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MTD Walkers and Daya Gamage eying mega housing project in N&E

Mar 20 (AM) MTD Walkers group and Daya Gamage Constructions, two companies wielding immense political clout, are among the local contractors eying for the contract relating to the construction of 65000 houses for IDPs in the North and East. Jehan P. Amaratunga, Country Head of MTD Walkers was among the SL business delegation took part in the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Amaratunga has strong links with top-brass members of more..

Brace yourself for more hot weather

Mar 20 (ST) Sri Lankans should gear themselves for more sultry weather throughout March and April, the Met Department warned. “A climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean is having a impact on global weather patterns. This is causing the intense heat,” Forecasting Division Director Sarath Premalal said. In comparison to last year, Sri Lanka in recent months had experienced below average rainfall due to the prevailing El-Nino effect. more..

Hands off SL war heroes: Champika

Mar 20 (DM) JHU will not allow war heroes to be questioned by the international community under any circumstances as long as the party is a part of the govt, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. He made these observations at JHU’s People’s Forum held at Ape Gama in Battaramulla on Saturday. Emphasizing that the path of the United National Front is far from being a cake walk, minister said the legacy of the previous regime continues to hamper the progressive moves of the present govt. more..

Govt to revive diesel power plants

Mar 20 (DM) The govt is planning to revive diesel power plants which were shut down last year after the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant started generating power to the national grid. According to sources, around 300 diesel power plants in several areas, including Embilipitiya, Puttalam, Matara and Horana were shut down last year. The ministry Secretary Suren Batagoda said the decision was taken following the lack of hydro power generation due to continuous dry weather. more..

Rs 100M scam at NAITA

Mar 20 (CT) Although the Auditor General says that more than Rs 100 million has been misused by the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) in December 2014, sources from Accounts Department of the organization say that a certain group has defrauded the money. The information was revealed in an investigation carried out by the AG's Department into the expenses borne on behalf of more..

Single minded leadership is necessary for national reconciliation

Mar 21 (CT) One of the positive features of the present time is the unity of the top leadership of the mainstream political parties. This was demonstrated in the eastern district of Ampara last week when the SLMC held its annual convention under the leadership of Minister Rauf Hakeem. The event was attended by President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Opposition and TNA leader R Sampanthan, and Minister Mano Ganesan of the DPF representing the Indian-origin Tamils. more..

What is wrong with our ailing Tea industry & Where does its cure lie?

Mar 21 (CT) At a panel discussion following an evening presentation organised by the Institute of Certified Professional Managers or CPM in Colombo last week, a questioner from the audience put an interesting poser to Anil Cooke, CEO of Asia Siyaka, a leading tea brokering company in the city. The questioner, apparently dismayed by the current gloomy situation faced by the country’s tea industry, asked Cooke: Why should I invest in Sri Lanka’s tea plantations? more..

HIV or not: All kids should be in school

Mar 21 (SO) In the wake of a heartbreaking story of a six-year-old being denied admission to a school in Kuliyapitiya comes this shining example from Bogashandiya in Anuradhapura. These villagers too ostracized the child, in the belief that his mother had died of HIV/AIDS. Yet, after a short awareness session by a medical consultant from the Anuradhapura Hospital, they altered their views. If the Kuliyapitiya example was harsh, more..

A leader for voiceless women

Mar 21 (SL) Hemamali Wijesinghe has been amongst women activists for many decades in the struggle to win rights of women. Representing underprivileged people in society, she has said and done many laudable things to change it. She never got away from this struggle because her heart is genuinely set to fight for fairness and justice. Hailing from the Kegalle area, Hemamali received had her education at Kegalle Convent. She has 3 brothers who were active in social struggle more..

A Eureka moment

Mar 21 (SL) March sun was blistering outside and the glare blinding. Inside the humidity was perhaps over 90%. An old teacher of ours placed in similar circumstances uttered the immortal words: ‘The heat is very hot and perspiration is pouring like sweat’. Thanks to those wonderful geniuses of our Engineering faculties there were island wide blackouts following one another on top of this heat being very hot….’ and all that. What to do? The least we could do was to retreat to our room, more..

'Sri Lankan govt has very low revenue'

Mar 21 (SL) Deputy Minister Eran Wickremaratne says Sri Lanka is one of the countries that have a very low revenue. He said that developed countries have tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate is around 34%, but in Sri Lanka it is only 11%. On power cut issue, he said it can be solved only temporarily, but it cannot be given a lasting solution. The Sunday Leader held a discussion with him about these issues and more..

Can we improve our external finances this year?

Mar 21 (ST) Everyone knows that the external finances of the country are in dire straits. The depletion of foreign reserves has been owing to the large trade deficits coupled with lesser worker remittances. Capital outflows compounded the problem. The all important question is whether this year’s trade performance, earnings from tourism and ICT services and remittances would generate a balance of payments surplus. The fortunes of the country’s external finances are dependent on more..

A run-away govt and The President’s Pirivena mandate

Mar 21 (ST) There is more than a trace of Grimm’s Fairy Tales in the lofty disdain with which the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe coalition leadership lectures to Sri Lankans on its inherited economic woes. One tale succeeds another, all equally stupendous and some patently deserving of ridicule. First we were told that recovering the Rajapaksa hidden loot would save the country from economic ruin. Instead months of procrastination followed with lapses in basic legal processes. more..


Why proposed ETCA framework should never be signed

Mar 21 (Island) UNP’s rally at Lipton Circus last Tuesday was supposed to be a public show of strength in favour of the proposed ETCA with India. The PM announced that they would be bringing people onto the streets on 15 March to counter those who had been opposing ETCA and this was the show he promised. UNP even took the unusual step of having the rally at Lipton Circus without having it at Hyde Park. This may have been the first time in the UNP’s history that they took over more..

Editorial: Fighting aboard leaking schooner

Mar 21 (Island) The Joint Opposition is crowing about the success of its Hyde Park rally last Thursday. The knee-jerk reaction of some govt leaders to the political fallout of the event has been to bellow rhetoric. An ebullient former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on Thursday, waxed eloquent, demanding as he did that the reins of govt be handed over to him if the present-day rulers could not govern the country. President Maithripala Sirisena lost no time in responding. more..

How Sri Lanka outsmarted Gayle

Mar 21 (CI) In the coming weeks, teams about to play West Indies will find themselves grappling with the question: How do we neutralise Chris Gayle? Gayle is arguably the most destructive batsman in this competition. He is T20-made flesh. The world - nay - the universe boss. But on Sunday night, the only thing he bossed was the dressing room. The defending champions didn't just keep him quiet, they put on a clinic more..

Fletcher's rise, and spinners on a roll

Mar 21 (CI) 84*: Andre Fletcher's score, which is the highest by a West Indies opener not named Chris Gayle in a T20I. The top six scores are all by Gayle, while Johnson Charles also scored 84, but was dismissed, against England in Pallekele in 2012. It's also the fourth highest by a West Indies batsman in a chase, and the second best ever in a run-chase against Sri Lanka behind Alex Hales' 116* for England in the 2014 World T20. 12: Runs conceded by Samuel Badree in his four overs, more..

A quiet day for Chris Gayle

Mar 21 (CI) A six off the first ball. A four to follow that. Tillakaratne Dilshan was batting like his numbers against West Indies suggested he would. Coming into the game, he averaged 55.56 in eight matches. But like a party that was shut down before it could get raucous, Dilshan's innings came to a grinding halt when umpire Johan Cloete gave the nod to a vociferous lbw appeal from Carlos Brathwaite. The ball was angled into the pads and it appeared to be missing leg comfortably more..

Video: Badree, Fletcher steamroll Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (CI) Samuel Badree sticks out in this West Indies team. He has a neat little side parting. He does not have rippling muscles. He celebrates a wicket almost out of courtesy. And all of his wickets tonight in Bangalore came as a result of his inviting the batsmen to make a mistake. Sri Lanka rsvp-ed like crazy. Badree's 3 for 12 laid the foundation to a comfortable victory over the defending champions. more..

Beauties, politics, diplomacy & conspiracies

Mar 21 (Island) It has taken me nearly seven years to come out with this story. I have, no doubt, who conspired to destroy Ruby Dhalla because in the next elections in 2011, Param Gill defeated her. I have no doubt Ruby was wronged and she became the victim of a conspiracy. When I moved to our Permanent Mission in New York, Ruby called me to warn me of a conspiracy hatched both at SL Consulate General’s in Toronto, certain community members. She asked me to be careful. more..

Vijaya Kumaratunga in retrospect

Mar 21 (CT) Leader of the Opposition and the TNA Leader R.Sampanthan welcoming the appointment of Reginald Cooray as new Governor of the Northern Province mentioned that the govt has made an appropriate choice by appointing a person with liberal views as the Governor of the Northern Province. Beginning his political career in the SL Mahajana Party founded by the late Vijaya Kumaratunga, Reginald Cooray always expressed his views in favour of political rights more..

Battered brokers bemoan Capital Gains Tax

Mar 21 (FT) Battered stockbrokers are urging the Govt to consider reintroducing the Share Transaction Levy (STL) as a less damaging alternative to the Capital Gains Tax (CGT), which they warn will further hurt the Colombo Bourse. “At this juncture where markets’ daily trading volumes are at record-low levels, bringing in a Capital Gains Tax would be counterproductive,” Colombo Stock Brokers Association President Ravi Abyesuriya said. more..

Sri Lanka Women defend 129 for crucial win

Mar 21 (CI) Sri Lanka Women defended 129 to register a crucial win - their first of the tournament - against Ireland Women in Mohali. Three run-outs and three wickets from Sugandika Kumari helped keep Ireland to 115 in the chase, thereby completing a 14-run win. Left-arm spinner Kumari, who returned career-best figures, removed Clare Shillington and Cath Dalton early before solid cameos from Cecelia Joyce (29), Isobel Joyce (24) and Laura Delany (29) took Ireland closer. more..

Ananda beat Nalanda by 38 runs

Mar 21 (DN) Ananda beat Nalanda by 38 runs in 42nd Battle of the Maroons annual limited overs Cricket encounter played at SSC yesterday. Ananda won the encounter for the 6th consecutive years. They won 26 matches in the series. Ananda won 2010, 2011 ,2012, 2013 and 2015. Match was not played in 2014. Nalanda won the toss and decided to field. Ananda bowled out for 271 runs in 50 overs. Deputy skipper Kavishka Anjula scored unbeaten 100 runs in 78 balls with 8 fours & 5 sixes. more..

SLFP rebels’ priority immediate LG polls

Mar 21 (Island) A meeting chaired by former Presidnet Mahinda Rajapaksa at his office in Battaramulla last Friday, was informed of a 5-point strategy to be followed in the wake of what Professor G. L. Peiris called a highly successful rally at Hyde Park last Thursday. Addressing a group of lawyers from various parts of the country, Prof. Peiris called for a determined effort to pressure the govt to hold local govt elections. more..

Rs. 37.5 b to provide fertiliser subsidy

Mar 21 (FT) The Govt has allocated Rs. 37.5 billion to provide the fertiliser subsidy to the farmers, and distributing the subsidy will begin from the end of this month, the Ministry of Agriculture says. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, paddy farmers will receive an annual subsidy of Rs. 25,000 for every two hectares. The govt has also decided to grant Rs. 10,000 per hectare annually for the farmers who grow vegetables and additional crops as the fertiliser subsidy. more..

Refugee’s family on fast

Mar 21 (Hindu) A family of three refugees, including a child, is on an indefinite fast seeking release amidst fear of getting deported to Sri Lanka. Dayanraj (35) lodged in the Special Refugees Camp at Tiruchi, his wife Udayakala (32) and daughter Dhilsiya (4) housed in Mandapam refugees camp are on fast since Thursday. The family is demanding the release of Dayanraj, who has been in the special camp for about a year, police sources said on Sunday. According to a senior police official, more..

No division as long as govt in office: Prez

Mar 21 (DN) The country cannot be divided. For the next five years. The good governance govt will continue in office and the people of this country will benefit the good governance of the govt, President Maithripala Sirisena said. President was addressing the 19th National Convention of SLMC at Palamunai Public grounds in the Addalaichenai DS division on Saturday. President went on to say "a group of politicians who gathered in Colombo more..

Forensic auditors, lawyers examine Entrust files

Mar 21 (ST) Central Bank (CB), while a police probe is on, has independently contracted forensic specialists and corporate lawyers to examine the Entrust Securities PLC files, a top CB official said. “We have handed over the case to the Financial Crimes Investigation Department and in parallel we contracted other parties to accelerate the process,” he said. The banking regulator took over the crisis-hit firm in early January after it was revealed that liabilities far exceeded assets. more..

Shangri-La to open Golf Resort in Hambantota on 1 June

Mar 21 (FT) Shangri-La will expand its rapidly-growing portfolio of hotels on 1 June when it opens the Shangri-La Hambantota Resort & Spa, the Group’s first hotel in Sri Lanka. Located on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, the 300-room Shangri-La Hambantota Resort & Spa spans 145 acres and will feature lush tropical gardens, an 18-hole golf course, an artisan village and a wide array of innovative dining, event and entertainment options. “Sri Lanka is one of the fastest-growing more..

Hill-country Tamils don’t want to be called Indian Tamils

Mar 21 (Hindu) Hill-country Tamils in Sri Lanka do not want to be called Indian Tamils anymore. This nomenclature of theirs has been a source of political and administrative discrimination and social antipathy, besides carrying a historical baggage. Making use of the ongoing process of constitutional reforms, the community wants the issue of identity to be resolved. It is particular that its identity should refer, more..

Speculation rife on Hasan Ali's no show at SLMC Convention

Mar 21 (DN) The unexplained absence of SLMC secretary M.T Hassan Ali at the party's National Convention in Ampara has caused rumours of an internal rift within the party, amidst speculation of a probable expulsion of two party members. Former Muslim Congress Colombo District Parliamentarian Shafeek Rajabdeen said an explanation would be called from the party secretary for his noticeable absence at the SLMC 19th National Convention in Ampara on Saturday. more..

Assassination of four Lankan MPs taken up at IPU meeting in Lusaka

Mar 21 (Island) The assassinations of four Lankan members of parliament and an attempt on the life of another MP were discussed at the recently concluded 134th assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Lusaka, Zimbabwe. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya led the Sri Lankan delegation. Others who made up the Lankan delegation to the 134th Assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) were State Ministers Vasantha Senanayake, Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, more..

Paranagama Commission to probe over 1,600 missing persons cases

Mar 21 (FT) Investigations into all complaints of missing persons in three districts - Mannar, Vavuniya and Mullaitivu - will be concluded before the end of March, according to a top official from the President-appointed commission to probe missing persons. 5-member investigative team of the Presidential Commission Investigating Cases of Missing Persons (PCICMP) will commence its probe into over 1,600 cases of missing persons more..

Politically victimized cops for review by NPC

Mar 21 (CT) Two important recommendations regarding Police officers who were not promoted during the administration of the previous government as a result of political revenge are to be presented to the National Police Commission for its attention, on Thursday this week. Secretary to the Police Commission, Ariyadasa Cooray said that, on the recommendations of the Ministry of Public Administration and the Ministry of Law and Order, the attention of the Police Commission has more..

Sri Lankan tourist dies after being hit by bike

Mar 21 (TOI) A Sri Lankan tourist, critically injured after she was hit by a two-wheeler in front of a petrol pump at Khuldabad, died in a city hospital on Saturday night. Assistant police inspector Abhijit More said the 64-year-old woman, Soida Buthkarne was a resident of Maraput, Sri Lanka and had come to the city as part of a tourist group of 127 members. The group, mostly comprising of elderly couples, had come to the state on Thursday and visited the Ajanta caves. more..

Cops in quandary: won’t respond hereafter!

Mar 21 (CT) A crisis situation has arisen with Police deciding not to intervene on occasions when groups of students from boys' schools enter girls' schools during Big Match Season or at other times unless there is a written complaint lodged by the relevant principals. On certain days some Principals and security guards of girls' schools call the Police emergency number and complain and then Police officers come immediately and more..

Revival of National Heritage Islandwide

Mar 21 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says steps will be taken to commence an islandwide programme to revive the dying cultural and traditional practices of our national heritage. Thus, all District Secretaries have been notified to gather all reports available in writing and on record pertaining to traditional songs, cultural dances, folk stories, and all other traditions. PM issued these instructions at the monthly meeting with all District Secretaries held at the Temple Trees. more..

Korean Buddhist delegation promises to build Bhikkhu hospital

Mar 21 (DN) A Korean Buddhist delegation who met President Maithripala Sirisena have agreed to build a new hospital for Bhikkus in Sri Lanka. Korean Buddhist delegation led by Ulsan Chaje Bhikku hospital in Korea owner, Ven. Bhikkhuni Nong Henge discussed this matter with President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday. The new Bhikku hospital comprising 34 rooms equipped with all modern facilities is expected to be built in Kiriwanthuduwa, Piliyandala. more..