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Bail requested for former Sri Lankan reconstruction agency official

May 20 (EN) Counsel for Saliya Wickramasuriya, a former official in Sri Lanka’s reconstruction agency, pleaded for bail, saying he required medical treatment and that the petroleum industry professional’s skills were needed in the offshore gas exploration effort. Wickramasuriya, former COO of the Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA), was suffering from acute back pain and too ill to appear in court Tuesday, more..

CEAT Kelani invests in new advanced motorcycle tyre plant in Sri Lanka

May 20 (Island) A new state-of-the-art facility for the manufacture of motorcycle tyres for the local and international markets has been commissioned in Sri Lanka by CEAT Kelani Holdings, the company that manufactures half of the country’s tyre requirements. Set up within the CEAT Kelani complex at Kelaniya with an initial investment of Rs 95 million, the new plant will operate as Asian Tyres, a member of CEAT Kelani Holdings. It will have an initial capacity of 162,000 tyres a year more..

Brandix receives PVH Global Supplier of the Year award

May 20 (DM) One of the world’s largest apparel companies has adjudged the Brandix Group its Global Supplier of the Year across all product categories represented by its global vendor base, presenting Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter with the pinnacle award at the company’s Global Supply Chain Summit. PVH Corp., owner of the iconic Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Van Heusen and Arrow brands among others, presented this coveted award to Brandix at the company’s more..

Bond probe report: Check digital footprint of top Central Bank officials

May 20 (EN) The digital footprint of top central bankers should be checked, a three member committee that went in to an alleged Treasury bond scam has said, pointing out that its terms of reference was limited. PM Ranil Wickremasinghe appointed the three member committee following an outcry over alleged insider dealing in gilts by Perpetual Treasuries, a company connected to the son-in-law of Governor Arjuna Mahendran. more..

Biggest ever culinary art exhibition launched

May 20 (CT) The announcement of the largest ever Culinary Art Food Expo (CAFÉ) to be held at the BMICH in July 2015 was made at a press briefing on Monday. Speaking at the announcement, Chefs Guild of Lanka, Chairman, Gerard Mendis said: "This time culinary art competition would have two segments. They will be the Culinary Art Competition with chefs in the region competing and the other will be the Trade Exhibition on Hospitality, Food, Processed Food and Packaging. more..

Special traffic plan around Parliament today

May 20 (DM) A special traffic plan would be in place from 1pm to 7pm on the Parliament Road from Polduwa junction, the Japan Friendship Road from Kimbulawala junction, the road towards parliament from Palamthuna junction and the road towards parliament from Pelwatte junction because of the commemoration of war heroes in the parliament grounds tomorrow. Motorists are advised to use the following alternative routs Instead of the Parliament Road from Polduwa junction, more..

Mayor of City of London lists priorities to make Sri Lanka a financial centre

May 20 (FT) Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Alan Yarrow yesterday shared a raft of key measures Sri Lanka should prioritise if it is keen on becoming a competitive financial centre in the region. Speaking at a CEO’s Forum Yarrow spoke on key factors such as innovation, legal structure, skills, product development, English, geography, ethics, infrastructure and hard work, which Sri Lanka should focus on in order to more..

A ceremony marked with solemnity and grandeur

May 20 (SLA) The Ranaviru Commemorative Parade - 2015 under the theme Let’s be Committed to Preserve Peace Won on Tuesday (19) paid tribute to Sri Lanka’s success story over terrorism and saluted unparalleled sacrifices of the Tri-services, Civil Defence Force and the Police in a colourful ceremony at Matara, headed by President Maithripala Sirisena who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Hoisting of the National Flag by President Maithripala Sirisena, more..

SR100 a day fine if maid supply delayed

May 20 (AN) Ministry of Labor has appointed a team to study the high cost of labor imports and their comparisons to recruitment fees in other GCC countries. It issued an order fixing the ceiling for the recruitment costs from Bangladesh and Niger, while the rates for other countries such as the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam will be announced following completion of studies. Ministry has fixed 60 days as the maximum time to supply a worker by the recruitment establishment. more..

Military displays prowess

May 20 (Island) The victorious SL military displayed an assortment of weaponry at the 6th edition of the annual tri-services parade held in Matara yesterday to celebrate the country’s triumph over separatist terrorists on May 16, six years ago. On display were weapons and equipment primarily acquired from Eastern European countries, China as well as Israel due to restrictions imposed by Western powers during the war. more..

Monk says President has wronged unlike any of his predecessors

May 20 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena was the only man who abused executive powers unlike former Presidents after 1977, Prof. Induragare Dammarathana Thera said. He said President Sirisena had appointed UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe Prime Minister even though the latter did not have a majority in Parliament and removed Chief Justice Mohan Pieris arbitrarily. Those acts amounted to a gross abuse of the executive powers, the Thera stressed. more..

Aluth Parapura commemorates brotherhood over war victory

May 20 (FT) The Aluth Parapura organisation yesterday held a vigil to commemorate Brotherhood Day, emphasising that war only had an ending and not a victory. At the vigil, they invited people to sing the Sri Lankan National Anthem either in Sinhala or in Tamil. This unique vigil was held yesterday at the Viharamahadevi Park, with civil society, university lecturers and artistes gathering to commemorate brotherhood on the sixth anniversary of the war victory. more..

'Defence Headquarters Complex: Construction to go ahead without delay'

May 20 (DM) The construction work of the Defence Headquarters Complex in Battaramulla would be completed without a delay, and there was no shortage of funds to allocate for the construction, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He earlier said that the construction of the complex was halted because the entire project needed to be evaluated and the exact estimated cost needed to be clarified. more..

Golden Key investors expected to make decision on lawsuits on June 4

May 20 (Island) The Island Financial Review reliably learns that the investors of the collapsed Golden Key Credit Card company will make a decision regarding the withdrawal of their lawsuits on June 4. Sources said that even though the investors of the controversial Golden Key Credit Card company were supposed to withdraw their appeals on May 18 to comply with the requests of Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, they have requested for more time to make a decision. more..

Asgiriya prelate firm: road should be closed

May 20 (DN) Road opposite Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy should remain closed for traffic because the serenity and quite atmosphere in and around the hallowed place of worship would be disrupted if the road is reopened, Most Ven. Galagama Aththadassi Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter said. Prelate expressed these sentiments when Deputy Minister Vasantha Aluvihare called on him and received his blessings recently and inquired about the views on reopening of this road. more..

PAC: EPF lost Rs. 1B last year

May 20 (DM) Committee on Public Accounts (PAC) had observed that the EPF had lost Rs one billion last year through purchasing and selling shares. The PAC report which was presented in Parliament yesterday by its chairman Minister Sarath Amunugama also revealed that the EPF had not received any income from an investment of Rs 500 million that was made in July 2010 in SriLankan Airlines. more..

Sajin will be allowed to attend Parliament

May 20 (CT) Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkoday instructed authorities to ensure MP Sajin de Vaas Gunawardana is able to attend Parliamentary sittings and be provided with the necessary medical care. He reiterated a previous ruling by the Speaker that no institution had the power to prevent a MP from attending Parliamentary sittings and ordered that MP Gunawardana, who is currently in remand, is allowed to attend and take part in Parliamentary proceedings. more..

‘RW can criticize SC ruling on Gota’

May 20 (CT) Anybody including PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has the legitimate right to whether it be right or wrong responsibly criticize any aspect of any Court including the Supreme Court ruling concerning former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's fundamental rights petition, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) said. The BASL also noted that if the State was aggrieved by the recent High Court judgment delivered acquitting Minister Ravi Karunanayake from charges more..

Treasury bond scam: Bidding pattern of Perpetual Treasuries unusual

May 20 (Island) A 3-member committee that investigated the bond issue of the Central Bank has found that bidding pattern of Perpetual Treasuries belonging to son-in-law of Governor Arjuna Mahendran and its securing 50% of the accepted bids were unusual and called for a full-scale investigation by a proper govt authority. Report of the committee was tabled in Parliament by Leader of House Lakshman Kiriella. more..

Protesting Hambantota Port workers attack police vehicle

May 20 (Island) A vehicle belonging to the Hambantota Police station was attacked by the employees of the Hambantota port engaged in a protest in front of the main gate. The protesters carried out the attack as the police vehicle run over a worker’s leg. The injured protester was rushed to hospital and he was out of danger, according to the Police Media Unit. The constable who drove the vehicle was arrested. Asked why the employees of the Hambantota port had been protesting, more..

War Heroes laid foundation for national unity, harmony: PM

May 20 (DN) Every citizen has a birth right to live in a free society built on human values, maintaining each individuals identity and cultural background. Today, the most important factor is unity among us irrespective of cast, creed or religion, respecting each others cultures and traditions, states PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in a Ranaviru Remembrance Day message. "War Heroes who eliminated terrorism that engulfed our country for a longtime laid basic foundation to build national unity & harmony. more..

President vows never to allow terrorism to raise its head again

May 20 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday declared that the govt would never allow terrorism to threaten the country again under any circumstances. Addressing the nation from Matara at the 6th anniversary of the defeat of the LTTE, President said: "We will strengthen the process of development and reconciliation and have the foremost trust and respect in the security sector led by tri-forces. more..

Victory and Remembrance

May 20 (DM) Six years is not years enough to assess the historical worth of something that happened six years ago. The worth of anything however is judged and re-judged at the will and the fancy of the judge. Some events naturally draw more attention than others. Their significance is more frequently subject to assessment. So it is with the 18th day of May in the year 2009. That day marked the end of a chapter. As is often said, stories don’t always end when chapters close. more..

TN trawlers defy SL sovereignty 36,865 times

May 20 (DM) Six years is not years enough to assess the historical worth of something that happened six years ago. The worth of anything however is judged and re-judged at the will and the fancy of the judge. Some events naturally draw more attention than others. Their significance is more frequently subject to assessment. So it is with the 18th day of May in the year 2009. That day marked the end of a chapter. As is often said, stories don’t always end when chapters close. more..

‘This is absolutely a sinister move’

May 20 (DM) Minister Ravi Karunanayake has come under much criticism from the Opposition and has been under a cloud of allegations since his appointment to the Cabinet. This reached a boiling point on Monday when a no confidence motion was brought against him, signed by more than 100 UPFA MPs. On the same day however, Colombo High Courts acquitted him on a long-standing case on charges of money laundering more..

Ensuring Media Freedom

May 20 (SL) After years of pressure on media institutions and media personnel, the present state of media freedom and standards of local media should be comprehensively analysed in order to improve the standards of local media and to meet the international level of reporting. Last week, International Media Assessment Mission to SL issued a joint statement based on their assessment on media freedom situation in the country. more..

Lack of staff allows drug syndicates to open up Lanka as major transit route

May 20 (ST) In the early hours of last Sunday, Police Narcotics Bureau officials at BIA, alerted to an attempt to smuggle drugs through the coastal town of Thoduwawa, Marawila, sped there and found caches of heroin hidden in the scrub along the beach. Drugs were allegedly smuggled in from India with the use of local and Indian boats. A total of 8kg of heroin worth Rs. 80 million was seized in the investigation, officials said. more..

SL Muslim schoolgirl ran away from her Ohio home still lives in fear

May 20 (DM) Rifqa Bary, the Ohio teen who made national headlines in 2009 when she ran away from her Muslim family after secretly converting to Christianity, writes in her new book that nearly six years after her escape she still lives in fear but does not regret her decision. Born Fatima Rifqa Bary, the Sri Lankan native moved with her family to the US in 2000, when she was 8 years old, ostensibly to seek medical treatment more..

CM asks why govt is silent when court orders are violated in North

May 20 (Island) Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga asked the govt why it was silent on LTTE commemorations in Mullaitivu by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, while politicians in the South who engaged in peaceful protests were taken before courts alleging violations of court orders. He said that more than 20 MPs and PC members had to appear in Courts over alleged violation of a more..

JVP blames govt for reneging pledge to confirm manpower workers in service

May 20 (Island) JVP-affiliated National Centre to Make Permanent Manpower Workers (NCMPMW) alleged that the new govt had come to power in January, promising to address the manpower workers’ problems was now removing and transferring them. NCPMW National Organiser Ranjan Jayalal said that there were around 10,000 manpower workers at govt institutions including 6,750 at CEB, 1,040 at the Cultural Triangle, more..

BBS Chairman resigns

May 20 (CT) Chairman of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Venerable Kirama Wimalajothi Thera has withdrawn from his post as well as from all activities of the organization. The Thera said since the path the BBS was taking did not suit him, he sent a letter to Ven Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera explaining his decision. The Thera said he realized that this journey was unsuitable for him subsequent to the BBS Convention more..

President says new parliament in September

May 20 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena said a new parliament will be in place by September with the present one being dissolved soon after the setting up of the constitutional council. The Constitutional Council, which will make appointments to key public institutions like the police and judiciary, is aimed at de-politicizing the public service which in recent years has been abused by ruling party politicians. more..

President says will act on Treasury bond probe report

May 20 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena said he will act on the recommendations by a three member committee that went in to a controversial bond sale involving a firm connected to the son-in-law of Sri Lanka's Central Bank Governor. The Treasury bond deal, where insider dealing was alleged is the first major scandal to hit the new administration and the opposition made it a key issue. more..

Sri Lanka's domestic war crimes probe to get underway next month

May 20 (PTI) Sri Lanka will begin next month its domestic probe into the alleged human rights violations during the final stages of decades-long war with the LTTE to meet the UN deadline, President Maithripala Sirisena said. "We will start the work of the local mechanism by next month," he said. Probe would be conducted in line with the local laws. Sirisena said that his govt would welcome UNHRC guidance on its own mechanism. more..

'SC and AC judges must resign'

May 20 (DM) Purawesi Balaya Organisation which played the major role in bringing the present government to office today urged the judges of the Supreme Court and the Appeal Court to resign so that new judges could be appointed under the 19th Amendment. Purawesi Balaya Convener K.W. Janaranjana said the 18th Amendment became ineffective after the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was signed into law and as such the judges appointed by former president more..

Naming and Shaming

May 20 (CT) NPC Chief Minister and TNA politico C.V. Wigneswaran made a statement when he went to pay his respects to the war dead at Mullivaikkal, Mullaitivu on Monday. It was at Mullivaikkal that LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran's body was found and where the LTTE fought its last battle. He said that Tamils don't want to punish the perpetrators, but they are only seeking the truth about what transpired. Wigneswaran was referring to civilian casualties and also the killing of more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Captain Cool ready for general election under any system

May 20 (Island) SLFP Attanagalle Chief Organiser Arjuna Ranatunga MP, says he is prepared to contest the next general election under any system. "It doesn’t matter to me whether the next parliamentary polls are held under the current electoral system or the proposed first–past-the-post coupled with limited PR," he said when asked for his views on the dispute between the UNP and SLFP over electoral reforms. Ranatunga’s comments came amidst the UPFA General Secretary more..

Probe continues over alleged coup attempt

May 20 (CG) Govt today said that it was still investigating allegations of an alleged coup attempt during the Jan 8 Presidential Elections. President Sirisena said that in his opinion there was no conspiracy but some sort of discussion had taken place in an attempt to prevent the new govt from taking power. Minister Mangala Samaraweera had filed a police complaint alleging that former President Rajapakse and some members of his govt had attempted to stage a coup more..

SLC members assemble to discuss AGM

May 20 (WI) We wish to inform you that we convened a meeting of the Membership of Sri Lanka Cricket yesterday where 63 representatives out of 85 were present, to enlighten them on the discussions we had with the Hon Minister with regards to the request made by him to hold the Annual General Meeting of SLC in January 2016. It was the unanimous view of all present, that we should not delay holding of AGM any further more..