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Colombo Port City project runs into fresh snag: Flying over Port City a taboo!

Mar 17 (DN) The Colombo Port City project has run into a fresh snag with SL's Civil Aviation Authority pointing out to the govt that the air space over the Chinese held area will exclusively be held by China. According to Article 1 and 2 of the Convention on the Civil Aviation which was signed in Chicago in 1944 - to which SL is signatory - China will have exclusive rights over the air space above the plot of land of Colombo Port City, more..

'UNP undermining President’s polls manifesto'

Mar 17 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka accused the UNP of undermining the common agreement several parties had reached prior to the election of Maithripala Sirisena as President on Jan. 8. He said that 49 parties and individual organisations which had contributed to the victory of MS had agreed that the powers of the executive presidency should be reduced and not scrapped, but the UNP did not adhere to that pact. more..

Mathews banks on home support in World Cup quarter-final

Mar 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews hopes his side can feed off yet more passionate support from their fans come Wednesday's World Cup quarter-final against South Africa in Sydney. When Sri Lanka played tournament co-hosts Australia at the SCG during the pool stages, the vast number of supporters from local expatriate communities, as well as travelling fans, generated so much noise and colour it made the match more..

President instructs cancellation of 349 liquor licenses

Mar 17 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered the Excise Commissioner to cancel with immediate effect the liquor licenses issued to 349 liquor shops/bars for running them illegally, violating the rules and regulations of the Excise Act. The law prohibits the running of liquor shops within 500 metres, of temples, other religious sites and schools. President has ordered the closure of the said liquor bars having received more..

'Two legends of the modern game'

Mar 17 (CI) It's often asked if there is anything AB de Villiers cannot do. Kumar Sangakkara may have the answer. His four centuries in succession are more than anyone else has collected, and would surpass de Villiers' if this was a comparison of accumulation. But de Villiers is the record-holder for the fastest fifty, hundred and 150 in international cricket and has a range of strokes which have yet to be given names. more..

Way down home: The view from the South

Mar 17 (CT) No, this is not a trick question: What is the difference between Radhika Coomaraswamy and Romesh Hettiarachchi, both lawyers with liberal views? Radhika thinks that the Genocide Resolution passed by Chief Minister Wigneswaran and the Northern Provincial Council, read together with other recent moves and utterances such as that of ‘one country two nations’, warrants a rare critical intervention by her, on the public record, because it indicates a dangerous trend more..

Stocks up, 8% stake in Seylan Bank sold

Mar 17 (EN) Sri Lanka's benchmark stock index ended an 11-day losing steak Tuesday, closing slightly higher with turnover swelled by the sale of an eight percent stake in Seylan Bank, brokers said. They said 14 million shares of Seylan Bank changed hands at 106 rupees a share in a crossing or off-the-floor negotiated deal worth 1.47 billion rupees. The share ended at 100 rupees, up three rupees or 3%. The All Share Price Index closed at 7,057.00, up 6.09 points (0.09%) while more..

Dilshan signs for two Derbyshire stints

Mar 17 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan has become the latest Sri Lanka batsman to secure a deal in county cricket after signing for Derbyshire. His English season will be come in two spells, the first in June when he replaces Martin Guptill and then again in August and September following the Caribbean Premier League. When he returns for the second period he will be available for all Derbyshire's matches until end of the season. more..

19th Amendment: Derailing Constitutional Change

Mar 17 (Island) There is a Turkish poem the authorship of which has been attributed wrongly to many people including William Shakespeare and Bob Marley. It goes: You say that you love rain, but you open your umbrella when it rains. You say that you love the sun, but you find a shadow spot when the sun shines. You say that you love the wind, but you close your windows when wind blows. This is why I am afraid, you say that you love me too. We witnessed somewhat similar happening more..

Vanni PS polls: Fundamental rights petitions re-fixed for hearing

Mar 17 (Island) The two fundamental rights violation petitions filed by voters of two Pradeshiya Sabhas, Pudukuduiruppu and Mittiyaweli Maritimepattu, in the Vanni, were called before the Supreme Court yesterday and re-fixed for hearing on March 19, 2015. Counsel for the parties informed the court that most of the respondents had not received notice of the petition. The court at an earlier hearing suspended the election for these two Pradeshiya Sabhas till March 27, 2015. more..

Video: Weapons found in floating armoury are not state owned: Gotabhaya

Mar 17 (AD) Ex-President’s brother and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday asserted that weapons recovered from the floating armoury in the southern port of Galle are not owned by the state. While claiming that cabinet approval has been granted for the Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd and the Rakna Arakshaka Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd, Rajapaksa expressed that both local and internationally recognised more..

Crippling docs strike looms large as deadline nears

Mar 17 (Island) Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) Assistant Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said doctors’ countrywide strike scheduled for March 24 would be carried out unless action was taken to grant them the promised pay hike and increase in allowances. Dr. Herath said a special meeting on the implementation of the 2015 budgetary proposals to increase of salaries and the DAT Allowance had been held with the Health Secretary Dr. D.M.R.B. Dissanayaka last afternoon. more..

Sri Lanka condemns Pak church attacks

Mar 17 (PTI) Sri Lanka today condemned "in strongest possible terms" the deadly suicide attacks targeting Christians at two churches in Pakistan. The attacks in Lahore on March 15, killed 16 people and injured over 70 during Sunday prayers. Foreign ministry here said that the "dastardly act against a religious congregation engaged in the practice and sustenance of their faith and spiritual upliftment is not only an attack against a group and places of worship but against humanity and more..

Sri Lanka's new govt suffers first defection

Mar 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka's new govt suffered its first defection today when higher education minister quit, saying political reforms had not gone far enough. Rajiva Wijesinghe said proposed constitutional changes fell short of the promises made by President Sirisena before he was elected in January. "I do not wish to sit among ministers any longer," Wijesinghe said in parliament, calling govt's reform efforts so far disgraceful. more..

SL's top order v SA's middle order

Mar 17 (CI) 6: The number of successive knockout matches that South Africa have lost in the World Cup or Champions Trophy tournaments, dating back to the semi-final of the Champions Trophy tournament in 2000. Most recently, they lost the 2013 Champions Trophy semi-final against England, and the 2011 World Cup quarter-final against New Zealand. 7-6: Sri Lanka's win-loss record against South Africa in ODIs between the two teams since the last World Cup. more..

'Gotabhaya no Superman'

Mar 17 (Island) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was not a superman, said Minister Rauff Hakeem, in response to the challenge made by Rajapaksa during an interview that no one could do what he had done. Answering questions, SLMC Leader stressed that being the President’s brother and Defence Secretary he could use force to evict people as he wanted and an inquiry was going on in that regard. The recommendation of the inquiry would be revealed to the public soon. more..

Video: Appointment of Kshenuka, a bad precedent: JVP

Mar 17 (DM) While claiming the appointment of former External Affairs Ministry Secretary Kshenuka Senaviratne as the High Commissioner to Thailand sets a bad precedent, the JVP urged the Ministry to probe the allegations against Ms. Senaviratne. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said the UNP was in the lead of levelling charges against Ms. Senaviratne when she was the Secretary. “Today, UNP govt has appointed more..

Video: Mathews looks to make most of second home SCG

Mar 17 (CI) Flags billowing, papare music blaring, Sri Lankan chants in the stands: Australia's expatriate Sri Lankan population has turned out in numbers to support their team during the World Cup, and Angelo Mathews expects another friendly crowd at the SCG on Wednesday. Sri Lanka fans did not quite outnumber Australia supporters in the match between the two teams on March 8, but it had been a close-run thing, and the crowd had been in good voice when Sri Lanka's chase more..

CB Governor on leave for probe

Mar 17 (CG) Central bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said he’s going on leave while a committee investigates allegations that one of his family members benefited unduly from a sale of treasury bonds last month. Mahendran said by phone Monday he will hand over operations to P Samarasiri, a deputy governor, during the probe. He’ll be in Sri Lanka and will assist with the investigation, he said. “I am very clear in my mind that I have not done anything wrong,” more..

Unfazed SL target South Africa's history

Mar 17 (CI) Is South Africa's batting exceptionally good, or is it brittle? Is Sri Lanka's bowling wily or weak? The first quarter-final features two of the more schizophrenic teams of the tournament. South Africa thrashed West Indies and Ireland, hitting two 400-plus scores on the trot. But they were outplayed by India, and were upset by Pakistan's pace. Sri Lanka have made 300 with ease four times on the run. more..

National reconciliation: Church failed to make use of Pope’s visit: Fr. Emmanuel

Mar 17 (Island) President of Global Tamil Forum (GTF) Rev. Dr. S.J. Emmanuel says the Catholic Church has a crucial role to play in post-war national reconciliation process. He said that the Catholic leadership should have acted decisively as regards Pope Francis’ intervention to help bring about national reconciliation during his three-day visit to Sri Lanka. The priest asserted that the Catholic church hadn’t made use of Pope Francis’ visit to promote genuine reconciliation. more..

Sri Lanka’s industrialists face difficulties due to port truck operators strike

Mar 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s industrialist says they disapproves the ongoing strike carried out by the truck operators of the port of Colombo, bringing the import/export cargo clearance to a standstill has created an immense hardships to the trade. Sri Lanka United Lanka Container Owners Association staged the protest against allowing outside container vehicles to enter the Colombo Port was stated yesterday and continued today parking vehicles in the entry route of the Colombo Port more..

Video: CID gets statement from Danuna

Mar 17 (DM) CID recorded a statement from Danuna Thilakaratne, son-in-law of General Sarath Fonseka, according to the instructions given by the court. Danuna said he was not fully aware about allegations which were made against him. “The case against me was originally filed in 2010. But it was dangerous to reveal myself at that time. But with the current situation in the country I felt that it will be safe to appear before the court” more..

Ranil names and shames media

Mar 17 (CG) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today named and shamed some media institutions for giving the impression that the public are losing faith in the Govt. Making a special statement in Parliament on the bond issue, Wickremesinghe specifically named The Daily Mirror, The Sunday Leader and a private television station over its recent reporting. PM slammed The Daily Mirror for demanding that the Governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran resign over bond issue. more..

We're not going to choke: de Villiers

Mar 17 (CI) As South Africa gear up for the match AB de Villiers said they have been working towards for the last "two to three years," they have come to the conclusion that they have had enough. But enough in the best way possible. "There's enough laughing, there's enough stress, there's enough nerves, there's good cricket, there's enough bad cricket. We've got a mixture of everything on the team. We've just got to find a way to win tomorrow," de Villiers said. more..

Ranawaka tells CEB: Evolve or perish like dinosaurs

Mar 17 (Island) Adapting to change was the best way to survive or compete in an industry. Adage was applicable even to the CEB or it would have to perish as imperialists and dinosaurs did, said Minister Champika Ranawaka. Speaking at the launching of the Statement of Rights and Obligations of Electricity Consumers and Supply Services Codes, Ranawaka said that the CEB would not face the same fate if it adapted more..

Development should continue: JVP

Mar 17 (DM) Commenting on the Government decision to suspend the construction work on the Defence Headquarters, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva today said they were not in favour of any attempt to halt development projects. Construction work on the Defence Headquarters Complex in Battaramulla had been suspended as Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake announced that funds would not be released until the exact cost estimation of the project was clarified. more..

Mahinda to contest for PM post

Mar 17 (CG) Former President Rajapaksa has decided to contest for the post of PM under SL Labour Party at the next Parliament elections. Labour Party leader A.S.P Liyanage said that the former President had talks with his party on the matter and has also gathered support for the move from some SLFP members. Mahinda Rajapaksa had decided to contest under the SL Labour Party after failing to secure the full support of the SLFP to be the Prime Ministerial candidate of the SLFP. more..

Police investigations on Gota over Lanka Hospitals

Mar 17 (DM) Police Financial Fraud Investigation Division (PFFID) has launched an investigation into a financial fraud that is alleged to have taken place between 2009 and 2014 at the Lanka Hospitals Corporation under the chairmanship of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. PFFID informed Colombo Additional Magistrate that the investigations were based on a complaint lodged by more..

FIB grills ex-Economic Development secretary

Mar 17 (AD) The former Secretary of the Economic Development Ministry Dr Nihal Jayathilaka and former Director of People’s Leasing & Finance Mr P. Kudabalage are being questioned by the Fraud Investigations Bureau (FIB). They are being interrogated in connection with alleged financial irregularities in the Divi Neguma Development Department which comes under the Ministry of the Economic Development. Meanwhile the former Chief of Staff at the Presidential Office more..

Special discussion on poaching

Mar 17 (CG) President Sirisena is to hold a special discussion with the Govt on the issue of Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters. National Executive Council, which convene today, had decided that the issue should be taken seriously as Sri Lanka’s fishing resources are being affected. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the National Executive Council had a lengthy discussion on the issue today. “A large number of Indian fishermen poach in Sri Lankan waters. more..

Poll after April 23 under caretaker Govt: UNP

Mar 17 (AM) As this govt has no mandate to govern the country after April 22, Parliament would be dissolved soon after April 23 and a general election held under a caretaker govt Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said. The govt was confident that by then the Constitutional and Electoral Reforms would be introduced with the draconian powers of the executive presidency pruned and the proportional electoral system replaced by a more..

The Maharaja & the political media Mafia

Mar 18 (CT) The total abuse of our broadcast frequencies and airwaves by the govt and private broadcasters is a serious threat to democratic values. It is an infringement of the rights of the people. Broadcast frequencies have been allocated only on political patronage and are continuously abused for political and commercial interests. There is no space for any, truly independent media. The last govt under the dictatorial administration of President Mahinda Rajapaksa abused more..

Economics of Colombo Port City project

Mar 18 (CT) Since the formation of the coalition government, there has been an unprecedented interest in the Colombo Port City (CPC) Project, especially after the announcement by Mr Rajitha Senaratne, who is the Cabinet spokesperson of the new government, declaring that the project has received the approval of the cabinet. This announcement was contrary to the pre-election undertaking made by the coalition to cancel the CPC project under a coalition govt. more..

'They don't know English!'

Mar 18 (SO) Tension was simmering in the in the past few months in the University of Colombo. Even prior to the Presidential election, the FUTA played a vital role in assessing the role of the present Vice Chancellor Dr. Kumara Hirimburegama. FUTA was opposed to the malpractices he was involved in. They expressed their displeasure in no uncertain terms over his ability & incompetency as chief administrator more..

Love triangle winds up a wrecked tangle

Mar 18 (CT) Anusha and Malith fell in love with each other 12 years ago. The couple found each other matching and decided to be together forever. Although Malith was a divorcee with a child, Anusha did not consider that it would be an impediment to their love. Anusha was careful enough not to exhume Malith's past as he seemed extremely loving and caring. Anusha could not get the parents' consent at first but later they were convinced by Malith's way of looking after his daughter and more..

Australia’s islands of shame

Mar 18 (NS) Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott, has been teetering on his government’s proverbial plank of Immigration policy since of late. In a politically flinty speech he says that Australia was a country built on immigration and was “much the richer for it”. Scathing revelations of Human Rights abuses at Manus Island where manu asylum seekers are detained seem to punctuate right through that rhetoric, challenging the country’s draconian immigration policy. more..

Anawilundawa simmers over roofing factory

Mar 18 (NS) Villagers of Anawilundawa continue to conduct a satyagraha campaign against the construction of a roofing sheet factory in the vicinity of the Anawilundawa bird sanctuary. The residents in large numbers had also previously launched a protest led by Wilpotha Pemananda Thera opposing the factory. On March 11, the campaign reached its eighth day and for the first time a group of residents was called to more..

Can we miss the woods for the trees?

Mar 18 (Island) Whilst endorsing the suggestions made by my friend Leo Fernando in his articles published in the Island of 9th March 2015 and 14th March 2015, I venture to suggest that, notwithstanding its vociferous claims to Good Governance, the present Govt seems to be missing the woods for the trees. From 1978 to 1983 in SLIDA Leo and I struggled to impress on public servants the importance of identifying the Critical Path in analysing any Network of activities. more..

Editorial: Who won the war?

Mar 18 (Island) Half-baked democracies are characterised by their tendency to create monsters; they allow their leaders, military or otherwise, to seek self-aggrandizement and resign themselves to suffering them gladly afterwards. This is not a phenomenon peculiar to some African states ruled by savages like Idi Amin and Bokassa. This country, too, has witnessed such instances. It has pandered to the whims and fancies of some leaders, political and military, given to an exaggerated belief more..