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UK to give Sri Lanka £1 million for North-East resettlement

Aug 15 (Island) Nearly 600 families resettled on newly released land in the North and East of Sri Lanka will benefit from £1 million from the UK Govt to support the provision of basic infrastructure and services. Helping families return to their villages is a crucial element of Sri Lanka addressing the legacy of civil war and is a key part of the joint strategy agreed by the UN and the Govt of Sri Lanka to support long-term post-conflict peacebuilding in Sri Lanka. more..

SriLankan Airlines flights to Cochin Airport suspended due to flooding

Aug 15 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines has temporarily suspended flights to and from the South Indian city of Cochin until 18th August, following the closure of Cochin Airport due to flooding in the region. Cochin Airport was closed today (15) until 2 p.m. on 18th August due to heavy floods in the area and further updates on the situation are awaited from authorities at Kochi Airport. “SriLankan Airlines wishes to inform all passengers booked to fly to or from Cochin during this period, more..

Video: Hatton-Colombo main road blocked by landslide

Aug 15 (DM) Hatton-Colombo main road is currently blocked at Watawala due to an earth slide, stated the Watawala Police. The earth slide has occurred at around 3pm this afternoon, due to the recent heavy rainfall in the Western slopes of the Central highlands. Watawala Police requests motorists to use the Diyagala Norton Bridge road in Ginigathhena until the soil from the earth slide is cleared. Watawala Police says that there is a further risk of earth slides in the same area. more..

Video: Railways TUs threaten another strike

Aug 15 (DM) The trade unions of the Railways Department today warned of another work stoppage from Tuesday midnight if the authorities failed to resolve their issues relating to salary anomalies as promised by President Sirisena. Locomotive Engine Operators’ Union (LEOU) Secretary Indika Dodangoda said that the Railways trade unions had scheduled to launch a work stoppage today since no specific solution had been granted to their grievances at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting. more..

Video: Will consider if JO wishes to separate: Amaraweera

Aug 15 (AD) If the group of MPs representing the JO desires to act independently in the Parliament, they are willing to give the opportunity for it, says UPFA General Secretary Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. Although the UNP and the SLFP has their difference, they are working together for the future of the country, he further said. Each JO MP will have to inform via separate letters their will, if they wishes to separate and work independently, says the Minister. more..

Piyadasa reads riot act to JO MPs trying to be independent

Aug 15 (Island) SLFP General Secretary Prof Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa, yesterday, challenged the Joint Opposition (JO) members to sit in Parliament as independent MPs. He said all JO members including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had been elected on the ticket of UPFA. "They are sitting in the opposition with permission from the UPFA. If anyone wants to resign from the party or to become independent then she or he would have to inform the Speaker in writing. more..

Mahinda Samarasinghe pulled in favor of Dhammika Perera

Aug 15 (CT) India’s leading tug-boat operator, Ocean Sparkle, is to appeal to the National Procurement Commission, an independent commission set up under the 19th amendment to the constitution, against what they term as arbitrary, factually incorrect and contradictory cabinet paper that is to be presented at today’s cabinet meeting (14) by the Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, recommending the award of a tender for a charter of three harbour tugs to more..

Bodies of mother and child found inside well

Aug 15 (AD) Two bodies have been recovered from a well at Kumankulama in Vavuniya, this afternoon, said Vavuniya Police. According to the police, the bodies are of a 33 year old mother named Mayuran Rajini residing in Kumankulama area and her 5 year old son named Mayuran Sashwin. Reportedly, the bodies were found in the well in front of the deceased’s house. Vavuniya police are conducting interrogations regarding the incident as the police consider it to be a suspicious death. more..

Woman arrested using fake documents to release goods at Customs

Aug 15 (AD) A woman who attempted to release goods from the Customs Department using fake documents has been arrested by the Organized Crimes Prevention Division (OCPD). She had tried to release containers of electrical items, clothes and fancy items imported from South Korea by producing a fake Korean Visa document belonging to another person, said the Police. According to the OCPD, the suspect had tried release without paying the duty owed to the Sri Lankan govt. more..

මුළු ලංකාවටම සහභාගී විය හැකි ලංකා කොමිකෝන්

Hot seat on the fast track

Aug 15 (FT) I want to buy a chair. Not a fancy one with all the bells and whistles. There is such a thing after all as a sense of proportion in the purchase of furniture. Just check out what the Western Province Chief Minister’s office is ordering and you will get a sense of how it is not kosher into the bargain. But still it is a chair of some character and circumference – mine is. It may not cost Rs. 650,000 – or a mere 640-thousand quid, according to the Western Province spokesperson’s prompt correction more..

First ever child-friendly unit set up

Aug 15 (CT) SL’s first ever child-friendly unit was set up at Ragama Police Station for the purpose of better handling and dealing with the children in need of care, attention, safety and justice after their being treated in a cruel and violent manner. This unit has also been made women-friendly as a timely approach to guarantee the right of women to be protected following a brutalized plight. This programme was initiated by the Ministry of Law and Order and it aims to set up specially designed units at more..

Catholic Bishops conference says no to death penalty

Aug 15 (Island) The Catholic Bishops’ Conference in SL says the death penalty will not solve the drug menace in the country. In a statement Catholic Bishops’ conference says: We the Members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in SL wish to make the following statement with regard to the issue of the Death Penalty. Supreme Pontiff Holy Father Francis has approved a new revision of number 2267 of Catechism of Catholic Church. more..

HALO expects to free Jaffna from mines by late 2019

Aug 15 (DM) HALO Trust, the largest international mine action operator in Sri Lanka, said it’s current chief goal is to complete mine clearance of Jaffna by the end of 2019, as only 24 of minefields are remaining there. Since 2002, manual and mechanical clearance teams of HALO Trust have cleared nearly 11.5 of minefields and of former battlefield areas in the country. Head of Media of HALO Trust, more..

Chinese archaeologists dig for Chinese antiques in the North

Aug 15 (CT) Archaeological cooperation between Sri Lanka and China was initiated yesterday (14). A team of Chinese archaeologists with their local counterparts began excavating for Chinese coins and other artefacts in Allaipiddy in Kayts, in the Northern Province. A Sino-Lanka archaeological excavation has been agreed to find out more about the Chinese presence in the Northern Province in the past. more..

Sri Lanka formal hotel occupancy drops in 2017

Aug 15 (EN) Average occupancy in Sri Lanka's formal sector hotels fell to 73.3% in 2017 from 74.8% a year earlier, reversing a 4-year trend despite increased tourist arrivals and spending in the island, provisional data from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority showed. Sri Lanka's average occupancy which was 48.4% in 2008 rose to 70.1% in 2010 and 77.1% in 2011 and dropped to 71.2% with informal competition coming on stream. more..

UNFPA celebrates Youth Day by engaging Lankan youth for peace

Aug 15 (GDI) To celebrate International Youth Day in Sri Lanka, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) hosted its fourth Youth4Youth symposium in the Central Province from 12 - 14 August 2018.This year's theme for International Youth Day explored the role of Safe Spaces for Youth in contributing to freedom of expression, mutual respect and constructive dialogue. The recent communal violence in more..

Gemunu urges bus crews to postpone strike till the end of A/L exam

Aug 15 (Island) The Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) has urged bus drivers and conductors to postpone their industrial action until the GCE AL exam is over. LPBOA Chairman Gemumu Wijeratne said that they would also support the All Ceylon Private Bus Workers Association (ACPBWA) to win their demands if the strike was postponed. "There is nothing we can do if the drivers and conductors don’t turn up for work today more..

Cabinet nod for special public sector Salaries Commission

Aug 15 (DN) Cabinet yesterday granted approval to appoint a Special Commission to increase public sector salaries and remove salary anomalies on a recommendation made by Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Govt decided to appoint this Commission to make the necessary recommendations to increase the salaries of the entire public sector staff and to do away with the salary anomalies that were reported in certain more..

Rs. 2.5 billion spent for conservation of archeological sites: PM

Aug 15 (GDI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says it is no use of claiming Sinhala Buddhist to obtain the votes without preserving the ancient historic Buddhist temples to tell the world about their glory. The PM said the present govt has spent Rs. 2.5 billion for the conservation of Buddhist and Archaeological sites during the three years since 2015. In contrast, the last govt from 2012 to 2014 had only spent Rs. 1.1 billion, he said. more..

There can never be a woman IGP in Sri Lanka

Aug 15 (ST) Female Inspectors of Police (IPs) are being barred from applying for promotion because there are no vacancies for women in the Chief Inspector (CI) rank — a sign of persistent structural gender discrimination in the 150-year-old dept. Now 40 of them have lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission of SL (HRCSL) saying they were twice denied the chance to advance to CI rank, violating their right to equality more..

A party that went horribly wrong

Aug 15 (ST) In the early hours of Aug 5, medical workers at the Panadura Base Hospital were struggling to stabilize the condition of three grievously ill men who had been rushed in by friends and family. There were four patients in total. High Dependency Unit (HDU) staff said the man who came first, between 3.15-and 3.30 a.m, was pronounced dead on admission. Two other males were brought in between 4 & 4.30 am. more..

UNP has two choices: Name Presidential Candidate now or Perish

Aug 15 (DM) Today is Aug 15, 2018. The date for Presidential Election will be called by the Commissioner General of Elections between Nov and Dec 2019. That leaves us with approximately 17 months. Two main protagonists will be a nominee from the UNP and another representing the Pohottuwa (Flower bud) in combination with the SLFP or someone from the Pohottuwa by itself. SLFP without the Pohottuwa support, if the recently held LG polls are of any reliable measure, more..

A trumpet call; save the elephant

Aug 15 (DM) The elephant is one of SL’s most majestic creatures and acclaimed as the king of our jungles. It is unfortunate that we are still embroiled in what is called a human-elephant conflict, which was created after we robbed the elephants of their lands and called them rogues when hungry animals came searching for food. Last Sunday was World Elephant Day and the organizers say that in keeping with tradition, we need to devote some time and attention to what has happened to more..

Suspect alleged to have fled country with Admiral’s help arrested in Colombo

Aug 15 (Island) A high profile-govt inquiry into the alleged abduction and disappearance of 11 Tamil youth by the Navy during Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannaoda’s tenure as the Commander of the service has taken a dramatic turn with the arrest of Lt. Commander Prasad Hettiarachchi allegedly involved in the case. Police headquarters confirmed the arrest of the officer whose recent disappearance led the CID to more..

Will review pacts made with foreign buyers: SLPP

Aug 15 (DM) All agreements entered into with foreign buyers by this govt to sell valuable properties in Colombo would be reviewed under our govt, SLPP said. SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris claimed the govt was attempting to sell valuable real estate properties in Colombo, shares in banks and other commercial enterprises. “Under a SLPP govt all these agreements will be reviewed and any transaction which is detrimental to Sri Lanka will be suspended. more..

Keith Noyahr Incident: Mahinda summoned by the CID

Aug 15 (CT) MP Mahinda Rajapaksa has been noticed to appear before the CID on 17 August to record a statement with regard to a case of the alleged assault and abduction of journalist Keith Noyahr, informed sources from the CID said. Senior DIG of the CID, Ravi Seneviratne issued the notice. A few CID officers had already left for Australia to record a statement from Noyahr who is currently domiciled there. Connected to the case, former Head of Army Intelligence, retired Major Gen. more..

Looters as Rulers: The Rs.200,000 allowance: Only less than 55 MPs entitled: Ministry

Aug 15 (DM) The number of monitoring MPs receiving a transport allowance of Rs.200,000 each is less than 55 as several of them have been appointed as deputy ministers or state ministers, the Land and Parliament Affairs Ministry said. Ministry Secretary W.H. Karunaratne said the allowance given to the parliamentarians assigned to monitor development projects had ceased on being appointed as ministers, deputy ministers or state ministers. more..

Ranil assures Dilantha an independent probe over death threat

Aug 15 (DM) SL racing driver Dilantha Malagamuwa said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had assured him that an independent investigation would be conducted over the alleged death threat. Mr. Malagamuwa said Premier Wickremesinghe had phoned him yesterday morning and told him that he would inform the police to conduct an investigation. He also said he had informed the Law and Order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara about an alleged death threat he received two months ago. more..

NPC board of ministers unconstitutional: Governor

Aug 15 (Island) Governor of the Northern Province (NPC), Reginald Cooray has asked NPC Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran to appoint a new board of ministers. The existing provincial council board of ministers has more members than the constitutionally prescribed number. The Constitution says the number of ministers must be limited to five, but there are six ministers in the NPC currently. Northern Provincial Council had no legal authority to administer the province, Cooray said. more..

Ranil changed his decision to quit politics, says prelate

Aug 15 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe changed his decision to give up politics and leave the country several years ago following the advice of several leading Buddhist monks including the late Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, Chief Incumbent of Mirisawetiya Venerable Ethalawetunu Wawe Dhanatilaka Thera said. Thera expressed these sentiments during a religious ceremony held at the Mirisawetiya Cheithiya more..

US trade sanctions on Iran expected to gravely affect Ceylon Tea exports

Aug 15 (Island) Sri Lanka Tea Board said that it is concerned that US sanctions on trade with Iran would gravely affect Ceylon Tea exports to Iran. If these restrictions are inclusive of Sri Lanka tea exports, Ceylon Tea low growns, particularly, would fare badly. Earlier, Japan, buyers of premium Western High grown tea, had said that they would return a consignment of tea bought by them from Sri Lanka. The quantity involved was about 100,000 kilos. The exporters involved said these teas more..

BIA’s congestion issues deterring visitors

Aug 15 (CT) Minister John Amaratunga views the congestion at the BIA as a major issue for tourism development, highlighting that it ruined visitors’ first impression of the country. Responding to queries at the launch of the ‘Sri Lanka Tourism Awards 2018’, he said the BIA was overcrowded due to the increased number of visitors and overwhelmed with the effort of clearing travellers. Though the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation is working towards reducing congestion through much smoother more..

Army to shrink deployment

Aug 15 (DN) Army will not close down camps in the N&E, but will shrink its deployment in a manner that will not jeopardise national security, Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake said. “We are ready to release another 522 acres in the N&E but we have to adjust ourselves prior to releasing these lands to the owners. We have our own infrastructure requirements and for us to move, I have to now construct billets. more..

‘10% of population should be involved in exports’

Aug 15 (CT) Sri Lanka should follow in the footsteps of Malaysia and Thailand and move into manufacturing and exporting of electronic items, machinery, equipment and motor vehicles using modern technology to reach its export potential and expand its export basket, stated Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe. He was speaking at the 15th Exporter’s Forum organized by the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade at the Export Development Board yesterday. more..

Alumex to be export competitive with new plant

Aug 15 (EN) Alumex Plc, which has commissioned Sri Lanka's largest aluminium extrusion plant says it is eyeing exports and plans to compete strongly in a domestic market with import tax protection that forced customers to pay high prices to be phased out in the future. With the opening of a two billion rupee plant with the most modern technology and an output of 1,200 metric tonnes a month, Alumex is trying to reduce prices and meet global competition. “We’re trying to match the prices of the UAE," more..

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