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Sri Lanka index hits over 10-wk high

May 12 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares touched a more than 10-week high on Tuesday led by large caps and banks on hopes of better corporate earnings, while foreign investors exited from risky assets for a seventh straight session amid political uncertainty. The main stock index closed 0.62% higher at 7,258.61, its highest since Feb. 27. It has gained 5.2% since the central bank cut key rates on April 15, while yields on t-bills have fallen 44-57 basis points since then. more..

1,688 plantation teacher assistants

May 12 (CT) Ministry of Education has issued letters of appointment to 1,688 teaching assistants in a bid to solve the critical shortage of Tamil medium teachers in the plantations. These teaching assistants were given appointments based on the results of a competitive examination held by the Department of Examinations. Only candidates who had lived continuously for a period of ten years in one specific plantation area were entitled to sit that examination. more..

Build flats for Muslims in Wilpattu: BBS

May 12 (DM) The BBS today urged the govt to build flats for the Muslims who live in the vicinity of Wilpattu so that our jungles would be spared from deforestation. It also suggested that the best way to stem the rising population in Sri Lanka was to limit each family to two children. The BBS accused Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen of promoting racism by settling people of a particular religion in the vicinity of Wilpattu. more..

National Council to monitor hospital care

May 12 (Island) A National Council would be formed in collaboration with all medical associations in order to monitor whether patients in hospitals were given standard clinical treatment, Director General Health Services Dr Palitha Maheepala said recently while on an inspection tour of the Puttalam district hospital. Dr Maheepala said it was essential to provide both physical and human resources to hospitals to smoothly run the healthcare services. It was a common scene that due to lack of more..

Commission of Inquiry report due this week

May 12 (CT) The commission of inquiry to look into corruption and misuse of power under the previous regime will hand over its first report, detailing the progress made so far, to President Maithripala Sirisena this week, Secretary of the commission Lasil De Silva said. He added that a large number of complaints have been lodged in the two months since it has been established. 'However a number of complaints are about personal grievances. While the commission understands the great personal more..

FCID questions Avant-Garde chairman

May 12 (AD) The Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) today recorded a statement from the Chairman of Avant-Garde Security Services, Major (rtd) Nissanka Senadhipathi. He was reportedly questioned in connection with the transferring of funds from a bank account belonging to the company to another account. Senadhipathi arrived at the FCID office at around 1.30pm today and was questioned 2.5 hours, more..

Members of local bodies meet in Colombo to urge govt to hold elections

May 12 (Island) A national convention of local govt members will be held today at Shalika Hall in Narahenpita, Colombo to urge the government to hold elections to the local govt bodies immediately. The convention scheduled to commence at 3 pm would be attended by members of 234 local government bodies whose term of office had already expired, said the convener of the Collective of Local Govt Members, Moratuwa Mayor Saman Lal Fernando yesterday. more..

20 containers full of toxic herbicide arrive in Colombo

May 12 (Island) Kidney research scientist Dr. Channa Jayasumana revealed that 20 container loads of highly carcinogenic herbicide glyphosate had arrived in Colombo Port and a powerful agrochemical company was trying to secure customs clearance in a bid to distribute the herbicide in time for the next cultivation season. Customs Deputy Director General Samantha Gunasakera, contacted for comment, said that 15 containers carrying glyphosate had arrived in Sri Lanka more..

Dy Minister Neranjan Wickramasinghe passes away

May 12 (AD) The Deputy Minister of Public Order, MP Neranjan Wickramasinghe, has passed away at the Panadura Hospital following a brief illness. The Kurunegala District UPFA Parliamentarian is the son of late Minister Deshabandu D P Wickramasinghe. He was a Minister in the North Western Provincial Council for a long period before being elected to Parliament in 2010 from the UPFA ticket. more..

Sannasgala appointed Ratmalana UNP chief organizer

May 12 (AM) Popular writer, journalist and lecturer Upul Shantha Sannasgala was appointed as United National Party Chief Organizer of Ratmalana electorate by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Sannasgala recently revealed to Asian Mirror that he will enter politics from Ratmalana in the upcoming election. He revealed this when asked about the Facebook campaigns that are being carried out against him by several people including Sepal Amarasinghe. more..

65 Lankan refugees to return from India

May 12 (Island) Ministry of Resettlement and Reconstruction and Hindu Affairs (RRHA) said that 65 Sri Lankans who had fled the country to seek refuge in India during the war would return to the country tomorrow under the Voluntary repatriation programme of the UNHCR. A Sri Lankan Airlines flight carrying 41 refugees would arrive from Trichy and was scheduled to land at 10.35am at the BIA, while another carrying 24 from Chennai was due to land at 11.10am the same day. more..

'FCID still to summon Mahendran'

May 12 (DM) Some UPFA MPs charged that Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) was politically motivated and that was why Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran had still not been summoned to the FCID over the controversial sale of CB Bonds. MP Bandula Gunawardane said FCID was picking and choosing its victims and that the Cabinet Sub-Committee headed by the PM was behind these moves. more..

Kotte Mayor accuses police of bias, acting on UNP’s diktats

May 12 (Island) Kotte Mayor Janaka Ranawaka said that he would go flat out to ensure that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was made the Prime Minister even if were to be imprisoned indefinitely. "I will not look back until Rajapaksa is appointed the Prime Minister and we have to bring back the leader who liberated the country from the clutches of terrorism," he added. He made these comments when he met Municipal employees after being released on bail following more..

Call to remove Indo-Lanka FTA quota restrictions

May 12 (EN) A senior Sri Lankan trade official has urged India to remove impediments in the existing free trade deal such as quota restrictions to give companies more confidence in doing business in the subcontinent. “Because of bad experience there’s a lack of confidence among the business community,” said R D S Kumararatne, Director General of Commerce. “Only a few are confident of trying to enter the Indian market. They prefer traditional European or American markets,” more..

Diyawadana Nilame questioned by FCID

May 12 (AD) Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela is currently being questioned by the Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) over alleged financial fraud that took place in the Dalada Maligawa. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that he was summoned to record a statement regarding financial irregularities in the funds of the Sri Dalada Maligawa, also known as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. more..

Pera undergrads clash; six injured

May 12 (Island) A clash between two groups of undergraduates of the University of Peradeniya left six hospitalised while several others were discharged after being treated for minor injuries on Sunday night. The clash erupted between a group of engineering undergraduates and a group of arts undergraduates. According to a university spokesman the violent drama had originated at the Sarachchandra Open Air Theatre (Wala) of the University after a group of students of more..

Minor parties agree to 60%

May 12 (CG) Minor political parties have agreed to 60% of the proposals on electoral reforms following talks held with the President yesterday. Democratic People’s Front leader Mano Ganeshan said that the minor parties will have further discussions on the remaining 40% of the proposals and look to reach a consensus. President Maithripala Sirisena met political party leaders and representatives yesterday for crucial talks to break the deadlock over the proposed electoral reforms. more..

Maithri-Ranil in a catch 22 situation: SF

May 12 (DM) Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka said both, President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe are facing a catch 22 situation, as they both have to look after the interest of corrupt politicians who are high ranking officials of their respective parties. “I understand the fact that both the President and the PM are in a fix, because they have to protect the party on one hand and have pledged to uphold rule of law on other hand. more..

Lankan Embassy in Nepal damaged after new quake

May 12 (CG) The Sri Lankan Embassy in Nepal suffered minor damages as a result of the latest earthquake, the Foreign Ministry said. The Ministry however said that all embassy officials and the sole remaining Sri Lankan in Nepal are safe. According to the BBC, the latest earthquake hit near the town of Namche Bazar, near Mount Everest. The US Geological Survey said it had a magnitude of 7.4. An earthquake on 25 April, centred in western Nepal, had a magnitude of 7.8. more..

'I am being slandered despite helping war displaced Sinhalese, Tamils'

May 12 (Island) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said that extremist groups hell bent on creating communal conflicts were continuing their mudslinging campaign against him even though he had helped a large number of war displaced Sinhalese and Tamils return to their original lands in Mannar. He emphasised that members of all communities including over a 100,000 Muslims who had fled their homes in the North in the face of LTTE threats had a right to return to their ancestral more..

President instructs immediate resettlement of Miriyabedda

May 12 (GDI) President 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 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. more..

President gives a deadline on 20th Amendment

May 12 (NS) President Sirisena has given time till tomorrow noon; for all political party leaders to submit their suggestions and proposals over a formation of a new electoral system. President met all political party leaders yesterday at President’s office and had a lengthy discussion over the issue. PM Ranil Wickremasinghe and Opposition Leader MP Nimal Siripala de Silva, ministers and MPs including previous UPFA regime and minor parties participated in the discussion. more..

SL thanks Pakistan for backing at UNHRC

May 12 (CG) Sri Lanka today thanked Pakistan for the support extended at international forums in general and at the UNHRC in particular. Pakistan together with China and Russia have consistently backed Sri Lanka at the UNHRC and voted against resolutions presented against the country. President Maithripala Sirisena said not only the government of Sri Lanka but the entire nation is grateful to Pakistan for the enormous assistance provided to Sri Lanka to defeat the terrorists. more..

'Arrested corporal had gun, not water bottle'

May 12 (AD) ASP Ruwan Gunasekara denied claims that the army corporal, who was arrested following a security breach at an event attended by the President, was only holding a bottle of water in his hand and not a gun. On April 25, army commando Cpl. Senaka Kumara, who was detailed to protect former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, had entered a meeting addressed by incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena more..

Editorial: Learning from great kings

May 13 (Island) Most of our political leaders, once ensconced in power, get afflicted with a peculiar illness. Popularly known as raja una (which can be roughly rendered into English as ‘monarchical fever’) it impairs their critical thinking and causes hallucinations; they act as if they were the reincarnations of ancient warrior kings and surround themselves with hosanna singing sycophants. During the later stages of the disease, they take leave of their senses completely and more..

Dude, you gotta love our Keriya

May 13 (NS) It’s official. We have a new boss. Sorry ‘Lizabeth, we have to move on. Time passes, things change. Sure, we appreciate all that the English did for us and we will be eternally grateful, too. But what was big then is small now and we must take note of dimensions. For more than 50, years we let history override this thing called current reality. Oh yes, we knew all this time that Britain had long ceased to rule the seas. The sun set a long time ago. But although Britain’s sway globally had diminished quite a more..

20th Amendment: A new battlefield for political parties

May 13 (SO) With the first step in reforming the Presidency accomplished, political leaders are now locked in intensive negotiations over the provisions of the proposed 20th Amendment that will reform the electoral system. JVP MP, Sunil Handunnetti said no comment can be made on something that is not in the public domain and that he has not been privy to it as a parliamentarian. more..

Jayalalithaa acquitted: Relentless defender of Eelam rights back in the saddle

May 13 (CT) We are on course Ladies and Gentlemen, the Lady is back victorious and stronger than ever. I wrote about, Jayalalithaa’s Incredible Tenacity, in an article in the Colombo Telegraph and many relished the thought of me eating humble pie when she was convicted of, what the charge described as amassing disproportionate assets. And later, I didn’t call her “The Formidable Jayalalithaa – Unrivalled Leader Of The Tamils“, for nothing! The Lady is not for turning! more..

Heartbreaking news from Kekirilanthaya

May 13 (NS) Kerry on the State of the Union: “President Sira is such a simpleton. It was so easy; like stealing candy from a two year old. Now, that prime minister of yours is different kettle of fish. If you are not careful, he’ll crawl up your back. I mean that literally as well as figuratively“, US Secretary of State John Kerry on the handing over of the remaining 10% of Sri Lanka to his country. Kerry to Ranil: “Your Sira boy is well trained. I think he even knows how to use the bidet!”, more..

Red alert after lead dumping

May 13 (NS) A factory involved in extracting lead from used batteries has been accused of illegally dumping in several areas in Puttalam, hazardous waste resulting from the extraction process, thereby causing extreme damage to the region’s environment and putting the lives of area residents at risk. Research conducted by Central Environmental Authority (CEA) meanwhile, suggests that factory had been more..

Stamp collecting for national reconciliation

May 13 (CT) Collecting stamps is one of the, if not the most, popular hobbies in Sri Lanka. But it is not spread worldwide. Ceylon Today met two individuals who are now attempting to popularize stamp reading and to use it to achieve national reconciliation. It is a fact universally acknowledged, that Sri Lankan stamps are among the most beautiful stamps in the world. Not only are they beautiful they also tell us stories of celebration of who we are, our struggles, our joint achievements, national heroes that more..

Wilpattu in danger!

May 13 (CT) Wilpattu National Park, it seems, no longer belongs to the geographical landscape of Sri Lanka, as it has gained its place in the political landscape of the country. The political and communal twist however, poses a threat of marring the real environmental and social issues involved. The ongoing deforestation in the name of resettling IDPs would not only result in reducing the area of this Land of Lakes but would also aggravate already acute problem of human-elephant conflict, more..

Vesak Celebrations in Berlin

May 13 (IL) The month of May is a busy month for all Buddhists living in Berlin. There are a number of events taking place to commemorate Vesak during this month. Sri Lankan community held their Vesak celebration at the Buddhist Temple in Frohnau, on the Fullmoon day, Sunday the 03rd May with a full day program including observing Sil, Dhana and Dhamma discussions. German and Sri Lankans who visit the Frohnau temple more..

Bangla pact jogs Lanka isle demand

May 13 (TI) The operationalisation of the agreement to swap enclaves with Bangladesh has spurred several Tamil Nadu politicians to intensify the demand for taking back the island of Katchatheevu that India ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974. According to TN govt, the largely uninhabited island, just 10km off the Rameswaram coast, belonged to the Raja of Ramnad before being absorbed into the erstwhile Madras Presidency during colonial times. But British Ceylon also claimed it. more..

UK’s Sri Lankan candidates & distasteful crusade of the constrained media

May 13 (CT) It is unhealthy news reporting in the Sunday Island datelined 10 May 2015. The news headline ‘Two pro-LTTE Conservative MPs defeated in British poll. Only one candidate of Lankan origin romps home’ spoke of the unpleasant crusade of the constrained media. The news is clearly a cheap media spin, to continue with the never ending anti campaign between Sri Lankan Diaspora communities in the UK. Having engaged in the election campaign from the dissolution of more..

Sri Lanka Cricket elections to be held in January 2016

May 13 (CT) Minister of Sports Navin Dissanayake who met with former members of the dissolved Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) at the sports ministry last afternoon, had assured the aggrieved officials to hold an election to the sport's local ruling body prior to January 2016. Responding to questions posed by the former board members, Minister Dissanayake said that the ICC matter will be handled cordially by him, together with the Interim Committee. more..

Chamari Atapattu ruled out of first two ODIs

May 13 (CI) Chamari Atapattu, the Sri Lanka women's captain, has been ruled out of the first and second ODIs against West Indies women on May 13 and 15. She injured her right hand during a gym session and required 16 stitches. Vice-captain Eshani Lokusuriyage is likely to take over as captain for the first two ODIs. Yashoda Mendis, who was kept on stand-by for this series, was drafted into the squad as a replacement for Atapattu. Mendis has scored 457 runs in 23 matches, more..

The alien model: How to replace it

May 13 (Island) UB Wijekoon, Ex Minister, Administrator and my contemporary at Peradeniya with his article ‘Party Politics is a hindrance to Peace, Progress and Good Governance’ has drawn our attention once again to a matter which has occupied the minds of the more enlightened elements in our society for a long time. Party politics, parliamentary system, democracy which over the years turned out to be a farce, now after the last Presidential election have moved from more..

Majority say progress being made to stamp out corruption: survey

May 13 (FT) In the latest survey by TNS Lanka, the people say that progress is being made under the new regime to weed out bribery and corruption. A majority 57% of the people believe that progress is being made to stamp out corruption. However, 34% of those polled state that not enough is being done to stem the tide, with some claiming that acts of corruption continue to take place while policymakers simply pay lip service to issue, more..

Sri Lanka to achieve US $1 b in gem, jewellery exports by 2015

May 13 (DN) Sri Lanka is on track to achieve its US$ 1 billion target from gem and jewellery export by the end of this year. Sri Lanka will be hosting the 16th Congress of the International Coloured Gem Stone Association, to be held from May 16 to 19 at the Cinnamon Grand, Colombo. “The industry is presently valued at US$ 500 million and although we have a lot more to do in order to reach the target, ICA Congress is a decisive and contributing factor to this sector,” said K.A.D. Dayasagara, more..