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Sri Lanka Badminton faces suspension

June 13 (NS) Badminton World Federation (BWF) has warned that the SL Badminton Association will be suspended if they did not conduct their AGM and form an acceptable governance by 30th June. In a letter sent to Amal Dias and signed by Thomas Lund the General Secretary of BWF has expressed hope that the promised revisions of Sri Lanka Sports Law will be presented latest by 30th June and more..

Free WiFi project divides SL operators

June 13 (TT) SL govt is making broadband more affordable with a free WiFi project that it launched earlier this year, but while some telecoms operators are all for it, others fear that such initiatives will put them out of business. State is in the process of rolling out 1,000 WiFi hotspots in public places that will allow users to access up to 100 MB of data per month for free, thanks to agreements with telecoms operators. Last month the state said it has set up around 100 of these hotspots. more..

Finding out what Sri Lanka MPs are worth

June 13 (ST) Many people will be surprised to know that they are entitled to request and scrutinise their MPs’ asset declarations. We have tested the system thoroughly and it works. Here’s all you need to know. Who has to declare their assets? An annual disclosure must be made by the President, MPs, Judges, Board and staff officers of Public Corporations, Provincial Councillors, Local Authority members, newspaper proprietors and Editors amongst others. more..

The Ranbhumi Rally enjoys fitting finale

June 13 (FT) The Ranbhumi Rally for Unity, spearheaded by MTV/MBC Networks together with the National Youth Services Council and the Colombo Port City, concluded on a high note at the Galle Face Green, on 9 June. With a massive crowd that poured in from all across the districts, this finale event proved to be the pinnacle of unity building, successful achievement through development and a huge step towards a peaceful nation. more..

Not by UPFA says Rajitha

June 13 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the advertisement published in most Sinhala newspapers Thursday promoting the Matara rally in support of former President Rajapaksa was not approved by the UPFA. Advertisement asked that the public attend the Matara Rally to begin the struggle to make Rajapaksa the prime ministerial candidate at the upcoming elections. It is to be held on 12 June. "We will conduct investigations into who was responsible for this advertisement," more..

Now, CMC to count cats

June 13 (Island) The Veterinary Department of the Colombo Municipal Council said it would carry out a census on stray cats by the end of this month as they were considered a public nuisance. Chief Veterinary Surgeon, Dr. I. Dharmawardane said that within the first six months of this year there had been two rabid cats identified in the city. However, the MC Ordinance did not make specific reference to cats as regards the spread of rabies. It referred only to dogs as potential carriers of the deadly disease. more..

US Embassy tight-lipped on Kerry's call for releasing political prisoners

June 13 (Island) US embassy in Colombo declined to say whether it had advised Secretary of State John Kerry as regards political prisoners in Sri Lanka prompting him to urge the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration to release them. The official was responding to a query in the wake of Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe stressing that there hadn't been any political prisoners though there were over 200 convicted LTTE cadres more..

Korea-SL knowledge sharing program concludes with seminar, policy dialogue

June 13 (FT) The 2014 Knowledge Sharing Program with Sri Lanka, conducted by the Korean Govt, came to an end with two events held in Colombo last week. The delegation from Korea, which was headed by Dae-Hee Yoon, former Korean Minister for Policy Coordination, visited Colombo to meet high-ranking officials from the Sri Lankan Govt and conduct a seminar where the main results of their consultancy work on the theme of Enhancing Technology to improve Export more..

Deputy Speaker, MP have close shave

June 13 (DN) Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody and MP Ramesh Pathirana had a narrow escape at the pinnacle unveiling ceremony of the newly built Chaithya at Poorwaramaya Yakkalamulla Galle. The two MPs and the chief monk of the temple were raised by crane to unveil the pinnacle and were on their way down when the crane had stopped functioning. The villagers tried to rescue them by using Bamboo logs with the help of a ladder. Crane operator managed to have more..

Mangala alleges Tamara aided LTTE

June 13 (Island) Former Sri Lankan permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, Tamara Kunanayagam had acted on the LTTE’s behalf and aided and abetted the LTTE’s interests through her propaganda, it was alleged in parliament. In a document tabled by Minister Mangala Samaraweera in response to a question, Minister said that he had made such a claim on Rathu Ira programme on the basis of four pieces of evidence. more..

Saudi gifts 250 tons of dates to Sri Lanka

June 13 (AN) The Kingdom has gifted 250 tons of dates to Sri Lanka for distribution at mosques in the country during the holy month of Ramadan. Minister Abdul Haleem said he received the consignment from Saudi Ambassador in Colombo Abdulaziz Al-Jammaz. He said that this donation was a token of appreciation from the Saudi govt. “We are thankful to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and his govt for continuing the annual supply of dates to Sri Lankan Muslims.” more..

Prageeth Ekneligoda's wife thanks CID

June 13 (DN) Wife of missing journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, Sandya Ekneligoda paid a short visit to Lake House yesterday. Ekneligoda who was unable to talk at length said she appreciates the work done by the CID in trying to find her husband. "Still, I don't know anything about my husband's whereabouts. However, with the new government coming into power, the investigation has been handed over to the CID," she said. "During the last five years nothing had been done by the police and more..

Mahinda ready to be PM candidate; Will join next rally

June 13 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he would accept the people’s invitation to contest the next general election as the prime ministerial candidate. In a message read out at yesterday’s mammoth rally held by UPFA rebels in Matara the former President said that he would surely be on the rebels’ platform a the next rally. Message was read by former Minister & SLFP Vice President Dullas Alahapperuma. more..

Sri Lanka stands for the rights of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims

June 13 (DN) Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament that Sri Lanka will stand for the rights of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. He said the UN should also consider the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar as suppressed people. "Sri Lanka believes that their rights should be protected. Minister was answering an adjournment motion moved by UNP MP Mohamed Aslam. Minister said that 96 Rohingya community people had come to Sri Lanka on two occasions. more..

‘Agriculture a key area in Delhi-Colombo ties’

June 13 (Hindu) Sri Lanka has identified agriculture, logistics and textiles as potential areas of economic engagement with India, according to Ravi Karunanayake, Finance Minister. He said that the visit of Indian PM Narendra Modi in March showed warmth between the two countries. “It is for us to encash it into investments and move forward,” he said, describing the level of engagement as super. Shipping and open-aviation policy were among the other areas of cooperation. more..

Sri Lankan expats risk deportation

June 13 (NS) Over 140 000 Sri Lankan citizens in Canada could face the risk of losing their Canadian citizenship or return to Sri Lanka after a new immigration law enacted by the Canadian Govt dictates that these second class citizens may have their citizenship status stripped at any point. The new immigration bill which was enacted last week states that new Canadian citizens have lesser rights than those born Canadian. more..

Middle-path compromise: Put country first

June 13 (DM) In another commendable middle-path compromise by the Yahapalanaya govt the Cabinet yesterday approved the 20th Amendment for electoral reforms, with the number of seats being increased to 237. At a special cabinet meeting last Monday approval was given for a draft presented by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe with the number of seats being maintained at 225—125 on the first-past-the-post (FPP) system, 75 under the proportional representation system and 25 on national list. more..

Voices of desperation: Re-enacting tragedy

June 13 (DM) The previous regime reminds one of a classical Greek tragedy, in which pride came before the fall, hubris followed by nemesis. I was reminded of a famous saying those who the Gods wish to destroy they first send mad, when reading recent statements made by politicians who should know better. Short memories seem to be a prominent feature among them all. Fortunately, President Sirisena, having had the courage to come forward, despite the many threats to him personally more..

Women clamour for more representation in parliament

June 13 (SL) The women’s organisations in the country have been struggling to get some provisions to increase women’s representation in parliament through special measures in the constitutional amendment. Even though the 20th Amendment on electoral reforms is at its final stage of being presented to parliament, women have not been able to include provisions up to the level of their expectation. more..

Electoral reforms: Smaller parties cry foul

June 13 (Island) 18 minority and minor parties discussed the proposed electoral reforms on Thursday. Ministers Rauff Hakeem, P. Digambaram, State Minister M.T. Hassen Ali, MPs M. Sumanthiran, Selvam Adaikalanathan, M. Chandrakumar, R.Yogarajan, Western Provincial Councillor Mano Ganeshan, J. Sirithunga, Sarath Athukorala, Y.L.S. Hameed, Kumar Guruparan and Ananda Manawadu were among the participants. more..

Police traffic blitz panned by critics

June 13 (ST) Scepticism greeted plans to have almost the entire police force geared to fight traffic offences, with many claiming the scheme was a revenue-raiser and open to large-scale corruption and questioning why equal resources were not given to fighting crime. The govt defended the move, saying it would help to reduce the traffic accidents and congestion. Almost the entire police force will now be empowered to more..

'Carom boards imported on verbal instructions of former minister'

June 13 (DN) FCID officials told Colombo Magistrate's Court that the Lanka Sathosa had imported a consignment of carom boards valued at Rs. 39 million free from taxes on the verbal instructions of former Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage and a written request made by former Sports Ministry Secretary Nanda Mallawaarachchi. Police Inspector M.A.D.N. Ansley told court that the consignment had been imported by Sathosa more..

'Low income dwellers' lands will not be forcibly acquired'

June 13 (DN) The lands of low income dwellers in Colombo will not be forcibly acquired and utilsed for development purposes without the consent of the residents, as was done during the previous regime, said Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva. He was addressing the people in Velupillaiwatta, Rajagiriya while on an inspection tour. He said the new govt has ended the proposed policy of former Defence Secretary more..

Gota has 58-man army security contingent

June 13 (CT) It was revealed in Parliament yesterday that 58 army personnel have been assigned to provide security for former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to ensure his security after he relinquished office after the 8 January presidential election. This was tabled by Chief Govt Whip Gayantha Karunatilake in Parliament in response to a question directed at Minister John Amaratunga by a UPFA MP. more..

33 new Mission Heads processed

June 13 (CT) The govt informed Parliament that to date 33 nominations had been made to fill a total of 41 Heads of Missions vacancies abroad. Minister Mangala Samaraweera said answering questions tabled in Parliament that while one Head of Mission vacancy, the one in New York, had been filled, seven more nominations were being considered, while 33 have already been made and are awaiting ratification. more..

Implementing 19A: GL calls for following procedure without rush

June 13 (Island) Prof. G.L. Peiris, MP said that one of the key objectives of the 19 Amendment would be lost in case seven persons, including three ex-officio members were allowed to appoint eleven Independent Commissions without its civil society nominees in violation of the new piece of law. He emphasized that the process couldn't get underway under any circumstances until political parties represented in parliament agreed on more..

Family report mandatory for all female migrant workers from August 1

June 13 (DN) It has been made mandatory for all female workers to submit a report on their family background before leaving for overseas jobs from August 1, SLBFE announced. The report gives authorities an insight into the female foreign employment aspirant’s family background. Especially in the case of a mother, the authorities will determine whether her children are in safe hands during her absence. more..

Govt begins devising homegrown mechanism to probe alleged HR abuses

June 13 (Island) The govt had commenced devising an indigenous mechanism to investigate alleged human rights violations and war crimes said to have taken place during the last phase of the conflict with the LTTE, parliament was told yesterday. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the govt had begun holding talks with various parties to work out a mechanism that would suit the local conditions and situations. more..

Sinhale Jathika Peramuna press conference ends in clash

June 13 (DN) Press conference organised by Sinhale Jathika Peramuna national organiser Ven. Angulugalle Janananda Thera at Bodhimalu Viharaya in Delkada yesterday ended in a clash. The press conference was organised on the theme 'National security at risk - Is Commander in chief President Maithripala Sirisena or Vigneswaran?' A group of persons had participated in a pooja held at the temple premises ringing bells after the press conference which started around 10.30 a.m. more..

UNP requests President to dissolve Parliament immediately

June 13 (AM) UNP Working Committee last night unanimously decided to request the President to dissolve Parliament immediately and hold an election. The Working Committee also stated that the party had not deviated from his position over a 225 MP legislature - a position held by the party for the past 15 years. Working Committee stressed that the no confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was a violation of the mandate expressed by people at presidential election. more..

Shaveen Bandaranayake Kariyawasam

Death of a party

June 13 (CT) Somawansa Amarasinghe is the last of the old guard of the JVP. While his leader Roahana Wijeweera and other members of the JVP's politburo were killed by the security forces in 1989, he was one of its few leaders who were able to escape by taking refuge in India. His escape from the wholesale slaughter of the JVP leadership may have been possible due to his relationship with Sirisena Cooray, the then Housing Minister and a close associate of President R Premadasa. more..

21st century Socialism: What is it?

June 13 (CT) Sumanasiri Liyange in a recent article tried to intimate that the 21st Century Socialism would be different from its old version. In regard to that he presented a list of five points or characteristics quoting from Bolivarian revolutionaries of Venezuela. No socialism or any other economic system would prevail if that system is not efficient than present capitalistic system. These Bolivarian revolutionaries know nothing about economic efficiency. more..

Reconciliation with ex-LTTE combatants on track

June 13 (Island) Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Maj. Gen. Jagath Wijetilleke yesterday said that he would shortly take charge of four more LTTE cadres through courts. They would join 56 LTTE personnel, including a female undergoing rehabilitation at Poonthottam, Vavuniya; Maj. Gen. Wijetilleke said adding that the project was nearing completion though reconciliation process would take several years more. more..

Opposition benches deserted because of Matara rally

June 13 (Island) Leader of the House and Plantations Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that there were no opposition members in Parliament yesterday as everybody had gone to Matara to attend bring-back-Mahinda rally. "There is no Opposition Leader, no opposition MPs. Everybody has gone to Matara," he said. When Minister said so referring to the empty rows of seats on the opposition side, the presiding member Deputy Chairman of Committees C. Murugessu said more..

Ven. Attadassi Thera angered

June 13 (CT) Chief Prelate of Asgiri Chapter of the Siam Nikaya, Most Venerable Galagama Sri Attadassi Thera called for an immediate closure of all alcoholic beverage outlets in the vicinity of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy because their very presence constituted an immoral affront to the sanctity of the sacred city. He added that conducting motor races in the vicinity of the Temple added to the overall atmosphere of dishonour towards the Temple of the Tooth. more..

PAFFREL begins March 12th Movement

June 13 (CT) Elections monitoring bodies will soon be implementing islandwide campaigns to pressurize political parties to accept the criterion proposed for selecting candidates and to educate the general public about the criteria to be followed when electing MPs. Polls monitor, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) said the voter awareness programmes will be conducted across the island from 25 June to 10 July. more..

Beach Wadiya gutted

June 13 (Island) The internationally famed Beach Wadiya restaurant in Wellawatte was destroyed in a fast spreading fire in the early hours of yesterday morning, possibly fanned by blowing from the sea. The over 40-year-old landmark restaurant which has hosted the likes of Princess Anne and Richard Branson was earlier damaged and rebuilt from scratch following the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. The cause of yesterday's fire is unknown, and police Scene of Crime squad are investigating more..

Special research on oral cancer treatment

June 13 (DN) Peradeniya University Dental Faculty lecturers B.S.M.S. Siriwardene and Prof. W.M. Tillekeratne are conducting a special research on oral cancer treatment, university sources said. The research is conducted with financial assistance from the National Research Council. The main reason for oral cancer in Sri Lankans is chewing betel. They said a betel chew has 32 cancerous substances and the people keep it in their mouth for a longer period. This leads to injuries in tissues in the mouth, more..

Lankan wins reduced jail in plane molestation case

June 13 (GN) A passenger won his appeal and had his one-year imprisonment reduced to six months in jail for molesting a 13-year-old girl while he was drunk on a plane. 45-year-old Sri Lankan passenger, allowed the Singaporean girl, who was travelling alone, to take the adjacent seat and groped her repeatedly while she slept in Nov 2014. In March, the Dubai Court of First Instance jailed the accused for one year for molesting more..