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Probe on bribes to congressmen

Mar 4 (CG) Govt is to launch an investigation into claims that the former Govt had collected funds through institutions based in the United States to bribe some US Congressmen to back Sri Lanka on the human rights issue. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake questioned the Govt in Parliament today over the claims. Responding to this, Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera said that, according to the documents more..

Govt has already lost its lustre: Wimal

Mar 4 (Island) Only 52 days had elapsed since its formation but the govt was smelling like an old one, NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa said yesterday. He said: "It may take couple of years for a new govt to lose popularity. But the incumbent one which has been in power only for 52 days has already lost its lustre. For, the people have now realised that they were duped. Those who voted to get Rs 10,000 salary increment are frustrated as they got only a 5,000-rupee allowance. more..

ACMOA warns of a fresh doctors’ brain drain

Mar 4 (Island) All Ceylon Medical Officers' Association (ACMOA) General Secretary Dr. Jayantha Bandara warned of a serious shortage of medical personnel as a large number of doctors were beginning to migrate to other countries due to plethora of work-related problems. Dr.Bandara said that for the last 10 years, around 30,000 doctors had been appointed to hospitals, but about 15,000 doctors had left for greener pastures. At the current rate of doctors leaving the country more..

Video: 'Port City project may not proceed'

Mar 4 (DM) Minister Kabir Hashim today said the final report of the committee headed by Prime Minister on Colombo Port City Project will be released in a few weeks and said that the project was ‘unlikely’ to proceed. He said the construction of the port city had been stopped for the time being and added the project would be scrapped if the committee report suggests the project was harmful to the country. more..

It was urgent humanitarian aid: Palestine on SL donation

Mar 4 (DM) The Palestine Embassy today said the Rs. 130 million donated to Palestine by the previous govt was an urgent humanitarian contribution to the people of Palestine after the Israel attack on Gaza. The statement issued by the Embassy thanked the govt and the people of Sri Lanka for its humanitarian gesture. The embassy released the statement after several newspapers reported quoting PM Ranil Wickremesinghe that the donation was for the construction of a vocational training Institute more..

Maldives’ road: Report on frauds exposed soon: Ranil

Mar 4 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament he would submit a report to the House on the alleged fraudulent matters pertaining to the assistance given by the Sri Lankan Govt to the Maldives to construct a road in that country. Mr. Wickremesinghe who responded to an oral question raised by JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake in the House said a sum of Rs 1.07 Billion was the cost for the construction of the road while the contractor had been selected following the direct contact more..

UPFA wants electoral reforms with executive powers pruned

Mar 4 (DM) UPFA wants the Govt to enact legislation to prune powers of the executive presidency and introduce electoral reforms simultaneously because piecemeal amendments would be counterproductive, the UPFA said. UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha said the UPFA would fully support the envisaged Constitutional Amendments and wouldn’t mind even if it took more than 100 days to do so. more..

IMF urges Sri Lanka to limit intervention in FX markets

Mar 4 (Reuters) The IMF urged Sri Lanka on Wednesday to limit its intervention in foreign exchange markets to curbing excessive short-term volatility, while emphasising the need for exchange rate flexibility. The IMF, which ended a $2.6 billion loan programme to Sri Lanka in 2012, estimated the island's economy grew by 7.4% in 2014 and said momentum could pick up to 6-7% in 2015. "We highlighted the need for a cushion of foreign exchange reserves and in this context more..

Teen girl falls to death from 6th floor of apartment

Mar 4 (AD) Police have launched an investigation following the death of a 17-year-old girl after falling off the 6th floor at the Muwadora Uyana housing complex in Grandpass. The victim, Subramaniam Suguniya, reportedly fell off a balcony in the 6th floor of the 11-story building at around 11.30pm last night. Police are still uncertain as to whether the teenage girl had accidentally fallen or whether she was pushed off the edge. The body of the girl has been kept at the location until the magistrate’s more..

Sri Lanka arrests France-bound woman over rebel links

Mar 4 (AFP) A former Tamil rebel was arrested at Sri Lanka's main international airport as she was returning to her home in France, along with her eight-year-old daughter who is a French national, police said Wednesday Murugesu Jayaganesh Pakeerathy, 41, was arrested on Monday before a magistrate ordered her detained for 72 hours pending investigations by an anti-terrorism unit, said SSP Ajith Rohana. more..

JVP asks how govt proposes to help CIFL depositors

Mar 4 (Island) More than 4,000 customers were in a state of uncertainty and a critical situation had arisen owing to the shutting down of CIFL which operated as a financial company registered under the Central Bank, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament. He said that the CIFL had been a licensed finance company operating under the provisions of Finance Companies Act No 78 of 1978, Companies Act No 07 of 2007 and Financial Businesses Act No 42 of 2011. more..

Police launch investigations on hoisting of Sinhale flag at Dalada Maligawa

Mar 4 (AM) SSP Ajith Rohana said that they were currently conducting investigations on the tense situation that occurred near Magul Maduwa at Sri Dalada Maligawa yesterday. "Kandy police has received a complaint about the incident from Dalada Maligawa authorities" he added. The disturbance was created when a group including members of Sinhale National Front (SNF) and Swarna Hansa Foundation (SHF), tried to lower the National Flag and hoist a flag called Sinhale Flag near more..

Govt clears Rakna Arakshaka and Avant Garde of any wrongdoing

Mar 4 (Island) The govt yesterday cleared the names of Rakna Arakshaka Lanka and Avant Garde Maritime Services. Parliament was told that the setting up of the companies concerned, recruitment of personnel and the payment of taxes and other dues had been done properly. Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella, reading out responses to a series of questions raised by JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake on Rakna Arakshaka more..

MR spent Rs. 130 to build vocational training institute in Gaza Strip: Ranil

Mar 4 (Island) Previous govt had spent Rs. 130 million to establish a vocational training institute at Gaza Strip in Palestine, P m Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament. He said that the institute had been named Mahinda Rajapaksa Vocational Training Institute and it was a fruitless spending of public funds. PM was responding to a question raised by JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake. PM: "Construction work of this institute has not commenced yet fully, but more..

Traumatised mother, son claim Rs. 260M from Royal College

Mar 4 (AM) A mother of two children and her 15 year old son who drowned in the Royal College swimming pool, filed two civil litigations against principal of Royal College, Colombo 7, and seven others, demanding Rs. 260 million as damages, alleging that there had been a lack of due care on the part of the school authorities. The first plaintiff Sasanka Alwis, a 15 year old student, and the second plaintiff Geetha Chandani, the mother of the victim, filed the cases at more..

Video: JVP hands over files to special corruption unit

Mar 4 (DM) JVP MP Sunil Handunettisaid more than 20 files on large scale corruption were today handed over to the special CID unit set up to investigate matters of large scale financial fraud. He said the JVP had received sufficient information through its affiliated body Voice Against Corruption (VAC) and that all the information had beensubmitted to the appropriate body. “Enough time has been taken to probing these more..

WC 2015: Pakistan beat UAE

Mar 4 (CI) Pakistan primed their fans for either startling exhilaration or further frustration by first clobbering 339 in mostly efficient style, before damning the UAE chase by the end of their mandatory Powerplay. Hopes that this Pakistan team is capable of as dramatic and irrepressible a surge as that which won the 1992 World Cup will be momentarily boosted by the 129-run victory, but a truer test awaits them at Eden Park on Saturday. Another single-figure failure from Nasir more..

WC 2015: Australia beat Afghanistan

Mar 4 (CI) David Warner had passed hundred in the 25th over. He breezed past 150 in the 30th. It appeared like he was on cruise control. He might have looked his usual belligerent self when compared with Steven Smith's 98-ball 95, but looked downright tame when Glenn Maxwell came out with reverse sweeps, scoops, flicks blazing. The foundation, though, is what captains and coaches talk about most and Warner built Australia one that was immensely sturdy. more..

Ex-CSCL chairman arrested over coal deal

Mar 4 (AD) The former Chairman of the national line Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSCL), Kanchana Ratwatte, and three other state officials have been arrested for criminal breach of trust with regard to coal shipments worth Rs 528 million. Kanchana Ratwatta, M.C. Delgoda (Power and Energy Ministry), R.M.K. Ranatunga (Treasury) and R.S. Jayawickrama (Ports Authority) were arrested by a special investigative unit of more..

Mahinda has got Alzheimer’s

Mar 4 (CT) Ada Derana of Feb 27th reports a speech made by former President Rajapaksa where he stated that, “not only politicians but their wives and children have to be safeguarded from the govt now, as they are being harassed one by one by one.” Rajapakse was referring to the recent arrest of former Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s wife, Shashi Weerawansa, on charges of falsifying documents to obtain a Diplomatic Passport. He was speaking at the Colombo National Hospital after more..

UK reiterates backing for report

Mar 4 (CG) British Govt has reiterated its support for the report on Sri Lanka compiled by an investigations team appointed by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). British Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire said that his Govt also feels it is right to give the new Sri Lankan Govt time before the report is presented to the UNHRC. The report was to be presented to the UNHRC this month at the ongoing 28th session but it was postponed to September. more..

IMF rules out fresh bailout for Sri Lanka

Mar 4 (AFP) IMF ruled out a fresh bail-out for Sri Lanka, which had hoped to secure loans of more than US$4.0 billion to restructure expensive debt taken on by the previous regime. Much of the country's post-war infrastructure under the administration of former president Mahinda Rajapakse was funded with Chinese debt and the new govt had hoped to retire some of those loans. more..

Prisoners paraded in public when taken to courts

Mar 4 (Island) Relatives of suspects being remanded in Welikada prison and other prisons in the country said that on many an occasion, the suspects were taken to courts at Gampaha, Negombo and other magistrate courts through public transport and they even had to walk 150 to 200 metres from bus stands or railway stations to reach the court premises in public facing a lot of humiliation. They also claimed that their relatives held in remand custody had been bitten by more..

Ranil says Sirasa TV violated his rights and privileges as PM

Mar 4 (AM) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe today said that Sirasa TV was trying to violate rights and privilages belong to him as the PM of the country. Addressing the Parliament today he asked from the Speaker to launch an immediate investigation and check whether there were any action can be taken against Sirasa TV. Wickremasinghe further said that he gave the very first interview after appointing as the Prime Minister to Hiru TV according to the channel's request. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Thalatha explores job opportunities in Switzerland for Sri Lankans

Mar 4 (Island) Foreign Employment Minister Thalatha Athukorala met Ambassador of Switzerland to Sri Lanka Hainzwalker Nederkoon recently and discussed ways and means of finding more jobs for Sri Lankans in Switzerland. They shared the information about Sri Lankan migrant workers in Switzerland and discussed methods to increase job opportunities for Sri Lankans in the future. Ambassador Nederkoon said the Swiss govt was desirous of working closely with more..

Giving oxygen to Prabhakaran and fixing wings to Mahinda!

Mar 4 (CT) Northern CM, C.V. Wigneswaran, is reported to have come in for severe criticism by the Indian High Commission in Colombo, over the resolution passed in the NPC calling international assistance to probe genocide of Tamils. In addition to this critical stand taken by the Indian HC here, America and the West too have taken a similar stance over the NPC resolution with the view that the NPC was trying to stifle the understanding and cordial relations between TNA & Maithri Govt. more..

Sri Lanka media delegation promised action on Freedom of Information

Mar 4 (IFJ) The International Federation Journalists (IFJ) has endorsed the declaration handed down by a visiting international media solidarity delegation to Sri Lanka this week calling on the Sri Lankan govt to ensure that critical media reform measures are made permanent and media freedom to be an absolute priority of the new administration. The International Media Solidarity Delegation, facilitated in Sri Lanka more..

Vasu demands details of Lankans holding Swiss bank accounts

Mar 4 (Island) DLF Leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara demanded to know from the govt whether it would investigate recent information linked to 92 Sri Lankans holding 129 accounts in Swiss banks to the tune of 85 million of Swiss Francs. He said that there had been reports recently to the effect that among those 92 Sri Lankans holding secret accounts in Swiss banks were politicians, businessmen, actresses and models. more..

National drug policy finally makes it to Parliament

Mar 4 (Island) The govt yesterday presented the much-awaited national drug policy to Parliament. The Bill titled National Medicines Regulatory Authority was presented by Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and govt and Opposition members agreed to take the Bill for debate from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm today. But, when the Bill was presented to the House, Galle District MP Ajith Kumara raising a point of order said that the Bill should not be more..

Yoshitha questioned by the CCD

Mar 4 (CG) The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) today questioned former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son Yoshitha Rajapaksa over a light aircraft found in Narahempita recently. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that Yoshitha Rajapaksa appeared before the CCD this morning after the CCD had summoned him. The police had found the light aircraft from a storage facility at the economic center in Narahenpita in January. more..

Video: UNP demands elections as promised

Mar 4 (DM) As pledged at the January Presidential election campaign, General Elections should be held when the 100-days programme was concluded, the UNP said. UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim said their party was prepared to face an election and added the UNP was committed to hold the elections as pledged. “It would be better if we are able to go for the election under a reformed and new election system. more..

Video: We are just CSN viewers: Namal

Mar 4 (DM) UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa today said that they were also the viewers of the private television channel- CSN and the any decision on the channel should be taken by its directors. “We are also the viewers of the channel and that is the only connection we have with it,” he said on the decision to terminate the broadcasting operations of CSN television. MP Rajapaksa expressed these views outside the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) more..

'The army was never politicised'

Mar 4 (DM) General Daya Rathnayake, the former Commander of the Sri Lankan Army, is the most decorated military officer in the history of the security forces, speaks to the Dailymirror on a wide range of topics in a candid, no holds barred interview. Q: As the former Commander of the Army whose career within the military spanned three decades, what does it feel like to have finally hung your boots? more..

Reforms to the Executive Presidency and the electoral system

Mar 4 (DM) JHU National organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe in a candid interview with Dailymirror, spoke about the anti-corruption drive led by his party and of their opinions of the progress made concerning the investigations so far, the progress of the 100-day programme and of the plans of the JHU at the upcoming general elections. Q: Are you satisfied with the action taken so far against those who have been accused more..

Dengue in Sri Lanka primarily of one strain, research and facts reveal

Mar 4 (ST) Facts backed by research on the dengue-front are coming up slowly but surely. The facts are indisputable. Since 2011, Sri Lanka has seen the dengue-scene dominated by the strain, Serotype 1, and to a lesser extent Serotype 4. Why is one serotype showing such dominance for such a long time? While answers are being awaited, Prof. Annelies Wilder-Smith of the University of Umea, Sweden, who was in Sri Lanka for intensive more..

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