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DV Upul prohibited from foreign travel

June 4 (AM) Colombo Magistrate Court prohibited Southern Provincial Councillor D.V. Upul from travelling overseas, following a request by the CID. The court instructed authorities to impound the passport of Upul, who is being investigated over controversial comments made by him on the police Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID). The Colombo Magistrate Court also instructed the CID to obtain video and audio tapes containing the statement from media organizations. more..

Gotabaya Rajapaksa explains MiG deal

June 4 (AM) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa stated that there was no illegal transaction in the so called MiG deal which had periodically featured in the media. In a media statement, Rajapaksa stated that there was “nothing secret about the payment being made to Bellimissa Holdings Ltd. because they too were a signatory to the legal contract.” he added that this “puerile attempt by certain interested parties more..

'Committed to solving TN fishermen issue'

June 4 (PTI) Voicing its commitment to solving the dispute over fishing rights of Tamil Nadu fishermen in the Palk Strait, BJP today said it was handling the problem carefully and a final solution needs time. "BJP is deeply and carefully handling the issue of Indian Tamil fishermen. Several meetings had been held involving fishermen, officials and ministers (of both India and SL) but still a final solution needs time," Union Minister of State for Road Transport & Shipping Pon. Radhakrishnan said. more..

UAE embassy in Colombo distributes dates

June 4 (WAM) Abdul Hamid Abdul Fattah Kazim Al Mulla, Ambassador of the UAE to the Republic of Sri Lanka, has overseen the delivery of dates provided by the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Muslim Religious Affairs, on the occasion of the Holy Month of Ramadan. Every Ramadan, the ERC, with the assistance of the UAE Embassy, provides local authorities with dates for distribution in mosques, orphanages and schools in different parts of Sri Lanka. more..

New criteria for Grade 1 admissions

June 4 (DN) Most probably a new criteria will be introduced this month for Grade One admissions for next year. Applications for grade one admission are generally called in June and therefore the Education Ministry has to come to a conclusion soon whether to continue the current criteria or issue a fresh circular. However, with the current practice a student, who has not been selected for Grade one at the first intake has to wait for a few months more..

I signed motion against PM: Anura Yapa

June 4 (AM) SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa confirmed that he signed the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Speaking to Asian Mirror, he made it clear that they signed the motion as MPs and not representing the party. The aim was to remove the minority govt and establish a majority govt in parliament, he added. However, Yapa said that he cannot be sure if this objective could be reached before the next election. more..

Five arrested fishermen allegedly beaten up by Lankan Naval personnel

June 4 (PTI) Five fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan Naval personnel were allegedly beaten up at a camp at Talaimannar before being released. S Emirit, President of the Fishermen's association, said the fishermen suffered internal injuries and were given pain killers at the Govt Hospital here on their return. They were arrested yesterday and taken to a camp in the island nation, beaten up by the naval personnel and later let off with a warning not to cross the IMBL. more..

Ukraine probing Udayanga's alleged weapons deal

June 4 (CT) Ambassador of Ukraine in India has informed the SL officials that Ukrainian authorities are in the process of investigating the alleged transfer or handing over of weapons by former SL Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga, and that further details will be shared with Colombo in due course. He has also said that any action on the matter would need to await the outcome of the investigation underway in Ukraine. more..

Govt condemns use of Temple for politics

June 4 (CG) Govt condemned the use of Temples in Colombo for political work by the opposition. Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said that it was disappointing to note the use of Temples to promote hatred and anger by some politicians. Karunathilaka, without naming the politicians or the Temple, said that politicians who have been rejected by the people have turned to Temples to do their politics. He said that at a time when Temples should be used to promote reconciliation and co-existence, more..

Indian amongst 43 re-remanded

June 4 (CT) 43 out of the 130 persons who were taken into custody on charges of damaging public property including the Jaffna Court Complex, assaulting Police Officers and creating mayhem (when the suspects of Vithya's case were produced in Court), have been further remanded till 12 June by the Jaffna Additional Magistrate J. Gajaneethipalan. It is reported an Indian national is also among the 43 who were apprehended for triggering violence. more..

'H1N1 is not bird or swine flu'

June 4 (DM) H1N1 flu currently spreading in the country was not bird or swine flu as erroneously stated in some media reports, the Department of Animal Production and Health said. It said that the current H1N1 flue was “not at all either Avian Influenza or Swine Influenza and just a seasonal flu outbreak. “There could be a misunderstanding among livestock producers, consumers & also among political authority, more..

Five more MPs tipped to be deputy ministers

June 4 (DM) Five more Sri Lanka Freedom Party MPs are to take their oaths as deputy ministers of the government today, informed sources said. MPs Thilanga Sumathipala, Dulip Wijesekera, Wijaya Dahanayaka, Erik Weerawardane, and Victor Anthony are reportedly to take their oaths at a function at the Presidential Secretariat. Five SLFP MPs also took their oaths last week -- one as a cabinet minister, three as state ministers and another one as a deputy minister. more..

Police tightens grip on motorcycles

June 4 (DM) The Police Department today announced that it would strictly implement laws against motorcyclists from June 10. Police said they would strictly watch out for motorcyclists those ride without tightening their helmet chin straps, wearing tinted visors and overtaking vehicles on curb. Up to May 2015, there are 2.9 million motorcycles on the roads in the country -a 53% of the total vehicles on road. During the first four month of this year, 332 pillion-riders were killed in accidents. more..

3 civil CC members Party leaders fail to agree

June 4 (CT) Despite Parliament being convened for a special session yesterday to approve the appointment of three civil society representatives to the Constitutional Council, the task proved futile as party leaders failed to reach consensus. Before commencing the business of the day, the Speaker suspended sittings and convened a party leaders' meeting to discuss the matter, but once the sessions started after two and half hours, more..

SEC stops Lanka Rating Agency from giving new ratings

June 4 (EN) Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission said it has stopped Lanka Rating Agency (LRA) from giving new ratings until it complies with regulatory requirements imposed by it. LRA had been stopped from providing new ratings from March 25, 2015. "until the company complies with regulatory requirements imposed by the Commission," SEC said. "The Commission is statutorily vested with the objective of protecting the interest of investors and is empowered to more..

Ranjan claims MS accused MR over murder incident

June 4 (CG) President Sirisena accused former President Rajapaksa of being involved in a murder incident in Hambantota some 20 years ago, a Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said. He said that President Sirisena had personally told him that Rajapaksa was a suspect over the murder incident. “President Sirisena was a witness to that incident,” he claimed. Ramanayake said that this was one of the reasons why President did not want Rajapaksa to be the Prime Ministerial candidate of more..

'Illegal fishing threatens Indian Ocean stocks, livelihoods'

June 4 (EN) Illegal fishing in the Indian Ocean not only threatens fast depleting fish stocks but the livelihoods of communities living on the coast of the region’s states, a UN forum in Colombo was told. “Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing continues to be a threat to the effective conservation and management of fish stocks in the north west Indian ocean,” said Beth Crawford, UN’s Food & Agriculture Org more..

FCID ordered investigation 14 million spent on printing diaries

June 4 (CT) Additional Magistrate of Colombo, Nishantha Peiris, yesterday ordered the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) to conduct an extensive investigation into the financial irregularity of more than Rs. 14 million which has been spent on printing of diaries and calendars for the year 2015, by the Ministry of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities during the administration era of the former Minister Wimal Weerawansa. more..

German Parliamentary Delegation in SL

June 4 (GDI) A German Parliamentary Delegation is currently visiting Sri Lanka from the 30th May to 5th June, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said. The delegation comprises of the Chairperson of the Committee for Economic Cooperation and Development of the German Parliament Ms. Dagmar Wöhrl, MP and Chair of the Committee of Economy and Energy, Dr. Peter Ramsauer. The delegation is scheduled to call on the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Health more..

SLC cops mighty finantial blow

June 4 (DM) Financially struggling Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) seems to have already paid the ultimate price for political meddling and uncertainty at official level, as there shockingly had been just one bidder for the three-match Test series against India, and they have also offered just peanuts for the deal. SLC’s long-time TV rights partner Taj TV, the owners of Ten Sports, was the only company that has shown any interest more..

Bridging the trust gap in electoral reforms

June 5 (CT) The 196+59=255 formula within a modified New Zealand method for electoral reform is improving by the day, but, some issues remain. (The UNP has thrown in a 125+100=225 formula. Most formulas would work with some tinkering but it takes time. For the time being let us stay with the 196+59-255, until we are told that 125+100=225 is more politically feasible.) Any new method with whatever formula introduces uncertainty to all concerned, to minorities, in particular. more..

Minority representation through the 20A

June 5 (CT) The 20th amendment to the constitution seem to be hardly moving is at all. A major obstacle in its path is the objections of the minor parties in fear of being marginalized under a future system. The purpose of this article is to see to what extend their fears are true. The discussion will be held under a few sub topics: 1. Sri Lankan demographics; 2. Present parliament composition; 3. Past four election results; 4.Fixing the minority issues; 5. Two ballot system; 6. Ideological minority parties; more..

12 Sri Lankans sent home for resorting to TU action in Qatar

June 5 (SO) 12 Sri Lankan migrant workers, employed at a janitorial service company in Qatar were deported on allegations of resorting to trade union action, contrary to the rules and regulations of the company and Qatari Labour Laws. Last week they returned to the country. Councilor Labour and Welfare of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Qatar, A.K.U. Rohana said. Case was now over as the workers were sent back to Sri Lanka. more..

Our relations with India: What is the present status?

June 5 (Island) I have been provoked into writing this by an inquiry made of me by an Indian journalist of repute who inquired as to what the status of our relations was. I quite frankly told him that I did not know but that we had no known problems other than the Fisheries issue unless of course Jayalalitha creates problems for us and our relations with Delhi. Indo Lanka relations stretch back over 2500 years. We have a blood relationship with India; Legend has it that a prince from Bengal came to SL more..

Sri Lankan perceptions on life post-war

June 5 (GV) Six years after the end of war in Sri Lanka, the four main ethnic communities are still divided when it comes to issues related to reconciliation. Sri Lankan perceptions on life post war is a series of infographics looking key public opinion data from CPA’s Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka survey (conducted annually since 2011) on the theme of reconciliation. Since 2011, a question that showed much division between the Sinhala and Tamil community has been on whether more..

'Muslims plotted against own Chief Minister'

June 5 (CT) Governor of the Eastern Province Austin Fernando says: "We must understand that development alone will not appease people. The reason for the defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa was the lack of good governance, transparency, freedom of expression and freedom for organizing. People give prominence to freedom which was not here. Q: What is the situation of reconciliation among the people of the Eastern Province, more..

Vasu makes a spectacle of himself

June 5 (NS) The verbal altercation in Parliament between veteran politician Vasudeva Nanayakkara and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, where the former resorted to using foul language on the latter has sparked controversy and some reflection on the declining standards in the legislature. Video clips of the incident went viral on the Internet. They showed an enraged Nanayakkara repeatedly hurling insults at Wickremesinghe who appeared unruffled and appeared to revel in Vasudeva’s discomfiture. more..

Addressing blocked grief in Jaffna

June 5 (GV) Six years after the end of the war the population in the North of Sri Lanka remains passive, ensnared in wartime mentality because they haven’t been able to express and deal with their sorrow and trauma. Professors from Jaffna University talk of a young generation incapable of envisioning a better future. While they demonstrated courage and compassion beyond their years during war, they are now disillusioned, unable to cope with the normal life of a university student more..

Colombo Fashion Forecast: Episode 15

Business community renews calls for revised Land Act

June 5 (DM) Sri Lanka’s business community renewed their calls to revisit the controversial Land Act enacted by the former regime limiting foreigners and foreign-owned corporates to outright owning lands, as it acts as a major deterrent to lure the much-needed foreign direct investments (FDIs). “We are of the view that the ambiguity inherent in the Act and the uncertainty it creates as a result will be deterrents to capital formation and foreign direct in SL and therefore, require urgent review,” more..

An SLFP Prime Minister before polls?

June 5 (SL) The way the SLFP-UPFA Opposition is playing the UNP-led national govt of which it is still a part round its fingers and at will and whim, indications are that the two could well end up changing places even before the much-promised and even more confused run-up to the parliamentary polls. The new SLFP dictum that seniors, including the Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva, would sign a no-trust motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe & Co, would show that more..

A shadow of their once majestic selves

June 5 (ST) Skin and bones! These are the haunting images of the once majestic elephants of the Uda Walawe National Park. Trapped within the park, surrounded by tightly-drawn electric fences, bull, cow and even baby elephants are starving to death, the Sunday Times learns. The safe haven has turned into a living hell which is unable to meet even the basic necessity of food of these elephants, turning them into emaciated more..

Environment Day Message from PM

June 5 (GDI) "It is a great tragedy that we do not consider the importance of protecting the environment which has been created by mother nature for the survival of man, animals trees and the most valuable resource, the water. Sooner, we realize the importance of the protection of our environment it is better for the whole human race and also the other subjects that enjoy the mother nature's blessings. We have chosen a Environment Day theme Surakimu Mihitalaya which is more..

Editorial: An abandoned baby

June 5 (Island) No MP wants Parliament to complete its full term though people elected it in 2010 for a period of six years. On Wednesday, the majority of parliamentarians including the Speaker called for its dissolution. It has become an abandoned baby! When a cocky President Mahinda Rajapaksa advanced the last presidential election the then Opposition let out a howl of protest, the most vociferous being the JVP. But, nobody seems to have any qualms about terminating more..

Lankans break records but miss bronze

June 5 (DN) The Lankan men's 4X100 metres relay team renewed the Sri Lanka record in two occasions yesterday and clocked 39.38 seconds in the final but missed the bronze medal by a fraction of a second on the second day of the Asian Athletics Championships in Wuhan, China. The Lankan team comprising of Himasha Eshan, Shehan Ambepitiya, Suranjaya de Silva and Mohamed Ashroff broke the Sri Lankan record during the first round more..

CIC records turnaround performance

June 5 (FT) CIC Holdings recorded an impressive performance for the financial year ending 31 March 2015. Group profit after tax (PAT) was recorded at Rs. 1040.84 million, a strong improvement over last year’s loss of Rs. 1,126.84 million. Group recorded revenue growth of 3%, a continuing business turnover growth of 9% and profit before tax of Rs. 1,423.12 million, demonstrating a turnaround business performance. CIC’s Agriculture and Livestock division and its Consumer and more..

Three stockbroker firms lacked funds to settle creditors

June 5 (EN) Sri Lanka’s stock exchange has reported that three broker companies did not maintain enough funds in their client bank accounts to settle creditors over the three-day settlement period. “Three broker firms did not maintain adequate funds in their respective client bank accounts to settle the creditors over the T+3 balances for several months during the period,” the Colombo Stock Exchange revealed in its 2014 annual report. more..

'Cycling culture can help cure Sri Lanka’s road congestion'

June 5 (LBO) Cycling can help reducing the congestion on Sri Lanka urban roads and conserve energy, Minister of Power and Energy said. “A vehicle needs to travel at 60-70 km/h to be fuel economical, this was possible in the 1980’s in Colombo, but now it has become 8 km/h and in the next five years it will be 6 km/h,” Minister Champika Ranawaka said. “So we can make cycles the answer to this issue of short distance travel. more..

'SLC using Jonty as cat’s paw'

June 5 (Island) Some cricket bigwigs seem to be using world’s greatest fielder Jonty Rhodes as cat’s paw to achieve their goals. Media covering Rhodes’ press conference at R. Premadasa Stadium on Wednesday were taken aback when the former South African great singled out a certain Sri Lankan cricketer for the upcoming Test series against Pakistan. Rhodes, who had been conducting a ten day coaching clinic on fielding to the national team and various development squads, more..

Lankan education opens for more Maldivians

June 5 (CT) Buoyed by its success of the educational promotions of 2014 in Male, the EDB is facilitating the largest Lankan educational delegation to Maldives next week. Promotional tour is organized in collaboration with Sri Lanka High Commission in Male. The second time such an educational delegation is facilitated to Maldives, it consists of reps from 20 leading Lankan educational institutes. In 2014, in its first tour to Maldives, EDB facilitated 14 Educational Institutes to Male. more..