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3rd constitution in the making

Mar 16 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe announced that the Parliament has approved on 9th March a resolution where all MPs will constitute the Constitutional Assembly. They will be discussing the new Constitution. He said, “We will be starting work in May”. Like cerebral asymmetry, the perception of the people towards this exercise is variegated. It is good to begin with the doubting Thomases. They see this exercise only as a diversionary tactic to engage the masses away from more..

Infected: By myths and bias

Mar 16 (SO) Finally, the story of the child denied admission to a school in Kuliyapitiya has taken a positive turn. The child, whose mother is 'reportedly' HIV positive, became a target of a medieval form of punishment: ostracisation. He started schooling again, at a prestigious school in Kandy last week. Ostracisation may have offered him a lifetime opportunity and we cannot help but hope that someday, victimized 6-year-old more..

The making of a historical constitution for SL

Mar 16 (SL) The process of receiving submissions from the public for the new constitution is currently underway. Public Representation Committee on Constitutional Reform has already begun travelling to all districts for this purpose, and submissions can be submitted verbally or in writing. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm to foster any discussion regarding this subject seems to lie more with civil society than with the govt itself. More concerning is that the govt does not seem to have reached an agreement more..

Did MR wilt under Indian Envoy’s warning?

Mar 16 (CT) A close analysis of how the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime dealt with India and the contradictory policies and statements that emanate, at present, from former Ministers like Prof. G.L. Peiris amply demonstrate that they are playing politics for their advantage using proposed agreements between Colombo and New Delhi. The analysis records that former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to New Delhi under Mahinda's administration, Prasad Kariyawasam made more..

'Upcountry Tamils are Sri Lankans'

Mar 16 (CT) Ceylon Workers Red Flag Union General Secretary Menaha Kandasamy said that a national identity for the Plantation Tamils as an ethnic group in Sri Lanka is a must and the identity as Indian Origin Tamils must be omitted. "We don't need to keep this term 'Indian Origin'. When politically categorizing, using own agendas in giving an identity to a certain ethnic group must be avoided," she said. more..

Editorial: Impotent State

Mar 16 (Island) The issue of a 5-year-old child from Kuliyapitiya being denied admission to a state-run school on the grounds that his father had died allegedly of AIDS should not be allowed to fizzle out following his enrolment at a non-govt school. A fundamental rights petition filed by his mother in the Supreme Court has been withdrawn. Trouble may be over for her and her child, but some other parents are likely to find themselves in the same predicament unless the issue of more..

Fonseka zero in on white flag killings

Mar 16 (Island) Parliament was told last Thursday that the proposed war crimes investigation should focus on fighting on the Vanni east front during the third week of May, 2009. The declaration was made by no less a person than Field Marshal Fonseka, leader of Democratic Party (DP). Sri Lanka’s most successful Army Chief was delivering his inaugural speech in parliament after having been accommodated on the UNP National List last month. The tough talking strategist also called for more..

Bandula Gunawardena

Rajapaksa and the underworld: Indispensable nexus of evil

Mar 16 (SL) Recently, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera who went to a great extent to safeguard the Rajapaksa dynasty during the previous regime and even after its great fall from glory; came out with two startling revelations in the light of Govt announcing plans to curb underworld activities. “Many leading underworld figures, who fled the country during my rule, have returned to the country at the behest of govt politicians. more..

Another 13 illegally-reared elephants recovered

Mar 16 (DM) The CID today informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate that it had taken into custody another 13 elephants which were being reared without valid licences. The detectives made the detection during investigations into forged elephant licenses and alterations made to the wild elephant registration book. They told the Magistrate that they had sent the elephants recovered by them to the Udawalawe Transit Centre and were now under the custody of the Wildlife Department. more..

Nuwara Eliya gears up for horse racing at the highest peak on March 20

Mar 16 (DN) Over 60 horses will be seen in action when the newly formed Royal Turf Club (RTC) Nuwara Eliya horse races commence on March 20 from 10.30 a.m. onwards at the redeveloped Nuwara Eliya Race Course. With over Rs. 2 million being offered as prize money and entrance to the races being free of charge for the inaugural race, coupled with a line up of entertainment which includes the band Misty more..

Hayleys acquires Fentons

Mar 16 (CT) Hayleys PLC, Sri Lanka's leading blue chip conglomerate, announced the acquisition of a 75% equity stake of Fentons Ltd. on Monday, marking an important milestone in Sri Lanka's infrastructure and support services sector. The company was valued at Rs. 963 million. Fentons is one of Sri Lanka's leading integrated solutions providers for building systems infrastructure and ICT infrastructure. Since its inception in 1921, Fentons has been a key player in more..

WT20 Match 1: New Zealand beat India

Mar 16 (CI) For a long time, this New Zealand team was under the charge of a man who loved a gamble or two. But would even Brendon McCullum have been funky enough to go up to his two best bowlers, Tim Southee and Trent Boult, on the team's opening match of a World T20 and say, Pick up the bibs, lads. You're out.? Kane Williamson did. He saw a dry Nagpur pitch, heard how the ball had turned during the qualifier games at the venue and asked Nathan McCullum, Mitchell Santner and more..

A comprehensive report on prevention of kidney disease submits to President

Mar 16 (PSL) A comprehensive report regarding the prevention of kidney disease submitted to President Maithripala Sirisena today (15). The report was prepared after consultations with prominent scientists and researchers under the three categories of environment, social and health. A special conference on prevention of kidney disease organized by Chinese Academy of Science together with Water Supply and Drainage Board was more..

People’s Bank to fully digitalize countrywide branch network

Mar 16 (Island) The People’s Bank will fully digitalize its branch network soon. This will be the only local bank that will be digitalized, covering all its rural branches in the country, its Head of Marketing and Public Affairs Deepal Abeysekera said. "The Bank being the second bank in the country that scores a Rs one trillion deposit base is now in the process of digitalizing its network of 347 local branches and 387 service centers with 450+ own ATMs, Abeysekera said. more..

Sri Lankan to head Indian Plantation Company

Mar 16 (DN) World renowned International Management Consultant, Veteran Marketer, Trade negotiator and Brand Image uplifting-Consultant, H.K Rohana is being appointed as the Consultant add Chief Executive Officer of Agarwoods Kerala Plantations India. He hails from Sri Lanka, having over 26 years of International Exposure in many multinational Companies worldwide. Shamsudheen, Managing Director of Indian Based -Agarwoods Kerala company, together with more..

New uniform for police: Sagala, at Abhimana launch

Mar 16 DN) “We are looking forward to developing a new police uniform for the police force, as the present uniform does not match with the pride of the police service and the climate of Sri Lanka, Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said. "We hope to introduce a new police uniform which will upgrade the prestige of the police officers, in the near future.” Daily News learns however that there will be no drastic change to the uniform, as when in more..

Navy assists to protect mangrove environment

Mar 16 (SLN) Under the visionary concept of Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, another two phases of the mangrove plantation project, in view of stopping sea erosion, were held in Northern and North Central Commands. 1000 mangrove plants were grown in the beach area close to the jetty in the Kytes Island. The Divisional Secretary of Velani, govt officials, teachers and students representing the schools and number of residents in the area participated in the event. more..

Bahrain ready to engage in Sri Lanka’s economy: Khalifa

Mar 16 (DM) Bahrain says it is ready to engage with Sri Lanka’s economic growth, as they are very confident of the commercial potential Sri Lanka has. This was said by the Principal Advisor to the PM of Bahrain, Shaikh Salman Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, when visited the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce last week. He was accompanying a group of Bahrain businessmen. “We have confidence in the Sri Lankan economy and ready to help build your country,’ he told the Chamber members. more..

Video: Jt. Opp. involved in blackouts: UNP

Mar 16 (DM) One of the main constituent parties of the govt, the UNP accused the joint opposition today of sabotaging the economic development programme and said that it would shortly make an interesting disclosure on the involvement of joint opposition in the recent blackouts and the ongoing crisis in the power sector. This pledge was given by several ministers and deputy ministers at a rally and procession more..

People express their disapproval

Mar 16 (CT) Although almost three months have passed this year, it is reported that many people are expressing their disapproval regarding the inefficiency of the Sri Lanka Schools Badminton Association (SBA). Accordingly, even though three months of the year has lapsed, the SBA has not held any competition, and there is no report of a date that such a competition will be held in the future either. Neither has an election to elect new officials to the SBA been held. more..

Lankan girls and boys book semi-final berths

Mar 16 (DN) Lankan junior girls who are battling in the Junior Fed Cup Asia Oceania Pre-qualifying ITF Team Competition registered a thrilling win over Lebanon 2/1 in their quarter final tie at the Gymkhana courts yesterday. Lankan lasses will take on top seeded Singapore in the cruicial semi final today at the same venue, starting from 9.30am. Anika Seneviratne playing the first singles won the first set comfortably against Ebef Yasmeen 6/2, but with the sudden come back by more..

Graham Ford pleased with SL's progress

Mar 16 (CI) Sri Lanka had suffered series losses in New Zealand and India before being knocked out of the Asia Cup. They showed glimpses of improved form, however, during their World Twenty20 warm-up games against Pakistan and New Zealand, despite losing both. Lahiru Thirimanne, a late change to the squad, top-scored for Sri Lanka in both games, while Dinesh Chandimal made a brisk 30 at the top against more..

Controversy over dead elephant’s post-mortem

Mar 16 (Island) Controversy surrounds the death of the male elephant at the Kotte Raja Maha Viharaya yesterday as the post mortem had been conducted by the same veterinary surgeon who treated the elephant. Animal welfare societies demand an impartial post-mortem. The elephant was the one who ran berserk at the Bellanwila Raja Maha Vihara annual pageant few years ago. Director of the Department of Wildlife Conservation Dr. Tharaka Prasad said that elephant was 22 years old. more..

Court calls for a report on elephant population

Mar 16 (DN) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya ordered the Director General of the Wildlife Department that a report pertaining to the elephant population in Sri Lanka be submitted to Court on the next date. The Colombo Chief Magistrate further ordered the Director General of Wildlife that details about number of elephants die each year, number of people die each year due to human-elephant conflict be included into the report. Chief Magistrate made this order when the case against more..

Sri Lanka is open for business echoes at Singapore summit

Mar 16 (FT) The emphatic message that Sri Lanka is open for business reverberated during the well-attended full-day Investor Summit in Singapore yesterday as a host of govt, public and private sector leaders in sync showcased emerging opportunities in the country. The FinanceAsia-organised Sri Lanka Investment Summit at the Four Seasons in Singapore drew over 350 participants and the full house was considered as more..

Woman hotel owner (48) abducted by her employee

Mar 16 (Island) A 48-year-old female hotel owner in the Weligama police area was abducted by one of her employees with the help of two unidentified men on Monday night. She was taken away in her own vehicle after two employees on duty were bound and gagged at the Neptune Eco Villa, Kapparatota, Weligama, at the time. The suspects had not been arrested until yesterday evening. An investigating officer said that the victim was a mother of two children living overseas. more..

SriLankan Airlines helps crackdown on human trafficking through BIA

Mar 16 (FT) SriLankan Airlines is playing an increasingly important role in the campaign by Govt agencies to crack down on illicit travel through the BIA, with 230 people with false travel documents apprehended in 2015. Employees of the National Carrier work closely with other authorities at BIA such as the Sri Lanka Police, Customs and Immigration to identify people travelling without genuine official documents. Airline has its own group of specially trained document checkers, more..

Power outage triggers alarm amidst govt moves to attract investment

Mar 16 (Island) The CEB has assured the Board of Investment (BoI) run Export Processing Zones (EPZs) of an uninterrupted power supply despite unprecedented power cuts for the rest of the country. The CEB is struggling to meet the electricity demand due to the temporary shutdown of the Norochcholai plant. BOI Chief Upul Jayasuriya said that they were trying to ensure an uninterrupted power to factories in EPZs. more..

Prisons to tackle drug smuggling with sniffer dogs

Mar 16 (Island) Commissioner General of Prisons Nishan Dhanasinghe yesterday said sniffer dogs would be used to thwart attempts to smuggle narcotics into prisons. He said initially about 10 canines would be introduced to Welikade and Bogambara prisons to tackle the menace. The Prisons Chief said, "Some prison workers are hand in glove with outsiders as well as inmates and there is a well organised operation which has to be busted forthwith." more..

Universities play key role in managing SME innovation: Dornberg

Mar 16 (DN) Objective of managing innovation in Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SME) is to optimize research, development and the innovation environment for SMEs, International SEPT Program, Leipzig University Director Utz Dornberg said. Speaking at the event put together by the University of Business Linkage and the Grants Commission along with Deustsh Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Dornberg said universities can play a major role in bridging gaps. more..

Police break up IUSF protest march

Mar 16 (Island) Police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse a protest march organised by the IUSF near the Ceramic Junction, Fort yesterday. Students’ protest that started from the Kelaniya University was scheduled to end at the Presidential Secretariat after handing over a statement addressed to President Sirisena. Heavy traffic jams were caused in the Colombo Fort and surrounding areas due to the IUSF protest more..

New Zealand Women beat Sri Lanka

Mar 16 (CI) New Zealand Women began their World T20 campaign with an easy seven-wicket win after a late collapse restricted Sri Lanka Women to 110 for 8 in Delhi. Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat, and their opening pair of Chamari Atapattu and Yasoda Mendis stitched together a 39-run partnership. Mendis and Dilani Manodara built on that base, taking Sri Lanka to a promising position of 82 for 1 by the 13th over. The loss of Mendis to Amy Satterthwaite, however, sparked off a slide more..

Pakistan, Sri Lanka decide to enhance defence cooperation

Mar 16 (TN) Pakistan and Sri Lanka day have decided to enhance defence cooperation. This understanding was reached during a meeting with High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Jayanath Lokuketagodage and Federal Minister of Defence Production Rana Hussain. They exchanged views on matters of mutual interest and enhancing cooperation in defence production. Pakistan has always proposed futuristic defence cooperation to Sri Lanka. more..

Power supply back to normal by tomorrow morning

Mar 16 (DN) The power supply will be brought back to normal by tomorrow morning with the recommencement of operations at the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant, Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. He said the failure of the Norochcholai power plant was not due to a breakdown but caused by an automatic mechanism introduced for its protection, at such a breakdown elsewhere. more..

From darkness to light

Mar 16 (DM) In the aftermath of blackout Sunday, a crisis and a multitude of questions have arisen over vital power supplies with our feature writer analyzing it on page 12 in an article with an imaginative headline, Who is the devil behind the darkness?. Before looking for or blaming some devil, Sri Lanka’s people need to become aware that an enlightened act of patriotism in these days of catastrophic climate change would be to save electricity. Switching off unnecessary lights and using more..

Access to information leads to transparency and accountability

Mar 16 (DM) A majority of public servants and politicians now put their own interests ahead of those citizens they serve. They resort to corruption and fraud causing losses running in to billions. Former US Senator James Paul Clarke had said that A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation. It is well-timed if administrators too could now act without being mediocre leaders. Administrators also must not self-interestedly be bent on short term benefits. more..

The answer is blowing in the wind

Mar 16 (SL) Plans are afoot by the Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEBEU) to get the Electricity Act amended to remove certain impediments the CEB faces in promoting wind energy that will benefit the country and consumers. Union President, Athula Wanniarachchi, said that establishing an efficient and transparent system for procurement of coal which is being handled by one of their subsidiary companies will force more..

I am hurt: Lacille de Silva

Mar 16 (DM) The sudden removal of Lacille de Silva, former Secretary to the PRECIFAC, shocked the public and raised questions by the vigilant public as to Yahapalanaya or good governance was dealing with genuine public officers like the previous regimes did. At the same time, there were rumours that some politicians did not like Lacille and they were furious over his appearance in media and talking to journalists. more..

Not left in the Dark!

Mar 16 (DN) The much talked about blackout on Sunday evening – the worst power outage in 20 years – plunged the national unity govt into an uneasy situation at an unexpected moment. Although the power outage happened due to a technical fault, many fingers were pointed at the govt authorities – especially at the Power and Energy Ministry and the CEB, two main state bodies handling the electricity sector. more..