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Yahapalanaya gone to the dogs!

May 26 (FT) The appointment of ex-TRC Director General Anusha Palpita to high bureaucratic office in the Home Affairs Ministry and tolerance of senior officials publicly hobnobbing with sinister and notorious corporate entities like the Avant-Garde Chairman smacks of the new administration’s disdain for its own Yahapalanaya slogan and reinforces growing perceptions of Govt complicity in stalling or delaying corruption cases against more..

Speaker now wants apologies from others

May 26 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya warned in Parliament that he would be compelled to take disciplinary action against the MPs who had used abusive language against senior officers of Parliament and snatched their documents if they did not apologise for their misdeeds. Speaker said so after Minister Harin Fernando had tendered an apology for using un-parliamentary language on May 18. Speaker Jayasuriya said that he had studied the video footage of the MPs’ protest against more..

PM happy with London Stock Exchange expansion in Sri Lanka

May 26 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has expressed delight over the London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) decision to expand its investment in Sri Lanka. “We are delighted that LSEG has chosen to expand its technology business in Sri Lanka, creating more than 400 highly skilled jobs in the region,” the Premier had said when a delegation from the LSEG called on him last week in Colombo. “London Stock Exchange Group already employs over 700 personnel in the country and more..

PM issues directions to tighten Parliament control of public finances

May 26 (DN) The Monetary Board of the Central Bank should submit a detailed quarterly report on the issuing of foreign and local bonds to the Parliamentary Committee on State Finance, according to a directive issued by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. PM’s office said that even though state finance was a subject directly coming under the purview of Parliament according to section 148 of the constitution most monetary activities more..

Ruhuna University sign two MoUs with Chinese Academy of Sciences

May 26 (Island) University of Ruhuna signed two MOUs with Chinese Academy of Sciences to establish the China-Sri Lanka Joint Centre for Education and Research to expand opportunities in the two fields. The MoUs were signed for the China-Sri Lanka joint research programme and Joint Master’s degree programme in Sciences by Vice Chancellor of the Ruhuna University Prof. Gamini Senanayake and Prof. Tan Tieniu, the Vice President of Chinese Academy of Sciences more..

Eastern Province CM complains of moves to undermine his status

May 26 (Island) Eastern Province Chief Minister Z.A. Nazeer said that he had been treated shabbily by Governor Austin Fernando and those responsible for organizing an event at Sampoor. CM Nazeer said that had rushed from Kinniya along with Eastern province Education Minister S. Thandayuthapani (TNA) after having participated in a function whereas Governor Fernando, US Ambassador Atul Keshap and Chief Secretary flew from Kinniya to Sampoor in an SLAF chopper. more..

Rs.100,000 - Rs.250,000 for death, property loss in disasters

May 26 (Island) Compensation amounting to Rs. 100,000 each for loss of life and Rs 100,000 to Rs. 250,000 each for property damaged by recent floods and landslides would be provided by the govt. Many of the victims, whose houses were submerged in flood waters, however said what was offered by the state was hardly enough even to colourwash their houses going by today’s costs. They asked how they were to replace all their more..

Kidney surgeries performed using fake rubber stamps

May 26 (DN) Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) informed Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya that kidney transplant surgeries were performed at a private hospital after using fake rubber stamps of the Indian medical practitioners. The CCD told Court that forged documents pertaining to the kidney transplant had been formulated to the name of Dr. Rama Krishnan, Dr. Umesh Khanna and lawyer Aris Subramaniam. CCD further submitted to Court that these surgeries had been performed during more..

Sri Lankan flood-hit families left with nothing: Red Cross says

May 26 (Reuters) Floods in Sri Lanka which have forced more than 350,000 people from their homes have left some families with nothing, the Red Cross said as it launched an emergency appeal to deliver relief to tens of thousands of people in the country. Last week's floods, considered the worst natural disaster in the Indian Ocean region since a 2004 tsunami, destroyed more than 125,000 houses and killed at least 92 people, with a further 109 feared trapped beneath landslides. more..

EP CM abusing uniformed officer: Navy report submitted to President

May 26 (Island) Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi has sought advice from President Maithripala Sirisena in respect of Eastern Province Chief Minister Z.A. Nazeer, who had been accused of humiliating Captain I.R. Premaratne, the senior officer-in-charge of Sampoor base Vidura in public on May 20 at the opening of a science lab and computer unit at Sampoor Maha Vidyalaya. Nazeer represents the SLMC, more..

Four held for promising Sri Lankan refugees illegal immigration to Australia

May 26 (Hindu) The ‘Q’ Branch CID police in Coimbatore arrested four persons, including a Sri Lankan refugee, a Sri Lankan national and two residents of Chennai on Tuesday for allegedly collecting money from inmates of the Sri Lankan refugee camp at Kottur in rural Coimbatore and tempting to illegally take them to Australia. The accused were identified as A. Edison (48), an inmate of the refugee camp at Kummidipoondi, L. Vimalan (31) of Yanai Vilunthan Kulam, more..

Little girl dies as father carrying her jumps before moving van

May 26 (Island) A four-year-old girl succumbed to her injuries at the Gampaha Hospital after her father had jumped before a moving van carrying her on the Minuangoda-Colombo road yesterday morning. The deceased was Udeshika Dulakshi Silva of Gangodamulla, Miriwatte. The 54-year-old father, too, sustained serious injuries. He is being treated at the Gampaha Hospital. Investigations have revealed that the victims father who lived with his family in Mahawa had come to his ancestral home more..

Harin outlines 6 focus areas to develop social innovation in Sri Lanka

May 26 (FT) Minister Harin Fernando outlined five key pillars for social innovation, pointing out that the advantage of foresight would be the differentiator in accelerated and inclusive economic growth. “In an age where the world keeps changing at a rapid pace, we have to continuously innovate and be one step ahead. In order to be a leader, we need social innovation that contributes towards positive development of society and engages more..

PRECIFAC requests Pushpa Rajapaksa’s flight details

May 26 (FT) The anti-corruption commission has requested the Department of Immigration and Emigration to furnish the flight details, date of embarkation and the destination of Pushpa Rajapaksa, the wife of the former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, and his daughter Thejani, who were continuously absent to give statements over the alleged misuse offlights carried out by the Sri Lanka Air Force. PRECIFAC summoned the duo twice but they didn’t appear before the Commission. more..

Mega PR campaign in India by SriLankan Airlines

May 26 (ST) SriLankan Airlines (SLA), on the back foot vis-à-vis a gigantic debt running into billions of rupees and desperately seeking a new management partner, is driving ahead with a mega public relations campaign in its most profitable market, India. The company has called for pitches from public relations companies here with Indian links and in India for a 12-month campaign at a fee of US$60,000 ++. According to the request for proposals, the work involved ‘obtaining exposure in more..

World’s largest sovereign fund means biz in Sri Lanka

May 26 (FT) The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, Norway’s Pension Fund, with assets worth a staggering $ 800 billion, appears to be bullish on investing in Sri Lanka, having built a small yet growing portfolio of listed equities. Recently, the Norwegian Embassy revealed that its Pension Fund has invested $ 31 million in shares of 12 SL listed companies engaged in industrials, finance, telecom & consumer goods sectors. more..

Air Force chopper damaged during take off

May 26 (Island) An Air Force helicopter was damaged at the Hingurakgoda SLAF base yesterday morning while it was taking off. SLAF Spokesman Group Captain Chandima Alwis said it was a Bell 206 Jet Ranger training craft. A cadet officer performing his individual training stint without an instructor had swerved the chopper to a side while taking off causing its rotor blade to touch the ground, Group Captain said adding that the pilot cadet officer had also sustained minor injuries. more..

JVP goes islandwide shramadana campaign

May 26 (CT) The JVP said that arrangements have been made by the Red Star Relief Services Brigade of the JVP to hold a Shramadana Campaign on the 26th and 27th of this month to help people affected by the floods to clean up their houses and to clean out their flood water polluted wells. JVP MP Vijitha Herath, said JVP personnel will be deployed across the country on this volunteer programme. Volunteer organizations have also been invited by the JVP to boost the efficacy of the programme. more..

Sri Lanka doubles hydropower storage in torrential rains

May 26 (EN) Sri Lanka's hydropower reservoirs boosted their storage 97% which is enough to generate 890.2 million units of electricity (GigaWatt hours) in less than two weeks, from torrential rains that hit the country in mid-May generating floods and landslides. Storage at hydro power reservoirs were only 540 GWh in the morning of May 12, 2016 which was 35 percent of the total water the state-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) can store. more..

Remuneration of directors of banks under Central Bank review

May 26 (ST) The notion that banks’ and finance company directors in Sri Lanka are wildly overpaid, is indeed becoming true. Central Bank (CB), in a possible bid to better monitor salaries to enhance corporate governance of this sector, has written to all banks to send details of the remuneration of their directors. CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran said that the regulator wants the financial sector entities to contain their costs and limiting fixed costs such as high director salaries was one way to do it. more..

Habarana elephant attack: Ukrainian tourist attempted to take photograph: Official

May 26 (DM) The Ukranian national who had been killed by a wild elephant’s attack in Habarana had attempted to take a photograph with the elephant. Wildlife Health Management’ Director Dr. Tharaka Prasad said it has not yet been officially proved whether the photograph was a selfie or not. “It has been reported that the foreigner had been killed on Tuesday and his female companion was injured by the wild elephant’s attack, while they were on the Habarana-Sigiriya road,” he added. more..

The bona fide battle against corruption: Rs 20 million for Keheliya Rambukwella surgery

May 26 (DN) The torrential rains that swept the country in the last few weeks and the resulting floods and landslides also swept away political concerns and differences if only ever so briefly. The natural disasters witnessed in the past few weeks were arguably second only to the deadly 2004 Tsunami that left over 30,000 dead in a matter of few minutes. While the death toll in the recent floods and landslides was in the hundreds- more..

John Keells Group posts Rs. 19.2 bn PBT

May 26 (DN) John Keells Group posted a Profit Before Tax of Rs.19.20 billion for the financial year 2015/16. This is an increase of 3%. Recurring profit before tax increased by 10% to Rs.18.94 billion while Group revenue increased by 2% to Rs.93.28 billion. Profit attributable to equity holders of the parent decreased 2% to Rs.14.07 billion. Recurring profit attributable to equity holders of the parent increased by 5% to Rs.13.85 billion. Net cash flow from operating activities was Rs.20.51 billion more..

Accountability and transparency in Samurdhi

May 26 (Island) Transparency and accountability are key to good governance of social protection systems. Broadly, transparency is about information disclosure, while accountability is about processes that enable the public to raise concerns about how social protection is implemented. From a human rights perspective, it is about seeking, receiving and imparting information on social security entitlements. From a good governance perspective, it is about a set of incentives and relationships that more..

Ramanayake backs attack with Lakmal set to return

May 26 (CI) Sri Lanka fast bowling coach Champaka Ramanayake has described the tour-ending injury to Dushmantha Chameera as a big blow, but said the attack's experience would nevertheless pose a substantial threat to England when the second Test gets underway in Chester-le-Street. Suranga Lakmal, who has played 26 Tests - including three in England - will likely replace Chameera in the XI. more..

Talking rubbish is part of our garbage problem

May 26 (ST) Plans to write about the recently concluded Anti-Corruption Summit that British PM David Cameron laid out at Lancaster House as his personal contribution to ridding the world of this cancer as he called it, went astray. If Mr. Cameron thought that in one day he and US Secretary of State John Kerry who had similar thoughts on corruption, could persuade a scattering of foreign leaders and others gathered there to end the scourge to which their own countries had more..

Commodore Boyagoda’s story: A quiet voice amidst the noise of war

May 26 (ST) In A Long Watch Commodore Ajith Boyagoda reflects on how the story of the Sagarawardene, the ship of which he was captain, was a story he had read, long before it was one he told. Commodore Boyagoda was the highest ranking prisoner detained by the Tamil Tigers during the civil war. He spent eight years in captivity before his release in 2002. When Commodore Boyagoda finally decided to speak about his experience in detail, it was to Sunila Galappatti. more..


Editorial: CM’s wrath

May 26 (Island) Eastern Province (EP) Chief Minister Ahamed Nazeer has behaved like a typical Sri Lankan politician. At a recent school function in Sampur, he blew a gasket and launched into a tirade against a senior navy officer in the presence of EP Governor Austin Fernando and US Ambassador Atul Keshap and a group of schoolchildren. All gubernatorial efforts to pacify the incensed CM were in vain. CM Nazeer has told the media that he lost his temper as he felt slighted; his presence more..

Rain Gods, and the poor

May 26 (Island) We did not take kindly to the Sun God’s stare. We cursed it. We lost our temper when power outages occurred. No doubt politicians were to be blamed for the power cuts and they had generators to give them light. We were angry. We prayed for rain and asked the Rain Gods to save us from the Sun God’s cruelty.Rain Gods did answer our prayers, but they wreaked havoc and chaos. They destroyed our lives, our loved and dear ones, our crops & our cattle, man’s best friend dog. more..

'Yes! I met Mahinda and spoke to him'

May 26 (CT) Minister T.B. Ekanayake says that not only Rajapaksas, whoever it is, if they are truly wrong they should be punished. Q: Is the story that you went and met the former President when he was in Kurunegala true? A: That I went to Kurunegala is incorrect. When he left the meeting at Hiriyala, and was on his way to a meeting in Galgamuwa, he stayed at a place in the Yapahuwa Electorate which I represent. more..

Economy of Sri Lanka: Quo Vadis?

May 26 (SL) With the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) adopting a three-pronged policy improve its fiscal position in particular and the Sri Lanka’s economy in general, strives firmly to reduce borrowings both domestic and foreign, increase govt revenue and rationalise borrowings. “It was easy to obtain commercial loans from China. During the former regime, Sri Lanka could only obtain commercial loans at higher interest rates from countries such as China. more..

On with the wind

May 26 (SL) Under the instructions of the Power and Renewable Energy Ministry, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is looking for funds to the tune of Rs. 24 billion to build a 100MW wind power plant in the Mannar Island. When contacted, CEB Chairman Anura Wijayapala told The Sunday Leader that they would first go with a project to generate 100MW of the potential 375MW of wind power in Mannar Island which is said to be one of the top-most sites for wind power potential in the island nation. more..

TN elections: Eelam lobbyists bite the dust

May 26 (SO) The pro-Eelam lobby in Tamil Nadu, which gets significant media attention both in Tamil Nadu and in the Tamil media in Sri Lanka, suffered an ignominious defeat in the May 16 Tamil Nadu State Assembly elections. Although the manifesto of the winning party, the AIADMK, had promised to help establish a separate Tamil Eelam for the Tamils of Sri Lanka, the AIADMK is by no means a pro-Eelam party. more..

Faded glory

May 26 (NS) The month of May is somewhat synonymous now with celebrating victory. A celebration that is now being politically tarnished. A victory that seems to be gradually losing its deeper essence by a nation and her ungrateful citizens, who have now gotten used to seeing the 30 years of bloody conflict like a 20/20 match, where one side is bound to win anyway. To many it is another day, as life rapidly overshadows the tremendous sacrifices made by Sri Lanka’s gallant sons. more..

Moving beyond Palk Strait

May 26 (NS) Tamil Nadu once again elected Jayalalithaa Jayaram popularly known as Amma as its Chief Minister yet again. The polls were conducted on May 16, two days prior to the seventh year commemoration of the end of Sri Lanka’s war. Several decades ago, Jayalalithaa was a star in Indian cinema who had appeared in several blockbuster films alongside superstars such as MGR (who also was a former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister) and Sivaji Ganesan. more..

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