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Uduwe Dhammaloka goes to CID over Sobitha Thero’s death

Mar 27 (SL) Venerable Uduwe Dhammaloka Thero made a statement to the CID yesterday on the death of the Convener of the NMJS, late Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero. Dhammaloka Thero had alleged that there is evidence to prove that the death of the Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero was due to foul play. Speaking to the media after making a statement to the CID, Thero urged PM to appoint an independent commission and investigate the death of the leading monk. more..

The inside story of how SriLankan Airlines was skyjacked and plundered

Mar 27 (ST) SriLankan Airlines, the country’s national carrier, that once offered a taste of paradise to its clients, is now on life support with Treasury handouts. The enormity of its mismanaged financial debacles unfolded last Wednesday when PM Ranil Wickremesinghe chaired a top level meeting. There, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake agreed to continue Treasury funding for the airline only for the next six months. more..

Hiding the Right to Information

Mar 27 (Island) I made the effort to measure it. On the day after the Right to Information Bill was presented in Parliament, a leading daily newspaper devoted eight times more coverage to a soft drink ad on its front page than covering this historic development. A grand sale of a leading home department store took up 10 times more space. The birthday celebrations of the PM covered six times more space. The story of a Minister’s 500,000 rupee worth gem that was lost and more..

Both govt and opposition becoming hither and thither

Mar 27 (Island) Let’s start with the govt side. Yes any explicit rift between President and PM is being very carefully and intelligently managed and avoided; anything like that will be suicidal, both know that and to a degree they may be playing good-cop bad-cop. Nevertheless one would have to be blind to miss that on two matters they are taking contradictory stands. Sirisena is playing straight to the Sinhala nationalist gallery and struggling to keep his head above water in SLFP survival game. more..

Motorbikes for journalists: Roadblock by angry ministers

Mar 27 (ST) Ministers at their weekly meeting on Wednesday turned down a request by some media groups to buy motorcycles at concessionary or duty free rates. Move seems to have come as a tit for tat. As one minister pointed out at the meeting, it was the media that had given wide publicity to a move to increase different perks enjoyed by MPs (including ministers). So, how do they make a claim for concessions, he asked. more..

Weerawansa family and friends’ joyride at state expense

Mar 27 (SL) Wimal Weerawansa who mouths slogans and gives breast-beating displays of patriotism from political platforms despite his involvement in large-scale corruption and undercover activities, has once again been exposed as a corrupt politician. This time around, details have emerged of how he allegedly hired a fleet of 40 luxury vehicles spending millions of rupees of taxpayers’ hard-earned money, to have more..

Wildlife officer connives to relocate and sell captive baby elephants

Mar 27 (ST) They posed off as Wildlife Dept officials involved in relocating elephants, while actually, they were poachers capturing wild baby elephants for sale. Whenever they were accosted by the police, one of them who was a serving Wildlife officer, would produce his official identity card claiming they were on official duty. This is what the CID unearthed while investigating a major racket in capturing wild baby elephants more..

Sri Lanka plans directed credit law, amid warnings of US disaster

Mar 27 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning to enact a law to force banks to lend back an unspecified share of deposits to the same area they were raised, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said amid warnings that similar interventions in the US proliferated subprime lending. "We've looked at credit allocationas among banks," Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran told an economic forum in Delhi earlier this month. more..

Imports disallowed as NMRA frowns on Cuban drug to cure diabetic foot ulcers

Mar 27 (Island) In a shocking turnaround, ambitious plans to import an innovative, life-saving Cuban drug to cure advanced foot ulcers usually associated with high amputation risk has been blocked, notwithstanding some of Sri Lanka’s leading vascular and transplant surgeons recommending the injectable medicine to offer a new lease of life to scores of suffering diabetic patients. more..

Delimitation of Municipal Wards to be re-gazetted

Mar 27 (Island) Govt expects Committee on National Delimitation appointed to examine complaints running into thousands received against the manner in which Municipal Wards had been demarcated under the Rajapaksa regime to complete its task by about the middle of this year. Deputy Minister Eran Wickremeratne said that once the review committee completed its work, a fresh set of delimitation proposals would have to be gazetted. more..

SLFP members begin to defect

Mar 27 (SL) A large number of senior SLFP members have decided to leave the party after being dejected at the division in the party. SLFP member and former minister Felix Perera said that if the party is to rebuilt, President Maithripala Sirisena, former Presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chandrika Kumaratunga must take steps to unite the party by reaching a compromise. He said what happens now is they raise more..

Discount if you use less electricity

Mar 27 (ST) CEB will offer discounts on bills of domestic consumers for reduced consumption. CEB has been instructed by Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy to prepare a mechanism to offer discounts to consumers who use 10% less than the average monthly consumption. Scheme had been initiated as one of the moves to reduce power consumption as the drought conditions may continue for another three months. more..

Sri Lankans warned of looming water cuts amid drought

Mar 27 (EN) Sri Lanka's state-run water supply agency has asked customers not use piped drinking water to wash cars or irrigate plants and help avoid water cut, as a severe hot weather and a drought gripped the country. National Water Supply and Drainage Board Chairman B W R Balasuriya had warned that the agency may have to cut water if the high usage seen now continued, Sri Lanka's The Sunday Times newspaper said. more..

Another international money swindling racket detected here

Mar 27 (ST) Yet another global money laundering scam, on the heels of the mega US$ 100 million Bangladeshi Central Bank fraud, foiled by an alert Sri Lankan bank, has been nipped in the bud, again by a local bank. Ironically, the latest transactions took place on March 2nd and March 4, the same days Chinese hackers transferred $20 million to the Sri Lankan NGO Shalika Foundation. more..

North/ South exchange program with the Foundation of Goodness & American Centre

Mar 27 (Island) The Foundation of Goodness together with the American Centre organized a North/ South student exchange between Jaffna and Seenigama to promote fellowship and reconciliation between all Sri Lankan communities. A charitable organization founded in 1999, the Foundation of Goodness (FoG) has worked extensively in the south, with a special focus on rebuilding rural communities following the devastating aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. more..

The changing face of Horton Plains: A call to action

Mar 27 (Island) The former Conservator of Forests, late Mr. W.R.H. Perera, was perhaps the first to alert us to the forest die back on Totupolakanda in Horton Plains. That was in 1978, and ten years later W.L Werner reported the same phenomenon in Sri Lanka’s montane forests. Scientists have attributed a variety of reasons for the die back. One of the reasons, suggested in 2006 by Professors NKB Adikaram, B. Ranawana and Aruna Weerasuriya, attributes the dieback to sambar activity. more..

Gammadda Sirasa TV

Roy, Willey fined for breaching code of conduct

Mar 27 (CI) England opener Jason Roy and fast bowler David Willey have been fined for breaching the ICC's Code of Conduct during their team's 10-run victory against Sri Lanka in Delhi. Roy, who blasted a 39-ball 42, was found to have been in violation of Article 2.1.5, which relates to "showing dissent at an umpire's decision during an international match". Roy, after being adjudged lbw in the 13th over, was heard using obscene language, and threw his bat and helmet as more..

Local judges not familiar with war crimes probe procedures

Mar 27 (NS) Local judges are not conversant with the procedures of probes into allegations of war crimes or violations of human rights because they are not matters which come up in the courts on a daily basis, Attorney-at-Law Lal Wijenayake said. President Maithripala Sirisena has reiterated that there will be no foreign judges on the benches of the local judiciary adjudicating on the matter, yet this does not prevent getting technical assistance from legal experts, he added. more..

Shambolic snapshots from a failed title defence

Mar 27 (CI) In the 24 hours before Sri Lanka left for the World T20, the board sacked its five-man selection committee and installed a new one, which in turn made minor changes to the side. It was suggested at the time, that this was a little like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. That is probably unfair to the Titanic. Sri Lanka had then lost seven of its last eight T20Is against Full Members - a 2-0 sweep by NZ in January, more..

Met. Dept. expects slight change

Mar 27 (DM) A slight change in the prevailing hot and dry weather could be expected in the next few days, Meteorology Department said. It said, showers or thundershowers would occur at several places in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Uva and Central Provinces and in the Galle and Matara Districts after 4 p.m. “There may be temporary localised strong winds during thundershowers. The general public is requested to take adequate precautions to minimise damages caused by lightning activity,” more..

Wiggy denies boycott

Mar 27 (NS) Northern Province CM, C.V. Wigneswaran last week said he did not boycott the Chief Ministers meeting last week but kept away due to health reasons. 32nd Provincial Chief Ministers Conference was held in Hikkaduwa on Monday (21) and was chaired by President Sirisena. Wigneswaran was the only notable absentee at the event. It was speculated that Wigneswaran had boycotted the event. Wignesawaran said that he was forced to keep away from the event as more..

'We are still investigating'

Mar 27 (CT) A wave of violent crimes gripped the country in the past few weeks, marked by shooting incidents, charred bodies discovered in a gutted van, and much more. Shooting of suspects in Court premises and prison vehicles was carried out in broad daylight, giving the impressions that crime and violence seemed to be out of control. This has all taken place in an environment where the govt had promised to eradicate all evils. more..

Cricket stars bat for underprivileged

Mar 27 (NS) As many as 60 underprivileged school children saw a dream come true when they got to mingle with past cricket super stars and share their knowledge at a cricket coaching camp held recently at Shasthrananda Maha Vidyalaya in Kawdana, Dehiwela. The coaching camp attracted cricketing greats like Arjuna Ranatunga and Roshan Mahanama and also one time director coaching at SLC Malcolm Perera. A key moment at the occasion was the presenting of a cricket matting to more..

Public Complaints flowing to Mahinda

Mar 27 (CT) UPFA and SLFP Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa has been swamped by letters sent to him by the general public seeking relief from burning current issues and the cessation of projects, problems relating to pricing structures in tea, coconut and rubber, the cutting off of the fertilizer subsidy and soldier rehabilitation benefits. An official at the former President's political office in Battaramulla said Rajapaksa was continuing to be inundated daily with letters more..

'Give SL time, we will come back strong'

Mar 27 (PTI) The present may not be perfect for Sri Lanka owing to the exit of stalwarts like Kumar Sangakkara but the team will come back stronger in a few years' time, young leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay said. Sri lanka, missing big players like Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, have been knocked out the World Twenty20 in the preliminary stage itself, a rather disappointing result given that the team was the defending champion. more..

Hack-in heist: Main culprit still at large

Mar 27 (ST) While Bangladesh investigators are to visit Sri Lanka in connection with the US$ 100 million hack-in heist that has rocked the global financial world, the main culprit in Sri Lanka is still at large. A senior CID officer said that the NGO Shalika Foundation which had been set up in the guise of helping low income families was being probed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. He said the NGO had a strong link with a Sri Lankan who had extensive business connections with more..

World T20: Afghanistan beat West Indies

Mar 27 (CI) Afghanistan kissed the World T20 goodbye by beating table-toppers West Indies by six runs in a low-scoring thriller. Asghar Stanikzai had shown his hand when he said they would use spin to restrict West Indies' big hitters on the eve of the match. Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan backed up their captain's confidence with figures of 2 for 26 each and bowled West Indies out for 117. West Indies finished as the No. 1 team in Group 1 and will take on either India or Australia more..

'Amend medical ordinance to regulate entry of Indian doctors'

Mar 27 (ENS) Sri Lankan doctors are opposing govt’s bid sign an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India on the grounds that in the absence of a sound regulatory mechanism in Lanka, the ETCA will lead to a massive influx of Indian doctors, threatening the prospects of local medical professionals. “There is an urgent necessity to amend SL Medical Ordinance to define a specialist and set qualifications more..

SLFP was powerless during previous govt’s term: CBK

Mar 27 (AD) In spite of being the ruling party, the SLFP was powerless during the previous govt’s term, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga says. The observation was made while speaking at an event held in Neluwa, Galle today. Kumaratunga pointed out it was certain individuals who were behind the crucial decisions, not the party. “And that did not represent party’s policies as well,” she added. Kumaratunga also went on to say the party now functions smoothly however while more..

Chance for Sri Lanka & South Africa to put on a show

Mar 27 (WI) There are times when the pressure of a cricket match is so unbearable that even the most experienced of players wilt. A champion fast bowler may rush in to the bowling crease, adrenaline pumping, and send down a length ball that disappears out of the ground when he was actually looking for a perfect yorker. A seasoned batsman who has been there and done it, might look the simplest full-toss in the eye and hit it straight to the lone fielder in the deep. Pressure. more..

RTI Bill now before Parliament, but several no-go areas

Mar 27 (ST) The long-awaited Right to Information (RTI) Bill that seeks to give every Sri Lankan the right of access to information which is in the possession, custody or control of a public authority was presented to Parliament on Thursday by Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Media Gayantha Karunatillake. Bill which was gazetted in January was presented to the House after all nine provincial councils gave their consent to it. more..

SLFP meeting disrupted by Qualified Graduate Teachers sans appointments

Mar 27 (ST) A tense situation arose yesterday when a group attempted to obstruct a SLFP meeting in Matara attended by UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera. The meeting had been organised by Southern Province Education Minister, Chandima Rasaputra, with Minister Amaraweera in attendance as chief guest. A group of individuals calling themselves Qualified Graduate Teachers of the Southern Province conducted a protest in front of the building in Matara. more..

Mullaitivu fast over land suspended following intervention

Mar 27 (CG) A fast unto death launched by some families in Mullaitivu has been suspended following the intervention of the Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran. The families had launched the fast demanding that they be resettled on their own land in Mullaitivu instead of alternate land. Wigneswaran and other members of the NPC had assured the protesters that they will obtain a solution to their concerns soon. As a result the fast unto death was suspended but more..

More than 70 tough conditions set for Port City developers

Mar 27 (ST) The permit granted by the Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management Department (CC&CRMD) to the developers of Colombo Port City is highly conditional with more than 70 environmental stipulations attached to it. The permit provides a valuable insight into a multitude of environmental issues that will arise as a result of the project. It recommends measures to minimise and mitigate — not alleviate — more..

First Safari Park in Sri Lanka opens tomorrow

Mar 27 (ITN) First Safari Park in Sri Lanka will be opened tomorrow. It has been built at Ridiyagama in Hambantota. The Safari Park is situated on a 500 acre plot of land at Ridiyagama in Hambantota. Animals can move freely in the Safar Park built at a cost of 1,450 million rupees. The park is being built under two phases. African Lion Zone, SL Elephant Zone and World Zone built under first phase will be opened tomorrow. Lions were released to the African Zone yesterday. more..

ACF opposes DG appointment to NIE

Mar 27 (NS) Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) expressed displeasure over the appointment of Jayanthi Gunasekera to the post of the Director General (DG) of the National Institute of Education (NIE) following the sudden removal of former DG, Prof. Gunapala Nanayakkara. Chairperson of the ACF, Ven. Ulapone Sumangala Thera said that Gunasekera had allegations of examination fraud against her. It is problematic that the incumbent Govt is appointing an officer who has had such allegations more..

Sri Lanka to raise $5b after IMF negotiations

Mar 27 (SO) Sri Lanka hopes to raise US$ 5 billion following negotiations with the IMF for a financial safety net in mid April. “The final negotiations with the IMF team will begin soon after PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to China in April,” Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said. “I would say we expect to receive US$ 5 billion including US$ 1 billion dollars from the IMF. We need the IMF’s positive signal soon. more..

Was Sobitha Thera done in to stop him singing the Yahapalana blues?

Mar 28 (ST) When a Buddhist monk belonging to the Rajapaksa chapter suddenly stands up and says there is something fishy in the way the chief architect of the Yahapalana movement, the Venerable Sobitha Thera, died; and casts an aspersion that he may have been ‘done in’ by forces who feared he would speak of his growing disappointment with the govt he helped create to give true effect to the democratic ideals he advanced; it is time for President and PM to more..

A new agenda for women’s rights in Sri Lanka: Smash Victoria & her idiots

Mar 28 (CT) The rights of people of all genders are a topic of great importance to all civilizations in history, so it also has been an important pivot to the civilization in Sri Lanka for thousands of years. The topic has come up with new life in recent years, as particularly the Sinhalese population started to put greater focus onto learning about their heritage. The generations born after 1956[1] desired the restoration of their heritage, which they felt was lost to outside intervention. more..