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Sri Lanka, IMF reach deal for next six months; fuel pricing key

Apr 20 (EN) IMF said had reached preliminary agreement for the next phase of the reform program, with the current review to be completed after implementing a fuel pricing formula. "Subject to cabinet approval of an automatic fuel pricing mechanism—consistent with the EFF-supported program, the Board is expected to consider SL’s request for completion of the fourth review in June 2018," more..

Tusker Missaka dies from sepsis

Apr 20 (DM) The Tusker Missaka, that frequented the Yala Sanctuary, died yesterday morning after suffering from a trap gun injury that persisted for over two weeks. Yala National Park Warden D.P. Siyasinghe said the tusker died due to a wound in his left front leg which had gotten worse and injuries sustained by it close to his left eye. “Tusker was found walking around with severe injuries near the Bandu Wewa in close proximity to the Ondaatje Bungalow in Kataragama last Sunday” more..

Prez attends dinner hosted by the Queen

Apr 20 (NR) President Sirisena, who is currently attending the CHOGM 2018 in London, has joined a special dinner organised by Queen Elizabeth last evening. President Sirisena received special recognition during the dinner that was attended by many state leaders. CHOGM 2018 is scheduled to conclude today. Meanwhile addressing the CHOGM 2018 yesterday the President said SL's main initiative is to achieve a sustainable future like other developed countries. more..

Poverty cut-off point falls to Rs 4,528

Apr 20 (CT) The minimum monthly expenditure per person, per district, needed for a person to stay out of poverty fell for the third consecutive month last month, led by declining inflation, official data showed. As a result, the national poverty line which was Rs 4,584 in December, declined to Rs 4,580 in January, before further falling to Rs 4,547 in February and to Rs 4,528 last month. District wise, the poverty cut-off point in the rich Colombo more..

EPRLF ready to support Wiggy

Apr 20 (CT) EPRLF Leader Suresh Premachandran, commenting on Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran contesting for a second term, said, “Although it is uncertain that the Chief Minister will form a new political party or will form a coalition, he had framed the correct policies. Therefore our party will work with him,” Before his visit to India, Wigneswaran said that since the people want him to contest at the upcoming PC polls, he would do so. He also said rather than contesting from more..

Sri Lanka to lead Commonwealth Centre for Digital Health

Apr 20 (DM) Commonwealth Centre for Digital Health will be Launched in London today and Prez Sirisena will be a special guest at the launch. Launch will be a part of a special Side Event to the CHOGM 2018 on Global Health Security & the Digital Health Society 2030 – Innovation & Investment for One Planetary Health & Universal Health Coverage. Centre was proposed by Prof. Vajira Dissanayake of the Uni of Colombo in 2016 and approved by the Commonwealth more..

Support for 20-A: JO urged to reconsider its decision

Apr 20 (Island) Federation of National Organisations (FNO) urged the JO to reconsider its decision to support the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, to be moved by JVP to abolish the executive presidency. Alleging that India and Western powers were behind the 20-A project, the FNO claimed that it was in line with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s promise to those involved in a high profile operation in 2014/2015 to more..

ADB invests $12.6mn for SL women-led businesses

Apr 20 (NR) Asian Development Bank has received $12.6 million of funding for 2018 to 2020 from the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative to generate more resources for SL women-led businesses. The grant enhances the ADB’s support for women-led small and medium-sized enterprises vital for economic growth and job creation in Sri Lanka. ADB Financial Sector Specialist Amanda Tan said the We-Fi financing supports ADB’s SME Line of Credit Project to foster a better environment for more..

Compulsory Dhamma Schools proposal: HRCSL to study further

Apr 20 (CT) Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) is to further study the Govt’s plan to make Sunday religious schools compulsory. Recently, the Ministry of Buddha Sasana revealed that they would forward a Cabinet Paper in collaboration with other religious leaders to make it compulsory or all children to attend Dhamma schools. However, according to Article 10 of the Constitution, every citizen has the freedom of choice with regard to having or adopting a religion or belief. more..

UNDP supports SL to build back better

Apr 20 (UNDP) United Nations Development Programme in SL together with the Ministry of Disaster Management launched a project at the Ministry premises to support the Govt’s vision of resilient recovery from Disasters, to help SL build back better in times of a disaster. Exactly one year ago, heavy rainfall and high winds triggered by the Southwest monsoon caused severe floods and landslides which affected 15 districts more..

UNP backbenchers write to Ranil

Apr 20 (CT) UNP backbenchers have suggested that MP Mujibur Rahman be made the Deputy Speaker of Parliament. A group of UNP backbenchers submitted a letter to PM requesting that Rahman be appointed to the position. UNP MP Professor Ashu Marasinghe, who signed the letter, told Ceylon Today that they had a right to make such a suggestion to the Premier, adding that Rahman was suitable for the post. “He is an active MP and can speak in all three languages more..

Hashish haul suspect admits receiving previous packages

Apr 20 (Island) Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) is conducting investigations to find out whether a former freelance journalist, arrested on Tuesday (April 17) at the Colombo Central mail Exchange with 1.4 kilos of hashish, had acted alone. The suspect was detained till April 23, after being produced before Maligakanda Magistrates’ Court. Under interrogation, the suspect has admitted that he had received similar packages in the past from Spain. more..

Ammonia tragedy: CEA suspends factory operations

Apr 20 (DM) Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has ordered to suspend the functions and operations of the Rubber Factory in Horana where five people were killed due to an ammonia gas exposure yesterday. Director General of the CEA Hemantha Jayasinghe said the functions of the factory would be halted until the investigations were concluded. “The factory will be shut down after considering the report of the investigations more..

Bimal complains to PM about Vajira’s letter to job seekers

Apr 20 (Island) JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake has complained to PM that Minister Vajira Abeywardena’s attempt to coerce some persons, seeking employment in the state sector, into visiting his office at Uluwitake, Galle on Friday. Ratnayake has sent a copy of Abeywardena’s letter to PM along with his complaint. JVP MP has said that a competitive examination was held in 2017 September to fill about 2,000 Grama Niladhari vacancies. About 180,000 candidates sat more..

Russian Naval Training Ship Perekop arrives at port of Colombo

Apr 20 (SLN) The Russian Naval Training Ship Perekop arrived at the port of Colombo on a goodwill visit yesterday (18). Sri Lanka Navy welcomed the ship in accordance with naval traditions on her arrival at the harbour. The crew of Perekop that are on a five-day official visit in Sri Lanka, is scheduled to take part in friendly sporting events, cultural events and engage in sightseeing tours organized by the Sri Lanka Navy. Meanwhile, the Commanding Officer of the ship, more..

The SOS Children’s Villages in Sri Lanka

Apr 20 (Roar) Over the past thirty six years, the SOS Children’s Villages, an international NGO which focuses on providing foster-care for orphaned, abandoned or neglected children, has supported over 41,000 such children in Sri Lanka. The main concept of the organisation’s children’s villages is to provide a safe, family-centred and village-centred upbringing for the children taken in. The organisation has opened six Children’s more..

Two underworld gang members arrested

Apr 20 (AD) Two persons suspected to be part of an underworld gang involved in a series of organized crimes have been arrested by STF personnel at Thotalanga. The suspects were arrested this morning and that the suspects were engaged in drug trafficking by the organized criminal gang. The arrested suspects are resident of Ferguson Road, Colombo 15 and are aged 23 and 26. The suspects who were arrested by the STF have been handed over Organised Crimes Investigation Division more..

A woman lawyer exposes some disgusting abuses of Sri Lankan justice system

Apr 20 (CT) A woman lawyer has exposed the utterly confused, silly, and sad situation that prevails in some of the courts, which she had been practicing for over seven years. It is a revealing speech, which shows the lowest depths that the justice system in SL is faced with. She exposes some of the judges and also lawyers including some members of the Bar Association of SL. For example, she, Sugandhika Fernando, speaks of going to a court where she found that three people more..

අද තියෙන්නේ වෛරී දේශපාලනයක් අස්ථාවර රටක්

Too many ministers positively harmful to the running of Government

Apr 20 (FT) The President, by extraordinary gazette, has prorogued Parliament with effect from 13 April and the next sessions will be on 8 May. It was earlier reported in the media that Prez Sirisena has accepted the resignation letters tendered by 15 SLFP ministers, including six Cabinet members, and the Deputy Speaker, who voted for the No-Confidence Motion against PM. Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said that a new Cabinet would be sworn in after the New Year holidays. more..

Strengthening school education system a must

Apr 20 (CT) The Ministry of Education recently introduced a hotline (1988) for parents and students to complain in the event the students are compelled by school teachers to attend tuition classes conducted by them. Tuition classes have come to dominate the academic activities of students so much so that they are dependent on classes outside school hours. In this context, the move by the Govt, to crack down on tuition warning teachers who hassle pupils, can be seen as a solution more..

Interpol Red Notice issued on former CB chief Arjuna Mahendran

Apr 20 (SL) An Interpol Red Notice has been issued on former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran. Mahendran is wanted in Sri Lanka to be questioned over the CB treasury bond scam. Mahendran is believed to be in Singapore and is evading arrest. Mahendran, Perpetual Treasuries head Arjun Aloysius and the former CEO of Perpetual Treasuries Kasun Palisena were in February named by the CID as more..

At all-party religious convention Committee to prevent communal riots appointed

Apr 20 (CT) An all-party religious convention, chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, was held yesterday. It was attended by all political parties represented in Parliament and religious leaders, with the aim of establishing national and religious reconciliation among all citizens. A minister, who participated in the convention, said that the reasons for holding it had been to take steps to prevent communal riots from erupting, like those more..

New deal on future of unity govt. to be signed after April 24

Apr 20 (DM) The SLFP ministerial committee appointed by President Maihtripala Sirisena to look into the future of the unity govt has made strong recommendations to drastically bring down the Cost of Living and provide facilities to achieve accelerated development in agriculture, industrial and education sectors and create employment opportunities, committee chairman & Min. Sarath Amunugama said. more..

Awards from foreign companies: Many Lankans duped

Apr 20 (Island) The Customs have requested the CID to investigate an organised racket where unsuspecting Sri Lankans are cheated out of millions of rupees. Customs Spokesman Sunil Jayaratne said that the gang comprised Sri Lankans and foreigners. "Initial contact is made by a foreigner, who identifies himself as John Harry. He informs the targeted person that he or she has won an award more..

Sri Lanka Cricket elections on May 19

Apr 20 (AD) Elections for new board members of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will be held on May 19, according to SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala. The nominations will close on the 27th of April, the board’s Secretary Air Commodore Roshan Biyanwala said. Sumathipala said that he too will contest the election this year. The likes of Mohan de Silva and K. Mathivanan (Vice-Presidents), Biyanwala (Secretary) and more..

Food prices skyrocket: FAO

Apr 20 (CT) Due to inefficiencies in the wholesale market system, food prices in the Colombo District are high, a recent Food and Agriculture (FAO) report said. This has resulted in high levels of food insecurity, said the FAO. There is also a concern for food safety as pesticide use is not well controlled in SL, report said. Food system is also affected by climate change, making environmentally sound agricultural and coastal management, more..

'Lankan Premier League launch this year will reap success in 3 years'

Apr 20 (SLC) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), President Thilanga Sumathipala is confident of making the upcoming Lankan Premier League (LPL) a commercial success within three years of the launch. “Enormous as the task is we will definitely see that the LPL takes off this year in implementing the IPL concept that has caught on in countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Australia and South Africa. SL had to get moving with it and more..

UNP Politburo discusses election of new office bearers

Apr 20 (Island) The newly elected UNP Politburo discussed the election of new office bearers yesterday and put off deliberations for Monday. Asked if a consensus had been reached on the names proposed to fill vacancies for key positions such as Chairman, General Secretary and National Organiser, a member of the Politburo said that discussions were continuing. "We took up internal issues and implementation of measures more..

Revisiting northern Sri Lanka’s battlefields

Apr 20 (Hindu) A group of Indian Peace Keeping Force veterans revisits the battlefields of northern SL, where their lives and destinies were interwoven with those of the LTTE three decades ago. We were in SL to remember our comrades, those we had cremated or buried here in the days of 1987-1990, when we were part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force fighting the LTTE. Now, we are 69-year-old veterans, and unlike more..

Govt simmering in its own soup

Apr 22 (DM) Feb 10 LG Elections and the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) presented by the JO against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe were the immediate causes that transformed an already simmering conflict in the Govt into chaos. The two incidents have thrown, the country in general and the ruling coalition in particular, into utter confusion. The two main parties in the ruling coalition, UNP and SLFP have been bewildered as to whether more..

Workers can surely highlight their woes on May 7

Apr 22 (DM) It is reported that a group of Trade Unions, offended by the decision to declare May 7 as Workers Day, had decided to protest. This decision to change the date had apparently been taken by President Sirisena on the advice of the Maha Nayake Theras who had pointed out that the week following Vesak Poya, which falls on April 29 and 30 will be one of religious observances and therefore, not opportune to have May Day rallies on May 1, immediately after 2 Vesak holidays. more..

Vital way to restore stability among the people

Apr 22 (DM) In developing countries especially most social and political scientists believe that major structural changes are required in vital areas to bring about stability and security. One of these key areas is poverty alleviation as we highlighted in our editorial on Wednesday. In Sri Lanka, structural changes are needed even in the govt -- meaning the Executive and the Legislature where instability has increased specially after the unexpected results at the Feb 10 LG elections. more..

Sagala gets tough on southern tourism trade

Apr 20 (FT) In a hard-hitting move Southern Development and Youth Affairs Minister Sagala Ratnayake directed all hotel and restaurant owners in the Southern Province to strictly adhere to the registration process of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA). He pulled no punches while addressing a gathering of around 100 tourism industry stakeholders of the Southern Province and govt officials at a meeting more..

'MRIA commercial image damaged by paddy'

Apr 20 (DM) The image of the Mattala Rajapaksa Int'l Airport (MRIA) had been tarnished after storing tons of paddy at the airport premises, a senior official at the MRIA said. “Even after the landing of the world's largest cargo aircraft, Antonov An-225 Mriya on Wednesday, people kept on saying ‘the largest aircraft landed at the Mattala paddy store.’ He said MRIA was constructed as an int'l airport built by the previous Govt. “MRIA was internationally and locally a well-recognised airport but more..

'All must unite to resolve national issues'

Apr 20 (NR) Speaker of House Karu Jayasuriya says all groups and parties should unite in order to solve the country's national issues. Addressing an multi religious Conference at the Parliamentary Complex Speaker stressed that it is the duty of every Sri Lankan to ensure the protection of the civic rights of all communities and establish a law abiding country. Speaker further noted that strikes launched with the intent of enacting revenge against one another should entirely cease. more..