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Speaker gets tough, says he must be informed of any arrest of MPs

Mar 4 (FT) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday reiterated that he should be kept informed of any arrests of MPs. Responding to the guidance sought by Deputy Minister of Justice Sujeewa Senasinghe, the Speaker made it clear that the Parliamentary (Powers and Privileges) Act No. 21 of 1953 and the directives his predecessors followed should be followed. “As per Section 1 of Parliamentary Act No. 21 of 1953 no member can be arrested unless he violates the act. more..

Colombo Dockyard profits down 38%

Mar 4 (EN) Colombo Dockyard said December 2014 quarter net profit fell 38% to 174 million rupees from a year ago with annual profits also lower as the prolonged slump in shipping took its toll. Earnings per share for the quarter were 2.43 rupees. Sales fell 16% to four billion rupees in the quarter from a year ago while cost of sales rose 20%, the yard, a unit of Japan's Onomichi Dockyard Company, said. Interim accounts filed with SEC showed ship repair profits improved only marginally more..

Video: Rathana Thera disappointed

Mar 4 (DM) The chairman of the JHU and convener of the Pivithuru Hetak organization, the Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said he was disappointed that the govt was not keeping the promises it had made to the people before the presidential election. Ven thera said that the govt had failed to punish fraudsters and those who had misused public property and been involved in large scale corruption. more..

TN fishermen crossing IMBL to be fined

Mar 4 (Hindu) Meenava panchayatars, a representative group of fishermen belonging to the coastal villages of Karaikal, have decided to impose a fine of Rs.50,000 on boat owners whose vessels cross the International Maritime Boundary Line. Decision was taken by the Meenava Panchayatars of Karaikalmedu, Kilinjalmedu, Keelakasakudimedu, Kottucherrymedu, Akkampettai, Kalikuppam, Manadapathur, Karukalacherry, Pattinamcherry, Keelavanjiur, Mathakadi and Karaikal more..

German official to visit Sri Lanka

Mar 4 (CG) A top German official is to visit Sri Lanka for talks with the Government and other officials, the German Embassy in Colombo said. Ambassador Peter Pruegel, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific at the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs will visit Sri Lanka from 9 to 13 March, 2015. During his visit Ambassador Pruegel will discuss bilateral and regional issues with the Sri Lankan Govt, the Opposition, religious leaders and civil society. He will also travel to Jaffna and Mannar for more..

Video: Ethanol continues to flow

Mar 4 (DM) A large consignment of ethanol illegally imported from Thailand and valued Rs.1,680,000 had been seized at the Orugodawatta Custom’s Warehouse, Customs Spokesman Leslie Gamini said. The 20 foot container which had 16,000 liters of ethanol, had been imported by a company based in Ratmalana from Thailand on Feb 5. The consignment was declared as Calcium Hypochlorite Granular more..

Ranil jokes on uniting 3 leaders

Mar 4 (CG) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today joked about attempts to create unity within the SLFP by getting President Maithripala Sirisena, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga to work together. Speaking in Parliament, the Prime Minister said he extends his fullest support to create friendship between the three SLFP leaders. “I give my fullest support,” the Prime Minister said to the laughter of others in the govt. Sirisena is currently the chairman of SLFP more..

Watford Costco car park death: Man admits manslaughter

Mar 4 (BBC) A man has admitted killing a shopkeeper who fell from a moving van in Watford. Prasanna Arulchelvam, 34, was found with head injuries at a Costco store car park in the town in May 2013 and died 11 days later. Michael McInerney, 33, of no fixed address, denied murder but the prosecution at Luton Crown Court accepted his guilty plea to manslaughter. Two men were jailed in October for Mr Arulchelvam's manslaughter. Mr Arulchelvam, known as Nick, more..

SF calls on people to create atmosphere of trust to combat separatism

Mar 4 (FT) General Sarath Fonseka stated that the majority in the country needed to assume the responsibility of creating an environment of trust in order to combat ideas of separatism while slamming politicians for stirring racial tensions to gain political advantages. General made these comments while conducting a forum at the Kingsbury Hotel under the theme The Untold Story by General Fonseka, which recounted in detail the final Eelam War. more..

Opposition fears deal with India

Mar 4 (CG) The opposition raised fears of a secret deal between Sri Lanka and India where Indian fishermen will be allowed to poach in Sri Lankan waters. National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa said that the deal is expected to take effect after the General elections. He claims that according to the deal, both India and Sri Lanka have agreed to share fishing resources in order to settle the Indo-Lanka fishing dispute. “We are going to question the Govt on this,” he said. more..

Sajith allocates Rs1M to develop villages

Mar 4 (CT) Minister of Housing and Samurdhi, Sajith Premadasa, said he will allocate Rs 1 million towards developing villages. He added the 100-day programme will give precedence to programmes that would uplift the livelihood of the downtrodden community. He made this comments at the Sahana Diriya programme where 180 individuals were presented loans of Rs 100,000 in Lunugamwehera. He also said he will support the farmers' association in Lunugamwehera. more..

Top UN political official urges Sri Lanka to seize historic moment for reconciliation

Mar 4 (UN) The UN will stand with the people and leaders of Sri Lanka as the country forges ahead along the path to reconciliation, the Organization’s top political official said, as he voiced encouragement at the Govt’s ongoing commitment to promote accountability and human rights following the three decade-long civil war. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, applauded SL for its democratic elections more..

Only one dermatologist per 3,500 skin patients!

Mar 4 (Island) A health crisis has arisen in the National Hospital skin diseases clinics, OPDs and wards as only one skin disease specialist has to treat 3,500 patients. Out of three skin disease specialists, two consultants had retired recently, without replacements, All Ceylon Medical Officers’ Association (ACMOA) alleged. ACMOA General Secretary Dr. Jayantha Bandara said the NHSL was supposed to have at least 5 to 6 consultant dermatologists to attend to skin diseases more..

Kindelpitiya writes to IGP: ‘Former Police Spokesman tarnished my image in 2010’

Mar 4 (Island) Western Provincial Council member of the Democratic Party, Susil Kindelpitiya requested Inspector General of Police N.K. Illangakoon to inquire from former Police Spokesman Prishantha Jayakody the names of the politicians and officers who had remanded him for 70 days on false charges. His letter to the IGP states that he was arrested on April 02, 2010 for having a weapon in his vehicle, a few days prior to the General Election of April 08, 2010. more..

SLFP bans elected members from attending bring-back-MR rallies

Mar 4 (Island) SLFP had banned its MPs, Provincial Councillors or local govt members from attending pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa rallies organised by other political parties in the UPFA without prior approval, SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. He said that the SLFP Central Committee had prohibited elected SLFP representatives from issuing statements to media without party approval. more..

Pakistan Naval Ship arrives in Trincomalee

Mar 4 (SLN) Pakistan Naval Frigate “Zulfiquar” arrived at the Port of Trincomalee on a goodwill visit on 03rd March 2015 for 3 days. It is 123 meters in length and has got a complement of 303 personnel. The ship was ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on her arrival. The ship’s Commanding Officer Captain Amir Mahmood called on the Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Rohana Perera at the Eastern Naval Command Headquarters. more..

Lalith De Silva resigns as SLT group CEO

Mar 4 (AM) Lalith de Silva tendered his resignation as Group CEO of Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) with effect from March 13. He will be replaced by Dileepa Wijesundara, who will assume duties on March 9. Although de Silva will have no duties or responsibilities as CEO from March 9, he will stay on until March 13 to allow smooth transition to the new Group CEO. Lalith de Silva joined SLT as its Group CEO in 2013, making him the first local CEO following the company’s privatization in 1996. more..

PM denies existence of secret detention camps

Mar 4 (Island) Accusations that Tamil youth were being held in secret detention camps were baseless, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told a gathering of Buddhist clergy at Rukmale Sri Dharmaloka Vijayaloka Mahaviharaya on Sunday. Among the invitees at a felicitation ceremony for newly appointed Mahanayake Thera Ven. Iththapane Dharmalankara was Rt. Rev. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith. more..

Eastern Province may get alternate Chief Minister

Mar 4 (AM) Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) UPFA Member Wimalaweera Dissanayake said they would propose an alternate Chief Minister to the EPC with the aim of removing present Chief Minister Hafeez Nazeer Ahamed from office. Dissanayake said that ten members of the council – of whom nine are members of the UPFA – have retracted their affidavits supporting the present Chief Minister. In addition to the nine UPFA members, Jayantha Wijesekara, a NFF member who more..

Mahinda among those invited to opposition rally on Friday

Mar 4 (Island) MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena said that former President Rajapaksa was among those invited to attend the proposed public rally in Kandy on March 6th by the opposition parties. He said that invitations had been sent to the SLFP and many other parties of the UPFA and organisations to attend the rally, which would be second of a series of public meetings. The first rally was held at Nugegoda on Feb 18 calling upon opposition parties to nominate Mahinda Rajapaksa as more..

Committed to resolve issues of every community equably: President

Mar 4 (MoD) When resolving issues, there is no differentiation as South or North and the govt is fully committed resolve issues faced by people, President Maithripala Sirisena said. Everyone should work in brotherhood irrespective of differences, President said at the Northern Province Coordinating meeting held in Jaffna. President Sirisena who made his maiden visit to Jaffna after assuming the office was warmly received by more..

The two-party system

Mar 4 (DM) The JVP, which all but supported Maithripala Sirisena at the last presidential election has now accused the govt of going easy on wrongdoers of the former regime. They are not alone. In a country where crimes and criminality have gone hand in hand with politics and politicians respectively for decades it cannot be easy for even the best intentioned govt to get things right overnight. However, there is palpable dismay among those who sided with Maithripala Sirisena more..

RUN Mahinda RUN

Mar 4 (DM) Crowd at Nugegoda is a mini take of 58 lakhs of votes Mahinda Rajapaksa obtained. Frailty and fragility in Sirisena’s armory stand exposed. SLFP cannot hold a mammoth public meeting though President Sirisena heads the party and holds Presidential power. Forfeiting party leadership and surrendering to Sirisena was a blessing in disguise, as Rajapaksa rid rubbish and transferred trash to Sirisena. Nevertheless, is weighted with an over burdened dustbin at home carried through more..

Protecting the skies of Sri Lanka

Mar 4 (SL) The Sri Lanka Air Force celebrates its 64th Anniversary tomorrow (2). Its journey of 64 years since its inception has been eventful and significant. Here we will revisit some parts of that history as we reminisce about the progress of the Air Arm of the Sri Lankan military. On 2nd March 1951, when the Royal Ceylon Air Force (RCyAF) was born, it was an Air Force in name only. It possessed no Aircraft, and remained without more..

Dengue in Sri Lanka primarily of one strain, research and facts reveal

Mar 4 (ST) Facts backed by research on the dengue-front are coming up slowly but surely. The facts are indisputable. Since 2011, Sri Lanka has seen the dengue-scene dominated by the strain, Serotype 1, and to a lesser extent Serotype 4. Why is one serotype showing such dominance for such a long time? While answers are being awaited, Prof. Annelies Wilder-Smith of the University of Umea, Sweden, who was in Sri Lanka for intensive more..

Reforms to the Executive Presidency and the electoral system

Mar 4 (DM) JHU National organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe in a candid interview with Dailymirror, spoke about the anti-corruption drive led by his party and of their opinions of the progress made concerning the investigations so far, the progress of the 100-day programme and of the plans of the JHU at the upcoming general elections. Q: Are you satisfied with the action taken so far against those who have been accused more..

'The army was never politicised'

Mar 4 (DM) General Daya Rathnayake, the former Commander of the Sri Lankan Army, is the most decorated military officer in the history of the security forces, speaks to the Dailymirror on a wide range of topics in a candid, no holds barred interview. Q: As the former Commander of the Army whose career within the military spanned three decades, what does it feel like to have finally hung your boots? more..

Video: We are just CSN viewers: Namal

Mar 4 (DM) UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa today said that they were also the viewers of the private television channel- CSN and the any decision on the channel should be taken by its directors. “We are also the viewers of the channel and that is the only connection we have with it,” he said on the decision to terminate the broadcasting operations of CSN television. MP Rajapaksa expressed these views outside the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) more..

Video: UNP demands elections as promised

Mar 4 (DM) As pledged at the January Presidential election campaign, General Elections should be held when the 100-days programme was concluded, the UNP said. UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim said their party was prepared to face an election and added the UNP was committed to hold the elections as pledged. “It would be better if we are able to go for the election under a reformed and new election system. more..

Yoshitha questioned by the CCD

Mar 4 (CG) The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) today questioned former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son Yoshitha Rajapaksa over a light aircraft found in Narahempita recently. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that Yoshitha Rajapaksa appeared before the CCD this morning after the CCD had summoned him. The police had found the light aircraft from a storage facility at the economic center in Narahenpita in January. more..

National drug policy finally makes it to Parliament

Mar 4 (Island) The govt yesterday presented the much-awaited national drug policy to Parliament. The Bill titled National Medicines Regulatory Authority was presented by Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and govt and Opposition members agreed to take the Bill for debate from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm today. But, when the Bill was presented to the House, Galle District MP Ajith Kumara raising a point of order said that the Bill should not be more..

Vasu demands details of Lankans holding Swiss bank accounts

Mar 4 (Island) DLF Leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara demanded to know from the govt whether it would investigate recent information linked to 92 Sri Lankans holding 129 accounts in Swiss banks to the tune of 85 million of Swiss Francs. He said that there had been reports recently to the effect that among those 92 Sri Lankans holding secret accounts in Swiss banks were politicians, businessmen, actresses and models. more..

Sri Lanka media delegation promised action on Freedom of Information

Mar 4 (IFJ) The International Federation Journalists (IFJ) has endorsed the declaration handed down by a visiting international media solidarity delegation to Sri Lanka this week calling on the Sri Lankan govt to ensure that critical media reform measures are made permanent and media freedom to be an absolute priority of the new administration. The International Media Solidarity Delegation, facilitated in Sri Lanka more..

Giving oxygen to Prabhakaran and fixing wings to Mahinda!

Mar 4 (CT) Northern CM, C.V. Wigneswaran, is reported to have come in for severe criticism by the Indian High Commission in Colombo, over the resolution passed in the NPC calling international assistance to probe genocide of Tamils. In addition to this critical stand taken by the Indian HC here, America and the West too have taken a similar stance over the NPC resolution with the view that the NPC was trying to stifle the understanding and cordial relations between TNA & Maithri Govt. more..

Thalatha explores job opportunities in Switzerland for Sri Lankans

Mar 4 (Island) Foreign Employment Minister Thalatha Athukorala met Ambassador of Switzerland to Sri Lanka Hainzwalker Nederkoon recently and discussed ways and means of finding more jobs for Sri Lankans in Switzerland. They shared the information about Sri Lankan migrant workers in Switzerland and discussed methods to increase job opportunities for Sri Lankans in the future. Ambassador Nederkoon said the Swiss govt was desirous of working closely with more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Ranil says Sirasa TV violated his rights and privileges as PM

Mar 4 (AM) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe today said that Sirasa TV was trying to violate rights and privilages belong to him as the PM of the country. Addressing the Parliament today he asked from the Speaker to launch an immediate investigation and check whether there were any action can be taken against Sirasa TV. Wickremasinghe further said that he gave the very first interview after appointing as the Prime Minister to Hiru TV according to the channel's request. more..

Prisoners paraded in public when taken to courts

Mar 4 (Island) Relatives of suspects being remanded in Welikada prison and other prisons in the country said that on many an occasion, the suspects were taken to courts at Gampaha, Negombo and other magistrate courts through public transport and they even had to walk 150 to 200 metres from bus stands or railway stations to reach the court premises in public facing a lot of humiliation. They also claimed that their relatives held in remand custody had been bitten by more..

IMF rules out fresh bailout for Sri Lanka

Mar 4 (AFP) IMF ruled out a fresh bail-out for Sri Lanka, which had hoped to secure loans of more than US$4.0 billion to restructure expensive debt taken on by the previous regime. Much of the country's post-war infrastructure under the administration of former president Mahinda Rajapakse was funded with Chinese debt and the new govt had hoped to retire some of those loans. more..

UK reiterates backing for report

Mar 4 (CG) British Govt has reiterated its support for the report on Sri Lanka compiled by an investigations team appointed by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). British Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire said that his Govt also feels it is right to give the new Sri Lankan Govt time before the report is presented to the UNHRC. The report was to be presented to the UNHRC this month at the ongoing 28th session but it was postponed to September. more..