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Missing persons: Cause for serious concern

May 27 (Island) In the wake of repeated calls, to investigate war-time disappearances, the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances announced its decision to visit Sri Lanka this year. A 10-day visit is now scheduled to commence on August 3, a month before the presentation of an external probe, that dealt with accountability issues in Sri Lanka, to the Geneva-based UNHRC. The UN made its announcement on May 9, 2015. more..

Banning glyphosate: A political time bomb?

May 27 (Island) President has banned the well-known herbicide (glyphosate) pivotal to the productivity and survival of Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector. He has been led to believe that the ban would stop the epidemic of kidney disease in the Rajarata. Resultant sky-rocketing of the price of food items and the disarray in the plantation sector will hit the Sirisena govt just in time for the next elections. A small group of individuals associated with a lady who claims psychic powers, more..

Lankan cricket on chopping block or at crossroads?

May 27 (ST) There is a certain saying to this effect. “To the blind man even the most precious stone would go unnoticed even if he happens to kick that stone on the street”. To me cricket in this country has just the opposite effect, but still like in the case of the blind man, no justice is being done to the precious stone on the street. Here, instead of just picking it up, too many people are kicking it around chanting “Oh! What a more..

All-round Matthews leads West Indies to series win

May 27 (CI) A splendid all-round performance by Hayley Matthews helped West Indies women wrap up the three-match T20 series 2-1, after they had lost the first game. Matthews' 4 for 10 helped restrict Sri Lanka to 74, before she scored an unbeaten 32 to ensure a nine-wicket win in the series decider in Colombo. Sri Lanka struggled from the start, losing wickets at regular intervals. Anisa Mohammed started the slide with two wickets in consecutive balls in the second over. more..

Sri Lanka, India depository systems sign MoU for knowledge sharing

May 27 (Island) Central Depository System, a fully owned subsidiary of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) signed a MoU with the National Securities Depository of India (NDSL), for the purpose of knowledge sharing in the area of depository services. NDSL was the first and is the largest depository in India, responsible for the establishment of a national infrastructure of international standards that handles most of the securities held and settled in dematerialised form more..

Rumeshika erases Darsha’s 22-year old record

May 27 (DN) Rumeshika Ratnayake created history when she smashed a 22-year old record by clocking 11.85 seconds in the girls’ under-20 heats of the Junior National Athletics Championships concluded at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Diyagama yesterday. Sprinter from St. Joseph’s BV Kegalle broke the previous record of 12.0 seconds which was set up even before she was born, by one of the most illustrious athletes in SL history, more..

Sunshine Holdings to invest Rs 5b in four sectors

May 27 (DN) Sunshine Holdings PLC will invest over Rs.5 billion in the next three years in the pharmaceutical, hydro power generation, plantation and dairy sectors. “In addition they are also looking at opening Health Guard pharmacy outlets in South Asian countries, Sunshine Holdings Group Managing Director, Vish Govindasamy said. He said that they are very keen to expand their power sector and will build two more hydro power plants, investing Rs. 600 million. more..

Sanga, Herath win CEAT International Cricketer, Bowler

May 27 (DM) Kumar Sangakkara clinched CEAT International Cricketer of the Year honour while spinner Rangana Herath won the International Bowler of the Year award at a ceremony yesterday. Classy middle order batsman Ajinkya Rahane won the Indian Cricketer of the Year award. Former India captain Kapil Dev, who led the country to the first of two World Cup titles in 1983, was conferred with International Lifetime Achievement Award at the 19th edition of the awards. more..

No room for jeopardising Golden Key settlement plan: RK

May 27 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake assured that he would leave no room for distorting or making undue advantage in settling the Golden Key depositors’ issue. He said Golden Key Directors, including Lalith Kotelawala, had made an appeal for assets to the Supreme Court. “We will vehemently oppose such things. They have not answered the depositors and it is my duty to ensure that the depositors are paid.” more..

'Govt will make upfront cargo clearance easier'

May 27 (Island) The government is committed to bringing all authorities engaged in import and export clearance on to a single platform to facilitate faster and seamless clearance of cargo without allowing miscreants to abuse the system, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said recently addressing the audience at a workshop organized by SLFFA Cargo Services Ltd (SLFFACSL) which was facilitated by Supply Chain Consultant Gayani de Alwis. "Although I'm supportive of regulatory reforms to more..

We pick the best surfing beaches in SL

May 27 (LL) South of the Indian subcontinent is Sri Lanka, an island with extraordinary culture and beauty. Travellers visit for its remarkable landscapes, abundant wildlife, historical treasures and the warm and interesting people that inhabit the island. However, the teardrop shaped island is making a name for itself elsewhere as one of the most reliable, and increasingly popular, surfing destinations. Indeed Sri Lanka’s beaches on the Indian Ocean have been recognised as more..

Sarath Silva does another U-turn

May 27 (DM) Former Chief Justice Sarath Silva launching a scathing attack on the present govt, saying that it was illegal from its inception. He said that he regrets having lit the fire by opposing President Rajapaksa’s candidacy. Silva, in a speech at the Organisation of Professional Associations lashed out at the govt listing three aspects in which he believed the govt had failed. “I didn’t expect Maithripala Sirisena to contest last election. more..

Wheelchair Tennis: Sri Lanka beat Italy 2-1

May 27 (DN) Sri Lanka team who is competing in the BNP PARIBAS WORLD TEAM CUP wheelchair Tennis group two has come up with an exciting victory over Italy in their group II, pool 'D' tie beating Italy by 2-1. SL's Upali Rajakaruna beat his Italian opponent Luca Arca (ITA) 6/2, 6/3 and Upali's team mate Gamini Dissanayake did not live up to expectations and beaten by Italy's Fabian Mazzei 5/7,6/3,7/5. Gamini won the first set, but was unable to maintain consistency and conceded more..

Elevator maker Fujitec forms joint venture

May 27 (NAR) Japan's Fujitec has established a presence in Sri Lanka to target the island nation's small but growing market for elevators and to give a shot in the arm to the company's South Asian business. In what is a first among elevator manufacturers, Fujitec has created a joint venture with a local company in the country. Capitalized at around $1.63 million and owned 60% by Fujitec, joint venture will install elevators imported from Fujitec's factories in South Korea and India more..

Rupavahini gets TV rights

May 27 (CT) Sri Lanka Rupavihini Corporation (SLRC) has clinched television rights for international cricket in Sri Lanka for a period of two years (2015-2017), the State-owned television station had gained exclusive rights to cover six series involving the national team (five home and one away), but sources failed to disclose what the final figure had been, offered by Rupavahini to Sri Lanka Cricket's Interim Committee. more..

JKH outshines rest with record profits

May 27 (FT) Premier blue chip John Keells Holdings (JKH) has proved its prowess in the league of listed corporate entities, finishing the 2014/15 financial year with the highest-ever profits. Announcing its stellar performance, JKH said consolidated pre-tax profit grew by 25% to a record Rs. 19.08 billion and after-tax profit by 22% to Rs. 15.74 billion. Bottom line or profit attributable to equity holders of the parent grew in a similar fashion to Rs. 14.35 billion in comparison to FY14. more..

Opening of Outer Circular highway’s Kaduwela-Kadawatha stretch delayed

May 27 (AD) The Kaduwela to Kadawatha 8.9 kilometre stretch of the Outer Circular highway which connects the Southern Expressway at Kottawa under its second phase and on which the former govt had already started work and was scheduled to be completed and declared open this month has been reportedly been delayed till June. A spokesman said since the construction work could not be completed by end May this section would be definitely declared open by mid June. more..

Mahinda rejects Ranil’s assertion that he should apologise to women

May 27 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa said that his govt had done more than any other administration for the empowerment of women and he had done no wrong to them during his tenure. "Therefore, there is no need to apologise to women though the PM is asking us to," he said. Responding to PM Wickremesinghe’s statement that former President should apologise to women for trying to make political capital out of the more..

Tamils issues on BJP priority list, says Rao

May 27 (ENS) Claiming that the BJP has managed to enroll 45 lakh people from Tamil Nadu in the last four months, Muralidhar Rao, national general secretary of the BJP, said that all the Union Ministers would tour the State in the coming months as part of a mission to strengthen the party in TN. “Strengthening the party base in the southern State is important for us. PM Narendra Modi has been paying special attention for the welfare of Tamils both in India and in Sri Lanka,” more..

Husband turned a woman

May 27 (DM) In a strange turn of events a 30-year-old woman in a complaint to the police has said her husband with whom she had been living for the past eight years was after all a woman and not a man. The complainant told police that she had been deserted by her paramour after she had a child by him several years before she met the suspect through a marriage proposal published in a newspaper. She said her husband was a mason by profession and after marriage they lived in more..

CIABOC DG cleared

May 27 (Island) Director General of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe has been cleared of accusations pertaining to receiving two salaries simultaneously from the Attorney General’s Department and Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) of Sri Lanka. Allegation made by four UPFA MPs in the wake of Wickramasinghe directing more..

Strikers deemed to have vacated posts

May 27 (DN) The Health and Indigenous Medicine Ministry will consider all substitute and casual health workers who were involved in yesterday’s strike as having vacated their posts, Ministry sources said. According to the sources, Health and Indigenous Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne ordered health authorities to take action against all substitute and casual health workers who did not report to work yesterday and who did not carry out their duties after signing the same day. more..

Vienna Airport security accused of smuggling Lankans

May 27 (CG) Private security staff at Vienna Airport are suspected of smuggling refugees, mainly Sri Lankans, through security checks onto flights to the United States and Britain. Police are investigating 13 private security staff operating at Vienna Airport over suspicions they abused their access to security systems. One man from Poland and another from Sri Lanka have been placed in custody pending an investigation. British security firm G4S said one of its staff was under suspicion in the case and more..

Govt to secure services of CDF, police for city beautification project

May 27 (Island) Govt intends to recall Civil Defence Force (CDF) personnel to ensure a clean environment in Colombo and its suburbs. Govt will also involve the police in a fresh city clean-up project amidst growing public criticism over the failure on the part of relevant authorities to keep up with the maintenance efficiency introduced by revious govt under guidance of then Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. more..

Criminal frauds in biggest foreign banks

May 27 (DM) Amid an ongoing controversy in Sri Lanka over insider trading in Treasury bonds, five global banks last week agreed to pay more than $5 billion in combined penalties and plead guilty to criminal charges. This was to resolve a long-running United States investigation into whether traders colluded to move foreign-currency rates for their own financial benefit, the Wall Street Journal reported. The settlements largely close the book on the latest industry wide investigation, more..

Mirroring a political generation and the post independence age

May 27 (DM) When Vasudeva sees Ranil Wickremesinghe, he sees a much larger political and historical obscenity than the one he uttered: an unelected Prime Minister who did not command a majority in the legislature but has embarked upon a course, not of consensus building, but of legal repression of the much larger Opposition. He also sees a man with a history of violent suppression of Opposition protests. Therefore, when rudely asked to sit down, he vented. more..

'A no confidence motion should be brought against govt'

May 27 (DM) In an interview with Dailymirror, Wasantha Samarasinghe, North Central Provincial Councillor of the JVP and Convener of Voice Against Corruption voiced his disappointment with the Govt and pointed out several flaws of the UNP as well as the UPFA. He added that the present Govt did not have the mandate to rule the country as the mandate given by the people ended after 100 days. more..

Garbage rots on roadsides as councils fumble for lasting solutions

May 27 (ST) Bags of garbage scattered on main roads, in front of supermarkets and even medical centres have become a common sight in Hendala, Wattala over the past three weeks. Uncollected garbage bags hang on front fences of properties with maggots crawling over them; flies swarm around them in the daytime and rats and dogs dig into the bags at night. Most residents now avoid visiting marketplaces, where refuse more..

'Govt under pressure to privatise loss making ventures'

May 27 (Island) Plantation Minister Lakshman Kiriella claimed the govt was under pressure to privatise many state-sector business undertakings that were running at a loss. He said it was the people who were pressurizing the govt to privatise the unproductive state-sector organisations. 19th Amendment stipulated that even if the President appointed either CJ or IGP at his discretion, a parliamentary Committee headed by PM more..

Treasury Secy, DG Operations testify

May 27 (Island) The probe by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) into the issue of Treasury Bonds by the previous and current governments in recent years commenced at the Parliamentary Complex yesterday. Both the Secretary and Director General of Operations of the Treasury appeared before COPE and submitted oral and written testimony pertaining to the controversial Bond issues of Rs. 2.7 trillion and more..

Enact 20 A without delay: Nimal Siripala

May 27 (DM) Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva urged all the political parties to support and show their commitment to enact the 20th Amendment to the Constitution which was to be approved by the Cabinet. Mr. de Silva said all the political parties including UNP, JVP and TNA should support to enact the 20th Amendment after being approved by the Cabinet and included in the Parliament agenda more..

30 minutes lunch and back with the work !

May 27 (CT) A special circular has been issued to all heads of govt departments by the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration, PCs and Democratic Administration J. Dadellage, instructing them that the time allocated for lunch for govt employees should be limited to 30 minutes. This Circular EST 1/MISCL/06/0032 states further that employees should not go on leave except on an essential matter, on Wednesdays, more..

Shiranthi Rajapaksa summoned to FCID

May 27 (AD) Former first lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa has been asked to appear before the FCID, MP Namal Rajapaksa has said. In a post on social media Rajapaksa claimed that, “My Mother just received a notice to appear before the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID). My Mother has always stayed away from politics. Does she deserve this harassment?! Yahapalanaya seems just a facade for this govt. more..

Govt denies claims China sidelined

May 27 (CG) The Govt today denied claims that China is being sidelined. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maheshini Colonne recalled that since the new Govt took office in January this year President Maithripala Sirisena and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had visited China so no one can say China is being sidelined. “Actions speak louder than words,” the spokesperson said at a weekly press briefing held at the Foreign Ministry today. more..

University students up in arms

May 27 (SL) When C.W.W. Kannangara introduced free education to the country reforming the whole education system, the idea was to give all the level of society access to education, which however has become very bleak in the present context. State university students seem to be in a long lonely battle to safeguard the free education system which has now lost it appeal as every govt that has come into power in the more..

Former Sri Lanka army chief says he would welcome war crime investigation

May 27 (Guardian) Sri Lanka’s wartime army chief says his conscience is clear and he would welcome a war crimes investigation to prove his innocence. The allegations are there, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said in an interview with the Guardian. We have to clear our name. In May 2009 the then General Fonseka was the head of the Sri Lankan army that defeated the LTTE, ending Sri Lanka’s brutal 26-year civil war. more..

In response to Are women to be blamed for rape?

May 27 (CT) When I read Mr. Fazl’s article on rape and preventative measures, I felt a mixture of disbelief and anger. I was angry at the antiquated and discriminatory views expressed in his piece and I felt disbelief that such views could be expressed on a public forum such as the Colombo Telegraph. Upon reflection however, I have resigned myself to accept that his views are not a rarity in our society. Rather, it festers widely within our community and provides fuel for would-be rapists more..

Being free

May 27 (CT) The breath of fresh air, absent for so long, is once more blowing across the North. The fears that subjugated the Jaffna man due to terrorism, coupled with acts of omission and commission by the State and of its agents for 36 long years or for nearly two generations, now appear to be a thing of the past, judging by what took place only a few days ago. Though those incidents in question, two in number, were anti-establishment, engineered by a section of more..

Born free and living captive

May 27 (CT) Environmentalists have voiced their concerns over the release of baby elephants from Eth Athuru Sevana, Uda Walawe to the Pinnawala elephant orphanage after an elephant given from the transit home was severely tortured by mahouts at the Sri Vishnu Devale Kelaniya."Atlas had 25 wounds on his body. When Atlas was brought to the elephant orphanage he was shivering with fear. After a decision was taken to bring more..

Sri Lankan shares down for second day

May 27 (Reuters) Shares fell for a second session on Wednesday led by Lanka IOC after its poor performance in the March quarter, and also on foreign outflows. However, most investors have been cautiously optimistic on the island nation's risky assets due to a lack of clarity on the political front and the timing of a parliamentary election as concerns over stability weighed on sentiment. The main stock index ended down 0.11% at 7,253.50, the lowest close since May 14. more..