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Tensions between Derana, MTV

Mar 24 (CG) A tense situation arose this evening between the staff of Derana TV and MTV/Sirasa when an MTV crew had gone to the Derana office. MTV/Sirasa reported that the crew had visited the office to obtain a comment on a land at Fort which the Maharajah Group, the owners of MTV/Sirasa, said belongs to them. Derana TV had last night quoted the UDA as saying that the land did not belong to the Maharajah Group but more..

Man steals judge’s wallet in Court

Mar 24 (DM) A man who entered the chambers of Matara District Judge is reported to have stolen her wallet and with the cash and credit cards had bought jewellery and food items worth Rs. 65,000. Police said the preliminary investigations had revealed that he had entered the judge’s chamber while she was engaged in court proceedings. The judge having found her wallet and the contents missing had immediately informed the bank and deactivated the credit cards. more..

Court to decide on Malaka Silva's night club ban on Friday

Mar 24 (AM) Order on whether Malaka Silva would be allowed to enter night clubs was fixed for Friday by Colombo Additional Magistrate this morning. Counsel appearing for Malaka Silva further moved court that restriction imposed on Silva from attending in public gathering in an aggressive manner be removed. Minister Mervyn Silva’s son, Malaka Silva, was hospitalized in the wee hours of Nov 1, 2014, after being allegedly assaulted in a night club in Bambalapitiya. more..

Video: MR given security which he did not provide Chandrika

Mar 24 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had been provided with comprehensive security which included 21 vehicles and 213 officers. Contradicting the claim of President Rajapaksa who recently said that his security was decreased, Senaratne detailed the security provided to Rajapaksa. “He didn’t provide any security to his predecessor Chandrika Bandaranaike and more..

Directing people on the wrong path

Mar 24 (CT) EPDP General Secretary Douglas Devanada said that selfish politicians are involved in directing people to the incorrect path for their own agendas. He pointed out that these politicians have spread different stories and have directed the people on the wrong path. People are now confused whether they are telling the truth. "We should find ways to bring a bright future to the people. They should follow proper steps to solve the issues of people. They should follow proper steps to more..

'National Govt formed before March 22'

Mar 24 (AM) FSP Propaganda Secretary Pubudu Jayagoda said that Sri Lanka had a national govt even before March 22. What happened on that day was the lifting of the veil behind which all involved parties hid behind until now, he added. The fact that a national govt was effectively in existence is evident by the voting patterns seen in the parliament in the recent weeks. The interim budget, the drug policy bill and some other bills received almost unanimous approval in the parliament. more..

Hirunika Premachandra hits out at govt

Mar 24 (AM) Western Provincial Councilor Hirunika Premachandra stated that would not hesitate to leave the govt if the change everyone, including her, expected was not happening. Posting a statement on her Facebook page she stressed that she was among the very few and the only woman who left the previous govt to support Maithripala Sirisena. He declared himself as the common candidate despite death threats more..

Ranil sad over Lee Kuan’s death

Mar 24 (CG) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today expressed sorrow over the death of Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of Singapore who guided its development into a modern, stable nation as well as one of the world’s richest. Wickremesinghe made a speech in Parliament when sittings began today and recalled the meetings he had with Lee Kuan Yew in the past. PM Wickremesinghe also called for closer ties between Sri Lanka and Singapore to remember the late Lee Kuan Yew. more..

New Zealand into World Cup final

Mar 24 (CI) Incredible, just incredible. Amid scenes of rare passion, of the like New Zealand has never seen for a cricket match, Grant Elliott played the innings of his life to carry his adopted country into the World Cup final against the land of his birth. With five needed off two balls, but effectively four because a tie would have been enough for New Zealand due to them finishing higher in their group, Elliott pulled an injured Dale Steyn high over mid-on to ensure NZ's adventure would stretch more..

ICRC helps Sri Lanka probe missing

Mar 24 (CG) International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has reiterated its commitment to the Sri Lanka govt’s efforts to clarify the fate of persons who went missing during the past conflict and offered concrete proposals to establish an independent domestic mechanism for it. During his five day visit to SL, ICRC director of operations Dominik Stillhart met with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera more..

Finance minister threatens Gotabaya

Mar 24 (LBO) Minister Ravi Karunanayake has threatened to send a letter of demand to former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa for what he calls false charges being leveled against him. In a media release issued by minister Karunanayake, he says he will send a letter of demand to Rajapaksa demanding two billion rupees for the defamation." Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has provided false information about the construction of my house in a newspaper interview. more..

Sri Lankan shares near 7-month low

Mar 24 (Reuters) Shares fell for a second straight session on Tuesday and closed at their lowest in nearly 7 months, led by banks amid political uncertainty while investors waited for cues on interest rates. Main stock index ended 0.63%, or 44.37 points, weaker at 6,997.93, its lowest closing level since Aug. 28 and below the key psychological support level of 7,000. It had lost 4.37% in the past 17 sessions. "This is due to political uncertainty after the formation of national govt," more..

Buddhist groups slam government move to allow Sri Lankan anthem in Tamil

Mar 24 (TG) Several Buddhist groups in Sri Lanka have attacked the govt for allowing the Sri Lankan national anthem to be sung in Tamil. The groups accused the govt of acceding to LTTE sentiments. Ravana Balaya said it is organising a massive protest against the govt's decision. Group said the anthem cannot be sung in two languages as stated in the constitution, accusing President Maithripala Sirisena of pandering to Tamils, more..

Sajith says 49% of families in Hambantota District are homeless

Mar 24 (Island) About 49% of families in Hambantota District were homeless though the airports, harbours and international conference halls had been constructed in the area under the former govt, Housing and Samurdhi Minister Sajith Premadasa said yesterday. Addressing a press conference, Premadasa said Hambantota, which was the hometown of ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa, had 87,000 homeless families out of a total of 177,000 families in the District. more..

Dilemma over Opposition Leader post

Mar 24 (CG) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa is to decide on the post of opposition leader after some opposition political parties today objected to SLFP member Nimal Siripala de Silva continuing as opposition leader. The JVP, MEP and NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa said the opposition leader cannot be from a political party which is in the Govt. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe later said he had no objections to the Speaker deciding who the opposition leader should be. more..

SL exports flat, remittances, down in January

Mar 24 (EN) Sri Lanka's export revenues rose 0.9% to US$ 703.8 million in Jan 2015 from a year earlier, with prices falling in items like tea, despite volume increases. Imports rose 1.6% to US$ 1,681.6 million, widening trade deficit expanded 2.7% to US$ 772 million from US$ 752 million a year earlier. In Jan the balance of payments recorded a deficit of US$ 696.5 million, against surplus of US$ 732.9 mil last year. more..

Power demand hits new peak of 2210.4 MW

Mar 24 (EN) Sri Lanka's power demand hit a new night peak of 2210.4 MegaWatts on March 23 amid hot weather, breaking a record held for nearly two years. New record was the highest since the 2,164MW peak demand reached on April 8, 2013. New daytime peak of 1,859.4MW was also reached on March 18. Peak demand is reached usually in the hot weather months of March or on Vesak Day, a Buddhist religious holiday where households and temples use power to light up decorations. more..

EC to decide FPP & PR fusion

Mar 24 (CT) Due to the dissatisfactions owing to the misrepresentation of the First Past the Post (FPP) electoral system existed before 1978 and the bad experiences and distressing consequences of Proportional Representative (PR) electoral system, which gradually eroded the foundation of the democracy in Sri Lanka, a realization is now dominantly prevailing in the country that the elections should be held based on a combination the FPP and the PR systems. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka to grow 7% in 2015, driven by consumption: ADB

Mar 24 (EN) Sri Lanka's economic growth will slow to 7% in 2015 from 7.4% a year earlier amid political uncertainty, and will be mainly driven by consumption, ADB said. "Composition of GDP is likely to see a shift from investment to consumption in 2015," Tadateru Hayashi, ADB's Senior Country Economist for SL said. "Price reduction of food and fuel will encourage private consumption and a shift towards, recurrent expenditure in the budget will increase govt consumption." more..

What JR couldn't, Maithri did!

Mar 24 (CT) Sri Lanka's two main political parties, the SLFP and the UNP, for the first time in history, has united to form a national govt. The first time the formation of a national govt was mooted was by then then opposition leader J.R. Jayewardene at the height of the JVP insurrection in April 1971. However, this proposal was rejected by the then PM and SLFP/UF leader Sirima Bandaranaike. The next time the proposal to form a national govt was made was 17 years later in 1988. more..

19A a Constitutional Coup: JHU

Mar 24 (DM) The 19th Amendment presented by the government and the reforms were a result of a Constitutional Coup by one person who could not win elections to retain power, the JHU lashed out today. JHU General Secretary and Minister Champika Ranawaka said the objective of the newest reforms was to create the Executive President powerless and to make the Prime Minister powerful going against Yahapalanaya. more..

JVP calls for urgent NEC meeting

Mar 24 (CG) The JVP has called for an urgent meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) to discuss the latest political developments following the appointment of new cabinet members. A statement by the JVP said that the NEC was scheduled to meet today but the meeting had been postponed. JVP, which had raised concerns over the inclusion of several SLFP members in the cabinet, demanded that the NEC convene urgently. more..

Sri Lanka aims to stop importing fossil fuels

Mar 24 (EN) Sri Lanka's new govt wants to stop imports of fossil fuel, replacing it with indigenous natural gas and renewable energy, a senior official said. Suren Batagoda, Secretary, Ministry of Power and Energy said a new national plan aims to cut energy use and reduce emissions. "Now we're thinking of 100% clean indigenous energy, including Mannar Basin gas resources which we're positively trying to develop." more..

China wants SL govt to honour Port City Project agreement

Mar 24 (Island) With less than two days left for President Maitripala Sirisena’s arrival here on an official visit, China says Sri Lanka should honour the Colombo Port City Project agreement. Asked whether China was genuinely agreeable to the Sri Lankan govt’s call for a re-negotiation of the terms under which previous administration had finalised Port City Project, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao replied more..

Simple rice-cooking hack could reduce calories by 60%

Mar 24 (Telegraph) It sounds too good to be true but a simple change to the way rice is cooked could reduce its calorie content by 60%. Scientists in Sri Lanka have discovered that cooking rice with a teaspoon of coconut oil then refrigerating it for 12 hours more than halves the number of calories absorbed by the body. The change remains even if it is reheated. Researchers from the College of Chemical Sciences in Colombo, say more..

Govt coffers deprived of billions

Mar 24 (SL) Govt coffers have been deprived of generating revenue amounting to billions of rupees allegedly by way of continuous vehicle registration frauds at Department of Motor Traffic, official said. Department is accused of not taking any action against fraudulent officers, despite the continued malpractices that had taken place. “Ongoing scams have already made the country to lose billions of rupees over the years,” more..

Jumbos' overseas travel to be curbed!

Mar 24 (CT) The Deputy Minister of Sports and Tourism has said he plans to curb Sri Lankan elephants from being sent overseas after environmentalists have complained about animal cruelty. Environmentalists have explained that Dehiwela Zoo officials and Ministry officials had ignored the stress that Anjali would have to undergo during the hazardous journey to the Auckland Zoo in New Zealand and also Auckland Zoo officials more..

Railway travails: Begging, vending to be banned

Mar 24 (ST) Beggars and vendors are to be prohibited from begging or selling anything on trains or in railway stations, mainly due to health reasons and the nuisance caused to commuters. Lightning raids would be carried out from this week to arrest such persons on charges of violating the Railway Ordinance. Twice-monthly raids had started last year but had not been successful because they were not sustained due to lack of staff. more..

In Sri Lanka, elephants and humans struggle to live in close quarters

Mar 24 (CL) Elephants in Sri Lanka can have the demeanor of cranky wedding guests in a slow buffet line. They munch away at grass and leaves, kicking their heels back in annoyance at the pure white egrets standing behind them. Cross their path in a safari vehicle and you might get a raised trunk and a trumpeted warning: I’m walking here! But these feisty Asian elephants have a problem: Their turf is dwindling. more..

Celebrated novelist to be awarded at BBC

Mar 24 (FIUSM) The University’s creative writing program, in accordance with the Writers on the Bay reading series, will be honoring published writer, Michael Ondaatje, with the 2015 Lawrence A. Sanders Award in Fiction. The program presents the award to one author each spring and, this year, Ondaatje, novelist and poet, will be its sixth recipient. According to Julie Wade, assistant professor in the Department of English and more..

Today is World TB day Tuberculosis

Mar 24 (DM) Tuberculosis has plagued mankind since the time of the ancient Egyptian civilization. This seemingly innocuous micro-organism, mycobacterium tuberculosis, one of mankind’s most vicious enemies, has survived for millennia; flourishing at times of war, famine and natural disasters; going underground when living conditions and nutrition improve. No country or person is immune from the disease-widespread illegal and legal migration, wars, famines, refugees, more..

Take a leaf from Lee

Mar 24 (DM) With Sri Lanka entering a historic period through the formation of a National Govt for the first time since independence, Singapore’s legendary PM Lee Kuan Yew who passed away yesterday at the age of 91 would be the ideal model for political leaders including Ministers, MPs, provincial and local council members. With uncharacteristic sternness, President Maithripala Sirisena said last week he expected all those in his govt to act according to their conscience. more..

Joint Cabinet adopts 19A in toto

Mar 24 (DN) Cabinet yesterday decided to adopt the 19th Amendment to the constitution without amendments. With this new development, President would be the Head of State and the head of the Security Forces. There is no mention in the 19th Amendment about head of the govt and the constitutional amendment is silent about the matter. However, a senior Minister said that for all tactical purposes the interpretation would be that the more..

19th A before Parliament today

Mar 24 (CT) Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe will present the 19th Amendment, which seeks to curb certain powers of the Executive Presidency to Parliament today (24). In addition to the establishment of independent Commissions, the 19th Amendment will also re-establish the Constitutional Council which would make key appointments including those to the apex, superior Courts of the Judiciary. A Council of State will also be set up under the 19th Amendment. more..

Udayanga of arms deal fame at large

Mar 24 (CT) Former Russian envoy Udayanga Weeraratunga who was accused of selling arms to pro-Russian rebels by the Ukrainian Govt has not yet been found, Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera told Ceylon Today, yesterday. Weeratunga, reportedly the nephew of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa also ran a tea business from the embassy premises Perera said. The pro-Russian rebels have been fighting largely in the province of Donetsk, the eastern part of the country. more..