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Sri Lanka condemns Karachi terrorist attack

May 14 (CG) Sri Lanka denounced in the strongest terms, today’s terrorist attack on a bus in Karachi, killing innocent civilians and injuring many. Govt said that firing on men, women and children while they were on their way to participate in religious observances displays a brutality of unimaginable proportions. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this deplorable violence. We stand firmly with the Govt and people of Pakistan in their hour of grief & wish those who were injured, more..

Qatar-Sri Lanka bilateral trade reached QR 417.4m in 2014

May 14 (TP) The volume of trade between Qatar and Sri Lanka reached QR417.4m ($11462m) in 2014, and both the countries are exploring areas to further expanding and deepening their bilateral relations. Minister of Economy and Commerce, Sheikh bin Jassim Al Thani met here today with SL Minister Kabir Hashim, and his accompanying delegation. They reviewed bilateral ties between the two countries in economic, trade & investment fields and ways to support & strengthen them, more..

Rs. 91m misappropriated at Ocean View Development Company

May 14 (DN) An investigating Committee revealed that a sum of Rs. 91 million of govt owned Ocean View Development Company funds, which was under former Minister Wimal Weerawansa during the previous regime, had been misappropriated. FCID which commenced investigations on misappropriation of Rs. 85 million in two incidents, submitted a report on the progress of investigation before Colombo Magistrate more..

Dhananjaya, Vithanage drive SL A

May 14 (CI) Sri Lanka A rode on a firm opening partnership led by Dhananjaya de Silva's 96, and a solid contribution from Kithuruwan Vithanage, to 244 for 4 on the first day of the second unofficial Test in Pallekele. De Silva and Udara Jayasundera made 101 for the first wicket before Zia-ul-Haq had Jasundera lbw for 42. Left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar made a second breakthrough not long after, but de Silva and Vithanage put on a 56-run stand for the third wicket to stabilise the hosts' advance. more..

Hemas raises Rs4.1bn through Rights issue

May 14 (EN) Hemas Holdings said its Rights issue raised 4.1 billion rupees of new capital to finance expansion plans in healthcare and personal care. “The capital raised is one of the most significant on the CSE in recent years, with the majority of capital being raised from world leading institutional investors,” a statement said. As a result of the Rights issue being fully subscribed to, the shareholding of the major shareholder, Esufally family, reduced to 64.14% from 71.26%. more..

Ministerial committee appointed to draft electoral reforms bill

May 14 (DM) Cabinet of Ministers discussed the proposed electoral reforms and appointed a committee comprising five ministers to identify the principles laid down by each party in this respect prior to drafting the bill on the subject. Initially, President Sirisena had submitted a concept paper to be studied by all the parties. In response, the political parties had presented their proposals to be considered by Cabinet at the meeting. more..

Waste management: Angamaly to tie up with Colombo

May 14 (Hindu) Aimed at remodelling itself into a cleaner township along the lines of Colombo, the Angamaly municipality in Ernakulam is looking to join hands with the Sri Lanka capital city for adopting its mechanisms of waste management. A 10- member team representing the municipality will soon be going on a five-day visit to Colombo to learn about its waste treatment plants and related programmes. Benny Moonjeli, chairman of the municipality, said the visit was being held more..

Sri Lanka gets another 201 wildlife guards

May 14 (DN) The govt recruited 201 wildlife guards to the Wildlife Conservation Department of which six were women, Sports and Tourism Deputy Minister Wasantha Senanayake said. He said the government is concentrating on providing proper facilities to these officers to conserve the country's wildlife. The total number of wildlife guards have increased to 600 with last week's recruitment. Senanayake said Sri Lanka's tourism industry has a promising future. more..

Baby elephants buried in temple premises

May 14 (CT) The CID disclosed that racketeers engaged in illegally capturing baby elephants had brought several elephant calves and tied them up in the premises of the Maharagama Vipshyarama Temple and when several of these calves had died, buried them in the same premises. The CID is excavating the area. The CID, which is conducting investigations into elephant rackets, had recently taken into custody Ali Roshan more..

Diyawadana Nilame's term of office expires on July 4

May 14 (DN) Term of office of the present Diyawadana Nilame of the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy Pradeep Nilanga Dela ends on July 4. He was elected to the post in 2005 for a period of 10 years when former Diyawadana Nilame Neranjan Wijeyeratne relinquished office. After July 4, an acting Diyawadena Nilame has to be appointed with the concurrence of Malwatte and Asgiriya Prelates and the approval of Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs until a new Diyawadane Nilame more..

Finance Ministry launches Ease of Doing Business web portal

May 14 (DN) Ministry of Finance is initiating a series of meetings between the Govt Institutions and the private sector to facilitate business under the theme Ease of Doing Business. Inaugural meeting is scheduled to be held today from 2 pm onwards. Ministry of Finance will be launching the Ease of Doing Business web portal at the inaugural forum, which will enable the Private sector to forward their queries directly to relevant govt institutions and obtain solutions. more..

65 refugees fly back to Sri Lanka from Tamil Nadu camps

May 14 (ENS) 65 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in camps in TN since 1990, returned to their island home on Wednesday by air from Madurai and Tiruchy. They were received at the airport by Minister of Resettlement, D M Swaminathan. Return was facilitated by the UNHCR. After security checks conducted by the Lankan National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), returnees were put on buses which would take them to their ancestral villages more..

Top Ruggerites killing: Magistrate orders JMO's picures notes to CID

May 14 (CT) Additional Magistrate of Colombo instructed the Judicial Medical Officer to hand over to the CID for a special investigation all photographs and notes made at the scene at which popular ruggerite Waseem Thajudeen had been found dead. Thajudeen's vehicle, which he was driving at the time, had apparently veered off the road near the Shalika Sports Ground in Narahenpita on 17 May 2012. The vehicle had caught fire due to the impact on crashing and he had died on the spot. more..

No new Bills in parliament: Ranil

May 14 (DM) New legislations will not be tabled in the current parliament because there were some elements awaiting an opportunity to sabotage these Bills, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has said. He had said this when he met a group of Foreign Media Association representatives on Tuesday. He said these elements were also attempting to dilute people-friendly legislation tabled in parliament and that this was what happened to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. more..

Govt warns against commemorating LTTE

May 14 (PTI) The Sri Lankan govt warned that any attempt to commemorate LTTE on the sixth anniversary of the end of the three-decade long battle will not be condoned. "Anyone trying to commemorate the LTTE which was a terror group will not be approved by the govt. There are elements who want to misuse the new democratic freedom in the country to show that terrorism could rise its head again," more..

Editorial: Never say die!

May 14 (Island) A nonagenarian is in the limelight having returned to college in the US too late in the day. Anthony Brutto is his name. One may say that in this country, too, grandpas and grandmas hobble about on college campuses, wearing school uniforms at the so-called back-to-school events held by some urban schools. However, Brutto is back in college at the age of 94 not for the fun of it but to complete his education, as we reported the other day. He is graduating shortly, more..

World Happiness Report 2015: Why are Sri Lankans unhappy?

May 14 (DM) The first World Happiness Report was published in 2012. The most recent one was published a few weeks ago. In both reports, Sri Lanka was ranked very low, lower than most countries in the world. In 2012, the country’s position was 137 out of 156 countries, whereas, this year the country has been ranked 132 out of 158 countries. All Asian countries except Cambodia and Afghanistan have done better than Sri Lanka. The country that came first is Switzerland, more..

LGBTI Rights Secured

May 14 (SL) In many parts of the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people face discrimination, stigmatization and acts of violence. Protecting and promoting the rights of LGBTI people to free expression, association, and peaceful assembly is crucial to end their discrimination and address the appalling human rights violations inflicted upon them. These are not only basic rights, but more..

Northern Governor steps in to ensure assistance for Sinhala returnees to Jaffna

May 14 (Island) Northern Province Governor H.M.G.S. Palihakkara has told Jaffna Divisional Secretariat that required state assistance should be provided to all those who had returned to the Jaffna peninsula seeking resettlement regardless of their ethnicity. He has emphasized that those wanting to re-build their lives shouldn’t be deprived of the support; they were entitled to it in accordance with instructions issued by govt. more..

Excise Department cracks down hard on moonshine industry

May 14 (ST) Over 1,000 persons including several women were arrested in a major countrywide Vesak crackdown on the illicit sale of liquor and related offences conducted by the Excise Dept, senior officials said. A total of 1,022 cases were subsequently filed in the relevant courts and the offenders later enlarged on bail, pending fines, Excise Commissioner General L.K.G. Gunawardene who spearheaded the raids, said. more..

Abduction case: Dinitha’s parents told not to comment

May 14 (DM) Dinitha Ranasinghe’s parents assured Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya that they would refrain from commenting to the media nor launch any public protest over the abduction of their daughter or the pending habeas corpus inquiry in Court. This assurance was given by her parents Gamini Ranasinghe & Indira Rodrigo of Lionel Edirisinghe Mawatha in Colombo 5 sequent to a restraining order issued on them. more..

'Rs. 3.5 bn misappropriated at Public Trustee Dept'

May 14 (Island) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, alleged that Rs. 3,300 million had been misappropriated from the Department of the Public Trustee (DPT) during the previous regime. Speaking at the ceremony to welcome the newly appointed Sri Lanka's first female Public Trustee Tharangani Dissanayake at the department, he said the recent audits had revealed thousands of rupees were improperly taken more..

'Independent, efficient public service in the making'

May 14 (Island) Minister Karu Jayasuriya said that a programme aimed at establishing an independent, efficient and productive public service had been set in motion. The various departments and divisions that came under his Ministry such as the Combined Services, Pensions, Public Management Reconstruction and Public Relations, National Languages and Social Integrity, Internal Administration, Investigations, more..

'Sri Lankan politicians in Till death do we part struggle for power'

May 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s politicians should take a good example from their British counterparts not be too greedy for power and cling on to it but step down in a humble manner, a Minister said. “Our politicians want to stay in power till they die without letting fresh faces come forward. If they think more progressively and step down it will be better for the future of our country,” Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Power & Energy said. more..

Sri Lanka 60th on global human capital index

May 14 (AD) Sri Lanka ranked 60th among 124 countries according to a survey conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as those nations conducive to developing its human capital, particularly in the fields of education, skills development and deployment. India was ranked at a low 100th position on the index, while Finland has topped the 124-nation list. On the list, compiled by WEF, other emerging economies such as more..

Gotabaya praises The Respected Judiciary

May 14 (AM) Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa praised the respected judiciary after the Supreme Court on Wednesday issued an interim order preventing his arrest until his fundamental rights petition is heard. “I humbly bow my head to the respected Judiciary for their courage to stand up for the truth,” Rajapaksa said on his Facebook page. He also thanked his lawyers Romesh de Silva and Ali Sabry more..

Final report on 20-A on the 20th

May 14 (CG) A Cabinet sub-committee has been appointed to produce the final report on the proposed 20th Amendment to the constitution. The final report is to be presented to the Cabinet when it meets on the 20th of this month, the Govt said today. Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said that the Cabinet which met with President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday had appointed the sub-committee. more..

JVP should be rewarded

May 14 (CT) I have no intension to upset you or to excite you by writing what I feel writing in this brief essay. I am beginning to feel that the JVP should be rewarded in big time in the coming general election. I would have never told this if the people were to expel any dictatorial regime through the process of coming election. The expulsion of such a regime was already done by Jan 8th 2015. As Minister Rajitha eloquently said what is going to be certain in the next govt would be a coalition govt of more..

Way forward: Ethnic harmony, peace, law and order

May 14 (DM) Sri Lanka being a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, country, with a heterogeneous population, we need to carefully study the causes that provoked discord and conflict among our people. We inherited a culture of non-violence, respect, peace, love, understanding and affection among all communities that inhabited this country for centuries from the days of our fore-fathers. Let it be Christians, Hindus, Muslims or Buddhists, we lived in peace and need to see what happened finally to be so badly more..

'When the present leaders lose they too may have to go to jail'

May 14 (Island) As a journalist and a good governance activist Victor Ivan had been articulating most of the Yahapalana ideals long before a political grouping emerged, claiming to promote good governance. In this interview, Ivan talks about the ideals articulated at election time and the realities of the present govt. Q: I spoke to you before the presidential election about the objectives of the yahapalana platform. more..

Siripala says next election under new electoral system

May 14 (Island) SLFP said the 20th Amendment to the Constitution should be passed before the dissolution of Parliament and the next general election should be held under the new electoral system. Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva said the govt could not have passed the 19th Amendment if the opposition had opposed it. Silva said that the UNP was out to weaken the SLFP by arresting its MPs but such tactics wouldn't work. He said govt had not yet presented more..

Shares close lower, Ceylinco deal boosts turnover

May 14 (EN) Shares ended lower Thursday but turnover shot up as a large stake in Ceylinco Insurance changed hands, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 7,236.87, down 8.18 points (0.11%) while the S&P SL 20 index, ended at 4,042.99, down 17.86 points (0.44%), according to provisional figures. Turnover shot up to 5.3 billion rupees mainly owing to a large deal in Ceylinco Insurance with several other crossings or off-the floor negotiated deals done as well. more..

City of London leader in Sri Lanka to boost economic links with Colombo

May 14 (EN) Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Alan Yarrow, will lead a business delegation to Colombo in bid to boost financial and profession links between the two cities, the High Commission of UK said. "With Sri Lanka looking to adopt a more open approach to the West under President Sirisena, my visit will look to build economic ties with the govt, central bank, regulators and the business community," more..

Woman jumps into well with two children; toddler dies

May 14 (Island) A disappointed wife of an Air Force officer attempted to commit suicide by jumping into a well with two of their daughters aged seven and one in the early hours of yesterday at Morakele, Chilaw. Her youngest daughter died though the villagers managed to pull them out of the well around midnight. She had not been arrested yet as she was being treated at the Marawila hospital with the other daughter, both of whom were saved by the neighbours with great difficulty. more..

'Govt should celebrate War Victory'

May 14 (DM) The National Movement for the Protection of Liberated Land (NMPLL) said today the govt was duty bound to celebrate the war victory. Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera alleged that the govt had allowed LTTE separatists to commemorate the memory of LTTE terrorists. “LTTE activities have not stopped completely even today. While the LTTE is banned internationally, the govt has allowed the TNA to commemorate the memory of dead LTTE terrorists. more..

ICC, SLC closer to resolving standoff

May 14 (CI) ICC & Sri Lanka Cricket are closer to overcoming their standoff after ICC made a conditional commitment to release further funds to SLC, while SL's sports minister pledged to hold board elections in January next year, SLC officials have said. Though the ICC has said it will release enough of the escrowed funds to ensure SLC can function as normal, they have maintained that SLC does not have voting rights at ICC at present more..

Bribery Commission wants to amend charges against Sarana

May 14 (AD) The Bribery Commission appealed the Colombo Magistrate’s Court to allow them to amend the charges against former Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardena. In a ‘B’ report submitted to the court, the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption earlier filed 50 charges against Gunawardena, owing to his alleged involvement in fraudulent activities as the Chairman of the National Lottery Board since 2006. Considering the request, Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya gave more..

One of the architects of the National Drug Regulatory Act defends their work

May 14 (Island) National Medicinal Drugs Regulatory Authority Act (NMRA) was not a solution to all drug related issues in the country, Consultant Physician and member of the Drafting committee of the Bill, Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama said. He was responding to allegations levelled by the All Ceylon Govt Medical Officers' Association General Secretary, Dr. Jayantha Bandara and the Director of the Cosmetic Devices and Drug Regulatory Authority (CDDRA), Dr. Amal de Silva, more..

Video: ADB or Japanese aid for Northern Expressway: Ranil

May 14 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that financial assistance would be sought from Japan or ADB for the construction of the northern expressway. The contracts would be awarded afresh once the financial assistance was secured. He said that the govt could not put the people into difficulty by awarding the contracts to those who had given commissions to authorities of the previous regime in exchange of contracts. more..

H’tota Mayor re-remanded: Falls sick during hearing

May 14 (Island) The Hambantota Magistrate yesterday further remanded till May 20 UPFA Mayor Eraj Fernando for assaulting a suspect in police custody in March, 2014 and attempting to abduct him thereafter. Mayor Eraj had been taken to the Hambantota hospital for medical attention yesterday as he fell sick during the hearing and the case had been postponed to the next date. The alleged incident occurred at the Ambalantota police station and Eraj was arrested by SIU more..