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Sri Lankan Tamil leader wants funds to revive war-ravaged north

Apr 8 (EN) Sri Lanka’s govt should start disbursing funds without further delay to revive the economy of the war-ravaged north and east of the island, the leader of the TNA said. The govt has announced the setting up of the Palmyrah Fund for the north-east. But the TNA’s R. Sampanthan said money needed to be released immediately since the region had not been given enough attention since the ethnic war ended 10 years ago when more..

People were taxed even during the time of King Parakramabahu: PM

Apr 8 (DM) People were taxed even during the time of King Parakramabahu, although it was criticized today, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said at the 52nd Aluth Sahal Mangalaya at Jaya Srimaha Bodhi in A'pura. “King Parakramabahu used impose tax on people, especially when harvest was high. Therefore, remember that King Parakramabahu also imposed VAT before criticising,” he said in a lighter vein. PM stressed Sri Lanka’s paddy production had been 3 million metric tons this year. more..

Ragging extends to sexual abuse at Jaffna Uni?

Apr 8 (Island) Jaffna uni authorities have launched an inquiry into an incident where senior students assaulted two new entrants. The assault was carried out after the freshers had videoed an incident of sexual abuse during ragging, sources said. The inquiry was initiated after a complaint was lodged by the freshers with the university authorities. The victims suffered minor injuries. The freshers told the authorities that the senior male students had sexually harassed female students as well. more..

DIG Nimal Leuke

Rata Wenuwen Ekata Sitimu national programme: 2nd stage in Batticaloa

Apr 8 (DN) The second programme of Rata Wenuwen Ekata Sitimu (Stand Together for the Country) national programme will commence in the Batticaloa district centering on its 14 Divisional Secretariats from today. The programme which continues for five days will have a ceremonial conclusion under the patronage of Prez Sirisena on April 12, 2019. This programme is jointly implemented by the Presidential Secretariat, Ministry of Defence and SL Army. more..

USJ does it: Bold attempt at combining innovation with art

Apr 8 (FT) Uni of Sri Jayewardenepura or USJ, celebrating its 60th Anniversary as a recognised university this year, had hosted two main events to mark it. One involved in kicking-off of USJ’s long-term vision of becoming the University of Innovation, tag-lined Innovate Sri Lanka. The other was the staging of the in-house produced performing art in the style of a musical titled Sandesavali Kavinaluwa. This was a dramatic recreation of five different Sandesa Kavyas more..

State officials, doctors to cripple public services over judges pay hike

Apr 8 (EN) SL's professional grade state workers including doctors, have threatened to cripple public services from April 15, saying judges have been given a large pay hike and they wanted the same. Joint Committee of Govt Officers is a trade union representing over 35,000 top-level senior officials of the executive grade in SL's public administration including ministries and departments such the Treasury, tax officials, doctors and more..

Circular issued making Scholarship exam non-compulsory: Akila

Apr 8 (AD) Ministry of Education has issued a Circular making Grade 5 Scholarship Exam non-compulsory for students. Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam stated this issuing a press release. Circular says only the students within the prescribed income limits will be facing the exam hereafter. Circular further mentions that promotional activities such as posters and banners based on the Scholarship Exam are prohibited hereafter. more..

SL should not implement death penalty: EU

Apr 8 (EN) The European Union (EU) Delegation, along with 10 other resident diplomatic missions have called on Sri Lanka to halt the implementation of the death penalty as an anti-drug policy. "The Govt of SL has recently taken measures towards resuming executions and bringing an end to Sri Lanka's 43-year moratorium on the death penalty as part of its stepped up anti-drug policy," a joint statement said. more..

Grama Niladharis to stop NIC work

Apr 8 (CT) The Joint Grama Niladari Trade Union Convention (GNTUC) has decided to halt activities connected to the issue of National Identity Card (NIC) and also the election duties if the Govt and Minister of Home Affairs Vajira Abeywardena turn deaf ears to their grievances. The National Organiser of the above GNTUC Nevil Wijerathne said that a senior official of the Presidential Secretariat informed them on 5 April, more..

NZ and Aussie dairy heifer exports to Sri Lanka halted

Apr 8 (FO) Shipments of dairy cows from Australia and New Zealand will be halted until after an inquiry into why a number of them have died on Sri Lankan farms. So far 5000 pregancy-tested Holstein-Jersey heifers have been shipped under a govt program to increase Sri Lanka's fresh milk production to reduce the country's imports of expensive powdered milk. SL cabinet decided in 2014 to import a total 20,000 in-calf heifers more..

BIA’s second terminal grounded as cost soars

Apr 8 (ST) The Sri Lankan Govt has put on hold a US$ 700 million loan from Japan for the expansion of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), in view of the high cost for engineering work proposed by the Japanese construction company. A staggering increase of Rs 30 billion in the estimated engineering cost had forced the Govt to put on hold the loan until further talks were held, Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said. more..

Emergency power purchase: Suppliers unlikely to oblige

Apr 8 (CT) It is doubtful that power suppliers would provide 100 MW of emergency power, due to the loss they will have to incur, after changes to the initial Tender conditions, top Officials of CEB said. Therefore, the CEB says that they cannot guarantee fulfilling the promise that Minister Ravi Karunanayake has given that the prevailing power crisis would be solved and the power cuts will be suspended after the New Year. more..

Country looks chaotic due to non-enforcement of environmental laws

Apr 8 (Island) The Govt should strictly implement laws irrespective of social status and especially punish politicians who break those laws, in order to make the country a noise pollution free nation, environmentalists said. Environmentalists expressed confidence that the Police would do a much better job than the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) in enforcing nature protection laws. more..

Easy access from Kottawa bus terminal to Railway station shut to help private company

Apr 8 (Island) A multipurpose transport centre was inaugurated at Makumbura on March 31 where bus and rail services are jointly operated. But to the utter disappointment of the commuters, the entrance to the Kottawa railway station from the bus terminal was closed by constructing a fence with discarded rail tracks on April 1. The disabled, pregnant women, elderly persons are unable to ente railway station more..

Power – Energy Blackout x Commissions2 (P-E=bc2)

Apr 8 (DM) Through dis-organised sporadic blackouts or technically termed Load Shedding, Sri Lanka achieves NIC status (Non-Illuminated Country). We are thankful for authorities for, unlike in India, they haven’t tried Brownouts, an intentional drop in voltage. The crisis is fuelled by a conflict between powerful CEB and energetic Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL), which became the economic, safety & technical regulator more..

Win-win for health and the economy

Apr 8 (DM) Tobacco use causes 20% of global cancer deaths, more than any other cause. One in five cancer deaths are caused by tobacco use, which is 1.93 million a year. Tobacco use can make at least 14 types of cancer, namely, mouth and upper throat, larynx, oesophagus, lung, liver, pancreas, stomach, kidney, bowel, ovaries, bladder, cervix, leukaemia. Apart from direct smoking, secondhand smoke too kills nearly 900,000 people every year, yet one-quarter of people globally more..

Indian election: Secularism vs Nationalism

Apr 8 (DM) On the 11th of this month, India goes to the polls. The poll will be spread over a period starting 11 April to 22 May. Premier Modi is using an US-styled presidential election campaign, which he hopes will bring him an election victory. The election is being portrayed by Modi and his party -the BJP- to be all about him (Modi) and his strong leadership qualities. During the 2014 election campaign, Modi used the same tactics to good effect and won a landslide majority. more..

New rail line costing $ 278 m from Matara to Beliatta opens today

Apr 8 (FT) Marking another milestone in Sri Lanka Railway history, the Matara-Beliatta railway line will be declared open today by Minister of Transports and Civil Aviation Arjuna Ranatunga. At the national ceremony held under the theme Dakunu Lakata Aluth Magak (New Road to Southern Sri Lanka), the first train will commence the journey on the new track at the auspicious time of 9 a.m. Following the inaugural run, more..

Defence secretary Sanjay Mitra arrives on 2-day visit to Sri Lanka

Apr 8 (PTI) Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra arrived on a two-day visit to Sri Lanka on Sunday during which he will call on President Maithripala Sirisena and participate in several high level defence meetings. Mitra, who arrived in Colombo along with six other Indian officials, will also visit the central town of Kandy and the north central town of Anuradhapura. Defence Secretary will have bilateral defence talks in Colombo and will take part in several high level meetings. more..

2 more arrested with Madush deported to SL

Apr 8 (AD) Two more persons who were arrested with Makandure Madush at his party in Dubai has been deported to Sri Lanka last night (07), stated the Police Media Spokesperson. They have been handed over to the Immigration-Emigration officials when they landed at the BIA and have been transferred to the custody of the CID and intelligence officers for questioning. The arrested persons are identified as a Nazim Mohammed Faizer and a Jabeer Mohomed Mufa. more..

Power crisis likely to worsen

Apr 8 (CT) The prevailing electricity crisis is tipped to worsen with a powerful trade union in the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) strongly criticizing a move by its most powerful engineers’ union to call a sudden Special General Meeting (SGM). The CEB engineers, around the country, would obtain personal leave today (8) to attend for a special general meeting in Colombo called by the CEB Engineers’ Union (CEBEU). more..

UAE assures deportation of Madush

Apr 8 (ST) The SL govt has received an assurance from the UAE govt that it would deport underworld gang member Madush Lakshitha alias Makandure Madhush now in its custody, a senior official said. Solicitor General Dappula de Livera said that Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana and he met UAE Foreign Affairs Minister Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash in Abu Dhabi and the assurance came after they made the point that Madush was wanted in Sri Lanka for a series of criminal cases. more..

GNOA and 16 TUs in token strike today

Apr 8 (CT) President of Govt Nursing Officers Association (GNOA) Saman Rathnapriya said that GNOA and 16 TUs related to the Para Medical Services will launch an islandwide token strike today starting at 7 a.m. This strike will be launched in the Central Govt Hospitals and Health Institutions and all the hospitals of the nine Provinces and health institutions. Nurses, Pharmacists, Radiologists, Public Health Inspectors (PHI), Ophthalmic Technologists, Family Health Workers, and more..

Video: National Aluth Sahal Mangalya held

Apr 8 (AD) National Aluth Sahal Mangalya, one of the most venerated ancient agricultural rituals to offer the inaugural harvest to the triple gems of Buddhism, was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at the historical Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya in Anuradhapura this morning (7). The event had been organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Dept of Agrarian more..

Al-Quran translated into simple Sinhala

Apr 8 (AD) The launch of the simple Sinhala language translation of the holy Al-Quran was held at the BMICH this afternoon (7) under the patronage of Prez Sirisena. It is significant that this translation is in the simple Sinhala language, in order for people to understand the history of Islam, as well as to understand the culture and religious background of the Muslim people. The work was carried out by the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU), using the guidance of Islamic scholars. more..

Another Facebook party raided: 11 arrested with cannabis, beer, arrack

Apr 8 (Island) Acting on a tip-off, the Tangalle police raided a hotel near the Medilla beach where a Facebook party was in progress and took into custody six males and five females. The police took into custody 81 bottles of beer, 10 bottles of arrack and 10,800 mg of ganja (cannabis) along with equipment used to provide DJ music. The young females, in the ages of 17,19 and 25 and were residents of Matara, Kadawatha, kekirawa and Kaduwela while the males were from more..

Rishad’s proposed industrial park near Wilpattu unlikely to get environmental okay

Apr 8 (Island) A favourable Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report on an Industrial Zone to be set up near the much debated Wilpattu National Park was unlikely. A team of experts led by former Colombo Uni don Prof. Devaka Weerakoon had indicated that clearance could not be given for the required infrastructure facilities to set up an industrial zone in the area, senior environmentalist and Executive Director of more..

Foreign Ministry to conduct mobile consular service in Batticaloa District

Apr 8 (MFA) Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be conducting a mobile consular service in Batticaloa District on 10 and 11 April. This mobile consular service, conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in coordination with the Govt Agent of Batticaloa is scheduled to be held at the DS of Kattankudy on Wednesday (10), and at the DS of Chenkalady on Thursday (11). Through this mobile service, conducted as part of the Rata Venuwen Ekata Sitimu programme, more..

Ex-Tigers complain military obstructs their political activity

Apr 8 (Island) Some former LTTE cadres have recently alleged they are under constant surveillance by the military though they have undergone rehabilitation. They have also claimed that military interference has hampered their political activity. US human rights activist Critina James, last Friday (5) received a briefing from former LTTE cadres during a visit to the Jaffna peninsula. The ex-LTTEers said that they had also complained to the Geneva-based UNHRC about military interference. more..

GL frowns on UNP stand on accountability, refers to US attack on ICC

Apr 8 (Island) Former Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, said that the unprecedented US reaction to Int'l Criminal Court (ICC) over possible inquiry into war crimes allegedly committed by US and its allies in Afghanistan again reminded the world of the duplicitous Western policy with regard to accountability in Sri Lanka. Prof. Peiris, who is also the Chairman of the SLPP, was commenting on the US threatening to revoke the entry visa for more..

Hirdaramani Group partners with the Ellen MacArthur foundation

Apr 8 (AD) Hirdaramani Group recently strengthened its sustainability pledge by joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative. With this, the company joins with influential fashion industry stakeholders including brands, cities, philanthropists, NGOs, and innovators to collaborate around the initiative’s aim to create a new textiles economy, aligned with the principles of the circular economy. The Make Fashion Circular initiative was launched in 2017 more..

Economic sentiment in no man’s land

Apr 8 (FT) The latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence (BCI) poll reveals that in the eyes of a majority (55%) in the corporate community, the economy is likely to deteriorate in the next 12 months. However, 45% of those spoken to say that economic conditions will improve or stay the same during this period. In terms of business prospects, 32% and 24% of businesspeople consulted by Nielsen expect sales volumes to improve in the long- and short-terms respectively, more..

Colour coding system for all solid food

Apr 8 (GDI) There is no regulatory framework to monitor the process of street vending of food in Sri Lanka and the need to have a mechanism to ensure that hygienic and safe food is sold by street vendors is essential, Deputy Director General EOH/Food Safety, Ministry of Health, Dr. L.T. Gamlath said. “The govt needs to introduce laws and regulations with regard to street vendor food as this has become part and parcel of life today. more..

Nihal Ranasingha assumes duties as new Secretary to Ministry of Education

Apr 8 (FT) Nihal Ranasingha assumed duties as the new Secretary to the Ministry of Education recently. He is an officer of the special grade of the Public Administrative Service who has held various posts in public administrative service for more than 27 years and has obtained a degree on project management from Sri Jayawardenapura University and Master’s degree on state management. His first appointment was in 1991 as the Assistant Divisional Secretary in Kurunegala and then more..

Cabinet to fix crisis over Inland Revenue Commissioner tomorrow

Apr 8 (FT) Speculation was rife that Cabinet this week will make a decision on a permanent appointment of a new Inland Revenue Commissioner. Failure to make a permanent appointment had triggered a slew of court cases challenging the IRD’s authority to carry out tax collection. At present, career Revenue Officer and Senior Deputy Commissioner Nadun Gamage is acting. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera is likely to submit a Cabinet paper more..