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Power hunger - the energy future: Looking to Sun, wind and water

Apr 28 (SO) Renewable energy is the only option to overcome power cuts and blackouts. Chairman of the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA) Keerthi Wickramaratne was optimistic that the only way out of this issue was to make a gradual switch to renewable sources of energy. He said although initial costs in setting up renewable energy power plants were high, it is as costly as some claim. more..

Batticaloa SLFP office being turned into a restaurant

Apr 28 (Island) I walked around in Batticaloa meeting and speaking to people. Most people have stories to share. Some elderly women told me how former chief minister Pillayan who is now happily or unhappily boarded at the Sri Lanka prisons or the govt boarding house these days took revenge from the people living in a village (I cant remember the name now) They said Pillayan took revenge because the villagers didn't vote for him, he refused to build roads in that village. more..

Citizen’s constitution, at long last!

Apr 28 (DN) Constitution of a country is said to be the basic law of the country. Constitution is also said to be the document that sets out the relationship between the three main organs of the State, that is, the legislature, executive and the judiciary. Constitution is also seen to be the agreement between the state and its’ citizens as to how the citizens are to be governed. The State is the most powerful institution with powerful repressive arms, the armed forces, the police, more..

'We are giving one million jobs to Youth'

Apr 28 (CT) If the 'JO' was in govt today would the price of gas, fuel and milk powder be reduced? MP Kavinda Jayawardana who was recently appointed leader of the UNP National Youth Front says "I have been given this responsibility so that I can get together with seniors of the party in carrying out future work of the party and to build up the National Youth Front (NYF)". Q: Why were you appointed President of NYF of the UNP? more..

Who established SL College of Journalism

Apr 28 (CT) Let him take credit for it if he wants. What does it matter? Waruna Karunatilake told me among other things when I called him to verify if Ranga Kalansooriya was indeed the person who established the Sri Lanka College of Journalism (SLCJ). Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya, a former Director General of the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) stood up before an audience of Young Global Leaders (YGLs) of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and claimed – I quote verbatim more..

Ambedkar’s legacy

Apr 28 (CT) May I begin my talk this evening by thanking His Excellency Y. K. Sinha the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo for inviting me to deliver this lecture on B.R. Ambedkar? This event is part of a series of celebrations in connection with the 125th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar, which fell on the 14th of April. I am afraid my talk may not celebrate great Ambedkar’s memory and legacy as such. It will only present some disjointed and hurriedly constructed thoughts more..

Jayasuriya back to lead selection panel

April 27 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed the return of Sanath Jayasuriya as chief selector, little more than a year since he stepped down from the role. The board had expressed a desire to reinstall Jayasuriya as chief selector for several weeks but was awaiting the sports minister's approval, which it has now received. The new selection panel takes office on May 1 and will serve for two years. more..

21 TN fishermen arrested by the Navy

April 27 (CG) 21 Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested by the Navy on charges of crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line. The three boats of the fishermen, hailing from Pamban and Thangachimadom near Rameswaram, were also seized by the Navy personnel, Assistant Director of Fisheries Department D Gopinath said. The fishermen were arrested while fishing near Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to SL by India by two agreements of 1974 and 1976. more..

Sri Lanka says no discussions with India over building sea bridge

April 27 (Xinhua) The govt said it had not held any discussions with India over constructing a sea bridge and tunnel connecting the two countries. Govt spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne said that despite media reports stating that Sri Lanka and India were in discussions over the connectivity bridge, there had been no talks held between the two countries. "Formally and informally, no talks have been held. We have not entered into any talks with India on this subject," he said. more..

TNA demands probe over illegal occupation by Sri Lankan Army

April 27 (PTI) The TNA on Wednesday called for a probe on the alleged illegal occupation of civilian lands by the military in the Northern Province. The TNA was responding to accusations that on April 16, a group of party legislators led by the main opposition leader R Sampanthan had forcibly entered a military installation at Paravipanjan area in the northern Kilinochchi district. “There is no camp there so there was no illegal entry. more..

SL govt stable, cannot be toppled: Sirisena

April 27 (PTI) Rejecting reports of internal disputes in the party, President Maithripala Sirisena today said his government was completely stable and could not be toppled. Addressing the heads of media institutions here, Sirisena said the group supporting former president Mahinda Rajapaksa was less than 50 in the 225-member assembly. "So they need more than 60 more to cross the 113 mark. Without my blessings they would not be able to do anything", Sirisena said. more..

Court refuses to release Tiran's passport

April 27 (AM) Colombo Fort Magistrate today refused to release the passport of Tiran Alles, which has been impounded regarding the inquiry into the RADA. Alles, through his lawyers, told court that he wants to visit England and requested the release of the passport for six weeks. However, the Magistrate said that he had been named a suspect in a large scale financial fraud by the police Special Investigations Unit. Therefore, his passport cannot be released even for a short period of time, more..

'Clash between rogues and SLFP faithful'

Apr 27 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena said the top most priority of the govt is to create legal, constitutional and political conditions in Sri Lanka to ensure that corrupt, rotten, autocratic regimes will not come to power in the future. Such undemocratic regimes of family nepotism was a curse on the nation and the way the state resources and finances were swindled is unthinkable, he said. President said that the govt enacted the 19th more..

18-24 May declared Vesak week

Apr 27 (CT) The govt has declared 18 to 24 May as Vesak Week marking the Vesak festival this year via a special circular issued by the Ministry of Public Administration. Vesak Poya days fall on 21 and 22 May this year. The theme for this year's Vesak celebration is Embrace the bliss of Vesak – Abstain from Alcohol. The govt has ordered all State institutions to hoist the Buddhist flag at their buildings and decorate them with the usual Vesak decorations during Vesak week. more..

MRIA to be privatised

Apr 27 (DM) The Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) is to be privatised within the year, Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation said. A ministry source said that it had received proposals from several companies, including three private Chinese companies. “Since the airport was constructed by Chinese govt it has not submitted a proposal,” source said. Govt was in the midst of searching for a way to repay the instalments on the loan taken to construct the airport. more..

Unions to file FR against Education Minister

Apr 27 (DN) The Collective of Unions for Protecting Education will file a Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court on the alleged granting of appointments and promotions on political grounds by Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam to several persons who have not passed the SL Education Administrative Service, Teachers’ Service, Principal service and Teacher Educator’s Service exams on the pretext of more..

Group of retired disabled soldiers moves Appeal Court against army

Apr 27 (Island) The Court of Appeal issued notice on the Commander of the SL Army, the Director Internal Payments of the Sri Lanka Army and a few others to be present in court on May 12, 2016, or be represented by counsel in respect of a petition filed by a group of 45 retired disabled soldiers. The petitioners have sought a mandatory order on the authorities to consider granting them their due compensation. The petitioners have been retired under normal circumstances and more..

Toronto Mahavihara to build monastic residence

Apr 27 (LR) Canada’s first Theravada Buddhist Temple Toronto Mahavihara is on historic journey to construct a monastic residence. The new multipurpose building will provide accommodation additional monks and to provide larger space for the Dhamma School. With an expected area of more than 2000 sq. feet, the proposed building is sufficient to accommodate at least five classes. In addition, there will be a washroom and a pantry. Currently, the temple, built in 1998 houses all activities more..

Sri Lanka could boost apparel manufacturing to increase employment and growth: WB

Apr 27 (FT) While Sri Lanka has been successful in establishing and growing its apparel manufacturing industry, more can be done to realise its potential as a regional hub and to continue to boost opportunities, especially for women and the poor, according to a new World Bank report. The report, Stitches to Riches: Apparel Employment, Trade and Economic Development, launched in Colombo yesterday is aimed at more..

Indo-Lanka economic pact will be tilted in Sri Lanka's favor: Harsha

April 27 (ENS) The proposed Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) between Sri Lanka and India, will be tilted in Lanka's favor, said the Lankan Deputy Foreign Minister, Dr. Harsha de Silva, here on Tuesday. Speaking to the Foreign Correspondents' Association of Sri Lanka, the Minister said that the ETCA would be an asymmetrical agreement in favor of Lanka given the asymmetry in the size and capabilities of the Lankan and Indian economies. more..

BOC confirms its place as the No.1 Brand in the Country

Apr 27 (Island) BOC once again was bestowed as the No.1 Brand among all the brands in Sri Lanka for the 8th consecutive year by the renowned Brand Finance Lanka through an independent and stringent analysis. Brand Finance Lanka is partnered with the Brand Finance UK with its global network spread in 17 countries. The Brand BOC now boasts for overwhelming Rs. 41 Billion, a growth of 8.78% in 2016 compared to Rs. 38 Billion in 2015. The chairman of the Bank of Ceylon President’s more..

UPFA to refrain from inviting MR for SLFP rally

Apr 27 (DM) UPFA has decided against inviting former President Rajapaksa to the SLFP May Day rally at Galle, personally, as he continues to be-little the party’s official May Day rally, UPFA General Secretary, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. He said the SLFP did not invite party members formally to the May Day rally but assigned them on various duties related to the rally in addition to asking them to bring as many more..

3 nabbed trying to sell 28 precious stones

Apr 27 (DN) Six suspects who tried to sell 28 precious stones said to have been recovered from a hidden treasure were nabbed by officers of the Anuradhapura Police Special Unit with the help of a Police decoy who offered to buy the stones from them. As the suspects led the decoy to a spot where the gems were placed in three small bottles concealed in a burrow in a tree, Police laying in ambush pounced on them and seized the gem stones. On interrogation, suspects had said more..

Two foreigners who stole laptop deported

Apr 27 (Island) Two Bangladeshi nationals arrested by the BIA police for stealing a laptop computer belonging to a SriLankan pilot, were deported yesterday to Paris, where they started journey. The computer was recovered. Investigations revealed that the computer had been robbed at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. The passengers were en route to Dhaka via Colombo and they were arrested following information received from the point of origin that the pilot’s laptop had been stolen. more..

Mixed reaction to dual citizenship promise

April 27 (Hindu) The announcement by TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa that her party would press the Centre to provide dual citizenship to SL Tamils in the State has evoked mixed reactions from different quarters. Says Arulappu Rameshkumar, a refugee-returnee living in Keerimalai of Jaffna, “Many of the camp refugees were born and brought up there. They have also got married there. As they are not Indian citizens, they are finding it more..

Sri Lanka raises fines in fisheries inspections

Apr 27 (EN) Sri Lanka has decided to double fines on fishing boat operators who try to obstruct inspections by law enforcement authorities after laws were tightened to combat illegal fishing, a govt spokesman said. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the tougher laws had led to obstructions and threats against authorised officers trying to enforce the new rules, including the navy and the police. Cabinet had approved a proposal to double the minimum fine for obstructing an authorised officer to Rs50,000 more..

My experience with Dr. D. B Nihalsinghe

Apr 27 (CT) Tributes for Dr. D.B. Nihalsinhe will come from far and wide; for he was a true giant in the movie industry, and an influential media person in Sri Lanka and other parts of Asia. My tribute to him is part professional and part personal. My first encounter with him was in the mid 1980’s when I was following the Diploma Course in Journalism offered by the Uni of Colombo. The course was taught by eminent personalities such as Dr. Nihalsinghe and Prof J.B Dissanayake. more..

We try to protect SLFP: Joint opp.

Apr 27 (DM) Joint Opposition Chief Organiser and MP Dullas Alahapperuma said that their May Day rally would be in the best interest of the SLFP since their intention is to protect the SLFP from the UNP led Govt. “People’s mandate was given to the SLFP/UPFA to create a separate govt and not a coalition with the UNP. Therefore, the Joint Opposition May Day rally will be in the best interest of the SLFP and not against it. more..

Top Thai defence delegation here

Apr 27 (Island) Chief of Defence of Royal Thai Armed Forces, General Sommai Kaotira and a seven member delegation arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday (26) for a three day official visit at the invitation of the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Kolitha Gunatilleke. The delegation on arrival at the Bandaranaike International airport was received by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Kolitha Gunatilleke and Thai Ambassador in Sri Lanka Noopporn Adcharivavanich. more..

Sri Lanka shares at 15-week closing high

Apr 27 (Reuters) Shares rose for a 2nd straight session on Wednesday to hit a 15-week closing high, led by financial and diversified shares, a day after the central bank kept the key interest rates steady. However, analysts said investors were cautious, ahead of an imminent loan deal with the IMF. Central bank kept benchmark rates steady, as expected, as it gauges the effect of the recent tightening amid final stages of talks with IMF for a $1.5-bil loan to tide over a payments crisis. more..

පැතිකඩ දේශපාලන වැඩසටහන

Farmers against Food Ministry fixing paddy prices

Apr 27 (Island) The Court of Appeal refused to issue notice in respect of a Writ of Mandamus application filed by a group of 58 farmers who had complained against the intervention of the Secretary to the Ministry of Food to fix buying and selling prices of paddy. Petitioners said that according to the Paddy Marketing Board Act, the responsibility for that lay with the Paddy Marketing Board. The Court of Appeal observed that intervention by the Ministry of Food had paved the way for more more..

Have Indo-Lanka ties soured?

Apr 27 (CT) Policy strategists in Delhi would have been rather rudely taken aback by the overtures made by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to Chinese leaders on his recent visit to Beijing a fortnight ago. The visit saw Wickremesinghe making overtures to the Chinese leadership to restructure the mammoth debts to China by offering conversion of Chinese funded projects into joint Sino-Lanka private partnership ventures by converting those debts into equity. more..

'Malinga acted against medical advice'

Apr 27 (DM) Injured pacer Lasith Malinga is believed to have acted against the medical advice given by another Sri Lankan doctor (now based in Australia) Siri Kannangara. He said, “I had examined Malinga in January during my two trips in Sri Lanka and had advised him to take minimum six-months rest. This six-month period can still exceed. The period is still not over now and I wonder why he chose to play in Asia Cup”. more..

Amnesty period to surrender illegal weapons receives good results

Apr 27 (MoD) Amnesty period for handing over illegal weapons which came into effect on Monday has received good results. Amnesty period will end on 6 May, and during this period persons holding illegal weapons can surrender them to nearest Divisional Secretariat, District Secretary offices or police stations. During the amnesty period, persons returning the weapon will not be subjected to any fines for holding such a weapon. more..

Fake stones threaten to undermine Sri Lanka's gem trade

Apr 27 (AFP) From the Queen of Sheba to Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, Sri Lanka's sapphires have adorned royalty through the ages, but a flood of cheap imitations is threatening the island's reputation for the precious stones. Ceylon sapphires, known after the island's colonial-era name, enjoyed a huge boost 5 years ago when it was revealed that one formed the centrepiece of the engagement ring Prince more..