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Dubai hotel chain to set up upmarket resort in Sri Lanka

May 12 (ST) JA Resorts & Hotels, UAE’s oldest homegrown hotel brand, is expanding into Sri Lanka with a high end 108-room resort and is in talks to set up a couple of properties in Thailand. “Sri Lanka property will come on stream in the country’s East Coast in November 2017,” David Thomson, JA Resorts & Hotels COO, said on the sidelines of the group’s announcement of the new SL property at Arabian Travel Mart more..

Nirmal, Maithri and Mahinda: The three who made the past week

May 12 (Island) Three events dominated Sri Lanka’s most recent political developments and debates. The May Day mob attack on Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri and Dr. Kumudu Kusum Kumara is the first. The intensification of the campaign to bring former President Mahinda Rajapaksa back is the second. The meeting between the present and former presidents is the third. These three events encapsulate and signify some key dimensions of the dynamics of SL’s current political turmoil. more..

Angamaly to replicate Colombo Model to mould Green City

May 12 (ENS) Angamaly town in Ernakulam district is in an attempt to prove the maxim that development does not mean you don’t demolish certain things, but to do away with certain age-old practises. The town will soon remould its avenues and streets by adopting the clean and green city mantra adopted by the Sri Lankan capital city Colombo, which is currently one of the top must-visit tourist destinations in the world. Benny Munjeli, chairman of Angamlaly Municipality, said more..

Champaka reappointed as fast-bowling coach

May 12 (CI) Champaka Ramanayake has been reappointed as Sri Lanka's fast-bowling coach after two years away from the role. He replaces Chaminda Vaas, who parted ways with SLC at the end of April. "The appointment takes effect from June 1 and Ramanayake's appointment will cover three inbound tours namely of Pakistan, India and the West Indies," an SLC release said. The board had hoped Ramanayake could more..

Sri Lanka and West Indies lock horns in ICC Women’s Championship

May 12 (ICC) Sri Lanka and West Indies will aim to boost their standings when they go head to head in round three of the ICC Women’s Championship, which starts in Colombo on Wednesday. The series includes four ODIs but only the final three matches scheduled for 15, 18 and 20 May will count towards the 8-team ICC Women’s Championship. The top four sides from this tournament will qualify automatically for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, while the bottom four sides more..

Happy Mother's Day

May 12 (CT) Mothers are precious to us and they will do everything they can to protect us. For Gnanawathi and Athilin, Mother's Day is something they've hardly ever heard of but they are a reflection of elderly mothers throughout the country. Although they sit on a dusty stairway to the Borella Underground Pedestrian Crossing and have gone through many of the same experiences during their life time, their lives are worlds apart. A mother is a person who will always try to help their more..

SEC mulls fresh laws on audit firms

May 12 (DM) The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is contemplating on bringing fresh laws on audit firms, mandating them to bring any financial irregularities or otherwise of the listed entities to the capital market regulator’s notice. This objective of imposing additional responsibility on the auditors is to assist the regulator to become more vigilant and to enable taking pre-emptive actions to protect investor interests. more..

Why no Tamil has made it to British Parliament?

May 12 (ENS) While ten Indians, nine Pakistanis, three Bangladeshis and even a Sinhalese, have entered the British parliament in the general election held on Thursday, not a single Tamil has made it, though the population of Lankan Tamils in the UK is said to be between 300,000 and 400,000. There were only two Tamil candidates, Uma Kumaran (Labour -Harrow East) and Sockalingam Yogalingam (National Liberal Party-Ruislip), and both lost. “Uma Kumaran lost because of more..

‘Sri Lanka showing low investor participation in stock market’

May 12 (Island) Sri Lanka has one of the lowest participation rates of domestic investors in the capital market, although there are some 765,000 CDS accounts here, a renowned chartered financial analyst said. "The number is around 583,000 if you exclude duplication due to joint accounts. A recent study reveals around 350,000 are plantation worker accounts and another 100,000 are students’ accounts that are dormant. So in fact active trading happens in only about 25,000 CDS accounts, more..

Sri Lanka fuel consumption rises sharply after price cuts

May 12 (EN) Sri Lanka’s fuel sales have been rising steadily this year since the new administration slashed prices soon after coming to power in January 2015, officials said. The growing consumption is driven both by the price cuts and increasing imports of vehicles. The sharpest increases were seen in premium 95 octane petrol and Lanka Super Diesel during the January – April 2015 period, Suren Batagoda, secretary to more..

Restraining order issued against Governor and CPC members

May 12 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday issued a restraining order against the Governor of the Central Province and the members of the Central Provincial Council, restraining them from taking further steps to remove Sarath Ekanayake from the post of Chief Minister there. This restraining order is valid till the final determination of the writ application filed by Ekanayake, who has complained that Provincial Councillor, Thilina Bandara has collected signatures from Council members more..

SL Pakistan Friendship Sports Gala 2015

May 12 (GDI) The Sri Lanka Pakistan Friendship Association, in collaboration with Pakistan High Commission organized the 2015 Sports Gala on Sunday, 10th May, 2015, at the Malay Cricket Club grounds, Slave Island. The Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan Dr. Sarfraz Ahmed Khan Sipra was the chief guest on the occasion. President of the Sri Lanka Pakistan Friendship Association Mr Iftikhar Aziz received the guests and delivered his welcome address. more..

Private sector to maintain Galle Face Green?

May 12 (DM) Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga today instructed officials to come up with a strategic plan in collaboration with the private sector to manage and maintain the Galle Face Green (GFG) without any cost to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). Minister Ranatunga added that the maintenance and operation of the Galle Face Green (GFG) has cost the SLPA Rs. 3.3 million in 2014 without any dividend. more..

Archetyping comes to Sri Lanka

May 12 (CT) Michel Nugawela will introduce Leadership Archetyping at a VIP CEO Breakfast Forum on May 25 to an audience of CEOs and leaders in govt and not-for-profit. Michel brings over two decades of senior level corporate consulting in brand strategy and identity development with related specialization in change strategies across newly rebranded or repositioned organizations. Based on a disruptive Jungian psychological approach to individuation and leadership, more..

'SL should focus on exports, global branding'

May 12 (FT) “After suffering for decades from government controls, China and India have a adopted free-market policy. Today, China is more of a free market than the US. China today has a very large and dynamic market. It is the world’s largest market and their average annual growth is 10.5%, compared to 1.2% in the US. The second-fast growing country is India with an average growth of 7.7%. Both these countries kept their Government out of business.” more..

Was IOC’s last letter an ultimatum over fuel prices?

May 12 (Island) Indian Oil Company (IOC) Sri Lanka which claims to have lost nearly Rs. 700 million during the past few months of this year has welcomed the govt initiative to introduce a price formula. IOC Sri Lanka Managing Director, Subodh Dakwale said that they had written to the Finance Minister staking out their position. He said the IOC had been writing to the govt on fuel prices for some time. more..

Miriyabedde landslide victims to get houses soon

May 12 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena instructed officials to take immediate action to find alternate places for those affected by the Miriyabedde landslide. Reports stated around 77 families were displaced following the landslide. President Sirisena who questioned officials regarding steps taken to provide shelter to the landslide victims, instructed the officials to give resettlement priority and see that the families are resettled. Officials have identified land more..

Sampanthan confident in MS For a viable political solution

May 12 (CT) Leader of TNA MP R Sampanthan, expressed confidence that President Sirisena would table a justifiable political solution based on autonomy in the traditional homeland of Tamils to the Tamil ethnic problem before the Sinhalese people. “We have high hope that President Maithiripala Sirisena would speak to the Sinhala community with an open mind seeking support to find a sustainable political solution to the six decade old Tamil problem,” Sampanthan said. more..

Divi Neguma funds siphoned off to bail out cash-strapped newspaper companies

May 12 (AM) It has been revealed in police investigations that a large amount of Divi Neguma funds have been used over the past five years to fund news paper companies affiliated with former first family. Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) is now conducting inquiries into the utilization of Divi Neguma funds which came under the purview of the Economic Development Ministry headed by Basil Rajapaksa. more..

Sri Lanka’s Marians come to Dubai

May 12 (GN) Dubai’s going to get some Sinhalese vibes this weekend on May 15. One of Sri Lanka’s best-known and longest-surviving bands, Marians, are coming to Dubai. Formed in 1988, this nine-member band have released eight studio albums and are still actively touring around the world. Although they’ve performed at private gigs in the UAE, the band’s return will mark their first public performance, and it’s going to be all acoustic, with songs in Sinhala, Hindi and English. more..

‘MAS passenger in scuffle not drunk’

May 12 (TS) The German passenger who caused a scuffle onboard flight MH179 to Colombo on Saturday was not drunk but had asked for whisky. Sepang acting OCPD Supt Abdul Aziz Ali said the 54-year-old, who was currently being remanded at the Sepang police headquarters before being charged with endangering the aircraft and passengers, had asked a stewardess to serve him some whisky. “What actually happened was that the flight had just taken off. more..

Now FSP takes up cry against SAITM private medical college

May 12 (Island) FSP called upon President Sirisena not to be a political hypocrite by continuing the previous govt’s policy of selling medical degrees and suppressing students who voiced their opposition to it and to stick to his words by abolishing private medical colleges. Politburo Member of FSP Duminda Nagamuwa said President Sirisena as Minister of Health said in Parliament that he would not permit the existence of private more..

'I have not stolen from Samurdhi like the previous regime'

May 12 (GDI) Minister of Housing & Samurdhi Sajith Premadasa said a program has been implemented where ownership of the resources of the country are being transferred to the people. He expressed these views while attending a ceremony to declare open a drinking water scheme in Peranibeddewa, Sooriyawewa on Sunday. "We saw the former President saying Sajith premadasa is also going around giving benefits from the samurdhi to people who are not samurdhi beneficiaries. more..

Gnanasara Thera strikes back

May 12 (CT) The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) said that subsequent to the return of General Secretary of the BBS Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera to the country, they would file a motion in Court against the warrant prior to appearing before Court. An arrest warrant has been issued on Gnanasara Thera for non-appearance in Court for a hearing concerning contempt of Court pertaining to his involvement in a prohibited protest in front of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of more..

Ravi says state coffers intact

May 12 (DM) Refuting the claims by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the Treasury has enough money to cover its obligations and fund the right infrastructure projects. Addressing a recent meeting Kumaratunga said the govt was facing difficulties due to the depleted finances of the Treasury and was even unable to pay the salaries of public servants. more..

Should we wait for electoral reforms or dissolve Parliament now

May 12 (DM) The UNP and almost all minor and minority political parties seem to be in a hurry to dissolve the Parliament and face a general election. MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardene and the NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa had on more than on one occasion demanded that the President should dissolve Parliament, while the JVP too has said that the incumbent govt has surpassed its mandate. These parties are making these overtures while a process to reform the electoral system before more..

Why one should worry about Rajapaksa’s Prime Minister bid?

May 12 (DM) The acolytes of Mahinda Rajapaksa say the ex-President’s opponents are preventing him from running as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the SLFP, because he can win. Mr. Rajapaksa also repeated those claims at a meeting in Ratgama, saying that the two term limit of the Presidency had been restored by the 19th Amendment in order to deprive him from running for another term. These claims are too simplistic. Of course, millions of people who voted out Mr. Rajapaksa do not more..

Katchatheevu Issue Re-ignites

May 12 (SL) On several occasions, Tamil Nadu disputed the ownership of the Katchatheevu Island and Sri Lankan govt has over the years maintained a very clear position not to renegotiate the matter with the Indian govt. Some members of India’s Rajya Sabha last week reignited the Katchatheevu and demanded that the Indian Central Govt renegotiate the ownership of the island. Sri Lankan govt however insisted that their more..

Joint venture coal power plant with Indians faces strong opposition

May 12 (Island) The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has received more than 900 complaints against the setting up of the second coal fired power plant at Sampur, Trincomalee. Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) engineers said that calling of tenders scheduled for later this month would be further delayed as a result. Majority of the CEB engineers said the situation warranted the intervention of Minister Champika Ranawaka. more..

'Minority parties shouldn’t hold national interest at ransom'

May 12 (DM) Leader of the NUF, former Ambassador and MP, President’s Counsel M.M. Zuhair in an interview with the Daily Mirror insisted on the implementation of electoral reforms as pledged. Q: You all were the first Muslim-based organization to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The 100-day period has now come to an end; are you satisfied with the decision that you made? A: I am quite happy with the decision more..

Sri Lanka wins Best Eco Destination award at World Tourism Expo in China

May 12 (FT) Sri Lanka Tourism has won the coveted Best Eco Tourism Destination award at the World Tourism Expo in Shanghai China. The awards were received by the Sri Lankan Counsel General in Shanghai, Poornima Gunesekera and the Market Head for Sri Lanka at Sri Lanka Tourism Chinthaka Liyanarachchi. The World Tourism Expo, which takes place annually in Shanghai and is co-hosted by more..

Video: 19A has failed to address what it promised: Tissa

May 12 (AD) 19th Amendment, which passed with a two third majority in the parliament, has failed to address what it promised to the people back in the January polls, former General Secretary of UNP Tissa Attanayake said. “There are good and bad terms in the 19th Amendment,” he added, saying however the new legislation has failed to generate the much talked-about changes that the new govt promised in the first place. more..

May 20 hearing again in case against Basil

May 12 (ST) The case against former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and three others will be taken up on May 20 after the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) consults the Attorney General on submissions made so far. Accordingly Mr. Rajapaksa and three others were remanded till May 20 by Kaduwela Magistrate when the case for alleged misappropriation of millions of rupees from Divineguma Fund was taken up for hearing more..

I never quoted Lee Kwan Yew: Gota

May 12 (DM) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa referring to a photograph of his that went viral on social media with a quote from Lee Kwan Yew said he was unaware of such an incident and that anybody can do such mischievous things on social media. “If people can quote Lord Buddha, why can’t people quote Lee Kwan Yew? They also should be quoted right? In fact I’m not aware of such a thing and more..

'Treasury bond scam is all imagination'

May 12 (Island) The loss to the govt alleged by three petitioners, claiming a Treasury bond scam, was all imaginary, said President’s Counsel Nihal Fernando in the Supreme Court yesterday. He appeared for Perpetual Treasuries Pvt Limited, cited as a respondent. The petitioners are Frederick Uswatta-aratchchi and two others, who had alleged an irregular bond auction by the Central Bank on March 27, 2015. more..

'No resettlement of people inside Wilpattu'

May 12 (Island) The Wildlife Conservation Department said that there had been no resettlement of people inside the Wilpattu National Park. Forest Conservation Department (FCD) however said that around 2,500 plots of land owned by the department had been allocated for resettlement of Muslims in the Mannar District by the previous govt. FCD Director General Anura Sathurusinghe said a total of 2,500 plots of more..

SL first nation to protect all mangrove forests

May 12 (BBC) Sri Lanka has become the first nation in the world to comprehensively protect all of its mangrove forests. A scheme backed by the govt will include alternative job training, replanting projects and microloans. Mangroves are considered to be one of the world's most at-risk habitats, with more than half being lost or destroyed in the past century. Conservationists hope other mangrove-rich nations will follow suit and more..

Relook dengue eradication

May 12 (CT) Dengue may be a preventable communicable disease, a disease spread by mosquito bites. A clean environment may be the simple solution to prevent a dengue outbreak. However, this newspaper carried an article which said that dengue is once more on the rise. Dengue may be fatal. Article said that to date some 13,423 dengue cases have been reported islandwide for the current year thus far. This compares with 46,584 cases reported last year. more..

This picture of Mahinda says thousand words

May 12 (CT) Readers, it will excite you to try and read this picture of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Try to gauge the character and mindset of the man who ruled Sri Lanka like a dictator for ten years and is now demanding more ruling time. Any of you noticed a most valuable piece written on MR’s character by Melbourne’s psychiatrist, Dr Prasad Mohotti, and published in the CT? If you missed it go to archives and stretch it out. I will borrow some of Prasad’s ideas in getting this article together. more..

Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena