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'Mahinda and Sirisena should work together'

Apr 25 (FT) Deputy Minister Shantha Bandara emphasised most SLFP MPs who find fault with the present Govt are only trying to secure votes from Mahinda Rajapaksa loyalists. He said that some of the SLFP MPs had to accept ministries in this Govt to honour a party decision, but some party members were criticising and accusing the Govt without valid reasons in order to secure votes. “Those people have personal agendas. more..

Disabled and Denied?

Apr 25 (GV) Although a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities since 2007, the rights of people with disabilities in Sri Lanka has remained at a dismal state over the past several decades. A recent manifestation of this issue has occurred at my Alma Mater, Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo, where a mother of a student was forced to file a complain with the Human Rights Commission to obtain adequate accommodations for her differently-abled more..

SLFP stood up for Socialism and Progress

Apr 25 (NS) In today’s context when some of our own leaders have thought it fit to balkanize the SLFP, it is necessary for the current leaders as well as the Sinhala masses to be aware that the SLFP was the only Political Party that stood for the masses of the Sinhala people- the downtrodden- those who have suffered since the colonial period. As Rohana Wasala recently said, “The SLFP is the only strong national party that honestly works to promote interests of the majority community more..

'I am against Maithripala'

Apr 25 (CT) Northern Provincial Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan, who's membership was suspended by ITAK for calling to boycott the recently held presidential election says she still has no faith in the new govt as it has not even hinted at sorting out some of the major issues faced by the Tamils. Q: How is the present scenario in the Northern Province under the new govt? A: If I speak on behalf of the war-affected people, more..

100 days of uncertainties

Apr 25 (CT) The much promised good governance of the 100-day govt of Sirisena-Wickremesinghe has come to the end of its promised period. No dissolution of parliament as expected has taken place. A confident president went on national media and claimed a successful 100 days of governance. The promise of dissolution of the parliament on the 24th of April and early general elections is unlikely to happen until the 20th amendment to the constitution is passed and sufficient time more..

Gota’s Journey Had Its Humour

Apr 25 (CT) Oh! What an era we live in! Gotabaya Rajapaksa, most powerful sibling of the most powerful President Sri Lanka ever had, on a journey to the Bribery Commissioner’s Office! On the first of January this year did you, reader, ever imagine this journey? Even on the 8th of January Maitripala Sirisena had no clue that Gota will have to make his way to the Bribery Commissioner’s Office under his watch as President. Maitri was hiding that fateful day in a secret place fearing more..

Bond issue: JVP wants President to appoint new committee

Apr 24 (DM) JVP led Voice Against Corruption had written to President Sirisena requesting him to appoint a new committee to look into the controversial bond issue. Convener of Voice against Corruption Wasantha Samarasinghe said that they had requested the President to appoint a committee of experts who knew the subject. He said the report of the earlier committee which investigated into the bond issue could not be more..

Ranjan Ramanayake files complaint against MR at Bribery Commission

Apr 24 (AM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake filed a complaint at the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption against former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Ramanayake told media that he filed the complaint against siphoning of funds received for Tsunami relief. He added that since Rajapaksa was the PM at the time of the incident, he does not enjoy the immunity accorded to the executive president. UNP MP Kabir Hashim had seeked judicial remedy in 2005. more..

Pakistan announces​ prestigious​ Jinnah Scholarships 2015

Apr 24 (PHC) High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka invites applications for award of Jinnah Scholarship from deserving Sri Lankan students pursuing their studies at O/L and A/Ls. Govt of Pakistan is awarding Jinnah Scholarships for Sri Lankan students for past 10 years through its High Commission in Sri Lanka. The scholarships are named after the great statesman and leader of the Sub Continent, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who is the founder of Pakistan. more..

Did Wigneswaran break protocol writing to Modi to free convicts?

Apr 24 (ENS) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran may have broken protocol when he officially wrote to Indian PM Narendra Modi requesting him to consider releasing four Sri Lankan Tamils sentenced to life imprisonment in the 1994 Premananda rape and murder case, Lankan officials said. A Foreign Ministry official said that as per protocol, the Chief Minister should send his letter to the Foreign Ministry first. more..

'NPC must be considerate of their people'

Apr 24 (CT) Former Chief Minister of the merged North-Eastern Province Varatharaja Perumal has requested the Northern Provincial Councillors to be considerate about the people who had elected them and not to focus towards fulfilling their own needs. Varatharahja Perumal, who is currently in the island, addressed a gathering in Jaffna under the theme, 'My experience as Chief Minister' last Sunday. A large gathering of people listened to the talk delivered by him. more..

Govt purchase 150,000 MT of paddy

Apr 24 (GDI) The govt has purchased 150,000 MT of paddy from farmers island-wide at a cost of Rs. 7.2 billion during the Maha season 2014/2015, Secretary to the President P.B Abeykoon told a media briefing. He said that the the country was receiving massive paddy harvests and the government had allocated Rs. 10 billion to purchase paddy during the Maha season. Accordingly, funds would be provided to farmer associations through District Secretariats. more..

Rajapaksa fears prosecution of entire family by new Sri Lanka govt

Apr 24 (PTI) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today expressed fears that the new govt led by his successor Maithripala Sirisena might end up prosecuting his entire family, a day after his two younger brothers faced questioning by anti-graft investigators. "Next, it will be Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Namal Rajapaksa and Yoshitha Rajapaksa", the former President said. more..

Govt goes for 3rd phase of Outer Circular Highway

Apr 24 (AD) The govt is preparing to begin the construction work on the Kerawalapitiya to Kadawatha 9.32 kilometre stretch which is the third phase of the Outer Circular Highway connecting the Southern Expressway at Makumbura in Kottawa. The approved civil construction contract for this phase is Rs. 66.6 billion and 95% of this cost would be through a loan from the EXIM Bank of China, said the govt. While the land acquisition for this project is nearing completion now, more..

Injectable polio vaccine being introduced from July

Apr 24 (Island) Epidemiology Unit announced the introduction of the latest injectable Polio vaccine into the National Immunisation Programme from July this year as yet another step to eradicate poliomyelitis (polio) from the country. Addressing the media at a briefing held to announce the World Immunisation Week from Friday (24) to Thursday (30), Chief of the Epidemiology Unit, Dr Paba Palihawadana said the Injectable Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) was a part of the global effort to eradicate polio. more..

Video: Dullas apologises for using wrong flag

Apr 24 (DM) UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma today apologised for using a lion’s flag without the two coloured strips -- reprsenting the minorities -- at the protest held outside the Bribery Commission yesterday. Several organisations and political parties including the PHU participated at yesterday’s protest outside the commission over the Commission summoning former defence secretary more..

President, SLFP panel bury hatchet

Apr 24 (ENS) President Maithripala Sirisena and the Central Committee of the SLFP torn by serious differences thus far, closed ranks on Thursday to face the emerging challenge from former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In a surprise move, the SLFP’s Central Committee unanimously agreed to support the 19th Amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution, a project close to Sirisena’s heart. Previously, the Central Committee had insisted that the 19th Amendment (which reduces the powers of more..

PM refuses to combine 19A, 20A

Apr 24 (CG) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says the 19th Amendment to the Constitution and the 20th Amendment cannot be combined and submitted to Parliament at the same time. PM made the comment on a live television interview this evening. During the interview, the PM also said that he was happy with the achievements of the Govt since it came to power. He also noted that while there is a push to arrest those accused of corruption, the law will be allowed to deal with such people. more..

'Takes time to fill up void created by Mahela, Sanga'

Apr 24 (PTI) With the yoeman service Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara have given to Sri Lankan cricket for over a decade and a half, it would be difficult to find their replacements overnight, feels Angelo Mathews. "The retirement of Mahela Jayawardene and impending one of Kumar Sangakkara will certainly create a vacuum. It take a bit of time for sure to fill up the void created by them," more..

Bangladesh PM to open entirely Lankan built power plant in Dhaka

Apr 24 (Island) Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina will soon inaugurate the Sri Lankan engineers built USD 50 million Power plant of Raj Lanka Power Company, in Dhaka. The complete Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) solution was done solely by Sri Lankan Engineers and it is a trademark of Sri Lankan expertise being established overseas. Raj Lanka Power Company Ltd (RLPCL) (a subsidiary of LTL Holdings Group (LTL) or Lanka Transformers) incorporated in Bangladesh more..

NEC discusses President’s, Ven Rathana Thera’s electoral reform proposals

Apr 24 (Island) National Executive Committee which met yesterday in Colombo had discussed proposals on electoral reforms submitted by both President Maithripala Sirisena and Pivithuru Hetak Convenor Rathana Thera. Minister Rajitha Senaratne addressing a news conference said that in terms of the Presidents proposal the number of seats in the national legislature would increase from the current 225 to 255. Jaffna and Kandy Districts comprised 11 and 13 electorates, but were represented by more..

UPFA politicians summoned on contempt charges

Apr 24 (AD) The Colombo Magistrate’s Court today issued notice on 27 persons including 10 UPFA MPs to appear before the court on May 8 on contempt of court charges, after they violated a court order and staged a protest opposite the bribery commission. Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilipitiya issued notice on the individuals after considering a report presented to the court by the Cinnamon Gardens Police. more..

Transparency International salutes Bribery Commission

Apr 24 (CT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), the local chapter of the global movement against corruption, salutes the proactive nature in which the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) is currently operating, after years of suppression and political interference. Based on an increasing number of complaints, the CIABOC has initiated several investigations and probes against allegations of large scale corruption running into billions of more..

73 cell phones, other contraband detected in prisons since January 08

Apr 24 (Island) Prison Department announced that they had taken into custody 73 mobile phones, 54 SIM cards, seven sachets of heroin, and one gramme of ganja from convicted prisoners serving jail terms for different crimes they had committed. Those had been detected by the officers during surprise raids they had been conducting since January 08 to date in the main prisons around the country. The raids had been conducted on the directive of Justice Minister Wijedasa more..

Video: 'Hold general election after 19A'

Apr 24 (DM) NMSJ Leader Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera said today parliament should be dissolved and the general election held after enacting the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. He said what they wanted was not to bring any political party to power but to abolish the executive presidency through the required amendments to the Constitution. “We are not interested in which party comes to power more..

Biggest ever funding for health Service

Apr 24 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena has allocated Rs. 285 billion for the free health service in 2015 and this is the biggest ever allocation made for the free health service in Sri Lanka which is 3% of the National income, Director General, Health Services, Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. In previous years only 1.2 or 1.5% of the national income was allocated for the free health service. Now there are adequate funds available locally in order to strengthen the free health service more..

SL sets up international arbitration centre

Apr 24 (EN) Sri Lanka has set up an international arbitration centre with the aim of making use of professional skills available in the island to promote legal services, a govt spokesman said. The activities of the centre are expected to start from May, Minister Rajitha Senaratne told a news conference. Cabinet of Ministers Wednesday approved a proposal made by Minister of Justice Wijedasa Rajapaksha to start a govt company to carry out the activities of the centre. more..

SL reiterates warning on Indian fishermen

Apr 24 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan govt on Friday reiterated its warning that Indian fishermen who violate Sri Lanka's maritime border and illegally fish within its waters will be arrested. Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Mahinda Amaraweera told journalists that the Sri Lankan Navy had been ordered to arrest the Indian fishermen and have their boats confiscated if they stray into local waters. more..

Gota’s journey had its humour

Apr 24 (CT) Oh! What an era we live in! Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, most powerful sibling of the most powerful President Sri Lanka ever had, on a journey to the Bribery Commissioner’s Office! On the first of January this year did you, reader, ever imagine this journey? Even on the 8th of January Maitripala Sirisena had no clue that Gota will have to make his way to the Bribery Commissioner’s Office under his watch as President. Maitri was hiding that fateful day in a secret place fearing that more..

Shares rise to over 6-week high on banks

Apr 24 (Reuters) Shares rose to over six-week high on Friday, despite foreign outflow from risky assets, as investors picked up shares of finance companies on expectations of better earnings, with positive sentiment continuing due to lower interest rates. The main stock index ended 0.22% or 15.39 points firmer at 7,129.78, its highest close since March 10. It has, gained 3.31% since the central bank cut key rates on April 15, while yields on t-bills have fallen 26-36 basis points since then. more..

President Sirisena's Special Statement

Applications to sit Korean language exam issued from April 27

Apr 24 (Island) Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) announced yesterday that the applications for the 14th Korean Language Proficiency Exam (KLPE) would be issued from April 27 to 30. The examination was scheduled to be held on June 13 and 14 in Colombo and the Korean job seekers could receive their exam application at 16 countrywide SLBFE district offices. It is envisaged to provide about 5000 Korean jobs for Sri Lankans in their manufacturing sector and more..

Robbing State assets

Apr 24 (CT) Yesterday this newspaper reported that the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) of the police has begun probing into the activities of Lanka Sathosa, a govt owned company retailing fast moving consumer goods in the country. FCID was set-up by the new regime to investigate into cases of misuse and abuse of State property, with such investigations taking a pecuniary flavour in particular. This probe was as per an order given by Colombo Chief Magistrate, Gihan Pilapitiya. more..

Video: MR visits Basil at CNH

Apr 24 (DM) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa today visited his brother Basil who was admitted to the Colombo National Hospital (CNH). The former economic development minister, the ministry’s former secretary Nihal Jayatilake and former Divineguma Department Director General R.R.K. Ranawaka were on Wednesday ordered by the Kaduwela Magistrate to be remanded till May 5. Except for the former minister who was more..

SL up 5 notches in World Happiness Report

Apr 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's happiness has climbed five places to rank at 132 position bagging 4.271 points in the latest World Happiness Report published on Thursday. The country was ranked 137th in the second edition of the report published in 2013. Switzerland topped the ranking while Iceland bagged the second place in the 2015 report. The World Happiness Report reviews the state of happiness in the world today and more..

BBS a Western conspiracy: MR

Apr 24 (EN) Sinhala nationalist Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) was a Western-backed conspiracy to alienate minority Muslims and defeat his govt, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa has said. He said that neither he nor his defence secretary brother had anything to do with the BBS despite popular belief that the Rajapaksas were behind the group. "Look at where the BBS travelled (Norway and the US)," Rajapaksa said. more..