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Govt blocks publication of IMF program report

June 6 (EN) IMF has said that publication of its economic report on SL after its 4th post-program monitoring mission last year has been withheld at the request of the govt. “SL authorities have indicated that more time is required to give consent to publish the staff report for the 4th Post Program Monitoring Discussion,” IMF said. The comment came in a note acccompanying the statement on IMF Executive Board’s approval more..

Ramadan fasting begins tomorrow

June 6 (AD) The Crescent for Ramadan has sighted and fasting will begin tomorrow, the Colombo Grand Mosque said. Muslims all over the world will observe a month of fasting and prayers during Ramadan to commemorate the time when the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed on the night of Laylat Al Qadr. Fasting during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is considered to be one of the Five Pillars of Islam. more..

Basil Rajapaksa released on bail

June 6 (AM) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who was arrested by the FCID earlier in the day over a land issue, was released on bail by the Pugoda Magistrate a short while ago. He was released on a cash bail of Rs 100,000 and two sureties of Rs 2 million each. He was arrested after he appeared before the FCID to give a statement over the purchase of a 17 acre land and a house in Malwana, Biyagama. This is the second time he was arrested over land issues by FCID in recent weeks. more..

France backs Sri Lanka for GSP and lifting of EU fisheries ban

June 6 (CG) France’s has extended support for Sri Lanka’s GSP + application and the lifting of the EU fisheries ban, Foreign Ministry said. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who had just concluded a three day official visit to Paris, had reiterated his commitment to elevate the bilateral partnership with France to a higher level in all spheres of co-operation strengthening the existing bonds of friendship between two countries. more..

US House of Representatives to be briefed on changes in Sri Lanka

June 6 (CG) The US House of Representatives will be briefed this week on the changes taking place in Sri Lanka since January last year. The Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives will be briefed on Thursday on the topic Sri Lanka’s Democratic Transition: A New Era for the US-Sri Lanka Relationship. The briefing will be done by Ms. Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow at the Asian Studies Center at the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy of more..

Sri Lanka will resettle all war-displaced by year-end: minister

June 6 (PTI) Sri Lanka will by year-end resettle all people, including the minority Muslims and the Sinhalese, who were displaced during the nearly three-decade-long war against the LTTE, a senior minister said. "We have six months to go, we will resettle all in the north by end of the year," Minister Mano Ganesan said, adding that even the Sinhala and Muslim minority communities who were chased out by the The LTTE would be given their lands back by inviting them to return to Jaffna. more..

China wants its Lankan projects to be international joint ventures

June 6 (ENS) China wants its projects in Sri Lanka to be Joint Ventures either with local Lankan companies and state organizations or with foreign companies, including Indian companies, says the Chinese Ambassador in Lanka, Yi Xianliang. He told the Regional Center for Strategic Studies here on Monday that the common Lankan and Indian perception that Chinese projects are primarily meant to bolster China’s more..

Taking stock of Yahapâlanaya & Way forward

June 7 (CT) Last year on January 8th, people of this country did take an important decision at the Presidential Election. This decision was reaffirmed by the subsequently held General Election. It was an ardent loud and clear call against corruption, bribery, waste, nepotism and other social evils. The collective message was that the country’s political landscape should be changed for better! I was one of the people who supported and voted for the change. more..

Let Her Cry: Just another review

June 7 (CT) I know a teacher who offers comments about our cinema from time to time. Just the other day we were talking about Asoka Handagama. He hadn’t seen Let Her Cry, which was previewed to the media a month back and given a limited release at Regal some weeks ago, but based on what I told him about the film (without any spoilers, of course), he gave his two cents on the man. It all amounted to this: Handagama can’t be forced to conform. If you watch a film of his, more..

Post disaster, communities complain: No relief, no support

June 7 (SO) As the victims of the catastrophic cyclone which ravaged through the island struggle to recover from the damage caused, indifference and bureaucracy is slowly setting in. The authorities have already started receiving complaints on aid distribution and are yet to establish a transparent mechanism to effectively channel the monetary aid flowing into the country, for recovery efforts. more..

The President’s forgotten promises: The female farmer

June 7 (CT) In the run-up to his election in Jan 2015 the President announced an important set of pledges that contributed to his electoral success. They were titled New Sri Lanka for Women. This is the 12th and final article by Verité Research in a series that evaluates the need and highlights opportunities for implementing the President's core pledges to Sri Lankan women. This article will argue that the implementation of this pledge could do more than just reduce debt. more..

Racist jokes and making friends

June 7 (CT) "Another thing that bothers me about this multiculturalism is when people ask me: 'How can you be sure that you are not a racist?' My answer is that there is only one way. If I can exchange insults, brutal jokes, dirty jokes, with a member of a different race and we both know it's not meant in a racist way. If, on the other hand, we play this politically correct game – 'Oh, I respect you, how interesting your customs are' – this is inverted racism, and it is disgusting" more..

'I didn’t contest to gain power'

June 7 (CT) Shaveen Bandaranayake, who came to political prominence backing the change of regimes in 2015 and attempted to make a difference through his election campaign at last General Election, says he has no regrets whatsoever. He still believes that people could work for people if the genuine need is there and does not necessarily have to hold political power. Q: What happened to independent group you formed more..

Editorial: Kosgama conflagration

June 7 (Island) There seems to be no end to disasters, both natural and man-made, in this country. Sunday’s raging inferno and explosions at the Kosgama army camp took us back in time to an era when the country was plagued by terror strikes. The Kosgama incident, perhaps the worst since the conclusion of the war, rendered an area encompassing about 30 sq. km vulnerable and thousands of people had to be evacuated. Thankfully, the death toll could be reduced to more..

Playing pandu with politics and cricket too

June 7 (ST) Writing in the British newspaper Guardian, columnist Owen Jones gave a succinct reason why politicians in this country are trusted even less than estate agents, a breed that hardly evokes public confidence and respect. Sri Lanka might not have such a large brood of estate agents or house and property agents as we know them, and so their dubious tactics would not resonate as widely and deeply as with their British counterparts. Minister Vajira Abeywardena claimed that more..


Increasing revenue vital for fiscal sustainability and debt reduction

June 7 (ST) Increasing govt revenue is crucial for reducing the fiscal deficit and containing the public debt. If the govt fails to reduce the fiscal deficit from 7.2% of GDP in 2015 to the targeted 5.4% of GDP in 2016, the economy could be in dire straits. Increasing govt revenue from as low as 12% of GDP in 2015 to at least 15% of GDP this year to reduce achieve this is however a challenging task. Increasing revenue is vital for fiscal stability and for containing the public debt. more..

BMICH offers exceptional spaces dedicated for conferences and meetings

June 7 (Island) BMICH is synonymous as a nationally acclaimed conference and meeting center offering organisers the most complete meeting package inclusive of state-of-the-art facilities and a highly professional staff committed to hosting successful business meetings and memorable corporate functions. Set in an environment that combines intellectual stimulation with natural beauty, BMICH provides spaces for a range of occasions from confidential meetings to int'l more..

HSBC upgrades Sri Lanka equities to positive from negative

June 7 (FT) In a major boost to the capital market, HSBC Global Research latest Equities Strategy report has upgraded Sri Lanka to positive from negative whilst it has downgraded Vietnam to neutral. “We believe that all the negative news is now priced in; the agreement with the IMF is positive for the economy. In addition, market valuations look reasonable and yields are attractive,” HSBC said. more..

Rs 450 mn Radiant Eye Hospital opens in Dandugama

June 7 (DN) Radiant Eye Hospital was opened with a total investment of more than Rs. 450 million. Radiant Eye Hospital launched its website on June 2 at Radiant Eye Hospital situated at Negombo Road, Dandugama, Ja Ela. Healthcare professionals and stakeholders were present. Radiant Eye Hospital Chairman Dr. Shamintha Amaratunga said that they have invested over Rs. 450 million for the hospital and the equipment. more..

Oh, for a Kulasekara in England

June 7 (DN) Sri Lanka hit by injuries to Dhammika Prasad and Dushmantha Chameera and having Shaminda Eranga reported for a suspect bowling action on their current tour of England would have dearly loved Nuwan Kulasekara in their line-up for the third and final Test beginning at Lord’s on Thursday. Unfortunately for them Kulasekara with 21 Test caps and 48 Test wickets behind him announced his retirement from the longer version of the game at the beginning of the month to more..

Northern education will be developed under President’s leadership: PM

June 7 (DN) Steps will be taken under the leadership of President Sirisena to develop education in the North and East which suffered a setback due to the war and school education in the South which suffered setbacks due to political interference, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. He was addressing a meeting held at Temple Trees yesterday to mark the handing over of keys of a bus to Hartley College, Jaffna. more..

SriLankan Airlines, Qatar Airways codeshare improves connectivity

June 7 (EN) Qatar Airways and SriLankan Airlines, both members of the oneworld alliance, have strengthened their cooperation with a bilateral codeshare agreement, giving connections to the Maldives and Europe, US, Middle East and Africa. “For the first time, passengers travelling to Colombo on Qatar Airways will be able to connect to the popular holiday hotspot Male, in the Maldives,” a statement said. “Beyond Doha, SriLankan Airlines passengers can transit through more..

40 colonial buildings in Fort to be redeveloped, PM says

June 7 (ST) Sri Lanka’s tourism industry began tourism ahead of many other countries but its tourism promotion has been lagging behind, according PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, when he made the keynote speech at the 50th anniversary celebrations of SL Tourism at the BMICH. “We are looking not merely at volume but I am going to give priority to value. In the next 20 years there will be nearly 3 billion people in the region. We need the Asians, Chinese, Europeans, Australians and more..

Socialist Alliance sees proposal to make Gota SLFP VP as a trap

June 7 (Island) Socialist Alliance said the proposal to make former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa the Vice President of the SLFP was a conspiracy to divide the Joint Opposition. Addressing the media UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said the JO had become a very strong political force now and, therefore, the govt wanted to divide it and dilute the force. "We are the only voice against govt’s corrupt acts & malpractices," more..

5 outstanding women writers from Sri Lanka

June 7 (DB) Sri Lanka is home to many talented women writers who share their experiences and creativity as poets and authors. DESIblitz presents 5 outstanding women. Rosalind Mendis became the first Sri Lankan woman to write a novel, in the year 1928, with The Mystery of a Tragedy. Since then, many women writers have emerged from the gorgeous island with powerful words which could touch the hearts of their readers. Sri Lanka, though it shares strong bonds of culture and language more..

Homagama schools reopen except two

June 7 (Island) All schools closed in the Homagama Educational Zone following the explosions and the fire at the Salawa army camp, except two where displaced people were being sheltered would be re-commenced today, Western Province Education Director Wimal Gunaratne said yesterday. Watareka Primary school and Akaravita Vidyalaya in the Homgama Zone sheltering affected families would remain closed, he said. The Provincial Education Director said families being accommodated at more..

Can't stay with govt if Gota comes in: CBK

June 7 (DM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga said she could not stay in the govt if the SLFP was trying to bring Gotabaya into power. “We brought this govt in order to wipe out the looting of the country. If the SLFP is trying to bring Goatabayas into power we cannot stay in the govt any longer,” she said addressing an event in Attanagalle, where she distributed flood relief items to those who affected by the recent floods. more..

A new National record in Hammer throw

June 7 (CT) Former National record holder, Shanika Amarasinghe of Army, regained her National record in Hammer throw when she threw a distance of 43.93 metres at the Colombo District Athletics Championship 2016 on Saturday at Diyagama. Manoji who last set the record in 2014 eclipsed the record of Ayesha Maduwanthi of 43.18m set last year at the same venue. After Manoji's record in 2014, Ayesha renewed the record twice - in 2014 and 2015 - before Manoji regained more..

DMC to assist Army Camp blaze affected

June 7 (CT) The public affected by the blaze at the Kosgama, Salawa Army Camp, can contact the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) on 117 for any assistance, Deputy Director of the DMC, Pradeep Kodippili, said. He added, a number of people were evacuated following the incident and teams from the DMC were deployed to the area. He added, it is important for the public to refrain from returning to the area unless advised and reiterated that the public must refrain from touching shrapnel. more..

Kosgama now like a Ghost Town

June 7 (CT) Major General Channa Gunatilleke said, while the 1-km radius area, from the Salawa Army Camp, has not been declared safe as yet, clearing is nearly 50% completed. "While 50% has been almost cleared, clearing all ammunition and artillery shells that landed in civilian areas will need 48 to 96 hours," the Major said, adding, "the Army needs between 48 and 96 hours to ensure safety." more..

Drunken policymaking leaves Sri Lanka with economic hangover

June 7 (EN) Sri Lankan professionals are becoming frustrated with the lack of scientific decision-making by successive govts, mockingly saying decisions are taken at cocktail parties instead of in a systematic manner. “Policy decisions in Sri Lanka are not taken at meetings or research forums,” declared Tilak Siyambalapitiya, Energy Consultant at Resource Management Associates. “Policy decisions are largely taken at cocktail parties – they are proposed, discussed and decided upon at cocktails,” more..

‘Several expressway projects to resume on purse-easy terms’

June 7 (Island) Lack of national planning during the tenure of the last MR regime caused severe damage to the economy as a result of implementing projects, such as, Hambantota port and Mattala airport. In these projects, costs were high and internal returns or return on investment (ROI) to the country were lacking, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. Govt is planning to resume several expressway projects by raising loans on very concessional terms, in contrast to the former regime. more..

SLMC refuses to register 30 SAITM students

June 7 (DM) Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) has reportedly refused to register the first batch of 30 medical students, who had passed out from South Asian Institute of Technology & Medicine (SAITM). The aggrieved students are said to be preparing a petition seeking redress to be filed in Supreme Court. SAITM has been functioning amid protests by some medical professionals and students’ unions of State universities. more..

Two night cruise service introduced

June 7 (DN) A two night mini cruise will be introduced in Sri Lanka from Ceylon Dream Cruise Pvt. Ltd Mirissa. This is a first for Sri Lanka. The company joint Managing Directors, Chamika Amarasinghe, Suranga Kaluarachcchi and Dinusha Welisadeera will be investing almost Rs. 50 million. They will acquire the Yacht from Japanese Company, Osaka Maru and will fly to Japan soon to make this purchase. “This Yacht has five cabins and we hope to covert two cabins to dometries more..

Tourism industry baffled by Ministry’s anniversary selection criteria

June 7 (DN) The travel and leisure industry is baffled as to how two leading hotel chains with over 100 years of history were cold shouldered at the 50th anniversary tourism industry celebrations. Both Mount Lavinia Hotel and Galle Face Hotel were the first hotels to be built in SL. However no mention of them were made, leave aside recognition awards being presented to them by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Galle Face Hotel also operates properties in Polonnaruwa, Kitulgala, more..

Tri-forces committee to probe Kosgama camp disaster

June 7 (Island) Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Karunasena Hettiarachchi said that he would appoint a tri-forces preliminary investigation committee to probe Sunday’s explosions and fire at an ammunition dump in the Salawa Army camp in Kosgama. In addition to the probe by the committee comprising senior officers of the tri-forces, CID would conduct a separate investigation. more..

Richard Marx is coming to Sri Lanka

June 7 (DN) He is the man who has serenaded the world with his songs laying testament to the power of love, the man who composed and produced tracks so even other artists can have their emotions unveiled. Get ready for extraordinary performance as Richard Marx sings live from the Stein Studio – Ratmalana on June 26. Richard Marx with over 30 million albums sold and considered as one of the few artists to have had a number one single in each of the past 4 decades performs more..

PRECIFAC grills Vass’s wife over Benz car

June 7 (FT) The anti-corruption commission questioned the wife of former MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena over purchasing a Benz car for Rs. 6.5 million. She was questioned for two hours by the Police investigators of the PRECIFAC. A spokesman said that the vehicle was purchased for a company named Cosmos Technologies, which belongs to Vass Gunawardena. “PRECIFAC is investigating whether public money was misused in purchasing the vehicle,” he said. more..

Gotabhaya ready to join campaign to protect country

June 7 (Island) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa declared that he was ready to join a political campaign to protect the country. Rajapaksa said that his support for any would be conditional. Declaring that he wasn’t interested in being the number one or two in any organisation, former Defence Secretary emphasised that he would throw his weight behind those who were for the country’s unitary status, sovereignty and more..