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JVP flays Champika for constructing nuclear lab

June 24 (Island) JVP lodged a complaint at the Human Rights Commission of SL against Minister Champika Ranawaka over building a laboratory of the SL Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) in the Halbarawa village. JVP WPC member Sunil Watagala said Minister had laid the foundation stone for the laboratory two months back in middle of the Halbarawa village situated in Kotikawatte-Mulleriya PS area between Kaduwela and Kolonnawa. more..

Will the drug menace ever end?

June 24 (DM) One of the main issues raised by the groups that stood for the Opposition’s common candidate Maithripala Sirisena during the last Presidential election campaign was the drug menace and they accused the Rajapaksa regime of allowing big-time drug dealers to operate their businesses freely. Now, five months into the election of the new President and a new govt the issue has become one of the forgotten subjects by the authorities concerned. more..

The People’s President

June 24 (DM) Today (23) we commemorate the birth anniversary of the late President Ranasinghe Premadasa, a visionary leader of our time, who, during his entire life worked indefatigably to improve the quality of life of the people of his country, especially of the poor and the disadvantaged. President Premadasa was a man with a singleness of purpose. He devoted his whole life to serve the people and to realize his vision of a prosperous Sri Lanka. more..

'Previous govt didn’t have a foreign policy'

June 24 (DM) Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera, has been an outstanding individual in the political arena. International ties with big nations keep a country safe from criticisms yet the previous regime had kept these relations on a cliff. He explained on the advancements of the decisions taken by Ministry of Foreign Affairs to renew ties with international allies, situation of political appointees and other ongoing more..

CAA boss reveals plans to make Mattala aviation hub

June 24 (Island) Chairman of Civil Aviation Authority and former Attorney General Shibly Aziz said that the importance of expertise in the field of aviation could not be overemphasised, especially in the wake of two major aviation disasters in recent times. Chairman, an expert in Aviation Law, said so addressing a gathering of aviation investigators from the Asia-Pacific and beyond at the third Asia- Pacific Regional more..

Jail-time friendship led triple murderer to heroin trade

June 24 (ST) The major heroin-dealer arrested by police had been drawn into the dark trade while in remand facing trial for the triple murder of family members, a police investigation has revealed. A close alliance struck up with a narcotics dealer behind bars led the man into the heroin trade, a senior official attached to the Police Narcotics Bureau said. The revelations came as the bureau busted a major drug racket by more..

Question-mark over FCID

June 24 (SL) Questions have been raised related to the entire establishment of the Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) which was set under the Sri Lanka Gazette notification 1901/20 dated the 13th February 2015. Recently, Nawa Sihala Urumaya Leader Sarath Manamendra, Jayantha Kulathunga and ex-JVP, Gampaha District leader Victor Ahangama filed complaints at Human Rights Commission, more..

Mandatory rating for stock broking firms?

June 24 (EN) Sri Lanka’s capital markets regulator has said it is considering a mandatory rating for stock broking firms to improve investor confidence. Thilak Karunaratne, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), said that stock broking companies perform an important role in the capital market by facilitating trades for investors. The stock broking industry has progressed considerably in more..

Rs 1.3bn spent on elections last year

June 24 (LBO) The elections department has spent over 1,280 million rupees to conduct elections last year. 986.84 million rupees has been spent to hold Western and Southern PC Elections while 293.87 million rupees has been spent to conduct elections for the Uva PC. The cost per elector for Western and Southern PCs has being decreased and the cost per elector for Uva PC has being increased when compared to more..

SL Navy asked not to open fire on fishermen

June 23 (Hindu) Ministry of External Affairs of India informed the Madras High Court Bench here that it has impressed upon the Sri Lankan Navy “to act with restraint, not to fire on our [Indian] fishermen and to treat our fishermen in a humane manner.” It also said: “During India-SL bilateral meetings, including those at the highest levels, India has reiterated its position that the use of force could not be justified under any circumstances more..

Expert tells people not to panic over jellyfish stings as they are not fatal

June 23 (Island) Jellyfish species around the country were not fatal and no need to panic as their presence is widely reported along the southern coastal belt from Colombo to Tangalle, National Poison Information Centre (NPIC) of the National Hospital said. Head of the NPIC Dr Waruna Gunathilaka said that according to marine researchers there were no deadly jellyfish species reported around the sea area of Sri Lanka. more..

PM asks UPFA why it didn’t change electoral system while it was in power

June 24 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe asked the Opposition why it had not reformed the electoral system when it was in power with a two-third majority in Parliament. Participating in the debate on electoral reforms taken at the time of adjournment of the House, PM said that the Opposition was trying hard to reform electoral system now, but no such enthusiasm had been displayed when they were in power. more..

Saliya Wickramasuriya released on bail

June 24 (AD) Former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Sri Lanka Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA), Dr Saliya Wickramasuriya, has been released on bail by the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court. Wickramasuriya, who was arrested by Police Special Investigations Unit (SIU) on May 9 over alleged fraud in tsunami housing funds, was produced before the court when the case was taken up today. more..

Freedom regained

June 24 (CT) The independence of the Judiciary and of the Police after a lapse of 31 years appears to have had once more been regained. That the Judiciary and the Police have regained their independence is exemplified by the fact that the controversial Avant-Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi, charged with operating an allegedly illegal armoury, has been permitted to go abroad by Court on the advice of the CID. The way the Police and the Judiciary were kept in shackles, more..

The 20A: Why minorities, especially Muslims, oppose?

June 24 (CT) Muslims living scattered all over the island, with special concentration in the east but often in small pockets in the predominantly Sinhalese areas, fear that their representations in the parliament will be reduced considerably under the proposed 20th amendment to the constitution on electoral reforms. Thus they oppose the draft amendment in its present form gazetted on June 12. One should not forget that it was repeated constitutional changes depriving more..

Ranjan Ramanayake

Guests feeling unwell: Cinnamon Grand assures extra precautionary measures

June 24 (Island) Colombo Cinnamon Grand in response to media reports on an incident where guests felt unwell at the hotel on 12 June 2015 says that as reported it has extended its full co-operation to all investigations carried out by the regulatory authorities to ascertain the cause of the complaints. "Immediately following the incident, the Cinnamon Grand sent samples of 67 items of food and drink for expert analysis by an independent and internationally accredited laboratory. more..

Excise Dept. seizes another consignment of duty unpaid liquor

June 24 (Island) Acting on a tip-off, a team of excise officers led by Deputy Commissioner of Excise (Crime) J. Pushpakumara de Silva recently arrested a suspect with a consignment of duty unpaid foreign liquor at Periyamulla, Negombo. Spokesman for the Excise Department, Jayantha de Silva said an officer had been sent as a decoy to arrest the suspect who 186 bottles of Johnny Walker red label at the time of the arrest with a market value of Rs. 6,500 each. more..

War crimes probe delayed by elections

June 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka's proposed war crimes investigation has been delayed by several months until September as the govt focuses on impending parliamentary elections, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. He said he hoped the composition of the investigating team along with its terms of reference would now be finalised just before the UNHRC's session in September in Geneva. more..

Shares steady as investors await elections

June 24 (Reuters) Shares ended steady on Wednesday, hovering near a one-week high, as losses in banking and telecom stocks offset gains in large-caps in moderate trade due to political uncertainty ahead of the announcement of parliamentary polls. The main stock index ended 0.13 points weaker at 7,053.83, slipping from its highest close since June 18 hit on Tuesday. Turnover stood at 606.35 million rupees, well below this year's daily average of 1.1 billion rupees. more..

'Governor’s appointment valid, notes legal'

June 24 (NS) The Central Bank today said it wishes to inform the general public of the position on the validity of the appointment of the present governor, and validity of the currency notes issued by the Bank on 2015.02.04, in view of frivolous allegations appearing in certain media. Full Text: It is re-iterated that the appointment of Mr Lakshman Arjuna Mahendran as the governor of the Central Bank has been done in compliance with law as well as the established practice. more..

Video: Anyone can go to court

June 24 (DM) Minister Mangala Samaraweera said he welcomed any party to institute legal action against the Diaspora Festival being planned by his Ministry to be held by the end of the year. “Be it Warnasinghe or any other party, anyone can to go courts against the festival. If that happens, I will not even seek the assistance of a lawyer, I will represent myself in courts to defend the event,” he said addressing media last morning. more..

Customs baffled by smuggler’s magic entry

June 24 (Island) Customs at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) are probing how a 31-year-old Indian arrested by them on Monday evening with foreign currencies worth over five million rupees had entered the airport a day prior to his departure. Not even customs officers were allowed to enter in that manner. The customs had arrested the suspect at the Departure Lounge with 4,000 pounds sterling and 28,000 Euro worth Rs. 5,188,267 concealed in his baggage. more..

Nine new ambassadors appointed

June 24 (AM) The Foreign Affairs Ministry today confirmed the appointments of new ambassadors to nine countries. Former Chief of Defence Staff Jagath Jayasuriya had been appointed as the Ambassador to Brazil, retired General Daya Ratnayake is the new envoy to Pakistan. Meanwhile, Former Foreign Secretary Kshenuka Seneviratne had been appointed to Thailand. Other appointed envoys are H.U. Dissanayake to Vietnam, R.D. Rajapaksha to Sweden, A.H.M. Saadique to Netherlands, more..

Sri Lanka tax-payers to give Rs7.5bn to cover misdeeds at LakSathosa

June 24 (EN) Sri Lanka's state-run Lanka Sathosa Limited, a retail chain close to the hearts of rulers, which undermines tax revenues of the nation by not paying value added tax, will get a 7.5 billion rupee tax payer bailout to cover mis-management and possible fraud. "LakSathosa owes 10 billion rupees to banks and 3.0 billion rupees to suppliers," Trade Minister Rishard Bathiudeen said. "It is a big problem to keep it going." more..

Opposition concerned over security to former President

June 24 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's main opposition party on Wednesday raised concerns over the security of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and urged the govt to address the issue. MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena, speaking in parliament, accused the govt of failing to provide facilities to the former president. He said that the govt has also not provided an official residence to the former president and this is seen as an attempt to prevent him from carrying out his duties. more..

Adverse venue awaits shaky hosts

June 24 (CI) If there is a home venue Sri Lanka would prefer not to head to after a loss, it would be the P Sara Oval in Colombo. There is typically extra bounce on the surface, and a little help for seamers. On each of the last three occasions Sri Lanka have played here, they have lost. The only difference is that in those series, they had arrived with a 1-0 lead, secured in Galle. Sri Lanka's Galle tormentor Yasir Shah may not be a menace until later in the match, but the prospect of Wahab Riaz hurling balls more..

Mathews calls for better shot selection

June 24 (CI) Captain Angelo Mathews has urged his batsmen to make sharp improvements in their shot selection, ahead of the second Test in Colombo. Sri Lanka had been bowled out for 206 in the third innings, which led to the loss in Galle. Though Sri Lanka were ostensibly attempting to save the match at that stage, three batsmen were out stumped, while two more were caught slog-sweeping to the leg-side fence. more..

FSP MP moves motion calling for Rs. 2,500 allowance for private sector workers

June 24 (Island) Galle District MP of FSP Ajith Kumara presented a private members’ Bill to Parliament calling for the provision of relief allowance of Rs. 2,500 to workers in the private sector. The Bill was seconded by UPFA MP Janaka Bandara. The bill is to "provide for the payment of a budgetary relief allowance by employers to certain categories of workers for the purpose of implementing the budget proposal in respect of private sector salaries and wages more..

Achieving self sufficiency in fossil fuel, country’s next target: Champika

June 24 (DN) The next target of the country is to achieve self sufficiency in fossil fuel, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. He said two locations have been identified in the Mannar Basin, where gas is available. “Therefore, the country’s next goal is to tap the fuel. “It has been planned to utilise the gas resource to meet our demand. Under this, locally produced gas will be available in the country by 2018 – 2019,” he said. “At first, locally produced gas will be utilized for electricity generation and more..

Sangakkara undecided on Test future

June 24 (AFP) Kumar Sangakkara is still in talks with selectors to discuss his retirement from Test cricket, captain Angelo Mathews said on Wednesday. Local media had speculated that the 37-year-old will only play three more home Tests -- two in the ongoing series against Pakistan and one against India in August -- before ending his glittering 15-year career. But Mathews, speaking to reporters ahead of more..

SL to give more access to foreign airlines

June 24 (EN) Sri Lanka plans to give more access to foreign airlines flying into the country as it experiences a surge in tourist arrivals, Shibly Aziz, chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said. “Enhanced liberalised access to foreign carriers is on the cards,” he told a meeting of the Asia-Pacific aircraft accident investigation group of the International Civil Aviation Organization. The forum hosted by CAA brought 45 delegates from 20 states in the Asia-Pacific region to Colombo. more..

High Court rejects Danuna’s requests

June 24 (Island) The Colombo High Court Judge Devika de Livera Tennakoon yesterday refused to grant a request made by Danuna Tillakaratne, the first accused in the Hicorp financial misappropriation trial. He is accused of misappropriation of finances in a deal pertaining to the purchase of arms by the Sri Lanka Army. A motion was filed by Tilakaratne requesting the court to lift the travel ban imposed on him by the High Court, when granting him bail. The motion also sought permission for more..

Video: BBS boils over noodles

June 24 (DM) Sri Lanka was becoming the largest garbage food dump in Asia because the food items imported were usually unsuitable for human consumption, BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera charged today. Addressing the media after visiting the Consumers Affairs Authority (CAA) to inquire on the reports of high levels of lead contents in Maggi brand of noodles, the Thera said more..

Housemaid moves SC against SL envoy, FEB

June 24 (Island) A Sri Lankan housemaid who had worked in Oman and who had been allegedly raped by her Omanian employer and subsequently forced to undergo an abortion has complained to the Supreme Court that the officers of the Ministry of Foreign Employment, ASP, Children and Women’s Bureau and Acting Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombo had visited her in Oman and forced her to withdraw the complaint she had made to the police there more..

Basil's FR petition to be heard on Oct 22

June 24 (AM) Supreme Court decided to consider Fundamental Rights petition filed by former Minister Basil Rajapaksa on Oct 22. A three member bench headed by CJ K. Sripavan announced this decision a short while ago. Other members of the bench were Justice Rohini Marasinghe and Justice Priyasath Dep. Former Minister filed a FR petition with the Supreme Court, seeking an interim order directing the Kaduwela Magistrate to release him from remand custody. more..

SLFP will suffer absolute defeat if Mahinda contests: SB

June 24 (AD) Minister S.B. Dissanayake says that the SLFP would suffer an absolute defeat if former President Mahinda Rajapaksa contests the upcoming General Election. He stated that the party would especially lose minority votes if Rajapaksa contests the polls. Therefore, Dissanayake said, that according to his calculations, if Mahinda Rajapaksa enters the election SLFP would suffer an absolute defeat. more..

Video: Gota could lose civil rights in MiG deal probe: Mangala

June 24 (AD) Minister Mangala Samaraweera welcomed the the US State Department report which had revealed the existence of the LTTE’s financial network and said that it reflected the “failure” of the former govt. “It’s a welcome report. This report I would say is a reflection of the total failure of the strategy of the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration,” he said responding to a question from media. The US State Department’s 2014 Country Reports on Terrorism has said that more..

Probe into missing arms at army museum

June 24 (DM) Army said it had launched an investigation into the misplacement of three weapons at the Diyathalawa Army Camp museum. Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said the Military Police is investigating the incident under the instructions of Army Commander Crishantha De Silva. He said a 22 mm rifle, Gal-Katas weapon and a pistol were misplaced at the museum last Saturday and Monday. The Diyathalawa Police had also launched an investigation more..

France keen to boost relations with Sri Lanka

June 24 (CG) France is very eager to strengthen bilateral relations and economic cooperation with Sri Lanka in several areas such as trade, investment, tourism, fisheries, water purification, environment protection and curtailing drug smuggling, the President’s office said in a statement. French Ambassador Jean-Marin Schuh said this when he called on President Maithripala Sirisena today at the President’s Office. more..