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Cleaning up the dansalas

Apr 27 (SO) It's Vesak once again - celebrating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha. This is also a time for giving. According to Buddhist precepts giving of alms is a meritorious act. Many Buddhists observe sil during the two days of Vesak and refrain from consuming food, except at specified times, while others indulge in visiting dansalas (No English equivalent is found. It is the hall or area where food is more..

Mayday! Mayday! For 19A as MS rallies the UPFA

Apr 27 (ST) One final attempt will be made by Parliament, in the coming two days, to pass the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, after two previous attempts failed due to disagreements within the UPFA, as well as the fracas caused over the decision to summon former President Rajapaksa to the Bribery Commission. The 19th Amendment will be taken up for debate tomorrow and put to a vote on Tuesday evening, but whether it will get the final nod from two-thirds of the members, more..

Is Mahinda Rajapaksa suffering from the complex of excessive self-love?

Apr 27 (CT) George Orwell said in his famous novel, Animal Farm “that all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others’’, this is relevant not only during the Stalin’s period in Russia, but to any person who tries to control others by political or any other means. In the human kingdom, some have leadership qualities in their personality. Others feel comfortable, to be guided by a leader. Politicians as a group, usually have strong desire for leadership. Politicians always try to convince more..

Sri Lanka probe biggest VVIP security breach in 16 years

Apr 26 (EN) Sri Lankan authorities have begun probing what top sleuths are calling the biggest VVIP security breach since the assassination bid against former president Chandrika Kumaratunga in 1999. The police top brass were shocked to learn that an armed soldier in civilian clothing made it to what was thought to be a sterile area at a meeting addressed by President Maithripala Sirisena at Angunakolapelessa on Saturday. more..

President presents copy of 19A Draft Bill to Malwatta Chief Prelate

Apr 26 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena who called on Chief Prelate of the Malwatta chapter Most Venerable Tibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera presented a copy of the Draft Bill on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to the Chief Prelate. Thereafter, after a brief discussion, the Mahanayake Thera chanted Seth Pirith and invoked blessings on the President. President also called on the Anunayake of the Malwatta Chapter Ven. Niyangoda Vijithasiri Thera and presented a copy of more..

I am unaware about such an incident: Namal

Apr 26 (DM) MP Namal Rajapaksa said that he was unaware about an incident where a man said to be a security officer of his was caught bearing a gun in the vicinity of President Maithripala Sirisena in Angunukolapelassa on Saturday (25). "I have seen some reports in social media about such an incident, but what I have to say is, I am unaware about such a thing at all and no one informed me about it as yet," Mr Rajapaksa said when the Daily Mirror inquired about the Police claim. more..

Foster mothers found for two lion cubs

Apr 26 (CT) National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwala has found two foster mother dogs to nurse two of the lion cubs who were abandoned by their mother recently. "The three lion cubs were born on 22 April 2015 at Dehiwala Zoo. But, soon after they were born, they were abandoned by their mother Sakina," a Zoo official said. "One of the cubs was sent to a foster mother dog on 23 April and another cub was sent to his foster-mother more..

Laws sought to restrict protests

Apr 26 (SL) Deputy Minister of Justice Sujeewa Senasinghe says laws must be introduced to restrict public demonstrations to specific areas as a move forward for to allow peaceful demonstrations in the country in order to protect the rights of activists, workers and the public. He said that in Sri Lanka the public demonstrations are carried out at times disturbing the public and causing public unrest. Therefore he added that there is a need to introduce laws that curtail demonstrations to more..

Sri Lanka condoles with Nepal

Apr 26 (GDI) Govt and the people of Sri Lanka is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of lives and extensive damage to property caused by the earthquake which occurred this morning (25) in Nepal and extends sincere condolences to the Govt and people of Nepal particularly the families of the bereaved, and, wish a speedy recovery to those injured by this calamity. As a gesture of solidarity towards the friendly people of Nepal, Govt of SL will dispatch Emergency Relief Assistance to more..

Just 16 out of 52 boats back from Sri Lanka

Apr 26 (ENS) In the second salvage operation on Friday, Tamil Nadu fishermen could bring back only 16 boats from Sri Lanka. It was alleged that because of wrong information that all 52 boats would be released, many fishermen sailed to Sri Lanka where authorities refused permission to take back all the remaining boats. Last June, Sri Lankan Navy intercepted fishermen from TN who were fishing in deep sea and seized 86 boats. more..

Turkish frigate arrives on goodwill visit

Apr 26 (AM) Turkish Navy frigate TCG Gediz will arrive at Colombo Port on Sunday, 26thApril 2015. The goodwill visit of the ship (from April 26 to 28) to Sri Lanka is part of the commemoration activities of the 125thanniversary of the voyage of Frigate Ertuðrul to Japan. During its 122-day mission started on April 1 from the Port of Aksaz, TCG Gediz will visit 18 ports in 14 countries and cover 20.300 nautical miles. 125 years ago, in response to a visit of friendship paid by Japanese royal family more..

Health authorities to ensure safe food at dansalas

Apr 26 (Island) All dansalas which are to come up during this Vesak season within Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) area will have to be registered at the Public Health Department, Dr. Ruwan Wijemuni, Chief Medical Officer of Health of the CMC said. He said, this mandatory registration will be strictly implemented and monitored through Public Health Inspectors (PHIs). "All individuals/organizations and charitable institutions will have to register their dansalas either directly more..

Several Buddhist places of worship damaged following Nepal earthquake

Apr 26 (HN) Majority of Buddhist places of worship in Katmandu were damaged following the strongest earthquake which hit Nepal after 80 years. Chief Incumbent of Sri Lanka Maha Pirivena Venerable Nagoda Amarawansa Thera revealed these facts today while attending a media briefing. Meanwhile, the govt has decided to send 156 members of the tri-forces to provide relief aid and rescue operations for the earthquake victims. more..

OPA conveys strong support for 19A to president

Apr 26 (Island) The Organization of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka (OPA) Friday wrote to President Mathripala Sirisena expressing its strong support for the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to be taken up in Parliament tomorrow and voted upon on Tuesday. "….the 19th Amendment, sans the provisions which require a referendum, addresses the dire need to limit the powers of the Executive President and the OPA strongly supports the 19th Amendment to be approved by more..

Special beach bike to stop infiltration from Sri Lanka

Apr 26 (PTI) In a bid to prevent infiltration of anti-national elements and smugglers from other countries, especially Sri Lanka, Coastal Marine Police today launched a special beach bike for patrolling between Pamban and Arichal Munai areas here. "The special bike has been pressed into service to prevent infiltration of anti-national elements and smugglers from other countries, especially from Sri Lanka," ASP Gnana Sivakumar, who launched the service, told reporters. more..

Kusal Perera guides Sri Lanka A to easy win

Apr 26 (CI) A ton from Kusal Perera and a half-century from Ashan Priyanjan guided Sri Lanka A to an eight-wicket win over Pakistan A in the first unofficial ODI in Matara. Chasing 204, Sri Lanka's didn't start well as they lost Shehan Jayasuriya and Dhanuskha Gunthilaka for single digits inside six overs. Perera then had an unbeaten 152-run partnership with Priyanjan for the third wicket. He struck 114 from 88 balls more..

Housing facilities for Sinhalese in Jaffna

Apr 26 (SO) Members of North East Sinhala IDP Association (NESIA) have written to the Minister of Re-settlement D M Swaminathan seeking his intervention to arrange proper housing facilties for the Sinhalese who have been in IDP status in Nawakkuliya in Jaffna since 2010. NESIA has highlighted that although all other communities have been properly settled and had been given basic infrastructure no such treatments have been extended to Nawakkuliya Sinhala village more..

End Sinhala monopoly, says Kumaratunga

Apr 26 (ENS) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga said here on Saturday, that the dismantling of Sinhala majoritarian politics, govt structures and laws, is essential for the establishment of durable peace in the island nation. In her SJV Chelvanayakam oration on “Winning the war is not establishing peace” held under the auspices of the ITAK, Kumaratunga said the root cause of the unending ethnic conflict in Lanka is the monopolisation of the political, more..

Lankan leaders love indian gods

Apr 26 (CT) The first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru once speaking to his countrymen who were so steeped in religious beliefs and clashing over religions said, factories were the temples he worshipped. In the late fifties when Nehru initiated the Bhakra canal project in Himachal Pradesh, which is one of the biggest canal networks in the world, he even described the project in his own words as new temple of resurgent India. more..

Bumper Avurudu sales take Lanka Sathosa to new level

Apr 26 (Island) With Lanka Sathosa establishing a new Rs. 2.3 billion record in sales revenue during the April festive season, the govt-owned institution is contemplating opening more branches to offer quality essential food items to customers at the lowest prices in keeping with govt policy, trade officials said. "A new spacious mega center at Welisara and three other outlets were opened in April 2015 and more are on the cards. The whole objective of the proposed expansion is more..

TNA MPs appeal party leader to re-consider decision on the 19 A

Apr 26 (AD) A group of MPs attached to the TNA on Sunday appealed the party leader to re-consider its decision to support the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. MPs Shivashakthi Anandan, Selvam Adaikalanadan and Vino Noha Radhalingam who represent the Vanni District asserted that they have come to a conclusion not to vote in favour of the Amendment. Shivashakthi Anandan expressed that the present govt has also failed to address the issues faced by the Tamil community. more..

Mahinda directed officials, judges to give illegal orders: Govt

Apr 26 (Island) The govt says that the Rajapaksas were shamelessly trying to hide behind the sweat and tears of the security forces and masses in defeating the LTTE to cover up their unpatriotic sins. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, members of his family and their cronies had abused the war victory which was a combined result of the sweat and tears of the military, Police and more..

Army builds houses for Meeriyabadde landslide victims

Apr 26 (Island) Construction of 75 houses for families affected by the Meeriyabadde landslide commenced recently at Poonagala Estate of Maskeliya Plantation in Badulla District and would be completed within the next four months, the Ministry of Plantation Infrastructure Development said. Secretary V. Sivagnanasothy of this ministry said the Army which was engaged in the construction of the houses had cleared the required land & commenced foundation work recently. more..

GL says getting the show on the road after 100 days not the most important thing

Apr 26 (Island) As Parliament prepares to debate and possibly pass the 19th Amendment to the Constitution with the required two thirds majority on Tuesday, Prof. G.L. Pieris, the SLFP’s constitutional affairs spokesman said that what is important is "not to get the show on the road after 100 days." "It is much more important to ensure the quality of the show as constitutional arrangements that will shape the destiny of the country for many decades are at stake," he said. more..

China rejects high interest rates allegation for Chinese loans to Sri Lanka

Apr 26 (Xinhua) Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka (CCCSL) on Sunday rejected Minister Ravi Karunanayake's allegation of the so-called high interest rates of Chinese loan. Spokesperson of the CCCSL Chen Chuan said that the interest rates of Chinese loans are not high. During the past 10 years, at the request of the Sri Lankan govt, China has provided loans amounting several billion US dollars in supporting of more..

School canteens to be registered with CMC

Apr 26 (SO) All school canteens in the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) area, including mobile canteens serving food to school children outside school premises are now being registered by the Colombo Municipal Council. "This is the first time we are registering school canteens on such a large scale. Our objective is to maintain the highest standards of hygiene and food quality consistently throughout the school calendar", Chief Medical Officer, Health and Head of the Public more..

Nihal Fernando: The End of And Odyssey

Apr 26 (Island) There is, on the title page of Nihal Fernando’s ‘Sri Lanka — A Personal Odyssey’ a photograph of a shadow of a man holding what must be a camera. It falls on a wide beach with a set of footprints leading to where the subject, Nihal Fernando himself stands. Beyond them and in the distance is a glimpse of the sea. This is an image that gently nudges me into recognizing Nihal himself, one of the finest men of our time, a great artist, selfless devotee, his skills indisputable. more..

Sathyagaraya: Ranil Wickremesinghe

Sri Lanka seeks volunteer medical staff to help Nepal

Apr 26 (EN) Sri Lanka is seeking volunteer doctors and nurses to help with disaster relief in Nepal, where more medical help is urgently needed, a govt statement said. If there are any doctors, nurses or medical support staff who would volunteer to help, they are asked to call the Additional Secretary at the PM's office Ruwan Gunawardene at 071 – 2492484 or email PM Wickramasinghe had spoken to Nepali President Ram Baran Yadav and assured more..

Tribute : Nimal Mendis

Apr 26 (Island) He was my father, my boss and my greatest friend. This is what Paul-Marie, Nimal Mendis’ son told me as his father lay at A F Raymond’s. "We woke up at the usual time, I joked with Thaththa, went down to get our coffee and when I came back upstairs Thaththa was slumped on his desk. I tried to resuscitate him but I think he was gone though we rushed him to hospital." Hearing of Nimal’s death was a stunning shock to me. He phoned me the previous day and more..

JHU supports 19A & 20A

Apr 26 (DM) The JHU which earlier opposed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution had decided to extend full support for the 19th and 20th Amendments to the Constitution, party General Secretary Champika Ranawaka said today. He said the current 19th Amendment that would amend the key powers vested with the Executive Presidency, was not the amendment presented to the Parliament on March 13. more..

UPFA splits for May Day: Two rallies

Apr 26 (ST) The UPFA for the first time, since its formation 11 years ago, is to hold two different May Day rallies after last minute appeals to hold a united rally failed. UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha said that former President Mahinda Rajapksa, a patron of the party had been invited for the rally on May 1, but he had not responded. The UPFA has planned to hold its main May Day meeting at Hyde Park in Colombo. more..

100 Days program change or short-changed?

Apr 26 (NS) The much talked of 100 days of the 100 Days Program that was part of President Maithripala Sirisena’s election campaign is now completed. The President himself has come out with a statement which can be read as observations on progress. The Govt claims that much was done. Others claim that it’s mostly talk and that nothing significant or lasting was achieved. There are two ways to assess performance here. more..

150 people to get dual citizenship on Thurs

Apr 26 (ST) The dual citizenship facility for people of Sri Lankan origin with foreign citizenship will be available from nest Thursday after a gap of three years, Minister John Amaratunga said. He said the first batch of 150 applicants from 400 applications would receive Sri Lanka citizenship on Thursday while interviews for the remaining applicants would be conducted in stages. The applications will be processed by more..

Sajin fears arrest imminent

Apr 26 (SO) Former Monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena claimed that the Govt was planning to unlawfully arrest him over allegations of misuse of public funds. He said: "The two cases filed against me are civil actions. I cannot be charged under the Penal Code for criminal action based on civil matters." Gunawardane's claims were refuted by ASP Ruwan Gunasekera, who claimed that he did not know how the MP concluded more..

Different groups responsible for Lanka disappearances: panel

Apr 26 (PTI) At least four different groups including Sri Lanka's security forces and the LTTE were responsible for the disappearances of hundreds of persons during the country's deadly civil war, an enquiry commission has found. The Presidential Commission to enquire into and report on the alleged abductions or disappearances that occurred between 1983 to 2009 has submitted its interim report last night to the country's more..