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Over 240,000 teachers to fall sick today

Mar 13 (DN) Over 240,000 teachers from 6,000 schools are to go on a sick leave campaign starting today over the govtís failure to address their salary anomalies which has been unchanged since 1997, unionists said. Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) President Joseph Stalin said that they have reached such a decision after much deliberations. ďWe have asked for the salary anomalies to be rectified and an increment to be granted. more..

What does freedom mean to you?

Mar 13 (DM) Tomorrow one of the worldís leading television channels, the Cable News Network (CNN) marks My Freedom day - a day long, student-driven event to raise awareness of modern slavery. According to CNN, itís often hidden from sight, but modern slavery is a global problem. Among its many victims are at least 10 million children. But young people also make passionate and committed activists when it comes to fighting human trafficking. Thatís why CNN has asked more..

Ranil W.: Performance vs promises

Mar 13 (DM) The writerís article titled President Sirisena - Performance Versus Promises appeared in two newspapers on 16 Feb 2019. There was one inadvertent error in that article that required correction, namely, that it was Sri Lanka Telecom and not the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority to which President Maithripala Sirisena (MS) had appointed one of his brothers. However, the inference about the nepotistic nature of the appointment is not affected by this error. more..

Looking back

Mar 13 (DM) Looking back, reviewing all that has gone before and all that is ahead, how prepared are we to face the stark realities that we have to??? We are facing economic issues of alarming proportions, poverty is widespread; the country is unable to repay the loans that have been raised and as a result, the cost of living has skyrocketed!!! The most affected seem to be those who live in rural areas simply because more..

President leaves for Kenya

Mar 13 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena has today left for Kenya to attend the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi. The President Sirisena is attending the assembly on a special invitation received from Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. The fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly, themed Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production, more..

TNA happy about Budget allocations for North

Mar 13 (FT) Joining the Budget debate, ITAK Leader R. Sampanthan held his party will support political settlement provided within an undivided and indivisible Sri Lanka. Praising the Minister of Finance and the Govt for the considerable allocations made by the Budget 2019 for the development of the Northern and the Eastern provinces, Sampanthan held the Tamil people are longing for a political solution and more..

Facebook content moderators in Sri Lanka paid US$ 4 per hour

Mar 13 (DM) A year ago, the headline in the Guardian story I co-wrote read Sri Lanka blocks social media as deadly violence spreads. Since the block a lot has been written on the pros and cons of the move. There has also been a lot more attention on the part of govts and Facebook to quell the use of the platform for the spread of inflammatory content. There have been at least two high profile visits by Facebook company more..

'Concerned over borrowings from world financial markets at high interest rates'

Mar 13 (Island) Borrowing from the international financial markets where the lending rate was higher and the repayment period was shorter was putting the countryís macroeconomic fundamentals in wrong footing, Minister Rauff Hakeem said, yesterday. Taking part in the budget debate in Parliament, the SLMC Leader raised his concerns over resorting to float International Sovereign Bonds and Foreign Currency Term more..

Wannabe movie heroes bring terror to Jaffna with swordfights

Mar 13 (ST) Sword-wielding youth emulating the macho violence in their favourite South Indian films have brought fear to the streets of Kokuvil, 3km from Jaffna town, with internal gang wars and increasing criminal activity. This week alone, more than five incidents of sword attacks by gangs were reported in Jaffna, Madduvil, Chunnakam and Manipay, with houses and vehicles damaged. more..

Prez, PM, MR must jointly resolve national question: Sampanthan

Mar 13 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa should get together to resolve the national issue, TNA Leader and MP R. Sampanthan told Parliament. He said there was no reason why all three leaders could not come together and come up with a reasonable solution to the national issue based on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. more..

Mahinda says it is wrong of govt to blame all economic woes on him

Mar 13 (Island) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa told Parliament, that it was wrong for the govt to try to shift all the blame to him for the countryís economic ills. Participating in the budget debate, former President said: "Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, on March 05, presenting the budget debate blamed the 52-day government for all economic problems faced by people. His attempt was to shift the blame of present plight to me; more..

Now price formula for milk powder

Mar 13 (EN) Sri Lanka's price control agency will start a formula for milk powder, taking into account costs and exchange rate fluctuations, after controls led to shortages earlier in the year. Price controls forced smaller suppliers to halt imports and larger suppliers to run losses as the rupee collapsed. The cabinet of ministers had approved proposal by Minister P Harrison to implement the formula through Consumer Affairs Authority. more..

5-member SL delegation to leave for Geneva

Mar 13 (DM) As a result of consultations held with Prez Sirisena, a five-member delegation would leave for Geneva, Switzerland to represent Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said today. In a statement, it said the delegation would comprise of Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana (Leader of Delegation), MP Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Northern Province Governor Dr. Suren Raghavan, more..

Budget 2019 off target?

Mar 13 (FT) The share of voice (SOV) of the Budget 2019 was very strong with almost every newspaper every media station, paper or radio highlighting the opinions and challenges. But I did not see anyone report the research presentation that was made on 6 March (the day after the budget) at the Daily FT-Colombo University MBA Alumni Association Forum. Itís very strange but even with all the media reporting the Budget live that includes the mobile phone companies giving live updates more..

Nabbing stoned drivers

Mar 13 (CT) Getting behind the wheels after alcohol use has become a serious issue in Sri Lanka. A surprisingly large number of pedestrians as well as motorists are mowed down annually by road accidents caused by drunk driving. According to the statistics, 4,398 accidents have occurred and 304 persons have been killed in accidents due to drunk driving during the past three years. Mechanisms and facilities are already in place to detect persons who are driving under the influence of liquor, more..

Rusiripala & Faraz

Best from Germany to showcase at Build SL 2019

Mar 13 (FT) Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in SL (AHK Sri Lanka) is all set to present the best of its construction products and solutions in its first-ever country pavilion at the housing and construction expo Build SL 2019 scheduled to take place from 22 to 24 March at the BMICH. German pavilion located in exhibition Hall E, which is also the largest country pavilion at this yearís expo, focuses a lot on future topics such as energy efficiency in buildings, intelligence more..

Dockyard eyes LNG storage, hi-tech, smaller vessels

Mar 13 (EN) Colombo Dockyard, SLís listed shipyard, is changing its shipbuilding strategy and aiming to build high-technology, high-value vessels in the small to mid-size range, its chairman Toru Takehara said. The yard has been struggling in recent years with cancelled orders for new ships and severe competition for new orders with the protracted downturn in the shipping cycle. ď(Colombo Dockyard) is aiming at orders for high-density, high-tech vessels with high value more..

Khuram Shaikh murder: appeals challenging HC verdict withdrawn

Mar 13 (AD) Former Chairman of Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Sampath Vidanapathirana and two others, who were sentenced over the murder of British national Khuram Shaikh and the rape of his Russian partner in 2012, have withdrawn their appeals challenging the courtís verdict in the case. The appeals were taken up before the Court of Appeal Judges Shiran Gunaratne and Priyantha Fernando today. more..

'SL raised fuel prices below formula in Mar'

Mar 13 (EN) SL has raised fuel prices below a price formula to help people prepare for an upcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year season, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. From Dec 2018 to March 2019, crude prices have gone up by 30%, from about 53.8 dollars a barrel to US$ 70.4, he said. Under a formula, petrol prices should have been raised to 137 rupees a litre, but it was raised only to 132 rupees, he said. Diesel prices should have been raised to 117 rupees a litre but more..

No Bus fare hike!

Mar 13 (NR) The All Island Private Bus Owners Federation says it will not increase bus fares, despite the hike in fuel prices that came into effect as of today. Secretary Anjana Priyanjith claimed the increase in diesel prices does not have a major impact on bus fares. The revised fuel prices that were imposed as of midnight yesterday are currently in effect. Accordingly a litre of 92 Octane Petrol was increased by Rs.3 while a litre of 95 Octane petrol was increased by Rs.7. more..

Pengiriwatte Sudda arrested over diamond heist

Mar 13 (AD) Another suspect linked to the Rs 5 billion diamond robbery has been arrested by the Mirihana Special Crimes Unit at Delkanda today. A 40-year-old male named Chamila Perera alias Pengiriwatte Sudda from Gangodawila, Nugegoda has been arrested in this manner. Further interrogation of the suspect had led to the discovery of the vehicle used for the crime hidden at a house in Piliyandala area. more..

7 suspects of Rathgama incident remanded again

Mar 13 (NR) The 7 suspects arrested over the kidnap and murder of the two businessmen in Rathgama, have been further remanded till the 27th of March. The order was issued by Galle Chief Magistrate KPS Harshan. The group of suspects include the former Officer in Charge of the Southern Province Special Investigations Unit and five other police officers. The other suspect charged in the case is the Forest Officer in charge of the Walasmulla Forest. more..

Standard Chartered Belt and Road relays comes to Sri Lanka

Mar 13 (FT) The SL leg of the Standard Chartered Belt and Road Relay took place at the Arcade, Independence Square last evening, where eight staff athletes from the bankís diverse footprint in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, continued their 90-day journey across the 44 Belt and Road markets. Standard Chartered Belt and Road Relay aims to highlight the bankís continued commitment to Belt and Road, and the positive impact of the initiative to communities and more..

Revised vehicle taxes only on LCs opened after March 6

Mar 13 (GDI) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera says that the taxes on import of motor vehicles proposed by the 2019 Budget will be implemented only on letters of credit (LCs) opened after March 6, 2019. Responding to a question regarding the date of imposition of the luxury tax, during a press briefing, he said that the vehicle taxes introduced in the budget will only apply to LCs opened on Mar 6 or after. more..

Glaucoma walk

Mar 13 (GDI) Glaucoma walk will take place from Viharamahadevi Park to the National Eye Hospital tomorrow, Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr. Dilruwani Ariyasinghe said. She said that an eye clinic for the public will take place opposite Borella Cemetery at CMC Polyclinic on March 13th. Another eye clinic will be held in Galleon March 15th Friday. According to Consultant Eye Surgeons, it is important for all above the age of 40 to undergo screening for glaucoma because it can make people blind more..

Pak Envoy called on the PM

Mar 13 (PHC) High Commissioner of Pakistan, Maj. Gen. (R) Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat called on PM Ranil Wickramasinghe on March 12, 2019 and briefed him on regional security situation following the Pulwama incident. The High Commissioner apprised the PM about Pakistanís desire for peace and stability in the region and resolution of all issues through meaningful negotiations and dialogue. He also underlined Pakistanís resolve to protect its territory against any external aggression. more..

IUSF Convener arrested

Mar 13 (AD) Convener of the Inter University Studentsí Federation (IUSF) Maheel Dehideniya has been arrested over unruly behavior during the protest at the Parliament Road, stated the Police. A protest was launched by the IUSF earlier today over several demands including the defeat of the Counter-Terrorism Act and abolishment of the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The protest commenced at 1 pm this afternoon from more..

Potato farmers not properly paid

Mar 13 (CT) Chairman of the All Ceylon Peasants Federation (ACPF), Namal Karunaratne claimed that potato farmers hadnít received the due payment for potatoes which the Ministry of Industry and Commerce purchased six months ago. Karunaratne claimed that 2,044,000 kilograms of potatoes were purchased from farmers by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce six to seven months ago and that only big potatoes were taken. He added that the promised amount hasnít been paid in its more..

Principal nabbed soliciting Rs 8,000

Mar 13 (CT) The CIABOC said the principal of Deiyandara National School in Matara has been arrested while receiving a bribe of Rs 8,000 yesterday (12). The principal was apprehended by officers of the Commission while soliciting the bribe from a parent to enroll the child into a Grade Six class at the school. He had reportedly sought a bribe of Rs 15,000 to enroll the student and had previously accepted a portion of that sum (Rs 7,000) from the studentís parents on 10 March. more..

Tuk fares to hike up in line with fuel prices?

Mar 13 (NR) All Island Three-wheeler Drivers Association has directed its attention towards increasing fares in line with the hike in fuel prices that came into effect as of today. Chairman of the Association Sudil Jayaruk said the final decision pertaining to the matter will be reached following a discussion scheduled for this afternoon. Jayaruk said there is a need to increase three-wheeler fares subsequent to the increase in more..

Case against Hirunika fixed for trial

Mar 13 (DN) The case against Colombo district Parliamentarian Hirunika Premachandra for her alleged involvement in the abduction of a youth using a Defender was yesterday fixed for trial by the Colombo High Court. Accordingly, the case was fixed for trial on April 24 by High Court Judge Shashi Mahendran. The witnesses in the case were advised to appear in courts on next trial date. MP Hirunika Premachandra was not present in court yesterday since she attended Parliament sessions. more..

'Talks with SLFP to commence tomorrow'

Mar 13 (DM) Official talks between the SLFP and SLPP would commence tomorrow to discuss a political alliance among other issues, SLPP National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa said. Addressing a news briefing, he said that they would attend the discussion with an open mind with no strings attached. Representing the SLPP camp, its Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris, Senior Lecturer Jagath Wellawatte and Joint Opposition National Organiser Dullas Alahapperuma would attend meeting. more..

Govt to absorb global fuel market price increase: Mangala

Mar 13 (DM) Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that the govt would absorb any sharp increase in fuel prices in the global market and not let it affects the domestic market adversely. He added that the latest fuel price hike on Tuesday night was unavoidable and the increase was not proportionate in line with the current fuel prices in the global market. He said the newest price hike on fuel was then the lowest possible and more..

No Boeing B737 Max aircraft flying over or to Sri Lanka

Mar 13 (EN) Sri Lanka is monitoring the safety issue of Boeing B737 Max aircraft after a crash in Ethiopia, but no aircraft is overflying or landing in the island at the moment, Director General of Civil Aviation H M C Nimalsiri said. No domestic carrier operates Boeing B737 - 8 aircraft and six operator who flew the model to Bandaranaike International Airport have grounded the aircraft. India has also banned the model from its skies, effectively blocking the entry to Sri Lanka, more..

336 Illegal immigrants took to sea between 2018-2019

Mar 13 (CT) SL Navy and Coast Guards of the Seychelles and a French Department in the Indian Oceanís Rťunion Island, have intercepted eight SL boats carrying 336 boat people between 2018 and to date. Navy has intercepted four engine boats and nabbed 179 illegal migrants thus far. So far, only 20 persons were deported while 132 among them are still remaining as illegal migrants. Seychelles coast guards intercepted one boat that voyaged to Seychelles with six passengers and deported more..

Video: Presidentís Expenditure Head passed without a vote

Mar 13 (AD) Presidentís Expenditure Head under the Budget 2019 was passed in the Parliament without being taken up for a vote. All budget Expenditure Heads for the year 2019 were taken up for debate at the parliament today (13). Accordingly, twenty-five Expenditure Heads, including the Presidentís, were passed at the parliamentary session. All Expenditure Heads were approved unanimously and without a vote. more..

Recognising The Missing Legal System

Mar 14 (CT) A well-functioning legal system can be measured by its response to daily crimes and complaints. This is a much better test in fact, rather than a countryís constitution (in SLís case, the 1978 constitution still remains a major barrier to the functioning of a legal system), or statutes, or judicial presence, all of which are often portrayed as an indicator of a good system. Several such crimes and incidents occurred in the last few days, which did not receive their due publicity more..

Lawmaking in a multicultural society

Mar 14 (DM) Sri Lanka is culturally so diverse that the many communities that live here have their own description about development. Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa is bellowing at the top of his voice that there is nothing that the Govt can show in terms of development. Recently at a rally in Kandy the Pohottuwa stalwart said that he would have come to Kandy on the Central Province Express Highway if the govt led by him was in power. Politicians like Rajapaksa calculate more..

Angampora: 5,000 years of combat tradition

Mar 14 (SO) Throughout the ages every nation has practised fighting forms. One of the oldest fighting forms in Asia is Angampora, an indigenous SL martial art that has withstood the test of time. The term Angampora is derived from two words angam meaning body and pora meaning to attack (fight). In the ancient times of our monarchs this martial art focused on three segments- angampora (unarmed hand to hand combat), more..