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COPE heedful of student's proposal

Mar 26 (LT) For the first time in Sri Lanka a state enterprise has been summoned to COPE at a time a crisis that effects the enterprise exists in the country. CEB was summoned to COPE on the 24th. COPE had inquired from CEB what maintenance issues that have caused the present crisis and what future action CEB proposes to take to solve the crisis. COPE had inquired whether alternative methods of producing electricity have been identified to overcome challenges that would crop up for more..

'Cancel MPs’ Liquor Licenses'

Mar 26 (CT) Several religious leaders and civil society groups are planning to urge the govt to cancel all liquor licenses given to MPs and by MPs to their kith and kin and friends. These religious leaders and civil society groups have decided to take this measure after the disclosure that over 100 such liquor licenses had been issued to these MPs during the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. Informed sources said, the topic had been discussed at last week's Cabinet meeting as well, more..

Govt assures it will devise a political solution

Mar 26 (CG) Govt today assured that a political solution for the National issue will be devised through the new Constitution. Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that the Constitutional Assembly will convene on April 5 and begin discussions on the new Constitution. He said the process to create a new Constitution will be transparent. He also said that Sri Lanka is no more the focus of the UNHRC. Kiriella said that earlier Sri Lanka was always more..

SL refugee attempts suicide in TN; saved

Mar 26 (DM) A Sri Lankan refugee on Saturday tried to commit suicide by slitting his throat at a bus stand in Tamil Nadu but was overpowered by some people and rushed to a hospital, Police said. According to PTI, the thirty-one-year-old Sasikumar from the refugee camp at Tiruvanamalai reportedly had a misunderstanding with his family following which he decided to take the extreme step. He came to the central bus stand this morning and tried to slash his throat with a knife, but was overpowered by more..

UPFA to have talks with alliance members to settle issues

Mar 26 (CG) The UPFA is to have talks with its alliance members to iron out differences. UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said that he has already had informal discussions with several leaders of the political parties in the alliance. He says most of those he met agreed on the need to keep the UPFA united and not allow it to fall apart. Amaraweera said that he hopes to have formal talks with the political party leaders in the UPFA soon to iron out differences. more..

Sri Lanka's housing programme for North, East caught in row

Mar 26 (Hindu) Sri Lanka govt’s ambitious project of building 65,000 houses in the civil war-hit Northern and Eastern provinces in five years is embroiled in controversy, much before it can gather momentum. A few days ago, when the Parliament witnessed a debate on the project, the Northern Provincial Council in Jaffna too discussed the Central govt’s initiative and Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran reiterated his reservations. more..

From Easter eggs to Rasa Kevili

Mar 27 (SO) Today Christians of various denominations the world over, as well as many other people, celebrate the Easter festival. For the faithful, it is a day of pious reflection, prayer and celebratory worship. For others in society - especially a multi-cultural society as ours - it is a time for joining in with Christians in the joy of the celebration with many a social gathering and indulgence in special confectionery like Easter eggs. By last week, the shops were filling up with more..

Sri Lanka is a rice eating nation

Mar 27 (SL) The hike in the price of bread by Rs. 4 per loaf is likely to be accepted by most consumers as an inevitable inflationary rise but not so by an extremely hyper active Joint Opposition which may see this as even an international conspiracy by anti-Sri Lankan forces against the Sri Lankan people. Remember Chandrika Kumaratunga in her first election campaign in 1994 promised to bring down the price of a loaf to Rs. 3.50. Now a loaf averages around Rs. 50 and certain varieties more..

El Nino's challenge: Hoping of rains in April

Mar 27 (SO) Meteorologists said there is a possibility of a slight change in the weather in the near future, reducing the dry weather that is prevailing in the country. There is a possibility of inter-monsoonal rains in April, despite the continued dry weather, said S. Premalal, Director of Research, Training & Development in Met Dept. "It is only a prediction and the weather is unpredictable," he said. more..

Phew, it’s hot!

Mar 27 (Island) Everybody and his brother complain about the heat these days and will continue to do so until the monsoon, hopefully, breaks in May. It is undoubtedly hot as it always is at this time of the year. Whether it is hotter this year than it was a year ago is something that the Met Department and its statisticians must tell us. The public is generally aware that global warming is a growing phenomenon; that the El Nino effect impacts many parts of the globe, and that more..

UPFA rebels threaten separate MR-led May Day rally

Mar 27 (SO) UPFA and its main political party, SLFP, are yet to see the light at the end of the tunnel where its internal power struggle is concerned. The newly appointed General Secretary of UPFA coalition, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, chosen troubleshooter of President Sirisena, had to deal with an unexpected issue early this week. A group supporting Amaraweera carried out a poster campaign in many parts of the country, hailing Alliance’s move to appoint the Minister as more..

'Govt has to minimize corruption and improve economy'

Mar 27 (SL) Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya says we are all ignorant and only by realising the truth we will be able to get away from ignorance. Head of Faculty of Sinhala Language, University of Colombo, made his views known to Sunday Leader. He expounded the real situation that the country faces today in terms of politics and economy. He also expressed his views on politicians dashing coconuts and grinding chilies at sacred places. more..

Terrorism: End the duplicity

Mar 27 (ST) Europe is reeling under yet another terrorist attack on one of its capitals; its cities are locked down and on high alert. All Sri Lanka can say is we’ve been there before; we’ve seen it all. We know the pain and anguish law-abiding peace-loving citizens are going through in those countries. Even across the Atlantic, in the US, all major cities are calling their security services out of their barracks to patrol the streets. As any terrorist organisation gets a pounding on the ground, that they resort to more..

Spotted at a birthday bash

Mar 27 (ST) My Dear Green Man, I thought I should write to you not only to wish you a happy birthday but also to let you know about a few matters that seem to be escaping your notice. Of course, even your birthday went almost unnoticed, unlike in previous years when we had grand tamashas to celebrate the birthday of you-know-who. We did see some pictures of the birthday boy in the newspapers the next day – complete with the bunis and maalu paan on the birthday table although more..

'Correct steps have been taken in right direction'

Mar 27 (SL) Although the current govt criticised the previous regime, there have also been questions over some of the appointments made to several key institutions during the good governance regime. Responding to queries by Sunday Leader in this regard, UNP Media Head and Working Committee member Krishantha Cooray said that a govt has to have short-term, medium-term and long-term plans. more..

Professional bodies flay Sri Lanka’s ETCA negotiators

Mar 27 (Island) Even though the Joint Opposition’s rally at Hyde Park on 17 March was held mainly to oppose the proposed ETCA with India and to highlight other issues such as the changes in the fertiliser subsidy and the low price of paddy, these objectives were completely lost among the large crowds and it became another bring Mahinda back rally. Last week professional groups were busy clawing back public attention to what is undoubtedly the most important immediate issue facing more..

The Katch about Jayalalithaa!

Mar 27 (CT) TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has once again, to the annoyance of all intelligent and objective people across the Palk Strait divide, for the umpteenth time raised the call for Delhi to pressure Colombo into ceding Kachchatheevu to India. There's a limit to which even the most long-suffering man can tolerate the crass stupidity that Jayalalithaa continues demonstrating. She perhaps needs to once again study the then Indian External Affairs Minister Swaran Singh's statement more..

Conspiracies galore; Maithri under pressure

Mar 27 (CT) Delivering a special statement in Parliament by Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said that the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant, which is essential to the national power grid, has not been planned to suit the country's electricity grid. As a result of that the CEB experiences an automatic shutdown of the Norochcholai power while there is a change or any failure in the system and it takes around 3-4 days to get it back to normal. more..

Mathews at the heart of the battle

Mar 27 (CI) The warning: Rangana Herath rarely opens the bowling but the pot-bellied left-armer took the second over with Sri Lanka eager to hit England with spin early. His first ball was just what Sri Lanka ordered, turning past Alex Hales' outside edge to suggest an ordeal ahead. The escape: England treated Herath with great respect, the first loud blare of the bugle coming midway through his third over when Jason Roy deposited him over long-on for six. The captain's tumble: Joe Root's mistimed more..

Mathews, Buttler and uneven pace-spin mix

Mar 27 (CI) 3-4: England's win-loss record in T20Is versus Sri Lanka. However, in World T20s, they are up 3-1. 72: Runs scored by England in their last five overs, as they galloped from 99 for 3 after 15 to a total of 171. Only three times have they scored more runs in the last five in a T20I: 87 against Afghanistan in the 2012 World T20, 81 against India at Edgbaston in 2014, and 76 against West Indies in 2010. After 15, Sri Lanka were 111 for 5, but they managed 50 off the last five. more..

Harry J. abuse journalist at hotel event

Mar 27 (ST) A senior journalist from the Business Times (BT) was abused and threatened by SL businessman Harry Jayawardena on Monday at the launch of Heritance Negombo, because he didn’t agree with what the reporter had written previously. It was the second time in six years that a reporter from the same paper had been ‘verbally’ assaulted and threatened by the controversial tycoon, the last time being Dec 14, 2009. more..

Kandy retains Clifford Cup in a thriller

Mar 27 (ST) In one of the closest Clifford Cup finals, in its history of more than 100 years, with both finalists engaged in fascinating rugby, defending champions Kandy Sports Club survived unscathed to record a thrilling win over a gallant CR and FC outfit, by 31 points to 28 at the Racecourse grounds yesterday. At lemons it was CR who led 16-13, giving anxious moments to Kandy SC camp and their die-hard supporters. The winners collected their points from two tries, one penalty try, more..

Megapolis project: US$13 b investments needed for transport

Mar 27 (SO) The Western Region Megapolis Planning Project (WRMPP) envisages investments of almost US $ 13 billion to implement the projects under its transport development sector alone. Half of it goes to build new expressways, according to the megapolis master plan. WRMPP recently unveiled the strategic interventions and the projects to be implemented under this scheme to create the island’s first megapolis, covering Colombo, Gampaha and the Kalutara districts. more..

Defiant Mathews falls short as England reach semis

Mar 27 (CI) No country has ever successfully defended a World Twenty20 title so Sri Lanka are hardly alone in their mortification, but they crashed out in heartbreaking fashion in Delhi when they crumbled to a 10-run defeat against England in one of the most memorable games of the tournament. Angelo Mathews is a SL captain in challenging times, but his refusal to wilt reached heroic proportions. From disarray of 15 for 4 more..

Generous or What?

Mar 27 (ST) An 18 member sports team to Malaysia, had to meet the Boss of this sport in order to request for some funds for a forthcoming tour of Malaysia. The Boss berated the officials (one of them was a principal of a school) but in the end of an hour long discussion after ranting over his official status, granted the team Rs. One Lakh. It was known that this body had not supported the Boss at the AGM, but nevertheless the money was granted. It has also surfaced now that this sports team more..

The Debt Trap created by Mahinda Rajapaksa

Mar 27 (Island) "Rajapaksa regime’s plan was to carry out a ruthless dictatorship after winning the election. Rajapaksas entrapped us with a debt of 9.5 trillion rupees. We are caught in a debt trap. It is not severe. We can get out of this. We should not economically fall this year in the face of local and global crises. If we can secure economic stability this year, we can get out of this. We introduced the new taxation after considering all this" (PM Ranil Wickremesinghe). more..

President orders probe on foreign trips of six ministers

Mar 27 (SL) President Maithripala Sirisena has called for an investigation into the foreign trips of at least six ministers, sources said. The six ministers are alleged to have misappropriated public funds while travelling overseas. President has taken the decision to investigate the issue after receiving information that these ministers have been using official foreign trips to have fun and neglect the main purpose of the visits. more..

Industry urges govt to cut tax anomalies on new vehicles

Mar 27 (ST) Industry experts have called on the govt to tax brand new vehicles on the car manufacturers’ price. “We’re making representations to the Treasury on this. We don’t agree with the current way of taxing brand new cars,” Arthur Senanayake, Chairman IWS Holdings, said. The most transparent way of taxing a vehicle is on the actual price of the car, he stated. “The brand new vehicles should be taxed on the manufacturers’ invoice,” he reiterated noting that this gives more..

Rs. 473 mil plunge in Jan-Feb Tea export revenue

Mar 27 (Island) There was more bad news for the tea industry. Sri Lanka’s tea production in the first two months 2016 was 48 million kilos, recording a marginal decrease of 1.3%. Total revenue from tea exports in the first two months 2016 declined by Rs. 473 million. Production decreases recording negative results was bad enough. Market minus variances of Rs. 6/15 per kilo also had significant repercussions on prices realized at the tea auctions each week. more..

Tax: Robbing people's hard earned money for govt corruption

Mar 27 (SO) Economists and tax experts said the reintroduction of the Capital Gains Tax and reversing the direct to indirect tax ratio from 20:80 to 40:60 by 2020 would adversely affect investors and low income masses as a greater proportion of their income would be taxed and the situation would aggravate when income levels drop. Former Central Bank Deputy Governor, W.A. Wijewardena said the govt should have introduced a tax on more..

Untold stories of Sri Lanka

Mar 27 (ET) Ever since my visit to Sri Lanka in 2011, I was curious about its history and its politics. I wanted to read more about the Sri Lankan Civil War, particularly its final phase. In the years that followed the conflict, the Sri Lankan govt was accused of human rights violations. Throughout my stay in Colombo, about three years after the brutal war ended, I felt an air of jubilation. It was as if everyone I met was celebrating. Auto-rickshaw drivers pointed at buildings around the city, more..

Colombo poised for Rabies Free City by 2018

Mar 27 (SO) Colombo city, once overrun by stray dogs which carried the dreaded rabies virus in them, is now poised to be declared a Rabies Free City by the year 2018. "We have almost achieved our target to be a rabies free city, due to our successful intervention programs," Chief Veterinary Surgeon, CMC, Dr Dharmawardene said. He said before 2000, there had been fifty positive cases of rabid dogs in the city. Number plunged to three in 2015, with no cases reported this year upto now. more..

One-hour power cuts imminent

Mar 27 (CT) CEB has been compelled to impose at least a 1-hour power cut daily in order to avoid power cuts during the New Year, CEB Engineers' Union warns. President of the Union, Athula Wanniarachchi, urged the govt to take non-political decisions to face the situation, taking the severe drought experienced by the country into consideration. "This is an extreme situation that must be considered as a national disaster. more..

Kochchikade: The forgotten town

Mar 27 (ST) The bridge commonly known as Maha Palama which connects the Kochchikade town, to the North and North East Provinces and serves as the gateway to Colombo is in a dilapidated state due to the failure of local authorities to maintain it. A number of other roads in the city too are in a badly neglected state. People attempting to enter the premises of People’s Bank need to be very athletic as the concrete slabs over the drains carrying waste water have gone missing more..

Dairy farmers bemoan lack of water, fodder for their cattle

Mar 27 (ST) The excessive heat is also affecting farmers engaged in animal husbandry around the country. “In protecting our cattle, the main obstacle currently is the prevailing dry climate,” said the Animal Husbandry Committee member H Priyantha. Among the farmers who raised their concerns was B. Sarath of Waligammulla, who said, “Through the Farmers’ Association we got some cows and were able to get a good income by selling its milk to the Lilico Company. more..

Sri Lankan delegation holds key meetings in Geneva and Bern

Mar 27 (CG) Following the participation of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and delegation at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos in January, a Sri Lankan delegation consisting of senior Govt officials and representatives from the private sector engaged in a two-day follow-up meeting at the World Economic Forum’s headquarters in Geneva, Sri Lankan Mission in Geneva said. more..

Badulla-Batti road renovation to start in Sept

Mar 27 (ST) The renovation of the Badulla–Chenkalady (Batticaloa) road spanning a distance of 120 kilometres is due to commence in September. Ministry Secretary D.C. Dissanayake said the stretch from Badulla to Bibile – a distance of 60 km – is to be renovated at a cost of US $ 60 million and is to be funded by OPEC. Stretch from Bibile to Chenkalady is also estimated to cost US $ 60 million and is to be funded by Saudi Arabia. Ministry will be calling for bids from companies for projects. more..

Hassan Ali stripped of powers

Mar 27 (SO) The rift in the SLMC has widened after party Secretary Hassan Ali was stripped off all his powers. Slamming the actions Ali charged he was being victimised by the SLMC leadership. Ali said he was disappointed at the treatment he received from the party leadership since the last high command meeting. “It was decided at the last mandatory high command meeting in Kandy that I would be stripped of my powers as Party Secretary,” he said. “I have no idea where all this comes from. more..

Local industry group counters mittal bid

Mar 27 (SO) Major Constructors of Sri Lanka (MCSL) submitted a conceptual paper to Department of External Resources (DER) of the Finance Ministry on Thursday, outlining the consortium’s ability to build 65,000 housing units for the conflict-affected families in the North and East, using local expertise and personnel. The govt has agreed to consider the proposal. Representatives of MCSL also met ADB officials on 20 Mar, more..

Joint Opposition seeks overseas funding

Mar 27 (SL) Joint opposition has decided to request financial aid from supporters overseas for rallies they hope to hold island wide against the govt. NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa and MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena had visited Japan on March 20 to collect funds. However sources said that even though they had expected a rousing welcome and a high volume of donation to their cause, when they had visited a temple in Japan, the two monks who were there had not even spoken to them. more..