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Govt to initiate artificial rain generation

Feb 20 (CT) Govt is to implement a project to generate artificial rains in areas close to hydropower plants. With technical support from the Thai Govt, SL Govt is going to generate artificial rains to areas close to reservoirs which are used to generate hydropower. As a stepping stone to the project, the work which was organized by CEB with the collaboration of their Thailand partner, Department of Royal Rainmaking and more..

Cry Sis! Women insist on 25% quota

Feb 20 (CT) Following the confusion and issues related to the 25% quota for women in LG authorities in the country, 163 women and 44 leading women organizations have sent a strong letter to Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya, leaders of political parties and the Speaker, urging them not to back-track on their promises and the Act that ensures the participation of women in local govt. Women from all walks of life have signed this letter urging political parties more..

Govt withdrew 150 warrants on LTTE terrorists: Udayanga

Feb 20 (DM) Although the yahapalana govt is attempting to obtain an Interpol Red Warrant on him it had withdrawn some 150 some such warrants including those issued on former LTTE terrorists because of the influence by Tamil politicians, former envoy Udayanga Weeratunga said today. He said in a statement that he was informed by several media reports that Red Warrants issued on terrorists, drug traffickers and other criminals had been withdrawn based on requests made by the SL Police. more..

Programme to provide tabs for A/L students suspended

Feb 20 (NR) Cabinet has decided to temporarily suspend the programme to provide laptops and tabs to A/L teachers and students. Ministry of Education said the decision was arrived at following directives issued by President Sirisena. Ministry said govt was expected to spend 4 billion rupees under the program to distribute laptops and tabs. Prez informed the Cabinet that the relevant provision should be allocated to more..

Prez, PM urged to implement 2015 mandate

Feb 20 (Island) National Peace Council (NPC) has called for early measures to end post-LG polls uncertainty. The following is the full text of statement issued by the NPC: "The recently concluded local govt elections and the reaction to it by the main political parties, has led to political uncertainty as they maneuver for their own advantage. The National Peace Council is concerned about the outcome of a prolonged period of uncertainty that will hinder effective governance and more..

Wimal’s corruption case fixed for May 16

Feb 20 (DN) A corruption case filed against former Minister and NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa was yesterday fixed for May 16 by Colombo High Court. High Court Judge Vikum Kaluarachchi made this order regarding an indictment filed against Wimal Weerawansa for the alleged unlawful acquisition of money and assets, estimated at Rs.75 million within a period of six years while serving as a Minister, during the former regime. This case is to be taken up on the next date as a calling date, more..

Video: Will challenge Active Liability Management Bill in SC: JO

Feb 20 (DM) JO said it would file legal action in the Supreme Court challenging the Active Liability Management Bill, which was presented to Parliament on Monday. JO MP Bandula Gunawardana said the Bill violated the Constitution and basic human rights. “The Bill permits the PM, who is in charge of the CB, to obtain a foreign or a domestic loan not exceeding 10% of the unsettled loans of the previous fiscal year. more..

No show in Court: Warrant re-issued on Jaliya W.

Feb 20 (CT) Colombo Fort Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne on 16 February re-issued a warrant for the arrest of former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States Jaliya Wickramasuriya, for failing to appear before Court. The warrant was re-issued as the suspect failed to appear in Court when the case was taken up for hearing. The Magistrate also issued notices on Wickramasuriya's wife and a cousin sister, who stood as sureties when he was granted bail. more..

Ven. Girambe Ananda Thera passes away

Feb 20 (DM) Anunayake of the Sri Lanka Ramanya Nikaya Venerable Girambe Ananda Thera passed away this morning at the age of 80. Ven. Thera passed away while receiving treatment at the ICU for the past nine days at the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital. decisions regarding the cremation ceremony and final rites of the Anunayaka Thera would be finalised today. Ven. Thera was the adviser of the United Bhikku Front (UBF). more..

New economic programme by next week

Feb 20 (PMD) The new economic programme of the government will be finalized by the National economic Council (NEC) by next week. This was decided at a meeting, chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential secretariat today. During the meeting, detailed discussions were held on the rapid changes required in the country and short term and long term programmes needed to be implemented and more..

SL receives South Asia Innovation Award

Feb 20 (GDI) A case story on the path breaking reform submitted by the Department of Public Finance of the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media felicitated for the Best Country Case Story at the South Asia The Fifth South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference was held under the theme of Public Procurement and Service Delivery from Feb 5¨C8, in New Delhi. Conference hosted by Ministry of Finance of India and co-sponsored by World Bank, Asian Development Bank, more..

Academics come out in support of Ranil

Feb 20 (CT) UNP University Professionals Society National Organizer Professor, M.O.A. De Soysa, a former Political Science Lecturer at the University of Peradeniya, explained that the 1978 Constitution does not contain any provisions with regard to the removal of the PM. Speaking at a media briefing, he said that the only permissible way was that the Parliament could bring a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister and request the President the removal of his post. more..

Video: Take immediate steps to resolve the political crisis: Archbishop

Feb 20 (AD) Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith says that all leaders should act swiftly to resolve the prevailing political crisis. The Archbishop points out those leaders should resolve their political issues considering the public. “Every citizen of the country is of the view that the political groups should stop bickering with each other for power,” Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said while addressing a media briefing. more..

India, Sri Lanka to play Nidahas Trophy curtain raiser

Feb 20 (CB) The start of the tri-nation Nidahas Trophy has been brought forward by two days and the event will now get underway on March 6 instead of March 8 as planned earlier. India and Sri Lanka will play the curtain raiser of the event, with Bangladesh being the third participant in the competition. All games including the final will be played at the R. Premadasa Stadium (RPS) and will start at 7 PM local time. SLC officials confirmed that by preponing the tournament by two days, more..

Ven. Galagoda Atte’s contempt of court matter

Feb 20 (DN) Court of Appeal hearing the contempt of court action filed against BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera over his alleged offensive behaviour inside the Homagama Magistrate’s Court fixed further trial for Feb 27. In a surprising turn of events, on Jan 25, 2016 Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera began to address Open Court after the court hearing pertaining to the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda was over. more..

Education Minister suspends leadership programme

Feb 20 (DM) Education minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam today instructed the Education Ministry Secretary to suspend the leadership programme till the completion of the investigation of the death of the principal of the Ambalantota Suchi National School. He also instructed the Secretary of the Ministry to conduct the investigations under Ministry Level. The principal of the Ambalantota Suchi National School more..

Local Govt. bodies likely to be exempted

Feb 20 (DM) Parliament was informed that the 25% representation of women in LG bodies would be implemented, other than in those where it was not practically possible. The matter was raised by JO MP Dallas Alahapperuma in the House today saying it was unfair to overlook the 25 per cent women representation in local bodies, because the SLPP had already ensured its implementation. However, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said no decision was made to by-pass the rule relating to more..

Gas cylinder prices to be increased?

Feb 20 (AD) Sri Lanka gas companies say that they expect to hold discussions with relevant authorities today with regard to increasing the prices of LG gas cylinders. Gas companies had repeatedly requested for approval to increase the prices on several previous occasions. However, the companies say that they have not received a favorable response so far. The companies say that if gas prices are not increased under the prevailing situation, the gas companies would have to shut down. more..

Debate on Bond Commission and PRECIFAC reports postponed

Feb 20 (NR) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya was today forced to postpone the long-awaited Parliamentary debate on the report compiled by the PCoI to Investigate and Inquire into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds and the 34 reports issued by PRECIFAC, following the unavailability of translation copies of the 34 PRECIFAC Reports. The second round of the Parliamentary debate on the Presidential Commission reports was more..

Indian Pepper traders call for raising import duty of pepper from Sri Lanka

Feb 20 (ET) Spice traders have called for raising the duty of imported pepper from Sri Lanka as the dumping of the spice to Indian domestic market is continuing despite govt decision to impose minimum import price of Rs 500 per kg. India Pepper & Spice Traders, Growers and Planters Consortium has said that most of the pepper imports from SL coming via, Kochi, Chennai and Mundra ports and Bengaluru ICD have been cleared after calculating the lower duty as per south asia free trade agreement more..

Maithri blinks, Yahapâlana govt set for a second innings

Feb 20 (CT) With President Sirisena imploring the members of the SLFP not to quit the unity govt, there are signs that the crisis produced by the unprecedented defeat suffered by the ruling UNP-SLFP coalition is nearing its end. Sirisena is reported to have made this request to a set of SLFP ministers who met him today. While Sirisena was pushing for a UNP govt not led by Ranil Wickremesinghe or else a new govt formed with the support of the JO, it now appears that more..

Mahanamahewa & Rusirupala T.

Listen to the Religious leaders

Feb 20 (CT) Religious leaders, business leaders and the Governor of the Central Bank are among those who have made loud calls for Sri Lanka's fractious politicians to resolve the current crisis surrounding the Govt of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as soon as possible. The Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter, of the Siam Nikaya Most Venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera, has now added his voice to the chorus of calls by asking the parties to form a Govt. more..

More of the same

Feb 20 (FT) Those of you who’ve read what I have written over the years could, justifiably, experience a sense of déjà vu as you read what follows. That said, I will make no apology for the burden of this piece because it will, again, state the eternal verities the mention of which have, hitherto, fallen on deaf ears and, perhaps, caused a certain glazing of some people’s eyes! Anyway, the recent LG electoral debacle that the Yahapalanaya Govt brought upon itself has given fresh political life to more..

'Enactment of Constitution would have been advantageous to govt'

Feb 20 (Island) Govt MP and a key proponent of a new Constitution Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne emphasized that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe led unity administration could have done much much better at the recently concluded LG polls had it succeeded in introducing a new Constitution. He said so in response to The Island suggestion that the UNP and the SLFP would have suffered a far worse defeat if the govt had more..

Move to sack PM: Prez asks SC to interpret his powers under 19A

Feb 20 (Island) Ongoing political impasse was going to continue further as the SLFP’s Maithri faction had been instructed by President Maithripala Sirisena to wait till the Supreme Court interpreted the provisions of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution giving power to him to sack the PM, Parliament was told yesterday. Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala, making a special statement, said the UPFA and its SLFP members had more..

CaFFE requests govt to hold PC polls in April

Feb 20 (NR) The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) has requested the govt to hold the Provincial Council Election in April. Executive Director of CaFFE Keerthi Tennakoon said an all party meeting for relevant demarcations should be called promptly. Keerthi Tennakoon stressed CaFFE would not allow any individual to postpone the Provincial Council Election under any circumstance. more..

'Keen on expanding player pool'

Feb 20 (CI) One tour, three formats, three series wins. For Chandika Hathurusingha, it has been the ideal start to his tenure as head coach of Sri Lanka. Speaking on his side's return home from Bangladesh, a content Hathurusingha cited good communication, tactical flexibility, and a relaxed environment as key elements in Sri Lanka sweeping every trophy on offer. Now, his concentration has shifted to more..

Delimitation Committee on Provincial Councils hands over report to Minister

Feb 20 (FT) The Delimitation Committee for the conduct of Provincial Council elections yesterday handed over its report on the delimitation of electorates to Minister Faiszer Musthapha. With the enactment of the Provincial Council Elections (Amendment) Act No. 17 of 2017, a new mixed voting system was introduced for provincial councils. Under the mixed voting system, 50% of representatives should be elected by more..

PMCPSL urges govt to convert SAITM to state-owned institution

Feb 20 (FT) The Private Medical College Parents Society Limited (PMCPSL) urged that SAITM be converted to a govt institute, as that is the only fit solution for the students who are suffering. At a media briefing, the PMCPSL stressed on the plight of the 900 students, as they are undergoing many difficulties such as mental stress, personal problems and so forth, as a result of them being unable to complete their studies and more..

SL-S'pore FTA to come into force from Apr 1

Feb 20 (FT) The latest free trade agreement (FTA) signed between Sri Lanka and Singapore will hopefully come into force by 1 April, if the two govt agencies manage to exchange the diplomatic norms before the end of this month, a top official said. “We hope that once the diplomatic norms or the formal communications are exchanged between the two countries, the FTA will come in to force on the first day of the second month. more..

'Sri Lanka ready for IRONMAN 70.3 Colombo'

Feb 20 (DM) Julian Bolling, Head Coach and Director, Rainbow Swimming Academy needs little introduction as in the years gone by he put Sri Lanka on the map when representing the country in swimming. Bolling is also the Director, Pro Am Serendib, the company behind IRONMAN 70.3 Colombo, which will hit the streets of the city by the sea on Sunday (25). Q: Have you done a triathlon? A: Yes. One in Hawaii where athletes came more..

TNA MP Sumanthiran warns UNHRC members of Govt backsliding

Feb 20 (ST) Ahead of the annual session of the UNHRC in Geneva in March, TNA is engaged in a vigorous campaign with representatives of member countries, to pressure the Govt into implementing the UN Resolution within a year, which it co-sponsored. Speculating that the Govt may derail implementation of its Geneva commitments, in the wake of the electoral setback it suffered at recently concluded LG polls, more..

'People wish not only Govt. but also President will step down'

Feb 20 (DM) Former Basil Rajapaksa, who spearheads the SLPP, speaks to Daily mirror about the way forward following the conclusion of LG polls and the present impasse of the govt. Q: How do you look to future politics in the wake of the current electoral victory? A: This is like a cricket match series. There are different kinds of matches. We have 20-20, one day and test matches. We have won the 20-20 game now. more..

Ranil’s choices

Feb 20 (DM) Sri Lankan politics is cheap. The depth of that cheapness is proof in the two stark choices that the people have now been given. One is the return of the old regime with all its nastiness. Forty four per cent of the voters had chosen that. And the other is to continue with the UNP under the leadership of Ranil Wickremesinghe, whose incompetence, should, more than anything else, be blamed for the resurgence of the Rajapaksas. Through his indecisiveness in governance, more..

Political impasse needs to be resolved soon

Feb 20 (DM) Today’s political crisis in the country is unprecedented. Never in Sri Lanka’s political history has a govt in power plunged into crisis just because it was defeated at a local election. The crisis has stemmed from the notion that the joint govt formed by the UNP and SLFP has no moral right to continue after its defeat at the Feb 10 LG elections or the seeming unwillingness of the SLFP faction led by President Sirisena to continue with the joint govt with the UNP or both. more..