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Sri Lanka maintains top spot in T20I table

May 6 (SLC) World Cup winner Australia has doubled its lead over second-ranked India on the Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings from six to 12 points following the annual update while the West Indies, Bangladesh and Pakistan are now locked in a tight struggle for the remaining two slots in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 whose cut-off date is 30 September 2015. The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 will be played from 1 to 19 June in England and Wales, and the host country (England), more..

Much-hyped M&M meeting billed for today

May 6 (DN) Three MPs are included in the delegation of former President Rajapaksa when the latter meets President Maithripala Sirisena at the Parliamentry Complex at 1.30 p.m. today. MPs are Dullas Alahapperuma, Kumara Welgama and Bandula Gunawardena. According to former Minister Gamini Lokuge, no party has laid conditions for the meeting. He said former President will stress the importance of winning next general election more..

Kerry’s veni, vidi and not quite vici

May 6 (DM) John Kerry came and went. It was not all veni, vidi and vici as die-hard nationalists would have it. Since most of them seem to be from the Bring Back Mahinda camp, the cry doesn’t really resonate with sincerity. After all if it’s vici that really matters, then the name of the conqueror doesn’t really matter if conquest results; Made in China is no better than Made in the USA when it comes to such things. That said the US Secretary of State did himself or his country no favours by more..

The way forward Public Sector Reforms

May 6 (DM) At the time of independence in 1948, Ceylon (British Colonial name until 1971), was one of the most prosperous countries in the Commonwealth. During that period, we had a well developed infrastructure, and an independent, cost effective, efficient public administration network and judiciary, and a democratic Westminster-type political system. It must also be mentioned that around the first decade of the 20th century, there were a little more than 200 British officials more..

'Bloodless revolution shapes minority govt'

May 6 (DM) Justice minister Wijedasa Rajapakse, who played the key role as the subject minister in the accommodation or rejection of amendments by the Opposition during the committee stage of the 19th Amendment, said the govt would move to implement it once the Speaker certified it. Q: Now that the 19th Amendment has been enacted. What is the way forward? A: Once it is certified by the Speaker, we will implement it. more..

'Electoral reforms not necessary to keep dregs out of politics'

May 6 (Island) Minister Palani Digambaram said that proposed electoral reforms wouldn’t prevent those who had been engaged in various nefarious activities from re-entering or entering parliament for the first time. He switched his allegiance to the UNP-led Opposition camp on Dec 10, last year. The govt comprising the UNP and a section of the SLFP-led UPFA is in the process of discussing electoral reforms. more..

Sri Lanka to expand probe over missing people in war

May 6 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is to expand the investigations into those reported missing during the war. A govt statement said that four teams will be appointed to the Presidential Commission Investigating Cases of Missing Persons (PCICMP) to conduct investigations into future deliberations. The Chairman of the Commission retired High Court Judge Maxwell Paranagama said the four teams will be appointed this week. more..

Dansal: They are a-changing but CMC will check them all

May 6 (ST) In a sign of the times, 63 of the 93 Vesak dansal registered in Colombo will be distributing ice-cream and soft drinks while the rest will serve food such as rice and noodles, said council authorities planning stringent checks on all the outlets. Sixteen Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) will be deployed in Colombo to ensure that the food served in dansal are prepared under hygienic conditions. more..

Govt to probe Climate Change-linked projects by previous administration

May 6 (Island) Climate Change adaptation and mitigation funding would be extensively studied while the govt would also look into the outcome of former projects. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that they are in the process of studying such projects. He stressed that carbon trading was strongly on the cards, adding that the country has taken initiatives on greener energy with a special focus on renewable energy. more..

School nightmare for slow learners

May 6 (SL) For 15 year old Marion (name changed), school has become a sheer nightmare, because she is being forced to drop certain subjects in school simply because she cannot keep up with the rest of her class. She is a slow learner who also has an attention deficiency as well. However she is not at a level that requires her to attend a special school for differently abled children. However she is also finding it hard to keep up with the strict more..

'I will not breach the trust placed in me'

May 6 (GDI) MP Kumara Welgama and T.B Ekanayake who visited President’s House two weeks ago, had emphasized the need for a meeting with the former President Rajapaksa. Two days later, Muruttettuwe Ananda Thero, Medagoda Abhayatissa Thero, Uduwe Dhammaloka Thero and other members of the Maha Sangha also requested for such a meeting. Accordingly, President Sirisena has allocated time to meet former President. more..

Alleged bond scam: Arjun Aloysius says wrongfully cited as respondent

May 6 (Island) Perpetual Treasuries and its CEO Arjun Aloysius, through their counsel told the Supreme Court that they had been wrongfully cited as respondents in the fundamental rights violation application filed by three petitioners against an alleged bond scam by the Central Bank and its Governor Arjuna Mahendran. S. Parathalingam PC appeared for the sixth respondent, the Perpetual Treasuries, while more..

Ukip candidate suspended after threatening to shoot Tory rival

May 6 (Telegraph) A Ukip parliamentary candidate has been suspended from the party after he was filmed threatening to shoot his Conservative rival. Robert Blay, who is standing in North East Hampshire, told undercover reporters that he would "put a bullet between the eyes" of the Conservatives' Ranil Jayawardena. The video shows Mr Blay saying that Mr Jayawardena could become our first Asian MP, adding: more..

U'grads agitate: Call for release of two

May 6 (CT) Undergraduates of six State Universities will conduct protests and marches at noon today calling for the release of the two student activists who were arrested on 30, April by the Cinnamon Gardens Police and remanded till 9th, to be released immediately. The IUSF said that the protests and marches would be conducted by the Universities of Kelaniya,Sri J'pura, Rajarata, Peradeniya, Wayamba and Ruhuna. more..

Gunadasa Amarasekara’s relevance

May 6 (CT) In an article published in The Nation, Gunadasa Amarasekara comments on and questions the state of reconciliation today. He accuses President Sirisena of violating the Constitution by allowing the national anthem to be sung in Tamil. He then accuses the Opposition and even the general citizenry of pleading ignorance with this. He also extrapolates and charts the pacts signed with S.J.V. Chelvanayakam right until the P-TOMS under Chandrika Kumaratunga’s more..

Toastmasters to hold Ovation 2015 celebrating ten years of enlightening lives

May 6 (Island) Annual conference of Toastmasters International (TI) District 82 titled Ovation 2015 will be held on May 22 at the BMICH. District 82 comprises Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu. This was announced at a media briefing held at Sri Lanka Foundation Institution. Nearly 600 participants are expected to attend with the Indian participation estimated at 100. District governor of District 82 Yusuf Jeewanjee, briefed the media about the TI and its activities. more..

Nimal Siripala de Silva With Sannasgala

JA Resorts to develop beach resort in SL

May 6 (TA) UAE-based JA Resorts & Hotels is set to develop a premium tropical beach resort in Kathiraveli on the East Coast of Sri Lanka in partnership with the Gravity Resort Group (GRG), as part of its international expansion plans. To be known as JA Eclipse Beach Resort, the property will mark JA Resorts & Hotels’ third premium tropical beach resort in the Indian Ocean. As part of its expansion strategy, JA Resorts & Hotels launched its first premium destination in Seychelles, more..

Shares fall from two-month high

May 6 (EN) Sri Lankan shares fell Wednesday, ending a four-day rally and after having hit a two-month high, despite the continued rise in Treasury Bill yields. The All Share Price Index ended at 7,192.29, down 9.82 points (0.14%) while the S&P SL 20 index, lost 5.18 points (0.13%) to end at 4,058.98. Turnover rose to a one-month high of 1.7 billion rupees boosted by several crossings or off-the floor negotiated deals. Commercial Bank emerged as the top contributor to turnover more..

BASL wants Constitutional Council appointed urgently

May 6 (Island) Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) said that care should be taken that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution would not have the same fate that befell the 17th Amendment and called upon all concerned to ensure the early establishment of the Constitutional Council. The BASL, in a statement signed by its President Geoffrey Alagaratnam PC and Secretary Ajith Pathirana said: "The BASL welcomes the passage of 19th Amendment more..

Record income for open air zoo: Yet not up to the hype created for its opening

May 6 (Island) The country’s first Open Air National Zoological Garden at Pinnawela has earned a record income of over Rs. 3 million within four days from May 1 to 4, according to Sports and Tourism Ministry. Ministry stated that the total income of the zoo as at May 04 was Rs. 3,538,940. It said that the number of local visitors had also increased dramatically during the last five days. Open Air National Zoological Garden, situated close to the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage was more..

Leading Catholic Priest’s funeral today

May 6 (Island) The funeral of one of the leading priests of the Catholic Church – Rev. Fr. Bob Rodrigo OMI, will take place at Borella Kanatta this evening. Rev. Fr. Joseph Tarcisius Rodrigo was popularly known as Fr. Bob and championed the cause of the poor going in the footsteps of St. Eugene De Mazenod, the founder of the Congregation of Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Rev. Fr. Bob was born in Negombo on the 16th March 1947 & was educated at St. Mary’s College, more..

Project to weaken Thonda’s hold on estates

May 6 (Island) Govt was in the process of implementing an unprecedented project meant to weaken the powerful Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) hold on plantation workers, Plantation Infrastructure Development Minister Palani Digambaram said. Leader of the National Union of Workers (NUW) Digambaram said that the primary objective was to transform over 160,000 line rooms to individual housing units. more..

WP Chief Minister tells govt not to betray national security

May 6 (Island) Western Province CM Prasanna Ranatunga said that the govt should not betray national security to please a chief minister. "If the govt removes Army camps in the North to appease Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran, I would like to ask whether they would remove camps in the Western Province if I made a request to that effect," he said. Ranatunga alleged that the UNP-led govt was dancing to tune of Northern CM Wigneswaran & compromising national security. more..

Veyangoda - Aluthgama to get electrified rail link

May 6 (DN) A feasibility study is underway for connecting Veyangoda and Aluthgama via an electrified railway link, Internal Transport Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara said. The minister addressing a media-briefing at the Internal Transport Ministry yesterday, said this will be undertaken by the Ceylon Electricity Board and the University of Moratuwa with World Bank funds. "This project is to provide safety, comfort and ease of travel without any hazzard." more..

Ghosts still haunting: Sobitha Thera

May 6 (DM) The ghosts of previous regime were still haunting the country as seen in the recent attack on Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri and Dr. Kusum Kumara at Kirulapone on the May Day, Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera said. The Chairman of NMSJ Ven. Sobitha Thera also accused the attackers of continuing the practice of the former President to silence the people who had different opinions using violence. more..

Michael Main appointed Sri Lanka trainer

May 6 (CI) Michael Main has been appointed Sri Lanka's trainer for a period of two years. The former Hampshire strength and conditioning coach will begin work on June 1, ahead of Pakistan's tour of Sri Lanka. "Michael holds a masters degree in strength and conditioning from the University of Teeside, England," an SLC release said. "He completed his bachelor's degree from University of Worcester in sports studies and physical education. He had also worked with ECB in their young fast bowlers more..

Robbing taxpayer

May 6 (CT) Est mola tarda dei, verum molit illa minutim. Yesterday this newspaper carried an article which said that former President Rajapaksa's Trade Minister Johnston Fernando was to be summoned by the FCID in connection with an alleged fraud that took place in a State-owned Sathosa, retail store during his tenure as minister. Fernando's case may be merely the tip of the iceberg. There may be several similar cases of alleged financial irregularities involving taxpayers' money more..

Gotabaya vows legal actions against JVP

May 6 (AD) JVP on Wednesday filed a case against former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa with the Bribery Commission. JVP accused the former Defnece Secretary of misconduct or financial misappropriation of money amounting to about Rs. 130 million through a project incited to renovate three bus stands in the Ampara district. In their complaint, JVP claimed the money has been deposited to a bank account owned more..

Sri Lanka now has oversupply of buses

May 6 (EN) Poor transport management and failure to implement plans have left Sri Lanka with an oversupply of buses whose poor quality of service has prompted commuters to shift to private transport as their incomes rise, officials said. The operational viability of both the state and private transport services is in doubt today with the oversupply of buses and greater use of private vehicles, said Lalithasiri Gunaruwan, Secretary to the Ministry of Internal Transport. more..

Chairman & MD of SLTPB out on bail

May 6 (CT) Chief Magistrate of Colombo ordered to release Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Board (SLTPB) Bhashwara Gunaratne and Managing Director Rumy Jauffer on bail. They are accused of accepting bribes and causing a loss of Rs 4.3 million to the govt by publishing advertisements for the promotion of candidates of the UPFA, at Southern and Western PC elections held in 2014. Chief Magistrate temporarily grounded the defendants with no travel abroad. more..

BBS deftly passes the buck

May 6 (CT) The BBS said that former Presidents Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa, President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, former Cabinet Ministers Ratnasiri Wickremanayake and W.J.M. Lokubandara should be held responsible for statements made by BBS. BBS also noted that Sinhalese Buddhists had succeeded in achieving a sense of self-protection & preservation. more..

Tamil youth to be freed

May 6 (CT) Tamil youth who are languishing in prisons would be released step by step once the Cabinet takes a decision in this regard shortly, according to TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran. Sumanthiran was addressing at the ITAK's May Day rally in Trincomalee. Sumanthiran also pointed out that the Minister of Justice has prepared a detailed report and that report would be presented in Parliament and to the Cabinet. Thereafter, the report would be implemented releasing step by step more..

Govt will take all measures to strengthen national security: President

May 6 (DN) The govt will resolutely take all measures deemed necessary to strengthen national security, President Maithripala Sirisena said. He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Right Pavilion of the Sir john Kotelawala Defence University. Right Pavilion is located on a 160 acre land in the Suriyawewa area of the Hambanthota district. President said the new govt had taken many important steps to strengthen national security during the last three months. more..

Sri Lanka to boost financial literacy in the North as indebtedness climbs

May 6 (EN) Central Bank will help boost financial literacy in the north as indebtedness grows sharply in the region, Governor Arjuna Mahendran said, opening a branch of the monetary authority in the region. Central Bank's branch office in Kilinochchi, a one-time headquarters of Tamil Tiger separatists, will provide central banking services to the region's banks and provide EPF services to the public. more..

SL bears heavy toll from road accidents

May 6 (Island) Six persons are killed in road accidents daily and the number of those injured has increased dramatically, according to the National Council for Road Safety (NCRS). NCRS said that the number of road traffic deaths reported in Sri Lanka from 2004 to 2014 was around 26, 500 and many of the victims were young males. NCRS Secretary Chathura Umagiliya said that the head injury was the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes. more..

'SL will attain self-sufficiency in energy'

May 6 (DN) Power and Energy Ministry is set to play a role in finding oil and gas reserves in Sri Lanka on a firm platform, Minister Champika Ranawaka said at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. He said, “we have been given a target to reach energy self-sufficiency. As we have attained self sufficiency in rice, and we shall attain self-sufficiency in energy.” “We are confident that we will be able to achieve our goals with the blessings of the Triple Gem, deities and spiritual strength because our conduct more..

CEB back in the red, bank debt down

May 6 (EN) State-owned power utility fell back into the red in 2014 as drought in the early part of the year forced it to rely more on high cost fuel oil electricity generation but its debt burden fell. “CEB made an operating loss mainly due to the deterioration of hydro power generation in the first half of the year,” Central Bank has noted. CEB’s operating loss in 2014 was 11.7 billion rupees in contrast to an operating profit of 24.6 billion more..

Army questions Colonel Mahendra Fernando

May 6 (AD) The Army Special Investigation Unit on Wednesday (6) questioned Colonel Mahendra Fernando, who was the Head of the Security Office of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, over the incident at the SLFP Hambantota district meeting which was held on April 25. This came after the authorities arrested a Corporal of the Sri Lanka Army for allegedly bringing a firearm to the district meeting, which was attended by President Maithripala Sirisena. more..

Sangakkara joins Hobart Hurricanes

May 6 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara has signed with the Hobart Hurricanes for the 2015-16 BBL season. Sangakkara will join West Indies allrounder Darren Sammy as the overseas signings for the Hurricanes next summer after they missed out on reaching the semi-finals last season. "Kumar's signing is not only huge for the Hobart Hurricanes but for the Big Bash League overall," Hurricanes coach Damien Wright said. "There is no doubt that this is a really exciting signing for BBL05. more..