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HNB MD/CEO clarifies on proposed NBFI consolidation

May 3 (FT) HNB MD/CEO Jonathan Alles yesterday issued a statement on the comments made by him at the MTI Forum held on 29 April on banking sector consolidation. Alles attended the said forum as a panellist. “I would like to state both HNB’s and my position on this matter. We at HNB are fully supportive of the consolidation initiative and have been actively involved in preparatory work in order to decide on suitable acquisitions. We are in the process of reviewing due diligence reports more..

Enter expatriate prospect Mudith

May 3 (Island) Athletics Association of Sri Lanka’s attempt to test country’s expatriates’ talent probably received a set back when pole vault prospect Mudith Jayasekara had to leave behind his fiber poles at the Sydney Airport on his way to Sri Lanka to take part in the Junior National Athletics Championships. But the determined youngster managed to clear 4.50 metres (equivalent to U-20 Junior National record) using a substandard more..

May Day - May Day on the rise

May 3 (Island) Another May Day has come and gone, and all those who celebrated it may be pleased at whatever glory they brought to their respective political parties and colours. We saw both the unity and the division of workers, with colour seemingly more important than policy, and slogans having little to do with the class struggle or the rights of workers. Even before the dawn of the International Workers’ Day this year, there have been increasing calls of May Day-May Day, more..

RAM Ratings (Lanka) changes to Lanka Rating Agency

May 3 (DN) In 2014, RAM Ratings (Lanka) (RAML) which was formally known as Lanka Rating Agency (LRA) completed 10 years of service within the Sri Lankan Economy. Over the years RAML has become a significant player in the credit rating industry of the nation. RAM Rating Services Berhad (RAMRS) is the premier domestic rating agency in Malaysia which facilitated the development of domestic bond markets in Malaysia and with that expertise LRA was set up in SL in 2003 more..

9th round of SL-China bilateral political consultations successfully concluded

May 3 (FT) 9th round of the bilateral political consultations between Sri Lanka and China was convened at the Ministry of External Affairs on 24 April, co-chaired by Liu Zhenmin, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China and Kshenuka Senewiratne, Secretary, External Affairs. The multi-dimensional and deep-rooted bilateral partnership between the two countries was extensively reviewed during the consultations with special focus more..

Over 50 top hoteliers at Arabian Travel Mart

May 3 (DN) Sri Lanka would field the highest number of participants for the Arabian Travel Mart which would be held from May 5 to 8 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Over 50 top hoteliers would represent Sri Lanka at this annual event which includes several SME and first time participants as well. Both Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and SriLankan Airlines too would host separate stands at this annual event. The latest statistics from ATM organiser, Reed Travel Exhibitions, more..

Ven. Watareka Thera in hiding again

May 3 (Island) Ven. Watareka Vijitha Thera, Chairman of Jathika Bala Sena has lodged a complaint at the Dematagoda police station on May Day that when he was returning to Mahiyangana after attending May Day celebrations at Kollupitiya, a white car chased after the van he was travelling in, which posed a serious threat to his life. As the suspicious car followed him up to Thorana junction, he turned back to find that the same car was following him again. When the police checked more..

Financial sector consolidation progressing says CBSL

May 3 (Island) Satisfactory progress was made in the consolidation process during the month of April 2014. All banks and finance and leasing companies (NBFIs) submitted their broad plans on consolidation and greater participation in economic activities. The Central Bank reviewed the broad plans submitted by the banks and NBFIs and another round of one-on-one meetings are to be held with the respective more..

UNP reformists fear Ranil grooming his cousin to succeed

May 3 (Island) The UNP would soon be returning to a "family party" as there was a definite attempt to groom the party National Leader Ranil Wickreme-singhe’s cousin, the Gampaha District MP Ruwan Wijewardene, one of the UNP reformists Shiral Lakthilaka charged. He said that there would be further turmoil in the party if Wijewardene was appointed the leader as he was still too young in both age and politics. Wijewardene was only elected to the Western Provincial Council (WPC) in more..

Hameedia introduces its latest innovation: The Shower Clean Suit

May 3 (Island) Menswear specialist Hameedia recently introduced its latest design innovation, the Shower Clean Suit. This state-of-the-art suit is part of the Envoy Classic collection and is a cutting-edge creation that applies special water repellent technology to keep the suit completely dry, clean and easier to remove difficult stains. The Shower Clean Suit is made from Portuguese fabric with a unique polyester, wool and lyrca material composition. more..

Attempt to abduct elephant calf from Udawalawe averted

May 3 (DM) Some gangsters who had allegedly attempted to remove an elephant calf from the Udawalawe National Park on Thursday and transport it by a tractor were intercepted by the wildlife officers and the residents. When their motives came to light they had fled leaving the calf behind. Residents in the area believe that his high handed act of piracy was attempted with state patronage. more..

Explosion injures three

May 3 (CT) Three persons of the same family were seriously injured after a bomb hidden inside a torch exploded yesterday morning. A father (55), daughter (25) and son (14), all residents of at Meddekanda, Balangoda, were in the house when the blast took place. The incident had occurred when the son had opened the kitchen door and found a torch lying on the ground outside. He had handed over the torch to his father. When it was switched on, it had exploded. Police said the victims were critically injured more..

Trains back on Northern line

May 3 (CT) Train services on the northern line, which came to a halt on Wednesday 30 April following a head-on collision between two trains at Pothuhera, resumed on Thursday night. The accident had caused no deaths but 68 persons were reported to have been injured. Services resumed after the Control Room authorized the night mail train to depart from Colombo Fort at 8.15 p.m. on Thursday night. The Yaal Devi train, which had departed from the Palai Railway Station, more..

'Having a tattoo not an offence'

May 3 (CT) According to Basil Rajapaksa, anyone can have any number of Buddha, Jesus, Rama, Seetha or Vishnu tattoos on their body, because the Penal Code Section 291B does not refer to tattoos and was misinterpreted in the recent case involving a British tourist. Referring to the 'unholy' arrest and deportation of Buddha tattooed UK tourist, who had a passion for Buddhism, minister said it was 'really a sad state of affairs'. more..

Vavuniya hospital buries unclaimed bodies

May 3 (DN) Forty bodies that were kept in Vavuniya hospital for several months were buried on April 29. Hospital sources said that the bodies had been kept in the hospital mortuary for months as they were not taken away by relatives of friends. Officials said that 33 of the bodies buried were that of infants while the rest were those of elderly persons. The bodies included that of a 110 year old woman. Officials pointed out that some of the relatives had refused to take the bodies. more..

Days of Sri Lanka by Sri Lankan Embassy in Moscow

May 3 (GDI) Sri Lanka is coming to Moscow, the capital of Russia and a number of major Russian cities as well as the Armenian capital city of Yerevan in a fantastic festival of “Days of Sri Lanka” this summer! The Roadshow will be launched in Moscow on 29 May 2014 and then proceed to Kazan, Samara, Saratov, Volgograd, Rostov and end its journey in Yerevan on 17 June 2014. This colorful and rich festival is meant to bring Sri Lanka closer to Russia and Armenia, bonding these countries more..

Terrorist's arrest in Chennai significant, says Sri Lankan Analyst; Pak in denial

May 3 (ENS) SL terrorism expert, Dr Rohan Gunaratna, considers the arrest of suspected Lankan Muslim terrorist Zakir Hussain in Chennai on Tuesday, and the busting of his outfit in Tamil Nadu as being “very significant” for the entire South Asian region. Gunaratna declined to reveal details, but said that cells such as Hussain’s have been functioning in Lanka, the Maldives and India, posing a “severe threat” to the entire region. more..

Ambassador meets with Cuban Delegation for WCY 2014

May 3 (GDI) Sri Lankan Ambassador in Cuba Sarath Dissanayake elaborating on the theme of the World Conference on Youth 2014 “Mainstreaming Youth in the Post 2015 Development Agenda“ said the conference will strive to engage participants in an inclusive dialogue aimed at strengthening the role of youth in developing, implementing and evolving a youth oriented development agenda, thus benefiting the youth and future generations. The Ambassador said so when a 3 member Cuban delegation more..

Media organisations condemn Arumugam Thondaman’s manhandling of journalist

May 3 (NF) On Thursday, our cameras captured footage of how a Cabinet Minister Arumugam Thondaman obstructed a journalist from carrying out his duties at the May Day Rally of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC). This was the manner in which the Secretary of the CWC and Minister Arumugam Thondaman obstructed a journalist (please watch video) who was covering the May Day procession and rally of the party in Bandarawela, from carrying out his duties. more..

'Enough evidence to indict Duminda'

May 3 (CT) Colombo Additional Magistrate, Priyantha Liyanage, yesterday said there was sufficient evidence to indict MP Duminda Silva and 13 others, in the Colombo High Court, with the killing of Presidential Adviser, Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, in 2011. Silva and the 13 other suspects were instructed to present themselves before the High Court when noticed to do so. Additional Magistrate also ordered the more..

Countrywide bus strike on 1 July – AIPBOF

May 3 (CT) The All Island Private Bus Owners' Federation (AIPBOF) threatened to launch a countrywide bus strike on 1 July unless bus fares were increased by 20%, effective from 1 July. AIPBOF General Secretary, Anjana Priyanjith, said that last year bus owners demanded a 12% fare hike, but the National Transport Commission (NTC) agreed to only a 6% hike. They are now asking for a 20% hike. "Even though diesel prices are stable, all other costs have increased. more..

It costs $20 million to say: 'Don't call Australia home'

May 3 (SMH) The federal govt is spending nearly $20 million to push its hardline message of deterrence to asylum seekers, telling people from some of the poorest and most desperate countries not to come to Australia, new documents show. The reverse tourism offensive with its Don't Call Australia Home messaging contrasts with the $180 million spent by the federal govt on the Lara Bingle "Where the Bloody Hell Are You?" campaign to attract overseas visitors to Australia. more..

Govt, Opposition Muslim MPs urge President to rein in BBS

May 3 (Island) Muslim govt and Opposition MPs have joined forces with the exception of two to petition President Rajapaksa requesting him to rein in the BBS and restore law and order. 16 of the 18 Muslim MPs with the exception of A.R.M. Cader and A.H.M. Azwer have in a letter to the President sought his immediate intervention to stop the BBS from harassing the internally displaced Northern Muslims who were driven out of more..

Pressing for Press Freedom

May 3 (DM) As we mark World Press Freedom Day today, we are confronted by headlines as to whether we should celebrate this day or deadlines indicating whether it would be more appropriate to commemorate it in SL. Firstly, we need to turn the searchlight inward and see what has happened to journalism here. It was once a vocation, then became a profession. But sadly, now it appears to be largely a case of by-lines or buy-lines and a business for personal gain or glory. more..

Climate Change

May 3 (DM) As we go about our day to day activities atmospheric temperatures are increasing, ice caps are melting, sea levels are increasing, heat waves and heavy rainfalls are intensifying, fish and other creatures are migrating to the poles and in some cases going extinct. Chairman of the National Science Foundation Professor W.L. Sumathipala said in pre-industrial times the carbon dioxide concentration was 280 parts per million and at present due to industrialisation and more..

Come the rains, come the scourge of dengue

May 3 (ST) With the onset of monsoonal rains last week came the scourge of dengue, with five schools forced to close over a death and 20 confirmed cases among dozens of fever victims in Hanwella in the Colombo district. Students of Hanwella Rajasinghe National College, Pahatagama Roman Catholic Primary School, Maliyadeva Primary School, Mayadunne College and Walawwatte Junior School, arriving back to more..

WYC 2014 theme song launched

May 3 (GDI) The theme song of the National Conference on Youth 2014 composed by Bhathiya, Santhush together with a group of artistes and lyrics by Minister Dullas Alahapperuma was launched before the Journalists today (2). Minister said that a total of 159 countries have confirmed upto midnight May 1st, participation at the World Conference on Youth hosted by Sri Lanka. He also said that the confirmed list of more..

Women inspiring change in Sri Lanka livelihoods project

May 3 (SL) “I passed my A levels in Biology but did not get sufficient marks to enter university,” said Sarojini, the eldest child of farming parents from Sri Lanka’s once poorest district division. She made a decision to find a job in Colombo to support the education of her younger sisters and assist her aged parents who were subsistence farmers. “Today, one of my sisters is a doctor and another teacher,” she said more..

Union claims highway robbery with EPF investments

May 3 (Island) The Annual report of the Auditor-General for 2011 had revealed that the Central Bank Monetary Board had been investing EPF monies at their whim and fancy like reckless gamblers, Secretary of the FTZ & GSEU Anton Marcus said. He said that the report recorded investments made in 58 private companies during 2011. It had resulted in a loss of Rs. 1,170 million and investments in another 11 companies more..

Govt says no media is free

May 3 (CG) The Govt, in comments to mark world press freedom day, says unregulated freedom can be harmful to society adding that unalloyed media freedom does not exist anywhere in the world. In a statement on Policy Research and Information Unit of the Presidential Secretariat website, Govt Information Department Director General Professor Ariyarathna Athugala observed that cases of misuse of media freedom are very common today. more..

Rs. 260 million gem heist solved

May 3 (Island) The Mawanella Police, in the early hours of yesterday, arrested four suspects including a police sergeant over the robbery of nine gems worth Rs. 260 million on April 28, with the help of video footage of a five star hotel, where some of the suspects allegedly met before staging the heist. The police had taken into custody the stolen gems and two cars, one of which was used in the robbery. more..

AHS undergrads refuse to end sathyagraha

May 3 (CT) Undergraduates of the Peradeniya University's Allied Health Sciences (AHS) Faculty have refused to end their sathyagraha campaign and resume attending lectures on Monday, citing that none of their issues have been resolved. AHS undergrads have been engaging in a sathyagraha for over four months on an issue concerning the study period of their degree programme. more..

18 Chief Inspectors file FR case

May 3 (CT) Eighteen Chief Inspectors of Police have filed a Fundamental Rights (FR) application challenging the appointments of 122 Assistant Superintendents of Police with effect from 13 May. According to the petitioners, the 122 Chief Inspectors promoted to the rank of Assistant Superintendents of Police are not eligible for promotion. The petitioners filed this FR through their attorney-at-law, Gowry Thavarasa, more..

Pope meets Sri Lankan bishops

May 3 (RV) Pope Francis met today with the bishops of Sri Lanka as part of their visit ad Limina Apostolorum. In his address, the Pope encouraged the bishops in their efforts of reconciliation and healing of the nation, after more than 25 years of civil war on the island. Observing that the Church counts among its faithful both sides of the civil war, the Pope remarked that “as the country seeks to come together and heal, the Church is more..

India, Sri Lanka fishermen talks on May 12

May 3 (CG) Ministerial level talks will take place after the second round of talks between fishermen from India and Sri Lanka in Colombo on May 12. Fisheries Ministry spokesman said that following the talks between fishermen associations, it has been decided to have Ministerial level talks on the same issue. India has named a three member committee to take part in Ministerial level talks following May 12 talks between fishermen associations. more..

The myth at the bottom of our problem

May 3 (CT) Ever since its political independence SL has never been able to solve its central national crisis in relationship between the majority Sinhalese and minority Tamil speaking communities. Souring relationships began with a veneer of cordiality between leaders like DS Senanayake, Ponnambalam Ramanathan and GG Ponnambalam. The veneer was removed at the stage when SJV Chelvanayakam, in reaction to visible signs of obduracy on the part of Sinhala leaders, more..

President to open new 1024 bed hospital for the army

May 3 (Island) The newly built ten storeyed Military Hospital, at Narahenpita will be declared open by President Rajapaksa on May 5 at 10.00 a.m. It had been built by the govt at a cost of Rs. 6542.4 million. Brigadier Jayantha Jayaweera said that it would be one of the biggest hospitals in the country as it had got 1024 beds. In comparison the Sri J'pura General Hospital had only 1021 beds. He said that the mega hospital was a tribute to the war heroes by the President as it was a long felt requirement. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon (old)

1995: PA govt and the continuing vacuum

May 3 (CT) Chandrika Kumaratunga’s PA govt was elected to power on good intentions. We mentioned the movements for the disappeared, which directly and indirectly played a major role in creating the wave which swept the PA to victory. During that period justice for the disappeared became almost a cult slogan with which one could not afford to disagree in public. With the approach of the parliamentary elections fixed for 16th August ’94, it became common for leading PA more..

Ranil demands Rajapaksa unblock web sites

May 3 (CT) Blocking websites like Colombo Telegraph clearly shows the increasing authoritarian tendencies of the Rajapaksa regime, the leader of the opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe told Colombo Telegraph. Condemning Rajapaksa regime’s move to block websites, the UNP leader Wickremesinghe said; “The degree of censorship in Sri Lanka has gone from bad to very grave.” Speaking from the Center for International Studies at MIT, he said; “I will hold discussion with the party’s more..