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3 drunks arrested for assaulting 2 cops

May 25 (ST) Three persons were taken into custody after they allegedly beat up two policemen at a location in Wilgamuwa-Matale early yesterday, police said. They said the alleged incident took place when the two policemen had flagged down the three-wheeler in which the suspects were traveling in. According to police, the three suspects were highly intoxicated and had assaulted the policemen, apparently, angered at being flagged down. The two policemen were later moved to more..

Ministerial committee to study Medicinal Drugs Bill

May 25 (ST) The ministerial sub-committee on legislation will make a close study of the National Medicinal Drugs Devices and Cosmetics Regulatory Authority Bill. This Committee is headed by Minister Susil Premajayantha. The move follows a string of observations made by Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara. The Sunday Times of April 13 revealed exclusively the highlights of the draft bill for the setting up of the proposed Authority. According to the draft Bill, all manufacturers, importers more..

Uncuffing suspects during weapons recovery absurd - Experts

May 25 (NS) The frequent accounts of suspects dying due to confrontations with the Police in police custody have been a matter which the attention was drawn from all over the island. Contacted by The Nation, Police revealed that only six suspects have died in Police custody since 2010 and most confrontations take place while attempting to locate the murder weapon, when the suspect is uncuffed. more..

Issues thrown up by recent busting of child smuggling to Australia

May 25 (Island) The National Child Protection Authority’s (NCPA) Police Unit recently exposed a cartel smuggling several underage children to Australia. The boys between 15 and 16 years from Chilaw and Jaffna areas had been smuggled to Australia about a year ago and had been later arrested by the Australian authorities who deported them to Sri Lanka. The information on the cartel has been obtained from three deported boys more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

May 25 (ST) Not so long ago, a Sri Lankan deputy foreign minister was on a US International Visitor programme touring that country. He was lucky to get a brief courtesy call on George Bush Snr., then Vice President. He was even luckier when he received an autographed photo of the meeting upon return to Sri Lanka. Years later, the photograph was part of full page advertisements in the national newspapers. more..

Pro-LTTE protest in front of London Oval

May 25 (Island) A group of around 20 pro-LTTE Tamils demonstrated in front of the Oval cricket ground in London last week when Sri Lanka played their T20 cricket match against England. Despite being listed as a proscribed terrorist organization in the UK, the protesters freely waved Tamil Ealam flags and shouted anti-Sri Lanka slogans. When Sri Lanka played their first one-day international match against England at the more..

Sajith to mend fences with Ranil

May 25 (NS) Long-time heir-apparent to the UNP’s leadership, Sajith Premadasa is actively seeking to mend fences with party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, according to party sources. Premadasa, a strong critic of the recently set up ‘Leadership Council,’ who even refused to sit on it, is ready to negotiate with Wickremesinghe and obtain the Deputy Leader’s post, sources added. The agreement in the offing, brokered apparently more..

President to hold talks with Modi

May 25 (ST) President Mahinda Rajapaksa leaves tomorrow for New Delhi to attend the swearing in of Narendra Modi as Indian’s new Prime Minister. He will also hold bilateral talks with Mr. Modi. President Rajapaksa will also hold talks with at least two of the other foreign leaders attending the ceremony, External Affairs Ministry officials said. The President is expected to hold discussions with Pakistan’s PM Nawaz Sharif more..

Power grid boosted By 55%

May 25 (SL) The national power grid presently receiving 40% of its input from the Norochcholai coal power plant is set to receive a further boost of 300 MW of power, raising its total output to 55% by the end of July. Secretary to the Ministry, M.M.C. Ferdinando said that Engines 1 and 2 were both performing as planned and producing 600 MW of power – an all time high of 40% of the national grid. The additional 300 MW was coming on line more..

Malaysian police arrest three LTTE suspects

May 25 (NST) Malaysian Police arrested three foreign men suspected to be members of the LTTE terrorist group in Selangor. Suspects were nabbed at different locations in Klang and Petaling Jaya in a special operation conducted by the Counter-Terrorism Division on May 15. The men, who hold UNHCR refugee cards, are suspected of attempting to revive the LTTE activities, especially at international level. more..

AFTA calls for reopening of Colombo Uni. Arts Faculty

May 25 (Island) The Arts Faculty Teachers’ Association (AFTA), University of Colombo, expressed its serious concern and displeasure on the indefinite closure of the Faculty of Arts for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students and the clear lack of interest on the part of the Vice Chancellor and higher administration to re-open the Faculty for its regular academic activities. The reason given for the closure of the Faculty was the students’ more..

Sri Lanka orders release of Indian fishermen as goodwill measure

May 25 (Xinhua) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday ordered the release of all Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody as a goodwill measure to mark the swearing-in ceremony of Indian PM-designate Narendra Modi. Modi will take oaths as the new Indian Prime Minister on Monday and Rajapaksa is among the guests invited for the event despite strong protests from south Indian political parties. more..

'President’s offer to Wigneswaran made with sincerity and goodwill'

May 25 (Island) The Janasetha Peramuna said the decision by NPC Chief Minister C. Wigneswaran to decline President Rajapaksa’s invitation to join the delegation to attend the swearing-in of PM-elect Narendra Modi in New Delhi does not augur well for reconciliation and building religious harmony. "The offer was a good opportunity to partner the President’s efforts towards working jointly for the welfare and wellbeing of all Sri Lankans as one nation, irrespective of whether people more..

'UPFA won only Musali PS in Mannar, but has ignored BBS harassment of villagers'

May 25 (Island) The Musali Pradeshiya Sabha was the only council in the Mannar District that the UPFA had won at the last local govt elections, but the majority of its original Muslim inhabitants had not been given back their ancestral lands due to a campaign propagated by the BBS, the Chairman of the MPS, W. M. Yehiyan said. He that some of the 4,000 Musali Muslim families who had returned to their villages in 2010 after having been driven out by the LTTE in 1990, had voted for the UPFA more..

Wimal opposes South African mediation

May 25 (CG) Minister Wimal Weerawansa has strongly opposed South African mediation in Sri Lanka. Weerawansa says having South Africa mediate in Sri Lanka would leave room for the internationalization of what he says should remain a domestic issue. He noted that some are of the view by agreeing to the demands of the TNA to have South Africa as mediator between the TNA and the Govt then the pressure exerted by the US more..

The common candidate gauntlet

May 25 (CT) Ever since the 2010 Presidential Elections, when the UNP, the strongest political party in the Opposition benches, failed to field its own candidate to contend with the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa, riding high on the euphoria of war victory, the notion of a common candidate simmered somewhere in the periphery, despite or perhaps because of the ostensible invincibility of the UPFA. The Rajapaksa juggernaut has in fact moved forward with relative ease recording victories more..

Modi and Mahinda: Twain will meet tomorrow

May 25 (Island) It was not PM Modi’s idea to invite his South Asian counterparts to grace his swearing in tomorrow in New Delhi. It was not even an idea that started in India’s External Affairs Ministry. Apparently it began as a public image idea in a think tank discussion involving retired Indian diplomats and govt officials. They ran it by the new PM and after a brief chat on the phone Mr. Modi okayed the idea. It is a great idea for public optics, but its politics may not have been thought through. more..

Taking the country for a ride

May 25 (CT) Opposition MPs have accused the govt of changing its tax policies on vehicle imports for the benefit of its members and supporters, without any gain to the public. Raising the matter in Parliament last week, UNP MP, Buddhika Pathirana, queried from the Finance and Planning Ministry about the number of vehicles imported to the country from 2005 onwards and the taxes imposed on those vehicles more..

‘Jaffna economy lacks progress’

May 25 (SL) Although five years have passed since the end of the civil war, there appears to be no change or improvement in the economic development of Jaffna. President of the Jaffna Chamber of Commerce R. Jeyasegaram says that conducting business in Jaffna is not easy. “The businessmen undergo poor turnover in their business and struggling to pay the interest to the financial institutions from where they borrowed loans for expanding business establishment,” more..

India keen on heavy projects in Sri Lanka

May 25 (SL) An Indian business delegation visiting Sri Lanka has said that large scale corporate of their team are keen on heavy projects in Sri Lanka including tourism infrastructure. The 14-member CII delegation, led by Ramesh Mutha (Mohan Mutha Exports Ltd), observed that in the post – FTA period, Indo-Lanka trade had risen rapidly. “Indian firms and their joint ventures in Sri Lanka not only help fill local demand but even have become part of Sri Lanka’s exports back to India. more..

Supreme Buddhist Council to advise Govt. on religions

May 25 (ST) A Supreme Buddhist Advisory Council to guide the Govt on improving religious reconciliation is to be appointed by President Rajapaksa, Buddha Sasana Ministry Secretary M.K.B. Dissanayaka said. 17-member council will include nominees from the Mahanayake Theras and its advice will be sought on resolving issues with other religions, disputes among Buddhist clergy and issues related to land disputes in temples, more..

Eminent lawyer Ranjith Abeysuriya’s funeral today

May 25 (ST) Deshamanya Ranjith Abeysuriya, P.C., former Chairman- National Police Commission (NPC), former Director- Public Prosecutions of the AG Dept, former President- Bar Association and a member of the Law Commission, passed away. An old Royalist, Mr Abeysuriya was among the first students of the University of Ceylon’s Law Dept with slain Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. He was also at the Colombo Law College and became an Advocate in 1955. more..

Injured Lakmal out of ODI series

May 25 (CI) Fast bowler Suranga Lakmal has been ruled out of the remaining ODIs against England, after sustaining a grade-two tear on his right hamstring while running between wickets in the first ODI. Lakmal is expected to be available for the first Test, which begins at Lord's on June 12, but is unlikely to play in the practice match in Northampton. He will receive treatment in Sri Lanka, in the interim, the team's manager said. Lakmal was replaced by Dhammika Prasad more..

'Sri Lanka cannot mislead India under Modi'

May 25 (PTI) Sri Lanka would no longer be able to mislead India under PM-designate Narendra Modi like it had done with the previous Congress-led UPA govt, UNP has said. UNP MP Tissa Attanayake said that the era of duping India had ended with BJP leader Modi's victory. "Sri Lanka had incredibly misled Dr Manmohan Singh's govt. It has now ended. Mr Modi is a forceful leader who has built his own power base," more..

Dr. Kariyawasam appointed DMC (Health Services)

May 25 (ST) Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam, the Chief Medical Officer of Health of the Colombo Municipal Council who retired this week has been appointed as the Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Health Services) by the Governor of Western Province . The appointment was made on the recommendation of the Mayor of Colombo A.J.M. Muzamil with the approval of the Chief Minister of Western Province. The DMC (Health Services) will be supervising the work of four health departments in the CMC more..

Bar Association slams explanations of deaths in police custody as ‘blatant’ lies

May 25 (Island) Standing Committee of the Rule of Law of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka has issued a strong statement condemning the death of criminal suspects in police custody saying that the "acceptance of such blatant manifest untruths has made a mockery of the administration of justice in the country." Commenting on the series of deaths of persons in police custody as suspects over the commission of criminal offences, the statement says: "It is an insult to the intelligence of more..

Sri Lanka's tour of Pakistan hangs in balance

May 25 (PTI) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has already sent an official invitation to the Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) for a short series but the probability of the tour taking place is 50-50 chance. "The chances that Sri Lankan board will accept our invitation is 50-50 to be honest. Because we know some of their leading players have reservations over playing in Pakistan at this time. "But the way we look at it even if they more..

DNA tests for domesticated jumbos

May 25 (CT) The Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC) yesterday said it is planning to conduct DNA tests on all domesticated elephants in the country. DWLC Director General, H.D. Ratnayake, told Ceylon Today, discussions are on with the Ministry of Wildlife Resource Conservation to have all elephant owners to register their animals. It is also proposed that the elephants be DNA tested in order to recognize the animal in case of trafficking. more..

Tamil students in Delhi protest chanting anti-Rajapaksa slogans

May 25 (ANI) A Tamil students group called Delhi Tamil Youth Forum staged a protest in the streets of Delhi today to register their anger against the incoming Government's decision to extend invitation to SL President, Mahinda Rajapaksa. Holding banners and chanting against the Sri Lankan president, they were seen dissuading him for making a visit here as they described him as a war criminal. The Lankan president's visit to India to attend PM-designate Narendra Modi's swearing more..

Modi welcomes Sri Lanka's decision to release Indian fishermen

May 25 (IT) PM-designate Narendra Modi has welcomed Sri Lankan govt's move to release Indian fishermen ahead of his swearing-in ceremony. "I welcome the step by Sri Lanka and Pakistan to release our fishermen. I welcome our fishermen brothers back home," Modi wrote on Twitter. Sri Lanka announced to release fishemen caught in its waters as a goodwill gesture ahead of President Rajpaksa's visit to Modi's more..

UNP not averse to forming Common Opposition Front

May 25 (Island) The UNP said that it had not ruled out the possibility of contesting the next Presidential and Parliamentary elections in alliance with not only other Opposition parties, but some who are currently part of the UPFA govt. Senior UNP sources said that some comments made by their leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at last weeks parliamentary group meeting had been construed to mean that the UNP had taken a firm decision to contest the next national level poll on its own. more..

Compulsory new licence for passenger transport drivers from August

May 25 (ST) Passenger transport drivers in Sri Lanka will be compelled to re-apply for a fresh driving licence in August under new rules for regular passenger transport vehicles. This applies only to drivers in private and state-run buses, and staff and school van drivers. It doesn’t apply to other passenger vehicles like hiring vans or tourist buses. Motor Traffic Department is making this special driving licence for passenger transport vehicles compulsory for drivers of such vehicles. more..

Video: Removing PB from an unknown post ‘pointless’ – Wimal

May 25 (AD) NFF leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa today stated that Sri Lanka’s Finance Secretary does not figure in the party’s 12 proposals, approved at its National Convention and presented to the govt for implementation. “There is no proposal about P.B. Jayasundera in our 12 proposals,” he said, however adding, that there is a proposal about the path of the country’s economy. He stated that the NFF believes that if more..

Mother tongue, Religion and History compulsory in all international schools

May 25 (SLBC) Teaching of mother tongue, religion and the history of Sri Lanka will be made compulsory in all international schools from 1st of January next year. Parliament approval has also been obtained for this purpose. Complaints against shortages in the international schools are being received from various sectors. Hence a private school steering committee will be appointed before January next year. There are nearly 700 international school in the country and more..

'Recent Policy Initiatives affecting women'

May 25 (Island) The Friday Forum is an informal group of concerned citizens pledged to uphold norms of democracy, good governance, the rule of law, human rights, media freedom and tolerance in our pluralist society. The govt has recently adopted policy measures affecting women and children that deny women the right to equal life chances and livelihood opportunities in migrant work. These policies are based on the argument that women in our culture do not have rights if more..

Huge Sri Lanka win levels series at 1-1

May 25 (CI) On the eve of this one-day international, Sri Lanka's coach Marvan Atapattu talked of his belief that the team's fighting spirit would earn them a way back into the series. His charges proved him right in commanding fashion, skittling England for a paltry 99, as Nuwan Kulasekara knocked off the top order and Sachithra Senanayake improved his career-best for the second match running, to secure a crushing 157-run victory. more..


May 26 (CT) The UNP is torn apart. Party is fast breaking up and bleeding everywhere. Astrological predictions indicate that Ranil Wickremesinghe is fast fading away from the political scene with a deadline marked before 2017 (details would be disclosed at the appropriate time). If Ranil contests against Mahinda Rajapaksa, latter would win easily, astrologers have claimed. A similar fate is to befall Mangala Samaraweera, Tissa Attanayake, Ruwan Wijewardene and Ravi Karunanayake more..

2014 A5N: A sad lesson learnt

May 26 (SL) SRI LANKA’S 2014 A5N campaign could not have come to a more disappointing end. Not that a win in the inconsequential final scrap would’ve made it much better, but at least we might’ve recorded our first and only win at the top level of the A5N were the Philippines overcome last week. And the Philippines, lagging behind 19/25, was pretty much in the throes of death, when on the stroke injury time the visitors snatched a last-gasp try and added the decisive points more..

Sophisticated Cargo Targeting System to detect narcotics

May 26 (SL) Smuggling narcotics into the country is a grave issue faced by law enforcement authorities stationed at airports and seaports. Up to 2004, smuggling of dangerous drugs like heroin was limited to the BIA where persons were nabbed with the contraband hidden in their baggage. But a five kilogram detection of heroin hidden in a pounding machine that arrived at the Colombo port in the same year and two attempts to more..

History likely to repeat itself as tragedy, not farce

May 25 (CT) I don’t know whether it was Karl Marx who said something about history repeating itself as farce, but the prospects for a young village entrepreneur of my acquaintance suggests the possibility of tragedy rather than farce. I have in the past referred to the banditry that those who lease our durian trees for the fruiting season are subject to. To recap the scenario: we lease our durian trees out to the highest bidder who then proceeds to erect a watch-hut (pela) and, with the assistance more..