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President orders CB, Treasury to monitor gold auctions closely

Apr 22 (Island) Central Bank and the Treasury have been directed to monitor large scale purchases of gold at auctions conducted at state and private banks to prevent smugglers exploiting such sales. Instructions were issued at a meeting chaired by President Sirisena. Authoritative sources said that the focus of the meeting was also on the importance of having transparent process in respect of gold auctions. more..

'There will be a delay in the release of the local govt delimitation report'

Apr 22 (ITN) Minister Faizer Mustapha has said that a delay will occur in the release of the Local Govt Delimitation report. Although the release of the report was due in August, Minister said that there may be a delay in its release as certain issues had to be resolved. He said that everyone should accept that an appeal process should be adhered to according to the Act since the delimitation report had not been compiled properly. As such it should be responsibly mentioned that they have to more..

Chandra demands for information on treasury bond issuance

Apr 22 (CT) Exercising his Right to Information, good governance activist and former Chairman of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Chandra Jayaratne has demanded the Secretary of Central Bank’s Monetary Board to furnish him within 14 days all information pertaining to the recent Treasury Bond issuance from Central Bank. In a letter addressed to the Secretary of Monetary Board of SL on April 19, Jayaratne said that in recognition of the provisions of Article 14 A of Chapter III more..

Wasim Thajudeen murder: Arrest of four top cops imminent

Apr 22 (DN) The CID is likely to arrest four other senior Police officers, including a serving ASP and a retired Senior DIG, in connection with rugby player Wasim Thajudeen’s murder. CID arrested Sumith Perera, former Crimes OIC of Narahenpita Police Station, over the same incident on Wednesday. Serving ASP facing imminent arrest was also an OIC of a police station in Colombo district at the time of rugby player’s killing, more..

There is no poem as lovely as a tree

Apr 22 (DM) Stressed and straining in what may be the hottest weeks in recorded history, Sri Lanka joins the international community today in marking World Earth Day with some countries having special events during the whole week. The world is facing a self-made and self-destructive environmental catastrophe therefore Friday, April 22 could be considered as one of the most important days of the year and we need to reflect deeply on what action we could and should take – individually and more..

Buddha on excessive taxes, and good governance

Apr 22 (DM) Today (21) is Bak full moon; It marks Buddha’s second visit to the island for settling a dispute between two Naga kings -Chulodara and Mahodara. People of past generations believed in gazing the new moon, which appears 14 days before this day as a good omen. ‘Nava bag lasand dut - minisak – hunova ..janneyi’: -- [A man who has seen the tender moon of Bak (April), should not be rejected] Homage paid by the Sinhala Buddhists to moon [nava sanda belima] in more..

Party fissures and May Day woes

Apr 22 (DM) The govt earlier decided to allocate one million rupees for each Grama Seva Division to carry out minor development activities. The UNP, appeared to be the political authority for implementing these works. It displeased the SLFP members of the national govt, who eventually raised it with President Maithripala Sirisena, the party leader. The matter cropped up at the Cabinet meeting conducted for the first time after more..

Sajith justifies tax increase, blames previous govt

Apr 22 (Island) Justifying tax increases Minister Sajith Premadasa said the govt had no option but to increase the VAT due to the debt run up by the previous Rajapaksa govt. He said the incumbent govt would not increase taxes purposely to burden the people, but the country not move forward without increasing tax revenue. "The Rajapaksa govt obtained loans at high interest rates and wasted public funds on projects which more..

Alarming rise in diabetes: Act right now to prevent, treat and beat it

Apr 22 (ST) Talking the talk and walking the walk, is what the Colombo Office of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is engaging in, to meet head-on the looming spectre of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). With this year’s World Health Day campaign targeting diabetes, the eminent invitees to the function on April 7 at the Kingsbury Hotel were presented with a strange little pack – a measuring tape and a skipping rope. more..

Country’s brightest hopes ruined by ragging

Apr 22 (ST) A group of new students at the Institute of Indigenous Medicine (IIM) at Rajagiriya were hauled aside by their seniors for a ragging session at their hostels one night recently. They were told to dress only in bath towels. After a series of acts they were told to recite kavi using obscene language and when they showed reluctance their towels were pulled down and some were threatened with sexual torture. more..

SL born Canadian to run for Liberal Party

Apr 22 (HP) One of the federal NDP’s former rising stars has decided she wants to run for the provincial Liberals in Ontario. Rathika Sitsabaiesan, the former NDP MP for the Toronto-area riding of Scarborough–Rouge River submitted her nomination papers to the Ontario Liberal Party this week. She is seeking a seat in an upcoming byelection in Scarborough–Rouge River, vacant since longtime MPP Bas Balkissoon’s more..

Sri Lanka: Hide and seek

Apr 22 (NGT) The leopard. A majestically handsome animal fond of prowling and slinking across the grasslands of the tropics. A patterned assassin with a sleek coat and all-seeing eyes. A prince among big cats, whether slung in the bough of an acacia tree or springing savage-toothed upon its prey. And a pain in the backside if you’re actually trying to see one. Some would say fate is not being kind. more..

EMA not to stifle media freedom: Dy Minister

Apr 22 (DM) The proposed Electronic Media Authority (EMA) is meant only to regularize the functions and operation of the electronic media keeping abreast with the latest trends, and not to suppress media freedom, Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranawitana said. He said the proposed EMA did not intend to restrict the freedom or monitor electronic media institutions but regularize their functions and operation to suit more..

Sri Lanka expects to resume fishery exports to EU in July

Apr 22 (EN) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has a welcomed a decision by the European Commission to recommend the lifting of a fishery trading ban and expects exports to the European Union to resume in July 2016. "The lifting of the red card will allow Sri Lanka to resume fish exports to the EU’s 28 member countries," Foreign Ministry said. "EU markets accounted for 68% of SL’s fish exports, amounting to US$ 108 mil more..

Sri Lanka applies for WHO certification on malaria-free status

Apr 22 (GDI) Sri Lanka has applied for World Health Organisation (WHO) certification on malaria-free status, which is a milestone in the history of health and development of the country. National Programme Manager of Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Surveillance of the Family Health Bureau Dr. Kapila Jayaratne said, the country has steadily reduced the malaria cases from over 400,000 in 1991 to zero cases by Nov 2012, more..

Move to re-employ retired professionals

Apr 22 (DM) Defence Ministry has decided to re-employ technically and professionally experienced retired officers of the armed forces to address the severe shortage of officials in those categories in the govt and semi-govt sector. Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said that the programme was being implemented on instructions of President and Cabinet approval had been granted recently for the programme. more..

IGP Jayasundara must stand firm

Apr 22 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena recently appointed senior DIG Pujith Jayasundara as the new IGP. The Constitutional Council (CC) had this week nominated Pujith Jayasundara as the 34th IGP. Jayasundara, who is a very popular police officer, has been vested with a huge responsibility. He takes up the prestigious position at a time, in which there are many high profile criminal cases to be solved. Also, at a time in which there are many black marks on the police due to certain instances of more..

Losing the sense of Right & Wrong

Apr 22 (CT) What would happen in a society where there is no sense that murder is a grave wrong to be prevented by the state and the people? The same thing could be asked about rape, sexual abuse of women, children or anyone else, about robbery and theft, extortion and drug trafficking. Many more wrongs against individuals can thus be listed. Then there are wrongs relating to public life. What if those who wield authority do not recognise the stealing of public resources as a grave wrong? more..

Pathikada: Panama Papers

Thieves steal livestock in hybrid vehicle

Apr 22 (Island) A resident of Temple road in Kengalla has complained to Pallekele police that one of his young cows and six goats were taken away in a hybrid vehicle recently. The animals were valued at Rs. 17,000, the complainant Mohamed Rizvi has told police. The young cow and the six goats were taken away from his cattle shed on two different occasions after 2.45 a.m. the same night. The complainant has told police that the son of his elder brother telephoned in early hours of more..

Shares end steady ahead of CB rate decision

Apr 22 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended flat in dull trade on Friday as investors waited for negotiations to conclude on a loan deal with the IMF and ahead of a central bank decision on interest rates next week. The central bank's April monetary policy announcement is scheduled at 1230 GMT on Tuesday, and expectations are that it would keep key interest rates steady, poll showed. The central bank twice tightened rates since December to ease pressure on a fragile rupee. more..

Sri Lanka inflation 2.2% in March 2016

Apr 22 (EN) Sri Lanka’s consumer prices nation-wide rose 2.2% in March 2016 from a year ago, accelerating from 1.7% in Feb. On a month-on-month basis, the new National Consumer Price Index (NCPI), compiled using prices collected from all nine provinces with a base year of 2013, in March fell 0.7%. Consumer prices in Colombo, measured by the Colombo Consumer Price Index, rose 2% in March 2016 from a year ago. more..

'US$ 2.8bn T-Bond investments withdrawn'

Apr 22 (DM) As much as US $ 2.8 billion invested in Treasury Bonds has been withdrawn by their investors in recent times, joint opposition MP Bandula Gunawardane alleged. Asserting that this caused a foreign exchange crisis, he said US $ 4 billion had been sold in the market during the past year. He said this was done to prevent the further depreciation of rupee against the US dollar, but it was devalued to nearly 150. As a result, he said a balance of payment crisis had been occurred. more..

What a rape case says about legal system

Apr 22 (UCAN) Jesudasan Rita was a 17-year-old schoolgirl when she was abducted by two men and raped on Aug. 12, 2001. Before the rape, Rita was on her way home after attending Sunday Mass and confirmation classes at St. Patrick's Church in the town of Talawakele. The rapists held Rita for four hours in their vehicle and then dumped her in an isolated area. After Rita thought about how Jesus carried a heavy cross up Calvary, she managed to break out of a state of despair and more..

MR’s security apprehends suspicious man

Apr 22 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s security officers today apprehended a middle-aged man who was acting in a suspicious manner at Mr. Rajapaksa’s recently opened political office at Nelum Mawatha, Jayanthipura, Battaramulla. A meeting with the Former President Rajapaksa and Opposition MPs was taking place at the time the suspicious man had tried to enter the political office. more..

Army deserter and another remanded over robbery and sexual abuse of tourist

Apr 22 (Island) An army deserter and his brother-in-law arrested by Kandy Police for robbery and molesting one of the two Scottish women in Kandy were remanded till May 2 by the Kandy Chief Magistrate Buddhika Sri Ragala on Wednesday. The army deserter Asanga Kumara (28) and his brother-in-law Nilantha Abeykoon of Hanthana fourth mile post were arrested by Kandy Police four days after committing the sexual crime and robbery. The suspects are alleged to have driven more..

New police chief renames police department as Sri Lanka police

Apr 22 (LT) New IGP Pujith Jayasundara participating in his first press briefing today at Police Headquarters after assuming duties as the IGP has revealed that hereafter Police Department would be known as Sri Lanka Police. IGP pointed out that police lost the trust of the people during the past and there was a wide gap between the people and the police. Attention would be drawn on six sections including education, sports, religion and health to all police stations through a mobile service. more..

Galle May Day rally will be harbinger of SLFP’s glory ahead: Shan

Apr 22 (DN) The May Day rally of the SLFP scheduled to be held in Galle will be a historic event with the participation of a massive crowd, Southern Province Chief Minister Shan Wijayalal de Silva said. “It would be the foremost volley that heralds the renewed glorious political journey towards remarkable victory of the party at the next parliamentary election,” he told a media conference about the SLFP May Day more..

Surgeon Rear Adm. Jayasekera appointed CEO of KDU Teaching Hospital

Apr 22 (Island) Surgeon Rear Admiral Nicholas Jayasekera, MBBS, MSc, MBA, MD, USP, VSV, has been appointed the first CEO of the Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) from April 18. State of the art 704-bed hospital is scheduled to be fully functional by the end of this year, and will include 20 surgical operating theatres and 70 Intensive Care beds. Constructed on a 56-acre land in Werahera with an investment of US$ 202 m, more..

Court Plea for its release

Apr 22 (CT) A request has been submitted to the Colombo Traffic Magistrate's Court to release the jeep from Police custody used by Minister Champika Ranawaka which is alleged to have been involved in an accident in which two persons were injured. The plea had been submitted to Court by Attorney-at-Law Rexi G. Piyadasa who represented the individual who is alleged to have driven the jeep, Dilum Thusitha Kumara, at the time of the accident. Additional Magistrate of Colombo more..

Video: BBS complaints to new IGP

Apr 22 (DM) The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), backed by some other organisations, today handed over a letter to the newly appointed IGP Pujith Jayasundara to take legal action against Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan for allegedly making statements igniting separatism. Speaking to the media after handing over the letter, more..

No noteworthy rise in water levels in reservoirs: MASL

Apr 22 (DM) There was no notable change in the water levels in the major reservoirs even though heavy showers were experienced in the catchment areas in the past couple of days, the Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka (MASL) said today. MASL Water Management Secretariat Director Thilaka Samaratunga said the water had still not started filling into the reservoirs despite the heavy showers. “Although no significant improvement was witnessed in the water levels of the reservoirs, more..

Australia drops people-smuggling charge against Lankan

Apr 22 (AAP) A people-smuggling charge has been dropped against a Sri Lankan man accused of attempting to assist a fellow countryman to travel from Indonesia to Australia by boat. Jasothiran Shellakandu, 35, appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Thursday where commonwealth prosecutors tendered no evidence on a charge of taking part in bringing a non-citizen to Australia between 2009 and 2013. Shellakandu was arrested in October last year and more..

Tamils recognize Muslims as a Nation, TNA assures SLMC

Apr 22 (ENS) The TNA has assured the SLMC that the Tamils see the Muslims as a distinct nation inhabiting Sri Lanka. Defining a nation as a historically constituted, stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological make-up manifested in a common culture, Lankan Tamils and Muslims look upon themselves as distinct nations or nationalities while being citizens of Sri Lanka, more..

Many complaints on festive season special bus service

Apr 22 (DN) The National Transport Commission (NTC) received 107 complaints from passengers regarding the inter-provincial special private bus service operated during the festive season. The special hot line, 1955 set up by the NTC for commuters to lodge their complains on special bus services during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year season received complaints mainly of excessive bus fares, NTC Chairman M.A.P. Hemachandra said. He said among other complaints were, more..

'Exited EPDP out of respect for Tamil aspirations'

Apr 22 (CT) Former EPDP MP and Chairman of the Committees Murugesu Chandrakumar announced his exit from the EPDP on Wednesday. "I left the party by myself and I did not have any plans to drag any member to join me. I believe the party leadership is aware of my resignation and I will officially inform the hierarchy of the party within the next three days," he said. Chandrakumar further added that he had not carried out negotiations with any political party. more..

UNP May Day rally dedicated to country’s workforce: Kabir

Apr 22 (DN) UNP’s May Day rally this year is dedicated to the committed workforce of the country as it is they that can pull the country out of the debt trap it is in at present, UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim said. He was addressing the media at party’s coordinating office in Matara. UNP rally to be held at Campbell Park is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. May Day procession will start at 11 a.m. opposite the B.G. Sirisena playground. more..

IGP vows more arrests in Thajudeen case

Apr 22 (EN) SL's new police chief Friday vowed a systematic investigation and more arrests in connection with the killing of rugby player Wasim Thajudeen. Within a few hours of being formally appointed the IGP, Jayasundara ordered the arrest of a police Inspector for allegedly concealing vital evidence in the May 2012 killing. Sexual jealousy and or control over a key rugger club are said to be at the heart of the case that has exposed police and judicial corruption with senior officers and more..

New Year raids nab 2,000 errant traders

Apr 22 (DN) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) flying squad nabbed around 2,000 errant traders during the festive season. CAA Chairman Hasitha Thilakaratne said that CAA officials nabbed the errant traders during special raids conducted by CAA squads from March 20 to April 12 targeting the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. The flying squads conducted random checks in warehouses and retail and wholesale shops in selected areas like Colombo, Gampaha, Kurunegala and Kandy. more..

Video: Senior DIGs will run the show: IGP

Apr 22 (AD) Newly-appointed IGP Pujitha Jayasundara said that the Police Department will be identified by the name Sri Lanka Police from here on out and that their new vision is a professional police based on intelligent information. The IGP was addressing his first press conference since assuming duties. Jayasundara said that the police will undergo restructuring in dormant areas and the proper selection of suitable individuals. more..