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Sri Lanka includes natural gas in power planning studies

June 5 (LBO) CEB has included natural gas in power generation planning studies for the first time, with prospects of gas being found in the country. In one study scenario where no coal plants after the current ones being planned for Trincomallee, CEB's long term generation plan considered a 250MW liquefied natural gas plant with a terminal from 2024. It would be followed by a 250MW plant every year until 2032. more..

Private Transport Minister promises sun and moon

June 5 (Island) The special Committee appointed by Private Transport Services Minister C.B. Ratnayaka would meet today to formulate a mechanism to monitor the conditions of vehicles transporting schoolchildren. Minister C.B. Ratnayaka said that the road-worthiness of most of the private vehicles left much to be desired. Among the faults commonly found in many of those vehicles were belching excessive amount of smoke, running on worn-out tyres, having faulty brakes and more..

Four stock broker firms warned

June 5 (CT) Four main stock broker firms involved in market manipulation of CSE between 2011 and 2012 have been issued with warning letters, Deputy Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama told Parliament. This was in relation to a question posed by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake as to what action was taken against those who manipulated the market at the time. "Several investigations were carried out over this issue and we identified four main firms who were involved in these activities. more..

1,500 undergraduates suspended since 2010

June 5 (CT) Over 1,500 undergraduates have been suspended up to date since 2010, with more undergraduates being imprisoned, harassed and abducted in an ever increasing rise in student suppression, student activists said. IUSF alleged that over 1,500 students have been banned from their respective universities, 76 have been imprisoned, three have been abducted and three have been killed. more..

Doc arrested for child’s death

June 5 (Island) The Colombo magistrate remanded a doctor, who had allegedly caused the death of a 3-month-old child due to improper procedure followed by him while circumcising the victim, till June 10. The suspect, 47-year-old Mohammad Niyaz who owned a dispensary in the Maligawatta area had been arrested on Tuesday by the police. Victim, Mohammad Hamdan of Wellampitiya, had been taken by his parents to the doctor concerned on May 29 for circumcision. more..

Masked gunmen kill Army Amila's associate

June 5 (Island) Two full face helmet wearing assailants riding a motorcycle shot dead a 34-year-old conductor at the Tangalle bus stand yesterday close to noon. The police identified the victim as a close associate of Amila Niroshan alias Army Amila, a notorious gangster. Army Amila was shot by an unidentified man near the Tangalle Magistrate’s court recently. The assailants approached the victim standing near the driver’s door of the Colombo bound bus from Tangalle, more..

Now, govt. allies want executive presidency abolished forthwith

June 5 (Island) Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera said that the executive presidential system could be abolished through the passage of a simple constitutional amendment in Parliament with a two thirds majority. The General Secretary of the Communist Party MP Gunasekera insisted that even if the move to field a common candidate seeking a mandate to do away with the executive presidency succeeded, there was absolutely more..

Death of father of one: Minister’s son given suspended sentence

June 5 (Island) Don Chathura Sanath (27), son of Minister Bandula Gunawardane was sentenced to six months rigorous imprisonment suspended for five years on four charges by the Matara Additional Magistrate, on June 3. He was charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder in an accident on Feb 20 at the Eliyakanda Junction where the 53-year-old victim, Agampodige Ranjith, died later in the Karapitiya hospital, reckless driving, failure to prevent an accident and more..

No tooting of horns in Colombo today

June 5 (DM) The Colombo Municipal Council Public Health Department will enforce a no-tooting-of horns programme today at 8.30 a.m. at the Council Premises. The Council’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ruwan Wijayamuni said this was the implementation of a law passed in 2011. He said although this duty does not directly come under his department, they took the initiative to reduce noise pollution in the city. “The indiscriminate tooting of horns has caused a serious noise pollution issue. more..

IGP must stand by his men: UNP

June 5 (FT) Slamming the Govt for fostering political thuggery and promoting impunity in the country, the UNP called on the IGP to take a stand on behalf of his personnel after the brutal attack on a policeman allegedly by goons commissioned by a Deputy Minister. “The failure of the police to act in clear cases of political thuggery, either due to influence or fear, has brought the chickens home to roost. more..

Vision of a pure tomorrow

June 5 (DM) The movement committed to the re-creation of a ‘pure tomorrow’ outlined its vision and aims at a well-attended meeting held at the BMICH on Tuesday. Among those in the audience were at least two Cabinet Ministers, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and members of other political parties, but residing at the head table were professionals in various fields. The movement led by the Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera wants national policy makers to give priority to more..

Principle of ‘minimum Govt. and maximum governance’

June 5 (DM) The recent political revolution, which occurred in what is considered to be the largest democracy in the world, continually educates us on the many spheres of political good-governance. The Indian govt headed by the self-made politician Narendra Modi, has in this short time span, displayed a spectrum of sovereign judgments and political acumen, that is in fact enlightening to all democracies across the world. Succeeding PM Modi’s mammoth victory, analysts were more..

Fine-tuning for SL to peak at World Cup

June 5 (CI) 20 wins from 23 limited-overs matches. When Sri Lanka lost the ODI series to Pakistan in December last year, few may have envisioned such a rich start to 2014. The win percentage of 87 may be somewhat blown out by results against a misfiring Bangladesh and two more victories against Associate sides, but Sri Lanka have wrestled through the tougher challenges as well. The spoils of the series win against England more..

LTTE arrests in Malaysia

June 5 (SL) The LTTE leaders and members in Malaysia, Mauritius and Tamil Nadu indoctrinated the local Tamils in those countries to form support groups. The debriefing of three LTTE leaders in Malaysia, arrested by the Malaysian Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division on May 15, 2014, revealed that LTTE front organizations located in the West were supporting the creation of these support groups. more..

Teaching diploma holders languish at home while rural schools were without teachers

June 5 (Island) Although there was a severe shortage of teachers in difficult areas of the country, the diploma holders who had passed out from Colleges of Education were waiting at home for more than six months due to the Education Ministry delays in providing them with school appointments, a leading teacher trade union charged. As the govt had failed to implement a proper teacher transfer policy, there were no teachers to teach more..

15,000 pensioners waiting for their lump sum dues

June 5 (ST) A retired jailer who worked at the Welikada Prison is among some 15,000 pensioners facing inconveniences due to delays in receiving her gratuity payment after retirement. Ms. S.A. Premalatha had served 38 years in various prisons including the Jaffna Prison. “I was there as a jailer of female LTTE cadres. I worked in Anuradhapura, Jaffna and in all the places affected by the war. I even risked my life in my job.” more..

Saudi-Lanka labor agreement to be implemented soon

June 5 (AN) Minister Dilan Perera said that the labor agreement between Riyadh and Colombo will come into effect soon following the Shoura Council’s approval of the accord on Monday. Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka signed a MoU in early January, which seeks to protect Lankan domestic workers in the Kingdom. The agreement was signed by the Saudi Labor Minister Adel Fakeih and Minister Dilan Perera in Riyadh. more..

Sri Lankans cleared over Jos Buttler's controversial stumping by MCC chiefs

June 5 (Mirror) Sri Lanka have been cleared of going against the spirit of cricket by the law guardians at the MCC. While England players continue to moan about Jos Buttler's 'Mankad' run-out in the final and decisive one-dayer at Edgbaston on Tuesday night, the tourists can rest safe in the knowledge that they played the game fairly. The actions of Angelo Mathews in upholding the appeal has drawn criticism from more..

Master Blaster denies JVP allegation

June 5 (Island) Deputy Minister Sanath Jayasuriya denied any involvement in the alleged attack on Ruhuna University undergraduates during a protest by villagers there on Monday. Responding to the JVP’s claim that one time ‘Master Blaster’ who earlier hammered leather balls was now breaking heads of innocent undergraduates, star cricketer said that he would always maintain his dignity and would never get involved more..

CEB workers threaten token strike

June 5 (Island) The CEB workers yesterday during a demonstration opposite the CEB head office in Colombo Fort threatened a token strike. Operational Committee member of the United Trade Union Front of the CEB, Ranjan Jayalal said that the date of the strike would be decided at a special convention of their union shortly unless their grievances were redressed urgently. CEB employees from all parts of the country more..

Hakeem takes the battle to Govt, Opposition

June 5 (FT) Minister Rauff Hakeem who was denied his right to speak as a party leader on Tuesday making use of Section 23 (2) of the Standing Orders, as seen by the Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody as an act “against the traditions and practice” by a member who is “not recognised as a party leader,” took up the battle with both the Govt and the UNP yesterday. Starting with the UNP for undermining the SLMC more..

Singapore to recruit former rebels

June 5 (CG) Singapore has expressed interest to recruit some 40 rehabilitated LTTE cadres. The National Action Plan on the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation quoted the Bureau as saying that there are 132 former members of the LTTE currently undergoing rehabilitation. The Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Major General Jagath Wijetilleke said that nearly 12,000 former LTTE cadres either surrendered or more..

FUTA's seemingly futile struggle

June 5 (CT) In Oct 2012, the FUTA called off a 100-day strike based on an undertaking by the govt, in the form of a Cabinet note, to solve the multiple issues confronted by the university teaching fraternity, in particular, and those relating to the pathetic state in which we find our higher education, in general. Nearly 18 months on, the govt has not only done what it does best – renege on promises – but also appears to be carrying on with its usually unproductive agendas, more..

Enter Gotabhaya?

June 5 (CT) Rajapaksa colossus has a colossal weak-point, which, under certain circumstances, can bring down the entire edifice. The PM is not a Rajapaksa. According to the constitution, if the President dies or becomes incapacitated, the PM becomes the acting president. Within a month, “Parliament shall elect as the President one of its members who is qualified” via a secret ballot. That was how a smooth transfer of power was assured when the Tigers assassinated President more..

Putting a price on water

June 5 (CT) The govt is attempting sell water to the farmers through the Irrigation Charter/Convention, the JVP alleged. The Irrigation Charter/Convention, which was tabled at the Wayamba Provincial Council recently states that if any group or organization is maintaining or conserving any irrigation system, it could be purchased by any multinational or the operator may collect a fee for services rendered. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.1%

June 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed lower with telco stocks losing ground despite strong foreign buying backed by lower interest rate expectations. All Share Price Index closed 0.09 points lower at 6,280.16, down 0.09%. The S&P SL20 closed 1.43 points higher at 3,473.43, up 0.04%. Turnover was 896.19 million rupees, down from 1.02 billion rupees a day earlier with 100 stocks closed positive against 83 negative. John Keells closed flat at 235 rupees with seven off-market transactions more..

Lankan woman walks free after 2 years in jail

June 5 (TOI) It was mere suspicion that made Sri Lankan woman Santhini Vairamuthu languish in a city prison for two years. After almost 24 months, the 37-year-old Sri Lankan refugee was freed on Saturday, when the judicial first class magistrate-I found her not guilty of any of the charges leveled against her. Life turned uglier to Santhini on June 18, 2012 when she tried to board a flight home from the Trivandrum International Airport. Emigration officials detained and handed her over to more..

'Colombo will be the centerpiece of a rejuvenated Sri Lanka'

June 5 (GDI) Attending, as a keynote speaker at the prestigious World Cities Summit 2014 in Singapore, Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that with the dawn of peace in 2009 the country had an opportunity to regain lost opportunities during the three decade long terrorist conflict and in doing so the commercial capital of Colombo needed to play a significant role in facilitating this economic resurgence. more..

Friday Forum did not make any attempt to seek my opinion: NPC opposition leader

June 5 (CT) Responding to the recent statement issued by the Friday Forum titled “Post-war realities in the Northern Province”, the opposition leader of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) last night said although the Friday Forum has met cross section of the society in Jaffna & Kilinochchi, its representatives have not made any attempt to seek the opinion of the Leader of Opposition of the NPC. Sending a letter to the Friday Forum, S. Thavarajah, the opposition leader of the NPC said; more..

Sri Lanka rupee near 1-yrar high; state banks lower dollar-buying rate

June 5 (Reuters) Rupee ended near a one-year high on Thursday as exporters and banks sold dollars, while state banks lowered the greenback buying rate by 2 cents. The two state banks, through which the central bank intervenes to direct the market, bought dollars at 130.28 rupees, 2 cents below the previous day, to prevent sharp volatility in the currency. Rupee ended at 130.28/30 per dollar, its highest close since June 26, 2013 and firmer from Wednesday's close of 130.28/33. more..

Dr. Mervyn urges woman to contact him if they have problems in having children

June 5 (AM) Minister Dr. Mervyn Silva has urged women to contact him if and when they have problem in having children. "The Sinhala race is rapidly becoming a minority and my only only request to the Sinhalese is to produce children as much as possible to avoid extinction of their race," he said addressing a function, which was organized by his ministry. "There is no point in lamenting over this problem, We need to act fact. more..

Woman swindled foreign job seekers by posing as Minister's Coordinating Secretary

June 5 (DN) A woman who swindled money from several foreign job seekers pretending to be a coordinating secretary to Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera was arrested by SL Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) sleuths. The woman is alleged to have swindled money from job seekers with the promise of employment in South Korea and Italy. She is known to have frequented Rakwana, Godakawela, Galle, Nivithigala, Akuressa and Galahitiya. more..

Thilanga to visit International Criminal Court in Hague

June 5 (FT) Colombo District UPFA Parliamentarian Thilanga Sumathipala, Executive Committee Member of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) will be attending the PGA Executive Committee meeting from 5-7 June in Netherlands. Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) is the largest non-governmental, non-partisan international network of elected legislators with approximately 1,100 members in 139 (140 with Honduras) parliaments around the world. more..

Parliamentary debate on web censorship

June 5 (SM) A debate is to be held in parliament tomorrow regardingthe imposed access control over eight news websites. Debate is to be held following a suggestion made by General Secretary of UNP, Tissa Attanayake, when the parliament was adjourned on May 26. Making the particular suggestion Attanayake has stated that through imposing an access control over the news websites the rights enshrined in the constitution more..

Sri Lanka releases 33 Indian fishermen

June 5 (PTI) Sri Lanka on Thursday freed 33 Indian fishermen arrested for allegedly poaching in the country’s waters, days after President Rajapaksa ordered their release as a goodwill gesture. The fishermen were handed over to the Indian Coast Guard Ship “Rajkamal” at the seas off Mannar, Sri Lankan Navy said in a statement. “Under the direction of the president steps have been taken to repatriate 33 Indian fishermen in the Sri Lanka custody with the immediate effect on June 5,” more..

Attempt alleged to deceive Rathupaswala people

June 5 (SM) Courts have decided to further hear the petition filed against the controversial rubber factory at Rathupaswala as the government says the factory will be withdrawn, while the lawyer representing the factory claims otherwise. The state counsel told the court that it has been decided to relocate the factory, and said since that was what the petitioners wanted, there was no point in continuing with the case. Lawyer for the factory said however, the factory would not be relocated although more..

CCTV cameras malfunctioned when BBS came

June 5 (DM) The Industries and Commerce Ministry today told the Colombo Fort Magistrate that the CCTV camera system set up around the Ministry premises had malfunctioned during the alleged trespassing was committed by a group of Buddhist monks attached to the BBS on April 23. Group of Buddhist monks entered Ministry in search of UPFA Mahiyanganaya PS Member Ven. Watareka Vijitha Thera. more..

'Abolition of Presidency is not the panacea'

June 5 (Island) Abolition of the executive presidency wouldn’t be the panacea for all problems. In fact, abolition of the executive presidential system could cause a catastrophe unless the parliamentary electoral process too, was changed simultaneously, the NFF spokesman, Mohomed Muzammil said. He was responding to JHU salvo directed at the executive presidential system. NFF was of the opinion that there shouldn’t be further tinkering with the constitution, he said. more..

Vaas remanded for three more months

June 5 (AM) The three judge bench of the Colombo High Court today ordered to remand former DIG Vaas Gunawardena and four other accused of the murder of millionaire businessman Mohamed Shyam, for a period of further three months. Three-Judge Bench comprising Rohini Walgama (President), Lalith Jayasuriya and Leon Seneviratne made this order following a request made by Senior State Counsel Varunika Hettige to extend the period in remand custody for another three months. more..

Dayasiri rewarded for easing process to privatize water

June 5 (LT) The irrigation charter for the North Western Province that legalizes selling water and that couldn’t be adopted for several years due to opposition from environmentalists and farmers was adopted in North Western PC with the manipulation by Chief Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera. As gratitude the President presented Rs. 1720 million in addition to the RS. 1211 million that was allocated for the Provincial Council. more..