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Applewatte was born of rotten apples

Mar 3 (CT) A community that is shunned and neglected. Usually hidden in the heart of a city, shadowed by plush high-rise buildings and grandiose development that screams equality by creating an illusion of a decent living guaranteed to each citizen. Slums are considered an eyesore that is carefully shoved under the carpet of superficial development. According to UN-Habitat statistics which was updated as recently as more..

Female doc accused of violence at top class hotel

Mar 3 (Island) A female employee of a leading private company has complained to the police that she was attacked by a female surgeon at a Colombo hotel on Saturday around 10.15 p.m. The suspect had not been arrested until yesterday morning the victim said. SSP Ajith Rohana, contacted for comment, said the doctor had been arrested and released on police bail yesterday. The suspect’s mother, too, had lodged a complaint that she had been assaulted by a man there, SSP said. more..

WikiLeaks: By improving SL Navy’s ability, US will help to bring terrorist LTTE to heel

Mar 3 (CT) “As extensive embassy reporting has discussed, the political, economic, military and security environment in Sri Lanka has undergone dramatic changes since the 5 dec 2001 parliamentary elections which brought a new govt to power. The GSL and LTTE have signed a ceasefire MoU as a prelude to talks (o/a may 27) aimed at ending nearly two decades of brutal civil war. Feelings of optimism and hope have swept over this troubled island. The fighting has stopped, and more..

Politics is not my game: Sanga

Mar 3 (DM) Kumar Sangakkara said he was in no way interested in entering politics now or in the future as reported in the social media. “These stories are completely baseless and are just irresponsible rumours. As I have stated in the past, I have absolutely no interest in entering politics now or in the future. Please ignore these stories,” he commented in his Facebook page. The following is his full comment: more..

Stocks fall to 3-wk closing low

Mar 3 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks fell to a three-week closing low on Tuesday and marked their third straight session of losses due to a rise in market interest rates. The central bank raised yields on treasury bills between 86 basis points and 91 basis points at a weekly auction on Tuesday. It scrapped a lower repo penalty rate of 5% from Monday, five months after it adopted the measure to boost credit growth. Main stock index ended 0.13%, or 9.48 points, down at 7,234.92, lowest close since more..

TNA is to discuss 13A with Modi

Mar 3 (CG) TNA said that it will seek to discuss the devolution of powers to the provinces when it meets with Indian PM Narendra Modi in Sri Lanka. Modi is scheduled to visit SL on March 13, his first since taking office last year and which will also be the first bilateral visit by an Indian PM to SL in over 25 years. India has been backing devolving powers to the provinces in Sri Lanka under an agreement reached between India and Sri Lanka in 1987 as part of a solution to the ethnic conflict. more..

UN notes a trust deficit in Sri Lanka

Mar 3 (CG) The United Nations says there is still a wide trust deficit between communities in Sri Lanka, especially between the Tamil and the Sinhalese. UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said the UN has encouraged the national leaders and political stakeholders to work on all of these issues in the spirit of inclusion and consultation. “Inclusion requires that all communities be willing to more..

Snr. DIG Senanayake’s name cleared

Mar 3 (Island) Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana yesterday said Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police Anura Senanayake had never tried to hush up investigations into the killing of Biyagama Village owner Bernard Jayaratne in 2012. In answer to a question from a journalist, the SSP said: "It is good that media highlight crimes and expose criminals but they should be mindful of the fact that erroneous reporting could ruin a person’s reputation. "Senior DIG Senanayake was never suspected of more..

WC 2015: South Africa beat Ireland

Mar 3 (CI) Just another day with 400 scored in a one-day international. Twice in two innings South Africa have now crossed the milestone, this time anchored by hundreds from Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis, as they overwhelmed Ireland by 201 runs which did severe damage to their net run rate, which could be a factor in quarter-final qualification. Given the margin it is stretching the point to suggest one dropped catch changed the game, but Ireland found out how costly it can be more..

India, Sri Lanka to revive fishing talks

Mar 3 (PTI) Sri Lanka accepted India’s request to revive talks between the fishing communities of the two countries, days ahead of PM Narendra Modi’s first visit to the country. Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Y K Sinha on Tuesday met Fisheries Minister Joseph Michael Perera and asked for the revival of talks between the representatives of the fishing communities. “In talks today Indian High Commissioner requested more..

CEB reaps Rs. 212 million from power pirates

Mar 3 (Island) CEB has earned more than Rs. 212 million (Rs 212,777,977.03) last year from countrywide raids against power pirates. Of that amount, the CEB has recovered Rs 21 million through court fines and the remaining Rs. 191 million as recovery of losses, Power and Energy Ministry said. There had been 3,199 incidents of illicit tapping and meter tampering during the period under review. Of this, 2,077 were related to meter tampering and 1,122 illicit tapping, more..

ITAK pushes govt: Seeks immediate political solution to Tamil issue

Mar 3 (CT) The ITAK passed a resolution, at the party's central committee meeting, urging the govt to find an immediate solution to the national question. ITAK has passed various other resolutions too, to be implemented immediately. Accordingly, the party passed resolutions to urge the new govt; to consider releasing the lands of Tamil people in the North and the East, also the release of all political prisoners and to strengthen the investigation into missing persons, in keeping with the promises more..

Sri Lanka waiting for opportune time to raise up to $1.5 bln bond

Mar 3 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is waiting for the right time to launch a sovereign bond of up to $1.5 billion, possibly with a longer tenure to roll over its debts in 2015, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said on Tuesday. Island nation's last sovereign bond of $500 million was priced at a yield of 5.125 percent in April 2014. "Now that inflation is coming down, I see no reason why we won't get a better rate of interest," Mahendran said. more..

Prof. J.N.O. Fernando dead

Mar 3 (Island) Eminent Chemist, Scientist, Academic and Science Administrator Prof J.N.O. Oleap Fernando died yesterday at a private hospital in Colombo after a brief illness. He was 68. He was educated at Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa, S. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia, the University of Colombo and Imperial College, London. Fernando joined the University of Peradeniya as an assistant lecturer in Chemistry and then University of Colombo. After training in radio isotopes at more..

Prof. Bandaranayake no more

Mar 3 (Island) Internationally reputed archaeologist and academic, Prof. Senake William Bandaranayake, passed away in his sleep yesterday. He was 76. Prof. Bandaranayke graduated from Bristol University, UK and later obtained his PHD from the University of Oxford. Subsequently, he obtained a prestigious postgraduate degree from the Institute of Archaeology, University of London. He served as a Faculty member at the University of Kelaniya more..

Video: Mattala to be closed at night

Mar 3 (DM) Aviation Minister said that Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) would be shut down in the nights. Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said they would have to take such a step as Mattala did not generate any income. "We are having discussions to close Mattala Airport during the night. The govt has to spend about Rs. 250 million for maintenance. This maintenance has to be done at the cost of our tax payers," he said. more..

Prasanna to be flown in as cover for Herath

Mar 3 (CI) Legspinning allrounder Seekkuge Prasanna will be flown to Australia as cover for the injured Rangana Herath, SLC has said. Herath required four stitches on his spinning finger, which was split as he attempted to take a return chance in England's innings on Sunday. He was withdrawn from the attack, and has since been assessed by doctors in both New Zealand and in Sydney, where the team arrived on Monday. "Rangana's wound is expected take 7-10 days to heal," more..

Ex female LTTE leader arrested

Mar 3 (CG) A former top LTTE Sea Tiger women’s wing leader has been arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport while she was about to leave for France. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that the Terrorist Investigations Division (TD) of the police had launched investigations over reports that Murugesu Bairahi had arrived in Sri Lanka. The 41 year old former Sea Tiger was arrested by the TID yesterday when she was preparing to leave the country. more..

Bharatha Killing: Duminda, 12 others indicted

Mar 3 (DM) UPFA MP Duminda Silva and 12 others were today indicted in the Colombo High Court on 17 charges in the killing of former presidential advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and four others at Walpola, Mulleriyawa in 2011. The 12 others also indicted by the Attorney General were: Anura De Mel, Chandana Jagath Kumara, Chaminda Jayanath, Lanka Rasanjana, Malaka Sameera, Vidanagamage Amila, more..

Group hoist Sinhale flag at Magul Maduwa, Kandy

Mar 3 (AM) A tense situation was reported a short while ago when a group of people including few Buddist monks, tried to remove the Sri Lankan National Flag hoisted inside of Sri Dalada Maligawa by force. Instead of the Lion Flag the mob tried to hoist the Sinhale Flag near Magul Maduwa (Assembly Hall) at Dalada Maligawa. Magul Maduwa is the place where the Kandyan Convention was signed in 1815. 200 years ago, on that day (Mar 2, 1815) Wariyapola Sumangala more..

JVP urges extension to closing date of A’ Level applications

Mar 3 (Island) JVP teachers’ union urged the Examinations Department to extend the closing date of applications for the GCE A/L exam 2015 as thousands of students were still awaiting the GCE OL mathematics results. General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union (CTSU) Mahinda Jayasinghe said that according to a decision taken by then Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena, students who failed Mathematics at GCE (O/L) Exam got an opportunity enter A/L classes more..

Video: Probe violation of Kandyan Convention: BBS

Mar 3 (DM) The BBS organisation today urged the govt to launch a domestic probe on the violations of the 1815 Kandyan Convention, the ransacking of the national heritage and the unethical conversion of Buddhists by the British. “It has been 200 years since the signing of the convention, which was severely violated by the British. We urge the govt to probe these violations and also the massacre of the people in the country by the British,” more..

Don’t make statements that distract investigations: Ranil

Mar 3 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today stressed the need to refrain from making statements which deter the investigations into fraud and corruption and the establishing of good governance. President and PM had directed the authorities to conduct investigations into the activities of Avant Garde impartially and independently and arrest those found guilty of any misdeeds. Mr. Wickremesinghe pointed out that people who were keen to establish a new political culture in more..

Bank robbed by gunmen in face-covered helmets

Mar 3 (DM) Two armed motorcyclists wearing full-face helmets have robbed Rs.1 million from a private bank at Attidiya in Ratmalana today. Police said the men had assaulted the security guard and escaped on their motorcycle after grabbing the money from the cashier. Bank workers said they were threatened by the men and the security guard had been hospitalised after sustaining serious injuries to his head. Police said that the motorcycle had already been identified and a special investigation more..

SLFP politicos barred from attending other party rallies

Mar 3 (AD) Central Committee of SLFP has decided to prohibit people’s representatives of the party from participating in public rallies organized by other political parties, without approval from the party. In a statement, SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa says that the central committee has also decided to prevent the people’s representatives of the party from acting on their own accord and more..

Two nation claim by Chief Minister Wigneswaran

Mar 4 (CT) It became known as the Two Nation theory. That was the basis on which Jinnah fought for and obtained the partition of India and Pakistan, with all the carnage that entailed. The two nation theory thus became a dirty word in neighboring India. Chief Minister CV (“Genocide Judge”) Wigneswaran has just enunciated it in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena on the latter’s first post-election visit to Jaffna. Of course, in order to be fair by Chief Minister Wigneswaran, more..

China’s challenges after regime change in Sri Lanka

Mar 4 (CT) China’s ambition to further its interests in Sri Lanka has suffered a setback after people elected the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena as President in preference to two-term President Rajapaksa in the election held in Jan 2015. China is probably familiar with President Sirisena as he had served as a senior minister and close aide of Rajapaksa during the last ten years. He was high in the hierarchy and served as the defence minister when more..

Right to Information Act: Govt under microscope

Mar 4 (CT) The proposed draft bill of the Right to Information Bill while providing access to people for their right to information has imposed restrictions on certain sensitive areas such as defence, national security and personal privacy. However, the Act has recommended to revise the existing constitutional provision on freedom of expression with the replacement of the existing Article 14 (1) (a) ensuring that every person more..

Short-term expediency unavoidable: Long-run economic governance imperative

Mar 4 (ST) Much of the criticism of the interim budget has been based on it being a populist budget owing to its price reductions, relief measures, salary increases and some new taxes. The interim budget must be viewed within the context of a political strategy to defeat a regime that was characterised as corrupt and autocratic, and one that had made the country heavily indebted. The strategy to overthrow the former regime had to have an economic appeal. more..

UNHRC Resolution 25/1 and the new charge of genocide

Mar 4 (ST) In case the UNHRC’s decision to postpone its report on alleged Sri Lankan war crimes gives the mistaken impression that the movers of the Resolution 25/1 have become more accommodating, it would be useful to take a closer look at their reasons for acceding to the request for deferral, and for the keen interest shown by its key architects, the US and the UK, in Sri Lanka. Three days before Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera requested the UNHRC to delay the report, more..

'Consensus a must for constitutional amendments'

Mar 4 (CT) President's Counsel and constitutional expert, Dr. Jayampathi Wickremeratne who is assisting in the formulation of the draft amendments to the constitution to prune the presidential powers and other connected changes stressed the need to reach consensus among all parties to make those amendments a reality. Q: The draft constitution set forth by the govt does not include the electoral reforms. more..

De Lanerolle Brothers pledge support to UMT

Mar 4 (NS) A familiar name to music lovers in Sri Lanka and across the world – Rohan and Ishan De Lanerolle have without doubt carved out a firm niche for themselves, and in the hearts of fans as part of the contemporary Sri Lankan music scene. With a journey beginning in 2009, the De Lanerolle Brothers with their wide-tonal range and perfect harmony in performance have since climbed from height to height with their portfolio. Sell-out performances on Sri Lankan stages is just more..

Private sector gets step-motherly treatment

Mar 4 (NS) This month public sector workers were able to reap the benefits given by the interim budget of 2015 with rupees 5000 being added to their salaries by way of an allowance. However in his budget speech Minister Ravi Karunanayake merely requested private sector employers to increase salaries by rupees 2500 thereby helping the national program. However JVP WPC Member K.D. Lalkantha accused the govt of not initiating a proper basis for a salary increase on behalf of more..

'Colombo harbour land fill cannot be reversed'

Mar 4 (CT) Institute of Quantity Surveyors Sri Lanka has over 3,000 members including 200 chartered members, 50 fellows, while others are students and technical members. President of the Institute Chartered Quantity Surveyor Nishantha Wickramasinghe spoke about issues facing the construction industry, quantity surveyor education, the impact of the Port City Development Project and the future of the profession. more..

'Banks, businesses should reorganise, restructure'

Mar 4 (DM) Sri Lankan banks and businesses should be dynamic and adapt to the existing environment which is here to stay despite any political changes, according to a head of a leading Sri Lankan bank. “Overall in the medium and long term, we believe that the Sri Lankan businesses as well as the banking industry should prepare themselves. Should restructure and reorganize to adapt to this changing environment of low interest rates and fairly stable exchange rates,” more..

Changing nature of the party system in SL

Mar 4 (Island) The presidential election in January, 2015 illustrated that the Sri Lankan national electorate has changed substantially over the last four decades but the long term political effects of this remarkable change are still unpredictable. Some attention needs to be paid in the context of the massive historic victory of Maitripala Sirisena who has now emerged as the Sri Lanka’s most formidable politician with an equally powerful all island mass political base. more..

The Immunity of Diplomatic Passports

Mar 4 (NS) Passports or rather diplomatic passports is a term which attracted much attention in the media in the last few weeks when former Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s wife, Shashi Weerawansa was taken into custody for improperly obtaining a diplomatic passport and presenting forged documents. Later a travel ban was imposed by the Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya preventing her from leaving the country. more..

Editorial: Worm struggling to turn

Mar 4 (Island) A group of estate workers took to the streets in Matale last Sunday, demanding that their basic rights be respected. An organiser of the protest said they had been treated like slaves since colonial days. One cannot but agree with him. Estate workers’ legitimate rights are usually subjugated to the political interests of their union leaders who act as kingmakers by leveraging their votes. They have got some benefits in return for the block votes they deliver to the parties of their leaders’ choice, more..

GAAM launches third fund

Mar 4 (CT) Guardian Acuity Asset Management, (GAAM) a joint venture between Acuity Partners and Ceylon Guardian Investment Trust, yesterday launched its third fund named GAAM Money Market Gilt Fund, which would invest in short-term govt securities where the risk level was low. The fund will strategically invest in a diversified portfolio of short-term govt securities in order to maximize the fund yield for a lower level of risk. GAAM is a joint venture company with a 50% equity stake each from more..

Fitch: Tax proposals credit negative for Sri Lanka Telcos

Mar 4 (Reuters) One-off and recurring taxes on the SL telecoms sector as set out in the interim budget proposals on 7 Feb, raise regulatory risks and would lead to lower profitability and higher financial leverage for Sri Lankan telcos, says Fitch Ratings. Agency has revised its outlook on the sector to negative from stable. If enacted, we believe the proposals may hasten consolidation as two loss-making smaller operators could exit more..