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Employers' Federation unable to grant wage increase to plantation employees

Mar 31 (CT) General Secretary of Joint Plantation Trade Union Centre, Suppiah Ramanathan, who belongs to one of the trade unions signing the Plantation Collective Agreement, said that many amendments can be expected in the main agreement in April. Such amendments will benefit the plantation employees to cope up with their day to day expenses and will benefit their welfare needs. However, he said, that more..

Political uncertainty hits economic stability and performance

Mar 31 (ST) Political and economic uncertainties have characterised the first days of the new regime. There is confusion about the course of political developments, the period in office of the current coalition government, the composition of parties for the forthcoming election and when it would be held. These political uncertainties as well as economic policies that have not been well thought out have not been conducive to business confidence and economic performance. more..

Parliamentary election, mounting crisis, mahinda factor

Mar 31 (CT) The SLFP participation at the Ratnapura rally trumped the cooptation (National Govt) tactic of the SLFP Rightwing. The anti-Mahinda tendency of the SLFP is now caught in the coils of its own contradictions. If it follows the dictates of Chandrika Kumaratunga and facilitates the passage of the 19th amendment in its current reinforced form, it collaborates in transforming the SLFP’s new leader Maithripala Sirisena into a lame duck President, which means more..

Mahinda Samarasinghe acknowledges President's integrity

Mar 31 (CT) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe says that while in possession of all executive presidential powers, President Sirisena has said that presidential powers should be reduced. We should praise President Sirisena for that. I have not seen any world leader, who of his own volition, has sought a reduction of his powers. This actually translates into a huge victory for people who voted for him. more..

PM’s Jaffna visit and good governance

Mar 31 (Island) Much advertised three day visit of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, to Jaffna and the Northern Province has, in my opinion, raised a substantial issue with regard to good governance. This visit happened immediately after the troika’s (President Sirisena, the PM Wickremesinghe and the former President Kumaratunga) visit to Jaffna to attend the ceremony of handing over of 425 acres of land owned by the people in Kankasanturai, Myleddy and Palaly. more..

Editorial: Arming terrorists

Mar 31 (Island) Former SL diplomat Udayanga Weeratunga, who served in Russia during the tenure of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has been accused of selling weapons to separatist rebels in Ukraine. The govt has, purportedly acting on a complaint from the Ukrainian govt, undertaken to conduct a thorough probe. This is a step in the right direction. Weeratunga, a kinsman of Rajapaksa, has also been blamed for a controversial fighter jet deal which must also be probed. more..

Price cuts in essential items: For whose benefit was it

Mar 31 (SO) Consumers complain that although prices of thirteen essential food items were slashed offering budgetary relief, it has not filtered down to them. On the other hand eatery owners appear to be a disappointed lot because profit margins had dipped. According to the reduction in prices through the interim budget, sugar prices were reduced by Rs. 10, milk powder by Rs.61 per 400 g packet, more..

The 19A allows private broadcasters to legally skew elections!

Mar 31 (CT) The new clause 26 of the proposed constitutional amendment allows private broadcasters to ignore the Election Commission’s media guidelines if the broadcaster informs the EC in advance of its intention to support a particular a political party of its choice. The first version of this text even allowed the state broadcaster to take a partisan position during the election, but now the new text has limited the partisan broadcasting only to private broadcasters. more..

10 athletes for Asian Youth Athletics C'ship

Mar 31 (CT) Selection Committee of the Athletics Association of Sri Lanka (AASL) had selected ten athletes for the forthcoming first Asian youth (Under 18) Athletics Championship in Qatar from May 8-11. There were five athletes who had achieved IAAF world youth championship entry standard namely Dhammika Ranathunga (High Jump-2:10m), Chamal Kumarasiri (Triple Jump 15:17m), Darshana Rajapaksha (400m hurdle-53.81 sec), Uditha Chandrasena (400m hurdle-53:85 sec) more..

SLIM-Nielsen People’s Awards 2015 winners

Mar 31 (Island) Singer (Sri Lanka) clinched the coveted SLIM (Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing) NIELSEN PEOPLES BRAND OF THE YEAR award at the 9th edition of the event that took place last Friday at the Waters’ Edge. Dialog, LG, Samsung and Sony were the other nominees of this category. The uniqueness of the awards is that the winners were based on consumer responses rather than on a decision of a panel of judges, more..

Will Michael Jayasekera be the next SLRFU president?

Mar 31 (CT) Former Sri Lanka player and current selection committee chairman Michael Jayasekera's name is expected to be nominated for the post of president of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union. Earlier the present committee of the SLRFU was expected to be reappointed. But after the Sports Ministry decided not to give permission for re-election to any official who had served four years, the Union is expecting to call for fresh nominations for the AGM. more..

Tissa new Deputy Chairman at Lanka Hospitals

Mar 31 (FT) Senior banker Tissa Nanayakkara has been appointed as the new Deputy Chairman and Independent Non-Executive Director of Lanka Hospitals Plc with effect from 27 March. Tissa is the Senior Deputy General Manager – Retail Banking at Seylan Bank. He has over 35 years experience covering a wide range of roles at several financial institutions including two foreign banks. He has also served as the Assistant to the Consular General for the Republic of Cyprus in Sri Lanka. more..

Major milestone in SL Genomics research

Mar 31 (NS) Human Genetics Unit (HGU), Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo together with John Keells Research (JKR), a unit established by John Keells Holdings to carryout futuristic scientific research, are pleased to announce the successful sequencing of the entire genome of goda wee - an indigenous rice variety. This is the first time that such a feat in the field of science was achieved within the country. more..

Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel partially closed

Mar 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka's five star hotel Cinnamon Lakeside will be partially closed from Monday till October 2015 for urgent repairs; owners of the hotel, Trans Asia said in a statement. The statement further stated that the repairs will be completed in October 2015. "We already closed the Pool. But the restaurant area and rooms are still opened. So one part of the hotel will be closed for repairs for sometime. After opening that the other part will be closed for repairs." more..

Ceylinco Life market leader for 11th year with income of Rs. 18.54 b

Mar 31 (Island) Ceylinco Life has reported total income of Rs 18.54 billion for the 12 months ending 31st Dec 2014 with premium income of Rs 12 billion. Gross written premium income recorded an increase of 7.9% over the previous year, while investment income improved by 1.78% in the review period to Rs 6.83 billion, the company said in a filing with the Colombo Stock Exchange. The value of Ceylinco Life’s investment portfolio appreciated by 12.72% to Rs 57.2 billion, more..

Former FIFA official Manilal Fernando loses appeal against life ban

Mar 31 (Sportal) Former FIFA Executive Committee member Vernon Manilal Fernando has lost his appeal to have a lifetime ban overturned. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) have upheld Vernon Manilal Fernando's lifetime ban after the former FIFA Executive Committee member lost his appeal on Monday. FIFA imposed a life ban on Fernando in 2013 after the Sri Lankan - a close ally of Qatari football administrator more..

Orphan says priest molested her for 5 years

Mar 31 (CT) A 20-year-old girl who has allegedly been sexually abused by a Christian priest for five years has lodged a complaint to this effect with the Chettikulam Police in Vavuniya. She has said in her complaint that she had been continuously abused since the age of 15. Police said she claimed to have lost her parents in the war and she has since then been under the care of the church. The parish priest had allegedly sexually abused her since 2010. The 20-year-old girl and her guardian more..

SL Tourism tie-up with National Craft Council

Mar 31 (CT) With overall visitor arrivals clocking +11.6% as at end February 2015, In a visionary move of really powering the treasures of the country globally, Sri Lanka Tourism and the National Craft Council tied up for a unique world wide promotional tie up to be done in unison so that the real power of brand Sri Lanka can be show cased to the world. Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Rohantha Athukorala said 'with the this tie up the best handicraft artisans will have the opportunity to show case their more..

Colombo Port City project: ‘We have protection under Bilateral Investment Treaty’

Mar 31 (DN) The China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) - the Chinese company handling the Colombo Port City project - said the company had protection under the Bilateral Investment Treaty between Sri Lanka and China signed in 1986. “It is important to note that as the investor, we have protection under the Bilateral Investment Treaty,” a spokesperson for the company said when asked about legal basis more..

GMOA fires warning shot over failure to fill crucial positions of medical administrators

Mar 31 (Island) The GMOA warned that unless the Health Ministry with the concurrence of the Public Service Commission (PSC) filled around 70 senior medical administrators’ vacancies without further delay, it would be compelled to resort to trade union action soon. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Navin de Soysa, said that during the last five years some leading hospitals, including teaching hospitals had been running without duly appointed medical administrators. more..

Water filtration system from Germany with love to remote school

Mar 31 (Island) Kekuluwela Maha Vidyalaya, Dehiattakandiya has just received a new reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration System courtesy a school in Germany. Access to clean drinking water is a basic human need and a prerequisite to improving living and health standards. Aspects related to water, sanitation and hygiene have a direct bearing on a child’s education. Children are unable to reach their full potential in education, sports and aesthetic pursuits in more..

Points to link between Raj Rajaratnam and CB Governor

Mar 31 (Island) A group of Opposition political parties yesterday alleged that the circumstances under which President Maithripala Sirisena had dismissed the then Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, PC was contrary to parliamentary norms. Democratoc Left Front (DLF) leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara, MP said that President Maithripala Sirisena had arrogated to himself the powers of Parliament as well as the judiciary. more..

Central PC Chairman gets 2.5 years' RI

Mar 31 (DN) Central Provincial Council Chairman and Hewaheta SLFP Chief Organiser Mahinda Abeykoon was sentenced to two and a half years' rigorous imprisonment by Kandy High Court Judge. He was found guilty on three counts for forcibly entering a polling booth at Patha Hewaheta, Galaha during the 2001 General Election and trying to stuff ballot boxes through impersonation after threatening the election officers on duty, unlawful assembly and trying to insert forged ballot papers more..

Malini and Ranjan overcome with joy

Mar 31 (Island) Queen of the Sinhala Cinema, versatile actress Malini Fonseka said she was overjoyed over clinching the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) NIELSEN PEOPLES ACTRESS OF THE YEAR and SLIM NIELSON PEOPLES YOUTH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR joint winner awards. The renowned actress, speaking to the media on the sidelines of the ninth SLIM Awards at the Water’s Edge last Friday said that she was happy to be a part of an award given to more..

Sidath to head SLC Interim Committee

Mar 31 (DN) In govt’s bid to revamp the Sri Lanka Cricket administration, a new Interim Committee has been appointed by Minister Navin Dissanayake. After facing huge allegation on poor finance control and debt, the former elected body was dissolved by the Minister replacing a combination of past cricketers, professionals and administrators. Former Test cricketer, one time Selection Committee Chairman Sidath Wettimuny, more..

State Minister willing to join TNA if....

Mar 31 (CT) State Education Minister Velusamy Radhakrishnan said, at a simple ceremony at the opening of a state-of-the-art computer lab of Poovarasankulam Maha Vidyalaya in Vavuniya that he would join the TNA if the party was declared to be the leading opposition party and its leader nominated the Leader of the Opposition. "If the TNA receives this status I will also sit with them in the opposition and support them" he said. He observed that most MPs, especially those from more..

Police want public help to trace missing vehicles

Mar 31 (Island) CID and FFID of the Police seeks public assistance to trace the vehicles of the Presidential Secretariat which went missing during the previous govt. CID had launched a probe into missing vehicles following a complaint from the officers of PS on Jan. 14 that eight motorcycles, seven cars, two SUVs and one double cab belonging to PS had gone missing. CID had so far failed to locate the vehicles because there was no information about those who had used them, more..

Sri Lanka confronts ex-leader's extravagant projects in middle of nowhere

Mar 31 (LAT) This remote coastal scrubland, a haven for wild elephants and migratory birds that is several hours away from the nearest city, seems like an odd place to attempt to create a major commercial hub.. Yet such was the whim of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a local son who, thanks to Chinese loans, poured immense sums into pet projects during the decade he held this island nation in his grip. more..

No final decision on diaspora ban

Mar 31 (CG) The Govt says a final decision has not yet been taken on lifting the ban on some diaspora groups or individuals listed by the former Govt. Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera said that the issue is sensitive and needs to be dealt with carefully and will also need the support of Parliament. Earlier this month the Govt said it will review the ban on some diaspora groups and individuals as there is no tangible evidence to link them to the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka mulls offshore wind power plants

Mar 31 (EN) Sri Lanka's new govt wants to promote offshore wind power plants off the north-west coast in the Mannar Basin area, a senior official said. Suren Batagoda, Secretary, Ministry of Power and Energy said the move was part of a push to increase use of renewable energy and reduce emissions. Energy studies indicate Sri Lanka has potential to generate 24,000 megawatts of wind power. "Wind power capacity has not been fully developed because plant factor was only 18-20%," more..

Harsha calls for clean up in commercial bank Boards

Mar 31 (FT) Govt yesterday justified the decision to flex its shareholding muscle in commercial banks to clean up Boards of Directors tainted by improper appointments of the previous regime. “We are cleaning up the stinking mess,” Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said. He alleged that previous regime appointed individuals that were unfit, improper and had conflicting interests to Boards of commercial banks. more..

Commercial Bank unions warn against state attempts to appoint chairman

Mar 31 (EN) Workers of Commercial Bank of Ceylon have expressed serious concern over an attempt by Sri Lanka's new administration to appoint a chairman of the board using shares owned by a state managed pension fund. Association of Commercial Bank Executives and the Commercial Bank Branch of the Ceylon Bank Employees Union have asked the Central Bank's bank supervision department to halt an attempt by the state to appoint a lawyer as its chairman. more..

TNA confident in CBK headed Commission

Mar 31 (CT) TNA Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan expressed confidence in the ability of the Special Presidential Commission headed by Former President Chandrika Kumaratunge to find a suitable solution by the end of this year, to the issues confronting the Tamil people. "We have clarified to the former President all matters relating to the problems faced by the people of the North and East and urged that such issues be immediately addressed meaningfully. more..

Mystery move for cricket interim committee

Mar 31 (DM) Sri Lanka’s unsuspecting cricket fans who are sulking after a dismal performance by the national cricket team at the World Cup, will be given the perfect April Fool’s Day gift by the country’s conniving cricket officials and politicians who will take back the country’s cricket towards the much despised Interim Committee era from today. The day of appointing the new Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) interim committee is quite ironical for more..

Some are seeing the light even though its too late

Mar 31 (DM) The result of the January 8 Presidential election has been a revelation to almost all UPFA politicians. They who treated the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration as something like a divine rule now have begun to find out the wrongdoers and flaws that took place within their ranks and led to the downfall of the regime they thought would continue for ever. Wimal Weerawansa, the person now toiling hard to bring Mahinda Rajapaksa back to the helm sees Basil Rajapaksa, brother of his messiah more..

Rajapaksa is right; the govt holding back development

Mar 31 (DM) Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa in a message read in a political rally held in Ratnapura, last week alleged that the current administration has stalled development in the country. I cannot help, but agree, though grudgingly. This govt has held back the country’s development. That is already reflected in the projected growth numbers: The Asian Development Bank now says that the country’s economic growth would dip to 7% this year, from 7.4%, last year. more..

Double standards of SLFP? Mum on VC of Eastern University being a Canadian citizen

Mar 31 (CT) The questionable behaviours of Vice Chancellors in many universities in recent times have raised many eyebrows. VCs of Colombo, Uva Wellassa, Sri J'pura, Jaffna, Eastern and South-Eastern universities are/were accused of massive politicization of the universities, breaking down traditions and systems put in place, corruption and even sexual harassment. Although lecturers and students in Southern universities have been more..

'Removing Disaster Management ministry from my purview was arbitrary'

Mar 31 (DM) Currently, John Ameratunge, a senior govt Minister is much in the news even before the expiry of fifty days of the new regime, and is faced with a no-confidence motion already. In the interview with DM, much light is thrown about the crucial moments he had faced as the Minister of Public Order and Christian Affairs. Q: Have you vacated your Ministry office? A: No, I have not. I have been occupying an office that more..

Fixed prices on tea and hoppers: Too bitter a pill to swallow- traders

Mar 31 (ST) The recent decision by the Govt to impose fixed prices for a cup of tea and hoppers has not gone down well with traders, with some up-market cafes opting to ignore the regulation, and smaller boutiques deciding not to sell these items at all. Authorities have warned that the rule would be strictly enforced. “The prices of tea and hoppers were reduced because of the price reduction of gas, sugar, milk powder, electricity & kerosene oil. more..

Elephants and humans struggle to coexist

Mar 31 (SL) Elephants in Sri Lanka can have the demeanor of cranky wedding guests in a slow buffet line. They munch away at grass and leaves, kicking their heels back in annoyance at the pure white egrets standing behind them. Cross their path in a safari vehicle and you might get a raised trunk and a trumpeted warning: I’m walking here! But these feisty Asian elephants have a problem: Their turf is dwindling. more..