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Daylight robbery in Coal tender award

Mar 6 (SL) Energy experts believe it is high time the country adhered to strict procedures in awarding coal tenders, spot tenders and long term tenders unless the CEB Board of Management handled this on their own. The good news is that it was none other than PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who put an end to anymore coal power plants at a recent discussion in parliament where Power and Renewable Energy Ministry Secretary more..

HIV rumor: CTU asks Akila to be more sensitive

Mar 6 (DM) Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) condemned Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam’s statement, where he called for the separation of the child in Kuliyapitiya from his mother, after being denied a school due to rumours of his mother being HIV positive. In an interview with the BBC, the minister said the Zonal Education Director told him the boy’s mother had HIV and that therefore the child should be separated from her and placed in probationary care. more..

Shunned child gets offers from many schools

Mar 6 (ST) The mother of the six-year-old child who was rumoured to have AIDS had removed the child from Sambodhi school which he was admitted to, following protests from the parents of the school. It is learnt that the children at the Sambodhi Gashandiya Primary school in Kuliyapitiya had kept away from school following the admission of a six-year-old boy to the school. School Principal H.P.M. Wimaladharma said all 178 children in the primary school had kept away from school because more..

Closed granaries leave farmers in despair

Mar 6 (ST) Protests by the paddy farmers continued this week as most govt paddy stores remained closed to new paddy purchases with stocks from the last season yet to be cleared. Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) Chairman M.B. Dissanayake confirmed that previous harvests still remain in the stores but said the PMB has started purchasing paddy from farmers at Kilinochchi and Ampara. To make space for the new harvest more..

Prime Minister’s Mahasiva Rathri Message

Mar 6 (Island) Hindus all over the world celebrate Mahasiva Rathri Day with deep devotion as the day most preferred by Lord Shiva. While engaging in pious observations, they venerate Lord Shiva on this day and believe that it is both auspicious and sacred. They seek to banish darkness and let the light of hope adorn their lives with reverence. It is also an occasion for pious reflection and introspection. It takes much to achieve freedom, co-existence and equality in challenging times more..

Video: President instructs Security forces to eradicate underworld menace

Mar 6 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena instructed Police and Security forces to eliminate underworld activities which have spread across the country. IGP and Army Commander have been instructed to take necessary measures to eradicate the menace. “I will not allow criminals trouble peaceful citizens,” President said speaking at an event at Abayarama Temple. Incidents which occurred during the past few days had injured and killed not just gang members but also innocent civilians. more..

I am innocent, Douglas Devananda tells Madras High Court

Mar 6 (DC) Former SL minister Douglas Devananda on Saturday told the sessions court here in a video-conference trial that he was in way connected with the killing of a man at Choolaimedu in south Chennai and sought discharge from the murder charge registered against him by the police for that shooting incident three decades ago. When the case came up for hearing before IV Additional Sessions Court, more..

Whatever happened to poor old Wignes in the northern peninsula?

Mar 7 (ST) Perhaps it’s the long exposure to the balmy breeze that blows in from the Indian Ocean. Or the cultivated taste for the Palmyrah treacle that flows liberally to the waiting pot. Or even the pungent onion that sprouts in abundance from Jaffna’s fertile soil and is rumoured to make grown men lose their marbles in tears if consumed in excess; but certainly something funny has happened to this former Supreme Court judge Vishwanath Wigneswaran to befuddle his mind and more..

Some thoughts on our cultural values & national harmony

Mar 7 (CT) I recognise, respect, appreciate and congratulate the valuable work done by many including those of Sri Lanka Invites. Several other organisations that promote rights, freedoms and development efforts needed for building social cohesion and harmony, have been supportive of this event. National Harmony Day in Melbourne is an occasion for celebration. At the same time, it needs to be a serious time to reflect, to remember. Why? Because this harmony day celebration itself more..

'President has to maintain party discipline'

Mar 7 (SL) Minister Faizer Mustapha says the delimitation process for early Local Govt Elections is being done as expeditiously as possible, but says that a definite time frame cannot be given considering the complex nature of the issue. He said that out of 6000 wards the boundaries of around 2000 wards will have to be changed. He said that it is a very tedious process. Q: One of the allegations against the govt is that although more..

The rainbow revolution’s Satakaya infiltration

Mar 7 (ST) In a typical twist of Sri Lankan humor, there is a sardonic caricature doing the rounds of Ministers in the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe coalition govt sporting a satakaya, the habitual wear closely associated with the Rajapaksa brand of political leadership. Initially signifying an earthy affiliation with the village, the kurahan satakaya (a shawl in the colour of finger millet) underwent an unfortunate metamorphosis during the second term of Rajapaksa Presidency. more..

Story of two graphs drawn by a Tamil man

Mar 7 (CT) At the famous Bridgetown pub yesterday afternoon, a Tamil man showed me two graphs he had drawn on beer mats. He is none other than Sivapuranam Thevaram, the Sri Lankan Tamil fellow who is my regular drinking partner. Statisticians among you might recognize the graphs as representing some kind of probability densities. Let me tell you the story behind these graphs. Thevaram’s first graph was a simple one, widely known by the familiar phrase the Bell Curve. more..

'We are against ETCA agreement'

Mar 7 (SL) JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa says the govt has forgotten that they did not come to power based on their own merits and success, but rather rode on the wave to power, simply because the people wanted to oust the Rajapaksa regime, and this alliance was the only option. He said that today the govt is trying to show their arrogance to the very persons who brought them to power. He said that the media and the people more..

Big Match: To go or not is the question

Mar 7 (SL) Stretched in our Hansiputuwa, we were wondering whether to Go or Not for the Royal-Thomian. We were parodying on Shakespearian lines of Hamlet: To go or not to go is the question. Whether it is to nobler in mind to suffer the outrageous comments of our loved ones at home that we be warded in hospital if we go, or go and savour some of the happiest moments of our life. It would be our 68th Big Match and now well over half century since we left college. more..

Plugging Sri Lanka's skills gap

Mar 6 (DN) On paper, the current official statistics relating to Sri Lanka's educational achievements look impressive. Schooling is compulsory for children from 5 + to 13 years of age. Education is state funded and offered free of charge at all levels, including the university level. Around 90% of children at age five get admitted to primary education. There is a widespread school system with three schools in every 20 square kilometres of land. The pupil-teacher ratio is 17. more..

A fatherless boy cries for a school

Mar 6 (CT) The young mother spoke of her anguish to Ceylon Today. She had lost her husband to Tuberculosis, and was compelled to be a single parent to her 6 –year- old child. The boy was refused admission to one of the schools in the area on the strength of rumours that his father had died of AIDS.. Thence he was enrolled to the Sambhodi Primary School in Kuliyapitiya. According to the mother, the matter aggravated when more..

Padma Rao Sundarji & Sri Lankan Army

Mar 6 (Island) In my rebellious youth, I did not have much respect for the military and was grateful that I was born just late enough to escape doing two years National Service in the British army. We baby boomers had a tendency to arrogance because we had a decent education and the ability to see the tawdriness of post-imperial Britain. With maturity, I have developed a better understanding of what my parents’ generation endured to make life comfortable and secure for brats like me. more..

Treasury calls for brainstorming by industry experts on widening tax base

Mar 6 (ST) Treasury has called on industry experts to suggest ideas of widening the tax net, in a bid to bring in new areas to collect taxes, an industry official said. The first meeting on Tuesday saw industry experts such as Asite Talwatte, Riyaz Mihular, Duminda Hulangamuwa and Manjula de Silva discuss these issues with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) officials, the official said. ”This was an informal meeting recommended by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake to more..

Sri Lanka's economy in 2016; limping to stability from a runaway budget

Mar 6 (ST) Sri Lanka is fearing more economic instability in 2016 with little being done to fix budget that went off the rails in 2015 with debt repayments looming, but several corrections have already occurred. Is the situation as bad as in April 2015, when a rate cut added further instability to a credit system de-railed by a revised budget in January with 40% wage hike? In 2015 the budget deficit was planned at 499 billion rupees. more..

Editorial: Prabhakaran’s regret

Mar 7 (Island) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga (CBK) tells us, quoting an unnamed person, the late LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran regretted having rejected her political packages. CBK, to her credit, was keen to find a political solution. She had the courage to offer maximum possible devolution in the form of Regional Councils, envisaged in her draft Constitution which the UNP and the JVP joined forces to torpedo in 2000. After being elected PM in 1994, still wet behind more..

Two troublemakers in Toronto

Mar 7 (Island) Having my suspicion confirmed, I contacted Sappani, over the phone and told him what Jennifer Davis said. I asked Sappani if the monies raised from the recent cocktail fundraiser they organised had been handed over to UNHCR. He provided interesting answers to my questions. "Not yet. Because the UNHCR deals with USD 25,000 projects or multiples of USD 25,000. UTCC cocktail brought in aboutD 1200 short of our USD 25,000 target. Once we get the required more..

President declared open Poison-free Agricultural Educational Trade Exhibition

Mar 7 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena declared open the Poison-free Agricultural Educational Trade Exhibition which was organized under the Toxin Free Nation program at the BMICH, today (6). The three-day exhibition and sale, organized by the Presidential Secretariat and the Ministry of Agriculture, will be open for public from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily free of charge. After declaring open the exhibition the President toured more..

15% special interest rate soon at finance companies

Mar 7 (ST) More than three months after the budget proposal, guidelines on the 15% interest rate on deposits up to Rs.1.5 million for senior citizens will be sent out to finance companies this week, Central Bank (CB) Governor Arjuna Mahendran said. ”We just now (Thursday) received the circular (on this budget decision) and will send it out in the next few days,” he said. In his Nov 20 budget speech, Minister Ravi Karunanayake, said the facility applicable to those aged over 55 years more..

Ananda takes major honours

Mar 7 (CT) Ananda College took major honours in their 87th annual Battle of the Maroons Inter-Schools Big Match against traditional rivals Nalanda College which concluded at the SSC Grounds in Maitland Place yesterday. The Anandians declared their first innings at 216 for four after having taken a close first innings lead of 19 runs. Nalanda in their second innings were struggling at 109 for six at the close. Ananda innings was built around a superb knock of 84 from opening batsman more..

Rubber to be grown in the North

Mar 7 (ST) SL’s rubber industry established in the country during the colonial era is to expand to the North, a non-traditional area, as part of the new Master Plan for rubber development scheduled to be launched later this month. Rubber Research Institute (RRI) says that non-traditional areas found in Northern Province would be ideal locations for cultivating rubber trees eyed as a golden crop to bring in a high yield more..

Sri Sumangala by six wickets

Mar 7 (CT) Wariyapola Sri Sumangala College defeated Sri Rahula College by a resounding six wickets in the one-day Big Match played at the Pallekele International Stadium on Saturday. This match was revived after a lapse of eight years. Earlier, these two schools met in a two-day Big Match and this time after the revival it was made a one-day affair. Sri Sumangala won the toss and opted to field inviting Sri Rahula College to take first lease of the wicket. more..

India win Asia Cup

Mar 7 (CI) A thunderstorm and a Mahmudullah squall came in India's way, but a calm chase from Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli helped India make light work of their chase of 121 that brought them their sixth Asia Cup title. Dhawan and Kohli added 94 for the second wicket before MS Dhoni, who walked in to bat with India needing 22 off 14 balls, quite fittingly, polished off the chase with an unbeaten six-ball 20 as India won with seven balls to spare. Kohli's credentials in run chases more..

Selections should not be based on criticism

Mar 7 (CT) One of SL cricket's all time greats and man of match in the 1996 WC final, Aravinda de Silva, was present at Mirpur, Bangladesh for the Sri Lanka match against Pakistan which they lost in a close battle. De Silva, former selection committee chairman, was in Bangladesh as he had been invited for the presentation party, and had visited with another idea in his mind, which was to support and talk to the SL players ahead of more..

Asset Homes set to enter Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (Hindu) Kochi-based builder Asset Homes is expanding operations to Sri Lanka to develop a residential township in Colombo. A high-level Sri Lankan delegation, headed by Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka, along with JC Alawathuwala, MP and Chairman, Sri Lankan Development Committee was here to hold meetings in this regard. The visiting delegation assessed various projects developed by the Kerala-based company as a run-up to the signing of the MoU. more..

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown

Mar 7 (Hindu) Sri Lanka was once an outfit that lorded over the others in the shortest of formats. In the five editions of the World T20 held so far, it has one semifinal appearance, two runner-up finishes and one title. In fact, it has the most wins and the highest win-percentage among all teams that have played more than 20 matches in the tournament (22 wins, 70.97%). However, in the past two years, its form has not been befitting of a team with such glorious history. more..

Thailand edges out Sri Lanka in Davis Cup

Mar 7 (Island) According to Domink Utzinger, SL coach in Thailand, this was the most exciting Davis Cup campaign for Sri Lanka in recent history and for him ‘it was great to come this close to beat Thailand, and losing by just an inch.’ With SL’s key player Harshana Godamanna losing to the gutty Thai pro, Pruchya Isarow, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(6) the deciding Singles Sunday afternoon, the islanders on paper lost it 2-3 but gave strong Thais a fight more..

Women’s Forum will be launched tomorrow

Mar 7 (Island) The Women’s Forum Sri Lanka (WFSL) 2016 will be launched tomorrow on the International Women’s Day. The forum consisting of Prof. Savitri Goonesekere, Dr. Hiranthi Wijemanne, Prof. Swarna Jayaweera, Dr Selvi Thiruchandran, Dr Jessima Ismail, Dr Farzana Haniffa, Dr Ramani Jayasundere, Dr Pramila Senanayake, Thilaka Perera, Sarah Soysa and Yvett Kahawite will be launched at Kingsbury under the theme of Action for Parity today. more..

Sampath transferred to Neuro ICU

Mar 7 (CT) The 24-year-old Sandeep Sampath who was seriously injured last Sunday in Welikada when he was knocked down by a jeep belonging to Minister Champika Ranawaka who was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the Colombo Emergency and Accident Ward has been transferred to the Neuro Intensive Care Unit. A hospital spokesman said that although the accident victim was transferred from the ICU where he was, to another ICU, his condition still remains serious. more..

PM intervenes to stop Independence Square cultural policing

Mar 7 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered the Culture Ministry to cancel the contract with this government owned security company, responsible for security at the Independence Square in Colombo. Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said the Prime Minister had instructed to remove the Director Operations of the company and to issue a statement, clearing the air on the matter. more..

Mirihana police team to question Minister Ranawaka

Mar 7 (Island) A team from Mirihana police is scheduled to question Minister Champika Ranawaka in connection with a recent accident where a vehicle allegedly driven by him collided with a motorcycle injuring the rider and the pillion rider at Rajagiriya. Police headquarters said fresh statements would be obtained from eyewitnesses Mohammed Sufai and Gayashan Vinura, two youth who submitted affidavits to court to the effect that they had found Ranawaka driving the vehicle when more..

Project Management Conference 2016 opens today in Colombo

Mar 7 (DN) Project Management Conference 2016 under the theme Orchestrate for Success will be held today at Galle Face Hotel, Colombo organized by PMI Sri Lanka Chapter. Shanaka de Silva, Executive Vice President PMI Colombo Chapter said over 300 participants (local and foreign) were expected for the Conference. He said the main objective of the conference was to share the knowledge of leading practices and what enterprises have done to build themselves. more..

Are we back to Viceroy Dixit era of overlordship?

Mar 7 (Island) Former Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris says that there has never been a previous instance of a foreign envoy challenging the role of the Opposition here. He was responding to Indian High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha’s recent verbal attack on the Joint Opposition and reference to former President Rajapaksa and Prof. Peiris. He said that a re-read of former Indian High Commissioner J.N. Dixit’s Assignment more..

Ranil on existing econ issue

Mar 7 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is due to make a special statement in Parliament tomorrow regarding the existing economic situation in the country and the tax system being introduced newly in order to improve national income while facing the current situation. According to this statement, Govt is scheduled to present in the upcoming few weeks, to Parliament an Interim Budget in connection with these tax proposals and income sources as well as regarding capital expenditure. more..

SF without desk and chair as minister

Mar 7 (Island) He was pleased to be appointed to a responsible ministry, but he was still without even a table or chair, said Regional Development Minister and Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka addressing the media after paying a courtesy call on the Most Venerable Mahanayake of Malwatte Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera. Responding to media queries he said, "I contested for the office of the president. I failed but my aspirations are now being fulfilled by the present President." more..

Minister and Deputy recruiting through backdoor

Mar 7 (CT) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Common Workers' Union accuses that, Minister Chandima Weerakkody and Deputy Minister Anoma Gamage are involved in holding interviews these days to recruit 150 of their close associates sans a proper procedure of recruitment, to Sri Lanka Petroleum Storage Terminal Limited. If the minister and the deputy minister are recruiting employees according to their private requirements more..