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The Blue Fairy at last

Mar 17 (DM) At last the stigmatised six-year-old boy of Kuliyapitiya seems to have come very close to seeing the blue fairy. The issue of the 6-year-old child, who was refused admission to a school because of a rumour that his father was HIV positive, and created much stir in society, seems to be seeing a better end, but still there’s more to be done. Last week the Trinity College, Kandy came forward to take the child in and an MoU was signed with the College and the Education Ministry. more..

Donor Card to save kidney patients

Mar 17 (DM) A media seminar was conducted for world kidney day by the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine. The organisers introduced a novel idea with regards to kidney transplant at the seminar. Accordingly, a Donor’s Card would be issued with prior consent of the donor, so that in the event of death by accident, the organ could be extracted immediately without delay. “International Kidney Day was introduced on March 10 2006, and this year for world kidney day more..

Wimal Weerawansa

Sri Lanka shipping line to diversify business with new vessel

Mar 17 (EN) Sri Lanka’s national carrier, Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC), aims to diversify business now that it has taken delivery of the first of two bulk carriers ordered from a shipyard in China, its chairman said. The vessel, MV Ceylon Breeze, called at Colombo Tuesday on its way to deliver a shipment of 55,000 tonnes of coal to the Norochcholai coal-fired power plant on the north-west coast. CSC chairman Shashi Dhanatunge said the line is taking delivery of the ships more..

The R2P doctrine and failing states

Mar 17 (Island) The question was raised sometime back in international circles whether Sri Lanka is a failed or failing state. The latter stages of the military onslaught unleashed against the LTTE under the former Mahinda Rajapaksa administration and the resultant contentious issues constituted the backdrop to this very important poser. This issue is no longer a very prominent question in the international agenda in relation to Sri Lanka because the present Maithripala-Ranil administration more..

Square off indecency

Mar 17 (NS) The Independence Square is considered a symbol of historic importance, a symbol which tells us Sri Lankans the story of the country’s freedom from the Colonial rule. But last week, a group of people staged a silent protest at the Independence Square, calling for a slightly different kind of freedom. An incident where a couple was not allowed within the premises of the Independence Square went viral on several more..

WT20: West Indies beat England

Mar 17 (CI) Chris Gayle, at 36, knows that he could be playing his last World Twenty20 and, judging by the manner in which he pulverised England at the Wankhede, he intends to go out in style. England's bowlers began the night fretting about the dew, and ended it drenched to the skin by the sight of Gayle raining sixes into the sky. Nobody has hit as many sixes in a World T20 innings as the 11 that Gayle despatched in Mumbai, breaking his own record of 10 against South Africa in 2007 more..

WT20: Pakistan beat Bangladesh

Mar 17 (CI) Pakistan's batting line-up, which had misfired frequently in recent matches, finally came together in their first match of the World T20 2016 to overpower Bangladesh by 55 runs. Fifties from Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez, and Shahid Afridi's 19-ball 49 propelled Pakistan to 201 for 5, a total which proved too steep for a side that had beaten them in their last two T20I encounters. This was only the second time Pakistan scored more than 200 in a T20 international, and more..

Rise of EXIM Bank begins

Mar 17 (FT) In a bid to rev up exports, Commonwealth Secretariat is presently engaged in enhancing export finance opportunities and developing the initial concept work for setting up an EXIM Bank for Sri Lanka. “Commonwealth Offices in London have given the first EXIM Bank concept paper to the Govt of SL and we are now ready to give technical assistance to set it up,” Commonwealth Secretariat Head of Trade more..

Editorial: Jumbo woes

Mar 17 (Island) No sooner had a popular Buddhist monk been arrested for keeping a baby jumbo and released on bail than a young elephant died at a famous Buddhist temple on Tuesday. Animal rights activists have expressed displeasure at the manner in which the postmortem exam was conducted on the elephant. Wildlife Department has washed its hands of the issue. Police have said there was no suspicion about the elephant’s death and, therefore, animal was buried after postmortem exam. more..

Transitional SL rely on Chameera's pace

Mar 17 (CI) SL have always done well in multi-nation tournaments, but this time they are unlikely to defend their World T20 title since the players who helped them become a great team have now retired. That's what happens when transition occurs by default and not design. Sri Lanka struggled in the Asia Cup and are expected to struggle in the World T20. While there aren't too many factors in SL's favour, they may be helped by the fact that they are the only subcontinental team in their group. more..

'Embilipitiya Case: Probe in favour of Police'

Mar 17 (DM) Prosecution had conducted investigations and the inquiry in a favorable manner to the Police in the Embilipitiya death case, Attorney-at-law Udul Premaratne said. “As the aggrieved party we observed court concern that since the case on Sumith Jayawardena, who died during an altercation at a party in Embilipitiya case, was against the Police authority, the prosecution had conducted the investigations and more..

EWIS ventures to Bangladesh

Mar 17 (DN) EWIS Information Systems, SL’s first and only Original Device Manufacturer plans on venturing into the Bangladesh market with their factory slated to open in 2017 in Dhaka. EWIS Managing Director Sanjeewa Wickremenayake said the company has already begun construction of their Bangladesh plant which is a US$ 2 million investment. EWIS will be partnering with the Summit Group of Bangladesh to help with their country’s Digitalizing Bangladesh programme. more..

Commercial Bank introduces e passbook

Mar 17 (Island) Commercial Bank has broken new ground in technology-enabled convenience by becoming the first bank in SL to offer customers an e-Passbook that provides access to details of savings, current, NRFC and RFC accounts on Android and iOS powered mobile devices. A breakthrough digital virtual mobile application offered free by the country's largest private bank enables account holders to have a real-time view of transactions of the past 30 days on their more..

Economic diplomacy need of the hour: Poll

Mar 17 (FT) The latest nationwide survey conducted by research firm TNS Lanka, for business magazine LMD, reveals “that there is widespread contentment among the people at large that our diplomatic relations are strong”. The magazine says that respondents want Sri Lanka’s diplomatic strategies to be streamlined with the country’s economic policies, with a whopping 90% of those polled agreeing that economic more..

Carl Cruz new Unilever Sri Lanka Chairman

Mar 17 (FT) With effect from 1 March Carl Cruz assumed duties as Chairman of Unilever SL, taking the helm from his predecessor, Shazia Syed, who has returned to Pakistan to assume her duties as the CEO of Unilever Pakistan. Carl arrived in SL from the Philippines, where he last served as the Vice President of Customer Development for Unilever Philippines. Under his leadership, the function was transformed into an execution and talent powerhouse for the business, more..

Sri Lanka needs a swift turnaround

Mar 17 (Hindu) Wavering form and a waning success graph confront Sri Lanka as it embarks on its defence of the ICC World T20 title it won in style two years ago in Bangladesh. The island nation appears to be challenged more by the diffidence in its own ranks than the on-field antagonist, which will be Afghanistan in its first Super 10 league outing at Eden Gardens here on Thursday. The recent diminution in its stature as a T20 outfit is reflected in the ICC rankings, in which it is on the brink of more..

Amendment to MP allowances soon : Karu

Mar 17 (DN) House Committee recently met with the participation of all parties representing Parliament to discuss the proposed amendment to the allowances currently paid to the MPs, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said. Speaker said he hoped to thwart any false information likely to be generated as a result of the proposed amendments by addressing the media squarely on the issue. Although the need to increase the allowances of MPs exists, more..

Herd of deer roaming at MRIA chased out

Mar 17 (DM) Wild Life Conservation Department and the Army chased out a herd of deer numbering fifteen at Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) runways. However, sources said that nearly 100 deer were seen within the air port premises even on the runway on a regular basis. The herd of deer numbering 15 had came to the runaway yesterday and they had taken steps to chase away the herd, though the they used to roam the airport premises for a long time. more..

Kandy one-way traffic scheme draws fire

Mar 17 (Island) Strong opposition is mounting to the one-way traffic system on Sirimavo Bandaranaike Mawatha (Peradeniya Road) and William Gopallawa Mawatha of Kandy. Uniflow system is effective between 3.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. daily. Vehicles bound for Kandy are diverted along Sirimavo Bandaranaike Mawatha while others proceeding towards Peradeniya are diverted through the William Gopallawa Mawatha. New traffic system has caused hardship to the business community more..

Joint opposition calls on victims of UNP to join today's rally

Mar 17 (DM) MPs attached to the SLFP's joint opposition said that they hoped the party wouldn’t take disciplinary action against them for taking part in the rally which would be held today in Colombo as it would be held against the UNP. The rally organised by the joint opposition would be held at Hyde Park Grounds, in Colombo this afternoon with participation of ex-President Rajapaksa against Govt led by UNP. more..

Kidney racket: 3 held, cops investigate Sri Lanka link in Vadodara

Mar 17 (ENS) Anand police on Wednesday arrested three persons in connection with the kidney racket at Pandoli village in Petlad taluka of the district. They were identified as Valsad resident Mukesh Chimanlal Chaudhari alias Mukul; Ahmedabad resident Sher Ali Khan and Pandoli resident Rafiq Ahmed Vohra. Vohra was named by Aamir Malik, the 27-year-old victim who filed the complaint. Police also said that five victims have confessed to travelling to Sri Lanka to sell their kidneys. more..

Allow fair time for Govt to deliver: Marrikar

Mar 17 (DN) UNP MP S.M. Marrikar requested the opposition parties to allow a fair time for the current govt to deliver the promises made without obstructing their path for petty political gain. He joked that some Joint Opposition MPs representing SLFP have begun making overseas tours in an attempt to dodge the protest rally against the current govt on Thursday. "MPs Prasanna Ranatunga and Prasanna Ranaweera have reportedly gone to Germany. more..

4 charred bodies inside Dehiwela house

Mar 17 (DN) Four charred bodies including that of two children who are suspected to have died due to electrocution were found by Dehiwela Police inside a house in Kawdana, Dehiwela last morning. Bodies were charred beyond recognition when they were discovered on the ground floor of the three storied house. Bodies of three females and a male, believed to be from the same family, were found inside residence. more..

Toxic gas caused Dehiwala deaths

Mar 17 (DM) Postmortem revealed that the death of four people inside a house at Kawdana in Dehiwela this morning has been caused by the inhalation of toxic gas. Mount Lavinia Magistrate, who conducted the magisterial inquiry into the deaths, had ordered that the body parts be sent to Govt Analyst. Investigations carried out at the scene have revealed that the carbon monoxide had been emitted after a mobile phone charger that was plugged in got burnt. more..

Cabinet nod for Karapitiya expansion

Mar 17 (DN) Health Ministry is expanding the facilities at Karapitiya Teaching Hospital. The Cabinet has approved to build the new theatre complex and CCD has estimated the project. The project has already received the approval of the Planning Department. Ministry has taken measures to solve the issue at Karapitiya Teaching Hospital’s heart surgery waiting list. There are 2,200 patients in the waiting list to undergo heart surgeries at the hospital and their surgeries will be expedited. more..

‘No guarantee blackouts would not occur in future’

Mar 17 (Island) General Manager CEB M.C Wickramasekera said that they were in the process of normalizing the power cut issue by today but cannot guarantee that such power outages would not occur in the future. "We are now working to put the Norochcholai power plant back into operation but cannot guarantee that this will not happen again. We are now investigating to assess the situation to verify whether more..

Dry weather likely to reduce tea quantities available for auction

Mar 17 (FT) Dry weather conditions are likely to hit tea production with quantities available at auction declining over the next few weeks, observed Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers. Releasing their weekly tea report the company noted this week’s auction offerings totaled a 6.0M/kgs while low grown teas met with improved demand whilst there was less demand for the high grown teas. Shippers to Turkey, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria together with CIS were active this week. more..

Vasu takes Govt to task on power outages

Mar 17 (DN) The govt can never be pardoned for the constant power failures occurring in the country. This is the opinion expressed by the public today, MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said. Addressing a press conference organized by the Socialist Peoples Front, Nanayakkara said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe too had expressed that power outages could never be excused. This was a funny statement similar to the Sinhala saying Horata Issara Kesel Kena Weta Penna Wage. more..

Premajayantha to quit politics?

Mar 17 (CT) Minister Susil Premajayantha, Vice President of the UPFA and National Organizer of the SLFP has hinted that he is seriously considering a permanent departure from politics. He hinted at this at a function held yesterday to congratulate new UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera assuming office. Premajayantha commenced his political career as a member of the Kotte Municipal Council and more..

Hot news and the burning facts behind it

Mar 17 (DM) Amid warnings of power cuts, the temperature yesterday afternoon reached more than 35C Celsius or 95F—perhaps the hottest days in our history and direct result of global warming and climate change. Generally, until there is inner spiritual liberation, human nature is so self-centred, that we don’t have much concern for major social issues until they directly affect us. That is what is happening now and in a sense it might be an inner journey from darkness to light. more..

The Washington Model and the China Card

Mar 17 (DM) Sri Lanka’s current foreign policy and external alignments are increasingly asymmetrical with the needs of its material base; with its fundamental economic, financial and developmental requirements and interests. Sri Lanka is being redesigned and reconstituted into what Mao Zedong called a semi-colony. A semi-colony is one which does not belong to a single outside power but is shared by several, with each having its sphere of preponderant influence. more..

Blackouts could have been avoided

Mar 17 (DM) The blackout, worst in 20 years, caused much consternation to the govt as it happened at a time the country was facing many economic headwinds. Blackout did not spare even President Sirisena in the discharge of his duties. At yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, President noted that the generator installed at Presidential Secretariat had not functioned during the blackout and that he had to cut short his work and go home. more..

Mahinda Amaraweera: It’s MR’s fault

Mar 17 (DM) Newly appointed UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Ameraweera unravels the shortcomings of the former UPGA regime which included giving protections to criminals and reasons for the defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Q: So you were also well treated by the President? A: There is no issue regarding it. He always treats me well and I view this decision as something taken towards the party. more..

SL extracts more taxes from people in 2015

Mar 17 (EN) Sri Lanka has extracted more taxes from the people in 2015, with the tax take rising to 11.5% of gross domestic product from 10.1% a year earlier, with revenue to GDP rising to 13.1%. A revised budget presented in January 2015 expected tax revenues to rise to 1337 billion rupees or about 11.8% of GDP, from 1,050 billion rupees in 2014, when the economic activity slowed amid a domestic credit contraction and foreign reserves rose. more..

Precious little done about Gem Authority scams

Mar 17 (SL) Chairman, National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) Asanka Welagedara has come under fire for re-instating an employee who had been suspended from service for the alleged misappropriation of NGJA funds running into millions of rupees. Welagedara is the son-in-law of Mrs. Maithripala Sirisena’s sister and was appointed Chairman by the subject minister President Sirisena after election victory on Jan 8, 2015. more..

Hybrid heart surgery on staggered basis at two locations

Mar 17 (ST) He has had many heart troubles in the past but on Tuesday he had come from his home in Ratnapura to the Sri J'pura General Hospital in Kotte to get just two sutures removed from a small incision made on the left side of his chest. There has been no opening up of the chest wall with a big cut, neither has there been the sawing of the breast bone (sternum) to expose the diseased heart of 32-year-old P.K.P.C Kumara, to heal it. more..

Faiszer urged to hold polls for two LG bodies in Mullaitivu

Mar 17 (CG) The Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Govt, Faiszer Musthapha has been urged to hold elections at two Local Government (LG) institutions in the Mullaitivu District. The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), in a letter to the Minister sent today has called for the creation of an environment conducive for political parties to be registered in the area ahead of the election. more..

SLFP sounds more conciliatory towards rebel parliamentarians

Mar 17 (Island) UPFA General Secretary and Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the SLFP Central Committee would take a decision against those who would participate in the Joint Opposition’s rally at Hyde Park today after studying the contents of their speeches. He said none of the SLFP members would be removed due to personal reasons. Anybody could stand against a public matter but that did mean they had left party, more..

Govt regrets having granted huge public sector salary hike

Mar 17 (Island) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that an unprecedented Rs 10,000 salary increase to the public sector had caused severe difficulties against the backdrop of balance of payment crisis. He declared that the country couldn’t afford such a salary increase. MP Abeywardena alleged that the national economy had to pay a very heavy price due to unrealistic promises made by major political parties. more..