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Video: No bail for Basil Rajapaksa

May 27 (AD) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, was further remanded till June 10 by the Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday (27). Former Economic Development Ministry Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayatilaka, former Director General of the Divineguma Department, R.R.K. Ranawaka and Divi Neguma Regional Director Bandula Thilakasiri were also remanded till June 10. Rajapaksa and three other senior ministry officials were arrested by the police on April 22. more..

AG halts Tiran’s arrest

May 27 (AM) Attorney General gave an undertaking to the Supreme Court that police will not arrest MP Tiran Alles and will carry out further investigations into irregularities at the RADA institute. This undertaking was given when the Fundamental Rights petition filed by Alles was considered today at the Supreme Court. In his petition, the opposition MP urged the Supreme Court to issue an interim order to prevent his arrest more..

Mayor promises stern action after tragedy

May 27 (Island) The deaths of the three employees of a bakery/restaurant who died of suffocation on Monday following a gas cylinder explosion could have been averted if there had been a window or a door said Colombo Mayor M.J.M. Muzammil. When thick black smoke enveloped the building where the bakery functioned, the three victims had moved into a toilet to escape the smoke and were suffocated to death. The Mayor said it was an unauthorised building constructed without approval from more..

Move to bring all broadband service providers under single network

May 27 (Island) Information and Telecommunication Agency (ICTA) was in a process of developing a core system to bring all broadband service providers under one network to make free Wi-Fi facility user friendly and easy to access via one user-name and one password. The current free Wi-Fi users had to create separate user names and passwords to register with broadband service providers as different locations were operated by different service providers. more..

Parliament summoned for special session on Constitutional Council

May 27 (EN) Parliament will meet in a special session to appoint a council that will oversee the public sector under a new amendment to the island's constitution, the state information department said. The Constitutional Council which in turn will appoint several independent commissions to run the public service is made up of seven politicians and three members of civil society. President Sirisena has promised to dissolve more..

I never betrayed the SLFP: Pavithra

May 27 (DM) MP Pavithra Wanniarachchi, who resigned from her ministerial portfolio recently, said today that she did not betray the SLFP or the SLFPers and pledged not to quit the party. “My dearest friends I never betrayed you or went against you. I will never leave the SLFP. I will devote my life to form a SLFP govt and to make Mahinda Rajapaksa the Prime Minister in that govt,” she said amid jeering at a public rally held in Balangoda to urge the nomination of Mr. Rajapaksa as more..

I am sick of politics: Geetha

May 27 (DM) The opening of the technological science centre of Ananda Madhya Maha Vidyalaya, Elpitiya, which was built at a cost of Rs nine million, was held yesterday under the patronage of Minister Gayantha Karunatilleke. SPC member Geetha Kumarasinghe had attended the function and made a speech, though she had not been invited to do so. The speech made by her had aroused much curiosity among those present. She referred to the principal's attitude in not inviting her to speak. more..

USAID helps Ampara manufacturer develop eco-friendly roofing products

May 27 (USE) US Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with Building Solutions opened today a state-of-the-art factory in Nawagampura, Ampara. Opening was attended by Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Ms. Allison Areias, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the U.S. Embassy. “The opening of this factory is an example of the ongoing and deepening relationship between U.S. more..

4 soldiers involved in fatal accident suspended

May 27 (Island) Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Chrishanthe de Silva has suspended the services of four soldiers, involved in a fatal accident at Jayanthipura, Pollonnaruwa, in which a man and his wife were killed on the spot. The commander had suspended the suspects with immediate effect without pay. The fatal accident occurred on the night of May 21 on the Maradankadawala-Batticaloa main road in the Polonnaruwa police area. "An army truck with four soldiers collided with a car killing more..

Pinnawala gets female leopard for injured animal

May 27 (Island) A young female leopard that was caught on an estate in Nuwara Eliya few years ago and housed at the Dehiwela Zoological Gardens would be brought to the leopard enclosure at the Pinnawala Open Air Zoo. Zoological Gardens Director said that she would be introduced to Pinnawala as a female leopard there got injured recently. The injury, a fracture was not serious and such things were common when animals were released into a bigger enclosure. more..

No criminal proceedings against Lanka officials in sex bribe

May 27 (Reuters) Three male officials have been identified in the sex bribe scandal that rocked Sri Lankan women's cricket but there are no grounds or evidence to justify criminal proceedings against them, country's cricket board said. Sri Lanka's sports ministry last week revealed an investigation had found that members of the national women's team had been forced to perform sexual favours for officials in order to earn or more..

Audio: Tissa Vitharana speaks on how Rajapaksa can be PM

May 27 (AM) LSSP leader Professor Tissa Vitharana said that he does not take part in rallies supporting Mahinda Rajapaksa, since only President Maithripala Sirisena has the power to decide on appointing him the Prime Minister. These rallies cannot do anything to support Rajapaksa’s Prime Ministerial candidacy, Vitharana added. He made this observation when he was asked about a recent comment by the leader of Democratic Left Front Vasudeva Nanayakkara. more..

Muslim MPs propose retired Justice Salam to Constitutional Council

May 27 (Island) Muslim MPs have proposed retired President of the Court of Appeal Justice A.W.A. Salam to the Constitutional Council according to Deputy Minister and Secretary General of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress I. Hassan Ali. He said a letter to that effect had been sent to PM’s office yesterday morning. SLMC Leader Rauf Hakeem has praised the nomination of TNA Leader R. Sampanthan to the CC as the representative of minority parties in Parliament. more..

'It was Keheliya who wanted to rejoin UNP'

May 27 (CG) UNP has denied claims made by former Minister Keheliya Rambukwella that he was invited to rejoin the party. A former UNP MP, Rambukwella had joined the Rajapaksa Govt and was the Media Minister until Rajapaksa lost Jan 8 election. Rambukwella had recently claimed that he was invited by the UNP to rejoin the party but UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim denied the claims. more..

Govt mulls houses, mobikes for journalists

May 27 (CT) It has been decided by the Ministry of Media to get together with the Ministry of Finance and provide journalists with motor cycles at concessionary rates. Minister Gayantha Karunatillaka said, this step is being taken on behalf of the contribution being made by journalists. Accordingly, Minister Ravi Karunanayake has allocated the required finances for the provision of motor cycles and a journalist who has served a minimum of five years and more..

Delimitation can be done in 2 months: CaFFE

May 27 (CT) Delimitation process can be completed within two months and if the delimitation committee is appointed now, new electorates can be determined by late July, former Secretary of the Land Ministry, Asoka Peiris said. Addressing a press briefing on the 20th Amendment by Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), he said if the Constitutional Council and independent commissions are appointed soon, delimitation can be done in time for an election in September. more..

Nigeria assures Govt on kidnapped Lankan

May 27 (CG) Nigerian Govt has assured the SL Govt it will do all it can to secure the release of a Sri Lankan national kidnapped in Nigeria. Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that the Govt is in touch with the Nigerian High Commission in Colombo as well as the family of the Sri Lankan man abducted in Nigeria and also his Nigerian employer. Nigerian kidnappers are demanding a huge ransom to free the SL man abducted more..

Regulate population growth: BBS

May 27 (DM) BBS Organisation today explained the policies of their proposed political party and said they had a vision to regulate the country’s population growth to avoid ethnocentric issues. Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said they had a vision of making rules and regulations to manage the population of the country because there were several areas with less Sinhala population. The Thera said the regions in the country should not be created based on ethnic groups or more..

Human trafficking racket at the BIA

May 27 (CT) Employees at the Katunayake Airport said that there was a human trafficking racket in place whereby Indian women were being brought down to Sri Lanka on tourist visas and subsequently sent to work as domestics in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The employees add that since the Indian Govt had banned domestics from being sent to certain Middle Eastern countries, certain Indian and Sri Lankan foreign employment agencies had turned to this lucrative job rtacket. more..

UN group here in August to help in war-time disappearances

May 27 (DM) UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) will arrive in Sri Lanka on August 3 on an invitation extended by the previous govt which had requested assistance on war-time abductions and disappearances, Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said today. She said though the previous govt had invited the WGEID, no dates had been fixed dates but more..

Sri Lanka to study Belarusian cattle-breeding practices

May 27 (BelTA) Sri Lanka is interested in studying Belarus' cattle-breeding and crop production practices, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to India with concurrent accreditation to Sri Lanka Vitaly Prima said. “The recent visit of the Belarusian delegation led by Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister Igor Brylo to Sri Lanka included a presentation of Belarus' potential in the development of livestock breeding complexes and commercial dairy farms. more..

'Vigneswaran in violation of Law: Out with double standards'

May 27 (CT) General Secretary of BBS questioned the government as to why it is not taking any action against Minister Rishad Bathiudeen who is allegedly destroying the Wilpattu forest. Gnanasara Thera said that while there is a ban on the commemoration of the Tiger organization in the North, the Chief Minister of the North Vigneswaran held a commemoration ceremony despite the order. That is an indication that the laws of the country are not being enforced. more..

Lankan remarks on our proposal on fishermen not helpful: India

May 27 (PTI) A day after Sri Lanka rejected India's proposal to allow Indian fishermen to catch fish in SL waters, Indian govt today said such remarks were not helpful given that it was working together with Colombo to find a mutually acceptable solution. "We also have concerns about Sri Lankan fishermen fishing in Indian waters. Frequently Sri Lankan fishermen are apprehended in our waters. However, we recognise that this is a complex more..

Parliament: Then & Now

May 28 (CT) This was over five decades ago. Parliament then was in a stately building facing the Indian Ocean in the vicinity of Galle Face Green in Colombo. There was a subject called Civics in our curriculum in those days when I was a schoolgirl. My father – the pragmatic man that he was, thought he should give me the opportunity of viewing Parliament proceedings. So he would take me regularly to sit in the gallery to follow the nations legislature at work. more..

Gota's Law

May 28 (Island) Gota won the war, or so he proclaimed. After winning the war, he held several symposia to teach the other nations how to crush terrorists. While all this was happening, a man called Sarath Fonseka was languishing in jail. We saw on TV SF in prisoner’s garb. The battle in Court was not on whether SF was guilty as charged, but whether SF, who had sustained severe injuries, should be treated by a specialist in a private hospital. True to form, the then AG vehemently opposed more..

Course correction

May 28 (SO) Prof. Ashwani Sharma, Associate Professor in International Relations at the University of Delhi and short-term Chair of Centre for Contemporary Indian Studies, (CCIS), University of Colombo, says that the new administration has corrected its course with regard to Indo-Lanka relations and are closer than ever before. Q: Despite proximity, relations between Sri Lanka and India had never been smooth. more..

Jaffna ghost and danger of July!

May 28 (CT) The situation in the North seems to have pained Mahinda Rajapaksa as he says that the Eelam war began in the past with the stoning of the Police and the Courts. He tells Maithri to protect the freedom gained after the war and adds it does not matter to him even if he is imprisoned or killed. This statement of Mahinda shows that he is keen to witness another war in the North. The only option left for him to grab power is the eruption of another war in the North and that is why more..

The Dauntless Four!

May 28 (CT) It seems as if a lot of politicos are deeply depressed and affected by the current course the present govt is heading towards. With all the previous high muck-a-mucks being interrogated and grilled by the police and the current govt's Gestapo-like Financial Crimes Division, plenty of partisans are close to wetting their pants. To escape the embarrassment, or in order to become a media blitz overnight, they tend to do find various different ways to go out in a bang. more..

'Honeymoon has ended'

May 28 (CT) "A national govt was formed when 30 SLFPers joined the UNP led govt; today however with an election in the horizon, the honeymoon has ended. On Thursday four SLFP ministers; Dilan Perera, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, C.B. Ratnayake and Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena left the govt citing step-motherly treatment from their UNP counterparts". Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena was the former Minister of Agriculture in more..

Kolombianism = Cameronism

May 28 (NS) David Cameron’s Tories were re-elected. Hurray! I am all for conservatives and conservatism (expect when it comes to forests — The sustainable development of profit demands that we brush aside tree huggers and other such riffraff). So, yes, let me say it again: HURRAY! What was themost interesting about the UK elections, however, is not that David and his boys and girls won. No. What is significant is what it will do to human rights in that country. more..

Special News Bulletin from Kekirilanthaya

May 28 (NS) JC Weliamuna of Transparency International Sri Lanka has stepped on a big pile of ethical poop, and it is leaving a stinky trail wherever he goes. The prophet of good governance, accountability and translucence has exempted himself from being held accountable for any of his actions during the first 100 days of Monapalanayada? As such, he will be referred to as WeliAmude. Basic facts on WeliAmude read as follows: SriLankan Airlines has been wracked more..

Govt has failed, charges JVP’s Lalkantha

May 28 (FT) In order to resolve the Wilpattu deforestation matter, the first priority should be to find a proper and suitable area to resettle the people, says JVP Politburo member K.D. Lalkantha, noting that this is a sensitive matter concerning people who have lost everything. “Politicians may try to say various things to gain political mileage, but these people are innocent and their problems are genuine,” he adds, more..

Editorial: Fourth estate and real estate

May 28 (Island) Santa won’t have to carry presents for journalists next December. He can bring a smaller sack when he is on the SL leg of his world tour this year. Yahapalana govt has already started showering goodies on the media personnel. It has apparently taken a leaf out of its predecessor’s book. Arrangements are also being made to launch a mega housing scheme for journalists, we are told. They are also being given special loans & motorcycles at subsidised prices. more..

The necessity of increasing women’s political representation in Sri Lanka

May 28 (CT) In a few short weeks, President Maithripala Sirisena will attempt to pass the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which proposes a number of electoral reforms. There has been much discussion in the media about the impacts of the reforms on political parties, such as introducing a hybrid system of Proportional Representation and First-Past-the-Post, abolishing preferential voting, and adding 30 additional seats to Parliament. However, it is disconcerting to observe that more..

Sampur dispute: CJ asks SLGI to file for contempt of court

May 28 (FT) Chief Justice K. Sri Pavan yesterday directed Sri Lanka Gateway Industries to file for contempt of court if the facts submitted by the latter in the Supreme Court were true. When the case filed by SLGI, over the presidential suspension of the lease of land to the company for its industrial zone project in Sampur, was heard in the Supreme Court yesterday, the parties were directed to strictly maintain the status quo as at 20 May 2015. more..

Textured Jersey Lanka to buy fabric printer for US$3.5mn

May 28 (FT) Textured Jersey Lanka (TJL) has firmed up its decision to buy leading fabric printer Quenby for $ 3.5 million, a move which will propel the former’s next phase of growth. TJL CEO Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne stated that he was excited by the move and the synergy it would bring, and added that it presented a clear indication of the company moving aggressively towards its next phase of growth to pursue its vision of being one of the leading Fabric Mills in South Asia. more..

Minor Hotel Group mulls branded residences in southern Sri Lanka

May 28 (EN) Thailand-based Minor Hotel Group is considering building branded high-end residences in southern Sri Lanka and is talking to the government on getting round foreign property ownership restrictions. The group, a hotel owner, operator and investor, which owns or manages 127 hotels in 22 countries, prefers mixed use development when doing property projects, said Dillip Rajakarier, CEO, Minor Hotel Group. “When doing projects always go for mixed use models. more..

Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha

Go-ahead given to stalled TATA housing project in Slave Island

May 28 (ST) Construction work on the US$ 429.5 million mixed development and housing project at Slave Island undertaken by India’s Tata housing, the real estate arm of the Tata, is now underway. The UDA has sorted out certain contractual matters relating to TATA housing project with the company handing over the construction work to a prospective contractor, UDA Chairman Ranjith Fernando said. The piling construction of the first phase of the housing project for displaced residents more..

Prosecute, but don’t persecute

May 28 (Island) Listening to the Adaderana TV 8 pm/May 25 news bulletin the next day on the internet, I was shocked and saddened by the unjustness, the irrationality, and the insensitivity of what prime minister Ranil Wickremasinghe (whom I always respect as a decent and cultured person) was reported saying from his official residence Temple Trees about former president Rajapaksa’s casual remarks in connection with public protests following the recent gang rape and murder more..