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EIA for Kondachchi industrial zone

Mar 23 (DN) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said in Parliament that an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is being done to establish a 25-acre industrial zone in Kondachchi in the Musali DS area. He made this observation in response to queries by Chief Opposition Whip and UPFA MP Mahinda Amaraweera and UPFA MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage as to whether the media reports on building a 75-acre industrial zone near Wilpattu are true or not. more..

SI stabbed during anti-narcotics walk: Posthumously promoted IP

Mar 23 (DN) A Sub-Inspector who was stabbed during an anti-narcotics walk in Warakapola later succumbed to injuries. He has been posthumously promoted to the rank of Inspector of Police (IP) on the instructions of the IGP. SI Upali Samarasekara had formerly served as the Community Police OIC at the Warakapola Police station. The incident had taken place when the sub-inspector was attending an anti-narcotics poster campaign organised by students of a school in the vicinity of more..

Implementing power cuts without prior notice illegal: PUCSL

Mar 23 (DM) It is illegal to implement power cuts without prior approval of the Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL) and informing the general public beforehand, PUCSL Director Corporate Communications Jayanat Herat said. PUCSL has written to CEB General Manager S.D.W. Gunawardana on March 19 on the matter. Herat said the Commission has received complaints from consumers all over the country regarding more..

Cabinet approval for PM to recruit 7,500 PAs

Mar 23 (DM) The Cabinet on Tuesday gave the green light to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to recruit 7,500 Project Assistants (PAs) to carry out the government's development programmes speedily and productively. The unemployed youth who have studied up to GCE (A/L) are qualified to apply for the post of PAs. They will be recruited under the National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Northern Development, Vocational Training and Skills Development more..

Fresh push for 100MW floating solar project

Mar 23 (PV) The SL govt has revived previously announced plans for a 100MW floating solar project, green-lighting its construction alongside Canadian partners. Earlier this week, the cabinet signed off on the addition of a floating installation on the Maduru Oya reservoir, on the island’s east. The scheme was first proposed in 2017 and will now be, ministers agreed, developed through a joint venture with Canadian Solar Institute; the partnership was proposed by Canada’s own govt. more..

Rishad says no forest near Wilpattu cleared for settlements after 2012

Mar 23 (Island) Rebuffing social media criticism about Wilpattu deforestation, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, maintained in Parliament that no forest area adjacent to Wilpattu was cleared for resettlement after 2012. He also urged the authorities to investigate the matter and punish if any politician was responsible for deforestation in Wilpattu. At the same time, he complained that three tourist hotels were located inside Wilpattu National Park more..

1,500 illegal coastal buildings being demolished

Mar 23 (ST) The Coast Conservation Department (CCD) has begun the demolition of more than 1,500 illegally constructed buildings, including hotels, restaurants and houses, on the coastline throughout the country, a senior official said. The demolition began this week at Unawatuna in Galle, Bambalapitiya and Mt Lavinia. CCD Director General Prabath Chandrakeerthi said the illegal constructions were identified in a study which cost Rs. 15 million. more..

Death of Beliatte PS Opposition Leader: Was it homicide or suicide?

Mar 23 (Island) Beliatte PS Opposition leader (UNP) Kapila Samarakoon (44) who had received gunshot injuries to a thigh on Tuesday while being at his home in Moderawila, Debokkawa, died yesterday at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital after being transferred from the Tangalle Hospital. Investigators were trying to ascertain whether it was a homicide or a suicide due to a family dispute. The victim was a father of two. Those injuries had resulted in excessive bleeding, hospital sources said. more..

TNA warns govt of international judicial mechanism unless it sets up hybrid court

Mar 23 (Island) TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran appealed to the govt to implement the UNHRC resolution the country had co-sponsored for the third time, last Thursday. Sumanthiran warned, "I want to make one thing very clear. The govt of SL has made these commitments three times in writing. But if they do not adhere to this commitment of including independent foreign judges in the judicial mechanism, then more..

Love and be educated by forests

Mar 23 (DM) Sri Lanka actively joined the world community on Thursday to mark the International Day of Forests with the theme being Forest and Education. In a statement to mark the event, the UN says when we drink a glass of water, write in a notebook, take medicine for an ailment or build a house, we do not often see the connection with forests. Yet, these and many other aspects of our lives are linked to forests in one way or another. Forests, their sustainable management and more..

On getting the history of the economy right

Mar 23 (DM) Following the end of the war, SL’s economy grew at dizzying rates, some of the highest recorded in the region and, quite possibly, the world. The investment and consumption boom in the N&E, which had hitherto been shut from the rest of the country, was lavishly and eagerly fuelled by the private sector and sponsored by govt. This resulted in the economy growing at twice the rate it had grown before: in 2009 it grew by 3.4%, while in 2010 and 2011 it would grow by 8% and 8.4%. more..

Rajapaksas close ranks behind Gota as presidential candidate

Mar 23 (DM) Is Mahinda playing fair by Gota in the presidential candidacy issue? was the title of an article by this writer that was published a fortnight ago in Daily Mirror. Let me begin this week’s article by excerpting five relevant paragraphs from the D.B.S. Jeyaraj column of Mar 9, 2019. Here are the first four paragraphs from the beginning of the article – “Is former Prez Rajapaksa playing fair by his younger brother Gotabaya as far as more..

Govt and Opposition without a vision: Rathana Thera

Mar 23 (DM) While claiming that the govt and the opposition had no vision and policy on organic farming, Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said the person who supported the organic farming would win the next prez election. Participating in the committee stage debate of the Agricultural Ministry, he said some opposition MPs spoke on the need to completely lift the glyphosate ban and added that the opposition had no vision on the matter. more..

Serious consequences feared from rising heat

Mar 23 (ST) The worsening hot weather is impacting the health of people, depleting drinking water supplies and has reduced hydropower generation. It is also set to badly affect agricultural production, including vegetables. Kurunegala is among the areas which reported the highest temperatures last Friday. The Meteorology Department issued an extreme caution warning for most parts of the Northwestern Province. more..

Mannar mass grave: US report a small piece in complex puzzle

Mar 23 (ST) While a US carbon dating report into six human skeleton samples taken from Sri Lanka’s largest mass grave revealed they belong to the 15th century, the Mannar Magistrates’ Court is yet to rule on the next step in the exhumation. The court is to hear the case on March 22. Two weeks ago, the radiocarbon dating report by Florida-based Beta Analytic Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory, which found that the remains more..

PM to meet PSC amid controversy over national school principal appointments

Mar 23 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is to meet the Public Service Commission on Monday to discuss outstanding issues, among which is the alleged discrepancies in a new marking system for appointments of national school principals. The move came after the old boys and past pupils associations of several national schools in a letter complained to the Education Ministry Secretary over the issues created by more..

Songs aired on TV and Radio: Cabinet nod for royalty to singers & song writers

Mar 23 (DM) The Cabinet on Tuesday gave its approval to make it mandatory for all TV, Radio and FM stations to pay royalties to singers and musicians and other artistes involved in creating songs and musical programmes every time they are aired. Royalties will be paid to living artistes and next of kin of those who are no more under the Intellectual Property Amendment) Act of 2018. “Where a Broadcasting Organization more..

Experts slam Govt’s new policy on people displaced by projects

Mar 23 (ST) Specialists have slammed the Govt’s new policy for resettling those displaced by development projects. It is disturbing that the policy—produced by the National Agency for Public Private Partnership (NAPPP) under the Finance Ministry—makes the Valuation Department the final arbiter for deciding compensation payments, say Ruwani Jayawardene and Sam Pillai, resettlement experts who helped draft more..

Weerasekara castigates Sri Lanka for co-sponsoring resolution

Mar 23 (DM) Former MP Sarath Weerasekara who spoke at the UNHRC session in Geneva said SL leaders and not the people are cowards to co-sponsor the resolution. He said, "This is a roll over resolution by UK and Germany. The initial one based on Darusman report which even Lord Nasby has challenged. Britain PM Theresa May said she would even change the human right laws to protect her soldiers fighting terrorism. more..

Half of Sri Lanka's tuk-tuks not taxis; most drivers middle-aged: Research

Mar 23 (EN) Only 47% of the over million registered three-wheeler are used for hiring, most drivers are middle aged and for 12% of them it is a secondary occupation, economic researchers have pointed out, fact-checking false claims of planners and interventionists. About 75% of the three wheeler drivers have not passed the GCE O/L, Thisali de Silva and Nisha Arunatilake, from Institute of Policy Studies said in a research report. more..

Video: No land given in Wilpattu during last 4 years: President

Mar 23 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena today said that the govt has not given any land area in the Wilpattu forest reserve to any individual or institution during the last four years. He stated this in reference to allegations leveled against the govt regarding the issue of deforestation and alleged clearing of forest areas for resettlement within the Wilpattu reserve. He stated that the Wilpattu issue has become a much discussed more..

Abducting the Podujana Peramuna

Mar 24 (SO) Within hours of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s historic defeat at the 2015 Prez Election, our President of nine years bowed his head, vacated Temple Trees and gracefully departed for Medamulane Wallauwa to lick his wounds and plan for the future. Within months, he attempted a hasty comeback contesting the 2015 Parliamentary elections on a mandate of returning as PM. Twice in just eight months, the man who would be king was rebuffed by the electorate. more..

Sumanthiran’s Theatrics

Mar 24 (SO) On Friday Parliament was entertained to TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran’s theatrics. He threatened to take Govt to the International Criminal Court if it doesn’t implement Thursday’s UNHRC resolution which has directed it to hold war crimes investigations in respect of the island’s 26-year separatist war with international jurists by March 2021. Theatrics because UNHRC resolutions are non-binding, with his comments directed for the digestion of rich & powerful Tamilian diaspora more..

Thajudeen’s family hits back at Mahinda

Mar 24 (SO) The family of murdered SL Rugby Captain Wasim Thajudeen broke its silence last week, after former President Mahinda Rajapaksa quipped callously at a SLPP event in Kegalle that it was speed that had killed the young sporting icon, even after a court ruled his death a murder three years ago. Ayesha Thajudeen, the sister of the murdered rugby player has refused press interviews for many months. more..

EPF and the stock market

Mar 24 (Island) Central Bank has for the last several months been setting up the necessary safeguards to enable the EPF to return to stock market activity. The bank as well as the govt has been under tremendous pressure for the past several months to return to the market which on Friday hit a six-year low. The EPF is a two trillion rupee fund – the richest in the country – holding and managing the retirement savings of the country’s non-public sector employees who have no pensions to fall back more..

After storm over UNHRC resolution, Wilpattu clearance; Karu’s honour brings calm

Mar 24 (ST) The TNA, whose support is crucial for the survival of the UNF Govt, delivered a blunt warning in Parliament this week, over what it claimed were attempts to backtrack from setting up a hybrid judicial mechanism consisting of foreign judges to probe alleged war crimes and human rights violations. Speaking on Friday, a day after Sri Lanka co-sponsored the UNHRC Resolution 40/L.1 in Geneva, TNA MP and Party Spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran warned that the Tamil people more..

'Tamils and Sinhalese must be wary of Tamil Diaspora'

Mar 24 (CT) Anglican Bishop Emeritus of the Kurunegala Diocese, Most Reverend, Gregory Shantha Kumar Francis, despite his Tamil ethnicity, rose against the transgression of politically-driven traitors of the Tamil Diaspora who carry out campaigns against Sri Lanka in the int'l arena. Due to Bishop Francis’ patriotism, he encountered many unpleasant situations propelled by anti-patriotic Tamil Diaspora to silence him. more..

An evergreen’s birthday

Mar 24 (ST) My dear Green Man, I thought I must write to you when I realised that it was your 70th birthday today. Rather than send you a birthday card – of which you must be receiving thousands – I thought I should write to you about a few matters, especially as this milestone means you have now reached the biblical lifespan! You have been in Parliament probably longer than anyone else alive now – for 42 years. You have also been leader of the Greens for 25 years, by far the longest more..

No lessons learnt from Dubai snub

Mar 24 (ST) It is about time someone counselled the President on matters of protocol when it comes to issues relating to foreign affairs and foreign policy. President was never really groomed in foreign affairs during his political career. At most, he would attend a conference abroad as a Cabinet Minister, a practice he continues notwithstanding the fact that he is now a Head of State and Head of Govt. He is not just a Cabinet Minister now; he is the President of the Republic. more..


Kerawalapitiya LNG power plant tender imbroglio

Mar 24 (Island) Even though the UNP opened up the economy in 1977 and eschewed the protectionist, closed economic model followed by the preceding Sirima Bandaranaike govt, the UNP at least when it was under J.R.Jayewardene, never took leave of their senses. Despite their stated ideology of an open economy, when common sense or a lack of alternatives required it, the old UNP was not averse to adopt policies that looked SLFPish. For example, when the Pelwatte Sugar Co was started in more..

The Presidential Candidate Imbroglio

Mar 24 (SO) Speculations about the next presidential election became renewed and heated again last week. Among media reports about the forthcoming election, the most crucial was the news that a decision had been made by the Rajapaksa family that Gotabaya Rajapaksa would be the SLPP presidential candidate. This media report is important due to two other factors. The first is that the incumbent Prez Sirisena can no longer hope to be the joint presidential candidate of SLPP, more..

Gota reveals Karu’s future prez candidacy

Mar 24 (CT) At a religious event held last Wednesday to felicitate the benefactors of the Sri Gauthama Viharaya in Narahenpita, National Organiser of the UNP Minister Navin Dissanayake called former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa a future Presidential candidate. Even though, it was not clear what intentions were behind his remarks, Rajapaksa indeed did not budge and in fact, revealed another name who in his words more..

'Coaches should not win at any cost'

Mar 24 (SO) Former SL batsman and present Ananda College coach Sanjeeva Ranatunga said that everyone must keep in mind that it’s not winning or losing that matters but how one played the game. The former Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year said schoolboy cricketers must play only for the love of the game while coaches should refrain from trying to win at any cost. “These ugly practices ruin the game. During our playing era, these ugly practices were not followed,” said Sanjeewa more..

Cricket needs to wake up from slumber

Mar 24 (Island) The causal manner in which Sri Lanka Cricket dismisses serious concerns facing the sport is alarming indeed. The national cricket team’s woes in white ball cricket continued in South Africa where they were handed another 5-0 drubbing. Once a World Champion outfit, currently in shorter formats of the game we are at the receiving end as opposition teams are handing us cleansweeps at will. The reaction SLC is offering to these debacles make you sense that more..

Malinga mulls retirement after T20 WC in 2020

Mar 24 (ST) Lasith Malinga who is almost assured of a place in the 50-over World Cup squad in England in June, aims to play next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia before signing off from international cricket. Malinga, 35, has picked up 322 wickets from 218 ODI games–including a rare four-in-four balls against South Africa in the 2007 World Cup and has 97 wickets in 72 T20Is. He is three wickets away from becoming more..

Can Sri Lanka find elusive win in tour-ending dead rubber?

Mar 24 (CI) And so to the Bullring for the last international of the South African summer. Aside from the surprise Test defeat to Sri Lanka, the hosts have enjoyed great success this season, winning every series. This one is also in the bag, after David Miller and Imran Tahir aced the Super Over at Newlands and Isuru Udana's one-man show went unsupported at Centurion, and despite the absence of a couple of key players South Africa appear set to make it 3-0. more..

Cricket selectors in a dilemma

Mar 24 (SO) The SL Cricket selectors headed by Ashantha de Mel and comprising Brendon Kuruppu, Chaminda Mendis and Hemantha Wickremaratne will be in a dilemma when they sit to pick the squad for the World Cup in England in May/June. We say this because going on the form of our cricketers now in South Africa they have been an absolute calamity and a big disappointment. Not one batsman or a bowler has shown consistency. As fielders they have more often than not been butter fingered. more..

More Sri Lankans in charge-list

Mar 24 (ST) More Sri Lankans will be charged under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code as the watchdog body edges closer to completing their months-long investigations into match fixing in SL, a senior official said. SLC has been under investigation since 2017 after several former players questioned the manner in which the team conceded an ODI series to Zimbabwe at home (3-2). “Our investigations are ongoing and more people more..

One Galle Face Job Fair attracts more than 5,000 job seekers

Mar 24 (Island) One Galle Face, the much-anticipated premier luxury lifestyle destination, attracted more than 5,000 job seekers at one of Colombo’s largest Job Fairs held recently. Over 2,000 job opportunities were available at the Job Fair and more than 50 tenants were on hand to meet with job seekers over the two-day event. The vacancies were across One Galle Face Mall’s diverse business mix ranging from banking, fashion, beauty and wellness, food and beverage, more..