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Indian HC to Sri Lanka calls on Rangasamy

May 16 (Hindu) Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Y.K. Sinha on Friday called on Chief Minister N. Rangasamy at his chamber in the Legislative Assembly. Officials described the meeting as a courtesy call. Speaking to reporters, Mr. Sinha said the Indian fishermen issue is a sensitive issue that must be handled carefully. It is being discussed between the Indian and Sri Lankan Govts and fishermen representatives. “It is a sensitive, humanitarian and livelihood issue more..

MRIA construction: Sri Lanka to pay Rs 250 m monthly for loan obtained

May 16 (DN) SL govt will have to pay Rs 250 million monthly for the loan obtained by the previous govt to construct the Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport, Minister Reginald Cooray said. CAA spends around another Rs 250 million monthly as the maintenance and operational cost of the airport. "Loan installments for the airport should be paid by November, even though, only a single flight comes to the airport for a day" more..

Colombo Public Library canteen sealed: Worms found in food

May 16 (DN) Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) officials yesterday sealed the Colombo Public Library canteen after a raid following a complaint from a consumer. A team led by CAA officer Pradeep Kaluarachchi conducted the raid. Spokesman said the CAA officials during the raid had detected food not suitable for consumption at the premises. "There had been worms in food. The processed food had been kept for two-three days and those were served to the people. more..

British HC hits through the gaps

May 16 (DM) Commenting on the incident where Cricketer Kumar Sangakkara faced an unpleasant experience with a UK immigration officer in London, the British High Commission in Colombo on Friday said their Border Force officers were trained to maintain high standards of professionalism and courtesy, especially at the UK Border. When contacted by Daily Mirror to get a response from the High Commission over the incident, it further said there might be instances when more..

SC suspends release of Sampur land

May 16 (DN) Supreme Court yesterday suspended the gazette notification issued by the President releasing state land to the people in Sampur. Through a gazette notification, President released the land held by the BOI leased to Sri Lanka Gateway Industries (SLGI). SC granted interim relief to petitioner SLGI suspending the President's gazette notification revoking the state grant made to the BOI which was in turn leased to SLGI in Sampur, more..

Editorial: Harpooning whales of corruption

May 16 (Island) The govt and the Rajapaksa faction of the UPFA have locked horns over the newly set up Financial Crimes Investigation Division. All signs are that the dispute will spill over into the streets before long. The govt has sought to justify the setting up of the special police unit on the grounds that such a mechanism is necessary to handle highly specialised tasks such as investigating white collar crimes. But, likening the new outfit to Hitler’s Gestapo, its opponents have argued that more..

To protect Sri Lanka’s mothers

May 16 (DM) National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) and the Daham Pahana’s Kandula group this week decided to launch a national movement to save Sri Lanka’s most precious treasures— our mothers, mother earth and the farmer community. At a meeting held at the Musaeus College auditorium, NMSJ leader the Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Nayaka Thera and Daham Pahana pioneer Anton Charles Thomas gave some shocking details of what was happening to about 1.5 million SL women, more..

Remembering comrade Bala Tampoe, the legendary trade union leader

May 16 (DM) Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark is perhaps an apt description of how the International Workers Day was observed in Sri Lanka on May 1st. Instead of being given pride of place on May Day, the workers and their trade union leaders were virtually ignored by the political parties conducting rallies and processions on workers day. The May Day event has been transfigured or disfigured into a more..

Animals behind bars for human entertainment!

May 16 (SL) Wild animals belong to the wild and they should live in their natural habitats. However regardless of the rights of the animals, it is a fact that most countries still have zoos where animals are being caged and held captive behind bars for mere human entertainment. Some studies related to the behavior of animals clearly state that ‘wild animals in zoos suffer physically and mentally as their complex social, behavioral and more..

Special Commission to investigate killings, disappearances of media personnel

May 16 (DN) The govt expects to establish a special commission to investigate the killings and disappearances of media personnel in the past. Speaking at National Consultative Summit on Media Reforms, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that during a recent discussion he had with media personnel and other stakeholders, it was decided that such a Commission should be established in more..

Prabha set to take over Bar Association?

May 16 (NS) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) is contemplating a change in its structure which is likely to put the organization under the control of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), according to high ranking sources of the Association. The envisaged restructuring will see the appointment of an Executive Director who will function as the CEO and the Chief Registered Lobbyist. more..

Sri Lanka govt’s tax cuts throw lifeline to Indian car imports

May 16 (ST) Sri Lanka’s vehicle importers are expecting a high growth in their sales this year following the tax cut which came into effect this year. The motor trade moves towards a positive outlook especially in the small car segment with average sales of 2500 units per month during the first quarter 2015, Immediate past chairman of Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) Tilak Gunasekara, told Business Times. more..

Govt discussing ban on harmful agrochemicals

May 16 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena, who held a meeting to expedite the CKD prevention measures at the Presidential Secretariat on Thursday, had stressed the need to ban the importation of all kinds of harmful agrochemicals, JHU MP Ven. Athureliye Rathana thera said. Thera said CKD Surveillance Committee had brought to the notice of President Sirisena the need for a ban on agrochemical advertising and promotion of more..

CEB to introduce special tariff system

May 16 (DN) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) proposes to introduce a special tariff system for electricity users during off peak hours. Minister Champika stated that this facility would be provided to charge electric cars. He also stated that electricity consumers have to obtain Smart Metres which would record the duration of electricity that had been consumed. He stated that a special tariff was to be introduced to charge electric cars more..

'Over Rs. 6 m spent on a medical student'

May 16 (DN) Over Rs. 6 million is spent on a medical student in Sri Lanka, but foreign countries mostly benefit from their services, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. These students should remember that even beggars contribute to their education. Sri Lanka has not been able to earn the actual benefits of the massive scale investment made in the education sector, he said. Minister said knowledge on internet & computer literacy more..

20,000 unemployed graduates gear for massive protest

May 16 (Island) More than 20,000 unemployed graduates are now preparing for a street protest after the police broke up a protest by them opposite the Western Province Chief Minister’s office on Wednesday and arrested some of them. Joint Secretary of Centre for Graduates, said that they had to launch the new protest as the present govt, too, used the same tactics as the previous govt to suppress unemployed graduates. more..

'SC ruling can’t be subject to foreign judges’ opinion'

May 16 (Island) Former Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, strongly disputed Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe’s move to consult the Commonwealth as regards a recent Supreme Court ruling in respect of the fundamental rights petition filed by former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. "This is truly an astonishing statement against the backdrop of what President Sirisena said at Akurana also on the same day," more..

Await the Sound of Carlton Music

May 16 (Island) The choruses of corruption allegations that are being sung each day have little of soft and touching music in them. What we hear are the rough notes of bribery and corruption, exposure and rivalry, amidst loud allegations of revenge, moving towards the highest pitch of a politically orchestrated cacophony. Of late, there has been a musical tingle creeping into the chorus of corruption. It is not to do with the amount of funds in foreign countries, the misuse of public funds more..

Pluses and minuses after Jan 8

May 16 (Island) There are pluses to be counted in favour of the Govt and minuses to be counted against it in its performance since the Jan 8 elections. Its performance can be assessed like a glass of water as either half full or half empty. I would belong to the school of thought that sees the glass as half full because I bear in mind that since politics is the art of the possible there can be no perfection in it Furthermore, in politics the choice is not usually between the good and the bad but more..

Vehicle registrations up 70% in April

May 16 (EN) Sri Lanka's vehicle registrations rose 70% from a year earlier to 48,718 units in April 2015 but was down from a historic high of 66,839 reached in March. Motor car registrations rose 166% from a year earlier to 5,107 units in April 2015 despite a plunging sales of hybrid cars after a tax hike in January. In April, 2,037 Indian-made Maruti Alto cars were registered, up from just 185 units a year earlier but down from 2,269 units more..

GK depositors demand assurance in court

May 16 (NS) Golden Key depositors state that they will withdraw court cases filed against the company only if the Central Bank or the Monetary Board agree in court that their monies are paid. Head of the Golden Key Depositors Association, Dushyanthi Hapugoda made this observation in response to Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s promise to repay the amount in full if they withdrew all cases against Golden Key. Minister had made this pledge during a recent meeting with the depositors, more..

Panadura PS opposition leader arrested

May 16 (AM) Panadura Pradeshiya Sabha Opposition leader and another person were arrested by police yesterday over a dispute between them, ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said. The incident occurred at the new market complex at Keselwatte area. It was to be opened in the afternoon by Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga. However, the PS Opposition Leader Saheer Fhasy had declared it open by force on Friday morning. more..

S.B. says Mahinda failed on Geneva issue

May 16 (CG) Minister S.B. Dissanayake says former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had failed on the Geneva issue when he was in power. Dissanayake, who was a Minister in the Rajapaksa Govt, said that the SLFP and the UPFA did not agree on the stand taken by the former President on the human rights issue. Sri Lanka continued to face pressure at the UNHRC in Geneva when Rajapaksa was in power for failing to address serious more..

5,500 litres of coconut oil unfit for consumption detected

May 16 (Island) Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) raided a warehouse in Polgasowita and detected 5,500 litres of coconut oil unfit for human consumption. CAA Chairman Rumy Marzook said that the stock of coconut oil had been produced at a mill in Gampaha and stocked at Polgasowita, according to investigations. Samples of the stock of coconut oil had been sent for investigations to the Govt Analyst and legal action would be taken after receiving the Analyst’s report, he said. more..

Sri Lanka Cricket: CEO remains tight lipped over Rs 600 million overdraft

May 16 (CT) CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket Ashley De Silva remained tight lipped over a sum of Rs 600 million that is alleged to been obtained by Sri Lanka Cricket from Bank of Ceylon, at a monumental interest rate of Rs 7 million month recently, said an employee of SLC. Several attempts to get through to the usually contactable CEO De Silva was not made possible due to his sudden avoidance since of late. All phone calls, emails and SMS’s sent to him have been unanswered. more..

Captain Cool to play hot on irregularities

May 16 (NS) Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga revealed that massive financial irregularities had been taken place in the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) during the last few years and he has decided to appoint a commission to look into all kinds of irregularities taken place at the SLPA. He said that the most corrupt public institute could be the SLPA. “I have already stopped several malpractices which have been more..

President wants a 5-year parliament

May 16 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena said at a function in Akurana on Wednesday that he would propose to the Electoral Reforms Committee that Parliament's term be trimmed down to five from its current six year tenure. President added that none of the legal personnel in charge of drafting the 19th Amendment to the Constitution nor anyone in the political sphere had suggested that the President's tenure be reduced to five years, adding that it was he himself who voluntarily offered a reduction more..

2015 NCE intake hiked by 500

May 16 (ST) Gov­t is to ad­mit an ad­di­tion­al 500 stu­dents to Na­tion­al Col­leg­es of Ed­u­ca­tion (NCE) this year, said Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­try Sec­re­ta­ry Up­a­li Mar­a­singhe. A to­tal of 3,500 will be ad­mit­ted to fol­low the 3-year Di­plo­ma course at these Col­leg­es. He said the Fi­nance Min­is­try has per­mit­ted the in­creased in­take. Stu­dents will be ad­mit­ted from the As­sis­tant Gov­t Agent (AGA) Di­vi­sion they live in to en­sure they do not re­quest trans­fers af­ter ap­point­ments are gran­ted. more..

Sri Lanka’s poverty headcount ratio drops

May 16 (Island) The poverty headcount ratio in Sri Lanka has recorded a drop from 26.1 to 6.7% between 1991 and 2013. Strong economic growth records, a rise in agricultural prices and higher labour productivity have contributed towards achieving a lower poverty rate of 7% in 2012, which had come down from 23% over ten years ago. Most of the decline has reportedly emerged from sectorial levels and disparities more..

100-Day anti-drug programme in WP Schools

May 16 (ST) Na­tion­al Dan­ger­ous Drug Board (NDDB) has or­gan­ised a 100-day pro­gramme to elim­i­nate drugs in 100 schools in the West­ern Prov­ince (WP), to fight the drug men­ace with­in schools. The pro­gramme is on the lines of the 100-day ya­ha­pa­la­naya pro­gramme of the new gov­ern­ment. The pro­gramme tar­gets stu­dents of schools in the vul­ner­a­ble areas of the WP where drugs are free­ly avail­a­ble. NDDB As­sis­tant Di­rec­tor- Pre­ven­tive Ed­u­ca­tion & Train­ing, K.G. Pradeep Kumara said that more..

Indrani Iriyagolle passes away

May 16 (AD) Indrani Iriyagolle, one of Sri Lanka’s pioneering female social activists, has passed away this morning, at the age of 82, following a brief illness. Mrs Iriyagolle, who is the wife of late diplomat and presidential advisor Gamini Iriyagolla, was a well-known figure in Sri Lanka for rehabilitation, welfare and humanitarian work. The funeral is to take place at the Borella Cemetery on Sunday at around 5pm. A graduate of University of Ceylon and University of Cambridge in UK, more..

Sri Lankan Police bans Tamil event

May 16 (PTI) Police in northeastern Mullaithivu district has obtained a court order banning an event to be organised by a Tamil group to commemorate the end of the nation's brutal civil war six years ago. Sri Lankan Tamil politician Gajen Ponnambalam in a tweet said that a Tamil Genocide Remembrance event organised by his Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) scheduled for May 18 has been banned more..

Sri Lanka’s souring revolution

May 16 (IDN) It was a well-spelled out 100-day program to rid the country of endemic political corruption presented to the electorate by challenger Maitripala Sirisena that helped to topple Sri Lanka’s powerful president Mahinda Rajapakse in a shock vote on January 8 this year. The 100-day period expired on April 23 with most of its promises unfulfilled, except for a constitutional amendment that holds promise of cleaner govt in the future. However, this has been overshadowed by more..

Arjuna hails stand taken by Namal

May 16 (CG) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said that he was happy to see SLFP member Namal Rajapaksa not participating in events held to promote former President Rajapaksa. He said that today a group of SLFP members are very actively promoting Rajapaksa and attempting to get him back into power. However Namal Rajapaksa, despite being the son of Mahinda Rajapaksa, is a notable absentee at those events. “While he (Namal) is following policies of SLFP there are others more..

Bribery Commissioner resigns

May 16 (AD) Justice L.K. Wimalachandra, a Commissioner of the Bribery Commission, has resigned with effect from Friday, the Director General of the commission Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe said. He had resigned to allow the appointing of new commissions in line with the 19th amendment coming into force since yesterday, she said. With regard to the functioning of the commission under these circumstances, more..

Sri Lanka hands over 37 Indian fishermen

May 16 (PTI) Sri Lanka on Saturday handed over 37 Indian fishermen - arrested for allegedly poaching in the island's waters on April 3, to the Indian coast guards in northern Jaffna peninsula, a day after a local court had ordered their release. The fishermen were handed over to Indian authorities on the international waters north of Kankesanturai, Sri Lankan coast guards said. Their release came after President Maithripala Sirisena met a delegation of 5 fishermen association leaders, more..

'Govt ends era of falsehood'

May 16 (DN) The present govt has ended the era of giving false election pledges to the people. President who fulfilled election pledges to the letter has launched a programme to distribute nutrition packs among expectant mothers to upgrade the nutrition level of new born children, said Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. He made these observations addressing meetings at the Tangalle and Angunakolapelessa Divisional Secretariats to mark the distribution of nutrition packs more..

500 acres cleared in Kal Aru forest adjoining Wilpattu

May 16 (NS) According to environmental groups, 500 acres have been cleared in the Kal Aru forest, adjoining Wilpattu, reportedly for the personal use of Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen. The Environment Conservation Trust, Pivithuru Hetak National Movement, Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya and Wilpattu Surakimu organizations were able to make this revelation during an observation tour, more..

If Mahinda contests general election; will use chair or wheel symbol

May 16 (CT) If the SLFP/UPFA does not nominate Mahinda Rajapaksa as its prime ministerial candidate to run for Parliament at the coming general election, the former President has been mulling the likelihood of running for office under the chair symbol of the Podujana Eksath Peramuna or the wheel symbol of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna. Leaders of a number of political parties supporting Rajapaksa have been weighing the advantages of fielding Rajapaksa as more..

SAARC regional cultural seminar gets underway at Peradeniya

May 16 (Island) Director SAARC Cultural Centre G.L.W. Samarsinghe, inaugurating the SAARC Regional Seminar on Cultural Dynamics in National Harmony in South Asia at the University of Peradeniya, yesterday highlighted importance of creating dialogue on the theme Dynamics in National Harmony, and its impact on human development in the region. The seminar is organised by the SAARC Cultural Centre, Sri Lanka in Collaboration with University of Peradeniya. more..