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Gayantha accelerates Galle City Project

May 22 (DN) Minster Gayantha Karunatilleke said he will take the leadership in accelerating balance work on the strategic Galle city development project which has been lagging behind and urged professionals and the public who desired the development of the Galle Heritage City without any political bias to come up with ideas and suggestions to transform the city into an attractive outpost in Southern Sri Lanka. He made this request presiding over a progress review meeting more..

Sangakkara Breaks Mahela's Record

May 22 (AM) Kumar Sangakkara once again entered the cricket records yesterday, breaking a SL record held by Mahela Jayawardena. Representing Surrey, Sangakkara scored his 52nd first class century yesterday in the game against Northamptonshire. Thereby, he became the Sri Lankan batsman with highest number of first class centuries. Sangakkara has scored 52 centuries in 372 first class innings. He has scored 17,757 first class runs at an average of 51.61. more..

Sri Lanka loses 2017 Asian Youth Games

May 22 (KUNA) President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah announced Thursday that the Council has withdrawn the 3rd Asian Youth Games in 2017 from Sri Lanka due to problems with the independence of the National Olympic Committee by the govt. OCA has offered the 3rd AYG 2017 to Jakarta, Indonesia, as a test event for the 2018 Asian Games, Sheikh Ahmad said following more..

Chinese envoy meets SLFP after powwow with Ranil

May 22 (Island) Close on the heels of a fence mending meeting with UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickrmesinghe, Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang has thanked the SLFP for its contribution to developing Sino- Lanka relations. Ambassador Yi had called on General Secretary of the SLFP Anura Priyadharshana Yapa MP on Monday in Colombo to thank the SLFP for strengthening bilateral ties and also friendly relations between the two countries. more..

Mahinda still President had he appointed Maithripala as PM: Dilan

May 22 (DN) Mahinda Rajapaksa would have still been President had he made Maithripala Sirisena Prime Minister, former State Minister Dilan Perera said. Perera said they will extend their fullest support to get the 20th Amendment passed in Parliament. He said the same process the FCID used to trap former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa will be used to ensnare Housing and Samurdhi Minister Sajith Premadasa in future using the same guidelines. more..

ICC sceptical about Sri Lankan govt

May 22 (DM) International Cricket Council (ICC) has questioned if Sri Lanka’s new govt is acting in the best interest of cricket, after SLC Interim Committee member Nuski Mohamed informed ICC of the actions taken by the govt. ICC had made their feelings clear to the Minister Navin Dissanayake in a letter sent by ICC Chairman N. Srinivasan and ICC CEO David Richardson on April 23. “On the basis of the information available to the ICC, more..

Army still holds 5,000 acres of private land

May 22 (Hindu) At least 5,000 acres of private land, part of high security zones taken over by the SL Army since 1990, are still in their possession, according to a study. However, officials have declined to provide an exact figure of the extent of land held by the forces. On March 23 and April 10 this year, 1,013 acres in Northern Province, covering parts of Palai Veemankamam and Varththalaivilan, were released. Minister D.M. Swaminathan said a time frame for the release of remaining land more..

Ranil has no real mandate: Nimal Siripala

May 22 (CT) Leader of the Opposition Nimal Siripala de Silva said yesterday that Ranil Wickremesinghe became the Prime Minister due to the benevolence of President Maithripala Sirisena as it is impossible for a party that does not command the majority support in Parliament to appoint its leader as the Prime Minister. He said this in response to a statement made by the PM in Nupe, Matara. Wickremesinghe said "the opposition leader is playing with the people's mandate. more..

Bang bang over Bond

May 22 (FT) During an adjournment debate on the report of the committee appointed to look into the controversial Central Bank bond issuance, Opposition lawmaker Vasudeva Nanayakkara directed a torrent of abuse at PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa warned Nanayakkara over his foul language, pointing out that there were schoolchildren present at the public gallery. more..

Women arise, before the gang rapists come for you

May 22 (DM) In the aftermath of World War II the German theologian Martin Niemöller gave humanity one of the most memorable war poems titled Then they came for me. It was about how good and righteous people kept silent when the Nazis slaughtered people here and there and there was no one left to speak when Hitler’s maniacs came for them. A similar crisis is developing in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the May 13 gruesome gang rape and killing of 18-year-old school girl more..

Recognising factors behind the Jaffna hartal

May 22 (DM) On Wednesday, a tense situation prevailed at the Jaffna Court premises when some protestors stoned the court building and the police over an incident where an 18-year-old girl was gang raped and killed at Punguditivu in Jaffna. The protesters stoned the court for not handing over the suspects to them and urged the authorities to do so for. Police fired tear gas to disperse the angry protestors. It was on May 13, Wednesday. Sivaloganathan Vithya who was a student of more..

SLFP Ministers unhappy with MS, contemplate quitting govt

May 22 (DM) When President Sirisena disregarded the call by the local authorities’ members of the UPFA to extend the terms of their local bodies, he earned the political wrath of UPFA MPs holding ministerial perks in his Cabinet. In fact, they stated they found the President’s move favouring the UNP over the SLFP, the dominant party of the UPFA at this trying time. Decision gave political connotations in this manner as the dissolution more..

Betel-chewing bus drivers on a dangerous high

May 22 (ST) The speeding and overtaking common among bus drivers in the city and suburbs could be due to betel chewing, a medical researcher revealed. It has been found that drivers and bus conductors chew betel to stay awake and concentrate on driving. The survey conducted by the Institute of Oral Health, (IOH) Maharagama, on 103 bus drivers and conductors in the High Level Road in the Maharagama and more..

Sri Lanka policy rates unchanged amid exchange rate pressure

May 22 (EN) Sri Lanka's central bank said it will keep policy rates unchanged amid low inflation despite the exchange rate coming under pressure with stronger state and private credit. Sri Lanka's inflation rose only 0.1% in the 12-months to April, but some of the fall in the index came from tax cuts, which had in turn expanded the deficits at the central govt and state petroleum utility, pressuring the monetary system. more..

Attorney General halts Tiran’s arrest

May 22 (DN) The Attorney General yesterday stalled the arrest of MP Tiran Alles after the Supreme Court noticed the Police on the strength of a Fundamental Rights petition filed by the MP. The Police Special Investigations Unit investigating into alleged financial misappropriations at RADA headed by Tiran Alles had sought IGP N.K. Illangakoon’s directions to arrest the MP over the allegations leveled against him. more..

No solution to flooding in Colombo!

May 22 (SL) While much has been said about the causes for flooding in Colombo and the suburbs, the irony is no practical solution to the problem has been taken yet. While the city and surrounding areas were developed and the city beautification took centre stage, there were many allegations levelled against the previous regime that the drainage system was not updated which resulted in the flooding these areas. more..

Khalil bus driver still traumatised by 2009 attack on Sri Lankan team

May 22 (AFP) Meher Khalil earned fame and success after saving Sri Lanka's cricket team from a deadly 2009 attack in Pakistan, but the bus driver calls the incident "tragic" and says it is best forgotten. The 43-year-old will be one of the guests of honour at Lahore's Gaffafi Stadium on Friday, when Pakistan play Zimbabwe in their first home international since the notorious incident. Khalil was driving team's bus when it was attacked by more..

'Colombo welcomes Malaysia's proposal on three mega projects'

May 22 (Bernama) Colombo has welcomed Malaysia’s proposal for govt to govt cooperation in the implementation of at least three infrastructure projects worth billions of dollars in Sri Lanka. Special Envoy to India & South Asia for Infrastructure Datuk Seri Vellu who is on a three-day working visit to Sri Lanka since May 19, said SL President Maithripala Sirisena would direct his officials to pursue govt to govt cooperation. more..

Attanayake wants to contest general election from Kandy

May 22 (Island) Former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayaka MP said in Kandy yesterday that he would contest the forthcoming general election. "I will definitely contest at the general election from the Kandy District but at the moment I am unable to name the political party. I await the response from the UNP, the MP said. Tissa Attanayake was responding to media questions after calling on the prelate of the Asgiriya Vihare. more..

Finance Minister offers to settle GK depositors from next Monday

May 22 (Island) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told parliament that the govt could commence paying back the Golden Key depositors starting from next Monday without waiting for the next hearing date of the case filed by them seeking the reimbursement of their funds. He said the govt had agreed to pay 41% of the deposits of the Golden Key depositors subject to the withdrawal of the pending court cases filed by them. more..

Video: Over 60 sign no-confidence motion against PM: Dullas

May 22 (DM) UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma said no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe so far signed by more than 60 MPs including 14 ministers, deputy ministers and state ministers would be handed over to the Speaker next week. He said they were sure to receive the support of a majority of MPs and that it would be significant being the only no-confidence motion submitted against a PM with a more..

Patriotic Muslim Collective protests against environmentalists

May 22 (Island) A group of people calling themselves Patriotic Muslim Collective (PMC) demonstrated yesterday opposite the Centre for Society and Religion in Maradana against a media conference conducted by environmentalists against settlements in Wilpattu National Park. Environmentalists accused the protestors of being led by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, while protestors claimed that they wanted to start their livelihoods in their native lands adjacent to Wilpattu Park. more..

EU and UNDP develop youth leadership at grass-roots level

May 22 (Island) The European Union (EU) together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recently inaugurated a Youth Leadership Development Programme (YLDP) in the Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Mannar districts, where over 250 youth will commence a three-month long course conducted by the University of Jaffna (UoJ). The Vavuniya Campus and the Eastern University have joined hands with the UoJ to implement the course in their respective districts. more..

Rathu Ira: Ranil Wickremesinghe

Stocks surge on positive earnings reports

May 22 (LBO) Stocks rose 15.04 points, Friday following a slump yesterday mainly due to positive earnings reports and dividend announcements. All Share Price Index rose 15.04 points (0.21%) to end at 7,288.74 while the S&P SL 20 index dipped by 1.49 points (0.04%) to end at 4,067.14. Turnover was 905 million down from 1.7 billion rupees, Thursday. The benchmark index was that active trading was seen in the industrial stock with two counters recording 52 week highs,” more..

Jaffna regains its soul

May 22 (CT) Police denied 'mob justice' to the people of Jaffna, when they were prevented from storming the Jaffna Courts on Wednesday, in an attempt to forcibly take away eight suspects, charged with the rape and murder of an 18-year-old schoolgirl from Punkuduthivu, whose body was found in the area, eight days ago on 14 May. Such crimes may not be all that uncommon in the South. The suspects are all Tamils and are not from either the security forces or from the Police. more..

Video: Vasu a dried pumpkin: Ranil

May 22 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today hit back at UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara saying he is a dried pumpkin who had lost the prime of his life. A heated argument ensued between the MP and the Prime Minister in the parliament yesterday with Mr. Nanayakkara reportedly using obscenities against the Prime Minister. “He is a dried pumpkin. This is how defeated people behave,” the PM said more..

Jaffna demonstrations: Creating a Kashmir?

May 22 (CT) Were the scenes we saw on our TV screens this week a manifestation of a potentially dangerous, post-January 8th radicalization in the North? It is perfectly natural for demonstrations to be held when a crime as heinous as the rape and murder of a schoolgirl takes place. It is natural that such demonstrations be emotional. It would also be natural for those demonstrations to take a violent turn if the suspected perpetrators of the crime were from the armed forces or Police or more..

Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena slams Ajith P. Perera's comments

May 22 (AM) Former Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena asked if the politicians of UNP do not work with elections in mind. Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera’s stated that the four resigned SLFP members did so with the forthcoming election in mind. In response, Abeywardena asked if the UNP politicians had other objectives in mind. If not elections, perhaps the UNP had other deals in mind, Abeywardena said. Central Bank Treasury bond issue was one such deal, he claimed. more..

Senior Police officers of Jaffna District transferred

May 22 (AD) The IGP has ordered the transfer of the OIC of the Jaffna Division SSP SSP Lakshman Weerasekara and the HQI of Kayts CI Q.R. Perera and HQI of Jaffna CI B.M.R.K.B. Balasooriya with immediate effect. Accordingly the SSP of Jaffna Division has been transferred as the OIC of Seethawakapura Division. The OIC of the Seethawakapura Division SSP W.K. Jayalath has been transferred as OIC of Jaffna Division. more..

50 elephants kept sans permits

May 22 (CT) Deputy Minister of Tourism and Sports Wasantha Senanayaka told Parliament yesterday that the ministry had instructed officials to locate 50 elephants who, according to initial information, are being privately kept without permits. Of them, ten cases have been handed over to the CID for investigation, the minister said. He said that eight elephants with permits and three elephants without permits were taken into custody after the last presidential election. more..

Govt assures law and order after protest

May 23 (CG) The Govt says it has taken all measures to maintain law and order and that there would not be any room for unruly elements to create any sort of disturbances in the country. Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that unruly protests will not be allowed in the North or any other part of the country over the kidnapping, rape and killing of an 18-year-old schoolgirl in Kayts, Jaffna. He pointed out that 130 suspects were arrested for pelting stones at more..

Shangri-La launches luxury apartments and office complex project in Colombo

May 22 (LBO) Hong Kong based Shangri La Hotels and Resorts, launches US$ 500 million of exclusive residences, office and retail project in Galle Face, Colombo targeting at foreign investors, expatriates and an expanding class of influential Sri Lankans. The residences component will have 406 apartments consists of two, three and four bedroom units. Additionally, it will contain 16 penthouses, more..

'Most hospital administrators want their institutions taken over by govt'

May 22 (Island) Most hospital administrators wanted their institutions to be taken over by the government, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. But, he did not discriminate between hospitals run by provincial councils and those under the government, he said recently at the foundation stone laying ceremony for a Maternity Clinic at the Alutgama Rural Hospital. The project is funded by Korean firm Myeomg Dong Asia (Pvt) Ltd. Minister said he had no intention to take over any hospital. more..

I won’t influence any entrepreneur but will support their development: President

May 22 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena says he would not try to unduly influence any business or entrepreneur in the way some previous politicians of the Government did, but will give support for the development of business. “We expect only the tax and other payments due to the govt from the entrepreneurs after they become successful in their business. I do not want any benefit or remuneration from them,” he said. The President was speaking at the opening of 10th SL Hotel Exhibition more..

'UNP boss at controversial Treasury bond auction'

May 22 (EN) Chairman of UNP was at a controversial Treasury bond auction where insider fraud is alleged, opposition leader Nimal Siriapala de Silva charged in parliament. A report by a three-member committee that probed the bond sale, where the initial offer was raised 10 times and half the volume given to a firm linked to the son-in-law of Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran found no direct involvement by him in the award. more..

2014 Gratiaen Prize Shortlist Announced

May 22 (Island) Celebrating 22 years of recognizing and awarding the best work in English by resident Sri Lankan writers the Gratiaen Prize, awarded in affiliation with Standard Chartered Bank Sri Lanka, opened awards season with the shortlist announcement which was held yesterday (11) at the British Council. The winner will be announced on 12th June Friday, at the main prize event to be held at Park Street Mews Colombo. The five works of literature selected by the judges, more..

Govt calls for vigilance over conspiracies

May 22 (MoD) Govt requests the people to be vigilant about campaigns carried out by certain political and extremist elements to mislead the Southern people, using media reports and video clippings of recent LTTE commemorative events held in some countries including south India and over the kidnapping, rape and killing of a 18-year-old schoolgirl in Kayts, Jaffna. State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardena totally refuted the allegation made by the former President Rajapaksa and more..

Sri Lanka's Samaraweera meets Germany's Steinmeier

May 22 (IL) Foreign Minister met his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, yesterday at the German Foreign office in Berlin. German Foreign Minister warmly welcomed Samaraweera, hailing him as one of the Architects of Change in Sri Lanka. Steinmeier acclaimed the political developments in Sri Lanka in the recent months and also mentioned that Germany was impressed by the high voter turnout in the presidential elections more..

MSD woman constable collapses and dies while running

May 22 (Island) A woman police constable attached to the Ministerial Security Division who collapsed during the morning five kilometre run with her colleagues on Wednesday died at the National Hospital later in the day. Victim Dharshani Kumari (26) a resident of Ekiriya, Hanguranketha had collapsed just about 100 metres from the finish line at Malay Street. She had been covering the distance during regular fitness sessions; he said, adding that she was a good sportswoman. more..