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Kerala ganja via the north freely available in Kalpitiya, Puttalam despite detections

Mar 19 (ST) While the Jaffna Peninsula has become a hub for the distribution of Kerala Ganja (KG), authorities note that smugglers were increasingly attempting to land large quantities of the drug as far south as Kalpitiya and Puttalam. The stretch of coastline from the islands off North-West of SL down towards Kalpitiya and Puttalam, has been identified as the main route for KG smugglers, while some boats have also come ashore on more..

Harassed in intensive care: Parents

Mar 19 (CT) Parents of Sandeep Sampath Gunawardena, the youth who was knocked down, allegedly by the vehicle driven by Minister Champika Ranawaka, have informed the IGP in writing about the problematic situation that has arisen with various people visiting Sandeep, apart from his parents, who are eager to ensure his well-being. Sandeep is still receiving treatment at ICU of the Colombo National Hospital. The letter sent by the young man's father, Dayananda Gunawardena and his mother more..

Mishaps kill 927 on pedestrian crossings

Mar 19 (Island) National Council for Road Safety (NCRS) said that 927 people had been killed on pedestrian crossings during the last ten years in Sri Lanka. Spokesman for the NCRS, said accordingly one person had been killed every five days on a pedestrian crossing. Giving a breakdown he said in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, 61, 91, 71 and 94 deaths had occurred on pedestrian crossings respectively. A further increase had been seen from 2010 to 2013, he said. more..

'Fear of being disarmed made Prabhakaran dodge political settlement'

Mar 19 (ENS) Tiger Supremo V Prabhakaran’s deep seated fear of LTTE being disarmed as a result of a peace process, prevented him from going for a political settlement with SL govt, says S Sivakamy, alias Thamilini, who headed the Women’s Political Wing of the militant outfit. In her book Oru Koorvaalin Nizhalil (In the Shadow of a Sharp Sword), written a few months before cancer claimed her life in October 2015, more..

Petition challenging SF’s appointment as MP fixed for support

Mar 19 (Island) Supreme Court fixed for support on April 25, 2016, a fundamental rights violation petition filed by retired Major Ajith Prasanna, Southern Provincial Councillor of the UPFA, challenging the appointment of Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka as a National List Member of the UNP. The petition has said Fonseka was not in the National List of the UNP, prior to the Parliamentary Poll of Aug 17, 2015. Hence, he could not be selected and appointed subsequent to the poll, more..

Video: Police arrest 12 Indians for visa violations

Mar 19 (AD) Twelve Indian nationals including seven women, who were staying in the country violating immigration and emigration laws, were arrested yesterday in Kattankudy, Police said. They said the suspects had come to the country on tourist visa and were engaged in business activities illegally. The police said the group was engaged in the trade of medicinal drugs in several areas across the country. Herbal oils and other herbal products were seized from the possession of the arrested Indians. more..

SL women's team captain Shashikala Siriwardene out of WT20

Mar 19 (PTI) In a blow to Sri Lanka women's team in the ongoing World T20, captain Shashikala Siriwardene has been ruled out of the cricket tournament on account of a hamstring injury just on the eve of their group match against Ireland in Mohali on Saturday. Team manager Vanessa de Silva said that Shashikala had suffered a hamstring tear. "It is about 5 cm tear, and she has to undergo a surgery. more..

Travel review: Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (YEP) Sheena Hastings packs her trunk and heads for Sri Lanka, the teardrop - shaped island at the foot of India famed for its tea, elephants and gemstones. Before the pink sky dawned we were in the Jeep, bumping along dirt pathways through the Udawalawa National Park, camera and binoculars at the ready. Our driver, an expert spotter, stopped and shut off the engine. His ear was attuned to the distant snorting and trumpeting of elephants. Within moments had a full view of more..

SLBFE to amend FBR

Mar 19 (CT) Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) has taken steps to make amendments for Family Background Reports (FBR) due to skulduggery of certain officials in falsifying documents, spokesperson for SLBFE, Upul Deshapriya said. He added that the decision was taken on account of certain anomalies and inadequacies prevalent in the reports. He added that in the past several officers who tampered with the documents were taken into Police custody. more..

We know how to keep Gayle quiet: Ford

Mar 19 (CI) Chris Gayle might be the world's most-feared T20 batsman. He has scored more World T20 runs than anyone else still playing. But in their four most recent games against him, Sri Lanka have felt they cracked Gayle - his scores in those matches: 5,2,3 and 3. Sri Lanka's plans have revolved around Nuwan Kulasekara's bowling, but Angelo Mathews, Lasith Malinga and even two offspinners, have played a role. more..

Power Expo ’16 kicks off

Mar 19 (CT) Conference and Exhibition Management Services (CEMS) announced at a press meet in Colombo, the launch of the 14th Power Sri Lanka 2016 International Expo and the 'Con'-Expo Sri Lanka 2016 , due to be held from the 23-25, March 2016. CEMS Global has been instrumental in organizing high end suppliers in their relative field of power and renewable energy. This year, in addition, the construction industrial suppliers will have a separate segment at exhibition. more..

World Oral Health Day celebrated in Kalutara tomorrow

Mar 19 (Island) Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine (HIM) yesterday said the national programme to commemorate World Oral Health Day (WOHD) would be held in the Kalutara District tomorrow. This year’s theme for WOHD would be Healthy Mouth – Healthy Body, The national programme is scheduled to commence at 9.00 am at the National Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS). He said that an Oral Health Walk had been organised at 7.30 am on the same day. more..

Ravi to bare true picture of Rajapaksa govt expenses

Mar 19 (DN) A comprehensive report on the expenses of the previous govt will be presented to Parliament next Tuesday, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. Refuting the allegations of former President Rajapaksa that the current Govt had obtained more loans than the former Govt, minister said he would make a special statement in Parliament revealing the true statistics. A debate on the statement would also be facilitated later. more..

Power and happiness

Mar 20 (SO) According to the 2016 World Happiness Report, Sri Lankans have become happier in the past year compared with the previous year. The latest Report, which covers 2015, places Sri Lanka 117th in a list of 157 countries assessed, with Denmark as No.1, the happiest nation and, Burundi as the most unhappy, at 157th. Sri Lankans can take little solace from being just ahead of India, at 118th and war-torn Afghanistan at 154th, because most of South Asia is ahead of us although more..

What can Mahinda Rajapaksa offer?

Mar 20 (SL) Former President Rajapaksa has finally declared in the open his burning obsession: He wants to be the president again. Addressing an opposition rally in Hyde Park, defeated president had said that he would show the UNP led govt how to run the country. “If you can’t run the country, give it to me. I will show you how to run the country”. Of course most people were aware of Rajapaksa’s burning desire although since his defeat he did not lay it down in such clear terms. more..

'US-Sri Lanka ties at an all-time high'

Mar 20 (SO) Sri Lanka's envoy to the US, Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam says re-invigorated US-Sri Lanka ties has resulted in both countries endorsing an institutional framework to guide future cooperation. "The US is already Sri Lanka's biggest customer absorbing 23% of our exports. The potential for further expansion is tremendous," he said. Ambassador said ending the culture of impunity and true commitment for more..

The ‘JO’ Posit – Begs public trust

Mar 20 (CT) Joint Opposition fired its first public salvo at the govt at Hyde Park last Thursday by simply adopting the theme The People's Struggle, accusing the govt of not addressing the issues facing the populace in general. None of the speakers articulated exactly what issues faced by the people were not being addressed by the govt. One hopes, against vain hope, that the Joint Opposition is not driven by desperation of the fear of being relegated to a political limbo, more..

Darkness at noon

Mar 20 (ST) A fortnight ago, we mentioned in this space how farmers accustomed to a fertilizer subsidy would resist its withdrawal even if it came packaged differently. Similarly, this country, now accustomed to uninterrupted power supply, considered a privilege in countries in this part of the world, went ballistic this week when plunged into the third major power outage in recent months. Several townships, especially in Greater Colombo, have got immune to intermittent power cuts or more..

'Country is moving towards major chaos'

Mar 20 (SL) JVP has its views on the issues that the country faces now. JVP MP Vijitha Herath says, the country is moving towards a major chaos with the collapse of livelihoods of farmers and agro industries. The Sunday Leader discussed the major issues the country faces with Vijitha Herath. Q: The topic discussed most these days is power cuts. The government says it happened because of the collapse of Norochcholai Power Plant. more..

Caught on the leg side

Mar 20 (ST) My Dear Arjuna, Thilanga, Lasith and Angelo, I thought I should be writing to you this week because it was twenty years ago this week – on the day that we played Afghanistan, to be precise – that we won the World Cup. Much has happened since then and I think it would be worthwhile to reflect on how cricket in our country has changed since then. Arjuna, you must know that no matter what you do as a politician or a minister, you will always be remembered as the man who led our country more..

15% interest rate for some senior citizens

Mar 20 (ST) Senior citizens, already getting 15% interest on a deposit of Rs.1 million under the scheme announced in the interim budget 2015, can renew these 1-year deposits at the same rate when it expires, bankers said. However that doesn’t apply to any new deposits in this category. This is until fresh guidelines are issued on the 2015 circular, they said. In 2016 budget presented last November, a similar concession was given but only to deposits in finance companies upto Rs.1.5 million. more..


UPFA rebel rally challenges Sirisena leadership

Mar 20 (SO) Many political parties use protest rallies as a powerful tool to achieve short and long-term goals when they are in the opposition. Ever since the formation of organised political parties in Sri Lanka, protests have been a part and parcel of the country’s political culture. Some protests, in fact, influenced important developments in the country’s political domain over the past 70 years. UNP, which came to power last year after a 20-year hiatus, made an unorthodox move last week when more..

Sunday’s blackout and a bright spot

Mar 20 (SO) This feline was in a tri-shaw returning to her holiday home in Anniewatte, Kandy, from the Maligawa at 7.30 p.m. on Sunday when she noticed the roads in darkness. To compound her consternation the tri-shaw fellow was clueless about by-roads leading out of town to the bingé area. Literally groping their way past this Bodiya and that junction, she eventually arrived at a candle-lit home and was told an island-wide power failure had gripped the country. more..

MR’s do or die game to take reins of SLFP

Mar 20 (CT) Last week was important because of two historic events. First was when SL completed 20 years of becoming World Champions in ODI Cricket by beating Australia at Lahore in 1996. Second was, the general public experiencing the worst ever countrywide power failure in 20 years, since 1996. Either of these did not stop the UNP and the Joint Opposition of which the majority comprises SLFP members from more..

Lack of planning hurts Sri Lanka

Mar 20 (Island) Defending champions Sri Lanka have a huge task at their hands in the World T-20. In order to qualify for the semi-finals of the competition, they have got to win two of their remaining three games. Despite a below par performance against Afghanistan, Sri Lanka managed to beat the minnows and avoid a huge upset. Against their other opponents in group stage – West Indies, England and South Africa, Sri Lanka need to step up their game or face early exit. more..

Mahinda hold Richmond to a draw

Mar 20 (ST) In a great come back Mahinda College did well to hold the strong Richmondites to a draw at the 111th Lovers’ Quarrel which ended at the Galle International Cricket Stadium yesterday. Richmond did well to restrict the Mahindians to a first innings score of 121 with Avindu Theekshana grabbing four wickets while Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya Lakshan a grabbed two wickets each. In reply the Richmond continuing from their overnight score of 95/3 declared their first essay at 221/7 more..

Major domestic Cricket overhaul

Mar 20 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket will revive the aborted Provincial Cricket Tournament in place of the Zonal Cricket Tournament which was drawn-up by the Sidath Wettimuny-led interim administration. This was revealed by the incumbent SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala who says that they are aiming to infuse a new culture and a way of thinking to the entire cricket structure in the country. According to Sumathipala, the administration more..

Thomians retain Mustangs Trophy

Mar 20 (ST) A superb unbeaten knock of 65 by debutant Sithara Hapuwinna and two fine spells of bowling by Ravindu Tillekeratne (five for 36) and Dineth Kannangara (four for 34) helped S Thomas' College, Mt Lavinia beat Royal College, Colombo by four wickets to retain the Mustangs Trophy for the third successive year in the 41st encounter played under lights at the R. Premadasa Stadium yesterday. Thomians were not too happily placed (99-4), until Hapuwinna joined skipper more..

Hyde Park: Mahinda gathers further momentum

Mar 20 (Island) Two shows of strength were put up in the environs of Hyde Park last week, by the UNP on Tuesday and the Joint Opposition two days later and that just about shows the political division in the country today. There is the UNP on the one hand and the Joint Opposition on the other, with not much else in between. The SLFP rump controlled by the Maithripala Sirisena faction and the JVP are residual groups. It can be stated with some certainty that barring some miracle more..

Suspect NGO was expecting two foreign remittances, local bank says

Mar 20 (ST) A Sri Lankan non-governmental organisation (NGO), at the centre of a billion-dollar global money laundering probe involving unknown hackers who broke into the website of the Bangladesh Central Bank (CB), had been registered with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) on Oct 16, 2014. BT probe revealed that this organization, Shalika Foundation exists and has five directors in its incorporation documents at the RoC office. more..

CTC welcomes health warnings on beedi packs

Mar 20 (Island) Ceylon Tobacco Company which last year contributed over seven percent of the state’s total tax revenue and is the country’s second most valuable company listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange has welcomed govt moves to regulate what CTC calls the long under-regulated beedi industry now commanding approximately 43% of the country’s tobacco market. CTC Chairman Susantha Ratnayake has said in the company’s annual report that "we are please to see the extension of more..

Chennai Port starts RoRo service to Colombo

Mar 20 (Hindu) As part of its Mission Resurge, Chennai Port Trust has introduced a dedicated Roll-on-Roll-off (RoRo) service to Colombo in a bid to improve its export volumes, according an official. Maria India RoRo vessel carried a consignment of 67 trucks of Ashok Leyland to Colombo in its maiden service. B. Vimal, Chennai Port Traffic Manager, said: “It will be a monthly RoRo service to Colombo and Ashok Leyland has agreed to increase the number of trucks once it gets patronage. more..

Centralised data base to nab tax evaders

Mar 20 (SO) Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is setting up a centralised database of the business population to identify organisations and people who could be taxed. A proper data base will be a useful tool to increase tax collection. The survey to gather database information was conducted during the Tax Week from March 14 to 18, Commissioner General of Inland Revenue, Kalyani Dahanayake said. “We have no proper data relating to businesses more..

Arjuna’s team triumphs over All Stars

Mar 20 (ST) The 1996 World Champion team led by Arjuna Ranatunga pulled off a one run win over the All Stars captained by Roy Dias in the 20 over game played at the CCC ground yesterday. The game was organised to mark 20 years of winning the Wills World Cup. Like the tough game against Australia in the final in the 1996 World Cup another tough encounter took place yesterday as well. In 1996 the World Cup was handed over by Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan and more..

World T20: India beat Pakistan

Mar 20 (CI) There was rain, but the Eden Gardens was not submerged. There was a pitch that made spinners seem like grenade launchers. There were 61337 people including certifiable legends of the game from Sachin Tendulkar to Imran Khan. All of it added to the spectacle of India-Pakistan cricket, but Virat Kohli rose one step above with an innings of gumption and class. India needed to win tonight to stay in control of their fate at the World T20. A few tactical errors left them with more..

Wimal W spent Rs 70m on 68 vehicles

Mar 20 (SO) Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa had 68 rented vehicles, during his ministerial tenure, brazenly violating the govt’s circular and causing a loss of millions of rupees to the then govt. FCID inquiries have revealed that the large fleet of vehicles used by him and his private staff had cost the State Engineering Corporation (SEC) and Presidential Secretariat a whopping Rs. 70 million as rent for two years. more..

'Consumer rights: More ombudsmen, the need of the hour'

Mar 20 (SO) Consumer rights activists said the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) Act should be amended without further delay and more ombudsmen should be appointed to ensure the welfare of consumers. Insurance Ombudsman, Dr. Wickrema Weerasooria told a forum last week to mark World Consumer Rights Day that the CAA should be renamed as Consumer Affairs and Trade Practices Commission, like the best model in Australia and this Commission should more..

Video: Mahela praise for special England batting performance

Mar 20 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene has praised the character shown by England's young batsmen after they pulled off the second-highest successful run chase in T20 internationals. Led by Joe Root's 83 from 44 balls, England achieved a target of 230 to beat South Africa with two balls to spare in Mumbai and Jayawardene, who has been working with the team as a batting consultant, called it a special performance. Jayawardene, who was part of Sri Lanka side that won the previous World T20 more..

Govt to buy three private power plants

Mar 20 (SO) Moves are afoot to purchase power from three privately-owned power plants through a Cabinet Paper to be tabled next week. The govt hopes to purchase the 100 Megawatt Heladhanavi power plant in Puttalam, the 100 Megawatt thermal power plant in Embilipitiya and the 60 Megawatt Ace Matara Power Station, as an emergency measure. However, Electricity Act. No. 20 of 2009 prevents the CEB from more..