, Australia’s Mike Hussey, India’s Harbhajan Singh, Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka and Graeme Smith of South Africa were unveiled as Ambassadors more..

Selling H’tota Port to ward off impending economic crash?

Apr 13 (FT) Sri Lanka’s public debt was Rs. 7,391 billion on 31 Dec 2014 (about 70% of GDP). It rose to Rs. 8,503 billion by 31 Dec 2015 (about 76% of GDP), and according to estimates it has risen to approximately Rs. 9,700 billion by 31 December 2016, (about 82% of GDP); an unprecedented increase of about Rs. 2,309 billion (or 31%) in just two years! In that scenario, the PM has repeatedly claimed that the Govt is facing a massive debt crisis which has made it imperative that more..

Arjuna versus

Apr 13 (CM) Memorable stoushes featuring the SL captain who was and remains a master of the art of the scrap. v Australia, 1995-96 SL have played in higher-octane, better contested and far more watchable series, but for pure watershed value none has left its mark on the island's cricket like this pre-World Cup thrashing in Australia. If Ranatunga had not been at the helm, things might have gone very differently; more..

Avurudu celebrations 60 years ago

Apr 13 (DN) When the sun moves from the Meena Rashiya (House of Pisces) to the Mesha Rashiya (House of Aries) in the celestial sphere, the Aluth Avurudda dawns for both, Sinhala and Tamils in SL. It is a time for rejoicing, family reunions and engaging in traditions and rituals carried out through generations. Aluth Avurudda demonstrates our national ethos with its characteristic emphasis of the renewal and reaffirmation of goodwill within families and among all other citizens of the country. more..

Free market economy conditions & Freedom of living: High cost of housing in cities

Apr 13 (CT) The neoliberal economic doctrine that dominated the world in the last few decades and still doing so has created conditions in societies, especially their urban centres, that deserve further critical scrutiny by the alert and educated intelligentsia both in developed and developing countries. This is because these new conditions have not only generated highly competitive learning and working life for citizens and in some cases immigrants but also the drastic changes more..

Trincomalee Oil Tank Issue

Kuwait to provide additional loan for Kalu Ganga development project

Apr 13 (LBO) The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAD) will provide an additional concessional loan of Kuwait Dinar 5 million (16.5 million dollars) for the Kalu Ganga Development Project. The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment with the financial assistance of Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAD) and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID). more..

Yahapalanaya: Lunacy, Idiocy or Plain Hubris?

Apr 13 (Island) When absolute virtue is your launching pad, there is no way but down thereafter and that has been the sad story of the Yahapalanaya regime from its laboured birth. Yahapalanaya is a collage of intrinsically incompatible points of view and an uneasy cohabitation between groups and individuals who would not, normally, bed with each other. Given its current state of incompetence and paucity of achievement, the union between a mare and more..

'Minorities’ frustration a powder keg'

Apr 13 (CT) Certain factions in the govt are creating extremists and fuelling the fire of racial and religious discord, said SLFP MP Vidura Wickremanayake. He noted that the minorities of the country are frustrated by these actions and are being pushed against the wall. The people of Sri Lanka do not have the right to practice their religion or culture as enshrined in the Constitution, he said, more..

Spring is in the air

Apr 13 (DN) Isn’t it strange that many years ago, in a far off land, a poet called Chaucer wrote these famous lines in his Canterbury Tales Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote/The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote, capturing the very essence of what we are experiencing at this very moment, in our island nation in the 21st century. The heat of March is thankfully over. For most of us, the best days of our lives lie ahead; Sunshine and more..

Call of the season

Apr 13 (DN) Dawn of the Sinhala Hindu New Year is the most welcome news to both Buddhists and Hindus in Sri Lanka. It is a delightful event of historic and cultural significance. It has been given pride of place in the annual calendar. In short it is the most significant of the annual events organized and celebrated by the two communities. The role played by the New Year has come down the annals of history reviving the islands cultural heritage. History records that this national event more..

Homemaker’s Avurudda

Apr 13 (Island) Kamala gazed at the house in front of which the cab came to a halt. She was looking at it from the rear seat of the car that she had hired from the airport taxi stand early that morning on her return from Kuwait, five long years after her last visit home. Kamala momentarily wondered whether cab driver had misunderstood her directions and stopped at the wrong address. But no, he hadn’t made a mistake, she quickly realized. more..

Editorial: Another New Year

Apr 13 (Island) Another Sinhala-Tamil New Year will dawn shortly. People are getting ready to celebrate it on a grand scale in spite of their pecuniary difficulties. Funds have been either earned or begged or borrowed for the national festival which usually last for days. The past couple of weeks have seen a shopping spree; left with little money to tide them over for the next few weeks, people will soon start whining and cursing governments, both past & present, for their straitened circumstances. more..

Ranil’s worst betrayal: Giving Trinco to India

Apr 13 (CT) PM Wickremesinghe is about to give Trincomalee to the Indians—and by this (upcoming) Vesak! According to the Political Column of a respected English-language Sunday paper, he rejected the mild concerns of two SLFP Ministers, derisively addressing the pair in Sinhala as “Oi!” at the last Cabinet meeting. The imminent ceding of strategic Trincomalee is summarized by Meera Srinivasan in The Hindu:  “India and Sri Lanka have, in principle, agreed to jointly operate more..

Opposition ferments against Mendis distillery

Apr 12 (ST) Resistance is growing in the East to W.M. Mendis’s proposed ethyl alcohol plant, approved by Finance Ministry within 18 months of Maithripala Sirisena winning the presidency, on a platform that decried, among other things, the ethanol mafia. Batticaloa District Coordinating Committee met on March 27 and resolved to oppose the project. Members wanted it removed from the Batticaloa District; addressed a memorandum more..

Warring GMOA to its guns

Apr 12 (Island) The GMOA said it was not agreeable to the govt proposals by way of a solution to the SAITM issue. GMOA Secretary Dr Naveen D. Zoysa his union would not accept the govt proposal to take over the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) while SAITM continued to function as a private institute. "We cannot allow the use of a hospital functioning with public funds to be used by a private organisation," he said. more..

No deficit of drugs to treat influenza: Rajitha

Apr 12 (NR) Ministry of Health has refuted charges of a deficit of the Oseltamivir drug used to treat patients who have contracted the Influenza virus. In a statement the Ministry said Sri Lanka has imported sufficient quantities of the drug. A demand for medication has increased 15 times in the past several weeks due to the rapid spread of the Influenza across the country. The excess demand was met through stocks more..

New Year sales drop by 40%: AIEC

Apr 12 (DM) New Year sales have dropped by 40% when compared with last year because of the reduced purchasing power of the people, says Hemaka Fernando, the spokesman for the Association of Importers of Essential Commodities (AIEC). He said the drop could be seen in the sales of both clothing and food items and pointed out that there was a dwindling in the sale of potatoes and big onions. more..

Constitutional reforms: Courts to be allowed to decide on referendum

Apr 12 (DN) A member of the Steering Committee said the priority has been given to agree on the substance of the Constitutional reforms and present the draft report before the Constitutional Assembly. “Whether it would be a new Constitution or an Amendment will be decided later,” he said. However, it is learnt that President and PM in a meeting with the Steering Committee members recently had expressed that more..

Opportunity to provide appeals and suggestions regarding harassed journos

Apr 12 (DM) The Cabinet Sub Committee on granting measures of relief to media persons who were subjected to various harassment and oppression during the period 2005 — 2015,announced that it would once again provide the opportunity to persons and organizations to make appeals and submissions to it. A notice by the committee stated that it had decided to expand its recommendations and thus provide more..

Multi-prong probe into white van abduction

Apr 12 (Island) Police have commenced a multipronged investigation into Sunday’s abduction of a businessman in a white van at Ipalogama in Kekirawa. A special police team was scrutinizing the details of records of the victim’s mobile phone while fingerprint specialists and others were probing the incident from other angles, police said. The businessman, Ajantha Biyagama (38), was abducted in a white van by a group of armed more..

Judicial appointment in turmoil

Apr 12 (SL) The Sri Lankan judicial system, which is a fusion of English Common Law, Roman-Dutch Civil Law and Customary Law is considered the last resort of the common man to peruse their grievances. As such, everyone alike holds the SL court system highly as the apex of justice. Judicial appointments to SL’s judiciary hold a prominent and important place. As an independent arm, its appointments are highly anticipated more..

Video: JVP to oppose move to impose tax on EPF and ETF

Apr 12 (AD) No room should be given for the govt to impose a tax on the EPF and ETF, JVP stresses. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the workforce must be given the privilege to enjoy the benefits of these funds in which they invested after years of work. “The govt is currently eyeing to impose a 14% tax on these funds,” he pointed out. Dissanayake however vowed to take possible measures in a bid to prevent govt more..

Parliament Mafia: A hobby-turned-perk for all ministers?

Apr 12 (DM) Recently the govt sought Parliament approval for spending a total of Rs.288.2 million in order to purchase vehicles for several ministers, deputy ministers and state ministers. According to a report submitted in view of these supplementary allocations, it states that the supplementary provision does not change the approved total expenditure limits of the annual estimate by Parliament. more..

Wijeweera and Prabhakaran: Two sides of the same coin

Apr 12 (DM) Rohana Wijeweera was a remarkable man. At the height of the cold war in the international arena, when the USA was in constant confrontation with the then Soviet Union (USSR) in every possible global forum, Wijeweera played his logical role as the leader of the first revolutionary political party in post-Independence Sri Lanka. The JVP, which Wijeweera started as a cellish-organisation driven by indoctrination-oriented transformation of the minds and political thinking of the rural youth in SL more..

Use space research for the common good of all

Apr 12 (DM) Today is the International Day of Human Space Flight celebrating the beginning of the space era for the people. The United Nations General Assembly, in a 2011 resolution declared April 12 as the International Day of Human Space Flight. The aim is to celebrate each year at international level the beginning of the space era for the people, reaffirming the important contribution of space science and technology in achieving sustainable development goals and more..