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Survey, a bid to repatriate refugees: Ramadoss

Mar 19 (Hindu) PMK founder S. Ramadoss has alleged that an attempt was being made to repatriate Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in Tamil Nadu by creating an opinion that they were willing to return home. Referring to a survey being conducted among refugees by an NGO that is circulating a three-page questionnaire seeking to know their personal details and future plans, Dr. Ramadoss said the motive was to float an impression that the refugees were longing to return to Sri Lanka. more..

Indian firms in fresh effort to win more Lankan biz

Mar 19 (FT) Undeterred by politicised opposition in Sri Lanka over a new bilateral deal India’s private sector yesterday kicked off a fresh initiative to win more business with the opening of a mega three-day exhibition of machinery, industrial supplies and technology in Colombo. Around 86 firms are present at the INDEE Sri Lanka 2016, organised by the Engineering Export Promotion Council of India (EEPC), showcasing exhibits from diverse more..

Sri Lanka aiming for balanced development approach: Ravi

Mar 19 (EN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the govt aims for a balanced development approach that will ensure growth while promoting social equity. The implementation of the new United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development goals (SGDs) adopted in August 2015 would be a challenge for many countries because of limited financial and institutional capacities, he said. UN member states are urged to take necessary initial steps immediately to internalise the SDGs to more..

Acting Minister speaks on President’s supplementary estimate

Mar 19 (NS) Acting Finance Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana says that the latest supplementary estimate on President’s expenditure has been given an erroneous definition and the amount is not only for President Sirisena’s personal expenses. Minister also mentioned that compared to previous year allocations, this year amount is considerably small. “Rs. 2567.5 million has been allocated for the expenditure of President’s office and related matters. more..

Academics oppose fact-finding foreign trips by politicos

Mar 19 (NS) Academics have called upon the Govt to send graduates and educated youth on fact-finding missions and researches instead of politicians. “Govt should instead of sending MPs on fact-finding missions send researchers, graduate students who follow higher degrees such as Masters and Doctorate degrees and undergraduates, to major cities in the world to observe, research, learn and come back with solutions to be implemented more..

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

Mar 19 (DM) 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 and a fashion show featuring well-known designers Ramona Oshini amongst others, more..

Hyde Park rally organized by MR's blind followers: Left Centre Co-Convener

Mar 19 (DN) The Hyde Park rally was organized by blind followers of Mahinda Rajapaksa, who are at his beck and call, Co-Convener of the Left Centre Chameera Perera said. "The Hyde Park rally was not a political rally but a meeting of Rajapaksa's devotees, who see him (Rajapaksa) as a god. It is clear when one looks at Rajapaksa's speech at the Hyde Park meeting where he always stresses that everything can be done only by him. These are none other than characteristics of Fascist politics," more..

Fire, explosion affect power in Jaela, Kotugoda

Mar 19 (DN) A sudden fire followed by an explosion at the Kotugoda Sub Station of the CEB resulted in a power cut in a number of areas in Jaela and Kotugoda. The incident occurred several hours after the Power and Energy Minister's announcement that there would not be any power cuts as power generation of Norochcholai power plant had resumed. Blast caused the fire at the substation around 4.30 p.m. affecting more..

Former Rakna Lanka officers used employees for election work : Gota

Mar 19 (DN) Former officers at the helm of the Rakna Lanka Security Firm were responsible for engaging company employees for election work during the last Presidential Election Campaign, former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. He said this giving evidence before the Presidential Commission Investigating Fraud Corruption Abuse of Power State Resources and Privileges on March 17 under questioning by High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunge. more..

Kyrgyzstan champs, SL lasses runner-up

Mar 19 (DN) Sri Lankan Junior Fed Cup team, who has qualifyied for the Asia Oceania qualifying round of the ITF Team Competition which is to be worked off in New Delhi, India next month could not maintaine their unbeaten status as they went down to Kyrgyzstan 1/2 in their final battle of the pre-qualifying round at the Gymkhana courts, Colombo. SL lasses displayed a high standard tennis through out the tournament and toppled the top seeded Singapore 2/1 in semis to enter the final. more..

Sri Lanka to sell Mannar Basin seismic data

Mar 19 (DN) Sri Lanka entered into an agreement with WesternGeco Seismic Holdings to reprocess the market and sell the Mannar Basin 2D seismic data on a multi-client basis yesterday with the company's investment being Rs. 100 million. Minister Chandima Weerakkody who entered into an agreement on behalf of Sri Lanka with one of the largest oil and gas service companies in the world, said Sri Lanka gained a profit of Rs 12 million more..

Soldier dies in training

Mar 19 (CT) An Army soldier who was training at the Army Special Force Training School in Maduruoya, Aralaganwila had suddenly fallen ill and been admitted to the Aralaganwila Hospital where he was found dead on admission. Police Media Unit said the victim was Sameera Sandakelum Bandara, a 20-year-old youth of Kiralogama in Kadurugaswewa. Meanwhile, another nine soldiers who were engaged in training fell ill yesterday morning and were admitted to the Aralaganwila Hospital. more..

Eight Indians remanded

Mar 19 (DN) Eight Indians allegedly involved in a kidney racket involving Indians and Sri Lankans were ordered to be remanded till April 1 by Colombo Chief Magistrate. When the suspects were produced before Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya, Colombo Crime Division (CCD) investigating the alleged kidney racket informed that the suspects have been referred to a Judicial Medical Officer to ascertain whether these suspects have removed their internal organs for money. more..

Drug use drops

Mar 19 (NS) National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) the use of cocaine among Sri Lankans had reached almost negligible levels, adding that the use of psychotropic substances in Sri Lanka was rare. There was no evidence of the use of hallucinogens and that cocaine users in the country was near zero. Director General of the NDDCB, K. Gamage said that such a conclusion had been arrived at based on data collected more..

MR at JO meet next Tuesday

Mar 19 (CT) Leaders of the Joint Opposition (JO) are to hold a special meeting with SLFP Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday (22) in order to discuss future measures to be taken against the government, political sources said. These sources said that at the discussion with the former President, the Joint Opposition (JO) leaders are to finalise the date and the venue for the next public rally, after having held its maiden rally on Thursday at Hyde Park. more..

Court calls for analytical report on Shashi's handwriting

Mar 19 (DN) The Colombo Chief Magistrate yesterday ordered the CID that a handwriting sample of NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa's wife Shashi Weerawansa be obtained and forwarded to Govt Examiner of Questioned Documents for an analytical report. The defence raised their objections for the CID's move that the suspect should fill out an application form prior to getting her handwriting samples and raised a suspicion that it could be used for another purpose. more..

Top Lankan team heading to Brussels on EU fishery ban

Mar 19 (FT) In the backdrop of the Govt’s continued efforts to resolve the EU fishery ban, a top team of officials from Sri Lanka is now scheduled to depart for Brussels for decisive talks on the matter. The Lankan team will include members from Prime Ministerial Task Force on the EU Fishery Ban. “A top Lankan delegation on the EU fishery ban is scheduled to leave for Brussels on 30 March,” revealed Seafood Exporters more..

Stop grumbling about the heat, do something

Mar 19 (DM) Stopping the waste of electricity and fresh water while reducing carbon dioxide emissions are some of the ways in which Sri Lanka’s citizens could cooperate in the make or break battle against climate change. As citizens do this, National Govt needs to urgently workout long-term plans to substantially reduce carbon dioxide emissions and discover renewable sources of clean energy. This mission needs to be given the highest priority in the wake of last December’s more..

Get on with the job, forget MR’s deep state

Mar 19 (DM) Is a deep state within the govt working for the defeated president Mahinda Rajapaksa and his corrupt cabal? Listening to the speeches of govt big wigs makes one wonder whether there is a deep state, working diligently to torpedo whatever measures the present Government takes to lift the country from the abyss that it has fallen into. Speaker after speaker at Tuesday’s Lipton Circus political stunt talked about a conspiracy behind the recent power failure and more..

To register or not to register

Mar 19 (SL) Govt’s decision to call for the registration of news websites has caused a stir in the industry. Govt claims that they were responding to requests for registration by news website owners themselves. Govt recently published advertisements in newspapers informing the public and relevant stakeholders of this decision. Media organisations, media freedom activists and others have expressed concern that govt’s decision more..

Within these walls performers are born

Mar 19 (ST) When I go out of prison for a performance I don’t feel like I’m going out as a prisoner. I feel like I’m going out as an artist, and for people like us that is immense. At least for a while no one knows that we’re prisoners; no one looks at us with judgement. We’re just performers, entertaining. When architect and designer Tilak Samarawickreme shared his chance meeting with dancers from the Welikada Prison at the recently concluded more..

SF certain Pottu Amman dead

Mar 19 (Island) Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, MP, doubts the possibility of LTTE intelligence wing leader S. Shivashankar alias Pottu Amman having taken refuge in India. Regional Development Minister Fonseka pointed out that Pottu Amman was wanted in India over his alleged involvement in Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination. said that Pottu Amman had been with V Prabhakaran at the onset the final battle in the early hours of May 17, 2009. more..

CEB violated transmission license: PUCSL

Mar 19 (DM) Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has told the CEB that the latter has violated the Transmission License on maintaining an uninterrupted power supply throughout the country three times in the last 6 months since Sept 27, last year, by way of islandwide power failures. PUCSL Chairman Saliya Mathew has written to General Manager, CEB, M.C. Wickramasekara saying that it was more..

Court gives CID time to file further documents in Uduwe Thera case

Mar 19 (Island) Colombo Magistrate allowed the CID time till April 28 to file further documents in respect of and allegation against Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka thera, Chief Incumbent of the Allen Mathiniyarama temple. CID told the Court that the temple had not been registered under The Buddhist Temporalities Ordinance and, thereofre, its properties could not be considered as owned by the Sangha Sabha. more..

MR refuses to comment on reports he will form new party

Mar 19 (CG) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has refused to comment on reports he will form a new political party. Speaking to reporters after meeting a group of lawyers, Rajapaksa said that the SLFP was given a mandate at the last election to defeat the UNP. He said that the large support given to the opposition at the rally held this week in Colombo proved that there was strong opposition to the UNP led Govt. more..

India still studying draft on ECTA

Mar 19 (CG) India says it is still studying the draft framework on the Economic and Technology Corporation Agreement (ECTA) with Sri Lanka and will give its response to it soon. High Commissioner of India to SL Y.K. Sinha said that ECTA deal was proposed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe when he visited India last September. India has been given only the outline of agreement and proper negotiations have not yet commenced. more..

Power crisis likely if drought continues: CEB

Mar 19 (DM) The CEB said if the prevailing drought continued for the next few months, the country might be in the throes of a power crisis and that currently priority had been given to thermal and coal power generation. CEB General Manager M.C. Wickramasinghe said hydro power generation hydro has been cut down because of the reduction in water levels in most reservoirs and added they were in contact with the Met Department for more..

Hyde Park meeting: SLFP CC to decide on errant members

Mar 19 (DM) The SLFP Central Committee (CC) will meet shortly to decide on the action to be taken against SLFP MPs who participated in Thursday’s joint opposition rally at Hyde Park, General Secretary Duminda Dissanayaka said. He said the SLFP did not take decisions arbitrarily and individually and the issue of taking part in the joint opposition rally would be taken up at the next CC meeting. more..

President reiterates no foreign judges in domestic process

Mar 19 (CG) President Maithripala Sirisena has reiterated that he will not agree to have foreign judges in the local judicial process after investigating incidents related to the war. Speaking at the Law Conference in Wadduwa, the President said that he has faith in the local judiciary and he feels all that needs to be done is to strengthen the judiciary and ensure it is independent. International human rights groups have been calling on SL more..

Present times offer more sport- related work

Mar 19 (CT) Growing up in the City of Colombo, we were witness to various sports taking place there. The leading sport, like in the present times, was cricket followed by football and not far behind was athletics. Even the women's sports had a following. There was even a Ladies Hockey Ground near Radio Ceylon. However, a sport was never thought of as a money maker therefore, never got any sort of recognition in those realms. Although we were just about in our final handshake with more..

The politics of Kishani Jayasinghe

Mar 19 (CT) As I have been arguing in earlier articles – citing the theories of Emmanuel Todd – the transition to modernity is hardly ever smooth, and it is frequently accompanied by violence. The undrlying reason is that in the procss of transition the old is displaced by the new, and that is something that is frequently resisted. Sri Lanka is in the throes of the modernization process. It is not surprising therefore that Kishani Jayasinghe‘s (KJ) operatic rendition of Dunno Budunge on more..

Face the Nation

Jt. Opposition promises rallies in all districts to force govt to keep its promises

Mar 19 (Island) The Jana Satana rally organised by the Joint Opposition on Thursday at Hyde Park, Colombo would now be held in every district of the country to force the govt to give promised relief to the people, Secretary of the organising committee Mahindananda Alutgamage said. Aluthgamage said that they would not be deterred by orders or threats from the SLFP to prevent them from attending the rallies as their main cause to defeat the UNP. MP Alutgamage was addressing the maiden more..

SL Tamil enters TN by Sea, lands at CoP office

Mar 19 (ENS) A 22-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil, who entered the state illegally through sea, was arrested when he landed at the city police commissioner's office, which he mistook as the Refugee Rehabilitation Commissioner's office. Much to the surprise of the police, D Mohan Das, a native of Vavuniya in northern Sri Lanka, had even managed to procure a SIM card in Madurai, just a day after his entry here. He approached the city police commissioner's office on Wednesday, more..

Teachers’ protest against political bully cripple NWP schools

Mar 19 (Island) Teachers of Puttalam Education Zone, including principals and the staff of the education offices reported sick yesterday against a North Western Provincial Council member threatening Zonal Education Director on Wednesday. More than 200 schools in a Puttalam Education Zone were affected by teachers’ trade union action. About 3,850 teachers, 180 principals and 24 acting principals in 204 more..

Holding our leaders accountable

Mar 19 (FT) Mihin Lanka as an entity currently owes the State banks billions, a debt that has been outstanding for years with no action being taken by the State institutions to get their money back. The mismanagement of SriLankan Airlines is another sorry story. This type of financial corruption is the worm eating at the heart of society. Despite the howls and protests in Parliament over the last few years over Mihin Lanka’s performance, the airline continues to be in business. more..

Vandersay replaces Malinga in SL squad

Mar 19 (CI) Sri Lanka have named legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay as Lasith Malinga's replacement, after a knee injury ruled the fast bowler out of the tournament on Friday. Vandersay had been one of the two players who were withdrawn from the squad, 24 hours before the team left to India. His inclusion now strengthens Sri Lanka's spin-bowling stocks, with Rangana Herath and Sachithra Senanayake already in the squad. There are only three specialist seam-bowling options following more..

Handicapped SL wander into WI territory

Mar 19 (CI) Sri Lanka have been happy to fly under the radar. As a matter of fact, they are the defending champions, but they cling to the underdog tag like it's a life vest. Just as well, because they are heading straight into a storm. Chris Gayle is in his home town - A cosy little realm of flat pitches, short boundaries and spoilt fans called Bangalore. Gayle loves it here - he hit 175 at the M Chinnaswamy and has it emblazoned more..

Lunar eclipse on March 23

Mar 19 (DM) The first penumbral lunar eclipse for the year will occur on March 23, 2016, a day after the Medin Full Moon Poya Day, Board Member Arthur C. Clarke Institute of Modern Technologies Professor Chandana Jayaratne said yesterday. Professor Jayaratne who is also a Board Member of the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics and Professor of Physics University of Colombo said the eclipse would begin at 3.09 p.m. on March 23 and end at 7.24 p.m. more..

SLMC 19th National Convention at Kalmunai with President and PM

Mar 19 (Island) The SLMC will hold its 19th Grand National Convention today at Kalmunai in the Ampara District with President Maithripala Sirisena as the Chief Guest and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as Guest of Honour. The event will be presided over by SLMC Leader and Minister City Planning and Water Supply Rauff Hakeem. Opposition Leader, R. Sampanthan, Leaders of other political parties, diplomats, members of the civil society organisations, representatives from the public more..