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Why was Mahinda's China tour cancelled?

Mar 30 (CT) Mahinda Rajapaksa loyalists who were jubilant over an invitation extended to Mahinda by the Chinese Govt boasted about that invitation extended in November last year. Mahinda was scheduled to fly to China last December. However, MPs close to Mahinda's heart claimed that China would help only if Mahinda came to power. In the midst of this fanfare about the invitation, Chinese Special Envoy Liu Zhemin visited Colombo last October to meet President Sirisena, more..

SLT celebrates successful completion of i-Sri Lanka programme

Mar 30 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) celebrated the successful completion of yet another milestone and the official closing ceremony of the company's i-Sri Lanka program at Waters' Edge on Monday. John Lee, CEO of ZTE Corporation and Wangshunli, CEO of Huawei Technologies who are SLT's partners for the i-Sri Lanka program, together with representatives from both the companieswere present at the occasion. SLT Chairman, Kumarasinghe Sirisena, SLT Group CEO, more..

The word electric chair removed from our dictionaries: President

Mar 30 (PSL) “Sri Lanka as a Govt which is committed to protect democracy, human rights and freedom of the people has won the trust of countries in the world, including UNHRC and as a result of that the word, electric chair which was spoken by the public, politicians and journalists for the last few years has been removed from their dictionaries”, stated President Maithripala Sirisena. He made these remarks participating at more..

Granting of bail to Sicille put off to March 31

Mar 30 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge, Manilal Waiydathilake, yesterday postponed the granting of bail to accused Sicille Kotelawala for March 31. The High Court said that the quantum of bail ordered by the Court on Appeal on March 24, 2016 was Rs. 100,000 in cash with two sureties. One out of the two sureties should be a state officer in the executive grade. Kotelawala yesterday had only two relatives as sureties. Counsel Niroshan Siriwardene appeared for Kotelawala. more..

2 petrol vessels being built in India for SLN

Mar 30 (GDI) State Minister of Defense Ruwan Wijewardene inspected the progress of the two Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessels being built for Sri Lanka Navy at Goa Shipyards Ltd in India Sunday, March 27th. Secretary to the Ministry of Defense Karunasena Hettiarachchi and Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Chrishantha De Silva accompanied the State Minister. State Minister and Secretary visited the shipyard during their tour to attend the Defense Expo 2016 in Goa. more..

Seniors go into a hiding

Mar 30 (CT) Sri Lanka who arrived in India as World Champions in Twenty20 cricket had to return home minus the Trophy which was in their custody for the past two years but they also lost the title of being one of the most talented teams in Asia. Although they lost to England by 10 runs in the third match, Captain Angelo Mathews single handedly engaged in a battle to lift the spirit of the team. At the press conference at the end of the match, more..

'Sri Lanka to reduce protectionist barriers'

Mar 30 (EN) Sri Lanka’s govt will reduce protectionist trade barriers to make the island a more competitive trading and logistics hub, deputy minister Harsha de Silva said. “Sri Lanka is one of the most protectionist countries on the planet,” he told the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport’s AGM, quoting studies done by economists. The country has a high number of complicated import duties including complex and hidden para-tariffs that inhibit trade more..

Mammoty handle pierces man's rectum and abdomen

Mar 30 (DM) A man, who fell down from the upper floor of a building is reported to have landed on a mammoty handle, which pierced his rectum and the abdomen. Dr. Aruna Jayatilleka said the man underwent a successful emergency surgical operation to remove the mammoty handle and later transferred to ICU for further treatment. Surgeon Eranga Perera, who headed the panel of doctors, said the mammoty handle had pierced the abdomen through the rectum. more..

Textured Jersey and Peradeniya University to develop textiles of the future

Mar 30 (DM) Textured Jersey Lanka PLC (TJ), the region’s largest textile manufacturer, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Peradeniya (UoP), with the aim of expanding the smart textile segment of the industry, in collaboration with the university. The company will fund the research on the development of advanced textile materials, conducted by an expert research team appointed by the UoP. more..

Stars are aging, cupboard is bare; Sri Lanka staring at a long, hard winter of discontent

Mar 30 (FP) For three decades Sri Lanka thrilled the world with exciting cricketers, even if some of them were decidedly unorthodox. The likes of Aravinda D’ Silva, Arjuna Ranatunga, Muthiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumara Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Lasith Malinga were household names and their exploits were keenly followed. These cricketers, spread over two generations, won the tiny island nation two World Cups, the 50 over-a-side one and the T20, more..

Maldivian firms mull listing on Sri Lanka stock exchange

Mar 30 (EN) Maldivian companies are considering listing on Sri Lanka’s stock exchange which is trying to draw foreign listings with plans to introduce a multi-currency board to list and trade companies incorporated and operating outside the island. The Colombo stock exchange said over 30 representatives from 20 potential issuers from the Maldives and seven investment banks from Sri Lanka attended an issuer forum in the Maldives. CSE chief executive Rajeeva Bandaranaike more..

PUCSL calls for explanation from CEB

Mar 30 (DM) Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) called for explanations from the CEB for announcing a schedule for power cuts without the approval of the PUCSL. Sending a letter to the CEB, PUCSL Chairman Saliya Mathew said the CEB was required to obtain prior approval from the Commission for scheduled interruptions according to the Transmission and Bulk Supply Licence. more..

Du Plessis fined after controversial decision

Mar 30 (CC) South Africa captain will part with half his match payment after a second breach inside 12 months. South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has been fined 50 per cent of his match fee by the International Cricket Council for his reaction to his dismissal during the Proteas’ final group-stage match against Sri Lanka. After being given out lbw trying to scoop Sri Lanka fast-bowler Suranga Lakmal, Du Plessis was deemed to have shown dissent at umpire Sundaram Ravi’s decision more..

Power cut during President's speech

Mar 30 (DM) There had been a power outage lasting for more than half an hour this afternoon, during North Western Province Medical Awards Ceremony (organised by Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine of the North Western Province) while President Maithripala Sirisena, who was the chief guest, was addressing the gathering. The event, held at the auditorium of the provincial council, had continued in darkness as the standby generator at the auditorium, too, had failed to function. more..

JOP recognised by IPU; invited to talks

Mar 30 (Island) Joint Opposition said that the Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) had recognised the grouping loyal to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as a separate entity thereby paving the way for them to make representations. UPFA members Dallas Alahapperuma and Bandula Gunawardena said that the Joint Opposition had received IPU recognition in spite of the ruling coalition depriving more..

Mano Tittawella appointed Secretary General of Secretariat

Mar 30 (ENS) Mano Tittawella, a professional with rich public and private sector experience who was Director General in the Office of President Chandrika Kumaraunga, has been appointed Secretary-General of Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM). Secretariat will coordinate national level discourses on reconciliation mechanisms; develop a plan with specific dates to establish reconciliation mechanisms such as Office on Missing Persons more..

140 more Lankan women who faced harassment in Middle East return home

Mar 30 (ITN) Another batch of housemaids who faced harassments while serving in the Middle East have returned home. They were able to return to their motherland following the mediation of the Foreign Employment Bureau. 147 more housemaids returned from the Middle East in the early hours of today. These 147 housemaids who encountered various hindrances while serving in the Middle East returned home, following the mediation of the Foreign Employment Bureau. more..

New constitution in 2017: PM

Mar 30 (DM) A new constitution will be enacted in 2017 when Sri Lanka completes 70 years since the setting up of the legislature, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. “Parliament will celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2017. We will discuss with the Speaker and the party leaders as to how we should mark this event. By that time the present Parliament will enact a new constitution,” he said at a seminar jointly organized by the SL Parliament and more..

‘Was mocked for not living like a king’

Mar 30 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena says that some segments of society mocked him for not living a lavish lifestyle after assuming duties as President. He made this statement addressing the 33rd AGM of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service Union. "When I was a minister I ate the lunch parcel my wife prepared for me. I didn't change that habit after I became President. I think people got to know about it and I heard a Buddhist monk saying that a king should eat like a king and more..

MS responsible for faults of prior govt: MR

Mar 30 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena should be held responsible for the alleged faults of the previous Govt, because he was a one of its Cabinet Ministers, claimed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said if there were unsuitable decisions of the past administration, these were all taken with the approval of the then Cabinet. “I did not implement anything without the Cabinet approval and if they were wrong the responsibility should go to everyone in the then Cabinet. more..

Srilankan to undergo major overhaul

Mar 30 (DN) SriLankan Airlines has been asked to do a major overhaul of their strategies and structure to deal with the losses the company has been making. COPE which carried out an inquiry on the govt airline, has directed the company to conduct a restructuring programme to address the current financial crisis faced, COPE Chairman Sunil Hadunnetti said. "SriLankan currently does not have any strategic plan or restructuring plan more..

Denying ragging does not take it away

Mar 30 (DM) Stories about ragging in universities are again making headlines. Seventeen senior students of the Allied Health Faculty of the University of Peradeniya have been suspended from attending lectures because they are alleged to have ragged freshers. The official responsible for discipline in the University, Senior Lecturer Dr. Ashoka Dangolla, had said after inquiring into allegations of ragging it was decided to suspend the miscreants from March 23. more..

The politics of Greed

Mar 30 (DM) Greed, which has been obvious in all sections of society in the past few decades has been responsible for the ruin of our nation. Greed for power is even more dangerous, and I fail to comprehend how those who were at the helm of the ship of state for two terms, cushioned by the grandeur, perks and privileges of their position, and should never have contested for a third where they met with rejection which they cannot accept are still clamouring for a return. more..

'I do not wish to be involved in party politics'

Mar 30 (DM) Chairman of JHU and MP, Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera who played a leading role in toppling Rajapapksa govt is now involved in another revolution-- to create chemical-free food in the country. Amidst rumours about splits in the JHU, Ven. Thera says that he does not wish to continue in party politics but to serve the country as an independent MP. Q: The forces spearheaded by you and others more..

CEB generates damage control

Mar 30 (SL) The challenges faced by the energy sector have reached alarming proportions according to senior engineers of the CEB. However, the good news is that the Board has no plans to go for power shedding or routine power cuts. “The country has faced a few major issues recently,” says CEB Engineers Union (CEBEU) President Athula Wanniarrachchi. He added that it has led them to think out of the box and more..

Kumar asked to file written submissions

Mar 30 (DN) The Court of Appeal yesterday permitted FSP Central Committee member Premakumar Gunaratnam to file written submissions in connection with the writ petition filed by him, seeking an order that he be given Sri Lankan citizenship in accordance with the Citizenship Act. The petition was re-fixed for support on May 24 by Court of Appeal (President) Justice Vijith Malalgoda & Justice Preethi Surasena. more..

Nisha Biswal says Sri Lanka deserves special attention

Mar 30 (CG) US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal says SL deserves special attention as it continues to consolidate democratic gains in the past two elections and put the country on a path to reconciliation. Speaking at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, Biswal said that the US was among the first to welcome change in SL and offer support and assistance. more..

‘Destruction of jogging track reflects situation in country’

Mar 30 (Island) Joint Opposition said those who had ordered the demolition of a jogging track at Mabola, Wattala over the last weekend should be dealt with under the Public Property Act. MP Dallas Alahapperuma alleged that Minister John Amaratunga had accepted responsibility for the clearing of the jogging track after having received approval from Megapolis and Western Province Development Ministry. more..

Sri Lanka in talks with Japan for 1200MW cleaner coal plant

Mar 30 (EN) Sri Lanka is in talks with Japan to finance and build a 1,200 MegaWatt coal ireed power plant in Trincomalee in the north east of the island. Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitya said that Japan International Co-operation Agency has expressed willingness to finance the project. CEB it its most recent long term generation report said the Japanese funded plant would be a high efficiency eco-friendly coal plant. more..

Video: Suicide jacket, claymore mines recovered from Jaffna

Mar 30 (AD) A suicide jacket, a stock of explosives and ammunition have been recovered from a house in the Maravanpulo area on the A32 road within the Chawakatchcheri police area in Jaffna District, police said. Police officers discovered a suicide jacket, 4 Claymore mines, 3 parcels containing around 12kg of TNT, 2 packets of 9mm ammo (100 bullets) and 2 battery packs used to detonate the claymore mines. more..

'No foreign influence in constitution making process'

Mar 30 (DN) Parliament will never allow foreign influence in the constitution making exercise, although it welcomes the technical assistance extended by those countries, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said. He was addressing the inauguration of the Seminar on Constitutionalism organised by Parliament with the USAID support at the Waters' Edge Hotel yesterday. The Speaker who said the govt was ready to expand their knowledge on more..

Rising prices put basic bread out of reach for poor

Mar 30 (ST) The increase in the price of flour is sending the price of bread and other flour-based products out of reach of poor people who depend on them as cheap food. Bakers, caterers, restaurant owners are planning further increases after a kilo of wheat flour increased by Rs. 7.20. As an immediate result, bread was increased by Rs. four. Among the hardest hit are low-income groups such as plantation sector workers and labourers who more..

New laws to allow People to claim ownership

Mar 30 (DM) Govt hopes to have legislation approved in Parliament next week providing for war affected people in the North to obtain ownership to their land which they had abandoned even if it was for more than ten years because of the conflict. According to the present Law of Prescriptive Rights, a person cannot claim the right to his land if it has been abandoned for more than ten years. However, the Act is to be amended to exempt more..

PM’s cultural revival project commendable

Mar 30 (CT) Recently, the PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that steps will be taken to commence an islandwide programme to revive the dying cultural and traditional practices of our national heritage. Thus all District Secretaries have been notified to gather all reports available in writing and on record pertaining to traditional songs, cultural dances, folk tales, and all other traditions. PM issued these instructions at the monthly meeting with all District Secretaries held at the Temple Trees. more..

Sri Lanka shares rise on foreign buying, cbank rate move

Mar 30 (Reuters) Shares edged up on Wednesday from a two-week closing low hit in the previous session on buying led by foreign investors and following a central bank decision to keep key policy rates steady. Foreign investors bought a net 161.7 million rupees worth of shares on Wednesday, but have sold 1.95 billion rupees worth shares so far this year. Central bank kept interest rates on hold Tuesday, preferring to gauge the impact of recent tightening measures amid govt efforts to more..


The SLFP between Hyde Park and May Day

Mar 30 (DM) There were things that Mahinda Rajapaksa did right, there were things he did wrong and there were things he didn’t do which he should have. Therefore, the electorate decided that it needed a post-Rajapaksa Sri Lanka, building upon the best of Rajapaksa. However, one cannot move to a situation that is better than the Rajapaksa decade, under the leadership and direction of those whose track records were worse than or much less successful than his. more..

'SL has only four psychiatrists for children'

Mar 30 (Island) Recruitment to the health sector would strictly be based on the GCE A/L Z-score rankings and letters from politicians including the health minister, would not be considered, Director General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Palitha Maheepala said yesterday. Addressing the media at the Health Education Bureau, Dr. Mahipala said interviews would be conducted only to check their qualifications if they had the required Z-score rankings. more..

Present crisis due to govt’s haphazard foreign borrowings: MR

Mar 30 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that his govt did not take negotiations with India on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) forward due to the misgivings expressed by wide sections of society. In a statement issued today, he said that incumbent President Sirisena recently publicly endorsed the proposed Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) more..

Court directs Police to obtain Champika’s phone records

Mar 30 (DM) Additional Magistrate Chandana Kalansuriya today directed the Police to obtain the phone records of Minister Champika Ranawaka on the day of the Rajagiriya accident -- based on the SIM cards registered in his name. Police were also directed to obtain the phone records of the two eyewitnesses Gayan Vidura and M.S. Siddiuqe. Meanwhile, Magistrate said he would on April 27 give a ruling on whether the investigations into the accident were to be handed over to the CID. more..