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Sex Work: The untold story

Feb 8 (DM) Where do I start? Priyani (not her real name) asks looking down at her hands. Priyani is a former sex worker who, with much difficulty, had managed to escape a life of hell. When asked to share her story – years of abuse and misery – she takes a moment to think back to when she first got roped in and tied to the trade. I was a security officer, she begins. “I met a friend at the security office who took me to a massage more..

Noose tightens around Thajudeen killers

Feb 8 (SL) The CID is due to arrest a former DIG who allegedly had a direct hand in closing down the police investigation into the mysterious death of Havelock Sports Club Rugby player and Vice Captain of the Sri Lanka Rugby Team Wasim Thajudeen. Police sources who wish to remain anonymous said two other police officers who were attached to Kirulapone and Narahenpita police stations too are to be arrested for more..

Singapore-style online tax system

Mar 8 (ST) A Singapore style tax collection system where payments and transactions made by individuals and companies with 26 state institutions will be monitored from Inland Revenue Department (IRD) will come into effect in October, Tax chief Kalyani Dahanayake said. New system would enable the department to use a computerised network to expand the collection of taxes and draw new tax payers into the system. more..

The sun-kissed beach where the two sides of Sri Lanka collide

Feb 8 (TN) KINROSS Beach clings to the oceans of mother India like a child, wild by day and then gently sleeping at sunset. This is where two versions of Sri Lanka clash: wealthy tourists hotels to the north and poverty-blighted fishing villages to the south. It is Colombo’s biggest urban beach, stretching along the southern suburbs of the city, parallel to the main railway line to Galle, and boxed in by Marine Drive, a new motorway that tries more..

Health unions accuse govt of adopting Rajapaksa policies

Mar 10 (Island) National Professionals’ Front (NPF) accused the govt of implementing certain sections of the 6/2006 salary circular issued by the previous administration creating a major rift between different categories of employees in the free health service. President of NPF, Ravi Kumudesh said the new salary revision circular 3/2016 had unwittingly brought in sections of the 6/2006 circular which the health services had vehemently rejected. more..

Veddah Chief wants Community’s recognition

Mar 8 (CT) The Chief of the Veddah Community in Sri Lanka Uruvarige Wannila-aththo says, it was regrettable that the indigenous people like his community do not get any recognition from whatever govt is in power and such concepts need to change fast. He had made this remark to the Committee set up in Badulla which was seeking views from the public ahead of the formulation of a new Constitution. more..

'Sri Lanka only country with two heads of state'

Feb 8 (DN) Sri Lanka is the only country having two heads of state, NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa said. He said when the country made a regime change saying it cannot upkeep one head of state, it has now been called upon to upkeep two heads of state at a time instead. Weerawansa made these observations delivering a lecture themed Mathroobhoomiye Ganaka Avasanaya (end of the road for motherland) at Angunakolapelessa more..

Nearly 5000 patients with chronic kidney disease per year

Mar 8 (PSL) Nearly 5000 patients with chronic kidney disease per year reported, Ministry of Health revealed. According to the Ministry the main causes for the disease are the use of agricultural chemicals, diseases like diabetic and high blood pressure. Special attention of President has been drawn in this regard, and President has given instructions to Secretary of Health Ministry to submit a report to him on this issue as soon as possible. more..

Women’s rights activists flay Akila for trying to separate child from HIV positive mother

Mar 8 (Island) Women’s rights activists condemned Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam for publicly calling for the separation of a child in Kuliyapitiya from his mother, after being denied school admission due to rumours that his mother is HIV positive. Minister has told the media that the Zonal Education Director told him the boy’s mother was HIV positive and his father had died of AIDS and, therefore, the child should more..

SL calls for int'l aid for war-torn regions

Mar 8 (Xinhua) Govt on Tuesday said it would call for international investments and assistance to develop former war torn areas in the north and east. State Minister Niroshan Perera, said the govt would convene a donor conference this year to seek technical and financial assistance for the north and east and had requested Japan to take the lead. "When the PM visited Japan, he requested the Japanese govt to take the lead. more..

Fertilizer subsidy irks govt

Mar 8 (CT) Last week, the JVP warned the govt that it will block the six major entry points to the metropolis and stage a massive protest by the end of March, if the current administration fails to resolve the burning issues of farmers countrywide. These issues majorly include, the problems regarding fertilizer subsidy. In Sri Lanka, farmers are often the poorest of the poor. In spite of the glorious boastings about Sri Lanka being an agrarian society which even exported paddy, more..

Ranil blames Akila over Kuliyapitiya HIV controversy

Mar 8 (CT) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has come under severe flak from PM Ranil Wickremesinghe over his failure to curb the Kuliyapitiya incident from getting out of hand and making a highly serophobic comment. Kariyawasam, it is learnt had complained about MP Ranjan Ramanayake visiting Kuliyapitiya to meet the 6 year old child who was deprived from attending school as it was rumoured that he was HIV+. Education minister had said that Ramanayake had more..

Jeevan Thiagarajah

Minister’s mockery in HIV prevention

Mar 8 (CT) Which is more damaging; The harm to the child or the harm done to the HIV prevention program ? In my opinion it is the latter. As much as it may sound unbecoming of a doctor to choose a program over a person, there are enough and many reasons to justify my decision. First of all, there is a National STD/AIDS Control Program (NSACP) in Sri Lanka. The program is funded by both government and international aid. Almost half of the funds come from international aid programs. more..

Shares slump to near 2-year low on tax woes

Mar 8 (Reuters) Shares fell more than 2% on Tuesday, marking their lowest close in nearly two years as the govt reintroduced capital gains tax and raised value added tax (VAT) as part of its efforts to qualify for an IMF loan. Rising market interest rates also weighed on investor sentiment. SL will raise its VAT and reintroduce capital gains tax to break out of a debt trap, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Tuesday, ahead of talks on a $1.5-billion loan it is seeking from the IMF. more..

Technical team sent to South Africa to study TRC process

Mar 8 (CG) A technical team has been sent to South Africa to study the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) process established after the abolition of apartheid, Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament. However he said while there are many ideas Sri Lanka can take from South Africa, the final solution will be one which will address the needs of Sri Lanka. Minister also said that the Govt is committed to address more..

Canada and Sri Lanka signed memorandum on UNITERRA

Mar 8 (GDI) Canadian Assistant Deputy Minister for Global Affairs Susan Gregson, and the Director General, Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs Priyantha Rathnayake recently signed a memorandum in favor of a Canadian Volunteer Cooperation Program in SL. This 5-year program, called UNITERRA, will support the growth of market and employment opportunities of women and youth in the garment, tourism and hospitality sectors through the exchange of skilled volunteers. more..

Thai deputy PM and delegation here to follow up President’s visit

Mar 8 (Island) Somkid Jatusripitak, Deputy PM of Thailand, will pay an official visit to Sri Lanka on 8-11 March 2016. Thai delegation comprises about 130 personnel from govt and private sectors. The objective of the visit is to follow up on the official visit made by President Sirisena to Thailand on 1-4 Nov 2015, relating to trade and investment between Thailand and Sri Lanka in sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, tourism, construction, consumer goods and pharmaceuticals. more..

MS takes on Ranil’s ministry, calls for explanation on Sharia banking

Mar 8 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena has called for explanation from the Secretary of the Ministry of National Policy and Economic Affairs M.I.M. Rafeek as to whether the Sharia banking practice is been introduced to the country by following the respective laws and regulations of Sri Lanka. Sirisena’s Additional Secretary, S.T. Kodikara, in a letter addressed to Rafeek has called for explanation within 2 weeks on the matter. more..

Welikada shooting: Suspect arrested

Mar 8 (DM) A 26-year-old man was arrested last night in connection with the shooting incident where a pregnant woman was injured outside the Welikada prison last week. Police said the Colombo Crimes Division arrested the suspect at Midigama in Weligama. The police also recovered a hand grenade and five mobile phones from the suspect's procession. A pregnant woman was injured when two gunmen arrived on a motorbike and opened fire at her. She was with an old woman and child, more..

MSG to be removed within next two weeks

Mar 8 (DN) All Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) available in the local market will be removed within next two weeks and special permits will be issued to hotels etc. to import MSG in small quantities, Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. He said that MSG is an approved flavour enhancer but it is discovered that now it is being used for other purposes such as substitute for insecticides and imported to Sri Lanka in extremely large quantities than the required amount. more..

Azath Salley quits as UNP PC member

Mar 8 (DN) Azath Salley said, he had informed the Central Provincial Council that he has decided to resign from the PC as a UNP member. Salley said that he had also informed the UNP about his decision. Salley who contested the 2013 PC polls from Kandy district, came first in UNP list whilst securing 55,385 preferential votes. When queried about his decision to quit, Salley said that it was to reorganize his own party, the NUF. more..

February tea prices at two-year low

Mar 8 (EN) Prices at tea auction in Colombo in February remained below the levels two years ago with low grown varieties, which make up the bulk of crop, the worst hit. Although prices of high grown varieties perked up the tea industry continues to suffer from the continuing slump in commodity markets and problems in key markets like the Middle East and Russia. Monthly auction average prices of teas grown at all three elevations were lower in Feb 2016 compared with a year ago. more..

Video: RTI yet to get NPC nod

Mar 8 (AD) The Right to Information Bill will be presented to Parliament at the next sitting session, once it gets Northern Provincial Council (NPC) nod, Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Gayantha Karunathilaka says. The observation was made at the Parliament this morning (08). “There was a slight delay in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) in giving consent to the Bill. It will be presented to the House at the next session," he added. more..

International Women’s Day: Media Show

Mar 8 (PSL) “The women can be empowered only through providing them a developed educational and vocational competency helping them to attain secured jobs and removing the legal and social barriers that prevents them from reaching positions of social leadership”, says President Maithripala Sirisena. Issuing a message for International Women’s Day, he stated that the women in SL have become main source of more..

Video: Yoshitha's bail revision: Order fixed for March 14

Mar 8 (DM) The order on the bail revision applications filed on behalf of Yoshitha Rajapaksa and four others was fixed for March 14 by Colombo High Court Judge A.A.R. Heiyanthuduwa today. The date was fixed after considering the submissions made by the petitioners and the respondents. Counsel Gamini S. Marapana submitted counter arguments on behalf of the petitioners while Senior State Counsel Thusith Mudalige appeared for the respondents. more..

Malaka Silva assault case: Court releases CCTV footage

Mar 8 (DM) Court today released the CCTV footage which was in its custody to the Cinnamon Gardens Police so that it could conduct further investigations into the case where former minister Mervyn Silva’s son Malaka was allegedly attacked at the Odel car park on July 29, 2013. The case was taken up for inquiry by Colombo Chief Magistrate. Malaka was reported to have been hospitalized after 12 men wearing clothes similar to those worn by security forces had assaulted him more..

Yahapalana Deal: Duminda justifies Rs. 21mn monthly rental for his ministry

Mar 8 (DM) Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake said today the monthly rental of Rs. 21 million inclusive of the rental for a separate vehicle park for the ministry at a new building in Rajagiriya was not that excessive compared to the rentals of the ministries at the World Trade Centre (WTC). Cabinet last week approved a proposal by the ministry to relocate it to a building in Rajagiriya at a monthly rent of Rs. 21 million. more..

Govt sets ambitious goal on internet use this year

Mar 8 (CG) The Govt has set an ambitious goal on the use of internet in Sri Lanka by the end this year, which includes increasing the number of internet users in the country to 50% from the current 25%, Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure Harin Fernando said. He told a seminar in Colombo today on internet governance, that Sri Lanka hopes to use the Google Loon project to have the entire country covered with 10 MBPS internet coverage. more..

Sri Lankan refugee’s body cremated

Mar 8 (Hindu) Body of the Sri Lankan refugee, S. Ravindran (48), who committed suicide near the refugee camp at Uchapatti on Sunday, was cremated on Monday after post-mortem. Police said that a case of abetment to suicide was registered against retired Revenue Inspector Duraipandian, who was accused of having shouted at Ravindran to go ahead with his suicide plan. During a periodical roll call on Sunday, Duraipandian had marked absent for Ravindran, who had gone out more..

Video: 'Nelum Pokuna looks like a commode'

Mar 8 (DM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga said that Nelum Pokuna performance theatre, in Colombo was an eyesore that looks like a commode (Kakkussi Pochchiya) and blamed the former Rajapaksa govt of changing the initial concept she had of creating a public cultural centre. “Nelum Pokuna constructed looks ugly like a toilet commode. Sorry for saying it. Every day when I come out of the house I see it. more..

Change in hot weather likely

Mar 8 (DM) A slight change is expected in the prevailing hot weather being experienced in several parts of the country, the Meteorology Department said. It said a few showers would occur in the Eastern and Uva Provinces and in the Hambantota district. “Showers or thundershowers will occur at several places in the Western, North-Western, Sabaragamuwa and Central provinces and in the Galle and Matara Districts in the afternoon,” the Met Department said. more..

'Govt will be toppled within next two years'

Mar 8 (DN) UPFA MP Prasanna Ranatunga said the anti-government campaign cannot be blunted by his removal from the party organiser post in Minuwangoda because the govt would be definitely toppled within the next two years. Addressing a meeting of the Minuwangoda SLFP Balamandalaya, he said he would never shelve his people-friendly political campaign however much he was removed from party posts or positions. Ranatunga said he would join hands with Mahinda Rajapaksa more..

Late changes to SL World T20 squad

Mar 8 (CI) Lasith Malinga has stepped down as Sri Lanka's T20 captain ahead of the World T20 in India, but will remain part of the squad. Angelo Mathews will lead the team in his place. The team is hopeful Malinga can be available for their first match on March 17, though that is dependent on his recovery over the next week. SL's new selection committee have also made two other changes to their squad for World T20, more..

Video: D.V. Upul arrested & released on bail

Mar 8 (DM) Southern Provincial Council Fisheries Minister D.V. Upul, who was arrested over an assaulting incident, has been released on bail by the Tissamaharama Magistrate. Upul was released on a personal bail of Rs. 50,000 after being produced before Magistrate Udayangani Rajapaksa. The police said that the Minister had surrendered to the police this morning for allegedly assaulting an individual during an event held at Tissamaharama President’s collage on March 5. more..

Aruna Lekamge appointed as the Director of Mahaweli Center

Mar 8 (PSL) Aruna Lekamge has been appointed as the new Director of the Mahaweli Center. He received his letter of appointment from President Maithripala Sirisena today. He is filling the vacancy occurred due to the death Prof. Vishva Varnapala. Lekamge was a special student at Finance and Management Faculty of the University of Colombo and completed his post graduate studies gaining special MSc in Risk Management at Manchester Metropolitan University in UK. more..

Sri Lanka hikes VAT, taxes capital gains before IMF loan talks

Mar 8 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will raise its value added tax and reintroduce capital gains tax to break out of a debt trap, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Tuesday, ahead of talks on a $1.5-billion loan it is seeking from the IMF. Sri Lanka's finances are under scrutiny after ratings agency Fitch last week downgraded its sovereign rating by a notch, to "B+", spurred by a ballooning fiscal deficit, rising foreign debt and sluggish growth prospects. more..

Gotabaya clarifies; The international efforts to rescue the Tiger leaders in 2009

Mar 9 (CT) I am deeply entangled in drafting an article entitled Saving Talaivar Prabhakaran, an effort that has involved several revisions and is now subject to further embellishments in the light of Mark Salter’s presentation of the Norwegian spin on events in the last stages of Eelam War IV. A chance inquiry from a friend put me in touch with the former Defence Minister, Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Skype telephone on Monday. I was in pursuit of a specific piece of information relating to more..

S P Jeevanantham: Eminent teacher and social worker

Mar 9 (GV) The Principal of St. Johns College, Jaffna, in appealing for contributions to a memorial fund in the name of the late S.P.Jeevanantham, has described him as a great educationist and humanist who taught two generations of students under six principals over a period of thirty two years. Mr. Jeevanantham has been closely linked to four generations of my family in diverse ways. I know him best as a social activist who had contributed significantly to my initiating more..

'It is not SLFPers who want to break up SLFP'

Mar 9 (CT) Former State Minister of Culture and Arts, and Matale District SLFP MP Nandimithra Ekanayake rubbished the allegations made by the Joint Opposition, which indicated that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe or the President was interfering with the probes conducted by the FCID. He asserted that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is a leader with a vision and does not harbour any personal agenda to witch-hunt or cause more..