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Progressive forces called to unite to fight jackboot democracy

Apr 26 (Island) Moves to regulate print and electronic media had laid bare the true face of the so-called good governance administration, the Front Line Socialist Party said. Addressing a press conference at the Centre for Society and Religion in Maradana, Propaganda Secretary of the FLSP Pubudu Jagoda said that all recent governments had come to power with the promise of giving more and more freedom to media but all they did was suppress the rights of journalists. more..

PM addresses world business community through CNBC

Apr 26 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the world business community invited them to connect with SL by showcasing the country’s business and investment potential through the CNBC network. PM in a short vignette shares Sri Lanka’s illustrious trading history, the country’s strategic geographical placement and investment potential as the nation steadily moves forward to becoming one of Asia’s most sought after destinations. It will be aired on CNBC more..

Sampanthan, others storming army camp: Probe hushed up

Apr 26 (Island) Police investigations into a complaint that a group of more than 50 persons led by Opposition and TNA Leader R Sampanthan forcibly entering an army camp at Paravipachchan in Kilinochchi on April 16 have been stalled as the army has been ordered not to pursue the case. Police said that officers of the Paravipachchcan camp had been summoned to Kilinochchi police to record their statements on the incident but more..

NPC opens Pandora’s Box

Apr 26 (DM) The NPC led by Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has again opened a Pandora’s Box by adopting a resolution in the form of a set of proposals to be submitted to the Govt to be incorporated in the proposed new Constitution. This resolution has been adopted in the Council against the backdrop of two similar controversial resolution – SL’s genocide against Tamils and The resolution on the need for an international mechanism - passed by the same Council last year. more..

The VAT hat people are expected to wear

Apr 26 (DM) While that religious aspect is not forgotten, Christmas means getting through a somewhat hazy midnight mass because the cheer had begun already for most and the following Christmas cheer the quality of which depend on the depth of wallets. While the quality of Christmas cheer is practically limitless to the haves, the have-nots on tight budgets depend on savings accounts and the capacity to borrow for repayment next year. Celebrating New Year is less demanding more..

Trailblazer that he was Cinema, TV are disappointing today: DB

Apr 26 (DM) It was to the, celebrated film-director, television producer, accomplished cameraman, efficacious public administrator and the mentor to many, Dr. D.B. Nihalsingha, who went on his final journey on last Thursday (21), gave his final candid newspaper interview. When we sat before him at his residence, which was always welcoming, just two days before the demise of this visionary, enthralled by his witty repartee more..

Organ-ised crime in Colombo hospitals?

Apr 26 (SL) The Colombo Hulftsdorp Court has issued an arrest warrant on one of the seven Indian nationals arrested in connection with kidney transplants being carried out in some private hospitals. The suspect had escaped from the Mirihana detention camp. Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris issued a warrant for the suspect’s arrest and also imposed a travel ban on him. The Magistrate also issued an order to more..

‘Everybody lives happily till next blackout’

Apr 26 (DM) Both the current and past govts have swept post-blackout reports and recommendations which may have averted successive blackouts under the rug, which has resulted in an ongoing crisis situation, one of the country’s leading power and energy consultants said. “The reports have gone to someone’s WPB. Everyone knows what WPB is; it’s the waste paper basket,” Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya said at a seminar more..

SL guarantees, SOE debt, could significantly worsen govt finances: Moody's

Apr 26 (EN) Sri Lanka's central govt balance sheet could significantly worsen if it is called upon to repay contingent liabilities and state owned enterprise debt, Moody's a rating agency said. Moody's has rated Sri Lanka 'B1' with a stable outlook. Sri Lanka had a central govt debt of 76% of gross domestic product compared to an average of 48% for other 'B' rated countries. Finance minister Ravi Karunanayake had said more..

UK says military has a crucial role to play in Sri Lanka

Apr 26 (CG) The British Govt says the military has a crucial role to play in Sri Lanka’s commitment to addressing long-standing issues of reconciliation, accountability and human rights. The UK High Commission in Colombo said that the UK is supporting the Sri Lankan Govt in these efforts to build a peaceful, prosperous and united future. British govt last year announced the appointed a non-resident Defence Advisor for SL more..

DEW accuses Ravi of pleasing the super rich

Apr 26 (Island) UPFA stalwart and Communist Party leader D.E.W. Gunasekera said that Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had drastically reduced taxes on vehicle imports in the last budget in order to please some leasing companies, vehicle importers etc. He flayed the govt for burdening the masses with unnecessary taxes on essential commodities and helping the rich by reducing the taxes on luxury goods. more..

Amnesty for return of weapons commences

Apr 26 (ST) The Govt has estimated that some 1,000 illegal weapons are in circulation as the amnesty to surrender these firearms gets underway tomorrow (25). The amnesty will be effective until May 6. Defence Ministry Additional Secretary N.G. Panditharatne said that according to official estimates, as many as 1,000 illegal firearms could be in circulation, though an exact number is impossible to determine. more..

Retired top cop aims to be state witness

Apr 26 (DN) A retired high-ranking Police officer, a possible suspect in connection with Wasim Thajudeen’s murder, has approached law enforcement bodies to become a state witness in the case. “It is true that he has approached the authorities. But, the Police haven’t made a final decision with regard to the matter. However, there are multiple indications to believe that the retired officer, who held a very senior position in more..

'NSC to take up Sampanthan incident'

Apr 26 (DM) The National Security Council (NSC) would discuss a complaint lodged by Army Commander Lt. General Chrishanta De Silva on the alleged entrance to the Kilinochchi Army camp by Opposition TNA leader R. Sampanthan without permission and take action to prevent similar incidents in future. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told the media that the Govt was extremely unhappy over what had happened. more..

83 commutes to death sentences from gallows

Apr 26 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to commute the death sentences of 83 prisoners in death row to life sentences. President Sirisena has taken the decision to spare the lives of these prisoners based on the recommendations made by a Committee appointed following a request by the joint committee of the Ministries of Law and Order and Prisons Reforms and Justice to review the death sentences. more..

Thilanga to attend CPA Executive Committee meeting in London

Apr 26 (Island) Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) will have its mid-year meeting at the Atlee Suite, Portcullis House of Commons, London, UK, from 27-30 April. Association was founded in 1911 as the Empire Parliamentary Association and in 1948 CPA adopted its present name and changed its rules. Sri Lanka is a member of the Association since 1948. The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) is comprises of 180 Parliaments and more..

Sri Lanka shares up from near two-week low ahead of cenbank policy

Apr 26 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares edged up on Tuesday from its near two-week low hit in the previous session, as investors turned cautious, ahead of an imminent loan deal with the International Monetary Fund, and while awaiting cues from the central bank on interest rates. The central bank's April monetary policy announcement is scheduled for later on Tuesday, and expectations are that the bank would keep key interest rates steady, a Reuters poll showed. more..

Basil Fernando

Sri Lanka’s play in the international stage

Apr 26 (CT) Sri Lanka is member of the UN since 1955 and has signed the major human rights treaties. Being a member of the family of states is not solely a privilege and distinctive trait of belonging; it also affords constant commitment towards this family. Like in every family, ties must be fostered, nurtured and strengthened. Affirming a voluntary pledge and commitment in order to enter the UNHRC, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations addressed to more..

SL must learn a lession from EU fish ban

Apr 26 (CT) Last week, the European Union (EU) lifted the ban of importing fish from Sri Lanka after many rounds of discussion with the Sri Lankan authorities. EU, one of the largest importers of Sri Lankan fish products banned importing those from Sri Lanka since October 2014 claiming that Sri Lanka had failed to adhere to proper fishing practices. In other words, Sri Lankan fishermen had used illegal methods for fishing. However, the ban just did not come immediately. more..

Video: Kaushal’s head injury not life-threatening: Medical experts

Apr 26 (DM) Kaushal Silva’s head injury is not life-threatening, according to Prof. Arjuna de Silva, one of the treating experts. He said, “Luckily it was not a very serious injury. on, the delay in bringing him to Colombo would not have made much of a difference”. “No surgery is required. He is not on medication but just under observation,” Prof. added. Silva was airlifted to Colombo after a head injury during training at Pallekele Stadium more..

Drug Authority has two heads

Apr 26 (Island) Prof Krishantha Weerasuriya, the Chairman of the Medicinal Drugs regulatory Authority, accused of leaving the country without permission from the Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Ministry yesterday returned to work and the Ministry had not taken any decision on what action would be taken against him. Earlier Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that Prof Weerasuriya was deemed to have vacated his post and appointed Dr Kamal Jayasinghe as the chairman. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism participates in Arabian Travel Market

Apr 26 (GDI) Sri Lanka Tourism will participate in the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the tourism industry's leading travel and tourism exhibition within the Middle Eastern and Pan Arab regions, in Dubai from 25 -28 April. Middle East is identified as one of the main tourist generating market as per the SL Tourism Strategy and ATM is the leading global event for the Middle East inbound and outbound travel industry. This year the spotlight theme of the ATM is Family Travel. more..

Sweden pledges full support to Sri Lanka to get GSP+ back

Apr 26 (PSL) Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom has pledged to provide the Govt of Sweden’s every possible assistance to Sri Lanka to regain the GSP+ facility. She made these remarks when she met with the President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday. She is on an official visit to Sri Lanka. During the meeting, Sweden’s Foreign Minister and the President discussed in detail regarding the ways to strengthen more..

Univ. of Kelaniya closed for week

Apr 26 (DM) The faculties of the Kelaniya University, except the medical faculty, were closed today until May 4 due to an infection that has been spread all over the university, an official said. He said nearly 80 students who have been infected with indigestion and vomiting were admitted to hospitals. “The decision to close the university was taken under the advices of the University Chief Medical Officer and the Public Health Officer. They have even announced the university students more..

'Nobody should take Jayalalithaa seriously'

Apr 26 (Island) Frontline Socialist Party said that nobody should take seriously TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s recent statement that her party would take continuous steps to attain a separate homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka and demand that the Centre grant dual citizenship to Lankan Tamil refugees living in Tamil Nadu. Fielding a question from journalists during a FLSP press conference FLSP Propaganda Secretary Pubudu Jagoda said: "It is a joke that Jayalalaithaa, who cannot more..

Sri Lanka should cut import tariffs to increase apparel exports: World Bank

Apr 26 (EN) Sri Lanka can increase exports of apparel, its main industrial export, by reducing import tariffs and getting into more trade deals that would widen market access, according to a new World Bank report. The country should also promote industrial relocation and attract more female workers to relieve its labor shortages, it said. “As China gradually scales back its apparel manufacturing, Sri Lanka stands to gain more..

Video: Kaushal Silva discharged

Apr 26 (DM) Cricketer Kaushal Silva, who was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Colombo after being hit by a ball on the head, has been discharged today following medical treatments, SLC medical committee member Professor Arjuna Silva said. Kaushal was admitted to the hospital last Sunday after he was hit by a ball on the head during a practice match held in Pallekale Cricket Stadium. Meanwhile, the SLC stated the doctors had confirmed that Kushal has suffered more..

Three Lankans charged with vehicle theft in Dubai sentenced

Apr 26 (E24|7) Dubai Court of First Instance sentenced three Sri Lankan fugitives for selling 11 cars worth Dh2.8m without the knowledge of their employer. All three were sentenced in absentia to three years in jail each. The court also ordered KA, 36; BR, 42; and MR, 49 each to pay Dh150,000 as a fine. They were ordered to be deported after serving their jail terms. While AT, 43, Kazakhstani, investor and his partner were not in the country, three staff members of a second-hand car company more..

Rajapaksa meets alleged arms dealer Udayanga Weeratunge in Thailand

Apr 26 (AM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa met with former Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Russia Udayanga Weeratunge during his trip to Thailand. Prof. G.L. Peiris also accompanied Rajapaksa. Weeratunge, a close confidant and relative of Rajapaksa, was alleged to have been linked with arms smuggling to Russian backed Ukrainian rebels. The govt was said to be investigating Weeratunge in 2015. more..

Rahul, Senura face possible ban

Apr 26 (CT) Trinity Skipper Rahul Karunathilake and St. Peter's Number Eight Senura Premawardena are facing a one-match ban after being sent off during their respective Under-20 Inter-School matches last week. The SLSRFA will hold inquiries regarding these incidents at Royal College this evening. Second row forward Karunathilake was penalized twice by Referee Aruna Rankothge while playing against S. Thomas' at the Pallekele Stadium on Saturday, a match which they lost 20-23. more..

FSP urges Tamils to beware of TNA motives

Apr 26 (Island) Tamils should not harbour any hopes of solutions for their problems through a federal set up in the North and the East, the Frontline Socialist Party said. Propaganda Secretary of FSP Pubudu Jagoda, addressing a press conference, said the TNA was fishing in troubled waters. "The TNA’s objective is clear. It is using its federalism demand to attract popular support and to swell the number of the supporters. We hope that Tamil people will not fall for such tactics." more..

Video: We can't fight Saudi laws: Thalatha

Apr 26 (DM) Responding a question raised by a journalist whether legal action could have been taken against a Saudi Arabian employer who has allegedly involved in an abduction of a Sri Lankan housemaid to intimidate her not to ask for a monthly wage, Minister Thalatha Atukorala said the ministry cannot challenge such systems of strict laws of Saudi Arabia. “It is a great achievement that we could save her and bring her home. more..

NHSL short of 700 nightingales

Apr 26 (Island) Director National Hospital (NHSL) Dr. Anil Jasinghe said there was a shortage of about 700 nurses at the National Hospital. Dr Jasinghe said there were 2,200 nurses at the NHSL. Health Ministry said Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne during a visit to the Hospital pledged to attach 900 more nurses to the NHLSL. The NHSL has 24 specialised units. The latest addition is the Epilepsy Care Unit being constructed at a cost of Rs. 4.5 billion. Ekanayake said Minister had examined more..

Former Speaker M.H. Mohamed passes away

Apr 26 (NF) Former speaker, minister and MP M.H. Mohamed has passed away. He was 95 years of age at the time of his death. M.H. Mohamed, who embarked on his political career as the Mayor of the CMC, was selected as an MP during the Dudley Senanayake administration. He later functioned as the Minister of Labor and Housing. Late MH Mohammed was later appointed the 14th Speaker of Parliament. Body is currently placed at his residence in Bauddhaloka Mawatha in Borella. more..

Central Bank keeps policy rates steady

Apr 26 (Reuters) Central bank on Tuesday kept benchmark rates steady, as expected, as it gauges the effects of recent tightening, amid the final stages of talks with the IMF for a $1.5-billion loan to tide over a payments crisis. Private sector credit growth, which was as high as 27% year-on-year in Nov last year, grew 26.5% in Feb, rising from January's 25.7%. "Going forward, a gradual slowdown in money and more..

Refugees who don’t want to go back home

Apr 26 (ZY) It’s been six years since Sri Lanka’s long civil war came to an end. Now this island-state of 20 million seems to have entered a new era of peace and prosperity: The economy is growing at 6%, reconciliation is under way and the new govt is saying it will welcome any refugees who want to return. There’s only one little hiccup: Many refugees don’t want to go back. Though you might think they’d jump at the chance of returning to their homeland (especially if UNHCR is paying for plane more..

Three drown at sea in last 24 hours

Apr 26 (CT) It has been reported that three persons, including a Russian national, have drowned at sea within the last 24 hours, commencing from Sunday morning. A Russian national drowned while sea bathing in Aluthgama last Sunday, Police told Ceylon Today. Although the residents in the area attempted to save him from drowning, those attempts had failed. The victim who was rushed to Beruwala Hospital died upon his transfer to Nagoda Hospital for further treatment. more..

DMK ducks Jayalalithaa’s bouncers on Mullivaikkal massacre

Apr 26 (DC) As the AIADMK tries to revive the memories of Mullivaikkal massacre of Sri Lankan Tamils in 2009, the DMK is refusing to be drawn itself into the debate in an obvious campaign strategy to keep the Lankan issue out of centrestage during this elections. Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa who took up the issue at her rally in Tiruchy alleged that the UPA govt in which the DMK was a constituency started training more..

Sri Lanka to stop giving tax holiday under BOI law: PM

Apr 26 (EN) Sri Lanka will stop giving tax holidays under Board of Investment Law and limit it to breaks available under the Inland Revenue Act, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. "At the moment there are two agencies giving tax concessions, but in the future only the Finance Ministry which is collecting revenue will give tax concessions," he said. Suspending BoI tax breaks is believed to be a prior action under a deal with the IMF which is expected to be announced shortly. more..