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SLFP claims decision on remaining in govt will be taken after 20A

May 23 (FT) SLFP announced that its remaining ministers in the coalition Govt would make a decision on whether they would remain in the Govt after discussions within the party and with the President, following the implementation of the 20th Amendment. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera explained that the four SLFP ministers did not resign from the Govt due to any conflicts that occurred between them and the remaining more..

Sri Lanka to become preferred premium LPO destination

May 23 (LMD) Sri Lankan legal professionals stand to gain the required exposure to be part of the Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) revolution, with the initiation of Vezarto LPO Academy, which is pioneering LPO training in Sri Lanka, resulting in attracting additional foreign exchange into the country. At a LPO familiarisation programme conducted at the Sri Lanka Bar Association, Prof. Rafael Dean Brown stated that “Sri Lanka has immense potential in this segment, more..

Court bans protests in Jaffna

May 23 (CG) Jaffna Magistrate has issued a stay order banning all types of protests in the Jaffna town. The stay order was issued as a result of the violence which erupted in Jaffna this week during a protest against the alleged rape and murder of a girl in Jaffna. The police had to use tear gas to disperse the protesters who had damaged public property and had also pelted stones at the Jaffna court building. The ban on protests was issued after information was received that more..

Video: Bonds worth Rs.2.7 trillion sold during previous regime: PM

May 23 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday Treasury Bonds worth a staggering Rs.2.7 trillion had been sold by the Central Bank to an accomplice of the previous regime by violating standard tender procedure in 2012, 2013 and 2014. He said the committee appointed by him to inquire into the controversial sale of Treasury Bonds during tenure of Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran had come across these startling facts. more..

Comrade Vasu and his street fighter gab!

May 23 (DM) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa sometime back was toying with the idea of allowing the broadcast of Parliament sessions live on TV. As a result a couple of pay-TV service providers are currently broadcasting the Parliamentary sessions live. But the majority of the Sri Lankans still haven’t been able to digest the idea of paying to watch TV. Given what happened in the House on Thursday, we believe the Speaker should request at least the state-owned TV channels, which more..

Fifth columnists

May 23 (CT) The resignation of one SLFP minister and three deputy ministers of the same party from the govt on Thursday is another visible sign that there are cracks within the SLFP at the eve of a general election. The first crack appeared when the party's then General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena announced his presidential candidature six months ago in Nov 2014, a poll, which he went on to win comfortably over his former party Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa on 8 Jan 2015. more..

'Israel built itself from scratch'

May 23 (DM) Ambassador Daniel Carmon was born in Tel Aviv in 1951. He attended High School in Jerusalem, Istanbul, and Paris, and from 1970 to 1973, served as a Paratrooper in the Israel Defence Forces, where he attained the rank of Lieutenant. In 1973, he began studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he was awarded a BA in International Relations. At the same time, in 1973, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, more..

Jayalalithaa returns as chief minister of Tamil Nadu

May 23 (Reuters) One of India's most powerful politicians, Jayalalithaa Jayaram, was sworn in as chief minister of TN following a 9-month break, after a court overturned her conviction in a corruption case. Jayalalithaa was forced to resign as chief minister last year after being convicted of holding $8.3 million in unaccounted cash and property. But a higher court scrapped the case against the former film star last week. more..

Waiting to open a new chapter in their lives back home

May 23 (ST) After 24 years for the first time P. Kugan is returning to his motherland, or at least to the country where his parent’s roots lie. He was born and raised in a refugee camp in Gummidipoondi, Tamil Nadu after his family left the country during the war in 1990. “I’m hoping to start a new life with a new job here. I have completed my higher studies in India. So I’m optimistic,” he said. With hope & slight trepidation in their hearts more..

Farmers at a loss

May 23 (SL) Exploitation of the farming communities of this country is not a recent issue. Hostile weather conditions as well as the market that the middleman operates are continuing to batter on the hard working farmers to date. They have been constantly & continuously demanding a mechanism that will ensure a fair price for their productions from every govt that so far came into power, which every govt has failed to establish. more..

CAA to set standards for helmets

May 23 (CT) Consumer Affairs Authority has decided to issue a new gazette notification which includes rules and regulations for the sale and display of helmets in the open market. The gazette notification is due to be issued according to a request by the National Council on Passengers' Protection and Police Headquarters. The Sri Lanka Standards Institution has published the standards of protective helmets & subsequent to a review more..

Upul donates USD 5,000 to Sandya

May 23 (Island) Upul Jayasuriya the immediate past President of the BASL was presented the Rule of Law Award 2015 in Glasgow by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association. Along with the trophy, Jayasuriya was also presented with a cash donation of USD 5000 sponsored by Lexis Nexis. Jayasuriya has in turn decided to award the same to the wife of the disappeared journalist, Sandya Ekneligoda, in recognition of sacrifice more..

Mangala briefs German Foreign Minister

May 23 (CG) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera met German Foreign Minister Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the German Foreign Office in Berlin and briefed him on the progress that Sri Lanka has made since the Presidential election. Samaraweera briefed his German counterpart on the steps taken to restore democracy, strengthen institutions, legislative reform, transfer of some of the powers of the Executive Presidency to more..

‘Can a person who has renounced SL nationality be appointed CB Governor’

May 23 (Island) Former External Affairs Minister Prof G.L. Peiris said yesterday that the govt owed an explanation to the people regarding the appointment of a person who had repudiated his Sri Lankan nationality, as the Governor of the Central Bank. Prof. Peiris said Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s foreign nationality wasn’t the only issue but the circumstances under which he had obtained that status. more..

Sri Lanka lacks officers to investigate large scale corruptions: PM

May 23 (LBO) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe Friday said that the country lacks officers to investigate large-scale corruption, fraud and irregularities and the professionals who have the knowledge are not keen to do so. “As the new govt, we are in the process of exposing large-scale corruption, fraud and irregularities which have taken place in the public sector, semi govt and private sector,” PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. more..

President bans harmful herbicide, glyphosate

May 23 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has banned glyphosate widely used as a herbicide. Speaking at the Hotel School Scholarships Presenting Ceremony President Sirisena said he had been requested to reconsider the ban or to allow the existing stocks of glyphosate to be disposed of. "But, I turned them down." Harmful agrochemicals had been causing kidney failure most often among farmers, more..

Vasu & Ranil: Fire & Ice

May 23 (CT) Vasudeva Nanayakkara simply shouldn’t have said what he did about PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. It was un-parliamentary and unfair. Why then did it happen? What triggered it? What does it all mean and portend? At one level what it means is that the delay in holding the parliamentary election is utterly unconscionable and unwise. The confrontations in the Northern streets and in the parliament simply mean that the safety valves have to be opened and the head of steam that more..

Awoth Atha Thamai: Cabraal is no excuse for Mahendran

May 23 (CT) The above is what, unfortunately, Ranil Wickremesinghe has said about the “Report of the Bond Issues of the Central Bank 2015” in Parliament, the day before. I quote from the Daily FT, 22 May 2015. It is ‘unfortunate,’ because when people actively supported the ousting of the former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and appointing of Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister, the hope was for a clean and transparent government or Yahapalanaya. more..

Wild Sri Lanka: Ocean of Giants

Sri Lanka Women take lead with D/L win

May 23 (CI) Sri Lanka Women beat West Indies Women by five runs in a rain-affected game in Colombo to lead the 3-match T20 series 1-0. West Indies, after being inserted to bat, put up 109 for 6 in 20 overs. They lost two wickets in the first over, as Sripali Weerakkody picked up Kycia Knight and Deandra Dottin. Stafanie Taylor top-scored with 40, sharing partnerships of 32 with Britney Cooper and 45 with Merissa Aguilleira (28). Other than Maduri Samuddika, all bowlers took at least 1 wicket. more..

Bar condemns Jaffna court attack

May 23 (CT) Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has today called upon the Attorney General and the other law enforcement authorities to bring the perpetrators who attacked the Jaffna Court premises to justice. We publish below the statement in full; The BASL expresses its strong condemnation and abhorrence of the incident which took place in Jaffna where the Court premises came under attack. The Bar Association of Sri Lanka is of the view that this conduct amounts to a serious more..

Trinco govt docs on indefinite strike

May 23 (Island) More than 250 doctors serving in the Trincomalee District launched a district-wise strike yesterday following an attack on the on-call Medical Officer at the Thopur Divisional Hospital Dr. Shiyam Mohammed by a group of unknown people at 1 am yesterday. Consultant Paediatrician Dr. Samantha Chandraratne said that around 1 a.m. a group of people had come to the Thopur Divisional hospital. more..

We are Telugu

May 23 (ST) The Sri Lankan gypsies -a branch of the Romani people- have entranced the public with the sinuous cobra dance and with their skill as soothsayers. According to Wikipedia genetic evidence connects the Romani people to the descendants of groups which emigrated from South Asia towards Central Asia during the medieval period. Sadly these people have always struggled against racial prejudice in our country. They are emphatic that they do not appreciate more..

Navy assists in the repatriation of 16 Sri Lankan fishermen

May 23 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy assisted in the repatriation of Sixteen Sri Lankan fishermen, who were released from the Indian custody. The fishermen were handed over to Sri Lanka Coast Guard officials by the Indian Coast Guard Ship Rajtarang at the Indo-Sri Lanka International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in the seas north of Kankasanthurai today. The released fishermen were safely brought to the Kankasanthurai harbour by CG 42 belongs to Sri Lanka Coast Guard and more..

'Pregnant mothers given food items not fit for consumption'

May 23 (Island) Food items not fit for human consumption had been included in the basket of goods worth Rs. 2,000 given to each pregnant mother on a monthly basis, Parliament was told. The project is implemented by the Ministry of Child Affairs. Responding to a query, Minister Rosy Senanayake admitted that there had been several instances of pregnant mothers receiving such food items in certain districts. more..

Colombo-Matara bus gutted in fire

May 23 (ST) A private passenger bus was completely destroyed after a fire broke out in front of the vehicle as it was moving along from Colombo to Matara in the Deep South earlier today. The incident took place at a location in the Galle area and that there were some 60 passengers inside the vehicle when the fire engulfed the bus. There were no reports of casualties and the blaze was brought under control by fire fighters from the Galle Municipal Council and the navy. more..

CMC begins stray dog survey

May 23 (Island) Veterinary Department of the Colombo Municipal Council said it had commissioned a survey on stray dogs in the city. Chief of the Veterinary Department, Dr I. Dharmawardane said that there was some confusion over the number of strays in the city and the survey would help ascertain the exact figure. The last survey was carried out in 2006 – and that too was done by an NGO while more unorganised surveys were carried out in various parts of the city more..

Video: Ministers who quit also follow wrong astrologers: Harin

May 23 (AD) Uva Province Chief Minister Harin Fernando says that the recent resignation of four SLFP Ministers was a planned game and that he expects more will follow suit. He stated that on the very same day UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara had used foul language against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament, in an attempt to tarnish latter’s image and show to the people that no one respects him as Prime Minister. more..

Drunken soldier rams army truck into car killing husband and wife

May 23 (Island) A husband and wife, both aged 54, were killed as their car was rammed by an army truck driven by a drunken soldier on Thursday night on the Maradankadawala-Batticaloa main road in the Pollonnaruwa police area. The victims had been on their way home with their two sons and a nephew after attending a religious ceremony. The victims’ son, who had driven the car at the time of the accident has told the police that the army truck had been driven recklessly. more..

SAPRI in effort to build religious harmony

May 23 (FT) The South Asia Policy and Research Institute (SAPRI) chaired by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, has embarked on a program to build sustainable religious harmony in Ratnapura, Kurunegala and Gampaha districts. SAPRI, a regional organisation focusing on the formulation of policies on subjects of importance to South Asia to facilitate the evolving of inclusive societies, is greatly concerned by the increasing acts occurring in the region, in SL particularly, more..

Arjuna Ranatunga: Large and in charge

May 23 (CM) Truth be known, I love to hate the Australians more than anyone else. And therefore the man who got under their skin the most is my hero. Appearances can be deceiving, and when it comes to Arjuna Ranatunga, the rotund Sri Lankan mastermind, there was nothing soft in his underbelly. He is as tough a cricketer as I have ever come across. We represented our countries at the same time, both very young, more..

Sri Lankan van driver jailed for killing a jogger in UK

May 23 (SM) A van driver has today been jailed for four years after admitting knocking down and killing a jogger. Shamugarasa Vinayagasivampillai had worked a 12-hour night shift when his Nissan Primastar van left the road and struck 39-year-old Louisa Gammie, who died in hospital the following day. Vinayagasivampillai appeared at Guildford Crown Court today having earlier pleaded guilty to the charge of causing death by dangerous driving. He was sentenced to four years in prison, more..

UNP continues with distribution of motorcycles among state employees

May 23 (Island) Govt is continuing with the programme initiated by its predecessor to provide motorcycles to public employees. Motorcycles will be handed over to policemen in the Anuradhapura District shortly. 1651 policemen in the Anuradhapura District would be given motorcycles at a ceremony to be held at the Salgadu Grounds at 9 am on Tuesday. The programme was launched by Mahinda Rajapaksa's govt to help the state sector employees with transport. more..

MR accuses US, EU of backing regime change

May 23 (CG) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa accused United States (US) and European Union (EU) of backing regime change in Sri Lanka. Rajapaksa said that the US, EU and Britain had often accused his Govt of human rights abuses but are blind to the abuses being conducted by the new Govt. “They wanted regime change. Once they put us aside they are very happy,” the former President said at an event in Ampara. more..

15 UPFA party leaders to unite Maithri, Mahinda

May 23 (CT) Leaders of 15 political parties in the UPFA are due to launch a special programme to bring President Sirisena and former President Rajapaksa on to the same stage, according to a statement made by former PM D.M. Jayaratne. He also said that the party leaders have already been informed in writing about this endeavour. Jayaratne pointed out that Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa have to get on to the same stage in order to defeat UNP in forthcoming general election more..

'China-Lanka Buddhist links to flourish under Maithripala leadership'

May 23 (FT) Sangha Nayake Thero of Guangzhou, China said that is fully confident that under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena, the Buddhist links between Sri Lanka and China would become stronger. This was stated when a 30-member Buddhist delegation from China headed by Most Ven. Ming Sheng, the Sangha Nayake of Guangzhou in China and Ven. Piao Yang Head of the Hong Kong World Buddhist Peace and Development Association met President more..

Economic liberty missing in Sri Lanka's policy mix: Sally

May 23 (EN) Sri Lanka has seen a reduction in ethnic chauvinism, political repression, a re-balanced foreign policy since elections in January but economic liberties have to improve to allow the country to progress, a top economist has said. The last 10 years saw a renewed illiberalism in economics, politics, ethnic chauvinism and another bias towards China in foreign policy, Razeen Sally, Associate Professor at National Uni of S'pore. more..

'Politicians trying to tarnish my image'

May 23 (CT) Dean of the Colombo Law Faculty, Dr. V.T. Tamilmaran regretted that certain politicians were trying to tarnish his image by unnecessarily dragging him into the schoolgirl S. Vithya's brutal murder in Punkuduthivu. Tamilmaran said that since Punkuduthivu being his home town he had gone there to assess the situation over the brutal killing of Vithya. "I am very much aware about the misconduct of one of the 10 suspects who returned from Switzerland. more..

No laws to govern child transport

May 23 (ST) Lack of authority and law are hampering the provision of safe school transport, the Chairman of All-Island Inter-District Schoolchildren Transport Association, Harishchandra Padmasiri, said. He said school van drivers have been urging the govt to set up a monitoring system with laws administered by a govt authority. There was no proper method for registration of school van drivers, Mr. Padmasiri said. There were guidelines for drivers to register with local police more..

Cabraal denies PM's claims; challenges to TV debate over bond deals

May 23 (EN) Former Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal has denied claims by PM Ranil Wickremasinghe that gilts were directly placed at higher than auction rates in the past and challenged him to a television debate. PM has pointed fingers at private placements made during the last regime as the new administration has come under fire over a 30-year bond sale where rates soared and brought the entire gilt market to more..