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'President has to decide on a M-R or an M-M administration'

June 25 (DM) Rupee has depreciated against the US dollar, taking a heavy toll on the economy. It is difficult to instill confidence in the private sector as a result One segment will side with the pro-western, camp led by the UNP. The other is the camp of the progressive forces united against the UNP-led front Driven by animosity, the govt targets not only the individuals who played a role in the elimination of terrorism, but also more..

Diaspora group intensifies moves against SL

June 25 (CG) A diaspora organisation based in the United States has intensified its campaign against Sri Lanka in an attempt to refer the country to the International Criminal Court. The Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) led by former LTTE member V. Rudrakumaran, said that a signature campaign to urge the UN to Refer Sri Lanka to International Criminal Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide more..

City hawkers to get IDs

June 25 (DM) Street vendors, who have been given permission by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) to set up their stalls, would be given an identification card to operate, Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil said yesterday. Reiterating that he did not give permission for street vending to take place in all parts of Colombo, he said that permission was given for street vendors only on certain pavements in Pettah. more..

Army soldier sentenced to death over Mirusuvil massacre

June 25 (AD) A SL Army soldier who was found guilty for the killing of 8 civilians in Mirusuvil, Jaffna nearly 15 years ago has been sentenced to death by Colombo High Court today. Murders occurred on 19 Dec, 2000 when eight internally displaced refugees returning to inspect their property were arrested in the village of Mirusuvil. They were subsequently murdered and buried in a mass grave, about 16 miles east of Jaffna town. more..

'Dissolution of parliament to escape no-faith motions and COPE report on bond scam'

June 25 (Island) Dissolving parliament in order to escape from no-faith motions and to prevent the presentation of an interim report by the parliamentary watchdog committee, COPE, on the Central Bank bond scam would go down in the country’s history as the most shameful act, UPFA Parliamentarian Dullas Alahapperuma said. He said there were reports of an imminent dissolution of Parliament. more..

AH1N1 claims 40 lives

June 25 (DN) The Influenza AH1N1 epidemic has so far claimed the lives of 40 persons. Among the victims were 10 pregnant mothers. Persons in the high risk groups should seek prompt medical treatment from a state hospital if they show flu like symptoms, Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. He said that persons in the high risk groups are pregnant mothers, elderly over the age of 60, children below the age of two, more..

'Banks refusing to pay 15% interest'

June 25 (DM) Banks had refused to pay the guaranteed 15% interest rate for the deposits of senior citizens with over a million rupees in their accounts despite the assurance given by the govt in the budget this year, JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said. He said the banks had gone even further and asked senior citizens with more than one million in their accounts to withdraw their monies. Chief Govt Whip, Gayantha Karunatilleke, more..

MiG deal: Ukranian cooperation sought

June 25 (Island) The Sri Lankan govt had sought Ukranian cooperation to inquire into the circumstances under which the previous administration acquired several MiG 27s during the eelam war IV, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. He said the govt also awaited Ukrainian go ahead to dispatch investigators to Kiev to probe one-time Sri Lankan ambassador to Russia accredited to Kiev Udayanga Weeratunga’s alleged involvement more..

Municipal madness

June 25 (Island) Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), in its wisdom, has decided to permit street hawking again. We thought it was illegal to obstruct pavements and the new govt had taken its vow to restore the rule of law seriously. If hawkers are to be allowed to block pavements with impunity then others must be able to do likewise. Motorists should not be ticketed for parking on sidewalks. The police must stop fining jaywalkers. Former Secretary of Defence and Urban Development more..

Can SL be better off with an Achchâru govt?

June 25 (CT) A visitor asks you how life in Sri Lanka is in 2015 compared to when they last visited in 2013. Amidst the vastly divergent pictures of reality that advocates of the previous and current regime portray, they want to know what is the real situation on the ground. Below I have tried to be as disinterested an observer as possible, given that I have never advocated any particular party line, but as one who voted for change on the 8th of January. I have also included some views of those more..

JVP urges speedy compensation

June 25 (CT) The JVP is putting pressure on the govt to provide immediate compensation to those who have been affected by the Uma Oya Project. JVP is also accusing the govt of not having paid any compensation at all to even a single affected villager, even though six months have already passed. Uva PC Member of JVP, Samantha Vidyaratne, charged that not even a drinking water scheme has been implemented more..

Pharmacy caught selling sedatives to schoolchildren

June 25 (Island) Walana based police Anti-Vice Strike Force on Tuesday took into custody 200 intoxicant capsules from a pharmacy at Maggona, while being sold to schoolchildren and youth in the Paiyagala police area. Two suspects arrested by the police had been released on police bail after they were informed to appear at the Kalutara Magistrate court on July 3. The raid was a joint effort conducted by the police with the officers of Food and Health Director’s Office in the Katutara District. more..

Eight Indians arrested at Sri Lanka airport for smuggling gold

June 25 (PTI) Eight Indians were on Thursday off loaded from a Chennai-bound flight and arrested by SL customs officials at the international airport here for allegedly smuggling 1.2 kg of gold to India by hiding it in their rectums. Eight Indians were nabbed along with a Sri Lankan national while they were on board a flight to Chennai at the BIA. The men, aged between 19 and 58, were deboarded from a Sri Lankan airlines flight and on search 1200 grammes of gold were recovered from them. more..

CB defends validity of new currency notes

June 25 (EN) Central bank has defended the validity of new rupee notes signed by Governor Arjuna Mahendran, in a bid to preserve confidence of fiat currency notes among the public. CB which has a monopoly in the issue of currency notes since 1951, dismissed concerns over the legality of the appointment of Governor Arjuna Mahendran whose signature has appeared on new 5000 rupee currency notes. more..

SC overrules preliminary objections of DSG

June 25 (Island) Supreme Court overruled the preliminary objection taken by the Deputy Solicitor General, who said that the liquor manufacturers had failed to complain to the court within 30 days of the last budget. Hence they could not come within Article 126 of the constitution. Court in over-ruling that preliminary objection declared that the copy of the gazette, which specified a monthly tax of Rs. 200 million, was available to the petitioners only on February 27, 2015. more..

I feel I’m a second class citizen because I’m a woman: Rosy

June 25 (Island) Women played a pivotal role in developing the country, but their contribution was not properly appreciated, State Minister of Child Affairs Rosy Senanayake said Tuesday. Addressing a leadership training programme, she said: "Although I hold a ministerial portfolio in the present govt, I still feel as a second class citizen, being a women. This is an inevitable reality that we face today." Senanayake said women representation in the country continued to be drastically lower, more..

Video: Is MR hoping to rule country with same Gang of robbers: Navin

June 25 (DM) Minister Navin Dissanayake asked former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to disclose whether it was the same Gang of robbers that would govern the country if he was elected prime minister again. The minister said some MPs including himself quit the previous govt as a means of expressing their protest at the incidence of fraud and corruption committed by some politicians during the previous regime. more..

Govt to prohibit erecting of unauthorised structures in City

June 25 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena has prohibited the erecting of unauthorised structures on the streets of Colombo and Mayor A.J. Muzammil had also agreed to withdraw the unauthorised pavement boutiques erected recently on three streets in Colombo, Deputy Minister Thilanga Sumathipala said. He told the media at the SLFP weekly news briefing that Mr. Muzammil had permitted the erection of unauthorised structures on those streets, perhaps because of more..

Excise busts group of foreign liquor, cigarette smugglers

June 25 (Island) Officers of the Crime Division of the Excise Department recently nabbed three suspects at the BIA arrival lounge for attempting to smuggle in 39 bottles of premium brands of foreign liquor and 14 cartons of cigarettes. They had arrived in an early morning flight from Singapore. Excise Department spokesman Jayantha de Silva said the suspects had hidden the bottles of liquor and the cigarettes among spare parts, he said. The market value of the liquor and cigarettes were around Rs. 500,000 more..

SL exports fall 7.4% in May, imports up 2%

June 25 (EN) Sri Lanka's exports fell 7.4% to US 707.5 million in May 2015 from a year earlier, dragged down by lower exports to the European Union and falling commodity prices. Imports rose 2% to US$ 1,490 million, and trade gap widened to US$ 782.9 million. Trade gap is created when domestic economic agents spends money earned outside the merchandise trade account such as remittances, tourist receipts FDI or more..

Duminda to be tried by 3 judges of trial-at-bar

June 25 (DM) Chief Justice has fixed the trial against PM Duminda Silva and 12 other accused over the murder of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra to be heard before three High Court judges Shiran Gunaratne, Pathmini Ranawaka and C.B.S. Moreis. Chief Justice K. Sripavan fixed it to be heard before the trial –at-bar comprising three Judges, considering a request by Attorney General. The Colombo High Court earlier fixed August 6 to hear the prosecution’s evidence more..

Choose the better devil, asks Sobitha Thero

June 25 (AD) Chairman of the National Movement for a Just Society, Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, on Thuerday urged the party leaders to refrain from giving nominations to those charged with corruption, murder, child abuse, and drug related incidents. The observation was made at a press conference. “I insist the party leaders not give nominations to such persons,” he said, adding that the voters also have a responsibility to think twice before they cast votes. more..

Sri Lanka strong after Kaushal five-for

June 25 (CI) Offspinner Tharindu Kaushal and pacer Dhammika Prasad carved out Pakistan's batting order, bowling the visitors out for 138 on the first day of the second Test at P Sara Oval. The visitors' batting implosion took place in the second session of the day - a rain-affected one with an interruption of 55 minutes - as they slumped from a score of 70 for 2, losing their last eight wickets for 68 runs. more..

Diaspora Festival for all Sri Lankans: Foreign Ministry

June 25 (Island) Diaspora Festival that had been planned for the end of this year in Sri Lanka was not specific to any community but a national event. Spokesperson for Foreign Ministry said that by diaspora it was meant Sri Lankans of all communities domiciled abroad and not just Tamils. She noted that the festival was aimed at forging national reconciliation in the post war era in keeping with the recommendations of the LLRC which had been established by the previous govt. more..

Sri Lanka plantations losses too high for wage hike without more productivity

June 25 (EN) Sri Lanka’s regional plantation companies say their losses from the collapse in commodity prices are too heavy to grant a wage increase to workers without higher productivity. The Planters’ Association, which represents regional plantation companies, said a mere 26-minute increase in the ‘effective plucking time’ will enable a worker to pluck two kilos more of tea leaves, without any increase in total working time. “We can pay only what we can afford,” more..

MS residence for MR: PM

June 25 (DM) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament today that plans were afoot to assign the Wijerama Mawatha residence currently occupied by President Maitripala Sirisena to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as his official residence. The PM was responding to a question by MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardane on the inadequate security both in terms of personnel and vehicles to Mr. Rajapaksa. more..

March 12th Movement begins today

June 25 (CT) March 12th Movement said that they will begin their campaign to obtain one million signatures to force political parties to not grant nominations to corrupt individuals in the forthcoming general election, marking a turning point in the political culture of Sri Lanka. Chairman of the Sanasa Development Bank, P.A. Kiriwandeniya, making a statement on behalf of the March 12th Movement, said that all civil organizations, trade unions, the university community, more..

Sri Lanka Tourism beat 52 countries to win top award at global travel fair KOTFA

June 25 (SLT) Sri Lanka Tourism braved the threat of MERS together with 15 tourism professionals from the private sector to attend to one of the leading global travel fairs in Asia Pacific KOTFA that was staged in Seoul, South Korea. With 52 countries competing entrenched for the converted award Sri Lanka Tourism did the country proud by winning the top award Best Tourism Publicity Award -2015 which attracted 66,516 visitors in the 2015 edition. The Chairman Sri Tourism Promotions Bureau more..

Ravi sends Rs.2 b letter of demand to Bandula

June 25 (AD) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has sent a letter of demand to former Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena, seeking Rs 2 billion in damage over alleged defamatory statements made against him during a recent TV progarmme. During the programme, Gunawardena alleged that former Galleon Group hedge fund chief executive and founder Raj Rajaratnam of sending some US$ 3 million to more..

Rajitha meets MR for non-political chat

June 25 (NS) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said he had met with former President Rajapaksa today for what he described as a friendly chat between old friends. “We discussed about the past and our health. Rajapaksa family are my old friends,” he said, also pointing out that he had met former Minister Basil Rajapaksa a few days earlier. However, the minister said politics was not a subject that was discussed during the meeting, as he is not authorized to speak to former president on more..

JVP demands the dissolution of parliament

June 25 (CG) JVP today demanded that Parliament be dissolved soon saying it has no right to continue under the current circumstances. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that Parliament does not have a opposition leader and without an opposition leader Parliament cannot continue. He urged all MPs to push for Parliament to be dissolved instead of it continuing any further. Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakody then reminded JVP leader that Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa had more..

Sri Lanka markets regulator says to act against money laundering

June 25 (EN) Sri Lanka’s capital markets regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has said it will improve surveillance and take tougher action to counter money laundering in the island. Vajira Wijegunawardane, SEC Director General, said they want to foster a culture of good conduct among market participants as it remains one of the most important factors influencing investor confidence in the capital market. more..

They called me a racist when I talked about LTTE’s reemergence: Mahinda

June 25 (AD) Those opposition members who accepted ministerial portfolios now contribute to the evil acts of the present government, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa charged. The observation was made at a special meeting held in Diyatalawa. “Some opposition members took oath as government ministers. Now they even contribute to the evil acts of the present government. However, they cannot fool the people for so long and people won’t be fooled twice,” he said. more..

Names of LTTE cares who surrendered revealed

June 25 (CG) The names of several LTTE members who had surrendered to the army during the final stages of the war in 2009 were revealed at an event held in Geneva on the sidelines of the UNHRC meeting. Relatives of LTTE leaders, including Nadesan and Pulitheven, explained the circumstances that led to their surrender and their subsequent disappearance at the meeting in Geneva. Wife of Malavaran, an LTTE member who was among several who had reportedly more..

Recommendations of Welikada riot probe committee

June 25 (AM) The report of the 3-member committee appointed to probe Welikada Prison riots which occurred on Nov 9 in 2012, has released to media. Committee has recommended a payment of compensation to the families of the deceased persons and those who were injured in the incident. Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa appointed this committee with Retired HC Judge Wimal Nambuwasamge as its chairman. more..

Mangala, Diaspora & Postwar Peacebuilding

June 26 (CT) As usual Sri Lanka’s cosmopolitan liberals have it wrong and that includes its most prominent personality, Minister of External affairs Mangala Samaraweera. His embrace of the Diaspora is wrong, not because the Diaspora is diabolical but because Mr. Samaraweera’s embrace is indiscriminate. Sri Lanka must welcome its Diaspora or Diasporas (plural). This is true of us as a country as well as of the Govt of Sri Lanka. But the Diaspora is not a homogenous entity. more..

Future of the country has begun with 19A

June 26 (CT) Excellencies of the diplomatic community, Mr Abeykoon, Secretary to the President, officials of the Presidential Secretariat, ladies and gentleman, It may sound as if I am repeating what has already been said when I say that I share the sentiments expressed by both Mr. Dhanapala and Prof. Munasinghe. To me, as a citizen, the 19th Amendment brings new beginnings. I say that because, sometimes we suffer in this country from a collective sense of amnesia. more..

'JVP’s priority now is to collect money'

June 25 (SO) Somawansa Amarasinghe, the former leader of the JVP who dramatically quit the JVP has recently come out with a stinging attack on the current JVP leadership. Ready to form a new political party on June 27, Amarasinghe said the new party will continue JVP policies, formulated by comrade Rohana Wijeweera, which remain valid even today. Q: After leaving the JVP after long years, you are ready to embark on more..

Wealth of a New Nation

June 25 (NS) A hero: In the game of war, Sarath is a hero. A hero: In the game of politics, Mahinda is a hero. A super hero: In the game of waiting and seeing, Ranil is a superhero. A hero: In the game of administration Gota is a hero. A hero: In the game of liesWimal is a hero. A hero: Sajith has proved that he too can play the role of a hero. Local hero: Vijith Vijaymuni is a local hero. A hero: Gammanpila is trying to be a Champika against Champika. Mangala the hero and zero: Mangala is a good man, more..


June 25 (NS) Thanks, the view has been gorgeous: The Governor of the Central Bank says that he has been the victim of his own transparency. Thanks Guv. Governor Mahendran has unwittingly enough, given the perfect metaphor for our time, particularly our times since the election changed the face of the country in January of this year. If people are transparently idiotic, or transparently incompetent, they are definitely victims of their own transparency. But it’s not easy except for persons such as more..