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Sri Lanka grateful for Dilshan's extended mid-life crisis

Mar 18 (CI) Many men, it is said, get to a certain age, and through some realisation of their own mortality, are taken over by a desire to relive their youth. They buy sports cars, get trendy tattoos, date younger women, and take up sky jumping. They are the gossip fodder of work functions. They are the school sports meet's embarrassing uncles. The smell of their aftershave precedes them; there is a trail of cringes in their wake. more..

Billion rupees worth of babul detected in first two months of this year

Mar 18 (Island) The Health Ministry yesterday said that Babul, worth one billion rupees had been seized within the first two months of this year at the Bandaranaike International Airport. Spokesman for the Ministry, Nipun Ekanayake said the Airport Customs in collaboration with its officials at the Health Bureau had seized the stocks, which had been imported from India, Pakistan, Maldives and Kuwait. The areca nut like substance is banned under the food act, he said. more..

New land regulations for environmental conservation in Ratnapura

Mar 18 (ITN) Leading countries in the world that had destroyed the environment are now taking the forefront in protecting the environment. This observation has been made by President Sirisena. He was addressing the Environment Conference held in Ratnapura. Ratnapura District Environment Conservation Conference was held in Ratnapura under the patronage of President Sirisena. Conference commenced with the planting of a Na sapling near Seevali Grounds in Ratnapura. more..

A fund to uplift Pirivena education

Mar 18 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena said that he will take steps to establish a fund to uplift Pirivena education and the temples. He made these remarks participating in a ceremony to declare open the Bhikku Hostel and Dana Shalawa at the Doranagoda Sri Sumanthindaramaya, yesterday (16). The President visited the Sri Sumanthindaramaya temple at the invitation of the Ven. Rabukwelle Devananda Thero, more..

Pamban fisherfolk open gruel centre

Mar 18 (Hindu) Traditional country boat fishermen and their family members staged a demonstration seeking the release of 23 fishermen, arrested by Sri Lankan navy on a charge of poaching in their territorial waters, after opening a kanji thotti (gruel centre) here on Thursday. The family members of the 23 fishermen, who were arrested by the Lankan navy on the night of March 12 when they were fishing on the high seas in Mannar Thaulpadu area, and a large number of women and children more..

Sri Lanka banks borrow Rs16.7bn in liquidity; overnight rate tops policy ceiling

Mar 18 (EN) Commercial banks borrowed 16.78 billion rupees from the overnight 8% liquidity window Thursday, the highest during the current balance of payment crisis after last Thursday's 10.9 billion rupees. Liquidity runs short during balance of payments crises as a central bank defends a dollar peg selling its dollar reserves sucking liquidity out. However it then injects more liquidity through the overnight window at a ceiling policy rate, keeping the credit fire burning and rates down, more..

Video: Release person imprisoned over my suicide attack: SF

Mar 18 (DM) Regional Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka today requested President Maithripala Sirisena to take necessary legal steps to release the person who is imprisoned in connection with the suicide bomb attack on him at the Army Headquarters in 2006. He said the President had set a noble example by pardoning the person who had attempted to assassinate him in a suicide attack more..

National Anthem case fixed for support

Mar 18 (DN) The Supreme Court yesterday fixed for support on June 1, the Fundamental Right petition filed by three residents in Kelaniya challenging the government's decision to sing the National Anthem in the Tamil language during the Independence Day celebrations. The Supreme Court bench comprised Chief Justice K. Sripavan, Justice Sisira de Abrew and Justice Upaly Abeyratne. The petitioners cited President Maithripala Sirisena and the Attorney General as respondents. more..

SL refugees baffled over NGO questionnaire

Mar 18 (Hindu) In a discreet move, Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in TN have been served a questionnaire that seeks to know their antecedents, passport details and future plans. An NGO is believed to be involved in the survey though refugees apprehend that some other external agency might have initiated the process. According to a couple of refugees, 3-page questionnaire was delivered at their doorstep with an instruction that it be filled and returned on the spot. more..

Dilshan's 83* sees off gutsy Afghanistan

Mar 18 (CI) A calmly compiled 56-ball 83 from Tillakaratne Dilshan steered Sri Lanka to a heart-rate-steadying six-wicket win in their opening match of the World T20, but not before Afghanistan reminded them and the rest of Group 1 that they belonged in the Super 10s. With the bat, Afghanistan recovered brilliantly from a poor start, scoring 106 runs in their last ten overs to set a challenging target of 154. more..

New map to identify irrigation projects

Mar 18 (CT) The Southern Province Irrigation Department has taken steps to draw a map and photograph all small and large-scale irrigation projects. Under the programme, arrangements have been made to map and photograph 846 anicuts and 1,000 rivers, streams, and drains. In 2015 all irrigation projects in the province were photographed with the assistance of the Digital Globe organization in America using satellite technology and Rs 5.5 million was spent on it. more..

Health Ministry battles multinational infiltration

Mar 18 (Island) Health Ministry has asked the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) and the Director General Health Services (DGHS) to take necessary action against some multinational companies trying to scuttle the govt’s battle against non-communicable diseases (NCDs). A Health Ministry official said some companies were trying to sabotage the government’s campaign to promote chemical free agriculture in a bid to control NCDs. He said those multinationals more..

Video: If you can’t run the country, give it to me: MR

Mar 18 (DM) Addressing a large crowd that had gathered at the Jana Satana rally organised by the joint opposition against the UNP - led govt in Colombo today, former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa said he would show them how the country should be run if it were handed over to him -- as the govt was doing an abysmal job of it. “If you can’t run the country, give it to me. I will show you how to run it,” said Mr. Rajapaksa, more..

Sangakkara to join SL squad tomorrow

Mar 18 (PO) Sri Lanka’s new selector Kumar Sangakkara will join the squad in India for the World T20. Former wicket-keeper and batsman Sangakkara was made a member of the selection committee a week ago. “Sanga is a knowledgeable player and will be able to motivate the players”, the secretary added. Kumar Sangakkara, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Ranjith Madurasinghe and Lalith Kaluperuma are the other members of the selection committee headed by Aravinda de Silva. more..

FUTA condemns police attack on students

Mar 18 (Island) FUTA has condemned Tuesday’s police attack on the protest march conducted by undergraduates in Colombo Fort. FUTA President Dr. Rangika Halwathura said it was a shame that the present govt, too, continued the suppression of university students the way the previous govts had done. He said the IUSF had organised the protest against moves to privatise free education and the govt had responded by firing tear gas and using water cannon. more..

Restoration of power supply further delayed: FTZ in chaos

Mar 18 (Island) CEB has informed the Biyagama Export Processing Zone (EPZ) that power supply can be restored only by March 21. Earlier, the CEB said it would fully restore the power supply by yesterday. Operations had been severely affected due to power cuts and disruption of water supply. Water Supply and Drainage Board said that due to power cut, required amount of water couldn’t supplied. Govt hadn’t been able to address more..

Embassy of Sri Lanka in Bahrain conducts forum for workers

Mar 18 (DN) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Bahrain, in close coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Employment and Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), conducted a Forum to raise awareness and potentiality of Sri Lankan semi-skilled and skilled workers. This is to secure gainful employment opportunities in the Kingdom of Bahrain. In this context, two senior most officials from the Ministry of Foreign Employment visited Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain to interact, more..

‘CEB, Water Board, private hospitals need mediation by ombudsmen’

Mar 18 (Island) There are some 200 private hospitals in Sri Lanka and they are not properly regulated, so it's time an ombudsman was appointed to represent the interests of the public by investigating and addressing their complaints through mediation, and the same should be done in terms of the interests of the public with the CEB and the Water Board, Insurance Ombudsman, Dr. Wickrama Weerasooria said in Colombo recently. He made this pertinent comment at the IPS more..

Monthly transport allowance instead of vehicle for govt officials

Mar 18 (GDI) Monthly transport allowance will replace the official vehicles provided to state sector officers in par with a proposal found in the Budget 2016, according to Ministry of Public Administration and Management. Ministry has issued a circular announcing that the monthly transport allowance of Rs.30,000 paid for the officers who are entitled for a monthly transport allowance will be revised as Rs.50,000 under the terms and more..

Moody’s welcome Lanka’s $ 700 m currency swap with RBI with caution

Mar 18 (FT) Moody’s yesterday welcomed the $ 700 million currency swap between Sri Lanka and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as a means to ease pressure on the Balance of Payments but expressed caution as the country remains vulnerable. On 10 March, Sri Lanka (B1, stable) received a $700 million currency swap from India (Baa3, positive) through the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), two days after securing a $400 million swap under the RBI’s SAARC facility. more..

Germany helping to set up top quality rescue system in Sri Lanka

Mar 18 (Island) Germany's Bjoern Steiger Foundation, involved in developing modern emergency rescue systems, is now in the process of setting up a high quality emergency rescue system in Sri Lanka, which counts as one of the most modern and efficient rescue systems to date. "It is with great responsibility that I state that the Bjoern Steiger Foundation has submitted all related documents and proposals in order to explore this great venture in Sri Lanka. more..

SL climbs 15 places in Happiness Report

Mar 18 (DN) Sri Lanka has climbed 15 places to rank at 117 position in the World Happiness Report published in 2016. Sri Lanka was ranked at No. 132 in the report published in 2015. Denmark has reclaimed its place as the world's happiest country followed by Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden, while Burundi ranks as the least happy nation. more..

Alan Methiniyarama is not registered

Mar 18 (ITN) CID has informed the Colombo Magistrate’s Court that the Siri Alan Methniyarama Temple in Polhengoda has not been registered under the Buddhist Temporalities Act. The CID said that this has been reported by the Buddhist Affairs Commissioner. As a result the Buddhist Affairs Commissioner has said that they cannot consider the properties in the Alan Methiniyarama Temple as property belonging to the Maha Sangha. This was revealed during the Magisterial Inquiry more..

Sri Lanka becoming hotter

Mar 18 (CT) The heat wave now beating down the entire country will continue into April when the sun will be directly over the country, the Met Department said. The heat wave had pushed temperatures up 3 °C during the day and 2 °C at nights above normal levels. The normal annual temperatures in the country swung between 26.5 °C to 28.5 °C. El- Nino (a climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean with a global impact on weather patterns) could be one of the reasons for the increase in intense heat. more..

Growth in Industries, agri, Services sectors

Mar 18 (DN) Agriculture, Industries and Services activities showed a significant growth rate last year. During 2015,these three activities have expanded with Agriculture, posting 5.5% growth, Industries 3.0% and the Services sector recording 5.3% growth rates. The share from these sectors plus taxes has contributed by 7.9%, 26.2%, 56.6% and 9.3% respectively in 2015. Among the sub activities of agriculture, Growing of rice more..

Consumers, it’s time to raise your voice

Mar 18 (DM) As Sri Lanka joins the international community in marking the World Consumer Rights Day and week it would be good to remind ourselves of what we are talking about when we speak of consumer rights. According to Consumers’ International, a global movement, March 15 is World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD), an annual occasion for celebration and solidarity within the international consumer movement. It marks the date in 1962 when US President John F. Kennedy more..

Scuttling reconciliation from within

Mar 18 (DM) Outside of constitutional reform, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Govt’s reconciliation process has now matured to a concrete formulation, namely the Consultations Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms [CTFRM, Task Force from now on]. This Task Force, appointed by the Prime Minister, recently opened online submissions ‘submissions in order to seek the views of stakeholders, experts and the general public on the design of the reconciliation mechanisms’. more..

Bandula breathes fire

Mar 18 (FT) The Govt should expose what happened to Rs. 1,176 billion before they accuse the former regime of undocumented borrowings, Joint Opposition strongman and SLFP MP Bandula Gunawardena said. According to the former Minister, Govt has said that it has earned over $ 8 billion after coming to power. “What did the Govt do with all these money? Development in the country has come to a halt. Where is the money?” more..

How to behave when visiting heritage sites

Mar 18 (ST) The Department of Cultural Affairs is in the process of issuing guidelines to ensure decent behaviour by people visiting heritage sites in the country. Cultural Affairs Dept. Director Anusha Fernando said the Independence Square in Colombo 7 should be considered a respected heritage of the country and not a park for lovers. “We have appointed a three member committee to probe into the recent incident more..

Sri Lanka tells Australia to protect the rights of migrants

Mar 18 (CG) Sri Lanka has urged Australia to protect the human rights of migrants in accordance with its international commitments. Speaking during the Universal Periodic Review on Australia at the UNHRC in Geneva, the Sri Lankan delegation expresses appreciation to Australia for its constructive engagement during the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review. “My delegation takes note of the initiatives taken by more..

Dhammika Ranatunga undertakes to appear before court: Police

Mar 18 (AD) SLPA Chairman Dhammika Ranatunga has reported to the Keselwatte Police station along with his lawyer and undertaken to appear before court on March 24, Police said. Court yesterday issued notice on Dhammika Ranatunga to appear in court on March 24 for allegedly threatening a journalist on March 16. Ranatunga, who is the brother of Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, was caught on camera allegedly threatening more..

Biz gets power boost

Mar 18 (FT) The business community wracked by power cuts was given a boost by the Govt yesterday, which pledged to extensively upgrade grid infrastructure, consider revamping the CEB’s administration and correct technical issues in the $ 1.3 billion Norochcholai Power Plant to prevent a future blackout. Describing the breakdown over the weekend as a tsunami, Power Deputy Minister Ajith Perera told reporters more..

Political prisoner issue sees light at the end of the tunnel

Mar 18 (SL) The political prisoner issue is likely to see an end soon with AG’s Department set to file charge sheets on those arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) but not charged. At least 14 political prisoners not charged after being arrested under the PTA when the former govt was in office, were on hunger strike for several days demanding that they either be charged or be released, suspended the strike last Friday. more..

Sri Lanka energy regulator says some CEB practices risky

Mar 18 (EN) Sri Lanka’s energy regulator has demanded the CEB explain reasons for recent islandwide power failures and recommended measures to prevent their recurrence, saying some of its practices were risky. The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has told the CEB, the state power utility, that a single element failure in the power system should not result in islandwide power failures. more..

Ratnapriya says MPs entitled to better perks than professionals

Mar 18 (Island) The Purawesi Sanvidhana Ekamuthuwa (PSE) said lawmakers were entitled to better perks than doctors and other professionals. Addressing the media, Co-Convenor of the PSE, Saman Ratnapriya said however that the PSE was against such increases. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya should discard the decisions taken at the Party Leaders Meeting to increase allowances given to MPs, he said. more..

Protest near UN complex: Weerawansa, 5 others get bail

Mar 18 (AM) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya ordered the release of seven members of NFF including Wimal Weerawansa on a surety bail of Rs 100,000 each over alleged unlawful protest march in early February. NFF staged a protest near the UNDP office against the arrival of the UNHRC Chief Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein to the island. They are charged of causing hardship to the public by blocking the roads and more..

'Maithri - Ranil regime should end their political games'

Mar 18 (LT) "Local govt elections cannot be put off for more than a year in a situation like today where emergency regulations are not operative. Hence, the government is attempting to postpone elections through a new bill. The govt enact laws not for the benefit of the people or to establish democracy. The serious issue here is that Maithri - Ranil regime does not act according to the mandate of the people. more..

State-owned enterprises should generate revenue

Mar 18 (CT) Recently, Minister Ravi Karunanayake told an investment forum in Singapore that the government is seeking to privatize some of the non-strategic public sector institutions to cut public-debt, while hoping to list a few non-strategic State-owned bodies in the CSE, in the next three months. State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) such as Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and SriLankan Airlines are incurring massive losses and, thereby, have become a burden to the public. more..

Asian Human Rights Commission sees serious governance crisis here

Mar 18 (Island) Recent reports of a killing spree in Sri Lanka demonstrate that there is a serious governance crisis in country, Asian Human Rights Commission said yesterday. "While the Govt’s attempt to develop various units of the police to deal with this issue should be welcomed, such measures alone cannot hope to effectively address the problem of lawlessness, which is a breeding ground for criminal elements," the AHRC said in a release. AHRC release said: more..

JVP press conference