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Tea, Rubber prices fall linked to global trend

May 5 (CT) The drastic fall in local tea and rubber prices – which has led to major losses for Regional Plantation Companies – is part of a broader global trend of decline in commodity prices, which is not expected to reverse in the near future, Planters' Association of Ceylon points out. Association – which represents 22 Regional Plantation Companies collectively employing nearly 200,000 workers – explaining that prices are more..

'DMK betrayed Tamils on SL, Cauvery'

May 5 (ENS) PMK Chief Ministerial candidate Anbumani Ramadoss on Monday lashed out at DMK treasurer MK Stalin, his likely competitor for the job, charging the DMK with betrayal of the Tamil people on Sri Lankan Tamils issue, besides Mullaiperiyar and Cauvery disputes. Referring to Stalin’s open letter to Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, the PMK youth wing leader in an open letter said the DMK had failed to stop the massacre of innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka and suppressed the protests in TN more..

Senior citizen’s 15% interest rate proposal becomes a reality

May 5 (ST) While welcoming the action taken by the government to implement a 15 per cent interest scheme for Rs.1 million fixed deposits in banks proposed in the 2015 interim budget, S.W. Kumaradasa, a senior citizen of Yatiyana Agalawatte claims that it was he whosubmitted a similar proposal to be included in the 2015 budget in response to July 24, 2014 newspaper advertisements of the Finance Ministry seeking public proposals for the budget. more..

Pakistan President, PM ask envoy to boost trade ties with Sri Lanka

May 5 (TN) President Mamnoon Hussain has emphasised the need to identify prospective areas with potential for cooperation to further diversify and strengthen bilateral relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The President was talking to High Commissioner-designate of Pakistan to Sri Lanaka Maj Gen (Retd) Syed Shakeel Hussain who called on him at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Monday. Congratulating high commissioner-designate more..

'TNA keen on National Govt'

May 5 (CT) All Tamil people should help bring victory to the TNA at the next parliamentary election to enable it to form a National Govt in alliance with major political parties in the country. The Tamil people could solve their problems through the formation of a National Govt, said K. Thurairajasingham, Provincial Minister of Agriculture in Eastern Provincial Council. Thurairajasingham, who is also the General Secretary of the ITAK, main constituent of the TNA, more..

'50 MPs to back MR'

May 5 (CT) Fifty MPs are expected to attend the fourth rally to bring former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the SLFP and UPFA prime ministerial candidate to be held on 8 May in Kurunegala, Western Provincial Councillor Udaya Gammanpila said. He added that he with Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga and 10 MPs have been summoned by Colombo Chief Magistrate on that day to appear for alleged contempt of Court due to the violation of a prohibitive order against more..

Dejected TN fishermen decide to garner political support

May 5 (TOI) Days after the ministry of external affairs made it clear to a fishermen delegation not to fish in the controversial Sri Lankan waters and its reluctance to intervene in their release every time they are arrested by the island nation's navy; community leaders from Rameswaram have decided to meet all political leaders to gather support for their cause. Leaders of all fishermen associations met on Monday where they decided to seek support more..

10-year National Plan of Action for Plantation Infrastructure Development

May 5 (FT) Ministry of Plantation Infrastructure Development has initiated an action to formulate a 10-year National Plan of Action 2015-2025 for social development of the plantation community with the technical assistance of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The key objectives of the National Plan of Action (NPA) are to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the plantation areas, especially in estate sector. more..

Former Minister Johnston Fernando to be produced before Magistrate's Court

May 5 (DN) Former Minister and UPFA MP Johnston Fernando is to be produced before the Kurunegala Magistrate's Court over alleged misappropriations at Sathosa that took place under his watch. Fernando's lawyers have given an undertaking to the court that he will be produced before court as soon as possible. The Police Financial Crimes Investigations Unit (FCID), which conducted preliminary investigations into the matter, had presented evidence to the court more..

Armed soldier near President: Army HQ orders parallel probe

May 5 (Island) Army headquarters is expected to issue fresh instructions to personnel assigned for VIP security in the wake of the arrest of a member of former President Rajapaksa’s security contingent near the stage where President Sirisena was to address a gathering at Angunakolapelessa. Arrested soldier was Commando Corporal Senaka Kumara attached to security contingent assigned to former President Rajapaksa. more..

Security lapse at SLFP convention: How did it happen?

May 5 (DM) Imagine a situation where a gunman entered a meeting where President Mahinda Rajapaksa had attended a few months ago. Would the authorities have taken one week to arrest the miscreant? Imagine a situation where the man entered the meeting had admitted that he was a member of the security detail of a sworn political enemy of President Rajapaksa. What sort of stories would the media have carried about the man then? It is interesting to note that under yahapalanaya more..

LfD condemns attack on former FUTA Head

May 5 (DM) Lawyers for Democracy (LfD) condemns the physical attack on Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri, the former President of the Federation of University Teachers’ Association, when he was at the May day rally at Kirulapane, organized by the group of parties supporting the former President Mahinda Rajapakse. This is a blatant attack on democracy and the mandate given by the people in no uncertain terms at the last presidential election. The people voted against the fascist and more..

'After obtaining our votes, why are they blaming us?'

May 5 (DM) The passing of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was a milestone that was achieved by the good governance regime. It was passed by an overwhelming majority, which shows that many were affected by the addiction of having executive powers. In a candid interview carried out by our sister paper Deshaya, Leader of the Opposition; Nimal Siripala de Silva has expressed his views on this move. more..

Politics elbows workers aside at SLFP May Day rally

May 5 (ST) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, addressing the UNP May Day rally, said despite being a minority govt the UNP had been able to bring about a number of short-term relief measures for the country’s workers. The time has come to launch a long-term relief plan for workers, Mr. Wickremesinghe said, and a UNP majority govt should be created through the forthcoming elections to achieve this goal. more..

The day the ground shook

May 5 (SL) The 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck the Central and Western Regions of Nepal on the 25th (Saturday) of April left the country in shock after hundreds were killed, homes and buildings were destroyed and over 8 million people were affected in 39 districts. Search and rescue operations are still continuing in the affected areas and the SL govt had also dispatched teams to assist ongoing rescue and relief operations more..

MR-MS meet a non-starter?

May 5 (Island) The proposed one-on-one meeting between former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and incumbent Maithripala Sirisena would be held under two conditions, former Minister Gamini Lokuge said. Lokuge said that politicians supporting former President Rajapaksa had informed President Sirisena that they were opposed to forming a national govt with any other party and they wanted to form a govt with the support more..

'Bond Scam: Buck does not stop with CB Governor'

May 5 (Island) The Opposition has decided to brief the Colombo-based diplomatic community on the multi-billion-rupee Treasury bond scandal shortly as part of a campaign to put paid to what it calls attempts at a cover-up. Former Minister G.L. Peiris, contacted for comment, confirmed that given the international ramifications of the fraud, the Opposition would meet the foreign ambassadors and High Commissioners in more..

Mahinda praises Maithri’s unselfish approach

May 5 (Island) State Finance Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has said that one of the most important features in the recently adopted 19 Amendment to the Constitution was the restriction of the cabinet of ministers to 30. State Minister Samarasinghe asserted that the limitation of the cabinet as well as the number of State Ministers and Deputy Ministers to 40 would be immensely beneficial to the country. more..

NZ helping Sri Lanka develop dairying

May 5 (RNZ) New Zealand dairying expertise and technology is helping communities in Sri Lanka to develop a co-operative dairy farming farming network and raise their incomes. Woman heading the Wanni Dairy Regeneration programme, Selina Prem Kumar, has been in New Zealand to raise awareness and support for the project. It grew out of SL's 25-year civil war, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of people being displaced more..

Sri Lanka 92 in motherhood rankings

May 5 (DM) Sri Lanka and the Maldives were the best places to be a mother in South Asia, according to the State of the World Mothers-2015 Report of Save the Children global motherhood rankings. According to the report, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Jamaica ranked at 92 among 179 countries. Sri Lanka was ranked 89 last year. Women in Sri Lanka face a 1 in 1,400 risk of maternal death according to the report. more..

Basil Rajapaksa further remanded

May 5 (AM) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and three others were further remanded until May 7 by the Kaduwela Magistrate. Rajapaksa was arrested on April 22 by police Financial Crimes Investigations Division in connection with financial fraud in the Divi Naguma Department. Former Secretary to the Economic Development Ministry Dr. Nihal Jayathilake and former Director General of Divi Naguma Project R.A.A.K. Ranawaka were also arrested on the same day. more..

Tissa’s expulsion invalid: SC

May 5 (AD) Supreme Court in a historic judgment on Tuesday ruled that expulsion of former UNP General Secretary, Tissa Attanayake, from parliamentary seat is invalid as due process was not followed. The judgment was delivered, when a petition filed by Attanayake, was taken up for hearing before a bench comprising of three judges including Justices Rohini Marasinghe. Supreme Court ruled that since a disciplinary inquiry has not been conducted or a charge sheet more..

Rewriting Colombo script

May 5 (CT) US Secretary of State, John Kerry speaking to the TNA leadership here on Sunday has requested Sri Lanka's largest Tamil political party to resolve their issues with Colombo. Kerry's advise to the TNA resonates what another visiting US representative carrying a message from Washington DC, had to tell Colombo 32 years ago. General Vernon Walters, representative to the then President Ronald Reagan visited Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the July '83 disturbances. more..

Preacher versus prize fighters

May 5 (CT) The debate on the 19th Amendment demonstrated the obscene contrast of ethical values of parliamentarians on both sides of the aisle. A predisposed political commentator and an ideologue of the Mahinda Chinthana autocracy has described the opposition success in partially blunting the 19th amendment as a victory for JR Jayewardene. There is truth in that foxy inference. JR Jayewardene would have indeed chuckled at the twisty performance of the Rajapaksa acolytes more..

Sarath Fonseka with Sannasgala

Next election nearly impossible to be held under new electoral system

May 5 (Island) The next general election would not be held under the new voting system envisaged under the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution, the UNP said yesterday. General Secretary of the UNP and Minister of Highways and Investment Promotion Kabir Hashim, addressing a press conference at Sirikotha yesterday, said parliament would be dissolved soon after the proposed 20th Amendment to Constitution seeking reforms to the electoral system was passed. more..

Rajapaksa unaware of meeting; Dilan Perera says meeting takes place

May 5 (AM) Former President Rajapaksa’s Media Spokesman Rohan Welivita stated that Rajapaksa was not made aware of a meeting between him and President Sirisena on Wednesday. It was earlier reported that Sirisena and Rajapaksa will meet at Presidential Secretariat on Wednesday. However, Welivita said that Rajapaksa was unaware of an impending meeting. He also said that this could be a deliberate attempt to portray Rajapaksa as the one who backed off from such a meeting, more..

Legislator burden on Sri Lanka citizens to climb to 19 times that of India

May 5 (EN) The burden of Sri Lanka's elected ruling class on citizens, which is already high compared to region and world, will worsen after planned electoral reforms, leaving even less citizens to shoulder each legislator, an analysis of data shows. The burden of legislators on the population will climb to 19 times that of India, from the current 17, if the number of seats in parliament is raised to 255 from current 225 in a 20th amendment. more..

Illegal entry of Indian fishermen

May 5 (CT) Northern Fishermen's Association President N.M.N. Aalam said the resources in the Northern Sea were destroyed by the Indian fishermen who managed to enter the country borders at least 36,000 times every year. According to the petition filed at the Madurai High Court by the Indian Coastguard regarding attacks made on Tamil Nadu fishermen, Indian trawlers have illegally entered the Sri Lankan waters around 36,000 times. Petition also highlighted that TN fishermen more..

TELO against electoral reforms

May 5 (CT) Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) Leader, Parliamentarian Selvam Adaikalanathan says that electoral reforms would definitely affect the representation of the Tamil people in Parliament and the Tamils hence needed to oppose any changes which might affect them negatively through a new electoral system. Adaikalanathan further said all minority and small parties should unite to discuss the pros and cons in the new electoral reforms. more..

GMOA again sounds alarm over children eating junk food regularly

May 5 (Island) GMOA warned again that a large number of Lankan children were certain to contract non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, dental complications, obesity and even cancers due to eating unhealthy food. GMOA Assistant Secretary pointed out that a productive workshop on nutrition was conducted by local and foreign consultant nutritionists to educate doctors on good nutrition. more..

Lanka IOC first fuel lab certified for ISO 9001:2008

May 5 (DN) Lanka IOC was established in Sri Lanka in the year 2002. Today Lanka IOC is one of the leading companies in Sri Lanka and is ranked among the top three companies with an annual turnover of more than Rs. 80 billion. LIOC is not only engaged in petroleum retaining thru our 179 petrol sheds, LIOC is also into marketing of lubricant, bitumen and bunker fuels where we they enjoy sizable market share. Oil terminal at Trincomalee is the storage hub for petroleum products more..

Army Commander orders probe into liquor sales at military resort

May 5 (Island) Army Commander Lt. Gen. Crishanthe de Silva has instructed the Military police to conduct an investigation into the alleged sale of liquor at the Wadduwa Army Holiday Resort, a press release issued by Army Headquarters said. Full text: "The Wadduwa Army Holiday Resort, meant to further promote welfare of both officers and other ranks, while paying more dividends to them was established in 1991 and was recently re-branded as the Laya Beach. more..

Govt welcomes TNA bill to ban bottom trawling

May 5 (NS) The Govt has welcomed a Private Member’s Bill presented by TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran to ban mechanized bottom trawling in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters. Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera said while there was already legislation in place on bottom trawling, the govt has no issue with the bill presented by the TNA MP proposing to prohibit mechanized bottom trawling in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters. more..

4 probe teams on missing persons

May 5 (CT) Four investigating teams will be appointed by the Presidential Commission to probe on Missing Persons this week, according to the interim report submitted by the council. The Presidential Commission Chairman Maxwell Paranagama said he will appoint four investigating teams this week. "President Maithripala Sirisena will make the appointments based on the recommendations given by the commission", he said. Presidential Commission has also more..

New political party: BBS to meet EC

May 5 (DM) Bodu Bala sena (BBS) today said that it would meet the Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya tomorrow to request on forming a new political party backed by the BBS. BBS CEO Dilantha Vithanage said they had had several phone conversations with Mr. Deshapriya in this regard and would meet him today to make an official request on forming a political party. “BBS will back the new political party, but will continue to remain as an apolitical organisation. more..

Sri Lanka begins building homes for estate workers

May 5 (EN) Sri Lankan govt has begun building homes for hill-country tea estate workers at risk of landslides under a program that aims to replace their current barrack-style line-rooms with individual houses. Each family will be given a 550-square foot house costing 1.2 million rupees, Minister Palani Digambaram said. Program aims to improve the living conditions of estate workers whose social indicators like maternal health more..

Sri Lanka shares close at two-month high on hopes of better earnings

May 5 (Reuters) Shares rose to a more than two-month high on Tuesday due to local buying in large-caps, while foreign investors exited from risky assets. The main stock index rose 0.32% to 7,202.11, its highest closing level since March 4. It has gained 4.36% since the central bank cut key rates on April 15, while yields on t-bills have fallen 40-50 basis points since then. "Confidence is slowly coming into the market after the passing of the 19th Amendment and expected good earnings," more..

Sri Lank at PATA Conference

May 5 (GDI) The Pacific Asia Tourist Association (PATA) the premier travel and tourism catalyst staged it's 2015 conference on the growing global trends in the 3 billion dollar global tourism industry at the picturesque district of Sichuan Province in China that attracted the top 300 tourism specialists from around the world with the key note delivered by Xu Jing Executive Secretary of the General Assembly and the Executive Council Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO. more..

Johnston remanded till tomorrow

May 5 (PTI) A former senior minister and close aide of ex President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been arrested for fraud, police said. Colombo chief magistrate ordered that Johnston Fernando be remanded until tomorrow and be produced before a magistrate at Kurunegala, his northwestern provincial base. Fernando was arrested by police's Financial Crime Investigation Unit (FCIU) over alleged financial impropriety more..