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Pakistan National Defense University delegation visits Sri Lanka

Apr 26 (PHC) An 18 member delegation from the National Defense University (NDU) Pakistan is currently visiting Sri Lanka. The Delegation comprises of senior officers from Pakistan’s Armed Forces and Civil Services as well as Officers from Malaysia, Germany, Turkey and Nigeria who are undergoing National Security and War Course at NDU. The delegation is led by Brig Akhtar Jammil Rao. The Defense Advisor of Pakistan to Srilanka Colonel Sheryar Pervaiz Butt is conducting more..

Video: Govt seeks business associate for SriLankan airline

Apr 26 (DM) Cabinet approval had been granted for converting the national carrier, SriLankan AirLines, into a private- public partnership by October this year and the govt is looking for a business partner for the airline, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe announced today. “Cabinet had decided to defuse economic land mines without allowing them to explode and one of those mines is SriLankan Airlines,” the PM said. more..

Searching for the missing in the war years

Apr 27 (CT) Let me begin with Rajasingham Narendran’s harrowing tale describing when he returned to his home in the Jaffna Peninsula after the IPKF’s imperial occupation of the north in 1987: “My mother: 68-year old at the time of her killing. Slim build. Had been attacked by animals and crows and was in an advanced state of decay. My brother: 38-year old at the time of his death. neither obese or thin. Body intact though bloated. The gardener: Age approx. 60 years. Obese. more..

Other side of the coin on Emirates deal

Apr 27 (CT) Having read the above titled article written by An Insider, published in the Sunday Island edition of 10 April, this writer wishes to comment on a few issues. However, this is not an attempt to counter or support An Insider’s assertions. At the outset, a few facts need be established; 1. From 1994, it was the desire of the Head of State to privatize then Air Lanka to relieve the Treasury of the burden of a loss making airline. 2. Emirates or for that matter, more..

'China-Sri Lanka ties reach new high'

Apr 27 (SO) Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang said China will always be a reliable partner and a friend of Sri Lanka. He stressed that his govt did not wish to use Sri Lanka as a base to launch political offensives against any other country. Citing the recent state visit of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to Beijing, he said China was willing to bring relations between the two countries to a new level of excellence. more..

Alerts ahead of mayday call?

Apr 27 (SL) Media reports have indicated that President Maithripala Sirisena was not taken into (full) confidence before the government under his name announced new taxes, effective May. If these reports are too, it also remains to be known if PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had together or separately taken the Cabinet, too, under confidence, on new proposals. It’s neither a routine issue of administration, nor is it a stand-alone episode. more..

Editorial: Pitfalls and pratfalls in politics

Apr 27 (Island) Reams have been written lately on the late Sirimavo Bandaranaike, whose 100th birth anniversary fell on April 17. The informative, interesting essays penned by laymen and seasoned commentators on her were biographical, analytical and even hagiographical; they dealt with many aspects of the illustrious life of world’s first woman prime minister who was in a league of her own. One of our readers in a letter to the editor on Monday posed to the aforesaid writers more..

Mixed signals over VAT hike

Apr 27 (SL) Although some tax experts and economists commend the govt for taking bold steps to increase taxes, some point out that the govt should have levied the rich instead of raising indirect taxes such as VAT (Value Added Tax) thereby burdening the poor more. Given below are excerpts of the opinions shared by some of the experts and the economists. Chandra Jayarathne, Former Chairman, CCC and Activist: more..

Tamil nationalism & the coming constitution

Apr 27 (GV) Militarily demolished in May 2009, Tamil nationalism’s struggle has been a daunting one in post-war Sri Lanka. With the death of one of the most admired leaders within the Tamil community, V Prabhakaran, the Tamil political representatives were pushed to shoulder the burden of promoting a different political agenda; of political autonomy within a united SL, but in an essentially fragile political terrain. While the TNA has emerged, without question, the more dominant representative more..

The Saviour

Apr 27 (GV) Tamils in Sri Lanka are having important conversations every day, in person and through social media and the blogosphere. In some instances, the impact is swift. For example, on 25th Jan, the Arts Faculty of the University of Jaffna issued a circular indicating that, commencing the 26th, the Senate of the University would be enforcing a dress code for all its students and staff. Men were to be banned from wearing jeans or t-shirts into lecture halls and had to more..

Face the Nation

Much to be done for victims of conflict still seeking justice

Apr 27 (SL) Although the govt under President Rajapaksa promised a domestic investigation into allegations of atrocities, until 2015 no credible mechanism of justice was carried out. For over five years since the end of the war, those affected were still seeking justice as they were unable to put a closure to their suffering. However, the present govt has made relatively greater strides in terms of accountability. President Sirisena has indicated a willingness to seek the truth more..

Did China slap Mahinda in the face?

Apr 27 (CT) Subsequent to his defeat his first trip abroad was to Thailand. However, Mahinda had thought he could make his first overseas trip subsequent to his defeat to China. He had even set aside the dates for that trip, but he did not receive an invitation to tour China. From the day Mahinda was defeated, he showed the country that Sri Lanka cannot be developed without the help of China and that he was the only one who could get Chinese assistance. more..

Malinga: From magic to madness

Apr 27 (ST) Sometimes the system creates individuals who are very unique in many ways. Then the ultimate product that is captured by the public gets embedded in the people’s imagination. Then their styles or passions just remain in the eyes of the admirers, wherever they are. Lasith Malinga definitely is one such creation. Hailing from a not so fashionable southern lower middle class hamlet in Ratgama, more..

Shocking police nexus in Jeyaraj's assassination

Apr 27 (Island) The assassination of Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, at Shanthi grounds, Weliweriya on the morning of April 6, 2008 had also been masterminded by Colombo-based LTTE operative Morris, two years after his failed bid to eliminate Army Chief, the then Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka. Minister Fernandopulle was 55 years at the time of his killing. The influential Catholic Minister held the post of the SLFP Treasurer and was one of the staunchest defenders of the ruling coalition more..

Brandix produces 19 female mechanics, further advancing gender equality

Apr 27 (Island) Brandix has taken another significant step in its on-going efforts to promote gender equality across the Group by graduating 19 female mechanics who completed an in-house training course on sewing machine maintenance and repair. Penetrating what was once a male bastion, the 19 female associates from four business clusters of the Brandix Group completed the intensive four-month training programme that covered 10 types of sewing machines and encompassed more..

'School cricket needs complete overhaul'

Apr 27 (DN) Former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya said that the country’s school cricket structure, once considered to be the best in the world, needs a complete overhaul to meet today’s challenges. The winner of the prestigious Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year (Outstation) award in 1988, Jayasuriya who will be re-appointed as the Chairman of the National Cricket Selection Committee from May 1, said more..

MR meets Udayanga Weeratunga in Thailand

Apr 27 (DN) Former President Rajapaksa’s sole intention at the moment is to get his party membership suspended. It goes without saying that the preferred outcome of the UPFA’s May Day rally in Kirulapona is suspension of Rajapaksa’s party membership. If the party decides to suspend the membership of other Rajapaksa supporters as well, rebel group will consider it a bonus. Suspension of party membership will allow Rajapaksa to justify his move to form a new political party. more..

7 Indian workers from rescued from SL

Apr 27 (PTI) Seven Indians, allegedly working in hostile conditions in a Sri Lanka factory, were rescued and reached home today at Sujru village here, police said. According to SSP KB Singh, a complaint was lodged by Tohid Ahmed, a family member of one of the bonded labourers, against Asif and Mehbood, the two contractors accused of cheating the workers by sending them to Sri Lanka with fake promises of better pay, accommodation and food. A case was registered at kotwali more..

Two UN Special Rapporteurs to visit SL

Apr 27 (UN) UN human rights experts Mónica Pinto and Juan E. Méndez will carry out a visit to Sri Lanka from 29 April to 7 May, to assess recent developments and identify challenges related to the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and to the independence of the justice system. “We are encouraged by the recent steps taken by the Govt to advance respect for human rights, including their support to more..

The best places to eat and drink in Sri Lanka

Apr 27 (OM) Discover our pick of the seven best places to eat and drink in Sri Lanka, from afternoon tea on a tea plantation, to spice shopping in Galle and beach shacks in Tangalle. Often we foodie travellers miss the neighbourhood bars, curry houses and fish shacks that locals love as we whizz past on our way to the starrier restaurants of the region. In this series of dispatches from around the globe we’ll be putting that right, celebrating culinary heroes worth making a detour to. more..

Seylan Bank posts Rs. 720 mn net profit

Apr 27 (DN) Seylan Bank, recorded a strong quarterly performance with Profits after Income Tax reaching Rs. 720 million, for the three months ended March 31,2016, a 4% increase over the Rs. 691 mn reported in the corresponding period of 2015. Net Interest income increased from Rs 2,805 million to Rs 2,939 million, a 4.8% increase for the three months ended March 31,2016. Net fee and Commission income increased 23.6% from Rs 562 Million to Rs 695 Million during Q-1 2016, more..

Video: Move to implement increased VAT, illegal: Dinesh

Apr 27 (DM) MP Dinesh Gunawardena said, the move to implement the increased VAT from May 2 was illegal since Parliament was yet to ratify the increment. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament in March said the govt would increase the VAT to 15%. The govt first announced the increment would be imposed from April 1 but postponed it to May 2. “Budget for this year was amended frequently and then PM presented more..

Sri Lanka expects to reach IMF staff level agreement for loan soon

Apr 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is expected to reach a staff level agreement with the IMF for a loan as early as this week, the central bank deputy governor said on Tuesday. "On the technical level we have come to an agreement on the fiscal and monetary reforms. Hopefully we should be able to finalise it within if not a couple of days, probably within this week," Nandalal Weerasinghe told reporters. "I can’t say exactly the date. But we are very close to reaching an agreement." more..

UNP MP assaults mechanic?

Apr 27 (CT) A motor mechanic in Kekirawa has been admitted to hospital after being allegedly assaulted with an iron rod by UNP Anuradhapura District MP Chandima Gamage. The incident is said to have occurred on 25 April at a garage at Yakalla Road, Kekirawa, owned by the victim. The victim had lodged a complaint with Kekirawa Police claiming he had been assaulted by the MP at his garage last Monday. The man had partially repaired a motor vehicle belonging to the MP at more..

Two school girls run over by train

Apr 27 (DN) Two female students died after being run over by a train in Dehiwela, Police Media Unit said. The two students aged 19 from a leading girl’s school in Bambalapitiya, were on their way to a party on Monday night when the incident took place. They had got off their vehicle and attempted to cross the railway crossing when they were run over by the train. Victims were identified as Sheron Sweleen and Imeshi Yasara. more..

Campus hostel crisis over by 2018: Kirielle

Apr 27 (CT) All problems regarding student hostels will be solved by 2018, said Minister Lakshman Kirielle. He assured the gathering at the opening ceremony of two hostels at the University of Visual and Performing Arts and the Institute of Indigenous Medicine under the Accredited Project to Construct 60 University Hostels. "The govt has spent a huge amount not only for higher education sector but in the whole education sector, and wants to create a generation of youth who would more..

Another ex LTTE leader arrested

Apr 27 (DM) Following the arrest of former Batticaloa LTTE leader Ram on Sunday, the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) yesterday arrested another ex -LTTE leader at Koppai in Jaffna. Details of the man had been revealed to the TID during the interrogation of Ram. Sources said that the suspect arrested had been identified as Sivamoorthi Kanapathipillai alias Nagulan who had been a commander of the Charles Anthony Brigade, an elite brigade of LTTE during its heyday. more..

Sajin, suspected rapist on SLFP May Day committee: Wimal

Apr 27 (Island) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP said a former local politician who was a suspect in a rape case and former UPFA MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena the UNP flayed for controversial deals were on the SLFP’s May Day organising committee. The Joint Opposition accused the govt of moving to sabotage their May Day rally scheduled to be held at Kirulapone. more..

Chava explosive cache: Ex-LTTE intelligence head in East arrested

Apr 27 (Island) The Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) yesterday took into custody former LTTE Trincomalee District intelligence head, Thalaiarisan, to question in connection with the explosives found in a house in Chavakachcheri last month. Prior to his arrest another Tiger leader, known as ‘Ram’ was taken into custody. TID sources said, Thaialiarisan and Ram, close associates, had been engaged in a number of attacks the LTTE launched against the security forces and the police. more..

High profile belle of yesteryear is now in flesh trade!

Apr 27 (DM) A story doing rounds in political circles says that yet another belle of theatre and cinema of yesteryear is making a mint by operating a sex racket catering to a select clientele of some lascivious senior purohitas and business tycoons. The sex workers employed by this onetime belle are mostly young actresses. Lady-pimp, said to be a confidante of a number of Diyawanna seniors is obtaining a variety of favours from the purohitas in addition to money for catering to their needs. more..

Same circus; different clowns: Thalatha justifies Rs 21mn for Duminda’s ministry rent

Apr 27 (Island) Foreign Employment Minister Thalatha Athukorala justified paying Rs. 21 mn monthly as rental for Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake, but said she had halved the monthly rental for her Ministry. She said her Ministry had paid Rs. 2.2 million for its office situated earlier at the Central Bank building but had got it reduced to Rs. 1.1 million by shifting to new office at Asset Arcade building at York Street. more..

High ranking US Navy official concludes visit

Apr 27 (USE) Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, Pacific (SOCPAC) Rear Admiral Colin J. Kilrain concluded his four-day visit to both the Maldives and SL, from April 20-23. During his visit, RADM Kilrain discussed the future role both the Maldives and Sri Lankan security forces could play in humanitarian assistance, responding to natural disasters, and increased security cooperation operations. “The US remains committed to strengthening maritime security more..

SLC to introduce 3-year contracts for players

Apr 27 (ST) SL Cricketers whose yearly contracts ended in February this year will travel to England with a provisional one tour contracts. Explaining the current situation about their yearly contracts, SLC Secretary Mohan de Silva said, “The provisional contracts were put in to practice because there were several senior important players who are on the injured list and we do not want to hinder the process. However, at the end of the England series we want to change the process of the contracts. more..

SriLankan debt landmine defused: PM

Apr 27 (FT) Transplanting war terminology to economic challenges, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said the govt would defuse the landmine of $3.2 billion debt accumulated by SriLankan Airlines by taking an international partner on board and strengthening the balance sheet of the National Carrier. Govt will also cancel four of the eight Airbus A350s ordered under a $2.3 billion deal. PM, delivering what he promised was the first of more..

Court severely warns Duminda

Apr 27 (DN) The Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar hearing the Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra murder case yesterday severely warned former MP Duminda Silva, the 11th accused in the case, for leaving the Court room without prior permission of the Court while the case was in progress. When the trial into the murder of Premachandra was taken up before the Special Trial-at-Bar, the third accused Chaminda Ravi Jayanath alias Dematagoda Chaminda began to give evidence. more..

Swedish Foreign Minister, companies meet Sri Lankan businesses

Apr 27 (LBO) Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström met Sri Lankan govt and business representatives together with representatives of several top Swedish companies at a discussion on cooperation for sustainable urban development on Monday. Swedish companies such as ABB, Axis Communications, Ericsson, Icomera, Saab, Scania and Volvo were represented, while officials of several Sri Lankan companies and trade chambers were present. more..

CB Annual Report 2015 presents overview of Sri Lankan economy

Apr 27 (FT) A slowdown in the growth of demand in SL’s traditional export markets impacted the growth of the export sector while a strengthening US economy prompted short term capital outflows. The impact of these developments was offset to some extent by lower international commodity prices. Nevertheless, domestic consumption rebounded as incomes grew, particularly among public sector workers. more..

Health is a vocation, the patient is sacred

Apr 27 (DM) Agents and vested interests sponsored by trans-national pharmaceutical corporations appear to be trying to undermine the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) after they tried for about 10 years to delay, derail or dilute the Bill to implement Prof. Senaka Bibile’s essential medicines concept. Last week media groups working openly against the national or consensus govt gave doctored, twisted or baseless reports about what was happening or not happening more..

Northern PC goes rogue while SLFP fissures

Apr 27 (DM) Anyone has a right to call for federalism but not in every which way and anywhere they like. If the members of the Northern Provincial Council gathered as a collection of citizens and not as the official NPC, and held a seminar at the Veerasingham Hall endorsing federalism, then it would have been debatable as an idea, but legally and constitutionally unobjectionable. Resolution of the Northern Provincial Council calling for federalism is way outside the constitutional framework more..