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Sri Lanka secures $11.5mn withheld by ICC

Mar 4 (AFP) SL cricket’s crisis-ridden governing body announced Sunday it had secured the release of $11.5 million withheld by the ICC for eight months due to a row over its leadership. ICC froze the funds to SL after the country’s govt last year appointed an unelected official to run the sport following a bitter dispute between rival candidates. Sri Lanka Cricket has long been beset by graft allegations and in-fighting, with ICC recently more..

Video: I have no white vans: Gotabaya

Mar 4 (AD) Former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa claimed that he owns no white vans. They received many criticisms when they were defeating terrorism by bringing about discipline, he said. Rajapaksa says that back in the times of ‘87, ‘88, ‘89, the intelligence units of the country used internationally accepted tactics to fight against terrorism. These intelligence officers never engaged in political revenge or gained revenge from innocent persons, he pointed out. more..

President stops Monitoring MPs’ allowances

Mar 4 (CT) The Rs 200,000 allowance, which was being paid to Monitoring MPs, has been stopped by President Sirisena, sources said. An MP confirmed this and stated that since 26 Oct 2018 the Monitoring MPs haven’t received their Rs.200,000 allowance. He opined that the former National Govt gave the MPs an allowance of nearly Rs 200,000 including the fuel allowance and they did a massive work load from it. MPs have faced a lot of problems as the Prez has stopped the allowance. more..

Work on country's biggest EPZ begins today

Mar 4 (DN) Work on the Bingiriya Export Processing Zone (EPZ), the biggest EPZ in Sri Lanka, will be launched under the patronage of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today. This is the first time in the last 15 years that work on a new EPZ is to be launched in the country which will give a new impetus to the economy by facilitating foreign investment, exports and job opportunities, Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara said. more..

US-North Korea summit flop

Mar 4 (DM) The second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, -- both of whom at one time insultingly described each other as a little rocket man and a mentally deranged US dotard (meaning a state or period of senile decay, marked by a decline of mental alertness) -- commenced in Vietnam on Feb 27. The summit ended somewhat unexpectedly the next day. Whilst many, especially in the US, feared President Trump would sign a deal more..

RTI activism in Sri Lanka and India

Mar 4 (DM) The decomposed body of a 32-year old RTI activist who went missing in January was found in Pune, a city in the Indian State of Maharashtra early February. Such is the plight of a movement that was initiated to transfer power into the hands of the people. Right to Information Movement in India began with the Mazdoor Kisan Shakthi Sangathan (MKSS) that fought to bring transparency into villages via the demand for minimum wages. Movement founded by Aruna Roy believed more..

Commodity traders bemoan sales slump

Mar 4 (ST) With the Avurudu season in the offing and the tabling of the budget in Parliament not too far away, traders continue to lament over a future which seems bleak to them. Traders who were once busy counting stashes of cash now sit inside their shops wearing grief-stricken expressions. Sales have dwindled drastically for Sri Yogeswaran, 47, a wholesale trader who sells onions and potatoes. more..

'Ranil is now well and truly trapped'

Mar 4 (CT) UPFA MP Gamini Lokuge says that people are aware if Gotabaya wins, new developments and discipline will be established. Q: These days most people’s attention is focused on the SLPP and the SLFP forming an alliance. What is the latest news on this? A: We are going to defeat the current govt. It’s only if we defeat the existing government could we achieve our aim. Therefore, to gain that victory more..

GR defends his role as Defence Secretary, pays glowing tribute to intelligence services

Mar 4 (Island) Vidyajothi Prof. Rizvi Sheriff on Saturday (2) declared that wartime Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was not just another Rajapaksa but a man with immense talent, skill and vision. The academic said that Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his opinion a man well worthy of securing the political leadership in SL. Prof. Rizvi said so at a public meeting organized by prominent businessman A L M Farris, more..

Wimal to quit MR Camp over bid to abolish executive presidency

Mar 4 (Island) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa has declared that his party will quit the Rajapaksa camp if former Prez Rajapaksa backed the UNP-JVP project to do away with the executive presidency. Weerawansa said that his outfit wouldn’t hesitate to quit the Rajapaksa Camp in case an agreement was sought on the abolition of the executive presidency at the expense of wartime Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa more..

Shifting the stink !

Mar 4 (CT) The Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) has voiced its concern over the disposing and dumping of garbage in unpolluted areas to get rid of the waste from the Colombo Metropolitan area. The Ministry of Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage has proposed that the metro Colombo solid waste should be dumped in the Aruwakkalu area in Puttalam. The Meethotamulla garbage dump is to be shifted more..

Investors lost faith in CBSL: Ravi

Mar 4 (CT) Due to the controvertible incidents that took place with regard to the sale of assets belonging to Edirisinghe Trust Investments (ETI) and the irresponsible and the non-transparent manner the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) acted, investors have lost the trust they placed in CBSL, said Minister Ravi Karunanayake. Minister further said that the manner the CBSL has acted with regard to the transaction of ETI is dubious. more..

'Plantation workers are underpaid compared to others'

Mar 4 (CT) The JVP said they will succeed in getting the Rs 1,000 per day wage for the plantation workers somehow. JVP Leader MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, speaking at a public rally in Nanu Oya last Friday, asked if the officials, who signed the collective agreement, had asked the plantation workers if a Rs 750 per day wage was sufficient for living. “No did and that should not be the case,” he noted. more..

SL should be made centre for propagation of Theravada Buddhism to the world: Prez

Mar 4 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena said that he as the leader will contribute in making Sri Lanka the centre for propagation of Theravada Buddha Dhamma to the world not only today but tommorrow as well. President Sirisena made these remarks attending openinng of the inugural Saddharamaraja Buddhagaya Mahastupa at Peradeniya, Eriyagama Sri Subhodarama Vihara held today (2). more..

Video: Wildlife officer arrested over Rathgama businessmen murders

Mar 4 (AD) The wildlife officer in charge of the forest reserve, where remains of the two businessmen from Rathgama area were burned, has been arrested by the CID. Meanwhile, the mobile phones used by the two businessmen have also been recovered as of now, SP Gunasekara further said. On Feb 22nd, the CID had uncovered that the two businessmen were murdered in Gonamulla, Akmeemana and their remains more..

Tamil parties declare no faith in Prez, PM, call for UN office in North

Mar 4 (Island) A delegation consisting of representatives of at least four Tamil political parties is scheduled to head for Geneva to lobby the UNHRC for an international mechanism to speed up investigations into alleged human rights violations and accountability issues. The delegation would also request the appointment of a UN Rapporteur for Sri Lanka, a top Tamil politician said, yesterday. more..

Budget 2019 should not fall into the pitfall of being an election budget

Mar 4 (FT) The tradition in all developing countries has been that just before elections, politicians in power choose to offer the general public a host of unaffordable free goodies in the hope of winning their votes. Since voters expect them and politicians could offer them at no personal cost, this practice goes on unabated. The corollary is the stunting of the growth momentum due to the allocation of scarce resources away from investment for unproductive consumption. more..

Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink

Mar 4 (CT) SL is rapidly heading towards facing a severe water crisis in another two decades according to Ministry of Irrigation and Water Management. SL being an Island Nation surrounded by sea it will face a terrible water crisis falling in line with the 18th century English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem: Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink. Citing various factors such as extensive urbanisation, climate change, deforestation and improper management of more..

JVP press conference

Roman Catholic-Hindu clashes instigated by Roman Catholic Clergy on Hindu holy day

Mar 4 (CT) Thiruketheeswaram is one of the five ancient, holy Eeswarams for Hindus on the west coast near Mannar. The approach road to the temple had some constructions which were being done again for Sivarathiri tomorrow. The Roman Catholics objected and brought the construction down under the supervision of three priests of who the leader was Rev. Fr. Marcus. Bishop of Mannar, Rt. Rev. Fidelis Fernando, contacted by phone, excused comment saying he is in Colombo more..

PM's Maha Shivarathri message

Mar 4 (DN) The complete message of the PM for Mahashivarathri: Mahashivaratri is celebrated by Hindus across the globe to venerate Lord Shiva with great enthusiasm and with a hope for spiritual freedom attained through wisdom. Lord Shiva is the symbol of nature according to Hindus and veneration on his behalf is among their most important rituals. Hindus considers Shivaratri is the night when Lord Shiva performed the Tandava Nritya - the dance of primordial creation, more..

Budget 2019 presented tomorrow

Mar 4 (AD) Budget proposal for the year 2019 is slated to be presented to the parliament, tomorrow, during the parliamentary session, by Minister Mangala Samaraweera. On the 5th of Feb, Minister Lakshman Kiriella presented the Appropriation Bill for the year 2019 to the Parliament. The expected state revenue for the year 2019 is estimated to be at Rs 2390 billion while the expected state expenditure is Rs 4550 billion. more..

Over 8000 Dengue patients from the WP

Mar 4 (DN) A total of 8904 dengue cases and deaths had been reported from all parts of the country within this year by March 1st, Epidemiology Unit said. Highest number of dengue cases,2017 had been reported from the Colombo district while the second highest number, 1354 had been reported from the Jaffna district. Third highest number of dengue cases, 1093 had been reported from Gampaha district. CMC reported a total of 384 dengue cases during the same period. more..

President's Maha Shivarathri message

Mar 4 (PSL) Complete message of the President for Mahashivarathri is as follows: The exceptional ability of human beings to live as a single united family at a spiritual level despite the differences and external divisions due to various reasons, beliefs or ideologies in unique. The jewel on the crown of that human value is our culture. In this backdrop, the religion is the foundation of that binding culture. The mental depression experienced today as a result of the current fast-track societal pressures, more..

Governor Tennakoon threatens to resign

Mar 4 (NR) Governor of Southern Province Keerthi Tennakoon has threatened to resign from his post over corruption related incidents in the education sector within the province. He said an education mafia has taken over activities within sector and noted bribery and corruptions have severely affected the operation of educational institutions in the Southern Province. He said over 200 students have not more..

Teachers to take ill on 13 March

Mar 4 (CT) Ceylon Teachers Service Union (CTSU) says they would go ahead with the islandwide token strike on 13 March as the Ministry of Education has failed to respond to their demands. CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said they took this decision because they were not given an opportunity to discuss their problems with Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam or other officials at the Ministry. “We tried several times to meet the Minister but we didn’t get a chance to do that. more..

333 complaints received on corruption at state institutions

Mar 4 (AD) Accepting complaints regarding the corruption and frauds in state institutions will conclude next Thursday, says Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI). The commission stated that it has received 333 complaints so far. Accordingly, the relevant complaints could be addressed to PCoI, Colombo 7 or via its official telephone number 011 2 665 382. On Jan 17th, Prez Sirisena appointed a PCoI to investigate into allegations of corruption and malpractices more..

Sri Lanka privatisation deals may need to be revisited

Mar 4 (EN) SL's privatisation agreements and public listing have brought greater efficiency and transparency but some agreements have left room for old problems to crop up, officials and analysts said. Thilan Wijesinghe, head of SL Public Private Partnership agency, said the leasing of terminals to private operators had brought greater efficiency and is now bringing most of the profits of SL Ports Authority, state agency that owns more..

Engine operators' strike from midnight tomorrow

Mar 4 (DM) The Locomotive Engine Operators’ Union (LEOU), will launch an indefinite strike from midnight tomorrow against the violation of recruitment procedures through the enrolment of engine drivers of over 45 years of age. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, LEOU Secretary Indika Dodangoda said there was no need of recruiting additional engine drivers. The recruits rejected by the Public Service Commission had been made against employment recruitment procedures, he said. more..

Navy apprehends a foreigner while fishing with illegal fishing gears

Mar 4 (SLN) A troop of Naval personnel attached to the Southern Naval Command apprehended a foreigner who was engaging in fishing with illegal fishing gears at White Jungle Beach in Roomassala, today. A spear gun used by him and the fish catch have also been taken into naval custody. Apprehended foreigner has been identified as 53 years old Ukrainian. Suspect along with the spear gun and the fish catch were handed over to the Dept of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources in Galle more..

Sri Lanka to set up drugs manufacturing zone near Hambantota port

Mar 4 (EN) Sri Lanka is to set up a pharmaceutical manufacturing zone close to the southern in Hambantota port to make active pharmaceutical ingredients, known as APIs, the chemicals or biologically active components used to produce drugs. The state information office said an extent of 200 acres in the Hambantota area will be earmarked for the manufacture of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and finished formulations. more..

Japan grants Sri Lanka Rs. 20 billion for health development

Mar 4 (Island) Sri Lanka would receive from Japan a grant worth Rs 20 billion to improve the health sector in Sri Lanka, Japanese ambassador to Sri Lanka, Akira Sugiyama told Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratna. The Japanese envoy said so when he met Senaratne at the Ministry of Health, recently. Sugiyama added that the fund would be channeled via Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA.) The Japanese govt has also promised a state-of-the-art operating theatre as well. more..

Ranil has underworld links: Samarasinghe

Mar 4 (CT) Voice Against Corruption Convener Wasantha Samarasinghe alleged that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe also has secret connections with underworld figures. Samarasinghe, addressing a public meeting, further said that he has all the information and photos to prove that Wickremesinghe received a blue sapphire from underworld drug-trafficker Mohommed Rizwan, who was one of Makandure Madush’s close allies sometime ago. Rizwan was shot dead near more..

Mannar Mass Grave: More reports expected

Mar 4 (NR) The assessment of skeletal remains found at the Mannar mass grave site, is likely to recommence tomorrow. JMO in charge of the Mannar mass grave Shaminda Rajapaksa said during excavations in the past few days, they have uncovered several human remains. Meanwhile, the hard copies of the sixth sample report and the final Carbon Dating Test report, on the bone samples uncovered from more..

Canadian HC visits Ampara

Mar 4 (CT) High Commissioner of Canada David McKinnon was in Ampara on Thursday to meet the Sinhalese, Tamils, and Muslims living in Ampara District. High Commissioner accompanied by his Political Officer Gobinath Ponnuthurai firstly met the members of the Sinhala Community at Ampara Pirivena and held a lively and cordial discussion with them in the morning of Thursday. The meeting with the Tamil and Muslim community with the High Commissioner was held at the Auditorium of more..

FaceBook party: 17 youths remanded

Mar 4 (DM) The 17 youths, who were arrested yesterday on charges of using cocaine and unidentified drug tablets in two hotel rooms in Polhena, Matara, were remanded till March 8 by the Matara Magistrate’s Court today. Arrested have used cocaine in the hotel after attending a Facebook party held at another hotel in Mirissa. More than 1,500 people have participated in the Facebook party and these 17 youths had gone to the Polhena hotel while the party was still going on. more..

Rathgama Murders: Fmr OIC of Southern Province SIU arrested

Mar 4 (AD) Former OIC of Special Investigating Unit of Southern Province has been arrested by the CID over the murder of two businessmen from Rathgama. Accordingly, a 42-year-old Chief Inspector named Saman Rohana has been arrested over the murder. Meanwhile, the police constable and the beat wildlife officer who were arrested this morning over the murders have been remanded until 13th Feb as more..

Serendib Airways launch domestic flights in Eastern Province

Mar 4 (CT) Domestic flights promoting tourism in the Eastern Province was launched at the Batticaloa Air Port last Friday by Chamber of Tourism and Industry of SL and Serendib Airways. The new domestic flight is expected to serve not only the tourists but even the high-profile business community. Governor Eastern Province M.L.A.M. Hisbullah launched the flight service and flew in the aircraft over key tourist destinations in the EP. He was accompanied by State Ministers M.M.S. Ameer Ali, more..

Sri Lanka offers multiple entry visas for commercial activities

Mar 4 (EN) Sri Lanka is to change its immigration rules to offer multiple entry visas for business people with the aim of encouraging trading and investments. The state information office said the Cabinet of Ministers last week approved a proposal by Minister Vajira Abeywardena to the Immigrants and Emigrants Act for the new visa scheme. The govt aims to extend the duration of tourist visas and to issue multiple entry visas for commercial activities, a statement said. more..

SLC explains Sumathipala's presence in Dubai

Mar 4 (AM) Sri Lanka Cricket issued a statement saying its former President Thilanga Sumathipala did not attend the ICC board meeting in Dubai. SLC statement said only Shammi Silva, the newly-elected SLC President and a close ally of Sumathipala, attended the ICC board meeting while others attended a series of other discussions with ICC officials. However, SLC admitted that its immediate Past President Thilanga more..