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President presides 60th anniversary of the Industrial Technology Institute

Mar 17 (PSL) Sixtieth anniversary of the Industrial Technology Institute was held today (16) at the Waters Edge Hotel, under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. A first day cover and a souvenir stamp were issued marking this event. President presented awards to those who rendered a great service to the institute for a long time. He also presented awards for the best innovation and the best technical assignment. more..

'SLMC wants separate province for Muslims'

Mar 17 (DN) If the TNA proposes a North-East merger for finding a solution to the country's ethnic problem which has prevailed for the last three decades, a separate province must be given for Muslims, Minister Rauff Hakeem said. He added that we will not allow the merger of the East with the North until Muslims' problems are approached in an accepted manner. A separate province for Muslims who live in N&E more..

Politics & Underworld: A Symbiotic Monster

Mar 17 (CT) The general man on the street, as well as the affluent, citizens all, might be forgiven for taking with a teaspoonful of salt, the assignment of Special Task Force operatives to track down gangsters and their weapons in a knee-jerk reaction to the sudden spurt of gangland killings in Colombo over the past fortnight. STF DIG Ranjith Perera has inherited one heck of a poser in that he has to deploy his men countrywide to flush out these killer gangs and the T56 weapons they are more..

Fertilizer subsidy extended to Tea, Rubber and Vegetables

Mar 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s govt has officially decided to extend the existing fertilizer subsidy to tea, rubber and vegetable farmers, Special Assignments Minister Sarath Amunugama said. “According to our estimates one third of the fertilizer subsidy for paddy farmers ultimately ended up with tea and rubber farmers through various irregularities,” Amunugama said. “So after taking into account those things, we decided to allocate 2 billion rupees for the fertilizer subsidy of Tea and Rubber farmers.” more..

Navin Dissanayake

Sri Lanka shares at two-week high

Mar 17 (Reuters) Shares gained for the second session on Thursday at their highest in two weeks as investors bought beaten-down stocks, but concerns over a higher budget deficit and economic growth dampened investor sentiment. Share index was up 0.78%, or 47.15 points, at 6,068.52 at 0711 GMT, its highest since March 3. Investors preferred fixed interest rate bearing assets over shares due to a rise in yields on treasury bills, which are hovering at two-year highs, more..

Power Crisis: Engineer’s warnings ignored

Mar 17 (Island) President Sirisena revealed that warnings by a senior engineer several months back of the country heading towards blackouts had gone unheeded. Informed sources said that the President had informed the Cabinet of Ministers which met in Colombo, that a senior engineer at the Biyagama Grid Substation had a few months back cautioned his General Manager of power outages, unless serious shortcomings were addressed urgently, but it had been ignored. more..

JVP wants LG polls under old system

Mar 17 (DM) JVP said the LG Election should be announced before March 31 and that the election should be held under the previous electoral system without delay. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said it was illegal to postpone LG Election as per the Local Govt Act; the term of Local Govt Bodies could be extended only by a year. “LG election cannot be postponed more than a year. Previously it was done according to more..

Where is the academic integrity?

Mar 17 (CT) In 2012, academics of the state University system and FUTA engaged in a long, hard trade union action demanding 6% of the GDP to be allocated for education. Among FUTA’s other demands, stoppage of politicization of Universities, ensuring autonomy of universities etc, are included. These demands, if realized well, are expected to make sure the state funded, free-education based University system in the country could function in its true spirit and intellectual capacity. more..

Power outage: First probe report ready next Tuesday

Mar 17 (Island) A short-term solution for the emergency power outages would be submitted to the President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe next Tuesday (22), Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. He said that the first meeting of the committee, appointed by the President to investigate the reasons for the recent power outages, had been held on Wednesday (15) evening at Power & Renewable Energy Ministry. more..

Dammika Ranatunga noticed by court over threatening media men

Mar 17 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate today noticed SLPA Chairman Dammika Ranatunga to appear in Court on March 24 following a B Report filed by Keselwatte Police over the alleged incident of threatening a journalist on the Colombo High Court premises yesterday. Mr. Ranatunga arrived at the premises to attend the hearing yesterday for the bail application revision for his brother Nishantha Ranatunga and had more..

Sri Lankan man arrested for sexually harassing minor girl

Mar 17 (Hindu) A Sri Lankan Tamil, V. Parthiban (38), was arrested by Cantonment All Women Police on a charge of sexually harassing a minor girl here on Tuesday. Police sources said that the girl’s mother had been working as a maid in the house of Raji of Karumandapam area. Parthiban, said to be a relative of Raji, had been staying there. The sources said that he had sexually harassed the minor girl. The offence came to light when the girl told her mother about this. more..

Sri Lanka people face Rs8.7bn bill over latest Lak Sathosa scandal

Mar 17 (EN) In the latest case of mis-management at Lak Sathosa, a trading agency run by the elected rulers, is facing an 8.7 billion rupee shortfall on a 14 billion rupee loan to import a stock of rice which is now rotting away. Lanka Sathosa had imported 257,857 metric tonnes with of rice on a 14.078 billion bank loan. Up to now 17 billion rupees had been spent on the stock so far including for transport and warehousing, the cabinet of ministers had been informed. more..

Three SOEs account for bulk of hidden Rs1.1trln liabilities: Ravi

Mar 17 (EN) Costly loans taken by three state-owned enterprises including SriLankan Airlines under the former Rajapaksa regime account for the bulk of hidden liabilities uncovered by the new govt, Miniser Ravi Karunanayake said. SriLankan Airlines had racked up total contingent liabilities of 240 billion rupees from 2009 to 2015, he said. “When Emirates airline handed back management of SriLankan more..

Fonseka accuses Gotabhaya of kicking a soldier to death

Mar 17 (CG) Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka accused former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa of kicking a soldier to death. Fonseka claimed that Rajapaksa committed the crime when he was in the military and served as a lieutenant in the army Sinha Regiment unit. Fonseka said that the soldier initially had a chest pain when he was taken for training to Minneriya jungle. The former army chief said that Rajapaksa, who was in charge of the training at the time, had ordered some of the more..

Niluka Ekanayake, new Governor of Central Province

Mar 17 (PSL) Mrs. Niluka Ekanayake was sworn in as the new Governor of the Central Province before President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s Official Residence, today. The appointment was made to fill the vacancy created by the demise of Mrs. Surangani Ellawala. Mrs. Niluka Ekanayake was former Consultant Editor of the Subasetha newspaper and served as a journalist for a long period of time. She received his primary education from Kerawalapitiya Vidyaloka Vidyalaya, more..

Raviraj killing: Court says enough evidence to indict suspects

Mar 17 (DM) Considering the evidence and affidavits submitted by the prosecution during the non-summary proceeding in connection with the killing of former MP Nadarajah Raviraj and his driver in 2006, Colombo Additional Magistrate Thilina Gamage said today there was sufficient evidence to indict the seven suspects in the high court. Submitting the affidavits and the postmortem examination reports on the killing, more..

Govt to renovate 30-year old generators at Victoria Power Station

Mar 17 (LBO) The cabinet nod has been given to renovate the generators at the Victoria Power Station to obtain their maximum efficiency. It has been decided to award the tender for replacement of the Stator of the No. 03 generator of the Victoria Power Station to the bidder recommended by the Cabinet Appointed Standing Procurement Committee. Three generators are being used at the Victoria Power Station for over 30 years. Technicians have recommended that more..

One dead, 9 hospitalised during military training

Mar 17 (DM) One soldier died and at least nine others were hospitalized due to a sudden illness while undergoing training at the Special Forces training camp in Maduruoya today. Military spokesman said they suspected that the soldier who was a resident of Kadurugaswewa died due to severe dehydration. He said the Army Commander had instructed the military Police to conduct an investigation into the incident and said they would also provide assistance to more..

Video: Namal Rajapaksa arrives at FCID

Mar 17 (DM) MP Namal Rajapaksa arrived at the FCID a short while ago. He was summoned before the FCID to record a statement regarding a financial transaction. Earlier the FCID filed charges against eight persons including Former President Rajapaksa’s elder son MP Namal Rajapaksa for violating the Money Laundering Act when buying Govers Private Limited. The FCID prosecuted against the eight persons before more..

PM warns CEB saboteurs

Mar 17 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe warned yesterday that several high officials will have to go home if there is another power outage causing serious inconveniences in the country. He also emphasized the fact that he is implementing every step possible, regarding this issue, as a PM who was appointed by the people. PM made these comments when he met a group of young MPs of the UNF. This group urged the PM to take preemptive action against the destabilization more..

Video: Ministers do not control power supply

Mar 17 (AD) Minister Champika Ranawaka, says that country’s power supply system is not controlled by ministers and that those who stole billions by building cheap power plants are now talking about power cuts. Four power breakdowns had occurred in the past 10 years and once even during the New Year in April 2009. After that for 6 whole years no nationwide blackouts occurred, he said. “This happened thrice within past 6 months. So there is no reason for it to happen automatically” more..

SL says serious threat to electricity network

Mar 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka warned of a serious security threat to its electricity grid as engineers battled for the fifth straight day to restore supplies crippled by an explosion and fire. Deputy minister Ajith Perera said investigators had not ruled out sabotage in Sunday's blast and a fire at the main distribution centre just outside the capital. "There is a serious security threat. That is why the military has been called in to protect these locations," more..

Court to issue order on 29th

Mar 17 (CT) Homagama Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake said that an order will be issued on the 29th as to whether a murder accusation can be filed against the Army Intelligence officers who are in custody at present on suspicion of having abducted and detained missing Journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda. Magistrate further said that since there is no evidence or circumstantial evidence that Ekneligoda is dead, he will issue an order whether a murder accusation can be maintained further, more..

Ven. Aththadassi’s successor within a month

Mar 17 (CT) A suitable monk candidate will be appointed within one month to fill the office of Mahanayake Thera of Asgiriya Chapter of the Siyam Nikaya that fell vacant with the passing away of the Most Venerable Galagama Sri Aththadassi Thera. The traditional seventh day offering of alms to confer merit on the late Aththadassi Thera was held on 15 March at the Asgiriya Maha Vihara. Registrar of the Asgiriya Chapter Venerable Anamaduwe Dhammadassi Thera made this statement more..

Video: Port City resuming under amended terms: Ravi K.

Mar 17 (DM) The Chinese funded Colombo Port City Project would not be carried out according to the original plan signed during the previous regime, but with certain amendments to make it environmentally viable, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. Chinese funded Colombo Port City Project would not be carried out according to the original plan signed during the previous regime, but with certain amendments more..

North Koreans detained in Sri Lanka after carrying cash

March 17 (Yonhap) Two North Koreans have been detained in Sri Lanka after carrying US$150,000 in cash, sources said Thursday, with the local customs office opening an investigation into the case. Two North Koreans, who departed from Oman to China, were arrested on Monday in a Colombo-based airport while transferring to another flight. Under Sri Lankan law, any cash amounting to more than $10,000 can be confiscated if the carriers fail to make a proper report to the authorities. more..

Sri Lanka says engagement with SAARC remains high priority

March 17 (CG) Sri Lanka says its engagement with SAARC remains a high priority in keeping with the country’s commitments towards SAARC and to move forward the current SAARC activities in different spheres. Minister Mangala Samaraweera, speaking at the 37th Session of the SAARC Council of Ministers meeting in Pokhara, Nepal today, said that last year alone, Sri Lanka was the host to eleven SAARC meetings and workshops relating to several important areas of cooperation. more..

Won’t quit politics even if entire family is imprisoned: Mahinda

March 17 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that the govt is attempting to pin the blame on him for the country’s current economic situation by saying the former govt obtained excessive loans and that he is also being accused of taking secret loans. UPFA MP said he did work for the loans he took and that if he had taken secret loans and there are no records kept, then the incumbent govt should refrain from more..

Fundamental human rights and freedoms

Mar 18 (CT) One of the key challenges of drafting a new constitution might be (1) whether and how economic, social and cultural rights could be constitutionalized, and (2) what are the ways and means of operationalizing them in some meaningful way in a new constitution. It is understood that legal remedies cannot easily be sought in the case of economic, social and cultural rights, like in the case of civil and political rights. What might be achieved is public interest litigation, more..

Political suicides one after the other

Mar 18 (NS) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe must be a disappointed man this week because ministers of his govt are trying to commit political suicide, one minister after another, week after week. Why is the question we have to ask after hearing of the latest antics of the Minister Lakshman Kiriella followed by blunders of Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. Both Kiriella and Kariyawasam are among the PM’s trusted loyalists, the former being entrusted with the task of being Leader of the House. more..

Bold and brutal

Mar 18 (SO) The five charred bodies inside a burnt vehicle in Buthgampola, Dankotuwa on March 11 has brought the broad daylight shooting to a new dimension in the backdrop of the intense security launched by the police with the support of the intelligence network and the military to check the rising crime wave in the country. The police though have not arrived at a conclusion about the ongoing shooting incidents, believe more..

Digging the root cause

Mar 18 (DN) In tropical countries the sources of nutrients exist on the high ground of the landscape. The natural forest, the perennial crops, the seasonal crops, the animals both tamed and wild and small and large including the worms and micro-organisms live on the ground and sub surfaces are the real source of nutrients. These generators supplement the crops grown in the deep valley that is normally rice in Sri Lanka. In our traditional approach, maintenance of the source of nutrients more..

Burnt to Heal, therapeutic indeed!

Mar 18 (DN) Elephants are magnificent, fascinating animals. The authentic article appeared in Daily News on Feb 15, headlined as Burnt to Heal, Tharindu Muthukumarana presents several distinctive conceptions of protection of elephant. It is obvious that he put much thought in this presentation, for he named acts of criminal destruction of elephants that would typically escape human beings. While his meticulous scrutiny is basically palatable to all sections of people, more..

Different ideologies no consensus

Mar 18 (CT) Former Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake, could not give leadership to the Sports Ministry and now Dayasiri Jayasekara has been appointed as Minister and he is not doing a good job either, claimed the former Minister Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage. Q: Is the SLFP ready for the coming LG Election? A: LG Election has been postponed for one year; however, we want to form a SLFP Govt in the near future because more..

Editorial: Conspiracies galore!

Mar 18 (Island) The CEB is the proud owner of an antediluvian distribution system. Heavy loads often do to it what a potent aphrodisiac did to an elderly minister the other day; he nearly lost a vital part of his anatomy. The recent power failure has galvanised the govt and the CEB into action because it affected the entire country and provoked a public outcry. They do not care two hoots about frequent blackouts and brownouts in the suburbs of Colombo where people have learnt more..

Gota, dynasties and retribution

Mar 18 (FT) Speaking to the media recently, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the former Defence Secretary, sought to explain the ongoing inquiries into serious mishandling of public funds by the Rajapaksa family and their associates, by reiterating the common defence of a political vendetta. Taking up the pose of a person wronged, he claimed that this is the usual reward in our history for those who have done service to the country. The historical process will also visit those behind more..


Moving from conventional farming to organic farming

Mar 18 (CT) I number of people have expresses surprise about my statement that “Organic fertilizers made by repeated composting of leaves can have dangerous amounts of metal toxins like Cd and As, as plants bio-accumulate them”, quoted from Wholesome agriculture for a toxin free nation?. Others have expressed surprise at the statement that “Chemical analyzes of the soil, water and food have NOT revealed any relevant toxins from agrochemicals.” more..

Shenwari on his backside, Stanikzai off his feet

Mar 18 (CI) Samiullah Shenwari had just drilled the previous ball back down the ground for four, and he probably expected Thisara Perera to shorten his length a bit. He knew third man was inside the circle, and read the situation perfectly well. Down came the back-of-a-length delivery outside off, and Shenwari was quickly in position to play a reverse-swat into the gap to the left of the fielder. It was cleverly done, but by no means elegantly, and Shenwari lost balance and fell onto his backside. more..