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Some DPL passport holders asked to explain

Mar 28 (DM) Defence and Urban Development Ministry is reviewing the issuance of DPL passports and have requested some of the DPL passport holders to explain the rationale for obtaining this class of travel document entailing many privileges. Assistant Controller, Department of Immigration and Emigration said that the department had asked certain DPL passport holders to explain how they had obtained a DPL passport and more..

28 Missions still Headless

Mar 28 (NS) 28 Sri Lankan overseas missions remain headless over two months after the political appointees who were serving in those positions were recalled to Colombo. In late January, the govt of President Maithripala Sirisena recalled 29 Heads of Mission, all of whom had been appointed by the Rajapaksa regime as political appointees. Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P. Perera said Ministry was still in the process of finalizing replacements more..

Udayanga Weeratunga goes missing

Mar 28 (DN) Former SL Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga whose service was terminated based on two complaints by the Ukrainian govt, has gone missing, said Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera. He said that following the termination from his eight year service in Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga neither returned to Sri Lanka in keeping with the proper procedure nor submitted his diplomatic passport. more..

Sri Lanka says EU LTTE ban to remain

Mar 28 (CG) The Govt says it has managed to convince the European Union (EU) to maintain a ban on the LTTE despite an earlier EU court decision to lift some sanctions on the group. Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera said that efforts of the new Govt headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had ensured the rebels remain on the latest list of banned groups issued by the EU. more..

Sri Lanka activists in court seeking independent probe for bond deal

Mar 28 (EN) Sri Lankan governance activists have petitioned Supreme Court for independent probe for alleged insider dealing in a bond sale and sought better processes to improve gilt auctions in the future. G Usvatte-aratchi, A C Visvalingam and Chandra Jayaratne have gone to court saying their fundamental rights have been violated. The Monetary Board of the Central Bank, Governor Arjuna Mahendan, his son-in-law more..

History of the National Anthem of Sri Lanka has been Mired in Controversy

Mar 28 (DBS) A very effective message regarding the contentious issue of the national anthem being sung in Tamil also was sent out early this week to the nation in general and the Tamil people in particular in the form of exemplary concrete action by the triumvirate comprising President Maithripala Sirisena, Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga. more..

No extra funding for probe team

Mar 28 (CG) The UNHRC was told that extra funding will not be required for the investigations team on Sri Lanka appointed by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights as a result of the decision to postpone the consideration of the report on Sri Lanka. The Programme Support and Management Services of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that the decision to postpone the submission of the more..

Display price list or face jail

Mar 28 (ST) Shop owners and eating house operators including those who run canteens have been ordered to display a price list of items on sale or risk heavy fines and jail terms upto six months, CAA Chairman Rumy Marzook said. He said that in terms of a new regulation, prices of food items — from bakery products to hoppers, string hoppers and beverages such as cool drinks, processed fruit drinks, tea, milk tea, coffee more..

Child abuse raises its ugly head

Mar 28 (SL) With the recent report of a 16-year-old girl’s death in the Vanni after being gang raped, it has once again raised concerns over the plight of children in our country and their safety. However, the new State Minister for Child Development Rosy Senanayake has vowed to take all measures needed to protect the children of this country. Child abuse comes in four different forms such as physical, sexual, psychological or more..

Extend GSP+ to FTA: JAAF

Mar 28 (NS) Sri Lanka’s garment industry umbrella body – the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) says that while GSP+ tariff concession will assist the industry in the short-term, the long-term desire of the industry is to elevate the trade relations to that of a Free Trade Arrangement (FTA) as it will provide stable long-term market access with predictability. Addressing a six-member EU delegation at a working luncheon held more..

Lee’s five powerful lessons for Lanka

Mar 28 (DM) All that man wants is freedom from fear and hunger. The entire gamut of human rights stems from these two basic freedoms which ensure man’s right to life, property and dignity. In a society where there is freedom from fear and hunger, there is little place for destructive politics. This was the essence of the social contract Singapore’s founder and great statesman Lee Kuan Yew conceived and sustained. In this social contract, State was honest and expected from its citizens discipline and more..

Who really leads The Opposition?

Mar 28 (DM) One of the biggest problems that have plagued democracy in Sri Lanka according to many political commentators is the lack of a credible opposition. 1978 Constitution while giving exceeding and dictatorial powers to the President when taken in totality made a weak opposition inevitable. Current PM and long-serving former Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe was perhaps unfairly criticized for being ineffective when in fact his position was a product of a system more..

Sri Lanka fires fresh salvo at Chinese firm over Port City project

Mar 28 (SCMP) Chinese company involved in the controversial US$1.4 billion Colombo Port City project has failed to furnish the necessary documents within the two-week deadline set by the new govt, which is also reviewing other Chinese projects including a high-profile telecommunications tower, finance minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He also said President Xi Jinping surprised SL President Sirisena on more..

Doctors reattach school boy's severed forearm

Mar 28 (DM) Colombo National Hospital Doctors have successfully re-attached a 15-year-old boy’s right forearm after it was severed in an accident at Balummahara. CNH Chief Nursing Instructor Pushpa de Soysa said 7-hour long surgery was performed soon after the boy was brought to the hospital with the severed part of the forearm. “Plastic surgery was successfully completed by our doctors and staff and now the teenager is in a stable condition at a post-surgery ward,” more..

People's Leasing FCID quiz MR's man again

Mar 28 (CT) Former President's Chief of Staff, Gamini Senarath was once again interrogated for three hours yesterday morning by the Financial Crimes Investigation Department (FCID) in connection with irregularities alleged to have taken place at the People's Leasing Company. FCID had recorded a statement from Senarath who was also the chairman of People's Leasing Company, pertaining to alleged financial rackets in the PLC during the UPFA regime. more..

President Sirisena’s brother dies

Mar 28 (CG) Priyantha Sirisena, the brother of President Maithripala Sirisena, has succumbed to the injuries he suffered following an attack this week. Sirisena was in critical condition and was receiving treatment at a private hospital where he succumbed to his injuries this morning. He was 40 years old. The man who attacked Priyantha Sirisena had been arrested after he surrendered to the police on Thursday. more..

‘No expired rice stocks’: Lanka Sathosa

Mar 28 (FT) Lanka Sathosa Chairman Kiran Atapattu denied several reports that alleged that expired rice which was unsafe for human consumption were found at the Lanka Sathosa storage facility. He made his denial in a statement where he said that media reports had focused on stocks that were earmarked to be discarded rather than the fresh quantities kept for consumption. The following is his statement. Lanka Sathosa, under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce notes more..

Another violent school match at SSC

Mar 28 (NS) On yet another occasion, violence at an inter-school match tarnished the image of the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) ground in Colombo which was once touted as the Lord’s of Sri Lanka. The match involved a so-called big match cricket encounter between DS Senanayake and Mahanama last Sunday. It happened when violent supporters of Mahanama invaded the field when DS Senanayake was poised to score one run and win the match with the scores levelled on 175. more..

MR could be implicated in probe against ex-SL envoy: Govt

Mar 28 (Island) Acting Foreign Minister Ajith P. Perera said that even President Rajapaksa could be implicated in the on-going investigation into SL’s former ambassador to Moscow Udayanga Weeratunga allegedly supplying weapons to Ukrainians fighting the elected govt there. He said that Weeratunga had gone missing since Sri Lanka received two complaints from Ukraine as regards diplomat’s conduct. more..

SLFP senior says disciplinary action against those who attended Ratnapura rally

Mar 28 (FT) Treasurer of the SLFP, Minister S.B. Nawinna, has said that the party would take disciplinary action against any representative who violated party directives. Nawinna made this comment in reference to SLFP members who participated in a rally in Ratnapura organised by a group in the UPFA in support of former President Rajapaksa. SLFP had directed its party members not to attend rallies organised by coalition members of former ruling party without party approval. more..

ADMO Solar signs agreement with SLT

Mar 28 (CT) ADMO Solar, a leader in advanced energy technology, initiated a partnership with Sri Lanka Telecom, facilitating special packages and services related to solar power systems to its premium customers under their customer loyalty programme. ADMO Solar under the flagship of Vinseth Engineering Ltd is the division that caters for solar power electricity systems, hot water systems and has established a name in the industry for its innovative approach to solar power options. more..

Main opposition, SLFP, heading for a split

Mar 28 (ENS) SL’s main opposition party, the SLFP, appears to be heading for a split following three mass rallies staged by party rebels at Nugegoda, Kandy and Ratnapura in the recent past. The Ratnapura rally, held on Thursday, was the most successful of them all, attracting 27 party MPs, besides over 400 members of local bodies from various parts of the country. The large movement towards rebels’ side took place more..

Fitch affirms HSBC Sri Lanka at AAA(lka)

Mar 28 (Reuters) Fitch Ratings Lanka has affirmed HSBC Sri Lanka Branch's (HSBCSL) National Long-Term Rating at 'AAA(lka)'. The Outlook is Stable. KEY RATING DRIVERS HSBCSL's rating is at the highest end of the National Rating scale and reflects the credit profile and financial strength of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HKSB; Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR): AA-/Stable). The rating is tied to HKSB's IDR because of HSBCSL's legal status more..

Not a zero-sum game

Mar 28 (Hindu) With his state visit to China just weeks after PM Narendra Modi’s trip to Sri Lanka, President Sirisena appears to be trying to balance relations with the two countries that have the greatest influence in the island nation today: India and China. Since taking charge, several decisions by Mr. Sirisena’s govt have given China cause for concern, in particular the suspension of the $1.4-billion Colombo port project. His govt has said it would re-examine Chinese projects signed by more..

Faced with UNHRC deadline, SL govt woos Tamils

Mar 28 (ENS) Faced with the challenge of showing by September this year, concrete progress towards reconciliation with the Tamil minority, the Sri Lankan govt has taken several steps to take the reconciliation process forward. President Maithripala Sirisena set the ball rolling by announcing that he would give back to the Tamils of the Northern Province, 1000 acres of land and the hand back to the Tamils of Eastern Province, more..

2011 red rain caused by European species of alga: experts

Mar 28 (Hindu) The red rain that occurred in parts of Kerala and Sri Lanka in 2011 was caused by the aerial dispersal of algal spores from Europe to the Indian subcontinent, scientists have reported. A team of scientists from the Central University of Punjab; SB College, Changanassery; SN College, Kollam; and University of Salzburg, Austria, have established that the alga, Trentepohlia annulata , never before reported from India, was responsible for the blood rain. more..

Speaking the language of cricket & humanity!

Mar 28 (SS) There are no fairy-tale finishes in sport. But when Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara played out their final act in ODIs — a soul-sapping defeat against South Africa in a World Cup quarterfinal in Sydney on March 18 — the overwhelming feeling across the cricketing universe was that they deserved to go in a better fashion. Such is the goodwill the duo enjoyed and such is the sheer respect and regard that team-mates and rivals share in equal measure for the two greats. more..

Sri Lanka to go tough on player fitness

Mar 28 (DM) Coach Marvan Atapattu admitted that last year’s hastily arranged five-match ODI series in India may have contributed towards a lack of fitness among team members and insisted that more emphasis must be placed on the fitness of the cricketers. “We must have a minimum fitness criteria for national team selection,” Atapattu said. “Going into the future, I think we must stress on this in order to minimize injuries more..

'Mega projects: Review should be concluded speedily'

Mar 28 (SO) In fairness to contractors, if work on mega projects is suspended, as has been proposed by the Govt, re-mobilisation of the project will be a costly exercise. Thus, it would be in the best interests of both parties to ensure that the review process is concluded speedily and efficiently, Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI) Sri Lanka, President Dr. Surath Wickramasinghe said in a letter to the Govt. "The CCI, is the apex body of the construction industry. more..

Intel introduces Compute Stick to transform TVs into PCs

Mar 28 (Island) Intel, the world renowned IT giant introduced the all new Intel Compute Stick here in Sri Lanka, which is capable of transforming any viewing device with an HDMI input, into a computer by connecting the device which is no larger than an internet dongle. The Intel Compute Stick, which appears just like a dongle in shape and size, is an all new innovative design by the Intel laboratory with the objective of further simplifying the concept of computing and increasing the mobility and more..

Sri Lanka to switch off today for Earth Hour

Mar 28 (DM) All Sri Lankans are requested to join hundreds of millions of people from around the world, by participating in the Earth Hour initiative and showing their commitment to preserving the planet. Today you will see homes, schools, businesses and iconic landmarks across the planet turn off their lights for the appointed one hour – Earth Hour; on Saturday 28 March at 8.30 p.m. This single act transcends all barriers of more..

India’s sordid record

Mar 28 (FL) One hopes that President Sirisena’s visit to India on Feb 15 will truly mark a turning point in the relations between the two countries. To accomplish that, India’s outlook and approach will have to change in fundamental respects. India has legitimate security interests in the region and legitimate concerns in the welfare of the Tamil citizens of SL. But neither the interests nor the concerns have been served by the policies that India has followed, since 1983, to be precise. more..

Editorial: Flowers and stones

Mar 28 (Island) What is this world coming to when cricketers cannot play matches without worrying about the safety of their homes? Indian Cricket Captain M.S. Dhoni’s house has come under attack following his team’s loss in the World Cup semi-final down under. Stones were pelted at his residence by a mob, we are told. Media wrongly described the attackers as cricket fans. How can those who cannot stomach defeat in a cricket match be called fans? They are, to be charitable, sickos. more..

Perfect blend

Mar 28 (ST) Athithya Murugananthavel was assailed by doubts. Having taken up photography, she thought her older sister, Karthiga, who had persuaded her to engage in this hobby, was far superior to her. Never in her wildest imaginings did she assume that photography would pave the way for her to visit a land of immense and diverse landscapes at the far corner of the world. more..

Exemplary Lee and Raja of Singapore!

Mar 28 (CT) Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong expressing his views on the demise of his father and the founder of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew in a TV interview pointed out that when he entered politics, his father had told him that Singapore had prospered within a short period since it gained independence in 1965 due to the unity and integrity it maintained with the minorities in the country. Lee Kuan Yew who died at the age of 91 a few days ago on 23 March had also reminded his son more..

The national drive in dirty politics

Mar 28 (Island) It required last Sunday’s crossover from the SLFP to the Maithri Govt to send out a truly national message. It is hard to get any better combination of politicians to best represent the nation, making up what is being readily called a national govt, with some disagreement: which is in keeping with the restored democracy we now enjoy. The true national image of this new package of governance is fully in keeping with the widely accepted position of the nation as Sinhala, more..