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Final rites of the Most Ven. Galagama Sri Aththadassi Thera today

Mar 13 (ST) The State funeral of the late Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiri Chapter of the Siyam Nikaya -Aggamaha Panditha Most Ven. Galagama Sri Aththadassi Thera- will be held at the Police Grounds in Kandy today. Govt has declared today as a day of national mourning to mark the passing away of the Thera. An appeal has also been made to schools in Kandy to postpone their annual big match encounters as a mark of respect. more..

Accord citizenship to Sri Lankan Tamils living in camps: PUCL

Mar 13 (Hindu) State govt should initiate steps to accord citizenship to the inmates of Sri Lankan refugee camps, said R. Murali of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL). Releasing the report of a fact-finding team that visited the Uchapatti refugee camp near here following the death of S. Ravindran (48), a refugee, Dr. Murali regretted that all political parties in the State were concerned about Tamils living in SL and did not look at the pathetic condition of those in refugee camps. more..

5th Colombo International Theatre Festival from April 1-6

Mar 13 (Island) 5th Colombo International Theatre Festival, organized by the Inter Act Art Organization, has been actively involved in different activities of culture and art in Sri Lanka for the past 25 years. Germany, India, Georgia and Italy will be joining hands with Sri Lanka to make this festival rich with cultural diversity and theatrical techniques around the world. This year, Parakrama Niriella, a veteran of SL theatre, will be felicitated at this festival for his enormous contribution to arts for decades. more..

Representatives of reconciliation should educate both North & the South: President

Mar 13 (PSL) “The representatives of the reconciliation should visit not only the North, but also the South. They should educate the people in the North and the South about the reconciliation process”, says President Maithripala Sirisena. He was addressing the ceremony to hand over 701 acres of lands to original owners who lost their lands during the war. The ceremony was held today (12) at the Nadeswara Vidyalaya in Thelippalei. more..

On the spot drug detection for errant drivers

Mar 13 (SO) In the wake of increasing narcotic use by errant bus drivers on long distance buses, the police will purchase on-the-spot narcotic detecting machines to take action against the suspects, DIG Traffic Amarasiri Senaratne said. Police will crack down on errant drivers following the alarming trend of long distance bus drivers being under the influence of cannabis and other narcotics. “At present, we have no way to detect if a driver is under the influence of drugs, more..

Rs 2 Billion JEDB mega land scam

Mar 13 (CT) Unfolding right now in Colombo's drawing rooms is the latest stink relating to a major land scam involving a 273 perch extent of prime land belonging to the Janatha Estates Development Board that's on the cards to be leased out for a comparative pittance. The land will be leased to Paint Lanka Ltd on a 99 year lease at Rs 4 million a perch despite the market price being Rs 8 million a perch. This decision has been taken following a meeting reportedly chaired by more..

Sri Lankan teller helps bust world’s biggest bank fraud

Mar 13 (ST) SL authorities have launched a massive probe into a dubious NGO here that tried to sneak in millions of US dollars stolen by Chinese hackers from Bangladesh Central Bank, govt officials here said, adding that this is part of a global crackdown on a money laundering scam. Scam, which hit media headlines across the world, was thwarted two weeks ago by an alert teller at the Colombo branch of a foreign bank when more..

SLRC gave MR free air time worth Rs. 36.9 million

Mar 13 (SL) The Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) gave former President Mahinda Rajapaksa over Rs. 36.9 million worth of air time free for his election propaganda work during the last Presidential election campaign. This was revealed in the audit of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation conducted by the Auditor General’s Department. Apart from this, it was also revealed that air time worth Rs. 2.2 million was used to promote Rajapaksa in SLRC productions. more..

Police look out for 6 more suspects in Sea Eagle killing

Mar 13 (ST) Habaraduwa Police are on the lookout for six more suspects believed to have skinned a Sea Eagle alive, two of the eight suspects were arrested and remanded till March 24, while further investigations were under way to arrest the others. The suspects in custody are Petthadurage Chaminda Kumara and Kaluwahandirage Sisira. “We located the area where the incident took place and found the rest of the bird’s beak, along with the knife used and the cutting board,” more..

Sirisena isolating Rajapaksa, also brings UPFA under his fold

Mar 13 (ST) It has been an important and significant week for the eight-month-old UNF Govt. The brewing economic crisis spilled over to the public domain. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe spelt out in Parliament on Tuesday some of the key measures to cope with the issue. More are due. Parliament also unanimously approved a resolution moved by him, with important amendments, for a Constitutional Assembly, more..

The Politics of Economic Austerity

Mar 13 (Island) From time immemorial, humans have imaged their heavens, the ones in the sky and the ones on earth. Thomas More, dreamer and politician, saint and persecutor of religious dissenters, called his own version of the ideal state Utopia, a name he coined from the Greek, meaning no place. Perhaps he meant it as a signal or even warning. After all, utopias are not finished products but works in progress. They can be lodestars, but never reachable destinations. more..

ETCA needs patient explanation

Mar 13 (Island) ETCA is receiving much coverage, some rational, a lot ignorant, and a not insignificant portion simply to stir up anti this-government sentiment. My piece last week (Dealing with the elephant next door) despite its title, was not about ETCA but generic about international economic and technical cooperation. Nevertheless it attracted e-mails, phone calls, a TV debate and even a seminar. Perhaps this was because it appeared on page facing Kishani Jayasinghe’s dignified more..

Did Prabhakaran visit kovil in Matale?

Mar 13 (CT) Sri Lanka is predominantly a Buddhist country. Majority of the population are Buddhists. Amid this Buddhist environment many other religions flourish. Unlike in other countries, there have not been religious clashes at any time. Sri Lankans can be proud of it. While protecting Buddhism we have to preserve the heritage of other religions. Our recent visit to the Muthumariamman Kovil in Matale proved more..

Game reserve in Hambantota soon

Mar 13 (ST) The National Zoological Department says that plans are afoot to open a game reserve at Ridiyagama in the Hambantota District – the first of its kind ever to be built in Sri Lanka at the end of this month. The foundation stone for this project was laid on December 28, 2008. It is estimated that more than .Rs. 2,600 m. is to be spent on this project. This game reserve of about 500 acres will consist of three zones, more..

Reduce fuel prices: JVP

Mar 13 (CT) The JVP said strong public agitations would be launched unless the govt took action to reduce fuel prices in accordance with globally reduced crude prices. The JVP demanded that the govt immediately goes public with a new lower pricing formula for the consumer's benefit with appropriate Cabinet approval as earlier reported. Minister Chandima Weerakkodi said on 10 March in Parliament that the price formula had been more..

Foreign Ministry: Up, up and away

Mar 13 (ST) Records are tumbling at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Minister Mangala Samaraweera who was away from SL for 20 days returned to Colombo for only one day. The next day he went to South Korea. This time he was accompanying Foreign Employment Minister Thalatha Athukorale who was in Seoul to find more employment opportunities for Sri Lankan youth. There was a time when SL gave up its bid more..

More favour legalized abortions

Mar 13 (NS) According to a recent study, majority of the people are in favour of legalizing abortion in the event of rape, incest and severe fetal abnormalities, Director of the Mental Health Unit, Dr. Chithramalee de Silva said. She highlighted that although the revision of the law governing abortion needed reconsideration as the matter had not been discussed at any forum since 2015 January. more..

Thilanga’s payback politics puts SLC on a sticky wicket?

Mar 13 (SL) In a stunning revelation, details of how the cash-strapped Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) spent nearly Rs. 39 million on the tamasha that took place at the Racecourse last week to send off SL Cricket Team for the 20/20 World Cup and to re-brand SL Cricket, have come to light. This staggering amount had allegedly been paid to Shift Advertising and Media Gang Event Management Company without following tender procedure, more..

SLC accuses ex-selection panel head of hurting team morale

Mar 13 (CB) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) accused former selection committee chief Kapila Wijegunawardena of hurting the morale of the national team ahead of their ICC World T20, 2016 campaign by making "inaccurate and misleading" statements in the media. "Mr Wijegoonawardne's statements are inaccurate, misleading, and defamatory, and furthermore are of the nature to cause grevious injury to the morale of the SL cricket team, more..

Joint plan to revive China Bay oil farm

Mar 13 (ST) Some 85 huge oil tanks – currently left unused – at China Bay oil farm in Trincomalee are to be revived if Cabinet approval is given for a request made by the Petroleum Resources Development Ministry. Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Chairman T.C. Jayasinghe said that the Ministry hoped to use 15 of the tanks for bunkering and storage facilities while the remaining 70 would be hired out to a joint venture involving CPC, more..

Lanka Sathosa sales plunge

Mar 13 (Island) In a move that could possibly expedite the privatization of Lanka Sathosa, suffered a whopping Rs. 844 million drop in sales in Feb 2016 in comparison to the corresponding month last year (2015), trade officials said. "This indicates a critical consumer base loss", they said, noting that the state-run institution’s Feb 2015 turnover of Rs. 2.8 billion plunged to Rs. 1.9 billion in corresponding month this year. more..

Prices soar, MPs get more and more

Mar 13 (ST) While prices are set to soar with the increase in taxes this week, a Parliamentary Businesses Committee has approved extra allowances for MPs – costing millions of rupees in taxpayers’ money. At a meeting on Wednesday, the Committee headed by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had approved a proposal for hikes in allowances after considering requests from lawmakers who claimed they could then carry out their duties more more..

The amendment of Local Govt elections

Mar 13 (Island) When looking back towards the recent election history, it was always fights for votes and political conflicts while it is very rare that consensual, fair and peaceful elections have been taken place. In each election where the proportional representative system took place, surpassing the conflicts among different political parties, issues raised such as conflicts created among the candidates, contributors in the same political party, pressures to violate election laws, more..

Five suspects arrested over Dankotuwa charred bodies

Mar 13 (AD) Five suspects have been arrested in connection with the investigations into the recent discovery of multiple charred bodies inside a burned-out van in Bujjampola-Irabadagama, Dankotuwa. It has been reported that the arrested suspects are residents of Makandura area. Five charred bodies were discovered inside a burned-out van in a by-road in Bujjampola-Irabadagama on March 11. Preliminary investigations were carried out by Dankotuwa Police while more..

මහාචාර්ය සුනිල් ආරියරත්න

Moment to movement

Mar 13 (Island) In Myanmar over this week, I worked with some key civil society organisations from Yangon, Mandalay and elsewhere around issues eerily similar to what Sri Lanka has faced, and continues to endure, around hate speech, governance, rights and democracy. Both Sri Lanka and Myanmar suffer from, although to varying degrees, an inability to growvital democratic moments – like for example a historic election –into meaningful reformist movements aimed at more..

Sushma shifts dates for fishing talks

Mar 13 (ST) India has rescheduled Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera’s visit this month to New Delhi for talks on the thorny issue of Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lanka’s waters, but Sri Lanka is yet to be informed of the change of date. Mr. Amarawera was due to visit New Delhi this month following an official invitation from India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj when she was in Sri Lanka in February for the India-Lanka Joint Commission meeting. more..

Whale watch war at Mirissa

Mar 13 (Island) A nasty incident where a whale watching vessel carrying a group of tourists was rammed and battered with projectiles by another boat at sea off Mirissa was reported last Thursday, but a police official in the area said he was aware of the attack, though no formal complaint has been lodged. "I was informed by wild life officers that the confrontation happened after two persons on the boat attempted to dive, which is not permitted more..


Mar 13 (ST) Located in the salubrious climes of the Ella Divisional Secretariat, the village of Udawadiya is steeped in history; with the village itself being the site of some famous battles against the Portugese when they attempted to ravage their country. Unfortunately even today, residents of this small village snuggled in a corner of the Badulla district are still forced to use ox-drawn carts and cattle as their means of transport as there are no roads which could facilitate vehicular traffic. more..

PRCCR plans to meet Mahinda

Mar 13 (NS) Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms (PRCCR) informed that they plan to arrange a meeting to discuss with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, so agreed to the consultation. Chairman of the PRCCR, Lal Wijenayake said that the Committee had sought and obtained an extension from PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to submit their report by the end of April. Wickremesinghe informed us that the process concerning the Constitution had to start soon, more..

South-west like a sauna as heat rises

Mar 13 (ST) Temperatures could soar to near 40C, Met Department warned as humidity levels shot up to more than 83% in the killing heat from moisture-laden sea breezes blowing inland. Pavement hawkers and vegetable sellers searched for shade this week when customers were not in sight; beggars, usually a common sight on city streets, are hardly seen on the roads; air-conditioners are working around the clock and sales of more..

Experts stress importance of women’s mental wellbeing

Mar 13 (ST) She is the pivot around which the family revolves. Wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, cousin and friend – women play diverse and important roles. This is why with International Women’s Day falling on March 8, the need to focus on the mental wellbeing of women was underscored by many experts at a media briefing on Thursday at the Health Education Bureau (HEB). A National Programme on the Mental Health of Women is in the pipeline, in the wake of more..

Fishermen threaten to boycott assembly polls in Tamil Nadu

Mar 13 (PTI) Fishermen belonging to the coastal hamlets in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have threatened to boycott the May 16 Assembly polls if the Centre does not initiate steps for the release of fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka and also their boats before April 15. The decision was taken at a meeting of various Fishermen Association leaders here yesterday. Talking to reporters, Fishermen’s Association President Rajendran said in 2015 alone, about 70 fishermen belonging to more..

Private buyers swoop on paddy at low prices

Mar 13 (ST) Farmers expressed fears this week of a further drop in paddy prices as the harvest season reaches its peak. Harvesting in the main cultivating areas such as Polonnaruwa, Ampara and Kurunegala are expected to be completed in the next two weeks and farmers say their paddy is having to be sold to private millers for a record low of Rs. 14-20 because Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) is delaying purchases more..

SL navy detain 28 Indian fishermen

Mar 13 (TOI) Sri Lankan naval agencies detained 28 TN fishermen on Saturday night on charges of trespassing into the territorial waters of the island nation. Among them, 23 are country boat fishermen from Pamban while five others are mechanized boat fishermen from Rameswaram. Sri Lankan naval agencies also confiscated three country boats and one mechanised boat from them. The navy assisted Sri Lankan coast guard to detain the fishermen in three different incidents. more..

India, IMF, team up to help keep Sri Lanka, South Asia economies stable

Mar 13 (EN) The IMF and India have teamed up to set up a training school to help boost knowledge and capacity of officials in charge of economies in the region to help them avoid de-stabilizing economies. "The Fund has built up an immense stock of economic expertise," India's PM Narendra Modi told AdvancingAsia, an economic conference in Delhi hosted by the IMF and his govt. "All its members should take advantage of this. All of us need to pursue policies that provide more..

Joint venture with govt: China to run Hambantota port and airport

Mar 13 (SO) A consortium of Chinese companies has agreed to manage and operate the Hambantota port, Mattala airport and to set up an industrial zone in Hambantota on a joint venture basis with Sri Lanka. Accordingly, the sea port will be managed in a joint venture with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the Mattala Airport in a joint venture with Airport and Aviation and Services Ltd. “China will send a proposal in connection more..

Ministry denies removal of DWC, DG

Mar 13 (SO) The Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife denied allegations of removing the Director General of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC). "The current Director General is appointed on an acting basis and a new person will be appointed permanently to the post," according to a Ministry spokesperson. Several local media reported that steps were taken to remove the DWC Director General. The reports also alleged that the removal was due to more..

MRA must before ETCA

Mar 13 (CT) Sri Lanka must expedite signing the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with India before discussing any framework on the proposed Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), past president of the National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka and the Group Managing Director of DSI Samson Group (Pvt) Ltd. Kulatunga Rajapaksa said on Friday. "Unbundling the MRA from the then Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between more..

Island-wide power outage: CEB

Mar 13 (AD) A power outage is currently being experienced across the island. The Chairman of the CEB Anura Wijepala says that the reason for the sudden power failure has not been uncovered yet. The power outage occurred at around 2.30pm today and that the CEB is currently looking into the matter. This comes just weeks after a similar outage occurred on Feb 25, prompting PM to appoint a 5-member committee to more..