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Private company illegally diverts local water source

Mar 25 (CT) Chairman of the Norwood Pradeshiya Sabha Ravi Kulandaivel has lodged a complaint with the Norwood Police stating that a private company is diverting the waters from a stream, coming from the mountain close to Dickoya Saanjimalai upper division, to its beverage producing plant, thereby depriving the villagers of a water source. Villagers say they benefitted from the natural stream until the private company siphoned the running water for industrial purposes. more..

UNP to send names of SLFPers to be made ministers to President

Mar 25 (DM) The UNP, as the dominant ally of the govt, will send the names of some MPs representing the SLFP to President Sirisena to be appointed as ministers. Prez is reported to have given his nod to increase the size of the Cabinet by accommodating some MPs from the SLFP. Already, half a dozen of SLFP MPs have joined hands with the govt. UNP will propose MPs Wijith Wijeyamuni Zoysa, Piyasena Gamage, Lakshman Seneviratne and A.H.M. Fowzie to be appointed as ministers. more..

Govt to spend Rs. 6.9 billion for interception equipment in the name of The war on drugs

Mar 25 (CT) Prez Srisena in his capacity as the Defence Minister has sought cabinet approval to purchase USD 38.9 million (Rs 6,924,200,00) worth of interception equipment from an unnamed Israeli company bypassing transparent procurement procedures while keeping cabinet in the dark. Srisena’s cabinet paper says: “Due to sensitive nature of this project, the need for secrecy and confidentiality & the urgent requirement, more..

Initiative to promote domestic air travel

Mar 25 (Island) Chamber of Tourism and Industry along with domestic airline operators has brought forward issues confronting the domestic airline industry which hinder the promotion of tourism in the country. Chamber after having discussions with the Airline operators has come forward with important suggestions for the consideration of the authorities. President Chamber of Tourism and Industry A.M. Jaufer said that it takes 8 to 12 hrs to reach destinations in N&E by road more..

Dullas considers Rishad luck, warns Ruwan

Mar 25 (Island) UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma said Rishad Bathiudeen seemed to be the luckiest minister in the present cabinet of ministers. He said: "I congratulate Bathiudeen on his success. He has been given the highest number of ministries in the present cabinet. It shows that he is the most trusted Minister by both Prez and PM. While he has been accused of doing severe damage to the environment by clearing up Wilpattu jungle, he has also been given the one and only Green Uni in SL. more..

Galle Face luxury flats Rs 17.8b money-spinner for Shangri-La

Mar 25 (ST) Luxury hotels owner and operator Shangri-La Asia has generated mega bucks from the 372 prime Colombo ocean-front luxury flats it has sold. The Hong Kong-listed hotel and real estate company predicts US$100 million (Rs 17.80 billion) operating profit from sale of residences in One Galle Face development in Colombo this year. About 76% of the flats have been pre-sold by the end of Dec 2018. more..

Two accomplices of Dematagoda Chaminda arrested

Mar 25 (DM) Two criminal gang members Welipare Karun and Lal Baba two accomplices of the prominent underworld figure Chaminda Jayanath alias Dematagoda Chaminda were arrested by the STF officers this evening, police spokesman said. The suspects were arrested with 50 grams of heroin in their possession. Addressing the media he said the suspects were identified as Kasun Chinthaka (27) alias Welipare Karun and Aruna Udaya Kumara (46) alias Lal Baba. more..

Sri Lanka biodiversity platform gets water management expertise

Mar 25 (EN) International Water Management Institute (IWMI), based in Colombo, will become a partner of Biodiversity Sri Lanka (BSL), giving the outfit promoting biodiversity and environmental conservation access to water management expertise. IWMI will serve as an associate member of Biodiversity SL (BSL), strengthening its ability to provide added technical support to its membership on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and biodiversity conservation, more..

SriLankan Airlines London-Colombo flight diverted owing to medical emergency

Mar 25 (EN) SriLankan Airlines said an overnight flight from London to Colombo Sunday was diverted to Bucharest, Romania, owing to a passenger’s medical emergency, and would be resumed after a scheduled crew rest. “Upon landing, airport medical personnel immediately boarded the aircraft and provided medical assistance to the passenger, who was suspected to be suffering from kidney failure,” a statement said. more..

CWC still undecided on coalition

Mar 25 (CT) Two weeks ago, the Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) which is closely associating with the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) voted for the second reading of the Budget, creating some speculation about the new coalition talks between the CWC and the SLPP. The SLPP formed a panel recently to hold talks with the political parties and civil society organisations. The CWC’s senior member and former leader MP Muththu Sivalingam is also a member of that panel. more..

Father sells infant for Rs 1,000

Mar 25 (CT) In a bizarre incident that took place in Dikwella, a father has sold his five-month-old infant, to a woman in his neighbourhood, for Rs 1,000 to get money for alcohol that day. On a tip-off received by the Police, the father was arrested on 22 March. He was produced before the Matara Additional Magistrate. He was ordered to furnish bail in Rs 5,000 cash and personal bail in Rs 200,000 and to be present in Court on 30 May. The suspect, a father of four was identified as more..

JVP blames govt for charlatans and rogue businessmen using TV to hoodwink masses

Mar 25 (Island) The govt has overlooked the exploitation of the masses by charlatans using television to sell talismans, amulets, lucky plants, conch shells and cosmetics, the JVP says. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, participating in the third reading stage budget debate under the expenditure heads of the Ministry of Mass Media, said that media was the most powerful decision maker & opinion creator in society. more..

Dy. Minister Pathirana asks for PSC to get to bottom of Wilpattu allegations

Mar 25 (Island) Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Buddhika Pathirana has sought the support of fellow MPs to make a request to the Speaker to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee to probe the destruction of the Wilpattue forest. He said that various stories were being circulated in media and social media platforms and there was a pressing need to get at the truth as regards the issue and the best way to do so was to appoint a PSC. more..

Iranians nabbed with heroin detained until 29th March

Mar 25 (AD) Colombo Magistrate’s Court has permitted the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) to detain and interrogate the nine Iranians, who were arrested on March 24th with over 100kg of heroin. The suspects were produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today. As these suspects are not able to communicate in English, the police said the assistance of the Embassy of Iran in SL will be acquired to record statements from them. Accordingly, Chief Magistrate ordered more..

AIADMK seeks probe into human rights violations in Sri Lanka

Mar 25 (PTI) AIADMK Sunday reiterated that it would seek a credible international probe into alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka during the three-decade long ethnic conflict, which ended in 2009. "We will urge the govt of India, UN and int'l communities to press for a credible international probe into human rights violations, war crimes and genocide in SL," party said in its 10-page annexure of the manifesto, released on March 18. more..

Chengdu businesses eye steel plant in H'tota

Mar 25 (EN) A business delegation from the south-western Chinese city of Chengdu has shown interest in setting up a steel plant Hambantota, the investment promotion agency said. The purpose of the visit by the delegation from Chengdu Association for Foreign Trade and Cooperation (CAFTEC) was to promote Sri Lanka and particularly projects in Hambantota, the Board of Investment said in a statement. Chen Xia, Secretary General of CAFTEC said Chengdu has emerged as more..

'OHCHR chief admits UN report erroneous'

Mar 25 (DM) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet admitted there were mistakes in compiling the UNHRC report on SL and thus advised the two officials who attended to the compilation to be more responsible and cautious hereafter, NP Governor Dr. Suren Raghavan said today. He said UN Human Rights Chief – whom he recently met with in Geneva – admitted that certain facts incorporated in the UNHRC report against SL could not be condoned whatsoever. more..

'No land in Wilpattu Forest reserve released'

Mar 25 (CT) After May 2013 no land at the Wilpattu Forest Reserve was released for any task, Forest Conservation Department (FCD) said, rejecting allegations and reports that stated otherwise. They said that people began building houses in 2015 on lands that were released that year and the people who have been settled in these lands have engaged in clearing those lands but no forest lands were cleared. more..

SL powerlifters create history in Australia

Mar 25 (DN) Sri Lanka’s powerlifting team created history when they emerged overall men’s champions at the Qualifying Event for the World Powerlifting Championship held in Gold Coast, Australia. Sri Lanka fielded a team of 11 powerlifters for the qualifying event and they returned with a tally of eight gold medals and four silver medals. Representing 23 countries, a total of 600 athletes competed at the Qualifying Event for the World Powerlifting Championship held in Australia. more..

Rs. 25,000 fine for 7 traffic offences

Mar 25 (DM) Fines for seven traffic offences are to be increased to Rs. 25,000 with the aim of reducing the number of deaths caused by road accidents, State Minister Ashok Abesinghe said. The proposal was brought forward once before, but only succeeded in increasing fines for several motor traffic offences by Rs, 3,000. Abesinghe pointed out that there was a considerable decrease in road accidents when the proposal to increase fines to Rs. 25,000 was discussed previously. more..

RMV most corrupt institution: Hirunika

Mar 25 (DM) UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra said today the Motor Traffic Department was the most corrupt institution in the country and requested for an immediate investigation into it. She said the head of the RMV was involved in a huge financial scam through the printing of driving licenses. She revealed that an agreement had been signed with a South African Company for seven years to print driving licenses but more..

Sri Lanka and Singapore in new koloppan

Mar 26 (ST) When that rumbustious Weerawansa during the 2015 election campaign addressed the then opposition presidential candidate as “aiyo Sirisena”, one felt that the garrulous politician, hanging on to Mahinda Rajapaksa’s sataka, was being deliberately condescending and consciously insulting Maithripala Sirisena. It seemed that Weerawansa considered himself Zeus and sought to dismiss Sirisena with a shake of his coiffed head, not to mention his well-trimmed beard. more..

Tools of suppression: PSO, PTA and CTB

Mar 26 (CT) The above abbreviations represent the Public Security Ordinance of 1947 (PSO), Prevention of Terrorism Act, No. 48 of 1979 (PTA) and the current Bill in Parliament titled Counter Terrorism Bill (CTB). Former PM, late W. Dahanayake, a well-known nonconformist still holds the record for the longest speech ever made by a member in the Legislature of SL. This was during the debate on the Appropriation Bill in the State Council when he spoke for 13 and half hours. more..

From Madol Duwa to Kukureu: Literary relations between Russia and Sri Lanka

Mar 26 (Roar) “Yes, there will be winter, there will be cold, there will be snowstorms, but then there will be spring again.” Anyone who reads Sri Lankan Sinhala literature will be very familiar with these lines from The First Teacher by Chingiz Aitmatov. Translated as Guru Geethaya in Sinhala, it has for long been among the most popular books in Sri Lanka over the years. In fact, translations of Russian literature are among the most more..

Widening trade deficits increase external financial vulnerability

Mar 26 (ST) Progressively increasing trade deficits have been a root cause for the country’s weak external finances. The reduction of the trade deficit is crucial to generate a balance of payments (BOP) surplus to reduce foreign borrowing and minimize external financial vulnerability. A significant BOP surplus is necessary to avoid further foreign borrowing at high cost to meet foreign debt servicing obligations. Foreign borrowing increases foreign indebtedness, weakens external finances more..

Ranil Wickremesinghe 70 years on: A kindly reflexion on his leadership style

Mar 26 (CT) Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, is the most unfairly maligned political leader in Sri Lanka. At the same time, he is the most underestimated or underrated. Ranil is also the least flamboyant of leaders. He goes about in his normal shirt and trouser unless on special occasions where he puts on a simple coat and tie. He wears no satakaya because he isn’t interested in trying to act. He is no actor and it is unlikely he would ever be a stage or movie star. more..

Another Admiral to be docked as CID busts spin-off Navy abduction racket

Mar 26 (SO) In June 2010 the gang robbery unit of the CID led by its OIC Inspector Nishantha Silva commenced an investigation into a suspected abduction for ransom racket run by Naval intelligence teams at the time. As investigations into the case of 11 missing youth believed to have been abducted by the group intensified over the years, explosive revelations in court recently implicated Naval top brass including several celebrated more..

Will SL have a leader like Jacinda Ardern?

Mar 26 (Island) The world has witnessed another massacre of Muslim worshippers in two Mosques, Christchurch, New Zealand, by a deranged Australian born white supremacist Brenton Tarrant. This is not the first time places of worship have come under brutal attack. Muslims were the victims of Christchurch attack on Friday, March 15th and therefore, normally would have gone unnoticed without much publicity had it happened anywhere else, other than New Zealand. more..

Yahapalana challenged

Mar 26 (CT) On 20 March, both Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Minister Naveen Dissanayaka were invited to a function at the Siri Gauthama Viharaya by Venerable Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera. Speaking at the function, Naveen Dissanayaka named Rajapaksa as the next presidential candidate. Thanking him, Rajapaksa also named both Naveen Dissanayaka and his father-in-law as possible contestants. Rajapaksa’s candidacy does not really come as a surprise, to any. more..

Dinesh Gunawardena

International participation is necessary where state is part of the problem

Mar 26 (CT) As anticipated, the latest UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka, 40/1 of March 2019, was a rollover of Resolution 30/1 of 2015. Sri Lanka was given its second two year extension, the previous extension having been given in March 2017. The latest extension contains appreciation for what SL has achieved since it committed itself to implementing the pledges made in October 2015. The resolution recognizes and welcomes “the strong role played by democratic institutions in SL more..

Jehan Mubarak: The down to earth double international

Mar 26 (DN) It’s heartening to realise that I had to interview a guy who has represented Sri Lanka in Cricket and Waterpolo and to top it off he had a second class upper degree from the University of Colombo in Science. He is six feet two inches tall, charming and wiry in build. Jehan Mubarak was coaching his charges at Reid Avenue when I met him, I immediately had a rapport with him and I was relieved that I did not have to go through the hassle of converting Sinhala into English as, more..

Veteran Surfers keen to make Panadura a beach recreation hub

Mar 26 (ST) A legendary photograph, taken 51 years ago of three local surfers after tackling the ocean waves off the Pinwatta beach, near Panadura, was presented to Jie Jie Beach Hotel last Sunday, by a group of veteran local surfers, who used to addictively and ardently engage in the sport. The then active, energetic and youthful surfers, now in the veteran’s league, do however make it a point to meet at least once a year, more..

Edtorial: The rape of Wilpattu

Mar 26 (Island) Deforestation is one of the most serious environmental issues SL is faced with. The national forest cover, which was about 50% in the 1920s, has decreased to about 26%, at present, according to environmentalists. Forests continue to disappear at an alarming rate due to several factors such as agriculture, settlements, urbanization and logging. Sinharaja is among the most threatened forest complexes. The focus of the public has, for the last several yrs, been on the destruction more..

'A cartoonist must think like a journalist'

Mar 26 (Island) He was the Best Cartoonist of the Year in 2001, 2004 and 2008. But he is best known for introducing infographics to Sri Lanka at a time when the industry hadn't the inkling of what infographics is. Life has a funny way of coming full circle and the cartoonist featured in this week's Pen Pricks, Wasantha Siriwardena, has wound up in the same place he kicked off his cartooning career in 1981. The 58-years old veteran does the political cartoon for the Sunday Observer. more..

SLC gives Malinga green light to play in IPL

Mar 26 (CI) Lasith Malinga is likely to play at least two early-season games for Mumbai Indians in the IPL after the BCCI asked Sri Lanka Cricket to make the paceman available for as much of the tournament as possible. Malinga is likely to be available for selection for Mumbai's next two matches, both away games - on March 28 against Royal Challengers Bangalore and on March 30 against Kings XI Punjab. more..

Central Bank opens counter to sell coins

Mar 26 (EN) The Central Bank will open a counter at its head office to issue coins to the general public, the banking regulator’s currency department said in a statement. The counter at No.30, Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo 1, will be opened for the public from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on every Wednesday and Thursday, except public and bank holidays. Coins are issued in packets of 100 pieces each and the minimum amount of coins at a time is one packet of 100 coins from one denomination. more..

New Thinkers’ Symposium highlights the role of technology in economic transformation

Mar 26 (IPS) Currently, Sri Lanka is creating a digital roadmap for the country, but the lack of coordination, focus, and support among ministries and other govt agencies is an issue that needs to be addressed, noted Minister Harin Fernando. In this regard, he noted that it was important to give people access to technology and remove the fear associated with technological advancements. Minister made these remarks during a panel discussion at the New Thinkers’ Symposium, more..

India, Sri Lanka set to begin annual Mitra Shakti army exercise in Diyatalawa today

Mar 26 (SLA) Exercise Mitra Shakthi - VI, the two-week long military exercise, designed to bolster military relations further between the Indian Army and the Sri Lanka Army will begin today at Diyatalawa 1 Gemunu Watch (GW) camp premises with the participation of 120 Indian Army Jawans and an equal number of SL Army personnel. The joint annual Exercise aims to share knowledge on military tactics, experience, more..

Ceylon Chamber opens CSE trading to celebrate 180 years

Mar 26 (FT) A special market opening ceremony was held at the CSE yesterday in recognition of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce cerebrating 180 years. Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) was founded on 25 Mar 1839, for the purpose of best promoting the interests of commerce. This was among the very first group of chambers established in Asia. Chamber has grown from having 26 memberships at its initial stages, to just over 600 today – with an outreach of 8,500 institutions. more..