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'Have patience with Mathews'

Mar 31 (CT) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera agreed with Captain Angelo Mathews and pleaded for patience from fans in the wake of title-holder Sri Lanka's embarrassing early exit from the World Twenty20. "I think this was a very inexperienced T20 team, and I urge all Sri Lankans to be patient with the boys," he said when asked for his reaction to the National Team's mediocre performance in India. more..

Gentleman's game in the doldrums

Mar 31 (DN) If there is an issue Sri Lankans are passionate about even more than politics, it must be cricket. And, if there has been a time when Sri Lankan cricket has been at its lowest ebb since it won the sport's World Cup twenty years ago, it must be now. Last week, it crashed out of the World T20 currently in progress, finishing just above non-test playing Afghanistan in its group. It lost all its group games and survived quite a few anxious moments in defeating Afghanistan. more..

Schools Under-15 cricketers to tour Malaysia

Mar 31 (Island) Sri Lanka Under-15 cricket team selected by SL Schools Cricket Association will leave for Malaysia for the annual Tuanku Ja’afar Trophy International Under-15 cricket tournament on Saturday. 14 member team is captained by Kamil Migara of Mahanama College, Panadura while Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda cricketer Ravindu Silva is his deputy. SLSCA said that it is the 13th occasion that a team from Sri Lanka is taking part in the six nation tourney. more..

Video: Joint Opp. wants a date for LG polls

Mar 31 (DM) MP Dinesh Gunawardane said a date for LG election should be declared within 14 days from tomorrow (31) because the term of LG bodies would be expired tomorrow. He said regardless of what the Govt or the Elections Commission said, the elections should be declared after tomorrow. “It was for this purpose the Elections Commission was established. Many Commissions were established and we too pledged our more..

FUTA condemns SLTC offering presidential scholarships

Mar 31 (DN) The FUTA yesterday criticised the move to offer presidential scholarships through the Presidential Secretariat for those who register with Sri Lanka Technological Campus (SLTC) affiliated to Sri Lanka Telecom. In a media statement signed by FUTA President Dr. Rangika Halwatura and Secretary Dr. Shyama Banneheka, the FUTA said SLTC has not yet met all the criteria recommended by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to qualify for degree awarding status. more..

Former Presidents should not use SLFP to take revenge: Dilan

Mar 31 (DN) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga should not use the SLFP to take revenge on former President Rajapaksa and Rajapaksa should not use the SLFP to take revenge on President Sirisena over personal reasons instead they should promote the SLFP, Minister Dilan Perera said. He said former President Bandaranaike knowingly or unknowingly promoted a breakup in the SLFP and she is supporting PM Ranil Wickremesinghe than the UNPers do. more..

Govt stirs Rs.2b fertiliser subsidy for plantations

Mar 31 (FT) Dishing out fresh measures to develop the plantation sector the Govt has earmarked Rs.2 billion for a fertiliser subsidy and planned fresh restructuring of State owned plantations and factories. Minister Naveen Dissanayake dismissed speculation that the Govt would roll back its fertiliser subsidy for small holder tea, rubber and coconut plantations, insisting that they were in talks with the Treasury to provide Rs.2 billion in funds. more..

Back in the scene, she wants to have her way and say

Mar 31 (DM) A onetime powerful lady who was keeping a low profile for some time is back in the scene and is taking a hand in the state affairs in a big way, they say. Appointments to the country’s foreign missions abroad, those in the capitals in Europe in particular are said to be the lady’s main area of concern. Yahapalanaya authorities recently selected a person for appointment as our envoy in an European country – a post that has remained vacant for a long time. more..

Sri Lankan rupee weakening steadily; economic reforms urgently needed

Mar 31 (Island) Professor of Economics University of Colombo Sirimal Abeyratne said the Sri Lankan rupee is expected to weaken further; it would touch more than Rs 160 to the US dollar level next year, if the govt fails to undertake fundamental economic reforms. "The govt has failed to undertake proper economic reforms. Sluggish export growth and the absence of a stable foreign exchange earnings mechanism are among reasons for this plight, Prof Abeyratne said. more..

'30% increase in allocations to the higher education sector'

Mar 31 (Island) Minister of Higher Education and Highways Lakshman Kiriella said that govt had increased allocations for higher education sector by 30%. Bursaries and Mahapola grants had also been increased, he added. Steps had been taken to build 16 new hostels in all universities this year. Kirielle was speaking at the inauguration of the Faculty of Computing and Technology of the Kelaniya University. more..

No Indians in ERRAS

Mar 31 (GDI) Indian nationals will not be recruited to the proposed Emergency Rapid Response Ambulance Service (ERRAS) to be launched in the Western and Southern Province as a pilot project, Health Service Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala stated. According to Dr. Mahipala, those who passed G.C.E. A/L Exam will be recruited as drivers for this service, he stressed that Indian drivers will not be recruited at any stage. It is clearly mentioned in the Cabinet decision, more..

Amnesty period for handing over firearms

Mar 31 (DN) Ministry of Defence has declared a period of amnesty to hand over firearms in the possession of civilians, without valid licenses, Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said. Arrangements are in place to offer cash rewards to those willing to hand over their weapons. "The deadline for the amnesty will be announced within this week," he said. In response to several media queries, he said that several parties are expressing views about an escalating crime wave. more..

Police grill Champika 7 hours

Mar 31 (CT) Welikada Police yesterday told Colombo Additional Magistrate (Traffic) Chandana Kalansuriya that they had questioned Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka for close to seven hours on 28 March before recording a statement from him in connection with the hit-and-run accident at Rajagiriya late last month in which two youths were injured. Police also told Court that besides recording a statement from Minister more..

Demand Rs 15,000 bonus

Mar 31 (CT) More than 70 employees including miners at the Kahatagaha Graphite Mine in Dodangaslanda, Kurunegala, Tuesday launched a fast 1,132 feet underground demanding a New Year's bonus of Rs 15,000. The Mine workers, who reported for work Tuesday morning, had entered the mine via the Mine Shaft elevators and sat down to a fasting/strike demand in a tunnel in the area known as the Pediris Level. Apart from a few workers who remained on the surface to meet more..

Sri Lanka recovers second stock of explosives from former war zone

Mar 31 (Xinhua) Police on Wednesday recovered a stock of explosives in the north of the country hours after a suicide jacket had been discovered at another location. ASP Ruwan Gunesekara said that several explosives including small bombs and a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launcher had been discovered from an abandoned well in Mannar in the north after police had conducted a search operation in the area. Gunesekara said that the explosives are believed to have been hidden by more..

SLFP CC decides against taking action against MPs for attending Hyde Park rally

Mar 31 (Island) SLFP would not take disciplinary action against its MPs who attended the Joint Opposition’s Jana Satana rally at Hyde Park recently, Minister Dilan Perera said. He said that the SLFP Central Committee had taken the decision after analysing the contents of the speeches made by the SLFP MPs at the rally. None of the SLFP members who attended the rally had criticised the party leadership, Perera said, more..

Moulding the youth for challenging jobs

Mar 31 (DM) In a major step towards moulding the youth, the next generation, to take over the leadership of the country, some 5000 young women and men yesterday began the four-day Yowun Puraya 2016, Youth Camp on the theme, the future begins. Organized by the National Youth Services Council (NYSC) on a concept of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, the camp is being held at the Sri Lanka Air Force complex in Sigiriya. President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe more..

President hit by power cut again

Mar 31 (DM) Unannounced power cuts have become the norm of the day rather than the exception now. Even events attended by President Maithripala Sirisena are not spared. The power went off while the President was addressing an awards ceremony in Kurunegala on Tuesday. This was not his first personal experience with power cuts. Despite being the Head of State, he was forced to stop his work halfway and leave for home during the March 6 blackout. more..

District Secs running bus permit racket

Mar 31 (SL) National Transport Commission’s (NTC) failure to regularise the passenger service permit charges in the country has enabled the district secretaries in the Northern Province to refrain from charging the rightful rates for route permits, route permit holders in the Southern Province have alleged. The five northern district secretaries are of the view that the people in the north need not make any contribution more..

One side has water, the other is denied

Mar 31 (ST) The drought setting in is set to create a major water crisis, particularly for farmers as they prepare for the coming Yala cultivation season. Water levels in tanks and reservoirs are dropping. A visit to the Kurunegala and Puttalam districts provided a glimpse of the hardships faced by the farmers and residents. The ancient Hakwatuna Oya reservoir lies some 45km from Kurunegala town and is the 2nd largest more..

Yes or No to zoos and safari parks?

Mar 31 (DM) Sri Lanka’s first safari park has been officially declared open in Ridiyagama, Hambantota with the aim of giving animals the privilege of savouring the freedom of space to roam and forage in an area of abundance. The park which is to be constructed under two phases has currently incurred an expenditure of 1,450 million rupees for the first phase. An African lion zone, a SL elephant zone and a World zone were declared open more..

PM to tackle badly drafted Cabinet papers

Mar 31 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has found that cabinet papers submitted by some ministers are riddled with errors. He has instructed govt’s Economic Affairs Consultant R. Paskaralingam to look into the matter and ensure that the Cabinet papers would be without errors in the future. Minister said PM had observed that many papers submitted by ministers seeking the approval of cabinet recently were full of errors. more..

Defence Secretary unsuitable for post: Wimal

Mar 31 (DM) NFF Leader MP Wimal Weerawansa urged the Govt to refrain from underestimating the national security, while claiming Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi proved to be unsuitable for the post by the day. He said the recovery of a suicide kit and explosives in Vallakulam, Chavakachcheri was not an ordinary incident, even though the Defence Secretary had referred to it as finding more..

Namal alleges PM hiring private firm

Mar 31 (DM) UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa recently alleged that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was hiring a private consultant firm based in Hong Kong, to organise his upcoming official visit to China. MP questioned as to why a private consultant was hired to attend to the needs of the official visit, instead of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. He said the alleged stance was in a bid to restore and bolster SL-China friendship. more..

Suicide jacket find: Police to question G.L.

Mar 31 (EN) Police will be asked to interview former minister G. L. Peiris in connection with the latest discovery of a suicide jacket and other war-like materials from the Jaffna peninsula, defence secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said. He said discovery was part of a routine find, but investigations were focusing on claims by former minister that explosives were to be brought to Wellawatte for a high profile attack. more..

Defence Secy denies military in turmoil, promises to boost reconciliation

Mar 31 (Island) Defence Secretary Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi said tangible measures were being taken to promote post-war national reconciliation, address accountability issues in accordance with the Geneva Resolution and address grievances of the military. He said that in support of the on-going reconciliation efforts the Army had built a housing scheme Sanhindiyawe Sathvirugama (Sathvirugama village of Reconciliation) more..

Ranil says Parliament will be briefed on deals with China, India

Mar 31 (CG) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says Parliament will be briefed on the deals Sri Lanka is to sign with China and India. Wickremesinghe told a group of UNP members at Sirikotha today that Sri Lanka and China are to discuss an economic plan soon. He also said that both Sri Lanka and China will sign a Free Trade Agreement next month which will help Sri Lanka’s economy and also benefit China. more..

Gunaratnam sentenced to one year in prison

Mar 31 (DN) The Kegalle Magistrate's Court today sentenced Kumar Gunaratnam to 1 year imprisonment and a fine of Rs.50,000 over breaking immigration law. The court on March 24 announced that the final judgment of Kumar Gunaratnam’s case will be given today. Activist of the FSP Premakumar Gunaratnam alias Kumar Gunaratnam who possesses the Australian citizenship, was arrested on Nov 4 by more..

Ikka (ITCA) agreement: A hiccup too many?

Mar 31 (CT) Proposed Economic & Technology Cooperation Agreement between SL and India has earned an amusing but appropriate tag in Sinhala, based on the acronym ETCA and how it is pronounced (Ikka Givisuma or the Hiccup Agreement). Ikka has generated some interesting debates. Those who oppose do so on a variety of ground, national interest among them. Some of those who support it object to the objectors on account of their nationalism or else for more..

Sri Lanka shares edge up, but down 12% in March quarter

Mar 31 (Reuters) Shares firmed up on Thursday led by large caps on fiscal year-end buying, but closed nearly 12% lower in the March quarter as rising interest rates dented investor appetite for risk assets. Share index ended 0.51% higher, or up 30.89 points at 6,071.88. It fell 11.9% in the quarter ended Thursday. "The market is up on year-end buying," said Reshan Kurukulasuriya, at Richard Pieris Securities, referring to the end of financial year for many listed firms including banks. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Education reforms timely

Mar 31 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe recently said, the govt will introduce a new school education system by May this year. He said that the govt will discuss this, first with Provincial Councils and Education Committees, before national implementation. "We can't listen to those who are against this revolution in education. We will also encourage students to take part in extracurricular activities," he said. Premier further said: "In all schools that have A/L classes we must more..

Lanza urges President to act against Minister

Mar 31 (Island) Deputy Minister Nimal Lanza has requested President Maithripala Sirisena to launch an inquiry into the conduct of a minister allegedly behind the demolition of a jogging track and causing damage to public property resulting in a loss of public money at Wattala recently. "I ask President Sirisena to conduct an investigation and to implement the law against the minister responsible for this crime," he said. He said that he knew the persons involved in the demolition more..

Video: PM vows to look into concerns of biz sector

Mar 31 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said he will look into the concerns raised by certain groups in the business circle with regard to non tariff barriers that SL exporters face when they enter Indian market. “There are non tariff barriers which Sri Lankan exporters have to face when their goods enter the Indian market. There is red tape in India brought on by the administration set up of that country. more..

'Three hospitals similar to Mount Elizabeth in Sri Lanka soon'

Mar 31 (DN) Three hospitals similar to Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore will be set up in Sri Lanka soon with the assistance of foreign countries, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne stated. Speaking to media after the inaugurating a healthcare Leadership Training Programme at the BMICH, Colombo today he added that before falling sick he was in Moscow with the Sri Lankan Ambassador and held discussions in connection with establishing one hospital. more..

9,000 TB patients annually

Mar 31 (CT) The Health Ministry is hoping to eliminate Tuberculosis by 2030 and that requires long-term programmes which go beyond celebrating Tuberculosis Prevention Day, Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. Participating in the International Tuberculosis Prevention Day celebrations, Dr. Mahipala said Health Ministry is taking steps to eliminate Tuberculosis via a Tuberculosis prevention programme. more..

Joint opp. cries foul over FCID in Geneva

Mar 31 (DM) The three joint opposition MPs who went to Geneva have handed over a letter to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) General Secretary today and complained about the FCID among other allegations of injustice caused towards them by the Govt. Joint opposition Organiser MP Dullas Alahapperuma and MPs Bandula Gunawardane and Udaya Gammanpila left for Switzerland on Wednesday to take part in more..

CA affirms death sentence on first accused, but sets it aside in respect of others

Mar 31 (Island) The Court of Appeal, affirmed the conviction of murder and the sentence of death, imposed by the High Court on a Chinese National, Su Ting Rui, who had murdered a fellow Chinese national, by attacking his head with a hammer. The date of offence had been January 24, 2003, at Dehiwala. Court of Appeal, however, set aside the conviction of murder and the sentence of death, imposed by the High Court on four other accused persons, Song Yang, Zhang LI, Guru Lie and more..

Hatch removed from USAB Chairmanship by Minister Kiriella

Mar 31 (CT) Nigel Hatch, Chairman of the University Services Appeals Board or the USAB, was asked by Minister Lakshman Kiriella to resign and he has done so. The USAB as a specialized court was established under the Universities Act. It was meant to be a simple tribunal without elaborate rules where university academics could write a letter, speak for themselves and be heard. If they did not know the law, the chairman, a lawyer or retired judge, and two retired administrative service more..

Secret documents reveal how Britain funded possible war crimes in Sri Lanka

Mar 31 (VICE) In 2009, as the Sri Lankan civil war reached its bloody conclusion, David Miliband touched down in Colombo to appeal for peace. "Now is the time for the fighting to stop," Miliband warned. "Protection of civilians is absolutely paramount in our minds." However, Miliband's public plea stood in direct contrast to what his department was doing in private, secret Foreign Office documents seen by VICE can reveal. more..