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Tripping of substation at Biyagama believed to be cause of power outage

Mar 14 (Island) Secretary to Power & Energy Ministry Dr. Suren Batagoda said that tripping of substation at Biyagama may have caused yesterday’s countywide power outage. Power outage occurred at 2.30 pm. Earlier, the authorities said they believed a sudden disruption to the Habarana mainline may have caused the breakdown. CEB engineers were investigating the blackout. Last month, a similar power outage occurred causing much suspicion, more..

Bonanza for MPs: Architects of current govt demand austerity measures

Mar 14 (Island) National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) and Purawesi Balaya said the Parliament should explain recent decision to sharply increase allowances given to members. Those struggling to make ends meet have a right to know what was going on in parliament, NMSJ convenor Prof. Sarath Wijesooriya and co-convenor of Purawesi Balaya Saman Ratnapriya said. Both organisations backed Maithripala Sirisena’s more..

Seya killing: Wrongfully arrested teenager caught by police on heroin charge

Mar 14 (Island) A schoolboy arrested on false charges and released in connection with the killing of 5-year-old Seya at Kotadeniyaya was taken into custody by Divulapitiya police for allegedly consuming heroin in a den with two others on Saturday. Suspect Suranjan Pradeep’s parents claimed that the police were trying to frame the teenager on drug charges as he had filed a fundamental rights petition in SC against the police for arresting him without an iota of evidence. more..

Govt not involved in Sri Lanka investment summit in Singapore

Mar 14 (ST) Questions have been raised about in-the-news Perpetual Treasuries (PTL) being one of the lead sponsors of SL Investment Summit being held in Singapore on March 15. A newspaper advertisement recently promoting the event also revealed PTL’s big-time involvement. PTL is linked to Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s son-in-law, Arjun Aloysius. However a spokesperson from the PM’s Office, said govt was not involved in the event which was a private one. more..

CEB clueless about third countrywide power failure

Mar 14 (Island) Chairman of the CEB Anura Wijeyapala said that he would resign from his post once power was restored as countrywide blackout took place for the third time yesterday during the last six months. The country experienced two previous blackouts in Sept 2015 and on Feb 25. The power failed around 2.30 pm yesterday and gradual restoration of services resumed after 3 hours in Colombo & Kandy, more..

Let the seeds fall on good soil and bear fruits

Mar 14 (DM) An unexpectedly large crowd of about 300,000 attended the three-day exhibition and sale held at the BMICH on March 6, 7 and 8 as the first major step towards reviving a poison-free Sri Lanka. This means the rice and other crops we cultivate will be free of toxic agrochemicals and thereby the food we eat—ranging from rice to vegetables and fruits—will not be poisoned or polluted. Wijeratne Sakalasuriya, the enterprising National Food Programme Coordinator more..

Rajapaksa’s prison visits: What’s he up to?

Mar 14 (DM) Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa has recently developed a habit of visiting all kinds of suspects in remand prisons, many of them implicated in offences allegedly committed during the MR reign. Last week, he visited Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera, who was arrested over allegedly keeping an unlicensed elephant calf at his temple, which is an offence under the Fauna and Flora Act, though the prelate claimed that the calf was found abandoned in his temple yard more..

BBS turns towards the economy

Mar 14 (SL) One of the major topics of discussion today is whether or not Sri Lanka needs a religious banking system. Sinhala Buddhist extremist group BBS first voiced concern over this issue by sending a letter to Auditor General giving reasons why such a banking system should not be introduced in the country. BBS letter made it clear they had received information of an attempt to obtain a loan to the extent of US$ 1 billion in order more..

Dankotuwa bodies burnt beyond recognition

Mar 14 (ST) CID detectives probing Friday’s discovery of five charred bodies inside a burnt-out van in Buthgampala, Dankotuwa, were yesterday trying to identify the victims and what exactly happened to them. The van’s licence plate led police to a finance company. They found that, the vehicle’s driver, Kapila Bandara from Pannala, had been reported missing by his wife. On Friday, police took her to the location of the van, more..

Petroleum prices will remain unchanged

Mar 14 (Island) Minister Chandima Weerakkody said the price of diesel and petrol would remain unchanged for the time being in spite of much lower world market prices. Minister Weerakkody said the ministry was struggling to cope up with loans amounting to Rs 365 bn and a staggering monthly interest payment of Rs. 1.2 bn. A litre of Lanka petrol 92 octane and Lanka auto diesel are priced at Rs. 117 and Rs 95, respectively. more..

Wiggie averse to French houses in Jaffna

Mar 14 (DN) Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran objecting to the houses put up by a French company in Tellipalai and Kopay for the displaced people, said these houses do not suit the people in the North. Instead he said it was prudent to reconsider the construction of the 65,000 houses building programme as previously decided. He was speaking at the land distribution ceremony in Jaffna attended by President Sirisena on Saturday. more..

Trade in a Time of Protectionism

Mar 14 (PS) As China’s economy slows and growth in the developed world remains anemic, governments across Asia are working to keep their economies on an upward trajectory. In Sri Lanka, where I am Prime Minister, the challenge is to find a way to accelerate our already steady economic growth. One thing is clear: We cannot expect the rest of the world to welcome our economic ambitions the way it once opened more..

Sri Lanka touts South Korea as ideal investment partner

Mar 14 (KH) Moving past three decades of civil war, Sri Lanka is transforming itself into a vibrant commercial hub in South Asia, and reengaging the international community and furthering bilateral ties are key, nation’s top envoy said. “As Korea has made miraculous progress in democracy and economy in such a short period of time, it is an exemplary model for Sri Lanka, which is starting its journey toward economic prosperity,” more..

Chennai commences refuelling; Colombo Port may be hurt

Mar 14 (Island) Chennai Port Trust had, on Friday, commenced supplying bunker fuel to ships at anchorage, an official said. Till recently, international vessels that were passing various Indian sea ports had to go either to Singapore or Colombo for bunker fuel. Chennai Port has now started supplying bunker fuel through barge to vessel berthed at five nautical miles from the port. "Supply of bunker fuel to ships at anchorage more..

Yoshitha Rajapaksa and three others granted bail

Mar 14 (DN) Yoshitha Rajapakshe and three others have been granted bail by the Kaduwela Magistrate today. However the bail application of Yoshitha Rajapaksa was rejected by the court when it was called for hearing on February 29. The five suspects including Yoshitha Rajapaksa were arrested on alleged financial irregularities at CSN on Jan 30 and remanded, after being presented before Kaduwela Magistrate by the police. more..

TN fishermen arrest: Jayalalithaa seeks robust diplomatic response from Centre

Mar 14 (Hindu) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said the Centre’s inadequate response to apprehension and detention of Indian fishermen “has emboldened the Sri Lankan Navy to harass” them, and sought a robust diplomatic response on the emotive issue. “Inadequate response of the Union Govt on such incidents of apprehension and detention of our fishermen has emboldened SL Navy to harass TN fishermen more..

Minister rejects CEB Chairman’s resignation

Mar 14 (CG) Power and Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says he has refused to accept the resignation letter of the Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Anura Wijepala following an unprecedented Nationwide blackout. The Minister said that the country needs the services of Wijepala based on his knowledge and expertise and so his resignation letter has not been accepted at this moment. more..

Cleansing Cricket

Mar 14 (CT) The recent T-20 Asia Cup tournament in Bangladesh has clearly pointed out the need of cleansing Sri Lanka Cricket and putting the game back on the right track to regain its old glory. From the time Sri Lanka obtained its International Cricket Council (ICC) membership and Test Match status in 1981, the Island Nation's most favourite sport began to stretch its wings smartly and reached its heights as a highly admirable cricket team in the World. When SL gained its ICC status in 1981, more..

Former Minister Suranimala Rajapaksa passes away

Mar 14 (DN) UNP Gampaha District MP, Former Minister of education Suranimala Rajapaksa has passed away. He was 67 years old at the time of his demise. He served as a special representative of the Prime Minister at the time of his UNP Gampaha District Parliamentarian, Former Minister of education Suranimala Rajapaksa has passed away. Former Minister Suranimala Rajapaksa served as a special representative of the Prime Minister at the time of his demise. more..


Share index falls below 6,000 support level

Mar 14 (Reuters) Share index fell on Monday, snapping a two-session gaining streak as it declined below a key support level of 6,000 points, with foreign investors exiting the island nation's risk assets. The benchmark share index fell 0.67% or 40.52 points to 5,979.43. The index had gained 2.7% in the last two sessions through Friday due to a technical rebound. Investors prefered fixed interest rate bearing assets over shares due to a rise in the yields on treasury bills, more..

Continuing need for international presence

Mar 14 (CT) The issue of international participation in Sri Lanka’s transition process continues to remain a matter of speculation with different pronouncements being made by different members of the govt. However, support for an international role in ascertaining the truth of what happened in the last phase of the war has received a boost due to the maiden speech in parliament made by former army commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka. His credentials as a champion of SL’s more..

Daham Sirisena invades stage at Royal-Thomian big match prize giving

Mar 14 (CT) Daham Sirisena marred the post-match presentation of the 137th Royal/Thomian awards ceremony when he appeared on stage uninvited. Son of President Sirisena took the Joint Organizing Committee of the event by total surprise when he got on stage initially to shake hands with chief guest PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and remained on stage thereafter till the presentation was over. more..

JVP opposes Chandima's statement on fuel prices

Mar 14 (LT) The statement made by Minister Chandima Weerakkody to the media that the prices of fuel cannot be brought down despite the prices in the world market have come down as Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is confronted with several crises due to the debt burden of billions of rupees and misappropriation of funds and state property during Mahinda Rajapaksa regime should be condemned and opposed says the National Organizer of the JVP Bimal Rathnayaka MP. more..

Power failure: Joint Oppn. says minister must resign

Mar 14 (DM) Criticising the Govt for what the joint opposition described as the lack of managerial skills which had resulted in the second nationwide power outage within a month, it urged the subject minister to resign if he was incapable of performing his duties efficiently. MP Wimal Weerawansa said even during the armed conflict, the people did not experience these kinds of prolonged blackouts. "This is a failed govt which has disappointed people,” he said at a media conference today. more..

Malinga flies to India; still recovering from bone bruise

Mar 14 (CI) Lasith Malinga, who has been under an injury cloud, has finally flown to India for the World T20. The rest of his team-mates are already in the country, but Malinga had to stay behind to undergo treatment on his left knee. He is still doubtful for Sri Lanka's opening game, though, against Afghanistan on March 17. Malinga described his injury as a bone bruise. Doctors say it occurs as a result of more..

SLFP against increase in MP benefits: Dilan

Mar 14 (AD) SLFP MP Dinesh Gunawardena today denied reports that the SLFP had supported the decision to increase the benefits of the Members of Parliament. He added that the proposal was made by the govt and passed by the govt. We got to know of the proposal through the party leader and when it was convey we expressed our unwillingness to support it, Dilan added. The SLFP will rise up against any move that is detrimental to the public interest, he claimed. more..

Finlays loses Syrian tea market

Mar 14 (EN) Finlays Colombo, a Sri Lankan tea exporters that is part of Britain’s Swire group, has completely lost its Syrian market owing to conflict in the Middle East region. Finlays Colombo chairman C.L.K.P. Jayasuriya said the troubles in the region reduced buying by key importers of Sri Lankan tea and led to lower prices at the Colombo auctions. “The turmoil in the Middle East and especially in Syria, Iraq and Turkey together with the almost year-long decline in oil prices resulted in more..

Sri Lanka deploys troops after worst blackout in 20 years

Mar 14 (AFP) Sri Lanka deployed troops on Monday to guard electrical installations as authorities investigated whether sabotage was behind the island's worst blackout in 20 years. President Maithripala Sirisena ordered stepped-up security a day after outages plunged the entire country into darkness for at least seven hours. "The president has instructed that security forces be deployed to guard electricity installations," more..

Ape Gama lets visitors delve into Lanka's ancient village setting

Mar 14 (DN) A theme park, symbolising an ancient village of SL under the name Ape Gama was commissioned recently at Pinnawala, Rambukkana near the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and newly opened Pinnawala zoo. Ape Gama, launched by Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council at a cost of Rs 50 million is now open to local and foreign tourists. The theme park was constructed on a four acre land near Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and zoo by the Ma-Oya river. more..

Eight SL refugee families to return home

Mar 14 (Hindu) Eight Sri Lankan refugee families, presently living in various camps across the State are set to return to their homeland this week, in the voluntary repatriation programme assisted by the UNHCR and the German Consulate in Chennai. The families from different camps would gather at Madurai and then leave for Colombo by air on March 15, sources said. Since January this year, over 100 Lankan refugees have returned home under the UNHCR voluntary repatriation programme. more..

Rajapaksa slams govt for foreign debt crisis

Mar 14 (AM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today slammed the govt for the foreign debt crisis, maintaining that it was brought forth by govt's foreign borrowing, which far exceeded his borrowings. In a speech at his office in Battaramulla, Rajapaksa said that the present govt has obtained 6,361 million USD in foreign loans. "To put matters into perspective, this is enough to meet the entire foreign loan components of Mattala airport more..

Mahinda Yapa arrives at the PRECIFAC

Mar 14 (DN) Former Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena arrived at the PRECIFAC today. He was summoned before the PRECIFAC to record a statement regarding the alleged frauds involving several millions of rupees and misuse of vehicles belonging to the Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute. This is the first occasion the former Minister was summoned before the PRECIFAC to record a statement. Abeywardena, Matara District UPFA MP, more..

PM expresses regret over electricity crisis

Mar 14 (CG) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today expressed regret over the island-wide power-cut which affected the country and called for prompt action to prevent a similar crisis in future. PM, in a special statement, said that he had a meeting with President Sirisena and Power and Energy Minister and discussed the situation which arose yesterday. He said that an investigation into the sudden power-cut is now underway and measures will be taken to hold those responsible. more..

Kelaniya Uni suspends lectures for seniors

Mar 14 (DM) Kelaniya University lecturers have decided to refrain from teaching second, third and fourth year students until further notice as a mark of protest against the students' alleged misconduct including the ragging of freshers, officials said today. Kelaniya University Student Affairs Director Dr. Chaminda Abeysinghe said the decision was taken by the university administration because of the repeated misbehavior by more..

More pictures of eagle killers recovered

Mar 14 (DM) Police yesterday questioned the individual who published photographs on social media showing some men attempting to kill an eagle in an inhumane manner in Galle. Police also recovered another photograph from his mobile phone which shows that one of the suspect arrested in connection with the incident holding an eagle. The photograph of some men attempting to kill an eagle after peeling off its skin and cutting off its legs went viral on social media & news websites. more..

Pakistan woman nabbed with heroin

Mar 14 (DM) A Pakistani woman had been arrested with pellets of heroin in her stomach at the BIA this evening. Customs officials said the suspect had arrived from Karachi by a flight VL 184 at 8.30 a.m. They said the Customs Narcotics officials at the BIA arrival lounge had become suspicious over her bahaviour and had subsequently taken her into custody for questioning. Later she was admitted to the Negombo hospital, where the contraband was retrieved under medication. more..

Sri Lanka utility calls for power conservation

Mar 14 (EN) CEB called on consumers to conserve electricity until the resumption of its main 900MW coal-fired power plant after Sunday’s islandwide grid failure, since water levels in hydro-reservoirs were falling owing to drought. Bandula Thilakasena, Additional General Manager of CEB, said there would be no need for power cuts since the utility has enough generation capacity even without the low-cost coal power stations. more..

Diplomats visit former conflict-affected areas

Mar 14 (DN) Ambassadors, High Commissioners and representatives of 33 countries visited formerly conflict affected areas in the Welikanda and Medirigiriya divisional secretariats in Polonnaruwa today. They met with people in the villages of Wadigawewa and Palliyagodella and even stopped by the Wadigawewa primary school to interact with the children there. The group of diplomats also inquired into the well-being of the people they met at the Palliyagodella Jumma Mosque. more..

A Women’s Bureau for Thirukkovil

Mar 14 (CT) Women and Children Affairs Minister Chandrani Bandara addressing a gathering at the opening of the Women's Bureau called upon the people to ensure the safety of Women and Children at all times. Minister Bandara was speaking at the opening of the Women's Bureau at Thirukkovil in the Ampara district. Minister also pointed out that the new Bureau should be supported in its operations in combating offences of all kinds committed against women and children. more..