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Eight Ex-ministers to be arrested

Apr 26 (SL) Eight former Ministers will be arrested over the next two weeks over alleged involvement in bribery and corruption. Sources said that the former Ministers are among 25 people, including members of parliament, expected to be arrested during this period. Preliminary investigations into some members of the former govt have now been completed and they will be arrested over the next two weeks. more..

'Transition should be given a chance'

Apr 26 (SO) Professionals and corporate personalities stressed the need to give a chance to the transition from autocratic governance to parliamentary democratic form of governance that is taking place in the country. They were vehemently opposed executive presidency which has ruined the country for over 35 years. Gajma and Co. Partner N.R. Gajendran said that the country must put an end to dictatorial governance under the executive presidency which is absolutely corrupt. more..

Probe on railway project

Apr 26 (SL) Govt is to launch a separate investigation into a project worth USD 149 million, which was carried out by the previous govt to construct a railway track from Palai to Kankesanthurai. Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Transport Dr Lalithasiri Gunaruwan says a separate committee will be appointed to investigate the project. He added that on this track only a small train with a few compartments can travel. The reason for this is due to the completion of more..

'President assures JVP 19A will be approved'

Apr 26 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena assured the JVP that the Draft 19th Amendment to the Constitution will definitely be approved by Parliament irrespective of any protest demonstration that will be staged on the two days, 27 and 28 April, which have been set apart for the debate on the draft legislation. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that the President had given them this assurance at a decisive more..

Sonali to the UN?

Apr 26 (NS) Sonali Samarasinghe, widow of slain journalist Lasantha WIckramatunga has been earmarked for the post of Sri Lanka’s Minister Counsellor at the UN Headquarters, New York, according to sources. The Ministry, which recalled all political appointments to the country’s missions abroad has remained tight-lipped about Samarasinghe’s credentials to warrant such a posting. During the UNP Govt of 2001-2004, she was politically appointed to to Sri Lanka’s more..

Johnston Fernando faces Court action

Apr 26 (CT) MP Johnston Fernando is likely to be summoned before Court in the coming week to answer allegations of having misused ministry funds amounting to Rs 5.2 million. Fernando was the former minister of Co-operatives and Internal Trade in the Alliance Govt. Colombo Chief Magistrate meanwhile ordered the FCID on 22 April to conduct an extensive investigation into a complaint submitted by the Senior Accountant of the main office of Lanka Sathosa, Manoj Boteju, to this effect. more..

SL frantic to win back billion-rupee EU catch

Apr 26 (ST) Sri Lanka is frantically fighting for time to get its house in order before the next visit of the European Commission scheduled in June to get back its share of fish exports to the European Union (EU) market. It is planning to fix 1,500 multi-duty boats with the vessel monitoring system (VMS), a requirement by the EU to lift the ban on export of fish to the Union. VMS is used to monitor a vessel on the high seas. more..

T20 Deaf Asia Cup: SL beat Afghanistan

Apr 26 (Dawn) Half-centuries from openers H.V. Kumara and Udaya Lakmal steered Sri Lanka to an overwhelming 112-run victory over Afghanistan in their last league match of the inaugural T20 Deaf Asia Cup at the LCCA ground here on Saturday. The match, however, was inconsequential as Pakistan and India had already qualified for the final, to be held on Sunday at the LCCA ground. After electing to bat first, Sri Lanka registered the event’s biggest total, 204-8 in 20 overs. more..

Sri Lankans in Austria throng to celebrate the Sinhala and Tamil New Year

Apr 26 (Island) Reinforcing the theme of unity, reconciliation and peace, over 300 Sri Lankans in Austria came together in Vienna, joined by the Austrian community and friends of Sri Lanka, to celebrate the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, recently. Addressing what was an eventful all-day program at the Embassy of Sri Lanka, organized together with Vienna Dhamma Zentrum and the Sri Lankan community, Ambassador Abdul Azeez, Sri Lanka’s envoy in Vienna, elaborated on the progress more..

Sri Lanka dispatches emergency relief assistance to Nepal, creates hotline

Apr 26 (AD) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Kathmandu has established a hotline for any inquiries regarding Sri Lankan nationals residing Nepal, in wake of the powerful earthquake that shook the country and Northern India. Those seeking information regarding any Lankans living in Nepal are requested to contact the mission via the hotline – 009779851020057. Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that 120 SL students more..

Kelaniya University undergrads protest intake reduction

Apr 26 (ST) Kelaniya University Students Union protested on Thursday against reducing the student intake including monks at the University. The protest commenced near the Kandy Road with 500 students. The students protested for an hour on the main road, and had tried enter to the University’s administration building which was closed. The students chanted slogans against the administration and burned tires in front of the main University building. more..

Impact of Euro depreciation on exports temporary

Apr 26 (NS) Economists state that the depreciation in euro would only have a temporary effect on Sri Lanka’s exports to the region but have urged the country to expand and diversify its exports to avoid setbacks. The World Bank recently stated that the depreciation in euro would have an impact on countries which export to the region. According to analysts, approximately 30 percent of Sri Lanka’s exports are to the European Union (EU). Therefore, the depreciation is expected to more..

UPFA insists on dilution of 19A

Apr 26 (ST) The UPFA has proposed changes to the latest draft of the 19th Amendment and is demanding that they be included during the committee stage of the bill as a precondition for support. “I would like to kindly inform you that the central working committee of the SLFP agreed to support the 19th Amendment to the Constitution on the basis that the above-mentioned changes are accepted by the Govt,” more..

Kerry here Saturday; will open Vesak pandal

Apr 26 (ST) US Secretary of State John Kerry is to arrive in Sri Lanka on Saturday for a 24-hour visit, Foreign Ministry officials said. It is the first official visit to Sri Lanka by a US Secretary of State since the visit of William Pierce Rogers in July 1972. Secretary Kerry will arrive in Sri Lanka on Saturday and depart the following day. He will meet President MSirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and hold a media conference after talks with Minister Mangala Samaraweera. more..

Wimal’s multi-million rupee house transfers under scrutiny

Apr 26 (SO) Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa had allegedly transferred houses worth millions built by a govt-owned company under the Housing Ministry, for his close relatives and aides. FCID of the police, following complaints received have initiated a probe into the case that involves public funds exceeding Rs.60 million. The illegal transfer of houses has been reported by the new chairman and the board of directors of the state-owned Ocean View Development Company (Pvt) Ltd, more..

Vital week for Sirisena: Will he make or break the SLFP?

Apr 26 (ST) Weeks of political uncertainty that thrust Sri Lanka on the road to instability are to end for good or for the worse next week. The good is if the 19A is passed in Parliament after a two-day debate due to begin tomorrow. It is to be followed by electoral reforms through a 20A within weeks. The bad, firstly, is if measures to prune down powers of the Executive Presidency, a main pledge that thrust Maithripala Sirisena to Presidency, more..

Ban tomorrow's demo

Apr 26 (CT) In a seemingly preemptive move, Minister, Ravi Karunanayake told reporters that his party will be organizing an anti-traitors' protest near Parliament premises tomorrow. The protest coincides with the 19th Amendment (19A) Bill which is being debated tomorrow and on Tuesday, after which it would be presented for a vote. 19A seeks to clip the powers of the executive president. Meanwhile, tomorrow's protest has been endorsed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Will President Sirisena dissolve parliament and call the Rajapaksa bluff?

Apr 26 (Island) If there is ever a time for political leadership to act in disregard of consensus, it is now. There was a time in Sri Lankan politics when that master rhetorician Colvin R. de Silva presaged the governing style of the SLFP-LSSP-CP United Front as one that would be "characterized not by consensus but by leadership." Dr. Colvin’s foretelling was in anticipation of the massive United Front election victory in 1970. It turned out to be ill-advised at that time. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Apr 26 (ST) The Kingdom of Kandy-or so it would seem-descended upon the Commission Investigating Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) on Thursday when former Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa went there in response to summons. Angry protesters, led by Buddhist monks and MPs from the UPFA, converged on the road alongside the Commission at Malalasekera Mawatha in Colombo. more..

Wijeweera's ashes found after 25 years

Apr 26 (CT) Govt sleuths hunting down JVP activists that afternoon found the effort grueling. They had just taken into custody a man named Nimal Attanayake. Sporting a neatly trimmed beard, sleuths found him relaxing with a newspaper in the verandah of his residence in Ulapane. With no fuss or drama he was taken into custody and brought immediately to Colombo. It's up for conjecture whether it was or as not unfortunate that more..

Love falls into waterfall

Apr 26 (CT) The calming rhythm of cascading waters of the Diyaluma waterfall could be heard in the background as the two woebegone lovers slowly made their way purposefully to a pre-planned destination. But, even the soothing sound of the water splashing off the rock face could in no way console Yogaraj and Udayangi and help them change their minds. Udayangi was on the verge of tears which gradually welled up more..

Sirisena pitches for early parliamentary elections

Apr 26 (ENS) President Maithripala Sirisena has apparently decided to order early Parliamentary elections in the hope that it will yield a Legislature which will enable him to fulfill his poll promises, informed sources said. This is after he found the current Parliament to be a hard nut to crack. Elections will be ordered whether or not Sirisena’s pet project, the 19th Constitutional Amendment to reduce the powers of Executive Presidency more..

Different groups responsible for Lanka disappearances: panel

Apr 26 (PTI) At least four different groups including Sri Lanka's security forces and the LTTE were responsible for the disappearances of hundreds of persons during the country's deadly civil war, an enquiry commission has found. The Presidential Commission to enquire into and report on the alleged abductions or disappearances that occurred between 1983 to 2009 has submitted its interim report last night to the country's more..

Sajin fears arrest imminent

Apr 26 (SO) Former Monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena claimed that the Govt was planning to unlawfully arrest him over allegations of misuse of public funds. He said: "The two cases filed against me are civil actions. I cannot be charged under the Penal Code for criminal action based on civil matters." Gunawardane's claims were refuted by ASP Ruwan Gunasekera, who claimed that he did not know how the MP concluded more..

150 people to get dual citizenship on Thurs

Apr 26 (ST) The dual citizenship facility for people of Sri Lankan origin with foreign citizenship will be available from nest Thursday after a gap of three years, Minister John Amaratunga said. He said the first batch of 150 applicants from 400 applications would receive Sri Lanka citizenship on Thursday while interviews for the remaining applicants would be conducted in stages. The applications will be processed by more..

100 Days program change or short-changed?

Apr 26 (NS) The much talked of 100 days of the 100 Days Program that was part of President Maithripala Sirisena’s election campaign is now completed. The President himself has come out with a statement which can be read as observations on progress. The Govt claims that much was done. Others claim that it’s mostly talk and that nothing significant or lasting was achieved. There are two ways to assess performance here. more..

UPFA splits for May Day: Two rallies

Apr 26 (ST) The UPFA for the first time, since its formation 11 years ago, is to hold two different May Day rallies after last minute appeals to hold a united rally failed. UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha said that former President Mahinda Rajapksa, a patron of the party had been invited for the rally on May 1, but he had not responded. The UPFA has planned to hold its main May Day meeting at Hyde Park in Colombo. more..

JHU supports 19A & 20A

Apr 26 (DM) The JHU which earlier opposed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution had decided to extend full support for the 19th and 20th Amendments to the Constitution, party General Secretary Champika Ranawaka said today. He said the current 19th Amendment that would amend the key powers vested with the Executive Presidency, was not the amendment presented to the Parliament on March 13. more..

Tribute : Nimal Mendis

Apr 26 (Island) He was my father, my boss and my greatest friend. This is what Paul-Marie, Nimal Mendis’ son told me as his father lay at A F Raymond’s. "We woke up at the usual time, I joked with Thaththa, went down to get our coffee and when I came back upstairs Thaththa was slumped on his desk. I tried to resuscitate him but I think he was gone though we rushed him to hospital." Hearing of Nimal’s death was a stunning shock to me. He phoned me the previous day and more..

Sri Lanka seeks volunteer medical staff to help Nepal

Apr 26 (EN) Sri Lanka is seeking volunteer doctors and nurses to help with disaster relief in Nepal, where more medical help is urgently needed, a govt statement said. If there are any doctors, nurses or medical support staff who would volunteer to help, they are asked to call the Additional Secretary at the PM's office Ruwan Gunawardene at 071 – 2492484 or email PM Wickramasinghe had spoken to Nepali President Ram Baran Yadav and assured more..

Sathyagaraya: Ranil Wickremesinghe

Nihal Fernando: The End of And Odyssey

Apr 26 (Island) There is, on the title page of Nihal Fernando’s ‘Sri Lanka — A Personal Odyssey’ a photograph of a shadow of a man holding what must be a camera. It falls on a wide beach with a set of footprints leading to where the subject, Nihal Fernando himself stands. Beyond them and in the distance is a glimpse of the sea. This is an image that gently nudges me into recognizing Nihal himself, one of the finest men of our time, a great artist, selfless devotee, his skills indisputable. more..

School canteens to be registered with CMC

Apr 26 (SO) All school canteens in the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) area, including mobile canteens serving food to school children outside school premises are now being registered by the Colombo Municipal Council. "This is the first time we are registering school canteens on such a large scale. Our objective is to maintain the highest standards of hygiene and food quality consistently throughout the school calendar", Chief Medical Officer, Health and Head of the Public more..

China rejects high interest rates allegation for Chinese loans to Sri Lanka

Apr 26 (Xinhua) Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka (CCCSL) on Sunday rejected Minister Ravi Karunanayake's allegation of the so-called high interest rates of Chinese loan. Spokesperson of the CCCSL Chen Chuan said that the interest rates of Chinese loans are not high. During the past 10 years, at the request of the Sri Lankan govt, China has provided loans amounting several billion US dollars in supporting of more..

GL says getting the show on the road after 100 days not the most important thing

Apr 26 (Island) As Parliament prepares to debate and possibly pass the 19th Amendment to the Constitution with the required two thirds majority on Tuesday, Prof. G.L. Pieris, the SLFP’s constitutional affairs spokesman said that what is important is "not to get the show on the road after 100 days." "It is much more important to ensure the quality of the show as constitutional arrangements that will shape the destiny of the country for many decades are at stake," he said. more..

Army builds houses for Meeriyabadde landslide victims

Apr 26 (Island) Construction of 75 houses for families affected by the Meeriyabadde landslide commenced recently at Poonagala Estate of Maskeliya Plantation in Badulla District and would be completed within the next four months, the Ministry of Plantation Infrastructure Development said. Secretary V. Sivagnanasothy of this ministry said the Army which was engaged in the construction of the houses had cleared the required land & commenced foundation work recently. more..

Mahinda directed officials, judges to give illegal orders: Govt

Apr 26 (Island) The govt says that the Rajapaksas were shamelessly trying to hide behind the sweat and tears of the security forces and masses in defeating the LTTE to cover up their unpatriotic sins. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, members of his family and their cronies had abused the war victory which was a combined result of the sweat and tears of the military, Police and more..

TNA MPs appeal party leader to re-consider decision on the 19 A

Apr 26 (AD) A group of MPs attached to the TNA on Sunday appealed the party leader to re-consider its decision to support the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. MPs Shivashakthi Anandan, Selvam Adaikalanadan and Vino Noha Radhalingam who represent the Vanni District asserted that they have come to a conclusion not to vote in favour of the Amendment. Shivashakthi Anandan expressed that the present govt has also failed to address the issues faced by the Tamil community. more..

Bumper Avurudu sales take Lanka Sathosa to new level

Apr 26 (Island) With Lanka Sathosa establishing a new Rs. 2.3 billion record in sales revenue during the April festive season, the govt-owned institution is contemplating opening more branches to offer quality essential food items to customers at the lowest prices in keeping with govt policy, trade officials said. "A new spacious mega center at Welisara and three other outlets were opened in April 2015 and more are on the cards. The whole objective of the proposed expansion is more..

Lankan leaders love indian gods

Apr 26 (CT) The first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru once speaking to his countrymen who were so steeped in religious beliefs and clashing over religions said, factories were the temples he worshipped. In the late fifties when Nehru initiated the Bhakra canal project in Himachal Pradesh, which is one of the biggest canal networks in the world, he even described the project in his own words as new temple of resurgent India. more..