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SAGT strengthens operating infrastructure capabilities with Rs. 1.6 b investment

Mar 27 (FT) South Asia Gateway Terminals Ltd., the first public private partnership stevedoring container terminal in SL, strengthened its operating infrastructure capabilities with the addition of six state-of-the-art Rubber Tyred Gantry (RTG) Cranes recently with an investment of Rs. 1.6 billion. The addition of the new yard handling equipment will boost the terminal’s RTG fleet from 31 to 37. This latest operational enhancement follows the introduction of ten intra-terminal trailers more..

Ranil and Dhammika heat up Fireside Chat

Mar 27 (FT) Progressive policy making requires both political will and innovative thinking. Bringing these two aspects together, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and business leader Dhammika Perera gave insights on what is needed to implement structural changes to Sri Lanka’s economy, and foster growth despite the challenges faced as a developing nation. Both Wickremesinghe and Perera gave their perspectives during the Fireside Chat 2019 event, organised by Daily FT, ICC Sri Lanka & CIMA more..

'Sri Lanka stood firm at UNHRC'

Mar 27 (DM) SL was firm at the UNHRC sessions on the dismissal of war crimes, not taking action against the war heroes, not including international judges in a domestic inquiry and non-acceptance of Geneva imposed time tables, UPFA MP Dr. Sarath Amunugama said. Dr. Amunugama, who attended the UNHRC session in Geneva, told Parliament that SL had changed its approach to the UNHRC this time making it clear in writing more..

TNA asks for increased protection fearing assassination plot

Mar 27 (Island) TNA has requested the IGP to increase the security provided to party spokesperson, MP M.A. Sumanthiran as threats to his life have increased. MP has also made a similar request to the IGP. TNA states that a large amount of weapons that belonged to the LTTE are buried in the Northern Province and that a certain group is plotting to assassinate a number of its senior leaders using those weapons. It said those sinister elements had also reached out to underworld groups more..

Sri Lanka to develop aqua culture for commercial purposes: Dilip

Mar 27 (DN) State Minister Dilip Wedaarachchi said that it is acknowledged that marine production can no longer meet the demands by a growing population and that Sri Lanka will be making concentrated efforts to develop aqua culture for commercial purposes. He was speaking at the SAARC Regional Consultation on Development of Commercial Aquaculture. “In our part of this South Asian region, malnutrition is eradicated by consumption of fish. more..

'No hybrid court to try post-war allegations'

Mar 27 (DN) Foreign Affairs Minister Thilak Marapana yesterday in Parliament reiterated that there would be no hybrid court or foreign judges to try post-war allegations. He ruled out the possibilities for foreign judges under the local law. “Without legislation, we cannot have foreign judges sitting in our judicial system deciding the capability of our citizens. Even if we bring in such legislation, the Supreme Court will strike it down. more..

MR to go with SLPP candidate

Mar 27 (CT) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, said that he would support whoever is nominated by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) to contest the next Presidential Poll. Rajapaksa said he was now busy travelling the length and breadth of the country to study the pulse of the people on who has the best chance of winning the next Presidential Poll. Rajapaksa stressed that the SLPP will not reveal its candidate for the next Presidential Poll till the UNP puts forward its candidate. more..

Country’s foreign debt jumps by Rs. 626 bn

Mar 27 (Island) Sri Lanka’s total foreign debt burden had increased by over Rs 626 billion due to the depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar between Jan 2015 and Nov 2017, Parliament was told. According to the Minister, the depreciation of the rupee during that period had added Rs 626.439 billion to the foreign debt burden. Minister Wickramaratne noted that during the period from January 9, 2015 to Nov 30, 2017, the rupee had depreciated by 14.6% against the US dollar. more..

Prez electrocutes PUCSL for power crisis

Mar 27 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena found fault with the Public Utilities Commission for creating the power shortage in the country during yesterday’s Cabinet meeting. Discussing the power crisis in the country, President said the PUCSL was directly to blame for the issue, as the regulator failed to approve the Long Term Generation Plan, while PUCSL engineers keep contact with owners of private power producers. more..

BJP bad mouths rule Indian poll campaign

Mar 27 (DM) As a belligerent Congress and a beleaguered Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) battle it out for the crucial general elections next month, political ethics have started hitting a new nadir in India. Taking on Congress over its comments on recent Indian air strikes in Pakistan, the BJP Minister of Energy in Uttar Pradesh government a few days back tweeted The comments issued at the behest of coward eunuch Congress chief Rahul Gandhi are shameful. more..

Bathiudeen’s spiring has affected Wilpattu

Mar 27 (DM) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has shown during the past that he is more important to the Governments that have been in power than to the Muslim community. Bathiudeen’s appointment in 2001 as a Minister and the subsequent reappointments in 2004, 2010 and 2015 as the Minister of Industries and Commerce, underscores the clout he has as an MP from the Vanni. Any minister who is a member of a political party would wish to have an alliance with the regime, more..

Absolute dissatisfaction over SLFP’s absenteeism from budget vote: GL

Mar 27 (DM) SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris, airs out his views on bilateral talks with the SLFP. Prof. Peiris, who is also a member of the SLPP team assigned for talks, said a certain measure of confidence-building was essential. Besides, he deals extensively on the proposed Counter -Terrorism Bill. Q: How far have you progressed in talks between the two parties? A: Cosmetic arrangements just for more..

Political victimisation: PM directs committee to look into 32,000 complaints

Mar 27 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed a Three-member Committee to go into some 32,000 complaints, of alleged political victimisation, made by UNP members, during the former regime, General Secretary of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) Srinal De Mel said. Committee comprises of Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara and UNP MP Range Bandara. more..

Canny detective work nabs alleged rapist

Mar 27 (ST) Nearly three weeks of careful investigation and analysis of CCTV footage by police have led to the arrest of a suspect accused of the rape of a Hungarian national. The suspect, a van driver, was produced in court early this week and placed on remand. The attack occurred in Hikkaduwa on Feb 19, after the Hungarian woman mistakenly got into the wrong van to proceed to the airport to pick up her fiancé, a Sri Lankan, more..

Video: Govt has failed the tri-forces: Yapa

Mar 27 (AD) MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa says that the govt has failed the heroic tri-forces who defeated one of the most ruthless brutal insurgencies in modern history. Speaking at a press conference, the MP pointed out the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights has named several SL military officers and requested the member states of the UNHRC to persecute them if they have any complaints. more..

'Denial of US visa to Fonseka as bad as depriving other military officers of same'

Mar 27 (Island) UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma on Monday (25) said that the denial of a visa to Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to attend the United Nations was as wrong as denying Lt. Colonel Ratnapriya Bandu an opportunity to visit Geneva, Switzerland. The Switzerland embassy, in Colombo, denied a visa to Ratnapriya Bandu invited by an Australia based civil society group to participate in a side-event in Geneva. more..

Aussie milch cow fiasco: Witness tells Minister Harrison playing blame game

Mar 27 (Island) UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma said the govt has distributed 3030 substandard imported Australian cows among 46 investors and dairy farmers who had taken part in a subsidized scheme to introduce high-yielding imported pregnant cows in 2017, Amal Suriyage of the Lammermoor Estate in Maskeliya told the PCoI probing allegations of large scale corruption between January 15, 2015 and Dec 31, 2018. more..

Core values of our culture, customs and traditions should be preserved: Prez

Mar 27 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says that core values of our culture, customs and traditions should never be subjected to any power. President further said that a young generation who respect our culture and tradition as well as who can conquer the world should be emerged in the country. He said this while participating in 75th Anniversary and Prize Giving Ceremony of Henegama Central School, more..

President appoints three-member committee to sort out power crisis

Mar 27 (CT) With Sri Lanka imposing power cuts once again, inconveniencing the public, President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday, appointed a three-member committee to look into the power cuts and find solutions to the on-going power crisis. Ministers Kabir Hashim, Ravi Karunanayake and Dr. Harsha de Silva were entrusted with this responsibility. The committee was appointed following the Cabinet discussing more..

Govt spends millions in Geneva

Mar 27 (CT) The Government of Sri Lanka once again co-sponsored the UN Resolution 30/1 and it was adopted by the UNHRC, giving the country a further two years to implement the recommendations therein. However, after the resolution was adopted the Sri Lanka’s delegation hosted an extravagant gala dinner, at one of the world’s leading hotels – Hotel Kempinski in Geneva, spending millions of rupees. more..

Video: Nadeemal Perera deported to SL

Mar 27 (AD) Nadeemal Perera and the prison officer, who had arrived in Sri Lanka this morning following their deportation from Dubai, are currently being interrogated by the PNB and CID, police spokesperson said. The police said the duo, who arrived at the BIA via flydubai airlines, were not arrested. Singer Nadeemal Perera (24), who was arrested along with the drug kingpin Makandure Madush has been deported from more..

Power Politics

Mar 27 (CT) SL is suffering from power cuts, after a seven-year break. Previously, the island last imposed power cuts in 2012, when President Rajapaksa was in power. But with the commissioning of the 3X300 MW Norochcholai Coal-fired Power Plant, despite breakdowns, the island’s electricity requirements were met, midterm. However, it’s alleged that Norochcholai, built with a loan obtained from China without calling for bids when Rajapaksa was in power, more..

Aruni Baba & Thel Chooti arrested with drugs

Mar 27 (AD) Police have arrested two prominent drug traffickers including a woman, who is the wife of notorious underworld figure Kudu Roshan. Police Spokesman said Kudu Roshan’s wife, a 30-year-old woman known by the alias Aruni Baba, was arrested during a raid carried out by the STF in the Samipura area in Mattakkuliya. Police had received information that the woman in question was allegedly running her husband’s drug racket following his arrest. more..

Cabinet misled by errant minister

Heroin haul bust in Negombo: Police hunt for Chilaw SLPP UC member, son

Mar 27 (DN) The Chilaw Divisional Crimes Investigation Unit jointly with the State Intelligence Services are on the hunt for a SLPP Chilaw Urban Council member and his son alleged to be involved in a massive drug smuggling racket. Police investigators bared this racket involving the urban councillor and his son, when a suspect was arrested with heroin weighing over a kilogramme near the Katuwapitiya Church in Negombo on March 23. Police arrested another suspect from more..

Yardley, ex-Australia player and Sri Lanka coach, dies at 71

Mar 27 (AP) Bruce Yardley, who played test cricket for Australia and coached Sri Lanka’s national team, has died after a long struggle with cancer. He was 71. Yardley died Wednesday in a hospital in Western Australia state. He played 33 tests, starting in 1978 during the split in Australian cricket amid the World Series era, after converting from a medium pacer to off-spin bowling. Aided by his unusual grip of the ball, Yardley took 126 test wickets, a long-time record for Australian off-spinners. more..

SLASSCOM says Budget recognises growth potential of knowledge solutions industry

Mar 27 (EN) The SL Association of Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) has said it was pleased to see several concessions proposed in the 2019 National Budget to accelerate the revenue growth and increase capacity within the knowledge solutions industry. The IT/BPM industry is recognised as a thrust industry within the National Export Strategy (NES) and is promoted globally as the “Island of Ingenuity” for world-class more..

Mahindra Sri Lanka JV plant to produce mini-SUVs from June

Mar 27 (EN) A joint venture plant between SL's Ideal Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra of India will begin assembling 100 mini-SUVs a month from June. US$ 50 million assembly plant has a capacity of 1,000 units a month, Ideal Motors Deputy Chairman Aravinda de Silva said. The plant will initially produce KUV100 mini SUVs, but the production line could be re-jigged to assemble other models as well, he said. Vehicle will initially have SL made seats with domestic value addition more..

Govt’s 2019 Budget proposals are detrimental to women and children

Mar 27 (FT) The focus and attempt to create a gender-progressive Budget this fiscal year is indeed welcome. However, reading through the Budget proposals, it is alarming to see how many of its allocations to address women’s issues tend to further discriminate against women, or are very likely to endanger women, and the rights we have been fighting for, in the long-term. Many of the perceived ‘progressive’ ideas that have been listed to help women have been lauded in the media. more..

Third defendant in Gamini Senarath’s case acquitted

Mar 27 (AD) Neil Hapuhinna, the third defendant of the case filed against the former President’s Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath and three others, has been acquitted by the Permanent High Court at Bar (Special High Court). Case was taken up before the Special High Court Judges Sampath Abeykoon, Sampath Wijeratne, and Champa Janaki Rajaratne today. Defence attorneys had previously sought the acquittal of the defendants, more..

Mahindra TREO electric trishaws launched in Sri Lanka

Mar 27 (EN) Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd of India has launched its TREO electric trishaw in SL which will reduce pollution and noise in urban areas, officials said competing directly with with conventional vehicles with no tax benefits. Minister Malik Samarawickreme said electric vehicle were welcome, as they were was in line with the Blue Green economic strategy of the govt. EV is priced at just below a million rupees Aravinda de Silva, Dy Chairman of Ideal Motors, Mahindra's agents more..

SC rejects FR petition by Madush’s aunt

Mar 27 (DM) Supreme Court today rejected the fundamental rights petition put forward by the aunt of Makandure Madush seeking an order preventing the arrest of Makandure Madush by Sri Lankan authorities. The fundamental right was taken up before a three-member Supreme Court bench - Justices Prasanna Jayawardena, Priyantha Jayawardena and S. Thurairajah. The petition in the Supreme Court sought a restraining order against the STF and CID from arresting him while more..

'I stand fully behind report on Sri Lanka'

Mar 27 (DM) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet said today that a newspaper article quoting a senior SL official seriously misrepresents her discussion of the recent UN Human Rights Office report1 on Sri Lanka with a Govt delegation attending the UNHRC in Geneva on Mar 20. Article cited a member of the Govt delegation, Northern Province Governor Dr. Suren Raghaven, claiming the High Commissioner more..

Over 250 army personnel clean beach patch in Colombo South

Mar 27 (SLA) A group of more than 250 Army personnel, most of who had competed in the 6-mile Kinross sea swimming championship from Wellawatte to Mount Lavinia on Sunday participated in a mammoth beach cleaning programme along the same coastal belt on a suggestion made by Major General H.G.I Vidyananda, Chairman, Army Aquatic Sports Committee and Quarter Master General at the Army Headquarters. Organized as per guidelines given by the Commander of Army more..

Video: Fonseka wants to bring Ranil into presidential contest

Mar 27 (AD) UNP MP Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka says that he will never agree with establishing another national govt with the SLFP. He mentioned this responding to questions by media personnel following an event held in Kelaniya. Although a national govt could be formed, there is no intention of getting back with SLFP to like before, says Fonseka. The marriage with the SLFP has ended with a divorce, he added. Stating that they would not repeat the same mistakes again, more..

Ravi’s proposal on power saving measures gets Cabinet approval

Mar 27 (AD) Cabinet has approved a proposal presented by Minister Ravi Karunanayake to introduce measures to save electricity in the country, including steps such as switching off two light bulbs at every home for a period of 3 months. The govt said that although the daily electricity requirement of the country is 2,600 MW, the maximum supply capacity is only 2260 MW due to dry weather conditions. more..

There should be no wrong impression abroad regarding the SL Bhikku society: Prez

Mar 27 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says that, when the number young Bhikkus are in an exercise to build an ethical society, the acts of a small minority cause the whole Mahasangha society being unduly criticized. Due to the unethical behaviors of certain Bhikkus published via internet there is a risk that there can be a wrong image about the Sri Lankan Bhikku society in the world and the young Bhikkus should be aware of this danger, said the President. more..

SriLankan Airlines to increase flights to Tokyo to five a week

Mar 27 (EN) SriLankan Airlines is increasing its number of flights to Tokyo’s Narita Int'l Airport to five per week, with SL growing rapidly in popularity as a destination for Japanese travelers. “SriLankan is the only airline to operate non-stop from Tokyo to Colombo and provides rapid connections to many cities in South India and also to the Maldives which is a highly popular destination among Japanese tourists,” a statement said. Fifth frequency, which will commence on the 16th of July, more..

Video: President vows not to implement UN proposals breaching Constitution

Mar 27 (AD) President Sirisena says he would not implement anything that would breach the country’s Constitution, despite the resolutions adopted by the UNHRC. He stated this addressing an event held in Meegahatenna, Kalutara this morning. Prez said the proposal of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calling for the establishment of a commission on releasing the military-held lands in the North and East is more..

‘SLA continuing to work with HRCSL’

Mar 27 (NR) Sri Lanka Army says it continues to work with the Human Rights Commissions of SL to obtain clearance to deploy personnel on UN Peacekeeping missions. Issuing a statement the SL Army said it maintains a highly cordial and professional relationship with the HRCSL with mutual understanding and respect for difficulty of carrying out their respective roles which are open to the public domain. The statement noted the SL Army has rendered a significant contribution to more..