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Why the flood victims went bananas

June 5 (DM) There were many politicos who tried to exploit the flood situation to gain political mileage. Here’s a story about such a worthy hailing from the Colombo district. Kaduwela was one of the worst flood-hit parts in the district. A dandy deputy cruising in the area with a group of supporters distributing flood relief was on his way to Ranala when he felt an urge to distribute some items with his own hands. So he got his boat beached at a congenial spot at an elevated highland for this purpose. more..

AG to fast track big corruption cases

June 5 (SO) AG’s Department has been instructed to prioritize prosecutions on large scale corruption cases. This comes in the wake of President instructing the AG’s Department to fast track high profile cases and large scale fraud. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that there was undue delay on the part of the AG’s Department regarding large scale fraud cases involving Ministers of the former regime. “President has instructed that major scandals during the last regime must be prioritized. more..

Russia, Sri Lanka aim to strengthen military cooperation

June 5 (SN) Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov and Sri Lanka's Defense Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi during a bilateral meeting on Sunday pledged to deepen military cooperation between the two countries, according to a statement issued by the Russian ministry. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 15th Asia Security Summit, or the Shangri-La Dialogue, currently underway in Singapore more..

No Confidence Motion against Finance Minister to be taken up

June 5 (SO) A No Confidence Motion against Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake signed by 37 Joint Opposition MPs on the grounds of gross mismanagement of the economy will be taken up for debate in Parliament on June 8 from 2.00 pm to 6.30 pm and the vote will be taken subsequently. It was handed over to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on March 24. Motion alleged that Finance Minister Karunanayake was mishandling the economy thus putting the country into an economic crisis more..

Flood havoc: Alternative land to resettle 6,000 families

June 5 (ST) Alternative land is being sought to resettle up to 6,000 families living in areas vulnerable to landslides and floods, officials said. The directive was given to government officials by President Maithripala Sirisena at a meeting on Friday. Disaster Management Ministry Secretary S.S. Niyanwala said officials were told to look for state and private land which could be used for resettlement purposes. Private lands would be bought by the state. more..

NY Fed first rejected cyber-heist transfers, then moved $81 million

June 5 (Reuters) Hours before the Federal Reserve Bank of New York approved four fraudulent requests to send $81 million from a Bangladesh Bank account to cyber thieves, the Fed branch blocked those same requests because they lacked information required to transfer money, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. On the day of the theft in Feb, New York Fed initially rejected 35 requests to transfer funds more..

Fire breaks out at Kosgama Army camp

June 5 (AM) A major fire broke out at the Army Camp at Kosgama, Army headquarters sources said. Some residents in the area said loud explosions were heard as the fire broke out. Military sources said the fire broke out at the armoury of the Army camp. The incident occurred around 6 pm, on Sunday. No casualties have been reported so far. Meanwhile, the Police said Avissawella- Colombo road and Avissawella- Kaluaggala road were closed immediately after the incident. more..

President's House for public viewing

June 5 (SO) President's House in Fort will officially open for public viewing from June 9 till the 14th. Entrance is free. However, schools and other institutions are required to make an appointment with the Presidential Secretariat prior to the visit. It is reported that there is a four-storeyed underground luxury palace built by former president Rajapaksa. Each story spreads over an area of 3000 square feet. Built during the Dutch era, House has been the public property of former Dutch governor more..

'It’s too late for Mahinda Rajapaksa'

June 5 (CT) Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran says had Mahinda Rajapaksa genuinely worked with them as he promised on 2 Jan 2014, he would not be in this predicament. "Now it is too late for Mahinda," he said. He added, "As for my 'strong Tamil nationalism', I reflect the minds of the people of the North and East. We must get out of the mindset that a political settlement in Sri Lanka is based on large heartedness more..

Protests against SAITM continue

June 5 (SO) Nearly 130-day silent protests opposite medical faculties around the country, a public sitting on Thursday night and a symbolic protest on Friday morning opposite the Fort Railway Station fell on deaf ears as university students continue to resist private universities in Sri Lanka, including SAITM. A collaboration of IUSF and the Medical Faculty Students' Action Committee staged a sitting protest this week, demanding the abolition of SAITM, Convenor of IUSF, more..

Police told to re-investigate ragging complaint

June 5 (ST) A magistrate has ordered the police to re-investigate a complaint made by a female student who alleged she was inhumanely ragged by a group of senior students at the Institute of Indigenous Medicine (IIM) in Rajagiriya. The order this week came following objections raised by the female student’s lawyer, Shantha Herath. The lawyer told Colombo’s Magistrate Augusta Perera that charges had been filed only for assault and causing minor injuries whereas the case should have more..

Palitha Thewarapperuma Vs Uni Students

Necessary ethos for reconciliation: Paththini or the Buddha?

June 6 (CT) Paththini is the symbol of feminine chastity in Sinhala culture, among other values (fertility, health etc.), and Kannagi is the same in the Tamil culture. Therefore Sunil Airyaratna’s new film Paththini may convey a message or a sentiment of reconciliation emphasising the meeting points or commonalities. I use the term may because I still have not seen the movie. There are many more commonalities and meeting points between the Sinhalese and the Tamils and the emphasis more..

Proving that the 19th amendment is not mere propaganda

June 6 (ST) Where Sri Lanka’s non-adherence to the Rule of Law is concerned, there is a disturbing continuity between the immediate Rajapaksa past and the present which cannot be wished away despite all our optimism. Signs of this were evident at the very start of the Sirisena Presidency giving rise to considerable disquiet. These patterns have now become far more evident, indicating that there is little political will to measure up to the high expectations with which more..

The actual heroes of Aranayake

June 6 (SO) In the aftermath of any natural calamity, a necessary exercise is to find out what went wrong and whether or not the tragedy could have been avoided. Thereafter, it is all about making sure that there won't be a next time. It cannot be stressed enough that there should be systems that can anticipate such calamities and also mechanisms to make sure that the threat to lives and property are minimized. more..

Not quite waiting for Godot

June 6 (SL) Wikipedia describes Waiting for Godot “as an absurdist play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly and in vain for the arrival of someone …” That quote certainly came to mind the other night when I and the rest of the forty-odd number holders languished in the corridor of one of the channel centres in a provincial capital. I had symptoms very similar to a friend who had recently been diagnosed with a detached retina and more..

Who could have directed the former IGP?

June 6 (SL) Political propagandists, particularly of the Rajapaksa variety, take the people of this country including their supporters to be absolute idiots. Last week such propagandists took to the TV channels owned by pro-Rajapaksa supporters and the devout of this variety as seekers of justice. They took on investigations conducted into the murder of the popular rugby player Wasim Thajudeen, over which they had remained tight-lipped for long since his brutal murder. more..

‘I never wanted to become an actress’

June 6 (ST) Fifty years ago, a young Sri Lankan schoolgirl came across a small advertisement calling for actresses. Swarna Mallawarachchi didn’t own more than three or four photographs of herself. She was still in school and the thought of becoming an actress had never crossed her mind – her aspirations so far were to go to university and be either a teacher, lecturer or perhaps an air hostess. She was an avid reader and she couldn’t help more..

Jayalalithaa, the new Lakshmi in Wigneswaran’s Jaffna shrine

June 6 (ST) Something is stirring in the northern heartland of Jaffna and it is not the sprouting of the season’s first spring onions breaking ground and shooting off their presence. It has all the signs of blossoming into a full blown affair; but, alas, the darling buds of May may have to be nipped before they bloom for they do not augur well for the environs. And it’s all taking place in the Chief Minister’s compound where a once dried up passion well seems to have been suddenly struck by more..

Sri Lanka’s role in South Asia’s earliest writing controversy

June 6 (CT) A few years ago someone came up with the campaign line small miracle as a unique proposition to promote Sri Lanka to tourists. Rajapaksa Govt took exception to the small and scrapped the campaign midway. This was a pity. The country has genuine small miracle credentials, tending sometimes to raise eyebrows by producing phenomena usually deemed too big, too grand for a country of its size. It can for example claim ownership of the oldest surviving, reliably more..


Media bias, Ontario Press Council and discrediting Sri Lankan flag

June 6 (Island) Canada boasts of rights and even preaches to the world about rights and wrongs. It also speaks highly of media freedom and issue statements and point fingers. The only newspaper which I found forthright was The National Post. They were fair and I respected them and still do. They have written about both sides and on several occasions criticised the govt of Sri Lanka, but, in a fair manner. They were never biased unlike some other publication which pandered to more..

Prez attending G 7 summit: China responds

June 6 (Island) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told the media last week that President Sirisena has received an invitation from the Chinese President, Xi Jinping to visit China. This invitation coming on the heels of the President's attendance at the outreach meeting of G 7 in Japan could raise a number of questions. The first one is its timing. Was such an invitation due at this time? It was only in April 2016 that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe visited China on an official visit and was reported to have more..

NMRA is a mafia: Rajitha

June 6 (CT) Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne says doctor transfers are done according to the merits and not based on anybody's influence. He said, "Transfers are implemented together with the trade unions. But no trade union may interfere in appointments. They must be according to merits. Trade unions have the right to speak if the appointments have not been given based on qualifications. more..

Editorial: Yen for Yuan

June 6 (Island) The IMF has, at long last, released the first tranche of a USD 1.5 bn bailout package for SL. Govt is over the moon. Sadly, the Granary of the East has come to such a pass that its rulers pride themselves on obtaining loans as an achievement! The IMF bailout facility is the price the country has to pay for the election bribes the govt generously showered on the people to win the presidential and parliamentary polls last year. The biggest of them was the pay hike for public sector workers. more..

Lord’s here we come!

June 6 (CT) Sri Lanka goes to Lord's with renewed confidence and self -belief than Leeds to Durham when they were beaten inside three days by innings with plenty to spare. At Leeds they were wounded and blown away and the confidence level at an all-time low and not sure of what to expect at Durham. And when they turned up in the North of England the weather that greeted them which was one of the coldest for a very long time didn't help them either. I believe the writing off story of the Lankans more..

Poor performances cited as need for two divisions in Test cricket

June 6 (DN) Having restored some of their confidence in the batting in the second innings of second Test at Durham, SL will be expected to perform at their best in the third and final Test beginning at Lord’s on June 9 if they are not to give further encouragement to those calling for two divisions in Test cricket. Respected cricket writer Scyld Berry writing under the headline Sorry SL highlight need for 2 divisions in Test cricket more..

Dimuth stresses need for meaningful warm-up matches

June 6 (Island) Test opener Dimuth Karunaratne was one of the in-form batsman lead up to the three Test series against England scoring a century in the warm-up game against Leicester at Grace Road. However, he says that the century was hardly useful as it had come against a lowly opposition. Sri Lanka’s two warm-up games were against Essex and Leicester, both teams playing in Division 2 of the County Championship and to make things worse both counties rested some of their top more..

Bangladesh hands over second consignment of relief to Sri Lanka

June 6 (FT) A Bangladesh Navy Ship BNS Bangabandhu carrying the second consignment of relief materials from Bangladesh for victims of recent floods and landslides, arrived at the Colombo Sea Port on Sunday. Bangladesh High Commissioner Tarik Ahsan formally handed over the relief materials to the Secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management of SL, S.S. Miyanawala at a simple ceremony on board the BNS Bangabandhu at the Colombo Sea Port in the afternoon. more..

Robotic Prosthetic Arm developed by University of Moratuwa to help war victims

June 6 (ST) In the background of Sri Lanka’s once-raging civil war and the casualties arising out of it, a group of final year students and faculty members of Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Moratuwa (UoM) has, for the first time, developed an artificial robot-arm to assist amputees. Presently, various research groups all over the world also carry out similar studies to produce artificial upper-limbs for the needy more..

CSC to push for Rs 4 bn revenue

June 6 (DN) The Ceylon Shipping Corporation(CSC) is looking at generating over Rs 4 billion revenue soon by initiating series of novel projects. CSC Chairman Shashi Dhanatunge has identified a number of potential profitable projects for the Corporation in consultation with shipping experts at CSC. He is optimistic that those projects would be feasible and sustainable for CSC as those would be initiated at almost Zero cost to the State on Public Private Partnership basis. more..

CIC Holdings revenue up 13% to Rs. 26.6 b

June 6 (FT) CIC Holdings Group has achieved a growth in revenue of 13% to Rs. 26.67 billion in the financial year ended 31 March 2016 and an after tax profit of Rs. 1.63 billion, up by 57% over the previous year. Group pre-tax profit grew by 41.6% to Rs. 2.01 billion. Net profit attributable to equity holders of the company rose by 77.7% to Rs. 1.35 billion. CIC Holdings Chairman Harsha Amarasekera said in addition to the organic growth from the existing business ventures, more..

'VAT hike blunting Sri Lanka’s competitive edge in regional market’

June 6 (Island) The VAT hike from 11% to 15% since May has increased the cost of production in the local manufacturing sector. This will lead to lost competitive edge with other countries in the region, FCCISL president Sarath Kahapalaarachchi said. "Today Sri Lanka's cost of production in the manufacturing sector is highest in the region. This would affect the local export sector in the future. more..

SriLankan Airlines joins landmark global crackdown on illegal wildlife trade

June 6 (FT) SriLankan Airlines on Thursday joined a landmark worldwide drive to crackdown on the illegal global trade in wildlife that has brought many of the world’s rare species close to extinction. SriLankan was among several international airlines which pledged their full support for the United for Wildlife initiative, at the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on 2nd June in Dublin, Ireland. The initiative by major organisations involved in conservation more..

15% interest for senior citizens blocked

June 6 (ST) The payment of 15% interest rate for senior citizens above 55 years of age for their deposits in Licensed Finance Companies is unlikely to get off the ground due to financial implications relating to the relevant 2016 budget proposal. Certain negative affects in the implementation of the proposal were highlighted at a meeting of Treasury and the Central Bank high officials held recently, a senior CB official said adding that no final decision was taken on this matter. more..

SLC issues outrageous statement

June 6 (CT) Following our reports regarding certain misdeeds at the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) administration, the latter had apparently got incensed and issued a statement informing the media to stay clear of publishing reports pertaining to the employees of the SLC which bruise their sensibilities. Media release of SLC, in relation to the news report regarding the sudden interdiction of 3 of its employees is more a threat to media more..

Study Conference on HR held for MPs

June 6 (FT) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL)in partnership with Parliament of Sri Lanka, held a residential Study Conference on Human Rights for Members of Parliament at the Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya on 29 May supported by UNDP, UNICEF, OHCHR & UNHCR under the United Nations Joint Programme on Human Rights. 29 Members of Parliament attended the Study Conference at which the Guest of Honour was the Deputy Speaker of Parliament. more..

Civil society wants mahendran out

June 6 (CT) Civil Society Organizations and representatives of political parties have alleged that Central Bank Governor Arjun Mahendran has embezzled billions of rupees and requested the government not to extend his tenure. The Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) expressed their concern, over extending the term of the Governor, at a media briefing held yesterday, "Arjun Mahendran has proved his unsuitability to be the Governor of the Central Bank. more..

Ford concerned about fast-bowling depth

June 6 (CI) Sri Lanka lack depth in their fast-bowling battery, coach Graham Ford said, after two frontline quicks left the tour of England with injury, and a third was reported for a suspect action. Shaminda Eranga is scheduled to undergo a biomechanical test at Loughborough on Monday after he was reported following the match at Chester-le-Street. Though he is likely to be free to play the Lord's Test - before the results of more..

JO to reveal many malpractices

June 6 (DN) Joint Opposition (JO) would reveal many malpractices committed by Finance Minister and his supporters which were unknown to the country as well as to the UNP during the No Confidence Motion (NCM) debate to be taken up against him in Parliament on June 8, JO member Bandula Gunawardena said. He added that the not only the SLFP and UPFA members who joined the govt but also many of the UNP members would be compelled to vote for this motion more..