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'Release info on Tamil political detainees'

Apr 28 (CT) EPDP General Secretary Douglas Devananda, urged the govt to release information regarding Tamil political detainees. Devananda pointed out that young men and women from the North and the East were directed to a negative path by Tamil Political Leaderships in the past. "Some Tamil politicians complain that there are secret detention camps. We sent a petition to the govt to release information regarding political detainees and details about these secret detention camps," more..

'TNA will be kingmaker in the new Parliament'

Apr 28 (CT) TNA MP Selvam Adaikalanathan said that his party will decide who to vote for the new govt at the forthcoming parliamentary election likewise the last Presidential Election. He further stated that TNA had come into existence amidst several ups and downs in the province. Media personnel had sacrificed for the formation of the TNA in the province. He added that Sinhalese politicians were now reluctant to give the post of the leader of the opposition to the TNA. more..

Ranil agrees to remove 19A clauses inimical to press freedom

Apr 28 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe informed Parliament yesterday that the govt would withdraw nine clauses of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution as they were thought to have a negative impact on the freedom of the press. He said that the proprietors of media establishments had met him, the President, Justice Minister and Media Minister and requested the govt to remove a clause that envisaged taking punitive actions against more..

Former Cricket Secretary under fire for television deal

Apr 28 (Island) A three member probe committee that looked into alleged corruption in the Sports Ministry has criticized the sale of television right of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to a private television channel dedicated to sports events. Carlton Sports Network (CSN) was the only company that bid for rights in 2012 to telecast cricket matches within Sri Lanka and the three member committee appointed by Minister of Sports Naveen Dissanayake criticized the deal. more..

Four UPFA Uva PC members sacked

Apr 28 (DM) Four UPFA Uva Provincial Council members were sacked today from the party for their involvement in the power transfer in the Uva Provincial Council from the UPFA to UNP. UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha had informed the secretary of the provincial council to make preparations toremove the four members from their council seats. The four members are Anura Vidanagamage, Vadivel Suresh, Kithsiri Senarath Attanayake and Harindra Darmadasa. more..

Last ditch effort to resolve 19A crisis

Apr 28 (DN) A govt delegation comprising Minister Rauff Hakeem, Deputy Minister Ajith Perara and TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran was to meet President Maithripala Sirisena last night to brief him on the govt’s position relating to the 19th Amendment. There were differences of opinion within the opposition over two contentious issues namely the composition of the Constutional Council and the President acting on the PM’s advice more..

All should be equal before the law

Apr 28 (DM) What happened to Basil Rajapaksa, the former Minister and brother of former President Rajapaksa? The entire country was watching him over the television very energetically walking fast into the FCID of the police two days after he returned from his self-exile in the US. But no sooner he was arrested by the FCID he was seen in a wheelchair and when he was ordered to be remanded, he was sent to the prison hospital, not to an ordinary cell in the prison. more..

Now the war is over, where do they go?

Apr 28 (DM) A gradual reduction of military strength should be high on the new govt’s agenda, but it isn’t even being thought of. After three decades of civil war, Sri Lanka has an overblown military force. In 2010, two years after the war ended, the army had roughly 200,000 active personnel and between 20,000-40,000 reservists and 18,000 national guardsmen, a total of 13 operational divisions and several elite infantry brigades. Total population now stands at 21, 866,445. more..

Sri Lanka rediscovers itself

Apr 28 (Hindu) Each time I visit Sri Lanka I come away impressed all over again by the stunningly beautiful green and clean tiny island-nation and its amazing people. For one, you don’t hear the all-pervasive, irritating honking on the roads. And surprise of surprises, for Indians at least, even taxi drivers politely halt to allow pedestrians to cross the road. And they do so specially for women. And even if somebody darts across, more..

Cricket clubs & associations urge new rulers to act against allegations

Apr 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka cricket member clubs and associations has decided to notify the President, Prime Minister and Minister of Sports to take action against allegations and impending dangers to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). The new administration appointed interim committee to manage Sri Lanka Cricket has resulted in International Cricket Council delaying due monies which has to be paid to the SLC. more..

Asylum-seeker returns with shattered dreams

Apr 28 (ST) For the past two years, Vaithilingam Linagaraja, a fishermen from Kaddaikadu off Elephant Pass in Jaffna, had been languishing in a refugee camp in Paula New Guinea after his bid to illegally enter Australia failed. Mr. Linagaraja last week voluntarily decided to return home after realising he had no chance of entering Australia. “I realised that I had wasted two years inside a camp while my family – wife, 4 children & 2 sisters more..

As hardline Buddhism spreads in Sri Lanka, some make a quiet stand

Apr 28 (UCAN) When Fathima Faheema is nervous, she wrings her headscarf; pulls the edges shyly over her mouth. It is only after some prodding that she admits her reasons for converting from Buddhism to Islam. “Because of love,” she whispers, sending her neighbors into peals of laughter. In some parts of Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese woman’s conversion and interfaith marriage might have sparked outrage. more..

China offers Sichuan Province World Tourism Fair free for Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (GDI) In a good will gesture by Govt of China of the Sichuan Province has agreed to offer the World Travel Fair to be staged in the Sichuan province at gratis to Sri Lanka Tourism together with free live coverage of the tourism fair on Leshan TV channel said the Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Rohantha Athukorala at the meeting with Vice Governor Sichuan Province Ms Huang Yanron and the Director General more..

Legislator slam move to make 19A a hollow deceit

Apr 28 (EN) A constitutional change in Sri Lanka without provisions for depoliticizing the public service and requiring the President to act on the advice of the PM will be a hollow deceit practised on the people, a legislator said. "The govt does not have a majority in this house," M A Sumanthiran, representing TNA told parliament. "Using that as a ploy there is a move to bring in committee stage amendments to negate the entire crux of more..

19 A: Ranil accuses GL of taking contradictory position

Apr 28 (Island) An irate PM Ranil Wickremesinghe reminded Prof. G.L. Peiris that it was he who on behalf of the SLFP proposed that the Prime Minister should act for the President when the latter was either overseas or indisposed. PM accused Prof. Peiris of taking contradictory positions, thereby undermining the passage of 19 Amendment to the Constitution. Wickremesinghe was responding to Prof. Peiris at the more..

Controversy over flag at demo

Apr 28 (SL) Recently an altered version of the National flag which did not have the two vertical stripes of green and saffron, were used by several protesters supporting the former president Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in front of the parliament and outside the Bribery Commission. The displaying of the altered flag in place of the National flag created a lot of controversy as flag contradicts National flag more..

'Public should be educated on 19A'

Apr 28 (DN) The public should be given an opportunity to read the full 19th Amendment. If there is nothing fishy and the 19th Amendment is supposed to be people-friendly, then why is there such pressure put on MPs to vote for it, asked Public Service United Nurses Union president Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera. According to Ven. Ananda Thera, it raises suspicion as to why certain persons are in such a great hurry to get more..

Debate on 19A underway

Apr 28 (DM) The debate on the 19th Amendment is currently under way in Parliament with voting scheduled to be held this evening. Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva tweeted from Parliament that he was “worried about the fate the amendment as two issues were yet to be resolved.” Appointment of the Cabinet, a collaborative effort of the President and the PM, is one unresolved issue. Opposition wanted the power to be given solely to the President, more..

Justice delayed

Apr 28 (CT) The lead story on our yesterday's newspaper was about a girl languishing in prison even after obtaining a presidential pardon four weeks ago, i.e. on April Fools' Day. This was in relation to a Tamil girl from Batticaloa who had recently defaced the Sigiriya Mirrror Wall, and who upon conviction was thrown into prison. According to reports, this girl appears to be in her twenties. Therefore, hers is not a case of a juvenile delinquent being sentenced to prison. more..

The new parliament will introduce the third republican constitution of Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (CT) I hope that good sense will prevail and that today, the 28th of April 2015, will be a historic day for Sri Lanka. It should be remembered as the day which heralded the beginning of the end of the all powerful executive presidential system in our country. Since introducing the First Republican constitution in 1972 we have journeyed from a Westminster form of government to an all-powerful Executive Presidency introduced by the Second Republican constitution. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.1%

Apr 28 (LBO) Stocks closed 0.13% higher despite a crucial Parliamentary vote to be taken shortly. Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index closed 9.31 points higher at 7,134.43 up 0.13%. S&P SL20 closed 5.47 points higher at 4,026.26 up 0.14%. Foreigners bought 192 million rupees worth shares while selling 171 million rupees of shares. Turnover was 755.98 million rupees up from 670.29 million rupees a day earlier, with 103 stocks closing positive against 61 negative. more..

National summit on Tobacco menace

Apr 28 (Island) A National Summit on Tobacco: Towards a Tobacco – Free Sri Lanka: Eliminating Tobacco as a Public Health Problem will be held on April 29 and 30 at the Committee Rooms B and D of the BMICH. Dr Sanjeewa Ranaweera of Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) told The Island that around 20,000 Sri Lankans had been dying of tobacco-related diseases annually in SL. It was the leading cause of preventable deaths in the world. The people who were dying of illnesses more..

Video: Nandimithra expresses concerns over portfolio

Apr 28 (DM) Reviewing the 100-day programme of the govt, Cultural and Arts State Minister Nandimithra Ekanayake expressed disappointment about being overlooked for a Cabinet Minister post during the appointment of new cabinet ministers while he still remained a state minister. He said he was one of the four SLFP members who left and pledged support to President Sirisena during January's presidential election campaign and more..

Storm brewing at Uni of Jaffna over book discussion ban & student politicization

Apr 28 (CT) After the Vice Chancellor of University of Jaffna, Professor Vasanthi Arasaratnam, refused permission for Jaffna University Science Teachers’ Association (JUSTA) to discuss the book Palmyra Fallen by Rajan Hoole, she has been under intense criticism for breach of a university’s intellectual ethos which she is expected to uphold. When questioned by BBC Thamil Osai, she said it was not her decision but it was based on requests from the students and the larger more..

Dearth of lecturers

Apr 28 (CT) Students of the School of Agriculture Vavuniya expressed their disappointment regarding the irregular lecture classes due to the long standing issue of shortage of lecturers. "We have been faced with a severe problem which has affected our systematic learning due to the shortage of qualified permanent lecturers. We are disappointed as we are forced to be Diploma Holders who did not receive a proper training which has been continuing throughout the past decade," they said. more..

'Only a conspiracy can defeat 19A'

Apr 28 (DM) Historically it will be one of the most wrong decisions if for some reason the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was not enacted in Parliament, the JHU Chairman and MP the Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said. He said that if this were to happen it would only be as a result of a conspiracy. The Thera said the 19th Amendment had been approved by the Supreme Court as well and added that it was essential more..

JSS tells MPs to think twice before voting for 19A

Apr 28 (Island) Jathika Sanga Sammelanaya (JSS) asked MPs to think twice before voting for the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which is scheduled to be put to vote in the house today. JSS President Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera said that they were not happy about rushing such an amendment through Parliament without the people given adequate time to discuss it. He said that they would like a proper constitutional change and asked President Maithripala Sirisena to consider it. more..

GMOF blames govt for risking lives of rescue volunteers in Kathmandu

Apr 28 (Island) Govt Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) lashed out at the govt for failing to provide a safe passage home to voluntary doctors and nurses who stepped in to provide emergency services to those affected by the Nepal earthquake. Secretary of the GMOF Dr Jayantha Abeyratne said that the Sri Lanka Air Force Flight (SLAF) which was scheduled to return from Kathmandu on Sunday to Colombo with the emergency rescue team had been delayed due to a technical fault. more..

Audio: 'Yahapalanaya not collective of gods'

Apr 28 (DM) The good governance (Yahapalanaya) was not a collective of gods and does not mean it would not go wrong, Deputy Minister of Justice Sujeewa Senasinghe said today. “Several unscrupulous people can be found in Parliament, Provincial Councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas under the Good Governance govt. It does not mean that the govt or the law of land has not provide shelter for them,” the Minister said. more..

England enjoy day out in Sri Lanka's Surrey

Apr 28 (ECB) England women’s team are not only ensuring a productive batting and spin bowling camp in Sri Lanka, but Heather Knight and her team-mates are also taking time out to inspire the next generation of youngsters. Yesterday the team visited the Surrey Village cricket ground, built in Maggona with help from the LV= County Championship Division Two club after the devastation caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. It was here that Knight and her colleagues more..

Mahinda assures RI act will help counter international criticism

Apr 28 (Island) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told Parliament that if the proposed Right to Information Act could be made into law then it would be very beneficial for the country to counter some of the allegations against it levelled by the international community. Participating in the second reading stage debate on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, he said that one of the main accusations against SL in international forums was that there was no media freedom in country. more..

PM takes on Karannagoda

Apr 28 (CG) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that information related to certain activities of former Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda will be revealed in the future. He accused Karannagoda, who served as the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Japan, of telling lies. PM was responding to a comment made by opposition MP Wimal Weerawansa that SL had sent troops to Japan following the tsunami. more..

Kalpitiya Beach asked to postpone EGM, give better explanation on IPO money

Apr 28 (EN) Capital markets watchdog asked Kalpitiya Beach Resort to postpone a shareholders’ meeting, saying it needed to come up with a more “precise” explanation on what it will do with funds raised from the public. Kalpitiya Beach Resort had called an Extraordinary General Meeting next Friday after it was ordered to do so by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to explain what happened to 283.5 million rupees raised in an Initial Public Offer in November 2011. more..

Sri Lanka raises $81.25 mln through development bonds

Apr 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka raised $81.25 million through two- and three-year dollar-denominated development bonds on Tuesday, the central bank said. The government sold $30 million two-year bonds at 6-month LIBOR plus 360 basis points (bps) after receiving bids worth $45 million, while it raised $51.25 million in three-year bonds at 6-month LIBOR plus 377.20 basis points. The central bank received $63.25 million worth of bids for three-year development bonds. more..

'UNP to propose complete revamp constitution at next election'

Apr 28 (EN) Ruling UNP will propose a complete revamp of the constitution at the next general election, Deputy Investment Minister Eran Wickramaratne told parliament. Though President Maithripala Sirisena, backed by the UNP promised to abolish the executive presidency within 100 days of coming to power, Supreme Court watered down the proposals and asked for a referendum to slash presidential powers. more..

I never interfered to secure the release of an impounded container: Senasinghe

Apr 28 (AD) Deputy Justice Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe dismisses allegations that he interfered to customs affairs in a bid to secure the release of an impounded container of copper rods, thus, he would instigate legal action against a print media institution that published an article to sling mud at him. He said that the article published by a Sunday newspaper has caused disrepute to him and his family. The article alleged that customs officials had to thwart an attempt by more..

On people's mandate for MS & MR: PAFFREL

Apr 28 (CT) It would be treachery towards the nation if MPs unheeded the promise of the 19th Amendment included in the manifesto of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Maithripala Sirisena for which nigh 99% of the citizens had given a mandate for, polls monitors noted. PAFFREL added that no politician or ordinary citizen had any right to reject the establishment of independent commissions including the Audit Service Commission and the National Audit more..

19th amendment hits another roadblock?

Apr 28 (AD) Parliamentary session was extended by one hour due to the discussion between Party Leaders. A special discussion between party leaders’ was held in the Parliament Complex, with the participation of President Sirisena, PM Wickremesinghe and Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa as the passing of the 19th Amendment appears to have hit more roadblocks. Meeting is being held with regard to the proposed amendments to the more..

Sri Lanka starts installing Vessel Monitoring System to remove EU fish ban

Apr 28 (EN) Sri Lanka has begun installing radio beacons on its fishing fleet to prevent illegal fishing and try remove a ban by the European Union on fish exports from the island. The govt is trying to comply with requirements of the EU by the end of the year to get the ban lifted, Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera was quoted as saying in a statement. The main reason for the EU ban was illegal fishing by SL fishermen in international waters, he said at the launch of a program to install the VMS more..