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Thirsting nation Cries for Water

Mar 28 (NS) Many Sri Lankans attribute the vagaries of the climate to the caprices of the weather gods.  It seems that the time has come again to appease those incensed deities. The nation is experiencing its worst drought in five years which has pushed 900,000 of its citizens into acute food insecurity. Worst-affected by the drought have been farmers and those relying on agriculture for income. The World Food Programme (WFP) says more..

Why we can’t attract more foreign investments

Mar 28 (ST) The insufficient and decreasing inflow of foreign direct investments (FDIs) is most disappointing. FDIs have been declining from US$ 1070 million in 2014 to US$ 970 million in 2015 and it was only US$ 445 million in the first nine months of last year. Furthermore, most FDIs have been in property development and the hospitality industry rather than into export manufacturing. Sustained economic growth of 8% or more that would double per capita incomes in about ten more..

Education is not a commodity: But it is and it should be negotiable

Mar 28 (CT) Education is not a commodity has been a popular view almost universally held by Sri Lanka’s student community in higher learning institutions. For them, it is non-negotiable. Even some university academics at the country’s state universities have been ardent proponents of this view. This view held by them is now a public commodity found everywhere. It could be found on the placards which students wave at people when they stage streets demonstrations. more..

Video: I'm going to form a new party: Mervyn

Mar 27 (DM) Former minister Mervyn Silva said he hoped to launch a new political party which would be open for politicians who had faced injustice because of the actions of their political parties or leaders. “If someone has had to face injustice like what happened to me, I invite them to join us. I thought of forming the party not for me but for those who faced injustices for political reasons. I will not be the leader of party. I will be the chairman. more..

JVPer claims paddy sold to distillery at Rs 28

Mar 27 (CT) The proposed distillery at Kalkudah had been provided with 4,000 Metric tons of paddy from the Mattala warehouse, Samastha Lanka Govijana Sammelanaya organizer and JVP PC member Namal Karunaratne claimed. He added that the distillery being set up by Arjun Aloysius in affiliation with the Mendis liquor Company, was provided with the paddy at Rs 28 per kilo. Suspicions have arisen over this distillery being set up in the centre of Amparai, Devahuwa & Polonnaruwa Districts, more..

Protests in Jaffna against cancellation of Rajinikanth's trip

Mar 27 (PTI) Hundreds of people today rallied in Jaffna to protest against TN politicians under whose pressure superstar Rajinikanth cancelled his visit to the island nation where he was scheduled to hand over houses to displaced ethnic Tamils. Protestors belonging to different parties, including the TNA, gathered near Jaffna's iconic Nallur Kovil. They held placards with slogans against the TN politicians. The 66-year-old actor was scheduled to hand over the houses built by Gnanam Foundation more..

European Investment Bank team looks for Sri Lanka investment opportunities

Mar 27 (EN) The European Investment Bank (EIB) will send a high-level delegation to Sri Lanka to explore new opportunities for future investment on a three day visit later this week at the start of a South Asia tour. A high-level delegation from the European Investment Bank, the world’s largest international public bank, will make a three day official visit to Sri Lanka later this week at the start of a South Asia regional tour. more..

Tigers circle wounded prey

Mar 27 (CI) A win in a landmark Test, post-match calls from the prime minister, outstanding performances from debutants, seniors producing their best work - this hastily arranged tour was only supposed to be the postscript to Bangladesh's high-profile visits to NZ and India, but now has the makings of a dream tour. Consider how dominant SL have been against Bangladesh in the past. Muralitharan's record is sometimes attacked for containing too many Bangladesh wickets. more..

Dickwella out of series with hairline fracture

Mar 27 (CI) Niroshan Dickwella has been ruled out of the ongoing ODI series against Bangladesh after suffering a hairline fracture in his left hand. Dickwella had sustained the injury on Sunday, at training. Though it was originally thought to be a minor injury, he had had trouble gripping his bat on Monday. Subsequent X-rays then confirmed the fracture. Team manager Asanka Gurusinha said that while the injury was minor it may take a couple of weeks to fully heal, which also puts more..

Sri Lanka wants to reduce China’s stake in strategic port deal

Mar 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's govt wants a Chinese company to agree to cut its stake in a strategic port project by up to a quarter, as part of a renegotiation aimed at blunting public and political opposition to the deal. After signing an agreement in Dec, state-run China Merchants Port Holdings had been expected to pay $1.12 billion for a 99-year lease on an 80% stake in Hambantota port - part of Beijing's ambitious plans to create more..

Video: 'Making a controversy over Rajinikanth's visit does not make sense'

Mar 27 (TN) Actor R Madhavan spoke on the recent political debate that broke out over superstar Rajinikanth’s proposed visit to SL and stated that it does not make sense to create a controversy at this point of time and that Rajinikanth, though he has taken a decision to avoid controversy, has made his stand very clear by asking people not to politicise his visit. “We must understand that we are very vulnerable as actors. It is unfair that social issues get linked to us before the release of a film. more..

The real reasons behind China's big investments in Sri Lanka

Mar 27 (Forbes) What’s China doing in Sri Lanka? Officially, it’s building the country’s infrastructure. Like the ports of Colombo and Hambantota, which have left the country heavily indebted. Unofficially, China is setting up outposts in the Indian Ocean as part of Beijing’s broader strategy to secure the passage of Middle East oil through the Strait of Malacca and counter American naval hegemony in the region. China has increasingly come to rely on the Middle East for its oil needs, more..

Interim order against appointing a military officer as Sports Director of Edu Ministry

Mar 27 (DN) Supreme Court today issued an interim order staying the appointment of Colonel Manjula Kariyawasam as the Education Director of the Ministry of Education until the final determination of a Fundamental Rights petition is filed challenging his appointment. Supreme Court made this order pursuant to a Fundamental Rights petition filed by Sri Lanka Educational Administrative Service Professional Association. more..

Sri Lanka at ASTINDO fair 2017

Mar 27 (AM) Indonesian Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya ceremonially inaugurated Sri Lanka’s tourism stall at Astindo Fair 2017 on Friday morning (24) at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) in Indonesia. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Jakarta, Dharshana Perera, Embassy Officials, Sri Lankan tour operators / companies joined in the opening ceremony. This is the first time Sri Lanka is participating at Astindo. Six prominent Sri Lankan travel and tour companies - Lanka Sportreizen, Deluxe Vacations, more..

Train strike suspended

Mar 27 (DM) The 24-hour trade union action scheduled to be launched by the Locomotive Engineering Operators from midnight today has been called off, Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry announced. The token strike was organised seeking several demands including salary anomalies and it has been abandoned due to the moves made by the Ministry to resolve the matters of locomotive operators, Locomotive Engineering Operators Union (LEOU) said. more..

Withholding of evidence: SF should be arrested: Udaya

Mar 27 (DM) Field Marshal and Minister Sarath Fonseka should be arrested and put in jail on charges of withholding evidence on the killing of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickramatunge in 2008, MP Udaya Gammanpila said today. He said the minister should be arrested just like what happened to former DIG Anura Senanayake who was arrested on charges of withholding evidence in the killing of rugby captain Wasim Thajudeen. more..

Youth knocked down by Megapolis SUV hospitalised after partial recovery

Mar 27 (Island) Sandeep Gunawardena, the youth who received serious injuries when his motorcycle collided with an SUV belonging to the Megapolis and Western Province Development Ministry, last year, was admitted to National Hospital for another surgery yesterday. The victim had been recuperating at home after he was discharged from the Rehabilitation Hospital at Ragama some months ago. Doctors, treating him, said he would have to undergo surgery as some devices, more..

Archives and evidence room of Balapitiya High courts broken into

Mar 27 (DM) The archives and evidence room of the Balapitiya High courts, where some 300-500 confidential documents related to court cases were kept, has been broken into, sources said. Police said that there were around 300-500 confidential documents related to court cases at the time of the robbery. A court official said there had been some documents connected to cases of murder, rape and theft in the room. Details regarding the amount of missing documents were yet to be revealed. more..

Harin Fernando

Workshop on flood risk management

Mar 27 (DN) A workshop on Flood Risk Management organized by the Sir John Kotelawala Defence University's Faculty of Engineering, with the collaboration of three German universities, was held recently. The resource persons were Prof. Robert Jüpner, University of Kaiserslautern, Prof. Juergen Jensen, Research Institute for Water and Environment, University of Siegen, Prof. Achim Schulte, Freie University of Berlin, and Prof. Wolfgang Breit, University of Kaiserslautern. more..

Indian naval ship INS Darshak in Colombo

Mar 27 (SLN) The hydrographic survey ship, INS Darshak of the Indian Navy arrived at the Port of Colombo today on a training visit. The ship was ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in compliance with naval traditions on her arrival. The Commanding Officer of Darshak Captain Peush Pawsey paid a courtesy call on the Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Niraja Attygalle at the Western Naval Command Headquarters and they held cordial discussions. more..

Sri Lanka state credit surge to new high in January 2017, private down

Mar 27 (EN) SL's credit to govt from the banking system surged to 141 billion rupees in Jan 2017, in what could be an all-time high, while state enterprises also continued to borrow, though private credit slowed sharply. Private credit fell sharply to 17.9 billion rupees, down from 78.7 billion rupees a month earlier. Whether it is temporary crowding out due to large state borrowings or a more sustained trend is not clear. more..

Sri Lanka banks, tech firms urged to co-operate to push e-commerce

Mar 27 (EN) Banks need to co-operate among themselves and with technology companies to encourage greater use of digital transactions, Channa De Silva, CEO of LankaClear. He said LankaClear, an electronic clearing house owned by banks which handles inter-bank funds transfers and provides links for a common automated teller machine network, was keen to encourage digital transactions and reduce use of cash. “We’re also interested in identifying why things are not more..

Wimal unable to attend court due to poor health

Mar 27 (NR) Prison officers have informed the Colombo High Court, that Leader of the NFF, Wimal Weerawansa cannot be produced before court today, due to his poor health condition. Court was informed of the matter by the Director of the new Magazine Prison and the Chief Medical Officer of the Prison Hospital. A case has been filed against Former Deputy Minister Mohammed Mustapha, pertaining to an incident where he allegedly attempted to bribe present Spokesman more..

We didn’t ask Rajinikanth to cancel Sri Lanka visit, says VCK

Mar 27 (DC) Refuting Lyca Production’s charges, VCK and TVK said their motive was not to oppose Rajinikanth’s visit to Sri Lanka, but only asked him to reconsider his trip since the atmosphere was not conducive.  “Our motive is not to oppose Rajinikanth or Lyca or seek publicity. If Lyca thinks so, it is sheer imagination,” VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan said, while appreciating the superstar for his maturity in understanding more..

Maligawa Road will remain closed: Kiriella

Mar 27 (CT) The road adjacent to the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, Maligawa Road, will remain closed to vehicular movement as long as the present govt is in power, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. "Certain factions are circulating false rumours that the road will be opened to the public again," he said stressing that these rumours were false. Minister then accepted that the traffic congestion in Kandy was an issue and requested the public to be patient until a proper solution is found. more..

Cambodia, Sri Lanka and the China debt trap

Mar 27 (AT) The influx of Chinese economic assistance into Sri Lanka and Cambodia has raised questions regarding the intentions behind these massive loans. While China may still be considered a developing economy, its current strategy of providing soft power loans and aid to its regional neighbors is reminiscent of the tributary system that the country employed back in its empire days. Cambodia is one of China’s closest international partners and diplomatic allies, as well as more..

කච්චතිව් දුපතේ සිට රියද් අල්මිරාල් පියල් ද සිල්වා

War crimes being pivot of transitional justice stalls progress 

Mar 27 (CT) The govt achieved its main goal at the UNHRC at the session just completed in March. It was able to obtain a two year extension to deliver on the promise it made at a previous session of the UNHRC in October 2015. There is a consensus that the govt’s performance has been inadequate. The govt itself has not denied this. Not one of the four reconciliation mechanisms that the govt promised to establish are yet operational. Only one of them, the Office of Missing Persons, more..

CBK in Chelva’s hometown

Mar 27 (CT) Former President and Chairperson of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) Chandrika Kumaratunga, in Jaffna, while assuring the families of the disappeared persons that the govt would adopt remedial measures to solve their grievances said that the Security Forces personnel who sacrificed their lives to eradicate terrorism would be respected. Kumaratunga was in Jaffna on Saturday in her capacity as Chairperson of ONUR, participating in several events more..

Video: Gota rejects Death Squad claims

Mar 27 (DM) Former Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa has rejected news reports published by AL Jazeera and AFP that he operated a death squad with the intention of silencing his critics. On March 20, foreign news agencies reported that the CID had told the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate's Court that Mr. Rajapaksa led a top secret death squad, targeting journalists and dissidents. The news report said the alleged unit was also accused of more..

Hold the Polls MS tells Faiszer

Mar 27 (DM) President Maitripala Sirisena had instructed Minister Faiszer Musthapha to hold the elections to the Local authorities without further delay. Minister told the Daily Mirror that he would call for the immediate amendments of current laws governing such elections to sort out some technical issues. Earlier, Elections Commission highlighted more than 50 shortcomings in the prevailing laws, to be rectified. more..

SL drafting new immigrants & emigrants law

Mar 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka is drafting a new immigrants and emigrants law to comply with developments in the international environment and the island’s priorities. So far the Immigrant and Emigrant Act No 20 of 1948, reflecting the past colonial era, has been the foundation for immigration and emigration matters. The act governs border management activities including visas for entry for non-Sri Lankans to the country, more..

Sri Lanka and India in talks over advanced light helicopter

Mar 27 (Hindu) As part of efforts to enhance defence cooperation and boost exports with friendly countries, India is in discussions with Sri Lanka and several Southeast Asian nations for the supply of Dhruv, the indigenously developed advanced light helicopter (ALH). Supplying defence equipment and providing assistance in setting up domestic manufacturing capability have become the new normal in India’s defence cooperation more..

Arjuna Aloysious' newspaper Janayugaya to hit the market in early April

Mar 27 (AM) Janayugaya, the newspaper funded by the Perpetual Treasuries company, is to be launched in early April. The initial publicity campaign of the newspaper is currently underway. Arjuna Aloysious, the owner of Perpetual Treasuries and the son-in-law of former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, has formed a company titled Integrated Media Network to publish the newspaper. more..

'Independent Commissions toothless'

Mar 27 (Island) The independent commissions established under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution have become white elephants, Minister Champika Ranawaka says. He said: "The independent commissions were set up amidst much fanfare. Some pundits predicted they would help restore democracy. Now what has happened today? There is an independent election commission but it cannot act because more..