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19A before parliament in March

Feb 24 (CG) The National Executive Council (NEC) which met today, has decided to submit key proposals on constitutional reforms before Parliament next month. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the proposals will include amendments to the constitution in order to curb the Presidential powers, which was a key promise given by President Maithripala Sirisena during his Presidential election campaign. more..

Malaka pleads to visit night clubs

Feb 24 (DM) Counsel Asela Rekawa appearing for former Minister Mervyn Silva’s son Malaka yesterday requested Colombo Additional Magistrate Aruni Attygalle to relax the ban preventing Malaka from visiting night clubs. The ban was imposed by Magistrate A.M. Sahabdeen while releasing Malaka on bail in the case connected to the assault on a British national. Counsel said his client had adhered to the restrictions imposed on him by the court and had cooperated with the Court and more..

19 SL fishermen arrested by Coast Guard

Feb 24 (Hindu) A crew of 19 Sri Lankan fishermen was apprehended by Indian Coast Guard personnel, Tuticorin on Tuesday on the charge of illegally fishing in Indian waters. The fishermen in four boats werr held during patrol at sea. Official sources from ICG, said that they were held for crossing the Indian Maritime Boundary Line. While patrolling by ICGS ‘Vaibhav’, the Sri Lankan fishermen, who strayed in to the Indian waters, were caught 53 nautical miles east of Kanyakumari coast more..

Tamils hold anti-UN protest in Jaffna

Feb 24 (DPA) Tamil academics, politicians and activists staged an anti-UN protest Tuesday in northern Sri Lanka for its decision to delay a report on alleged crimes committed during the civil war. Protestors demonstrated in Jaffna town, demanding the publication of the report by next month. Lecturers from the University of Jaffna said a delay in publishing was an injustice to relatives of victims killed in the final stages of the war more..

Seven re-remanded with Choka Malli

Feb 24 (CT) Former Deputy Minister of Electricity and Power, Premalal Jayasekara, also known as Choka Malli and seven other suspects were re-remanded until 3 March. The decision was made by the Pelmadulla Magistrate yesterday (23) during the examination of the case against them. Jayasekara and the other suspects were arrested for shooting at several UNP supporters who were preparing a stage in Kahawatte, prior to the 8 January elections, killing one person. more..

Video: Radaliyagoda gets bail

Feb 24 (DM) Former ITN Deputy General Manager Sudarman Radaliyagoda, who was remanded in connection with the telecast of defamatory advertisement during the 2015 Presidential election, was today released on bail by the Colombo Additional Magistrate. Mr. Radaliyagoda and two other suspects were released on personnel bail of Rs.500,000 each. Mr. Radaliyagoda was remanded on February 10 on a complaint made by the Police Children & Women’s Bureau. more..

Sri Lanka call up Tharanga to cover Mendis

Feb 24 (CI) Sri Lanka are waiting on the fitness status of legspinning allrounder Jeevan Mendis, who pulled a hamstring in Melbourne on Tuesday. Mendis is awaiting an assessment from the ICC's doctors after which his reports may be forwarded to the Event Technical Committee. As a precautionary measure, opener Upul Tharanga has been asked to join the squad in Melbourne, on the request of Sri Lanka's selection committee, more..

Sri Lanka's new fuel administration seeks to end distribution rackets

Feb 24 (EN) New management in charge of Sri Lankan petroleum utilities have recommended changes to shipments and storage and distribution, seeking to end manipulation that increased costs and caused inefficiency. Officials of Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited (CPSTL), a state-owned storage facility, told Minister Champika Ranawaka that shifting shipments and new storage and alternative distribution methods could sharply reduce costs. more..

Sirisena govt violates basic democratic obligations without sharing draft bills: FF

Feb 24 (CT) “To present key Bills on the national drug policy, electoral reform and the 19th Amendment without even sharing them on the official Govt website so that citizens can be privy to the drafts, would violate a basic democratic obligation in good governance”, says Friday Forum. Issuing a statement today on transparency and public consultation within the 100 day program, the Friday Forum urges the Govt to achieve a better balance between implementing more..

Sri Lanka to commence commercial exploration for natural gases by 2018

Feb 24 (GDI) Officials of Cairns India will hold discussions with Sri Lankan authorities this week on commencing exploration work for natural gasses in the Mannar Basin. Cairn Lanka, which made gas discoveries in two of the four exploration wells it was awarded, expects production from the country's offshore gas fields starting as early as 2016. Minister Champika Ranawaka said natural gasses have already been discovered more..

Consumer Affairs Authority nabs traders over 800 consumer rights violations

Feb 24 (Island) Consumer rights violations by traders are on the increase and the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) had taken action to bring the culprits to book, a CAA official said yesterday. Reduced prices on essential items and cement, given by the recent interim budget have been effective since February 20 onwards, he said. Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen has commended the CAA officials for the detection of 800 price violations. more..

President Sirisena a new broom for SL

Feb 24 (SMH) Maithripala Sirisena's surprise election as Sri Lankan President on Jan 8 has paved the way for a significant departure from the policies of his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa. In acknowledgement of the support of members of disaffected minority groups, including Tamils in the north, Sirisena has undertaken to write down farmers' debt, increase the health and education budget, and fight corruption. Fifty or so political appointees to Sri Lankan diplomat posts more..

Poor interest in the PS elections

Feb 24 (CG) Local election monitors say there is very little interest in the elections to be held in the Puthukudiyiruppu and Maritimepattu Pradeshiya Sabhas in Mullaitivu District on Feb 28th. PAFFREL said that so far no violence or violations have been reported before election day. However it noted that there is very poor interest among voters and very few pocket meetings and poster campaigns have been held. more..

Sri Lankan caught swallowing gold

Feb 24 (CG) Sri Lanka national who landed in Kochi airport was admitted to Govt Medical College, Ernakulam, on Monday after he attempted to smuggle gold into the country by swallowing it. The person, identified as Muhammad Suwair, landed in Kochi by a SriLankan Airlines flight from Colombo on Saturday and was intercepted at the exit gate of the arrival hall while attempting to escape through the green channel. He showed signs of discomfort, which raised suspicion among officials. more..

WC 2015: West Indies beat Zimbabwe

Feb 24 (CI) An ODI double-hundred should feel monumental. This one felt inevitable. The fastest ODI double-hundred should feel exhilarating, like a rollercoaster ride. This felt like a quiet drive home from a suburban Tupperware party. That's what Chris Gayle does. He makes a double ton seem inevitable after going 19 months without an ODI century. This was the fifth double-century in ODIs, and it came exactly five years after Sachin Tendulkar first reached the landmark. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Road blocks in IHR mechanisms: What implications for Sri Lanka?

Feb 24 (CT) There is no arguing, international human rights mechanisms are frequently ineffective or topsy-turvy. If you are convinced Gotabaya, Mahinda and some members of the military should be scrutinised for war crimes, either nothing will happen or, like the mills of god the process will grind excruciatingly slowly. Foreign Minister Mangala, in an about turn for the UNP, is on a whirlwind world cruise attempting to defer tabling of the UNHRC Report. more..

Rabies on the rise

Feb 24 (CT) Due to increase in stray dogs and cats, rabies is rapidly increasing in main cities and suburbs with State hospitals reporting a large number of cases. In Horana, according to statistics, nearly five hundred persons have been treated for rabies in the first 45 days this year. Of them, 121 were children under the age of 12. Hospitals claimed that numbers were increasing every month with the stray dog population on the rise in busy townships. Medical authorities stated that more..

BBS monk is considering politics

Feb 24 (CG) BBS General Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara thero says he is considering entering politics and may contest the General elections. BBS monk said that he has been asked several times to enter politics. Thero said that he is taking the request very seriously and may contest the General election. Meanwhile, BBS condemned the statement made by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, critical of some newspapers. more..

Sri Lanka keeps rates unchanged amid rocketing credit, currency pressure

Feb 24 (EN) Sri Lanka's Central Bank said it would keep policy interest rates unchanged as private credit hit new highs, consumer prices rose and the rupee came under pressure, and the state cut taxes and raised public sector salaries. Central Bank said private credit growth hit a historic high of 76.5 billion rupees in Dec 2014. "With low nominal interest rates and improving business confidence, it is expected that more..

Moves to cancel local contracts already offered for Northern Expressway

Feb 24 (AD) The former govt has selected local contractors for the Northern Expressway project, considered the largest such projects in Sri Lanka, not on a competitive and open basis and hence action would be taken to cancel these contracts, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. He said that when the suspended construction work of the Northern Expressway project is resumed, instead of the current contractors, more..

Redress for Golden Key depositors

Feb 24 (DN) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake gave an undertaking yesterday, to redress the grievances of the Golden Key depositors within a short period. He said he was exploring the prospect of accomplishing this mission before the end of the govt's 100 day programme. Golden Key depositors continuously engaged in an extensive struggle staging protests, holding press conferences and appearing before court more..

Maithripala let us down, say paddy farmers

Feb 24 (SL) Paddy farmers are frustrated and disgruntled with the present govt as well as they feel that they have been let down by president Sirisena as well. National Organizer of All Ceylon Farmers’ Federation (ACFF) said that when Maithripala Sirisena was appointed as the president they were very happy as he was from the paddy country and that he would at least take up their issues and provide solutions to grievances more..

Dispute over the Russian Embassy land

Dec 24 (DM) Politics of corruption and corruption of politics are major topics in Sri Lanka. This corruption is shaped to benefit the eyes of the beholder. As such, corruption is a habit, a past time of many characters in this political drama. At times a comedy, at times a thriller and rarely does it shows features of a musical, this drama is worth the watch. Misuse of power to reach other’s property is a common sighting in this arena. more..

Jealous Saudi wives want maids from Asia

Feb 24 (DM) Saudi wives will not allow housemaids from Morocco and Chile into their houses on the grounds they are beautiful and not as patient as Asian maids including from Sri Lanka. Sabq, an Arabic language daily said it had spoken to many women in the world’s largest oil exporter following rumours that the government intends to open the door for hiring domestic workers from Morocco and Chile for the first time. more..

Govt dragging feet on human rights: CaFFE

Feb 24 (CT) Notwithstanding the assurances those in the govt had given about protecting and promoting human rights, during the recent presidential election campaign, those promises had not been kept, Executive Director of CaFFE, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said. His reference was about those who had disappeared, political prisoners, custodial deaths and those who had fled the country. more..

'Conspiracy to topple present govt'

Feb 24 (DM) A conspiracy is on to topple the present administration, Deputy Minister Ajith P Perera, said. The supporters of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa were involved in this. This was seen at the Nugegoda rally organized by Udaya Gammanpila, Wimal Weerawansa, Dinesh Gunawardena and Vasudeva Nanayakkara (A break away group of the Sandanaya). The rally was a threat to the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. more..

Household poisoning on the increase

Feb 24 (ST) They are all over our houses, in our bedrooms and bathrooms, our garages, store-rooms and kitchens. Hardly a glance do we cast at them, but use them frequently. The National Poisons Information Centre of the National Hospital, Colombo, however, has not only looked at them long and hard but also gone a step further to study the pattern of household poisoning through them, in Sri Lanka. more..

Criteria for nominations at next election

Dec 24 (DM) Amid heated debates and criticism of what is widely perceived as a delay in probing allegations of corruption in mega deals and abuse of power by the Rajapaksa regime, main opposition SLFP took some vital decisions over the weekend. The SLFP at a special workshop presided over by President Maithripala Sirisena, who is also now leader of the party, decided to form a national govt to achieve the main objectives of the 100-Day programme of the administration more..

Two ways to stop Rajapaksa

Dec 24 (DM) Messrs Wimal Weerawansa, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Dinesh Gunawardena and Udaya Gammanpila who cannot win at the next Parliamentary Elections without contesting on the SLFP-UPFA ticket, want Mahinda Rajapaksa to make a political comeback --in order to save their own political future and not so much the future of the country. For that purpose, they held a political rally in Nugegoda, last week and the wheeler-dealers who benefitted from largess of the previous more..

Immigration officer says Wimal gave letter to issue DPL Passport

Feb 24 (CT) Former Minister, Wimal Weerawansa's wife, Shashee Weerawansa, who was arrested for providing false information and presenting forged documents to obtain passports, was banned from travelling abroad by Colombo Magistrate, yesterday. It is said that Shashee Weerawansa had obtained a diplomatic passport by providing false documents and CID had told the Court that this diplomatic passport was more..

Yoshitha requested to be the head of the Security for the former President

Feb 24 (LT) It is revealed that Lt. Yoshitha Rajapaksa, who is on a foreign tour violating SL Navy regulations, has requested to be the head of the Security for the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He has made this request from President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. This has been revealed by State Minister of Defense Ruwan Wijeywardene. The request made by former President’s son is looked down by many in Navy say sources. more..

EPTTA wants two schools taken over by Navy returned

Feb 24 (CT) Two leading schools in the Muttur East, Sampoor Maha Vidiyalayam and Sri Murugan Vidiyalayam, being used as camps of the Sri Lanka Navy since the year 2006, should be handed over to the Ministry of Education to uplift the standard of education of Muttur children, Eastern Provincial Tamil Teachers' Association (EPTTA) demanded. EPTTA General Secretary, S. Jeyarajah, met State Minister for Education Radhakrishnan at the latter's office in Colombo and made above request. more..

UPFA minority parties unhappy over SLFP deal for national govt

Feb 24 (FT) Minority parties of the UPFA expressed their displeasure over the SLFP decision to support a national govt. UPFA left-wing politician Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that if the SLFP was going to consent to the concept of a national govt it showed that they were surrendering to the UNP. “If such a decision is taken it shows that the SLFP is distancing itself from its challenging powers and surrendering to the UNP. more..

Listed Company gets First Bhikkhu Director

Feb 24 (DN) Venerable Theeniyawala Palitha Thera has been appointed as a member of the board of directors of the Lanka Hospitals PLC. The Lanka Hospitals PLC which came under the purview of the Finance Ministry appointed a 13 member board to manage the institution. Ven. Theeniyawala Palitha Thera is the chief incumbent of Nalandaramaya Temple in Nugegoda and a prominent member of the UNP's National Bhikkhu Front. Ven Palitha Thera had been a prominent activist against more..

JVP opposes national govt move

Feb 24 (Island) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake yesterday said that his party would not support moves being made to form a national govt. He insisted that Parliament be dissolved on April 23 and a fresh general election be held. He said that the JVP would not approve of surreptitious moves being made to bypass a general election. Dissanayake said: "If there is a real need for a national govt that may be formed after the next general election. more..