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Socialist Alliance demands local polls

Mar 1 (Island) Socialist Alliance led by left parties has called upon the govt to hold LG elections without further delay. General Secretary of Communist Party D.E.W. Gunasekera said that as the Socialist Alliance they condemned the govt’s decision to postpone the polls. He said they had learnt that there was a tug of war between the UNP and SLFP over the new Local Govt Election Act and that was the cause of the delay. more..

Govt pursuing new projects with China

Mar 1 (Island) With the USD 1.5 billion Colombo Port City Project back on track and fences mended with China, a high level govt delegation left for Beijing yesterday to pursue new business ventures and also sort out issues pertaining to some agreements that the Rajapaksa administration had entered into with China. Ministers Malik Samarawickrama and Sagala Ratnayake, both confidantes of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe more..

Facebook dispute leads to youth’s death

Mar 1 (Island) A 24-year-old youth at Kochchikade, Colombo 13, committed suicide yesterday by jumping off the 4th floor of the Muwadora Uyana housing complex at Thotalaga over a Facebook account dispute with his girlfriend. An investigating officer told The Island that the youth had gone to the apartment complex where his 20-year-old girlfriend lived to settle a dispute over some pictures posted on his Facebook page. more..

FR filed against arrest and detention of Yoshitha and 3 others

Mar 1 (AD) Fundamental Rights petitions filed before the Supreme Court on behalf of Yoshitha Rajapaksa and 3 others against their arrests and detention. FR has named IGP and FCID officers as respondents. FR claims that there was no basis for the arrest of the aforementioned and that their fundamental rights have been violated due to the arrest and detention hence seeking the courts intervention for their release. more..

Two attempt self-immolation during demo against Sri Lanka

Mar 1 (DC) High drama was witnessed during protest by state’s fishermen pressing a-three-point-charter of demands against the Sri Lankan govt on Monday at Nungambakkam after two participants attempted self-immolation. Fishermen from Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, and Thoothukudi, participated in the demonstration. Following the protest by fisherfolk, more..

Arrest warrant issued for Senthil Thondaman

Mar 1 (AD) The Hatton Magistrate’s Court today issued a warrant for the arrest of Senior Vice President of Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) and Uva Provincial Minister, Senthil Thondaman. Minister Palani Digambaran, who was the Deputy Minister of National Languages and Social Integration in the former govt, had filed a case in 2014 claiming that Thondaman and several Provincial Councilors had blocked his vehicle more..

Economic crisis looms: DEW

Mar 1 (DN) Sri Lanka Communist Party General Secretary DEW Gunasekera said that an economic crisis is looming and the govt will have to present another budget very soon. Gunasekera said that the intellectuals, MPs, Ministers and the media do not adequately bring these matters into discussion. He said that a number of crisis are surfacing and the economic crisis is the foremost. He added that more..

Return remaining lands swiftly: US to SL

Mar 1 (DM) While expressing support to Sri Lanka in fully implementing the commitments as agreed in the UNHRC resolution, the US has urged the Sri Lankan govt to return remaining lands to rightful owners swiftly. “The United States expressed support for the Govt’s plans for constitutional and legislative reform including public consultations on a new Constitution and the repeal of Prevention of Terrorism Act more..

Holding govt accountable

Mar 1 (CT) Last week, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya proposed that Standing Orders be amended making it compulsory for ministers to be present at oral question sessions to respond to queries regarding their ministries. Speaker said that frequent nonattendance of Ministers to respond to oral questions was a serious issue, adding that the party leaders too had brought the issue to his attention. "The irresponsible behaviour of the ministers of not attending parliamentary debates more..

Ranil’s ECTA: Moves an avatar of old style UNP ways?

Mar 1 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was spot on when chided those who are raising a hue and cry about the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperative Agreement (ETCA) with India. His point was simple: how can you object to something that does not exist? Correct. There’s no ETCA. Yet. That’s the catch. Yet. And it works both ways. Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva responding to those who have expressed various concerns about ECTA has affirmed his PM’s position. more..

Mahindananda Aluthgamage

Minister orders probe into attacks on Lankan fishermen

Mar 1 (Island) Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera had instructed the Sri Lanka Navy and Coast Guard to investigate the alleged attacks on Sri Lankan fishermen last Friday and Sunday by their Indian counterparts. Minister Amaraweera told The Island yesterday that he had decided to discuss with the Indian Central Government the continuous illegal fishing activities and the recent attacks on Sri Lankan fishermen in the Sri Lanka waters. more..

Homagama court unrest: Six monks among 11 released on bail

Mar 1 (AD) Eleven persons including 6 Buddhist monks, who were arrested and remanded for unruly behavior outside the Homagama Magistrate’s Court, have been granted bail by the court. Six Buddhist monks and 5 laypersons including a woman were produced before the court when the case was taken up today while Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake ordered that they each be released on a personal bail of Rs 500,000. They were accused of rioting outside the Magistrate Court on Jan 26 when more..

The Body Shop launches in Sri Lanka

Mar 1 (HN) Begins a new chapter in Sri Lanka with the launch of its new store continues celebrating 40 years of rich heritage in beauty. The Body Shop, the iconic global retailer of cosmetics and toiletries launched its new store in Sri Lanka today. The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by Dame Anita Roddick, in Littlehampton, England. Beauty brand pioneered social activism & was built on philosophy that business can be a force for good. more..

Video: Kumar Gunaratnam re-remanded

Mar 1 (DM) Activist of FSP Premakumar Gunaratnam alias Kumar Gunaratnam was re-remanded till March 14 when he was produced before Kegalle Magistrate today. Gunaratnam who possess the Australian citizenship, was arrested on Nov 4 by the Kegalle Police at Anguruwella for staying in the country in violation of Immigration and Emigration laws without a visa and later handed over to the Controller of Immigration and Emigration to seek a court order for his deportation. more..

Kidney Racket to be revealed after investigation conclude

Mar 1 (DN) A press conference will be called and all the details of the kidney racket will be revealed to the media once the investigation conducted by the team appointed by the IGP is completed, Director General - Health Services, DR. Palitha Mahipala said. According to him, revealing the details found during the investigation conducted by five member committee appointed by the Health Ministry will be unfair because revealing a part of the findings can give a wrong impression. more..

Video: Indian ambulance service to commence mid 2016: Harsha

Mar 1 (DM) Indian aided ambulance service would be commenced from mid this year, Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva today said. He said only four Indians would be given visas to come to Sri Lanka to operate the service and that selected 600 Sri Lankans would be trained in India to handle the paramedic service. Dr. De Silva said the service would be entirely a Govt venture and it would be monitored by a committee headed by more..

Thajudeen murder: CID obtain foreign assistance to retrieve CCTV footage

Mar 1 (AM) The CID were able to obtain assistance from the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Canada for the process of retrieving the CCTV footage related to the Wasim Thajudeen murder investigation, Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris was informed. CID said that they were able to obtain direct assistance after a request made through the Interpol. University of Colombo School of Computing experts who analysed the CCTV footage pertaining to the murdered former rugby player more..

Death toll in tipper-trishaw collision climbs to four

Mar 1 (AD) Another person wounded following yesterday’s accident involving a tipper truck and a three-wheeler has succumbed to injuries bringing the total death from the fatal crash to four persons including two children. Three persons died en route to hospital after a three-wheeler transporting 7 persons collided head-on with a tipper truck near Welmilla along the Bandaragama - Kesbewa road on Monday. A four-year-old boy, a 6-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy were more..

Joint Opp. to complain to Police Commission on Rajitha

Mar 1 (DM) Joint opposition said it would complain to Police Commission tomorrow against the then minister Rajitha Senaratne based on several charges including that of handing over of the Modera Fisheries Harbour to a private company without Cabinet approval. MP Kanchana Wijesekera said the harbour located on some 20 acres of land had been rented out for Rs.125,000 monthly to a company named, Sea Gulf UK. more..

Gammanpila warns of bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka

Mar 1 (CT) The bridge which connects Sri Lanka and India gives free entrance to the 51 m unemployed people and 400 m beggars in India to come to Sri Lanka, Leader of PHU Udaya Gammanpila said. The Indian Asian Development Bank (ADB) is prepared to invest $ 5m to construct the bridge, but Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament answering a question raised by Gammanpila that building a bridge connecting Sri Lanka and India is false information. more..

Rs. 216 Bn allocated for health

Mar 1 (DN) The highest ever monitory allocation made from the budget for the health sector in the history of Sri Lanka was recorded this year with Rs. 216 Billion. Three cancer hospitals to be built using part of the funds, Director General, Health Services, Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. He added that Rs. 45 Billion will be spent on purchasing drugs. Three cancer hospitals to be built at Thilippale, Kandy and Matara. Maternity Hospitals will also be developed using funds. more..

MR reveals UNP conspiracy to destroy SLFP

Mar 1 (LBO) I take pride in the fact that I built the strongest SLFP govt in our party’s history during my tenure in power. That govt was so strong that it could be defeated only by conspiratorially creating divisions in the party and a section of the SLFP joining the UNP in its campaign of vilification and false propaganda against my govt. The UNP by itself was in no position to defeat the SLFP govt that I built. Even after the defeat of my govt, more..

Following TNL debacle, SLRC awarded telecast rights of int'l cricket matches

Mar 1 (AM) Following the controversy regarding TNL being given the telecast rights of the Asian Cup, SL Rupavahini Corporation has been given telecast rights of international cricket matches for four years. Therefore, the SLRC will have the rights to telecast ICC tournaments such as ICC Champions Trophy, Women's World Cup, U-19 World Cup and the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Cricket fans across the country complained about TNL being awarded telecast rights of Asia Cup due to poor coverage. more..

Sri Lankan shares close near 2 year lows on ratings downgrade

Mar 1 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares fell more than 1.2% to close at its lowest in nearly two years in thin trade on Tuesday after Fitch Ratings downgraded the country's rating, while rising market interest rates also dampened market sentiment. On Monday, Fitch downgraded Sri Lanka's Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to B-plus from BB-minus on increasing refinancing risks, significant debt maturities, and weaker public finances. more..

Devananda video conferencing trial on Mar 5

Mar 1 (PTI) A local court sent a letter of intimation to the Additional City Public Prosecutor stating that video conferencing arrangements have been made to conduct the trial of former SL Minister Douglas Devananda in a nearly three decade-old murder case on March 5. IVth Additional Sessions Judge M Shanti also informed City Public Prosecutor to produce some of the prosecution witnesses on that day without fail. more..

Video: No plan to form new party: Udaya

Mar 1 (AM) PHU General Secretary Udaya Gammanpila said that he was not engaged in a project to form a new political party. Gammanpila said that the SLFP members who are opposed to President Sirisena's policy of surrendering the party to the UNP were planning to form a new party. PHU is engaged in an attempt to form a new alliance as an alternative to the UPFA, which is now a dying entity, he added. However, the official launch of the new alliance has been postponed indefinitely, more..

Police spokesman accuses media of tarnishing IGP’s image

Mar 1 (Island) Some media organisations had sought to tarnish the image of IGP, N.K. Illangakoon by implying that National Police Commission had foiled an attempt by IGP to promote his men, ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said. Denying the media reports, he said the decision to promote police officers to fill vacancies in the department had not been taken by the IGP, N.K. Illangakoon himself; it had been a collective decision taken by the DIGs on Dec 21, the ASP said. more..

Strict actions to prevent fraud & corruption in transport sector: President

Mar 1 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena directed the chairmen of Provincial Road Passenger Transport Authorities to initiate a proper program to prevent charging illegal taxes from bus owners and the drivers. President who stated that the new govt is paying special attention on these corrupt practices for quite a long time and emphasized that the govt, as a regime elected to end the fraud, corruption and irregularities in every field and more..

Nestlé to expand milk procurement network

Mar 1 (EN) Nestlé’s Sri Lanka unit said the company plans to expand its milk procurement network in the north this year and develop the potential of the region, which accounts for 22% of the country’s cattle. The Swiss food multinational said it paid 3.6 billion rupees in 2015 to almost 20,000 local farmers as payment for fresh milk to manufacture its products like Nespray, Milo and Milkmaid. “The company hopes to not only increase the supply and quality of milk but also more..

VIP patient gets an army of visitors

Mar 1 (DM) Over 100 well-wishers have already visited a prominent Sri Lankan politician currently undergoing treatment in a hospital in a foreign country. Political friends from countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and India have been among the visitors who have already been at his bedside. The well-wishers from Sri Lanka had travelled abroad to visit the politician at their own expense, they say. Given the steady increase in the number of visitors, the hospital authorities have decided to more..

US-SL strategic dialogue could lead to Sri Lanka's accepting land bridge with India

Mar 1 (ENS) US move to rope Sri Lanka into its Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor (IPEC) program may put pressure on Colombo to accept the Asian Development Bank-funded Indian project to build a bridge between India and Sri Lanka across the Palk Strait. Communiqué issued at the conclusion of the first US-Lanka Strategic Dialogue held in Washington, said that the “US encouraged SL participation in its Indo-Pacific more..

Marauding tusker forces closing of two schools

Mar 1 (Island) Two schools in the Galenbindunuwewa Education Zone were closed yesterday as a wild tusker from Ukkulam Kulam forest in Mihintale went on rampage. Two schools are the Ukkulum Vidyalaya and the Track Two Gemunu Maha Vidyalaya. Elephant stormed the villages on Sunday evening and was seen destroying trees and lamp posts. It has only a single tusk and is known among people as Thani Dalaya. Police, residents and the officials of Wildlife more..

Sri Lankan passport improves ranking in Visa Restriction Index

Mar 1 (AM) Sri Lankan passport has improved four positions from 2015, reaching the 96th place in the Visa Restriction Index for 2016. The list, compiled annually since 2006 by London-based consulting firm Henley and Partners and the International Air Transport Association, ranks nations by how freely their citizens, unencumbered by immigration red tape, can explore the planet. Germany has taken the first place in the list. With a German passport, travelers can enter 177 out of 218 countries more..

PRECIFAC Secretary Lacille de Silva removed; H.W. Gunadasa appointed

Mar 1 (AD) Retired SLAS (Special Grade) officer, H.W. Gunadasa, has been appointed as the new Secretary to the PRECIFAC. He currently serves as the Secretary to the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons. Hewa Wasalage Gunadasa, who has served as District Secretary/Govt Agent of Ratnapura District and Chief Secretary of Central Province, will take over from Lacille de Silva more..

Urgent need for a national policy on bilateral & multilateral agreements

Mar 2 (CT) Agreements entered into with States, International Organizations including UN subsidiary bodies (such as WTO IMF), and multinational companies (such as Google) are binding and tested by the World Court or by way of arbitrations or goodwill of the parties as there is no Executive body for the UN for the implementation of agreements by member states other than indirect methods such as Sanctions. Being a small Nation depending on Major powers and world and economic powers, more..

Rajapaksa’s retreat: Temporary truce or political imposture?

Mar 2 (GV) The unexpected defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa in the presidential elections was followed by a second defeat in the parliamentary elections. Despite these successive defeats, Rajapaksa shows no signs of giving up. He has effectively become an opposition leader outside of Parliament. Reduced political or moral authority has left his confidence unshaken. Rajapaksa and his supporters have sought refuge in a dangerous brand of Sinhalese supremacist ideology, which places them more..

M.I.A.’s father says

Mar 2 (CT) EROS Leader A.R. Arudpragasam alias Arular said that Sri Lanka should enact her own Constitution and should never rely on imperialist forces to resolve local issues. Q: Why did you choose to work with the TNA? A: We have not considered working with the TNA previously. There had been confusions and mistakes in delivering such a message through our party representatives. more..

Why not Tamil Buddhists, Mr. Minister?

Mar 2 (GV) Many of our MPs ought to be told that it is far wiser to keep their traps shut and be thought of as fools, rather than open it and remove all doubt. The latest to put his foot in his mouth (a seemingly favourite pastime of many a politico) is Minister Mano Ganesan. Minister appeared to be speaking on behalf of the majority of Tamils of Sri Lanka, when he claimed that most Tamils feel that Govt’s claim of 22,254 Tamil Buddhists in the island was a gross exaggeration. more..

A brief history of Tamil delusional politics

Mar 2 (CT) In 1968 Jaffna was facing an internal caste war which was threatening to tear it apart. The simmering caste conflict in Jaffna exploded with the low-castes, spurred by N. Shanmugathasan, head of the Peking-wing of the Communist Party, threatening to enter the Maviddipuram Temple – the segregated religious domain preserved exclusively for the high-caste Vellahlas from feudal and colonial times. It was, in a distant way, similar to the storming of the Bastille: more..