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CM Ranatunga sounds defiant on bringing Rajapaksa as PM

Mar 5 (Island) Chief Minister of the WPC Prasanna Ranatunga said that he would not give up his efforts to have former President Rajapaksa nominated as the UPFA’s Prime Ministerial Candidate at the next general election despite a recent ban the SLFP imposed on its elected representatives from attending pro-Rajapaksa rallies. Ranatunga said there would be a bigger crowd in Kandy tomorrow than in Nugegoda more..

Mo-Buzz app gets public engaged in dengue battle

Mar 5 (FT) A new app has been introduced to get the public more involved in the battle against dengue. The ‘Mo-Buzz’ app enables quick access for the public to report places where they detect dengue breeding vessels. They can take pictures on their smartphone and share the information instantly with the relevant authorities who can then take immediate action. “By geotagging, users can provide location-specific information from their device; they can reveal the place where more..

Lewke heads National Sports Council

Mar 5 (Island) Retired senior DIG Nimal Lewke has been appointed as the Chairman of the new 12-member National Sports Council which includes a number of leading sport personalities, namely, Olympic medalist Susanthka Jayasinghe, former national cricketer Sidath Wetthamuni and Olympians Julian Bolling and Sunil Gunawardena. Minister of Tourism and Sports Navin Dissanayake has appointed Lewke, a former sportsman to head the vital think tank to advise him on matters more..

Govt ready to offer more free Wi-Fi hotspots

Mar 5 (DN) ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) spearheads the free Wi-Fi project and delivers more than what was promised on the pledges made before election. The Internet connectivity, a citizens right program also known as the Free Wi-Fi was spearheaded by the ICTA along with the support of all telecommunication operators in Sri Lanka. The objective of this program was to facilitate the Sri Lankan Citizens to be able to have access more..

SL Tourism and Tea Board in a Rs.1bn tie up

Mar 5 (eTN) Sri Lanka Tourism promotions bureau (SLTPB) whose focus is to drive Sri Lanka as destination brand globally, has extended it's support to build ceylon tea in each of the 47 key travel and tourism fairs by offering the facility of featuring a tea bar in every stall. The tie up is worth almost 1 bn rupees given that Sri Lanka tourism invest this value this year in its global drive to rev up the visitor arrivals which registered only a 7% growth in the month of Jan 2015. more..

Modi to address Sri Lanka parliament

Mar 5 (DM) Indian PM Narendra Modi will address the Sri Lanka Parliament on March 13, the first by a leader from that country, political sources said. Mr. Modi will make a three-day state visit to Sri Lanka from March 13. This is the first state visit by an Indian leader after 1987. Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi was the last to make a state visit to Sri Lanka. In 2013, the then Thai PM Yingluck Sinavatra addressed Parliament. It is learnt that PM has instructed Govt members to attend session more..

Spy cables reveal Sri Lanka hyped up Tamil Tiger post-war threat

Mar 5 (AJ) In Nov 2010, a Sri Lankan MP expressed his dismay when a small statue of a leader of the LTTE was erected on private property in a Paris suburb. It was an alarming sign, said Sarath Weerasekara, a retired rear admiral in the Sri Lankan navy, that the LTTE, an armed separatist group that Sri Lanka defeated decisively in 2009, might be regrouping in other countries. “Its one leg is in America and the other one in France,” more..

Apparel industry wants speedy trade concessions with EU

Mar 5 (ST) The apparel industry has urged the Govt to speed up obtaining trade concessions from the European Union (EU) in addition to upscaling its agreements with the United States (US) to preferential trade ties for the garments sector. The Joint Apparel Association Federation (JAAF) met on Wednesday and submitted a series of proposals to the government requesting it to hasten the process of Generalised System of Preference (GSP) as it was important to the industry, more..

Dinesh raises resignation of Higher Education State Minister

Mar 5 (Island) Rajiva Wijesinha had resigned from the position of State Minister of Higher Education or the latter was still holding that portfolio; MP Gunawardena asked for a reply from the PM. Prof Wijesinha had told media that he had resigned owing to political interference and it was the duty of the govt to explain its position, he said. PM said that Kabir Hashim was the Cabinet Minister of Higher Education, while Prof Wijesinha was the State Minister of Higher Education. more..

Govt to investigate into reports on Swiss account holders

Mar 5 (DN) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told parliament that the government would investigate into reports on Swiss accounts of Lankans with the assistance of Parliament, PM and the President and would inform Parliament of the results. The minister responding to a special statement by DLF Leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara said as per Section 15(1) of the Financial Transactions Reporting Act No 6 of 2006, more..

Basil has given up politics: Sarana

Mar 5 (Island) Former Minister and ex-SLFP National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa has told MP Sarana Gunawardena that he had given up politics and therefore he would not seek nominations to contest the next parliamentary election. Gampaha District MP Gunawardena said that MP Rajapaksa had told him he was not planning to return to Sri Lanka in the near future. Rajapaksa left the country in the wake of President Rajapaksa’s defeat at the Jan 08 presidential election. more..

Dissolution of Parliament postponed

Mar 5 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has told the SLFP parliamentary group that the dissolution of parliament could be delayed until May this year pending finalisation of electoral reforms. President Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe earlier declared that the Parliament would be dissolved by April 23 to pave the way for parliamentary election in June. President Sirisena met the SLFP parliamentary group at the parliamentary complex on Wednesday. more..

Arrested ex-Women Sea Tiger chief has French connection

Mar 5 (Island) Ex-senior Sea Tiger cadre Jeyaganesh Murugesu Pakeerathy (41), who was taken into custody at the BIA on Monday has been granted French permanent resident status. TID arrested her soon after her arrival at the airport to leave for France. Pakeerathy is a mother of an eight-year-old child. Sources said that having permanent residence is a privileged status which allowed a recipient to live in France indefinitely. more..

Ready for fishermen’s talks on March 12: Colombo

Mar 5 (Hindu) After an apparent push from New Delhi on scheduling talks between fishermen of India and Sri Lanka at the earliest, Colombo has suggested that the next round of discussions be held on March 12 in Chennai. The decision follows a meeting between Indian High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha and Fisheries Minister Joseph Michael Perera. “The Indian High Commissioner requested us to schedule the talks before PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka later this month,” more..

President says no hidden deals with TNA and Muslim parties

Mar 5 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena has reiterated that he has not signed any hidden agreement with the TNA and Muslim political parties, as accused by some political opponents. “The only agreement I signed is with the people of this country, there are no other agreements with either Tamil or Muslim political parties,” President Sirisena told the Eastern District Committee meeting held at the Trincomalee District Secretariat on 3 March. The President pointed out the more..

Individual received Rs. 2.5m each from 400 drug companies

Mar 5 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena told Parliament that a certain person who had blocked the National Medicine Regulatory Authority Bill coming to Parliament during last regime obtained benefits amounting to Rs. 2.5 million each from 400 pharmaceutical companies. “I still do not know what has happened to those monies. But, I have been able to win against all those sinister forces and to bring this Bill more..

An eyeopener on citizens’ rights

Mar 5 (DM) The Court order to BMICH to pay Rs.187 million to Dr. Samitha Samanmalee, who was paralysed after a marquee at the BMICH premises collapsed on her in 2008 when she was a medical student, was no doubt a landmark judgment. It becomes a landmark judgment not because of the magnitude of the compensation awarded to the victim but rather, it gains significance by its strong precedence to the recognition of the citizens’ rights for which do not fight. more..

A Buddhist perspective on entertainment

Mar 5 (DM) Cuisine, followed by entertainment are two of the most irresistible sensory allurements of all mundane beings in the world. Accordingly they have also been hugely successful commercial ventures throughout history. The one who rode to the pinnacle of fame in the entertainment arena in India during the time of Gauthama Buddha was dancing icon Gamini known by his stage name Thalaputa because his complexion resembled the hue of a ripe palm fruit. more..

Chief Minister Wigneswaran makes reference to two nations

Mar 5 (DM) When Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran received President Maitripala Sirisena in Jaffna on Tuesday, many perceived it as a novel gesture of goodwill for reconciliation between the north and the south. But, Justice Wigneswaran unnerved such positivists when he mentioned, in his address, the concept of two nations in one country. President Sirisena visited Jaffna on Tuesday for the first time more..

Food outlet scoring system will benefit consumers

Mar 5 (ST) Customers at food outlets will be able to satisfy themselves that the food they are buying meets legal standards with all outlets required to display certificates of compliance issued by Health Ministry. Move comes in response to concern by PHIs over food being treated with harmful chemicals and poor food preparation hygiene by middle and low-range food establishments even after offenders have been taken to court. more..

CEA submits preliminary report on Jaffna ground water pollution

Mar 5 (Island) The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has submitted a preliminary report on the ground water pollution in some parts of the Jaffna Peninsula. President Maithripala Sirisena took take up the matter on Tuesday when he visited Jaffna. He told the officials present that the issue of water pollution had to be taken very seriously and everything possible done to remedy the situation and prevent contamination. more..

Muslims want their land back

Mar 5 (SL) Nearly six years after the end of the war, there still are many who are still displaced from their original homelands and are unable to return to their homelands. Land is a key issue requiring attention through a variety of measures which should pay due attention to individual’s land rights and claims, and the history of the land. Land issues are a matter of grave concern to the Tamil-speaking people, both the Tamil people and more..

Prof. P.S.N. Gunaratne is new UGC Chairman

Mar 5 (CT) Govt has appointed a Chairperson for the UGC after almost a month since Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama's resignation, Minister Kabir Hashim, said. Other staff members were also appointed. Professor P.S.N. Gunaratne, Management Faculty of the University of Colombo was appointed Chairperson while Malik Ranasinghe, former Vice Chancellor of Moratuwa University was appointed Vice Chairperson and more..

Special court to clear backlog of drug cases

Mar 5 (Island) A special court would soon be set up to hear drug related cases in the country to speedily clear the backlog of narcotic cases and to eradicate the drug menace from the country, Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said early this week. He was addressing a special discussion held by the National Drug Prevention Working Committee appointed under the guidance of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Justice Ministry on more..

Agree on electoral reform

Mar 5 (CT) It is reported that President Maithripala Sirisena has informed a group of SLFP parliamentarians that the UNP has agreed to simultaneously implement the Amendment to the Constitution, limiting the powers of the Executive Presidency and amending the electoral system. A meeting of the parliamentarians was held yesterday at a committee room in the parliamentary complex under the patronage of President. more..

No presidential residence in KKS: MR

Mar 5 (DM) Former president Rajapaksa said that no presidential residence was being built in Kankesanthurai for his exclusive use as reported in the media. “Wide publicity has been given to images of what is purported to be a half-built presidential residence in Kankesanthurai said to have been constructed for my exclusive use. I wish to inform the public that no presidential residence was being built for me in Kankesanthurai,” more..

Butterflies have returned to North

Mar 5 (CT) The civil war affected the whole country of SL in one way or the other, but the North experienced the bombs the guns and the land mines first hand. People suffered. They suffered more than anyone who only felt the horrors of war through the news could ever imagine. They lost friends, family and sometimes their own limbs. They went through unimaginable hardship. Some broke. Others remained strong and moved on in life. more..

JVP urges govt to investigate on alleged coup attempt

Mar 5 (CG) The JVP has demanded that an investigation continue into the allegations that former President Rajapaksa had attempted to stage a coup in order to stay in power after the Jan 8 election. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that he was told the former President was always confident of winning the elections and the loss came as a shock. He said that subsequently there were reports that more..

Fraud Bureau summons former CEB Directors

Mar 5 (Island) The Colombo Fraud Bureau summoned the former Board of Management of the CEB in connection with an inquiry yesterday at its office at Wellawatte. A former Board member confirmed that they had summoned by the police. CEB trade unions said that it followed police investigations into a massive salary hike given to its engineers without the prior approval of the Cabinet and the Treasury. CID Director SSP C.R.L. Ranaweera recently wrote to the more..

Without any promises made to them, Tamils risked their future

Mar 5 (CT) The last regime not only did the Mullivaikal massacre and went further to eradicate the roots of Tamil existence but also changed the governance of the country by constitutional changes and plundering of the state. A wise coalition of leadership in the south brought out a common-candidate and the regime change was democratically effected with the contribution of all – Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. Tamils, encouraged by the courageous call of their leaders to more..

WikiLeaks: Why JVP left CBK-led coalition; ‘We can’t take responsibility or blame’

Mar 5 (CT) A leaked confidential US diplomatic cable written by the US Embassy Colombo has raised questions about the true nature of the drama staged by the JVP when they left the Chandrika Kumaratunga led coalition govt. At that time the JVP said that they had quit in protest at govt’s plans for a tsunami aid deal with the LTTE which could help efforts to set up a Tamil state. According to a leaked US diplomatic cable, more..

Is the Bibile drug policy outdated?

Mar 5 (CT) The Bill to establish the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA), which in turn is expected to replace the Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs Act No. 27 of 1980 (CDDA), was presented to Parliament on Tuesday. It was the CDDA which gave birth to the Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs Regulatory Authority (CDDRA). In the event the new Bill is passed and the NMRA established, it will presumably replace the CDDRA. What is seemingly different between more..

Coming together for common good

Mar 5 (CT) In the days when each electorate had its Member of Parliament, the notion was that each one of them had to think and act locally as well as nationally, not forgetting the international implications of their decisions and actions, thereby international relations . In practice however, even the Ministers seem to think and act locally, thinking more of their electorates and voter base than of the larger nation and the national interest, sometimes completely ignoring the international more..

EU is to help families in the east

Mar 5 (CG) Responding to the impact of the floods that hit various parts of Sri Lanka in late December, the European Commission is providing €238,000 (36,000,000 LKR) to meet the needs of the most vulnerable families in the Eastern part of the country. Triggered by prolonged heavy rains related to the North-East monsoon, the flooding badly affected standing crops throughout the region, jeopardizing the food security of more..

WC 2015: Bangladesh beat Scotland

Mar 5 (CI) Bangladesh tackled the pressure of a stiff target - they had to chase down 319 - and losing their specialist opener to injury in the field to post their highest ODI chase to beat Scotland by six wickets and keep their chances of making the quarter-final alive. Scotland, powered by Kyle Coetzer's magnificent 156 towards their 318 for 8 in 50 overs, lost their best chance to win a World Cup match. They struggled to break partnerships and seize the momentum, as Bangladesh more..

Quality assurance certificates issued to Colombo eateries

Mar 5 (Island) The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council yesterday morning commenced issuing quality certifications to be displayed in eating houses in the city. Acting Food Inspector, M.B. Lal Kumara said that the programme had been launched with certification being provided to a Chinese restaurant at Milagiriya Avenue, Bambalapitiya. Certifications were awarded to 12 eateries yesterday morning in the Bambalapitiya and Wellawatta areas. more..

Karunaratne out of World Cup with broken finger

Mar 5 (CI) Sri Lanka batsman Dimuth Karunaratne has been ruled out of the World Cup after a fracturing the little finger on his left hand at practice in Sydney, chairman of selectors Sanath Jayasuriya has said. "Dimuth injured his hand during a fielding session and X-rays indicated a fracture just above the base of his left small finger," Jayasuriya said. "He has to undergo surgery and will be out for about four weeks. more..

Special harvesting festival of potatoes

Mar 5 (CT) As a result of successful harvesting of potatoes in the Mannar District a special harvesting festival was held recently in Vidalaitheevu-Periyamadu potato village. Two important types of potatoes were planted in 10-acre land as pilot projects and 48 beneficiaries were given potato tubers by the Agriculture Department to cultivate potatoes. Beneficiaries were selected from Periyamadu, Eechalavakkai, Kayanagar, Vellankulam, Seethuvinayagapuram and more..

New Pinnawala zoo to open later this month

Mar 5 (Island) The new zoological garden constructed on a 44-acre land would attract more tourists who visit the nearby popular Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. According to Minister Navin Dissanayake the newly constructed zoo would give a new experience to visitors as it was an open zoological garden. After inspecting the new zoo, Minister Dissanayake said that it would be a major tourist attraction. The garden would be declared open by the end of this month. more..

Namal appeals to stop political revenge

Mar 5 (Xinhua) A son of former President Mahinda Rajapakse said that political revenge on his family and his political party supporters continue in the island nation and urged the authorities to put an end to it. Namal Rajapakse, the eldest son of the former president and a MP representing the opposition SLFP said that political revenge by trade unions also continued and 'innocent' people continued to be victimized. more..