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PM orders probe into power cuts during local New Year

April 19 (Xinhua) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe instructed authorities to submit a report over the sudden power cuts in some parts of the country during the local New Year. Sri Lanka celebrated its traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year this week but many electricity consumers complained to the PM that they were faced with power outages despite an assurance from the govt of uninterrupted power supply more..

Some crossings to be removed to prevent pedestrian deaths

Apr 19 (ST) Pedestrians account for more than 75 per cent of the deaths on roads and so many of them die on pedestrian crossings that the authorities are going to remove some crossings to, they say, prevent further carnage. A Buddhist monk died after being knocked down near dawn on a zebra crossing on the High Level Road at Pannipitiya late last month. The driver of the vehicle was arrested and the car impounded. more..

FUTA tells Kelaniya VC to cool situation

Apr 19 (Island) The FUTA has called on the Vice Chancellor of the University of Kelaniya, where teacher-student discord has been noticed developing over the past month, to take immediate action to control the situation and to create a situation in which students and the faculty can carry on with their academic work unhindered. A FUTA media statement signed by its President Dr. Rangika Halwatura and Secretary more..

Paddy Mafia suffocating farming community

Apr 19 (SL) Large-scale paddy purchasers will no longer be able to buy paddy for a pittance once the Court of Appeal determination is delivered instructing the govt to implement Clause 7 of the Paddy Marketing Board Act No. 14 of 1971. The much-awaited court determination, expected to be delivered on Tuesday, April 26, will ensure registered paddy buyers will be able to purchase paddy stocks only at govt guaranteed price. more..

A bad start for the future IGP?

Apr 19 (CT) Constitutional Council met yesterday to consider the three names proposed by President Sirisena as the 34th IGP of Sri Lanka. Three men in the fray are DIGs S.M. Wickramasinghe, C.D. Wickramaratne and Pujitha Jayasundara. The transitional period between IGPs, the months leading to the retirement of an IGP and the first few weeks of the tenure of the new IGP, have almost always been turbulent times. more..

'Divided May Day rally will only benefit UNP'

Apr 19 (DN) The SLFP has taken a decision to hold the party May Day rally in Galle. It will proceed with the decision although several parties are attempting to go separately, Minister Lakshman Seneviratne said. He said if a party member wants to hold a May Day rally separately that would bring direct benefit to the UNP as the party would split into two. “Hence, it would be considered as a statement made with more..

Realigning State Sector

Apr 19 (DM) The State sector is undergoing several changes, as the Govt attempts to streamline processes in State services and provide better benefits for its employees amidst loop holes with regard to its efficiency and productivity. Minister of Public Administration and Management Ranjith Madduma Bandara shed some light on issues pertaining to the State sector and several other issues faced by his Ministry. more..

Stop the Bridge over Palk Strait before it’s too late

Apr 19 (DM) Your Excellencies, TN appears determined to annex Sri Lanka. This news is certainly not the most auspicious note on which to commence our New Year. Indian Union Minister Radhakrishnan had said this week that the Centre was firm in its proposal to build a bridge across the Palk Strait, connecting Dhanushkodi, the eastern tip of Rameshwaram island and to Talaimannar in SL. Talking to reporters in TN he had said that the project was in the preliminary stages but more..

Daunting tasks for new Police Chief

Apr 19 (DM) The 34th Inspector General of Police (IGP) is to be sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena soon. The people in Sri Lanka were concerned as to who would be the new IGP for the past few days -- since the 33rd IGP N.K.Ilangakoon had retired -- whoever will hold the post will be responsible for the general public’s peaceful life as well as securing their democratic rights. Hence, the integrity of the new IGP will be a cardinal importance to the people of this country. more..

TNA blasts selection of tender for building 65,000 houses

Apr 19 (Island) TNA has called on the govt to undertake a review of the latter’s ambitious project of building 65,000 houses for the civilians in the war-hit Northern and Eastern provinces. "If the Govt is committed to reconciliation, then its actions must reflect that," says TNA leader R. Sambandan in a letter addressed to President Sirisena. "I write consequent to a unanimous decision of TNA Parliamentary Group to raise more..

President to hold meeting with CB Governor, military heads

Apr 19 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena has summoned a meeting with Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and heads of all security forces today. Issuing a statement, the Central Bank stated yesterday that the meeting had nothing to do with any recent issuance, as reported by some sections of the media. Central Bank sources said the meeting with the President would focus on a completely different matter that involves the Central Bank and the defence apparatus of the country. more..

I will attend JO May Day rally: MR

Apr 19 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he would be attending the May Day rally at Kirulapona, organised by the Joint Opposition, because he had received a formal invitation to attend that rally. Rajapaksa said that he had not received a formal invitation to the May Day rally of the SLFP. "In a civilised society invitations are not extended haphazardly", ex-president said. Even if an invitation had been received it would have been impossible for him to attend more..

Constitutional Council split over new IGP

Apr 19 (EN) Sri Lanka's newly-established Constitutional Council on Monday decided on Pujith Jayasundara, 56, as the country's next IGP following a secret ballot and an intense debate over the propriety of the procedure. At least one member of the council objected to their having to choose one out of three candidates nominated by President Maithripala Sirisena in contrast to the practice adopted in appointing the Attorney General in February. more..

India’s Tejas jet fighter catches Sri Lanka, Egypt attention

Apr 19 (PTI) India's Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, which was several years in the making, has now caught the attention of foreign buyers with Sri Lanka and Egypt evincing interest in the indigenously built fighter jet. Sri Lanka had recently rejected Pakistan's JF-17 aircraft built with Chinese help, while Egypt had last year signed a contract for 24 French-made Rafale fighter jets. The two countries are interested in the current version of the Tejas and not the upgraded one which will be rolled out later. more..

Champika ignores ‘JO’ protest: Sits in IGP selection meeting

Apr 19 (CT) Joint Opposition (JO) MP Dinesh Gunawardene told this newspaper that they will be raising their voice in Parliament against the decision taken to appoint the new IGP as Minister Patali Ranawaka was a member of the Constitutional Council notwithstanding the opposition to it by the JO. The MP stated that the JO had specifically written to both the President and the Speaker requesting them not to allow Ranawaka to be a part of the group selecting the new IGP as more..

Bangladesh says has identified eight Lankans in cyber theft

Apr 19 (Reuters) Bangladeshi investigators have identified 20 foreigners - 12 Philippine nationals and eight Sri Lankans - suspected to have been involved in the cyber heist of tens of millions of dollars from its central bank, a police officer said on Monday. The officer gave no other details, but the suspects appear to be those who received some of the payments, and not the hackers. more..

SL Embassy in Oman commences inquiry into report on killing of SL maid

Apr 19 (NF) Following reports brought to light by News1st, Sri Lankan Embassy in Oman has commenced inquiries into the reported murder of a Sri Lankan woman in the Middle Eastern country. The alleged murder is reported to have taken place in Al Sehel in the Omani capital, Muscat. The murdered woman was a resident of Kurunegala. News1st made inquiries from the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Oman, M.K. Pathmanathan. Ambassador K. Pathmanathan noted: more..

Underworld figure Kennedy arrested

Apr 19 (DM) A prominent underworld figure, Stanly Kennedy, known as Kennedy, who has been accused of several recent murders in the Southern Province was arrested by the STF, on Sunday, in Galle. When arrested he had had a 9mm pistol in his possession. He had been handed over to the TID for further action. Initial investigations have revealed that the 29-year-old suspect had undergone military training under the LTTE and been in the Charles Anthony brigade of the LTTE more..

Authority to regulate electronic media

Apr 19 (DM) The govt is considering setting up an independent authority to regulate the electronic media in the near future, sources said. According to govt sources, there had been a request from the electronic media for such an authority. Authority would have the power to handle complaints made against the electronic media just as the press complaints commission does. However, in this case, the authority would be legally bound to more..

Missing Persons Commission to meet in Kilinochchi for four days

Apr 19 (ITN) The Presidential Commission inquiring into missing persons is scheduled to commence public sittings in the Kilinochchi District on the 25th of this month. The sittings at the Kilinochchi District Secretariat will continue until the 28th. Accordingly evidence will be recorded at the District Secretariat from the 25th to the 28th from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm. The Presidential Commission on Missing Persons said that recording of evidence on the 28th will end at 3.30 pm. more..

UK envoy hails Sri Lanka’s first Chevening CRISP Fellows

Apr 19 (CG) British High Commissioner James Dauris, met SL’s first Chevening CRISP Fellows Dilan Fernando and Shehani Gomes before they left for the UK to pursue their special course of study. CRISP (Chevening Rolls-Royce Science and Innovation Scholarship Programme) is a Chevening Fellowship programme funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Rolls-Royce, which provides funding for a three month tailor-made course in the Said Business School (SBS) at more..

Stakeholders unite to implement SDGs

Apr 19 (FT) In a historic move, SL’s public sector, think-tanks, corporate and industry bodies will combine to integrate national policies to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while incorporating innovation to foster development. Ministry of National Policies & Economic Affairs and UNDP signed the areas of cooperation for the first national summit on Foresight and Innovation for Sustainable Human Development more..

Lankan stickers edged out in Singapore

Apr 19 (DN) Sri Lanka men’s hockey team put up a dazzling display to hold mighty China to a three all draw but were edged out 2-4 in the penalty shoot out which was implemented in the semi finals of the first round of the World League Hockey Championship 2016 in Singapore on Sunday night. Sri Lanka mens team played extremely well to fluster the Chinese with some power play and were unlucky to be held to a draw. When the tie breaker penalty shoot out was implement once again more..

Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority mobile service goes online

Apr 19 (SLT) Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) re-launched its flagship Mobile Service after a long absence which delivers various SLTDA services such as hotel inspections, issuance of business licenses, tourism training etc. in Arugmbay in end of last month. SLTDA conducted the mobile service with assistance of International Finance Corporation (IFC). The concept behind the mobile service is to provide licensing and other related services to the tourism industry more..

Finance Ministry launches Global Opportunities Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (DN) Ministry of Finance in partnership with CNBC, world's leading business and financial news network, recently launched Global Opportunities Sri Lanka, a series that looks into Sri Lanka's key industries and investment opportunities. Global Opportunities Sri Lanka campaign will run until June 2016. Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Chairman of CNBC Sri Lanka Representative office, Chandima Udabage penned down more..

Women staff strike hits work at Brandix India

Apr 19 (Hindu) Production came to a standstill at Brandix India Apparel City, the Indian arm of Brandix Lanka here, about 50 km from Visakhapatnam, after workers, mostly women, launched a strike on Monday demanding minimum monthly salary of Rs.10,000. As tension gripped this industrial area, District Collector N. Yuvaraj, Superintendent of Police Koya Praveen, Joint Collector J. Nivas, Anakapalle MP Srinivasa Rao and Yelamanchili MLA Panchakarla Ramesh Babu more..

Criticizing Sri Lanka war leads to exile

Apr 19 (GJ) When columnist and human rights activist Sunanda Deshapriya criticized the Sri Lankan govt’s war against Tamil rebels, he didn’t know he wouldn’t be able to return to his country for six years. Deshapriya was in Geneva in May 2009 when the Sri Lanka’s army defeated the LTTE, ending a 26-year civil war marred by alleged atrocities by both sides. The freelance journalist and activist had traveled to Geneva to voice his concerns about the Sri Lankan govt’s war conduct more..

Hashim slams politicos of previous regime for sorry state of coconut lands

Apr 19 (Island) Minister Kabir Hashim alleges that the coconut lands were fragmented and misused by politicians of the previous regime to develop hotels etc. Minister Hashim stressed that the coconut lands had decreased to 360, 000 hectares in 2010 from 444,000 ha in 2000. "We are having discussions to introduce structural changes to the sector by getting the support from the Plantation Industries Ministry," he said. more..

1,710 drunk drivers copped Within 8 days and still counting

Apr 19 (CT) Police have arrested 164 drunk drivers within 24 hours from 17 April to 18 April and an overall number of 1,710 drunk drivers within eight days of the festive season. The number arrested since the launch of this operation was over 1710. According to Police Spokesperson ASP Ruwan Gunasekara a majority of the drunk drivers were motorcyclists. Thus, a total of 924 motorcyclists were arrested since the operation was launched with 98 arrests within the 17 and 18 April. more..

IRB & ARFU sanctions will be their top priorities

Apr 19 (ST) Despite setbacks faced in the past year, Nazim Mohamed, newly elected General Secretary of Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) was affirmative that it can recover to become a more professional sporting entity within a matter of time. According to Mohamed, new set of SLRFU office bearers headed by former its former boss Asanga Seneviratne, are unison in taking rugby into the next level. “First thing first, as at present our priority is to put back administrative structure in its proper place. more..

Royal Turf Club Kunnigal Stud Magic Million races draw unprecedented crowds

Apr 19 (Island) The biggest and richest race to possibly ever run in SL and The Premier event of the Royal Turf Club (RTC) April Horse Racing festival, Kunnigal Stud Magic Million brought the picturesque hill town of Nuwara Eliya to life on 16th of April. Honoured guests included Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya, Ministers John Amaratunge, Navin Dissanayake, Brazilian Ambassador Sophie Balsa, Korean Ambassador Won Sam Chang more..

Introducing Amma Senior Citizens Home

Apr 19 (Island) Built over a five acre plot in Wariyapola, Kurunegala, Amma senior citizens home can comfortably accommodate over 32 occupants. It has four spacious bed rooms, large dining and sitting rooms and spacious verandahs that open out to a large garden. Built on a property that was donated to the Kolombagama Rajamaha Viharaya by Kassapa Saparamadu, the complete construction of the home was done with the personal funds of both Kassapa and Chamindry more..

Hillary and Cameron hold key to SL recovery

Apr 19 (EN) The acrimonious US presidential race and Britain's referendum on Europe may appear far removed from Sri Lanka, but both events could hold the key to the island's recovery from a right royal economic mess. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's govt decided to bite the bullet and raise taxes from next month in a bid to boost state revenue, but the external factors could have a make-or-break impact on Sri Lanka. Premier was closely following the US elections as well as the brexit debate more..

Murali: Spinning the Orange Arm

Apr 19 (ENS) When you talk about the title of spin legend in the game of cricket from this part of the world, Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan holds the mantle, undisputed. A further introduction to a legend (statistically speaking and otherwise), belittles the title itself. Indeed the 90s generation is lucky to have witnessed Murali unfurl his magic, on any given surface, time and again, throughout his career. Despite his time off from int'l circuit, more..

Former SL ruggerite Mallikarachchi dies at 37

Apr 19 (DN) Former Isipathana College, Petersons SC, Kandy Sports Club and SL ruggerite Sajith Mallikarachchi died on Sunday at the age of 37 from a heart attack. Sajith as he was popularly called played for Kandy SC from 1999. In 2003 and 2006 he led the side. He turned out for Sri Lanka from 1997 to 2007. Under his captaincy Sri Lanka who were placed tenth in the Asian region shot upto fifth place. Sajith was a member of the invincible Isipathana College team of 1996 and 1997 more..

Govt’s new ally puts focus on widespread impunity

Apr 19 (SL) Govt’s new ally and new found close friend, the United States, has noted that widespread impunity continued in Sri Lanka last year for the crimes committed during the armed conflict. This was mentioned in a report by the US State Department highlighting the state of human rights around the world last year. The report noted that after Maithripala Sirisena took office in January last year, the Govt arrested and detained a number of military, police, and other officials implicated more..