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Hot weather warning to eleven districts

Mar 6 (DM) A heat weather advisory had been issued by Dept of Meteorology today for Northern, North-Central and Eastern Provinces and Puttalam Districts tomorrow. According to the heat index issued by the Department districts including Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, A'pura, Puttalam, Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa and Ampara had been mentioned as extreme caution. In the extreme cautioned areas, it may possible to have heat cramps, exhaustion. more..

Treat teachers with dignity!

Mar 6 (CT) Education plays a paramount role in society. Without it, a nation cannot be developed. The society hinges upon education and proper functioning of it cannot be achieved without education. It gives the members of society superior value and prospect to shape their own lives. The educators or the teachers are the ones who contribute to making a better society by providing good education and shaping the lives of the students. Their role is utmost crucial as more..

JVP Press Conference

Sri Lanka gets oil refinery, steel plant investments from Singapore

Mar 6 (EN) SL’s investment promotion agency has approved investments for a steel manufacturing plant and an oil refinery, Minister Malik Samarawickrama said. “Already this year the BoI has approved in principle a billion dollar steel manufacturing plant in (eastern) trincomalee,” he told a post-budget forum held by Ernst & Young the day after the govt’s 2019 budget was presented in parliament. The refinery will be in Hambantota, where there is a large port run by a Chinese more..

Addressing the white elephant in Lankan economic development in tourism

Mar 6 (FT) In the past, Sri Lanka has focused on increasing the number of tourists coming into the country and showcased the increase in tourism without much concentration on the growth of our economy in retrospect. Lonely Planet listed Sri Lanka as the number one tourist destination for 2019 whilst Sri Lanka simultaneously boasted of 2.2 million tourists at the closure of 2018. None of these however focus on the economic growth brought in. To put it simply, there wasn’t much of more..

Prof. Paranavithana’s Sigiriya quarters for tourists

Mar 6 (CT) Dept of Archaeology has opened a guest house at the former quarters of the late Director General of Archaeology Professor Senarath Paranavitana which he occupied during long stays to study the Sigiriya rock fortress. A senior officer from the Dept said the house was opened as a guest house for tourists from 1 March. He further said bookings could be made from the main office of the Dept in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka’s reliance on domestic deficit financing raises inflation fears

Mar 6 (EN) Sri Lanka’s reliance largely on domestic financing to fund the govt budget deficit this year could be inflationary, according to an analysis by stockbrokers Bartleet Religare Securities. The govt’s 2019 budget presented to parliament Tuesday, showed that of total deficit financing of 685 billion rupees only 55 billion rupees comes from foreign financing, the lowest in five years. The balance 630 billion rupees is from domestic financing, more than double that of 2018. more..

Sri Lanka shipping liberalisation before presidential poll: Mangala

Mar 6 (EN) Govt will implement delayed plans to liberalise the shipping sector, allowing full foreign ownership of shipping agency and freight forwarding businesses, before presidential polls due later this year, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. "Yes, this govt remains committed to reforms," he told a post-budget forum the day after he presented the govt’s 2019 budget in parliament. The budget represents “a shift from a culture of handouts to a culture of empowerment and independence,” more..

Tamil musician arrested by counter-terrorism police at Heathrow

Mar 6 (MS) Counter-terrorism police arrested a Tamil musician at Heathrow airport hours before he was due to perform at a UN summit in Switzerland. Vakeesan Thangavel, 36, was surrounded by armed police on Monday morning after he boarded a flight bound for Geneva. Officers allegedly shouted: “You are attempting terrorism! You have got a flag!” Mr Thangavel had a red Tamil national flag in his baggage, more..

Video: Sri Lanka to unearth details about country's largest mass grave

Mar 6 (AJ) Official results of tests to find out more details about the bodies found in SL's biggest mass grave are expected to be revealed soon. The remains of more than 300 people were discovered in March of last year, in Mannar. With hundreds still missing after the end of the war, the discovery of the mass grave has led to hope and despair among the families of the missing, but investigators are first attempting to determine if the grave is related to the war and not to a natural disaster or crime. more..

BBS claims it only opposes extremism

Mar 6 (CT) The BBS claimed that while they don’t have any motives to oppress or suppress the Tamil or Muslim communities in the country; and that it was hypocritical politicians who had created such an image about the organisation. The BBS made this claim at a media briefing. National Organiser of BBS, Ven. Vitharandeniye Nanda Thera further claimed that the BBS always opposed all religious extremist societies including fundamentalist religious groups. more..

Drugs confiscated at BIA destroyed on Apr 1

Mar 6 (AD) The large stocks of drugs confiscated at recent raids will be dissolved and chemically destroyed under scientific methods in the presence of magistrates and judiciary officers at Katunayake on 01st of April, stated the President. President Maithripala Sirisena outlined the new program in his campaign against illicit drugs. Addressing heads of media institutions, editors of newspapers and directors electronic media more..

Ban lifted on Angampora: Wellessa heroes honoured

Mar 6 (DM) Cabinet decided today to lift the ban imposed by the British rulers in 1818 on the indigenous marshal art called Angampora. Minister Sajith Premadasa submitted the Cabinet paper in this regard, and it was approved even with the support of Prez Sirisena. Earlier, Air Force Commander Kapila Jayampathy also said at the ceremony that he requested the President to lift the ban. A gazette notification will be issued later in consequent to this approval lifting the ban. more..

V-Awards 2018: 14 finalists honoured for serving Sri Lanka

Mar 6 (FT) After months of nominations and thorough selection, Sri Lanka’s 14 most inspiring individuals were acknowledged at the V-Awards 2018 on 20 Feb at Nelum Pokuna Theatre. They were recognised for their selfless deeds and special contribution to peacebuilding in Sri Lanka. V-Awards was initiated in 2011 as a joint venture of the National Steering Committee on Volunteerism (NSC-V), UN Volunteers, and News 1st to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Int'l Year of more..

Govt. depleted reserves of the state: Bandula

Mar 6 (NR) The debate on the second reading of the 2019 Budget is currently underway at the Parliamentary chamber. The 2019 Budget proposal, Enterprise Sri Lanka: Empowering the People and Nurturing the Poor was presented in Parliament yesterday by Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera. Accordingly the debate on the second reading commenced under the auspices of Speaker Karu Jayasuriya at 10.30am. more..

Norway ignores Opp Leader: JO

Mar 6 (Island) UPFA lawmaker and JO member Keheliya Rambukwella, yesterday, said the Norwegian Embassy in Colombo had not sought a meeting with Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa for the visiting State Secretary Marianne Hagen. Former Minister Ranbukwella said that the embassy would have certainly sought a meeting with the previous Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan. Referring to the Norwegian offer to make additional funding available for mine clearing more..

‘State employees received massive benefits’

Mar 6 (NR) Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara says through the 2019 Budget, all sectors including state employees have received massive benefits. Speaking to media at the Parliamentary complex, Minister noted that state sector employee salaries have been increased by 107% during the term of the present govt. Minister noted state sector employees have received additional Rs.2,500 and under this govt salaries of the state sector have been increased by 107%. more..

SLC to host LPL in September

Mar 6 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will host the Lanka Premier League (LPL) this year in the month of September. This was revealed by the new President of SLC Shammi Silva. “We are hosting the LPL this year. Originally it was to be hosted last year but we could not host it. We are planning to host this tournament now.” “We are hoping to play with six teams this year and certainly there will be foreign players participating. more..

AHRP and SHRM launch HR Think Tank SL

Mar 6 (FT) Filling a much-needed gap in the HR industry in Sri Lanka, the Association of Human Resource Professionals (AHRP) launched the historic HR Think Tank Sri Lanka initiative, in collaboration with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), on 28 Feb, at a special event held at Cinnamon Grand, Colombo, in the presence of HR leaders of the country. What is HR Think Tank Sri Lanka? Launched for the first time in the country, the ground-breaking initiative envisions more..

Jaffna Cardiothoracic Unit of Int’l standard

Mar 6 (CT) Internationally renowned Canadian Professor Dr. Robert James Cusimano was full of praise for the Jaffna Teaching Hospital’s Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit and pointed out that the Unit was exemplary in every way, to serve patients with limited resources. An Associate Professor of the Dept of Surgery of the Toronto Uni; Dr. Cusimano is also Programme Director of the University’s Cardiac Surgery Residency Programme; and Cardiac Surgeon at Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, more..

Date finalised for first executions: President

Mar 6 (NR) A defiant President Maithripala Sirisena today announced that a date has been finalised to end the decade long moratorium on executions in the country, and to impose the death penalty on several criminals convicted of drug racketeering. Prez made this remark this morning speaking at the Presidential Secretariat during a meeting with heads of media organisations and news editors. more..

I am happy with the budget: Duminda

Mar 6 (DM) SLFP MP Duminda Dissanyake said the 2019 Budget presented by the Finance Minister had something positive for the people and that in his personal opinion it was a satisfactory budget. He said however, they would have to take a decision as a party when the budget is taken up for voting. “The opposition’s task has been to object to all proposals brought in by the govt. We need to change this tradition. There is no reason to approve a proposal brought by us and to object when it is brought more..

Video: Pubudu Jagoda on real reason why govt is bringing anti-terrorism act

Mar 6 (AD) Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) says that the govt has brought forward the Anti-Terrorism Act, not with the intention of preventing terrorism, but in order to deter trade union actions of the public. Secretary of FSP Pubudu Jagoda mentioned this at a press conference held in Colombo. The main reason behind bringing this act was to abolish the 1979 Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), however, although 10 years have passed since the end of the war even the temporary act more..

A love triangle that exposed Sri Lanka’s worst kidnap murder ring

Mar 6 (EN) A love triangle may have helped trigger investigations into what has become SL’s worst abduction and murder case by a rouge unit under former navy chief Wasantha Karannagoda. Documents filed in SC suggest that the horrendous kidnappings and killings took place right under the nose of Admiral Karannagoda who was initially the complainant, but later turned out to be one of its main suspects. more..

Digana: One year on

Mar 7 (GV) When violence spread to Digana on the 5th of March 2018, Mr. J.M Niyas suffered heavy losses. He lost his grocery store; the source of income that helped him feed and educate his family, and made him a well-known figure in the community of Kengalla, in the Pallekele area. He lost the community mosque; Masjidul Laafir Jummah Masjid, then located right next to his old store (and now rebuilt on the opposite side of the road). It boasted a 200-year old history, and was a refuge and more..

British Tamil Forum booted

Mar 7 (CT) Politically and financially bankrupt Tamil Forum UK Ltd, well- known as British Tamil Forum (BTF), has been booted out from its controversial nominal role of providing secretariat service to the UK parliamentary All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPG-T). The recent High Court judgement of Rohini Sivagurunathan -vs- Tamil Forum UK Ltd ​(Rohini -v- BTF) opened a can of worms on the questionable conduct and management of the BTF and it was a decisive time for the APPG-T more..

102 applications for executioner post

Mar 7 (DN) Being a male between 18 to 45 years and having passed six subjects with two credit passes at G.C.E. O/Ls is not sufficient to be an executioner. One needs to have a good moral character according to an advertisement published by the Department of Prisons recently. There are already 102 applicants for the post of executioner including one from the USA who had shown interest in the job via an email sent to the Dept of Prisons. more..

LGBT+ rights: Acceptance is the way forward

Mar 7 (CT) Rami Malek was granted the award for the best male actor at the recently-held 2019 Oscar Awards. He was starring in the movie Bohemian Rhapsody based on the biography of well-known singer Freddie Mercury. Apart from his profile as a talented artist, Freddy was known in the public domain as being a bisexual person. Rami’s award, in this sense, could be considered as an example of the jury being conscious of recognising the portrayals of non-heterosexual people in more..

Democracy and development: SL style

Mar 7 (FT) Sri Lanka’s political scene has always been in turmoil. The sacking of the PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on the 26 Oct 2018 was unprecedented in Sri Lanka. This is yet another sign that the cascade of policy failures in Sri Lanka will continue to accelerate. Just when one scandal recedes from the headlines like the bond scam, another pops up unexpectedly, such as the event on 26 Oct. The Sirisena-Ranil Government failed to usher in an era of good governance. more..

Budget 2019: A Round Up

Mar 7 (GV) Contrary to speculation by many, Khema’s Boy has been able to keep the pressure from his colleagues to deliver an election budget; instead of promoting consumption which had been done by previous Finance Ministers in the wake of elections, he has diverted scarce govt funds away from consumption to investment in human capital and infrastructure projects that would bring benefits to SL in the medium to long term. more..

A revolutionary to the last

Mar 7 (CT) Jayatilake de Silva came into journalism after he retired as Principal Deniyaya Central College, having entered the teaching profession with a Special Degree in Mathematics from University of Ceylon, Colombo. I, born in the same year as he, had the good fortune of sitting for a test conducted by him at the board room of Lake House (Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.) for recruitment as a Journalist. He gave the 12 who sat a very tough one-hour test. more..

Process of Reconciliation in the SL Context

Mar 7 (Island) However, to take the position that little or nothing could be done about this country’s chronic strife would be tantamount to succumbing to a spirit of hopelessness and defeat. As far as one could ascertain, majoritarian chauvinism is the Fatal Cleopatra in this country’s politics. And it is this problem at the core of our politics that could be eventually eliminated through the adoption of some short, medium and long term measures that ought to be integral into state policy. more..

Daya Gamage

New initiative to promote German-standard Vocational Education and Training

Mar 7 (CT) Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in SL (AHK SL) yesterday launched the first AHK-VET Council with representatives of different business sectors and Vocational Education and Training (VET) authorities in the presence of German Ambassador, Jörn Rohde. The VET Council is an essential instrument to certify vocational training according to German standards, and is an initiative to contribute to the strengthening of demand- and industry-driven VET in SL. more..

Budget 2019: A Budget for All

Mar 7 (Island) The 2019 budget is a budget for all. It is no surprise because 2019 is an election year. The govt has not been shy about it. The request that it made to the IMF to extend the $1.6 billion Extended Fund Facility by one year to 2020 at the same time included a request to relax the terms and conditions on which the IMF facility was originally given in 2016. This signals the intention of the govt to have a budget that will be attractive to voters. Producing election budgets is not the monopoly of UNP. more..

SA win 2nd ODI to take 2-0 series lead

Mar 7 (CI) South Africa lost 6 for 31 this afternoon, but the hosts' bowling attack then reversed the treatment to dismantle Sri Lanka's chase under lights at Centurion. Kagiso Rabada led the attack with 3 for 43 and Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje and Imran Tahir all struck twice as the visitors collapsed from 92 for 3 to 138 all out in pursuit of 252. On a pitch that encouraged both seam and spin, South Africa had also been bowled out short of their more..

Edtorial: More politics than economics

Mar 7 (Island) The govt has presented an election budget. Having lost the local govt polls very badly, it is all out to regain popular support. It has tried to give something to everyone in a bid to arrest the rapid erosion of its vote bank. The goal it has set for itself is very ambitious as the very theme of the budget suggests: Enterprise Sri Lanka – Empowering the people and nurturing the Poor. The public sector workers have been promised a 2,500-rupee allowance. more..

'Gotabaya has a vision for the country'

Mar 7 (CT) I was invited by Gotabaya Rajapaksa to address the meeting for 10 minutes. Because of the respect that I had towards him, I told him that I will definitely come. We have come to a bad situation in the country and I also know that the politics is going down. In such a situation we need a good person to show us the path. That’s why this Eliya programme has been started. Light is needed as we are in dark. Especially, our Muslim people have lived for a long time in this country, more than 1,600 years. more..

Mangala vows to step up on Budget implementation

Mar 7 (FT) As the Cabinet is made up of one party, Minister Mangala Samaraweera was yesterday optimistic of stronger implementation, and credited Budget 2019 with possessing policy consistency that would assist the Govt to foster growth, focus on reforms, and possibly dust off older proposals such as shipping liberalisation. Speaking at the post-Budget forum titled Dissecting Budget 2019 jointly organised by Daily FT and more..

140th Battle of the Blues: Thomians hold slight edge over resurgent Royal

Mar 7 (Island) S. Thomas’ have some enviable records and extravagant statistics to boast about when they meet a resurgent Royal in the 140th Battle of the Blues big match starting at the SSC today. They are entering the annual battle with an edge over their arch rivals for the fourth consecutive year and it will be up for them to prove their credentials. Royal are a far better side this year. They are still languishing in Division II but they have remained unbeaten even against formidable more..