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Sri Lankan arrested with 1kg gold at airport

May 30 (TOI) Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of customs department on Thursday held a man from Sri Lanka for smuggling 1kg of gold worth Rs 27.4 lakh at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport. Jaffna-based Mohammed Jaleel Abdul Matheen was held with 10 gold bars which were concealed in his rectum. Interestingly, Matheen was a domestic passenger as he had flown in from Delhi. This is the seventh incident of smuggling wherein a domestic passenger has been caught. more..

'Sri Lanka and Africa are partners in peace'

May 30 (FT) Excellencies, distinguished Guests, ladies and gentlemen, I am very happy to address this auspicious occasion of the Africa Day commemorating the founding of the Organization of African Unity and the establishment of the African Union. On this momentous occasion, I wish to convey to the President of the African Union, Robert Mugabe and Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Zuma and through them to the people of the Union, more..

'Foreign reserves moving towards USD 9 bn'

May 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s govt plans to increase the Island’s foreign reserves to US$ 9 billion, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves would be close to US$ 8.3 billion after proceeds from a US$ 988 million sovereign bond and development bond inject ion to the economy. “That is the highest ever,” Karunanayake said. “When Mahinda Rajapakse and Nivard Cabraal ran the economy & handed it more..

Missing teen's body found near bridge

May 30 (DN) The post-mortem into the death of a 15-year-old boy whose body was found after four days near the bridge over Ging Ganga revealed that the death was due to drowning. The post-mortem was conducted at the Karapitiya hospital morgue yesterday. K. Imesh, a student of Rathgama Deva Pathiraja MV was reported missing on May 25. His parents lodged a complaint with Rathgama Police that Imesh who attended a tuition class after school had not returned home. more..

Suspect chopped, shot dead

May 30 (CT) A 37-year-old man has been shot dead, after being cut by sharp objects, on Thursday night at a Weekly Fair in Bilasthawa in the Bingiriya Police area, ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said. Four men had arrived on motorcycles, committed the crime and then fled the scene. The spokesman said "The victim's body had many wounds inflicted by a sharp cutting object and gunshot wounds too." Three suspects have been identified but no arrests had been made when this report was filed. more..

Police to appael on Kotakethana case

May 30 (DM) In an apparent bid to defuse potential future public unrest, in the wake of Thursday's commotion in Kahawatte following the Colombo High Court verdict on the Kotakethana double murder suspects, police said it would file an appeal in the coming days. Police Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said the police would discuss with the Attorney General to look at the possibility of making an appeal against the verdict. more..

Database with patient details launched

May 30 (DN) The Health and Indigenous Medicine Ministry launched a program to computerize patients' details to provide a better service for them. The program was launched at the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital recently. A special identity card will be issued for patients to access their details stored in the hospital database. Details of all patients who visited the hospital, obtained in-house treatment and re-visited the hospital, will be stored in this data base. more..

Sirisena govt does not have will to help Tamils, says Wigneswaran

May 30 (Hindu) Chief Minister of Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, has accused the country’s Central govt of not having the will to help Tamils or minorities. Pointing out that this had been the characteristic of what had been taking place in the country, Mr. Wigneswaran told an international tele-press conference on Thursday night that “the Central govt in Sri Lanka will not do anything towards the minorities or the Tamils unless they are forced to do something.” more..

President assures justice for victimized journalists

May 30 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena said that he has already instructed the relevant authorities to reopen files relating to the abductions and assassinations of journalists during the past few years. "Impartial, methodical and justifiable investigations will be carried out in to the abductions of journalists, since the govt strongly believes that the rule of law should be protected. Accordingly, investigations will be carried out more..

Gross infringement of TV viewers’ rights

May 30 (DM) Nobody would expect a dance to be performed by a semi nude woman or a group of such women at a religious ceremony held at a temple or a church or a mosque. But we are being compelled to watch this happening on a daily basis within our own sitting rooms. While we watch a religious programme on the television sometimes the programme abruptly stops for thirty seconds or so to give way for a trailer of a dancing programme in which scenes of men and women dancing more..

And they came for Vidhya: Who and what is next?

May 30 (DM) Wednesday, May 13 was a dark day for the people of Jaffna and for all Sri Lankans. Sivaloganathan Vidhya, an 18-year-old student of Maththiya Maha Vithyalayam in Pungudutheevu never returned home from school only to have sacrificed her life for a group of psychopaths who brutally gang-raped her in broad daylight and left her inside a jungle - naked and dead. This is not the first time that Sri Lankans have come across an incident of rape and murder but things have more..

'Govt strives to create investment-friendly environment'

May 30 (DM) Deputy Minister of Investment Promotion Eran Wickramaratne said that the govt would look for the simplification of tax structure as part of its efforts for creating an investment-friendly environment in the country. He said the matters concerning the Port City Project could be sorted out based on recommendations by experts. Q: When you were in Opposition, you used to criticise the then govt more..

'Expedite electoral reforms'

May 30 (DN) Convener of the NMJS Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera requested the President and the Prime Minister to ensure the early introduction of electoral reforms. The thera said the introduction of new electoral reforms is not so difficult as the committee headed by MP Dinesh Gunawardena has already completed preliminary work in this regard and the President and the PM were also willing to have new electoral reforms. more..

CPSTL employee accused of malpractice

May 30 (SL) Questions have been raised as to why an alleged fraudster employed at the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminal Limited (CPSTL) is still being kept on contract basis when the employees of CPSTL and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) have shown their displeasure of the Management decision. The said employee is attached to the SLFP headquarters as a Secretary and has joined the CPC in 1995 more..

Heightened security at Exams Dept to prevent leaks

May 30 (ST) Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has decided to beef up security at the Exams Dept, to prevent leak of question papers. The decision was taken due to the misdemeanours reported at last year’s A/L exam, when parts of certain exam papers had been leaked, while some papers had mistakes. Minister said that, at the time of the leak, Dept employed only two Data Entry clerks for the job, with each in possession of more..

Transport Master Plan for Colombo Metropolitan area

May 30 (DN) The Internal Transport Ministry has formulated a Transport Master Plan for the Colombo Metropolitan Region (CMR) and the suburbs to address issues in the transport sector, including heavy congestion in the Colombo city within the next 20 years. The plan with short, medium and long term solutions will ease traffic congestion in the Colombo city as the number of vehicles entering the city has increased over more..

UPFA still undecided over MR’s party position

May 30 (FT) UPFA on Thursday said that former President Rajapaksa should remain in politics but it had still not decided which position he would occupy. UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha said that at present UPFA was in the process of amalgamating supporters of President Sirisena and former President Rajapaksa in order to strengthen the party with the objective of forming a UPFA Govt after forthcoming more..

Sri Lankans increasingly breathing polluted air

May 30 (Island) Head of the National Hospital Poisoning Unit Dr. Prasanna Karunanayaka yesterday said that while there were options available to at least partly mitigate health problems arising from contaminated water and food, there were no such options when one had to breathe polluted air in cities. Sri Lankans had been increasingly breathing polluted air which had both short-term and long-term effects, he said. more..

'No agreement on electoral reforms by UPFA allies'

May 30 (DM) MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardane said that no agreement had been reached among the constituent parties of the UPFA on the proposed electoral reforms though it had been claimed otherwise in various quarters. Mr. Gunawardane said his party was opposed to the increase in the number of parliamentary seats to 255. Likewise, he said the three leftist parties- the DLF, LSSP and CP had associated more..

If no-faith on PM moved UNP support to 20A hangs in the balance

May 30 (CT) If the No-Confidence Motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is moved in Parliament, UNP will not back the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. The 20th Amendment is set to be taken up shortly in Parliament soon after Cabinet gives its approval for the Draft Bill. The Bill needs a two-thirds majority vote in Parliament for it to become law. A group of UNP MPs have planned to ask opposition more..

MS praises Ven. Sobitha, CBK for regime change

May 30 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha had been instrumental effecting a regime change in the country at the risk of life and limb in the name of democracy. Speaking at a ceremony to mark the 73rd birthday of Ven. Sobhitha Thera and release of his biography titled, Isiwara manasaka thunkal dekma at the BMICH, President said Ven. Sobhitha had worked tirelessly to achieve more..

4000 fishermen go to sea after ban end; SL navy vessels on IMBL

May 30 (PTI) About 4000 fishermen today set out to sea at the end of a 48-day ban, imposed to enable fish breeding, even as Sri Lankan Navy deployed its vessels along the International Martime Boundary Line to prevent them from crossing over into their waters. Assistant Director of Fisheries Gobinath said officials has warned the fishermen against crossing the IMBL. Severe action would be taken against those who had left this coastal town yesterday without obtaining the requisite permission, more..

Women’s cry hits crescendo over gang rape and murder of schoolgirl in Jaffna

May 30 (Island) The Women’s Rights activists and organisations yesterday called upon the government, the Opposition and the judiciary to recognise and address the real issues of breakdown of law and order, impunity, and the widespread legitimisation of violence against women and girls in all areas of the country. A statement signed by 74 Women’s Rights activists including Prof. Savithri Goonesekera, Dr. Sepali Kottegoda, Kumudini Samuel, Visaka Dharmadasa and more..

SLC shows the door to legal officer as TV deals reach doorstep

May 30 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has decided not t o renew t he contract of their legal officer Savithri Fernando amidst rather controversial circumstances as they are on the verge of finalising a few TV rights deals amounting to billions of rupees. Fernando who had been working for that SLC since 2013 has been entrusted with the task of perusing the contract documents, and SLC’s decision to do away with her services has more..

Govt denies having secret detention camps

May 30 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe have categorically denied that people are being held in secret detention camps. PM recently denied the existence of secret detention camps in the country while asserting those who had been categorised as missing were either dead due to the conflict or living overseas. The previous govt on more than one occasion briefed the UNHRC on the release of over 11,000 ex-LTTE combatants following rehabilitation. more..

Nimalka condemns Vasu’s Pakayâ remarks

May 30 (CT) MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara’s partner Dr. Nimalka Fernando, prominent human rights activist and lawyer has today condemned her partner’s verbal outburst at PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in parliament on the 21st of May 2015, where he openly went on to call the premier a Pakayâ. At a press conference held two days ago MP Nanayakkara openly stated that he would not apologize to Prime Minister Wickremesinghe for abusing him using an uncouth word. more..

Scores of Sri Lankan Tamils still living under the long shadow of war

May 30 (IPS) In many ways, Jayakumari Balendran epitomizes the plight of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka’s northern and eastern provinces, both during and after the island nation’s 26-year-long civil conflict. Her oldest son was shot dead in 2006 while working in the coastal town of Trincomalee, by unidentified killers. Abandoning her husband, she was forced to flee to Kilinochchi, a town in the north, which, at the time, more..

Each Lankan has consumed 10 kilos of agrochemicals since advent of ...

May 30 (Island) Since the advent of Green Revolution each and every Sri Lankan had consumed approximately ten kilos of harmful agrochemicals along with food, disclosed National Health Issue Sub-Committee member of the GMOA, Dr. Chinthaka Wijewardena. He pointed out that though non-communicable diseases had once been limited to urbanised areas earlier, more than 50% males and 50% females in the rural areas were beginning to contract various forms of cancer. more..

Witch hunt

May 30 (CT) It's almost a universal belief that corruption on highway projects is the easiest channel to make illicit money when compared to other govt implemented projects. The previous regime, post-war 19 May 2009, embarked on massive road development projects. Such development works covered the length and breadth of the country. The Highways Ministry then, came under former President Rajapaksa. Seemingly, it may however, not be only in this context that more..

Sirisena govt mends fences with China

May 30 (ENS) The Maithripala Sirisena govt in Sri Lanka is fast mending damaged fences with China. While the stalled US$ 1.4 billion Colombo Port City project is likely to be cleared with some modifications by a Committee of Secretaries headed by the Secretary to the PM, defense cooperation is also to be resumed. Lanka’s State Minister for Defense, Ruwan Wijewardene, accompanied by the chiefs of three services, more..

6 reasons to stay in a Sri Lanka Tea Factory

May 30 (Now) Looking for a holiday with a difference? Then look no further than a Sri Lanka tea museum in the clouds. If you are bored of bed and breakfasting in a normal hotel and happen to be holidaying in Sri Lanka, you need to ensure your itinerary contains a stop at this magical former Tea Factory and here’s six reasons why: 1. Wake to views from the highest hotel in Sri Lanka. The Heritance Tea Factory hotel perches atop one of the peaks that give Sri Lanka’s more..

When victims are blamed

May 30 (CT) A story titled, Are Women to be Blamed for Rape? was published on CT on May 26 and was written by Muhammed Fazl, an independent social/political activist. The article provides a simplistic analysis of a complex problem and is also a chauvinistic and patriarchal take of a social issue. You are relaxing by a swimming pool when you notice a female in a bikini. You look at her long enough to remember how her body looked when it was so scantily clad. more..

Rajapaksa fears LTTE revival in Sri Lanka

May 30 (PTI) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is mounting a political comeback, has expressed fears that the separatist Tamil Tigers could regroup and revive terrorism in the country. "We are glad that terrorists are no more. But I have a suspicion that we may return to see terrorism," Rajapaksa said. "We don't want to see that happening we want everyone to live in peace and harmony," he told a religious gathering in more..

CC drives Bribery Commission to a halt

May 30 (NS) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption is expected to resume its raids and new investigations after the appointment of three new commissioners within the next two weeks, internal sources confirmed. The appointments are due to be made by the proposed Constitutional Council that is to be set up. The commission’s investigations had been hampered and it had been unable to conduct raids after the resignation of one of its commissioners, more..

Injustice against Tamils in Sri Lanka continues: DMK

May 30 (PTI) Expressing concern over a report on the Sri Lankan army’s continued occupation of traditional Tamil homeland, DMK today said it showed that the scene has not changed despite a change of guard in the island republic. Party chief M Karunanidhi said President Maithiripala Sirisena had won the elections with the support of ethnic Tamils, who had been promised demilitarisation of Tamil-dominated areas. However, the traditional Tamil homeland is still under more..

Video: No-faith motion against PM has no impact to 20A: GL

May 30 (DM) A no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe would have no impact to the enactment of the 20A because the President could appoint a new PM, who had the majority support in Parliament after the motion, UPFA MP G.L. Peiris said today. “We have assured our fullest support to the 20 A. The no-confidence motion against PM is not connected to it. President has a Constitutional responsibility more..

Fonseka’s lost seat: FR case to be decided by a fuller bench

May 30 (Island) The Fundamental Rights Violation application filed by Senaka Haripriya de Silva, complaining of the violation of fundamental rights of Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka was called before a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court yesterday and referred to the Chief Justice to Constitute a fuller bench for considering the preliminary objections, taken by the respondents the Attorney General and Jayantha Ketagoda. The two judges, Justice Eva Wanasundera and more..

National badminton coach receives death threat

May 30 (NS) An unofficial mafia is said to be running badminton in Sri Lanka which has now culminated in the sudden exit of national coach Shankar Annamalai from Malaysia who fled the island after he received a death threat from a senior Sri Lankan player. According to SL Badminton Association President Suraj Dandeniya the senior player is said to have humiliated Annamalai every time he is on duty training the younger players. “This senior player says that he has a coach more..

Video: Bandula challenges Harsha, Ravi for TV debate on economy

May 30 (DM) UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardane today challenged Minister Ravi Karunanayake or deputy minister Harsha de Silva for a debate on any television channel over the current economic crisis in the country. Mr. Gunawardane told a news conference that Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran had given false information at a news conference yesterday more..

Maternity High Dependence Unit set up at Peradeniya Teaching Hospital

May 30 (Island) Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine yesterday said that a new Maternity High Dependence Unit (M-HDU) had been set up in the Maternity Care Unit of the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital (PTH). Director General Health Services (DGHS), Dr. Palitha Mahipala had opened the new unit to cater to pregnant mothers who might develop complications during child birth. About 600 babies were delivered a month at the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital, Health Ministry official said. more..