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New Act to replace PTA

Mar 13 (NS) The Law Commission of Sri Lanka (LCSL) has claimed that the new proposal recently submitted to the Government by them was a new draft bill to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Chairman of the LCSL, President’s Counsel (PC) Romesh De Silva said that what the Commission had produced was entirely a new Act. He said the new draft bill was handed over to Minister of Justice, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera more..

Complaint lodged at FCID against Sajin

Mar 13 (SL) A complaint has been filed at the FCID against former MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena and his flying school at Ratmalana. The complaint notes that the flying school operated by the former MP had charged Rs. 1.5 million for training from students but failed to provide the necessary training to some students. The parents of the students who filed the complaint stated that the flying school had promised a refund but so far has failed to meet its commitments. more..

New laws needed for declaration of assets

Mar 13 (NS) Polls Chief Mahinda Deshapriya has called for new laws to prevent candidates who failed to declare assets at past elections to contest future elections. He said that at least 2000 candidates who contested the last General Election had failed to declare assets within three months of filing nominations. He however said clarified that all elected MPs had submitted their documents of asset declaration. more..

Occupy the Square: Cultural Affairs Dept unmoved

Mar 13 (SO) Despite the short-lived victory of Occupy the Square protesters, Department of Cultural Affairs continues to stand its ground that Independence Square is a monument and not a public park. Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Anusha Gokula Fernando, said people have mistaken this historically important monument for a park and behave as they wish. "Independence Square is under our purview because it is a monument. more..

Lankan couple killed by speedster in Johannesburg

Mar 13 (DM) A Sri Lankan couple was killed after they were hit by a speeding car in Johannesburg, South Africa, media reports said. The Policesay the 26-year-old driver also died on the scene. Initial investigation revealed that the driver had lost control of his vehicle and collided with the couple, who were walking on the sidewalk. The couple had just left a restaurant when the accident occurred, police said. The BMW was traveling at an excessive speed in a 60kmph zone. more..

Thieves strike at multimillion-rupee homes of absentee landlords

Mar 13 (ST) A well-organised racket targeting properties whose owners are either dead or abroad surfaced this week when police went to court with details of how a Rs. 700 million property in the heart of the capital changed hands through forged documentation. 4-storey residence in Kollupitiya was not only being illegally acquired but also mortgaged to a private leasing company through forged documentation and a Rs. 150 million loan more..

New German funded Vocational Training Institute opens at Kaithady

Mar 13 (Island) The Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka (VTA) last week announced the inauguration of its vocational training centre in Kaithady, Jaffna, on March 4 as a bilateral cooperation project between Sri Lanka and the Federal Republic of Germany. The project is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (German Development Bank - KfW) on behalf of more..

Salination forces closure of Ruhuna Uni

Mar 13 (SO) A day after the Ruhuna University was closed owing to increased salination of drinking water around the premises, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board said that immediate measures were being taken to normalise the situation. Chairman of the NWSDBK Alahudeen Ansar said water has been restored to Horana, Bandaragama, Panadura, Mt. Lavinia, Moratuwa and Colombo South after it was disrupted for two days due to increase in salination from more..

I will resign: CEB Chairman

Mar 13 (DM) Ceylon Electricity Board Chairman Anura Wijepala has decided to resign from his post, claiming that he will take responsibility for the three blackouts that occurred in the country during the last six months. “There was nobody to take responsibility for the three blackouts during the last six months. So I have decided to take responsibility and will send in my resignation letter soon after power is restored today,” Mr. Wijepala said. more..

Vellahlas escaped by transiting from caste to class armed with racism

Mar 14 (CT) In the two preceding articles I traced the crisis faced by the Vellahla ruling elite of Jaffna in the sixties. Low-castes staged organised threats for the first time challenging the supremacy of the Vellahlas. They not only threatened to enter the sacred domain of the Maviddipuram Temple – a domain reserved only for the upper-caste Vellahlas — but even stoned the statue of Arumuka Navalar, demigod of Vellahlas, which was taken in procession from Udippidy via Chavakachcheri to Jaffna. more..

Will the nation’s Finance Minister please stand up

Mar 14 (ST) If the former president’s astrologer Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena got it wrong and came a cropper predicting Rajapaksa’s political future by gazing at the stars then PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was spot on — as he says himself — and hit the bull’s eye when it came to prophesying the doom that awaited the Rajapaksa regime by simply glancing at the bottom line of Lanka’s balance sheet. Throwing into the dustbin the Govt’s maiden budget’s tax proposals more..

'Sri Lanka at very crucial juncture'

Mar 14 (SL) Deputy Minister Arundika Fernando is of the view that Sri Lanka is at a very crucial juncture, where there is a unique opportunity where a constitution can be formulated with the agreement of all parties. He said that therefore we must take advantage of this golden opportunity and put aside petty differences for the good of the country. Q: The Constitutional Assembly was unanimously passed in parliament. more..

Resettlement: My negative thoughts

Mar 14 (CT) Your Excellency the President, Hon’ Ministers, distinguished guests High Officials of Govt and the Military, my dear brothers and sisters. It is indeed a happy occasion for us. The return of even one acre of land to the owners by those who are not entitled to hold on to it, is to be welcomed. There is a wrong perception among the Military that lands captured from the Militants could be kept by them. This is a phenomenon to be expected when one country invades another country. more..

Recognising many months of darkness in SL

Mar 14 (ST) A bold initiative took place this week when a collective of Sri Lankan women from the north, east, south and up-country areas publicly announced their decision to boycott International Women’s Day. Declaring March 2016 as a month of darkness, specific demands were outlined by the Womens’ Action Network to Sri Lanka’s political leaders. Calling upon State recognition of violence against women and children as amounting to a national crisis, legal and policy reforms more..

Why did Malinga resign?

Mar 14 (CT) Sri Lanka cricket team is now in India to take part in T-20 World Cup. However, SL's star bowler Lasith Malinga is still here due to a leg injury. Selection committee headed by Aravinda de Silva has decided to include him too in the team. We met chairman of former selection committee, Kapila Wijegunawardene, to inquire why the SL team failed to perform well at the Asia Cup and the other crises in Sri Lanka Cricket. more..

Needed: Laws for lovers or plain commonsense?

Mar 14 (SL) The story of a young couple being ordered out of Independence Square by two security guards of a hired private security firm was on the front pages of many daily newspapers. Surprisingly the young man and woman had public support rallying round them and on the next day there was a public demonstration staged in which the youthful Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva also joined in. Some subsequent reports said that the two security guards had been sacked while others more..

What should the strategic direction of the Bhikkhu society be today?

Mar 14 (FT) Walpola Rahula Thero wrote a book called Brikshuvage Urumaya in Sinhala in 1946, justifying so-called Bhikkhu politics or as he emphasised public service of bhikkhus. He translated this book into English later. The reason for writing this book was that there was an ideology in those days mainly promoted by a group of politicians headed by D.S. Senanayake that the bhikkhus should not be engaged in politics. Well-known declaration of Vidyalankara Pirivena more..

Face the Nation

Constitutional Protection for all Animals: a need of the hour

Mar 14 (DM) National Constitutions are a valuable instrument for protecting animals, providing strong legal clout to the existing Animal Welfare Bills and Ordinances. The principle of welfare balance in the area of animal protection when in conflict with fundamental laws, such as scientific and educational freedom, artistic or religious freedom could only function when animal protection has a constitutional ranking. In Sri Lanka, the majority start the day by chanting, May all living beings be well, but more..

Success despite many obstacles

Mar 14 (SL) Today Thushari Madahapola works as the Active Coordinating Secretary of the Organisation for the Protection of Democratic Rights. She has arrived at this level despite numerous obstacles. Born in the Kurunegala Madapatha area, Thushari received her education despite many monetary setbacks and succeeded somehow in passing A/L exam. She expected to pursue higher education even as an external university student, but she could not fulfill her more..

Toxic truths

Mar 14 (SO) Chronic kidney disease which hit the headlines of late where a common causative factor cannot be attributed, is placing a heavy burden on the farming community in particular and the country as a whole. Chronic Disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) is detected in parts of other provinces such as Uva, North, and Eastern apart from concentrated areas in and around the North Central and North Western Provinces. more..

Editorial: Their ship has come in

Mar 14 (Island) Late British PM Harold Macmillan famously declared about six decades ago: "Most of our people have never had it so good". As for this country, it is not the people who have had it so good. They are being urged to tighten their belts for the sake of the country. The govt has increased taxes and done away with welfare measures such as the non-contributory pension scheme for the public officials to be recruited. Farmers are taking to the streets in their thousands, more..

Ira, Mahinda, Asoka and Cyril

Mar 14 (Island) I have written about Asoka Weerasinghe, Noor Nizam and Daya Hettiarachchi here. It is time to pay tribute to three others who led from the front and gave their whole hearted support to Sri Lanka in Canada, Ira de Silva, Mahinda Gunasekara, Asoka Yapa and Cyril Weeratunga They had been doing their duty long before I moved to Canada. They backed me fully when I was there and they continue to do their bit for Lanka even now. I had heard of the activities carried out by more..

Gender gap in employment erodes economy

Mar 14 (FT) Sri Lanka is losing about 20% of its per capita GDP due to the gender gap in employment, Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva recently revealed. Addressing the inaugural Women’s Forum Sri Lanka, he also stated that Sri Lanka had one of the lowest representations of females in the labour force. “In Sri Lanka, less than 76% of eligible men actively look for work, however less than 35% of eligible women seek jobs,” more..

Thilina Kandamby retires

Mar 14 (SO) Sri Lanka batsman Thilina Kandamby, 33, has retired from all forms of cricket, he told a news conference at his Sinhalese Sports Club. A former Ananda College player, Kandamby initially came into the scene representing Sri Lanka at the first and only Under-15 World Cup in England and later went on to captain the Under-19 team. He played in 39 ODIs and five T20s. He aggregated 870 runs with a highest 93 and his last match was against England in Hambantota in 2014. more..

Kiriella takes stock of Kandy's declining sports

Mar 14 (SO) Former Sports Minister, Royal College, Law College and Kandy Law Association cricketer Lakshman Kiriella is expected to step in and make a difference in the long awaited re-organisation of sports in Kandy. Kiriella said that he is all-out to give his best shot for the re-establishment of all sports in Kandy which is badly in need of good leadership and support. Kiriella played a big part in the construction of the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium and it is learnt that cricket fans in Kandy more..

'England made smart move on mentor Mahela'

Mar 14 (TG) Kumar Sangakkara, man of the match when Sri Lanka won the World Twenty20 final two years ago, has praised a smart move by England in rehiring his former international team-mate Mahela Jayawardene as a coaching consultant for this year’s tournament. Jayawardene mentored England’s batsmen during their Test series against Pakistan last October and is currently in the middle of a second 10-day spell with Eoin Morgan’s more..

'Sri Lanka exports to Thailand down to US$ 54 mn in 2014'

Mar 14 (DN) Sri Lanka's total exports to Thailand will continue to decline as the total value of Sri Lanka's largest export to Thailand, gems and jewellery declined significantly over the last two years, Minister of Primary Industries Daya Gamage said. Minister Gamage was addressing the Business Forum organized by the Export Development Board recently. Minister Gamage said Thailand is Sri Lanka's third biggest export destination in the Asian region. more..

Davis Cup tennis team felicitated in Colombo

Mar 14 (Island) The Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) welcomed the Sri Lanka National men’s tennis team and gave away awards in recognition of their brilliant effort against one of the strongest tennis playing countries in the region, Thailand, at the Asia-Oceania Zone Group-II Davis Cup which ended in Bangkok on March 6. Even though they were defeated 3-2 in the five-match tie, Sri Lanka fought hard and was once placed at 2-2 and one-set all in the deciding match. more..

Funeral of Asgiri Mahanayaka Thera held

Mar 14 (ITN) The funeral of Mahanayake of Asgiri Chapter Most Venerable Galagama Sri Attadassi Thera took place this afternoon with full state honours at Asgiri Police Grounds. Most Venerable Galagagama Sri Attadassi Thera past away last Wednesday following a sudden illness. Thousands of people came to pay their last respects to the Late Venerable Mahanayaka Thera whose remains were lying at state at more..

Tea sees improved demand from core markets

Mar 14 (FT) This week’s auction saw improved demand from key markets for Sri Lankan tea, including CIS countries including Russia and the Middle East, along with a marginal increase of products on offer. Auction offerings showed a marginal increase totaling 6.3 M/kgs. In the Tippy catalogue better FBOP/FF1s together with the cleaner secondaries were firm to dearer. Others were irregular following quality. At the lower end however prices were fully firm to dearer. more..

'Govt conscious of carbon emmission controls'

Mar 14 (DN) Sri Lanka has to thrive to attain sustainable development, by giving adequate consideration to social and economic development while taking into account environmental constraints, State Enterprise Development Deputy Minister Eran Wickremaratne said. Speaking at the CIMA Convocation 2016 he said the Govt's carbon emission is already lower than that of the private sector. However, it is impossible to achieve carbon emission targets by the govt alone. more..

Karapitiya Teaching Hospital heart surgeries suspended

Mar 14 (ITN) Patients have been severely inconvenienced due to a decision taken regarding heart surgeries at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital. Heart surgeries at Karapitiya Teaching Hospital have been done at a separate operation theater. However it has been changed since a period of one year. Many surgeries that are performed at Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, are being done at present in Cardio Surgical Theatre. more..

Expert panel officially picks new National Flower

Mar 14 (NF) National flower has been officially announced as the Water Lily, commonly known as the Manel flower. Until now, the Blue Water Lily was recognised as the national flower. Director of Biodiversity Secratariat, Padma Abeykoon said that the approval in this regard, was granted by the cabinet. Manel flower was chosen by an expert panel, after considering several key factors at length. Environmentalists point out that the Blue Water Lily, was incorrectly recognised as more..

Lankan optometry student suffering from Leukemia in need of donor

Mar 14 (ENS) While most showed up for Mira (2) at a blood stem cell donor drive organised for her in Chennai on Sunday, a few were also hoping against hope to find a match for another patient. Vithiya Alphons (24) from Jaffna, Sri Lanka who is studying at Cardiff University, UK to be an optometrician urgently needs a match to cure her Acute Myeloid Leukemia in the next two months. Or else her family and friends may not see her live to complete her degree. more..

'Political orphans trying to destroy Minister Ranawaka's image'

Mar 14 (DN) Several political orphans are trying to cover their helplessness by destroying the image of Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka leveling baseless allegations, Attorney- at Law Namal Rajapakse said. He urged those parties not to throw stones on others while living in glass houses. Rajapakse was addressing the media in Rajagiriya yesterday on the recent motor accident that occurred in the Rajagiriya area. more..

Private sector credit grows threefold in 2015

Mar 14 (FT) Private sector credit grew threefold in 2015 to Rs. 691.4 billion from Rs. 223.9 billion in the previous year, with vehicle imports, IT, agriculture, tourism and construction sectors drawing the most cash, said Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran. “Private sector credit grew across the board. One sector that grew very rapidly was vehicle imports, which helped the economy almost offset the reduction in what we spent on petroleum. Agriculture was another sector which revived strongly more..

New simplified application form for ID

Mar 14 (Island) Department of Registration of Persons has requested the general public to use the new application form bearing the number D.R.P. V/01, 07, 08 from 30,03.2016. A press release signed by Commissioner General of Registration of Persons RMS Sarath Kumara says: Regulations for registration of persons have been amended providing for using a common Application Form in place of three separate forms that are currently being used to apply for a new Identity Card. more..

Murdered over ransom demand

Mar 14 (DN) The motive for the murder of five men in Koshenawatta area in Bujjampola, Dankotuwa on Friday was a ransom demand, investigations revealed. CID officers conducting investigations arrested five suspects in this connection. Three of the dead five have been already identified while DNA tests are being carried out to identify the other two. Senarath Kapila Bandara alias Navy Kapila alias Seizer Kapila more..

Welfare schemes fail to reach Sri Lankan homes headed by women

Mar 14 (ENS) 23% of Sri Lankan households are female-headed, according to the govt’s latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey done in 2012-2013. Out of the 1.2 million Female Headed Households (FHH) in the island, 50 per cent are headed by widows. In the war-ravaged Northern and Eastern Provinces, there are 90,000 widows, most of them war widows. North accounts for 40,000 of FHH. Jaffna district alone has 20,000 FHH. A recent study conducted by the CPA for the UN more..