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ICTA launches triple e-service for motor vehicles

Mar 16 (Island) In a further step to making lives easy through Information and Communication Technology (ICT) three motor vehicle related e-services were launched recently. The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) and the Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) came together in launching this triple e-service. The three e-services will provide information on the following: Details of the vehicle, last registration number more..

Colombo Port City: Over 1000 jobs at risk

Mar 16 (SL) Over 1000 local workers employed at the Colombo Port City project face the risk of unemployment as a result of the decision taken by the govt to suspend the project. Local media were taken to the site of the project last week to meet the local construction workers at the site and also to meet the management. Chandana Gunewardena, Deputy Project Manager of the Colombo Port City said that company had more..

Indo-Lanka FTA to benefit Colombo

Mar 16 (DN) Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Dr. Didar Singh said the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement is one of the best agreements India has signed and will allow more Indian investments into Sri Lanka and also iron out negative impacts for Sri Lankan exports in future. “Although the trade balance is not in favour towards Sri Lanka it could bridge the gap by attracting more..

'Avant Garde investigation will be a litmus test for govt'

Mar 16 (DM) We will establish a JVP govt by 2020, says JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who believes the masses who continue to be disappointed by the two main parties, will take a stand and gather around the JVP to bring about a true change. JVP Leader spoke of the present delays to investigation into corruption charges of the previous regime, why they decided to not to be part of the govt and on the importance of holding more..

Ageless Dilshan to remain Sri Lanka's guiding light

Mar 16 (Reuters) The pressure will be on former captain Tillakaratne Dilshan to continue to play a pivotal role for Sri Lanka when he loses his prolific batting partner after the World Cup. Kumar Sangakkara, the second highest run-getter in ODIs behind Sachin Tendulkar, will retire from the 50-over format after the tournament leaving a huge hole in Sri Lanka's batting lineup. Dilshan and Sangakkara added 210 runs against Bangladesh, more..

Video: Cabinet approved our proposals: JHU

Mar 16 (DM) The JHU today said that the Cabinet had approved the JHU proposed reforms on pruning powers of the Executive as it had opposed to the Prime Minister’s proposal, which it said was detrimental to the stability of the country. JHU General Secretary and Minister Champika Ranawaka said according to the PM’s proposal, though the President continues to be the Head of the State, he should consult the PM, more..

SL want hard-working Sangakkara to play on

Mar 16 (Reuters) Kumar Sangakkara is working as hard to improve his game in his final one-day tournament as he did when he first broke into the Sri Lanka team a decade and a half ago, said chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya. Sangakkara's form at the World Cup has been little short of sensational and is a big part of Sri Lanka's run to the quarter-finals, where they will meet South Africa at the SCG on Wednesday. more..

Gamini Senarath questioned over financial fraud

Mar 16 (AM) Former President Rajapaksa’s Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath was summoned to the Crime Investigation Division today. Accordingly, he is still being questioned over complaints of financial fraud in People’s Leasing & Finance. Senarath served as Chairman of People’s Leasing & Finance from Feb 28, 2013. Senarath was appointed as then President’s Chief of Staff in 2009. He was an Additional Secretary more..

Wide powers for commission; interim report in two months

Mar 16 (ST) Corruption, fraud, and misuse or abuse of power in the past five years are among subjects for probe by a Presidential Commission which will present an interim report in two months and a final report within a year, according to a gazette notification issued this week. Commission’s Chairman, SC Justice Priyasath Dep said that newspaper advertisements calling for information or petitions from the public regarding more..

Mahinda can back SLFP general election campaign: President

Mar 16 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has further consolidated his power with the UPFA’s constituents accepting him as the leader of the SLFP-led alliance. President Sirisena is the President of the SLFP. MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena and DLF leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara, who had spearheaded popular bring-back-Mahinda campaign, attended a meeting chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena more..

BASL promotes information-concealers in the name of right to information

Mar 16 (CT) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka has called upon individuals with severely compromised integrity to be on a panel tasked to discuss the proposed Right to Information Act. One of the panelists invited, all powerful and patently unaccountable Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, is a man under a heavy cloud for stubbornly refusing to part with relevant documents pertaining to irregular financial transactions, more..

Sri Lanka hybrid car registrations down in Feb 2015, Maruti up

Mar 16 (EN) Registrations of hybrid cars dropped sharply in February following a tax hike in January while small car imports continued to climb helped by lower taxes and financing costs. JB Securities, analysing vehicle registry data said registrations of motor cars dropped to 4.055 in February 2015 from 4,940 led by hybrids. Hybrid registrations fell to 2,704 units in February 2015 from a peak of 4,320 figure in January but was still higher than 765 units registered a year earlier. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lankan Patriot vs. Sri Lankan Sage

Mar 16 (CT) Writing in 1908, the English communitarian and contrarian, G.K. Chesterton, defined the madman as one who sees too much of cause in everything, whose intellect was rarely delayed by things that go with good judgment, such as humor or charity. To Chesterton, the madman’s most sinister quality is a horrible clarity of detail, reading conspirational significance into every activity, connecting one thing after another in a map more elaborate than a maze.” more..

Shares down for 11th straight session

Mar 16 (Reuters) Shares fell for the 11th straight session on Monday to a six-week closing low with some buying by foreign investors, but local investors awaited direction with worries over rising interest rates. Main stock index ended 0.57%, or 40.34 points weaker, at 7,050.91, its lowest close since Feb 5, extending the fall to 3.64% in last 11 sessions. Foreign investors were net buyers of 204.2 million rupees worth of shares, extending the year-to-date foreign inflow to 2.81 billion more..

Sri Lanka GDP grows 7.4% in 2014

Mar 16 (EN) Sri Lanka's GDP grew 7.4% in 2014, with the quarter growing 6.4% from a year earlier. Agriculture sector grew 0.3% in real terms after adjusting for inflation, industry 11.4% and services 6.5% with general price inflation by the broad GDP deflator measured at 6%. At constant 2002 prices, agriculture was 10.1% of GDP in 2014 (down from 10.8% last year) and industry expanded to 32.2% from 31.1%. more..

Great neighbour tilts: Lessons in geopolitics

Mar 16 (CT) Up close and personal, India’s PM Modi has a presence, even a bit of an inner radiance born of confidence. This is the shared observation of my wife and me after the gracious introduction and handshakes at the India House reception two evenings back. Asia is lucky to have produced such a leader. We were lucky to meet him. That said, Sri Lankans were taught a firm lesson in Realism, in geopolitical realities and the balance of power, over the last few days. more..

'MR govt defeated for standing up to India'

Mar 16 (Island) Opposing Indian expansionism was the reason why the Rajapaksa govt was ousted, former Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. He said the then govt resisted India’s interference with Sri Lanka’s internal affairs and believed in home-grown solutions to the country’s problems. "We wanted to solve our own problems without being a puppet in the hands of region’s Big Brother. We forged strong relations with China for that purpose and that cost us state power," MP Amaraweera said. more..

Modi’s amendment call gets mixed reactions

Mar 16 (PTI) Indian PM Narendra Modi’s call for early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment and going beyond it to achieve reconciliation with the Tamil minority community during his recent Sri Lanka visit has got a mixed response from across the political spectrum here. Voicing India’s support to efforts to build a future that accommodates the aspirations of all societies including Tamils for a life of more..

'Parties still not agreed on electoral reforms'

Mar 16 (EN) Sri Lanka's political parties have still not reached agreement on constitutional changes regarding electoral reform but small parties want to come up with a common stand, Minister Rauf Hakeem, said. Hakeem said a meeting chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena including all parties had ended without finality. "Small parties including those of minority communities and politically small parties like JVP will meet tonight at my home to come up with a common stand," more..

Police seize heroin from prawn farm

Mar 16 (Island) Mundalama Police seized 13.5 kilos of heroin hidden inside a prawn farm at Kanamulla, Madurankuliya on Friday. The recovery was made on a tip-off received by the Mundalama Police. The policemen had to dive in the prawn farm to find the contraband. Heroin had been packed in polythene covers and concealed inside the farm by tying those parcels to some stilts. Three suspects, all employees of the farm, were arrested. Two suspects are residents of Hatton while more..

'No poll before electoral reforms'

Mar 16 (DM) UPFA today reiterated that there would be no Parliamentary Elections before introducing Constitutional and Electoral reforms and it would not let PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to force President Maithripala Sirisena’s hand to dissolve Parliament soon after April 23 as he had already announced. Leader of the Opposition, Nimal Sirisipala De Silva said that the constituent partners of the UPFA took the decision to introduce more..

Germany backs Lanka on reform

Mar 16 (CG) The German Govt has encouraged the Govt of Sri Lanka to continue the ambitious reform process, while strengthening good governance and civil society, the German Embassy in Colombo said today. Ambassador Peter Pruegel, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific at the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs visited Sri Lanka from March 9-13 to meet with govt officials, political leaders, civil society and religious representatives in Colombo and in the North. more..

MS, political parties in key talks

Mar 16 (CG) President Maithripala Sirisena held talks with leaders and representatives of political parties today on proposed changes to the electoral system. The President's office said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Opposition leader Nimal Siripala de Silva and members of the UPFA were among those who attended the talks. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya and Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa also took part in today’s crucial discussion. more..

Files on Wele Suda’s deals missing: AG

Mar 16 (AD) Colombo High Court on Monday ordered the ASP in charge of Mt-Lavinia police division to submit a report on several misplaced files with regard to a case filed against well-known drug baron Wele Sudha. The directive was issued after AG’s Department informed Judge Lalith Jayasuriya that several files of Wele Sudha’s case have gone missing. Judge Jayasuriya ordered police to submit the report before 18 March. more..

Maldives seeks support of Sri Lanka, India

Mar 16 (IANS) Maldives on Monday sought the support of Sri Lanka and India as the country faced international criticism over the imprisonment of former president Mohamed Nasheed. Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon said the Maldives was being unfairly judged by some counties but her govt would still engage with the international community over the issue. "We expect support from Sri Lanka like we have supported Sri Lanka in the international fora. We are communicating with Sri Lanka. more..

Upeksha undecided

Mar 16 (DM) MP Upeksha Swarnamali said that she would consider her political future, after looking into the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. When questioned about her contesting at the next general elections, She said that she had not yet decided on it. “As responsible politicians, first we should pay attention to the 19th Amendment. I will read it and if there is something to be amended I will speak on it,” she said. She said she was still undecided under which political party she would contest, more..

Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority grows impatient with just promises

Mar 16 (NYT) There may be no place more beautiful on the breathtaking tropical island of Sri Lanka than the white sand beaches along the Palk Strait, which is why building a luxury resort here made sense. Still, there are drawbacks to staying at Thalsevana Holiday Resort. Arrive without a reservation, and you could be arrested. Stroll too far down the beach during a blood-red sunset, and a soldier carrying an automatic more..

Muthuhettigama says majority of SLFP MPs back Rajapaksa

Mar 16 (AM) Galle District UPFA MP Nishantha Muthuhettigama stated that a majority of SLFP parliamentarians support Mahinda Rajapaksa. The controversial MP made this comment yesterday at a gathering of SLFP MPs, Provincial Council Members and Local Govt Authority Members in the Galle District. The gathering was organized in Bataduwa, Galle, to urge Mahinda Rajapaksa to return to politics. Four MPs and 40 other representatives reportedly took part in the event. more..

SL will mark World Water Day on March 22

Mar 16 (GDI) National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) under the guidance of the Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage has made arrangements to celebrate the world water day 2015 on March 22 at the BMICH under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. World Water Day tries to remind people about the significance of fresh water and to promote sustainability for fresh water resources' management. The theme for 2015 is 'Water and Sustainable Development' and more..

Govt help for ex-rebels

Mar 16 (CG) Govt has decided to setup a committee comprised to prepare a comprehensive livelihood programme for ex LTTE cadres, the P’s office said today. A meeting chaired by the PM was held on 3 March at the Temple Trees on the Rehabilitation of ex LTTE Cadres. State Minister of Defense Ruwan Wijewardene, State Minister of Youth Affairs Niroshan Perera, Secretary to Ministry of Resettlement, Commander of Army, more..

Japan grants Rs.10 Mn for water and sanitation project in Nuwara Eliya

Mar 16 (GDI) Govt of Japan has provided US$ 77,714 grant for the Project for Improving the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Nuwara Eliya Districtunder its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project scheme (GGP). The Project for Improving the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Nuwara Eliya District will be implemented by ADRA Sri Lanka in Nuwara Eliya district. The project aims to improve living standards and health status of underprivileged tea estate workers more..

President to review interim report on war missing

Mar 16 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's special presidential commission appointed to investigate over 20,000 cases of people that went missing during the nearly three decades of war is to hand in an interim report to President Maithripala Sirisena this week, the President Media Unit said in a statement on Monday. Secretary to the Commission, H.W.Gunadasa told reporters that the report has already been finalized and it will be handed to the president on Wednesday. more..

Mahela praises Malinga's commitment

Mar 16 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene has praised Lasith Malinga's commitment to returning to form after a 5-month layoff, as Sri Lanka prepare for their quarter-final against South Africa on Wednesday. Malinga had been Sri Lanka's most penetrative bowler in the group stage. Although he collected figures of 0 for 84 from the curtain-raiser against New Zealand, he has since taken 11 wickets at an average of 28.27. more..

Seychelles not yet asked for help

Mar 16 (CG) Govt has not yet approached Seychelles to seek assistance to locate money said to have been hidden in that country by former President Rajapaksa. Seychelles, an Indian Ocean archipelago of 115 islands with a population of around 90,000 people has been accused of harbouring assets stolen by the former SL regime. However, when contacted by the Seychelles news agency, the Seychelles Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) said “we can say that we have not more..

20,000-year-old fossilized human teeth discovered in Sri Lanka

Mar 16 (Reuters) People adapted to living in tropical rainforests thousands of years earlier than previously known, according to scientists who found crucial evidence in 20,000-year-old fossilized human teeth discovered in Sri Lanka. The researchers said there has been a debate over when our species first began living in rainforests, with some experts arguing such habitats may have been too daunting for early human hunter-gathers. In a study published in the journal Science, the scientists more..

Video: Ranil reiterates Navy's right to shoot intruders

Mar 16 (NDTV) Sri Lanka and India are working to resolve the fishermen's issue, but the country's navy has the right to shoot anyone who intrudes into their territorial waters, PM Ranil Wickremasinghe said. The reiteration of the controversial comment comes on the heels of PM Narendra Modi's trip to the island nation which he said was a successful visit. "Lankan navy has the right to shoot in any part of the country if more..

Proposal for a simple electoral reform

Mar 17 (CT) It is announced that the govt might make proposals for electoral reforms in the much talked about 19th Amendment, however the next election will be held under the old system. This is regrettable news. The reason could be that the proposal/s suggested are complicated, and the implementation of which would take much time and preparation. This short and quick article argues that if we think about the matter out of the box, there can be an easy and reasonable solution. more..

Making collective responsibility meaningful

Mar 17 (CT) When the country was in the midst of a terrorist war and President J.R. Jayewardene's star was on the wane, he coined those famous words: "The only thing that I cannot do is to make a man a woman and a woman, man." He was referring to his creation, the executive presidency, the "jewel in the crown" of Sri Lanka's Second Republican Constitution which became law in 1978. A journalist, then referring to '78 Constitution said that as long as JR is in power, new constitution is okay, more..

Fisher war in the Palk Strait

Mar 17 (SO) Nearly three or more days a week, about 2000 Indian trawl boats or more are crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line to fish on the Sri Lankan side of the Palk Bay in the north. The northern fishers of Sri Lanka, who started to fish after the cruel civil war which kept them away from fishing for nearly 30 years, face strict competition from the poaching Indian trawlers, who steal their fish and damage their nets. more..