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China-Sri Lanka: Maritime infrastructure and India’s security

May 19 (EAR) When the new govt of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena decided to review every Chinese investment approved by the previous President Mahinda Rajapakse’s govt – including the Colombo Port Expansion Project (CPEP) – many believed this would lay the groundwork for Sri Lanka’s China policy. Indian observers keenly monitored developments to see if the CPEP would be approved, as a disapproval of the project would lead to probable closer relations with India. more..

Dipped Products records Rs 1.7B profit

May 19 (CT) 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. 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%. The plantation sector's contribution includes the consolidation of more..

Govt to work closely with ICRC

May 19 (CG) Govt says it will work even more closely with the ICRC in future, to address the humanitarian needs of the people in the country. The sixth annual South Asian Regional Conference on international humanitarian law (IHL) jointly organized by the Govt of Sri Lanka and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), is being held in Colombo this week. Welcoming the opportunity of hosting the Conference for the first time, more..

DFCC Group posts a record Rs. 4.4 b profit

May 19 (FT) DFCC Group has posted a record Rs. 4.4 billion pre-tax profit in the financial year ended on 31 March 2015. Provisional results released yesterday for FY15 showed what DFCC described as a record performance that was achieved amidst a challenging business environment, marked by intense competition and declining interest margins. Despite having to channel a substantial amount of time, effort and resources to merger activities, the bank retained its focus on more..

Hayleys MGT reports Rs 90 M profit

May 19 (CT) Hayleys M G T- Knitting Mills PLC has recorded a profit after tax of Rs 90 million for the financial year ending 31 March 2015, delivering a profit growth of 149% and a top line growth of 6% year-on-year. FY 2014/15 marked the first year of the company recording a surplus after consecutive losses during the recent past. The company was also able to generate a cash profit of Rs 412 million in the year under review. The changes made in the Top management continued to show more..

U.N. at 70: A 60-year journey with Sri Lanka

May 19 (IPS) The year 2015 marks an important milestone in Sri Lanka’s relationship with the UN. It is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations and also the 60th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s entry into the U.N. system. For 60 years of its 70-year existence, Sri Lanka and the U.N. have been engaged in a mutually beneficial and reinforcing partnership contributing to the growth and evolution of each other. more..

Haycarb March quarter net profit up 18%

May 19 (EN) Sri Lankan activated carbon multinational Haycarb plc said March 2015 quarter net profit rose 18.2% to 279 million rupees from a year ago as it increased sales of value added products amid rising costs. Earnings per share for the quarter were 9.41 rupees while sales rose 45.7% to 3.9 billion rupees. Earnings per share of the coconut-shell based activated carbon maker in the financial year ended 31st March 2015 were 23.39 rupees. more..

Demak to invest US$16.5m on mobike assembly plant

May 19 (DN) Demak Sales and Services Lanka plans to invest over US$ 16.5 million for an assembly plant in Kurunegala. The official launch of the Trail Motorcycle DTM 200 was held last week. The company plans in capturing 8% of the motorcycle market by 2016. Demak has been registered as a BOI company and plans to assemble Demak motorcycles in Sri Lanka with plans to export motorcycles to South East Asia on a land of 10 acres allocated in Giriulla for this purpose. more..

Over 8,000 Pramuka depositors to be paid Rs. 240 m

May 19 (FT) The state-run Sri Lanka Savings (SLS) Bank gave assurances that it would pay Rs. 240 million to 8,200 Pramuka Bank depositors. SLS Bank Chairman Asoka Somarathne said that it would repay the principal sum to depositors through funds collected from Pramuka Bank’s assets and revenue generated in SLS Bank. The disbursement of repayment certificates was conducted in the presence of Minister Ravi more..

Taylor, Dottin set up West Indies win

May 19 (CI) Unbeaten half centuries from Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin set up West Indies Women's 18-run win (D/L method) over Sri Lanka Women to give their team a 2-1 lead in the four-match series. Opting to bat, Kycia Knight (34) and Hayley Matthews (22) put on 49 before Matthews was bowled by left-arm spinner Sugandika Kumari. Five overs later, Kumari struck again to remove Knight and captain Merissa Aguilleira in the space of three balls. more..

Former SLC office bearers meet today

May 19 (DN) Former SLC office bearers, led by Chairman Jayantha Dharmadasa and Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga will meet stake holders to discuss about the SLC election at the SSC today. They also hope to force Minister Navin Dissanayake to hold the cricket board elections soon, the former officials said in a statement yesterday. The officials, who were removed for their alleged mismanagement of money, the Sports and Tourism Minister replaced with a reputed Sidath Wettimuny led more..

Mayor of City of London enthusiastic over Sri Lanka’s prospects

May 19 (FT) Sri Lanka must unlock pent-up growth through concerted political and institutional reform with an emphasis on education and closing the skills gap, according to visiting Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Alan Yarrow. Yarrow expressed great optimism over the nation’s economic prospects given its well-educated population and encouraging post-war growth. However, he stressed that effective resolution more..

A Central Bank missing the main point puts the nation on extra red alert

May 19 (CT) The Central Bank has issued a response to the article of this writer in this series titled ‘The continually loss-making Central Bank puts nation on red alert’. The reading of the response reveals that while the arguments presented have been flimsy, the Central Bank has missed the main point as well. Such a casual approach to a critical issue by the Monetary Authority of the country, created by people to serve them as their trustee, puts the nation not on just red alert more..

Dilith fires Rs. 2 b letter of demand to MTV

May 19 (FT) Dilith Jayaweera, through his lawyer Saman Senadeera, has fired a letter of demand to MTV Channel Ltd’s Director R. Rajamahendran over the latter’s telecast of news allegedly damaging to the former’s reputation. The move follows Sirasa News First on Sunday airing a six-minute news item highlighting various allegations against Jayaweera’s businesses and investments as well as the Financial Crime Investigation Division questioning him on Friday. more..

'Probe how smuggler met Lanka President'

May 19 (ENS) Amid allegations that the fisherfolk group which met SL President Maitripala Sirisena recently included a smuggler, National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) has demanded that State, Central, & Sri Lankan govts probe the incident and bring to book the fake fishermen associations. “We expect the govts to investigate and come up with a report that would absolve the traditional fishermen from the blame of being smugglers,” more..

MillenniumIT conducts programme for students of Moratuwa University

May 19 (DN) MillenniumIT, conducted a specially designed skill-enhancement programme for students at the University of Moratuwa. This session, the first in an on-going series, kicked-off MillenniumIT’s long term student development programme. The programme, aptly named Transformers, is designed to prepare undergraduates to face future social and career situations by extending and enhancing their skills beyond the scope of classroom learning. MillenniumIT offers multi-dimensional work more..

Paavai stands tall as reminder of Eelam martyrs

May 19 (ENS) The imposing figure of Tamil Paavai (Tamil Woman) with a lamp in her hand, carved from a single stone of 60 tonnes and kept on a 15-foot high pedestal stands at the centre of Mullivaikal Memorial in Vilar near Thanjavur. The Tamil Paavai pays tributes to the 1.4 lakh ethnic Tamils killed in Mullivaikal in Sri Lanka on May 17, 2009 during the final phase of Eelam war. Scenes of the tragedy are etched on a 55-ft long, 10-ft high frieze on the left side of the Tamil Paavai. more..

'Two judges can rule on FR matters'

May 19 (DN) Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva said that it was on the directions of the Chief Justice that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's case was heard by a two judge Bench. He stated that the Fundamental rights application in terms of articles 126 (2) and Article 126 (4) of the constitution of Sri Lanka permits two judges of Supreme court to hear and determine an application filed on the alleged infringement of a fundamental right. more..

Deputy FM dismisses Namal’s Tweets

May 19 (CT) Deputy Minister, Ajith P. Perera, dismissed the remarks, of MP Namal Rajapaksa, made on Twitter where he had expressed his displeasure about the govt in relation to the allegedly pro-LTTE War remembrance ceremonies that are being held in the North, and called them irresponsible. Yesterday Rajapaksa tweeted, So many remembrance events today under the guise of honouring victims, despite Court orders. How many of these might be honouring terrorists? more..

Cabraal in hospital; Pradeep before FCID

May 19 (CT) The former Chairman of the State Trading Corporation (STC) and SLFP Organizer, Pradeep Gunawardena was summoned by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) for questioning with regard to monetary irregularities within STC, yesterday. Rs 2 bn had been siphoned out by Gunawardena. According to reports he had purchased 35,000 metric tons of rice in Jan 2010 for a sum of Rs 2 billion in the guise of relieving the public from the spiralling cost of local rice. more..

Felicitation ceremony for Relief Contingent

May 19 (MoD) President Maithripala Sirisena, together with the PM Ranil Wickramasinghe graced the felicitation ceremony held to appreciate the exceptional service rendered by the Sri Lanka Relief Contingent in humanitarian relief operations in Nepal at an event held at Temple Trees today (18). Starting the proceedings, Major General Maithri Dias, Commanding Officer of SL Relief Contingent presented a multimedia more..

Police to inform Magistrate about Wellamulliwaikkal event

May 19 (DM) ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that police would report to the Mullaitivu Magistrate the remembrance function held in Wellamulliwaikal with the participation of Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran. A commemoration event to honour the fallen kith and kin was held on the beach in Wellamulliwaikal where the last phase of the civil war took place. Mullaitivu Magistrate had on Saturday issued an order banning the holding of any pro-LTTE remembrance events more..

Presidential Secretariat files found at Borella boutique

May 19 (DN) Some files belonging to the Presidential Secretariat were found at a boutique in Borella last evening, Police Media Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said. “A person who had come in a car had sold those files to a shop purchasing old newspapers,” the Police Spokesman said yesterday. Police intelligence officers, acting on a tip-off, had visited the place and taken the files into custody. He also added that the Police were seeking the assistance of the Presidential Secretariat to more..

Rugby player Thajudeen murdered

May 19 (DN) The CID which took over the investigations into the death of rugby player Wasim Thajudeen had confirmed that it was a murder. Police sources said the CID had arrived at this conclusion based on facts and the circumstances which led to Thajudeen’s death. According to ASP Ruwan Gunasekera, CID investigation into this murder has been completed and the investigation report is to be submitted to court soon. more..

Tiran Alles files FR petition

May 19 (DN) MP and businessman Tiran Alles yesterday filed a Fundamental Rights petition before the Supreme Court seeking to prevent his arrest. In his petition, he urged the SC to issue an interim order to prevent his arrest as he was an owner of a newspaper company and a close associate of the former President. Alles has sited The IGP, Director of the Special Investigations Unit SP Mewan Silva, OIC of the SIU M.D.D.P. Gunathilake, Police Media Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekera and more..

Committee probing prison murders record statement from Gota

May 19 (FT) The 3-member committee appointed by the govt to probe the alleged murder of 27 inmates at the Welikada Prison in 2012 yesterday met with former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The committee had recorded a statement over the matter from the former Defence Secretary. The committee had reportedly spent close to six hours with Rajapaksa, taking down his statement. Eye witnesses of the Welikada Prison riot have publicly claimed that they were executed by more..

Video: Mahinda reveals his secret behind the war victory

May 19 (AD) The previous govenments failed to defeat the LTTE because they were always prepared to kneel before the terrorists, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. The observation was made when the former President attended an event to commemorate all those who sacrificed their lives to preserve the nation’s independence. The event was held at the Vihara Maha Devi Park this afternoon (18). more..

Sad plight of our transport service

May 19 (DM) It is a nightmare to drive on the roads in Colombo or its suburbs with little or no assurance that the motorist will reach his or her destination at the expected time because of the traffic snarls. Occasional protests and demonstrations by university students and trade unions make the situation worse, holding up hundreds of thousands of commuters and motorists for hours. The worst-affected by these traffic jams are commuters who are also taken hostage by bus crew even at more..

Editorial: Guilty by suspicion?

May 19 (Island) A defendant must be presumed innocent until he or she is proven guilty. Each and every element of the crime/s a person is charged with must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt before he or she is found guilty and punished. This is one of the sacred principles upon which all criminal justice systems in the civilized world are based. But, regrettably, those who extol the virtues of the rule of law, justice and fair play, respect for human rights etc do not seem to heed more..

A new Sri Lanka?

May 19 (ICG) Sri Lanka appeared to turn a new leaf with the election in January 2015 of President Maithripala Sirisena. This put an end to rule of this country of 21 million people by Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is closely associated with a brutal 2009 victory over the Tamil Tiger insurgency and authoritarian govt. Alan Keenan discusses how much President Sirisena, previously a minor figure in Rajapaksa’s govt, has changed politics in SL. more..

‘We are fishermen – we do not see borders’

May 19 (ST) A baby sleeps peacefully in a cradle made with a saree hung from the roof of the cadjan hut. It is a small house with a single bedroom, a living area where the baby is sleeping and a kitchen in which an elderly woman in her late seventies is waking from her afternoon nap. We are in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, in a village locally known as Verkadu, after an exhausting journey of 20 hours in a train from Kottayam, more..

UN silent on appointment of Jagath Dias

May 19 (CG) The UN refused to comment on the appointment of Major General Jagath Dias as the new Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army. Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was asked at a press conference if the UN had any comments on the post given to Jagath Dias despite some human rights allegations against him and since he may get listed in a UNHRC report on Sri Lanka. more..

Six Years On

May 19 (SL) Its been six years since the end of the war and now calm has once again returned to the Northern peninsula after sounds of guns and bombs were silenced after over three decades. The people of the North and the East had undergone severe hardships and even now there are many families who are still trying to come to grips with their losses. Many mothers and families are still searching for their loved ones, more..

'FCID will be disbanded by future UPFA govt'

May 19 (DN) The Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) will be abolished if the UPFA comes to power and all involved will be called upon to answer, UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha said. He said in the past the Privy Council of UK had the power to revise or annul orders and decisions of the Supreme Court. “However, the said power was removed later, and as per the Republican Constitution and more..

Dilan uncertain over his resignation

May 19 (DM) Refuting media reports that he would resign of his current minister post, State Minister of Housing and Samurdhi Dilan Perera said that such decision has not been made but he was uncertain to resign in the future over some personal reasons. As he was satisfied with what he got from President Maithripala Sirisena, Mr. Perera said at the moment he is working together with Minister Sajith Premadasa without any issue. more..

JHU calls for national unity

May 19 (FT) The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) yesterday called for greater national unity in order to bring deeper meaning to the loss of all the soldiers who sacrificed their lives to end the war. In a statement to mark the sixth-year since the war’s conclusion, the JHU said that the country was still experiencing the effects of the war since the 30-year conflict had caused severe damage to the economy and society. more..

SF denies claim of 40,000 civilian deaths in Vanni

May 19 (Island) Strongly denying accusations regarding the death of 40,000 Tamil civilians during the final phase of the offensive on the Vanni east front (Jan-May 2009), Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said that the army had to pay a very heavy price for not having the liberty to use heavy weapons against the LTTE. War winning Army Commander, the then Lt. Gen. Fonseka emphasised that the army had no option but to refrain from maximizing more..

International Buddhist convention in Jaffna tomorrow

May 19 (Island) The Karuna International Buddhist Convention organised by the triple Gem Foundation, Bengaluru, will be held this year at the Weerasingham Hall, Jaffna tomorrow. Chief Incumbent of Dhamma Vijaya Maha Vihara, Madurai and Chief Organiser of Karuna International Convention Dr. Bodhipala Maha Thera said the theme of this year’s convention Karuna (compassion), was quite applicable to more..

Basil transferred to Cardiology Unit

May 19 (AD) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who was being treated at the National Hospital, has been transferred to the hospital’s Cardiology Unit, a source from the hospital said. The former Minister has been transferred to the unit following a minor chest pain, the source added. Basil Rajapaksa, was further remanded till May 20 by the Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court on May 7. Former Economic Development Ministry Secretary more..

Ranil’s Gestapo Police exposed in SC

May 19 (CT) President’s Counsel, Romesh de Silva’s brilliant analysis of the politically manipulated Police unit investigating financial crimes confirms that the My-3 regime has created an illegal arm of the Police to pervert justice. His submission to the Supreme Court, has unerringly alerted the public to the Gestapo role of the Financial Crimes Investigation Department (FCID) – the newly established Police arm of the National Executive Council (NEC) which blindly follows more..