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Last Updated = Wed, Mar 29, 2017, 01:52 pm SL Time

* Former Honorary Consul in Hawaii Kusuma Cooray honored for work in U.S.-Sri Lanka relations

Mar 29 (CP) Honolulu- Kapiʻolani Community College Professor Emerita Kusuma Cooray was honored by the U.S. Pacific Command for her work as Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka from 2001 to 2017. Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the United States Pacific Command, presented Cooray the Distinguished Public Service Award on March 24
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* PM urged to secure health portfolio for UNP

Mar 29 (Island) The Government Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) has urged Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to ensure that a real UNPer secures the health portfolio at the next Cabinet reshuffle. GMOF President Dr. Rukshan Bellana has emphasised the importance of the UNP taking over health portfolio
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* After cancelling trip, Rajinikanth writes to Sri Lankan Tamils, says 'we will meet when time is right'

Mar 29 (India Today) After cancelling his trip to Sri Lanka, superstar Rajinikanth has written a letter to Sri Lankan Tamils thanking them for their love. 'Let good things happen. When time is right we will meet. I pray almighty for your well-being,' he wrote in the short letter.
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* President tells Chief Ministers to prepare for Provincial Council elections

Mar 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has informed the Chief Ministers to prepare for elections to three Provincial Councils. President Sirisena has conveyed this information when he met with Chief Ministers representing the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) at the President's official residence last night, the state run TV said.
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* Resettlement Ministry constructs over 11,000 houses in war affected areas

Mar 28 (CP) Colombo- Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M. Swaminathan said that his ministry has constructed over 11,000 houses in war affected areas. According to the Minister, 11,253 houses in war affected areas in Northern and Eastern provinces and in border villages in Puttalam, Anuradhapura, and Polonnaruwa districts have been constructed in 2016.
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* Sri Lanka Finance Minister promises to reduce current taxes and pass benefits to people

Mar 28 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake says Sri Lanka has been able to build a positive international image subsequent to its ability to reform the economy during the last two years. The Minister has pointed out that although such changes in the local economy have been recognized internationally, it is not palatable to certain extremist politicians.
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* Not averse to Rajinikanth visiting Sri Lanka when situation improves: VCK

Mar 28 (PTI) Chennai- Pro-Tamil outfits, including the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, on Tuesday said they were not averse to actor Rajinikanth visiting Sri Lanka to meet Tamils after the situation for the minorities improves there.
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* Anti-SAITM protests to take ominous turn next week - GMOA musters forces to launch spate of strikes

Mar 28 (Island) Government doctors yesterday gave a one-week-deadline to authorities to resolve the SAITM (South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine) issue or face mass mobilisation in their agitation against what they alleged as privatisation of medical education.
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* Tabs for fishermen

Mar 28 (DM) Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development Mahinda Amaraweera said thet fisheries community would be given 1,490 electronic log books (Tablets) worth Rs.149 million to record data on fishing. He said an order had been placed for these tablets and would be handed over to the fishermen within three months.
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* Call for repealing Lanka’s Muslim marriage law

COLOMBO: Following a statement by Rizwe Mufthi, President of the All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama (ACJU), that the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) is "perfect in the present state" and does not require changes, Sri Lankan women groups have termed his view a blocking of fundamental rights and called upon the government to intervene.
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* Sri Lankan Human Rights Activist Sandya Eknelygoda recipient of 2017 International Women of Courage award

Mar 29 (CP) Washington, DC- Sri Lankan Human Rights Activist Sandya Eknelygoda is among the 13 recipients of this year's International Women of Courage (IWOC) award presented by the United States Secretary of State.
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* Patali calls for amendment to university district quota system

Mar 29 (DN) Megapolis and Western Province Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka has asked that the 40-year-old district quota system for universities be amended instead of promoting SAITM as the solution for the problems caused by the district quota system.
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* Whither human rights in Sri Lanka?

The singular focus on international rights intervention is killing a once-vibrant local rights movement

Mar 29 (Hindu) Froom the time Sri Lanka’s civil war ended in 2009, international actors have infused narratives of the war with stories of human rights abuses.
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* India announces IIT Entrance Test in Colombo

Mar 28 (CP) Colombo- The High Commission of India, Colombo announced today that Government of India has decided to hold Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) Joint Entrance Examination (Advanced) 2017 in Colombo for admission of meritorious Sri Lankan students in prestigious IITs for the academic session 2017-18.
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* Sri Lanka energy regulator plans to launch guidelines on power outages

Mar 28 (CP) Colombo- Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the electricity sector regulator exploring the most pressing issues with regard to utilities including electricity plans to launch guidelines on planned and unplanned power outages.
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* Former Defense Secretary not certain about entering politics, studying Trump

Mar 28 (CP) Colombo- Former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says he has not yet taken a decision regarding the next presidential election but hasn't given up the idea of entering politics either. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa expressed his views about politics when he addressed Sri Lanka's Foreign Correspondents Association at the Galle Face Hotel Colombo March 27, 2017.
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* Sri Lanka is Not China’s Pearl in the Indian Ocean – War on the Rocks

Mar 28 (War on the Rocks) Why were Sri Lankan schoolchildren dancing to a U.S. Navy band? Sri Lanka has just finished welcoming a U.S. military operation that seeks to build relationships in the Indo-Pacific region.
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* Govt.ensures full transparency: Minister Madduma Bandara

Mar 28 (DN) The Good Governance Government has no need to conceal any document including the Hambantota Port Concessionary Agreement, Public Administration and Management Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara said.
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* Sri Lanka And Russia Sign Various Economic Investment And Defense Agreements

Mar 28 (ER) Russia and Sri Lanka have signed various agreements to increase trade and commerce, economic investment and defense cooperation between the two countries, specifically establishing cooperation in several sectors, including fisheries, defense and tourism.
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* In Sri Lanka’s deep waters marine conservation goes hi-tech - analysis

Mar 28 (ER) As the midday sun rises higher over Gulf of Mannar, a drone hovers over the blue mass of sea water. Below, a motley crowd of fishermen gathers, straining their eyes at a drone.
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