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Sri Lanka-Cuba Parliamentary Friendship Association launched

Mar 30 (Island) Cuba was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with SL consequent to the country gaining independence and the relations between the two countries dated back to 1959, declared Deputy Speaker, Thilanga Sumathipala, speaking at the launch of SL-Cuba Friendship Association. Deputy Speaker presided over the event on behalf of Speaker Karu Jayasuriya who was out of the island. As such, the two countries have had a long-standing partnership more..

Chief Justice and three other former Chief Justices charged for judicial corruption

Mar 30 (CT) In a Writ Application filed in the Supreme Court yesterday by the rights activist Nagananda Kodituwakku under the Corruption law, the Chief Justice Sripavan, former Chief Justices Shirani Bandaranayake, de facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris and Sarath N. Silva have been charged for abuse of office of the Chief Justice to confer benefits or favour themselves or the Executive President which is an offence more..

60 workers begin protest inside Kahatagaha mine

Mar 30 (AD) Approximately 60 workers attached to the Kahatagaha graphite mine are protesting inside the mine demanding a New Year bonus. The group of workers had commenced the protest inside the mine last evening against the decision not to give a bonus of Rs 15,000 to workers which had been provided in previous years. Meanwhile the administration of the Kahatagaha graphite mine says that the Labour Commissioner is scheduled to arrive for a discussion on the matter more..

SC moved against CIABOC for not probing corrupt judges

Mar 30 (Island) Attorney-at-Law, Nagarantha Kodituwakku, filed a writ of Mandamus in the Supreme Court complaining that the CIABOC has failed to investigate complaints of corruption the petitioner made against several top judicial officers. The petitioner wants the court to order the CIABOC Director General to commence investigating his complaints. The CIABOC is empowered to investigate alleged acts of judicial corruption, the petitioner has argued, claiming that more..

Sri Lanka looks forward to signing FTA with China next month

Mar 30 (CG) Govt says it looks forward to signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China next month. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said that a high level delegation will be visiting China next week to sign the agreement. “China-Sri Lanka relations are historic and long standing. Silk route connectivity is only one part of this long history. China is one of the biggest product suppliers to Sri Lanka as well. more..

CEB offers 100% discount to consumers who reduce their electricity bill by 20%

Mar 30 (Island) The Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya assured an uninterrupted power supply as the hydro-power reservoirs were receiving heavy rains. He reiterated the previously announced three-hour daily power cuts would not be implemented. "There is no need to implement power cuts at present," he said. He also noted that the demand for power had increased by 11% compared to the same period last year due to unprecedented heat experienced in March. more..

Six more suspects arrested for eagle killing

Mar 30 (DM) Six more suspects, aged between 27 and 36, who were allegedly involved in the cruel killing of an eagle in Galle, were arrested by the Habaraduwa Police yesterday. The Police said the suspects were remanded till today after being produced before the Galle Magistrate’s Court yesterday. A photograph in which some men are seen killing an eagle in an inhumane manner after plucking its feathers and cutting off its claws went viral earlier this month. more..

SL to grow 5.3% in 2016 with IMF deal: ADB

Mar 30 (EN) Sri Lanka's economy will grow 5.3% backed by a deal with the IMF and more taxes collected from the people to meet state spending and subsidies, Asian Development Bank said. "Fiscal consolidation is to be put back on track by a revision of the 2016 budget,” Tadateru Hayashi, Senior Country Economist at ADB’s Sri Lanka Resident Mission in Colombo said. "IMF support, once agreed, will protect against more..

No threat to national security: Def. Sec

Mar 30 (DM) The discovery of a suicide kit and explosives in Vallakulam, Chavakachcheri wasn’t a threat for the national security, Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said today. He said there’s a huge gap between the national security and the discovery of such explosives. He also said there could be such items, which had been abandoned and gathered during the war period. “Discoveries of such guns and explosives are frequently reported to us from these areas more..

Now Mahinda faction favours Geneva!

Mar 30 (LT) MPs Dullas Alahapperuma, Bandula Gunawardene and Udaya Gammanpila left to Geneva yesterday to apprise the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) regarding unjust treatment meted out to Members of the Joint Opposition in Parliament. Before leaving the island MP Dullas Alahapperuma speaking at a media conference had said they would meet the Secretary General of IPU tomorrow and apprise him of the unjust treatment meted out to 53 MPs of the joint opposition more..

Video: Threat to national security: Joint Opp.

Mar 30 (DM) While urging the Govt to launch an impartial investigation into the recovery of a suicide jacket and explosives in a house Vallakulam, Chavakachcheri Last night, the Joint Opposition today said that these kinds of incidents could cause a threat to the national security. Prof. G.L.Peiris said the Govt was attempting to hide the truth behind the scene to the public. While claiming that these kinds of more..

Former Embilipitiya ASP re-remanded

Mar 30 (DN) Former Embilipitiya ASP DWC Dharmaratna who was arrested over the death of a youth in Embilipitiya was remanded until 8 April on the orders of the Embilipitiya Magistrate Prasanna Fernando today. The former ASP was arrested by the CID on Feb 2 in connection with the death of a youth in Embilipitiya. The former ASP was summoned by the CID to record a statement the same morning and was arrested thereafter. Warrants were issued by more..

MEP urges election observers to push for LG polls

Mar 30 (CG) MEP urged local election observers to push for the Local Govt (LG) elections to be held on schedule. MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena met the Executive Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiaracchi in Colombo today and discussed issues related to the polls. Gunawardena pointed out at the meeting that the postponement of the LG election by the Govt is illegal. He also said that since the term of the LG bodies had ended, failing to elect new LG bodies is affecting the normal operations in more..

India to give Mullaitivu fishermen boats and fishing equipment

Mar 30 (CG) Govts of India and Sri Lanka will be signing a MoU to supply 150 boats and fishing equipment to fishermen of Mullaitivu. Indian High Commission in Colombo said that the MoU will be signed tomorrow at the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development in Colombo. MoU will be signed by Y.K. Sinha, High Commissioner of India and Ms. W.M.M.R. Adikari, Secretary to the Ministry of Fisheries and more..

Even if I die, I would die as an SLFPer: Nimal

Mar 30 (DM) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that he would not join the UNP, even if he were disgruntled with the SLFP. He said that he contested the previous election representing the SLFP while being in the UPFA. The Central Committee of the SLFP took the decision to join the National Govt. “Later, I also joined the National Govt. I joined the National Government not because of my own decision, but to obey to the policy decision taken by the SLFP Central Committee,” he said. more..

Video: It is regrettable: Basil

Mar 30 (DM) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa said today it was regrettable that various constructions done by the previous govt for the benefit of the people were being demolished by the present govt. Mr. Rajapaksa said they were imprisoned for having developed public property while those who destroy them were at large. “We did some constructions for the benefit of the people but it is regrettable to know they were being destroyed despite obtaining benefits from them, maintaining them or more..

CCTV footage on day of Rajagiriya accident erased: Police

Mar 30 (AD) The case pertaining to the traffic collision in Rajagiriya involving a vehicle belonging to Minister Champika Ranawaka and a youth riding a motorcycle was taken up for hearing at the Colombo Traffic Court today. Welikada Police informed court that the Minister was questioned regarding the incident and that a statement was recorded. Police further said that although footage obtained from CCTV cameras were used in more..

'Wigneswaran’s behaviour hindrance to reconciliation'

Mar 30 (DM) JHU today charged that the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran was acting on a separatist and racist agenda and his conduct was a hindrance to national reconciliation. JHU national organiser and western provincial councillor Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said the govt had taken several steps towards promoting national reconciliation in the country including re-establishing the northern provincial council and removing high security zones but more..

BIOCAD started exports of pharmaceuticals to Sri Lanka

Mar 30 (BW) In the end of March, 2016 a leading Russian and international biotech company BIOCAD started the delivery of anti-tumor drug trastuzumab to Sri Lanka. The drug was approved in the country approximately one month ago. Distribution agreement with a partner in Sri Lanka was made in 2014. BIOCAD is the first pharmaceutical company in Russia to make export deliveries of anti-cancer drugs for the amounts exceeding $150 m. Trastuzumab is the first biosimilar on the list more..

Recovery of arms cache may impair de-militarization of North

Mar 30 (ENS) The accidental discovery of an arms cache, including three parcels of TNT and a suicide jacket, in a house at Chavakachcheri in Jaffna District on Wednesday, may hinder the demilitarization of the Northern Province which is one of the major post-war demands of Sri Lankan Tamils and which was promised to the UNHRC by the Lankan govt. Opponents of demilitarization like MP Namal Rajapaksa have already tweeted more..

Are the SLFP CC members naive and day dreaming?

Mar 31 (CT) SLFP rebel members well supported by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Gang of Four namely Dinesh, Vasu, Wimal, and Udaya are ignoring and violating the official instructions, warnings, and deadlines given by the SLFP Leadership and the Central Committee on several issues which are detrimental to upholding the discipline and the unity of the party. The warning letters issued by the General Secretary of the SLFP based on the decisions taken by more..

Outrage as President tnsists no foreign judges

Mar 31 (SL) A public statement made last weekend by President Maithripala Sirisena that he will not agree to inviting foreign judges to get involved in the accountability process related to the war, has drawn sharp criticism. The criticism stems from the fact that the need to have foreign judges is part of the Resolution adopted by the UNHRC last year, which was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka. Speaking at the Law Conference in Wadduwa last weekend, the President said that he has faith more..

Speed fiends mow down pedestrians

Mar 31 (SO) The number of young, middle aged and elderly people whose lives ended prematurely in road accidents caused by speed fiends has taken a sinister turn for the worse in recent years, worldwide. According to recent international statistics, a minimum of 500 people succumb to road accidents daily, and every three minutes a child would die in a road accident, while over 40% of children in Asian countries more..

The Other Side

Mar 31 (GV) The following poem is a reaction of Tamil diaspora, upon being able to view their home villages on Google Street View, for the first time in years. Pictures provided by author. A glimpse of the streets we would have called home, I’m laughing in the park, climbing the coconut trees, Cycling through the dusty lanes, playing at the local spots. It’s a strange relationship: Caught in opposition of the surveillance state, And, gratitude, for finally seeing the corners we’ve never seen. more..

RTI Access or no access?

Mar 31 (NS) The Preamble of the Bill talks of the existence of a need to foster a culture of transparency and accountability in public authorities and to promote a society in which the people of Sri Lanka would be able to more fully participate in public life through combating corruption and promoting accountability and good governance. The Right to Information Bill contains safeguards for both sides, for citizens seeking access to information and information officers appointed to more..

‘Women should be in the forefront’

Mar 31 (CT) Clad in a headscarf and a black Abaya, with a strong Arab accent, and carrying a message of love and peace empowering women in her country and around the world, Nobel Laureate and Yemeni politician Tawakkol Karman was in SL last week. Sati Chronicles followed Karman during her visit in Colombo, in order to share with our readers the jewels of inspiration extracted from her speeches and her conversation with CT. more..

RTI, a progressive step towards democracy

Mar 31 (CT) The newspaper is a development of modern civilization to present the news of the day, to foster commerce and industry, to inform and lead public opinion and to furnish that check upon govt which no Constitution has been able to provide. This poignant quote is from the Proprietary Editor of the Chicago Tribune, Yale University Graduate, Advocate of Constitutional Liberties and winner of the 20th Century Victory Medal Robert McCormick. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's Govt tabled more..

Int’l legal experts refute allegations

Mar 31 (CT) Despite successfully concluding a dark chapter of terrorism that included the rescue of 296,000 hostages, the political and military leaders who spearheaded the final war stand accused of unlawful targeting of civilians and causing illegal collateral damage. Various sources place the number of civilian deaths between 7,000 and 40,000. However, international legal experts who studied and analyzed the circumstances and evidence of this questionable period strongly more..

Pavithra Wanniarachchi

Grape wine to Thal Hakuru; to enterprising Jaffna University students

Mar 31 (Island) After visiting Dambakola Patuna, Mano, Ruvindu and I went to the Jaffna market. It is difficult for me to explain why I like the Jaffna market. Maybe because it is very orderly like and pleasant, and there is not much of noise. Vendors are very friendly. I have lost the appetite for Kotta Kelangu, not Thal Hakuru. Mano, the man from Tellippalai, gives me gifts of Thal Hakuru and a best of Rossetto Grape Wine made in Jaffna by the nuns. It looks like there are two types of more..

Editorial: Walk the walk!

Mar 31 (Island) Leaders of the present government used to scream blue murder, and rightly so, about losses the previous administration caused to the state coffers. They promised to punish the culprits, protect public assets and restore the rule of law if they were voted into office. Everyone would be made equal before the law, they declared, vowing to depoliticise the Police Department and infuse professionalism into it. But, these promises remain unfulfilled. more..

Auditing, ownerships and stakeholder issues

Mar 31 (DN) COPE is now taking an active role in dealing with strategically important govt entities to bring them to book on malpractices and lack of accountability. Chairman of COPE, Sunil Handunnetti spoke about the new approach taken by COPE in dealing with issues of national importance. Q: COPE has changed its system of reporting. Could you explain how it had changed and why you decided to change more..

Roy's 78 sets up England charge to final

Mar 31 (CI) English cricket's makeover has delivered a place in the World Twenty20 final in Kolkata on Sunday. New Zealand's first defeat of the tournament, by seven wickets with 17 balls to spare, ended their involvement. Instead, it is England, an adventurous England freed of old baggage, who lie in wait for the winners of Thursday's semi-final between India and West Indies in Mumbai. Jason Roy electrified England's reply to New Zealand's far-from-imposing 153 for 8, more..

People’s Bank Group record 11.5% growth

Mar 31 (FT) People’s Bank has posted phenomenal financial results by end 2015, posting 13.3% YoY growth and recording the highest-ever Profit Before Tax of Rs. 19.5 b. Group PBT also experienced 11.5% growth, notching Rs. 24.1 b in 2015, compared to Rs. 21.6 b in 2014. Profit After Tax for 2015 reached Rs. 12.6 b. People’s Bank continued its formidable status of having the second largest deposit base in the country, observing a growth of 13.3% in its total deposit portfolio more..

FR petition seeks that SC regularise Constitutional Council’s process

Mar 31 (FT) A Fundamental Rights petition was filed seeking the Supreme Court to rectify and regularise certain processes of the members of the Constitutional Council. The petition is also seeking to ensure that the procedures laid down at the infant stages are lawful and/or constitutional and prevent any abuse in the given the true spirit of the Constitutional and 19th Amendment. Sarath Weragoda (former HC) more..

Jungle Beach renovates Kuchchaveli Divisional Hospital female ward

Mar 31 (DN) Jungle Beach, the luxury boutique hotel operated in Kuchchaveli by Uga Escapes, continued its charitable efforts in the region by refurbishing the female ward of the Kuchchaveli Divisional Hospital. Jungle Beach conducted the CSR initiative together with Alpha Industries, a subsidiary of the Finco Group to which Uga Escapes also belongs. The ward was declared open on March 8 in the presence of Jungle Beach staff, local Ministry of Health official Dr. Susaidasan Lambert Jesusnesan more..

Chilly water attack on medical students on Sathyagraha

Mar 31 (DN) Medical students on a Sathyagraha in front of Karaptiya Medical Faculty in Galle were sprayed with chili mixed water by an unidentified gang yesterday. The students were on the 70th day of a peaceful Sathyagraha demanding the abolition of the Malabe Private Medical College. The gang arrived in three wheeler carried out the attack around 3.30 a.m. The Sathyagraha organized by Ruhunu University Medical Students' Action Committee was held continuously for 70 days more..

He puts his foot down against tax discrimination

Mar 31 (DM) A powerful purohita in yahapalanaya received summons from a Big Boss recently. Big Boss had received a number of complaints saying that tariffs and some other levies imposed on a certain industry were highly discriminatory in that they favoured a few big companies and placed the small players at a severe disadvantage. Big Boss told the purohita that it militated against core principles of yahapalanaya more..

Sri Lanka plantations wage talks remain deadlocked

Mar 31 (EN) Talks on a new collective wage agreement between Sri Lanka’s regional plantations companies and labour unions remain deadlocked with an agreement likely only in a few months when prices recover. The negotiations are still on hold, said plantation industries minister Navin Dissanayake. “There’s a ballpark figure of 780 rupees a month that people (unions) are happy with.” He said that unions will not agree to stick to the current wage of 450 rupees nor will more..

New hope for Sri Lankan girl in Austin with severe scoliosis

Mar 31 (KXAN) Three million cases of scoliosis are diagnosed in the United States every year. The curvature of the spine can be painful and debilitating, but in this country there are medical solutions such as surgery. That is not the case if you are in a poor, developing country such as Sri Lanka. But a SL teenager is in Austin Wednesday, scheduled for surgery Thursday thanks to the non-profit SpineHope and Dell Children’s Medical Center. At Seton Spine & Scoliosis Center, more..