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Politicos to be arrested

Mar 22 (SL) Minister John Amaratunga says a few leading politicians will be taken into custody within next two weeks. These politicians have been alleged to have committed financial frauds, corruptions and accused of lack of transparency in State affairs. The minister said that the recording of statements from some opposition politicians has already been completed. Furthermore, the minister has instructed the IGP to carry out a comprehensive investigation into the human limbs found at more..

30 SLFP MPs join UNP-UPFA National Govt from today

Mar 22 (CT) Following a shock decision worked out in total secrecy last Friday with Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe, President Maithripala Sirisena will this afternoon swear-in 30 SLFP MPs as ministers, 15 of them with Cabinet rank and 15 others as Deputy Ministers, in a political feint that will see the promised Sirisena-Wickremesinghe National Govt coming to fruition with more than a month to elapse before more..

BMICH management to appeal damages judgment

Mar 22 (Island) BMICH management which was recently ordered by the Colombo District Court to pay Dr. Samitha Samanmali, then a medical student, who suffered serious injuries in a 2008 accident at the conference center, Rs. 180 million damages has received notice of appeal, she said on Friday. Samanmali suffered extensive injuries by a steel spar striking her when a shelter erected for the Deyata Kirula exhibition at BMICH collapsed in a storm and needed extensive treatment more..

Colombo VC asked to step down, or will be removed

Mar 22 (Island) The Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo, Dr. Kumara Hirimburegama, has been asked to step down from office, well informed sources said yesterday. He would be removed if he does not do so. They said. The suggestion that he should go had been previously made but has now been formally conveyed, these sources said. Dr. Lalith de Silva is tipped to be appointed Competent Authority for the University until a permanent appointment is made. more..

New National Govt soon, 9 portfolios likely for SLFP

Mar 22 (ST) Next week will see the birth of a National Govt with at least nine ministerial portfolios going to those in the SLFP. President Maithripala Sirisena, sources said, would thus effect a re-shuffle of existing portfolios to accommodate the newcomers. The move will ensure that both the UNP as well as those in the UPFA will vote jointly in Parliament for constitutional changes and electoral reforms thus ensuring a two-thirds majority. more..

Netanyahu and Rajapaksa: A tale of two leaders, two elections and two polities

Mar 22 (Island) I was ready to rock and write to celebrate the defeat of Benjamin Netanyahu in last Tuesday’s elections in Israel. I was joking with my friends that Netanyahu’s defeat in Israel would make me even happier than I was after the opposition victory in Sri Lanka more than two months ago. All of this was not to be. Bibi, as he is known in Israel, managed to pull victory from the jaws of defeat, different from Mahinda Rajapaksa who pulled defeat from the jaws of victory. more..

Undoing the wonton damage of the Rajapaksa period

Mar 22 (Island) Indo-Lanka relations were in the doldrums all through the MR years; they have never been worse, not even during the JR period. The factor that bedevilled the relationship in both periods was the Tamil question; furthermore one other issue each gave rise to disquiet during each of these two ‘regencies’. During the first term of JR’s presidency, Lanka’s foreign policy swung alarmingly in a pro-US direction at a time when Indira Gandhi’s Delhi was aligned with Moscow. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Mar 22 (ST) The bank details of two powerful personalities in the former regime have been handed over by the Govt to Stolen Assets Recovery Initiative (StAR) of the World Bank and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. One of them with strong family connections is known to have held US$ 530 million whilst the other, a fixer of all sorts and now in the news, held US$ 516 million. Both have had accounts in a Bank in Dubai. more..

Underwhelming outing for knockout kings

Mar 22 (CI) Sri Lanka's campaign spluttered at its beginning, with a warm-up loss to Zimbabwe and a walloping by NZ in the tournament opener. It appeared to find a middling gear through the group stage, as four consecutive scores over 300 were amassed. Then, just as they promised they would be speeding up, they drove off a cliff. Hopes for World Cup victory had been substantially tempered at home, when the team lost more..

Petition against Mohan Peiris in SC

Mar 22 (ST) The recent crisis over the independence of the judiciary has taken a new turn with two petitioners seeking an order to investigate allegations against Mohan Peiris and a change in the Supreme Court bench he appointed to hear a case filed by them. Petition filed in the SC sought an order — a Writ of Mandamus – for the Commission probing allegations of bribery and corruption to initiate action against Mr. Peiris. more..

LG bodies to go under special commissioner

Mar 22 (CT) Contrary to its previous decision, the govt has decided to place all local govt bodies, where terms expires on 31 March 2015, under a special commissioner for a period of one year, upon dissolution. Similarly, all local govt bodies where terms will come to an end on 31 July 2015 will also be placed under a special commissioner for a period of one year. Decision was announced after Commissioner of Elections, more..

Iran's Deputy FM here on Uma Oya issue

Mar 22 (CT) The Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran, Rasool Eslami arrived in Sri Lanka last Friday to engage in a discussion regarding the problems in connection with the Uma Oya Multi-Purpose Development Project which is being constructed using financial assistance provided by the State of Iran through an interest-free loan. On Friday evening the Iranian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs engaged in a discussion with more..

Criminals crawling out of woodwork

Mar 22 (CT) Change of govt following the 8 January election has seemingly put an end to the white van menace. Incidents of suspects being shot to death by the police for attempting to escape while being escorted to the places where they had hidden their weapons have also come to a halt. Hence, underworld figures have now started coming out of the woodwork to once again engage in criminal activities, without fear more..

Bond issue: Probe committee to question dealers on inside info

Mar 22 (ST) A Govt-committee probing the controversial Treasury bond issue is to summon bond dealers for questioning this week to ascertain if any party benefitted from inside information. There were also concerns on whether any party had engaged in any short selling of bonds prior to the controversial bond auction. Short selling of bonds, which is illegal, is where a party sells bonds or stock that do not belong to it. more..

China confident of resolving Colombo Port City Project dispute this week

Mar 22 (Island) Amidst preparations to receive President Maithripala Sirisena in Beijing on an official visit this week, China says that the suspension of the US$ 1.5 billion Colombo Port City Project was only a temporary setback to bilateral relations. The new Sirisena administration’s decision to suspend the project pending a review of the various approvals obtained by the investor, China Communication Construction Company, more..

Docs in showdown with govt on Tuesday

Mar 22 (ST) Over 15,000 Govt doctors island-wide are set for trade union action on Tuesday demanding authorities resolve issues related to their salaries and allowances, the GMOA said. Association Spokesman Dr. Naveen de Zoysa said the health sector will be severely affected when doctors of all hospitals, except for those on duty at the Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital in Colombo, Sirimavo Bandaranaike Children’s Hospital more..

Zeid will push to release report

Mar 22 (CG) The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein has noted that he will release the investigations report on Sri Lanka by September, even if there is a fresh push to postpone it again. Responding to a question posed by an NGO at a closed door meeting on the sidelines of the UNHRC session in Geneva, Zeid al-Hussein said that report is likely to be released two weeks ahead of more..

'Around 74,000 children affected annually by trauma and mental strain'

Mar 22 (Island) Professor Maithree Wickremesinghe said that hard facts are that women are still literally second class citizens. This phenomenon is common in the widest cross section of the social order with no identified respite in the foreseeable future. She was addressing The World Vision International Women’s Day commemoration in Colombo as the keynote speaker. World Vision circumstance brought about discrimination at work, at home, and priority areas where women were virtually second class more..

Recharging groundwater for enhanced water quantity and quality

Mar 22 (Island) Wisdom of King Parakaramabahu the Great was such that centuries before phrases such as climate change or recharging ground water came into vogue, the farsighted monarch knew that not a single drop of water should be allowed to flow to the sea without using it for human benefit. Centuries before the world came to talk of water and sustainable development at global forums, our own dahasak wewu bendi rata or the dry zone of the island with thousands of reservoirs more..

19A and electoral reforms run into a storm

Mar 22 (CT) Political parties within the coalition govt and the opposition seem to be caught in deep under water currents over the constitutional changes and electoral reforms. Division of opinion to agree on these key issues now seem to crack the pledge of the 100-day programme put before the people to obtain the mandate last January to rule the country. President Sirisena and govt drew up the programme with several more..

Colombo Stock Exchange get two directors

Mar 22 (EN) Lal Nanayakkara, a senior accountant and Anton Godfrey, who head a company with an international presence have been appointed directors of the Colombo Stock Exchange. Nanayakkara was a former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka in 1997 and has been board member of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Anton Godfrey is the founder and chairman of AGXA an AG International Company, which has a Australia, Singapore, more..

D.S. Senanayake: An unparalleled colossus

Mar 22 (Island) Mr. D.S. Senanayake, a name most revered and more valued with time now, more than ever acknowledged as an unparalleled colossus, is remembered today (22), the day on which 63 years ago he died after falling off a horse on Galle Face green stunning this entire island nation and plunging its people in grief. A memorial event to honour the great man will be held today at Independence Square. The father of the nation was born on Oct 20, 1884 and died on Mar 22, 1952 more..

A neglected discipline comes to haunt SL

Mar 22 (Island) What was the worst fielding side in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015? Was it Sri Lanka or Pakistan? Both teams did some costly mistakes on the field and in the end paid a heavy price crashing out without reaching the semi-finals. Pakistan’s fielding during their quarter-final fixture against hosts Australia was horrendous. Wahab Riaz bowled his heart out in Adelaide and could have won it for Pakistan if not for more..

AAC urges use of rear seat belts for passenger safety

Mar 22 (Island) The Automobile Association of Ceylon (AAC) has urged the authorities to enforce the use of rear seat belts on motor vehicles for safety and to reduce injuries and fatalities. In spite of the use of seat belts by the driver and the front passenger, the other passengers in the rear seats are also vulnerable to danger, says Dhammika Attygalle, President, AAC and member, National Council for Road Safety. Motor accidents mostly happen due to human weakness or error. more..

Investigation launched on foundation run by Basil Rajapaksa's wife

Mar 22 (AM) Financial Fraud Investigation Unit has launched an investigation into Pushpa Rajapksa Foundation, a NGO run by Pushpa Rajapksa, the wife of former SLFP National Organizer Basil Rajapaksa, over an alleged deposit of US $ 150,000 which is suspected to be owned by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. Police filed a facts report before Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage in this regard and the Magistrate permitted them to obtain bank account details over the alleged deposit more..

President halts all police transfers

Mar 22 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered to halt all police transfers with immediate effect. On 08 March, several high-ranking police officers including four Deputy Inspector Generals (DIGs) and 18 Senior Superintend of Police (SSP) were transferred with immediate effect. Three days later, several top police officers including three SSPs, 21 ASPs and seven OICs were also transferred. more..

Sri Lanka arrests 54 Indian fishermen

Mar 22 (Hindu) As many as 54 Indian fishermen have been arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly poaching in island’s waters off the coast of Kankesanturai and Talaimannar in the north. Sri Lankan Naval spokesman Commander Indika Silva said that 21 fishermen were arrested and five boats were seized at Kankesanturai while the rest of them on another five boats were arrested at Talaimannar last night. They were being brought to respective fisheries inspection offices for further action, more..

Book Review: This Divided Island

Mar 22 (HP) This Divided Island by Indian journalist Samanth Subramanian is a unique blend of narrative nonfiction, memoir and research. Subramanian moved to Sri Lanka in 2011 and this book is a product of his extended stay on the island nation during that time. Subramanian does a nice job of capturing life in post-war Sri Lanka. He manages to blend a range of personal interviews with the country's political history. He's an ethnic Tamil, but his book is consistently balanced. more..

Dual citizenship back after 4 years

Mar 22 (ST) Those who wish to apply for dual citizenship would be able to do so once again from tomorrow on a new criterion, Minister John Amaratunga said. The facility was suspended four years ago “More than 300 people had applied under the previous regulations and paid the required fees. Their applications too would be assessed along with the new applicants,” he said. Fee for an adult applicant has been brought down to more..

Weerawansa says President Sirisena turned SLFP into tail of UNP

Mar 22 (AM) President Maithripala Sirisena converted the SLFP to the tail of the UNP govt by giving SLFP MPs ministerial portfolios, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa said. He said that by entering the govt, SLFP MPs have betrayed the social forces that supported them. Maithripala Sirisena was not elected president through the votes of SLFP members, Weerawansa stressed, adding that he was elected by the likes of Ranil Wickremesinghe, R. Sampanthan, Rauff Hakeem, more..

Ministries to train, absorb Graduate Dev. Offiers in PS, local govt. offices: PM

Mar 22 (ST) Graduates recruited as Development Officers to Pradeshiya Sabha’s and other local govt offices, will be trained and recruited into several line ministries, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. The PM told Parliament some 52,000 graduates recruited by the former Economic Development Ministry will be guided by the Public Administration Ministry and trained under Ministries such as Housing and Samurdhi, Social Services and Welfare and Children’s Affairs. more..

Farmers wilt under paddy prices

Mar 22 (ST) Observing at midday on Monday an overcast sky that threatened to wash away his hard work this Maha season, farmer H. Karunadasa decided to sell his paddy to a private mill owner, S.M.M. Seeras. Sifting though Mr. Karunadasa’s paddy sample, the private mill owner claims that the moisture level is too high. When asked what price he could offer, he ponders for a moment and says although paddy is too wet more..

500 students and educators benefit from Educate to Protect

Mar 22 (Island) Determined to go ahead with its child’s rights mission against child abuse in Sri Lanka, and to continue to give voice to the voiceless who experienced the horrors of child abuse, Educate to Protect commences a new school semester for academic year 2014-2015 at Gonsalvez Maha Vidyalaya School in Pamunugama in the Western Province. Approximately 500 school children ages 13-18 years old and some 24 Educators received an intensive awareness sessions more..

Did Sri Lankan trio hang on too long?

Mar 22 (SMH) It has been said of the great West Indies cricketer Viv Richards that he should have quit the international game two years before he did. Richards, who made his debut in India in 1974, retired in 1991, after having been West Indies captain for about six years. But after 1989, he was never the dominating batsman he had been over his entire career; his reflexes appeared to have slowed and his temper sometimes got the better of him. Something similar could be said about more..

Instead of going to India, why not Sri Lanka?

Mar 22 (HP) I admit; I have always wanted to go to India, but have been a bit intimidated. So, when I was given the opportunity to go to Sri Lanka, the neighboring country, I jumped on it. Sri Lanka is feast for all senses, whether it comes to nature, architecture, culture, historic sites, culinary experiences, or design. So is India. Where India might be the "more exotic" destination, Sri Lanka is oddly both less intimidating for Westerners more..

Rameswaram fishermen to indefinitely boycott fishing

Mar 22 (OI) Demanding release of their 54 colleagues arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy, fishermen in this coastal town today decided to indefinitely boycott fishing in protest over the incident. Fishermen Association president N Devadoss said the strike would continue till the release of the fishermen, who were arrested for allegedly poaching in the island nation's waters off the coast of Kankesanturai and Talaimannar yesterday. They asked Sri Lankan fishermen more..

Rajarata undergrads agitate for solutions to their academic and welfare problems

Mar 22 (ST) Hundreds of undergraduates from four Faculties of Rajarata University marched from their hostels and staged a protest this week on the main road in front of the University in Mihintale, demanding solutions for the academic and welfare issues that beset them. The protest was organised by the Students’ union (Maha Shishya Sangamaya). Students’ union President, Lahiru Weerasekera explained to the media that undergraduates of Rajarata University suffer greatly more..

General Fonseka made Field Marshal

Mar 22 (ENS) Gen. Sarath Fonseka, Sri Lanka’s army chief during the 2006-2009 Eelam War IV, has been made Field Marshal in recognition of the pivotal role he played in defeating the dreaded LTTE. President Maithripala Sirsena conferred the title on him at a ceremony here on Sunday. Fonseka is the fourth South Asian General to be made Field Marshal, others being General Sam Maneckshaw & K.M. Cariappa of India, more..

Waiting for the next demon

Mar 22 (LT) Speaking to a weekend newspaper the Member of the committee to draft the 19th amendment to the Constitution President’s Counsel Jayampathy Wickremeratna has said abolishing powers of executive presidency and making changes to the electoral system are not bound to each other. He said carrying out both moves together would be ideal but would not be possible, it was not necessary to wait for both to be implemented at once and postponing one more..

Govt to return 233 acres in Jaffna

Mar 22 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga will be jointly associated in an event in Valalai, Jaffna, tomorrow, at which 233 acres of land will be handed over to internally displaced persons for resettlement. The land demarcated for release for resettlement tomorrow, Monday, 23, had been within a High Security Zone area for nearly 25 years because of intensified military operations in the Peninsula. more..