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Sri Lanka mulls road user charges to combat congestion

June 12 (EN) Sri Lankan policymakers are considering a proposal to introduce road user charges to cope with worsening traffic jams in the Colombo Metropolitan Region (CMR), an official said. The proposal is among the reforms suggested by transport experts to the govt under a strategic plan for transport management in the CMR, said Amal Kumarage. Vehicle imports were continuing and congestion worsening despite SL having very high vehicle import taxes, said Kumarage, more..

Indian origin Tamils welcome cabinet decision on poll reforms

June 12 (ENS) Indian Origin Tamils (IOT), who account for 1.5 million in the total population of 20 million, have welcomed the cabinet's latest decision on electoral reforms. "It is a victory for the combined efforts of the parties of the IOT and the Muslims, and also small parties representing the Sinhalese," said Mano Ganeshan, IOT leader and head of DPF. Cabinet on Friday decided that the total number of seats in parliament should be more..

Three dead after tipper truck-lorry collision

June 12 (AD) Three persons were killed following after a tipper truck ran over two pedestrians and crashed into a lorry at Ranwala, Kegalle on the Colombo-Kandy road. Police said that the two pedestrians and the driver of the lorry died in the accident and that the lorry driver’s assistant has been admitted to the Kegalle Hospital with injuries. The two pedestrians were reportedly at the middle of the road and the driver of the tripper truck had suddenly swerved to the right more..

Rajiva Wijesinha slams CB Governor

June 12 (AM) UPFA MP Rajiva Wijesinha slammed Governor of Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran for a sanctimonious and fraudulent performance at the Naduwa program on ITN last night. Wijesinha said the Governor had omitted to mention some facts and was not convincing in his explanations. "He claimed that he had asked his son in law to resign from the company, which had duly happened, but he omitted to mention that the young man had continued on the holding company" Wijesinha stated on his more..

Queen to present two Sri Lankans with inaugural award

June 12 (CG) The Queen is to present the inaugural Queen’s Young Leaders Awards to two young people from Sri Lanka at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Monday 22nd June. Thejitha Saubhagya Edirisinghe and Kavindya Thennakoon are among 60 exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth who have been recognised by The Queen for taking the lead in transforming the lives of others and make a more..

Sajin's bail plea: HC notices on AG, OIC of FCID

June 12 (DM) Colombo High Court Judge Padmini Ranawaka today issued notice on Attorney General and the OIC of the FCID to appear before the Colombo High Court on June 19 to consider a bail application filed on behalf of former Monitoring MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardena. Mr. Gunawardena’s instructing lawyer filed the application to seek bail for Mr. Gunawardena by way of a revision against the refusal of bail to Mr. Gunawardena by Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage on June 3. more..

Netball the Alwis way

June 12 (CT) It is no secret that the country's netball has gone from bad to worse. The latest antic being the Sri Lanka Netball Federation (SLNF) naming Deepthi Alwis and Semini Alwis, the mother and daughter of the same family as the head coach and the captain of the Sri Lanka national netball team which will take part in the Netball World Cup in Sydney, Australia August this year. There is no doubt that Semini is an exceptionally talented netballer and Deepthi is a decent coach, but more..

Former SLC chief Upali refutes allegations

June 12 (DM) Former Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) President Upali Dharmadasa refuted allegations levelled against him that he profited from construction work done at the R. Premadasa Stadium in the run up to the World T20 2012, having ignored tender procedures to award the projects to his own construction company. According to documents seen by Daily Mirror, Dharmadasa, in his capacity as the President of SLC, signed off more..

Tamil Army recruits from Mullaithivu join national service

June 12 (MoD) Another batch of Tamil recruits who had joined the Army as tradesmen passed out after completing their training recently. The batch of 46 recruits who joined the army from the Mullaithivu region joined national service after completing a four and a half month basic training course. Passing Out Parade was held on Monday at the Security Force Headquarters - Mullaittivu parade grounds. The recruits received training at the Puthukkudiyirippu Training School under the supervision of more..

Secretary Defence graces National Civilian Bravery Awards Ceremony-2015

June 12 (GDI) Secretary to the Ministry of Defence BMUD Basnayake graced the 21st National Bravery Awarding Ceremony organized by the Foundation for Civilian Bravery Sri Lanka at the Defence Service College Auditorium, yesterday. Foundation for Civilian Bravery rewards daring and courageous individuals those who have astounded the island with their unmatched valour, by saving others. Accordingly, Medals and Certificates of Commendation were presented to more..

Video: MR govt launched projects without funds: CBK

June 12 (DM) Former president Chandrika Kumaratunge said the Mahinda govt had initiated development projects illegally without finding funds needed for them and that the present govt has had to pay back the loans obtained by them at exorbitant interest rates. “No project can be initiated without crediting funds in the Treasury or finalising documents needed to fund such projects. It is illegal to do so. But the previous govt launched such more..

Communities working together is foundation for reconciliation: President

June 12 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena says people of all communities in the country working together is the best foundation for reconciliation between the communities. President further said that the development goals of the country could not be achieved only through developing physical resources. Citizens with high moral qualities and discipline is an essential factor for the development of a country. He made these observations while participating at 75th anniversary celebration more..

Iran did not suspend Uma Oya project financing

June 12 (DN) Embassy of Iran in Colombo clarified some news items appearing in a section of the Sri Lankan press quoting officials as attributing the delay in the implementation of the Uma Oya Multi Purpose Project to failure on the part of Iran to continue financing the project. The release added: The Embassy wishes to refute the above contention referred to in the said news story and would like to reiterate that as early as in mid 2013 the Sri Lankan side decided to utilize domestic funds for more..

SL urged to decriminalize irregular departures

June 12 (CG) Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, has urged Sri Lanka to decriminalize irregular departures from Sri Lanka, as irregular migration should only be seen as an administrative offence. In a report to the UNHRC which begins meeting in Geneva on Monday, François Crépeau has also proposed that govt refrain from detaining returned Sri Lankans who have migrated irregularly. more..

Babar six-for gives visitors lead

June 12 (CI) Zulfiqar Babar scythed through the Sri Lanka Board President's XI lower order, claiming figures of 6 for 31, as Pakistanis took a seven-run first -innings lead in the three-day practice match in Colombo. While Babar wreaked havoc at one end, opening batsman Kaushal Silva moved to his 32nd first-class hundred before being undone by Yasir Shah. Jehan Mubarak, Dinesh Chandimal, Milinda Siriwardene and Upul Tharanga all got starts, but failed to cross fifty. more..

Maithri enamoured with the real Manel !

June 12 (DN) Cabinet on Wednesday decided to give publicity to the right picture and the right name of the national flower and to inform State institutions about the matter. Cabinet was of the view that the right national flower was not displayed at some events in the recent past due to lack of awareness on the national flower of Sri Lanka. Taking into consideration the proposals and suggestions made by the public and based on recommendations by a committee of scholars and officials, more..

'Suspended mega Chinese project had no cabinet approval'

June 12 (ENS) State-owned Chinese company which was executing the US $ 1.4 billion Colombo Port City project, has not produced, till date, the cabinet approval and a crucial environmental clearance certificate pertaining to the project, Minister Ravi Karunanayake has revealed. The ambitious project, meant to be part of China's 21 st Century Maritime Silk Road, was suspended by Maithripala-Ranil govt on the grounds that more..

Video: 76 MPs attend Matara rally; Mahinda was near event?

June 12 (AD) A total of 76 MPs attended the public rally supporting former President Rajapaksa in Matara, according to former Minister Bandula Gunawardena. He stated that the number of MPs attending the event surpasses the attendance of previous rallies. Gunawardena further said that Maithri-Mahinda govt is required for the betterment of the country and not a Maithri-Ranil govt. He urged the masses to join in for the establishing of a new govt before four Poya Days pass. more..

Sri Lanka rupee hits record low; central bank chief warns of fixing exchange rate

June 12 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee fell to a record low on Friday as a state-run bank, through which the central bank directs the markets, lowered the dollar selling rate by 20 cents. Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said late on Thursday the country should let market forces determine its rupee exchange rate and warned that trying to buck the global trend of a rising dollar is suicidal. Currency dealers said hope that the rupee would strengthen on rising inflows was fading as more..

Hitherto hostile Tamil diaspora to publicly renounce violence and separatism

June 12 (ENS) The once anti-Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora is likely to issue a statement renouncing violence and separatism, Minister Mangala Samaraweera, told parliament. "As a result of our discussions (in London last weekend), and our efforts, it is most likely that the Diaspora groups which were previously hostile to Sri Lanka, would issue a declaration renouncing violence and commit themselves to working towards a united, more..

The Prabhakaran phenomenon: Towards an explanation

June 13 (CT) A Sri Lankan Tamil friend wrote to me wondering why thousands of Tamils, both within and outside the Island, devoutly followed the Tiger leader. Even more, why do so many – more in the diaspora, he thinks, than within Sri Lanka – still believe in him? Why did they ignore evidence which pointed to major errors and crimes committed by him? Why do they refuse to see them even now? The murder of Rajiv Gandhi is just one instance of Prabhakaran’s fatal cocktail of crime & folly. more..

The rape & murder of Vidya: An indictment of a criminal state

June 13 (CT) The recent gang rape and murder of an eighteen year old Tamil school girl, Vidya Sivaloganathan in Pungudutivu, raised righteous protests and condemnation from all decent people throughout the Land. There is already a high rate of rape and child abuse in the country. It is a damning indictment of a rotting, morally defunct neo-colonial State and Social Order. Women and children from all communities and nationalities are subject to this heinous crime of violent sexual more..

19A ends all-powerful Presidency

June 13 (SO) With the executive powers of the President being clipped to a certain extent under the 19th Amendment, the President has to decide collectively providing a fresh boost to democracy and good governance according to constitutional expert Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne. Political leaders made an effort to restrict powers of the executive through the 19th Amendment, which they thought would one day take country towards more..

The import of Sri Lankan Muslim names

June 13 (GV) My name is Mohamed Qadri Ismail. Mohamed Qadri Ismail is not my name. The statements may prompt a wtf. (The acronym, btw, of the World Taekwondo Federation.) Surely one cannot affirm a position and its contradiction. Yet I do. The second sentence doesn’t necessarily negate the first. Mohamed Qadri Ismail, an impeccably Sri Lankan Muslim male nomination. Mohamed: the name of the prophet; Qadri: a Pakistani pir authorized it; Ismail: my father’s surname, more..

Arjuna Mahendran's culpability proved!

June 13 (CT) I got an opportunity to read the "Report of the Committee to look into the Bond Issues of the Central Bank - 2015." Since this committee was chaired by Gamini Pitipana, for easy reference let us call this committee as Pitipana Committee and its report as Pitipana Committee report. The history of this bond-issue fiasco is now well known. However, it seems that the two main technical questions, in regard to this alleged scandal have not been resolved conclusively yet. more..

'Keheliya begged Ranil to take him back'

June 13 (CT) UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim said that former Minister Keheliya Rambukwella had tried three times to join the UNP after the defeat of the Rajapaksa regime. Hashim further stated that Rambukwella's repeated rhetoric that he would not join the UNP in a context that no UNP politician had told that he would do so was only hallucinations of the former minister. The statement further says that the UNP does not more..

Editorial: A stinking story

June 13 (Island) Parliament was told a stinking story on Thursday. Okay, okay, everything uttered in that place stinks to high heavens. (A big stench emanated the other day when two heavyweights clashed.) But, this particular story was different in that it was about four toilets among other things. Minister Gayantha Karunathilake revealed that the ceremonial opening of the Mattala and Hambantota fuel storage facilities under the previous govt had cost the taxpayers Rs. 6.6 million. more..

Vadamarachchi: Was President JR a traitor?

June 13 (Island) I am adding this fourth and concluding part of this article because I want mainly to clarify one point, and establish it firmly, as otherwise my article – though it contains material of public importance – might seem to amount to a nullity. From the feedback I have been getting it appears that the public mind is fixated on the idea that President JR really had no alternative to caving in to the Indian demand that military operations be stopped after Vadamarachchi, more..

Colombo Fashion Forecast: Episode 16

Environment not receiving adequate attention in Sri Lanka say experts

June 13 (Island) United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says the well-being of humanity, the environment, and the efficient functioning of the economy, ultimately depend upon the responsible management of the planet’s natural resources. Evidence is building that people are consuming far more natural resources than what the planet can sustainably provide. Many of the earth’s ecosystems are nearing critical tipping points of depletion or irreversible change, pushed by more..

What got us here won’t get us there

June 13 (Island) Sri Lanka has been known from time immemorial as an exotic destination visited by many famous travelers. Everyone has employed superlatives to describe the natural beauty of our island and hospitality we are so famous for. In the early 1960, we were the first South Asian country to formalise and recognize tourism as an important industry and since then, tourism has grown steadily in a relatively uncompetitive region until our internal strife began to take toll on more..

IUSF releases damning report

June 13 (CT) On 22 Dec 2014, the Police dispersed a group of university students who came in procession to the UGC, demanding their student rights and protesting the marketization of free education. Students were dispersed by the Riot Police amidst the tear gas engulfing the wide road of Ward Place for more than two hours. Traffic was jammed at both ends of the road while screams of the students could be heard even more..

Taming Tamil diaspora!

June 13 (CT) The previous Rajapaksa regime initiated a plan to interact closely with the Tamil Diaspora soon after the end of the war in 2009. A group of Tamil professionals from various parts of the world arrived in Colombo and they held special meetings with former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapasa, former Ministers Prof. G.L. Peiris and Basil Rajapaksa on their role towards stabilizing the reconciliation process in the Island. It has been estimated that nearly one million SL Tamils more..

Mathews confident he has the best squad

June 13 (Island) Captain Angelo Mathews believes that he has got one of the best squads with a combination of youth and experience to take on Pakistan with confidence in the upcoming series which starts in Galle next week. He said this at a press conference to announce the tour on Friday. Pakistan are expected to play three Test matches, five ODI’s and two T-20 games during their nearly two-months long stay in the country. Tour will get under way with first Test at Galle on Wed. more..

'Ex president ruined sports'

June 13 (CT) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga attending a training camp Save Sports in Sri Lanka said that former president had to take responsibility for the ruination of sport in the country. He said this when he attended the training camp held at the Bandaranaike MV Veyangoda by the Save Sports in Sri Lanka organization and National Sports Foundation. Senior athletic coaches Sunil Gunawardena and Yogananda Wijesundara more..

Sri Lanka’s Wounds of War

June 13 (FP) "Now we are thinking in a different way,” Kopalapillai Amirthalingam, a senior lecturer at the University of Colombo, declares. “The govt is trying to correct things.” The cautioned optimism Amirthalingam exudes is shared by many corners of Sri Lankan society. The January presidential elections, resulting in the unanticipated victory of Maithripala Sirisena over former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has greatly altered the mood of the country and has led to, at least temporarily, more..

Royal Ceramics expands into North American market

June 13 (Island) Royal Ceramics Lanka (Rocell) will look to expand its global sales footprint with the addition of the North American market. Laying the ground work for the entry, Rocell participated in the prestigious Coverings '15 exhibition held in Orlando, USA in April. Coverings is a premier international trade fair and exhibition, the largest of its kind in North America dedicated exclusively to showcasing the newest in ceramic tile and natural stone. "North American market is one of the largest for more..

Positive spill over from Indian Maggi-MSG row for Sri Lanka

June 13 (NS) One of the positive outcomes of the Maggi-MSG row In India has been the initiating of Indian authorities and more specifically state regulators into action. It is widely reported that state regulators are now testing samples of various products to ascertain if they contain the ingredients as per the labeling. “In Sri Lanka you find a public apathy on consumerism, whole issue has been compounded by dearth of scientific research, more..

Mobitel partners with Education Ministry

June 13 (Island) National Mobile Service Provider Mobitel recently partnered with the Data Management Unit of the Ministry of Education and the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) for the launch of the School Net II project to provide high-speed 4G LTE internet access to a large number of schools countrywide for the benefit of the students. Mobitel will act as one of the leading mobile operators that would contribute to the large scale service initiative for schools more..

St Anthony’s Feast today

June 13 (Island) Feast of St. Anthony’s Church, Kochchikade, Kotahena will be held today on a grand scale. There will be three festive High Masses in the three main languages at different times. A large number of devotees are expected and the procession of the statue will commence in the evening at 5 p.m. The festive Tamil High Mass at 8 a.m. will be presided over by Bishop Emmanual Fernando and Sinhala High Mass at 10 a.m. by the Bishop of Kandy Rev. Dr. Vianney Fernado. more..