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'Ex-Central Bank governor de-stabilized sovereign bond'

June 11 (EN) The first sovereign bond by Sri Lanka's new administration was undermined by ex-Central Bank Governor and with the name of a former minister also being involved, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne charged in parliament. "Former Central Bank Governor engaged in a de-stabilizing operation," Wickramaratne said. "He called the international banks and told them not to lend to govt. This is a savage (mlechcha) act. more..

Shares fall for fourth straight session

June 11 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's stock index fell for a fourth straight session on Thursday to close at its lowest in more than eight weeks, as concerns over political uncertainty sapped investor confidence for risky assets. President Maithripala Sirisena's govt has said it would dissolve the parliament once some crucial reforms, including an electoral bill, are passed, but has yet to fix a date for the election. The main stock index ended down 0.17%, or 11.93 points, at 7,051.52, more..

On Ranil’s formula for electoral reforms

June 11 (CT) On 8th of June we were told that the cabinet had made the decision for a 225 MP legislature which will include 125 MPs elected under the first-past-the-post (FPP) system, 75 MPs under the PR system and 25 MPs under national list. Although not explicitly stated, the terminology suggests a mixed member majoritarian (MMM) system similar to that proposed in the 2007 report of Parliamentary Select Committee. Not surprisingly, this announcement by the Cabinet was a more..

MPs who failed A/L questioning CC nominees’ qualifications: CaFFE

June 11 (AD) A number of MPs have used the debate on the composition of the Constitution Council (CC) and the appointment of civil members to the CC to derail the progress made by the 19th amendment to the constitution, a Sri Lankan election watchdog said. Parliament was unable to come to a consensus about the three civil members yesterday and because of this the activities of the Bribery Commission and the appointment of more..

Customs returns Glyphosate containers back to China

June 11 (CT) Two containers of imported Glyphosate were returned to its Chinese supplier yesterday. A businessman from Mahailuppallama requested permission of the Sri Lanka Customs to re-export the two containers of Glyphosate back to his Chinese supplier. According to the businessman, he took this decision and asked the Customs to undertake this task of re-exporting the containers after President Maithripala Sirisena's decision to ban the use of Glyphosate in Sri Lanka. more..

Three-judge bench to hear petitions of expelled SLFP Uva PC members

June 11 (Island) A three-judge bench of the Court of Appeal has been nominated to hear the petitions filed by expelled UPFA Provincial Council Members of the Uva Province. The petitioners have challenged their expulsion from the party for submitting affidavits supporting the appointment of Harin Fernando of the UNP as the Chief Minister of Uva. The three-Judge bench will comprise Justice Depali Wijesundera, Justice Malini Guneratne and Justice M.M.A. Gaffoor. more..

Champika objects compensation to LTTE cadres

June 11 (DM) Minister and JHU General Secretary Champika Ranawaka said today the cabinet paper submitted to grant govt compensation for injured LTTE terrorists had to be withdrawn after he protested against it. “Some ministers submitted a cabinet paper proposing that the injured LTTE terrorists should be compensated by the govt. I strongly objected it and it had to be withdrawn,” he said. more..

Health Minister orders an end to state hospitals referring patients to private labs

June 11 (Island) Health and Indigenous Medicine Minister promised to fill 78 administrative vacancies in the Ministry shortly. Emphasising the need for filling top administrative positions, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that instructions had been issued to all hospital administrators that with immediate effect all laboratory investigations required by patients should be done at the respective hospital labs except for investigations that could not be done there. more..

Police hunt kidnappers of Vavuniya businessman’s son

June 11 (AD) Police have launched investigation into the kidnapping of a businessman’s five-year-old son in Vavuniya, seeking a ransom of Rs 3 million. The boy was reportedly abducted by a group of individuals on Tuesday while returning home after preschool. The kidnappers had demanded a ransom of Rs 3 million from the businessman for the safe return of his son. However, the businessman had proceeded to make a ransom payment of Rs 1 million to the kidnappers, more..

Video: Appointments of four deputy ministers Acts of political bribery: Tilvin

June 11 (DM) The recent appointments of four deputy ministers were acts of political bribery by President Sirisena to retain power, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva charged today. While slamming the decision to appoint more ministers, he said the incumbent govt was following the footsteps of the previous govt in expanding the Cabinet. “There is no political requirement to appoint a new set of ministers. more..

'Pakistan confident SLC will consider returning there'

June 11 (Island) President of the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) Ambassador Sohail Amin said that friendly countries should seriously consider playing cricket in Pakistan. Now that Zimbabwe national team successfully concluded a visit to Pakistan with the last match played at Lahore's Gaddafi stadium, other nations could return to Pakistan, Ambassador Amin said. The veteran diplomat was responding to a query by The Island on the side-lines of a recently concluded more..

Tiran won’t be arrested till June 29: AG

June 11 (CG) The Attorney General (AG) today assured court that MP Tiran Alles will not be arrested till the case over allegations against him is heard. Alles has been accused over alleged fraud at the Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA) which was formed following the 2004 tsunami. The MP had filed a petition against moves to arrest him in connection to the case and the AG informed the Supreme Court today that he will not be arrested till the case is heard. more..

Air Marshal Gunatilleke appointed new CDS

June 11 (AD) Air Marshal Kolitha Gunatilleke has been appointed as the new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) with effect from June 16. Gunatilleke, who is the current Commander of the Sri Lankan Air Force, will take over from General Jagath Jayasuriya. Air Marshal KA Gunatilleke assumed command of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) on March 01, 2014. He joined the SLAF in 1980 as an Officer Cadet of the 8th Intake more..

British tourist’s FR application challenging her arrest, detention and deportation argued

June 11 (Island) Counsel J. C. Weliamuna yesterday told the Supreme Court that his client, Naomi Michelle Coleman, had been illegally arrested, detained, and unlawfully deported soon after her arrival in Sri Lanka, on April 21, 2014. Weliamuna made the aforesaid observation when the fundamental rights violation petition filed by Naomi Michelle Coleman of United Kingdom, who had visited Sri Lanka on April 21, 2014, was argued in the Supreme Court. more..

Minority parties didn’t raise their voices properly: Rajitha

June 11 (AD) Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratna says that a final decision will be reached regarding the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, introducing electoral reforms, at the special cabinet meeting to be held on Friday. With regard to objections voiced by certain minority parties towards the electoral reforms proposed by the Prime Minister, he stated that the decision on the proposal was not final yet and that it was brought by the UNP to do justice to those parties. more..

Sri Lanka opposition vows non-cooperation

June 11 (PTI) Opposition, backing ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa, today vowed non-cooperation with the govt as their attempt to bring no-confidence motions against the PM and the Finance Minister in the parliament was disallowed. "We will practice the policy of non-cooperation," Dinesh Gunawardena, a Rajapaksa supporter and leader of MEP said. He said Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella did not consent to two no-confidence more..

Sri Lankan Tea prices recover

June 11 (EN) Sri Lankan tea prices recovered at this week’s Colombo auctions as quality improved and helped by the depreciation of the rupee, lower global production and higher prices at other origins, brokers said. But auction average prices still remained below the same level in 2013 and have been causing loses for many regional plantations companies. “This week there was better demand and consequently a firm to dearer trend in prices,”, Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said, more..

Govt pro-separatist, lenient to Wiggy

June 11 (CT) If the security forces are removed from the North it will be a green light for the LTTE to regroup, said Leader of the PHU Udaya Gammanpila. He added that "the govt's continuing silence has encouraged Wigneswaran to make such a demand in the North. In 1990 the Sri Lankan troops were withdrawn from the North, and the LTTE immediately occupied the area." His comment was in response to the statement made by Wigneswaran on Monday who stated that military stationed more..

Audio: No bus fare hike: LPBOA

June 11 (DM) Bus fares would not be increased as claimed by certain persons, who claimed to be the general secretary of a private bus federation, President of the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) Gemunu Wijerathne said today. General Secretary of the All Island Private Bus Company Federation (AIPBCF) Anjana Priyanjith said on Wednesday that he had planned to request a bus fare increase of 10% with more..

Pakistanis succumb to spin on first day

June 11 (CI) Spin was the Pakistanis undoing, as they were bowled out for 247 on day one of the three-day warm up against the Sri Lanka Board President's XI at Colts Cricket Ground in Colombo. Only Ahmed Shehzad and Younis Khan crossed fifty, as the visitors lost seven wickets to spin - five of them to legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay. The Board XI went to stumps at 44 for 1, after Junaid Khan had trapped Dimuth Karunaratne in front second ball. Mohammad Hafeez was lbw to more..

Shipping Corporation has no ships

June 11 (NS) The Ceylon Shipping Corporation, which once had over 20 vessels and made a major contribution to the country’s economy, now has no ships of its own, it was revealed today. Addressing a media briefing to mark 44 years of the organization and the presentation of its development plan for the next five years, Minister of Ports and Shipping Arjuna Ranatunga said the ships had been sold off during previous years, severely hampering activities of the organization. more..

No Fire Zone shown in Irish Parliament

June 11 (CM) No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka, an international award-winning film which credibly exposes the mass atrocities and war crimes committed largely by the Sri Lankan army against the Tamil people during the final months of the war, was screened in the Dáil (Irish Parliament) this afternoon. Paul Murphy TD (MP for Anti Austerity Alliance) hosted the screening, attended by several MPs, Director more..

Mangala urges SL diaspora to return home

June 11 (CG) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera today urged the Sri Lankan diaspora to return home to become stakeholders in Sri Lanka’s new journey towards peace, reconciliation and development. He also urged the diaspora to stop thinking in narrow, parochial terms and call themselves Sri Lankan diaspora and not be defined on ethnic lines by labeling themselves as the Sinhala Diaspora, Tamil Diaspora or the Muslim Diaspora. “Let there be unity in our diversity. more..

Australia denies officials paid refugee smugglers

June 11 (ABC) Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has denied claims by Indonesian police that Australian Customs officials paid thousands of dollars to people smugglers to take asylum seekers back to Indonesia. A boat carrying 65 asylum seekers crashed onto a reef near the remote Rote Island, off West Papua, last week and those on board said Australian authorities had turned them back. Rote Island's police chief said the captain of the boat, a man called Yohanis from North Sulawesi, more..

'Constitutional council to function without civil representatives'

June 11 (LBO) Constitutional council (CC) will be able to meet and function even without filing the vacant seats of the ten member CC, Minister Rajitha Senarathne said. Parliament is yet to agree on the three civil society representatives that has been nominated by both the PM and the Leader of Opposition. “Since 7 members can be considered as the majority of the council, it may function as the CC even appointing much awaited more..

Resettlement of Northern Muslim IDPs

June 12 (CT) The purpose of this article is to explore the resettlement of Northern Muslim IDPs and find out the hindrance which delays the process of Marichukati village in Mannar district. It has been 25 years since the Muslims were forcibly evicted from their home land by the LTTE and have been living in the Puttalam district in many IDP camps in vulnerable conditions. The end of conflict in May 2009, brought a new hope for the resettlement of Muslim IDPs. more..

Colourful history of a historian

June 12 (ST) It’s the late 1960s. On most Fridays, Michael Roberts would make his way towards Colombo from Peradeniya, recording equipment balanced at his feet and his bag filled with assorted clothes strapped to the back of his trusty scooter. Navigating the sharp curves and turns on his two wheeler, once in Colombo, he would spend his weekend sprinting from one interview to another. These interviews were long excursions down memory lane conducted with retired British more..

'UNP defeated Mahinda when he was in power'

June 12 (SO) After a long break the forthcoming parliamentary elections seems to offer UNP a great opportunity to build a parliamentary majority of its own. Kabir Hashim, General Secretary of the party gives a breakdown of the efforts taken by the party to rejuvenate it. Q: What are the steps being taken within the party and its extensive national organisational network to win as many seats as possible? more..

N.M., Allende & Chavez: Re-reading three strategies for Socialism

June 12 (CT) On the occasion of 110th birth anniversary of Dr. N. M. Perera, a leader of the Lanka Samasamaja Party (LSSP), commentators may praise him as a great democrat and outstanding parliamentarian. It has been generally agreed that N.M (as he was lovingly known) had contributed immensely for the development of parliamentary tradition in Sri Lanka. His critical analysis of the 1978 constitution foresaw the developments that had occurred in the last 37 years. more..

Childhood memories of my father

June 12 (ST) My eyes open early in the morning to the sound of singing. The singer is my father, Martin Wickramasinghe. Even as I turn my head to look at the wall clock on my right, I know that the time was half an hour past five in the morning. From as far back in my childhood as I can recall, it was not bird song, but the sound of my father’s voice raised in song that woke me at the crack of dawn. His routine started around five in the morning; even on days he worked late hours into the night more..

I insulted Sybil Wettasinge

June 12 (NS) I met her at a meeting of the English Writers’ Cooperative. This was the first time I had met Sybil Wettasinghe. I had heard that she could draw. I asked her if she could illustrate a story I had written, Mandy and the Purple Dolphin. Ms Wettasinghe said, ‘I have to read it first and if I think I can I will illustrate it.’ That was good enough for me. I sent her the book by post. I called her. I was disappointed. more..

Editorial: To dissolve or not to dissolve

June 12 (Island) Some people who have to go past cemeteries alone at night shout obscenities, claiming that they are not scared of evil spirits. They are the ones who fear ghosts most! Others who do not care two hoots about demons even cut catty-cornered across graveyards without making such noises. Similarly, the MPs, alarmed by the prospect of facing an election soon, put a bold face on it by demanding that Parliament be dissolved. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said a mouthful when more..

Arbitrary recall of diplomats

June 12 (Island) India is without doubt the most important country to us not only because of her proximity and our blood relationship but also because she is developing into becoming a Super Power and because of her capacity to do us harm. Our security and development are our foremost national interests and, therefore, India is indeed the most important country to us on the planet. It was reported that our High Commissioner described as India friendly had been recalled. more..

'Mahinda accepts his mistakes'

June 12 (CT) The 100 days allocated to deliver the promises made by the govt to the people has lapsed. Whilst a few targets were met, certain key factors including electoral reforms are yet to see the light of the day. In the same light, a few political parties have changed colours, and the SLFP, of which President Sirisena was the General Secretary, is also facing an imminent split due to two factions that formed within the UPFA led more..

Anuradha and Niluka yet to get their grants

June 12 (CT) Sports Ministry felicitated many athletes for their achievements in junior youth and senior age categories in the last few months with cash, still the two athletes who had qualified for Olympics are yet to get their well deserved financial backing from the authorities. Anuradha Cooray and Niluka Rajasekara the two marathon runners who had qualified for the both the IAAF World Championship to be held in two months at Beijing and Rio Olympics in 2016 have been still more..

Sports Ministry lastly fetes athletes

June 12 (CT) Sports Ministry finally showed their soft spot for Asian Junior winning athletes, as they were felicitated with cash awards yesterday along with Asian Athletics Championship silver medalist Nimali Liyanarachchi and three other weightlifters. The facilitation was held at the Sports Ministry yesterday along with minister Navin Dissanayake where seven athletes and their coaches were feted with cash awards for their medal winning efforts at Asian and Commonwealth level. more..

New Legal Unit set up at Central Bank

June 12 (NS) The Central Bank said that it has established a Legal and Compliance Department, under the provisions of the Monetary Law Act to deal with a wide array of issues that will help the bank to have a compliance culture. Accordingly, the personnel appointed to this new department are expected to work together to advise the several departments of the CBSL on legal issues and to represent bank in courts & in other legal fora. more..

Eleven young Sri Lankans to attend Cannes Festival of Creativity

June 12 (EN) Sri Lanka’s advertising and marketing industry has selected 11 young marketing communications professionals to compete in the 62nd Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. They will represent the country at the Young Lions Competitions and the Roger Hatchuel Academy in Cannes, France in June 2015 and were chosen after a local competition, a statement said. “The Sri Lankan Young Lions will compete against the best teams from around the world at more..

Accounts manipulated!: Four independent CIFL Directors allege

June 12 (CT) Four independent directors of the Troubled Central Investments and Finance (CIFL) alleged that there had been many manipulated figures in the financial statements of the company since 2004. The numbers presented to the board meetings we attended as independent directors from end 2012 have been completely distorted, these four independent Directors said on the basis of anonymity. These were submitted by fully qualified professional accountants and more..

'Giving back GSP, a matter for EU'

June 12 (CT) The prospects of Lanka gaining back the EU's GSP plus preferential trade concessions are brighter, if Sri Lanka adheres in to the EU requirements, new British High Commissioner, James Dauris said. He made this remarks during the breakfast meeting, which was organized by the council for business with Britain. "I don't want to comment about various countries' human rights track record. more..