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Karunanidhi lauds Sri Lanka's efforts to solve fishing dispute

May 13 (PTI) Welcoming Sri Lanka's efforts to solve the fishing dispute in Palk Strait, DMK today urged the Centre to take steps for bilateral talks involving fishermen of the island nation and India and bring about a lasting solution to the vexed issue. Referring to a meeting between fishermen association representatives from TN and President Sirisena yesterday, DMK chief M Karunanidhi also welcomed Colombo's decision to release 37 more..

UPFA reps oppose placing LG bodies under officials

May 13 (Island) UPFA Local Govt (LG) members representing all districts and provinces outside the north and east, gathered at Shalika Hall, Narahenpita, to pass seven resolutions relating to the impending dissolution of the LG institutions on Friday (15). A large number of LG representatives were present at this meeting and Shalika hall was packed to capacity. The core resolution passed was a request addressed to the president, PM and minister of local govt not to dissolve more..

19th Amendment final drafts for Speaker’s assent still not ready

May 13 (Island) English and Tamil translations of the draft Bill of the 19th Amendment passed in Parliament last month and forwarded to the Department of the Legal Draftsman for finalising had not yet been returned, Parliament sources said. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa was to sign the Bill into law yesterday. Once the translations were received they would be forwarded to the Speaker’s office and most probably it would be done within the next couple of days, sources said. more..

Mahinda demands Rs 1 billion from Mangala

May 13 (AM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa sent a letter of demand to Foreign Minister Managala Samaraweera, seeking Rs 1 billion in damages over an alleged defamatory statement the latter had made. The letter of demand sent to Samaraweera by Attorney-at-Law Athula de Silva, on behalf of his client Mahinda Rajapaksa, stated that the allegations were defamatory and had caused discredit to his client. more..

Pakistan Army Chief cancels SL visit

May 13 (DM) Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif has cancelled his scheduled visit to Sri Lanka following the deadly bus attack in Karachi. “COAS cancels his pre scheduled 3 days visit to Sri Lanka due to Karachi terrorist bus attack,” DG ISPR, Major General Asim Bajwa said. General Raheel Sharif was due to leave for Sri Lanka this evening to visit on the invitation of Sri Lankan Army Commander Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, authorities claimed. more..

20th Amendment Public must lobby for female participation: CaFFE

May 13 (CT) Women's rights groups should lobby the leaders of political parties and take legal action to ensure the new electoral reforms would increase female representation in Parliament, Executive Director of CaFFE, Keerthi Tennakoon said. "You have three weeks after the 20th Amendment is tabled in Parliament to ensure there are necessary amendments to the Bill to increase female representation. Although the draft that will be presented to Cabinet this week has no more..

Education mess not fault of SB or Amunugama: IUSF

May 13 (DM) IUSF said neither former Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake nor current Minister Sarath Amunugama were responsible for the breakdown of the education sector but it was the result of the country’s adverse educational policies. IUSF Convener Najith Indika said the Higher Education Minister had taken a another adverse step by issuing a special gazette on May 7 allowing the Malabe SAITM more..

Radiologists on strike today

May 13 (Island) Radiological Technologists would stage a token strike today against govt’s move to call for explanations from 14 of radiologists who had resorted to trade union action last month. General Secretary of Govt Radiological Technologists Association (GRTA), Dharmakeerthi Epa said that the union had also put forth several other demands. Intellectual committee recommendations too had not been implemented. "We have been struggling to win our demands since early 2000. more..

Nishantha calls Ranil a woman

May 13 (CG) SLFP MP Nishantha Muthuhettigama today accused PM Ranil Wickremesinghe of behaving like a woman. Muthuhettigama said that the Prime Minister has no personality. He expressed regret over President Maithripala Sirisena’s connections with a woman like Wickremesinghe. Muthuhettigama also said that as far as he is concerned the President of Sri Lanka is still Mahinda Rajapaksa. With several opposition members now being arrested, Muthuhettigama says more..

Opposition raises serious concerns

May 13 (CG) Opposition today raised serious concerns over several issues including over the arrest of some SLFP members. Opposition leader Nimal Siripala de Silva demanded the removal of Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran based on several allegations. He said the opposition will fully back a proposal already before parliament, calling on Mahendran to be removed as the Central Bank Governor. more..

West Indies women beat Sri Lanka in 1st ODI

May 13 (CI) Deandra Dottin's unbeaten 113-ball 84 helped West Indies women beat Sri Lanka women by five wickets in the first ODI in Colombo. Chasing 150, West Indies were rocked early as they were 41 for 4 in the 11th over, but a 70-run fifth-wicket partnership between Dottin and Merissa Aguilleira (30) put the game in West Indies' grasp. It was followed by an unbroken 42-run stand between Dottin and Stacy-Ann King (18) which finished the match off. more..

SF vows to punish thieves of public funds

May 13 (Island) Leader of the Democratic Party Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said the elimination of corruption was a prerequisite for poverty alleviation. Former army commander addressing the constituents of Borella said that he was happy that a number of politicians albeit at a late stage had realised the need to bring about a new political culture if the country was to forge ahead and achieve its developmental goals. "DP has taken a decision to go alone at next general election," more..

Switzerland backs reforms in Sri Lanka

May 13 (CG) Switzerland today extended support to Sri Lanka’s reforms process including the 19th Amendment. Swiss Ambassador Heinz Walker-Nederkoorn has said that he was impressed with the democratic process Sri Lanka displayed at the January election. “Passing of 19-Amendment shows that the spirit of reform is very much alive in Sri Lanka. We, the Swiss, would like to support this Lankan reform spirit” he said. more..

Swiss Tamils organise Genocide Day

May 13 (Island) In the wake of Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran accusing Sri Lanka of committing genocide, Swiss Tamils have called for a protest at the Bundesplatz in Bern on May 18 demanding that Sri Lanka be held accountable for crimes against humanity. The protest coincides with the sixth anniversary of Sri Lanka’s triumph over LTTE terrorism. Eelam activists had called the event Genocide Day, accusing SL military of killing 70,000 Tamil civilians during 2009 alone. more..

Baby jumbo handed over

May 13 (DM) A baby elephant allegedly kept by Magistrate Thilina Gamage without proper documents had been handed over to the Wild Life Conservation Department at Battaramulla this evening, Director General of the department H.D. Ratnayake said. He said an investigation had already been launched by the CID to look into this incident and others where elephants were kept illegally. “The original owner of the elephant is someone else and no proper paperwork more..

SC issues order preventing Gota’s arrest

May 13 (AD) Supreme Court today issued an interim order preventing the arrest of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, until the determination of the FR petition filed by him. Rajapaksa on Monday filed the fundamental rights application challenging the legality of establishing the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) and seeking an interim order preventing his arrest. Rajapaksa was represented by more..

'I was more suppressed than TU members'

May 13 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena said during the past five years he was suppressed much more than trade union members. "I was questioned and threatened by the former regime for giving an appointment to a trade union leader. I often received telephone calls from Temple Trees. No minister in my Cabinet receives telephone calls from Temple Trees now," President Sirisena said. Addressing International Nurses' Day celebrations at Temple Trees yesterday, the President said more..

Video: Gammanpila files complaint against President, PM

May 13 (AD) Leader of the PHU Udaya Gammanpila lodged a complaint with the Bribery Commission against President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. The complaint was made based on a statement made by then Common Candidate Sirisena on Nov 21, 2014 before the Presidential Election. The Western Provincial Councillor points out that Maithripala Sirisena had announced he would appoint Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister, once elected as the president. more..

Sri Lanka and China satisfied over Norochcholai Coal Power Plant

May 13 (AD) Sri Lankan says it has saved more than US$ 700 million as a result of a Chinese sponsored coal power plant which has been in operation in the north western part of the country since 2011. Minister Champika Ranawaka in a recent discussion with Chinese Embassy Deputy Head of Mission, Ren Faqiang noted that the CEB was earning a net profit of US$ 1.5 million daily if the three units of Norochcholai Coal Power Plant more..

Art of learning: How to think for yourself

May 14 (CT) Let’s face it, most people who initially saw the title of this article (you could be one of them), clicked on it with the underlying notion that I would be going off on a tirade on something that should be so simple and familiar to the average human being. I’ve spent many days wondering if I should even broach the subject with others, afraid of their reactions to the accusation that most of us merely drift through life subjected to the influence of external entities. more..

Finding a path to true democracy in SL

May 14 (CT) As the earthquake in Nepal killed more than 7000 people, this natural disaster has taken more lives than the Insurgency the nation was fighting for over the last decade. Bearing in mind the immense suffering borne by victims and their families a cue must be taken by disaster management institutes such as SAARC meteorological department which have made limited contributions to regional calamities. A natural disaster of the magnitude such as of Nepal more..

Mahinda-Maithripala talks end in stalemate

May 14 (SO) The much hyped talks between President Sirisena and former President Rajapaksa ended in a stalemate on Wednesday with both parties failing to reach a compromise on their most vital proposal - to nominate former President Rajapaksa as the UPFA Prime Ministerial candidate at the next General Election and the other requests. Both parties agreed to discuss the issues, which cropped up at the inaugural meeting of the more..

Lessons for Asia in SL’s souring Revolution

May 14 (MT) On January 8 this year Sri Lanka’s powerful president Mahinda Rajapakse was defeated in a shock vote propelled by a peoples’ revolution focused on endemic political corruption in the country. The winner Maitripala Sirisena has presented to the electorate a 100-day program to rid the country of corruption. However, when the 100-day period expired on April 23rd with most of its promises unfulfilled, and with many of its leaders showing more interest in mending fences with more..

This Divided Island: Review

May 14 (TG) It is equal to living in a tragic land/ To live in a tragic time, said Wallace Stevens in the poem Dry Loaf. It is about an attempt to portray a bucolic scene – That was what I painted behind the loaf,/ The rocks not even touched by the snow – while the exercise is transformed at every moment by the incursion of history: “It was the soldiers went marching over the rocks/ And still the birds came, came in watery flocks,/ Because it was spring and the birds had to come.” more..

'I made Colombo beautiful not Gotabhaya'

May 14 (CT) Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil has been one of the few UNPers who did well during the regime of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. His city, along with the Rajapaksas developed rapidly compared to the rest of the country. The mayor spoke about the win-win relationship he shared with former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in order to get the job done. more..

Mahinda’s sudden twist of fate

May 14 (CT) Former Minister Bandula Gunawardena last week stated he would go to the UNHRC in Geneva to complain that the Maithri-Ranil Govt was arresting and questioning pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa activists. Bandula is a close associate of Mahinda. Therefore, Bandula may be proceeding to Geneva on Mahinda's instructions. In the past, Mahinda and his ministers including Bandula called the UNHRC Geneva a traitor of Sri Lanka and labelled it as an LTTE office. more..

Grammar of Sri Lankan Politics—2015

May 14 (SL) We have been quoting Velupillai Prabhakaran’s observation of the amnesia of the Sinhalese whose memory does not extend beyond two weeks. We must confess that we have not been quite fair by our tribe because this amnesia, especially political amnesia, appears to be fairly well widespread globally too. Gore Vidal the outstanding American writer and social/political critic has called his country, the United States of America, the United States of Amnesia. more..

Colombo Fashion Forecast: Episode 13

Changing attitudes

May 14 (NS) Regardless of the terms and conditions that may be imposed, the indication by a responsible TNA politician about a possibility of a National Govt is truly a heartwarming development. It is a sign of a series of positive changes in attitudes. The fears that arose in the minds of any rational and truly peace-loving citizen shall now be allayed gradually. It will be a National Govt of one people. Mankind has now entered an era of mutual respect and inter-dependency, and it is not going to be more..

‘Media can be a national voice’

May 14 (NS) Former Director of UNESCO Wijayanada Jayaweera made a speech on media freedom at the Press Freedom Day event held recently at Hotel Janaki in Colombo. The event was organized by the Movement and Sri Lanka Press Institute. The speech highlighted vital points in the topic Structural Changes for Media Freedom. The following are excerpts of his speech translated into English. Media disseminate stories, ideas and information, and act as a corrective to more..

Short of nightingales

May 14 (CT) Yesterday (12) was World Nurses' Day and this week Health is Wealth focus attention on the Nursing Service. International Council of Nurses' (ICN) celebrates Nurses on World Nurses' Day from 1965. In 1953 Dorothy Sutherland, an official with the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare, proposed to President Dwight D. Eisenhower to proclaim a Nurses' Day; he did not approve it. more..

Religion, dansals and our politics

May 14 (FT) An Englishman, fascinated by the many dansals in the city during the recent Wesak holidays had many a question. “Are the people lining up in front of these Dansals the poor? Are these Dansals run by the rich? Why cannot they be run through the year? Are they run by volunteers?” he asked. As straightforward as they sounded, I soon realised that in answering the questions several of my own long-held but unexamined perceptions of these popular open houses and even ideas about the role more..

Arrest the sharks

May 14 (CT) Yesterday this newspaper reported of a Rs 80 million heroin haul off the Marawila beach in the Puttalam District. According to the authorities the stash comprised eight kilograms and 528 grams of heroin. It's suspected that the narcotic was smuggled in by boat from India. Such detections have been common in SL. They are not something new. Wele Suda, an alleged drug kingpin, whom this govt made a big hue and cry after his recent arrest, seemingly due to his connections more..

USAID faces legal action over Trinco hotel

May 14 (CG) Calamander Group, the operators of Calamander Unawatuna Beach and Calamander Lake Gregory, have threatened to file legal action against USAID over a boutique hotel in Trincomalee. The Calamander Group said in a statement that the new hotel and its owners have nothing to do with the Calamander Group. A spokesman for Calamander stated: “Calamander Group has no association of any sort with more..

Dialog Delivers Growth of 6% in 1 Q 2015

May 14 (CT) Dialog Axiata announced its consolidated financial results for the three months ended 31st March 2015. Financial results included those of Dialog Axiata PLC and of the Dialog Axiata Group post-consolidation with subsidiaries Dialog Broadband Networks (DBN), and Dialog Television (DTV). The Group continued its growth momentum across Mobile, Digital Pay Television and Fixed Line businesses to record consolidated revenue of Rs17.3Bn for the 1st Quarter, more..

HNB profits up 75% in March quarter

May 14 (EN) Hatton National Bank said profits rose 75% to 1.9 billion rupees in the March 2015 quarter, helped by net interest income and lower loan loss provisions. The group reported earnings of 4.75 rupees per share for the quarte amid tax uncertainties. The firm estimated a 2 billion rupee charge on a retrospective tax imposed by Sri Lanka's new administration, the has not yet been passed. Interest income fell 3% to 15.8 billion rupees amid lower interest rates, but more..

SL to exploit designer, fashion markets

May 14 (CT) Sri Lanka's apparel industry would be elevating itself in the international market with a shift to towards designer wear and fashion industry production from the traditional long-established cut and stitch apparel production. Mega apparel industrial names such as Brandix and Hydramani were already producing designer wear successfully to the global brand names Sri Lanka contribute. They are successfully customizing more..

COMBank ups profit by 10% to Rs. 2.5 b

May 14 (CT) Commercial Bank of Ceylon has made a steady start to 2015, with profit after tax of Rs 2.509 billion for the three months ended 31st March, an improvement of 10.1% YoY. A robust YoY growth in loans and receivables coupled with customary strong deposit Commercial growth and lower cost of funds contributed to this growth by generating net interest income of Rs 7.233 billion, an increase of 10.06%, Sri Lanka's largest private bank said in a filing with the Colombo Stock Exchange. more..

Seylan Bank March quarter profit up 27%

May 14 (EN) Seylan Bank said net profit rose 27% to 651 million rupees in the Marc 2015 quarter from a year ago supported by strong growth in interest income and foreign exchange gains. Earnings per share were 1.89 rupees compared with 1.49 rupees in the March 2014 quarter, a stock exchange filing said. Seylan estimated the group will have to pay 871 million rupees as a retrospective 25% tax proposed by the new administration. At company level it would be 867 million rupees. more..

Democracy at SLC stayed till next year

May 14 (DM) Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake will run Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) with the present interim committee till next year, but SLC stake holders have not shown their pleasure at the decision, two media releases issued yesterday by the Ministry and Stake holders after a discussion between the parties show. “Minister pointed out the importance of the validity of the Interim committee and assured to hold the elections for more..