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Woman attempt self immolation after ministers’ visit

May 15 (AD) A 36-year-old woman has attempted self immolation at a displacement camp she had been staying in following the devastating landslide in Meeriyabedda. The woman had attempted to commit suicide by immolating herself, claiming she had not received a land deed. Minister A.H.M. Fowzie and Deputy Minister Lakshman Seneviratne yesterday visited Makanda displacement camp, which is providing shelter to people displaced by landslide on 29 Oct, 2014. more..

Muslim Council raises concerns with JVP

May 15 (CG) Muslim Council of Sri Lanka today raised concerns with the JVP over comments made on the resettlement of Muslim IDPs. In a letter to JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the Muslim Council said that the JVP, a party that had gained the respect and admiration of the Muslim community for its non-racial stand has been dragged and misled in to the controversy created by extremist Buddhist forces. “While we appreciate your attempt to resolve this issue as stated in your conversation more..

37 Tamil Nadu fishermen set free

May 15 (PTI) 37 Indian fishermen, arrested by Sri Lankan navy on April 3 for allegedly poaching in the island's waters, were on Friday ordered to be released by a local court in line with an assurance by President Sirisena. Judicial magistrate court at Paruthithurai in Sri lanka ordered the release of the 37 fishermen from Jagadapattinam and Nagapattinam, fisheries department officials and local fishermen's more..

More than 250 cops earn their public relations diplomas

May 15 (Island) 276 police officers (170 OICs and 106 ASPs), who have successfully completed an ‘Enhancing Police Public Relations Diploma Course’ at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, will be awarded their diplomas today at the university auditorium, commencing at 2.30 p.m. Inspector General of Police (IGP) N. K. Illangakoon took the steps to initiate the course last year after having discussed with the university staff the shortcomings in police public relations. more..

Sri Lanka to hold international Buddhist meet in Tamil-dominated North

May 15 (PTI) In a bid to foster religious harmony, the Sri Lankan Govt is organising an international Buddhist conference in Tamil-dominated northern capital of Jaffna next week that will be attended by several prominent leaders of Hindu community from India. Karuna International Buddhist Conference for Buddhist Tamils, to be held on May 20, will be the first of its kind, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said today. Wickremesinghe said that he had sent a special representative to invite more..

TGTE insists pressure will continue

May 15 (CG) Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) led by V Rudrakumaran, has issued a rebuttal for comments made by a Govt Minister that the Govt of Sri Lanka has not faced pressure from the Tamil diaspora after the January 8 elections. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that “Earlier the media reported on the Tamil diaspora protesting near the UN and other places. Now we don’t see such media reports.” more..

Kottu House captures (good) spirit of SL

May 15 (NYT) A devil’s face with goggle eyes and swollen tongue stares from the window of Kottu House. It’s only a vinyl decal, meant to evoke the wooden masks — often flanked by cobras, peacocks or flames — that guard the entrances of Sinhalese homes in Sri Lanka, warding off evil. Inside, the same face is projected above the bar in random glow-stick colors, to the low pulse of trance music. Apart from a Buddha statue in a corner, Kottu House doesn’t abide by the usual tropes of more..

Private Sector thumbs up: Tourism Promotions Strategy 2015

May 15 (GDI) After many consultations and deliberations the Sri Lanka Promotions Strategy-2015 has been approved by the private sector in a land mark public-private partnership which herald a new way of working that included monthly evaluation. “We are implementing is the new thinking” said Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Beureu Rohantha Athukorala. In fact this was the first task we embarked on after taking office three months back on the direction of more..

Complain to BC: Avant Garde Chief tells Rajitha

May 15 (DM) Avant Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi said today Minister Rajitha Senaratne should complain to the Bribery Commission according to the proper procedure without making allegations to the media. He denied having offered any bribes to the minister and said if it was so the minister would not have hesitated to complain to the appropriate authorities. “Dr. Senaratne is a public servant and more..

Victory Day, Remembrance Day & Post war political reconciliation

May 16 (CT) The debate over Victory Day versus Remembrance Day is surreal. Certainly there should be a day of remembrance for all those who died in the war. The problem arises when it is confused with Victory Day and worse still the latter is renamed as Remembrance Day. Poppy Day is Remembrance Day, a day of commemoration of all those who served in the UK armed forces and died. (We Sri Lankans could have a more inclusive day of Remembrance.) more..

Lessons to be learnt from the British parliamentary elections

May 16 (FT) The general elections of the UK are over. There are two main features of the election results. One is that after a long time the incumbent Govt increased its parliamentary majority and the other is that the Scottish National Party won 56 seats in Scotland out of a possible 59 seats. The expectation was that there would be a hung parliament but the Conservative party, led by David Cameron, was able to muster a majority of more than 50% so that PM did not have to depend more..

Housemaids leave tears behind

May 16 (CT) No more Housemaids to go abroad, is a decision to be taken by the PM Ranil Wickremasinghe. He will have enough opposition from many interested parties, some politically. Having got to know the PM well, over the years, he always stands by his decisions. I am confident. In this small country children are being abused by elders. The children range from four years to 18 years. more..

Remembering the war dead!

May 16 (CT) The day after British parliamentary polls ended last week with the announcement of the victory of the Conservative Party led by PM David Cameron, the Victory Day to mark the 70th anniversary of World War II was observed in London with the participation of all political party leaders who contested at the British polls along with the Royal family members, war veterans and the Commanders of the tri-forces in the UK. Victory Day was first declared by Britain's legendry war time PM more..

When the twine meets

May 16 (SL) It was not their first meeting after their historic presidential poll sparring and seat-swapping, not might it be the last, as has already been indicated. Yet, the second meeting between President Maithripala Sirisena and predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa has become significant, particularly in the context of the promised yet delayed parliamentary polls. The two had first met not long after the 8 January presidential polls. That meeting took place at the residence of more..

'Electoral reforms must be fair to all'

May 16 (CT) Member of the WPC, S.M. Marikkar, says that the country needs an electoral system, which will be fair to all the communities and the ratio of the people. Q: The opposition is demanding that Parliament should be dissolved soon. The UNP is also saying the same thing. What can the public expect? A: President Maithripala Sirisena promised that subsequent to the completion of the 100-day programme on 23 April, more..

Sri Lankan Airlines alleged corruption: Acid test for TISL & Friday Forum

May 16 (CT) It is becoming clearer by the day that those concerned in the top management of Sri Lankan Airlines rapped for alleged corruption and abuse of power by the Weliamuna Report will go scot-free. This is because it is highly unlikely (almost impossible) that the long standing auditors and then high profile directors will ever be held accountable for any dereliction of duty. From all indications, Mr. J.C. Weliamuna and his team have let them off the hook! This is the ground reality in Sri Lanka. more..

Parliamentary elections will usher political stability

May 16 (NS) Now it is almost official: Parliament will be dissolved within the month, possibly after the passage of the 20th Amendment that will usher in electoral reforms and a general election will be held in a few weeks. The poll though, will be held on the proportional representation (PR) basis. These impending political developments emerged last weeks in talks President Maithripala Sirisena had with the JVP. The ruling UNP is certain to welcome the move but President’s own SLFP will not. more..

Rugby bureaucrats snatch perfect cover-up

May 16 (NS) Under-siege Sri Lanka rugby administrators have been over the moon the past week basking after the national team qualified once again to play in what is called the Top Asian Five Nations tournament and hoping a govt lifeline could save them. What has been most hair-raising is that the Qualification is being portrayed as a coveted championship by rugby officials thanks largely to a commercial partner that is willing to throw in more..

Beyond victory parades & commemorations

May 16 (CT) 18th of May 2015 will be commemorated by all Sri Lankans as a turning point in the history of relations between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. The end of the war between the Sri Lankan govt and the LTTE meant two entirely different things with different rationale to justify their actions. For the Govt it was a victory over Tamil terrorism, end of a war and beginning of peace. But for the Tamils it was the culmination of another mass massacre of militants and civilians more..

Address the aberration

May 16 (NS) Maithripala Sirisena could not have dreamed of defeating Mahinda Rajapaksa without the support of UNP. This is why he had to forge a pact (or have one forged for him) with the leader of UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe. UNP would help him and if he won (which he did) UNP would offer parliamentary support to see that reform package pledged in Maithripala’s manifesto is successfully implemented. Maithripala counted on securing the support of SLFP in the event he won. more..

Crackdown on Cocaine

May 16 (SL) While cocaine is banned in Sri Lanka, it has now been revealed that cocaine and cannabis are being freely used in the down south coastal areas of the country, by both locals and foreigners. The hoteliers in the areas claim that it has become a hindrance to the promotion of tourism as under such situations, it is difficult to get tourists to come to these areas. A number of hospitality industry personnel who spoke on more..

Salahuddin, Alam keep Pakistan A afloat

May 16 (CI) Pakistan A were led by Usman Salahuddin's 86 not out, and Fawad Alam's 64 to 287 for 5 on the third day, as the second draw of the series loomed, in Pallekele. The visitors went to stumps trailing Sri Lanka A by 40 runs, in the first innings. Fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera made Sri Lanka A's first incision of the day, removing Khurram Manzoor for 13 in the 10th over of Pakistan A's innings. Left arm spinner Dhananjaya de Silva and offspinner Tharindu Kaushal claimed more..

Skanda in line for top diplomatic post

May 16 (NS) A former respected Sri Lanka Cricket administrator and sportsman has been earmarked for a top diplomatic post overseas. Somasundaram Skandakumar affectionately known to friends as Skanda is tipped to become Sri Lanka’s next High Commissioner in Australia. An advertisement to this effect inserted by the ‘Committee on High Posts of the Parliament of Sri Lanka to examine the suitability of the person nominated/appointed to the State Services and State Corporations’ appeared in more..

Dipped Products records Rs. 1.7 b profit

May 16 (FT) Dipped Products Group (DPL), posted a turnover of Rs. 27.7 billion, a 20% increase for the financial year 2014/15 with a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 1.7 billion up by 17%. Hand Protection, the company’s glove making business contributed Rs. 15 billion to turnover, up 12% and a PBT of Rs. 1.5 billion, up 65% from the previous year. The company’s plantation business reported Rs. 13.4 billion in turnover, up 28%. Plantation sector’s contribution includes more..

Biggest Spanish Incentive Group arrives

May 16 (Island) The biggest Spanish Incentive Group to Sri Lanka arrived in the country on May 11, comprising 115 of the best sales executives of a leading corporate institution in Spain. They toured Sri Lanka for six days, visiting key attractions in Kandy, Passikudah, Sigiriya and in The Cultural Triangle. Highlights of the tour were coral planting at Passekudah, cycle tour through Polonnaruwa and a Jeep Safari at the Minneriya National Park. Tourists said it was a truly unique experience and more..

Sri Lanka: Between closure and disclosure

May 16 (EAR) On a recent visit to Sri Lanka, the first by a senior American official after the January 8 presidential polls, US Secretary of State John Kerry hailed the “enormous progress Sri Lanka has made in just a few months”. In a rare and at times controversial personal reference to President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and FM Mangala Samaraweera, he reportedly said, “As the govt heads into the parliamentary elections this summer, Sri Lanka will continue to rely on more..

Tourism hunts Rs.1.5bn PR boost

May 16 (NS) Sri Lanka Tourism and Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) is to spend Rs.1.5 billion to partner with an internationally recognized advertising agency and multiple Public Relations firms in a fresh move to promote Sri Lanka as a viable tourist destination, a senior official attached to SLTPB said last week. According to Chairman, SLTPB, Rohantha Athukorala, SLTPB, which has already allocated Rs. 1 billion to partner with more..

Sri Lanka by way of Staten Island

May 16 (GC) I like looking at the people of Staten Island. I especially like looking at people who are waiting with me to board the ferry, not chic — never chic — but beautiful. This man or woman with shaved sides of the head but long hair down their back, this woman fat with big breasts overflowing eating an ice cream cone and laughing with her friends, this guy with a large dagger tattoo holding his five-year-old’s hands, Puerto Rican, Italian, Liberian, African-American, Irish-Mayan. more..

Kanchi acharya likely to visit Sri Lanka

May 16 (Hindu) Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi has agreed to visit Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Friday. After holding a meeting with Buddhist monks and Hindu priests jointly at his Temple Trees office, Mr. Wickremesinghe said he had sent his representative recently to invite the acharya. Jayendra Saraswathi would meet Hindus in the Northern and Eastern Provinces besides those in the Central Province, also called the hill country. more..

State Minister visits Defence Services Command and Staff College

May 16 (MoD) State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene visited Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) in Sapugaskanda, Makola today (14). He was received by the Commandant of the DSCSC Major General Udaya Perera up on his arrival. The DSCSC is the most prestigious and the highest seat of military education in Sri Lanka. It has as its aim to develop the professional knowledge & understanding more..

Sri Lanka on a risky pro-cyclical path as credit expands: Bellwether

May 16 (EN) Sri Lanka's latest policy rate cut came when the currency was under pressure, when foreign reserves were falling and when the state ratcheted up spending with higher salaries for the public sector and subsidies to others. The Central Bank's pro-cyclical loose policy, on top of loose fiscal policy has come not only as a rates cut but a progressive release of liquidity to the market. The lowering of the policy rate corridor 8 and 6.5% to 6 and 7.5% in April, came 2 months after more..

Awareness programs on Kidney related diseases

May 16 (GDI) President Sirisena claims that a broad awareness campaign is needed to educate the public on kidney related diseases, which is a major health issue in the country. He made this statement while speaking at the Kidney Disease Prevention Monitoring Committee meeting that was held on Thursday. Addressing the committee meeting the President pointed out that it is a timely need to launch a program that would educate the public on kidney related diseases at a village level. more..

International Gem Congress commences today

May 16 (NS) 16th Congress of the International Colored Gem Stone Association, which is slated to be held from May 16th to 19th at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, was inaugurated by President Maithripala Sirisena who is also the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment on Sunday. The event anticipates a participation of over 250 delegates from over 60 countries as the island hopes to achieve its ambitious plans to more..

CFW hosts CFW Day at University of Moratuwa

May 16 (Island) Colombo Fashion Week recently held its fourth successful CFW Day as part of its ongoing Designer Development Programme, which aims to nurture the next generation of fashion talent in Sri Lanka. This edition of CFW Day was held at the University of Moratuwa, where a great turnout of fashion design studentswas able to engage with the CFW team, senior designers and PR partners. The CFW Day participants were able to gain valuable insight into CFW’s work & fashion industry, more..

MTD Walkers offers affordable housing for public sector employees

May 16 (DM) Integrated infrastructure and engineering solutions provider MTD Walkers PLC in partnership with the Ministry of Public Administration, Local Govt and Democratic Governance and Board of Investment (BOI) is offering public sector employees an opportunity to own apartments at Richmond Hill Residencies in Galle. Built under the Nila Sevana Public Servants Housing Project, public sector employees are given preferred pricing for the apartments, more..

'Majority of Tamil refugees not willing to return'

May 16 (Hindu) Only 35% of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in Tamil Nadu are willing to come back, D.M. Swaminathan, Minister for Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Religious Affairs, said on Friday. He said that of about one lakh refugees in Tamil Nadu, most of them had got jobs there, married had children. “Not all of them will come here. It is all rubbish.” Mr. Swaminathan, who received 65 refugees on their arrival at BIA more..

LG heads disgruntled: Want Maithri out from SLFP Chair

May 16 (CT) Chairmen of SLFP local govt institutions will write to President Maithripala Sirisena urging him to resign from the post of Chairman of the SLFP. Political sources said that SLFP Local Govt Institution representatives from all over the country are preparing to hold a convention at the Vihara Maha Devi Park next Monday or in the course of the week. The source emphasized that a letter pressing the President to resign from the Post of Chairman of SLFP will be handed over to more..

Lankan man in Florida charged for attempt on minor

May 16 (CG) Sri Lankan in Florida in the US has been charged with attempting to have sex with an underage girl. 23-year-old man traveled by taxi to Starbucks on Palm Bay Road in hopes of having a sexual encounter with an underage girl he met via Craigslist, said Yvonne Martinez, Palm Bay police spokeswoman. Instead, police officers arrested him: The girl he had been repeatedly emailing and texting was an undercover detective with the department’s Special Victims Unit. more..

Sri Lanka urges Saudi Arabia to raise minimum wage of housemaids

May 16 (AN) Sri Lanka has requested the Kingdom to increase the minimum wage of SR900 set for its domestic workers because of the rising cost of living in the island. Thalatha Atukorale, Minister of Foreign Employment, made this request when she met the First Secretary of the Saudi Embassy at her office in Colombo. During the discussion with the Saudi official, she pointed out that with the cost of living rising globally, more..

16 illegally kept elephant calves found

May 16 (DN) Wildlife Conservation Department (WCD) officials found 16 illegally kept elephant calves during its special operations since the beginning of this year, a WCD Spokesperson said yesterday. She said the special operations in search of illegally captured wild elephants continues throughout the country. She noted that illegally kept elephant calves found in possession of various individuals and temples were handed over to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. more..