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Auspicious times for Sinhala/Hindu New Year

Apr 13 (GDI) BATHING FOR OLD YEAR: Bathing for old year falls on Thursday the 12th of April. DAWNING OF THE NEW YEAR: New Year will dawn at 8.13 am on Saturday the 14th of April. PUNYA KALAYA: Punya Kalaya begins on Saturday the 14th of April at 1.49 am and ends on Saturday the 14th of April at 2.37 pm. PREPARING OF MEALS: Preparing meals for the New Year should begin at 10.40 am on Saturday (14) more..

Two SL teams at the Youth Co:Lab Summit

Apr 13 (GDI) Two university student teams recently represented SL at the recently concluded Asia Pacific Youth Co:Lab Summit in Bangkok, Thailand. Youth Co:Lab is an initiative led by UNDP and Citi to empower youth on social innovation and entrepreneurship for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development recognizes the important role of youth in achieving the agenda, and calls for action against the challenges faced by young people. more..

Indian HC announces scholarships

Apr 13 (CT) High Commission of India, Colombo announced via press release the offer for the following ICCR scholarship for 2018-19 academic sessions under the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme: Five slots for PhD Degrees in all subjects, except Medicine/Paramedical (Nursing/ Physiotherapy/ anesthesia etc.)/fashion courses. Govt of India selects meritorious Sri Lankan nationals for award of this scholarship. Selection of candidates is done in consultation with more..

Norochcholai power plant shuts down temporarily

Apr 13 (LBO) The unit one of Lakvijaya power station which is also known as the Norochcholai power station has been shut down following the release of harmful emissions from its smokestack. The provincial environmental authority of North Western province has asked the Norochcholai plant to be shut down from yesterday evening (11). “We hope to back and running in the next ten days by April 22 or so.” more..

Govt nod for three local companies for vehicle emission test certification

Apr 13 (LBO) Govt has given approval of the cabinet to award the contract for issuing Vehicle Emission Test Certificates to three local firms. “In accordance with the recommendation of Cabinet Appointed Negotiating Committee, to Laugfs Eco, Cleanco Lanka and to Auto Test Lanka,” the recently approved statement said. The proposal was put forward by Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister approval of the cabinet of ministers was granted to award the contract for issuing Vehicle Emission Test more..

Sri Lanka to take action against money laundering and terrorism financing

Apr 13 (GDI) Speaking of the recent measures taken against money laundering and terrorism financing, the State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne categorically denied the claims, that the government mulls amending companies act to send the details of persons having 25 % of the shares in Public Limited Companies to CID to inquire on money laundering acts. It is also alleged that wider powers are to be given to CID to question Directors, shareholders of private companies. more..

Sri Lanka mulls new laws to curb hate speech and fake news on social media

Apr 13 (AD) Sri Lanka is considering new legislation or amendments to exiting legislation in order to criminalize the spread of hate speech or fake news through social media, following in the footsteps of countries such as Malaysia, while the relevant draft laws are expected to be prepared within a month. Minister Harin Fernando stated that the govt took several measures in the wake of the country’s recent experiences in the spread of more..

Sri Lanka invited to chair session on India’s place in world order

Apr 13 (CT) Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka (INSSSL) Director General Prof Asanga Abeyagoonasekera, the visiting Professor for Geopolitics and Global Leadership at Northern Kentucky University (USA), was invited to the 76th Annual Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) conference, one of the largest political science conferences in the US, held in Chicago from 5-8 April 2018. He was invited to Chair the session on the session on India’s place in world order more..

Over 450,000 potential dengue breeding sites found

Apr 13 (Island) Health Ministry officials have detected 463, 827 potential dengue breeding sites across the country during the mosquito eradication week which concluded recently. Ministry carried out the campaign, with the assistance of the Police, the tri services, civil defence force and members of community health committees in a bid to prevent an outbreak of dengue with the activation of the South Western monsoonal rains. Most of the places with dengue larvae were found in WP. more..

UN missions: Army seeking way out of Geneva quagmire

Apr 13 (Island) An ambitious Sri Lankan project to enhance its share in lucrative UN peace keeping operations is in jeopardy for want of a cohesive strategy to counter unsubstantiated war crimes allegations against the Sri Lankan military. Army Chief Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake yesterday explained measures that had been taken by military authorities, including a screening process of officers and men in accordance with UN standards. more..

Thiwanka and Ishan carry Golden hopes in Boxing

Apr 13 (CT) Sri Lanka has already won six medals, three in boxing but have not won a gold medal yet. Two boxers Thiwanka Ranasinghe and Ishan Bandara will be out in pursuit of the Golden dream today as both of them will box their semi-final bouts today. Ranasinghe the former Vidyartha boxer, first to take bout will face England Olympian boxer Galal Yafai which won’t be an easy fight for Thiwanka. The bout will commence at 8.32 a.m. SL time and win their will elevate Thiwanka to finals or more..

Batsmen dominate opening round

Apr 13 (CT) The first round of SL’s Super Four Provincial Tournament - the first of its kind since 2013 - produced two draws, with Roshen Silva, Lahiru Thirimanne, Ashan Priyanjan, Niroshan Dickwella, Mahela Udawatte and Sachithra Senanayake making hundreds in batting-friendly conditions. Among the major criticisms of Sri Lanka’s club-based first-class tournaments is that bowlers are not often made to toil long in the field, so dusty are the pitches. more..

PM-Prez formulate new agenda: S.B.

Apr 13 (Island) Having resigned as a minster, S.B. Dissanayake said that the 16 SLFPers who had voted for the No Confidence Motion (NCM) moved by the JO on April 4 would function as a separate group in Parliament. He said so addressing the media. Parliament is scheduled to meet on April 19 after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Dissanayake was flanked by Dayasiri Jayasekara, Dilan Perera, Chandima Weerakkody, more..

New water treatment centre at Dambana

Apr 13 (DN) A new water treatment and distribution centre was jointly erected at Dambaana, Mahiyanaganaya, by Dr. Ashoka Bandara Yapa attached to the Dambana Divisional Hospital and the Presidential Task Force on Prevention of Chronic Kidney Diseases. "I noticed that a majority of the local community lack clean water facilties. I wanted to help them, but I knew that it was not possible for me to carry out the task alone due to financial restrictions as well as rules and regulations more..

CNH to provide 24-hour service

Apr 13 (CT) Colombo National Hospital (CNH) said that it would provide an unstinted 24-hour service during the ensuing holidays. National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) National Coordinator (Training and Triage Team Leader), Pushpa Ramyani de Soysa said that services at the hospital will not suffer due to the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Those who were scheduled for leave would take it, while the hospital would continue with its normal services, she stated. Past experiences show an increase in more..

Customs suspect LTTE gold smuggled out of north

Apr 13 (Island) The navy has heightened surveillance and stepped up intelligence gathering as regards gold smuggling operations and its efforts have been crowned with results in the form of increasing detections, Navy Spokesperson, Commander Lankanatha Dissanayake says. He said so following the detection by the navy, on Wednesday, of the largest haul of gold, which was being smuggled out of the country this year. more..

Grand Heritance Hotel & Residencies to see light in Sigiriya

Apr 13 (DN) Sri Lankans are now offered the unique opportunity to own a luxury apartment by Global Housing & Real Estate (Pvt.) Ltd at the Grand Heritance Hotel and Residency Complex situated in close proximity to the historic Sigiriya Kingdom which is considered the 8th Wonder of the World. The modern hotel and residencies joint development project Grand Heritance Hotel and Residency is scheduled to break ground in the auspicious, festive Avurudu month of April and the public is more..

Six races scheduled for April 15 Race Day

Apr 13 (DN) A total of 6 races have been framed for 15 April Race Day that includes two Million races namely Race RTC Magic Million sponsored by Sri Lankan Airlines and Shivantha Thambaiyah Million. Both the Million races are going to be exciting to witness as SriLankan Airlines RTC Magic Million inform horse Alcazaba will be facing a stiff challenge from Mehran who went a brilliant Mock Race on April 1 and Aventus who has been working well in the Morning Trials. more..

Nimali, Gayanthika flop in women’s 800m

Apr 13 (DN) Two Sri Lankan women athletes Nimali Liyanaarachchi and Ganyanthika Abeyratne competing in heat number one and three were complete disappointments for Lankan fans here in Australia who made their way from faraway places of Australia to witness these athletes in action. None of them showed any impressive performances in the women’s 800 metres heats and failed to qualify for a place in the final. more..

Editorial: Adrift in a stormy sea

Apr 13 (Island) Rats are abandoning the yahapalana schooner, with tattered sails and broken masts. Sixteen rodents have already jumped off the vessel, adrift in a stormy sea, and speculation is rife that six more will follow suit, soon. Chances of their survival, however, are zero. Citizen Perera is standing, astonished, on the deck. Is this his Casabianca moment? The skipper of the battered vessel is taking wing for a glad-handing session in a faraway land, we are told. more..

On the question of Muslims

Apr 13 (Island) In the aftermath of the violence that engulfed the Kandy district, many of us in the intelligentsia have been floundering about, trying to find answers to what has happened. We have responses, quite anguished responses, trying to reason out what the irrationality of the violence targeting Muslims could mean in the short term and in the longer term. My piece here is one such attempt and in my quest for answers I wish to look at how many of the well intentioned responses more..

Five Avurudu traditions that are no longer practiced

Apr 13 (Roar) Sinhala and Tamil new year is approaching, and with it, the hustle and bustle to prepare for the festivities are increasing. Colombo and other city centres are inundated, as shoppers throng to buy new clothes, gifts, food ingredients and household items to ring in the new year—an important date in the SL calendar. Although the holiday falls on just two days—typically the 13th and 14th of April on the Gregorian more..

Muthuthantri sets sights on Asian Games gold

Apr 13 (CT) Winning a medal at the Asian Games in August will be the top priority for SL rugby sevens captain Sudarshana Muthuthantri who believes a good performance at the Commonwealth Games will be a stepping stone towards achieving that goal. The men’s rugby sevens competition gets underway this weekend, 14-15 April, at the Robina Stadium and SL’s campaign is most likely to last one day, Saturday, as they are grouped with sevens giants Fiji, Wales and Uganda in the preliminaries. more..

Embassy of Sri Lanka in Lebanon celebrates International Women’s Day

Apr 13 (FT) Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beirut organised an event to celebrate the International Women’s Day, which was held at the Preres Unis School Ground in Saloumeh, Lebanon on 25 March. The celebrations were held with the participation of a large number of Sri Lankan, Filipino and Ethiopian expatriates in Lebanon. Joining the celebrations, SL’s Ambassador to Lebanon Wijerathna Mendis read out the message issued by Prez Sirisena on the occasion of the Int'l Women’s Day. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Two contentious human rights issues

Apr 13 (CT) There were two particularly contentious issues which the Commission of Inquiry was looking into. The first was the killing of five youngsters in Trincomalee, where it was clear that Security Forces had breached all norms. Though when I had first heard about the matter I had thought they had reasons to suspect the youngsters of working for the LTTE. about the matter. After I took over at the Secretariat and investigated further, it seemed to me that they had no excuse at all for the killings. more..

Ethical and all?

Apr 13 (CT) Nothing explains the state and status of the post-trust-vote govt in Sri Lanka than the old adage, As you sow, so you reap! For some of the UNP members to demand the removal of six SLFP Cabinet Ministers and also Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumpathipala, for voting for the SLPP-JO’s no-trust motion against the govt, incidentally led by their party’s PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, is laughable, to say the least. But then politics is all about such laughing matters, which more..

Welikada shooting incident unfolding

Apr 13 (DM) Prison Department’s Rehabilitation Commissioner and Magazine Prison’s former Superintendent Emil Lamahewage and Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) Inspector Moses Rangajeewa Newamal are extolled as heroes by some groups in our society for their alleged involvement into the killing of 27 inmates in Welikada Prison on Nov 9 and 10, 2012. Certain groups justify the shooting, giving a reason more..

Act on Prez’s concern about LG Machinery

Apr 13 (CT) President expressing his concern has said that the present increase in the number of ward members should be brought down by half to 4,000 members. No doubt, the current imbroglio aggravated by Horse-trading pervading the LG elections and selections would have spurred him to make this moot proposal. He has realized that increasing the number of ward members would add to bribery and corruption and that merely expanding the political fraternity at exorbitantly high cost more..

Her. Him. The Other: Exposing political realities and eroding human values

Apr 13 (GV) We stand today with our collective consciousness bruised almost beyond repair. We feel devastated by the chaos, anarchy and culture of impunity. As someone recently said, the beast rides again. What is the role of the artist within the current socio-political context? The artist should delve into the roots that gave birth to this beast. The responsibility of the artist today is to explore realities of our times. They need to dig deep in order to examine the dynamics of socio-economic and more..

Asian Koel: Herald of the Sinhalese and Tamil New Year or not?

Apr 13 (Roar) The call of the Asian koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus)—better known as the koha in Sinhalese—was traditionally believed to be a sign of the upcoming Sinhalese and Tamil New Year. However, the pleasant calls made by the male Asian koels during the warm days of the month of April, are actually mating calls, for the mating season of these birds coincides with the New Year festivities. more..

The Sangha needs cleansing

Apr 13 (CT) When religion is politicised religious leaders lose their spiritual charisma and religious institutions become partisan players among competing political forces. This has been the sad story of Buddhism and its apex institution, Sangha, ever since SWRD began to exploit that religion and its monks to win his political battles. By the time he realised that by dragging Buddhism and the Sangha into political arena he had become captive to the demands of Sangha-backed reactionary more..

Second SLFP Schism: A Survival Strategy

Apr 13 (CT) The biggest loser in SL politics simply has to be Chandrika Kumaratunga. The daughter of two PMs and a former two-term President, she was on top of the world when she succeeded in ousting her arch rival Mahinda Rajapaksa in January 2015. And look where she and Mahinda are now. Mahinda is the head of a formation which not only has the largest number of seats in the opposition but more importantly, beat both the UNP and the SLFP to emerge the island’s largest political entity at more..

Four Acting Ministers sworn in

Apr 12 (DM) Some portfolios which fell vacant with the resignation of six SLFP ministers who left the govts after voting in favor of the No-confidence motion against PM were temporarily handed over to four ministers by Prez Sirisena today. Accordingly, Minister of Special Assignments Dr Sarath Amunugama was sworn in as the Acting Minister of Vocational Training and Skills Development and Science, Technology more..

New positions to be created in the UNP

Apr 12 (DM) The 12 member politburo of the UNP met yesterday discussed a proposal to set up new positions in the party including appointing a Propaganda Secretary, a Media Secretary and a Trade Union Affairs Secretary, Politburo member MP Nalin Bandara Jayamaha said yesterday. Mr Bandara told journalists these new positions will be created in addition to the general secretary. However, he said no names were nominated for the posts at yesterday’s meeting. more..

Chinese firm to invest $800 million on Port City underground road

Apr 12 (Reuters) China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) will invest $800 million to build an underground road network to Sri Lanka’s Port City, a $1.4 billion project built on reclaimed land, a govt minister said. The plan, for which an agreement has already been signed, is expected to reduce traffic congestion on the existing route once the Port City - part of Beijing’s ambitious plan to create a modern-day Silk Road across Asia - starts operating. more..

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