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Undergrad killed in car crash

May 30 (Island) A 24-year-old undergraduate of the University of Sri J'pura was killed when a car she was travelling in with four of her relatives crashed into a railing of a flyover near the entrance to the Katunayake-Colombo Expressway at Peliyagoda in the early hours of yesterday. The other four passengers, too, sustained serious injuries. Two of them are being treated at the ICU of the National Hospital, Colombo and the other two underwent surgery immediately after their admission more..

Major dip in US funding for Lanka

May 30 (FT) With aid agencies noting the shrinking political space to operate and Washington leading an international push for accountability for the last phase of the war, the US financial assistance to Sri Lanka will focus on democracy, rule of law and human rights going forward, a report said. US funding assistance for Sri Lanka has dipped sharply in 2013, except in the democracy, human rights and governance and peace and security sectors, more..

SLC considering Pakistan's Invite

May 30 (PTI) SLC is evaluating Pakistan Cricket Board's invitation for a short series in the foreseeable future. If the Sri Lankans agree to send their team to Pakistan, it would be the first tour by a Test playing nation since the infamous March 2009 attack incident in Lahore where militants attacked the Sri Lankan team bus. "We have got a positive response from them to the invitation we sent them. The good thing is that they haven't outrightly rejected the invitation," a PCB official said. more..

'Only integrated resort, no casinos'

May 30 (DN) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that the Govt has given approval for an integrated resort at D.R. Wijewardene Mawatha under the Strategic Development Project Act and investors can do only what was agreed upon with the Govt. "We have granted approval for an integrated resort and no approval was granted for the operation of casinos," he said. Minister added that investors cannot carry out any activity which does not comply with the law of the country. more..

Lakvijaya bowls over UNP

May 30 (DN) Govt in a display of the highest democratic traditions cordially welcomed a group of UNP members on a fact finding mission to the Lakvijaya Power Plant yesterday, UNP MP Harsha de Silva said adding that his party was pleased with the govt’s massive power project. MP de Silva further stated that they as UNP backbenchers decided to visit the power plant since there were many rumours about the plant, more..

SLFP criticizes allies for going public

May 30 (CT) With internal conflicts, between constituent parties of the UPFA Coalition Govt, seemingly increasing, the SLFP yesterday said they, as the main constituent party, have already begun discussions with the others, with a view to resolving differences. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, addressing the media criticized constituent parties of taking matters 'outside,' instead of attempting to resolve matters at the Cabinet or at the Parliamentary Group Meeting. more..

One in 3 children and one in 4 adults suffer from iron deficiency

May 30 (Island) Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Mrs. Renuka Jayatissa yesterday said one in three children and one in four adult Lankans suffer from iron deficiency making it the most difficult micro-nutrient-related deficiency in the country. Prevention and treatment of iron deficiency could raise national productivity by 20%. Children and adults iron deficiency anaemia had poor memory or poor cognitive skills resulting in poor performance in school, work and in recreational activities. more..

Colombo 7 house grab: CID probes powerful minister

May 30 (Island) CID has launched a probe into a racket where a senior govt minister has fraudulently acquired a house in Colombo 7 by forging a deed. Property belongs to the son of a wealthy Tamil businessman called Nadaraja, who died a few years ago. Current owner of the house is a university lecturer residing in Jamaica. Minister had grabbed the property on the pretext of taking it over for the use of a govt institution, more..

From innocent freedom to a captive hell

May 30 (DM) For thousands of years, the elephant—widely regarded as the most majestic of all animals-- has been part of Sri Lanka’s culture and plays a prominent role in pereheras including Asia’s most spectacular pageant, the Esala Perehara of the Sri Dalada Maligawa. The beautifully caparisoned elephant carrying hallowed relics and walking on a ‘pavada’ is considered a sacred animal. During the past few decades, the development push and population pressures have resulted in more..

Sushma’s appointment a bonus for Sri Lanka

May 30 (DM) She may not have made headlines in Sri Lanka yet but Sushma Swaraj, the first woman to be appointed as India’s Minister of External Affairs will be a key player in forging that country’s foreign policy towards Sri Lanka over the next few years. Swaraj was sworn in for the vital portfolio by PM Narendra Modi on Tuesday and her appointment should be considered a bonus for Sri Lanka which must be relieved at the prospect of a strong government in New Delhi that does not have more..

SL pinpointed as winner if reefs conserved

May 30 (ST) Stronger storms, rising seas and flooding are placing hundreds of millions of people at risk around the world – in Sri Lanka and other countries a major part of the solution lies off-shore, according to a new study that finds coral reefs reduce wave energy by 97%. The study, by scientists in the United States, estimates that 197 million people worldwide would receive risk reduction benefits from coral reefs alone and more..

Buddhist temple & residents fight over land

May 30 (SL) Muslims in Arisamale, Pulmuddai is still in a state of flux as the Arisamale temple has claimed 500 acres of land surrounding the temple as temple property. As the survey department went to demarcate the land for the temple at the end of last year people campaigned against the move and put the work on hold – yet people expressed fear that they will have to vacate their houses when required by the temple or more..

GMOA calls for President’s intervention to end chronic AHS degree dispute

May 30 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association, (GMOA) said they would request President Rajapaksa’s intervention to solve the issue of Allied Health Sciences (AHS) degree course. GMOA Media Spokesman Dr. Nalinda Herath breaking the long silence on the issue by voicing the official opinion of the union alleged that the UGC was not firm enough to be able to resolve the issue. more..

Despite regime change - India’s policy on Sri Lanka hasn’t changed

May 30 (DM) India’s PM Narendra Modi, soon after being sworn in, had a meeting with President Rajapaksa and spelt out his govt’s policy on Sri Lanka. The media quoted India’s Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, as having said that Mr. Modi asked President Rajapaksa to expedite the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka. Quoting the PM, she said the full implementation of the 13th Amendment or going beyond that would contribute to this process. more..

JVP leader did not apologize - Somawansa

May 30 (CT) Former JVP Leader, Somawansa Amarasinghe said only his Party had regretted the transgression of boundaries, if there were any, committed during the violent insurrection from 1987-1989. He said so while denying media reports that JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake had apologized for the 6,000 deaths that had occurred during the Party's 1987-1989 revolt. more..

Galle indoor nets under UNESCO threat

May 30 (DM) An illegal construction by Sri Lanka Cricket within the ‘Buffer Zone’ of the historic Dutch Fort in Galle, could cause the site to lose its listing as a ‘UNESCO World Heritage Property’, and plans are underway to demolish this building that serves presently as the indoor nets of the Galle International Cricket stadium. These indoor cricket nets infringe upon the area marked as a heritage site, and repeated objections have more..

Govt. sticks to PSC despite Indian pressure

May 30 (Island) Close on the heels of a meeting between newly elected Indian PM Narendra Modi and President Rajapaksa in New Delhi, where the former called for early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment and to go beyond, the govt said that it was only the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) that could decide on the matter. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the govt would cooperate with more..

UK wants a political solution in Lanka

May 30 (CG) Britain says it will continue to encourage the Sri Lankan govt to respect human rights, promote meaningful reconciliation and agree to a political settlement with the Tamil and other opposition parties. The head of the political team at the British High Commission in Colombo, Daniel Painter, said in a blog posting that the British Govt’s primary objective in Sri Lanka is to support the development of a stable and more..

IMF denies recommending cut down on education budget

May 30 (AD) The IMF today said that it has not recommended to the Sri Lankan Govt to cut down budget on education, as claimed by the UNP. The IMF insists that spending on education is vital of the country. Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe, during a recent press briefing, alleged that the govt has reached an agreement with the world body to abolish free education. He said that an IMF delegation is currently in Sri Lanka to more..

Going beyond 13 A: GTF ponders what Modi’s message to Mahinda really meant

May 30 (Island) The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) said that India should explain what 13th Amendment plus envisaged for Tamil speaking people in post-war Sri Lanka. UK based GTF spokesperson, Suren Surendiran told The Island that the Diaspora grouping wanted to know what newly elected Indian PM Narendra Modi really meant by going beyond the 13th Amendment to achieve national reconciliation fully and quickly. more..

Disabled soldiers want their salaries

May 30 (SM) Court of appeal has given time to the govt to settle a dispute due to a decision not to pay salaries of soldiers disabled during the war until they reach the retirement age. The petitioners are 292 disabled soldiers, representing the interests of around 6,000 colleagues in a similar plight. One of the petitioners, P.V.S. Shantha, said the military authorities had suspended the payment of their salaries despite the laws governing the military provides for such payment. more..

'Our coastal areas sold to China & India'

May 30 (LT) The present govt has dragged the fishing industry in the country to the grave by unofficially handing over the northern coastal areas to India and the Southern coast to China says the President of All Ceylon Common Fisheries Federation (ACCFF) Nihal Galappaththy. He said, “Govt follows a very shameful policy regarding the solution for ‘Indo – Lanka’ fishermen’s issue. Fishermen engage in the industry are violating maritime boundaries of both countries. more..

Tussle over 80% far from over

May 30 (CT) The landmark ruling by the Court of Appeal, overturning the Cabinet decision to have 80% pictorial health warnings on tobacco products has raised questions among think tanks in the country as to the power Parliament holds to pass legislation in the country. Court's decision, overruling the Cabinet decision and allowing the tobacco industry a concession of 20% points on pictorial warnings on cigarette packs, more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.6%

May 30 (LBO) Stocks closed down 0.64 percent on Friday with diversified, food and tobacco stocks losing ground despite net foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 40.31 points lower at 6,263.46 down 0.64%. The S&P SL20 closed 32.08 points lower at 3,454.61, down 0.92%. Turnover was 1.08 billion rupees, up from 810.92 million rupees a day earlier with 91 stocks closed positive against 130 negative. Cargills Ceylon closed 2.50 rupees lower at 142.50 rupees with more..

Things should not fall apart

May 30 (CT) An exceptional group of people set an exceptional precedent in exceptional circumstances on 16 March this year at the National Institute of Education in Maharagama, Sri Lanka, formerly the Specialist Teachers College. In a society where politico-worship is the norm, any worthwhile event held has to be highlighted as a good example for the rest to follow. By launching such an event, a good precedent was set in motion by a group of golden oldies on that day . more..

Sri Lanka's inflation at 3.2% in May 2014

May 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's consumer prices rose 3.2% in the year to May 2014, slowing from 4.9% in April, though prices rose 0.6% during the month. Foods without alcoholic beverages rose a sharp 1.3% during the month, on the back of a 0.7% gain a month earlier, while non-foods fell 0.1%. But the 12-month inflation fell due to the so-called base effect where in May 2013 the index gained 2.3%. more..

Dangerous justification of extra-judicial killings

May 30 (CT) Yesterday, our lead story, quoting SSP Ajith Rohana said that hereafter police would use 'necessary force' as opposed to 'minimum force' in dealing with troublemakers. He said this to seemingly justify the recent killings of suspects in police custody and the police assault on protesting undergraduates. Extra judicial killings by the police and the country's armed forces first came into focus during the April 1971 insurgency, where it is estimated that 13,000 Sinhala youth, more..

Elderly passengers gold chain recovered by quick acting cop

May 30 (Island) A passenger of a train that reached the Kandy railway station from Colombo suddenly found the gold chain he was wearing missing, but it was soon recovered due to prompt action of a police officer present at the railway station. The over 70 year old passenger quickly informed the police officer at the railway station that his gold chain was snatched and that he suspected three young men present at the station at the time. The police immediately took the three young men more..

CB governor Cabraal welcomes Modi

May 30 (WSJ) Sri Lanka’s central bank governor, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, says the election of Narendra Modi as India’s new prime minister will be good for his nation’s economy and make his job “a little easier.” Getting India’s economy growing at a faster clip is going to be a top priority for Mr. Modi, who was propelled to power by voters in India who want better job opportunities, higher standards of living and a more efficient govt. more..

Ministry requests SLC to honour pledge

May 30 (DM) The Ministry of Sports has requested Sri Lanka Cricket to honour a Rs. 2 million pledge it made as a contribution to the opening ceremony of the new Sports Ministry complex in Reid Avenue. A new premises for the ministry was declared open by President Rajapaksa in January at the refurbished Race Course Complex, and it is understood that top officials of SLC had agreed to Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage to make this contribution, in the lead-up to the opening, more..

Sri Lankan maid in coma after gas cylinder blast dies

May 30 (AN) A Sri Lankan maid who has been in a coma for two weeks as a result of a cylinder explosion died at the King Saud Hospital (Semesi) on Wednesday. Fathima Safaya, 38, was severely burnt in an accident that took place at a Saudi household in the early hours of May 15 in Riyadh. Safaya, from a town 50 km from Colombo, is a divorcee with two sons. She had come to the Kingdom to provide for her sons and had been working at the household for past 15 months. more..

'Those making allegations about IMF deal should prove their charges'

May 30 (DN) President Rajapaksa challenged those who level allegations that the govt had struck a deal with the IMF to privatise govt schools, to prove their charges. President said that the govt was committed to protecting free education while making changes to the education system to suit the present day demands. "We have provided physical resources to all schools," he added. President said that the country had a few more..

Jayalalithaa and Modi may discuss Lanka

May 30 (CG) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa is expected to discuss about Sri Lanka when she meets Indian PM Narendra Modi on Tuesday in New Delhi. Jayalalithaa, who is said to have good equations with Modi had raised her objection to the invitation sent by the BJP to Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa for Modi’s swearing-in ceremony. Tamil Nadu CM had skipped the event, which was attended by high profile dignitaries, including all SAARC leaders. more..

Vass to be tried for threatening CID ASP

May 30 (DM) Former DIG Vaas Gunawardena will be tried on September 22 for intimidating CID ASP Shani Abeysekera and some other CID detectives while he was being questioned by them over the killing of millionaire businessman Mohamed Shiyam. The former DIG who is in remand in connection with the killing of Mohamed Shiyam was today produced in the Colombo High Court to answer the charges against him for threatening to kill ASP Shani Abeysekera, Special Investigation Unit OIC more..

Govt. to ‘relieve’ state banks from investments in SriLankan airlines

May 30 (DM) In a bid to strengthen the balance sheets of the main three state banks—Bank of Ceylon, National Savings Bank and People’s Bank, the govt has decided to buy back the investments these banks have made in the ailing national career, SriLankan Airlines. “The investments made in SriLankan Airlines by these banks, which have not yielded any returns, will be bought back by govt relieving the banks more..

Sri Lanka seeks JVs with foreign investors to cater to domestic market

May 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka wants foreign investors to set up joint ventures where the output will be allowed to be sold to the domestic market, investment promotion minister Lakshman Abeywardena said, amid fears of new protectionism. "We will indicate to a local investor or a local investor who forms a joint venture with a foreign investor what type of goods that can be produced in the next five years," he said. "For example we will show how much cement will be needed. more..

Dr. Amunugama tells of avenues available to rise through self-employment

May 30 (Island) Sri Lankans also could live a posh life like Americans if they raised their income by turning to self-employment avenues making use of assistance granted by the govt, Senior Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said at a meeting of Women of the Galagedara electorate looking for self-employment. The meeting was held at the Thumpane Pradeshiya Sabha premises, to educate the women about the facilities provided by the govt for self-employment projects. more..

Sri Lanka economic outlook positive; should watch external shocks, drought: IMF

May 30 (LBO) Outlook for SL's economy was positive with low inflation and stronger growth driven by exports, but the country should watch out for a slowdown in developed nations and domestic drought, IMF said. Todd Schneider, who headed mission for annual 'Article IV' consultations, said recent growth exceeded expectations and strong growth was likely to continue given solid export growth and remittances. more..

Russia and Sri Lanka to fight crime

May 30 (CG) Sri Lanka and Russia will sign an agreement aiming to cooperate on combating transnational crimes. The Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Law and Order of Sri Lanka will sign a MoU on Combating Crimes and Promotion of Police Cooperation. The objective of the MoU is to promote cooperation between the two countries by way of exchanging information on major criminal issues such as terrorism, crimes against lives and more..

New uniforms for women police personnel

May 30 (DM) Women Police officers would be issued a newly designed uniform comprising a trouser and a shirt in addition to the one they are currently wearing for official duties, police said. Women Constables/ Sergeants will be issued trousers and shirts while women police officers in the rank of Inspector and Superintendent will be issued trousers and bush coats. The new uniforms will also be Khaki. The Law and Order Ministry Secretary had approved the new style more..