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'Change is a must, but it should be done consensually'

June 1 (ST) A long time ago my mother said, the most dangerous thing in life is to be undecided. She explained that when one is undecided, one is neither in nor out, one just keeps floating in a vacuum and one’s opinion is not worth a dime or worth a second to waste on. Yet, I see in this modern society with all the modern facilities at hand and information technology entering into unbelievable portals, a lot of modern people more..

Pakistan Army Chief to visit Sri Lanka

June 1 (MoD) Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) of the Pakistan Army General Raheel Sharif, NI (M) is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on 5th June. Pakistan army chief is making the visit upon an invitation extended by the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva. During his five-day visit, he is expected to call on President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, State Minister of Defence, Secretary to more..

Allegations follow resignation

June 1 (SL) Controversy within Sri Lanka Customs took a bizarre turn for the worse with Jagath P. Wijeweera, who resigned last week from the post of Director General Customs (DGC), being charged to have caused huge losses to the national coffers running into billions of rupees. Some Customs officials who welcomed the Finance Minister’s directive to instruct Wijeweera to resign from the post said that there is concrete evidence to more..

Video: President Sirisena has become a prisoner of the UNP: Bandula

June 1 (AD) President Sirisena has become a prisoner of the UNP, former Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. He asserted that UNP always had the backing of some foreign elements for the victory at the Jan 8 polls. “There was a foreign conspiracy behind UNP’s win. With respect to our situation here, term conspiracy has been defined by Ashok K. Mehta, who is a former Major general of the Indian Army, and a columnist more..

Sri Lanka state credit slows in March, private loans up: data

June 1 (EN) Sri Lanka's credit to state from the banking system contracted in March 2015, with the Central Bank selling large volumes of its domestic assets to the banking system draining liquidity, while private credit rose. In the 12-months to March, net credit to govt was up, 15.8%, down from 22.23% in Feb. Private credit rose 41.40 billion rupees to 2,845.1 billion rupees in March 2015 from a year earlier, up 13.9% more..

Former CJ slams the FCID

June 1 (CT) Former Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva said that the Fraud and Corruption Investigation Division (FCID) was a totally illegal, wholly politically motivated process and a political vendetta and witch hunt, directing investigations against political opponents whilst depriving them of fundamental personal liberties. IGP issuing an extraordinary Gazette Notice, 1901/20 on 13, Feb 2015, establishing a new Police Division in more..

UNP sticks to 225 MPs

June 1 (DM) Amid uncertainty over the changes in the electoral system which are to comprise the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, the UNP, the dominant party in the govt, announced its stand yesterday, saying it was opposed to increasing number of parliamentary seats from the present 225. Earlier, President Maitripala Sirisena, in a Cabinet paper, had proposed to increase the number of seats to 255. more..

BC handled over 3,000 cases since Polls: DG

June 1 (DM) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption has been handling over 3,000 cases since the Presidential Polls and over 90% of the assets cases were against the politicians and state officials of the previous regime. Commission’s Director General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe said that they are currently working on over 3,000 separate cases of corruption, unlawful acquisition of more..

Reveal the truth

June 1 (CT) The recent rape and murder of a Jaffna schoolgirl have seemingly taken a new twist. It revolves round the main suspect of this case having had been released by the Police upon influence, political or otherwise. The suspect, a SL Tamil resident in Switzerland, was subsequently arrested at Wellawatte. He had apparently first been taken in to custody by the Police in the North where the crime had taken place, at Pungudutivu, a suburb in Jaffna, but had subsequently been released, more..

Dear Rosy, Is beauty only skin-deep?

June 1 (CT) Dear Mrs Senanayake, It was with much interest that we looked forward to your participation in the Satana Program of 28 May 2015 on the burning topic of Ethics, the law and the death of Vidya. We did not expect much from Mrs Vijayakala Maheswaran nor Mr Ranjith Soysa. However many of us were disappointed with your response. Of course at the time we had forgotten that even when you were faced with verbal sexual harassment from former Minister Kumara more..

Kaluwitharana bets big on young SL trio

June 1 (CI) Sri Lanka A coach Romesh Kaluwitharana has said Kithuruwan Vithanage, Kusal Perera and Ashan Priyanjan were ready to take the next step towards nailing down their places in the senior team. Following the retirements of senior players like Mahela and Sangakkara after the 2015 World Cup, Sri Lanka set their sights on the the home series against Pakistan A to scout for replacements. more..

Sri Lankan shares down to near 5-week low ahead of holiday

June 1 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended near a five-week low in thin trade on Monday ahead of a public holiday, while political uncertainty before a parliament election announcement dented sentiment. The main stock index fell 0.35% to close at 7,195.19, its lowest finish since April 30. "It is a sandwich Monday. So some investors are on holiday," said a stockbroker. Both the stock and currency markets will be closed for a Buddhist religious holiday on Tuesday. more..

Jaffna rape and murder suspects remanded further

June 1 (AM) Nine individuals suspected of the rape and murder of a schoolgirl in Punguditivu, were further remanded till June 15 by Kayts Magistrate Courts earlier today. Meanwhile, the Jaffna Magistrate further remanded a group of protesters arrested on May 20 for attacking the Jaffna Courts during a protest demanding death penalty to the suspected criminals. Two minors in this group were released on bail. Police arrested 130 persons for the attack on the Jaffna courts on May 20. more..

Video: Govt denies allegations of same-sex marriage vote

June 1 (AD) The Govt denied allegations that it voted in favor of same-sex marriages at the United Nations budget committee. The observation was made by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ajith P. Perera at a press conference held in Colombo. “It was a vote on a circular issued by Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon with respect to the privileges and allowances of the officials attached to UN,” Perera said. more..

Water levels rising rapidly: Pilgrims asked to avoid reservoirs in A’pura

June 1 (Island) Director Irrigation Janaki Meegastenna has requested the pilgrims visiting Anuradhapura to avoid using the reservoirs in the area for bathing. Due to heavy rains during the past few days the reservoirs were brimful and care had to be taken to avert disasters, the Director said. Director Meegastenna said that the water levels of tanks and reservoirs in Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, and Anuradhapura had had increased and the Nuwara Vewa was at the spill level. more..

'SLFP won’t field MR at general election'

June 1 (Island) The govt would not dissolve parliament until the passage of 20th Amendment passed, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. President Maithripala Sirisena had, at a recent discussion with the govt, said that he would dissolve Parliament only after the 20th Amendment aimed at reforming the electoral system was passed and the govt had concurred with him, Minister said. SLFP had called for applications from those desirous of contesting the forthcoming general elections more..

'RDA obtained loans providing false docs'

June 1 (LBO) Ministry of Highways and Investment Promotion says road development funds has been misused during the Rajapakse regime and the RDA has even obtained a loan from National Savings Bank providing false documents during the period. Ministry said this in a statement today, in replying to an avowal of former President Rajapaksa, who was quoted as saying that the current Ministry of Highways and Investment more..

Mosque attack: Police hopeful of arresting suspects shortly

June 1 (Island) An unidentified gang threw stones at a mosque at the Borella Cross road on Saturday night, damaging some of its windows. No one had been hurt in the attack though several had been in the mosque at the time of the incident, police said. Police believe the attackers had come in a van. OIC of the Borella Police, Chief Inspector Pragathi Abeysinghe said that the incident had taken place around 10.40 pm. "We are conducting investigations and we are hopeful that more..

UNP fact-finding mission: Case referred to AG

June 1 (DM) The case filed against Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera, UNP MPs R. Yograjan, Nalin Bandara and two others on charges of trespassing into a Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) building in Colombo 2 had been referred to the Attorney General for his advice. Slave Island Police told Colombo Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage that the abstracts of the investigations had been forwarded to the AG and were awaiting his advice. more..

Shiranthi says freezing of funds killed 3 patients

June 1 (CG) Former First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa told the police FCID today that the freezing of funds to her NGO had resulted in the death of three patients who were receiving assistance through the fund. Mrs. Rajapaksa gave a statement to the FCID this morning to assist in an investigation concerning Siriliya Saviya an NGO run by her. FCID was informed that Siriliya Saviya is a charity, an NGO registered with the National Secretariat more..

GMOA opposes suspension of surgeon’s transfer

June 1 (Island) The GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath accused the Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) President Dr. B.G. Ratnasena of retaining a surgeon who had been officially transferred to the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital. Dr. Herath said that the AMS President had set a bad example to the others by violating the transfer procedure. The surgeon who had been serving the NHSL was transferred to the Anuradhapura Teaching hospital. more..

TNA prepared to shake hands with Maithri, if

June 1 (CT) TNA is prepared to shake hands with President Maithiripala Sirisena, if he comes to an understanding to provide a sustainable permanent political solution to the ethnic issue, said Govindan Karunakaran, TNA Eastern Provincial Councillor, at a meeting held at Manchanthoduwai in Batticaloa District, recently. He said that they were able to send the former regime out of power and that the people suffered a lot under it. "Under the present regime we were able to see some hope for the Tamil more..

Video: Harsha: Where is Bandula?

June 1 (DM) Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva charged that Opposition MP Bandula Gunawardene had gone missing after calling him for a public debate on the state of the economy. “I called him and then left a message in Facebook asking him to give a date for the public debate, but he is still to reply and I wonder where he had gone to,” Dr. De Silva said. He said such debates should take place so that people of today’s thinking society more..

Rishad denies claims on replacing Rumy

June 1 (CG) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, while confirming that the present chairman of Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) Rumy Marzook, is to be replaced, denied claims over the motives to remove him. It had been reported that the Minister was going to remove Marzook as a result of a disagreement between him and the Minister. “I agree that we are planning to take in a new Chairman to the CAA. However, I categorically and clearly state that I am not planning to remove the current CAA more..

Mahela gives cricket masterclass in Crawley

June 1 (CO) Young cricketers had the chance to learn from the master when Sri Lanka legend and Sussex player Mahela Jayawardena came to teach them basic skills of the game. He spent two hours talking to and watching around 40 children at Ifield Community College in two sessions organised by Crawley Cricket Academy. Jayawardena said: “I am playing cricket in Sussex and I love playing with the kids because I want to help inspire them to be good cricketers. “Azam Riyard is trying to more..

Debate no-faith motion against Ravi on Wednesday: Bandula

June 1 (DM) Some UPFA MPs urged Speaker to allow the No-Confidence Motion against Minister Ravi Karunanayake to be debated on Wednesday without allowing it to lose its value and significance. UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardane said debate was important because the minister is continuing to act in a manner which was detrimental to the country’s economy. “We will also urge Opposition Leader more..

Sri Lanka represented in Interpol genocide, war crimes course

June 1 (Island) A 5-day international course on genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity will commence in Lyon, France today. Organised by the Interpol, the fourth international training course will deal with investigations into genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The War Crimes and Genocide Directorate of the Interpol will spearhead the programme. Sri Lanka will be represented by former police spokesman and attorney-at-law SSP Ajith Rohana. more..

Basil seeks bail in HC

June 1 (DM) Former minister Basil Rajapaksa today sought bail from the Colombo High Court through revision applications filed against Kaduwela Magistrate in connection with the alleged fraud at the Divineguma Department. High Court Judge Kusala Saroja who heard the revision applications noticed the respondents including the FCID OIC and the Attorney General to appear in Court on June 8. Senior Counsel U.R. de Silva with President’s Counsel Jayantha Weerasekara in the more..

Exports flat in March 2015, imports down

June 1 (EN) Sri Lanka's exports slipped marginally by 0.9% from a year earlier to US$ 1,060 million, and imports fell 5.5% with lower payments for oil, narrowing the trade gap 13.5% to US$ 520 million. Non-oil imports were picking up with less money being spent on oil and lower interest rates. Apparel exports fell 6.2% to US$ 428 million, tea exports fell 27% to US$ 113.4 million and sea food exports fell 36.5% to US$15.7 mil more..

Discussions to secure Obama visit ongoing

June 1 (CG) Govt says discussions are ongoing to secure a visit to Sri Lanka by US President Barack Obama. Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said that while Sri Lankan leaders visiting the US is nothing new, securing a visit to Sri Lanka by a US leader will be historic. US Secretary of State John Kerry, during his visit to Sri Lanka this year, had confirmed that the Govt had extended an invitation to Obama to visit Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka and the US have mended strained relations after new Govt agreed to more..

Awareness Protest March

June 1 (CT) An Awareness Protest March demanding the resettlement of Muslims who lived in the vicinity of Wilpattu and surrounding areas and extending the fullest support for the activities of Minister Rishad Badiudeen, was held at Sainthamaruthu Jumma Mosque on Friday (29). The protest march organized and chaired by Former Mayor of Kalmunai and Deputy National Organizer of All Ceylon People's Congress (ACPC), Dr. Siraz Meerasahibu, was attended by a large more..

Will continue to engage with India on fishermen issue: Sri Lanka

June 1 (PTI) Days after rejecting India's proposal to allow its fishermen to catch fish in Lankan waters, Sri Lanka has said it will continue to engage with India on the vexed fishermen issue in the spirit of goodwill and understanding to seek short-term and long-term solutions. "There is full appreciation on both sides of the livelihood and humanitarian dimensions of the (fishermen) issue and the two govts will, more..

Sri Lanka legal alcohol sales, tax revenues up in March quarter

June 1 (EN) Distilleries Corporation of Sri Lanka, the country's largest legal alcohol seller said gross revenues rose 30% in the March 2015 quarter to 15.57 billion rupees from a year earlier, while its own revenues after excise taxes rose 6.9% to 4.4 billion rupees. Turnover based taxes such as excise rose to 11.1 billion rupees in the March 2015 quarter, up 42% from a year earlier. Sri Lanka's new administration clamped down on distilleries connected to powerful figures of last regime more..

'MR should declare his assets'

June 1 (DM) Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Ajith P. Perera today asked Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to make a public declaration on his assets and financial records. He inquired that if former President Rajapaksa had not committed any frauds, he should make a public announcement on his bank details and properties. “The people can provide a judgment on him and his assets after this declaration,” the deputy minister told a news conference held at the Ministry. more..

3 Tamil parties to form new political front

June 1 (PTI) Three political parties representing Tamils have decided to join hands to form a new political front, saying the main TNA only represent community members from the northern and eastern part of the country. Mano Ganesan, leader of DPF, a minority party for the Western province Tamils said two other political parties representing Tamils in the central hill plantations are to join his party to form the new political front. more..

CRIB at 25 brings new challenges

June 2 (CT) Credit Information Bureau of Sri Lanka, popularly known by its acronym CRIB, just completed 25 years a few days ago. The Bureau had a grand celebration coinciding with its Annual General Meeting last week in Colombo. The occasion was used to felicitate the founders, big and small, for the yeoman service they provided to nourish that institution at its infancy so that it could grow into a strong youth later. This writer, as its founding General Manager, witnessed how more..

Practical solutions to curb the rate of rape

June 2 (CT) Having met with a barrage of flak for my article Are Women To Be Blamed For Rape? from a section of the online readers, as much as I take it all on a positive stride for the awareness created, I believe the burning issue of rape is yet to be taken seriously… let alone be addressed. Unfortunately, more than the plight of victims itself, the absence of a practical solution coupled with the lack of will makes the situation look even more poignant. To make matters worse, more..

The rape and murder of 17-year-old Vidhya

June 2 (SO) Punkudutivu is a small island of about 6000 people, located off Jaffna, in close proximity to Nagadeepa. It has no jungles or dense forest cover for outsiders to hold up in after committing gruesome acts of crime. Yet, Vidhya, a 17-year-old girl, was subjected to the most horrifying acts of violence, by nine men who gang-raped her and then brutally squashed her life. This happen in Pungudutivu. more..

When women are blamed for rape

June 2 (NS) A story titled, Are Women to be Blamed for Rape? was published on Colombo Telegraph on May 26 and was written by Muhammed Fazl, an independent social/political activist. The article provides a simplistic analysis of a complex problem and is also a chauvinistic and patriarchal take of a social issue. You are relaxing by a swimming pool when you notice a female in a bikini. You look at her long enough to remember how her body looked when it was so scantily clad. more..

The P-word and the F-word

June 2 (NS) Comrade Vasu is an unrepentant Socialist. I think he still considers himself a Marxist and perhaps even a Trotskyite. He’s an unrepentant kind of guy. That’s why he is refusing to say sorry for using the P-word on Ranil. Bandula Gunawardena in trying to save Vasu the blushes has made things worse but that’s another story. Let’s stick to Vasu and the P- word. Vasu defined himself in a non-Marxist or rather out-of-Marx kind of way when he used the P-word. more..