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SLT fixed line telephone service on the decline

May 24 (ST) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), only fixed wire-line telecom service provider in the country, is grappling with a sharp increase in fixed wire-line disconnections and dropping demand for new connections, SLT, trade union leaders said. While the SLT lost 63,915 subscribers last year, it has failed to attract new customers due to a weakness in the marketing plan and its implementation. The number of new connections in 2016 dropped more..

Airlines oppose SriLankan’s hefty hike in ground handling fee

May 24 (FT) Airlines are up in arms over planned moves by SriLankan Airlines to jack up ground handling charges at the Bandaranaike International Airport by as much as 30%. Industry sources said the quantum of the hike was unwarranted and unjustifiable and SriLankan was simply trying to take other airlines for a mistaken ride.  At present SriLankan holds the monopoly of ground handling at the BIA and this status is under review by the Civil Aviation Authority.  more..

Navodya wins bronze as Sri Lanka finish with two medals

May 24 (CT) Hurdler Navodya Sankalpa from Mahinda College Galle clinched the bronze medal in the 400m hurdle, as Sri Lanka finished with a silver and bronze at the second Asian Youth Athletics Championship concluded at Bangkok yesterday. The youngster who trains under Piyal Weerasekera clocked 53.86 seconds. The race was won by Halomoan Edwin Bisar of Indonesia with a time of 51.96 seconds, while Ting Hsuan Huang finished second in 52.49 seconds. more..

Anura Kumara Dissanayake

The fate of another Muslim child marriage

May 24 (DN) In one of the worst cases of domestic violence in recent times, Thameem Fatheema Sharmila; a young 18 year old Muslim girl was burnt to death last week. She was tied to a chair, poured oil and set on fire by her abusive husband last Friday. She was four months pregnant and lost her baby. She is also the young mother of a 7-month old baby. Sharmila is also a victim of forced child marriage, which is legal for Sri Lankan Muslims. She was 16-years-old when she was taken to more..

The question of abortion

May 24 (DN) Abortion of human fetuses is indeed a traumatic one especially for an unwed young woman who has got pregnant for the first time. There are indeed unwed young women who have had abortions and subsequently got pregnant again and had had abortions more than once. The issue of abortion should be viewed first of all from the vision and perception of human life, development of life, development and exercise of human sexuality, human procreation in the perspective of more..

'There are many issues to iron out'

May 24 (CT) State Minister M.L.A.M. Hizbullah speaking on the repealing of the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) said that the amendments should be done according to Sharia Law and the preaching of the Holy Quran. "If there is an amendment to the MMDA we have no problem we will support but the amendments should be done according to Sharia Law. We cannot do any amendments beyond Sharia Law. more..

Modi visit, A measured new step

May 24 (SL) Independent of expectations and anxieties to the contrary, the recent SL visit of Indian PM Narendra Modi was a measured, new step in bilateral relations over the past several decades. By responding in the right and adequate manner, without overdoing either the welcome or the anticipated protests to Modi visit, SL stake-holders have put bilateral relations in perspective, despite the continuing daggers-drawn approach in domestic politics, something that political parties more..

Branding Colombo City to be Asia’s another Singapore

May 24 (CT) The city of Colombo was well admired by the father of modern Singapore Lee Kuan Yew in 1950s, for having the best infrastructure, stone faced buildings and greener environment, and with the visionary leadership and sheer commitment he transformed Singapore, from third world to the first world. Later on, by looking at the successful city state of Singapore, our political leaders have pledged to emulate it and wanted to transform Sri Lanka to Asia’s another Singapore. more..

Timber tales: Traditional Lankan furniture and their origins

May 24 (Roar) When we think of traditional SL furniture, our thoughts often go straight to the wooden chairs and storage chests that harken to the old colonial days when SL was called Ceylon. In pre-colonial SL, seating above floor-level was uncommon; the ancient kings would sit on seats carved out of rock, while the masses would be seated on mats or on the bare ground. The seating furniture that we are now familiar with more..

Sri Lanka's power struggle continues

May 24 (NS) Unannounced power cuts throughout Colombo over the last few weeks may have gone unchecked by regulators and policy-makers alike, however new information has surfaced to indicate that consumers may have to pay twice the price for a unit of power if the treasury decides that the CEB bear the brunt of repaying a USD 1355 million loan obtained for the Norochcholai Power Plant. “The CEB has calculated the cost of energy excluding the cost of repayment of the loan, more..

I had a dream…

May 24 (SL) I had a dream. Not like that of Abou Ben Adhem in the poem of Leigh Hunt or the much celebrated dream of Martin Luther King. It was much more confusing. Was I dreaming or was it real? A corpulent man with a moustache and rings like knuckle dusters on his fingers was shouting: Mama pirewwe neddha? (Didn’t I fill it up?) and an emaciated man with goatee, cap and red shirt hopping on stage and screaming like a kattadiya (devil dancer) exorcising a perethaya more..

President leaves for Australia

May 23 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena left for Australia today commencing a 3-day state visit on the invitation of the Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull. During this visit, President Sirisena is scheduled to meet with the Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull and will also hold several other high level bilateral meetings. The two leaders will explore the possibilities of promoting bilateral trade, agriculture, & security between two countries. more..

New training centre for garment industry

May 23 (FF) A training centre to train some 35 youth for the garment industry has been set up in Sri Lanka after the Security Force Headquarters Mullaittivu (SFHQ-MLT) took initiatives to establish a new garment factory in collaboration with the district secretary for Mullaittivu and garment industrialists. Training centre is an initiative of Global Design Tex. Global Design Tex intends to provide the youth job opportunities in the garment industry in Mullaittivu area under the Phase one. more..

Embassy officials rescue SL woman held captive by Saudi Employer

May 23 (DM) A  Sri Lankan woman, who was held in captive in Saudi Arabia by her employer, was released by the officials of Sri Lankan embassy in Riyadh, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) said today. W.W Indrakanthi - a resident of Kandalama road, Dambulla who is the victim and her employer were summoned to the police station in Diriyah, Riyadh on Monday (22) for investigations. SLBFE said that SL embassy in Riyadh third Secretary W M S P Illangokoon more..

Saint in front of the people: Govt to accelerate growth & protect peace: PM

May 23 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says the objective of the govt is to accelerate growth during the next few years while protecting peace in the island. Speaking at an event held at the Temple Trees today, he said development in the country will be halved through the absence of peace. PM said political parties must unite in order to arrive at a long lasting solution to political issues that prevail within the country. more..

Coroner knocks care given to Sri Lankan asylum seeker

May 23 (PN) A Sri Lankan asylum seeker who died from a severe asthma attack just hours after arriving at the Christmas Island immigration detention centre received inadequate medical care, a WA coroner has found. Arulselvam Velmurugu fled communal riots in Sri Lanka in November 2012 and arrived in Australia almost six months later after two boat journeys and nearly three months in a refugee camp in Sumatra, where deadly fights broke out. 35-year-old was treated for his asthma more..

Video: Retention wall collapses in Mawanella; 2 killed, 1 injured

May 23 (DM) Two workers had been killed and another was injured when an earth embankment collapsed on them, while building a retention wall at the Mawanella Town this morning. The workers who were stuck underneath the debris were admitted to the Mawanella Hospital. M.K. Jayasiri (44) and Thilak Rupasingha (46) succumbed to injuries after they were admitted to the hospital. Investigations are being conducted to determine the cause of the mound of earth to collapse. more..

Renovation of water distribution system in Colombo

May 23 (DN) National Water Supply & Drainage Board (NWSDB) will take measures to enhance the water distribution system in Colombo and to reduce the non-revenue water supply (NRW) by 18% by 2021, Greater Colombo Water & Wastewater Management Improvement Investment Programme (GCWWMIIP). Though there are many projects to increase that water demand in Colombo, there is no significant project launched to more..

President orders stern action against racial attacks

May 23 (Xinhua) President Sirisena on Tuesday ordered his Law and Order Minister to thoroughly probe incidents related to racism in the island country and take stern action against those involved. Minister Mano Ganeshan said that during a cabinet meeting held on Tuesday, he had informed the president that there had been incidents of racial attacks against the minority Tamils and Muslims in the recent weeks. Ganeshan said that the president also instructed his cabinet that more..

'Army should be withdrawn within 6 months'

May 23 (DM) All military personnel, who had been deployed for security in the Northern Province, should be withdrawn within the next six months, NPC member M.K. Sivajilingam said yesterday. He said that soldiers  who can be accommodated in 600-700 acres of land were enough for security in the region, he said. While addressing media at Jaffna he claimed that  about 4,000 acres of land in Valikamam in the Northern Province was still under Sri Lanka Army. more..

JO congratulates Mangala on his new role

May 23 (CG) Joint Opposition (JO) today congratulated Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera on his new role. JO MP Dullas Alahapperuma wished Samaraweera after raising a question in Parliament today. Samaraweera asked for time to respond to the question, the first question put forward to him in Parliament after he was appointed Finance Minister yesterday. Speaking later Samaraweera said that he was concerned more..

Sri Lanka condemns Manchester attack

May 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka condemned the deadly attack in Manchester, England in which at least 19 people were killed and around 50 others were injured. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said that Sri Lanka was saddened by the attack in Manchester. "Saddened by the attack in Manchester. Sri Lanka condemns this heinous act. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected," she tweeted. So far 19 people have been confirmed dead, with 50 others injured more..

Shooting at Hikkaduwa: 2 dead

May 23 (AD) Two individuals were killed as a result of a shooting that took place near the Divisional Secretariat Office of Hikkaduwa. Police stated that the shooting had occurred at approximately 4 pm today, inside a printing press in the proximity of the DS Office. The two gun-shot victims were reportedly admitted to the Karapitiya Hospital for treatment, where they succumbed to their injuries shortly after. Two individuals had arrived in a motorcycle, entered the building housing the printing press, more..

Extremism will not be tolerated: Govt

May 23 (NR) The govt says action will be taken against any individual engaged in extremist activities. Minister Lakshman Kiriella reiterated the govt’s stance. He was responding to a statement by UPFA MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena who claimed certain groups and organisations are attempting to destabilise the country by engaging in such misconduct. MP said there are certain forces at work at present adding these forces are more..

Reshuffle disadvantageous to UNP: Range

May 23 (NR) State Minister Palitha Range Bandara says UNP is at a disadvantage through the Cabinet reshuffle. He said the SLFP as a result will benefit at the upcoming LG Election. He said he saw the Cabinet reshuffle as a loss to UNP adding SLFP has made room for one its appointments. He noted Sabaragamuwa Development, Kandyan Heritage and the appointment of a State Minister for Mahaweli Development, sees the General Secretary of the party obtaining powers and resources more..

Sri Lanka Railways losses down to Rs 6.8bn

May 23 (EN) State-run railway reduced operating losses to Rs 6.8 billion in 2016 from a loss of Rs 7.7 billion in 2015 mainly owing to an increase in revenue and a reduction in expenditure. Total revenue of Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) increased 4.6% to Rs 6.6 billion last year, while current expenditure decreased 4.6% to Rs 13.4 billion, benefitting from low oil prices, according to CB’s latest annual report. “Financial position of the SLR moderately improved during 2016,” it said, more..

Mysterious death of anaesthetist

May 23 (AD) The body of the female anaesthetist attached to the Nuwara Eliya Base Hospital who died mysteriously earlier today, has been discovered at her official quarters. The deceased’s body was found by the Police in the afternoon today. According to the Police, the deceased had previously been married to a doctor attached to the same hospital. She reportedly lived a solitary life after her marriage ended in divorce. more..

I will strengthen youth in SL: Chandima

May 23 (NR) Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training Chandima Weerakkody says he is pleased to take on the responsibility of strengthening the country’s youth, through his new ministerial portfolio. Speaking at an event in Galle Minister Weerakkody said the country has a lack of skilled workers. The Minister said the responsibility vested in him alongside the 12 institutions is to strengthen the training and future of the youth in the country. more..

Case against Prasanna R. fixed for trial

May 23 (DN) The case filed against MP Prasanna Ranatunga and his wife was fixed for trial today on a day-to-day basis commencing from August 23 by Colombo High Court.  Attorney General (AG) filed indictments against the MP, his wife Maureen Ranatunga and another person on the charge of threatening a businessman over the phone and demanding Rs.64 million. Meanwhile, the High Court permitted Prasanna Ranatunga today to go abroad from June 28 to August 21. more..

Parliament Mafia dragging Sri Lanka down

Sri Lanka wind project gets environmental okay with fewer turbines

May 23 (EN) An Asian Development Bank (ADB) supported project to set up a wind power project in north-western Sri Lanka has got environmental clearance with the lender saying impacts could be mitigated through design changes like fewer turbines. A draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) released by the ADB said environmental assessment and special studies for the 100 MW Wind Power Project in Mannar have been done for over a year between 2016 and 2017. more..

Maithri too busy to meet Muslim MPs as BBS led groups continue their rampage

May 23 (CT) More focused on his very own political survival and foreign jaunts, President Sirisena appeared to have no time to discuss the increasing attacks against the Muslim community, and had shot down a request by Muslim MPs to meet him and had instead directed Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka to preside the meeting scheduled for today (22). Sirisena who is off to Australia today on a four day state visit, was too busy with the cabinet reshuffle and his impending Australia tour, more..

ඇමති මාරු ඇස් බැන්ඳුමෙන් ජනතාව ඇන්දවීම

Northern province development: My preferences: CM Wigneswaran

May 23 (CT) Hon’ PM, Hon’ Ministers, Hon’ MPs, Hon’ Members of NPC, High officials of Central and Provincial Services, my dear brothers and sisters, We are pleased to have the Hon’ PM discussing with Political Representatives and our Officials the Govt Economic Development Programme and Jaffna District Development Projects. This is a process we have been agitating for and not long ago in this very Hall we had Hon’ Malik Samarawickrama taking the trouble to find out our point of view more..

Cabinet reshuffle for an unpopular govt?

May 23 (CT) After much hype, the government went for a Cabinet reshuffle that has not impressed anyone. The new profiles handed over to the not so new faces of the politicians in the Cabinet come as a dire failure of the current administration. It unhealthily feels as if the ministerial portfolios were rotated among the politicians of the Government after a poorly managed, drawing of strings among them. The portfolios were simplified into a bunch of straws that were circulated among politicos, more..