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Foreigners sell US$200mn worth Sri Lanka rupee bonds over two weeks

Mar 21 (EN) Foreign investors have sold US$ 200 million worth rupee denominated Treasury bills over the past two weeks, accelerating sales which slowed for a few weeks, official data shows. Foreign investor holdings of Sri Lanka rupee bonds which were at 267.8 billion rupees on March 2, down from 268.8 billion rupees a week earlier, fell to 247 billion rupees on March 9 and to 237 billion rupees on March 16. more..

My friends, my community help me

Mar 21 (DM) In 2011, UN General Assembly declared March 21 as World Down Syndrome Day and invited member States to observe World Down Syndrome Day in an appropriate manner to raise public awareness of this ailment. Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has been a part of the human condition, exists in all regions across the globe and commonly results in variable effects on learning styles, physical characteristics or health. more..

Satelite TV and corporate bullying

Mar 21 (DM) If you care to ask around it becomes evident that satellite TV providers in Sri Lanka are playing foul by its customers. With a multitude of shortcomings in their service the question is; ‘how have they been getting away with it for so long with a State mechanism presiding over telecom and digital affairs? Mr Perera was not a fan of local TV programmes produced to satisfy folk who had an affinity for Sinhala humdrum tele-dramas and Tamil and Hindi films. more..

R. Sampanthan

Mar 21 (DM) I think it would be useful if I were to give this House the definition of enforced disappearances as accepted by the UN. In accordance with the definition contained in the Preamble of Declaration, enforced disappearances are only considered as such when the act in question is perpetrated by State actors or by private individuals or organised groups - for example, paramilitary groups - acting on behalf of or with support, more..

CEB feeling the heat of power outage mess

Mar 21 (SL) A high-powered team headed by Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy Dr. Suren Batagoda is conducting discussions with the owners of private power plants in an attempt to purchase these plants, Sunday Leader learns. Many CEB insiders have pointed out that the nearly eight-hour rolling power cuts imposed last week by the Board could have been avoided if those plants had been in service. more..

Shilpa Kala exhibition on March 23 - 27

Mar 21 (GDI) India-Sri Lanka Shilpa Kala, a 5-day exhibition-cum-sale of traditional handicrafts and textiles will get underway at the Mihilaka Medura, BMICH, at 10 a.m. on March 23. The exhibition is part of Sangam: Festival of India in Sri Lanka 2015-2016. Shilpa Kala will showcase the best of traditional handicrafts from SL and India, and will emphasise confluence of cultures that underlie the handicrafts traditions in both countries. more..

Ragging brings academic activity at Kelaniya campus to a halt

Mar 21 (ST) Academic activities for senior students of the Kelaniya University were brought to a standstill, with Kelaniya University Teachers’ Association (KUTA) deciding not to hold classes for seniors until ragging at the campus was stopped. Kelaniya Uni VC Prof. Sunanda Madduma Bandara warned that in accordance with the Act Prohibiting Ragging in Educational Institutions, action would be taken against senior students more..

CEB plans to re-connect over 200MW of expired IPPs

Mar 21 (EN) Sri Lanka's state-run CEB is planning to re-connect de-commissioned private plants either through extensions of power purchase agreements or outright purchase, to boost stand-by capacity, Chairman Anura Wijepala said. "We are awaiting govt policy," Wijepala said. "We can either extend the agreements or purchase the plants. But we need cabinet approval. "We would prefer to purchase the plants then more..

Gammanpila: I will fall deliberately at rallies

Mar 21 (DM) PHU MP Udaya Gammanpila said today that he had decided to deliberately fall down at each Jana Satana rally organised by the Joint Opposition. Addressing the media, he said the video showing him tripping down at the Joint Opposition rally held recently, went viral and especially some of the media institutions, which had not given him publicity in the past, had repeatedly displayed the video. more..

SL to launch 10,000 Green Smart Villages

Mar 21 (CT) Prevailing hot and dry weather condition is expected to continue over most parts of the island. Heat wave Sri Lanka is experiencing will prevail until the April rains kick in. Meanwhile, contributing to the world's efforts to minimize global warming, Sri Lanka, with the help of community organizations, will launch a programme to set up 10,000 environmentally friendly villages throughout the country by 2020. more..

Australian govt seal on gifts given to Sri Lankan refugees

Mar 21 (Hindu) Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living outside camps in Tamil Nadu were reportedly given gifts and offered assistance in getting medical insurance and Aadhaar card by an NGO before it launched a controversial survey seeking their personal details and future plans. The Hindu has accessed photographs of the gifts and pamphlets given by Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the NGO, to refugees more..

Strict water management plans for farmers amidst dry spell

Mar 21 (DN) The Irrigation Department has decided to implement a very strict water management plan this year to reduce crop failure in the face of a dry spell that could possibly lead to a heavy drought by the middle of this year. Irrigation Department Water Management and Training Director S. Mohanarajah said that they were canvassing the farmers to start the Yala cultivations before the Sinhala and more..

Bangladeshi investigators to visit Sri Lanka to probe $ 81mn theft

Mar 21 (AFP) The FBI has agreed to help Bangladesh investigate an audacious $81 million theft from the nation's foreign reserves, authorities said Sunday, days after the finance minister accused central bank officials of complicity in the heist. A FBI official in Dhaka met with representatives from Bangladesh's CID and offered to assist with the investigation into the spectacular cross-country theft. more..

Global Sri Lankans Forum calls for devolution of limited power to districts

Mar 21 (Island) Global Sri Lankans Forum, (GSLF), a group of expatriate Sri Lankans in Europe, North America, Australia and West Asia submitted their proposals to the proposed amendments to the Sri Lankan Constitution to the Chairman of the Committee of Public Representations on the Constitution (CPRC) Secretariat Office. The salient features of the proposals submitted by GSLF are that the devolution of limited power shall be given to the districts. more..

CA Sri Lanka launches new Integrated Reporting Council

Mar 21 (LBO) In a fresh initiative aimed at further enhancing the best practices of financial reporting amongst corporates in the country, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) launched the Integrated Reporting Council (IR Council), comprising of professionals from the accounting and non-accounting sectors, regulators and academics. The inaugural meeting of the IR Council was held recently, under the patronage of CA SL President Lasantha Wickremasinghe. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Shares edge up in dull trade; rupee weaker

Mar 21 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares inched up on Monday in dull trade as cautious investors selectively bought risk assets, while uncertainty over a capital gains tax, higher budget deficit and economic growth hurt market sentiment. The benchmark share index was up 0.13%, or 8.13 points, at 6,065.92 at 0735 GMT. "Nothing much is happening. Overall, everything is very dull with holidays in-between and investors are worried over the uncertainties," said Dimantha Mathew, more..

SLMC National Convention

Mar 21 (CT) The 19th National Convention of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) brought together all political leaders including President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the TNA R. Sampanthan along with all other political big wigs irrespective of their political views, highlighting unity amidst diversity, in Ampara last Saturday. SLMC, the premier Muslim Party was founded by the late M.H.M. Ashraff in 1981 and more..

UK snubs Sri Lanka over visa requests for Daham Sirisena

Mar 21 (CT) SL demanded an explanation from the UK govt why the request of President Sirisena’s son Daham and his three friends to travel to UK was subject to long delays. This unusual protest received a right royal snub and a strong telling off from UK officials. This is while President Sirisena, who speaks of press freedom, telephoned newspaper editors and proprietors to request them not to print any news report more..

Faizer denies LG polls postponed to avert split in SLFP

Mar 21 (Island) Provincial Councils and Local Govt Minister Faizer Musthapha has denied claims that local govt polls had been postponed to avert a split in the SLFP. Minister, in a statement issued on Saturday, claims that there is no basis for claims that the SLFP fears an imminent split hence the decision to put off LG polls. Speculation is rife in political circles about former President Rajapaksa and UPFA partners forming a new party to contest the forthcoming LG polls. more..

Protest at Bribery Commission: Police seek AG’s opinion

Mar 21 (DM) The inquiry against 27 individuals including some UPFA MPs over the Contempt of Court by staging a protest outside the Bribery Commission violating a court order in April last year, was postponed for June 27, seeking Attorney General’s opinion on the matter, by the Colombo Chief Magistrate today. Cinnamon Garden Police told Court that they seek AG’s opinion regarding this. Earlier, the Magistrate ordered the other suspects to appear before Court only when more..

Video: Sinhala Rawaya lodges complaints against UNP

Mar 21 (DM) Sinhala Ravaya lodged a complaint at the Police Headquarters against UNP in connection with the rally organized by the party at Colombo Lipton Circus on March 15. Sinhala Ravaya President Ven. Akmeemana Dayarathana Thero lodging the complaint with IGP N. K Illangakoon stated that several roads were blocked and commuters including patients were inconvenienced by the rally. more..

The national carrier & Tourism promotion

Mar 21 (CT) 2016 marks 50 years since the establishment of the Ceylon Tourist Board in 1966 now styled Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority. The recent brouhaha caused by a high powered delegation to an annual trade fair in Berlin headed by the Minister of Tourism that included the Chairman of SriLankan Airlines is the immediate cause of this retrospective assessment of the role of the national carrier in promoting tourism. SriLankan airlines has acknowledged that more..

Nation-wide inflation 1.7% in Feb 2016

Mar 21 (EN) Sri Lanka’s consumer prices nation-wide rose 1.7% in Feb 2016 from a year ago, according to a new national price index, compared with a 0.7% fall in January. On a month-on-month basis, the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI), compiled using prices collected from all nine provinces with a base year of 2013, in Feb fell 1.1%, similar to the month before. “This increase of inflation in February 2016 was mainly due to the elimination of the effect of price reductions of more..

Hasan Ali explains why he boycotted SLMC convention

Mar 21 (ENS) The senior-most leader of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), Hasen Ali, has rebelled against the party complaining of a consistent bid by the party Establishment to engineer his exit by stripping him of powers due to him as party General Secretary. Ali (70) was conspicuous by his absence at SLMC’s 19 th Grand Convention at Palamunai on Saturday in which the chief guest was President Sirisena. more..

MR in Sri Lanka to probe transformer failure amid grid stability concerns

Mar 21 (EN) Technicians from a German manufacturer of transformer components that failed twice in a row causing blackouts this month, have arrived in Sri Lanka to begin their own probe, the head of Sri Lanka's power utility said amid concerns about grid stability. A key component of the transformer in the Biyagama receiving station, known as a tap changer failed earlier this month, triggering a nation-wide blackout and also emergency shut-down of three coal plants. more..

Zika surveillance at BIA: No threats detected yet

Mar 21 (DN) No Zika patients have been found from Sri Lanka so far, but screening is underway at the BIA for all passengers (both foreigners and Sri Lankans) who arrive from affected countries and a special counter is now open at the BIA for this task. The IDH Hospital and the MRI is now ready to face Zika. If a Zika patient is detected at BIA, he/she will be directed to MRI for relevant medical tests and then directed to the IDH. Special discussion swill be held with the authorities of BIA, more..

Video: School admission conundrum may compel docs to leave country

Mar 21 (DM) The GMOA warned that doctors would be compelled to leave the country because of the difficulties they undergo when looking for schools for their children. It said the country would lose its doctors if they go overseas because of Govt’s failure to admit their children to national schools. GMOA Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said that more than 200 children had been deprived of admission to State-run schools this year. more..

No confidence against Ranawaka

Mar 21 (CT) The joint opposing is planning to bring in a no confidence motion against Minister Champika Ranawaka against his alleged involvement in an accident which left a youth critically injured. A spokesman for Join Opposition said that the police had failed to carry out an impartial investigation over the accident and due to political influence, action has not been taken against Ranawaka. “So, we are planning to bring a no confidence motion against him in Parliament,” more..

15-year old sex slave made to drink urine

Mar 21 (DM) Dikwella Police (in Matara District) have arrested a man who had kept a 15-year-old girl by force and allegedly tortured her, even forcing her to drink urine and beer. The girl, who had escaped from him, had complained to the police that she had been assaulted with a wooden pole and an iron rod. She had complained that she was forced to drink beer and urine. She had suffered similar il-usage at his hands, earlier as well. Police had recovered the iron rod and other items. more..

Japanese technicians probe CEB transformer explosions

Mar 21 (CG) Japanese technicians have conducted tests on CEB transformers which exploded recently and have sent samples to Japan for further tests. Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said that the Japanese technicians are from the company which supplied the transformers to the CEB. Siyambalapitiya said that the Japanese company is expected to submit a report in a few days on what caused more..

President presides over Bharat Natyam Arangethram

Mar 21 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena was the chief guest at the Bharat Natyam Arangethram of the daughters of the Minister Vijayakala Maeshwaran, which was held yesterday at the Kadiration Hall in Bambalapitiya. Miss Bhawatharani Maheshwaran and Bhavithra Maheshwaran demonstrated their dancing skills at this show. They presented a souvenir to President Sirisena at the end of the show. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Opposition Leader R. Sambandan, more..

Joint Opposition eyeing Maithri - Mahinda coalition

Mar 21 (AD) The Joint Opposition is making arrangements to form a coalition yet again between President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a source said. A comprehensive discussion in this regard was also held between several senior members of the Joint Opposition, the source added. The Joint Opposition would too hold in depth discussions in a bid to form the coalition between the President and the former President within next few weeks. more..

Drop move to forcibly send back Eelam tamil youth to Sri Lanka : Vaiko to Centre

Mar 21 (UNI) MDMK General Secretary Vaiko urged the Centre to immediately drop its move to forcibly send back Sri Lankan refugee and eelam Tamil youth Dayanraj from the Trichy Refugee camp. In a statement here, he said following a request from Sri Lankan govt that some criminal cases were pending against him, the PM Narendra Modi-led govt at the Centre has decided to forcibly send back Dayanraj to Sri Lanka. more..

Cracks appear on Elephant rock

Mar 21 (DM) Famous Elephant Rock, or Ethagala, Kurunegala Town, has developed cracks at two locations. Each crack is said to be about 50 feet in length. City vendors said they had heard a sound like an explosion from the rock. Rock had not developed cracks in the past despite intense heat. NBRO, Director, R.M.S. Bandara said the searing heat in the area might have caused the large cracks -- which were about two feet deep. Some small pieces of stone had been found on the rock more..

Video: Chandrika speaks nonsense: Udaya

Mar 21 (AD) Then President Chandrika Kumarathunga has lost her mind as a result of being a victim of 1996 Town Hall bomb blast, PHU leader MP Udaya Gammanpila says. He made the observation at a press conference today. Gammanpila also accused the then President of speaking nonsense about the Joint Opposition and the previous Govt. “She speaks whatever is in her mind without thinking twice. This may be a symptom of being a victim of the bomb blast,” more..

Bread price up by Rs. 4

Mar 21 (DM) The price of a 450 g loaf of bread would be increased by Rs. 4 with effect from midnight, All Ceylon Bakery Owner’s Association Chairman N.K. Jayawardena said. “A decision had been taken to increase the price of a 450 g of loaf of bread due to the increase of the price of 1 kg of wheat flour by Rs. 7.20 following the Govt decision to increase its tax by Rs. 6,” he said. “The new price of a 450g loaf of bread will be Rs. 58,” more..

Homagama court unrest: seven more get bail

Mar 21 (AD) Seven persons including five Buddhist monks, who were arrested and remanded for unruly behavior outside the Homagama Magistrate’s Court, have been granted bail by the court. The monks and two women were produced before the court when the case was taken up today while Magistrate ordered that they each be released on a personal bail of Rs. 100,000. The Magistrate has too ordered the monks to appear at the Homagama police on every Sundays until the case is resolved. more..

'Electricity mafia would be exposed'

Mar 21 (LT) There are 23 companies that are connected with Ceylon Electricity Board and these companies have made the Corporation a cud says JVP Parliamentarian Sunil Handunneththi. He said the reason for the electricity crisis is a mafia and the people would be informed of this mafia as the JVP has been appointed the President of COPE. He said for the first time in history officials of CEB have been summoned to COPE and they are expected to come before COPE on the 24th. more..

SL mulls devolving powers to provinces

Mar 21 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka said it is considering devolving powers to provinces through a new constitution which is now under discussion. President Sirisena said he supports devolving powers to provinces within a united SL. President said the govt is keen to give more powers to the provinces through the new constitution. He noted that several issues faced by the people can be addressed by strengthening provincial councils. more..