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Climate vagaries; Biggest challenges faced by the farmers in Sri Lanka: President

Mar 14 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena said that the biggest challenge faced by the farmers in Sri Lanka is the uncertain climatic conditions. “Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for people living in the rural areas of Sri Lanka and it has much potential for greening and to be climate smart. We like to see Sustainable Consumption and Production and science and technology are applied in our Agriculture,” more..

Some chairs at Lanka hospital infested with bugs: CMC

Mar 14 (DM) At least ten chairs at the Lanka Hospital’s consultation area were recently found with bed bugs, Chief Medical Officer of the CMC Dr Ruwan Wijemuni said. He said the complaint had been received following a post published by an individual who had experienced bed bug bites while waiting for treatment at the Lanka hospital. “We as Public Health Department of Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) have surveillance system where we watch out for publications that come through more..

'SL welcomes more Chinese investment'

Mar 14 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka looks forward to benefiting more from the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and is ready to welcome more Chinese investment into the country, Minister John Amaratunga said. In an interview with Xinhua, Amaratunga said Sri Lanka and China shared strong relations and Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to pledge support for the Belt and Road Initiative. "To start with, Sri Lanka is fully supportive of the Belt and Road Initiative of China. more..

Arjun, Udayanga will be repatriated: Govt

Mar 14 (NR) Minister of Justice Thalatha Athukorala says SL anticipates the repatriation of both Former Governor of the CB Arjun Mahendran who faces charges in the bond scam case and former SL Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga who faces charges in the MiG aircraft case. She said accordingly requests have been forwarded to relevant foreign countries where they are believed to be residing in. more..

'Sri Lanka does not agree on UNHRC report'

Mar 14 (DM) Sri Lanka will not agree to what is written in the UNHRC report and will express its opinion, Minister Tilak Marapana told parliament. Responding to a question raised by Leader of Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa, he said the govt will respond to UNHRC on the allegations made against SL. Citing an example he said the government will dismiss the claim made in the UNHRC report that the military had failed to hand over the lands held by them to the civilians in the North. more..

Protest near SL High Commission in Chennai

Mar 14 (ANI) Protest erupted near Sri Lankan Embassy against Sri Lankan Govt here on Thursday for dragging the investigation on the war crimes that took place in the south-Asian island nation in 2008. The protesters demanded the Indian govt to take the issue in the UNHRC to take immediate action against Colombo. The protest was organised by Ezha Tamilar Vaalvurimai Kootamaipu, and VCK party leaders including Thirumavalavan, Thyagu, Kolathur Mani participated in the protest. more..

Some SLFP MPs want to become kingmakers: SLPP

Mar 14 (AD) SLPP says it was <>baffled by the decision of the SLFP faction of the UPFA to refrain from voting on the Second Reading of the Budget 2019 on Tuesday and admitted it puts a little strain on the efforts of both parties. “That baffled us as to why they would take such a decision and that also puts a little bit of strain on this effort by both parties to get rid of this UNF govt,” UPFA MP Tharaka Balasuriya said. more..

New Acting Senior DIGs for South and Sabaragamuwa

Mar 14 (AD) Two new Acting Senior DIG have been appointed to the Southern and Sabaragamuwa Provinces. Accordingly, W.F.U. Fernando, who is in charge of the Support Services and Information technology Division, has been appointed the Acting Senior DIG for the Southern Province. Central and Uva Province Senior DIG S. M. Wickremasinghe was appointed the Acting Senior DIG for the Sabaragamuwa Province.The appointments were made to fill in the vacancies created following more..

Weatherman issues Extreme Caution as heat wave descends

Mar 14 (DM) Dept of Meteorology today issued an Extreme Caution Heat advisory for most parts of North-western province for tomorrow. The department advised the public to remain hydrated and take breaks, while also trying to stay in the shade as often as possible at job sites. It also advised those caring for the elderly and the sick who are indoors to take extra precautions and not to leave children unattended. According to the advisory, Puttalam and Kurunegala were more..

Birth, death and marriage certificates now one-day service

Mar 14 (DN) For the first time in SL, Registrar General Department announced that it would take steps to computerize birth, death, marriage certificates and title deeds whilst also issuing it to the general public through a one-day service, Minister Vajira Abeywardena said. “This move would greatly reduce the incidents of corruption and illegal means that people have used over many yrs to forge & obtain documents” more..

Makandure Madush’s aunt files petition

Mar 14 (AD) An aunt of Makandure Madush has filed a fundamental rights petition seeking a restraining order preventing the police from arresting him. The notorious underworld kingpin Makandure Madush is currently under arrest of the Dubai Police. Petitioner A. W. Sriyani from Suriyawewa, a younger sister of Madush’s mother, has filed the petition at the Supreme Court. Five including the IGP, DIG of STF, and the OIC of Organized Crimes Prevention Division (OCPD) have been named more..

Second Special HC declared open

Mar 14 (GDI) The second Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar was declared open by Minister Thalatha Atukorale today at the Hulftsdorf court complex. Accordingly, second Special High Court will commence its function from today onwards. The government decided to set up three Special High Courts to hear the cases related to fraudulent acts, misuse of public property and acts of bribery. The amendment bill to set up Special High Courts was passed in the parliament on 9th May 2018 more..

Women in North exploited for rape tapes, snuff videos: Legislator

Mar 14 (EN) Women and children in Sri Lanka's North are being exploited to produce rape tapes and snuff videos by members of the community who are returning from abroad to prey on them, a legislator said. "There is a rape film industry," JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake told parliament. "This is a great tragedy. It is being done by members of the area who had gone abroad. "They come back for a period and engage in this racket. more..

Sri Lanka on track to repay foreign debt in 2019: Finance Minister

Mar 14 (EN) SL has already repaid about US$ 2 billion denominated debt so far this year and is on track to settle the rest, which were taken by previous administrations, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Sri Lanka had raised US$ 2.4 billion from bond markets last week adding to fiscal reserves for debt repayment. Sri Lanka will also repay the balance debt due, he said. Samaraweera said new debt was being raised to repay old debt which was taken during previous administrations. more..

Govt likely to increase guaranteed paddy price

Mar 14 (GDI) The govt is considering to increase the guaranteed price for paddy from the forthcoming Yala season, Minister P. Harrison said. There would also be a mechanism to keep the balance between paddy prices and the price of rice to safeguard the farmer and consumer, he said. He was speaking at the Rajarata Govi Jana Abhiman celebration held in Anuradhapura, recently, to appreciate industrious and dedicated farmers and officials in the North Central Province.“ more..

Hathurusingha ordered to return to Sri Lanka after South Africa ODIs

Mar 14 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket is once again moving to remove a head coach, with CEO Ashley de Silva headed to South Africa for crisis talks with Chandika Hathurusingha. An SLC release also confirmed that Hathurusingha will be required to return to Sri Lanka following the ongoing ODI series in order to "discuss the Sri Lanka team's preparation for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup". more..

Ports Authority to buy 3 cranes from China

Mar 14 (EN) Ports Authority is to buy three ship-to-shore gantry cranes from China’s Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. for its deep-water Jaya Container Terminal (JCT). The Cabinet of Ministers this week approved a proposal by Minister of Ports Shipping and Southern Development Sagala Rathnayake to buy the cranes, a statement said. The move is part of efforts to upgrade the JCT facility to enable it to handle bigger container ships. more..

Kurunegala TH nurses on strike

Mar 14 (CT) Nurses of the Teaching Hospital, Kurunegala went on strike yesterday, providing only emergency services, demanding hospital authorities remove a consultant general surgeon who allegedly hit a theatre nurse on the head. Branch President of the Govt Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA), R.M.C. Sajeewa said that Maadawi Rajaguru (32) of Wariyapola, a theatre nurse was allegedly attacked with a bone cutter on the head by consultant general surgeon A. Wijemanna on 12 March. more..

Lakmal recalled to Sri Lanka T20I squad

Mar 14 (CB) Suranga Lakmal has been recalled to the Sri Lanka T20I squad to take on South Africa in a 3-match series. Jeffrey Vandersay, Sadeera Samarawickrama and Asitha Fernando are among the other additions while Dasun Shanaka misses out from the 16-member squad. Lakmal's inclusion comes after a lengthy absence for the bowler in limited-overs cricket. He last played a T20I in March 2018 while more..

2 killed, one injured in shooting in Moratuwa

Mar 14 (AD) Two persons were reportedly killed while another was injured following a shooting incident in Moratuwa, police said. Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said that the shooting had occurred in the Moratumulla area on Piliyandala Road at around 10.30 a.m. today (14). The shooting had reportedly been carried out over a personal dispute. Police said two gunmen on a motorcycle had opened fire at the three individuals in front of a house and fled the area. more..

Govt declared a week named Thripitakabhivandana week

Mar 14 (GDI) The govt has declared a week named Thripitakabhivandana week from March 16 to 23 in view of the declaration of Theravada Thripitaka as a World Heritage. The national ceremony to submit the request letter to the UNESCO representatives seeking the World Heritage recognition to the Tripitakaya will be held on a grand scale at the Dalada Maligawa premises on March 23, Secretary to the President Udaya Senaviratne said. Addressing the media yesterday at more..

Economic development cures corruption?

Switch off two lights a day!

Mar 14 (CT) Electricity has become an essential commodity in the contemporary era that people can hardly survive without it. Even an hour-long interruption in power supply can paralyse the day-to-day operations of the country and can detrimentally affect the national economy. Statistics derived from the Ministry of Power, Energy shows that the daily electricity consumption in SL is 42.4 gigawatt and the hydro-power generation is limited to 20% at present, due to the prevailing heat weather. more..

High time for internal air travel

Mar 14 (FT) SL’s current need is to better grasp the intricacies of the investment climate. Its stakeholders, whether domestic or foreign, have standards which define their confidence to invest, with all other factors being equal. The basic comprises time. The reason why mega-investors around the globe use their own aircraft is to suit their timelines. Consequently, if SL as a nation is to leapfrog in its economic and tourism development, the basics of time have to be an integral part more..

JVP asks Prez why he made CIABOC docile

Mar 14 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena owed an explanation to the nation and to Parliament as to why he had removed Director General of the CIABOC Dilrukshi Wickremesinghe, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament yesterday. He said that an explanation was overdue from the President as to the removal of Director General of CIABOC. "After 2015, the Voice against Corruption organisation made more..

Calorie Counter at Colombo 7 raided

Mar 14 (DM) Popular restaurant Calorie Counter at Ward Place, Colombo 7 which targets health-conscious patrons and markets itself as such, was raided by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) health officials on Tuesday (12) for allegedly violating food safety regulations. A check of the freezer at the restaurant showed that food items unsuitable for human consumption had been stored inside it. more..

Grand welcome for President at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

Mar 14 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena, who arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, yesterday (13) on a four-day Official Visit to Kenya to attend the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) held in Nairobi, received a grand welcome at the Airport. The President including the Sri Lankan delegation was warmly received by a Kenyan special delegation. The Chief Administrative Secretary of more..

Sri Lanka should hand back private lands in the North faster: Bimal

Mar 14 (EN) Sri Lanka should hand back land in the north to citizens quicker, because the war ended 10 years ago, JVP, Bimal Ratnayake said. He said the problem was acute in Mullativu, Kilonocchi and Mannar areas, even more than Jaffna and some military bases have been set up after the war. "It is alright to set up bases when there is a war," Ratnayake told parliament. "But the war ended 10 years ago. more..

SriLankan nose dived after Emirates left in 2008: Witness

Mar 14 (DN) SriLankan Airlines alone has been incurring continuous losses amounting to billions of rupees since 2008 onwards after its management was taken over by the Govt of Sri Lanka from Emirates, it was revealed yesterday. The Airlines’ Financial Management Head, Yasantha Dissanayake, testifying before the PCoI said it had been earning profits during the Emirates Management, but, turned into a loss making more..

ELO asks President to de-link areas attached to Kalmunai MC through govt fiat

Mar 14 (Island) Eastland Liberation Organisation (ELO) has appealed to President Sirisena to use his executive powers to declare null and void the 1987 Gazette notification, which attached four areas to the Kalmunai Municipal Council. They are Kalmunai, Karaivahu South, Kariavahu North and Karaivahu West. The ELO has, in a letter to President Sirisena, stated that peace would remain only a dream if any individual more..

First official talks between SLFP and SLPP begin

Mar 14 (AD) The first official discussion between SLFP and SLPP regarding the potential new alliance commenced a short while ago. Reportedly, representatives of both parties have arrived at the Office of the Opposition Leader, where the meeting is held. Representing the SLFP, former General Secretary of SLFP Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa, current General Secretary MP Dayasiri Jayasekara, and MP Thilanga Sumathipala more..

Politics interferes with project implementation: UNIFAD

Mar 14 (CT) The United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (UNIFAD) in a note circulated at a seminar yesterday (said that four of their recent projects scored reasonable successes in improving agricultural production through farmer field schools, irrigation development, tea and rubber plantations, crop diversification, access to improved technologies and partnerships with the private sector. more..

Run international schools on loose rein, experts advise

Mar 14 (ST) The govt’s move to regulate international schools by bringing them under the wing of the Ministry of Education is being lauded by educationists but they caution against any temptation to control the private education system. Last week, the Ministry of Education said that it would seek cabinet approval to make registration of all international schools compulsory to ensure that proper standards are maintained. more..

'Presidential candidate should be able to win over the middleclass'

Mar 14 (DM) Minister Champika Ranawaka, who is widely seen as an aspirant to be President, speaks about the prez elections, the budget and his ambitions. Q: Everybody talks about the Presidential Election. What do you think of it? A: There is only one winner at a Presidential Election. But it is a tussle between two main political camps only. The political force or camp led by SLPP has already become a force to reckon with. more..

UPFA riddled with differences on the Budget Parties brace for Presidential Elections

Mar 14 (DM) Initially, it was anticipated that the Govt would have a hard time in roping in the MPs to get its 2019 Budget passed in Parliament. If anyone expected such a fiasco during the Budget vote for the Govt, it was well with reason because the ruling the UNP was commanding the support of 107 MPs on its roll, falling short of six more to cross the simple majority mark. But, the Budget had a comfortable passage through Parliament in its first round of vote after the Second Reading more..

They left their Footprints on the sands of time

Mar 14 (DM) On March 8, Sri Lanka joined other countries the world over to mark International Women’s Day (IWD). First celebrated more than a century ago, it is a day set apart to remind us to make a genuine and positive difference for women. Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once said, “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” more..