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Prasanna Ranatunga leaves for Australia

Mar 5 (AM) Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga left the country for Australia in a trip which he described as unavoidable. It was reported earlier that he was planning to take part in the rally in Kandy tomorrow in support of naming Mahinda Rajapaksa as the next PM candidate of SLFP. However, he issued a statement through his facebook page from Australia saying that he had to leave the country in an unavoidable trip which could not be postponed, more..

Tobacco Company files writ application relating to health warnings

Mar 5 (Island) Ceylon Tobacco Company, filed a Writ Application in the Court of Appeal, requesting the Court to issue a mandatory order on the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol, and also on the Secretary to the Ministry of Health asking them to provide the petitioner on time a compact disc containing the prescribed 80% health warnings, which should be printed on tobacco packs. The petition said that the need to carry 80% pictorial warnings had been passed in more..

Video: Allowance for pregnant mothers from March 21

Mar 5 (DM) The proposed provision of nutritional food worth Rs. 20,000 for expectant mothers will be provided under the maternal health programme from this month, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He said the govt planned to implement the programme from March 21 as part of the govt’s 100-day programme. Accordingly all pregnant mothers who register themselves at govt’s maternal clinics and who regularly attend more..

45-year-old male was shot dead

Mar 5 (CT) A 45-year-old male was shot dead in Maharambaikulam-Vavuniya on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. The deceased was identified as Vadivelu from Vairavapuliyankulam-Vavuniya. Vadivelu is the owner of a food outlet in Vavuniya. On the day of the incident he was travelling in a three-wheeler from his food boutique, from where he was followed by gunmen. The owner of the food boutique was dead on the spot and the gunmen fled as soon as they shot him. more..

Meetiyagoda double murder: OIC interdicted

Mar 5 (DM) Meetiyagoda Police OIC has been interdicted following investigations into the killingof a couple in Meetiyagoda on Sunday. Police said preliminary investigations had found that OIC Chandana Gamage had not properly investigated a complaint made by the couple on an earlier occasion regarding an assault on their son. ASP Gunasekara said the OIC had also not provided some necessary information in the report submitted to court with regard to the killing. more..

Sri Lanka's growth favorable but needs fiscal consolidation to cut debt: IMF

Mar 5 (Xinhua) The IMF said on Wednesday that Sri Lanka's economic prospects remain favorable under the new govt but a mid-term fiscal consolidation is essential. An IMF mission led by Todd Schneider was in Sri Lanka to conduct a post-program monitoring after the completion of a 2.6- billion-U.S. dollar stand-by agreement in 2012. "Growth is likely to continue in the relatively robust range of 6-7% in 2015. more..

Rajitha threatens legal action against NFF National Organiser

Mar 5 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne vowed to institute legal action against NFF National Organiser Jayantha Samaraweera, who had lodged a complaint with the Bribery Commission against him for allegedly misappropriating Rs. 2 billion. He said that the complaint made by the (NFF) was baseless. It maintained that when he was the Fisheries Minister (2010-2014) he had imported eight trawlers at a cost of Rs. 400 million under his co-ordinating Secretary Lalith Seneviratne for more..

Armed Lankan fishermen abduct seven TN counterparts

Mar 5 (PTI) Lankan fishermen abducted seven of their counterparts from Tamil Nadu early today off Kodiakarai and demanded a ransom from their relatives to release them. Fishermen from Pamban had put out to sea in a country boat late last night. Kennedy said armed SL fishermen abducted them, called up their relatives on their mobile phones and told them they would released only if some money was paid. They did not specify the amount but said the ransom could be negotiated, more..

PM Modi to ramp up help for Indian Ocean nations to counter China influence

Mar 5 (Reuters) PM Narendra Modi will offer island nations in the Indian Ocean a broad range of military and civilian assistance next week in a bid to wrest back some of the influence China has gained by spending billions of dollars in the region. Modi will make the pledges during a visit to Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles after decades of neglect by successive Indian govts. His trip to Sri Lanka will be the first in 28 years by more..

SLFP to challenge appointment of Harin as Uva CM again

Mar 5 (Island) The SLFP yesterday said that it would file a fresh petition against the appointment of Harin Fernando as the Chief Minister of Uva Provincial Council, as the UPFA had the majority in that council. Addressing the media at the party head office UPFA General Secretary and SLFP National Organiser Susil Premajayantha said that the Court of Appeal had dismissed former Chief Minister Shasheendra Rajapakasa’s petition on some procedural shortcomings. more..

JCPSM members to strike, demanding the same allowance as doctors

Mar 5 (Island) Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine (JCPSM) will launch a one-day strike on March 12 from 7 am to 7 am the following day unless they were given the same Rs.15,000 Disturbance, Availability and Transport Allowance (DAT) as doctors. JCPSM General Secretary Saman Jayasekera said that about seventeen professions such as nurses, medical laboratory technologists, x-ray technicians, physiotherapists, pharmacists, dental surgery more..

Zeid warns Sri Lanka on rights probe

Mar 5 (CG) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein today warned the Sri Lankan Govt not to repeat the failures of the past. Speaking at the 28th session of UNHRC in Geneva, after presenting his annual report, al-Hussein urged the authorities in Sri Lanka to consult deeply with the people, especially the victims, in order to design mechanisms that will work and not repeat the failures of the past. more..

Ex-ministers yet to return over 300 vehicles

Mar 5 (AD) The authorities are yet to locate some 300 vehicles used by the ex-govt’s ministers, Cabinet Spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne said. The observation was made while addressing the weekly cabinet briefing held at the Govt Information Department, on Thursday morning. Senaratne added in spite of regulations that a minister is eligible to use two state owned vehicles, they received information of some former ministers had taken possession of over 20 vehicles. more..

Video: Port City project suspended

Mar 5 (DM) The Cabinet has decided to suspend the Chinese-funded Colombo Port City Project as it had started without relevant approvals from concerned institutions, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said today. Addressing the weekly cabinet news briefing in Colombo, the minister said the Cabinet had yet consented to a decision to advise the company which is carrying out the port city project to present approvals obtained from the relevant authorities within two weeks. more..

China plays down Port City issue

Mar 5 (CG) The Chinese Govt today played down the decision taken by Sri Lanka to suspend the Colombo Port City project. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said that the review on the project conducted by the Sri Lankan side, which is not exclusive to China’s cooperation projects in Sri Lanka, aims to create a better investment environment. She recalled that when Foreign Minister Mangala more..

The Mahinda factor is just a factor

Mar 6 (CT) Sri Lanka has almost never voted for people. Neither has it voted for parties. It has voted for people and parties. Strange, yes, but true. People-factors are taken into account, and so are party-factors. But voters rarely acknowledge one of them in isolation. People are elected on the basis of their parties and parties are elected on the basis of their members. That’s the truth, that has been the truth, I suspect that that will be the truth for a long time. We’re seeing a phenomenon today. more..

Subjugation with Geneva strategy

Mar 6 (CT) The commemoration of the historic protest against the British by Wariyapola Sri SumangalaThera is certainly a relevant occasion to think of foreign policy and the new relationships that Sri Lanka can and must have with the world outside. This relevance is because it was Wariyapola Sri SumangalaThera who began the battle against British imperialism, at virtually the very moment the conquest of this country by the British was completed. more..

Northerners still in the doldrums

Mar 6 (SO) Yet living amid poverty, devastation and social trauma after 30 years of war, the people of Vanni look with hope to the central govt and provincial administration for industrial and commercial development to resume their progress to prosperity. The writer visited some of the interior areas of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts to meet families for a first hand report on their present condition, their main requests & requirements more..

Law-making that excludes citizens

Mar 6 (SL) Good governance is the talk of the town today. Within the framework of the 100- day programme, legislation is being prepared speedily, with attempts to obtain the approval of Parliament to enact laws such as the National Medicinal Drug Regulatory Policy Bill and the Right to Information Act, aiming at the establishment of good governance. The socio political discourse brought forward by independent intelligentsia and civil activists over a long period of time has more..

We do look alike & probably are both Dravidian

Mar 6 (CT) The notion that Sinhalese are Aryan is probably not based on evolution, reality or science. This writer recalls attending a lecture by the distinguished Professor Siran Deraniyagala in 1996 and applauding loudly when he said that if a Genome mapping of a random sample of Sinhalese and Tamils was ever done, that we would probably find the same common ancestry; couldn’t agree more. (Could someone in Sri Lankan academic circles please tell the Colombo Telegraph more..

1975 World Cup: Jeff Thomson wanted for assault and battery

Mar 6 (CC) After flogging an inexperienced Sri Lankan attack to pile up a huge total, the great tough Australian side hardly expected to be threatened by a bunch of diminutive batsmen. The action had followed the expected script to a nicety. Rick McCosker and Alan Turner had put on 182 runs for the first wicket, Greg Chappell had stroked his way to a classy run-a-ball 50, Doug Walters had chipped in with 59. Score of 328 had looked more..

Trouble with and the troubles of the Orator

Mar 6 (FT) Many an opinion has been expressed about the troubles of Shashi Weerawansa, the spouse of Wimal Weerawansa, the former Minister. Although the immediate focus today is on the doings of Shashi Weerawansa, where the general public is concerned it is clear that the dramatic quality of the events surrounding the middle-aged Mrs. Weerawansa comes from the unavoidable association of the ex-Minister in the affairs of his family. more..

Good, Bad and the Ugly side of SL Police

Mar 6 (CT) Police Department has been a department and a service which deals with the public most serving in times of peace or disturbance though categorized by some as the most corrupt department managed to show that there are some honest and dedicated officers too. Although in a minority and heading that list is the present IGP whom I learn never misused his official vehicle and always leaves it at a Police Station or his office when he proceeds on leave or for a non more..

Reposition Ceylon Tea in 25 key markets

Mar 6 (CT) Chairman of the Tea Exporters' Association Rohan Fernando has told both Ministers, Lakshman Kiriella and Ravi Karunanayake to reposition Ceylon Tea in 25 key markets, which the Sri Lanka Tea Board and key industry stakeholders have identified. On the subject of re-positioning of Ceylon Tea, Tea Board and tea stakeholders have identified 25 key markets for a Ceylon Tea Promotional Campaign utilizing more..

Editorial: Needed: Action not words

Mar 6 (Island) Various allegations are being hurled against the leaders of the previous govt. President Sirisena has told Parliament that one of them got a huge bribe to shelve the national drug policy. Yes, that vital Bill went missing under mysterious circumstances from the Legal Draftsman’s Department. Obviously, someone got his or her palm greased. President Sirisena is now in a position to tell the public who the culprit is. Now that he has access to all necessary information more..

President promises business friendly economic policies

Mar 6 (DN) Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) members invited President Sirisena to a special meeting to table issues and challenges faced by SL entrepreneurs. Meeting provided a platform where individuals representing various businesses and industries in the country represented by COYLE, could have the opportunity to air their views and concerns in order to create a mutual understanding and improving economic endeavors of its members. more..

Positive Transformation Sri Lanka’s theme at ITB 2015

Mar 6 (FT) Sri Lanka pavilion at the world’s biggest travel fair, ITB in Berlin, this year is promoting ‘Positive Transformation’ in the country following the peaceful and decisive presidential election held on 8 Jan. The fresh push to woo German and other European tourists at ITB Berlin is supported by the participation of 52 private sector travel and hotel firms. Lankan pavilion was inaugurated by Minister Navin Dissanayake more..

Mobitel mTicketing counter at Jaffna Railway Station

Mar 6 (CT) Following the recent recommencement of the Colombo – Jaffna railway service, Mobitel today unveiled its latest mTicketing counter at the Jaffna railway station. To mark the ceremonial opening, P.G. Kumarasingha, Chairman of SLT and V. Amaratunga, General Manager Sri Lanka Railways declared open the new counter enabling Mobitel customers and commuters from Jaffna to collect their pre-reserved train tickets with ease, prior to departure for a hassle free journey. more..

Business confidence plummets following the mini Budget

Mar 6 (FT) The March edition of business magazine LMD reports that the LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) “registered a sharp decline from its all-time-high of 194 in January. In February, the index shed a substantial 34 points, to settle at 160 – although it remains at a much higher level than witnessed in 2014.” LMD also notes that 12 months ago, the BCI stood at “a somewhat lowly” 124, and the average since then is only 20 points higher. more..

Dehiwela Zoo Elephants back in showbiz

Mar 6 (CT) The elephant show at the Dehiwela Zoo will commence on 6 March 2015, after a lapse of almost a year. "The famous elephant show at the Dehiwela Zoo was suspended in April 2014 after majority of the elephants taking part in the show were tested antibody positive for Tuberculosis," Zoological Gardens' Director General Anura de Silva said. "Recent reports on tests conducted on the elephants that tested more..

Changing nature of the party system in SL

Mar 6 (Island) Minor party traffic has now become much more significant and their movement in and out of the existing system is by far the most important component of the system. Compared to what exactly happened in the past, there is the likelihood of individual voters changing their voting choices between elections; even their established party loyalties are changed overnight and it is this kind of political opportunism for some quick political benefits has completely transformed more..

Unilever Sri Lanka crowned Marketer of year

Mar 6 (CT) Unilever Sri Lanka bagged the coveted Marketer of Year award at the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) Effie Awards 2014. The award recognizes the overall effectiveness of Unilever Sri Lanka's marketing efforts across its portfolio of 29 of the country's most loved brands. The company topped the charts to win this coveted prize. Unilever Sri Lanka Chairperson Shazia Syed said, "A symbol of effectiveness in marketing communications around the world, the Effie Awards seek to more..

SL gets timely boost for spin-friendly venue

Mar 6 (DM) Dimuth Karunaratne will be ruled out of the World Cup after he fractured the small finger of his left hand during training at the SCG Chief National Selector Sanath Jayasuriya said. “He had dashed his hand on the ground while diving for an attempted catch and had to be sent for X’rays after the swelling in his small finger did not go down. The report has indicated a fracture,” added Jayasuriya who was at the ground with the team. more..

Sirisena takes over leadership of SLFP to keep Rajapaksa out

Mar 6 (ENS) In a move which has serious implications for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the ruling UNP, President Maithripala Sirisena has begun taking control of the SLFP which, with 126 MPs, is the single largest party in the Lankan parliament of 225 members. After he won the Presidential election, Sirisena was made Chairman of the SLFP even though he had defected from the party prior to the election to become Joint Opposition Candidate. more..

Sri Lanka to give justice to victims of securities fraud: SEC Chief

Mar 6 (EN) Sri Lanka's stock market regulator is making efforts to bring those who engaged in securities fraud during a stock market bubble in 2011 to justice, its re-appointed chief Tilak Karunaratne said. Karunaratne said the stocks were pumped and dumped on unsuspecting investors during a stock market bubble which peaked around 2011. He said investors who lost money during the period are still calling and making complaints against some brokers and margin providers. more..

Maithripala gets diaspora boost

Mar 6 (CG) A leading Tamil Diaspora group has welcomed the steps taken by President Maithripala Sirisena to address several concerns in Sri Lanka and urged the govt to reveal its blueprint to achieve a political solution by negotiating with the elected Tamil representatives. London based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) welcomed the democratic transition process initiated by new govt under the leadership of President more..

China's flood relief aid arrives in Sri Lanka

Mar 6 (Xinhua) China's aid to Sri Lanka's flood relief efforts has arrived and been transferred to their authorities. China delivered 40 diesel motors, 100 water pumps and 25 speedboats to Sri Lanka by air in the first batch of the aid. The second batch, including two large electrical generators, will arrive soon by ship, according to the MOC. In late December, torrential rain triggered floods in several regions of the island country and killed more than 30 people. more..

Rocket Internet expands in Sri Lanka

Mar 6 (Forbes) Rocket Internet is expanding an online jobs platform it started in Myanmar into Sri Lanka and probably on to other countries, including Cameroon. The expansion tells you a lot about Rocket, which is a Berlin-based Internet investor and conglomerate with an increasing presence in the world of technology and emerging markets. The company went into to Myanmar fast, on the first signs of an economic boom, and dealt with complications such as having to drive to more..

‘Sri Lanka keen on Indian investment’

Mar 6 (Hindu) Signalling potentially closer economic ties with India, Sri Lanka has invited several top Indian companies to invest in major projects in the island nation, particularly for collaborations in the manufacturing sector. “We hope that these will be announced when the honourable [Indian] PM is here,” Arjuna Mahendran, Governor of Central Bank, said. Mr. Modi will be in Sri Lanka between March 13 and 15 is the first more..

Dutch couple rescue mission tells the world how much we care for foreign guests

Mar 6 (Island) The miraculous escape of the Dutch national Martin (35) who fell from the World's End cliff and the bravery of personnel who risked their lives to save him, could be considered as the best example to mirror Sri Lankan hospitality to the world in recent history, commented chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Bureau Rohantha Athukorala in the presence of the Board of Directors of SLTPB and senior officials of SLITO. Martin managed to survive a fall from a 4,000 foot tall cliff more..