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Indian fishermen will be shot if they cross border: Ranil

Mar 7 (TOI) Sri Lankan navy is only acting as per law when it fires at Indian fishermen entering Lankan waters and therefore they should keep away, said PM Ranil Wickramesinghe in an interview to a Tamil news channel. Wickramesinghe's strong comments come even as fishermen from both sides are engaged in talks and PM Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka next week. "If someone tries to break into my house, I can shoot. If he gets killed, law allows me to do that," more..

Modi to unveil plaque of Jaffna cultural centre

Mar 7 (Hindu) PM Narendra Modi will unveil the plaque of a cultural centre to be built with Indian assistance in Jaffna on March 14. Mr. Modi, in the first state visit to Sri Lanka by an Indian PM in nearly three decades, will travel to the war-torn Northern Province of the island nation. The cultural centre will serve as a space connecting people through the arts and culture. The event will be held at the adjoining Jaffna Public Library, a historic structure torched by a mob during riots in 1981. more..

StAR team meets prominent politicians

Mar 7 (DN) A special team from the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) of the World Bank arrived in Sri Lanka on Wednesday to help the govt probe large scale financial frauds and locate assets stashed away in foreign countries allegedly by politicians and former officials of the former govt. Team had discussions with Deputy Minister Dr. Harsh de Silva and several top notch govt officials during the last couple of days. more..

JHU against early polls

Mar 7 (CT) JHU is against plans to hold a general election before amending the Constitution. JHU National Organizer Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said his party was opposed to plans by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake to sabotage the moves to bring in amendments to the Constitution by holding a general election. He added that his party would act to build public opinion against taking the country towards an election while more..

My visit part of high-level engagement with Colombo: Sushma Swaraj

Mar 7 (IANS) Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday said her visit to Sri Lanka is part of the high-level engagement with the new govt of Sri Lanka and "an opportunity to close the gaps" ahead of PM Narendra Modi's visit next week. In her remarks at a dinner hosted by her Sri Lankan counterpart Mangala Samaraweera, she said President Maithripala Sirisena's visit to India in February "was a successful visit" during which both sides inked four agreements. more..

TNA to raise fishermen issue with Sushma Swaraj

Mar 7 (Hindu) Members of the TNA will raise the concerns of northern Sri Lankan fishermen at the party’s meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday. “The Indian Foreign Minister is coming here as a forerunner to Prime Minister Modi, who will visit Sri Lanka later this month. One of the key issues we want to take up with her is the northern fishermen’s concerns,” TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran told The Hindu. more..

Next election: At least 25% must be women

Mar 7 (DM) As we mark International Women’s Day tomorrow, several world leaders including Pope Francis have spoken out on the importance of including women’s perspectives in decision-making. “Women have much to tell us in today’s society.” Sometimes we’re too macho and don’t leave enough room for women. They see things with different eyes. Women are able to ask questions that men can’t understand,” the Pope said during his recent visit to Philippines after he visited Sri Lanka. more..

Alleged war crimes: Restorative justice with truth and reconciliation

Mar 7 (DM) For how long can SL play hide and seek with the Western powers which, for reasons political or otherwise, seek to hold the country’s leadership and the security forces accountable for war crimes alleged to have been committed during the last stages of the separatist war in 2009? How many times can we ask for more time from UNHRC to address this issue? The respite the present govt managed to win on the strength of its good governance promises is not indefinite. more..

Sylvan spot threatened by dam proposal

Mar 7 (ST) The planned construction of a mini hydro power plant at a beautiful waterfall in Athwelthota is being fiercely opposed by local villagers and environmentalists. Athwelthota, in Palindanuwara in the Kalutara district, is a popular holiday destination with its natural streams and pools for bathing. The streams, which flow into the Palana Ganga river, have been enjoyed and used by many generations in the nearby villages. more..

Sri Lanka urged to nominate more women for elected bodies

Mar 7 (EN) Sri Lanka has one of the world's lowest rates of female representation in parliament despite having produced the first female prime minister, a senior UN official said. With the new govt committed to electoral reforms, political parties should act to increase the number of women nominated for elected bodies, said Subinay Nandy Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Sri Lanka. more..

Imperative need to support Tamil moderates in the struggle against extremists

Mar 7 (DBS) ITAK was formed in 1949 by a dissident faction of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) led by well–known lawyer G.G. Ponnambalam. New party was called the Federal party in English though its name in Tamil stood for Ceylon Tamil State Party. Break away group was led by two Lawyer MPs and a Medical Doctor Senator. Two MP’s were SJV Chelvanayagam and C. Vanniasingham representing Kankesanthurai more..

People want corruption charges against Mahinda probed: Govt

Mar 7 (Island) Amidst former President Rajapaksa’s son Yositha being moved to Navy headquarters from his security detail, the govt denied that it was on a witch hunt. Minister Rajitha Senaratne addressing Thursday’s Cabinet Press Briefing said that there were bigger issues to be sorted out in comparison to investigating Yositha’s credentials to join the Navy and being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant within a short period. more..

Ordinary Parliamentarians to oversee President and Cabinet: PM

Mar 7 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that a Parliamentary Committee will be appointed under the new Constitutional Amendment to oversee the activities of the President and Parliament. He said similar measures have been adopted in the US Congress as well as in the UK Parliament. PM said the new committees consisting of ordinary parliamentarians who will oversee the functions of Cabinet Ministers too. more..

Ex-CB Governor responds to accusations

Mar 7 (Island) Approps recent media reports pertaining to the operations undertaken by the Central Bank during the previous administration, former CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal has issued the following statement: "I wish to state that, at the Central Bank, very stringent procedures are followed in an environment of high quality internal controls. All transactions are carried out with due process and authorization. more..

Malinga feels rhythm, not blues after surgery

Mar 7 (AFP) Lasith Malinga believes his bowling rhythm is returning at the World Cup after undergoing ankle surgery in September. The sling-arm fast bowler has relied on pain killing injections to make it through his matches at the tournament but says he is feeling more comfortable on the field. The 31-year-old, the only bowler in history to claim three hat-tricks in ODIs, said he doesn't expect to play pain-free but wants to be a part of more..

Wimal sees RAW hand

Mar 7 (Island) Former Minister and NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa said that Indian intelligence service RAW and US were behind the victory of Maithripala Sirisena over UPFA candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa at the presidential election. Addressing a massive rally in Kandy organised by the MEP, NFF, DLF and PHU demanding that former President Rajapaksa be nominated as the UPFA’s Prime Ministerial candidate more..

PM indicates troops reduction in Tamil areas

Mar 7 (PTI) PM Ranil Wickramasinghe has indicated reduction of army presence in Tamil areas as time goes on. He, however, ruled out any immediate reduction in troops unless there is improvement in the situation. Wickramasinghe did not elaborate on what improvement meant. He also conceded that there is lots of land under the state's control that can be released in different parts of the country. more..

Constitutional reforms ready by next week

Mar 7 (DM) The draft bill, providing for constitutional amendments, will be ready next week to be presented in Parliament. The All-Party Committee on Constitutional Reforms met yesterday to discuss the present status of the new legislation. The Legal Draftsman's Department has already put the proposed amendments in a legal format. It will be referred to the Supreme Court to determine whether it should be approved by the people at a more..

UNP, the unwilling bride

Mar 7 (CT) General elections, is seemingly the hot topic of the day. That may not be surprising because Sri Lanka after Japan is the second oldest country to enjoy the franchise, with this right bequeathed to the people of this country by the British Raj in 1931. The life of the present Parliament expires next year. However, President Sirisena was elected to power in January on the basis of cleaning up the Augean stables of the country's body politic which was rife with cronyism, nepotism, corruption and more..

KKS Palace indicates Valikamam North ready for resettlement

Mar 7 (CT) The phrase, Emperor Nero fiddled, while Rome burned indicates the nature of a leader who is ignorant about his people's suffering and concerned only about his comfort. President Maithripala Sirisena made it a point to visit the luxurious Jaffna residence of his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa, which was in the state of being given the final touches, with state-of-the-art fittings. President Sirisena visited the mansion in Kankesanthurai (KKS) with Northern Province Chief Minister, more..

Internal political power bashing in the name of justice for war victims

Mar 7 (Island) UN Human Rights Commission’s decision to investigate violations and the huge loss of life during the last months of the war concluded in 2009 was a significant victory for the victims. The dignity of the victims required that the truth must be told without fear or favour, and processes of justice and restoration set in motion. And the wrong was not all on one side. Dignity also demands that we await the verdict of judges more..

Identity & the island’s political order: The existential question

Mar 7 (CT) It is not without reason that Graham Greene once said “never trust anyone with a return ticket”. Dr. Siri Gamage is playing a game that an expatriate academic can afford to. Those of us who have opted to live here cannot afford such rootless cosmopolitanism and intellectual dilettantism. The question of definition is a serious one. The question of nationhood is a deadly serious one. I am concerned with the political consequences of definitions, brought in the service of more..

Airline Merge: Capt. Druvi Perera are we heading for disaster?

Mar 7 (CT) The current Chief Operations Officer and Head of Flight Operations Capt. Druvi Perera of Sri Lankan Airlines has been granted the enviable task of now running the identical functions of Mihin Lanka the low cost budget airline too as now both airlines are being ordered to run under one Chairman but under two separate AOCs issued by the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka. Among many blatant decisions taken in the recent past by the former Sri Lankan more..

Rivals, equals

Mar 7 (CI) "I just can't see how umpire Hair can be calling no-ball here," the commentator says. Tony Greig had a way of being on air at every moment of significance for SL cricket. This moment, while the greatest Test-match crowd the motley outfit of bankers and insurance peddlers had ever played for watched on, was a big one. Huge. Australia has perhaps never given much heed to Sri Lanka's cricket. more..

WC 2015: Pakistan beat South Africa

Mar 7 (CI) This was the game this World Cup needed. This is the team this World Cup needed. It was getting pretty bland out here without the Pakistan bowlers. Defending only 231 in 47 overs at the small Eden Park, their left-arm quicks turned it on like only those from that part of the world can. Under pressure of the chase South Africa crumbled yet again - except for one man, captain AB de Villiers, who scored 77 off 58 and threatened to singlehandedly steal the game, more..

Australia wrong-footed by dry pitch

Mar 7 (CI) Australia's selectors appear to have been wrong-footed by a bone dry SCG surface for their pivotal meeting with Sri Lanka, forcing them to consider the recall of Shane Watson - only one match after he was dropped - and the inclusion of the left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty for his first game of the World Cup. The captain Michael Clarke was told by the coach Darren Lehmann and his fellow selector Mark Waugh that the panel was reserving judgment on the composition of their XI, more..

'Don't want to change a lot of things'

Mar 7 (CI) Of all venues south of the equator, none please Sri Lanka more than the ground in Sydney. The playing surface is large, the members' area is lovely, and the stands are grand, but it is the SCG surface they really like. Each time they arrive, the pitch appears drier than those elsewhere in the country, or indeed the continent. Each time they arrive, they are posed with the same conundrum: one specialist spinner or two? more..

In-form SL gear up for all-round Australia

Mar 7 (CI) Australia's quicks are fast and fit. Their batsmen are explosive. They might not quite be New Zealand in the field, but they take their catches, make crucial saves. All this might daunt Sri Lanka, who are once again outgunned. But it hasn't. Sri Lanka are still speaking of "peaking at the right time" and making incremental advances. They have three wins on the trot. Even if they have lost more players to injury in the past 10 days, than they have lost wickets in matches, they feel more..

Udaya claims of conspiracy to jail MR, Gota

Mar 7 (AM) Leader of Pivithuru Hela Urumaya, Western Provincial Councilor Udaya Gammanpila yesterday said that there were conspiracies going on in order to jail former president Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa by filing court cases against them. He made this claim addressing the Dinu Nihadasa Anathure rally in Kandy, which was organized to urge SLFP to name former president Rajapaksa as its Prime Ministerial candidate. more..

Largest nurses union too threatens strike

Mar 7 (Island) Public Service United Nurses Union (PSUNU) warned it would resort to a strike if the Govt failed to give them a Rs. 20,000 professional allowance in proportionally parallel to the Rs. 15,000 increase made to the Disturbance, Availability and Transport allowance of doctors. PSUNU Deputy Chairman Dayananda Boralessa said that the increase to the DAT allowance of doctors would raise it to Rs. 40,000. more..

TNA calls for power devolution

Mar 7 (CG) The TNA has reiterated that it wants powers devolved to the provinces, as part of the final political solution for Tamils. The TNA also supports the return of Tamil refugees from India and other countries, TNA leader R. Sampanthan said after talks with Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj today. Sampanthan said that the TNA has also urged India to facilitate the return of the Tamil refugees living in India. Hundreds of Tamils had fled Sri Lanka during the war and sought refuge more..

Rathana Thera explains reason for not punishing MR loyalists

Mar 7 (AM) JHU Chairman Athuraliye Rathana Thera said that the UNP does not want to punish any wrongdoers loyal to the former president Rajapaksa because the UNP wants to see the division of SLFP. Speaking at the Mahajana Sevaya Pinisayi TV show on Swarnawahini, he said that UNP can win the next election only if SLFP breaks up. By not taking measures against those closer to Mahinda Rajapaksa, UNP has allowed them to remain strong, Rathana Thera added. more..

PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thanthi TV

Centre for Environmental Justice challenges Colombo Port City EIA in CA

Mar 7 (Island) The Centre for Environmental Justice (Guaranteed) Limited filed a Writ Application in the Court of Appeal against the Environmental Impact Assessment Study done by the China Harbour Engineering for the Port City Colombo. Petition wanted the Court to quash the decision in respect of the assessment which, they said, had been done in violation of section 16 of the Coast Conservation Act 57 of 1989. The fundamental rights of the citizens had not been taken into consideration more..

Health Minister promises transparent drug price control formula

Mar 7 (Island) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne addressing a seminar on the new National Medicinal Drugs and Cosmetics Devices Regulatory Act for journalists yesterday stressed that a transparent price control formula for all kinds of drugs would come into effect soon. He pointed out that the new Act also would encourage local investors to manufacture all kinds of drugs required by the country so that a substantial amount of foreign exchange could be saved. more..

India, Sri Lanka mull resuming ferry services

Mar 7 (Hindu) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj discussed with her SL counterpart Mangala Samaraweera the possibility of resuming ferry services between the two countries. However, Foreign Ministers did not discuss the fisheries issue. Not a word about it, SL Foreign Minister said soon after his meeting with Ms. Swaraj, but officials said the subject was likely to be discussed at her lunch meeting with PM Ranil more..

India to take up PM comments on fishermen

Mar 7 (Hindu) India has said it will take up PM Ranil Wickremsinghe’s comments to a TN channel, during the talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her counterpart Malngala Samaraweera today. “We hope to work with Sri Lanka in a peaceful & diplomatic manner on the fishermen issue, which is an emotive issue,” spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said ahead of the talks in Colombo. Mr. Wickremsinghe said it was legitimate for the Sri Lankan navy to shoot fishermen if more..

Legal elephant owners to get licenses, microchip

Mar 7 (DM) Sports and Tourism Ministry has requested the CID to check the validity of the licences issued to those who were rearing elephants on a private basis and to submit a report on this matter Deputy Minister Wasantha Senanayake said the ministry would issue a new license and a microchip to the owners who had valid licenses while legal action would be taken against those who did not have such licenses. When asked whether the raids that were carried out recently on more..

China City company says will stop work; furnish approvals

Mar 7 (EN) A Chinese firm which was ordered to halt a 1.4 billion US dollar sea reclamation project said it will comply, but will take all necessary steps to provide the approvals asked, but warned that it had a signed agreement from the previous regime. Agreement had been signed in Sept 2014, China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC), the parent of the Colombo incorporated CHECK Port City more..

Not quite the fortress against Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (CI) In the last seven years, Sri Lanka are the only team to have won more games than they have lost when playing Australia at their own backyard. 9-6: Sri Lanka's win-loss record against Australia, in Australia, in their last 15 completed ODIs. They are the only team to have won more than they have lost when playing against Australia, in Australia, during this period. 6-1: Australia's win-loss record against Sri Lanka in World Cups. The only time Sri Lanka have beaten Australia in a World Cup game more..