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Tiran sees revenge behind move

Apr 7 (CG) DNA MP, Tiran Alles claims there seems to be an attempt to take political revenge on him by raising false accusations. The police had today obtained a court order preventing Alles and five other Directors of a company established following the 2004 tsunami, from leaving the country. Alles and the Directors of the company, which was established to provide relief to the tsunami affected families, have been accused of fraud. Alles denied the charges and said that more..

Video: 'Maithri behind attempts against 19A'

Apr 7 (DM) The JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake today charged that President Maithripala Sirisena was behind the statements made by Minister Champika Ranawaka and MPs Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Nimal Siripala de Silva against the 19th Amendment. “The silence of President Sirisena reflects that he is behind the attempts against the 19th Amendment. Otherwise, some elements with only two parliamentary more..

Ding dong bell! Pussy’s in the well!

Apr 8 (CT) Nursery Rhymes were a British Colonial trademark that influenced the early lives of Sri Lankans, especially during the Colonial era. Actually, many of them were hardly happy and spoke of some misfortune, like getting thrown down the stairs and someone breaking his crown. We sang these songs with the joie de vivre of youth, with nary a thought about their real meaning. I cannot help but draw a parallel to what is going on in our country in so far as us being more..

Celebrating Lester

Apr 8 (CT) He was born 96 years ago. He turns 96 today. There probably are a good many words one can use in describing him. Probably only one or two of them can describe him well. In any case, the worth of the man goes beyond words. Icons are like that. Words, sentences, even essays or books, can’t do justice. There is an extra something which eludes easy capture, which can’t be framed in an essay, much less an article. Still, if there’s probably one characteristic which sets him apart from more..

Full-face helmets: Safety vs security

Apr 8 (SO) Nearly 50% road accident admissions to the Accident Ward of the Colombo National Hospital is due to motorcycle accidents. The vehicles most vulnerable to accidents are motorcycles and three-wheelers. Motorcycle accident admissions are high compared to other vehicle accidents, Accident Ward Director, Colombo National Hospital, Dr. Kapila Wickramanayake said. Following awareness programs for more..

Cabinet a victim of RW style politics

Apr 8 (CT) The saddest victim of the Ranil Wickremesinghe style of politics has been the Cabinet. There was a pledge in the President's manifesto to begin with a Cabinet of 25 members. This was expanded to 28, and the pledge that the Cabinet would consist of representatives of all political parties was ignored. I did point this out to the President, and mentioned that Mr Radhakrishnan too had been a victim of this breach of promise. more..

For genuine reconciliation, all religions must collaborate

Apr 8 (Island) In recent years after the end of the war, there has been some talk and some efforts made by the govt and politicians with regard to reconciliation. In my view these efforts did not bring any desired fruit mainly because the government and politicians were treating the theme of reconciliation among peoples, namely, winning the hearts and minds of people, as a political effort, without the active and competent cooperation of civic and religious leaders. more..

A little church that holds hope for the hopeless

Apr 8 (ST) Set amidst a rectangular block of land at the best spot on a lush coconut estate in Ratnagiriya, is a tiny, inconspicuous church. Surrounded by shady kohomba, benjamina and teak trees through which rustles a gentle breeze, is St. Peregrine’s Church, where those living close-by say many haskam (miracles) take place. Although the church’s name evokes images of the better-known falcon than the saint, here is where men, more..

Rape and domestic violence in Sri Lanka: Triggered by a mind-set?

Apr 8 (GV) Water runs through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence. The same could be said about changing a nation’s mind-set. “A culture that propagates violence against women and children is not a culture, it is a nightmare we still need to wake up from,” said Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, Executive Director at the LGBT-NGO Equal Ground, when I met her in her office. According to Rose Wijeyesekera, a PhD Candidate at the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo, more..

Are Sri Lankan Tamils prone to collective political suicide?

Apr 8 (GV) We have entered the ninth decade since the Donoughmore Reforms leading to the first State Council elections of 1931. Through the early part of these eight and a half decades, Sri Lankan Tamils had occupied a dominant position in this country, politically, economically and socially. The leading political institution of this community in the 1920s was the Jaffna Youth Congress (JYC) which was very highly regarded by the leaders of every political party of Sri Lanka as well as more..

'People demand MR's return'

Apr 8 (CT) Chief Minister of the Western Province Prasanna Ranatunga says that opinion at rural level is that Mahinda Rajapaksa should be brought into active politics once again. Q: Are you in agreement that Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated at the last presidential election A: Yes, he was defeated. We should accept that fact. We should respect the opinion of the people. Q: Then why are these conspiracy theories of RAW more..

Editorial: Sailors as teachers

Apr 8 (Island) We published, on Monday, a pictorial account of some crew members of two Japanese naval ships on a goodwill mission here cleaning up the Mount Lavinia beach with the Sri Lanka Coast Guard personnel. On seeing those inspiring pictures we did not know whether to laugh or cry. We were happy that a group of foreign well wishers had taken the trouble of imparting a lesson on cleanliness to local litterbugs; we were sad at the same time that the country had come to such a pass that more..

PM Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka: Some Negatives

Apr 8 (Island) The dust is finally settled after a flurry of activity in the Indo Sri Lanka front. It started with Minister Samaraweeka’s visit to Delhi in January followed by President Sirisena’s visit to India in February. We then had Foreign Minister SushmaSwaraj visiting Colombo followed by PM Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka in March. All this in a mere 58 days.The absence of a joint communique or statement or even a Press meet which is customary after visits by Foreign Ministers and more..

Poser over Mannar wind power plant

Apr 8 (Island) The govt will shortly decide whether to go to the World Bank or to a French firm for a soft loan to the tune of USD 200 million to set up a 100MW CEB owned wind power plant in Mannar. CEB chairman Anura Wijeyapala said that both institutions had expressed their willingness to support the forthcoming project. He said that the govt and the Board are waiting for the endorsement of the Sustainable Energy Authority (SEA). more..

‘Mergers on a voluntary basis’

Apr 8 (DN) Sri Lanka’s financial sector consolidation process through mergers and acquisitions, which was initiated by the previous govt should not be forced but needs to be a voluntary exercise for banking and financial sector entities to pursue, top economist Dinesh Weerakkody said. “My personal opinion is that this should be a voluntary exercise but not a forced one. A committee has been appointed to look into this matter, which is also looking at the non- banking sector as well. more..

Sri Lanka primed for A5N challenge: Michael

Apr 8 (CT) Chairman of rugby selection panel Michael Jayasekera says Sri Lanka is primed for a no holds barred showdown against hosts Philippines and Kazakhstan in the forthcoming Asian Five Nations (A5N) Division-1 rugby tournament set to kick off in Manila next month. The island-nation is also slated to face Singapore in the four-nation event scheduled from May 3-9. "We (Sri Lanka) will be out to give a good account of ourselves," Jayasekera – a former national cap more..

Harsha slams Sri Lankan Airlines corruption

Apr 8 (Island) ‘The culprits behind the alleged "corruption" at Sri Lankan Airlines (SLA) were revealed by the Weliamuna report; it is now up to the govt to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law for their crimes, Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva said. "Weliamuna report clearly identified the masterminds behind the corruption at SLA, it is my belief, as a member of the new govt, that these identified parties should be more..

Avant Garde, table police report

Apr 8 (CT) The Avant Garde (AG) issue is seemingly becoming curiouser by the day. Said to be a private security agency, current investigations have had however revealed that powerful names of the previous regime are behind its activities. As reported by this newspaper's yesterday's edition, AG is also suspected to have had been involved in weapons laundering. Those weapons laundered had allegedly belonged to the LTTE. Arms dealing is lucrative business. more..

World Health Day 2015: Food security for human health

Apr 8 (FT) Since 1948 we have been celebrating World Health Day on 7 April each year as designated by the UN Organisation in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO). A healthy nation is a fundamental element for the socio economic advancement of a country. A nation’s health brings twofold benefits. A healthy nation performs social and economic functions efficiently. If the society is in good health, the country does not need colossal sums of more..

Previous govt allocated Rs 170M to build school in Uganda

Apr 8 (CT) Making a shocking revelation in Parliament Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said, that the previous govt had allocated Rs 170 million for a construction project in Uganda despite repeated refusals from the Ugandan Govt. Deputy Minister said he was not aware of what happened to the said project and allocation but the contractor had been paid USD 94,000. Dr. de Silva said so, responding to a query raised by more..

SL to go for more petroleum seismic studies

Apr 8 (EN) Sri Lanka is to go for more offshore seismic studies for oil and gas deposits in the Mannar Basin, having got interest from foreign companies. Saliya Wickramasuriya, Director General of the Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat said the govt was keen to make up for a lack of data on the island's offshore petroleum potential. "We got six proposals from petroleum sector service companies interested in acquiring seismic data on a speculative basis," more..

Sri Lanka likely to get Iranian crude again

Apr 8 (DM) Sri Lanka is hoping to restore its crude oil purchasing links with Iran, banking on the success of the nuclear accord currently being negotiated between the US and the Middle Eastern nation. “We’re hopeful that the US-Iran talks will let us bring Iranian crude to reduce our energy bill,” Minister Champika Ranawaka said. The West, influenced by Israeli lobbying, had intensified its decades-old sanctions to target Iran’s key economic driver--crude exports, in 2012, more..

Video: Don’t oppose 19A: Sobitha Thera

Apr 8 (DM) Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera urged political parties not to oppose the 19th Amendment, because it was one of the much awaited Constitutional reforms and that this opportunity would not present itself again. “We have a message for all political parties and for every citizen in the country. This is a pivotal juncture in this country’s future, because on March 10 the 19th Amendment will be presented in Parliament. more..

Jaffna – Chunnakam Power plant re-opens

Apr 8 (DN) The Court of Appeal issues order in favour of Northern Power Plant; employees return to work on Monday With the order of indefinite closure and eviction of employees issued by the Mallakam Magistrate on January 27 against the Northern Power Plant in Chunnakam preventing its employees from reporting to work being vacated by the Court of Appeal last week; the power plant re-opened for essential maintenance and the employees returned to work on Monday, more..

Yapa promises to reunite MS, MR, CBK

Apr 8 (Island) SLFP would reunite President Maithripala Sirisena, former Presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chandrika Kumaratunga, SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa assured on Monday. Yapa said that the party was in the process of making arrangements to get the three leaders on the same platform at this year’s May Day rally. It would invite former President Rajapaksa and Kumaratunga to the party’s May Day rally scheduled to be held at Hyde Park Grounds in Colombo, more..

Govt politico uses Police to target Tiran

Apr 8 (CT) DNA MP, Tiran Alles categorically rejected allegations levelled against him by the police in a media release issued last evening with regard to activities of a tsunami establishment named 'Radha' and charged that a govt politician had used the police to sling mud at him and tarnish his image. "I was not questioned nor my statement was ever recorded by the police regarding such concocted allegations," more..

Rs 50B loss from ethanol imports

Apr 8 (CT) The government said in Parliament yesterday that the country's economy is losing at least Rs 50 billion as a result of companies fraudulently importing ethanol under the guise of manufacturing perfume. Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake said that of the 28 companies registered to produce perfumes with the use of ethanol only three have been found to be genuinely producing perfume and that a loss of Rs 50 billion was incurred by the nation as result. more..

Namal denies Yoshitha’s business dealings

Apr 8 (DM) Rejecting the allegations levelled against former President Rajapaksa’s son Yoshitha linking SriLankan Airlines, his brother MP Namal Rajapaksa said the allegations were mere attempts of tarnishing the image of the Rajapaksa family. Citing the findings of Attorney J.C. Weliamuna into the SriLankan Airlines, UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam alleged Yoshitha had carried out a motor spare parts business through the Airline abusing his father’s influence. more..

‘Within 88 days we achieved more than MR regime did during 10 years’

Apr 8 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that his govt had been able to achieve much more during the first 88 days of its 100 day programme than what the previous govt had for ten years. Making a special statement on the 100-day programme, he said: "We promised to grant relief to the people. We increased the wages of the public sector workers. We gave an interim allowance of Rs. 3,500 to each pensioner. more..

Hathurusingha in trouble for breaching code of conduct

Apr 8 (CI) ‘Bangladesh Cricket Board’s (BCB) cricket operations committee chairman Naimur Rahman has said coach Chandika Hathurusingha has breached the code of conduct by commenting on team selection. The matter was reportedly discussed in Sunday’s board meeting. When asked if the BCB had given Hathurusingha a letter of caution, BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said he would not comment on such an internal matter. Hathurusingha made the comments a few days more..

CICT draws PIL-China Shipping’s new West-Africa service to Colombo Port

Apr 8 (FT) Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) has made a major breakthrough for the new year by attracting a brand new service to the Port of Colombo. CICT since its inception embarked on an aggressive and focused marketing strategy in attracting ‘new volumes’ to the Port of Colombo. This approach was coupled together with fitting into the current dynamics of the shipping industry where the major shipping lines are ordering and upsizing their vessels to more..

One man responsible for all rapes, murders at Kahawatte?

Apr 8 (Island) Colombo Crime Division (CCD) investigation into the killing of 39-year-old Chandrani Swarnalatha of Kahawatte in the early hours of Sunday and found the body floating in a stream near her house the following day has taken a new turn; the CCD suspect her husband and brother to be the killers. Doors could not be opened by an outsider without the help of someone inside as they had been secured with crossbars. more..

No respite for handicapped child

Apr 8 (DM) The mother of a handicapped student of a leading girl’s school in Colombo has complained to the Human Rights Commission over the shifting her handicapped daughter’s class room to the third floor of the building much to her inconvenience. She said she and her husband had to carry their handicapped daughter and the wheel chair to the class room on the third floor and noted that on one occasion she had fallen on the staircase while carrying her handicapped daughter. more..

SL players out of IPL games in Chennai

Apr 8 (Hindu) This season too, Sri Lankan cricketers will not be figuring in Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in Chennai. Reliable sources say the security agencies in the city have told the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) that players from Sri Lanka could be at risk given the stance taken by various groups in the State against alleged atrocities on ethnic Tamils in the island nation under the previous regime. The message was conveyed to the IPL governing body which, more..

Govt claims loss of vote not a defeat for regime but the people

Apr 8 (EN) Sri Lanka's minority administration was ready to go to polls at any time, though the defeat of a motion to increase short term borrowings Tuesday did not require parliament to be dissolved, ministers said. Parliament denied a request by Minister Ravi Karunanayake to raise a ceiling on the sale of short term domestic debt in a surprise move, with the motion being defeated with 52 against and 31 in favour more..

Lankan Navy drives away TN fishermen near Katchatheevu

Apr 8 (PTI) A group of fishermen who put out to sea in 250 mechanised boats from here returned empty handed today after Sri Lankan Naval personnel allegedly pelted stones and bottles at them near Katchatheevu. No fisherman was injured in the attack around midnight last night. The fishermen were not allowed near Katchatheevu, though they had the right to dry their nets in the island as per the agreement under which the islet was ceded by India to Lanka in 1974, they said. more..

Bishop urges to ensure safety of Ex-LTTE cadres

Apr 8 (CT) Bishop of Jaffna Rev. Thomas Savundranayagam pointed out to the Australian High Commissioner Robyn Mudie that the new govt should ensure the safety of the ex- LTTE cadres as they were intimidated frequently even after they have been integrated with the society after the rehabilitation process. Responding to the Jaffna Bishop, Australian High Commissioner Mudie said that Australian govt would be always supportive of a healthy reconciliation in the island. more..

Sri Lanka mulls punitive action to keep TN poachers at bay

Apr 8 (Island) Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that punitive action would be taken to discourage Tamil Nadu fishing fleet from poaching in Sri Lankan waters. He said that as an initial step fishing nets and other equipment would be confiscated in addition to legal action taken against poachers. The minister urged Sri Lankan fishermen not to stray into Indian waters. more..

Yes to reform, No to tinkering

Apr 8 (DM) This constitution requires amendment. No question about it. However, there are amendments and there are amendments. Then there is the issue of fulfilling amendment prerequisites. Most importantly a two-thirds vote in Parliament. It is in this context that the call for dissolution of Parliament if the draft 19th Amendment is not approved has to be discussed. First of all there’s the all-important issue of who can dissolve Parliament. more..

The danger of missing the wood

Apr 8 (DM) Artistes for Democracy held their first post-election press conference at Solis Hall, Beddegana, on Tuesday. The threat of state-sponsored goon violence which marked their pre-election gathering at the same venue was happily absent. Though many of the younger artistes present then were absent this time, or took a back seat, convener and film maker Bennet Ratnayake noted that the impulse which led to the formation of this cultural watchdog against political more..