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Lankan Tamils ask TN leaders not to use Tamil issue for electoral mudslinging

Apr 25 (ENS) Leaders of Sri Lankan Tamil political parties have appealed to TN leaders not to use the Lankan Tamil issue for mudslinging in the run up to the State Nadu Assembly elections. “For God’s sake, please drop the Lankan Tamil issue during your highly charged election campaign. Let’s talk after elections,” tweeted Mano Ganeshan, leader of the TPA, a party of Indian Origin Tamils, addressing leaders of Tamil Nadu’s political parties. more..

Garbage dumping issue gets WPC’s attention

Apr 25 (CT) The Western Provincial Council is to remove a number of garbage dumps which are situated in Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara Districts, Chief Minister of the Province, Isura Devapriya told Ceylon Today. In recent times media has reported that dumps in Bloemendhal, Colombo, Meethotamulla in Kolonnawa and Karaliyagaha in Piliyandala have caused extreme difficulties to the people. "However there are dozens of other sites and they also cause huge issues. more..

Athaullah flays Hakeem and govt

Apr 25 (CT) Former Minister A.L.M. Athaullah of the National Congress criticized the present regime for failing to fulfil the pledges made in creating good governance. Athaullah who has been re-elected as the National Leader of the Party was addressing his party's National Congress at Akkaraipattu last Saturday. Athaullah in his address said: During the tenure of our office we promised the nation that we would provide them a peaceful life free from everything and concentrate more..

Video: Sweden welcomes Sri Lanka's engagement with international community

Apr 25 (DM) The Swedish Govt had welcomed Sri Lanka’s policy of active engagement and involvement with the international community, visiting Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström said. While addressing the media after a discussion held with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and delegations of the two countries, Minister Wallström said the active engagement with the international community was vital at this level. more..

Pakistani with Rs. 87m worth heroin nabbed at BIA

Apr 25 (DM) A Pakistani national, who tried to smuggle in a large stock of heroin concealed in his baggage, was nabbed by the Customs officials at the Bandaranaike International Airport this afternoon. The contraband had a street value of over Rs.87 million, a Customs official said. Customs Narcotic Control Unit officials on suspicion searched a passenger and his belongings to find 8.7 kilogrammes of heroin tactfully hidden under the false bottom of his main baggage. more..

Thai giant to pump Rs 500 mn on fish canning plant

Apr 25 (DN) One of Asia’s largest fish canning factories in Asia, Anuorn Group Thailand will be investing Rs. 500 million to set up a fish canning plant and a dry ice manufacturing factory in Eastern Sri Lanka. Anuorn Group Thailand Chairman and Thai Overseas Fisheries Association President Aphisit Techanitisawad said that they have already visited Sri Lanka last March and the project has been accepted by the International Trade Relations Ministry after having discussions with more..

Wigneswaran to take up land return and resettlement issues with Sirisena

Apr 25 (ENS) Chief Minister of Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, will discuss with President Sirisena next Thursday, the obstacles encountered in the release of lands seized by the Lankan military, and the difficulties faced by the original civilian owners in occupying the released lands. Express learns that Wigneswaran will tell the President about the army’s withholding lands earmarked for return on the plea that more..

Kondayâ, raised to the status of mysterious criminal

Apr 26 (CT) The name Kondaya is now a household name, following the tragic Sadewmi case, the abduction, rape and murder of a little girl of around 4 years. Discovery of the dead body led to an uproar not only in her village and the neighbouring villages but throughout the country. There was a demand for immediate inquiries and for prosecution and also for vengeance. As usual the local police failed to make any arrests for some time and instead began to float stories that were reported in the media, more..

Further disregard of Tamil polity will further justify federalism

Apr 26 (CT) NPC led by its Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran has passed a resolution for the govt to take up in the constitutional reform process. The main feature of the resolution is to merge the Northern and Eastern provinces into a single federal unit. This has been the long standing position of the Tamil polity which came into national prominence in the aftermath of the passage of the Sinhala only law in 1956 by which English was replaced by Sinhala as the sole official language of the country. more..

Dellawa, Erathna villagers protest mini-hydrel project

Apr 26 (SO) Hot on the heels of power shortages and blackouts, villagers in Dellawa in Galle District and Erathna in the Ratnapura district are up in arms against the setting up of mini hydropower projects, to protect their niche - the pristine environment they live in, which protected them from devastating dry, hot weather and rains which came at the wrong time as a result of climate change. more..

Reform not with codes of ethics but removing perks

Apr 26 (SL) The recently issued Code of Ethics for MPs is an attempt to shore-up the devastation brought upon the image of our legislators by none other than the legislators themselves. It is extreme optimism to expect a non-legally binding code of ethics to reform those who have changed even the basic law of the land, the Constitution for political gain. However if the Code of Ethics turns out to be a flop, will it matter very much? This nation has suffered much more than legislative flops more..

Complicity in local corruption

Apr 26 (SL) I have, more times than I care to count, made extensive reference to the corruption in the local govt here: the Tumpane Pradeshiya Sabha (TPS), in particular. For openers let me say that the fact that this local version of governance cannot be excused through reference to what Sri Lankan history has (unjustly?) identified as an area populated by fools: the term Tumpane modaya (Tumpane Fool) hardly needs explanation in the context of the folklore of this country more..

'Govt should not fish for opposition MPs'

Apr 26 (SL) Brito Fernando, President of Families of the Disappeared, says that govt is under the impression that just like the Rajapaksa regime, they can gather support from Opposition members by offering them ministerial positions within the national govt and covering up the charges against them. He points out when 19th Amendment was brought in, some had felt that as long as something constructive for the country more..

Will the IMF facility be a turning point in the economy?

Apr 26 (ST) The IMF Extended Fund Facility (EFF) of US$ 1.5 billion with an agreement on an economic program supported by the IMF is now imminent. This could be a turning point in the economic fortunes of the country. The IMF facility would replenish the reserves, add confidence in the economy and have a salutary effect on capital inflows. In as much as the loan is vital for getting the country out of the current critical balance of payments crisis, the commitment to more..

So VAT’s the trouble with yahapalana economics

Apr 26 (ST) At the risk of being labelled anti-nationalist snowed under worse epithets one is constrained to admit that the great British dramatist and poet Willie Shakespeare had anticipated Sri Lankan political life and times centuries earlier. Had Mahinda Rajapaksa’s favoured astrologer read his Shakespeare he would have been far more accurate in his political forecasts than it turned out to be at the crucial hour and he had eventually to find excuses to cover up his inaccuracy. more..

D.B. Nihalsinghe

Will we ever get responsible govts under our democracy?

Apr 26 (Island) Statesmen and public interest organizations expected much from the UNP govt under Ranil, which came to office on January 8th last year. They have been in office for over a year, but have carried out the same irresponsible populist policies; and done nothing to ensure sound govt and fiscal rectitude. They have done nothing to stop the haemorrhage of public funds from loss making State Corporations, seem to be no longer committed to sound fiscal management, and have failed to more..

Editorial: Workers worshiping false gods

Apr 26 (Island) Grand preparations are being made for the annual political circuses on May 1. UNP is all out to steal the show. So is the JVP, which usually holds the most colourful May Day parade. SLFP is in a dilemma; it is like a two-headed donkey trying to move in opposite directions at the same time. Sirisena faction of the SLFP will hold its rally in Galle and the Rajapaksa loyalists are scheduled to have theirs at Kirulapone. They are playing a game of chicken, which might lead to a split in party. more..

'Prabhakaran misled Tamils'

Apr 26 (CT) How do you rehabilitate a terrorist? A terrorist has not signed any convention or agreed to any code of conduct. Until the law catches up with him, he commits terrible misdeeds as the LTTE did for 30 years in Sri Lanka. Their crimes against humans and humanity were so horrifying that they were rated as the world's most dangerous terrorists. As they got boxed in during their last stages, they created largest hostage more..

Piramal Glass to expand capacity, annual profit up 50%

Apr 26 (EN) Glass bottle maker Piramal Glass Ceylon said net profit during the year ended 31 March 2016 rose almost 50% with strong domestic sales although earnings dipped in the fourth quarter. The firm, a unit of India’s Piramal Glass Ltd., said annual profit rose 49% to 654 million from a year ago with sales up 17% to 6.8 billion rupees. “Revenue growth was mainly contributed by the domestic sales which saw a significant growth of 23% from Rs 4,422 mil to Rs 5,436 mil,” more..

CSE Toastmasters Club achieves first divisional success

Apr 26 (LBO) The CSE Toastmasters Club produced its first success story in the form of CSE Toastmaster Imesha Fernando, who was placed as the runner up at the recently held International Speech Contest organized as part of the District 82 Division A, Year End Conference. Imesha competed with eight other contestants representing four areas of District 82 Division A, and her speech titled Perfect Mismatch which was based on a personal tale, resonated with the crowd and judges more..

‘Your land in Western Province will fetch a higher price in an year or two’

Apr 26 (Island) "Let me give you one advice. Do not sell your land in the Western Province in a hurry. You will be able to fetch a much better price for your lands in a year or two. If you own land, keep it. When the county develops further, many will demand your land at a good price, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. "Sri Lanka will be transformed into a major economic and a monetary hub in the Indian Ocean/region with more..

Industry stakeholders join plantations’ call for output-linked remuneration

Apr 26 (FT) Other industry stakeholders have joined the Regional Plantations Companies (RPCs) in calling for an output-linked remuneration mechanism, to put the country’s estate sector, plagued by a number of issues, on a more sustainable footing through much-needed productivity improvements. In response to demands from plantation labour unions to increase the present archaic attendance-based wage – which has led to escalating costs and mounting losses and more..

Sri Lanka exporters protest gazette on repatriation of funds

Apr 26 (LBO) Sri Lankan exporters have begun to protest after the Finance Ministry issued a gazette notification requiring the repatriation of funds from exports that are retained abroad. “As part of current policy measures taken to improve the foreign exchange inflows to the country, the Hon. Minister of Finance has issued the Gazette Notification (Extraordinary) No: 1960/66 dated 01 April 2016,” the notfication said. It contains three clauses: 1) Repealing the exemption granted more..

Local automotive manufactures rev for growth

Apr 26 (FT) Sri Lanka’s automotive manufacturing sector has submitted a 20-year master plan to Finance Ministry as a crucial step to take the industry to the next level as they seek certification from their Indian counterpart to boost growth. “We have requested the Finance Ministry to have a representative official regarding automotive policy and we are trying to finalise an auto component policy for the next 20 years for which more..

BMICH awarded international quality award

Apr 26 (Island) Geneva hosted this year's BID Century International Quality ERA Convention, where professionals and business leaders from around the world gathered to recognize excellence and success. In particular, the convention celebrated quality in business and operations. Award winners demonstrated commitment to quality standard, which helps bolster customer satisfaction and cost efficiency across all areas of operation. Among this year's winners, BMICH from SL, received more..

Sri Lanka’s invisible children

Apr 26 (IPS) Children with disabilities or special needs often experience widespread violations of their rights. The World Report on Disability estimates one billion people in the world are living with disabilities, of which 93 million children aged 0-14 years’ experience moderate or severe disabilities while 13 million children experience severe disabilities. Merely 10% of all handicapped children begin school yet, many drop out due to unpleasant experiences, and only 5% of children with more..

Jayasuriya confirms Silva selection

Apr 26 (CT) Sanath Jayasuriya, soon to be appointed Chairman of Selection Committee, SLC, confirmed that opener Kaushal Silva is set to feature in the 15-man Test Squad for the upcoming England tour despite the injury he suffered while fielding during a two-day match played among the preliminary squad members at the Pallekele Stadium on Sunday. Having struck a century during the match, Silva had put more..

Sri Lanka sees rising number of ME tourists

Apr 26 (KT) Sri Lanka expects tourist arrivals from the Middle East will increase by 10% in 2016. This was stated by Tourism Minister John Amaratunga during a news conference at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai on Monday. "It [tourist arrivals] was 7-8% last year," he said. Sri Lanka is an ideal destination for Middle East tourists and this growth number is achievable, he said. Talking about main markets in the Gulf, he mentioned that Saudi Arabia, UAE and Oman are main source of tourists more..

‘Failure to put in place economic reforms could be dangerous for Sri Lanka’

Apr 26 (Island) SL will have to focus on economic reforms, with the implementation of govt's high spending cuts and tax rises, which were suggested by the IMF during the end of its country surveillance process recently. "Govt is likely to receive IMF assistance this year to enhance dwindling foreign reserves and tackle the current balance of payment (BOP) and trade deficit problem. If the govt failed to put in place all those reforms the situation will become more dangerous in future, more..

Video: Investing in Sri Lanka offers opportunities and pitfalls

Apr 26 (CNBC) After the end of a long-running civil war and the beginning of a fresh govt, SL's market offers both opportunities and pitfalls for investors. Market certainly has its boosters. Dumith Fernando, chairman at Asia Securities, highlighted the positives. "You're talking about 5-6% economic growth, fairly robust earnings growth and in that context, right now the forward PE multiples are under 10 times," he says. more..

No misuse of public property for May Day

Apr 26 (CT) President Sirisena has instructed the UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera and SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake not to misuse public property during the UPFA May Day rally in Galle. Amaraweera said, President instructed him to ensure that buses used to transport SLFP supporters should be paid for in advance and vehicles that belong to State institutions should not be used. "Electoral organizers have been already informed to pay for the buses that more..

Bank liquidity shortage drops after festival

Apr 26 (EN) A liquidity shortage in SL's interbank markets which has dropped sharply as cash withdrawn from the banking system has started to come back to the system, data from the central bank showed. Overnight cash injections which peaked at 65 billion rupees on April 12, dropped to 5 billion rupees on Monday and there were no cash injection on Tuesday. Market participants borrowed 11.4 billion rupees from the central bank's liquidity window and banks that are plus liquidity, more..

Ethics issue looms as Sumathipala walks into ICC

Apr 26 (ST) With the Sumathipala-Dharmadasa coalition cricket administration seemingly in a huge quagmire, SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala has taken a unilateral decision to attend the next ICC General meeting in Dubai on Wednesday, though he faces the risk of being hauled before the ICC’s Ethics committee. In 2005, the then ICC CEO, Malcolm Speed, requested Sumathipala to refrain from more..

ACMC forum for Muslim MPs on constitutional reforms

Apr 26 (FT) The All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) party is in the process of preparing its proposals with regard to the amendments of the Constitution, in consultation with the relevant Muslim associations, especially the Shura Council of SL, Muslim Council of SL, National Front for Good Governance, All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama, and Eastern Organization for Constitutional Reforms. Apart from this, ACMC is organising a seminar for all former Muslim MPs at the Taj Samudra more..

Sri Lanka fine-tunes coal power plant to prevent blackouts

Apr 26 (EN) A 900MW coal-fired power plant that supplies Sri Lanka’s base-load electricity has been fine tuned to make it less sensitive to frequency changes that could interrupt generation. “We have taken measures to improve generation at the Norochcholai coal power station,” Anura Wijayapala, chairman of the CEO said. “We hope we can control the system better now.” Norochcholai power plant, supplied and installed by China, shut down automatically during recent disturbances in more..

Video: Explain the stance on NPC resolution: Gammanpila urges govt

Apr 26 (AD) Neither the PM nor the President had responded in connection with the Northern Provincial Council’s decision to adopt a resolution seeking a federal solution for the country’s Tamil community, PHU leader Udaya Gammanpila says. “As a politician, R. Sampanthan is trying to achieve what V Prabhakaran couldn’t accomplish through the war,” he stressed. He also went on to say only Minister Ajith. P. Perera more..

Three earth-shattering arrests on the cards

Apr 26 (CT) Three members of a powerful political family are likely to be taken into custody by Police in the coming week, a senior Police Official revealed. They are to be arrested in connection with major misappropriations and acquisitions of property taken place during the previous govt. Authorities have been probing these individuals and the investigations are on the verge of completion. Investigators reveal that some of the respondents have struggled during investigations. more..

Sri Lanka among worst marine polluters

Apr 26 (Island) Sri Lanka has been ranked fifth among the world’s worst polluters that dispose plastic and solid waste into the sea, the Centre for Environment and Nature Studies (CENS) has pointed out quoting the findings of a research carried out by International Business Times (IBT). Ravindra Kariyawasam of CENS said that the research conducted by using a computer model, estimated that in 2010, about eight million tons of trash were dumped into water the world over. more..

A new political programme will be introduced after May 1: President

Apr 26 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says he will introduce a new political programme in the country after May 1. President further said that he will take several new political decisions after May 1 for the betterment of the country and its people. He said that he believed those decisions will help to prevent the corrupt forces, who used the state powers and assets in an erroneous way, regaining power in the country another time more..