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Sri Lanka's 2014 economic growth upgraded to 7% by IMF

May 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's economic growth forecast for 2014 has been upgraded to 7% by the IMF in its latest regional outlook for the Asia Pacific region, up from 6.5% in December. The 6.5% growth for 2015 published following a post program monitoring mission has been kept unchanged. Sri Lanka has ended a 2.5 billion US dollar IMF bailout program it entered in 2009, following a balance of payments trouble, but entered another one in 2011/2012 by trying to subsidize energy with state bank more..

Casino Deal: Ravi Wijeratne is fed up

May 6 (CT) As uncertainty looms over Casino king James Packer's Sri Lankan investment in a super luxury resort project, his local partner, Ravi Wijeratne, Chairman of Rank Holdings, declared he was "simply fed-up" with the project, and is thus highly unlikely to go ahead with it. When contacted, with regard to the status of the project, Wijeratne said; "I have had enough from newspapers. I do not think I am going ahead more..

Wigneswaran in hospital

May 6 (CT) Chief Minister of the North, C.V. Wigneswaran has been in hospital since Sunday. He had been admitted to the Jaffna Hospital's Cardiology Unit. Jaffna Hospital Director, Dr. Bawani Pasupathirajah confirmed that Wigneswaran is currently receiving treatment at the Cardiology Unit but refused to divulge information regarding his illness. However, the CM's Personal Secretary said it was not serious and the CM only has a boil on his body, which caused fever, due to the pain. more..

'Youth Conference at most appropriate time'

May 6 (DN) I am pleased to send this message of greetings to the World Conference on Youth 2014 being held in Colombo, President Rajapaksa said. The message: "This conference is held at a most appropriate time when Sri Lanka has crossed the threshold to peace and is progressing on the path of reconciliation and development where youth have a significant contribution to make. The peace that we cherish in Sri Lanka today follows three decades of armed conflict and terrorism, more..

Wimal's party ready to go its own way

May 6 (DM) NFF Leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa said that his party was ready to follow its own path if the govt didn’t agree with them on following the path set by national forces for the welfare of the country. He made this statement at the party’s 2nd National Convention yesterday. The NFF didn’t participate in the May Day rally of the UPFA coalition and instead has held a separate convention two years in a row. more..

Where is the oil and gas exploration in the Mannar Basin heading to?

May 6 (DM) Despite the govt banking high on the gas found in one of the off-shore exploration wells in the Mannar Basin, it appears that the whole process of taking out the discovered gas and putting it to commercial use is getting delayed due to various unexplained reasons. First of all, the recently released reports of Cairn India, 100% owner of Cairn Lanka, company that is carrying out oil explorations in the Mannar Basin, did not say anything about gas in the next couple of years. more..

The National Question: All about State Power

May 6 (DM) Where several communities, defined by ethnicity, language or religion live in one state, questions invariably arise regarding the rights of the various communities, their representation in bodies of govt and their share of state power. In states where numerically smaller communities live dispersed, the demand is for equality. Such communities demand representation in the legislature and the executive proportionate to their strengths. more..

Spotlight on new appointment to SC

May 6 (DM) The recent appointment to the Supreme Court has created controversy among those in the legal and judicial fraternity. Priyantha Jayawardena PC who is to be appointed to the Supreme Court is not a name that many of those in the legal fraternity are familiar with. Therefore the call from the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, intellectuals and others is that there should be a prescribed procedure for such more..

Canada’s Rathika, MP or Terrorist?

May 6 (SL) A young Canadian politician is under investigation for her links to separatist politicians, criminals and terrorists in India and Sri Lanka. Arriving as a tourist, Rathika Sitsabaiesan met with separatist politicians, criminals and terrorists in Tamil Nadu and northern Sri Lanka. Rathika met with LTTE patrons in Tamil Nadu who supported Velupillai Prabhakaran’s three decade long campaign of terror. more..

Chop, chop – and our rivers die, farmers starve and elephants are lost

May 6 (ST) Relentless deforestation of the Sinharaja by private interests has brought drought to the farming hamlets of the area and threatens the survival of the remaining Sinharaja elephants whose last hideout is vanishing – and the govt says it is helpless. For centuries the springs and streams of the Sinharaja Forest have flowed into the fields of the villages that dot the area, blessing farmers with good crops and providing drinking water more..

Mayor chides UNP parliamentarians who speak without knowing facts

May 6 (Island) The CMC did not get any income from casinos operating within the city limits and had no authority to issue any licences for them, Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil said. He said that casinos did not come under the CMC and they were operating under a club licence for many years as CMC’s powers had been abolished during the tenure of late President R Premadasa under a special gazette notification. more..

Lawlessness has repulsed investors: UNP

May 6 (DM) The number of business enterprises investing in Sri Lanka are decreasing every year because of the unfriendly climate for investments and that is the reason why the Govt is attempting to lure casino tycoons into the country, the UNP said. “The amount of investments is decreasing. Investments amounting to US$877 million in 2012 had decreased to US$850 million last year. The country has lost US$25 million more..

'Sri Lanka not a peaceful home for Tamils'

May 6 (ENS) For 33-year-old Thayapararaja, an engineer from Kilinochchi, hopes of a peaceful life and better education for his children have dashed as his family had constantly been on the run from the Lankan Army and police. Thayapararaja was among the 10 Sri Lankan refugees, including five children, who reached Arichalmunai near Dhanuskodi, on Monday. They were later booked under the Foreigners Act more..

Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka up 39.5% in April

May 6 (LBO) Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka rose 39.5% from a year earlier to 112,631 in April 2014 led by India, China, Britain and Russia. In the first four months of the year arrivals were up 27.6% to 534,132. Arrivals from Western Europe surged 47.9% to 37,369 in April with UK arrivals rising 59.6% to 12,380. Visitors from Germany rose 59.6% to 8,137 and those from France rose 43.2% to 5,970. more..

Sri Lanka India in talks for nuclear deal

May 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka and India has held discussions on civil nuclear technology to hammer out a deal on bilateral co-operation, India's High Commission (embassy) in Colombo said. The Indian delegation to Colombo made up of representatives of Department of Atomic Energy of India was led by Amandeep Singh Gill Joint Secretary in Ministry of External Affairs, said. Sri Lankan delegation had been headed by Dhara Wijayatilake, more..

Video: Police constables abducted by robbers; One dead, one injured

May 6 (AD) A police constable was shot dead and another injured after being abducted by a group that were returning from a robbery at Badagamuwa, Kurunegala, Police said a short while ago. The two policemen had been on traffic duties were abducted at approximately 2am today, Police said. Police constable 41497 Sampath was shot dead and constable 34098 Wijesuriya has sustained injuries and is receiving treatment at the more..

WCY 2014 kicks off in Sri Lanka, focuses on youth development

May 6 (Xinhua) The World Conference on Youth (WCY) 2014 kicked off on Tuesday in Sri Lanka under the theme of " Mainstreaming Youth in the Post 2015 Development Agenda." Invitees of the event include senior ministers and senior govt officials from over 40 countries, national youth delegates representing 169 countries and over 300 youth delegates representing various civil society movements. more..

Lankan Muslims In London And Political Myopia

May 6 (CT) There was a protest that took place yesterday by a group of Sri Lankan Muslims in Britain outside the Sri Lankan High Commission in London mostly regarding the spate of anti Muslim activities that have been occurring in Sri Lanka. But in this instance what the group responsible for yesterday’s protest sought to achieve is unclear, what is pointedly obvious is the blatant incongruence between what they did and what they thought its influence would be. more..

People should fight to win their right to information

May 6 (CT) The urgency and importance of the Right to Information Act in Sri Lanka has once again come under the spotlight with local media activists resuming a campaign for the enactment of a Right to Information Bill in the country. Sadly, Sri Lanka is the only country in South Asia, where citizen's access to public information has not been guaranteed through a legislative mechanism. The rest of South Asia, Bhutan being the latest, has adopted Right to Information Acts, which more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Rights violation petition of Hingurakgoda PS Chairman fixed for argument

May 6 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday fixed for argument on May 28 2014 the fundamental rights violation application filed by Chairman of the Hingurakgoda Pradeshiya Sabha, Susantha Gooneratne, challenging his purported removal from the chairman post, consequent to the second defeat of the council budget for 2014. The petitioner has said thatwhen the budget was defeated at the Pradeshiya Sabha at the first voting, he got the budget proposals amended. more..

Ravi threatens disciplinary action against Muzza

May 6 (Island) Corruption in the UNP administered Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) as well as the govt would be exposed soon, vowed Colombo District UNP Leader Ravi Karunanayake. He said that the UNP had won the CMC elections to stop all forms of corruption and not be at beck and call of govt officials including Defence and Urban Development Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. He said that A. J. M. Muzammil should run the CMC as UNP Mayor and not anyone else’s puppet. more..

Leaking pipes and contentious solutions

May 6 (CT) While it is reported that the CPC incurs a loss of USD 15 million per day, owing to leaks in the 12-inch pipeline, connecting the Kolonnawa Oil Installation and the Bloemendhal port jetty, the proposed remedy of replacing it with an 18-inch one has been met with derision by certain parties, who call this as a 'white elephant', 'a corrupt contract to obtain commission' and 'a case of ruinous financial mismanagement'. more..

Sri Lanka shares end down 0.4%

May 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's shares end 0.37% lower Tuesday with index heavy stocks losing ground. All Share Price Index closed 23.30 points lower at 6,226.13 down 0.37%. The S&P SL20 closed 17.57 points lower at 3,424.12, down 0.51%. Turnover was 1.30 billion rupees, up from 1.25 billion rupees a day earlier with 76 stocks close positive against 118 negative. Seylan Bank non-voting closed 30 cents higher at 40.30 rupees with off market transactions of 479.93 million rupees more..

Sri Lankan rupee ends steady amid upward pressure from inflows

May 6 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee closed flat on Tuesday as stock-related inflows and exporter dollar sales were offset by late demand for the greenback from importers, dealers said. Dealers expect the currency to be stable in the near term until private sector credit demand and imports pick up. The rupee closed at 130.60/61 per dollar, unchanged from Monday's close. "The rupee was under appreciation pressure, but state banks bought dollars for oil imports later in the day," more..

Govt has made judicial service a ‘safe haven’ for political stooges - UNP

May 6 (AD) The UNP today accused the govt of “unabashedly” violating long established traditions of the system and making the judicial service a safe haven for political stooges and henchmen. As part of its plan to emasculate the country’s judiciary, the Rajapaksa govt has deliberately made a “mockery” of important appointments in the judicial system, the party said in a statement. “The nearest example is more..

Alienation of forest land: Green Movement takes ministry secy to court

May 6 (Island) The Green Movement of Sri Lanka, complained to the Court of Appeal that the Secretary to the Ministry of Environment and Energy had violated the Forest Act by issuing a letter dated Feb 14, 2014 to release 2,500 acres of forest land in Mannar, Mullathivu and Vavuniya areas to resettle Muslim villagers. In the letter written to the District Secretary of Mannar, the petitioner has said that the environmental balance is eroded when forests are destroyed and further those forest lands more..

Policeman murder: Police offer Rs.1 million reward for information

May 6 (NS) Police are offering Rs.1 million reward for any information leading to the arrest of those responsible for killing a police constable in Ambagamuwa area in Kurunegala this morning. A special police team has already been sent to Kurunegala look into the killing. Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana in an urgent press briefing said that the case has already been handed over to the CID. However, Police seek public assistance to apprehend the suspects and request more..

16th World Conference on Youth commenced in Hambantota

May 6 (IL) The 16th World Conference on Youth 2014 commenced this morning at the Magam Ruhunupura International Convention Center in Hambantota on a grand scale under the patronage of President Rajapaksa. President of the UN General Assembly Dr. John William Ashe and special envoy on Youth Affairs of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Ahamad Al Hendavi were among the special guests. more..

World Conference on Youth overshadowed by Jaffna University closure

May 6 (DN) Registrar of Jaffna Uni, in a notice issued today stated that the university would be temporarily closed from May 16 to the 20th but didn’t state the reasons why. The notice also requests that students vacate the hostel premises whilst stating that all educational activities have been cancelled. Coincidentally the students and academics have been commemorating the Mu’l’livaaykkaal Remembrance on May 17 and 18 as a tribute to those who died in the armed struggle. more..

MR wants judge to probe accident

May 6 (CG) President Rajapaksa has instructed the Presidential Secretariat to appoint a judge to investigate the recent train accident in Kurunegala. Minister Kumara Welgama said that by appointing a judge to head the investigation there would be transparency and credibility in the outcome of the probe. The Minister noted that under normal circumstances when a train accident occurs the Railway Department conducts an inquiry while an independent investigation more..

SL thanks Australia for its 'bold' decision

May 6 (WAT) Sri Lankan govt has publicly thanked Australia for its "bold" decision not to co-sponsor a UN resolution to investigate alleged human rights abuses in the south Asian nation. According to a statement by the Sri Lankan high commission, Sri Lanka thanked Australia for the "bold decision of not co-sponsoring this year’s human rights resolution on Sri Lanka". Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and the head of more..

World youth must get involved in post-2015 global development: UN official

May 6 (Xinhua) World youth need to get involved to define the post-2015 global development agenda because "the stakes are just too high" to do otherwise, President of the UN General Assembly John William Ashe said Tuesday. Addressing the World Conference on Youth (WCY) 2014 in Sri Lanka, Ashe insisted that youth have to spearhead the next decade of global development. "There are sections of society that was clearly not included in the previous global development drive," more..

Sangakkara falls for second-ball duck on Durham debut

May 6 (IC) Kumar Sangakkara's two-match stint for Durham got off to a poor start, with the top Sri Lankan batsman being dismissed for a duck during the third day's play in the LV County Championship match against Yorkshire on Tuesday. The number-two ranked Test batsman played tentatively on the back-foot to edge a Ryan Sidebottom delivery to third slip who dropped the chance, but the second slip took it on the rebound to see the back of Sangakkara for a second-ball duck. more..

Video: Police issue red notice on hit and run suspect

May 6 (DM) Police have issued a red notice through Interpol for the arrest of the security director of a leading private hospital in Colombo. He is reported to have fled to Singapore after knocking down a five-month pregnant woman at Gunesinghepura in Pettah last month. The woman was killed on the spot in the tragedy which occurred on April 27. Preliminary investigations had revealed that the man who drove the vehicle was more..

Next Deyata Kirula Exhibition to be held at Southern University

May 6 (DN) Next year’s Deyata Kirula National Development Exhibition is expected to be held at the Southern University premises at Matara. This was revealed at a meeting held yesterday at the President’s office to review the success of this year’s exhibition whilst making arrangements for the next. A report regarding this year’s exhibition was presented to the President by Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya who is the Chairman of the exhibition organizing committee. more..

Q&A by MR on Twitter on Thursday

May 6 (CG) President Rajapaksa is to conduct a Question and Answer session on Twitter on Thursday to coincide with the ongoing World Youth Conference (WYC) in Sri Lanka. Q&A will be conducted via @PresRajapaksa at 11.30 am and participants can pose questions by using the hashtag #WCY2014MR. Speaking at the opening of the WYC today President invited the youth of the world to pose questions to him on Twitter during the Question and Answer session. more..

Red light from electricity unions

May 6 (LT) The member of the Steering Committee of CEB Combined Trade Union Alliance Ranjan Jayalal states that a decision has been taken to hold a huge agitation in front of the head quarters of the CEB tomorrow demanding removal of salary anomalies, asking the govt to suspend granting of power stations to private sector and making man power employees permanent. He said There was a discrepancy in salary more..

Joint probe, search launched after weapon found in Trinco beach

May 6 (CG) A joint investigation launched by Army-Navy and the Police in the general area of Ichchalanpattai, Trincomalee is now underway to apprehend suspects following the recovery of a bag containing a T-56 weapon with ammunition at Lanka Patuna beach near a Naval detachment. Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that the Sri Lanka Army and the Navy along with the Police have launched an investigation including a search in the general area Ichchilampattai to apprehend suspects more..

Video: BBS to reveal who is behind elephant smuggling

May 6 (DM) The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) today claimed it knew who was behind the elephant smuggling and warned the miscreants to stop this kind of activity before it revealed the details to the public. “We have evidence on a number of Buddhist monks, ministry secretaries and politicians who are behind the elephant smuggling racket and where they were hiding smuggled elephants,” BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera told a news conference. more..