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OMP welcomes inclusion of its interim relief proposals in budget

Mar 11 (CG) Office on Missing Persons (OMP) welcomes the inclusion of its interim relief proposals in the 2019 Budget. On 5 March 2019, the Govt proposed the allocation of Rs. 500 million in the 2019 Budget, to provide Rs 6,000 monthly relief to support families of missing persons, including members of the armed forces and police identified as missing in action. As proposed in the budget, this monthly relief will be provided to more..

Sapugaskanda murder suspect found shot dead

Mar 11 (AD) Thee body, which was recovered from a rubber estate in Nawagamuwa this morning, has been identified as a person who had been wanted over a murder in Sapugaskanda. The police had found a body with gunshot wounds from a rubber estate at Godellawatte in Nawagamuwa this morning. Police investigations have uncovered that the deceased is a 37-year-old named Chamila Karunaratne, who was temporarily residing in Gonawara area in Kelaniya. more..

Signs are good for Sri Lanka: Sangakkara

Mar 11 (GN) Kumar Sangakkara, the legendary Sri Lankan batsman, has always been an interviewer’s delight. While his batting exploits in all formats makes him one of the modern greats, the former Sri Lankan captain’s articulate replies make him a favourite with the media — and it’s no wonder that he is now a respected commentator after his retirement. The eloquent Sangakkara was all praise for the manner in which SL raised their game to upset SA in the away Test series recently. more..

Hot weather to prevail till May: Met Dept

Mar 11 (DM) Current spell of hot weather will last till the end of May and disappear with the onset of the Southwest monsoon, Meteorology Dept Forecasting Directress Anusha Warnasuriya said. She said the four factors – calm wind, increase in humidity in low atmosphere that leads to sweating, loss of shade of clouds in daytime that leads to direct fall of sunlight onto the ground and wind blows from the sea – were main causes more..

New logistics park to offer inventory management, handle returns

Mar 11 (EN) A logistics facility SL conglomerate John Keells Holdings is building with an investment of US$ 13.96 million will provide a range of services for businesses, from inventory management and value addition to managing returns. BoI said it signed an agreement Monday with Logipark International (Pvt) Ltd., a unit of JKH, to construct, commission and operate the logistics center. It will provide integrated logistic services, container freight station, multi country consolidation and more..

Kusal Perera out of South Africa ODIs with hamstring injury

Mar 11 (CI) Kusal Perera has been ruled out of the remainder of the South Africa tour due to a hamstring tear sustained in Durban on Sunday. SLC also announced it won't be sending any replacement players. Perera had been fielding at mid-on when he dived to intercept a shot hit by Faf du Plessis in the 7th over of the ODI in Durban. Having landed awkwardly, he immediately began clutching his knee, and hobbled off the field soon after. He did not return to field, nor did he bat in SL's chase. more..

Sri Lanka’s budget deficit, debt targets challenging: Moody’s

Mar 11 (EN) Achieving the SL govt’s deficit and debt targets set out in last week’s budget for 2019 will be challenging without a big increase in fiscal policy effectiveness and faster economic growth, Moody’s Investors Service said. The budget presented on 5 March, highlights the govt's credit-positive commitment to revenue-led fiscal consolidation and debt reduction, the rating agency said in a statement. more..

Video: 600,000 of SL population fallen below poverty line: Dayasiri

Mar 11 (AD) The promises to the people have not been fulfilled by the recently proposed Budget for the year 2019, says General Secretary of the SLFP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara. He said that the govt is building dream castles for the public by deceiving them and raising the prices of vehicles. Although they promised of a salary hike for public servants from July, govt is unable to pay even the existing salaries, according to Jayasekara. Statement that they will provide the Samurdhi allowance more..

Bus operators upbeat over 2019 Budget

Mar 11 (NR) Lanka Private Bus Owners Association has commended steps taken by the govt through the 2019 Budget, to safeguard and upgrade the public transportation industry. Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne said decade long issues in the transportation industry, had been addressed through the Budget. He noted the Budget had several proposals for the development of both the public transport service and public transport workers. He added a proposal to start a luxury bus more..

Police to import narco identification tools

Mar 11 (CT) Police Department is to commence an islandwide operation to eliminate drunk-driving and driving under the influence of narcotics, such as Heroin and Marijuana, DIG, in- Charge of Motor Traffic, Ajith Rohana said. He added that, there are a limited number of equipment to identify persons who are driving under the influence of illicit drugs. Hence, more tools will be procured by the Police Dept at the earliest to apprehend more..

‘PM to launch construction of Hambantota oil refinery & cement factory’

Mar 11 (DN) Foundation stone for the construction of the oil refinery and the cement factory in Hambantota will be laid by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on his birthday falls on March 24, Minister Sajith Premadasa said. He made this observation at the ceremony of vesting Senasiligama model in public held recently in Bandagiriya, Hambantota. Minister said with the implementation of these mega projects will provide employment opportunities for the more..

Batticaloa MC passes motion requesting UNHRC to refer Sri Lanka to the ICC

Mar 11 (CT) Batticaloa Municipal Council passed a motion, last week, requesting the UNHRC to refer Sri Lanka to the Int'l Criminal Court (ICC). The motion, brought before the Council by Deputy Mayor K. Sathiyaseelan, was passed with 29 votes in favour and 9 neutral votes on Thursday. The motion was passed in the backdrop of the 40 UNHRC sessions in Geneva. Families across the North and East have, in recent weeks, protested against the UNHRC’s decision to grant SL more time to more..

Video: 161kg of heroin and live ammo recovered at Kevuma’s place

Mar 11 (AD) A couple was arrested with 161 kgs of heroin, several firearms and a large stock of ammunition from a safe house at Rawathawatta in Moratuwa during a raid carried out by the STF this afternoon. The heroin haul, firearms and ammunition were recovered from a house of Kelum Indika Sampath alias Kevuma -- who is currently in remand in connection with the robbery of a diamond worth more than Rs.5 billion. more..

50 acres of forest destroyed in Talawakelle inferno

Mar 11 (CT) Some 50 acres of forest cover, bordering the famous St. Claire’s Fall in Talawakelle, was destroyed in a major fire yesterday afternoon and Police probing the incident have not ruled out arson. According to the Police, the fire started shortly after midday and raged on for several hours since firefighters had to cope up with strong winds that were blowing across the area. Police strongly suspect that drunken revelers, who are known to visit such areas during the holidays, more..

Hit-and-run case: Driver of Defender further remanded

Mar 11 (AD) The driver of the Defender involved in the hit and run case in Bambalapitiya which killed the Traffic OIC of Borella Police station has been remanded further. As per the orders of the Colombo Fort Magistrate, he has been remanded until the 18th of March. Traffic OIC of the Borella Police, IP Sarathchandra, 51, had been en route to the Kollupitiya Police Station, when he had met with an accident when the motorcycle he was riding was hit by a speeding Defender more..

WTC owners freed from trespassing and mischief charges

Mar 11 (DM) Fort Magistrate Court freed Messrs, Overseas Realty (Ceylon) PLC and the owner of World Trade Centre (WTC), from alleged offences punishable for criminal trespassing and mischief charges framed against them. Fort Police had reported to Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake, that Madhuritha Rajapakse, a tenant in level 6, east low block, had complained to police that his premises had been illegally trespassed and more..

Pedalling to revive Manipai green hospital

Mar 11 (CT) The Ride for Ceylon campaign, aimed at raising funds for the Manipai Green Hospital, concluded on Saturday week with the donating of free sports material and equipment to under privileged schools in the North and East and elsewhere in the country. The schools to receive the sports equipment were selected from across the ethnic and religious divide from Kalmunai, Kiran, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Jaffna, Chaddikulam, Vavuniya, A'pura, Yapahuwa, Tissamharama. more..

Qatar Charity opens 5th multi-service center

Mar 11 (RW) Qatar Charity (QC) has opened a multi-service center in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka, benefiting more than 500 people. The center includes 22 housing units and all basic facilities. The multi-service center seeks to contribute to the resettlement of the second generation of families displaced due to crises experienced by the country previously, reduce the displacement and migration of the population in search of housing and water sources and provide them with more..

Adm. Karannagoda grilled by CID for 8 hours

Mar 11 (AD) Navy Commander Retired Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda has left the CID after recording an eight hours long statement. The Former Navy Commander arrived at the CID, this morning on court orders. On Feb 25th, Retired Admiral Karannagoda filed a FR petition seeking an order preventing the CID from arresting him. In his petition, Karannagoda had stated that the CID launched an investigation on him for more..

Unbearable warm weather!

Mar 11 (CT) Acting Director General of the Meteorological Department Athula Karunanayake has warned on the prevailing extreme warm weather condition and the weatherman even alerted that young, old and the feeble should be paid more attention over the unbearable warm weather which could lead to strokes, cramps and dehydration. On the other hand a top official from the CEB citing the prevailing extreme hot weather condition has even warned of worst power cuts in the Island. more..

Sri Lanka has fulfilled a quarter of 2018 budget proposals

Mar 11 (EN) SL has completed just over a quarter of the proposals made in he 2018 budget so far, State Finance Eran Wickramaratne said. "Implementation of Budget 2018 is at 27.6% completed, 64.2% in-progress and only 8.2% stalled," he said in a twitter message. "We are strengthening the implementation process to yield better results this year," he said. Budget proposals for one year however may take several years to complete. A road for example may take three to four years to build. more..

JVP meets TNA to discuss 20A

Khema’s Boy does it: Comes up with a non-election budget in an election year

Mar 11 (FT) Prior to the presentation of the Budget 2019, there was wide speculation that it would be an election budget. There were at least two elections in the pipeline and the expectation was that Minister Mangala Samaraweera who is now called Khema’s Boy would naturally succumb to the pressure of his party colleagues to fill the Budget with sweeteners to appease the voters. This has been the hidebound tradition in Sri Lanka ever since it became independent from the British. more..

Video: Lankan held with gold bangles worth over Rs 21 million

Mar 11 (AD) A Sri Lankan employed at a foreign airline has been detained at the BIA along with gold jewellery worth over Rs 21 million. He was held by a group of officers of Customs Narcotics Control Unit attached to the BIA. The detainee had arrived in the country at around 10 a.m. this morning (11) from Doha, Qatar. The contraband contained 423 gold bangles weighing 4kg 43g and it was concealed inside his travelling bag, the Customs media spokesperson said. more..

Fuel prices to be revised today

Mar 11 (NR) The special committee on fuel prices will convene this morning to revise domestic fuel prices, based on the Cabinet approved monthly pricing formula. Ministry of Finance said the revised fuel prices according to the monthly fuel pricing formula, is expected to be announced later today. The fuel pricing formula which was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers comes into effect on the 10th of every month. more..

Joint venture with India for MRIA to fly high

Mar 11 (ST) The Cabinet this week gave the go-ahead to start formal negotiations with the Govt of India (GoI) to reach final agreement for operation of Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA), including rights to supply catering and ground handling services. A joint Cabinet memorandum titled Implementation of the Proposal Submitted by Airports Authority of India for the Operation of MRIA was approved on Wed. more..

Police to launch special operations near night clubs, bars from today

Mar 11 (GDI) Sri Lanka police from today will launch operations near night clubs, bars and other venues where alcohol is served to crack down on drunk drivers. Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge Traffic and Road Safety Ajith Rohana at a media conference held at the Police Headquarters announced that special measures are being taken to curb drunk driving which has become a serious problem. more..

Country unites to sing national anthem in two languages: PM

Mar 11 (DM) SL has united once again as the national anthem is being sung both in Sinhala and in Tamil at functions in all parts of the county, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe observed. PM expressed this view at the launch of the Sirikotha Gamata programme in Bandaragama yesterday. “Both Sinhala and Tamil speaking people say in their respective languages We are all children of one mother when they sing the national anthem. more..

Sivajilingam to send letter to UNHRC against Sri Lanka through Northern Governor

Mar 11 (Island) A special note would be sent to the UNHRC via the Governor of the Northern Province, Suren Raghavan, former TNA MP, M.K. Sivajilingam said. He said that after learning that Raghavan would attend the UNHRC sessions, as a representative of the President, he had handed over the letter to the Secretary to the Governor a few days back. "I went there with former NPC minister, Ananthi Sasitharan and a few others. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism mulls fresh CNN marketing campaign

Mar 11 (FT) SL Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) confirmed that it was in the process of discussing with CNN to run its latest brand identity marketing campaign for the next two months till May. “Following the successful marketing campaign we had with CNN, the SLTPB is now considering on running a new campaign with our latest illustration from the eyes of the rich and diverse wildlife – to bring to life our new brand So Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lanka's budget, IMF deal will help cut risks, currency collapse worsens debt: Fitch

Mar 11 (EN) Sri Lanka's budget and a deal with the IMF would help cut economic risks and get over the disruptions from a political crisis in Oct 2019, though a collapse of a soft-peg with the US dollar has worsened debt, Fitch Ratings said. "The agreement with IMF staff to extend a three-year Extended Fund Facility that began in 2016, if eventually approved by the Executive Board, would give the SL authorities more time to complete more..

UNP govt doubled country’s debt in four years, but no work to show, says Mahinda

Mar 11 (Island) Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing the SLPP, rally in Kandy, on Friday, said that the inefficient and incompetent incumbent govt had failed to build at least one kilometre of the Kandy William Gopallawa Mawatha during the last four years. If the one-km stretch had been built, traffic congestion in Kandy could have been easted to a considerable extent, Rajapaksa said, addressing the rally more..

Japanese Rs. 48 billion soft loan for light rail

Mar 11 (EN) Sri Lanka Monday signed an agreement with Japan for a soft loan to build a light rail transit (LRT) system connecting the capital Colombo’s commercial centre with the Malabe suburb, cutting travel time to about 30 minutes. The entire rail track and stations will be on elevated viaducts to minimize requirement of land acquisition, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Japanese aid agency, said in a statement. more..

13% percent males in Sri Lanka smoke

Mar 11 (DN) At the moment 13% of males in Sri Lanka smoke and this is significantly a small percentage when comparing with other countries in the world, the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) Chairman Dr. Palitha Abeykoon said. Addressing the launching ceremony of Community Driven Tobacco Surveillance System organized by Faculty of Medicine, Uni of Colombo in collaboration with WHO Country Office more..

Northern province’s economic development framework

Mar 11 (DM) Economic Development Framework for a Northern Province Master Plan, is a study commissioned by the Central Bank of SL and carried out by a team of seven members with competence in relevant fields and knowledge of post-war conditions in the province. The study provides an opportunity for an open discussion on post-war development in the Northern Province. Apparently, the first post-war Provincial Council (Oct 2013 – Sept 2018) did not find it worth creating more..

Venezuela: A victim of mismanagement, imperialist design

Mar 11 (DM) Venezuela is a country with the largest deposits of unrefined oil resources in the world. Yet it has the world’s highest rate of inflation -- a staggering 2,600% last year -- according to recently released figures. Its economy is tittering on the brink of bankruptcy. How did this happen? Venezuelan oil isn’t high in quality. It needs heavy processing and consequently Venezuela’s oil requires specialized refineries and thereby oil fetches lower world market prices. more..