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Tamil lunatic fringe anti-Muslim racism

May 19 (Island) The above was serialized in The Island of 28 April, 2 May and 9 May 2015. Is there a major Muslim-Tamil problem that needs to be addressed? Do the numerous acts of anti-Muslim violence by the LTTE, including the Mosque massacres in the East and the eviction from the North of the entire Muslim population settled there for many generations, and also the many acts of anti – Tamil violence in the East by state appointed Muslim home guards demand remedial action more..

Living with the dead

May 19 (CT) Six young men wearing boots and sunglasses have turned up at the Borella Cemetery. They are the latest recruits to its cadre and surprisingly they are all geared up to work at one of the most dreaded places in Sri Lanka. "These men were sent to me a few days back and they were very different to what you see today. When they were first sent here, they were scared and reluctant to work here. more..

SLFP urges Maithri to honour his pledge

May 19 (Island) The SLFP said that President Maithripala Sirisena should keep his pledge to hold the next General Election under the proposed first-past-the- post system with limited PR. Former Deputy Foreign Minister Neomal Perera said that when the President had solicited the support of SLFP MPs for the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, he had assured them that the next Parliamentary polls would be conducted under the proposed new electoral system. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up at 0.15%

May 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s stocks closed up at 0.15% with gains seen in some of the banking and conglomerate stocks. The Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index closed 11.18 points higher at 7,266.20 up 0.15%. The S&P SL20 closed 9.15 points higher at 4,046.83 up 0.24%. Turnover was 1.6 billion rupees up from 1.1 billion rupees on Monday, with 90 stocks closing positive against 85 negative. “Some banking sector and high cap stocks showed gains,” Lanka Securities said. more..

Parliament adjourned in uproar over Central Bank Governor

May 19 (EN) Parliament was adjourned Tuesday in the wake of an uproar with the opposition demanding to debate a no confidence motion on Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran. The opposition is pushing for a no confidence motion on the Central Bank Governor after a controversial auction of 30-year bonds that awarded five time the original amount offered to a firm connected to his son-in-law. more..

Kiriella instructs planners to come up with proposals to ease congestion in Kandy

May 19 (Island) Plantation Industries Minister Lakshman Kiriella issued instructions to officers engaged in preparing development plans for Kandy that alternative proposals be forwarded to ease the traffic congestion round the Kandy Lake as there was no sign of re-opening of the main thoroughfare in front of the Sri Dalada Maligawa. Minister Kiriella issued the instructions presiding at the meeting of the Kandy District Coordinating Committee yesterday (18). more..

Postponement of Gota’s FR petition until October: Fault of AG’s Department

May 19 (CT) Senior lawyer Gomin Dayasri said that two Judges can give notification and the grounds to make a decision, thus the Supreme Court is vested with such powers. In any event all parties to the case must be served with the necessary papers. However, one respondent claims that the relevant notification had not been made to the Cabinet in respect of that respondent. In such an instance it can be identified in special circumstances as having exceeded the powers. more..

Maldives and Sri Lanka Tourism discuss joint promotions

May 19 (GDI) Given that Maldives is already in the label as a fashion destination positioning Sri Lanka Tourism is in discussion with Maldives Tourism to share itineraries that will help Sri Lanka boost it's imagery in the markets such as Italy said Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Rohantha Athukorala. This discussions took place in the side lines of Arabian Travel Mart on Dubai with Chairman of Maldives Marketing more..

Find better place for Kapilavastu relics: Swaminathan to Modi

May 19 (ST) A cabinet minister has sought the relocation of the Kapilavastu relics of Lord Buddha, now housed at the National Museum in New Delhi, to a more appropriate place in keeping with the sacred nature of the widely venerated relics. Hindu Religious Affairs Minister D.M.Swaminathan had sent the request to Indian PM Narendra Modi through a delegation of the Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP) that met him recently. Swaminathan who accompanied President Sirisena on more..

Sri Lanka threatens legal action against foreign firms mining for gems

May 19 (EN) Sri Lanka’s gem authority has decided to bar foreign gem firms and investors from mining on SL soil. “If the individuals or firms are found violating the rule, this would be considered a criminal offense and they could be tried in courts,” said K L D Dayasagara, deputy director general of the National Gem & Jewellery Authority (NGJA). “If we feel they are violating the rule, we would promptly place one of our officers at the site to ensure they do not breach the rules.” more..

Sajin Vaas contracts breathing problems

May 19 (DM) UPFA MP Sajin de Vaas Gunawardane, who is in remand custody, has developed breathing difficulties after the prison authorities had denied him the use of his inhaler, his colleagues informed Parliament today. Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva raised this matter in the House and said Mr. Gunawardane had been deprived of his privilege to attend the parliamentary session yesterday. more..

TNA seeks release of political prisoners

May 19 (CG) TNA called on the govt to release all Tamil political prisoners who are still in jail. The TNA said that despite the end of the conflict, the Tamils in the island were disappointed as none of their problems had been addressed or resolved. “It has been six years but we are very disappointed. Several hundred Tamil political prisoners continue to languish in jail and despite urging the past and present govts to grant them general amnesty, nothing has been done to date,” more..

Police foil INGO sponsored protest

May 19 (Island) Vavuniya police arrested a suspect who had allegedly collected money from an International NGO to organise a protest in Vavuniya against the killing of a female student of Pungudutivu Tamil Maha Vidyalaya. No sooner had the abduction, rape and murder of the 18-year-old schoolgirl come to light last week than the police cracked the case and arrested all suspects. The police said that the suspect, a member of an NGO, had tried to entice the people more..

'JVP like a bell on an elephant'

May 19 (DM) The JVP is like a bell hung on the UNP elephant and JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake looks like an actor performing in the political theatre, former JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe said today. He urged the present group of JVP leaders to resign and allow other party members to come to the forefront. Mr. Amarasinghe said the JVP was now fulfilling needs of the UNP and not that of the people as it did earlier. more..

SF’s parliament seat ruling on June 29

May 19 (AD) The court of appeal will rule on June 29 on the petition filed by DP leader, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, seeking an order to reclaim his lost Parliamentary seat and revoke the appointment of MP Jayantha Ketagoda. Respondents for the case include Parliamentary Secretary, Election Commissioner and the AG. In 2011, Ketagoda became a MP to fill the seat left vacant by the imprisonment of Fonseka who was sentenced to serve a 3-year jail term by a military court. more..

GK depositors demand assurance in court

May 19 (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 FM 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..

Motions against Arjuna and Dilrukshi : No provision- UNP

May 19 (DM) The govt ruled out the possibility of entertaining the motions against Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and Bribery Commission Director General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe in Parliament because there was no provision for doing so. Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said that there was no provision to pass votes of no confidence against govt officials in Parliament in this manner. more..

Positive step towards good governance: Asgiriya Prelate

May 19 (DN) The reduction of the legal immunity offered to the President and making him answerable to Courts on human rights cases is a positive step towards good governance, said Most Ven. Galagama Aththadassi Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter. Prelate said this in the course of an Anusasana when Minister Karu Jayasuriya called on him on May 17 to felicitate him on his new appointment as the Mahanayake Thera and discuss arrangements for the official ceremony to more..

SC dismisses Rs. 180 m claim case by investor against BOI

May 19 (FT) Supreme Court in a landmark order recently has upheld the legal arguments made on behalf of the Board of Investment and dismissed the Appeal in the Supreme Court filed by a local company. The order, delivered by the Chief Justice K. Sripavan together with Justice C. Ekanayake and D. Dep P.C, upheld the objections raised by the BOI. Previously too the Civil Appellate Court of Colombo in a judgment by Justice Dehideniya and K.K.S.A.F. Perera had upheld the issue of more..

PM says gov't hopes to hold parliamentary elections in July

May 19 (Xinhua) PM Ranil Wickermesinghe has said that the govt expects to hold a parliamentary election in July. Ruling UNP which is led by Wickremesinghe has been calling for the parliament to be dissolved soon stating that the present parliament does not have a mandate to continue further. While no specific date has been fixed for the parliamentary election, the UNP has said the present govt which was more..

Prez Sirisena's intervention needed To solve Kolonnawa garbage dump crisis

May 19 (CT) An appeal has been made to President Maithripala Sirisena by the Chairman of Kolonnawa UC, Ravindra Udayashantha to visit Meethotamulla and Kolonnawa where people are undergoing untold hardships due to the mounting garbage heap. Several tonnes of garbage transported from Colombo on the directive of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) were dumped in the Meethotamulla area. However, the Courts allowed only two acres to be used for this purpose. more..

Sri Lankan kidnapped in Nigeria, police escort killed

May 19 (PT) A Sri Lankan expatriate has been kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Ondo State. His escort, a ​​​mobile police officer, was killed during the attack, while his driver, Bitrus Dada, was shot. Mr. Dada was receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo in Ondo State. The hospital is said have also sent words to the driver’s relatives, a source in the facility said. Sri Lankan, who is yet-to-be identified, works with Burni Coli Construction Company in the state. more..

Fishermen’s delegation members deny inclusion of smuggler in team

May 19 (ENS) Members of the delegation of TN fishermen who met Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena here on May 12 have denied the charge that one of the members of their team was a smuggler. “Do you think the fishermen’s delegation could have met the President of Sri Lanka without the members’ antecedents being thoroughly checked by his security staff?” asked delegation member B. Jesuraja, more..

Sri Lanka’s tertiary education sector needs more private investments: Economist

May 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s public sector dominated education sector needs more private investments coming in through local or foreign channels to bridge the tertiary education gap, a senior economist said. “Sri Lanka will have to seriously consider bringing in the private sector to bridge tertiary education gap in the country with the new govt’s plan to increase education spending from 1.5% to 6% in the next five years,” Saman Kelegama, Executive Director, Institute of Policy Studies said (IPS) said. more..

Sri Lanka IOC unit in losses after state directed fuel price cut

May 19 (EN) Lanka IOC, a unit of Indian Oil Corporation lost 1.06 billion rupees in the March 2015 quarter interim accounts showed, following a state directed price cut and spiking oil prices down from a profit of 722 million rupees a year earlier. The firm reported a loss of 2 rupees per share for the quarter. In the December quarter the firm reported a 610 million rupee profit. In the March quarter revenues fell 25% to 15.8 billion rupees following a price cuts and costs fell at a slower 17% more..

President’s speech at Ranaviru parade

Disappearances in custody six years ago today

May 20 (CT) On the 18 May 2009, a large number of witnesses saw more than a hundred LTTE military and civilian administration leaders surrender to the Sri Lankan army close to the Wadduvakkal Bridge. The vast majority of these people have subsequently disappeared and, according to eyewitnesses, were last seen in in the custody of the Sri Lankan military. Those who surrendered on 18 May 2009 were screened and mostly put in a barbed wire holding area just south of the Wadduvakkal Bridge, more..

Ealam war, civilians, casualties and international law

May 20 (NS) The comments presented below are in response to an edited and abbreviated version of a legal opinion by Sir Desmond de Silva on “Permissible parameters of collateral damage” carried by The Island of April 10, 2015. The article states: “Currently whether or not an attack that results in civilian deaths is legal under international humanitarian law depends on whether the attack meets the requirements of three principles: (1) Distinction; (2) Military Necessity; and more..

'MR being made a stooge by smaller parties'

May 20 (SO) Refuting claims that there are two factions within the SLFP, Minister Duminda Dissanayake said he doesn't think former President Rajapaksa, as a veteran politician who ruled the country for over nine years, would make any attempt to create divisions within the SLFP or prevent the party's second rung leadership getting into the next step. He said a certain faction within UPFA, which cannot face an election without more..

Victory Day: Least that we forget

May 20 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne informed the media that “May 19, which was celebrated as ‘Victory Day’ during the Rajapaksa era will from this year onwards be observed as Remembrance Day to recall the sacrifices of all those who had fought to maintain the unity and integrity of the country irrespective of their ethnicity”. Towards this end, it would be of interest to briefly examine Remembrance Day and Victory Day in Europe held to commemorate men in uniform who fell more..

Heartbreaking news from Kekirilanthaya

May 20 (NS) Deputy Minister Sherlock Senasinghe has finally admitted that he acted like a donkey in a horse corral immediately after the election of Maitripala Sirisena as the President. “I know I made a lot of baseless allegations that hurt people and their families. I am not sorry because those were the instructions I received from my good leader. But please don’t do the same to us because our families will be very hurt; especially if there is some truth in the accusations like with the bond deal. more..

'Strike Action prompted by govt inaction'

May 20 (CT) Today Trade Union Talk focuses on the Health Sector which never runs out of the issues and demands of employees. More than 40,000 minor staffs attached to Govt are due to strike work today demanding salary arrears. President of All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) Samantha Koralearchchi shared his views regarding injustices. Q: When is the strike is going to be held and what are the reasons for it. more..

Systems and the 20 A

May 20 (CT) What is an electoral system? Why is the SLFP gunning for change in the electoral patterns of the country? Do we actually need electoral reforms in the country at this juncture? An average Sri Lankan would have a million questions in his or her head, unable to fathom the current tsunami of fresh idiosyncrasies arising in Parliament. On one end of the table, there is a new UNP dominated govt headed by PM Ranil Wickremasinghe, appointed by SLFP Leader more..

War to Peace and Reconciliation 6 years on...

May 20 (CT) Today marks the sixth year of the Sri Lankan Govt civil war victory and it is interesting to look at how far the country has progressed in terms of the reconciliation. War was, is and will never be a permanent solution to a conflict. It only provides a temporary halt to a problem. Sri Lanka is no exception. Although the war had ended and terrorism was subdued, military root causes of the war has to be addressed in order to provide a permanent solution to the problem. more..

'We need a Federal system in a united SL'

May 20 (CT) EPRLF leader MP Suresh Premachandran said, people of the North and East fought for their rights. Although the LTTE is no more that does not mean the conflict is over. "We welcome the stand of the govt on appointing a Presidential Task Force for Reconciliation under the former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, and we feel it may be a new step but they are yet to begin the task," he said. more..

Editorial: Grilling of DN

May 20 (Island) Some Buddhist monks and laymen have taken exception to the manner in which the police recently interrogated the Diyawadana Nilame (DN) of Sri Dalada Maligawa. What the police have done is tantamount to an affront to the sacred temple, they argue. However, there are others who point out that everybody is equal before the law and, therefore, the DN shouldn’t be given special treatment; he should be dealt with like any other ordinary citizen. more..

Rajapaksas’ USD 18 bn fortune

May 20 (Island) At the time President Rajapaksa took govt at the end of 2005, country’s external debt was US$ 9,568 billion. By the time he handed over the govt, in 2015, this amount was US$ 24,051 million. Therefore, during his period of govt, net external govt debt has increased only by US$ 14,483 million. In this process, govt has paid all the debt service commitments for the debt that successive govts had raised in the past. This outstanding amount includes foreign more..

Ceylon Tobacco pumps Rs 21.3 b to coffers

May 20 (DN) In the first quarter of 2015, Ceylon Tobacco Company contributed Rs 21.3 billion to the Govt, an increase of 20% in comparison to the same period last year primarily driven by an excise led price increase experienced in October 2014 and higher volumes. The increase in domestic volumes of 11% during the quarter could be attributed to a higher level of consumer confidence and an increase in disposable income. more..

BOI welcomes more Chinese investments

May 20 (DN) BoI Chairman Upul Jayasuriya said the govt wholeheartedly welcomes Chinese investments in Sri Lanka. He made these remarks addressing a match - making event organized by Sri Lanka -China Business Council between high powered business delegation from Qingdao and Sri Lankan enterprises in Colombo recently. "In the recent past, there has been a substantial interest from Chinese businesses in Sri Lanka. We' re happy to say that Sri Lanka is committed to promoting Chinese businesses more..

OZO Kandy up and running in record time

May 20 (Island) Thailand based ONYX Hospitality Group ventured into Kandy along with joint partners Sino Lanka Hotels Holdings and Kandy Hotels Company by opening OZO Kandy recently at an investment of nearly Rs. 2 billion or US$ 15 million. The OZO Kandy, which was completed in record time, would probably be best known as a pet-project which was initiated by business personality and Joint Chairman of Suisse Hotels Kandy (Pvt) Ltd., Bob Kundanmal. more..