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PM asked to name a successor

Mar 20 (DM) The committee appointed to look into the reorganization of the UNP in its report had recommended that Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe should name a person who would take over the party leadership as and when he steps down from the leadership. A member of the committee said it had come out with this suggestion as its members were of the opinion that it would be easier for the party to move forward when more..

PC’ attempt to grab doctors gets GMOA goat

Mar 20 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) warned it would resort to a strike if the North Central Provincial Council attempted to bring doctors serving in the Province under the provincial health service. GMOA Ex-co Member Dr. Nalinda Herath revealed that the Secretary of the North Central Province (NCP) had, in a letter, informed the Provincial Director Health Services (PDHS) that the Council had taken a decision to absorb doctors under its purview. more..

‘No legal basis to approach ICJ against SL’

Mar 20 (Hindu) The Central govt on Monday told the Madras High Court that there is no legal basis for India to invoke the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) since there is no treaty, including human rights treaties, under which the alleged attacks by Sri Lankan Navy against Indian fishermen could be established as human rights violation. The submission was made in a counter-affidavit filed before the first Division Bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul more..

No-faith motion against PM in the balance

Mar 20 (Island) Joint Opposition (JO) has appealed for President Sirisena’s support for the no-confidence motion (NCM) to be moved against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Top JO spokesman G.L. Peiris and UPFA MP Gamini Lokuge yesterday made the appeal to the President. Prof. Peiris and Lokuge underscored the pivotal importance of the warring SLFP factions reaching a consensus on the move against PM. more..

Harsha says no need for JO to get involved in UNP restructuring

Mar 20 (FT) State Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva dented Joint Opposition enthusiasm saying the latter need not get involved in UNP restructuring and dismissed any connection between it and the proposed no-confidence motion on Prime Minister and party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Following efforts by the party to approach the restructuring of the UNP, almost all prominent members had agreed on the reorganisation of the party, Dr. Harsha de Silva said. more..

Kandy Violence: 8 acquitted, 16 further remanded

Mar 20 (CT) Eight, of the 24 suspects arrested and remanded over the recent violence reported from Teldeniya and Digana, were acquitted by the Teldeniya Magistrate’s Court yesterday (19). Of the 24 arrests made in Teldeniya earlier this month, for their alleged involvement in spurring the riots, racially motivated violence and over the death of an individual, 16, who were produced before the Teldeniya Magistrate’s Court yesterday were ordered to be further remanded until 2 April. more..

'State does not intend to establish separate High Court'

Mar 20 (Island) The schematic classification of offences in the Bill to Amend the Judicature Act referred to serious financial and economic crimes of a very serious nature. If the new Bill was enacted a group of specialised High Court Judges would hear such cases, said Additional Solicitor General, Yasantha Kodagoda, PC in the Supreme Court. At the outset ASG Kodagoda said that with creation of Provincial High Courts, more..

Bond report debate and PC delimitation report submission postponed indefinitely

Mar 20 (FT) The continuation debate on the report of the CB bond scam, as well as the presenting of the Delimitation report for the Provincial Council election, which were both part of Parliament’s agenda for the week, have been postponed indefinitely. JO Parliamentary group leader MP Dinesh Gunawardena said that the decision to postpone the debates on these two key reports was taken at the Party Leaders’ meeting, chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, held yesterday. more..

Lack of trust in Police compels deployment of separate TID team to Kandy

Mar 20 (FT) Due to lack of public faith in the Police, a special team from the Terrorist Investigations Division is to be deployed to Kandy to round up the remaining suspects involved in the riots that occurred in the Kandy district this month, UNP MP Mujibur Rahuman said. He said that this decision was taken yesterday, during a special meeting held at Temple Trees between PM Wickremesinghe, Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara, AG Jayantha Jayasuriya, senior officials of govt and more..

Damages to houses & businesses in Kandy: Rs 8.5B paid as compensation to 130 victims

Mar 20 (CT) By yesterday evening, Rs 8,594 million had been paid in compensation to 130 victims, of the mob violence, which destroyed houses and businesses in Kandy, earlier this month. Secretary for Minister for Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Shane Dullewe said that the full amount of the compensation paid will be revealed today. Minister M.H.A. Haleem was also in Kandy yesterday to oversee compensation process. more..

Sri Lanka confident of high tourist arrivals despite travel advisories

Mar 20 (Xinhua) Tourism Minister John Amaratunga expressed confidence in the country attracting over 2.5 million tourists in 2018. Amaratunga said he urged the embassies to lift travel restrictions issued against Sri Lanka and assured the island was now safe for tourists. "My ministry will write to the embassies briefing them that the state of emergency has been lifted and the situation is now normal. Despite cancellations this month due to the violence, we are confident the numbers will pick up more..

Below 50% daily turnover at CSE; economic growth hitting rock bottom

Mar 20 (Island) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) recorded below 50 percent of daily turnover yesterday. The turnover was one of the lowest in the recent past which stood at Rs. 396.5 million. The Census and Statistics Department withdrew the 2017 full-year and fourth quarter gross domestic product data on Friday, a day after posting the country’s worst economic growth in 16 years, The on going UNHRC session and many other factors affected the market too, analysts said. more..

Most Sinhalese happy about recent riots: EC

Mar 20 (DM) Dismissing the popular view on the attitude of a majority of Sinhalese towards the attacks on Muslim-owned properties and mosques during the recent riots in Ampara town and Kandy District, Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya claimed they seemed happy about what happened. "The claim that a majority of Sinhalese were against the recent attacks on Muslims is wrong," he said. more..

'Sri Lanka needs int’l exhibition centre'

Mar 20 (DN) Sri Lanka needs to set up an international level exhibition centre said Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama, declaring open the International Printing Exhibition. Participating as the Chief Guest at the opening of the International Printing Exhibition, Minister Dr. Amunugama said that an international level exhibition centre is necessary for Sri Lanka and that action should be taken towards that end. The International Printing Exhibition was held recently at more..

Business Times wins important ruling against SLBFE

Mar 20 (ST) Business Times (BT) on Friday won an important ruling by the Right to Information (RTI) Commission against a refusal of SL Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) to release information on MOUs or bilateral agreements with three countries. When the matter came on Friday, Commission was informed that BT Editor had been informed on March 15 by the SLBFE on its willingness to release this information. Based on that, Commission concluded appeal hearing. more..

People need to identify politicians who only think of power not the country: President

Mar 20 (PSL) President Sirisena says some are working according to their personal agendas to gain political power and they are not interested in strengthening the peace and reconciliation or in solving the issues of the country. President further said that the people should recognize these people who only consider their political power without giving priority for the country. He made these remarks participating in more..

RPC tea production declines 33%

Mar 20 (CT) The total tea production of the Regional Plantation Companies (RPC) has declined to 33%, while RPC Replanting declined to 35% from 2005 to 2016, mainly due to the deterioration of good agricultural practices, Secretary to the Ministry of plantations revealed at a Tea Forum last week. According to J.A. Ranjith, most of the RPC tea indicators have slumped to a colossal level, questioning the sustainability of the industry. Total tea production of the RPC sector Ranjith said more..

‘Sri Lanka to slash aircraft landing charges’

Mar 20 (DN) The Colombo International Airport will soon see a reduction of landing charges, said Minister of Christian Affairs and Tourism John Amaratunge. Speaking at a press conference with some of the leading stakeholders of the industry yesterday the Minister said that this is mainly to bring the Colombo airport charges in line with other neighbouring airports and also woo more airlines to fly to Colombo. Minister also said that the Ampara airport too would be opened very soon more..

Tourism industry tapers down impact of communal clashes

Mar 20 (FT) Considering the adverse impact of the upheaval that took place in the country, Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga yesterday (19) said Sri Lanka may miss the 2.5 million tourist arrival target this year as well. “There could be a slight impact to the 2.5 million tourist arrival estimate of the country this year. However, it can also pick up in the next couple of months,” he told journalists yesterday. more..

No unrest, but security beefed up in Madampe after incident

Mar 20 (Island) Police yesterday denied media reports that there had been unrest in Madampe on Sunday following an incident where a 77-year-old person suffered injury after being pushed by 28-year-old man, who was under the influence of liquor. Police have beefed up security in Madampe as a precautionary measure because the victim and the assailant belong to different ethnic communities. The Police have arrested the assailant, a resident of Thaniyawallaba, Madampe. more..

We didn’t feel that we were playing outside India: Rohit Sharma

Mar 20 (DN) India’s victorious skipper Rohit Sharma whilst praising the SL fans for turning up in their numbers for the final of the Hero Nidahas trophy tri-nation series at the R Premadasa Stadium on Sunday said that their support didn’t make his team feel that they were playing outside India. “The crowd was brilliant, it was magnificent. To get the support from the entire crowd, I think it was 20,000-25,000 people to get their support was really good. We didn't feel that we were playing outside India,” more..

Even at times of despair faith kept Roshen on a high

Mar 20 (ST) In his first three international encounters, Roshen Silva has been almost Bradmanesque. Debuting against India during the final match of the recent bilateral series in Delhi, he fell for a five-ball duck in the first innings. Then he staked his claim in the global spotlight in the second innings with a match-saving half century. Since then, Roshen–at least for now–has been unstoppable. His next three innings returned scores of 109, 56 & 70* more..

Shakib broke dressing room door: Door fixed at cost of Rs. 147,000

Mar 20 (Island) There were sensational scenes at RPS Sunday night as a packed house cheered the Indian team in the finals of the Nidahas Trophy where Rohit Sharma’s side beat Bangladesh in a last ball thriller. Defending 167, Bangladesh looked to have done enough to win the title after Mustafizur Rahman bowled a maiden in the 18th over of the Indian innings leaving them requiring 34 runs off the last 2 overs. Ice-cool Dinesh Karthik then smashed 29 runs in eight balls to take the game more..

Law & Order in the bin: US & Geneva kept happy

Mar 20 (CT) In 2015, one of the first things this Govt did was to take the Central Bank into PM’s hands from the Finance Minister. It was an unprecedented act and raised many an eyebrow. Yet, people were comforted that the Central Bank was in PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s hands, instead of Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s who has a penchant to get associated with one financial scandal after another. At the time also he was embroiled in a massive money laundering case. more..

Some wisdom spurred by a birthday bash

Mar 20 (CT) SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ajith Dias, purposefully chosen by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, to restructure, revitalize, rejuvenate, regenerate the national carrier, recently celebrated his 70th birthday at the Hambantota Shangri-La. The choice of venue for the hoopla – the Shangri-La, in the deep south reminded Narada of some recollections on how to run or how not to run airlines made by Robert Kuok, the overseas more..

SL Women’s Tuskers take 3rd spot, Men 4th

Mar 20 (DN) Defending champions Sri Lanka Women’s national sevens rugby team took third spot when they beat Singapore Women by 24 points (4 tries, 2 conversions) to 5 (1 try) while SL men’s sevens team secured fourth place after losing to Hong Kong by 17 points (3 tries, 1 conversion) to 20 (4 tries) in the play-off for third place in the Borneo 7’s rugby tournament concluded on Sunday at Sandakan, Malaysia. Asanga Seneviratne the president of Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) said, more..

Communal disharmony or failed security policy?

Mar 20 (Island) Could the recent violence in Digana, Ampara and earlier in Gintota be described as systemic incidents of communal disharmony or a failure in security policy to prevent violence? Judging from some headlines such as - the nation is burning in the fires of communal hatred; the beast rides again; to the question that this is not who we are the response is this is exactly who we Sri Lankans are; saffron is the colour of evil - it is communal disharmony. more..

Face the Nation

Wooing India, the Tamil Hard-liner way?

Mar 20 (SL) The Tamil politics in the nation’s North and the East has always been as bizarre as that of the Sinhala South. The majority TNA in the North and the East stopped wooing the Indian neighbour long ago, but the hard-liner section from within the local Tamil community and the TNA, represented by Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran seems wanting India to intervene on their behalf. Time was when reports said that CM Wigneswaran, on a private visit to New Delhi, more..

Editorial: PM in the crosshairs

Mar 20 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s survival skills are second only to Bear Grylls’. His political journey during the last few turbulent decades has been a kind of a real-life Man Vs Wild drama. Having survived in the snake-infested jungle of politics the PM is now about to face the ultimate test of survival. JO is planning to move a vote of no confidence against PM. Process of collecting signatures for the motion is said to be gathering momentum with some Cabinet ministers also having signed it. more..

'We will never support racism'

Mar 20 (SL) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the Govt showed their inability to properly govern the country through the irresponsible way they controlled the communal violence in Kandy. He said the govt should have carried out a proper plan based on the information they received from the security forces but not after many areas of the country were destroyed by the miscreants. more..

Cometh the Peace Corps bearing gifts

Mar 20 (ST) Students of Greek mythology and the writings of ancient Greeks such as Homer would well remember the story of the Trojan horse. That was a neat stratagem pulled on the people of Troy by a great Greek general called Odysseus which brought Troy tumbling down. Fact or fiction, it made great reading. It also threw suspicion on many Greek offerings and gave rise to the oft quoted saying “beware of Greeks bearing gifts.” But it was not only the Greeks who suffered ignominy more..

Resurgence of communal violence threat to tourism, FDI and balance of payments

Mar 20 (ST) The recent communal violence has raised apprehensions on its repercussions on the economy. Although the violence was restricted to three areas in Ampara, Kandy district and Gintota, and its direct impact on economic activities was minimal, the fears of further communal violence has serious implications for the economy. Violence has already affected tourism adversely and is likely to deter foreign investment, increase int'l borrowing costs & could cause a capital outflow. more..

'Influx of lawless elements from outside aggravated Kandy riots'

Mar 20 (SO) New Law & Order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara says, the tense situation in Digana and the suburbs would not have aggravated if not for the influx of lawless elements from outside. Minor incident spread like wildfire largely due to the disinformation campaign launched by certain sections of the social media. He said, the tense situation could be controlled as the law enforcement authorities acted in more..

Are you one of them or one of us?

Mar 20 (CT) I was disturbed by a phone call today. Someone called me in the morning and was talking about the SL situation with lots of concern. I was very sympathetic and was appreciating his concern about our country of origin. However, while he was talking to me he mentioned the term your people… I stopped him and sought explanation as to what he meant by that. He told me Muslim people. I told him the following in very clear and simple language: My friend, listen very carefully to what I’m more..

Drop the guns, Hit refresh

Mar 20 (CT) Drop the guns is my addition based on his own analysis, but Hit Refresh is Satya Nadella’s main title of the quite praiseworthy book with a vision for everyone, not only in the technology field, but also in other areas of knowledge and vocations, or even in politics. Drop the guns may be more appropriate for the eternally fighting political species. It is a rare vision to come from a CEO of a multinational, to say the least. It is an imagination of a better future for everyone more..