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China’s Port City to go ahead, land on lease, not freehold: Malik

Mar 9 (EN) Sri Lanka has sorted out differences with China on major projects with the biggest, a US$ 1.4 billion Port City real estate reclamation, about to be given approval, a minister said. “We discussed all outstanding issues, all outstanding matters have been resolved,” declared Minister Malik Samarawickrama, referring to his recent visit to China. “Now it’s all systems go as far as China is concerned.” more..

Trinity College signs MoU to admit Kuliyapitiya child

Mar 9 (DN) A MoU had been signed between Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and Principal of the Trinity College, Kandy Andrew Fowler-Watt today to grant admission to the 6-year-old child in Kuliyapitiya, who was deprived of a school due to false rumor. The boy was deprived of his right to education following a rumor which claimed to say that his father had allegedly been infected with HIV. more..

Case filed against Namal Rajapaksa

Mar 9 (DN) The FCID has filed charges against eight persons including MP Namal Rajapaksa for violating the Money Laundering Act when buying Govers Private Limited. FCID filed charges against the eight persons before Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris today including MP Namal Rajapaksa for allegedly purchasing Govers Private Limited spending 12.5 million rupees. more..

Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera arrested

Mar 9 (DN) Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department for allegedly possessing an elephant calf without a valid licence. Earlier, Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera of Alan Mathiniyaramaya Temple in Polhengoda filed a fundamental rights petition in Supreme Court seeking an order preventing the CID from arresting him over a magisterial inquiry for allegedly more..

Govt reiterates foreign judges won’t be acceptable

Mar 9 (Island) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe stressed that foreign participation in a judicial inquiry into alleged accountability issues during eelam war IV would be contrary to the Constitution. Therefore, there was absolutely no likelihood of foreign participation in the proposed judicial process scheduled to be launched in accordance with a resolution adopted unanimously in Geneva last October. more..

Indispensable...Accelerated regional development

Mar 9 (CT) The govt has laid the emphasis on regional development. It has appointed Sagala Ratnayaka as Minister for Southern Development, Sarath Nawinna for North Western Regional Development, Champika Ranawaka as Minister of Western Development and now, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka as Minister for Regional Development. UNF Govt of 2001-2004 under PM Ranil Wickremesinghe also had a Cabinet ranked Minister for all nine Provinces. more..

Four including Lankan woman get death sentence in Kuwait

Mar 9 (AD) A Criminal Court in Kuwait has sentenced four people to death – three Indian men and a Sri Lankan woman – for drug trafficking. The three were caught in a case related to heroin smuggling. The court found the four, including three men from Kerala guilty of possessing and selling the narcotic in the country. A case against them was registered in April 2015 following the bust at Kuwait International Airport. All four sentenced may appeal the verdicts within 30 days more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Shares hit near 27-month low on tax changes

Mar 9 (Reuters) Shares fell more than 2% on Wednesday, hitting their lowest level in about 27 months as a government move to hike value added tax (VAT) and reintroduce capital gains tax to qualify for an IMF loan weighed on sentiment. Sri Lanka will raise 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. The index ended 1.22% weaker at 5,862.35, more..

Mr. President, its outright racism

Mar 9 (CT) President Rajapaksa’s decade long era of governance saw unprecedented racism and hate against the minority communities in Sri Lanka. The (BBS and other Buddhist extremist groups were blamed for this bigotry. It is a well-known fact that the regime change in January 2015 was mainly due to the minority communities voting en-block against the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, which brought in the common candidate Maithripala Sirisena to the executive Presidency. more..

Sri Lanka ready for peace, says Erik Solheim

Mar 9 (Hindu) With President Maithripala Sirisena at the helm in Sri Lanka, this is the best opportunity to bring about a lasting solution to the country’s ethnic question, Norway’s former special peace envoy Erik Solheim said. “The strength of Sri Lankan democracy is such that it has removed Mahinda Rajapaksa from the President’s chair. While he assured an inclusive approach post-war to settle the ethnic question, he never more..

Video: No-confidence motion against Ravi

Mar 9 (DM) The Joint Opposition is planning to sign the second no-confidence motion against Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake today, Opposition MP Bandula Gunawardena said. MP Gunawardena told the media that they have decided to sign the no-confidence motion because of the current economic crisis and the tax reforms that was announced yesterday. The Joint Opposition filed a no confidence motion against the Finance Minister late last year but it was not taken up for debate. more..

SL media worse than judiciary: Victor Ivan

Mar 9 (Island) Having castigated the Sri Lankan judiciary, founding editor of Ravaya Victor Ivan alleged that the media was even worse. Victor Ivan said a vast section of the media had pathetically failed to deliver. Claiming that nothing could be expected of them, the onetime JVP front liner stressed that it would be the responsibility of journalists to make a difference. He was delivering a lecture to students of journalism at the Govt Information Department. more..

PM seeks probe into missing wartime Gold

Mar 9 (AFP) PM called for a probe into the whereabouts of vast quantities of gold held by the army, years after it was recovered from the island's former warzone. The army seized jewellery left behind by some 300,000 minority Tamil citizens who were driven out of their homes in the final stages of Sri Lanka's separatist war, which ended in 2009. About half the 150 kilograms (330 pounds) of gold recovered by the military during the war more..

Vasu accuses govt of dancing to the tune of Western masters

Mar 9 (Island) Former UPFA Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said the govt was taking the farmers for a ride by giving them false promises. He said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was acting according to the dictates of his western masters and President Maithripala Sirisena had been trapped by the PM. The govt was using the slogan of organic fertiliser to hoodwink the farmers and masses and the fertiliser subsidy would be a serious issue for the farmers and they would be forced to abandon farming and more..

EU Commissioner for International Cooperation to visit Sri Lanka

Mar 9 (CG) European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica is to visit Sri Lanka next week. Neven Mimica is in charge of ensuring the EU delivers on its commitments to the Millennium Development Goals to reduce poverty and setting out the Commission and EU positions for the negotiations on the UN Millennium Development Goal agenda. During the visit he will have talks with the Govt and will also open new premises of Delegation more..

'Not mentally prepared to lead Sri Lanka'

Mar 9 (IANS) Skipper Angelo Mathews said he was not mentally prepared to lead the side in the World Twenty20 cricket tournament after Lasith Malinga stepped down as captain at the last minute. Malinga resigned on Monday citing knee injuries. 27-day tournament got underway in Nagpur on March 8 and will be played at eight venues across India with Eden Gardens in Kolkata scheduled to host the final on April 3. more..

Anura asks for debate on tax policy

Mar 9 (LT) Leader of JVP Anura Dissanayaka asked in Parliament a two day debate regarding the tax policy the govt is following at the moment. He said the debate should be held on the 23rd and the 24th of this month - the third week the Parliament is in session for the month. Mr. Dissanayaka asked what had happened to medium term and long term economic strategies Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe presented to parliament after the budget 2016 and the matter that was approved from budget. more..

Govt accused of going for USD 1 billion IMF loan with negative conditions

Mar 9 (Island) Opposition charged in Parliament that govt was planning to borrow USD 1 billion from the IMF with a string of constricting conditions. MEP Leader Dinesh Gunwardena said govt was trying to borrow a huge sum as the country’s economy was falling apart. He demanded that a lengthy debate be held on the statement made by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to the House. "Govt is planning on borrowing USD 1 billion from the IMF on conditions that would be detrimental to the country. more..

Video: Mahinda Amaraweera new UPFA General Secretary

Mar 9 (DM) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera was appointed as UPFA General Secretary at the party's Executive Committee meeting at President Sirisena's residence late last night. His name was proposed by the President and seconded by Minister S.B. Dissanayake. MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena, who is a key member of Joint Opposition also expressed his support. Position was vacated by the recent demise more..

India to finance three water projects in SL

Mar 9 (PTI) India today signed an agreement with Sri Lanka to provide over $400 million to finance three water supply projects in the country that would benefit at least one million consumers. The agreement, between the Export-Import Bank of India and Sri Lanka's National Water Supply and Drainage Board, was inked in the presence of the Minister Rauff Hakeem and the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo, YK Sinha. The buyers credit arrangement is worth $403.1 million, more..

One killed in a dispute at a night club

Mar 9 (DN) One person was killed in a dispute that took place in a night club in Liyanagemulla-Seeduwa area erarly this morning. The deceased is a 22 year old identified as Gayan Kodikara, a resident of Liyanagemulla, Seeduwa. He had been admitted to the Hospital and succumbed to injuries while being transferred to Ragama Teaching hospital for further treatments. An argument with another guest to the night club had escalated into a dispute which eventually ended up in a murder, more..

Video: Court orders to record a statement from Champika

Mar 9 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate today directed the Borella Police to record a statement from Minister Champika Ranawaka in connection with the Rajagiriya accident which left two youths injured. Magistrate issued this directive when a motion filed by the aggrieved party was taken up in the Court today. Two affidavits were submitted to Court by two eye witnesses of the accident. more..

Twenty MPs nominated to Sectoral Oversight Committee on Education

Mar 9 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament yesterday that 20 MPs had been nominated to the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Education and Human Resources. The committee members are: Priyankara Jayaratne, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Nihal Galappatti, Gamini Lokuge, Sirinal de Mel, Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, Seeniththambi Yogeshwaran, S. Sritharan, Thushara Amarasena, Velu Kumar, Dr Nalinda Jayatissa, Susith Perera, Ibrahim Mansoor, more..

Vimukthi will shun politics

Mar 9 (CT) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga asserted that her only son Vimukthi Kumaratunga will never get entangled in the nation's politics. She made this remark at the SLFP Women's Wing event to mark International Women's Day. Kumaratunga added that "I am not used to demanding portfolios from anyone. My son also will never be involved in politics of this country. I am of the firm view that family oriented politics should not be maintained in this country forever. more..

65% of SL’s women are eligible to work

Mar 9 (CT) Although more women go on to achieve a higher education, many of them are not willing to work, perhaps the question can be raised as to whether it is necessary to provide higher education, if women are not willing to work and make a social return from the education they have garnered, said Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva. State minister Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle disagreed with De Silva and more..

Hunger strike in empathy with protesting prisoners

Mar 9 (CT) A hunger strike was launched on Monday in Jaffna urging the immediate release of all Tamil political prisoners detained over a long period of time, in various prisons island-wide. A large number of people including the families and children of political prisoners participated in this protest which began at 7 a.m. in front of the Muniyappar Temple and organized by the Mannar Citizens Committee on Monday. Several parties were demanding the release of Tamil political prisoners more..

Women for Rights commemorate Women's Day

Mar 9 (LT) A commemoration of Women's Day was held by Women for Rights organization at New Town Hall Colombo yesterday simultaneous with the 126th International Women's Day. The 2nd National Convention of Women for Rights too was held concurrent with the Women's Day commemoration held under the theme Win women's rights without being restricted to percentages. Lecturer Saroja Paulraj was elected the President of Women for Rights and Mrs. Samanmalee Gunasinghe more..

'CB Bond scam caused economic crisis, not MR regime'

Mar 9 (DM) Joint Opposition slammed PM Ranil Wickremesinghe for accusing Rajapaksa regime of current economic crisis and charged that the recent tax reforms were a result of Central Bank Bond sale scam which took place a year ago. UPFA MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said PM’s argument was that the actions of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Govt had caused economic crisis, which he said was a lie. “This is an utter lie. more..

Minister instructs authorities to probe image of eagle skinned alive

Mar 9 (CG) Minister of Wildlife Gamini Jayawickreme Perera has instructed the authorities to investigate an image showing an eagle allegedly being skinned alive in Sri Lanka. Minister has instructed the police and the CID to investigate the images which appeared on social media and take appropriate action. Wildlife Ministry said that the men in the image have already been identified and will be arrested soon. Minister said that the identity of the suspects must be exposed in media more..

Deceased donor kidney transplant for first time in Sri Lanka

Mar 9 (DN) A Cadaveric donor/deceased donor kidney transplant system was officially launched in Sri Lanka for the first time by Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala. Kidney donation can be done legally in a methodical manner which assists a large number of patients who are in need of kidneys. Dr. Mahipala launched the system during a media seminar at the Health Education Bureau, Colombo yesterday. "Any Sri Lankan can fill a form and declare his or her more..

Thai Deputy PM in Sri Lanka to promote tourism, industry

Mar 9 (EN) Thai Deputy PM in Charge of Economic Affairs Somkid Jatusripitak has arrived in Sri Lanka on a 5-day official visit to promote economic and trade ties between the two countries. Jatusripitak held bilateral talks with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera Wednesday. The visit is a follow up to the visit of President Maithripala Sirisena to Thailand in Nov 2015. Two sides will sign agreements on technical co-operation and more..

Kiriella fiasco & politicization of university system

Mar 10 (CT) The recent incident sending a letter by Minister Lakshman Kiriella to the head of the Department, Political Science, University of Kelaniya has become a widely discussed issue in the media. The Minister’s act should be decried and no doubt it is an effort to politicize the University system. However, bold statements of politicization would never help to transform the system positively. Wide and deep discussion should be brought out in order to understand the situation and de-politicize more..

Minister’s disclosure, HIV and our social responsibility

Mar 10 (CT) HIV and AIDS has long been a topic that polarises society, be it western or eastern. While scientists are still coming up with theories as to the origin of this retrovirus, what is clear about it now is how it’s transmitted. The most well known methods of transmission are unprotected sexual intercourse, blood contamination, especially through intravenous needle sharing at drug abuse. All of these methods are associated with social vices hence the stigma attached to more..

Glitches in the grid?

Mar 10 (SO) While it has been speculated that lightning may have been the reason for the power failure which plunged the country into utter darkness for over four hours on February 25, officials at the CEB were quick to point out that it may take weeks to establish the factors that led to it. “Our initial suspicion was that lightning may have tripped the main supply at a key distribution point, but other causes such as technical fault more..

Action against those who robbed State: SF

Mar 10 (NS) Q: In the recent times, before you were appointed MP and then a minister, you have been quite silent pertaining to your views and criticism on the current govt. But do you have any concerns pertaining to the progress made by the govt on any aspect? A: Basically, the current govt is doing what it should do in relation to development, law and order and such aspects. Of course there are certain issues. Those who voted for the current president on Jan 8, last year, expected that more..

Should we borrow from the IMF?

Mar 10 (NS) There is quite some uncertainty as to whether the govt would borrow from the IMF to tide over the current Balance of Payments (BoP) crisis. Governor of the Central Bank has gone on record recently that we will not go with a begging bowl to the IMF to borrow as the country has other sources from which it could borrow. On the other hand, there is news that the govt has sought a loan of US$ 1 billion from the IMF that has laid down stringent conditions for giving the loan. more..

'Govt treating media like trash'

Mar 10 (SL) UPFA MP from the joint opposition Prasanna Ranatunga claims that when he was the Chief Minister of the Western Province, the provincial council had a fixed deposit of over Rs. 7000 million and it was with the interest of that money that the PC activities were carried out. However he alleges that during the budget, this govt had utilised Rs. 3500 million of that for other purposes. more..

Timely wake up call to save the country

Mar 10 (DM) Every Sri Lankan, keen on the welfare of at least our future generations, should appreciate Dr. Ranga Kalanasooriya’s thought-provoking article in the Daily Mirror on Feb 19, on the need for Buddhist and Muslim harmony. Titled An open letter to my dear Muslim brothers and sisters-Buddhist-Muslim relations could be warmer The writer rightly pointed out that the main factors that fuel ethno-religious tension are suspicion, lack of understanding and absence of more..

Can MR Break through with Black Magic?

Mar 10 (CT) Coconuts play a vital role in the politics of Mahinda Rajapaksa and his loyalists. They believe that fruitful results are emerging from the lakhs of coconuts they dashed into bits at kovils and temples against the govt and its members' Results are surfacing as an outcome of dashing coconuts', said Mahinda Rajapaksa having paid homage to the Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy. When he made that statement at the entrance to the Temple, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne was bed-ridden in more..