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Yala rough rice output to be up 56% in 2018

Aug 15 (EN) SL's rough rice output in the current Yala minor agricultural season is projected to grow 56% from a year earlier to 1.424 million tonnes, as a severe drought ends, with annual production from both seasons to be up 60% to 3.811 million tonnes. More than 360,000 hectares out of a target of 422,000 hectares have been cultivated up to June. An output of 1.4 million tonnes for Yala is near normal output though still lower than more..

Spill gates of several reservoirs opened

Aug 15 (AD) Spill gates of several major reservoirs in Central Hills have been opened due to the prevailing rainfall. Accordingly, the spill gates of Lakshapana, Canyon, Norton Bridge and Upper Kotmale reservoirs have been opened. Reportedly, water capacity of St. Clairs Falls and Kelani River has risen as the spill gates of Kotmale and Lakshapana reservoirs were opened. Many lowlands in Hatton, Weli Oya and Agra Oya areas have flooded due to heavy showers and more..

Foreign Ministry holds 2nd Integrated Consular Mobile Service in Mannar

Aug 15 (MFA) The 2nd Integrated Consular Mobile Service (ICMS), coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was held on 12 – 13 August 2018 at the Mannar Town Hall. The purpose of the ICMS was to address the consular related needs of those who had sought refuge overseas during the conflict and returned to Sri Lanka following the end of the conflict. During the two-day ICMS, 242 applications for citizenship were received, 59 consular birth certificates were issued, more..

Kurunegala Water Supply & Sewerage Project to benefit over 70,000 people

Aug 15 (Xinhua) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday inaugurated the Greater Kurunegala Water Supply and Sewerage Project in northwestern SL which will solve the drinking and sanitation problem for thousands of people in the district. This project will provide clean water for households, govt and private sector offices, schools, hospitals, tourist hotels, a daily floating population of over 70,000. more..

SriLankan paid an additional USD 90,261 on passengers

Aug 15 (DM) SriLankan Airlines had to spend an additional cost of USD 90,261 on passengers in 2014 January, who missed their connecting flights after the then Chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe changed a decision made by highly trained professionals over a flight scheduled for Paris, it was revealed at the PCoI on irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka today. Testifying before the commission, Operations Control Manager at SriLankan, more..

SriLankan Airlines flights to Cochin Airport suspended due to flooding

Aug 15 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines has temporarily suspended flights to and from the South Indian city of Cochin until 18th August, following the closure of Cochin Airport due to flooding in the region. Cochin Airport was closed today (15) until 2 p.m. on 18th August due to heavy floods in the area and further updates on the situation are awaited from authorities at Kochi Airport. “SriLankan Airlines wishes to inform all passengers booked to fly to or from Cochin during this period, more..

Navy chief funded mass-murder suspect: CID

Aug 15 (EN) Chief of defence staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne gave half a million rupees in cash to help the main suspect in the abduction and murder of 11 children escape arrest, the Colombo magistrate was told. Colombo Fort Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne ordered the bank of Ceylon to provide details of a navy account from which 500,000 rupees had been given to Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi alias Navy Sampath more..

DIG to probe Dilantha Malagamuwa's incident

Aug 15 (NR) IGP Pujith Jayasundara has issued directives to promptly investigate the compliant lodge by internationally renowned racing driver Dilantha Malagamuwa over a land dispute. SL Police launched a special investigation following a complaint lodged by Malagamuwa into an alleged plot to kill the racing driver. Peliyagoda Police commenced the investigation based on a complaint lodged with the Police headquarters. A complaint was lodged over an agreement reached more..

Parliamentary membership of separating MPs can be suspended – PRC

Aug 15 (AD) If an MP of a certain political party wishes to act independently, the General Secretary of the relevant party has the authority to suspend the parliamentary membership of the MP, says Lal Wijenayake, Chairman of the Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reform (PRC). According to our electoral system, the first vote is cast for the party, and subsequently three votes are cast for three candidates in order of preference, he said. more..

A sustainable solution from President to the Wayamba water issue

Aug 15 (PMD) At present a mega development project is being implemented to fulfill the water needs of the people in the Wayamba Province, ending a long term sorrowful story water shortage, under the guidance of President Maithripala Sirisena. Even though various irrigation projects were implemented in the country, the people living in the Wayamba Province faced many difficulties as all the govts power failed more..

Navy Sampath remanded until August 29

Aug 15 (AD) Former Navy Lieutenant Commander Chandana Hettiarachchi also known as Navy Sampath, arrested for the abduction and disappearance of 11 youths from Colombo, has been remanded until August 29th. He was arrested at Lotus Road by the CID, yesterday. The court, later yesterday, allowed CID to detain Navy Sampath until today and question him. He had been wanted by the police in connection with the kidnapping for ransom, illegal detention and more..

Seven Entrust Securities directors indicted

Aug 15 (DN) The Attorney General has indicted seven directors of Entrust Securities before the Colombo High Court for allegedly engaging in financial dealings by accepting savings deposits from the public without Central Bank approval. The seven directors are T.Kanagasabey, Chanuka Ratwatte, Romesha Senarath, Nadeeka Dayaratne, Niloshan Mendis, Isiri Dissanayake and Udayasiri Kariyawasam. They are charged for breaching section 56 (1) of the Monetary Act No 42 more..

UK to give SL £1 million for N&E resettlement

Aug 15 (Island) Nearly 600 families resettled on newly released land in the North and East of Sri Lanka will benefit from £1 million from the UK Govt to support the provision of basic infrastructure and services. Helping families return to their villages is a crucial element of Sri Lanka addressing the legacy of civil war and is a key part of the joint strategy agreed by the UN and Govt of SL to support long-term post-conflict peacebuilding in SL. more..

Death threat on SLTB driver

Aug 15 (DN) A private bus owner along with several of his thugs had allegedly threatened a Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) bus driver with death at the 6th mile post in Minipe, warning him to run his bus much later than the private buses. Hasalaka Police arrested the suspects yesterday. They were to be produced before the Mahiyangana Magistrate. The Police arrested the suspects based on a video footage recorded by a commuter in the SLTB bus. Private bus owner with several of his thugs more..

Bodies of mother and child found inside well

Aug 15 (AD) Two bodies have been recovered from a well at Kumankulama in Vavuniya, this afternoon, said Vavuniya Police. According to the police, the bodies are of a 33 year old mother named Mayuran Rajini residing in Kumankulama area and her 5 year old son named Mayuran Sashwin. Reportedly, the bodies were found in the well in front of the deceased’s house. Vavuniya police are conducting interrogations regarding the incident as the police consider it to be a suspicious death. more..

Video: Railways TUs threaten another strike

Aug 15 (DM) The trade unions of the Railways Department today warned of another work stoppage from Tuesday midnight if the authorities failed to resolve their issues relating to salary anomalies as promised by President Sirisena. Locomotive Engine Operators’ Union (LEOU) Secretary Indika Dodangoda said that the Railways trade unions had scheduled to launch a work stoppage today since no specific solution more..

Video: Will consider if JO wishes to separate: Amaraweera

Aug 15 (AD) If the group of MPs representing the JO desires to act independently in the Parliament, they are willing to give the opportunity for it, says UPFA General Secretary Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. He stated this following an event held in Colombo. Although the UNP and the SLFP has their difference, they are working together for the future of the country, he further said. Each JO MP will have to inform via separate letters their will, if they wishes to separate and work independently, he said. more..

Piyadasa reads riot act to JO MPs trying to be independent

Aug 15 (Island) SLFP General Secretary Prof Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa, yesterday, challenged the Joint Opposition (JO) members to sit in Parliament as independent MPs. He said all JO members including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had been elected on the ticket of UPFA. "They are sitting in the opposition with permission from the UPFA. If anyone wants to resign from the party or to become independent then she or he would have to inform the Speaker in writing. more..

Mahinda Samarasinghe pulled in favor of Dhammika Perera

Aug 15 (CT) India’s leading tug-boat operator, Ocean Sparkle, is to appeal to the National Procurement Commission, an independent commission set up under the 19th amendment to the constitution, against what they term as arbitrary, factually incorrect and contradictory cabinet paper that is to be presented at today’s cabinet meeting (14) by the Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, recommending the award of a tender for more..

Video: Hatton-Colombo main road blocked by landslide

Aug 15 (DM) Hatton-Colombo main road is currently blocked at Watawala due to an earth slide, stated the Watawala Police. The earth slide has occurred at around 3pm this afternoon, due to the recent heavy rainfall in the Western slopes of the Central highlands. Watawala Police requests motorists to use the Diyagala Norton Bridge road in Ginigathhena until the soil from the earth slide is cleared. Watawala Police says that there is a further risk of earth slides in the same area. more..

Woman arrested using fake documents to release goods at Customs

Aug 15 (AD) A woman who attempted to release goods from the Customs Department using fake documents has been arrested by the Organized Crimes Prevention Division (OCPD). She had tried to release containers of electrical items, clothes and fancy items imported from South Korea by producing a fake Korean Visa document belonging to another person, said the Police. According to the OCPD, the suspect had tried release without paying the duty owed to the Sri Lankan govt. more..

මුළු ලංකාවටම සහභාගී විය හැකි ලංකා කොමිකෝන්

Hot seat on the fast track

Aug 15 (FT) I want to buy a chair. Not a fancy one with all the bells and whistles. There is such a thing after all as a sense of proportion in the purchase of furniture. Just check out what the Western Province Chief Minister’s office is ordering and you will get a sense of how it is not kosher into the bargain. But still it is a chair of some character and circumference – mine is. It may not cost Rs. 650,000 – or a mere 640-thousand quid, according to the Western Province spokesperson’s prompt correction more..

First ever child-friendly unit set up

Aug 15 (CT) SL’s first ever child-friendly unit was set up at Ragama Police Station for the purpose of better handling and dealing with the children in need of care, attention, safety and justice after their being treated in a cruel and violent manner. This unit has also been made women-friendly as a timely approach to guarantee the right of women to be protected following a brutalized plight. This programme was initiated by the Ministry of Law and Order and it aims to set up specially designed more..

Catholic Bishops conference says no to death penalty

Aug 15 (Island) The Catholic Bishops’ Conference in SL says the death penalty will not solve the drug menace in the country. In a statement Catholic Bishops’ conference says: We the Members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in SL wish to make the following statement with regard to the issue of the Death Penalty. Supreme Pontiff Holy Father Francis has approved a new revision of number 2267 of Catechism of Catholic Church. more..

HALO expects to free Jaffna from mines by late 2019

Aug 15 (DM) HALO Trust, the largest international mine action operator in Sri Lanka, said it’s current chief goal is to complete mine clearance of Jaffna by the end of 2019, as only 24 of minefields are remaining there. Since 2002, manual and mechanical clearance teams of HALO Trust have cleared nearly 11.5 of minefields and of former battlefield areas in the country. Head of Media of HALO Trust, more..

Chinese archaeologists dig for Chinese antiques in the North

Aug 15 (CT) Archaeological cooperation between Sri Lanka and China was initiated yesterday (14). A team of Chinese archaeologists with their local counterparts began excavating for Chinese coins and other artefacts in Allaipiddy in Kayts, in the Northern Province. A Sino-Lanka archaeological excavation has been agreed to find out more about the Chinese presence in the Northern Province in the past. more..

Sri Lanka formal hotel occupancy drops in 2017

Aug 15 (EN) Average occupancy in Sri Lanka's formal sector hotels fell to 73.3% in 2017 from 74.8% a year earlier, reversing a 4-year trend despite increased tourist arrivals and spending in the island, provisional data from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority showed. Sri Lanka's average occupancy which was 48.4% in 2008 rose to 70.1% in 2010 and 77.1% in 2011 and dropped to 71.2% with informal competition coming on stream. more..

UNFPA celebrates Youth Day by engaging Lankan youth for peace

Aug 15 (GDI) To celebrate International Youth Day in Sri Lanka, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) hosted its fourth Youth4Youth symposium in the Central Province from 12 - 14 August 2018.This year's theme for International Youth Day explored the role of Safe Spaces for Youth in contributing to freedom of expression, mutual respect and constructive dialogue. The recent communal violence in more..

Gemunu urges bus crews to postpone strike till the end of A/L exam

Aug 15 (Island) The Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) has urged bus drivers and conductors to postpone their industrial action until the GCE AL exam is over. LPBOA Chairman Gemumu Wijeratne said that they would also support the All Ceylon Private Bus Workers Association (ACPBWA) to win their demands if the strike was postponed. "There is nothing we can do if the drivers and conductors don’t turn up for work today more..

Cabinet nod for special public sector Salaries Commission

Aug 15 (DN) Cabinet yesterday granted approval to appoint a Special Commission to increase public sector salaries and remove salary anomalies on a recommendation made by Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Govt decided to appoint this Commission to make the necessary recommendations to increase the salaries of the entire public sector staff and to do away with the salary anomalies that were reported in certain more..

Rs. 2.5 billion spent for conservation of archeological sites: PM

Aug 15 (GDI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says it is no use of claiming Sinhala Buddhist to obtain the votes without preserving the ancient historic Buddhist temples to tell the world about their glory. The PM said the present govt has spent Rs. 2.5 billion for the conservation of Buddhist and Archaeological sites during the three years since 2015. In contrast, the last govt from 2012 to 2014 had only spent Rs. 1.1 billion, he said. more..

There can never be a woman IGP in Sri Lanka

Aug 15 (ST) Female Inspectors of Police (IPs) are being barred from applying for promotion because there are no vacancies for women in the Chief Inspector (CI) rank — a sign of persistent structural gender discrimination in the 150-year-old dept. Now 40 of them have lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission of SL (HRCSL) saying they were twice denied the chance to advance to CI rank, violating their right to equality more..

A party that went horribly wrong

Aug 15 (ST) In the early hours of Aug 5, medical workers at the Panadura Base Hospital were struggling to stabilize the condition of three grievously ill men who had been rushed in by friends and family. There were four patients in total. High Dependency Unit (HDU) staff said the man who came first, between 3.15-and 3.30 a.m, was pronounced dead on admission. Two other males were brought in between 4 & 4.30 am. more..

UNP has two choices: Name Presidential Candidate now or Perish

Aug 15 (DM) Today is Aug 15, 2018. The date for Presidential Election will be called by the Commissioner General of Elections between Nov and Dec 2019. That leaves us with approximately 17 months. Two main protagonists will be a nominee from the UNP and another representing the Pohottuwa (Flower bud) in combination with the SLFP or someone from the Pohottuwa by itself. SLFP without the Pohottuwa support, if the recently held LG polls are of any reliable measure, more..

A trumpet call; save the elephant

Aug 15 (DM) The elephant is one of SL’s most majestic creatures and acclaimed as the king of our jungles. It is unfortunate that we are still embroiled in what is called a human-elephant conflict, which was created after we robbed the elephants of their lands and called them rogues when hungry animals came searching for food. Last Sunday was World Elephant Day and the organizers say that in keeping with tradition, we need to devote some time and attention to what has happened to more..