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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..

Environmentalists up in arms against Whit Legged Shrimp farming

Apr 12 (Island) The govt has given the go-ahead for Pacific White Legged Shrimp (Litopenaeus Vannamei) farming in Mannar, but environmentalists warn of the potential negative impacts of the new project and demand to know what methods will be used to ensure that the new activity is bio-secure. Environmentalist Jagath Gunawardana said that risks had to be taken into consideration as the potential environmental more..

CPC losse Rs9.8bn on fuel sales in two months

Apr 12 (EN) State-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has lost 9,886 million rupees in the first two months of 2018, selling petrol, diesel and kerosene, as crude prices spiked, minister Rajitha Senaratne said. "We are watching international prices," he said. "We want to see whether the prices come down." Sri Lanka was expected to implement a price formula by March 2018 prevent state finances from being de-stabilized. The CPC has lost 2,968 million rupees on 92-Octane petrol, more..

Army established new Directorate for Overseas Operations

Apr 12 (MoD) 'The Army has proved its self and it need not carry any 'labels' and nothing is a daunting task as it has done a greater service to the motherland and also to the entire world'. 'The Army has the guts, knowledge and the credibility and as policy makers, we will provide all the support', said the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Mr. Kapila Waidyaratne PC attending the inauguration of the Directorate of Overseas Operations (DOO) of the SL Army in Colombo, today. more..

Customs seize 10, 800 kg of Glyphosate

Apr 12 (DM) A stock of the banned chemical Glyphosate worth Rs.20 million, was seized at the Rank Container Terminal (RCT) in Orugodawatta today, Customs Media Spokesman Sunil Jayaratne said. During the investigations, Customs officers found 10,800 kilograms of Glyphosate powder. “The 40-foot container had arrived at the Colombo Port from India on Apr 7 with 28,000kg Dolomite & illegal Glyphosate. more..

Schedule of special train service for New Year

Apr 12 (AD) SL Railways has commenced special train service during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year festival season. This service will commence from Apr. 09 with three special trains. In addition a special train started from Colombo Fort at 1.05 p.m. to Mahawa Junction and it will start at 5.10 p.m. from Mahawa Junction to Colombo Fort. Meanwhile the SL Transport Board (SLTB) said that measures have been taken to allocate 2, 000 additional busses for passengers traveling to their hometowns more..

SLSMLS to support Pathologists

Apr 12 (CT) SL Society for Medical Laboratory Science (SLSMLS), said it would collaborate with the College of Pathologists (CoP) to set up less invasive and less painful early cancer screening method. President of SLSMLS, Ravi Kumudesh said, they would collaborate with the CoP to initiate Immunohistochemistry (IHC) as a primary testing method in 12 Govt hospital laboratory facilities. He said that this was comparatively a less invasive test which merely required a sample of blood, more..

Prez to leave for UK to attend CHOGM

Apr 12 (NR) President Maithripala Sirisena is due to leave for the United Kingdom next week to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting (CHOGM) 2018 to be held in London. President is due to leave the island next week in order to attend the CHOGM session. CHOGM will be held from 16 to 20 April in London and the week-long summit is expected to attract around 5,000 participants from more..

Aloysius and Palisena further remanded

Apr 12 (NR) The owner of Perpetual Treasuries Arjun Aloysius and CEO Kasun Palisena arrested over the controversial Treasury bond transaction have been fuirther remanded. The order was issued by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. The duo was accordingly remanded till the 26th of April. Arjuna Aloysius and Kasun Palisena were arrested on the 4th of February. The CID named former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, Owner of Perpetual Treasuries Arjun Aloysius and more..

Former Lanka Sathosa Chairman granted bail

Apr 12 (NR) Former Chairman of Lanka Sathosa Nalin Fernando has been released on bail by the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court. Ruwanjeewa Fernando was arrested and remanded till today when the case was taken up for hearing on the 9th of April. Fernando was released on a 25,000 rupee cash bail and two surety bails of 300,000 rupees each by Colombo Fort Magistrate. Former Chairman was arrested by the FCID for misappropriating a sum of 39 million rupees in public funds. more..

7 new Governors take oath before President

Apr 12 (NR) Seven new Governors have taken oath before Prez Sirisena this morning. Accordingly Hemakumara Nanayakkara who was previously the Governor of the Southern Province was sworn in as the Governor of the Western Province. Niluka Ekanayake who was the former Governor of the Central Province was sworn in as the Governor of Sabaragamuwa Province while KC Logeswaran who was the former Governor more..

Sri Lanka and Vietnam to advance bilateral political cooperation

Apr 12 (SL) Sri Lanka and Vietnam on Wednesday reaffirmed the commitment to further consolidate and advance bilateral political and economic cooperation. Third Meeting of the Sri Lanka-Vietnam Political Consultations was held on Wednesday in Colombo at senior official level. SL delegation was led by Sumith Nakandala, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Vietnam delegation was headed by Đặng Đình Quý, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam. more..

Salary arrears and bonuses paid for employees of Fisheries Corporation

Apr 12 (GDI) The Ceylon Fisheries Corporation has taken measures to provide workers' salaries and bonuses for the first time during the Sinhala Avurudu season. The Ceylon Fisheries Corporation (CFC) a government-owned institution, which was scheduled to be closed down due to unfettered mismanagement during the last government, is currently earning profits under a new management. Accordingly, the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation was able to obtain a profit of Rs. 36 million for more..

University non-academic staff calls off strike

Apr 12 (NR) University non-academic staff have decided to call of their ongoing strike which was launched based upon several demands. Joint Committee of the University Trade Union said the decision was reached in consideration of the measures taken by the govt, to intervene and resolve relevant concerns. Accordingly the Committee said non-academic staff are prepared to report to work from Apr 17. more..

Now special salary scale for nursing graduates

Apr 12 (Island) Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne has proposed a special salary scale for nursing graduates. A health ministry official quoted Dr. Senaratne as having told a group of nursing graduates attending a function at the ministry that a Cabinet paper had been submitted to that effect. Dr. Senaratne said nursing degrees had been introduced in 2002 during the UNP-led UNF administration. In spite of opposition from some health sector unions, more..

Severe thunderstorm warnings issued

Apr 12 (NR) Dept of Meteorology has issued a severe thunderstorm warning in several provinces including the Western Province during the next 6 hours. Accordingly the Met Dept stated thunderstorms accompanied by severe lightning and thunder are likely in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Southern, Uva and North-western provinces. The Met Dept advises the public to take the necessary precautions in this regard. Temporarily strong gusty winds up to 70-80 more..

රන්න ෆොක්ස් රිසොර්ට්

Getting closer to the masses

Apr 12 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe after defeating the No-Confidence Motion against him by the JO first paid homage to the Triple Gem at Gangaramaya Temple and later addressed the media. He said that the foremost thing now for the Govt was to get closer to the people. In the past two-and-a-half years there were initiatives like giving free laptop computers and tabs and creating more infrastructure support for IT with WIFI connectivity, which has not gone well for Govt given more..

Loosies for Losers

Apr 12 (CT) Govt’s crusade against the expanding market of narcotics both illegal and legal is being waged, albeit at a lesser pace and efficiency anyone of us would like it to be. While the international debate on how to fight the drug menace is still going on – whether we advocate Rodrigo Duterte’s drive to kill any peddlar, seller, supplier or junkie out on the street or we legalize a selected handful of narcotics — Sri Lanka’s take on drugs is rather conventional and traditional, more..

Ravi seeking portfolio in new Cabinet?

Apr 12 (AD) SL’s new Cabinet of Ministers is likely to be sown in within today and tomorrow while sources say that the relevant preparations and formulating of ministers and portfolios is already under way. It has been reported that the ministerial portfolios are currently being named with the involvement of Secretary to the President Austin Fernando and Secretary to the PM Saman Ekanayake. more..

CBK, Ranil meet at Temple Tree

Apr 12 (DM) A meeting took place between former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees yesterday. Journalists who had arrived to cover the UNP Politburo meeting last evening were able to witness Ms. Kumaratunga entering Temple Trees just as the meeting was about to end. The meeting between the two came in the backdrop of certain statements critical of Ms. Kumaratunga more..

Sri Lanka economy to rebound to 4.2% growth in 2018: ADB

Apr 12 (CT) Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecast SL’s economic growth will rebound to 4.2% this year from a 16-year low of 3.1% recorded last year - still below the South Asian average growth rate of 7%, however - while economic growth is forecast to reach 4.8% in 2019. However, ADB noted that growth over the next two years will depend on agriculture and the political climate as elections approach. more..