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Video: Hospital activities disrupted due to nurses’ strike

Mar 26 (AD) The token strike launched by the Public Services United Nurses Union has interrupted services at hospitals island-wide. Govt nurses launched a two-day token strike at govt hospitals across the island, objecting govt’s failure to resolve the issues related to their profession. Chairman of the union Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thero stated that although the union has been notifying the health authorities for 4 years, more..

Video: Gotabaya should give up on dream of becoming president: Shritharan

Mar 26 (AD) TNA says that they vote in favor of the Budget 2019 to prevent Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa coming back into power. TNA MP S. Shritharan expressed these views addressing media personnel in Jaffna. He says that if they don’t support the govt led by Ranil Wickremesinghe, Mahinda Rajapaksa would come into power again. Even if we stay neutral at the budget voting the outcome would be the same, he added. MP further said that former Defense Secretary more..

Video: Three masked men rob Beligala fuel station

Mar 26 (AD) Three unidentified persons have robbed a fuel station at Beligala Junction in Galle, this morning, stated the Police. The robbery which had taken place at around 3 am this morning, had been recorded in the CCTV camera at the fuel station. Three masked men who had arrived on a motor bicycle had stolen money from the fuel station safe by threatening the employees with guns and swords. No person has been arrested with regard to the incident as of yet. more..

Secy General’s report: Notes with appreciation is a mistake: Samarasinghe

Mar 26 (DM) Opposition MP Mahinda Samarasinghe said today the inclusion of the wording, notes with appreciation in the Secretary General’s report mentioned in the joint resolution recently presented to the UNHRC and approved was a mistake. Speaking during the debate on the budget he said inclusion of the words note with appreciation in the resolution was a mistake especially because Sri Lanka was a co-sponsor of the resolution. more..

Proposed SOFA deal with US draws fire from JVP

Mar 26 (EN) SL's leftist JVP says a proposed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) agreement contains clauses which undermines domestic rule of law and tax and there was no reciprocity. Bimal Ratnayake, from the JVP told parliament the US had requested that US military personnel be subject to US law when they were in Sri Lanka. "There is also a request to exempt US military personnel from taxes in Sri Lanka," Ratnayake said. "Sri Lanka's customs cannot inspect them or their baggage. more..

Video: Daily power cuts will be resolved before April 10: Ravi

Mar 26 (AD) Daily power interruptions will be resolved before 10th April, says Minister Ravi Karunanayake. As the electricity demand keeps increasing by 7-8% and when there is no supply, a problem arises naturally, he said. Commenting further, minister said that people are now suffering the consequences of ignorant actions of former authorities in this regard. However, the minister said, blaming the past is useless and assured that they would work towards resolving this issue. more..

Pakistan’s National Day Reception held in Colombo

Mar 26 (PHC) In connection with the celebrations of 79th National Day, the High Commission of Pakistan, Colombo hosted a reception at Galadari Hotel, yesterday. Minister Rauff Hakeem was the chief guest on the occasion. In his welcome remarks, High Commissioner of Pakistan, Maj. Gen. (R) Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat elaborated that the foundation of strong brotherhood between Pakistan and SL was laid in 1948 more..

Water cut in parts of Colombo

Mar 26 (AD) The National Water Supply and Drainage Board says that a nine-hour water cut will be imposed in parts of Colombo from 9.00 p.m. today to 6.00 a.m. tomorrow (27). The release said that the water supply to Colombo 13, 14 and 15 will be suspended during this time period. Meanwhile the water supply to Pettah and Colombo Fort will be at low pressure during the aforementioned time period. Additional information can be obtained through the 1939 hotline number. more..

At least eight lives lost daily on SL roads

Mar 26 (Island) State Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Ashok Abeysinghe, said that on a daily basis at least eight persons were killed in road accidents. Participating in third reading of the budget debate, he said: "This is a silent killer. Road accidents have killed more people than the war." He said the govt increased the fines with the aim of reducing traffic offences. The number of punishable offences had been increased from 24 to 31. He said the govt increased the fines more..

Colombo Port to be developed: Minister

Mar 26 (GDI) It is high time that the capacity of the Colombo Port is expanded and the Eastern Terminal of the Colombo Port developed in order to increase the productivity of the Colombo Port, Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said. Participating in the Committee Stage budget debate in Parliament, he said, “Over the past few years, Ports and Shipping Industry has seen significant changes. But there were many challenges too. more..

Ship with Lankan crew detained in Australia

Mar 26 (ABC) Australia’s maritime safety watchdog has detained a German-owned cargo ship on the NSW south coast while it investigates several complaints from its crew about working conditions. The Anna Elisabeth is being blocked from leaving a dock in Port Kembla, near Wollongong, after 17 crew members from Sri Lanka and the Philippines claimed there was not enough food and a ban on shore leave. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) more..

‘Tourism affected due to government actions’

Mar 26 (NR) The Expenditure Heads of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs was taken up for debate in Parliament today. UPFA PM Piyal Nishantha De Silva charged that several tourism zones were affected due to shortcomings of the Ministry of Tourism. PM said damage had been caused to the Benthara-Bentota tourism zones with 8 of the 14 leading hotels, medium scale hotels, restaurants and shops to be closed. more..

'Women contribution in economy is vital'

Mar 26 (GDI) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe said the govt conceptually empowers women economically, politically, socially with a view to lift them to upper level. PM made these remarks while addressing an awareness programme for women entrepreneurs of Samurdhi families today in Colombo. The programme, which conducted under the theme Dhanabhimani was organised by Samurdhi Development Dept more..

Youth Incoherence and Apathy

Mar 27 (CT) Youth, the prime demography of any nation often associated with vibrancy, passion and promise. Aptly said to represent the future of a country, SL no exception. Co-relation with the future vis a vis nation building and prosperity an undeniable fact, pontificated often in a desultory manner by politicians of all hue. Also not overlooking the emphasis of experts and pundits on the subject and for good reason too. None can exist in the absence of other, they’re mutually inclusive. more..

UNHRC report: Making devolution futuristic

Mar 27 (CT) The most recent Report of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachele, released on March 20th 2019 makes some vital observations regarding the progress made by Sri Lanka in the implementation of the UNHRC resolution 30/1 in promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights between Oct 2015 and Jan 2019. While the High Commissioner notes with appreciation the introduction of a new institutional architecture to take more..

How the Lankan love for Cricket can help the environment

Mar 27 (Roar) Here in SL, cricket is no ordinary sport. For many, it’s a part of their everyday lives, and it’s embedded in our culture to such an extent that a vast number of people gather round their television sets to watch matches. The game itself is an important aspect of Sri Lankan life, but the equipment used to play cricket may yet serve a greater purpose. As we all know, cricket bats need to be hardy and crafted to perfection for more..

The ecology of an issue: Save Wilpattuon Facebook and Twitter

Mar 27 (GV) When over the weekend, journalist Amantha Perera sent a link to a post on Facebook asking if it was one that was popular, the answer took me into a brief study of the news and information ecology of a complex, long-standing issue extensively covered on Groundviews, currently rendered through predominantly racist frames. In Wilpattu: Apportioning the blame game, journalist Thulasi Muttulingam cogently and succinctly draws the faultlines of a predominantly ill-informed more..

Education reform pledges

Mar 27 (CT) I make no apologies for returning to the subject of a limited and scientific Cabinet, for it is one of the key reforms we need to have a more effective and efficient govt. Our failure to plan and to coordinate may not be corrected immediately, but it will help to have decisions being made coherently, with fuller understanding than we have at present of all relevant elements. In the amendment I proposed to the 19th Amendment, I suggested what portfolios we should have. more..

Ensure safety of tourists

Mar 27 (CT) Sri Lanka Tourism Board’s vision is to be recognised as the world’s finest island for memorable, authentic and diverse experience, while its mission is to be a high-value destination offering extraordinary experiences that reflect SL’s natural and cultural heritage, while being socially inclusive and environmentally responsible, and providing economic benefits to communities and the country. more..

Challenging a culture of secrecy

Mar 27 (GV) While the Sri Lankan State maintains a culture of secrecy cemented through legislation like the Official Secrets Act, the Right to Information Act, operationalised in early 2017, is now used by citizens, journalists and civil society to raise vital questions around transparency, accountability and due process. But two years since its operationalisation, has RTI legislation succeeded in combating and contesting the culture of secrecy that prevails? more..

Risks ruining Economy to win votes

Mar 27 (CT) The 2019 Budget comes as the last one of this Govt. The people have experienced four years of an open market economy and practically everyone in different walks of life complain that they feel dissatisfied, find it difficult to work and live the way they did before and want a change. Before 2015 the economy grew by 7% now it is down to 3%. This Budget seeks not only to continue the downward path but with greater intensity, when it has failed both here and abroad. more..

Face the Nation

A TNA warning ahead of final vote of Budget 2019

Mar 27 (Island) Jaffna District lawmaker Mathiaparanan Abraham Sumanthiran, PC, last Friday (22) delivered in parliament his hardest speech in his decade-long parliamentary career. Inuvil-born Sumanthiran warned the President Maithripala Sirisena-PM Ranil Wickremesinghe led administration that Sri Lanka faced an exclusive international war crimes probe unless they fully implemented the Oct 01, 2015, Geneva Resolution which called for setting up of a hybrid court. more..

Edtorial: When sinners cast stones

Mar 27 (Island) Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) continues to draw heavy flak for being corrupt to the core. Several MPs lambasted it, in Parliament. UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra minced no words when she described the DMT as the most corrupt state institution in the country. She bolstered her argument with information about the controversial driving licence printing scheme; she said a foreign company continued to operate and make unconscionable profit even after expiration more..

Team of 16 selected for Asian Championship

Mar 27 (CT) The Athletics Association has finalised a team of 16 athletes with the inclusion of a women’s 4x400m relay team for the forthcoming Asian Athletics Championship in Qatar from 21-24 April. The team includes nine athletes who achieved the specified tough qualifying standards, which were prepared taking into consideration the average Bronze medal timings, while five others who came very close to the qualifying standards more..

England beat SL to win Women’s T20 series

Mar 27 (CI) England's women made it five wins out of five on their tour of SL, after easing to another untroubled eight-wicket win in the second T20I in Colombo. After their 3-0 clean sweep in the ODI leg of the tour, England ensured they wrapped up their second trophy of the trip with a match to spare as well, after restricting SL to 108 for 6 in their 20 overs. The spoils were shared around, with five different bowlers claiming a wicket, and Katherine Brunt claiming a brace to finish with figures of more..

Major catastrophe avoided ahead of WC

Mar 27 (DN) The worst scenario for any team is to have its head coach replaced barely a few months before a mega event like the Cricket World Cup which is scheduled to commence in the final week of May in England and Wales. Following a string of defeats at home against England and in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, Sri Lanka were in fact heading in that direction when before the South African tour was over the newly elected body of SLC recalled head coach Chandika more..

SEC urges Sri Lankan firms to identify potential women for board positions

Mar 27 (EN) Listed SL companies and professional organizations should set eligibility criteria and build data bases of potential women candidates to become board directors, the head of the capital markets watchdog said. Boards should now come of age and think beyond their traditional or conventional comfort zones to ensure better gender balance in corporate leadership, SEC chairman, Ranel Wijesinha said. more..

Chengdu delegation calls on BOI chair, discusses projects in Hambantota

Mar 27 (Island) A delegation from Chengdu Association for Foreign Trade and Cooperation (CAFTEC) Chengdu, China visited the BOI and met with its Chairman, Hemasiri Fernando. The delegation comprised Chen Xia, Secretary General (CAFTEC) who was accompanied by two members and by Kosala Wickramanayake, President – Int'l Business Council. The purpose of the delegation was to promote Sri Lanka and particularly projects in Hambantota. more..

Meteorology Dept issues extreme caution advisory to 11 districts

Mar 27 (DM) Meteorology Department issued an Extreme Caution hot weather advisory to most parts of the North-Western and Western Provinces and Mannar, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, A'pura, Monaragala and Hambantota districts. It said the heat index forecast was calculated using relative humidity and maximum temperature and the effect it has on the body. Dept advised the public to remain hydrated and take breaks while also trying to stay in shade as often as possible at job sites. more..

Oxford Business Group launches 2019 publication on country’s economy

Mar 27 (LBO) A new report from research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG) shines a spotlight on Sri Lanka’s wide-ranging plan to achieve upper-middle-income status. The Report: Sri Lanka 2019 looks in detail at the steps being taken to encourage innovation across the manufacturing industry as part of the national strategy to boost export earnings to $20bn this year. more..

CSE launches multi-currency board in Maldives

Mar 27 (DN) The 3rd Edition of the Maldivian GOLD 100 Business Awards was recently held at Paradise Island Resort, with the Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), Ray Abeywardena gracing the occasion as the Chief Guest of the event. The GOLD 100 GALA is an invitation-only networking event and was attended by over 200 leading personalities representing the Maldivian business community. GOLD 100 is the first initiative of its kind in the Maldives and more..

Minister Samarawickrama meets Omani Minister of Oil & Gas

Mar 27 (DN) Dr. Mohammed Hamad Al -Rumhy, Minister of Oil & Gas of the Sultanate of Oman called on Minister Malik Samarawickrama, at the ministry on Monday. He was accompanied by Jumah Hassan Al-Shehhi, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman in Colombo; K. Pathmanathan, Ambassador of SL in the Sultanate of Oman and Musab bin Abdullah Al-Mahrooqi, CEO of Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Co. During the discussions held regarding oil refinery more..

Sri Lanka to take four additional players for World Cup

Mar 27 (DN) Sri Lanka’s squad for the 2019 World Cup in England will comprise four additional players to the original team of 15. All ten participating countries are allowed the maximum of 15 players in their squad for the mega event, but SLC has decided to send an additional four as standbys in case of injuries. “The four additional players won’t be part of the World Cup squad but we want to keep them in case of injury to a player. more..

Migrants, not technology, to ease Sri Lanka construction labour shortage

Mar 27 (EN) Labour shortages in Sri Lanka’s construction sector are more likely to be overcome by incoming migrant workers rather than technology adoption, a new study by the International Labour Organization has said. Most advanced construction technologies require a high rate of investment, but despite the rapid growth of the sector globally, technology adoption by Sri Lankan firms has been slow on the uptake, it said. This was mainly due to high costs and complexity in implementation, more..

Private buses in WP should be painted blue after April 1

Mar 27 (DM) Western Province Road Passenger Transport Authority said yesterday new laws would be introduced from April 1 to make it compulsory to paint private buses in blue. They would be provided a grace period of two months from April 1 to remove additional items such as stickers, paintings, sound systems and extra horns. Road Passenger Transport Authority Chairman Thusitha Kularatne said private buses could be easily identified if they had a distinct colour. more..

Sri Lanka plans evidence-based skills visa to fill shortages: Harsha

Mar 27 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning to issue visas to allow firms to buy skills to move up higher into the value chain while also boosting domestic education, Minister Harsha de Silva said. At the moment BoI approved firm can import skills relatively easily while other firms have to get approval from the line ministry, which can take months, or be denied altogether. Some private firms may not be able to find line ministry & visas may be more..

Power cuts likely to stay until Monsoon rains come

Mar 27 (Island) Power generation plans have been in place for years now, and rightly so, but the implementation process has dragged on due to multiple arguments in various quarters, and if we had spent less time nitpicking, we would have been able to significantly mitigate the energy crisis we face today, Harsha Wickramasinghe. Deputy Director General, Strategy at SL Sustainable Energy Authority said in Colombo yesterday. Asked whether SL would have a short term solution for more..

Lord Naseby has his say on UNHRC sessions on Sri Lanka

Mar 27 (FT) Lord Naseby PC, President of the All Party British Sri Lanka Parliamentary Group in the UK Parliament, has issued a statement on Sri Lanka with reference to the recently concluded 40th Sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva. Following is the full text: ‘I have carefully observed every stage of this year’s meeting of the UNHCR. Before I make any other comment, I wish to congratulate Mr Tilak Marapana MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs of SL and Leader of the delegation on SL’s statement. more..

JVP roasts Govt for loading Foreign Service with political appointments

Mar 27 (FT) Appointing henchmen to key diplomatic posts in strategically important locations attracted heavy criticism yesterday in Parliament, with JVP politicians pointing out that currently Sri Lanka has political appointees posted at every South Asian mission, and in many other key countries, including China, Japan, and Russia, which have key economic links to the country. JVP MP Bimal Rathnayake blamed the Govt for more..