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Lankan escapes from police custody in India

June 13 (CG) A Sri Lankan national allegedly escaped from police custody at the CMBT in Koyambedu, Chennai, The Hindu newspaper reported. They were on their way to Puzhal prison where he was remanded on charges of smuggling drugs. Suresh alias Nishanth (32), a native of Colombo, arrived at the CMBT around 12 a.m. on Friday from Pudukkottai after a court hearing, escorted by Armed Reserve constable Lazar. He requested Lazar to allow him to use the toilet. more..

Draw after Tharanga, Karunaratne fifties

June 13 (CI) Openers Shan Masood, Dimuth Karunaratne and Upul Tharanga all hit fifties, and legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay claimed three wickets, on the final day of the Pakistanis' warm up against the Sri Lanka Board President's XI in Colombo. Azhar Ali was also retired out on 48, on the Pakistanis' way to 257 for 7 declared. The Board XI openers then hit two brisk half-centuries, before the match wound to a draw - the host's score at 129 for 3. Masood and Azhar had been not out more..

Ananthy Sasitharan in the eye of a controversial publicity storm again

June 13 (DBS) Politicians are a breed thriving on publicity –negative or positive. Their preference is to bask in the limelight always. They crave attention almost all the time and love to be the cynosure of all eyes. It is said in lighter vein that politicians want to be the bride in a wedding, baby in a baptism and the corpse in a funeral! The most common method used by politicians to generate publicity is to engage in political stunts. more..

'End of war failed to restore human dignity'

June 13 (CT) Albie Sachs, anti-apartheid activist and former South African Judge, says in a personal assessment that the post-war ambience in Jaffna lacks indications of a restoration of human self-esteem or dignity, adding that the crucial need for freedom in the war-affected areas does not seem to have been fulfilled. Sachs met elite northern civil society leaders on 9 June, Tuesday, to share post-apartheid experiences in South African with them. "End of war does not appear to have restored more..

Buddhist monk immolates self

June 13 (AD) A Buddhist monk has committed suicide by self-immolation in a forest area at the Madunagala Hermitage. The deceased has been identified as a 69-year-old monk who had been residing at a meditation center in the Millewa area. The reason for the suicide is yet to be ascertained while the postmortem examination on the remains is to be carried out at the Hambantota Hospital. Ambalantota Police is conducting an investigation. more..

Sri Lanka earns millions from Lamborghini cars imported without tax

June 13 (EN) Sri Lanka has earned hundreds of millions of rupees from Lamborghini sports cars which were brought into the country during the last regime without paying taxes, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. Eurosports, a Colombo based firm, had brought three cars into the country without paying tax saying it was being brought for an exhibition for one month and had been kept for 16 months. more..

French Ambassador meets State Defence Minister

June 13 (FT) Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka and Maldives Jean-Marin Schuh paid a courtesy call on State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene at the Ministry premises earlier this week. A brief discussion was held on matters concerning mutual interests and bilateral relevance during the session. Meanwhile, the State Minister recalled the support extended by the French Govt for the demining process in recent times. Speaking on the present engagement of troops in UN missions, more..

Govt neglecting Sajith

June 13 (CT) Joint Trade Unions of the Divi Neguma Development Department claim that the current Minister of Housing and Samurdhi, Sajith Premadasa, is being neglected by others in the govt. They said that this consequently creates a conflict when it comes to resolving issues faced by employees in the department. Chamara Madduma Kaluge of the Samurdhi Development Officials' Organization in association with 9 other Samurdhi and Divi Neguma Development Department more..

Chandimal to keep against Pakistan

June 13 (IL) Dinesh Chandimal is favoured to take over wicket-keeping duties when the first Test against Pakistan starts next week, skipper Angelo Mathews said. Being well stocked in the keeping department, selectors overlooked Prasanna Jayawardene, who had been a fixture behind the stumps for the Test team, for this three-match series and Mathews said finding someone to fill that place was not difficult. more..

8 hospitalised after star class dinner

June 13 (DM) At least eight people were hospitalised last night after they fell ill following a dinner party held in the Oak room at Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo organised by the Sri Lanka UK society to celebrate British Queen’s birth day, informed sources said. The sources said they had obtained beverages, liquor and starters from outside and that a mushroom starter may have lead to a food poisoning. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said they were admitted to more..

Electoral system still unclear: TNA

June 13 (AM) TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran stated that it was too early to comment on the newly approved 20th Amendment since the electoral system is still unclear. Sumanthiran said that even though the number of seats have been announced, the exact electoral process could be understood only after the Gazette Notification is released. The Cabinet approved an electoral system with 237 MPs in Parliament. Accordingly, 145 MPs will be elected from first-past-the-post system, more..

'Sri Lanka needs India's help to promote theatre in schools'

June 13 (IANS) Sri Lanka needs India's help to establish the concept of theatre as a tool for education, says veteran Sri Lankan theatre personality Parakrama Niriella, heaping praise on the theatre in education innovation that has sparked interest in his country's theatre circuit. Hailed as one of the pioneers of street theatre in Sri Lanka, the 66-year-old Niriella, a critically-acclaimed name in the country's television and cinema circuit, more..

Teen brothers murder man over dishwater incident

June 13 (AD) Two teenage brothers, from the same family, have been arrested in connection with the murder of 42-year-old man in Dodangoda, Kalutara. The victim, who was living in the area, had thrown out some dishwater which had splashed on a woman who was nearby. Later, the woman’s two sons had started an argument with the victim leading to the assault last evening. The man had succumbed to critical injuries suffered in the attack, carried out using a club. more..

'20A falls short of expectations'

June 13 (CT) Proposed 20th Amendment according to newspaper reports is falling short by way of representation for minority parties and the ethnic minorities, the President of the National Shoora Council (NSC), Tariq Mahmud said. He also praised the govt's effort to foster reconciliation between communities which was almost non-existent in the immediate aftermath of the terrorism of three decades. He also said "The Muslims will be down by 50% of their representation in the country. more..

Governors debate over legal unit

June 13 (NS) The former governor of Central Bank, Ajith Nivard Cabraal on Friday slammed the statement made by the incumbent Governor, Arjuna Mahendran on the absence of a Legal and Compliance Department at the Central Bank as false, misleading and even mischievous. Responding to the claim made by Mahendran in a televised interview that it was shocking for him to observe that this Unit had not been more..

Ethno-Politics and Constitutional Reform

June 14 (SO) Ethnicity and politics have gone hand-in-hand in this country throughout modern times. Modern historians are divided as to when ethnicity and cultural identity became key dynamics in this island's social evolution. Some have argued that ethnic identities are a creation of colonial demographic arrangements and modern social class aspirations, especially bourgeois class aspirations, from the 19th century onwards. Others have argued that ethnic consciousness more..

Eliminate Leaping Political Frogs

June 14 (SL) Democracy is the worst form of government except all other forms that have been tried from time to time”, was Winston Churchill’s quip after he gave leadership to forces of democracy in the great anti-fascist war but lost the general election, soon after. “The people of Britain have a right to kick me out,” the democrat had remarked. That democracy is the best form of govt is proven by the fact that all other forms: absolute monarchies, dictatorships – National & Chauvinist, fascist, more..

No MERS patients detected in Sri Lanka

June 14 (SO) Sri Lankan health authorities have now alerted govt hospitals islandwide to take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the disease. They said that even though it had yet to be listed as a notifiable disease, circulars had been issued on the management of the disease to hospitals across the country. Issuing guidelines for clinical management of MERS - CoV, to Directors and Medical Superintendents of all Teaching, more..

The people don’t want a bigger Parliament

June 14 (Island) Although the UNP and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe have not succeeded in having their way in restricting membership of the next Parliament to the existing 225 MPs according to a cabinet decision taken last Friday, it will not go up to 255 as some opposition MPs including constituents of the UPFA and some minority parties wish. The compromise which President Maithripala Sirisena had succeeded in striking is a 237-strong Parliament – something the SLMC is not happy about more..

How serious are you about the 20th, Mr President?

June 14 (NS) President Maithripala Sirisena is not an in-your-face leader. That’s a relief. But if his wallflower ways have raised doubts about his ability to deliver on promises made then his deft moves in the past few days should lay them all to rest. A week ago the 20th Amendment seemed doomed. For all the talk about electoral reform when it came to doing the needful everyone seemed disinterested. UNP, primarily through Lakshman Kiriella & Kabir Hashim, couldn’t stop talking about dissolution. more..

'MR, Ranil both didn’t practise party democracy as leaders'

June 14 (SL) Minister S.B. Dissanayake – former minister of Higher Education – has now become a strong arm in the pro-Maithri group. He said the SLFP is not a party but a front which may have experienced divisions at times even during the past due to diverse opinions of its members, but it always comes back together in no time. He added that he had worked with both former President Rajapaksa and current PM Wickremesinghe, more..

Verbal garbage and the big stink

June 14 (ST) The subject stinks and is unappealing reading on a Sunday morning, but the rat-infested mountains of garbage in thickly populated Bloemendhal, Colombo North, and Meethotamulla have for many years stood as an emblem of Sri Lanka’s cavalier attitude towards waste disposal. The fetid heaps contain everything from plastics, paper and rotting food to hazardous hospital waste. When the landfill emanates fumes, officials warn of possible combustions. Rains give rise to more..

Give him some sage advice

June 14 (ST) My dear Ratnasiri and Di Moo, I am writing to you to let you know what a pleasant surprise it was to see you back in the public eye, being appointed as presidential advisors on political affairs. It was a surprise because we all thought we had heard the last of you, now that both of you are well into your eighties. It was also a surprise because, during the recent presidential election campaign, one of the main complaints from Maithri’s campaign platform was that more..

'The people can judge the bearer of Truth'

June 14 (SL) The former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Ajith Nivard Cabraal has been at the centre of allegations made by the Prime Minister that he was responsible for awarding Rs 2.7 Trillion of Treasury Bonds and Bills to “cronies” and “accomplices” of the former govt. Cabraal has hotly denied the allegations, even inviting PM Wickremesinghe to a debate, but the Prime Minister has been so far silent. more..

An exciting series on the cards

June 14 (Island) Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka had disappointing outings in the ICC World Cup making quarter-final exits. With both teams rebuilding with the old guard giving way to the young ones, an exciting series is expected. Star batsman Kumar Sangakkara, who has been representing English county Surrey, will arrive in Colombo in the early hours of today and will soon head to Galle to join his teammates. But before that he will meet the selectors Sunday morning. more..

Govt plays T20 with 20A while 76 play for Mahinda

June 14 (CT) While the 20A was played as a T-20 game finally last Friday agreeing to enlarge the capacity of Parliament from 225 members to 237, Friday also marked another significant feature in the deep South where over 70 UPFA MPs and a host of Provincial Councillors gathered to attend a public rally organized by the faction supporting former President Rajapaksa. Unlike at the previous meeting held in support of Mahinda at which he got his message read out in his absence, more..

'Development projects will continue under a UNP govt'

June 14 (SL) Several Chinese funded projects in Sri Lanka including the Port City Project came to a standstill as the interim govt temporary suspended those projects based on various concerns especially related to corruption allegations about high level of commissions involved. This has also created the impression that the new government is being hostile towards Chinese companies and Chinese funded projects. more..

Sirisena works hard at Peace, Reconciliation

June 14 (SL) The political landscape in Sri Lanka continues on its uncertain journey. The PM was clearly for having an early dissolution whilst his current political partner of sorts, President Sirisena insisted on achieving the 20th Amendment. The problem with that was that the President also said that there was no need for the 20th to be made an urgent bill and that there was time for these matters indicating on one hand an unhurried approach whilst on the other keeping his political more..

Mahinda’s electoral prospects

June 14 (Island) Crowd at the pro-Mahinda rally held in Matara last Friday was even larger than the crowd in Nugegoda. The number of MPs on the stage was variously mentioned as 76, 77 and 78. As far as the pro-Mahinda camp is concerned, there is nothing more to be said, no more points to be made. Matara has six UPFA MPs and of them, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene, Hemal Gunasekera, Sanath Jayasuriya and Vijaya Dahanayaka hold portfolios in the govt and did not attend the meeting. more..

Delay in approving 3 finance bills causes Rs. 56 billion loss in state tax revenue

June 14 (ST) Fears that three crucial finance bills enabling the imposition of the controversial Super Gain Tax (SGT), Mansion Tax and a casino levy, would be defeated in parliament has delayed its presentation and led to a possible loss of Rs. 54 billion in estimate tax revenue. These bills are meant to make effective these crucial levies presented in the Feb 7 budget. Four months later the bills are yet to be presented, though ready, for approval more..

Govt proposes, Opposition disposes, President reposes

June 14 (ST) Yet another attempt by the Govt for Parliamentary approval of the three members from civil society, picked to serve on the Constitutional Council (CC), failed this week, after Opposition legislators sought written assurances that ministers will not be appointed to the CC after the term of this Parliament lapses. UPFA objects to the choice of Ministers Champika Ranawaka & Wijedasa Rajapaksha as members of CC, & want them to be replaced by MPs sans ministerial positions. more..

Rasheed in thrilling win over reigning national champ Boteju

June 14 (ST) Army’s M.S.M. Rasheed emerged champion at the Colombo YMCA Invitation Open Snooker Championship when he recorded a stunning and thrilling five frames to four win in the nine frame final over reigning national snooker champion Susantha Boteju at the YMCA billiard table in Colombo yesterday. 19-year-old youngster who is one of the up and coming cueist was in top form and looked one of the contenders for the title who overcame two former national snooker more..

New lawyers-committee to probe Central Bank, Treasury, accountants

June 14 (ST) A new committee of lawyers has been appointed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, this time to probe the affairs of Institute of Chartered Accountants, Treasury, Central Bank and the Registrar of Companies in a move that has raised concerns from veteran lawyers. The committee comprising Harsha Soza – PC, Vinodh Wickramasooriya and Roshaan Hettiarachchi, has been mandated to more..

MICE sector eyes over 150,000 travellers

June 14 (SO) Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) tourism sector, a pivotal cog in the tourism industry targets around 155,000 travellers by the end of this year, CEO, SL Convention Bureau, Vipula Wanigasekera said. Reaching this target is a huge milestone in the MICE sector which makes a salient contribution to the economy by bringing in much needed foreign exchange. MICE sector travellers increased from 80,000 in 2006 to to 144,000 last year. more..

Vehicle sales propel Dimo’s performance

June 14 (Island) Diesel and Motor Engineering PLC which celebrated its 75th Anniversary, during the year ended Mar. 31, 2015, has posted revenue of Rs. 28 billion and a profit after tax of Rs. 596 million, successfully achieving its planned profit before tax which was a substantial increase from the previous year. "We expect this growth momentum to continue into 2015/16," the company said in its recently released annual report. The company which was founded in 1939, and more..

Storm in a tea cup

June 14 (SO) The tea industry is undergoing a turbulent time due to the disruption in most of the traditional Ceylon Tea consuming countries, Chairman, Tea Exporters Association, Rohan Fernando said. Around 65% of our exports go directly and indirectly to sanctioned or high risk markets such as Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Libya. “These countries have been our traditional large-scale buyers, who have developed a more..

Lankan apparels showcased in Latin America

June 14 (CT) As Sri Lankan annual apparel exports closed in on the crucial $5 billion mark, South America's largest apparel market was given a preview of Lankan fashion when the Brazil International Apparel Sourcing Show 2015 (BIAS 2015) opened in Sao Paulo on 27 May. Lanka's EDB and Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) officials led a delegation consisting of reps from six companies to BIAS 2015, the leading international apparel show of Brazil and South America more..

Mahinda Kularathna bags two awards at Aquarama - 2015

June 14 (Island) A Sri Lankan professional in the ornamental fish business clinched two accolades at the prestigious Aquarama - 2015 14th International Ornamental Fish and Accessories Exhibition held from May 28-31 at the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre Hall in Singapore recently. Mahinda Kularathna, proprietor of Beeta Aquarium, Boralesgamuwa, won the second and third prizes at this prestigious event described as the greatest aquatic exhibition on earth. more..

Sri Lanka wrestlers in India at their own expense

June 14 (DNA) The practice of arranging loan to fund one's trip is not new for many sportsmen. It is no different for Sri Lankan chief wrestling coach and former international Rajith Fernando. He had to choose between arranging a personal loan of SL Rs 1 lakh to fund his travel with his wards to the Asian Cadet Wrestling Championship being held here, or, sit back at home and follow the results through internet. more..

Hotel conducts internal investigation

June 14 (CG) A leading hotel in Colombo said that it has launched an internal investigation into an incident where guests attending a private function at the hotel, fell ill last evening. On Friday evening, twelve out of 175 guests attending a private function at the Oak Room of Cinnamon Grand Hotel fell ill during the event. The police had told the media that it had launched an investigation over the incident. The hotel, meanwhile, said that it facilitated the transfer of the affected guests to hospital more..