NewsCochin International Airport will remain closed until August 26, the Cochin Airport authorities have stated according to a media release issued by national carrier SriLankan Airlines today. The Cochin Airport closed its facility due to flooding and SriLankan Airlines is offering its passengers booked to travel from Cochin to Colombo and onward destinations, the option of departing from Trivandrum or any other destination in South India served by the carrier at no extra charge, the airline said. In addition, passengers booked to fly from Colombo to Cochin may fly to Trivandrum or any other destination in South India served by SriLankan, at no extra charge. The carrier has temporarily increased its capacity between Trivandrum and Colombo in order to cater to the expected requirement, the airline said. Passengers who were awaiting flights when the airport was closed down on August 15 were provided hotel accommodation and those who agreed were rerouted to Trivandrum.
August 17, 2018 07:41 UTC
NewsFive Sri Lankan fishermen whose boat was sinking after colliding with an Iranian merchant vessel have been rescued by another Sri Lankan fishing boat, the navy stated. Five fishermen from Weligama, Denipitiya and Mirissa had been aboard the vessel at the time of the incident. Even as the navy was dispatching vessels to mount a rescue, a message had been received that the fishermen had been picked up by another multi-day fishing trawler named 'Mahesh Putha.' The 'Mahesh Putha' sailed into the Devinuwara Purana Wella Fisheries Harbour last night with the five rescued fishermen. The Sri Lanka Navy and the Ministry of Fisheries are conducting further investigations into the incident.
August 17, 2018 07:06 UTC
NewsLeader of the Opposition TNA Parliamentarian R.Sampanthan issued a message of condolence on the passing away of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former Prime Minister of India and leader the Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP). “He served the great country of India with humility and honesty, and he was much loved and respected by millions of people across the world. Former three-time Prime Minister Vajpayee is also an exceptional orator and a leader with a great sense of humour, his speeches within the Indian parliament and outside will always be remembered,” Mr.Sampanthan said in his message.
August 17, 2018 06:45 UTC
NewsThe United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi,invited Sri Lanka to be an important stakeholder in the policy making process of the UNHCR, expressing hope that Sri Lanka’s proactive role would contribute significantly to the work of the UNHCR drawing upon the country’s positive experiences and insights, Sri Lanka Permanent Mission in Geneva said. The official invitation was extended when Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez met with the UNHCR Commissioner at the UNHCR Headquarters, on Wednesday. Ambassador Azeez expressed appreciation for UNHCR’s engagement in Sri Lanka in the past, highlighting the different forms of assistance and cooperation such a rewarding partnership had entailed. It was recalled that the UNHCR had built on some of its experiences gained in Sri Lanka in further improving delivery of assistance in other situations elsewhere.
August 17, 2018 05:37 UTC
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August 17, 2018 05:26 UTC
Opposition Leader's Condolence Message in full as follows:Today India has lost one of its most regarded Intellectual and statesmen Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The former Prime Minister of India and the Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) was an outstanding leader and under his visionary leadership, India achieved many milestones in its history. Former three-time Prime Minister Vajpayee is also an exceptional orator and a leader with great sense of humour, his speeches within the Indian parliament and outside will always be remembered. On behalf of the Tamil People in Sri Lanka, I extend my sincere condolences to his family, to the Bharatiya Janatha Party, to the Government of India and to the people of India. May His Soul Rest in PeaceSampanthanLeader of the Opposition – Parliament of Sri LankaLeader – Tamil National Alliance
August 17, 2018 05:15 UTC
NewsA new prison police unit will be established within the Prisons Department following the recent dissolution of the Prison intelligence Unit, Minister of Justice and Prison Reforms, Thalatha Atukorala said. The new unit, which will be a new mechanism within the structure of Prisons will be armed with legal powers to take stern actions against those who found guilty of helping inmates. The announcement came after the Intelligence Unit at the Welikada prison was disbanded last month after it was found that underworld convicted prisoners were operating within prison with the assistance of some Prisons Department officers.
August 16, 2018 17:37 UTC
NewsPresident Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed heartfelt condolences over the passing away of former three time Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpaee in a private hospital in New Delhi today evening. "Today, we have lost a great humanist and a true friend of Sri Lanka. Former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a visionary leader and an ardent defender of democracy. "I am deeply saddened by the death of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was a true friend of Sri Lanka. Meanwhile the Government Information Department said that Minister Lakshman Kiriella will participate at the funeral of the late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, as the Special Envoy of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
August 16, 2018 17:03 UTC
The GBP 1,000,000 (US$ 1.3 Million) project will directly support more than 2,500 people returning to their homes in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Batticaloa Districts. Under this agreement, UNDP Sri Lanka will work in close collaboration with the Government of Sri Lanka to facilitate sustainable return, resettlement and integration of conflict-displaced persons, whilst strengthening institutions for equal and transparent access to services. Commenting on this project, British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka James Dauris said that the UK is very pleased to support the return by families to their villages. Also speaking about this project, UNDP Sri Lanka Country Director Jorn Sorensen stated, “UNDP is pleased to join hands with the UK Government to support families to resettle and reintegrate back into their communities. Through this project and beyond, we remain fully committed to helping build a more inclusive, peaceful, and resilient Sri Lanka, to advance sustainable human development.”
August 16, 2018 16:52 UTC
NewsThe Finance Ministry has decided to conduct training programs for all new entrepreneurs, district wise, along with the Central Bank officials on how to develop a business plan prior to applying for a loan and to continue assisting them through the loan process. The meeting was chaired by the Minister of Finance and Mass Media, Mangala Samaraweera with the participation of the Minister of Highways, Higher Education and Investment Promotions, Kabir Hashim, State Minister for Finance, Eran Wickramaratne, Deputy Minister of Finance and Media, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Secretary to the Treasury Dr.R.H.S. Samaratunge, Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy, the Chairmen of State Banks and other top officials of three State Banks. Furthermore, a monthly progress report will be submitted to the Ministry of Finance on the disbursement of loans. The Finance Ministry, the Central Bank and the 03 State Banks also agreed to meet once a month to discuss the progress of the “Enterprise Sri Lanka” programme.
August 16, 2018 15:11 UTC
NewsA mother and her four year old son were found dead in a dometic well in Mankulam, Vavuniya yesterday, police said. Preliminary investigations by police revealed that mother jumped into well when she saw her four year old boy had fallen into well. The police is carrying out further investigations over the incident.
August 16, 2018 15:00 UTC
Senior Officials of both Foreign Ministries participated in the discussions with several line Ministries and agencies representing Sri Lanka joining as well. During the Meeting, Sri Lanka and Oman reaffirmed the commitment to further consolidate and advance bilateral political and economic cooperation. The discussions focused on the follow-up action on the decisions made at the First Meeting of the Sri Lanka-Oman Bilateral Consultations held in Muscat in 2014, and new avenues for bilateral cooperation. It was also agreed to assist the establishment of a Sri Lanka-Oman Business Council between the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka and the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The visiting Omani delegation also called on Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana during their stay in Sri Lanka.
August 16, 2018 15:00 UTC
NewsFour train services that operated on a daily basis from Colombo to Talaimannar and Talaimannar to Colombo will be restricted to Medawachchiya for a period of three months due to necessary maintenance services, Sri Lanka Railways department announced today. The temporary suspension of train service will come into effect from tomorrow onwards. A senior official at Railways Department said that temporary suspension is due to renovations being carried out on a bridge. Meanwhile the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) is to deploy additional buses from Medawachchiya to Talaimannar route in view of temporary suspension of train services. Official from Sri Lankan Railways said that the passengers can use their train season tickets during their bus journeys until train services are back to normal.
August 16, 2018 14:37 UTC
Former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had been admitted to the AIIMS hospital in New Delhi for the past few weeks, died on Thursday. Mr. Vajpayee had suffered a stroke in 2009 that weakened his cognitive abilities. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also visited the hospital. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was expected to arrive later in the day. Mr. Vajpayee was the first BJP leader to be sworn-in as the prime minister and the first non-Congress PM to complete five year term.
August 16, 2018 12:11 UTC
SportSri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced the appointment of Roy Dias, Avishka Gunawardena, Piyal Wijetunge and Sumithra Warnakulasuriya as the Head Coaches of the four teams competing in the upcoming SLC T20 League. The Galle Team will be coached by Roy Dias, while, the Colombo Team will be coached by Avishka Gunawardena. Kandy Team will be coached by Piyal Wijetunga and the Dambulla Team will be coached by Sumithra Waranakulasuriya. Dias, Gunawardena and Wijetunge, have all played for Sri Lanka while Warnakulasuriya has played first class cricket. The SLC T20 League will run from August 21 to September 2.
August 16, 2018 11:48 UTC