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India keeps high stakes game in Sri Lanka at arm's length

May 25 (BS) With all the attention concentrated on the Narendra Modi-led NDA govt's first anniversary, India is not paying much attention to events in its neighbourhood. But what is happening in Sri Lanka is utterly fascinating. With the abolition of the executive presidency on April 29, 2015, the coalition govt in SL headed by President Sirisena has managed to keep most of the governance reform promises it had made when more..

Sri Lanka police probe death of U.S. pilot

May 25 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan police have launched a probe into the death of a U.S. Air Force pilot whose body was discovered from a hotel room in the capital Colombo last week. The victim's body was discovered on Thursday night from a room of a five star hotel where he had checked in a day earlier. Police officers conducting the investigations revealed that hotel employees contacted the police after they grew suspicious as several calls to more..

'Don’t elect lawbreakers'

May 25 (Island) Deputy Minister of Highways and Investment Promotion Eran Wickramaratne said on Saturday that there were many MPs who owned liquor shops, engaged in drug dealing and illicit businesses though they had not yet been brought to justice. He said that many members in current parliament were not suitable to be called representatives of people because they engaged in many anti-social businesses to earn money. more..

Trichy police remove Prabhakaran hoardings

May 25 (CG) Tension prevailed for a while at different places in Trichy yesterday, when a group of volunteers of the Naam Tamilar Katchi objected to police action of removing the party’s flex hoardings, carrying the portraits of the banned LTTE chief Prabhakaran, erected by them. The flex hoardings were erected in connection with the party’s state conference held last evening at the suburban Panchapur in which party’s founder more..

MP Johnston further remanded

May 25 (NS) Kurunegala district MP Johnston Fernando who was produced before the Kurunegala Magistrate this morning on the alleged financial fraud at Lanka Sathosa has been further remanded until June 8. Kurunegala Chief Magistrate gave the order extending the questioning period for two more weeks. Former Minister of Co-operatives and Internal Trade, Johnston Fernando was taken into custody by the FCID on May 5 more..

President praised for taking bold step to ban glyphosate

May 25 (Island) Kidney Research Scientist Dr. Channa Jayasumana praised President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to ban glyphosate despite pressure from their powerful multinational companies and their local agents. Dr Jayasumana said the CKD research team comprising Prof. Nalin de Silva, Prof. Mala Amarasinghe, Prof. Sisira Sribaddena, Prof. Pryani Paranagama, Prof. Sarath Gunathilaka (California State University), more..

Wickremabahu defends Ranil against his erstwhile comrade

May 24 (Island) What MP Vasudewa Nanayakkara said of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament was unparliamentary, the Nawa Sama Samaja Party Leader said in Kandy. Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne said that the dignity of parliament should not be affronted by such foul language. He made the remarks addressing a meeting organised by the Citizens Assembly (Purawesi Haula) on Saturday. PM Ranil Wickremasinghe was earlier taunted as Wedaberi Tazan but his detractors more..

Sri Lankan shares little changed amid political concerns

May 25 (Reuters) Shares were little changed on Monday as investors awaited clarity on the political front and the timing of a parliamentary election as concerns over political stability weighed on sentiment. The main stock index ended down 0.05% at 7,284.76. "There was some profit-taking in those counters which went up last week," said Dimantha Mathew, research manager at First Capital Equities. "Turnover is low as investors are awaiting the announcement of the election." more..

Wild Sri Lanka: Land of Lakes

Bond Scam: The price of perpetual debt

May 25 (CT) The parliamentary brawl over the Bond Scam was a revealing event. It exposed the fragile nature of the Maithripala Presidency and the UNP administration. The coercive deep state has been replaced by a duplicitous corporate state. The rich continue to steal from the poor. The educated morons having established a precarious perch in power are busy promising that with enough hard work, they can pay off their debt. Gamarala from Thamankaduwa is under siege by the more..

Majoritarian fear psyche

May 25 (CT) Friday's routine press conference at the Information Department seemingly took racist connotations when a journalist made some skewed, rhetorical questions/statements to Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe. This was in connection with the incidents that occurred after the abduction, rape and murder of Sivaloganathan Vithya, an 18-year-old Tamil schoolgirl at Pungudutivu, Jaffna, between 13-14 May, 2015. When the suspects, eight in all, and all Jaffna Tamils, were being taken more..

Customs DG resigns

May 25 (DM) Director General of Department of Customs Jagath Wijeweera has tendered his resignation to the Secretary of the Finance Ministry, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said today. The exact reason for his resignation from his post has not yet been revealed by Mr. Wijeweera, Minister Karunanayake said. He said that Mr. Wijeweera might have resigned due to ongoing investigations to determine the reasons for more..

Angry mob attacks police team in Palai

May 25 (NS) A team of Police attached to the Palai Police station came under attack from a suspect and then the residents of the area. The incident had taken place Saturday evening hours. Police Media Unit revealed that they went to arrest a suspect; a resident from Palai, who had allegedly assaulted a person following a dispute. When the Police had gone into the house of the alleged assailant, he had reportedly attacked the Police with an axe and the police had opened fire at the suspect and more..

Police bust fake Indian currency racket

May 25 (PTI) Two persons have been arrested in Sri Lanka for printing fake Indian currency, police said. Following information received by the CID two people were arrested on Saturday. The two from Ja-Ela and Wattala were found to be exchanging fake Indian currency notes with genuine notes, police said. Police have recovered 25 fake currency notes of Rs 1,000 denomination from the first person and another 156 fake currency notes of Rs 1,000 denomination from the second person.

Video: UPFA complains to IMF on Mahendran

May 25 (DM) UPFA MPs G.L. Peiris, Bandula Gunawardane, Dullas Alahapperuma and Udith Lokubandara have lodged a complaint with the IMF’s representative in Sri Lanka today on the controversial Central Bank bond sale and its incumbent Governor Arjuna Mahendran. MP G.L. Peiris after informing the IMF representative at her office situated in the Central Bank, said they have already complained to the WB and ADB. more..

'Why are Jaffna Police top brass being transferred?'

May 25 (CT) Senior Police officers of the Jaffna District being transferred with immediate effect, in the aftermath of the brutal-gang rape and murder of an 18-year-old schoolgirl, highlights that there is an issue, Attorney-at-Law Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa added. Why were they transferred? He queried. Social pressure from the people and the civil society can change the legal system as glimpsed in Jaffna, as was seen during the social uproar following the fatal 2012 New Delhi gang rape, he said. more..

Video: Three perons killed in Maradana building fire

May 25 (AD) Three persons were killed in a building fire in Maradana today. According to the Maradana police, the fire started just after 12 pm at the building which is located close approximate to the Elphinstone Theatre. The police Media Unit told Ada Derana that the fire was extinguished with the support of the Colombo Fire Brigade and the police, within few hours. The injured person has been admitted to the Colombo National hospital for treatments. more..

UK visa applicant arrested for fraud

May 25 (CT) A 30-year old man from Jaffna has been arrested for using deception in his UK visit visa application. He was found to have previously applied under a different identity. The visa applicant was referred by UK Visas & Immigration to the Fraud Investigations Bureau in Colombo. He had previously been refused a UK visa when using the same name, but with a different date of birth and family details. more..

Video: 162 tons of refuse tea seized

May 25 (DM) Nine containers of refuse tea to be exported to the Middle East and Europe as Ceylon Tea had been seized by the Sri Lanka Customs today at the Orugodawatte Container yard, Deputy Customs Director Parakrama Basnayake said. The consignment had 162 tons of refuse tea. Upon inspection it was revealed that each container had been stocked with 18,000 Kg of tea, he said. He said, according to the intelligence information about 300 containers of refuse tea had already more..

Several UNP MPs to join the opposition, says Dinesh

May 25 (AD) Leader of the MEP and former Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said several Parliamentarians attached to the UNP will defect to the opposition within next few weeks. The observation was made at a press conference held at the Abeyarama Temple in Narahenpita on Monday afternoon. “The present govt is unstable. Therefore, a number of UNPers have asked to join us,” he added. North Western Province Chief Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara at a recent event also asserted that more..

Sri Lanka welcomes Cannes award for refugee movie

May 25 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s govt on Monday hailed the awarding of Cannes’ top prize to a film highlighting the plight of the Tamil minority during the island’s civil war, saying authorities were working to redress past injustices. Dheepan, a French movie about a former Sri Lankan soldier’s struggles in a French ghetto after fleeing the separatist war, captured the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or prize on Sunday. more..

GTF holds talks with South Africa on Lanka

May 25 (CG) The Global Tamil Forum (GTF), an influential diaspora group based in London, had talks today with the South African Govt on Sri Lanka. GTF said that on an invitation from the Deputy Minister of Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) of South Africa, Ms. Nomaindiya C Mfeketo MP, a GTF delegation lead by Father S J Emmanuel met at the South African High Commission, South Africa House at Trafalgar Square in London today. more..

Malaysian police arrest 2 Sri Lankans

May 25 (CG) Two Sri Lankans have been arrested in Malaysia after the police shut down a drug lab producing Syabu and ecstasy. Narcotics Department director Datuk Seri Shariff said that the police shut down the drug lab and nabbed eight suspects in a drug sting. The operation, conducted by Bukit Aman Narcotics CID, special tactical intelligence narcotics group (Sting) and Selangor Narcotics CID, also seized RM10 million worth of drugs and drug processing items. more..

Sri Lanka to emulate Maldives open skies to promote tourism

May 25 (EN) Sri Lanka will adopt an open skies policy that will benefit the tourism industry, an approach the Maldives took that greatly helped its own hotels sector. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the govt’s new tourism master plan aims to attract three billion US dollars in foreign direct investment in the tourism industry in the next five years. ”We’re going to have an open skies policy that will help tourism and also help grow the business to more..

Sri Lankan Muslim Professionals’ Forum launched in Qatar

May 25 (TP) The formal inauguration and reception of the Sri Lankan Muslim Professionals’ Forum – Qatar (SLMP-Q) was held on Friday at Retaj Al Rayyan Hotel. The evening marked the formation of a much awaited forum for the professionals from Sri Lanka which will work on broader vision of seeking to establish a premier platform to promote solidarity and networking among Sri Lankan Muslims professionals in Qatar and the mission to bring together a dedicated group of professionals more..

S-Lon presents a set of Gatha books to President

May 25 (GDI) Presenting to the nation as a gesture of gratitude, S-lon this year marked Vesak by adding value to their App for Pirith and Gatha. To add to this year’s celebrations, S-lon Lanka Pvt Ltd., the flagship company of The Capital Maharaja Organisation Ltd., and the pioneers of potable water piping system for 57 years in Sri Lanka, enhanced its application for Buddhists, the S-lon Pirith and Gatha App, by upgrading it through the adding of a new feature. more..

Dean Law Faculty says he was unjustly vilified

May 25 (CT) Dean of the Colombo Law Faculty Dr. V.T.Tamilmaran, denying any links with one of the suspects who is from Switzerland and is allegedly involved in the killing of school girl Vithya, said, certain individuals had orchestrated the drama to tarnish his public life, academic career and the political recognition he had among the Tamil people, and to prevent any attempt in him entering politics from this region in the future. more..

Hotel Show Colombo 2015 concludes

May 25 (GDI) The 10th Edition of the Hotel Show Colombo 2015, was declared open by President Maithripala Sirisena in the presence of Minister Navin Dissanayake at BMICH. The Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association (CHSGA) together with CDC Events and Travels announced a three-day mega show, the 10th edition of Hotel Show Colombo 2015 from 22 to 24 May at the BMICH. Hotel Show Colombo 2015 was an ideal event for industry suppliers to showcase their products more..

Taylor, Dottin star in series-levelling win

May 25 (CI) Deandra Dottin's 51 and Stafanie Taylor's unbeaten 49-ball 59, to go with her 2 for 20 helped West Indies Women beat Sri Lanka Women by eight wickets and level the three-match T20I series 1-1. Chasing 125, left-arm seamer Udeshika Prabodhani claimed the wicket of Hayley Matthews in the second over but Dottin and Taylor put on 101 in 14.4 overs to take the game away from the home team. Dottin fell to Maduri Samudikka in the 17th over after getting to her 8th T20 int'l fifty more..

Sri Lanka business chamber calls for early parliamentary polls

May 25 (EN) Sri Lanka’s top business chamber called for immediate parliamentary elections and for political parties to nominate only candidates with an unblemished record. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said political parties who fail to nominate only candidates free of involvement in crime and further delays in holding general elections would cause investor uncertainty and hold up policy planning. more..

No room for separatism and violence, says Cannes Star Anthonythasan

May 25 (ENS) Jesuthasan Anthonythasan, the Tamil Tiger child soldier who attained international stardom when his film Deepan bagged the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year, has well and truly abjured violence and separatism, which had marked his life in Sri Lanka. “Though the Tamil Diaspora might want it, the Tamils in Sri Lanka are not interested in securing an independent Tamil Eelam or in adopting violence as their creed again,” Anthonythasan, now 47, told Express over phone from Paris. more..

Justice Wanasundera withdraws from Basil Rajapaksa FR petition hearing

May 25 (AM) Justice Eva Wanasundera today announced that she will be withdrawing from the hearing of the Fundamental Rights petition filed by former Minister Basil Rajapaksa. Petition will be considered on May 27 by a bench comprising of Chief Justice K. Sripavan, Justice Priyasath Dep and Justice Rohini Marasinghe. Former Minister filed a Fundamental Rights petition on May 21, seeking an interim order directing the Kaduwela Magistrate to release him from remand custody. more..

Chinese contractor strongly denies Outer Circular Highway cost is inflated

May 25 (AD) A spokesman for the Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC), which is the main contractor which has undertaken to construct the Outer Circular Highway Phase III, firmly rejected certain media reports over the weekend alleging that the project’s costs have been inflated. He said that MCC which is contractor for Colombo-Katunayake Expressway is one of the top ten global contractors & hence highly treasures its reputation. more..

20A: Why the indecent haste ?

May 26 (CT) The infamous 18th Amendment drafted by the previous govt within closed doors stigmatised the history of constitution making in our island Republic. Public discussion was outrageously disregarded and the amendment was put through as an urgent Bill under Article 122 of the Constitution. This Article now stands repealed by the 19th amendment. Not as bad as that was the 19th amendment. If not up to the desired level, at least minimum public discussion did take place. more..

Issue of continual losses & depleted capital

May 26 (CT) Accounting teachers are used to relating a story to their students when they are introduced to the concept of profit in an organisation. The objective is to show them that ultimate profits of a business are not found in the profit and loss statements but somewhere else in the balance sheet. The story goes as follows: There is this rural youth who migrates to the city with only the clothes on his back. But that is not much – a sarong, a shirt and a pair of slippers. more..

Casteism: the fishermen's dividing line

May 26 (SO) Rising casteism is threatening the unity of TN fishermen - a division which could affect their bargaining power vis-a-vis North Sri Lankan fishermen in the never ending dispute over fishing rights in the Palk Strait and Palk Bay. Though the term caste is avoided to be politically correct in a State which is wedded to the egalitarian Dravidian ideology, it has been brought in by the backdoor through the concepts of traditional and more..

President sirisena: Blue or Green?

May 26 (CT) We are now nearly five months away from the presidential election held on 8 January. Nevertheless, there are still big crowds at Carlton, the private residence of the defeated President Mahinda Rajapaksa. This is unprecedented in the world history. No defeated world leader has enjoyed so much affection of the people as enjoyed by President Rajapaksa. Let us examine the reasons for this extraordinary situation. When Rajapaksa obtained 5.8 million votes, more..

Remembrance Day or Victory Day?

May 26 (SL) Declaration of May 19, the day of the destruction of the LTTE which was declared as Remembrance Day by President Sirisena instead of Victory Day as observed for five years under the Rajapaksa regime has not gone down well with some Sinhalese. Six years ago these people overjoyed by the destruction of the terror group and the killing of Prabakaran went into song, dance and merry making on the streets and elsewhere for months on end. more..

'Without baseline data no EIA'

May 26 (CT) "We do not have baseline data in this country and without this we cannot have EIAs," – Institute of Chemistry Ceylon "Many people do not know or understand what pH is," – Prof. H.D. Gunawardene "WHO reports on CKDu have no validity as they do not incorporate sociological aspects like dietary habits," – ICC "We do not have any water quality testing, soil quality testing or air quality testing in school syllabi," more..

International Humanitarian Law: How it relates to Sri Lanka

May 26 (CT) The 6th South Asian Conference on International Humanitarian Law was held in Colombo from 19 to 21 May. This gives a new dimension to the armed conflicts and the laws which are applicable in that regard. Sri Lanka as a country which was engaged in a war for 30 years should look at the Humanitarian norms which are applicable in an armed conflict. It can be noticed that many of the Human Rights resolutions which went against Sri Lankan Govt were upheld mainly because more..