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Probe committee head faults IGP for not heeding request for policemen

Mar 28 (Island) Chairman of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the alleged Central Bank bond scams, Justice K.T. Chithrasiri, said IGP Pujith Jayasundara had failed to respond to a request made by the Commission to release some policemen to facilitate its work. Chairman said the IGP hadn’t even had the courtesy to acknowledge receipt of his letter. Justice Chithrasiri said so in respect of a reply by more..

Colombo, second most expensive city in South Asia

Mar 28 (DN) Research from the Economist Intelligence Unit indicates that Colombo is the second most expensive city in South Asia, and 108th most expensive in the world. A total of eight South Asian cities, including New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Karachi and Bangalore, were included in the survey. Results showed Dhaka was the most expensive city in South Asia, followed by Colombo and Kathmandu. more..

BASL in hands off policy over High Court Judge R. Kannan’s removal

Mar 28 (ST) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) this week decided not to get involved in recommending the removal of High Court (HC) Judge R. Kannan, whose appointment was opposed by the Judicial Services Association (JSA), saying, the removal of the judge now needs to be done only on the basis of disciplinary action recommended by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) to the President. more..

Murdering civilians under cover of war won't be condoned: CBK

Mar 28 (DM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said that anyone proven guilty of murdering innocent civilians under the pretext of fighting a war will be held accountable through a due process and that accountability means being fair on both sides of the conflict. She said this when addressing a workshop for the security forces to create awareness about the work being carried out by the ONUR and more..

School children have responsibility to win the coming century: President

Mar 28 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says that the school children have the responsibility to win the coming century by building on the past experience. He was speaking at the centenary celebration of Ferguson High School, Rathnapura, today (27) at the school premises. He was the chief guest of the ceremony. “As evident, the history of a country is the foundation for what would happen in that country in the future. more..

US, Sri Lanka Marines, Sailors work together on disaster relief operations

Mar 28 (NNS) 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Colombo, for a Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) engagement. This is the second military-to-military exchange with Sri Lanka for the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 11th MEU during their multimonth deployment to both the Indo-Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions. USS Somerset (LPD 25) and embarked Marines of 11th MEU participated more..

Sri Lanka Visa payments grow 22% in 2016

Mar 28 (LBO) Sri Lankan market has showed 22% growth in Visa payment volumes last year, according to VisaNet Data, along with a 61% growth in ecommerce, the top payments technology firm said. Company said the growth comes off the back of a number of initiatives and investments made by the company in developing the acceptance infrastructure and driving awareness around the benefits of electronic payments in Sri Lanka. more..

Shaddick exposes Gammanpila

Mar 28 (SL) Startling evidence has been revealed in courts against Joint Opposition member and Leader of PHU, Udaya Gammanpila by his onetime boss over a massive fraud. Australian Businessman Brian Shaddick who was in Sri Lanka early this month giving astonishing evidence in High Court No: 5 claimed Gammanpila defrauded him to the tune of over Rs. 119 million using a fraudulent power of attorney. more..

Separate Council for Muslims if North and East re-merged

Mar 28 (DM) SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem, speaks about the aspirations of Muslims in Constitution making and the current crisis of his party with the sacking of the General Secretary. Minister Hakeem, who is also the Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage Minister, responds to allegations about radicalisation of his community. Q: How do you look at the current political situation of the country? more..

Vehicles for Ministers: What does it mean for democracy?

Mar 28 (DM) Govt has sought parliamentary approval for Rs. 288 million to buy vehicles for several ministers, deputy ministers and state ministers. This comes in the wake of a previous supplementary estimate to the tune of Rs.791 million approved by Parliament last year to purchase vehicles for 25 MPs. Under perfect circumstances, especially in a country where average folks are forced to cough up nearly three times of more..

Addressing the misconceptions on reform to MMDA

Mar 28 (DM) The pending reforms to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) have resulted in both interest and controversy from within and outside the Muslim community in Sri Lanka. Some members of the community, perceive the reforms to be a result of western/NGO pressure, whilst others believe that the reform is long overdue. In the ensuing debate there have been many perceptions and misconceptions regarding the process, of which some I intend addressing. more..

MDMK, VCK hypocrisy blocks Rajinikanth’s visit to Sri Lanka

Mar 28 (DM) Tamil Nadu superstar Rajinikanth on Saturday announced that he had decided not to attend an event to be held in Vavuniya on April 10 to hand over keys to 150 houses built by an Indian firm for people displaced by the war. His decision appears to have come in the wake of opposition from Tamil Nadu’s pro-LTTE groups, including the VCK and the MDMK. Rajinikanth was supposed to inaugurate the housing scheme built by the Lyca Group’s Gnanam Foundation, more..

Disappointed Jaffna citizens protest

Mar 28 (CT) A mass protest was held in Jaffna at 3 p.m. yesterday against Tamil Nadu politicians Thol. Thiruvmavalavan, T. Velmurugan and Y. Gopalaswamy, who prevented the superstar of Tamil cinema, Rajinikanth, visiting Jaffna to hand-over the keys of 150 houses, built by Lyca, (a private firm based in London) to homeless people who had been affected by the separatist war. The protest was organized by an organization called more..

CB to take action on accused in EPF scam

Mar 28 (DM) Central Bank said the Monetary Board has decided to take disciplinary action against any official of the bank for wrongdoing with regards to the EPF transactions in govt securities. A statement by the bank said the Monetary Board during its recent meeting had a discussion on the Report on the Examination of the Employees’ Provident Fund Transactions in Govt Securities with a view to decide the suitable course of action to be followed in respect of the findings. more..

Govt assures action on anyone guilty in bond scam

Mar 28 (CG) Govt has assured action will be taken on anyone found guilty in the alleged treasury bond scam. Minister Kabir Hashim said that the Govt has for the first time allowed investigations to be launched on its own officials. He said that no one found guilty in the alleged treasury bond scam will be protected, even if they are members of the UNP. “We will allow the investigations to move forward independently,” he said. Hashim also said that former President Rajapaksa held more..

Deputy CB governor wants PDD subjected to forensic audit

Mar 28 (DN) The Deputy Governor of the Central Bank P. Samarasiri called for a forensic audit yesterday to examine massive irregularities that have taken place in the Public Debt Department when issuing Bonds under direct placements. He said the forensic audit should not be carried out internally but by an external audit firm. Samarasiri was testifying before the Presidential Commission to inquire into the Treasury Bond Issue. more..

Anti-SAITM protests to take ominous turn

Mar 28 (Island) Govt doctors gave a one-week-deadline to authorities to resolve the SAITM issue or face mass mobilisation in their agitation against what they alleged as privatisation of medical education. GMOA demanded that the govt implement its agreement with the Deans and lecturers of state medical faculties to prevent the SAITM from enrolling students and issuing degree certificates. GMOA Secretary, Dr Naveen Zoysa said the union had been able to rally formidable forces more..

Tablet computers for fishermen

Mar 28 (CT) The govt is expected to grant E-log books, in the form of tablet computers, to 1,490 fishermen to record various data while out at sea as well as to monitor each vessel, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said. Accordingly, the ministry has allocated a sum of Rs 149 million for the project. This initiative was taken by the govt in accordance with demands made by the European Union (EU) as one of the criteria set out by them to lift the fisheries ban on Sri Lanka. more..

Gotabaya hints at an entry into politics

Mar 28 (Hindu) Denying the corruption and war-crime allegations against him, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa hinted at a possible entry into active politics in future. “I have not decided yet,” he said, without ruling out the option. A few of his supporters have been floating the idea of his presidential candidacy in 2020. “If I can do something for the country, I will do that. I have that capability & I have proved it more..

Notre Dame University & NARA sign MoU

Mar 28 (CT) University of Notre Dame, of US, had launched a special programme, together with the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA), to carry out a scientific study within the ocean regions, in and around the Bay of Bengal, during the past five years. Under this programme, Upwelling Zones (zones where cold ocean water from the bottom of deep seas come to the surface) around the Bay of Bengal, places where low-pressure centres are more..

Big match season: 22 vehicles in custody

Mar 28 (CT) Borella and Cinnamon Gardens Police, on 25 March, took into custody 22 vehicles, which had been driven by revellers in a dangerous manner, during the school big match cricket season. Arrangements have been made to file legal action against the drivers of those vehicles, which had been driven in a reckless manner hindering pedestrians and other vehicles. Following an incident, where a group of students from Mahanama College forcibly entered Yasodhara Balika more..

2016 GCE O/L exam best results

Mar 28 (NR) A Chamathka of Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo has topped the island rankings at GCE O/L Exam in 2016. SM Munasinghe of Mahamaya Girls’ College, Kandy has achieved second place in the island. S Ravindu of Ananda College, Colombo and Dimuth Oshadi of Rahula College, Matara have reached joint third in the island rankings. The results of GCE O/L Exam were released this morning. more..

CSE seen as one of the most attractive capital markets in South Asian region

Mar 28 (Island) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is poised to become one of the most attractive capital markets in the region and given that situation the CSE is now in the process of organizing a series of road shows in other countries, CSE's Head of Research & New Products Nishantha Hewavithana said. "At present CSE net foreign flow from the beginning of this year to last Friday recorded Rs 2.3 billion, which was just Rs. 2.3 billion for 2016 and also showed negative growth in 2015, more..

Check on cocaine blocks Rs. 3 b worth of sugar in Colombo Port

Mar 28 (FT) The recent detection of cocaine has left a bitter taste for sugar importers with over 1,200 containers worth Rs. 3 billion held up at the Colombo Port, forcing the trade to call for relief from the Govt. The containers have been held up at the Colombo Port since November last year as Customs declared Brazil a high-risk country and consequently enforced one full-scale inspection on a bag-by-bag basis. “This delay in clearing containers is no fault of the importers as the cocaine was detected more..

Imports soar; exports rebound in December but dip overall in 2016

Mar 28 (FT) Sri Lanka’s exports bounced back in December but ended 2016 on a negative note whilst soaring imports saw the country’s trade deficit widen by 8.4% to $ 90.09 billion. Central Bank said that the country’s performance was mixed in Dec 2016.  Trade deficit expanded as a result of the considerable increase in import expenditure, which more than offset the growth in export earnings during Dec 2016. more..

In Sri Lanka’s deep waters marine conservation goes hi-tech

Mar 28 (EAR) As the midday sun rises higher over Gulf of Mannar, a drone hovers over the blue mass of sea water. Below, a motley crowd of fishermen gathers, straining their eyes at a drone. A few metres from the crowd, conservationist Prasanna Weerakkody operating the drone raises it to 500 metres, before moving it slowly in different directions, allowing the device to film a large swathe of water. One day, he believes, the roving camera of this drone will send images of one of the more..

Fetishist caught stealing underwear

Mar 28 (DM) Two shopkeepers in a certain town had shops opposite each other on the main road of the town. They could see each other while conducting their business. One of them was residing with his family in a house adjoining his shop, while the other's family was living elsewhere. The first shopkeeper's family included a young woman bathed in the evening and hung out her clothes on a line in the garden. The other shopkeeper had observed this, and at dusk he had more..

First Smart Bus Halt in Town Hall

Mar 28 (DN) The national mobile service provider Mobitel launched a state-of-the-art Smart Bus Halt at Town Hall, Colombo as a step toward transforming Colombo into a Smart City. It was opened by Minister Harin Fernando and SLT Chairman Kumarasinghe Sirisena. Smart Bus Halt is equipped with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi as well as a Smart Vending Machine to dispense beverages with a touch of the mobile for cashless payments. more..

Govt very slow in approving viable solar power projects

Mar 28 (ST) As govt looks to boost solar power units to meet the growing power demand in the country, investors are not too keen to invest in mega solar power plants anymore. Why? Because of a lethargic attitude and delays in decision-making by the Govt in approving projects. Currently, the govt seems to focus more on LNG and coal based power plants although it has launched a battle for solar energy that aims to add 220 megawatts of clean power to the country’s energy grid by 2020, more..

Hathuru without Hathuro will be the one to watch

Mar 28 (DN) Our recent failure against Bangladesh will still leave a bad taste in our mouths, it may even look spineless to the experienced reader, but for those who have played the game even at school level should understand the appalling pressures a fairly rookie side like us had to face. Armchair critics will go to town and paint it with rainbow colours. Therefore one can go to the extent and say “only by complete non participation do we have any chance of retaining our self-respect.” more..

'Doval’s China obsession made India go for Sri Lanka regime change'

Mar 28 (ENS) India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval’s obsession with China led to India’s working for a regime in Sri Lanka in 2014, former Defense Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, told the Foreign Correspondents’ Association here on Monday. He said that the Congress-led govt had been very supportive of Sri Lanka as revealed in Choices, former NSA Shiv Shankar Menon’s very good book. more..

Damro enters plantations with Rs. 5 b deals on Pussellawa and Agalawatte

Mar 28 (FT) Popular furniture brand and South Asia’s largest retailer Damro is entering the plantation industry with strategic investments in Agalawatte and the managing company of Pussellawa. In two separate yet connected deals yesterday, the Damro group of companies acquired 45.1% stake in Pussellawa Plantations PLC’s managing agents FLMC Plantations Ltd. for Rs. 4.7 billion and a controlling 61.1% stake in Agalawatte Plantations Plc for Rs. 275 million. more..

Out with old; in with young: Teachers’ union

Mar 28 (NS) Ceylon Teachers Union while highlighting the dismal state of education in the estates and plantation sectors noted that there were over 600 unemployed graduates in the said sectors. Recently, there had been a spate of protests by unemployed Tamil graduates in the Northern Province including Jaffna and Ampara demanding employment. General Secretary of the Union, Joseph Stalin said that they opposed the proposed move to rehire and reinstate retired teachers more..

'Tamils lived in N/E before Buddhistic era'

Mar 28 (CT) NP Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran responded to Dr. Sooriya Gunasekara, Chairman of a registered political party called Sinhaladipa Jathika Peramuna who called the CM for a debate, on his interview that appeared in Ceylon Today. Dr. Gunasekara, a retired civil servant, requested the CM to come for a debate on the topic, and the CM responded, "I am always available for talks. In fact I like to talk to more..

Gura promises to lift fielding standards

Mar 28 (Island) Manager Asanka Gurusinha has promised to transform the national cricket team to a very good fielding unit once again after the team hit new lows in recent times. Fielding woes were the main reason for SL to lose the second Test against Bangladesh and in the massive 90 run defeat in the first ODI on Saturday, there were many lapses in fielding. Stung by the criticism for sloppy fielding, SL’s cricketers were involved in fielding drills for over an hour yesterday ahead of 2nd ODI. more..

Flip-flopping on accountability: A timeline

Mar 28 (GV) Sri Lanka recently co-sponsored a resolution at the 34th session of the UNHRC, allowing Sri Lanka two more years to implement the recommendations made in Resolution 30/1 of 2015. One of the most controversial topics has been the level of international participation in a judicial mechanism. Several bodies have called for SL to include foreign judges in its accountability process. UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Al Hussein flagged SL’s slow progress more..

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