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Sri Lanka shares firm up on foreign buying, hit more than 3-wk closing high

Mar 24 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares rose in thin trade to hit a more than three-week closing high on Thursday as foreign investors net bought stocks for the first time in nine sessions, but growth woes and rising bond yields capped gains ahead of a long weekend. Foreign investors bought a net 33.1 million rupees worth of shares on Thursday, but they have net sold 2.06 billion rupees worth shares so far this year. Sri Lanka's economy is expected to expand 5.3% in 2016, more..

Women's World T20: Australia thrash SL

Mar 24 (CI) Meg Lanning and Elyse Villani feasted on a toothless Sri Lanka Women attack to convert a tricky chase of 124 into a cakewalk as Australia Women revived their World T20 campaign with a nine-wicket win at the Feroze Shah Kotla in Delhi. The match was set up by legspinner Kristen Beams and Jess Jonassen, the left-arm spinner, who broke Sri Lanka's back with the wickets of Dilani Manodara and Chamari Atapattu, who made 38 apiece. Then, an unbroken second-wicket stand of 98 that more..

Legislation to regulate massage clinics

Mar 24 (DM) Health Ministry was in the process of introducing legislation to regulate and monitor Massage Clinics and Health Clubs in order to prevent nefarious activities allegedly carried out at these locations, Director General, Health Services Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. “We are aware of certain abominable acts taking place at these parlours putting the health of the public at risk and that is why Health Ministry decided to monitor and more..

‘Release Intelligence personnel in custody without charges’

Mar 24 (Island) Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera, President of the National Movement for the Rights of War Heroes yesterday called upon the govt to release the army intelligence personnel who had been held in remand for 212 days without any charges before Sinhala and Tamil New Year. "There is no evidence at all to prosecute these men over Prageeth Ekneligoda’s disappearance," he said. "They are being held to appease the so-called international community." more..

CID launches probe into Sobitha Thera’s death

Mar 24 (Island) The CID has initiated an inquiry into the sudden demise of Ven, Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera in the wake of Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka and National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) calling for an impartial probe. Ven. Dhammaloka Thera has said he has evidence to prove that the death of Ven. Sobtitha Thera was due to a conspiracy. The NMSJ recently wrote to both President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe urging them to initiate an urgent inquiry. more..

USS Blue Ridge to Visit Colombo

Mar 24 (USE) U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) will arrive in Colombo for a port call Mar 26, the first visit by a U.S. Navy ship since Oct 2011. Visit builds upon last month’s Partnership Dialogue in Washington D.C., where both nations pledged to strengthen maritime security cooperation efforts in the Indian Ocean Region in order to counter piracy, provide humanitarian assistance, and ensure free and safe navigation in more..

Intense heat batters Nuwara Eliya

Mar 24 (DM) The heat in Nuwara Eliya at noon today was recorded as 30 degrees C and the cultivation in the area is fading fast due to the drought prevailing in the area for more than a month. In several places trees below 15 feet in height are seen withered and a bad odor seems to emanate from the streams flowing across the Victoria Park causing severe inconvenience to the tourists visiting the Park. Withered flower beds are to be seen in most places despite regular watering. more..

FCID probes 29 complaints against former and present elected representatives

Mar 24 (Island) The FCID had launched investigations against 19 former and present people’s representatives, Parliament was told yesterday. Among them were former and present Provincial Councillors Pradheshiya Sabha members and Municipal Councillors who are being investigated by the FCID, according to a document tabled by the Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development in response to a question raised by UPFA MP Prasanna Ranatunga. more..

‘Schools should take lead in creating a disciplinary future generation’

Mar 24 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says the schools should take the lead in creating a disciplined future generation in an environment where the lives of mothers and children value in financial terms and people who do cruel things to animals exists in the society. He made these remarks participating in the annual prize giving ceremony of St. Joseph’s Girls School, Kegalle, today. President further said that even though more..

Court restrains Suhada Koka DVD sale

Mar 24 (DM) Colombo District Court today restrained till April 7 the printing and selling of DVD copies of the popular comedy film Suhada Koka. Court made this order on film producer Sunil T. Fernando considering the submissions of the petitioner's counsel and perusing the documents filed by the DVD film's present patent right owner Rukman Samanpriya of Ja- Ela. Counsel Shabdika Wellapuli appearing with Kelum Maitreepala for the petitioner said the petitioner more..

SL Coast Guard arrests 3 Indian fishermen

Mar 24 (PTI) At least three Indian fishermen have been arrested by SL Coast Guard for allegedly crossing IMBL and fishing in Sri Lankan waters, the fifth such detention in March 2016. They were arrested on Wednesday in northwest of Jaffna’s Delft island (Neduntheevu). They have now been brought to Kankesanturai and will be handed over to Fisheries and Water Resources officials there. They were arrested by the SL Coast Guard officials with the assistance of the Navy. more..

UK MPs slam cancellation of meeting with High Commission in Colombo

Mar 24 (CG) A group of British MPs have slammed the UK High Commission in Colombo over the cancellation of a scheduled meeting with the High Commission recently. The MPs who were part of an all-party group which was on a visit to the Maldives, had said it had sought a meeting with the UK High Commission in Colombo after visiting the Maldives. However the three MPs, Sir David Amess (Chairman of the group), more..

Ranil’s friend bowls Doosra: Observer sports editor out LBW

Mar 24 (CT) Callistus Davy the Sports Editor Sunday Observer has been sent on two months paid leave for a reporting blunder at the conclusion of 137th Battle of the Blues Royal Thomian Big Match, sources close to the Chairman Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited told Colombo Telegraph. The veteran scribe counting over 25 years experience in sports journalism had carried an incomplete story in the Sunday Observer following Royal College’s remarkable victory. more..

Malik asserts white elephant projects will be transformed

Mar 24 (CG) Govt today told Parliament that the white elephant projects initiated by the former Govt will be transformed into more profitable ventures. Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama said that as part of the transformation process an industrial zone will be established at the Hambantota port. Minister also warned that blocking the proposed trade and economic deals with China and India could harm Sri Lanka’s development. more..

Second no-confidence against Ravi handed over to Speaker

Mar 24 (AD) A motion of no-confidence against Minister Ravi Karunanayake signed by 37 MPs aligned with the Joint Opposition has been handed over to Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya. The motion has been filed accusing Karunanayake of proving false information to the Parliament including the proposals included in the 2016 Budget. A similar no-confidence motion signed by 44 MPs against the Finance Minister was more..

Brussels attacks highlights need for urgent dialogue on terrorism: PM

Mar 24 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels highlights the need for an urgent dialogue on terrorism that must include steps in addressing it effectively. In a message of condolence to his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel, the PM said that he was deeply saddened and shocked by the attacks which resulted in a shocking loss of life and injury. He said that Sri Lankans understand well the difficulties faced by the international community more..

Birthday wishes from Modi to PM on his 67th birthday

Mar 24 (ST) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who celebrates his 67th birthday today. "Wishing my friend, a leader with great knowledge & wisdom, SL PM @RW_UNP on his birthday. May he be blessed with a long & healthy life." a tweet from his official twitter handle said. PM Wickremesinghe was born on 24th March in 1949. He studied at Royal College, Colombo and entered the Faculty of Law at the University of Ceylon, Colombo campus. more..

Kuwait lends Sri Lanka US$ 34 million

Mar 24 (Kuna) Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) has signed a loan agreement with Sri Lanka at a value US$ 34 million to contribute to financing construction of a complex for the Faculty of Healthcare Sciences, Eastern University. Project aims at enhancing the socio-economic living standards of people of SL, through construction of the new Faculty of Health Care Sciences in Batticaloa City, and provision of more..

Floriculture industry to bloom

Mar 24 (GDI) Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife has taken steps to expand the country's floriculture industry by attracting more entrepreneurs to the industry. Minister Sumedha G. Jayasena said the ministry hopes to provide loans at a low interest rate for those willing to enter this field. She made this observation at a discussion with members of the committee appointed by Minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera to take decisions to widen the floriculture industry more..

Sri Lanka conveys condolences over plane crash in Russia

Mar 24 (ST) The govt extended condolences over the airplane crash in southern Russian city of Rostov on March 19 which claimed all 62 passengers onboard, Foreign Affairs said. "Govt and people of Sri Lanka are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of many lives caused by the sudden crash of Fly Dubai flight FZ981 in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on March 19." "Govt conveys heartfelt and profound condolences to the bereaved families of those who lost their lives. more..

Colossal SriLankan Airlines losses, A350 deal, a financial crime: Minister

Mar 24 (EN) Colossal losses that state-run SriLankan Airlines was made to suffer since ex-President Rajapaksa chased away Emirates Airlines, and questionable aircraft deal, is a national financial crime, Deputy Minister Eran Wickremaratne said. SriLankan Airlines, which made profit of Rs. 4.4 billion in 2008, year in which the management agreement with Emirates Airlines ended, has lost Rs. 107 billion since, then. more..

Literally in the dark!

Mar 25 (NS) Last week the country was literally kept in the dark for a second time in as many weeks but the big question is whether it is being kept in the dark metaphorically too? When there was a power outage a few weeks ago, there was some consternation but Sri Lankans being Sri Lankans, they shrugged it off and went about their business believing that the powers that be would ensure that there would be no power cut yet again but that is exactly what happened. more..

Gotabhaya & Fonseka still passing the buck

Mar 25 (SL) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa insists that a proper investigation should be carried out into the murder of Founding Editor of Sunday Leader Newspaper Lasantha Wickrematunge, but has hinted the govt will never hold a transparent investigation, as a minister in the present govt is connected to the incident. Rajapaksa made these remarks following Minister Sarath Fonseka’s maiden speech in parliament where he said that an international probe should be more..

The truth that got fictionalised

Mar 25 (SO) No jungle was more evil than the jungle which lay about the village of Beddegama, writes Leonard Woolf in his epic opus Village in the Jungle juggling with the evil of the forest and the evil of the people. Silindu, the protagonist of the story, fears the evil of the jungle and overlooks the evil of the people, which Woolf successfully depict throughout the story where Silindu ends up murdering two people; more..

Tamils need to speak up, and in time

Mar 25 (SL) Speech is silver, silence is golden. If there is one occasion where this dictum does not seem to apply, it’s in political negotiations of every kind. This does not mean that every stake-holder together should create a Tower of Babel all at once. It only implies that those that have demands should speak up, and in time – for other stake-holders, to hear and act upon, at least some of them. It has become the practice with the nation’s Tamil polity to sit back and watch the ‘fun’ as other more..

The Rajapaksa rage

Mar 25 (DN) Hyde Park in London is famous as a venue where those who want to stage a protest against the establishment state their case. Many a rebel has stood at Hyde Park corner and lambasted the powers that be and gone on to greater deeds. Probably by virtue of being a British colony, Sri Lanka has its own Hyde Park in the heart of Colombo, a stone’s throw away from Lipton Circus, another landmark that frequently attracts demonstrators. more..

Good Friday make a change today

Mar 25 (DN) The suffering Christ gives us an insight to his purpose upon the Cross we still fail to accept his endless love for which he died; but had we shared the unselfish divine power he bestowed on all his children, we could have honestly bowed at his feet and shared the spiritual experience or perhaps welled our eyes in tears. But it is so momentary, we go back to being normal after lent and look forward for Christmas. more..

Editorial: A welcome volte-face

Mar 25 (Island) The leaders of the political parties represented in Parliament have been forced to climb down over a move to shower more public funds on MPs, we are told. They have decided against seeking Cabinet approval for the payment of Rs. 75,000 each and Rs. 50,000 each to lawmakers by way of office rental and a communication allowance respectively. However, the MPs who are not resident at the Madiwela Housing Scheme will be paid Rs. 50,000 each as a housing allowance. more..

SL’s debt situation: What are our options?

Mar 25 (FT) The external financing situation for Sri Lanka is certainly a big worry for both the Govt and the private sector. This is largely due to monstrous financial profligacy of the past not yet fully explained. However, it is also due to a large trade deficit and a drop in exports and worker remittance. In 2015, our trade deficit was around $ 8.5 billion. Worker remittance was around $ 6.9 billion. Capital flows were negative. We had a balance of payment deficit of $1.5 billion. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

The Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ– the historical facts

Mar 25 (Island) Christianity rests on certain events that took place in history. This is something unique when compared to other religions. It stakes its claim to truthfulness on historical events open to critical investigation. This is especially true where the Resurrection is concerned. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a central event of history and the very corner-stone of the Christian faith.St. Paul has set this down very clearly in 1 Corinthians 15:14, 17 & 19 –"And if Christ is not risen, more..

Crucifixion and Blood Moon: It is Done

Mar 25 (DN) There is evidence that the crucifixion of Christ may be the only day on which a Blood moon, noonday darkness and global or multi-tectonic earthquake coincided. But what about the bloody moon? - Crucifixion April 3rd AD 33. Blood moon is when sometimes in a total lunar eclipse, the earth which comes between sun and moon casts a red shadow on moon. Earthquake during crucifixion was global in scope (affecting every tectonic boundary) as Tertullian & Africanus document. more..

Majestic mammals ill- treated

Mar 25 (CT) While environmentalists and animal welfare activists mourn the tragic death of Hemantha, who was given from the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage (PEO) to the Kotte Raja Maha Viharaya, temple officials have taken matters into their hands and buried the animal in the temple premises. Controversy surrounds the death of this majestic animal, which was only around 22 years old at the time of his death. more..

Southern comforts in Tangalle, Sri Lanka

Mar 25 (TN) It’s a minimum three-and-a-half-hour drive or a 40-­minute ride on a C-20 Amphibian Air Taxi from Colombo to the Tangalle area of south-­western Sri Lanka. I opt for the exotic-­sounding Cinnamon Air. What I don’t know until the moment of take-off is that there’s a trainee pilot in the hot seat, battling high winds and the controls as his instructor barks instructions and flips through a ring binder. After several nerve-jarring bumps in clouds, the flight settles, and we zip our way more..

2 Japanese naval ships arrive in Colombo

Mar 25 (SLN) Two Japanese naval ships, Yuudachi and Yuugiri, arrived at the Port of Colombo on a goodwill and replenishment visit on 24th March 2016. They were welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on arrival. The head of the mission, Commander Escort Division Seven, Captain Takashi Inoue and the ships’ Commanding Officers, Commander Tomova Baba and Commander Tomovuki Sase paid a courtesy call on the Commander Western Naval Area, more..

Watawala Plantations diversifies with $ 11.5 m dairy operation

Mar 25 (FT) Watawala Plantations, a member of the diversified Sunshine Holdings conglomerate and one of SL’s largest Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs), has announced plans to set up a mega commercial dairy operation, with a total initial funding commitment of $11.5 million. Of this funding, a large portion ($4.3 million) has been committed by Watawala Plantations PLC while a $3 million share represents Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by Duxton Asset Management, more..

Ceylon Chamber signs MOU with Zurich Swiss-Asian Chamber

Mar 25 (DN) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Zurich based Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce signed an MOU recently in a bid to promote trade and investments between Sri Lanka and Switzerland. The signing took place in Colombo recently with the participation of CCC Chairman Samantha Ranatunga and Mark Dangel, Chairman, Sri Lanka Committee of the Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce, who respectively signed the MOU on behalf of each party. "The purpose of this MOU is to establish a practical framework more..

Call for a Commission to Address Economic Development Grievances

Mar 25 (ST) The current process of constitutional reform has given much needed importance to concerns such as structures of the State, rule of law, separation of powers and power sharing arrangements. However, such an approach to Constitution-making has ignored a major concern for the people, of economic depravity and harm caused by development projects. Constitutional mechanisms to address the problems arising from economic development policies of the Govt have largely more..

UN report highlights caste-based discrimination in Sri Lanka

Mar 25 (FT) Caste-based discrimination is an ongoing issue in SL society, according to a report presented during the 31st session of UNHRC. Report by Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues Rita Izsak-Ndiaye specifically mentions Sri Lanka in two paragraphs, which describe varying caste structures in Sinhala, Tamil and Up-Country Tamil communities and the types of social exclusion lower castes in each group face. more..