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Govt waits for word from India

June 7 (SL) No communication has yet been made by the Indian govt to continue talks on the fishermen’s issue. However Sri Lanka hopes to commence the next round of talks in the immediate future. Deputy Minister of Fisheries Dayasritha Tissera said that no communication has yet been made by the Indian govt requesting a date to commence the next round of talks on the fishermen issue. India’s National Fishworkers’ Forum has urged Union Minister Sushma Swaraj, to more..

Malaysia shares details of terror accused with India

June 7 (PTI) Malaysian authorities have finally shared with India interrogation and other details pertaining to a Sri Lankan national, who had been arrested in that country on the charge of conspiring to carry out terror strikes on the US and Israeli consulates in South India. The interrogation report claims that 47-year-old Mohammed Hussain Sulaiman had admitted he was part of the conspiracy and had promised Sakir Hussain, more..

'Trevor Bayliss gives England a better chance heading into the Ashes'

June 7 (CM) Arguably Sri-Lanka’s best ever paceman, Vaas played two seasons under Bayliss with the national team before he retired from international cricket in 2009. The 41-year-old, who took a combined 755 wickets in Tests and ODIs, said the former NSW and Sydney Sixers coach knew how to get the best out of players. “I think it’s a great thing for England to have Trevor as coach, while I was coached by him I think most of the players in the team benefited from it,” more..

UK talks not on UN report or political solution

June 7 (CG) The participants at talks being held in the UK on Sri Lanka strongly denied reports it has anything to do with the UN human rights report on Sri Lanka or on a political solution to the National issue. Minister Mangala Samaraweera and TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran are among those in London to have talks with the Tamil diaspora, including the Global Tamil Forum (GTF). Taking part in a discussion on a London based Tamil television station, Sumanthiran said the meeting was more..

PM says he could be removed only through elections

June 7 (PTI) Amid a motion of no confidence moved against MP Ranil Wickremesinghe by opposition, he said today that he could be removed only through a parliamentary election. "President had the option of dissolving parliament instead he sought public mandate to appoint me as the PM and have a 100-day govt", Wickremesinghe said addressing a public rally. "I tell them to face elections, I am ready, our party is ready", more..

Past abuse & current insolence of power

June 8 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena miscalculated when he conjectured that he could coax the SLFP to accept Mr. Ranil Wickeremesinghe the captain of the opposing team as not only coach but as match referee as well. Patrimonial politics has occupied center stage in the one hundred and forty days of the UNP dominated interim govt. The question most asked in the make shift corridors of momentary power is ‘who gets what and how fast? UNP is not on a pilgrimage. more..

NM & The executive presidency

June 8 (CT) June 6th marks the Birth Anniversary of Dr. N M Perera. This year is a birth anniversary that should be especially celebrated as the passage of the 19th Amendment last month marks the beginning of a process which we hope would completely dismantle the Executive Presidency. NM, who foresaw the dangers of JR’s Constitution, led a campaign against it which included the publication in 1979 of his book, Critical Analysis of the New Constitution of SL which made detailed more..

Shiranthi’s moment of reckoning

June 8 (SO) FCID stirred domestic politics again last week when the former President’s wife, Shiranthi Rajapaksa, was summoned to record a statement regarding alleged irregularity in the bank account of Siriliya Saviya, a charity run by her. Siriliya Saviya, a charity registered at the National Secretariat for NGOs under registration number 111201 came under scrutiny of FCID over financial irregularities on information received more..

Human Rights challenges in Sri Lanka

June 8 (GV) Speech delivered on behalf of me by Marisa de Silva, on the occasion of the Islamic Centre Felicitation event, held in Maligawatte today. Thank you for making me part of this celebration. Practically, felicitations are possible for a few, but many deserve felicitation. Felicitation for me means felicitation for many others I have worked with. Victims, their families, priests, sisters, lawyers, journalists and human rights defenders in general. They include those who have protected me more..

Mahinda cannot become PM or can he?

June 8 (SL) It’s now official, or so it seems. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to contest the parliamentary polls, whenever held. Spokesman Rohan Weliwita has been quoted as saying that President Rajapaksa would definitely contest the parliamentary polls but was yet to decide under which party he would contest. The report has not been denied. Rajapaksa’s supporters have not come out with an over-pouring of support, as may have been expected. more..

'This govt has encouraged separatism'

June 8 (SL) UPFA members who are already split between pro Mahinda Rajapaksa and pro Maithripala Sirisena groups have been engaged in a war of words – especially with President Maithripala Sirisena for refusing to agree to nominate former President Rajapaksa as the UPFA Prime Ministerial candidate at the next election. PHU Leader Udaya Gammanpila said that after the dissolution of the parliament majority of the more..

Are we being cast in a Mad Hatter’s tea party?

June 8 (ST) If the minority govt of the UNP was not so arrogant in its unshakeable conviction that each and every action taken by it is unreservedly right, we may not be now witnessing this agonizing ebbing away of the high moral ground on which President Maithripala Sirisena won the Presidential election in January 2015. Thankfully the President has, by and large, managed to keep his image unsullied excepting one or two horrendously ill-advised actions such as categorizing more..

Take good care, Mr. President: Don’t play dice with the Fates

June 8 (ST) There with the blessings of the Triple Gem go I, seems to be the guiding policy of this unassuming people’s President of Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena as he makes his way through the manifold duties of presidential office with the same simple and easy, unpretentious style of his farming days, as if he was still tilling the land and harvesting its bounty and — apart from keeping a watch for the odd rogue elephant come to plunder his crop or the slithering snake in the grass . more..

A legend who felt the heartbeat of theatre

June 8 (NS) People die and are mourned. Icons and heroes are mourned for eternity. Legacies however are celebrated. Somalatha Subasinghe was all of these. She left behind a legacy not just as a playwright and actress, but as a human being as well. That’s not rare I agree. But achieving fame as person and icon isn’t easy. Still. She wasn’t just a playwright or actress of course. She wrote plays with purpose. more..

Editorial: Fight or flight

June 8 (Island) The Opposition’s motion of no confidence is an extension of the Jan. 08 presidential election. Technically, it is against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. But, politically, it is against President Maithripala Sirisena as well because he appointed Wickremesinghe PM. The proponents of the vote of no confidence tell us that they have mustered the support of as many as 120 MPs. But, the UNP has pooh-poohed this claim as grossly exaggerated. more..

British High Commissioner to meet Sri Lankan business community

June 8 (Island) The newly appointed British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Maldives James Duaris will meet the Sri Lankan business community at a breakfast meeting to be held on the 10th of June at the Hilton Residencies. The meeting which is facilitated by the Council for Business with Britain of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will enable the Sri Lankan corporate executives to get to know the new ambassador, introduce their companies to him and also share and exchange views more..

Sri Lanka Air Force deploys aviation unit under UN mission in South Sudan

June 8 (GDI) Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) deployed its second aircraft deployment overseas taking on the role of an Aviation Unit in South Sudan under the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS). The deployment of three Mi-17 helicopters from the SLAF fleet along with 104 personnel consisting pilots, engineers and other supporting staff will proceed in the next few days. Wing Commander Vishwa Samantha will be more..

Four passengers killed, 12 others injured as van goes down precipice

June 8 (Island) Four persons were killed and 12 others seriously injured when a van they were travelling in veered off the road and plunged down a precipice at Sembuwatte, Elkaduwa in Matale yesterday. They were returning after sightseeing tour to Sembuwatte Waterfall at Elkaduwa when the mishap occurred around 3 pm. Two women and two men died in the accident, while there were six children among the injured. All of them were residents of Isadeen Town in Matara. more..

Ceylon Tobacco parent focusses on illegal trade

June 8 (ST) Ceylon Tobacco Co (CTC) parent British American Tobacco (BAT) has used World Tobacco Day 2015 to focus on the illegal tobacco trade while, according to anti-tobacco campaigners, choosing to remain silent about the killer impact of tobacco.Issuing a media release to mark World No Tobacco Day 2015, CTC said its parent is reiterating the need for greater understanding of the illegal tobacco trade, criminals behind it and the need for greater cooperation & collaboration to fight it. more..

'CSN bid worth Rs 175.5 million not viable'

June 8 (CT) Minister Navin Dissanayake says that when awarding local terrestrial broadcasting rights for the next three years, they had thoroughly perused the technical capability and island-wide coverage of the stations who had forwarded bids. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) awarded local television broadcast rights for the next three years to the State-run SL Rupavahini Corporation, rejecting a considerably higher bid more..

Northern govt and the rape of democracy

June 8 (Island) Did you think that as a unitary state, there is only one, single govt in Sri Lanka, though there are a number of Provincial Councils to which a measure of power has been devolved by that one single govt? Well, not according to the UN and the current (unelected) Sri Lankan Govt of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe! Did you know that there is a "Northern Provincial Government" in Sri Lanka, and not merely a Northern Provincial Council and its administration/Cabinet? more..

Govt to fund 390 stagnating projects with Rs.1,296 million

June 8 (Island) Under the patronage of Minister Ravi Karunanayake, the Colombo District Development Committee Meeting took place recently at the Colombo District Secretariat. Minister disclosed that the govt will allocate Rs. 1,296 million for 390 projects in the Colombo District which had been brought to a standstill due to lack of funds. These projects were supposed to have been completed last year but the previous govt had not passed funds to see these through. more..

Bank gave Rs. 1 b in political loans; nothing recovered

June 8 (ST) A state-owned bank allegedly disbursed loans amounting to more than Rs. 1 billion due to political influence without proper collateral and had failed to recover the funds, a probe by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) has revealed. The investigations were carried out on the Lankaputhra Development Bank Limited, a licensed specialised bank fully owned by the govt. This was done on a complaint by Finance Ministry. more..

Kaspersky Lab launches crucial IT security for small businesses

June 8 (Island) Kaspersky Small Office Security, security solution built specifically for businesses with fewer than 25 employees by the globally renowned Kaspersky can now be obtained in Sri Lanka. Latest product from the Kaspersky Lab provides world-class protection and easy use without the need for specialist IT skills. New features make it easier to focus valuable resources on running and developing the business while keeping operations, customers' and employees' data secure. more..

Role of advanced detection technology in the fight against drug smuggling

June 8 (Island) Recent media reports indicate Sri Lanka is being used as a major transit route by drug syndicates to smuggle narcotics through the country. According to these reports Sri Lanka's Customs Narcotics Controls Division continue to seize sizable quantities of drugs and despite detections by officials the country continues to be a major transit point for smugglers. Unofficial sources confirmed that over 900kgs of heroin alone are brought into the country annually. more..

Nimali delivers only medal for Sri Lanka

June 8 (CT) Middle distance runner from Sooriyawewa, Nimali Liyanarachchi won the only medal for Sri Lanka as she clocked a new personal best to seal a bronze medal in the women's 800m at the 21st Asian Athletics Championship concluded yesterday at Wuhan, China. Nimali who was in the spotlight for a medal from the moment of selection to the team, delivered as expected with a 2:03.94 sec performance in rainy conditions. more..

Today is World Ocean Day

June 8 (GDI) National Programme of World Oceans Day and World Environment day Celebration will be held today, at Foundation Institute Colombo. In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly decided that, as from 2009, 8 June would be designated by the United Nations as World Oceans Day. Many countries in world have celebrated World Oceans Day following the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, which was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. more..

CNH specialist doctors warn public against quack plastic surgeons

June 8 (DN) Specialist doctors and plastic surgeons attached to Plastic Surgery Unit of the Colombo National Hospital (CNH) warn the public of quack doctors who perform cosmetic surgery on unsuspecting women. According to the specialist doctors, such quack doctors and surgeons charge exorbitant amounts of money from women for breast implants, liposuction and cosmetic surgery. But, customers who seek the service of such doctors end up at National Hospital in critical condition. more..

'Govt will stop interference in business promises'

June 8 (FT) Plantation Minister Lakshman Kiriella urged the plantation industries not to depend on the Govt but to find their own markets, during a recent conference. “Govt has stopped doing business. It is up to these companies to formulate such projects and find investors. Govt will provide the approvals so that investors will find that their investments will be secure,” he said. Govt would not intervene into industry matters, but more..

Reaping health benefits from Jaffna ethnic cuisine with GOH

June 8 (Island) The much awaited Jaffna Food Promotion is happening at Grand Oriental Hotel for the 5th consecutive year from the 12th to 21st of June 2015. A most luscious dinner buffet of Traditional Jaffna Cuisine would be on offer for all the Jaffna Food lovers from 7.30 pm onwards at the dazzling Harbour Room with a stunning ambience and the scenic view of the Colombo Harbour. The Jaffna dinner buffet would be available to the customers at a rate of Rs. 1850/- net pp. more..

Insurance industry eyes capable undergraduates

June 8 (Island) The Human Resources Subcommittee (HRSC) of the Insurance Association of Sri Lanka (IASL) continued their insurance awareness and career guidance workshops at the Sabaragamuwa University. The program targets undergraduates and provides them with valuable insights of the local insurance industry and employment opportunities within it. The program also gives valuable tips on career development to the undergraduates. more..

Govt to try out open sky policy at MRIA

June 8 (FT) Govt is now planning to run its open sky pilot project at Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) in an effort to revive the facility as a viable airport. In this context, the Govt is making arrangements to maximise the potential of the country’s assets which are currently not bearing dividends. “We intend to implement an open sky policy in MRIA and run a pilot project with a view to rejuvenate the industry and more..

Dr. Ajantha Dharmasiri new Director of PIM

June 8 (FT) The UGC recently appointed Dr. Ajantha Dharmasiri as the Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM). He will also continue as the Chairman of the Board of Management and the Board of Studies of PIM. Dharmasiri has been serving as the Acting Director of PIM for the last 10 months. PIM, being the pioneer in the postgraduate management education in SL, is the only self-financed higher education institution in State university system more..

Cruelty to elephants: Tour groups may boycott Sri Lanka

June 8 (CT) The cruelty to elephants has been highlighted in the social media recently. The cause has now being taking up on social media vigorously. The negative publicity to the country's tourism industry is gathering momentum. The vicious training method employed by the mahouts and the keepers are now widely circulated on both Face book and YouTube. With the video of mahouts beating elephants and badly calloused animals hobbled by chains circulating freely, more..

'Only 200 convicted Tigers, suspects in custody'

June 8 (Island) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that those who had been in govt custody were convicted members of the LTTE, suspected members of the group with indictments or cases pending and, therefore, the demand for the release of so-called political prisoners was irrelevant. He insisted that thousands of LTTE cadres as well as those who had been apprehended during the conflict and more..

Beware of rapid spreading eye infection

June 8 (Island) The National Eye Hospital yesterday warned Sri Lankans that Conjunctivitis was spreading rapidly in the country and around one hundred affected patients were seeking treatment at the Eye Hospital daily. Director National Eye Hospital Dr. Sanath de Silva said that conjunctivitis was caused by a virus and lasted about two to three days. The commonest symptoms were pain in the eyes, intermittent headache and redness of eyes. Dr. De Silva said that more..

TRC wants court order withdrawn

June 8 (DN) The Sri Lanka Telecommunication Regulatory Commission informed Colombo District Court on Friday that no agreements were signed with any company empowering the construction of electric elevator and staircase for the Nelum Kuluna (Tower). The Commission while making its submissions explaining the position pleaded with the courts to withdraw the order issued to the Commission preventing its move. The case was taken before Colombo Chief District Judge. more..

'Govt would not act on no-confidence motion'

June 8 (DM) Govt would not take any action on the no-confidence motion signed by 112 MPs against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakse said. “Opposition’s motion would not be taken up for Parliamentary debate, since UNP based govt was authorised to decide whether to take action on it or not,” he said. “Even a grade two child is able to guess the result if the motion is taken up in Parliament, more..

Direct Kolkata-Sri Lanka flights from June 17

June 8 (TOI) Sri Lanka will soon be just three hours away. Sri Lanka govt-owned low-cost carrier Mihin Lanka will connect Kolkata with Colombo from June 17. The thrice-a-week service will be the first flight between Kolkata and the emerald isle. At present, passengers from Kolkata take a connecting flight through Chennai or Bengaluru. While the airline has an Airbus-319 aircraft in its modest fleet, the aircraft that is likely to be pressed into service in the Kolkata-Colombo sector more..

Removal of Prabakaran’s statue: MDMK to stage protest

June 8 (Hindu) MDMK has planned to stage a black flag demonstration on Tuesday in front of the office of the Nagapattinam Collector’s office to condemn the removal of LTTE leader V. Prabakaran’s statue. Party general secretary Vaiko, in a release, alleged that the removal of the statue that had been installed by Poigainalllur Tamils may have been the handiwork of the State govt, as it had removed banners with Prabakaran’s photo on an earlier occasion. more..