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Gnanasara thero arrested & released on bail

May 26 (AM) General Secretary of BBS Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera was released on bail by Colombo Magistrate Courts a short while ago. He was arrested by Kurunduwatta Police this morning after appearing at the police station. On April 24, Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera and 26 others were summoned to the Colombo Magistrate Courts on charges of contempt of court after they had taken part in a protest near more..

Are women to be blamed for rape?

May 26 (CT) Committed in the name of love of women, out of hatred or as a punishment, incidents of rape are definitely on the rise. While the act of rape needs to be considered as a violation of a woman’s (in most cases) right to her body and honor, and not just as a forced sexual act, it is important to address this burning issue taking into consideration all related matters and in a comprehensive manner, including highlighting the importance of preventive measures. more..

Shares down on profit-taking, foreign outflows

May 26 (Reuters) Shares fell on Tuesday due to foreign outflows and as investors took profits in stocks that had rallied since the central bank's policy rate cut. However, investors awaited clarity on the political front and the timing of a parliamentary election as concerns over stability weighed on sentiment. Main stock index ended down 0.32% at 7,261.78, the lowest close since May 18. "Investors are eagerly waiting for the announcement on the election and hope for a stable govt," more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Questionable bona fides

May 26 (CT) Yesterday, the lead story of this newspaper said that 10 more SLFP Ministers were to quit the govt. If that takes place, when taking into account the recent SLFP defections from the UNP led minority govt, the total number of SLFP defectors would add up to 14. It was only two months ago in March that 26 SLFP MPs were given ministerships in the UNP led minority govt. Those ministerial portfolios took the form of those crossovers being appointed as Cabinet Ministers, more..

Bhikku undergrads remanded

May 26 (Island) Chief Magistrate of Colombo, Gihan Pilapitiya remanded till June 8, 2015 four Buddhist monks who are members of the Inter University Bhikku Federation. The Cinnamon Gardens police had complained that the suspects had been engaged in an aggressive protest near the UGC and caused damage to public property. The suspects are Ven. Sooriyawewe Susil thera, Ven.Thanne Gnanananda thera, Ven. Mahayalewawe Rahula Thera & Ven. Moderawawe Vipulasara thera. more..

Video: 'We don’t know who to believe now'

May 26 (AD) Former President Rajapaksa says that certain members of the govt who had accused him of corruption in the constructing of the Colombo Port City project, during the Presidential Election, are now saying no such thing has taken place. “I recently heard a govt politician saying that no fraud has taken place in the Port City (project). With the same mouth during the election they claimed that I had swindled millions from it.” more..

CMC steps up raids on school canteens

May 26 (Island) School canteens in the city would come under scrutiny of the Public Health Department of the CMC as a circular issued by the Education Ministry a year ago has not been implemented. Acting Food Inspector, M.B. Lal Kumara said that although school authorities and parents had been urged to monitor the food items available to schoolchildren in canteens, no action had been taken. A majority of food items contained high levels fat, carbohydrate, salt and sugar, more..

Full face robbers shoot; four injured in Gelioya

May 26 (DM) Four robbers on motorcycles who attempted to rob a jewellery shop had opened fire injuring four before fleeing in Gelioya, Gampola a short while ago. The robbers had entered the jewellery shop wearing full face helmets, during which a bystander had video recorded the robbery. The robbers had then opened fire at the person recording the robbery. The people in the vicinity upon hearing the gunshots had converged on the shop and attempted to subdue the men. more..

Video: Dont's abuse the prevailing media freedom: Ravi

May 26 (DM) Minister Ravi Karunanayake requested journalists and media institutions to be careful when using the media freedom that prevails under the new government. He said journalists should verify their facts and figures by speaking to the sources without writing news stories just to fulfill certain agendas. “Attacking us through the media is fine but they should not be used to harm the economy of the country. more..

Army deployed to hospitals following strike

May 26 (CG) The assistance of the Sri Lanka Army has been offered to conduct emergency skeletal services at island-wide govt hospitals in response to a request, following trade union action staged by the minor staff working in hospitals today. At the request of the Ministry of Health, Commander of the Army, Crishanthe De Silva has accordingly directed Army formations at provincial levels to deploy Army personnel to Govt hospitals in order to assist the conduct of essential services. more..

We still love Appachchi: Zoysa

May 26 (DM) Claiming he still loved former President Rajapaksa, Minister Vijayamuni De Soysa alleged that it was former president's astrologer Sumanadasa and the Rajapaksa family who had tried to destroy Appachchi. “We still love him. I still have his picture home. We did all the work because we loved him and because we loved the party,” he said. At a recent meeting, former President told who had gathered there that ‘Appachchi didn’t die, I came here to show you that.' more..

Garbage railway within 2 years

May 26 (DM) The Colombo Municipality said that it would continue to dump garbage in Meethotamulla until the completion of its transport project planned for the area. Area residents who staged a protest on Sunday demanding that the CMC stops dumping garbage in the area said they were invited to a discussion with the PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday. The project that is centred around a railway line to more..

Real issue is lack of environmental education

May 26 (CT) Sri Lanka has been trying to educate its youth on environment since the late 1970s through a number of initiatives sponsored by the govt, private sector and NGOs. However, it seems that these initiatives have not had an impact on a significant number of Sri Lankans. In recent weeks we have seen how this lack of understanding of environment, our national parks and peripheral forests and the importance of protecting our rich bio diversity, has not only led to a defence of more..

Faizer Mustapha appointed Legal Adviser to President

May 26 (AM) UPFA MP Faizer Mustapha was appointed as a Legal Adviser to the President of Sri Lanka. Mustapha, a practicing lawyer, entered politics in 2004. He was elected to parliament from Kandy District the same year. He served as Deputy Minister of Technology and Research and thereafter Deputy Minister Investment Promotion until he crossed over to the opposition in Dec 2014 backing the then common candidate Maithripala Sirisena at the 2015 presidential election. more..

Sri Lanka rejects Indian proposal to solve fishing dispute

May 26 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan govt on Tuesday said it had refused to agree to a proposal from India to allow Indian fishermen to catch fish in Sri Lankan waters. Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that India had requested Sri Lanka to allow Indians to catch fish for 65 days a year in Sri Lankan waters in an attempt to resolve the Indo-Lanka fishing issue. However, Amaraweera said that he refused to agree to more..

Police bound to protect evidence

May 26 (CT) Evidence is the main criterion that Court depends upon to deliver judgments. With regard to public prosecution, the Police Department plays the vital role in investigations and gathering evidence to be produced in Court. Hence, statements made to the Police are treated as confidential documents until trial begins in a case. In the recent past the present govt began to try several persons allegedly involved in irregularities. Police summoned a number of persons who held more..

Sri Lanka Cricket Board of Inquiry appointed

May 26 (AD) Minister Navin Dissanayake has appointed a Board of Inquiry (BoI) to probe, investigate, inquire and report on any corruption, abuse of power and authority by any office bearers and members of the Committee of former Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). The (BoI) comprises Ravi Algama (Attorney-at-Law), Jaliya Bodinagoda (Attorney-at-Law), and Varuna Mallawaarachchi (Attorney-at-Law). BoI commenced its sitting today at SLC Headquarters. more..

Shippers’ Council concerned over sudden resignation of Customs chief

May 26 (EN) Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council said it was concerned over the sudden resignation of the Director General of Sri Lanka Customs Jagath Wijeweeera. “It is with great regret that we have noted the sudden resignation of the Director General of Sri Lanka Customs,” it said in a statement. “Mr. Jagath P Wijeweera has been one of the few director generals of Customs who initiated and hands on approach in solving importers and more..

Sri Lanka: Balancing ties between China and the West

May 26 (TD) Sri Lanka’s geostrategic position has made it the target for diplomatic courting from a range of regional players, including China, India, and Japan. Under the tenure of former Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa, Colombo had catered especially to China and openly accepted Beijing’s development assistance in return for China’s development of major maritime ports. These plans and the friendly policy toward China have been altered since the election this past January more..

Rhodes in Sri Lanka for short coaching stint

May 26 (CI) Jonty Rhodes, the former South Africa batsman and current Mumbai Indians fielding coach, will be in Sri Lanka from Tuesday for a 10-day stint as fielding coach ahead of the side's home series against Pakistan next month. Rhodes will educate the coaches, the Sri Lanka players and other national, development and junior teams on the latest techniques of fielding. He had been in talks with Sri Lanka Cricket to work with the national side and the board had asked him for a program.

Vasu against Gota, Basil contesting

May 26 (DM) While saying he was opposed to Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa contesting the general elections under the UPFA or the SLFP, DLF Leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara said he was helpless if the alliance nominated them. He said former President Rajapaksa was certain to be the prime minister of the new government to be formed after the elections. He said Mr. Rajapaksa would not be disqualified to more..

Army builds Bishop's House in Batticaloa

May 26 (CT) A new Bishop House has been built in Vakarai, with the assistance of Army personnel serving with the 23 Division in Batticaloa. A special service was conducted at St. Peter's Church, Vakarai, when the new Bishop House was declared open by the Catholic Bishop of Batticaloa, Rev. Dr. Joseph Ponniah last week. Following a request made by the Bishop for assistance, Major General Darshana Hettiarachchi, General Officer Commanding, 23 Division offered assistance more..

JVP to boycott National Executive Council

May 26 (AD) The JVP says that it would no longer participate in the National Executive Council. Speaking at an event in Anuradhapura, JVP leader MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the national executive council has not convened since April 19. The National Executive Council was set up, inclusive of representatives of parties represented in Parliament as well as Civil Society organizations, to strengthen democracy following the victory of Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential polls. more..

Strikes disrupts services at 1,070 govt hospitals

May 26 (DM) Work in some 1,070 govt hospitals countrywide were paralysed today as a result of 48-hour strike launched by All Ceylon Health Services' Union urging that their ten major demands be granted. ACHSU President Samantha Koralaearachchi said sixteen hospitals didn’t take part in the trade union action but they too would join in the strike tomorrow. Health Ministry had requested Army to deploy personnel to more..

SriLankan Airlines opens ticketing office in Anuradhapura

May 26 (GDI) SriLankan Airlines expands its presence in the North Central Province by opening its latest passenger sales office in Anuradhapura in a bid to capture a larger share of the local travel market. The office was declared open on May 20th, by Chief Minister North Central Province, Peshala Jayaratne. The branch office will facilitate travel procedures to a large clientele in the Anuradhapura district, which includes handling of reservations, ticketing, Prepaid Ticket Advices (PTAs), more..

Energy Conservation project enters Army Headquarters with awareness programme

May 26 (GDI) Energy and Power Ministry's timely national project to create awareness for economical use of energy for the best interests of the Nation saw its entry into the State's largest employment provider, SL Army on Monday with an elaborate programme at the Defence Services College auditorium, Colombo 2. It was just a few days ago, Ministry of Power and Energy, launched the island-wide project, themed on Awareness Programme for Energy Conservation more..

Maximum punishment for perpetrators: President in Jaffna

May 26 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena, who visited Jaffna today said a special court (Trial-at-Bar) will be set up to ensure speedy justice in the case of the gang rape and brutal slaying of the schoolgirl at Pungudutivu in Jaffna. “We cannot let such incidents to happen again in any part of the country,” he emphasised when he met students from 17 schools in the Northern Province at a meeting held at the Wembady Girls School more..

The rape and murder of Vidya: Do women really matter in Sri Lanka?

May 27 (GV) The rape and murder of Vidya in Pungudutheevu in the North has been widely reported in the media. There have been protests in the North, and vigils and protests held in the South as well. People have expressed outrage, sympathy, horror and anger. A number of Tamil websites and commentators, both in Sri Lanka and the diaspora, have pointed to this as yet another illustration of the subjugation of the Tamil people. A Tamil film director in India has said more..

Protecting Women: The greatest contributor to our nation’s economy

May 27 (CT) Women are among the highest contributors to our economy. To the Sri Lankan economy, women contribute from US$ 6 billion worth of foreign remittance. A large proportion of female domestic workers based out of the country work tirelessly to earn a living and provide education and support to their households back at home. Women’s contribution to the domestic textile industry which largely contributes to export earnings is an aspect Sri Lanka can boast of. more..

Sri Lanka's climate challenge

May 27 (SO) Weather patterns in the country have drastically changed and continues to be so, with droughts getting prolonged and rainfall patters becoming erratic. According to Director, Meteorology Department, S. Premalal, the weather changes in the island are a result of significant climatic change at a global scale. "There is a clear change in the rain patterns which is a result of global climate change. more..

Yahapâlanaya for the people of Tumpane?

May 27 (CT) Subsequent to receipt of the invitation, signed by Mr. R. K. Saman Anura of the Rubber Development Department, District Secretariat, Kegalle to attend a meeting at the Galagedera District Secretariat, I arrived there, as requested, before 10 a.m. today, carrying the invitation as proof of the fact that I was entitled to be there and to receive a cheque in settlement of the subsidy for which rubber producers of the area qualified. In case there is any doubt about more..

Editorial: Can Maithri do a Hercules?

May 27 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has made us rub our hands in glee. At a time reprehensible moves are being made to increase the number of parliamentarians to 250 (from 225) on the pretext of introducing electoral reforms he has promised a smaller parliament to all intents and purposes as we reported yesterday. Okay, okay, the President has not said exactly that. But, the downsizing of the legislature will be the inevitable outcome of his ambitious plan to more..

How did Swiss Kumar appear in Colombo

May 27 (CT) Colombo Law Faculty Dean V.T Thamilmaran said, the Police are responsible to probe and place the truth before people; how one of the rape suspects Swiss Kumar, who was handed over and arrested by the police escaped from their custody and was then found in Colombo. Unless and until that is cleared the mud slung on him will not be washed off. Q: It is understood that you are preparing to enter electoral politics more..

Remembrance of Victory Day?

May 27 (SL) By now, the Sri Lankan government and political leadership should have understood one thing clearly. War and victory, defeat and destruction, like rose, is the same even when called by another name. Rechristening the 19 May Victory Day of the armed forces putting the feared LTTE out of business six years back, as Remembrance Day would not make any sense to the victims (whoever they are and to whichever community and ethnicity they belonged to) unless more..

Politicians adding fuel to ethnic issue

May 27 (NS) The sixth anniversary of the final defeat of the LTTE in the watery graves at Nanthikadal lagoon was the first held without the architect of that victory, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, being at the helm of the nation – and it was a different event. Previously, the anniversary had been celebrated on a grand scale and the emphasis had been on the defeat of the LTTE, leading to accusations of triumphalism being leveled against the govt. more..

Basil Rajapaksa's attorney speaks out

What happened in Jaffna should not stay in Jaffna

May 27 (SU) The fighting’s started in Jaffna again, said the woman at the shop. I knew the incident she was speaking of: a hartal, a protest of sorts; police tear-gassing the crowd; a hundred and thirty people arrested; a lot of top brass in Jaffna being transferred away. The woman went on to discuss the Jaffna problem at length with her customer. Then, at some point in the conversation, they touched on the root of everything that had happened: “All because of what happened to more..

Sri Lanka’s vision of achieving very high human development by 2025-2035

May 27 (ST) Having achieved high human development Sri Lanka has the capability to achieve very high human development by 2025-2035. For this the economy should grow at an annual average of 6.5%, ensure more equitable distribution of income and pursue policies to increase public investment in key areas of education and health. Dr. Godfrey Gunatilleka presented these issues in his paper A Vision for Sri Lanka 2025 & 2035-Pre-Requisites of Very High Human Development more..

Sri Lanka to cut recruiting charges for housemaids

May 27 (AN) Sri Lanka’s job agents have agreed to reduce the recruiting charges of housemaids from SR15000 to SR11,000 to sustain the Saudi market. Faizer Mackeen, president of Association of Licensed Foreign Agencies (ALFEA), said that the members of the association have reached a consensus on decreasing the charges. Mackeen said that there are more than 1,000 recruiting agents in SL & only one fifth of them are authorized more..