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Marathon runner dies

Apr 20 (Island) A 37-year-old man died while taking part in a New Year marathon in the Sooriyawewa police area yesterday morning. The deceased, identified as W. D. Ranjith of Deewaragama, Konthudiara, had collapsed while running and died in hospital around 9.30 a.m. The cause of death had not been established yet as the postmortem was to be conducted in the evening. The New Year festival was organised by Sooriyawewa police, Sooriyawewa PS, Sooriyawewa DS more..

Three year business visa for SAARC region

Apr 20 (DN) A three year valid business visa will be introduced to the SAARC Region by the end of the year. The newly appointed Senior Vice President of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce, Ajith Wathuhewa said that currently SAARC Business Visa is being offered for six months. “We have observed that this is not adequate and now it has been decided to extend this for a period of three years which in turn more..

Kidney racket suspects transferred to Colombo Prison

Apr 20 (CT) Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris yesterday ordered the Prisons' Superintendent to transfer the seven remaining suspects connected to the Indo-Lanka kidney transplant racket to the Colombo Magazine Prison. The seven suspects were hitherto held at the Mirihana detention camp. Magistrate in his order noted that as there was inadequate security for the suspects being held at the Mirihana Special Detention Camp, he was ordering more..

Commercial Bank smashes ATM withdrawal records

Apr 20 (Island) The Commercial Bank of Ceylon smashed its records for cash dispensed via the Bank’s automated teller machine (ATM) network over a 14 day period this Avurudu season, dispensing a jaw-dropping Rs 21.54 billion between 1stand 14th April. On four of these 14 days, the 625-terminal network dispensed more than Rs 2 billion a day, with the peak of Rs 2.504 billion being achieved on Friday, 8th April, a new record for cash dispensed in a single day, the Bank said. more..

CEO of pharmaceutical regulatory body replaced

Apr 20 (Island) Dr. Kamal Jayasinghe has been appointed Acting CEO of the National Medicinal Drugs Regulatory Authority (NMDRA) due to a dispute between Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and the top management of the pharmaceutical regulatory body. Dr. Jayasinghe, one-time Director of Kurunegala hospital as well as Director of Medical Supplies Division (MSD) has replaced Prof. Krishantha Weerasooriya. more..

'EU, private sector can mobilise growth in developing countries'

Apr 20 (DN) Today the European Parliament has backed proposals to create new innovative ways to mobilise private capital in the fight against global poverty as part of a broader approach to development. A report adopted by MEPs highlights the undeniable need for private sector involvement in tackling poverty, based on the assumption that the private sector is the engine of wealth creation and economic growth in all economies. The report was drafted by European Conservatives and more..

EPDP meets President next week

Apr 20 (CT) Several EPDP members led by its leader and former Minister Douglas Devananda are expected to meet President Sirisena for a discussion next week. Political sources said that the future course of action by the EPDP is to be discussed at length at this meeting, while the prospects of a Ministerial portfolio for Devananda is also expected to be broached. EPDP has already met new UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera, and that the party has consented to support the UPFA more..

'Cabinet Ministers in Panama Papers'

Apr 20 (CT) Joint Opposition (JO) has decided to demand that govt reveals in Parliament the names of the two Cabinet Ministers who are alleged to have been named in the leaked Panama Papers. MP Ranjith Zoysa said that the JO has decided to call for a debate in Parliament over the Panama Papers scandal at the next Party Leaders meeting. Besides that, the JO has also decided to demand that govt reveals the names of all 23 more..

Faulty cable cause of hour’s power outage

Apr 20 (DN) A technical fault in a cable at the Kolonnawa power station caused a power outage for over an hour in several areas of Colombo yesterday. According to the CEB, Fort, Slave Island and Colpetty experienced the power outage. Though Colombo experienced thunder showers in the late afternoon, CEB Chairman, Anura Wijayapala said it was not due to lightning as previously thought but due to a false alarm caused by a cable not functioning at the Kolonnawa power station. more..

Ravi to clarify VAT

Apr 20 (CT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake is scheduled to hold a special media conference on 24 April in an effort to clarify the current situation concerning a reported imminent increase in VAT from 2 May this year. The Minister who is currently attending an IMF event in Washington will return to Colombo on 23 April. The Finance Ministry, on the instructions of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, announced an increase in VAT from 11% to 15%, which will come into effect from 2 May 2016. more..

Crucial meeting on lifting EU fish export ban tomorrow

Apr 20 (DN) A crucial meeting between govt authorities and European Union officials is slated to take place tomorrow, reportedly to discuss the lifting of the fishery export ban imposed by the EU. Media reports which appeared yesterday suggesting that the EU has decided to lift the ban are not correct, according to both Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera and the EU. However, a final decision is likely at the meeting tomorrow, more..

President to unveil South Asia’s tallest Buddha statue

Apr 20 (DN) The tallest Buddha statue in South Asia, located at the Batamulla Kanda International Buddhist Centre in Matugama will be unveiled by President Maithripala Sirisena on April 23. The statue is 135 feet in height. The statue built at a cost of Rs. 90 million is financed by Matugama UNP organiser Jagath Pinnagodawitana. A meditation centre with meditation cabins have also been built in this same location. Parallel to the opening of the Buddha statue, a lifelike statue of more..

Katchatheevu: Premalatha hits out at DMK, Congress

Apr 20 (Hindu) DMDK women’s wing leader Premalatha has blamed the DMK and the Congress for ceding Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka and accused Chief Minister Jayalalithaa of hoodwinking the fishing community by giving a false promise to retrieve the islet. Campaigning in support of party nominee Singai Jinnah, she said that if DMK chief Karunanidhi and the Congress were responsible for ceding Katchatheevu to SL, Ms. Jayalalithaa failed to keep her promise of retrieving the islet, more..

President warns media, admits corruption at TRCSL

Apr 20 (Island) President Sirisena has accused a section of electronic media of violating the terms of their licences. President stressed that it would be the responsibility of all electronic media institutions to provide correct information to the public. President was addressing the top management of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) as well as heads of state and private sector electronic media more..

VAT: Now what after the President’s vow

Apr 20 (DM) It is ironical if not cynical that immediately after May Day; it may be like the may day may day distress signal for millions of workers and the common people. According to a finance ministry announcement, the cost of living is likely to soar with the value added tax on goods and services including utilities being raised to 15%. In addition to various items, essential or non-essential, the 15% VAT will also be imposed on some utility bills. The people are aware and most more..

Two main classes of SL: politicians & people

Apr 20 (DM) In our society, a large majority of citizens have suffered endless hardships, discrimination, injustice, neglect and even ill-treatment. If perverseness is another cause for most of the problems and curses in our society, the politicians and bureaucrats should open their eyes even belatedly. Aren’t they responsible for the present predicament? Shouldn’t they save our nation by remodeling their behavior for the benefit of our own children and even the unborn without more..

Will jumbo Cabinet be another nail in govt coffin?

Apr 20 (SL) The govt’s move to increase the number of cabinet ministers has come under fire from many quarters. On April six, President Sirisena appointed a new state minister and two deputy ministers, increasing the total number of ministers and deputy ministers to 92. UPFA MP Lakshman Seneviratne was appointed State Minister of Science, Technology and Research while UPFA MP Manusha Nanayakkara and more..

Education Union alleges govt appointing sycophants

Apr 20 (CT) Despite assurances given to depoliticize the State sector, the government is planning to appoint 4,680 of its henchmen to various positions in the education sector, the Ceylon Teachers' Service Union (CTSU) alleged. The CTSU alleged that a proposal to this effect has been approved at the last Cabinet meeting, General Secretary of the CTSU, Mahinda Jayasinghe, said at a media briefing yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka aims primary surplus in 2018 under IMF deal, to suspend BOI law: report

Apr 20 (EN) Sri Lanka will suspend an investment promotion law that gives sweeping tax breaks to companies and the budget is expected to show a surplus before interest costs by 2018 under a program developed with the IMF. The Board of Investment Act will be suspended a series of prior actions running up to an IMF deal. However some profit based tax holidays will still be available for investors the report said. more..

Garbage in Kolonnawa off to Puttalam in three months

Apr 20 (ST) The plan to transfer garbage collected at the Kolonnawa dump to Puttalam will begin in three months under a project costing more than Rs. 15 billion. The day-to-day solid waste collection estimated to be around 700 Mt will be transferred in sealed containers by train twice a day to Puttalam, Megapolis and Western Development Ministry secretary Nihal Rupasinghe said. Grbage will be used to fill up craters more..

Power crisis likely in 2018, says Deputy Minister

Apr 20 (DM) There could be a power crisis in 2018, Power Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said. “Sampur coal power plant is to be completed by 2017 according to the long term construction plan. But it couldn’t be completed due to lots of reasons,” he said. “Coal power plants cannot fulfil the electricity requirement in 2018 because of the increasing demand,” he said. As a result Ministry was considering renewable energy sources. more..

Govt decides to enact new security laws to replace PTA

Apr 20 (DM) The Govt has decided to enact three new laws relating to national security and law and order, Minister of Law and Order Sagala Ratnayake had informed the UN Counter Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). Minister of Law and Order said yesterday these new laws would be the ones that will replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) which is in existence as of now. Minister Ratnayake had informed this to more..

Obama administration urged to arrest Gotabaya Rajapakse

Apr 20 (CG) In an appeal to US President Barack Obama, two major Tamil groups in the United States, the Tamils for Obama and American Tamil Forum have urged the United States to arrest former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse who is reported to be currently visiting the US. “Gotabaya Rajapakse is one of the main architect – along with the former President and the current President – who were responsible for more..

MS firm on financial decisions

Apr 20 (DM) President Maitripala Sirisena is reported to have told the Cabinet meeting that decisions related to the financial sector and the Central Bank should be taken only through a committee comprising him, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake. Cabinet met yesterday for the first time after the New Year, under the chair of the President and discussed, among others, more..

'CC acted within its ambit'

Apr 20 (DN) Refuting criticism on the conduct of the Constitutional Council (CC) in selecting the new IGP, Justice and Buddhasasana Minister Dr. Wijayadasa Rajapakshe said that the CC was acting well within its capacity to select the suitable candidate for the post. Minister Rajapakshe said that President Maithripala Sirisena refrained from making the final selection for the post of the IGP as there was a conflict of interest. more..

New IGP to speed up cases against Rajapaksa regime members

Apr 20 (EN) Sri Lanka's newly-appointed IGP is expected to speed up investigations against members of the former regime, including the closest members of the Rajapaksa family, a top ministerial source said. Pujith Jayasundara, whose nomination was ratified by the Constitutional Council through a majority vote on Monday, has promised the new govt he will dust the moribund cases and revive stalled investigations. more..

NPC looks into problems with lower ranks’ promotions

Apr 20 (Island) National Police Commission has appointed a five-member Committee to inquire into the grievances and other issues relating to promotions in the ranks of Sub Inspector (SI) and below and to make appropriate recommendations to the Commission. C. Vas Gunawardane, Former District Secretary, Badulla has been appointed the Chairman of the Committee which comprises M S P Sooriyapperuma, Senior Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Law and Order and more..

Dheepan: Undermined by disregard for detail & talent

Apr 20 (CT) Dheepan has both collected the Palm d’Or at Cannes and caused controversy among Tamils. This is particularly so among Tamil writers given that the leading actor is a well-known writer in Tamil. From the point of view of the Tamil literary circle, there are many truths that need to be told about this movie. With that aim and perspective this review is written to shed light on few points – so look away now if you expect an objective view. In a way the real story is about more..


Sri Lanka shares end up 2nd straight session

Apr 20 (Reuters) Shares rose for the second straight session on Wednesday as investors bought diversified shares such as market heavyweight John Keells Holdings. However, trading was dull as investors turned cautious ahead of an imminent loan deal with the IMF and uncertainty over a tax policy. Foreign investors were net buyers of 92.4 million rupees ($631,794.87) worth of equities on Wednesday, but were net sellers of 3.05 billion rupees worth of shares so far this year. more..

Govt’s special Avurudu bonus to the public!

Apr 20 (CT) Giving a special Avurudu bonus to the public, the government announced that the Value Added Tax (VAT) is to be increased to 15% from the current rate of 11% with effect from 2 May 2016. Along with the increase of the VAT rate, VAT will also be imposed on supply of telecommunication services, import or supply of telecom equipment or machinery, high tech equipment including copper cables for telecom industry and supply of healthcare services. more..

Sri Lanka Trade Union Alliance calls for resignation of Sirisena brother

Apr 20 (CT) Sri Lanka Telecom Trade Union Alliance has demanded Chairman of SLT, Kumarasinghe Sirisena to resign from his post for allegedly committing financial extortions of SLT and Mobitel assets, and for his unethical business conduct. In a letter addressed to Sirisena, who is the brother of President Sirisena, the unions said that since Kumarasinghe was appointed as SLT chairman, he has failed to work in a manner more..

Joint Opposition surprised at President’s remarks over financial matters

Apr 20 (DM) The joint opposition today said that it was surprised by President Maithripala Sirisena’s remarks that future decisions related to financial matters should only be taken after consulting him. The President had informed the Cabinet that decisions related to the Central Bank and other financial matters should only be taken through a committee comprising him, the PM and the Finance Minister. “The President of the country should always be consulted when more..

CID reveals drug lord Mohammed Siddique earned over Rs. 517 million

Apr 20 (DN) The CID informed Court that international drug dealer Mohammed Siddique had sold drugs smuggled into the country and earned a sum of 517 million rupees and that money had been sent to Dubai through the Undiyal system. CID made this revelation when the money laundering case against Mohammed Siddhique came up before Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris. Consequent to this revelation, Additional Magistrate permitted CID to peruse five bank accounts more..

Docs agitated over meddling with post-internship appointments

Apr 20 (Island) GMOA threatened trade union action against the replacement of the original list of post internship appointments with another. GMOA Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said the original list prepared with the participation of all stakeholders had replaced with a new list prepared by the Director (Medical Services) and a Public Relations Officer of Health Minister. He said according to the new list some of the more..

Jail guard caught smuggling in brandy to convicted murderer

Apr 20 (Island) Prison intelligence unit officials had nabbed a jail guard who attempted to smuggle in two bottles of brandy for an underworld inmate known as Ukkuwa to host a New Year party inside the Welikada prison, sources said. Preliminary investigations revealed that Ukkuwa a convicted murderer had planned to throw a party for a group of fellow inmates in the prison on April 14, prison. The family members had given the two bottles of brandy to the suspect guard and solicited more..

70 HIV cases in 1/Q 2016 Most are homosexual youths

Apr 20 (CT) AIDS Control Unit has during the first three months in 2016 identified 70 persons, mostly youth, as HIV/ AIDS positive, Director of National Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) and AIDS Control Programme Dr. Sisira Liyanage said. "About 70% of the diagnosed individuals are male and most of them are in the age group of 25-49. Most of them have contracted HIV through homosexual relationships. "Homosexual men are at a higher risk, but if we increase awareness about more..

Video: Malinga at hospital for medical test

Apr 20 (DM) Fast bowler Lasith Malinga appeared before expert doctors for a medical examination at a private hospital in Colombo a short while ago. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) recently stated that Lasith Malinga is required to present himself before the SLC panel of expert doctors and depending on the outcome of the medical examinations, be required to face a match fitness grading after which the SLC will decide on more..

Student has sights set on Sri Lanka

Apr 20 (IA) An Ilkeston student and her friend are fundraising to take part in a trip to help conserve marine environments and wildlife in Sri Lanka. Megan Westwood and Amelia Shaw, both 17, will be cleaning rivers, planting trees and working at a turtle hatchery during the two-and-a-half week stay organised by the company Travelteer. Both students need to raise around £1,000 each to pay for their travel costs and they are already past the halfway mark thanks to various fundraising more..

New railway for coal transportation

Apr 20 (LBO) Govt is planning to build a new railway track from Maho to Puttalam to transport coal from Trincomalee to Norochcholai through railway lines. Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday said the ministry is currently in talks with the Railway Department to buy few engines. “We have conducted successful discussions with Railway Department to buy few railway engines and build a new railway line in the future,” Siyambalapitiya said. more..