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Sirisena shakes Queen’s hand without gloves – Wow!

Mar 25 (CT) The post-independent period is a unique segment of Sri Lankan history where everything that ought to have happened, happened without breaking up the democratic foundations of the nation which is a remarkable achievement. In the main, the nation faced (1) two left-wing rebellions, (2) one Right-wing coup led by the Westernized elite. (3) a 33-year-old north-south conflict which began in 1976 with Tamil leadership passing the Vadukoddai Resolution, more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Enough carcinogenic evidence to ban Glyphosate, Malathion, Diazinon?

Mar 25 (Island) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a specialized cancer agency in the WHO has assessed the cancer causing particles in Glyphosate (herbicide) , Malathion (insecticide) and Diazinon(insecticide) widely used in Sri Lanka for paddy farming, tea plantation and on other subsidiary food crops. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Research Scientist Dr Channa Jayasummana said that the IARC after a long meticulous research had found that several agrochemicals widely more..

Prasanna Ranatunga will attend bring-back-Mahinda rally

Mar 25 (Island) Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga will join the bring-back-Mahinda rally on March 26th at Seevali grounds, Ratnapura. Sources close to Ranatunga said that his absence at the second pro-Mahinda rally held in Kandy due to an overseas visit triggered speculation that he abandon the movement to bring back the former President to active politics. Ranatunga is scheduled to arrive at midnight today at the BIA from an overseas visit. more..

Sri Lanka begins process to regain EU trade concessions

Mar 25 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka began the formal process on Wednesday to reapply for key trade concessions from the European Union which had earlier been suspended over various concerns. A high level delegation from the EU is currently in the island nation to discuss with the Sri Lankan govt on the GSP Plus trade concessions which had been withdrawn from Sri Lanka during the previous regime. more..

Sri Lanka concerned over high under-nutrition levels

Mar 25 (EN) Sri Lanka has done well in improving social indicators and meeting most of the UN Millennium Development Goals but lack of nutrition among children remains a serious concern, officials said. The country is lagging behind in nutritional indicators with one in five children in Sri Lanka are undernourished. A new demographic and health survey is to be done soon that will update data on nutrition levels, said Wimal Nanayakkara, Senior Visiting Fellow of the IPS, a think tank. more..

Rupee steady; Stocks at 7-month low

Mar 25 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee forwards traded steady on Wednesday as dollar inflows from remittances offset importer demand for the greenback, but trading was thin as the market awaited cues on the direction of interest rates. Actively traded two-week rupee forwards were steady at 133.75/85 per dollar at 0623 GMT. "The remittances are there and they are picking up slowly," said a currency dealer on condition of anonymity. more..

'Lack of vehicles jeopardizing MR’s security'

Mar 24 (AD) The lack of vehicles to transport the 213 security personnel assigned to Mahinda Rajapaksa has jeopardized his security, according to the former president’s Media Coordinator Mr Rohan Welivita. Referring to the security provided to Mr Rajapaksa, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the former president has been provided with two high security vehicles, one dummy vehicle, one Defender jeep, more..

Sri Lanka Softlogic puts brands under ODEL

Mar 25 (EN) Sri Lanka's ODEL, which is controlled by Softlogic, said it was buying the group's branded retailing unit for 599.9 million rupees in a move to integrate their retail assets. ODEL had bought 99.99% of Softlogic Brand (Pvt) Ltd, from Softlogic Retail (Pvt) Ltd and Dai-Nishi Securities (Pvt) Ltd. The firm said Softlogic Brands had 41,000 square feet of prime retail space in Colombo and a portfolio of 20 brands. The acquisition was made with the aim of unlocking the post-acquisition synergies more..

Historic Beach Mosque festival in Kalmunai

Mar 25 (CT) The annual historic flag hoisting festival of the Beach Mosque, popularly known as Kalmunaikkudi Kadatkarai Palli, was held amidst a large gathering of Islamic devotees on Saturday, 21 March. The colourful flags were brought in procession from Kalmunakkudi Mohideen Jummah Grand Mosque by the Trustees of the Mosque and Bawas for the music of hand drums (Rabban) and the chanting of Pakker Baith. Later, the holy flags were hoisted atop the two towers of more..

Police seek order to probe Basil

Mar 25 (CG) Police today said that they would seek a court order to bring down former Minister Basil Rajapaksa who had gone overseas soon after Presidential Elections. ASP Ruwan Gunesekara said that Basil Rajapakse was wanted for questioning over allegations of financial fraud committed by him during his term in office. Basil Rajapakse is currently under a corruption probe in the country after a complaint was filed more..

Youth Policy in family planning a must

Mar 25 (CT) This week's Health is Wealth focuses on a very important, yet, less discussed area which is sexual and reproductive health. Despite the requirement of better sexual and reproductive health services and enhanced access to information, the Family Planning Association (FPA) Director – Advocacy and HIV/AIDS Madusha Dissanayake said, several areas in the Sexual and Reproductive Health Services, in the country, needs to improve in order to provide better healthcare more..

Sri Lankans call for US $ 1.4b Chinese project to continue

Mar 24 (Xinhua) Ahead of Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena's first visit to China a local organisation called for China's largest investment project to resume, an official said. Sri Lanka-China Social Cultural Cooperation Association told reporters the US$ 1.4 billion port city project should not have been suspended. They also called on the govt to engage more productively with Chinese stakeholders in Sri Lanka. "We must be mindful of the fact that this suspension could hurt more..

Lalith-Kugan case: Rambukwella and Handunnetti summoned

Mar 25 (AD) A Jaffna court on Wednesday issued summons to former Minister Keheliya Rambukwella and MP Sunil Handunnetti to appear before court on 30 July. Jaffna Magistrate issued the order when the Habeas Corpus inquiry into the disappearance of Lalith Kumar Weeraraj and Kugan Muruganathan was taken up for hearing. The Court of Appeal earlier granted approval to hold hearing on a petition more..

Three SLFP MPs fail to turn up to accept ministerial portfolios

Mar 25 (AM) Asian Mirror reliably learns that three SLFP MPs who were due to be given ministerial portfolios on March 22 did not turn up to accept them. UPFA MPs Sumedha G Jayasena and Jayarathne Herath are among those who were not present to accept the ministerial portfolios. Speculation is rife on whether their support to former president Rajapaksa was the reason for their absence. Sumedha Jayasena recently said that former president Rajapaksa’s involvement more..

Supreme Court endorses death penalty in murder case of youths in Angulana

Mar 25 (AM) The Supreme Court today endorsed the death sentence delivered to four police officers including the former OIC of the Angulana police station, earlier handed over by the Colombo High Court. Colombo High Court magistrate Devika Tennakoon presented the decision of the Supreme Court in front of the convicts. They were given death sentence by the Colombo High Court upon conviction for several charges including the murder of two youths, Nimesh Fernando and more..

SC suspends Rs 200 million Excise Tax on spirit makers

Mar 25 (AD) Supreme Court today issued an interim order suspending the gazette notification which imposes a Rs 200 million Excise Tax on alcohol and beer manufacturers. New minimum excise tax of Rs. 200 million, aimed at reducing the number of smaller players especially in the spirits market, was introduced in the govt’s interim budget on 7 Feb 2015. Last week, a global rating agency had pointed out that the proposals to impose more..

Sri Lanka gets Chinese investors as president heads for China

Mar 25 (EN) Several Chinese investor teams are expected in Colombo this week to explore business opportunities as Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena left on a four-day official visit to China. Four separate Chinese delegations, representing different Chinese provinces, will arrive in Sri Lanka on the 26th, 27th, and the 30th of March and on April 1st, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said. The visits are arranged by its Sri Lanka - China Business Council. more..

Sri Lankan given 10 year jail term

Mar 25 (CG) A special court for Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) cases in Chennai has sentenced three persons including a Sri Lankan national to 10 years rigorous imprisonment for smuggling heroin. Judge Justin David, further imposed Indian Rs 4 lakh penalty on the three. According to the prosecution, the NCB sleuths had raids in Mannadi, Chennai on Jan 7, 2006, based on a tip. They seized 7kg heroin hidden in 9 cycle tubes and arrested Jaffarullah (40). more..

'20 Parliament committees after Polls'

Mar 25 (DM) The Govt is hoping to re-introduce the Parliamentary Committee System after the upcoming general election, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said today. He said this committee system was introduced to Sri Lanka by the Donoughmore Constitution in 1931 and it existed till 1947. Premier made these comments at a ceremony held at Temple Trees last morning to distribute motorcycles to local govt members. more..

Reserve Bank of India signs $400-mn currency swap pact with Sri Lanka

Mar 25 (PTI) The RBI today signed a $400-million currency swap agreement with Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) for three years that will allow the island nation to draw the amount in dollars or euros in multiple tranches. “The CBSL can make drawals of US dollar or euro in multiple tranches up to a maximum of $400 million or its equivalent,” RBI said. The agreement, which will be valid for three years, is expected to further economic co-operation between the two countries, it added. more..

Fonseka to continue in politics while protecting respect

Mar 24 (AD) Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka says he will continue to engage in active politics while safeguarding the respect for his new uniform. He also vowed to take a stand against any threats to the country’s security. Former army commander Sarath Fonseka was conferred the country’s highest military rank of Field Marshal for achieving the victory over terrorism. President Sirisena awarded the honourary title to retired Gen Fonseka at an official ceremony at Army Head Quarters in Colombo. more..

Video: 'I will definitely enter politics': Malaka

Mar 24 (DM) Former Minister Mervyn Silva’s son Malaka who is known to have been in the midst of several controversies said he would be entering politics from any political party willing to nominate him. “Yes I am definitely coming into politics,” he said when asked by journalists outside Colombo Magistrate’s Court. On Tuesday Malaka Silva sought a removal of the bail conditions imposed on him, after he was alleged to have assaulted more..

President appoints Ministries’ Secretaries

Mar 24 (PRIU) President Sirisena yesterday at Presidential Secretariat appointed Secretaries to the Ministries he assigned Cabinet and State Ministers on Sunday. Secretaries appointed; Mr. W.M. Bandusena - Ministry of Disaster Management; Mr. Padmasiri Jayamanne – Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs; Mr. G.K.D. Amarawardena - Ministry of Special Projects; Mr. W.J.L.U. Wijeyaweera - Ministry of Labour; Mr. W.M.V. Narampanava- Ministry of Rural Economic Affairs more..

Navy training center to be relocated

Mar 24 (AM) It has been decided to relocate the Naval Training Center in Sampur from its present location. 237 acres of land which was under the Sri Lanka Navy as a Naval Recruit Training Centre will be released back to its original owners, Eastern province Governor Austin Fernando said. At a special meeting held at the Eastern Province Governor's office in Trincomalee the governor stated that an alternative land will be given for establishing the training centre again, more..

Maithri leaves for China on visit

Mar 25 (CG) President Sirisena left for China today on a four day state visit on the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the President’s office said. The visit will be Sirisena’s second official overseas tour after assuming office as President following Presidential Elections. President Sirisena was accompanied by Ministers Mangala Samaraweera, Champika Ranawaka, Ravi Karunanayake, Rajitha Senaratne, more..

Why better circumstances evaded President’s first official visit to China?

Mar 26 (CT) The Chinese government will certainly stretch full red carpet treatment to the new Sri Lankan President when he arrives in Beijing on his first state visit to China tomorrow which spreads over five days which in itself is a rarity as far as state visits go. The anticipated warmth of the reception has more to do with the long standing cordial relations which existed between the two countries since the entering into effect the Trade and Payments Agreement of 1952. more..

Whither spirituality on Sri Lankan political leaders ?

Mar 26 (CT) The recent visit of Indian PM Narendra Modi to Sri Lanka and his advice raises an issue whether Sri Lankan politicians receive such advice with spiritual mind. His advice is based on healing of the past wounds, resulted from the internal war, and beginning of a fresh life for all, in a democratic manner. This advice in no way amounted to an interference into the domestic affairs of Sri Lanka, especially when democracy was at its peril during the previous regime. more..

Dr. Premadasa Udagama: Sri Lanka's legendary educational reformist

Mar 26 (SO) Dr. Premadasa Udagama passed away on March 19, 2015 and his funeral is tomorrow at 11.30 a.m. at Borella Cemetery. Dr. Premadasa Udagama, a legendary personality in the field of Sri Lanka education, only second to the A.W.W. Kannangara, is perhaps the most committed educator to serve the children of the poor and reduce social disparity that prevailed in education. more..

Dealing with two Asian superpowers: President Sirisena’s visit to China

Mar 26 (GV) Sri Lanka stands to benefit enormously by dealing positively with the two Asian super powers, India and China. The two countries are potential rivals. Two Asian whales may not fight but a small fish can get crushed when whales dance. Sri Lanka has to be mindful of that when dealing with the two countries. President Maithripala Sirisena will be in China this week on an official visit to hold bilateral talks with Chinese leaders and attend Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference. more..

What Queen told Maithri about Tiger protesters

Mar 26 (CT) President Maithripala revealed an interesting episode of what Queen Elizabeth told him during his recent visit to Britain to the media heads when the latter met the President last week at a breakfast meeting. When he met the Queen, the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora in London had been protesting outside. "Don't those who protest outside know that there is a new govt in Sri Lanka?" the Queen had asked Maithri. By this statement, the Queen posed two views; that she was more..

'Post-abortion care services and comprehensive sexual education is essential'

Mar 26 (CT) The Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka (FPASL) and its Director of HIV/AIDS and Advocacy, Madusha Dissanayake spoke about the importance of improving access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, the need for post-abortion care services, changing the school curriculum concerning comprehensive sexual education and educating the teachers, and the recognition of the sexual minorities. more..

Frangipani and the travails of homosexuals

Mar 26 (GV) Years ago, when only heterosexuality was legal in Australia men or women having sex with members of their own gender was a serious offence. Underpinning the law was a gamut of attitudes that cast homosexuals in the guise of abnormal, unnatural and depraved predators who deserved contempt at best and death at worst. Today there is no law against two consenting adults of the same sex doing whatever they like with each other. more..

For a long overdue sense of relief

Mar 25 (CT) The prayer service led by the visiting Pope at the Madhu Shrine in Mannar District was a grim reminder of the agony of some three thousand families, who are still searching for their loved ones. It also sent out a message of hope, that stems from 8 January ballot. For long years, the security forces used to prevent such gatherings and even entry into the Shrine compound. Two years ago, for instance, rights activists engaged in searching for the disappeared had a harrowing experience more..

War widows fish upon a star!

Mar 26 (CT) Chavatkaddu is a fishing village in Jaffna, much like any other fishing village in the area, except for one thing, their village celebrity and spokesperson is a war widow. Saila Ithayaraj, a petite an energetic woman, is well known in these areas as the widow who has been changing the lives of widows in her area through the organization Tharaka Widows Activity Centre. Tharaka (Star) at first glance is more..

Editorial: Confusion worse confounded

Mar 26 (Island) The national legislature has come to such a pass that it is unable to separate the Opposition from the govt! This situation may be described as confusion wrapped in chaos inside entropy—with apologies to Churchill. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament on Tuesday, drew a parallel between the current situation here and that in Britain during the First World War under PM Lloyd George (Liberal), who had the support of the Conservatives. more..

Bank consolidation vital: ADB

Mar 26 (DN) The banking sector consolidation is the need of the hour for Sri Lanka because it is found that SL has a large number of banks and financial institutions, a top economist said. Banking sector consolidation will help to set a strong banking sector with the merging of small entities with large institutions, ADB Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka, Tadateru Hayashi said. Under the previous govt, banking sector consolidation was made compulsory to promote a strong banking and more..

The bond issue controversy: An analysis

Mar 26 (FT) The issue of Govt bonds on 27 Feb has raised a huge controversy, involving questions as to the competence of the Govt of SL and the Central Bank of SL, and also allegations of insider dealing. Govt has been slow to respond to the public outrage the controversy has evoked. This article tries to explain the intricacies of the issues involved in this controversy. We believe that a more informed public will be better able to hold more..

New truck registration policy at Colombo port

Mar 26 (ST) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said that SLPA would take action against one of its workers responsible for the strike launched by the container lorry transporters at the Colombo port and bring in a new policy for registration of these vehicles. Without mentioning the name of the individual, minister said they had found out that this particular worker also attached to the security division of the SLPA was the mastermind behind spearheading the strike. Strike was launched against the de-registration of more..

Who is responsible for the Doom and the Gloom of our Cricket?

Mar 26 (Island) The quality of love and adoration for you was never strained as it dropped like gentle rain from heaven on to the SCG. When you took a bow and said adieu to millions of fans all over the world, they wept, unable to watch the sad spectacle that unfolded before their eyes. The debacle that the cricket team faced, the pathetic loss they encountered and the grimmest farewell that the Team gave their folk hero. He who had conquered unimaginable heights and made them feel more..