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North, south fishers to protest in Colombo today against Indian poaching

Feb 5 (Island) Fishermen from North and South will hold a protest in Colombo today to urge Indian govt to stop TN fishing fleet from poaching in Sri Lankan waters. All Island General Fisheries Federation (AIGFF) said that the Sri Lankan fishermen faced numerous hardships due to the continuous poaching by TN fishermen in northern sea areas. AIGFF National Organiser Rathna Gamage said that federation together with more..

El Nino has intensified dry spell: Met Dept

Feb 5 (DN) The current dry spell experienced in the country is a result of the EL Nino phenomenon, Department of Meteorology said. A duty forecaster from the Department said that the dry weather normally prevailed at this time of the year brought on by the dry winds which blows from the North but said it had intensified this year as a result of the El Nino. El Niño is a climate pattern that describes the unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. more..

SL moots business partnership with State

Feb 5 (ENS) The Sri Lankan industry is exploring opportunities in ayurveda, coconut and rubber products in Kerala, said Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka president Sarath Kahapalarachchi. He was speaking to Express on the sidelines of the Kerala Business-to-Business Meet - 2016 at the CIAL Trade Fair and Exhibition Centre at Nedumbassery. Kahapalarachchi is leading a 20-member delegation from SL, one of the biggest at the meet. more..

Northern Province Governor on the way out?

Feb 5 (Hindu) Northern Province, where Tamils constitute a predominant section of the population, may soon get a new Governor. The incumbent, H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, has conveyed to the govt about his willingness to leave the post. Enquiries made in Colombo and Jaffna reveal that the govt is expected to make an announcement shortly in this regard. Asked about his possible exit, Governor, who has held the post for a year, more..

EPF back to old games?

Feb 5 (ST) Questions are raised in capital market about recent behaviour of EPF pertaining to a blue-chip company with many pointing fingers at the state pension fund for manipulating the share market. ”EPF has called more than four stockbrokers and placed sell orders on John Keells Holdings (JKH) in a bid to bring its price down,” an analyst said. The EPF is eyeing a larger parcel at a lower price. “They quoted Rs. 140 per share for a large block, but didn’t specify the quantity. more..

SLT Mobitel mCash records over Rs. 5bn transactions

Feb 5 (Island) With 11,000 channel partners serving 750,000 mCash customers, we have been able to carry out over Rs. 5 billion worth of transactions out of which Rs. 3.5 billion accounts for utility bill payments, but still we have a long way to go because there’s a mobile-money market of Rs. 75 billion out there, Kalana Gamage, Head-Mobitel mCash said Wednesday at Cinnamon Lakeside. Kalana made this comment where SLT Mobitel mCash celebrated its 2nd anniversary more..

Speed up, Ravi K tells State agencies at ease of doing Biz forum

Feb 5 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake on Wednesday made it clear that key Govt agencies must improve their efficiency. “We cannot run a Govt with delays of this nature. As Govt servants, you all have to be more efficient in making the processes hassle-free for industries to expand their economic activities,” he pointed out at the sixth Ease of Doing Business forum. Minister’s remark was in response to delays highlighted in granting approval to more..

City hoteliers want minimum rate maintained

Feb 5 (DN) Colombo City Hoteliers Association President M. Shanthikumar said that the minimum rate for city hotels should be further maintained. "It has sent positive signals to potential investors such as international hotel chains looking at opportunities to open hotels in Colombo. When they know there is a minimum guaranteed price they like to invest. Its like having a minimum buy back price for a product." He said it's this rate that is seeing the investments of top international players like Shangri La more..

Rs 800m Chick Mill upgrade

Feb 5 (CT) Bairaha, together with Crysbro, is engaged in a Rs 800 million venture, to meet the working capital requirements of its feed mill located at Gampola. The two chicken producers operate a feed mill in Gampola under the umbrella Fortune Agro Industries (Pvt.) Ltd. Bairaha in this connection has raised Rs 400 million from Amana Bank and Fortune the balance, from MCB Bank. Fortune is a Rs 1.65 billion investment between the two poultry giants. It was set-up two years ago. more..

Govt needs to keep hardcore LTTEers under microscope: Gota

Feb 5 (FT) The former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa urged the Govt to strengthen the mechanism to monitor the hardcore LTTEers before releasing the remaining hardcore LTTE operatives in jails. He said without strengthening surveillances with the assistance of the military intelligence agencies, releasing hardcore LTTE cadres will pose a grave threat to the country’s peace and security. more..

Will Indian selection policy play into Sri Lanka hands?

Feb 5 (CT) A number of top Indian athletes including six medal winners at the 2015 Asian Championships will not feature in the Indian athletics team for the 12th South Asian Games (SAG) which begins in India today. This will no doubt be in favour of the Sri Lankan athletes who had earlier beaten India only once in the SAG history - in 1991 when Sri Lanka were the host. According to reports from India, the athletes have been excluded from the team for two reasons. more..

Basketball in jeopardy

Feb 5 (CT) Basketball at the upcoming 12th South Asian Games to be held in India is thrown into jeopardy after the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) stated that it will not recognise the competition because of 'unacceptable interference by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in the affairs of the Basketball Federation of India'. In a letter addressed to the Basketball Federations of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, SL and Maldives whose teams are due to participate more..

Minister backs Controversial Wijenayake

Feb 5 (CT) Sports Minister defended the decision to go ahead and send a team for the lesser known sport Kho Kho to the South Asian Games with the controversial Athula Wijenayake as its coach, stating if the ministry didn't allow them to participate it would be an injustice to the players. In fact, it was Wijenayake who introduced the sport and trained the team. Wijenayake was the team captain of Sri Lanka's infamous handball team which more..

SLC membership reinstated

Feb 5 (Island) ICC Board held its first meeting of 2016 at the ICC Headquarters in Dubai on 3 Feb. Among the decisions made and reports received were: * Review of the ICC’s constitution and governance structures: The Board considered amendments that had been made to the ICC’s constitution in 2014 and agreed that, in order to avoid any potential conflicts of interest and to follow best practice principles of good governance, it would seek to re-establish as quickly as possible more..

Super 20 Provincial Tournament final today

Feb 5 (Island) Taking the past games and the form of players into account, Colombo Commandos, led by Milinda Siriwardane, has slight upper hand over Galle Guardians, skippered by Dinesh Chandimal, when the two teams clash today in the final of the Super 20 Provincial Tournament which is scheduled for 7 p.m. under lights at the R. Premadasa Stadium. In a tournament where a stiff competition was evident, Colombo lost only one game which was at the hands of Hambantota Troopers while more..

Sri Lanka is going green

Feb 5 (CT) New research reveals 79% of real estate agents surveyed in Sri Lanka believe interest in green buildings increased between 2014 and 2015. This is according to the recently released Lamudi Real Estate Market Report, which shares insight into sustainability in Sri Lanka. One survey conducted by Lamudi Sri Lanka showed over 64% of respondents consider sustainable features to be significant in the house-hunting process. more..

The dark side of Mirissa - Apartheid

Feb 5 (Island) I was prompted to write this with the recent concerns raised about segregation in Sri Lanka railway’s toilet facilities. Sri Lankans are second class citizens in their own country, as seen in Mirissa and many popular southern beaches explicitly and openly. It might as well read No locals allowed. In Mirissa the locals are harassed by goons and hoteliers of the area, and even on the public beach area, they have been known to ask local visitors to leave. more..

The morning after the political honeymoon: President Sirisena’s future

Feb 5 (GV) With days turning into weeks and weeks into months, President Maithripala Sirisena appeared to have realized that power is ultimately the primary concern of politics and political leadership. What necessarily follows from this is also the realization that, to sustain a good govt in trying times one has to engage in practices which are antithetical to the very idea of good governance. Ever a contradiction to the ordinary mind, this is an uncomfortable reality in politics. more..

Minister Champika Ranawaka

Editorial: Living with Zika

Feb 5 (Island) The whole world is now talking about the Zika virus which is fast spreading. This germ is said to have been named after an African forest where monkeys afflicted with it were first found. Etymologists have described the English word stock as a chain of borrowings. And, this country has, in her small way, made some contribution to it. Prominent among the loan words of Sri Lankan origin are beriberi, tic polonga and kitul. These, one may argue, are associated with more..

A 2500 year-old Culture that was!

Feb 5 (GV) The current wave of Sinhala-Buddhist supremacism, and attempts to establish a Sinhala-Buddhist Raj in Sri Lanka, if left unchecked will eventually lead to fragmentation of Sri Lanka into separate states of minorities. It may not happen in the immediate future, but it’s a reality staring us in the face. With the military defeat of the LTTE in 2009 Lankans as a people, were hardly afforded the chance to breathe a sigh of relief, before Sinhala-Buddhist extremists, in the form of BBS, more..

'UNP moving away from family inheritance politics'

Feb 5 (CT) UNP will once again face the public, to elect the grassroots level leadership, at LG election. Puttalam District MP, Ashoka Priyantha, spoke to CT explaining the preparations of UNP, as a politician who began his political journey on being elected at LG polls. Q: How is the UNP, at the grassroots level, preparing to face LG polls? A: UNP is well positioned to win upcoming LG polls as it was in previous general election more..

Tinkering with constitutions and ignoring need for consensus

Feb 5 (NS) The new govt came with promises of constitutional change and much fanfare for political reform to ensure a fair society. All these promised changes are meant to be for the benefit of the people, for better democracy, for empowerment of the people and for lessor politicization etc. They are grand promises and if implemented honestly, should make Sri Lanka a better place to live in. The actual issue is how much of honesty has been displayed by our politicians when it comes to more..

Media depicts the animal in human

Feb 5 (NS) World today is exposed to many things, good, bad, useful, and useless. World is networked in such a way that a press of a button will show you what you want and at times what you don’t want. Today the world is dominated by information. Presence of social networking sites has just taken information sharing to a whole new level. Facebook & Twitter, two of the most popular social networking sites, have turned out to be major competitors for mainstream print and electronic media. more..

Enter, the Smart Schools

Feb 5 (SO) For a country already awash with smart phones, the development of smart schools islandwide may seem only an extension of the idea. The Minister of Education, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, is determined that it should be much more. He wants to improve conditions and facilities in State schools across the country so that a much bigger choice of schools are available for children climbing the education ladder. more..

FM Sarath Fonseka not entitled to be a MP

Feb 5 (CT) Death is often not an instance of merriment for any, unless you are one who is aspiring for a parliamentary seat. In this country of dirty politics and sagacious politicos, it is quite easy to manipulate the law to fool the people. However, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time”. In this particular instance, the death is of a veteran Politico, M.K.A.D.S. Gunawardana, more..

The story of a Tamil man’s confession

Feb 5 (CT) Would you believe that? Late afternoon of the 68th Independence Day of Sri Lanka an upset middle-aged man with balding head and payaasam belly sat in a bar with me and made a confession. The man is none other than my drinking partner, the Sri Lankan Tamil fellow Sivapuranam Thevaram, and we had met up in the famous pub in Bridgetown, UK, and had just sat down with our glasses of Peroni. Thrilled at my temporary ordainment, I put a hand on his shoulder and said more..

Zeid to meet victims of human rights violations in Sri Lanka

Feb 4 (CG) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein will have talks with the Chief Minister of the Northern Province C V Wigneswaran and also meet victims of alleged human rights violations. Formally announcing the visit to SL, Foreign Ministry said that accepting an invitation extended by the Govt in Feb 2015, UN High Commissioner, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein will undertake a four-day official visit to Sri Lanka. more..

Rear Adm Weerasekera blasts govt. for persecuting war heroes

Feb 4 (Island) Govt had no moral right to celebrate the Independence Day as it was harassing and insulting the security forces personnel who had defeated terrorism, former deputy minister Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera said. He said govt was also harassing former President Rajapaksa, who had led the security forces to victory against the LTTE in spite of international pressure. "When we celebrate independence, we cannot forget the roles played by the security forces more..

TNA welcomes anthem in Tamil

Feb 4 (EN) Sri Lanka’s main opposition Tamil National Alliance (TNA) welcomed the national anthem being sung at national day celebrations as a giant step towards reconciliation in a country emerging from decades of Ethnic war. TNA legislator and spokesman M. A. Sumanthiran said he hoped that same spirit will be maintained in resolving the long-standing demands of the Tamils to have a greater degree of autonomy in the regions where they are concentrated. more..

Sicille Kotelawala arrested at BIA

Feb 4 (DM) Former Ceylinco Chairman Lalith Kothelawala’s wife Sicille Kotelawala was arrested by the Immigration and Emigration Department officials at the BIA this afternoon on her arrival from Dubai. Immigration and Emigration Controller General M.N. Ranasinghe said she was handed over to the CID. Ms. Kothelawala, a Director of the Golden Key Credit Card Company, left the country following company’s collapse. more..

Indian SC refuses to give urgent hearing on plea on Ram Sethu

Feb 4 (PTI) Supreme Court refused to accord urgent hearing on a plea of a BJP leader seeking a direction to the Centre that it should clarify its stand on mythological Ram Sethu. A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi asked BJP leader Subramanium Swamy, who has filed the plea, to come before the court if the Centre touches the mythological bridge. "There is no need for urgent hearing. If they do not touch Ram Sethu, then you need not worry," more..

'Sampanthan had tears in his eyes when National Anthem was sung in Tamil'

Feb 4 (AM) Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan had tears in his eyes when the Tamil translation of the Sri Lankan national anthem was sung during the state independence day ceremony, a Cabinet Minister who attended the event said. This was the second time the Tamil translation of the national anthem was sung during a state independence day ceremony. First occasion was the first independence clay cementation in Colombo, held under the auspices of former PM D.S. Senanayake. more..

Video: Where is genuine freedom? FSP

Feb 4 (DM) FSP today questioned whether there was genuine freedom in the country as pledged by the Good Governance and said the freedom had become a privilege limited to the accomplices of the Govt. Staging a protest in Pettah (Colombo), the FSP said the govt came into power promising to take action on the incidents such as the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, political activists Lalith and Kugan and more..

More SLFP ministers come out against FCID

Feb 4 (Island) Former Presiden Rajapaksa and his family members should be protected, Minister Vijith Wijayamuni Zoysa said. He however stressed that although it was important to protect the former first family no one could exceed the court decisions nor comment on court proceedings. If there were any allegations against someone it should be cleared through the court itself, he noted. Politicians should not take the law into their hands as in the case of former CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, more..

690 prisoners freed in view of freedom day

Feb 4 (ITN) 690 prisoners are freed today under a general amnesty granted by the President. President has granted this amnesty in view of SL’s 68th Independence Day. The amnesty has been given to prisoners who have been imprisoned for minor offences. Accordingly he said that 690 prisoners are being released from prisons throughout the country. They included 76 inmates from then Welikada Prisons, 80 from the Mahara Prisons and 31 prisoners from the Bogambara Prisons. more..