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Maithri-Mahinda talks inconclusive

May 6 (DM) Talks between former President Rajapaksa and President Sirisena ended with no conclusion on any of the key demands. Talks were conducted in the Parliamentary complex today. The nomination of Mr. Rajapaksa as the Prime Ministerial candidate was the major request put forward by his delegation. Besides, the delegation of Mr. Rajapaksa asked for withholding the decision to dissolve the local authorities by May 15. more..

After the Sisyphean labours of 100 days

May 7 (CT) One would need to be preposterously naïve or a wacky babe in the woods to miss the obvious. A fat section of the SLFP (40 MPs), Nimal Siripala and Anura Priyadashana included and the four scumbags (Wimal, Vasu, Dinesh, Gampits) have but one objective. They care not what 19th Amendment says, nor are they concerned about electoral reform (20A); they would have damned 19A if they dared. Their long-term venture is a single minded campaign to inflict defeat on more..

Sex work should be decriminalized

May 7 (CT) It’s time for Sri Lanka to decriminalize sex work or validate it in some manner in order to manage what is a decades-old reality. Bringing prostitution within the bounds of legality will curb the spread of sexual diseases, including AIDS, and remove barriers that drive away social workers from providing these vulnerable men and women medical and counselling assistance. It will eliminate underground criminal elements that now operate brothels and derive the most financial benefit, more..

Into the rescue...

May 7 (SO) Villagers were huddled together by the river to keep themselves warm- a bitter cold wind was blowing. They did not know what to do with themselves. No food, no shelter and worst of all except for the clothes they were in- they had nothing to cover themselves to keep away the biting cold. It seemed like eternity for them. They had no one to turn to till the good Samaritans -the Sri Lankan military contingent- arrived. more..

President Sirisena keeps his word

May 7 (SL) Next only to Bhutan’s reigning monarch, King Jigme Singhe Wangchuck, President Maithripala Sirisena becomes only the second ruler anywhere in the world in our times, to voluntarily shed the weight of power that had brought a bad name to his predecessors and Sri Lanka. For the Bhutanese royalty, democratisation was a commitment to themselves. For the Sri Lankan President, it was a commitment to his voters. SL President is yet to shed the real weight, more..

Kerry's cat out of the bag

May 7 (CT) United States Secretary of State John Kerry delivering an address at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute during his brief visit to Colombo last Saturday revealed that the Sri Lankan Govt would conduct a general election during summer. Kerry's cat jumped out of the bag during that address. America calls for an early general election to save Sri Lanka at the September UNHRC session. When the war crimes report was to be tabled at the last sessions of the UNHRC, more..

SL bid for female workers raises questions

May 7 (WN) The nimble fingers that pluck the leaves to make Ceylon tea, the island's best known brand and top agricultural export, belong to women. So do those that sew garments, the main industrial export, shipped to the likes of Victoria's Secret. And female housemaids employed in the Middle East form almost half of the island's migrant workforce, whose remittances are now its biggest source of foreign exchange. more..

Heartbreaking news from Kekirilanthaya

May 7 (NS) Rebranding the SLFP: Sign outside Sri Lanka Freedom Party headquarters, Darley Road, Colombo: “Free to anyone; one over the hill neurotic and delusional old hag. Still good for a laugh or two. Comes with a life time supply of Old Crow whiskey.” Ranil’s legacy: Legacy of Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Grand Impostor of Sri Lanka: “Never were so few offered so great an opportunity to rob a country so thoroughly in so few a days.” Reconciling with reconciler: Grand Impostor of Sri Lanka: more..

I fear for FM Sarath Fonseka

May 7 (NS) Maybe I am over-dreaming, but then it’s something totally beyond my control. I am walking. Walking in the North. I came to Elephant Pass. I wanted to see the monument in honor of Hasalaka Gamini. Hasalaka Gamini is a national hero because he fought to rid the country of the menace of terrorism. So, whenever I come this way I make it a point to visit the monument. I was shocked! The bulldozer that Gamini had destroyed by exploding himself was gone. His statue was gone. more..

Sithmal Yaya 2: Chitra Wakista

Colombo Port City Project Vs New City of Colombo Project

May 7 (Island) This article is a response to a timely letter written by Dr. U. Pethiyagoda under the caption Colombo Port City - back to basics, that appeared in the Island of 30-04-27015 where he poses two intelligent questions (a) do we really need this project? (b) could the monies be invested more usefully ? My response to the first question is a positive "No" while the answer to the second question is a positive "Yes" and the reasons are explained below. more..

Editorial: Changing pillows

May 7 (Island) There has been a mixed reaction to the proposed electoral reforms. Some political parties have welcomed them. Most vociferous among the opponents thereof are the leaders of small parties which lack the numerical strength to win electorates under the first-past-the-post system and fear that they will not benefit from the so-called limited PR (proportional representation) in the hybrid system to be adopted. Minister P. Digambaram has been quoted by this newspaper as saying more..

Angelo Mathews: Cricketer of the Year 2015

May 7 (WI) There has been plenty on Angelo Mathews’s shoulders in recent times. This is not just a metaphor. As he leans back on a plastic chair, his tanned biceps roasting in the Colombo sun, it is surprising to see the prairie of dark hair that runs from the back of his black and orange singlet, reaches just over the tips of his collarbones, and spreads down the back of his arms. Mathews has been Sri Lanka’s boy-next-door more..

Indian Trade Fair in Sri Lanka opens today

May 7 (EN) Indian exporters keen to find a market in Sri Lanka will display their products and service at the ninth Indian Trade Fair to be held in Colombo which opens today. An Indo-Ceylon Economic Dialogue, the third such, will be held alongside the fair on May 8 by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce in Sri Lanka together with MP Events Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. The trade fair and forum will be held at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre, Colombo with the support of more..

How can we boost technology in SL SMEs?

May 7 (DM) When nearly 90% of firms in Sri Lanka are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), it is no surprise that the future prosperity of the country will depend on the extent to which the SME sector can produce high value-added goods and services that are competitive abroad and also meets the needs at home. But today, too many SMEs are producing relatively simple goods and basic services and solely for our small domestic market. As I meet with SMEs across the country, more..

Kiriella claims success in disbursement of subsidies

May 7 (Island) Govt had already granted Rs. 600 million as tea subsidies to those owning small holdings whereas the previous govt had disbursed only Rs. 7.2 million, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. Tea smallholders accounting for 73% of the country's tea industry were now well looked after and they would produce better quality teas. Asked what steps govt would take to curb millions of kilos of refuse tea being exported, more..

Central Bank allows spot currency to fall; 2-month forwards down

May 7 (FT) Central Bank allowed the spot rupee to fall by 0.23% on Wednesday but prevented it from slipping further, as the market struggled to keep pace with higher demand for dollars from importers due to reduced selling of the greenback by exporters. The Central Bank permitted the spot rupee to fall 30 cents or 0.23% to 133.30 per dollar, following an easing by 10 cents to 133 on Thursday. The spot currency was retained at the level of 132.90 since February through Thursday. more..

Export competitiveness: Moving from USA towards Asia

May 7 (DM) Previous Insights on Sri Lanka’s trade prospects have dealt with two problems: the concentration of markets and the concentration of products. The first is because over 50% of exports go to the USA and EU; the second is because over 50% of export value is in tea and apparel. It has been pointed out that product concentration is the key problem to overcome – markets will become available if Sri Lanka can come up with more competitive export products. more..

Australia says significant decline in people smuggling in Sri Lanka

May 7 (DM) Visiting Australian Immigration and Boarder Protection Minister Peter Dutton said that there was a significant decline in human smuggling in Sri Lanka. In response to a question by the media whether his govt see a decline of illegal entry either from Sri Lanka and refugee camps in Tamil Nadu particularly since the regime change in Sri Lanka this year, Minister Dutton said that “the number has reduced significantly,”. more..

Nawaloka Petroleum to commence island-wide operations this year

May 7 (DN) Nawaloka Petroleum (Pvt) Ltd, a company set up under the umbrella of Nawaloka Holdings to engage in the business of Petroleum and allied products, is the sole importer/distributor of Total Oil India Pvt. Ltd a subsidiary of Total, France. Chairman and board of Directors of Nawaloka Petroleum comprise Chairman, Jayantha Dharmadasa, while Harshith Dharmadasa, Anisha Dharmadasa and Ananda Jayasekara serve as Directors. more..

Youth demands wife, house and bicycle

May 7 (DM) A youth climbed on top of a high tension lamppost in Dikwella on the Rathmale Road demanding a wife, bicycle and house. Dikwella police informed the Electricity Board and got the electricity disconnected and another youth climbed on to the lamppost and persuaded him to climb down but he attacked the youth after climbing down. He then climbed on to a coconut tree and later a margosa tree in agitation but the police managed to get him down. more..

AIADMK, DMK & CPI MPs want India to reclaim Katchatheevu

May 7 (Hindu) Rajya Sabha members from the AIADMK, DMK and the CPI want the Centre to renegotiate with the govt of Sri Lanka to reclaim the island of Katchatheevu. Buoyed by the passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill to ratify the land border agreement with Bangladesh, these MPs said the govt must reconsider the exchange of Katchatheevu as it was not done through a constitutional amendment and more..

GIS Solutions conducts program on Parcel Fabric at Survey Department

May 7 (Island) GIS Solutions (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Just In Time Group, recently conducted a program on Parcel Fabric for the Land Information Division ofthe Sri Lanka Survey department (SLSD), which took place on March 24th 2015, at the SLSD Auditorium. Among the participants present were; Deputy Surveyor General, Superintendent of Surveys, Govt Surveyors and Draughtsman Thillai Nadarajan, a GIS Consultant at GIS Solutions, presented the functionality of more..

Australia to send small refugee group to Cambodia very shortly

May 7 (Reuters) Australia wants to transfer a small group of refugees from one of its offshore detention centers to Cambodia shortly and encourage other asylum seekers to take the same route themselves, its immigration minister said on Wednesday. Canberra has been widely criticized for a tough immigration policy under which asylum seekers have been sent to camps in impoverished Papua New Guinea and the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru, where they face long periods of detention. more..

US to permit continued trade between Sri Lanka and Iran

May 7 (FT) The United States has agreed to permit continued trade and economic engagement between Iran and Sri Lanka following bilateral discussions with visiting Secretary of State John Kerry. Concessions permitting continued trade with Iran were said to have been granted following representations made by the Sri Lankan Govt in relation to the severe burden such embargos had placed on the national economy, more..

Growing up in the war zone of Sri Lanka

May 7 (Hindu) In an attempt to tell young adults the complex story of growing up in a war zone, Chennai-based Tara Publishing has recently launched The Boy Who Speaks in Numbers, a story set in Sri Lanka. “The story was written at a time, when war was being considered not only inevitable but it was also being glorified. Anyone speaking against it was seen as unpatriotic and viewed with suspicion,” said Mike Masilamani, the first Sri Lankan Tamil author whose works were published by Tara. more..

Tales from the war

May 7 (Hindu) Set in Sri Lanka, The Boy Who Speaks in Numbers (Tara Books) is ‘a darkly satiric account of childhood in times of war’. The book, illustrated by Matthew Frame, is being launched in Colombo tomorrow. Edited excerpts from an email interview with author Mike Masilamani follow. Q: Please tell us how The Boy Who Speaks in Numbers came about. A: The Boy started life as a short story for a children’s magazine, but I had grown too fond of him to let it go at that, more..

'TN key to gain global support for SL Tamils'

May 7 (ENS) Launching a signature campaign to press for a trial by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the genocide of Lankan Tamils, Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) PM V Rudrakumaran on said active support of the people of Tamil Nadu was crucial for generating international opinion to render justice to the Lankan Tamils. Inaugurating the campaign here through skype, he urged the UN to refer the genocide more..

Smiths Detection installed at airport

May 7 (DN) Smiths Detection is a leading provider of solutions that ensures a terminal’s entire hold baggage and passenger screening checkpoints are specifically designed to detect trace amounts of explosives, chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals or narcotics and are compatible with customer's evolving requirements. In Sri Lanka too, several Smiths Detection systems are installed at the main International Airport. On site, five cargo and 16 baggage scanning units more..

Suspect arrested for killing Lankan in Texas

May 7 (BE) A 19-year-old Beaumont man charged in the April 28 fatal shooting death of a convenience store owner showed up to the police department Tuesday evening accompanied by his mother, Officer Carol Riley said on Wednesday. Chandler Kyle Ventress is charged with capital murder in the death of Metthananda Kuruppu, owner of the Pick-N-Shop store on Major Drive. Ventress is being held on a $2 million bond at the Jefferson County jail. A video surveillance camera captured more..

Will take legal action against FCID procedure

May 7 (DM) The SLFP would take legal action against the procedure adopted by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) to question and prosecute suspects referred to it by the Cabinet Sub-Committee headed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. General Secretary of the UPFA Susil Premajayantha said that the entire process of recording statements and producing suspects in courts was biased, unethical and illegal. more..

Former govt big shot to be arrested over missing carrom boards worth Rs. 39 mn.

May 7 (Island) Colombo Crime Division has launched an investigation into a complaint that thousands of carrom boards worth Rs. 39 million imported by Sathosa have gone missing. The investigators said recreational equipment had been imported by the CWE on behalf of a powerful politician of the previous govt. "He ordered the carrom boards via the CWE giving false names," a CCD officer said. A CWE storekeeper has said that he signed the vouchers claiming acceptance more..

College helping to rebuild the co-operative movement in northern Sri Lanka

May 7 (TN) 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami left Sri Lanka devastated, and a civil war that lasted for 25 years also caused substantial damage to the country’s co-operative movement. The conflict ended in 2009, but the army effectively ran the north. With the election of a moderate as president in January 2015, Northern Province has been delegated effective powers, which include promoting co-ops. “The co-operative movement in the north is clearly in need of support,” more..

President refuses to halt corruption probe

May 7 (Xinhua) President Maithripala Sirisena has rejected a request by former leader Mahinda Rajapakse to stop the bribery and corruption investigations against his supporters, a high-ranking govt official said. Rajapakse had laid this condition to meet Sirisena on Wednesday where both are expected to discuss the future of the SLFP of which Sirisena is chairman & Rajapakse a senior adviser. "President has clearly rejected this condition more..

Four sanctuaries to be made National Parks

May 7 (DN) Four sanctuaries will be gazetted to be transformed to the level of national parks and nature reserves soon. Sports and Tourism Deputy Minister Wasantha Senanayake said the govt has taken steps to declare the Delft, Kokilai, Chundikulam, Adams Bridge sand dunes as National Parks and Nature reserves. The Adams Bridge located between India and Sri Lanka is comprised of seven large scale sand dunes which is a resting place for millions of migrant birds to Sri Lanka. more..

'President Sirisena-Rajapaksa talks: We wish them well'

May 7 (DN) Minister Ajith P Perera, said on being asked if the UNP approved the meetings currently being held between President Sirisena and former President Rajapaksa, he said, "we would wish them well." Asked if they were not worried about the outcome of these meetings between President Sirisena and Rajapaksa in the background of a looming general election, Perera said, "actually the UNP did not pay much attention about it, nor did we have any thorough idea about it, more..

Fielding MR as PM candidate among five issues discussed

May 7 (Island) A crucial discussion between former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and incumbent Mathripala Sirisena yesterday on five issues including fielding former as the SLFP Prime Ministerial candidate at the forthcoming general election ended with both sides agreeing to refer them to the SLFP Central Committee for approval. The discussion held at the President’s office in the Parliamentary Complex with more..

More enlightened approach to customs

May 7 (DM) In this Vesak week we need to reflect on how we could go to a more enlightened dimension in some of our customs and traditions such as dansal. This year with the election of a new yahapalanaya Govt, the number of dansal was reported to be more than in previous years with more Vesak zones, pandals and huge lanterns. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at a Vesak ceremony said there were no casino zones this year, but more Vesak zones. more..

People should assert they mean business

May 7 (DM) Sri Lankans gave a clear verdict on Jan 8. The message was loud and clear that, “You cannot fool all the people all the time”. People spoke in no uncertain terms that enough was enough. MR regime which for long thought to be invincible was convincingly defeated paving the way for the installation of a coalition govt headed by MS and RW in a unique combination at the helm of affairs. It is alleged that MR’s lavish campaign had consumed the largest amount of money ever by more..

Sharmila Seyyid: Living in exile

May 7 (SL) Sharmila Seyyid, a poet, novelist, journalist and social worker from Eravur in the Eastern Province came under various harassment and social media attacks at the hand of certain Islamic groups following an interview with the BBC in 2012 highlighting a social reality. After facing harassment and intimidation she fled the country and still lives in exile. Ms. Sharmila Seyyid, had voiced the opinion that sex workers more..