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COPE wants AAIB Chairman sacked

Mar 25 (CT) Chairman of the COPE JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti says the Committee has recommended to the govt to remove the Chairman of the Agricultural and Agrarian Insurance Board (AAIB) for having illegally run a vehicle insurance scheme and paying agrarian officers commissions in the process. COPE had recently deliberated the charges against the AAIB Chairman at length. MP Handunnetti said their deliberations had proved beyond any doubt that the AAIB Chairman had illegally more..

Media Minister says Jt. Opposition daydreaming of toppling govt

Mar 25 (Island) Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said that Joint Opposition was daydreaming of toppling the incumbent govt. He said the Rajapaksa govt had only wanted to remain in power by launching massive scale development projects which did not benefit the public. As a result the country had got entangled in a debt trap. "Due to that reason this govt has had to take loans to settle those debts and their interest" more..

MR will neither form new party nor allow SLFP to win: Buddhadasa

Mar 25 (AD) Former Kaduwela Mayor G.H. Buddhadasa today claimed that the leader of the National Freedom Front (NFF) MP Wimal Weerawansa has made a secret mega deal with the govt and that is the reason why he has not been arrested as of yet. Addressing a press conference, he said that the Weerawansa and Frontline Socialist Party’s Kumar Gunaratnam have the same charge of false passport, however the former Minister is roaming free while the latter is in prison. more..

Youth nabbed for withdrawing Rs. 70,000 from monk's account

Mar 25 (DN) A 19-year-old youth who allegedly robbed an ATM card belonging to a bhikkhu attached to a temple in Akuressa and withdrawing Rs. 70,000 from his bank account in two installments of Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 30,000 from the teller machine was arrested by Akuressa Police yesterday. The youth who had previously disrobed, was detected with the use of footage recorded in the CCTV camera. A drawing room suite and a mobile phone the suspect had purchased using more..

TNA against reconciliation village housing project

Mar 25 (PTI) TNA has expressed opposition to a housing project in the Tamil-majority north which has been dubbed the reconciliation village. On Thursday during the northern provincial council sessions TNA councillor T Sarveswaran said the housing scheme was a forcible settlement of the majority Sinhalese in lands belonging to the Tamils. Village at Kokeliya in Vavuniya district is to be opened by President early next month. more..

Speaker reprimands MP for torchlight protest

Mar 25 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuiya summoned and reprimanded UPFA MP Sisira Jayakody who had lit a torch inside the Parliament chamber to draw attention to the power crisis on Wednesday. MP was advised by Speaker Jayasuiya to refrain from such behaviour in the House in the future. MP was asked to explain why he had lit the torch inside the Chamber and pointed it towards the Chair as well as towards Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya during a parliamentary discussion on the power crisis. more..

Sri Lanka to amend Companies Act

Mar 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s cabinet has decided to amend the Companies Act No. 07 of 2007 following a proposal made by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. Advisory Commission appointed to advise the Industry and Commerce Minister and Auditor General has identified several amendments that should be done. The Companies Act has been in effect for nearly 10 years and it provides among other things provisions regarding incorporation of companies, administration and more..

Sri Lanka bank on spinners against England

Mar 25 (CI) Sri Lanka's batting has been brittle, and they are missing their finisher with the ball, but T20 wits, they hope, will be enough to put them into the semi-final. First up in their Delhi double-header is England - a team they have sometimes outsmarted before. There is evidence that this England side is savvier than its predecessors. They have hired experts to advise them on spin, and are led by one of the more..

President Sirisena's Easter Message

Mar 25 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena said the message of Easter is that the human beings can reach great heights through selfless sacrifice and compassion for the fellow beings. "The humanity in the world through the ages, shined through the great religions that taught the people to look at others through the principle of equality. These values were of great strength to the people to shirk evil thoughts of hate and anger." Issuing a message for Easter he said that together with the Jesus Christ more..

Indian detained for attempting to smuggle foreign currency

Mar 25 (CG) An Indian national, who attempted to smuggle foreign currency out of Sri Lanka, was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake this morning, Sri Lanka Customs said, according to the ANI news service. The Customs officials arrested the Indian national when he was preparing to board a flight to Sharjah. The 44-year-old suspect had currency equivalent to Rs. 7.5 million. Further investigation into the matter is still on. more..

In Sri Lanka sorcery is substitute for pre-meditated murder

Mar 25 (ENS) In Sri Lanka, sorcery is used as a substitute for premeditated murder and physical violence, says Princeton University’s Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Gananath Obeyesekere. In his paper: Sorcery, Premeditated Murder and Canalization of Aggression revised in 2014, Obeyesekere says that sorcery helps canalize a person’s murderous intention or wish to physically harm someone into a non-violent form of more..

SLFP in no hurry to take disciplinary action on dissidents

Mar 25 (CG) The SLFP says it is in no hurry to take disciplinary action on the SLFP members who attended a rally organised by the joint opposition recently. SLFP Treasurer S.B. Dissanayake said that the party will act against those who violate party decisions. However he said there was no need to hurry the process or get agitated when nothing is done. He said the main goal is to ensure the party stays united even when there are differences of opinion among some members. more..

3 Sri Lankans in Dubai empty car showroom in owner's absence

Mar 25 (E24|7) Three Sri Lankan fugitives allegedly sold eleven cars worth Dh2.8m in the absence and without the knowledge of their employer, Dubai Criminal Court heard. While AT, 43, Kazakhstani, investor and his partner were not in the country, three staff members of a second-hand car company exploited the opportunity and sold eleven cars to two persons after forging documents needed by RTA for ownership transfer. On May 22, the car dealer returned to the county to discover that more..

Ex PM makes emotional appeal to MS, MR and CBK

Mar 25 (CG) Former PM D M Jayaratne today made an emotional appeal to President Maithripala Sirisena, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga to take measures to ensure the SLFP does not split. Jayaratne said that he feels very sad at what is taking place within the SLFP. He said that he personally met President Maithripala Sirisena and the two former more..

At wits' end, followers of Rajapaksa resort to sorcery

Mar 25 (ENS) With legal and political means having failed to save former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa from the numerous corruption cases against him, his followers have resorted to the traditional Lankan weapon of ritual cursing to destroy the tormentor. Ritual cursing in Lanka involves the smashing of coconuts in select Hindu shrines called Devales and a closed door session with a sorcerer who recites poisonous verses. The Joint Opposition Group (JOG) in parliament, more..

World T20: Australia beat Pakistan

Mar 25 (CI) Australia have arrived as a force at the World Twenty20, just in time to wave goodbye to Pakistan, as they completed a 21-run win in Mohali. A storming display with the bat was followed by an improved showing with the ball, setting up what will be effectively an elimination match against India in the final match of the Super 10s on Sunday. The captain Steven Smith chose Mohali as the venue where he found his rhythm, in turn modulated then audacious in an innings that controlled more..

'Govt working to revive economy'

Mar 25 (DN) The govt is now working on a number of projects to rescue the country and the people from the parlous situation, Minister Malik Samarawickrema told Parliament. "The projects we are pursuing include a 1,000 acre industrial zone near the port in Hambantota; an aviation hub for Mattala airport as well as trade and logistics centres in the surrounding area. All this activity will increase usage of both the port and the airport. more..

Ask India to replace Neurotoxin Mercury laden Coal with LNG or OTEC in Trinco

Mar 26 (CT) The biggest health hazard Sri Lanka faces from the existing Chinese coal power plant in Norochcholai and the proposed two new coal power plants in Trincomalee, (Japan and India) is the neurotoxin Mercury! Mercury is highly volatile and a neurotoxin. Coal power stations are responsible for the highest amount of mercury emissions worldwide. They emit the poisonous metal, also known as quicksilver, into the atmosphere and it can eventually make its way into the food chain. more..

RTI bill : Vital step forward in democratic journey

Mar 26 (NS) Right to Information Act is at last going to be a reality. The bill has already been presented in Parliament and with whatever amendments it is likely to be passed soon. This is an important milestone in the democratic journey of our country. We are one of the last countries in the South Asian region to introduce legislation recognizing right to information. These rights have been enjoying legal recognition in the western countries for quite some time. more..

Reasons to celebrate New Year on March 20

Mar 26 (SO) According to the Gregorian calendar, 2016 commenced on first day of January. Most of us celebrated the occasion from mid night of 31 Dec 2015 and many extended the celebratory events towards their work places with New Year wishes, parties and religious activities. If one kept accounts of the cost of the celebrations of New Year's Eve, it could run into many millions of rupees. more..

Tamil Racism & 13 A

Mar 26 (CT) I have come to share the view of the Sinhalese hard-liners that the Tamil ethnic problem cannot be solved through devolution. I now share their view that going beyond 13 A in its presently truncated form – that is by giving police and land powers – will only aggravate the ethnic problem, not solve it. There are two major reasons for this. One is that Tamil racism is worse, very much worse, than Sinhalese racism. That means that giving more devolution will only whet the Tamil appetite more..

War crimes charges and diplomatic blunders

Mar 26 (NS) If there is confusion about what Sri Lanka’s current stance is regarding the war crimes probe proposed by the UNHRC, that is hardly surprising. At least when the Rajapaksa regime was calling the shots everyone knew exactly where we stood: that govt opposed an inquiry into alleged war time atrocities and that was it. It was not the most diplomatic or sensible attitude to adopt and led to a lot of unsavoury repercussions, but at least there was consistency in the govt’s position. more..

Roshan’s theory of cleaner Cricket

Mar 26 (ST) It is not every day that a person in the calibre of Roshan Mahanama decides to take a stroll along with you to share a few thoughts on cricket in general. However in this instance we had a special reason. Reason being it is now a score of years since Sri Lanka won that World Cup. Since then those few cricketers who converted that dream to a living reality have come a long way. more..

In the Shadow of a Sharp-Edged Sword

Mar 26 (CT) Mangayarkarasi Amirthalingam had been an inspiration to several Tamil women political activists in the fifties, sixties and seventies. Popularly known as Mangai Akka, Mrs. Amirthalingam had even been the only woman political activist to be detained along with scores of Tamil politicians including her husband Amirthalingam at Panagoda Military Camp for instigating a civil disobedience movement in 1961. However, with beginning of Tamil militancy more..

Editorial: Cops vs Veddas

Mar 26 (Island) It was really pleasant to see PM Wickremesinghe and President Sirisena feeding each other kiribath at Temple Trees on Thursday, when the former celebrated his 67th birthday. The fun-filled event was reminiscent of the Rajapaksa era, when Temple Trees became synonymous with feasting. Now, pro-govt propagandists can say the public should stop grumbling about the high prices of wheat flour based products and eat kiribath instead of bread and cake. more..


Several Asgiriya Karaka Sangha Sabha members raise concern

Mar 26 (DN) Several members of the Karaka Sangha Sabha of the Asgiriya Chapter have raised concerns over the appointment of the new Central Province Governor. Sources said they have urged the ministers to take a decision regarding this appointment soon. Several members of the Sangha Sabha have reportedly informed of their decision to Minister Mahinda Amaraweera and Minister S. B. Dissanayake when they called on the several members of Asgiriya Chapter in Kandy. more..

Lost and found gems of politics

Mar 26 (Island) Why don’t we have friends like that? Like what? The friend of Minister S.B. Disanayake, who gave him that gem worth Rs, 500,000, which he lost and then found. Why bother about not having such friends, when the main thing is to celebrate with the minister at his great fortune. Finding this lost gem is part of his political story, which is a gem of its own kind. Of course it is a specially charmed life to begin politics from the Communist Party in the tough days of the left, and come to a situation more..

'Will take years to replace Lankan legends'

Mar 26 (AFP) Allrounder Thisara Perera said Sri Lanka would take years to get over the retirement of batting legends Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene while warning that paceman Lasith Malinga was irreplaceable. The defending champions have struggled to compile substantial totals in the ongoing World Twenty20 in India in the absence of Jayawardene and Sangakkara who have more..

Limit wheat flour imports: MLF

Mar 26 (CT) Mawbima Lanka Foundation (MLF) commended the govt on its decision to increase the price of imported wheat flour and asked the authorities to promote rice flour, instead of importing wheat flour, in order to control the price of rice in the market during times of excess production. Chairman of MLF, Ariyaseela Wickramanayake said "According to Central Bank report 13,000 MT of wheat flour amounting to closely US$ 500 million is imported to Sri Lanka annually. more..

Curious wait for list of non-essentials

Mar 26 (NS) SL’s business community and consumers alike are eagerly awaiting the govt’s pronouncements on the full list of non-essential goods, in light of the PM recently announcing that Value Added Taxes (VAT) will increase to 15% but will exclude essentials. The legislation to give effect to the amendment to the legislation, which will in effect raise the prices of goods and services subject to VAT, is presently at the drafting stage at the Legal Draftsman’s Department. more..

'IMF’s seal of approval key, not money'

Mar 26 (NS) Governor of the Central Bank, Arjuna Mahendran last week said Sri Lanka is “more interested in the signal an agreement with the IMF will give the market” while the amount of money sought from the global lender being insignificant. The governor said the IMF loan will give the country the seal of approval to the market assuring that its policies are going to take the country to the next level. more..

World T20: West Indies beat South Africa

Mar 26 (CI) West Indies secured their spot in the World T20 2016 semi-finals with a third successive win but made hard work of chasing a small target of 123. With just a shave over a run-a-ball needed, West Indies were routinely dragged back, to a point where they needed 20 off the last two overs. However, a solid start from Johnson Charles, a composed innings from Marlon Samuels and a six from Carlos Brathwaite in the final over saw them sneak over the line. more..

Indian’s Iconic Development prepares second major condo

Mar 26 (ST) The property boom has hit Sri Lanka with Iconic Development Ltd (ID) an infrastructure and property developer here, planning to build its second big project in the suburbs of Colombo having successfully sold out the first project almost two years ago. Rohan Parikh Managing Director of Apurva Natuvar Parikh Group of India which is ID’s parent, told reporters that the company plans to build its second residential apartment building complex containing 250 rooms in more..

SLAF C-130 proves success in resupply missions to South Sudan & CAR

Mar 26 (SLAF) The first time in the history, a Sri Lanka Air Force C-130 Hercules airlifted 10799 kg of urgent aircraft spares, machinery, medical and essential cargo to both SLAF Aviation Missions in the South Sudan and Central African Republic early morning on 20th March 2016 and returned on the night of 24 March. SLAF C-130 was Captained by Wing Commander Amitha Jayamaha, Co- Piloted by Squadron Leader IS Mallawarachchi, more..

Political prisoners and SL’s sincerity crisis

Mar 26 (HP) In Sri Lanka, President Maithripala Sirisena had promised progress regarding Tamil political prisoners, although we’ve seen little of that. Unfortunately, the president’s dithering project has continued — with no end in sight. More broadly, Sri Lankan govt has made big commitments regarding transitional justice and those changes, if they ever happen, will come incrementally. However, we haven’t seen much in the way of incremental change since Colombo co-sponsored a UNHRC more..

Planters mull move towards shear plucking

Mar 26 (NS) With a view to ensure the sustainability of a rapidly failing industry, the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) say it is imperative that harvesting yields are increased and are introducing suitable tea harvesters on certain estates. To support plantations workers too in improving productivity, Regional Plantation Companies are mulling greater use of manual shears, recent experiments of which have shown early encouraging signs. In most of the estates managed by more..

Sri Lanka needs smarter workforce to keep tourist dollars in country, economists warn

Mar 26 (ABC) In excess of two million visitors are expected in Sri Lanka this year, but only 20 per cent of their expenditure will stay in the country. Economists warn that will not change until the country builds a smarter workforce. At Galle, inside the town's historic old Dutch fort, boutique hotel manager Henry Fitch hopes his staff will prove the point of difference in a competitive market. It's service, he said. more..

Easter message: Bishop of Colombo

Mar 26 (DN) This is the joyous proclamation of Easter which rings out in the liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox Church and with which I greet you this Eastertide, Bishop of Colombo Rt. Revd Dhiloraj R. Canagasabey states in an Easter message. The message: "The empty tomb is the powerful symbol of Easter, portraying both the ultimate triumph of life giving and life affirming forces over those forces that deny life, - the dark forces of evil, death and destruction as well as being more..

WT20, Group 1: Three teams, one spot

Mar 26 (CI) West Indies' narrow win against South Africa means that the qualification scenarios have become clearer in Group 1. West Indies are through, but three teams are still in contention for the second spot. Here's what each of those teams needs to do to qualify. England: Before the West Indies-South Africa game, there was a chance that England might have made the cut despite a defeat against Sri Lanka. However, the narrow margin of South Africa's defeat means that more..