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US$ 1.5 b sovereign bond issue postponed

May 28 (CT) Central bank has decided not to proceed with any international Bond Issues this year, unless the market conditions were extremely satisfactory. "We have decided to postpone the issuing of the US $ 1.5 billion international sovereign bond until next year, Governor Arjuna Mahendran said. "We are not in a rush to go to international markets. If we can raise money locally at 6% which we are doing right now, more..

Sri Lanka Tourism practices nation brand building pillar support

May 28 (DN) Whilst Sri Lanka tourism (SLTPB) is aggressively promoting the country globally as an island of thousand treasures, SLTPB is taking a broader role with a new push on the nation branding pillars by supporting the export industry which has brought to the world the Blue Sapphire and made Sri Lanka known as the sapphire capital the world. We at SLTBP was honored to be part of the ICA Congress 2015 staged after 26 years in SL, also known as an island of thousand treasures, more..

Dissolving of parliament only after passing 20A: Rathana Thera

May 28 (DN) JHU MP Athuraliye Rathana Thera said he would not allow the President to dissolve Parliament without passing the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. The MP said they would initiate demonstrations with the support of the people until the govt takes measures to adopt electoral reforms. He also stated that he would hold discussions with different political parties and civil organisations on the importance of adopting the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. more..

Opposition nabs govt over customs chief exit

May 28 (FT) Opposition yesterday launched a scathing attack on the Govt over the sudden resignation of professional Jagath P. Wijeweera as Customs Chief on Monday. The criticism comes amidst speculation that Wijeweera quit because of pressure though he cited personal reasons for his move. Wijeweera’s exit comes at a time when the new Govt has been excitedly proclaiming a sharp rise in revenue due to improved governance more..

Mahesh qualifies for World Masters’ C'ship

May 28 (DN) Veteran hammer thrower Mahesh Abeyratna set a new meet record of 34.88 metres at the Masters Athletics SL Athletic Championships and qualified for World Masters’ Championships which will be held in Leon, France in the near future. He erased the previous record of 31.08 metres with his record breaking throw at the MR Stadium in Diyagama. The meet was organized by SL Masters Athletic Association. Mahesh took part in the over-45 men’s hammer throw and javelin throw. more..

Revision of Electoral Registers

May 28 (DN) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya urged all eligible voters to enter their details in enumeration forms for a revision of the Electoral Registers for 2015. A process of revision of electoral registers for enumeration of electors for the year 2015 is being carried out from May 15 to June 20. "Accordingly, a form to furnish details for compiling the electoral register will be distributed to every household by a Grama Niladhari from May 15 to June 20. more..

'No formal proposal received from India'

May 28 (ENS) The Indo-Sri Lankan conflict over fishing in the Palk Bay and Palk Strait will be settled through talks between the fishermen of the two countries because it is a humanitarian and livelihood issue, a ranking Lankan official said here on Wednesday. Mahishini Colonne, Spokesperson of the Lankan Ministry of External Affairs, told the media, that discussions on this question are on between the two countries. more..

Japan provides firefighting vehicles to CMC

May 28 (FT) Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan yesterday handed over 11 Fire Fighting Vehicles to A.J.M Muzammil, His Worship the Mayor, Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) at an official handing over ceremony held at the CMC premises. The Project for Upgrading Fire Engines in Colombo which was implemented by the Fire Service Department of CMC, facilitated the procurement of 11 used fire engines and fire protection gear from Japan which will contribute to enhancing the safety of more..

JVP seminars to raise awareness

May 28 (CT) JVP is conducting a series of seminars to raise awareness among the people under, 100 days has been completed - a new journey on behalf of the country. The first in the series of these seminars was held on Monday 15th in Anuradhapura where the leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake and other leaders addressed the public. The seminars in Kalutara and Galle were held yesterday at 3:30 p.m. at the Kalutara and Galle Municipal Council Halls respectively. more..

'Mithree-Ranil reluctants to punish Rajapakshe family'

May 28 (LT) JVP leader Anura Dissanayake speaking at the seminar held in Kunrunegala Town hall has said that “I am certain that either president or PM will not facilitate the legal process to punishing the Rajapakshe family who have robbed several millions of public money” while explaining the seminar theme 100 days over, new programme for the country. Kurunegala district leader and PC members of Wayamba PC, more..

Govt has eliminated middlemen from drug purchases: Rajitha

May 28 (Island) Health and Indigenous Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that he had invited many foreign drug manufacturing firms to invest here. Sri Lanka had been purchasing drugs from the Bangladesh government directly under the bi-lateral trade pact signed in 2014. It had been successful as it left no room for middlemen’s involvement in drug purchases, he said at a meeting held yesterday with the Bangladesh High Commissioner Tarik Ahsan at the Health Ministry. more..

GMOA to file action against Divaina

May 28 (DN) GMOA has demanded Rs. 2,000 million as compensation from Sunday Divaina for publishing an article insulting the GMOA and its officials. GMOA has warned the newspaper that if it failed to respond to its demands within a period of four weeks, it would file a defamation case against the newspaper, GMOA spokesman Dr. Naveen Soysa said. He said that the article had very clearly tarnished the image of the GMOA and its officials who had a long & unblemished history. more..

EC seeks pvt. media help to ensure fair play

May 28 (Island) Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya is urgently seeking a consensus with privately-owned print and electronic media organisations to ensure impartial coverage at the next parliamentary election. Both President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe are on record as having said that a new govt would be in place in September. Speculation is rife in political circles that more..

Blood stolen from 49-year-old woman

May 28 (DM) A 49-year-old woman today complained to the Wattala police that unknown person or persons had drawn her blood when she had lost consciousness while travelling in a three-wheeler. In her police complaint, she said that on regaining consciousness she found herself opposite St. Anthony's Church in Wattala. The woman who lives at Weliamuna in Wattala had admitted herself to a nearby hospital before feeling well enough to lodge a complaint. more..

Minor employees' strike to end today

May 28 (DN) The trade union action launched by five trade unions representing minor employees belonging to 27 grades, including the All Island Health Services Union, continued at state hospitals yesterday as well. The unions say they will continue their trade union action till 6.30 a.m. today. Yesterday too routine activities in many hospitals were carried out with the assistance of army personnel and the Civil Defence Force. They protested in front of the Health & Indigenous more..

AH1N1 claims 7 lives; 143 cases reported

May 28 (DN) There were 143 Influenza AH1N1 cases and seven deaths reported from different parts of the country from January to May this year. Deaths have been reported from Kalubowila, Gampaha, Balapitiya, Badulla and Kegalle hospitals. There is an impending Influenza AH1N1 outbreak in the country at the moment and people should be educated on preventive measures. Main symptoms are runny nose, sore throat, more..

Sashi summoned by FCID

May 28 (CT) Leader of the National Freedom Front (NFF) Wimal Weerawansa's wife Sashi Weerawansa has been summoned by the Police Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) for further questioning today and for recording a statement pertaining to some controversy surrounding land and house deals. When contacted NFF Spokesperson Mohamed Muzammil confirmed that Sashi Weerawansa has been summoned to the investigation offices this morning. more..

33 HC’s, Ambassadors nominated subject to Vienna Convention: Foreign Ministry

May 28 (Island) Foreign Ministry said that it had taken action to fill 33 of the 40 Heads of Mission posts which had fallen vacant as the envoys appointed by the previous govt been recalled. All non-career Heads of Mission appointed prior to Jan 8, with the exception of the High Commissioner to India, would have vacated their posts by the end of June, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said. A new High Commissioner to India had been nominated and more..

Govt won’t send Special Delegation for UNHRC 29th Session

May 28 (Island) Deviating from practices adopted by the Rajapaksa administration, the govt said that it would not be sending a Special Delegation for the 29th UNHRC Sessions, to be held in Geneva next month. Newly appointed spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry & Acting Director General of UN Division, Mahishini Colonne said that there was no need to dispatch a Special Delegation incurring enormous expenses, more..

Give us givers not grabbers

May 28 (DM) With the enactment of the landmark 19th Amendment—though it was heavily diluted to accommodate a reluctant opposition—parliamentary democracy has been restored to a large degree. An equally important issue now is to ensure basic standards or qualification and a code of ethics for those who are to be nominated for the upcoming general elections probably in August or early September this year. Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga may have failed or more..

Justice for Vithya and other rape victims

May 28 (DM) Vithya, an 18-year-old schoolgirl was gang raped and murdered brutally by nine men in Punguduthivu on May 13. Immediately, Vithya’s case brought crowds out on the streets in many parts of the North. Later, protests spread to Batticaloa, the hill country, Puttalam, and finally Colombo. So many cases go unreported. In 2012, according to police records, 1,910 women and female children were sexually abused. 84% of them were girls below 18 years of age. more..

'Basil remanded for carrying out his duties'

May 28 (SL) The arrest and remanding of former Minister Basil Rajapaksa has caught the public eye in more ways than one. Apart from a scenario where it could be called how the mighty have fallen the former Minister’s legal counsel Udaya De Silva is of the view that the facts of the matter have not been properly looked into and that his submissions have also not been listened to or given appropriate consideration. more..

UPFA party leaders to meet MS and MR to discuss elections

May 28 (FT) The UPFA yesterday said that leaders of 14 parties would hold discussions with President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa separately about the forthcoming general election and how the party could contest. UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha addressing a press conference said that they planned to hold these meetings to get ready for the forthcoming election. more..

After rape and murder, fear and tension in Jaffna over covert menace to public safety

May 28 (ST) Relief as a young woman in Kayts gone missing was found did not dispel fears over public safety being menaced by sinister forces as a Jaffna court banned public protests – now spreading to the east – in the wake of the gang-rape and murder of schoolgirl Sivaloganathan Vidya. Sweeping changes were made late this week to the police hierarchy in Jaffna in the wake of the protests and CID took over the investigation. more..

15 glyphosate containers released

May 28 (CT) PM and his fellow stooges have overridden the presidential decision to halt the use of glyphosate in agriculture and released 15 unauthorized containers carrying this chemical, which been earlier held by the Customs, SLFP MP, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said. "When this glyphosate matter came up, President banned it. Then he said that he was approached by certain companies seeking more..

Germany to support SL to regain GSP+

May 28 (FT) The Foreign Affairs Ministry yesterday said that Germany would support Sri Lanka to regain the European Union’s (EU) Generalised System of Preference Plus (GSP+). Addressing a press briefing yesterday, Ministry Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne stated that Germany would be the coordinator between EU and the Sri Lankan Government to conduct discussions with regard to regaining GSP+. more..

'No need to change President or PM'

May 28 (DM) Minister and JHU general secretary Champika Ranawaka said that what was required today was not to change the president or PM but to change the electoral system. He said the 20th Amendment should be enacted and that there was no reason for anyone to object as it was introduced with a sufficient time for discussion. “Some political forces are trying to derail the process of enacting 20 A by citing various objections. more..

Lankan kidnapped in Nigeria released

May 28 (AD) The Sri Lankan engineer, D A Karunadasa, who was abducted in Nigeria for ransom, has been released by his abductors, Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P Perera said. The Sri Lankan High Commission in Abuja has notified the relatives of the kidnap victim here regarding the release. It had been reported that a ransom had been demanded, however could not confirm whether it had been paid to secure the release. more..

Electoral reforms: Cabinet fails to reach agreement

May 28 (DM) Despite last ditch attempts Cabinet, last night, failed once again to reach consensus on the proposed electoral reforms, informed sources said. However, the leaders of the UPFA, at a separate meeting with President Maitripala Sirisena pledged their cooperation to enact the proposed new electoral system. Cabinet took the matter up for discussion yesterday. It is learnt that SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem, more..

ACNU raises alarm over shortage of vital drugs in hospitals

May 28 (Island) The All Ceylon Nurses Union (ACNU) President Gamini Kumarasinghe alleged that some vital drugs such as TNT, Losartan, ISDN, Verapamil, Captopril, Ventolin, Brufen, Piriton, Metformin, Omeprazole, Phenobarbital and many kinds of surgical plasters, sutures and gauzes had been out of stock both in the state-run hospitals for a long time. He said doctors had no alternative but to issue more..

South Africa to continue talks on Sri Lanka

May 28 (CG) South African Govt is to continue its initiative on Sri Lanka by having more consultations with stakeholders within and outside Sri Lanka aimed at promoting a lasting political solution, peace initiatives, truth-telling and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. South African Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation said that South Africa’s engagement in Sri Lanka stems from the request by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to more..

Filling the vacuum

May 28 (CT) A vacuum has been created in the North. It's not a power vacuum, but a law and order vacuum. That is exemplified by the seeming lawlessness sweeping across the peninsula, culminating in the rape and murder of a schoolgirl from Punkuduthivu, a suburb of Jaffna last week. That vacuum was caused by the end of terrorism and the withdrawal of militarism, post 8 Jan 2015. The rule of law, under the overarching umbrella of the normal laws of the country is once more more..

If representation for dispersed minorities is the sticking point in 20A

May 28 (CT) According to the Daily News report on Cabinet meeting of May 27th, cabinet is deadlocked on 20A. According to other sources, The Cabinet sub-committee appointed for the purpose had an agreement on the proposed adaptation of the New Zealand method with 165 FPP seats and 255 total seats, but, at the larger cabinet meeting differences re-emerged. The meeting had adjourned giving the President and Prime Minister the responsibility to address the diffferences. more..

Sri Lanka to double capacity at international airport with Japan finance

May 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka plan to the develop essential infrastructure facilities of Bandaranaike International Airport with Japan funding of 48,969 million rupees. It is expected to double the annual passenger handling capacities of the airport from the current volume of 7.4 million to 15 million by the year 2020. In this connection, the Govt of Japan has agreed to provide the funding under the JAICA. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close higher 0.03%

May 28 (LBO) Stocks closed higher 0.03% with foreigners continuing to be net sellers for a third consecutive day. The Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index closed 2.21 points higher at 7,255.71 up 0.03%. The S&P SL20 closed 4.18 points higher at 4,035.04 up 0.1%. Turnover was 1.38 billion rupees down from 1.48 billion rupees on Wednesday, with 75 stocks closing positive against 111 negative. “Foreign investors continued to be net sellers for the third consecutive day more..

Neranjan Wijeyeratne resigns from politics

May 28 (AM) Kandy Municipal Council Opposition Leader Neranjan Wijeyeratne announced today that he will resign from politics to contest for the post of Diyawadana Nilame (Lay Custodian of the Dalada Maligawa). Wijeyeratne, who served as Diyawadana Nilame from 1985 to 2005 later contested the Municipal Council Election from the United National Party and was elected to the council, becoming its opposition leader. He was also the Chief Organizer of the UNP in Galagedara Electorate. more..

Electoral reform: Election Dept. averse to jumbo parliament

May 28 (Island) The Election Department has told political parties that it wouldn’t endorse any proposal meant to drastically increase the number of MPs from present 225 to pave the way for an agreement on electoral reforms envisaged in the 20 Amendment to the Constitution. Department has observed that sharp an increase of members to as many as 275 or 300 could automatically result in ‘massive’ public protests, though proposal for more..

Sri Lankan investors advised to exploit stock market volatility

May 28 (EN) The Colombo Stock Exchange has advised investors not to be deterred by market volatility and invest prudently, saying turnover so far this year has been better than 2014 and foreigners were continuing to invest. “With the current low interest rates, the stock market is an alternate investment opportunity for those looking to invest their excess income,” the Sri Lankan bourse said in a statement. Despite current market volatility in the stock market, daily average turnover in 2015 more..

CPC mulls over legal action against govt for withholding funds

May 28 (Island) Senior member of the Central Provincial Council and former provincial minister Sunil K. Amaratunga said that legal action against the relevant govt authorities was being contemplated for withholding funds that should have been released to the CPC. Attorney-at-law Amaratunge said that all development work in the Central Province had been stopped and that new project proposals could not be implemented due to non-release of necessary funds by the govt. more..

Video: No-faith motion against Ranil on June 9: Aluthgamage

May 28 (DM) UPFA MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage said today the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe would be handed over to the Speaker on June 9 and that 85 MPs had signed it so far. He said about 130 MPs were expected to sign this motion before it was tabled in parliament. Mr. Aluthgamage said this govt did not have the moral right to hold office any longer and that opposition had supported it only till more..