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Conjunctivitis cases higher than last year

June 17 (ST) Cases of the eye infection, conjunctivitis, are being reported in many cities, particularly in Colombo, with more than 100 patients being seen every day at the National Eye Hospital. The infection rate is higher than at the same time last year. “We have allocated a separate ward to treat the infected people to prevent transmitting to other patients,” the eye hospital’s Director, Dr. Sanath de Silva said. He urged people to wash their hands after more..

Movement to Protect SLFP lashes out at MR

June 17 (DN) The certificate issued by the world appreciating the Colombo City Development Programme is of great pride to Sri Lanka. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is using this certificate to wear a crown made of jak leaves and make the whole country laugh, states the organisation for the Protection of the SLFP in a statement issued. The statement signed by the organisation's convenor Thusitha Holloluwa states more..

Road now clear for Sampur power project

June 17 (Island) The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) which recently met all stakeholders of the proposed second coal-fired power plant in the country at Sampur inquired from them whether they were agreeable to the stack (chimney) height of 135 meters. Senior engineers pointed out the recommended height conformed to the Sri Lankan Standards, The Trincomalee Power Company Limited (TPCL) officials said more..

Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium has gone to dogs

June 17 (SL) The Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium – a restricted area for any animal over the years – has now opened its doors widely for dogs. The 84th All Breed Championship Dog Show by the Kennel Association of Sri Lanka was held on Sunday June 7 at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium from morning till evening which has raised concern amongst the sports lovers in the country. For them it is surprising and questionable why the more..

Work with disapora, but eradicate extremism, terrorism: BBS

June 17 (CT) The diaspora's involvement is crucial to the country's national security and development, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) said. The diaspora is however, not the sole representative of the Tamil people, CEO of the BBS Dr. Dilanthe Withanage added, noting it was imperative that the Tamil political parties, Tamil organizations, the opinions of ground level Tamils, Sinhalese Buddhist organizations including more..

Govt urged to release Welikada riot report

June 17 (Island) An organisation calling itself the People’s Collective against 2009 Welikada massacre urged the govt to release the findings of a committee which probed the 2009 Welikada prison riot. The committee investigated the death of 13 suspects in remand and 14 convicts subsequent to the intervention of the police, the STF and the army to quell the prison riot. Spokesperson for the organisation Senaka Perera told more..

'SL takes action against human traffickers'

June 17 (IL) "Sri Lanka in order to prevent all forms of irregular migration, trafficking in persons and smuggling of human beings, is taking action against those traffickers under due processes, while treating the migrants as victims of smugglers". On the issue of migrants in Sri Lanka, "Sri Lanka is aware of the importance of looking at the issues related to irregular migrants into Sri Lanka in a nuanced manner and the need to more..

Ravi K justifies Insurance corporation MD’s appointment

June 17 (LBO) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, justifying the appointment of T.M.R. Bangsa Jayah brother-in-law of the Minister says that it’s better to appoint a go getter rather than an inefficient professional. Jayah was appointed as the Managing Director (MD) of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation after the new administration took over on the January 08th this year. “I have nothing to do with it,” Ravi Karunanayake told LBO. more..

Over 2000 killed annually due to road accidents

June 17 (Island) President of the College of Surgeons Prof. Kemal Deen revealed that around 800,000 Sri Lankans were hospitalised annually and six persons died daily due to road accidents. Briefing the media, on a series of programmes organised by the College of Surgeons such as Walk for Cancer, Disease Prevention and Road Traffic Accidents, Prof. Deen said some accident victims sustained fatal injuries and others had to undergo surgical operations. more..

Sri Lanka tea crop recovers as global production falls

June 17 (EN) Sri Lanka’s tea production has recovered this year and the island is the only major producer whose output is higher than last year with crops in other origins being lower, brokers said. Global black tea production up to April this year has fallen by 11% to almost 304 million kilos from the same period of 2014 with most of the shortfall coming from Kenya. Kenya’s tea production has fallen by 30.51 million kilos to 81.57 million kilos up to March 2015 from a year ago. more..

Sunil Perera: Land Mark Interview

Shares edge up; foreign investors exit Keells

June 17 (Reuters) Shares edged up on Wednesday, helped by index heavyweight John Keells, which managed to eke out gains despite heavy foreign selling, while local investors were cautious ahead of a parliamentary election. The main stock index ended 0.07% or 5.11 points up at 7,049.71, edging up from its two-month low hit on Tuesday. The market saw net foreign outflow of 786.7 million rupees, extending net foreign outflow for the past 16 sessions to 3.32 billion rupees. more..

Norochcholai sick again

June 17 (Island) The first coal-fired power plant at Norochcholai has developed technical faults after a smooth run of about nine months and returning a record profit last month. This time the 900 MW complex is minus 650 MW due to a fault in its number two plant; the third plant runs at half capacity while the first plant is undergoing annual maintenance. A senior engineer said the maintenance work on the first plant would keep it out of operation for three months. more..

Video: No-faith debate on PM July 3rd week

June 17 (DM) The debate on the no-confidence motion on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe could be held in the third week of July, the SLFP said quoting Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella as saying at the party Leaders meeting held yesterday. “We strongly suggested that the motion should be taken up for debate as soon as possible, to which House Leader Kiriella replied it could be debated during the third week of July,” more..

Grace till March 2016?

Mar 17 (CT) Yesterday this newspaper quoting UNHRC Chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein stressed the need for the govt to come up with a transparent and inclusive mechanism vis-à-vis Sri Lanka's human rights (HR) problem, the insinuation of which is connected to the closing stages of Sri Lanka's war against LTTE terrorism where such abuses are alleged to have had taken place. He had also said that this mechanism should be in place ahead of UN's HR sessions in Geneva in more..

The 19A: Centrepiece of good governance

Mar 17 (CT) Distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corps, Ladies & Gentlemen, On behalf of His Excellency Maitripala Sirisena and my colleagues in the Presidential Secretariat, I have great pleasure in warmly welcoming you to this afternoon’s briefing on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. It is just over a month since this important Constitutional amendment was formally certified by the Speaker of our Parliament although it was passed on 28 April. more..

High-level talks underway on domestic probe

June 17 (CG) Govt says high-level talks have begun with regards to the domestic investigation over some of the incidents related to the war. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maheshini Colonne said that relevant authorities, at high-level, continue to be engaged in internal consultations on matters related to the domestic mechanism and that they also recognize the need to consult all stakeholders on these issues, in time. more..

UPFA lawyers demand MR as PM candidate

June 17 (Island) UPFA Lawyers’ Association meeting last Saturday decided to involve their lawyers in the upcoming parliamentary election. The meeting was held at Opulent River Face Hotel under the theme, Who should be the PM candidate of the UPFA? The lawyers confronted the UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha and senior SLFP MP W. D.J. Seneviratne, who were present on the occasion, demanding to know why former President Rajapaksa had been left out of the UPFA. more..

Tissa appears at bribery commission

June 17 (AM) Former Minister Tissa Attanayake was summoned by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption this morning. He is to be questioned over the acceptance of the post of Health Minister in December 2014, after a Presidential Election had been announced. Attanayake was appointed Health Minister on December 11, 2014, and served in this capacity until January 9 this year. In April, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa was also summoned to more..

Video: Dissolution after 20A is passed: UNP

June 17 (DM) The UNP stressed the need to enact the 20th Amendment as soon as possible to pave the way for the dissolution of Parliament at the earliest. UNP MP Nalin Bandara Jayamaha, who made a brief description on the situation with regard to 20th Amendment, said it would take at least one and half months to get the legislation passed in Parliament. He therefore said the House should be dissolved in more..

Rain washes out first day in Galle

June 17 (CI) Rain washed out the opening day of the Test series between SL and Pakistan, without a ball bowled or even a coin tossed in Galle. The pitch and outfield remained under covers right through the day, and the umpires officially called off play after an inspection at 1.45pm. By then, it was clear no play would be possible. Persistent showers had kept both teams in their hotel, and the heavy cloud cover had ensured the ground staff kept the covers on even during dry intervals. more..

BBS slams Chandrika

June 17 (CT) Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has urged the public to speak out strongly against what it described as the politiclal project at reconciliation in the country. Referring to Chandrika Kumaratunga as the sister of the slain LTTE Leader V. Prabhakaran, General Secretary of the BBS Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said that her recent public statements regarding her ignorance about who Sri Lanka belonged to came as no surprise, as the answer lay in her genealogy. more..

Kshenuka Seneviratne cleared of allegations

June 17 (CG) Former Foreign Secretary Kshenuka Seneviratne has been cleared of allegations raised against her and as a result has also been cleared to be appointed as SL’s Ambassador to Thailand. Seneviratne had been accused of handing over the renovation of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Geneva to a construction company with alleged LTTE links, while she was serving as SL’s Ambassador to Geneva. more..

Prasanna: ‘I won’t contest on SLFP ticket if Mahinda is not made PM candidate’

June 17 (Island) Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said that he had sent an application to the SLFP seeking nominations to contest the forthcoming general election from the Gampaha District, but it was contingent on the party picking Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Ministerial candidate. He said he would contest on the SLFP ticket only if the party fielded former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the UPFA Prime Ministerial Candidate at the next election. more..

Transport Minister predicts return of 125 UNP MPs at next poll

June 17 (Island) Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara has claimed that before the year end, a new government would be formed with 125 UNP MPs. He said so speaking at the launching of three buses after repairs at the Angoda SLTB depot recently. The existing electoral system had helped anti-social elements like drug dealers and bootleggers enter Parliament, the Transport Minister said. Therefore, the MPs themselves had decided to adopt a new electoral system. more..

'Sri Lanka economy to grow 7.2% in 2015'

June 17 (Reuters) Sri Lankan economy is expected to expand 7.2% this year despite a sluggish increase in the first three months of 2015, on higher growth in tourism, banking and garment manufacturing, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. His forecast is higher than what economists expect and is above the central bank's estimate of 7% growth for the year. Central bank said in April it expected growth to slow from last year's more..

Sajin Vass further remanded

June 17 (AM) UPFA MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena was further remanded till June 24 by Colombo Fort Magistrate a short while ago, rejecting his bail application. He is being held in remand custody over the alleged misuse of 23 vehicles belonging to the Presidential Secretariat. The CID reported to courts that 16 vehicles have been handed over by Gunewardena. Two vehicles which were allegedly given to a private security company have also been recovered. more..

Many candidates seek nominations

June 17 (CT) A significant number of potential candidates have come forward to contest as TNA candidates at the forthcoming parliamentary polls. According to TNA Batticaloa District MP P. Ariyanenthiran, only eight people could contest from the TNA and several prospective candidates have sought nomination from the TNA to contest from the Batticaloa District at the forthcoming parliamentary election. He further said in the Batticaloa District only eight can contest. more..

UNP-SLMC scuttling 20A: Nimal

June 17 (DM) Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala De Silva today charged that the UNP and the SLMC were in a move to scuttle the passage of the 20th Amendment and the two political parties issue conflicting and different statements on electoral reforms at different times. He said Opposition was determined to increase the new Parliament to 250 or 255 seats despite the UNP's stance not to increase Parliament's more..

Gazette notice on 20th Amendment

June 17 (CG) The Gazette notice on the 20th Amendment to the constitution has been published, the Govt Printer said. The cabinet, which met for a special session last Friday, had agreed on a new proposal for electoral reforms via the 20th Amendment to the constitution. Accordingly the cabinet agreed to a proposal by President Maithripala Sirisena for a 237 seat Parliament. The 237 seats will be divided into 145 members elected via the First-Past-The-Post system, more..

SL 6th on list of forced marriage cases in UK

June 17 (AM) Sri Lanka has emerged six after Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Afganistan and Somalia in terms of countries of origin where British nationals are forced into marriage, a crime in the UK. Forced marriage was criminalised under British law exactly one year ago today and the UK's Forced Marriage Unit said it had handled cases involving a range of different countries Pakistan (38.3%), India (7.8%), Bangladesh (7.1%), Afghanistan (3%), Somalia (1.6%), Turkey (1.1%), more..

Vithya murder: Suspects to be tried under PTA

June 17 (CT) Kayts Magistrate Lenin Kumar pointed out that the suspects in any case have the liberty to seek legal assistance and have preferred lawyers to defend them. Magistrate Lenin Kumar told Court when the preliminary inquiry on the murder of schoolgirl Sivaloganathan Vithya commenced on Monday. Three lawyers had arrived from Colombo to Kayts when the case was taken up. However, it was not clear whether more..

Families of gem mine accident victims compensated

June 17 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena distributed financial payments as compensation to the families of persons who died or suffered disabilities in accidents in the gem mines belonged to the Gem and Jewellery Authority at a function held at the Presidential Secretariat today. President handed over the cash cheques as compensation payment for the families of five mine workers who died or suffered permanent injuries in a landslide at a gem mine in Lunugalka more..

Sri Lanka seeks to borrow $500 mln to pay some project costs

June 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka called on banks and investment houses on Wednesday to propose terms for a foreign currency term financing facility as it seeks to raise up to $500 million to meet the costs of some externally-funded projects stated in its 2015 budget. This comes after the govt raised nearly $1 billion via a 10-year sovereign and development bond on May 28. The ministry of economic affairs said in a statement the foreign currency term financing facility (FTFF) was likely to more..

Chinese companies donate over 14,000 USD to provide clean water for northern Sri Lanka

June 17 (Xinhua) Two Chinese companies have jointly donated over US$ 14,000 to construct five wells in the northern Sri Lanka to provide clean water for the war-torn residents. Following a request by the Scar Vita humanitarian aid and relief project, China Communications Construction Company Colombo Port City Project Company and China Harbor Sri Lanka Company donated US$ 14,400 towards constructing the wells. more..

Due to Muslim opposition no Surya Namaskar on Yoga Day celebrations

June 18 (CT) Due to protests by Muslim groups, there won’t be a Surya Namaskar routine on International Yoga Day celebrations in India. In as much as this is hugely disappointing, and it’s a fact that there are some Muslims who are Yoga exponents and instructors and love their faith as well as Yoga, Yogi Adityanath in my opinion, is wrong to make the comments he made against those who oppose Yoga or the Surya Namaskar routine. And I’ll tell you why including sharing my perspective more..

A meeting after the Vidhya’s rape & murder in Jaffna

June 18 (CT) The Velanai DS office arranged a meeting at the North Ceylon Sarvodayam, Pungudutivu where the twelve GS of Pungudutivu, the Vellani DS, the Jaffna GA, the secretory for the governor of the northern provincial council, the head of Pradeshiya Shaba, a navy officer, a police officer and some people of Pungudutivu participated. Meeting took place on 16th June. It was scheduled at 2 pm, but started around 2.45 pm. I too had a chance to take part at the meeting. more..

Ramadhan: Getting nearer to God by abstinence

June 18 (SO) With the advent of the new moon of Ramadhan on or about the 18th of this month, Muslims all over the world will begin yet another month of fasting - not only abstaining from consuming food and water from dawn to dusk, but also foregoing some of the physical pleasures that they would normally enjoy and permitted at other times. All this purely in obedience to Allah's will and to please Him. more..

Vidusha, Dulanjali, Asiri, Shehan establish new records

June 18 (Island) Asian Youth Championship medalist Yamani Dulanjali continued their record breaking streaks while Lyceum International School jumper Shehan Wisanperuma and Gateway sprinter Asiri Wijesekara sizzled in the boys category with new meet records as the Sir John Tarbet Senior Athletics Championships which commenced at Diyagama on Wednesday. Lakshani, who was one of the three school goers to represent Sri Lanka at the last Asian Athletics Championships more..

President mainly dousing political fires

June 18 (NS) Maitripala Sirisena has been the President of SL now for slightly over 5 months. Sirisena is an experienced politician in terms of being a party man (SLFP), an MP, a Minister and now the President. He has been all that for over 40 years. Sirisena’s time in the SLFP has been mostly about patience and waiting for his turn. By all accounts, Maitripala Sirisena is a decent, honest and hardworking man who is quite content to be the person behind the scene and let others bask more..