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Making hay while the Sun shines

Mar 22 (DM) Diyawanna members have come in for another round of the free vehicle permits bonanza. These permits are a real boon to some first-timers who have made it to the august assembly from distant corners of the country. However, for old timers who are well heeled now, the permit is a veritable source of additional income. Meanwhile, 2 to 3 well known characters in politics have come forward to make a fast buck more..

Sharma rejects soft-pedalling HR abuses by MR regime

Mar 22 (DM) Outgoing Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma has rejected allegations of having soft-pedalled human rights abuses during the Rajapaksa regime. Criticism of the Commonwealth’s role and Mr. Sharma’s leadership peaked in the lead-up to CHOGM 2013 in Sri Lanka. Human rights groups and pro-LTTE organisations in Britain accused him of soft-pedalling human rights abuses of Rajapaksa regime, more..

Why university students rag; and academics think it’s normal

Mar 22 (DM) The academics at the University of Kelaniya have reportedly suspended teaching activities in protest against on-going ragging at the university. Since a dog biting a man is no news, university protests which happen equal if not a greater frequency are also hardly considered as news. However, this one is special since it is academics, who have finally given up their passive connivance to ragging- more..

UN reiterates calls for credible probe on war related incidents

Mar 22 (CG) The UN has reiterated calls for a credible investigation on incidents related to the war in Sri Lanka. Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General said that the UN has made clear what the guidelines for what a credible investigation will entail. He said this in response to a question posed on a comment made by President Sirisena that he will not invite foreign judges to be involved in judicial process more..

Docs blame President for private medical college imbroglio

Mar 22 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena was responsible for allowing govt health facilities to be used for clinical studies of the students of Malabe Private Medical College as he had issued the relevant letter when he was the Health Minister in 2014, Convener of the Centre Against Private Medical College Dr. Jayantha Bandara said. He said they demanded an immediate end to the use of state medical facilities for the use of more..

Japanese Govt happy with the new Sri Lanka

Mar 22 (CG) Japanese Govt is happy with the new Sri Lanka, Deputy Foreign Minister Dr Harsha de Silva said following talks in Japan today. He met with the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Hitoshi Kikawada today and discussed several issues. “As some may already know President Sirisena has been invited to the G7 summit this summer to Japan. A rare honour and a first for Sri Lanka. more..

Interpol nab SL drug baron in Thailand

Mar 22 (CT) A powerful drug dealer of the South of SL, who had engaged in large scale drug dealing and bought property worth Rs 800 million and dealt in black money as well, has been taken into custody by Interpol in Thailand. Investigations carried out by the CID has revealed that this drug dealer had engaged in drug dealing from Moratuwa and bought buildings and property worth more than Rs 800 million from several more..

SLFPers seek post for Gota to unite party

Mar 22 (DM) In a bid to unite the different factions of the SLFP, its senior members would urge President Maithripala Sirisena to solicit the support of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa by offering him a key position, it is learnt. A few senior members, including those holding Ministerial posts in the Govt, have decided to advocate this idea, as a patch-up between the President and former President Rajapaksa, more..

The terrorists within

Mar 22 (CT) What do we call someone who threatens the Sri Maha Bhodi and our heritage? Once we had a terrorist outfit called the Tigers who attempted to damage our living link to the Buddha, the Sri Maha Bhodiya. Should the label now be given to the gang who are attempting to build a 500 MW coal fired power station in Trincomalee (as stage I). They have been informed time and time again of the negative global experience on Coal fired power plants. more..

Sri Lanka retailer expand solar powered outlets with IFC finance

Mar 22 (EN) Richard Pieris Distributors will get US$ 15 million to expand its retail chain, with solar panels on the rooftops, Washington-based International Finance Corporation, a World Bank unit, said. “IFC’s support comes at an important time as we step up our operations and widen our network of branches across the island," Group Chairman of Richard Pieris & Company Sena Yaddehige said. "Through this planned expansion, we will contribute towards improving food safety and more..


A society with its priorities mixed up

Mar 22 (DM) A young couple visiting Independence Square were chased away by a security guard recently. This is routine procedure at this venue, but there was a spirited reaction this time and a group of young protesters voiced a strong reaction called Occupy the Square soon after. Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva arrived during the demo and questioned the two guards, who had chased away the couple. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered the Cultural Affairs Ministry to cancel more..

Brussels attack: no reports of SL victims

Mar 22 (AD) Sri Lankan mission in Brussels, Belgium says no reports yet of Sri Lankans being victims in the attacks in Brussels. Two explosions were reported in the departures area of Zaventem airport in Brussels this morning. A metro station in Brussels has also been attacked. Ten reported dead and 30 injured in airport attack. The blasts come four days after the capture in Brussels of Salah Abdeslam, the main suspect in the Paris attacks in November. more..

Now watch Street View imagery of Sri Lanka on Google Maps

Mar 22 (IANS) Google on Tuesday announced that its popular street view feature for Sri Lanka is active and available on Google Maps. Launch brings the total number of countries where street view is available to 76. "We are delighted to bring imagery of Sri Lanka to Street View on Google Maps" said Helena Lersch, manager (Public Policy) at Google. The new street view allows people around the world to view more..

Singaporean jailed for sham marriage to Sri Lankan woman

Mar 22 (ST) A 36-year-old Singaporean man was jailed six months for entering into a sham marriage with a SL national. The man, Suresh Chandran, was offered $4,000 by Ayesha Rathnamalie, 23, to enter into a marriage of convenience with her, after they met in April 2013. In return, Suresh would sponsor her visit pass applications to stay here so that she could eventually become a permanent resident. Suresh agreed to this because he was facing financial difficulties. more..

Islington Boxing Club coaches help to develop the sport in Sri Lanka

Mar 22 (IG) Sri Lanka is not exactly renowned as a hotbed of boxing – but Lenny Hagland is hopeful Islington BC can play their part in changing that. Hagland, the chairman of the Hazellville Road club, recently travelled to the island state to run a 5-day training programme for youngsters at Narandeniya National School in the small town of Kamburupitiya. Now there are plans for a return trip to strengthen the tie-up next year, with the chance for some of the Sri Lankan prospects more..

UK notes importance of dealing with legacies of conflict in Sri Lanka

Mar 22 (CG) British Govt says dealing with the causes and legacies of conflict will enable Sri Lanka to build the stronger, more stable and more prosperous country that all its people so richly deserve. The Deputy British High Commissioner to SL Laura Davies said that the development of a professional, civilian police force, guarantor of law and order, and offering protection and assistance to all communities is a central element to help more..

Arrested for demanding sexual bribe

Mar 22 (LT) A Divi Neguma development officer has been arrested by officials of Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption for demanding a sexual bribe from a woman in return for making available Samurdhi aid and providing to a child aid given by the govt for kidney patients. He was arrested by a team of officials of the CIABOC in a hotel at Tissamaharamaya yesterday. The suspect is a resident of Tissamaharamaya attached to Katharagama Divisional Secretariat more..

Colonial splendour revives Cannonball run

Mar 22 (CG) Galle Face Hotel hosted the eagerly-awaited Cannonball Run on 18th March 2016 in high spirits with the Cannonball taking centre-stage at the high-profile event, which was attended by many of the glitterati and the literati of Colombo society, corporate world and diplomatic community. The Galle Face Hotel and the war time beverage Colombo Gin have strong synergies, both tracing their origins to the British colonial era. This event was characterized by pomp and pageantry more..

Explosions at Brussels Airport and Subway Kill 34

Mar 22 (NYT) A series of deadly terrorist attacks struck Brussels on Tuesday, with two explosions at the city’s main international airport and a third in a subway station at the heart of the city, near the headquarters complex of the European Union. At least one of the two airport explosions was touched off by a suicide bomber, officials said. At least 34 people were killed — 14 at the airport, and 20 at the subway station — and many more were more..

Ven. Sobitha Thero was disgusted with moves of yahapalanaya

Mar 22 (LT) The health of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero would have deteriorated as he was frustrated and was in a tension during his final days regarding the moves of the yahapalana govt says the Member of People's Movement for a Just Society Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri. It is to respond to various views expressed by various sections regarding the death of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero. Speaking further he said many wanted to cure Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero due to more..

'Joint Opposition's aim to cripple govt'

Mar 22 (DN) The aim of the Joint Opposition is to cripple the work of the govt to create a political environment where their personal ambitions can be achieved, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. He was participating in the opening of a Vocational Traning Centre in Kalutara, Panapitiya. While pledging his support to the govt's programme to create one million job opportunities in the country, he said vocational training for youth would help create more demand for them in job market. more..

'No price increase on food items in canteens'

Mar 22 (DM) Although the price of a loaf of bread has been increased by the Bakery Owners’ Association, the prices of other items sold at canteens will not be increased, Canteen Owners’ Association (COA) National Organiser Asela Sampath said. “The price of other food items sold in canteen won’t be increased. It is unreasonable to increase the price of loaf of bread price by Rs. 4,” he said. “Any price increase on a loaf of bread more..

Asanga uncontested as SLRFU President

Mar 22 (CT) Asanga Seneviratne and his team are set to be elected uncontested for the top posts of the SL Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) in the elections of office-bearers, which is to be held on 8 April, Director General (DG) of Sports K.D. Ruwanchandra said yesterday. According to the DG, only the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) nominees have received for the post of president and the rest for the SLRFU elections at the time nominations were closed. more..

World Water Day celebrated

Mar 22 (GDI) Today (22) Sri Lanka marks the World Water Day. This year’s celebrations will follow the theme Water and Job. The Ministry of City Planning and Water Supply in co-operation with the National Water Supply and Drainage Board will conduct the key event at the BMICH under the patronage of the President Maithripala Sirisena. The key note address of the event will be delivered by Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya. Additionally, several school level competitions, seminars, more..

JVP to go FCID against Uva CM

Mar 22 (DM) JVP Uva Provincial Councilor Samantha Vidyarathna had said he would lodge a complaint against Uva Chief Minister Chamara Sampath Dassanayake with the FCID over several fraudulent acts committed by him within the council. Claiming that he had evidence in his possession to incriminate the CM, PC Vidyarathna alleged that chief minister had misused funds belonging to the council last November. more..

Package of loans for SL expats offered

Mar 22 (AN) Sri Lankan expatriates in the Kingdom are offered a package of loans and rewards by a premier state bank on the island. National Savings Bank (NSB) Acting General Manager-International S.H.M. Mubarak, who is currently leading a three-member delegation, told Arab News that in addition to various rewards, the bank offers educational loans for expatriates’ children, car loans, housing loans and also personal loans. Under the Buddhi loan, Mubarak explained that more..

Mitsubishi Corporation to install power transmission cables in Sri Lanka

Mar 22 (JNC) Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), together with J-Power Systems Corporation (JPS, 100% subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric Industries) and LTL Projects Ltd. (LTL) of Sri Lanka, has been awarded a contract by CEB for the installation of underground transmission and distribution cables in the Greater Colombo region of Sri Lanka. MC and JPS will supply the underground transmission cables, while LTL will be in charge of supplying ancillary equipment and installation. more..

'Decision to reduce tax concession temporary'

Mar 22 (DN) The decision to reduce the tax concession granted to wheat flour importers was made to protect local paddy farmers, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanyake said. He made this statement at a ceremony to mark the distribution of financial grants for the development of two temples; Dhawalasingharamaya in Modara and Sri Shakyasingharamaya in Grandpass, today. Minister distributed Rs, 50,000 to each temple more..

Easter message: Catholic Bishops' Conference in Sri Lanka

Mar 22 (DN) The Easter message issued by His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, President of the Catholic Bishop's Conference in SL and Rt. Rev. Dr. D. Valence Mendis, Secretary General, Catholic Bishop's Conference in Sri Lanka: "At Easter we bring the Liturgical Year to its climax proclaiming Jesus of Nazareth as the Risen Lord and Saviour. WE let the words of the angels resound in our ears, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen." (Luke 24:5). more..

Sri Lankan national detained in US by border patrol agents

Mar 22 (CG) A traffic stop by Palm Beach police officers for illegal window tinting Sunday night led to an arrest by US Border Patrol agents of a Sri Lankan national who failed to produce proper documentation or his passport. Ingarathas Rajalingam, 26, was a passenger in a black 2001 Ford SUV that an officer stopped at 11:45 p.m. in the 200 block of Royal Palm Way because the vehicle’s window tint appeared too dark. Rajalingam previously had been arrested in Houston more..

Sri Lanka’s power regulator eyes electricity tariff revision

Mar 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s power regulator is looking at tariff revision as one option to meet the revenue requirement of the CEB. Director General of the Public Utilities Commission of SL Damitha Kumarasinghe said that the Commission has finalized the revenue requirement of the CEB. “We have done a consultation on the revenue requirement of the CEB for the period of April to October,” he said. more..

Police vocational development framework is launched

Mar 22 (ITN) A special programme is operative on behalf of vocational development of Police Officers. The launch of the Vocational Development framework under this programme took place under the patronage of Minister Sagala Ratnayake. The launch of the Vocational Development Framework took place under the theme Professionalism through Wisdom. Programme is a joint effort by the Sri Lanka Police and the Police Academy in collaboration with the Open University of SL. more..

'Dry spell might trigger water scarcity'

Mar 22 (DM) The Meteorology Departmen yesterday warned that the prevailing dry weather could trigger a water scarcity as adequate rains have not been recorded in months. A met Department spokesperson responding to a recent report that water levels of the Kelani river was going down, said the absence of inter monsoonal rains, and the change in the wind pattern had been some of the main causes for the dry weather while global warming could have had an indirect impact. more..

Saudi Arabia, SL set up e-hiring system

Mar 22 (AN) Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka have signed an agreement to set up an electronic system that would streamline recruitment from the island nation. According to Saudi Deputy Labor Minister Ziad Al-Sayegh, the two countries signed the agreement recently in Colombo, during the bi-annual joint technical committee meeting held to monitor the progress of labor relations. Al-Sayegh said the electronic system would function more..

A tribute to Carlo Fonseka

Mar 23 (CT) I was delighted to know Professor Carlo Fonseka’s popular writings are now published in one volume under the title Essays of a Lifetime (Godage, 2016). I came to know it through Kumar David’s succinct and witty review. Although I have not seen the book yet, I believe I am familiar with many of the articles as they were published individually before. My purpose however is not exactly to review them but to reminisce my recollections and encounters with him for whatever they are worth. more..

Enough Already!

Mar 23 (CT) It has been a considerable time since I’ve had occasion to use the expression that constitutes the title of this piece. However, better late than never! That said, what is the enough in this instance. The enough is the acceptance of those who were guilty of monumental corruption of a varieties of brands ranging from the simply fiscal – theft from the public purse – to depravity and the support of depravity as part of the policy of the late unlamented Rajapaksa rabble. more..

'SLFP must avoid splitting at all costs'

Mar 23 (CT) Minister and Treasurer of SLFP S.B. Dissanayake said, the biggest concern of the SLFP at present was to avoid a split at all costs. He added that the UNP and SLFP could not stay together forever, "When the two main democratic parties stay together, alternative parties which build up as the Opposition are parties which are extremist, racist or terrorists. That is not good for democracy in the country," he said. more..

Bridging the racial divide

Mar 23 (GV) It can hardly be denied that divisions based on race has proved a major issue for Sri Lanka in the past. Racial discrimination propelled by the emergence of ethno-centric politics fuelled the civil war, and continued in its immediate aftermath as the country took its first tentative steps on the road to reconciliation. It is important to remember this as March 21 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. To mark this day, Groundviews features more..

Need for reassurance beyond resettlement

Mar 23 (NS) One of the crucial factors of the post war scenario was the resettlement of those who were displaced during various stages of the war over the past 30 years. But, the resettlement of those who were moved out of their homes during the final stages of the war gained prominence over those who left their homes years ago, for the simple reason that the newly displaced people had lost almost everything that they had and were therefore dependent on whatever assistance they got more..