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Rameswaram fishers to go on strike

Mar 12 (DC) An emergency meeting of all the fishermen’s associations in Rameswaram here on Monday decided to strike work from today to press the Centre and State governments to take up with Sri Lanka their long-pending charter of demands. The meeting presided over by N.J. Bose, Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Mechanised Boats Fishermen’s Welfare Association, demanded among other things the release of two students- a schoolboy and a college student of Rameswaram- more..

TNA wants N-E development issues resolved

Mar 12 (DM) TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah said yesterday they would support Budget 2019 only if it resolved the issues pertaining to the development in the North and East. He told Parliament that the TNA would meet President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe next week to discuss the development in these areas. "We will support the budget only if we receive a positive response for our demands on the development in the North and East," he said. more..

CEB issues red alert on power cuts

Mar 12 (FT) As the daily electricity demand increases with rising temperatures, CEB is struggling to meet demand as the Govt continues to delay commissioning Independent Power Producers (IPP) and emergency power procurement. In a report presented to the board last week titled Urgent Note to Board, the CEB appraised the members of the situation noting that “it may be required to impose load shedding more..

Universities asked to enrol foreign students amounting to at least 5% of their intakes

Mar 12 (Island) Universities had been instructed to absorb foreign students amounting to at least 5% of their intakes for academic programmes; some universities had complied with the instructions while others had overlooked it, citing student protests, Minister Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament. He said that allowing foreign students to read for the degrees with local students would help promote the standards of local universities. Minister said so responding to a question raised by more..

Abduction and killing of 11 youth: Unit was under my command: Karannagoda

Mar 12 (DN) Former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda appeared before the CID yesterday morning to record a statement over the abduction and killing of 11 youth has accepted that the unit in question operated under his direct supervision. As instructed by the court, the former Navy Commander arrived at the CID yesterday at around 9.00 am yesterday. An investigation is currently underway with regard to the court case filed in relation to this incident. more..

TNA, JVP agree to cooperate on key issues

Mar 12 (PTI) Sri Lanka's main Tamil party TNA and Marxist party JVP on Monday held a rare meeting here and decided to work together towards abolishing the executive presidency in the country. The JVP and the TNA, which represented diagonally opposed political stands, came together during the political crisis in the island nation when President Maithripala Sirisena sacked PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Decisive Budget vote today

Mar 12 (NR) The decisive vote on the Second reading of the 2019 Budget is scheduled for today. The 2019 Budget proposal, Enterprise SL: Empowering the People and Nurturing the Poor was presented in Parliament on the 5 of March by Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera. The proposal was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers following which Minister Samaraweera delivered the fifth budget of the Good Governance Govt. According to the 2019 Appropriation Bill, more..

UK and Germany table Resolution on Sri Lanka at UNHRC

Mar 12 (CG) UK and Germany today tabled the Resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva, the Secretariat at the UNHRC said. Secretariat said that A/HRC/40/L.1 was tabled today with Canada, Germany, Montenegro, North Macedonia and the UK and Northern Ireland the main sponsors. Titled Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in SL the rollover resolution requests the Office of the High Commissioner to continue to assess progress on the implementation of more..

TNA urges Govt to sponsor proposal at UNHRC

Mar 12 (CT) Leader of the ITAK, MP Mavai Senathirajah, vowed in Parliament that if the Govt does not agree to co-sponsor a roll-over of the resolution, at the ongoing 40th session of the UNHRC, they would form a coalition to fight against it in a democratic manner. He noted that the Tamil people had now lost faith in the Govt. “Co-sponsoring a new resolution as such would restore their faith to a certain extent. more..

UNHRC: Partisan approach would not help

Mar 12 (DM) Who is going to represent Sri Lanka at the 40th Regular Session of the UNHRC which is in session in Geneva? Do two delegations set to go to Geneva to attend the session on behalf of the Govt? UNF Govt and Prez Sirisena seem to have two different plans to encounter the world’s human rights body this time. According to a joint statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office and the Foreign Ministry last week, Govt, as it did in 2015, is going to co-cosponsor another resolution on SL more..

Mannar Mass grave, Karannagoda case and how the due process would vindicate ...

Mar 12 (DM) My last week’s column has caused some contention. Certain things need to be clarified. Two former security forces commanders, Lt. Gen Daya Ratnayake, former commander of Army, and Admiral Tisara Samarasinghe, the former commander of Navy telephoned me to tell that they did not oppose the legal action being taken against the former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda. Their intervention has been misrepresented, they said, adding that more..

In conversation with Nishi Uggalle

Mar 12 (DM) It would be a nerve-wrecking experience for a 12-year-old to answer degree-level questions within seconds on a reality TV show. But it was a piece of cake for Nishi Uggalle, now 13, who was adjudged Child Genius 2019 at the recently concluded Channel 4’s Child Genius contest. Born to SL parents, Neelanga Uggalle and Shiromi Jayasinghe, Nishi from Audenshaw, Greater Manchester, calls herself a geek and more..

Mangala’s proposals seen through wary eyes

Mar 12 (ST) Budget 2019 was touted as people-friendly, with various relief packages and loans proposed, but the reaction from trade unionists and people have been far less enthusiastic. Minister Mangala Samaraweera, in his budget titled, Enterprise SL: Empowering the People and Nurturing the Poor, proposed lending a helping hand to people to help themselves. But much of the discontent since Tuesday has been over more..

'Sri Lanka foresee digitalisation and 5G as Energy Pill for economic growth'

Mar 12 (FT) Minister Harin Fernando pointed out that the Govt’s aim is to make Sri Lanka a benchmark in adopting digital technologies for Govt administration and public affairs management, whilst the necessary technical infrastructure to facilitate this effort, especially in rural areas, will be provided. He further said that 5G technology is essential in this regard and Sri Lanka foresees digitalisation and 5G as the energy pill for economic growth. more..

Video: Teachers’ responsibility to create disciplined young generation boundless: MS

Mar 12 (AD) Even though traditionally Sri Lankan children are disciplined at schools, at present, the interference of the concept of human rights in the duty of teachers has made it a challenge for the task of building a better future generation, President Maithripala Sirisena has said. President made these remarks participating in the 100th Anniversary celebrations of the Kokawala Central College in Matara, today (11). more..

CRD introduces MILO Range for live-fire training

Mar 12 (SLA) The Centre for Research and Development (CRD) of the Ministry of Defence, making one more significant stride in the sphere of military innovations, introduced the first Digital Close Quarter Combat Theatre (MILO Range) of Sri Lanka which could facilitate live-firing training sessions of Commandos and Special Forces when the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake recently called more..

Plantation Industries Minister explains final estate wage deal

Mar 12 (Island) The daily wage of estate workers had been increased from Rs. 500 to 750 through the existing collective agreement and the govt had decided to add another Rs. 50 thereto and they would be paid Rs. 800 each a day from May 01, Minister of Plantation Industries Navin Dissanayake said, yesterday. He said: "I had to perform a balancing act as there are always two sides to an issue. more..

Sri Lanka, Kenya to boost friendship through practical measures

Mar 12 (MFA) Sri Lanka and Kenya recently agreed to formalise political consultations between the two Foreign Ministries, which would provide a framework for discussing new areas of cooperation. This follows a meeting between Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana and Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Monica Juma on Friday at the Foreign Ministry in Colombo. more..

JVP sees only a loans budget and no govt plan to find income to meet that expenditure

Mar 12 (Island) The JVP, described the govt’s budget 2019 as a smart loan budget not a smart budget contrary to the govt’s claim. Participating in the Second Reading of Appropriation Bill 2019, JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that the govt had only introduced various loan schemes to the people and no mention was made as to how it was planning to attract more investment to the country. He said: "When you read this more..

CB had misled govt again: Ravi K

Mar 12 (DM) The Central Bank had once again misled the Govt by making it go for a US $ 3.5 million Int'l Sovereign Bonds (ISB) issue at 8.5%, Minister Ravi Karunanayake told Parliament. Speaking during the second reading debate in the House, he said the rates at which SL had issued ISBs were high compared to several other countries in the region. He said Malaysia had issued ISBs only at 3.75%, Thailand 2.5%. more..

UPFA to vote against Budget 2019

Mar 12 (AD) MPs of UPFA have decided to vote against the Second Reading of the Budget 2019, MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena stated. The decision was taken at the parliamentary group meeting held this morning. The voting on the Second Reading of Budget 2019 has been scheduled to take place today. The Budget 2019 was presented to the Parliament on March 5th by Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera more..

Asset declarations: A myth?

Mar 12 (FT) That there are very few role models in our public life is self-evident. The material poverty of the country is reflected in the poverty of its leadership, in as much as our twisted concepts of governance echo in the shoddiness of its delivery. So disillusioned are the people with the national leadership that whatever is said or done by a politician is examined only for its hidden motives; the man’s subjective political interests, the benefits to his family and associates, and more..

Cry Wolf

Mar 12 (CT) Sri Lanka passed the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in 1979 in the backdrop of killings and robberies of State institutions committed by Northern separatists. In the preceding year 1978, terrorists shot M. Kanagaratnam, MP, formerly of the TULF, but who crossed over to the ruling UNP Government in 1977; blasted the Avro civilian aircraft; killed three CID officers and their driver in the Vanni jungles and also killed at least another four Policemen in Jaffna that same year, more..

Harin Fernando & Faraz

Sri Lanka to make separation of chairman, CEO roles mandatory

Mar 12 (EN) Sri Lanka’s stock market regulator is to make mandatory the separation of the role of chairman and chief executive in listed companies in efforts to improve good governance standards and minority investor protection, an official said. The mandatory separation of the two roles would help Sri Lanka improve its position in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, said Harshana Suriyapperuma, Director Corporate Affairs of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). more..

Sri Lanka budget has put opposition to sleep: Govt legislator

Mar 12 (EN) SL's 2019 budget has put the opposition to sleep with lethargic criticism and most members missing from the chamber, a govt legislator charged. "There are only nine members in the chamber," UNP legislator, Ajith Perera, said in a debate on the budget late afternoon Tuesday. "MP Lokuge is sleeping well. There, there he is now waking up." A vote was scheduled on Tuesday for the second reading, but it is not clear whether the opposition will seek a division. more..

Video: Second Reading of Budget 2019 passed in parliament

Mar 12 (AD) Second Reading of the Budget for the year 2019 was approved at the parliament with a majority of 43 votes. House passed the second reading of the budget with 119 votes in favor and 76 against. The UNF, TNA and CWC voted in favor of the Budget reading. JVP, JO section of the UPFA voted against the budget. However, a section of the UPFA MPs abstained from voting. more..

Burundi & SL establish diplomatic relations

Mar 12 (MFA) Upon the signing of the Agreement by Dr. Amrith Perera, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of SL to the UN and Albert Shingiro, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Burundi to the UN on 11th March in New York, Govt of SL and Govt of Burundi decided to establish Diplomatic Relations between the two countries with effect from 11th March 2019. The establishment of diplomatic ties between SL and Burundi would enhance the existing friendly relations and more..

56 police OICs transferred

Mar 12 (AD) Fifty-six Police Officers-In-Charge (OIC) have been transferred with immediate effect, stated the Police Headquarters. The transfers have been made based on the need for service with the approval of the National Police Commission. Accordingly, 20 Chief Inspectors of Police and 36 Inspectors of Police have been handed over transfers. Although the relevant transfers had been set to be imparted in January, the police had taken measures to temporarily postpone it. more..

Exposé: How the President interfered to prevent the arrest of Wasantha Karannagoda

Mar 12 (CT) Colombo Telegraph can now reveal the shocking saga of how Prez Sirisena stepped in to prevent the arrest of former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda by influencing the Attorney General and the judiciary ahead of his fundamental rights petition being heard in the Supreme Court on Thursday (7). President Sirisena who is now in charge of Law and Order was briefed ahead of time about the AG’s plans to more..

Deadline for accepting complaints on serious acts of fraud, extended

Mar 12 (DM) The deadline for accepting complaints into serious acts of fraud, corruption and abuse of power has been extended till March 19. The deadline was to end on March 14. Prez Sirisena has appointed a Presidential Commission of Inquiry to investigate and inquire into serious acts of fraud, corruption and abuse of power, State Resources and Privileges, which had taken place from Jan 15, 2015, to Dec 31, 2018. Commission said that the deadline to receive complaints to end Mar 14 more..

SLFP vows to defeat proposed Counter Terrorism Act

Mar 12 (AD) SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara says that instead of resolving the country’s issues within Sri Lanka’s own judicial system, the current govt is handing that task over to foreign countries and the international community. He stated that while accusing various parties of internationalizing this issue, the govt has gone a step further and co-sponsored a resolution at the UNHRC which makes it obligated to carry out the proposals. more..

Dutch museum to start talks about stolen art with Sri Lanka

Mar 12 (DN) Rijkmuseum in Amsterdam is starting talks with Sri Lanka and Indonesia about some 1,000 pieces in its collection that may have been stolen and become part of the Dutch colonial heritage, Trouw reports. The move comes after last week’s decision by the Dutch National Museum of World Cultures to publish guidelines for countries to claim stolen art or art that is of great cultural significance to a country. more..

Jananath Warakagoda arrested and remanded over fatal accident

Mar 12 (AD) Popular Sri Lankan musician and composer Jananath Warakagoda has been arrested and remanded in connection with a fatal accident at Kirillawala, Kadawatha. Police said that the car driven by the 42-year-old musician had hit a woman on the pedestrian crossing in front of the Kirillawala divisional secretariat at around 5.30 a.m. this morning. The 62-year-old woman named Preethi de Silva, a resident of Kadawatha, had died on admission to the Ragama Teaching Hospital. more..

Petition against Mahinda’s premiership withdrawn

Mar 12 (AD) The petition filed against the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as the PM and his Cabinet of Ministers has been withdrawn. The attorney representing the petitioners informed the court of this decision when the petition was taken up before the Court of Appeal Judge Arjuna Obeysekara today. Accordingly, Appeals Court had allowed the withdrawal of the petition. The petition was filed by 122 MPs, from the UNP, TNA, JVP, SLMC and ACMC, against Rajapaksa and more..

Switch off 2 light bulbs daily, requests Ravi

Mar 12 (AD) The consumers are requested to use electricity sparingly and support in saving energy, says Minister Ravi Karunanayake. The minister made this request at a media briefing on the issues faced by the energy sector due to the prevailing dry weather conditions. He says that the water levels of the reservoirs connected to hydropower plants are receding by the day due to the lack of rain in the relevant area. more..

Planned Rail strike temporarily called off

Mar 12 (NR) The planned work to rule campaign, of railway drivers and guards that was due to be launched at midnight, has been temporarily called off. Railway drivers and guards decided to launch the trade union action based on several demands including concerns surrounding accommodation facilities provided to railway drivers. Secretary of the Railway Drivers Union Indika Dodangoda said a decision was reached to postpone the trade union action until tomorrow, following a pledge more..

Sri Lanka mulls labour imports to overcome shortages, spur growth

Mar 12 (EN) SL’s govt is planning urgent reforms to archaic labour laws to help revive economic growth and is even open to importing labour for sectors facing shortages, Minister Malik Samarawickrama said. “We are looking very quickly at labour reforms,” he told a forum held by Ernst & Young to discuss the govt’s 2019 budget presented in parliament last week. “Our labour laws are archaic and we need new laws to encourage start-ups. “We may even need to bring workers from overseas more..

Sri Lanka to restore tax slashed car privilege for state workers

Mar 12 (EN) SL will resume giving tax slashed cars to the state worker class, Minsier Mangala Samaraweera said, while taxes on vehicles bought by private sector workers, who are treated as second class taxable serfdom, have been hiked again in a budget for 2019. SL halted tax slashed permits for state workers as CB printed money in 2018, while trying to target an exchange rate and brought about a collapse of rupee. more..

US seeks funding for SL in 2020 budget

Mar 12 (CG) The US has sought funding for Sri Lanka in the 2020 budget. The Trump administration has sought funds for Sri Lanka through the US Department of State’s FY 2020 budget request. The funds have been sought to support SL’s economic development, demining and border control programs. The President’s FY 2020 budget request proposes $40 billion for the State Department and USAID. The FY 2020 budget request provides the necessary resources to protect US citizens, more..