President, PM send greetings to China ahead of Chinese New Year

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Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has sent his greeting to the Chinese government and its people for the Chinese New Year which falls on Feb. 8. MORE.. Read the Full Article

Two dead after car crashes into bowser

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Two persons were killed while another was wounded this morning after a car crashed into the back of a tractor bowser on Bandaranaike Mawatha in Kandy. MORE.. Read the Full Article

India keen on refinery in Sri Lanka

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India is keen to establish refinery and bunkering operations in Sri Lanka, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said today and hoped the country will once again be in a position to export petroleum products to Bangladesh with the commissioning of Paradip refinery. MORE.. Read the Full Article

UN Human Rights Chief to visit Jaffna and Trinco

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein who arrives in Sri Lanka on a four day official visit today is scheduled to visit Jaffna and Trincomalee. Read the Full Article

Chinese Government Donates Medical Equipment to ‘Ranaviru Sevana’

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Subsequent to an initiative taken by the Embassy of People's Republic of China, the Chinese government, showing its goodwill and concern towards the enhancement of therapeutic requirements of disable War Heroes of the Sri Lanka Army under recuperation and rehabilitation at Ragama Ranaviru Sevana, donated a stock of physiotherapy equipment to the value of about Rs 2 m to the Army during a simple ceremony at the Colombo Army Headquarters on Friday (5). Read the Full Article

Pakistani man nabbed with heroin in Kollupitiya

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A Pakistani man has been arrested for the possession of around 1 kilogram of heroin in the Kollupitiya area on Galle Road. MORE.. Read the Full Article

India offers to open up IT park in Sri Lanka

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India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday offered to open an Information Technology Park in Sri Lanka that could attract investments in this growing sector. MORE.. Read the Full Article

Matthew wins gold and sets new record; Machiko grabs silver

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Sri Lanka's Matthew Abeysinghe won a Gold medal in the men's 200m freestyle swimming event at the 2016 South Asian Games and managed to set a new South Asian record. MORE.. Read the Full Article

India must take action to stop bottom trawling - TNA tells Sushma

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A delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), led by Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, today met with India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Colombo and discussed the 'immediate needs' of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. MORE.. Read the Full Article

IMF asks Sri Lanka to reduce budget deficit, improve funds

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked Sri Lanka to urgently bolster its economic funds, narrow the fiscal deficit and put the country's public finances on a sustainable path. MORE.. Read the Full Article

TN parties express concern over Sirisena’s stand

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DMK and MDMK today expressed concern over Sri Lankan President Maithiripala Sirisena's reported statement that his country's new constitution will not have the concept of 'Federation,' saying it will affect the ethnic Tamils. MORE.. Read the Full Article

Sri Lankan-born CEO to get $11.1m in one-time payouts

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A Sri Lankan-born Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a US-based global diagnostic device and service provider is expected to receive about $11.1 million in one-time payouts, according to media reports. MORE.. Read the Full Article

Special program to broaden opportunities for innovations - President

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President Maithripala Sirisena says he would implement a special program to broaden the opportunities in the market for the innovations by strengthening of the innovators. MORE.. Read the Full Article

UN Human Rights chief arrives in Sri Lanka

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein arrived in Sri Lanka, a short while ago, for a four-day official visit. more.. Read the Full Article

World’s fattest man dies after ‘too many energy drinks’

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The world's fattest man has died of a heart attack at the age of 38 after reportedly drinking more than six energy drinks a day.

Andres Moreno, from Ciudad Obregon in Mexico, reached a weight of over 70 stone at his heaviest.

His doctor reportedly said he had been drinking more than six energy drinks a day in the three days running up to his death.

As he was very obese and suffering from diabetes, such stimulate drinks could have caused "an irregular heartbeat".

He died on Christmas Day after a heart attack and complications from peritonitis.

Two months ago, Mr Moreno had undergone extreme weight-loss surgery where three quarters of his stomach was removed.

His remaining stomach was then reshaped into a tube to help prevent him from overeating.

Mr Moreno had lost 19 stone naturally to reach the weight of 50 stone in preparation for the surgery.

Dr Jorge Ojeda, who treated Mr Moreno, told MailOnline: "He drank more than six energy drinks a day according to his family and we believe it could be a lot more than six.

"As an obese man, although he was losing weight and was starting to move, exposing yourself to a stimulant can cause an irregular heartbeat, and that or a heart attack can lead to death."

Another Mexican, 88-stone Manuel Uribe, previously held the record for the world's fattest man.

(The Times of India)

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Indian External Affairs Minister arrives

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Minister of External Affairs of India, Sushma Swaraj arrived at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) today at 12.30p.m.

Swaraj is to meet with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera during her two day visit in Sri Lanka.

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Kumar Gunaratnam re-remanded

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Kumar Gunaratnam was further remanded till 17 February by Kegalle Magistrate, today.

Kumar Gunarathnam is a Central Committee member of Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) and was arrested over alleged violation of immigration and emigration regulations last year.

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A 25 Gun Salute to the Nation

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Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) accorded a 25-gun salute to the nation auspiciously on twelve noon in parallel with the 68th Independence Day ceremony at the Lighthouse, Port of Colombo yesterday (4th Jan). Read the Full Article

Jet Airways crew suspended for Sonu Nigam’s ‘concert’

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Sharing a flight with a celebrity singer and having him croon hit Bollywood numbers over the in-flight announcement system may give many flyers an ultimate high, but don't expect the Indian aviation regulator to cheer from the aisles.

Five airhostesses of Jet Airways have been grounded for allowing playback artiste Sonu Nigam to sing from the plane's address system. The in-flight concert took place during a chartered flight from Jodhpur to Mumbai on January 4.

According to reports, all passengers on board knew each other and requested Nigam to sing. The singer obliged and sang two songs — Do pal ruka from Yash Raj Films' Veer Zaara and Panchhi nadiya from Abhishek Bachchan's launch movie, Refugee.

When the passengers started singing with Nigam, he said: "Arrey wah, aap bhi gaatein hain. My God, saare singer hain (Wow, you all can sing too. Everyone's a singer here)." Videos of the singer crooning in air were posted on social media by some flyers and went viral.

However, the aviation safety regulator — Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) — has taken a serious note of airhostesses allowing a passenger to take over the in-flight announcement system.

The regulator investigated the incident and asked the airline to suspend the airhostesses on board. Jet has also been asked to ensure that such "misuse" of the in-flight announcement system is not allowed in future.

Confirming the action, a statement issued by Jet said: "All cabin crew on the flight have been taken off flight duty for enquiry and corrective training to reinforce strict adherence to operating procedures."

This is not the first time that an Indian airline has got into trouble for allowing singing or dancing in the air. Two years back, another private airline had made the crew of some flights dance mid-air to the song Balam pichkari on Holi.

The DGCA had issued a show cause notice to the airline, asking why its licence should not be suspended. "These acts by the cabin crew had drawn the attention of other crew on duty, thus reducing their preparedness/alertness. The frequent movement of the dancing crew may have affected the aircraft's centre of gravity during flight and created turbulence...."

The airline was charged with permitting use of cellphones in the air to take pictures "against present regulation" as use of personal electronic devices in airplane mode was not allowed at the time. "(The airline) might have instigated passengers to become unruly.... It is established that (the airline) failed to observe various safety regulations," the notice had said.

While the regulator says such steps are taken in the interest of flight safety, many Indian globetrotters say they have seen cabin crew sing and dance on flights. A big European airline makes its airhostesses dance to Shah Rukh Khan's foot-tapping Om Shanti Om on flights to and from India on Republic Day and Independence Day.

(The Times of India)

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Clinton and Sanders clash one-on-one

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Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have clashed over Wall Street and foreign policy, in the Democratic presidential candidates' first one-on-one debate.

Mrs Clinton cast him as an idealist who will not get things done and Mr Sanders accused her of being too tied to the establishment to achieve real change.

The TV debate in New Hampshire was their first since the Democratic race was whittled down to two this week.

Without a third person on stage, the policy differences were laid bare.

The former secretary of state said Bernie Sanders' proposals such as universal healthcare were too costly and unachievable.

And she went after her rival aggressively over his attempts to portray her as being in the pocket of Wall Street because of the campaign donations and the fees she had received for after-dinner speeches.

"It's time to end the very artful smear that you and your campaign have been carrying out," she said.

Mr Sanders, a senator of Vermont, used a favourite attack line against her, that she backed the Iraq War, but she questioned his foreign policy expertise.

The debate comes five days before the second state-by-state contest in the battle for the presidential nominee, in New Hampshire on Tuesday.

The debate was their first without the presence of the former governor of Maryland, Martin O'Malley, who quit the race on Monday night.

He was a distant third in the first state to vote, Iowa, where Mrs Clinton narrowly beat Mr Sanders after a prolonged count.

Mr Sanders holds a big lead in polls in New Hampshire, which borders the state where he is a senator, Vermont.

Both Republican and Democratic parties will formally name their presidential candidates at conventions in July.

Americans will finally go to the polls to choose the new occupant of the White House in November.


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Man hit by train in Ambanpola

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A 23-year-old individual died after being hit by a train plying from Jaffna to Colombo in Ambanpola police division, Police Media Unit told Ceylon Today Online.

The deceased was a resident of Aluthwewa. His remains were handed over to relatives following the post mortem examination.

Ambanpola Police is carrying out further investigations into the incident.

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Cecille Kotelawala hospitalized

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Former Ceylinco Chairman Lalith Kotelawala's wife Cecille Kotelawala is receiving medical treatments after being admitted to a private hospital, sources said.

She was arrested at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) last afternoon in connection with the Golden Key Credit Card Company's fraud.

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Sushma Swaraj to arrive today

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Minister of External Affairs of India, Sushma Swaraj is to arrive in Sri Lanka today.

Swaraj is to meet with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera during her visit.

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Tamils ready to take ten steps if Sinhalese took one - Vigneswaran

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The Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Vigneswaran, today expressed appreciation of the government's decision to sing the national anthem in Tamil at the Independence Day ceremony held in Colombo. MORE.. Read the Full Article

Zika virus pregnancy case confirmed in Spain

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Seven cases of the Zika virus, among them one pregnant woman, were reported on Thursday in Spain, according to the Spanish Health Ministry.

The seven people were infected after having travelled to countries affected by the virus.

The pregnant woman, who was diagnosed in Spain's northeastern region of Catalonia, is between 13 and 14 weeks pregnant and is under supervision as the Zika virus is linked to cases of microcephaly in newborn babies.

According to the ministry, there are three cases in Catalonia, two in the southern region of Murcia, and two in Castilla y Leon, in central Spain.

The ministry said there could be more people affected but those cases would not be reported until they are confirmed by the National Centre of Microbiology. As from Thursday, the Spanish Health Ministry will assess weekly those who tested positive for the virus.

The ministry also said there was no risk of the spread of Zika virus in Spain as all cases reported were imported from affected countries.


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