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SriLankan Airlines: A storm brews within

June 8 (SL) As a result of the demands made by the Flight Attendants Union (FAU) of SriLankan Airlines (SLA) to contribute EPF and ETF on their meal allowances as per labour laws, SLA management has disregarded FAU as a legitimate body. As defined in Section 44 of EPF Act No. 15 of 1958 and Section 16 of ETF Act No. 46 of 1980, EPF and ETF shall be paid not only on the basic salary but on total earnings. more..

Indian joint venture for Trinco oil tanks

June 8 (DM) The Govt, at yesterdays Cabinet meeting, had decided to handle the operation of the Trincomalee Upper Tank Farm as a joint venture between Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) in pursuance of an announcement made during Indian PM Narendra Modi's to Sri Lanka in 2015. The joint venture will help develop 30 tanks of the Upper Tank Farm. more..

Arjuna Mahendran wants all bond issuance data deleted

June 8 (CT) In yet another underhand act, Controversial Governor of the Central Bank, Arjuna Mahendran has given out an order to delete all data in relation to the last two bond issuance from the Central Bank computers. Highly placed sources said that the staff is in a quandary whether or not to carry out Mahendran’s order, as deleting such data from the system was deemed illegal, specially as no reasons have been more..

Video: NZ’s McCullum apologizes to Murali and Sanga

June 8 (DM) Former NZ captain Brendon McCullumon apologized to former SL’s bowling star Muttiah Muralitharan for running him out during a match in 2006 in Christchurch. Delivering the MCC Spirit of Cricket lecture at Lords, McCullum saidnow he views things very differently and would hope that he is a very different person. “I became incredibly competitive; winning was everything and I didn't really care what it took to win,” he said. more..

Litro Gas open tender raises eyebrows

June 8 (DM) Best practices of govt tender procedures have come into question over the recent open tender by state-owned Litro Gas for the supply of 250,000 metric tonnes of LP gas. According to sources, the flouting of the tender procedures was largely aimed at favouring one of the bidders, a company of Singaporean origin, which had allegedly not fulfilled the tender requirements within the stipulated time frame. more..

President vows to eradicate LTTE ideology

June 8 (PTI) President Maithripala Sirisena has vowed to eradicate the LTTE ideology which is still present locally and globally to ensure long lasting peace in Sri Lanka. "I want to eradicate the LTTE ideology completely both locally and internationally, Sirisena said. He said since being elected he had been able to cultivate friendships with all world leaders. He would rely on their assistance to achieve reconciliation. more..

Prez-PM combination poses danger: GL

June 8 (Island) Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris on Monday alleged that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt’s policies were meant to appease western powers, the LTTE rump as well as Diaspora groups still promoting separatist sentiments. He said the govt was pursuing a course of action severely detrimental to national interest. He was addressing a gathering at Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi Mandiraya. more..

Salawa Fire: We could have avoided it

June 8 (CT) In the fallout of the Salawa Army Base blaze on Sunday, govt and its bandwagon of departments and other authorities are now caught in the tumultuous whirlwind of dealing with consequences of the incident. The fire and the subsequent explosions, which saw one miraculous casualty of an Army Lance Corporal and the property damage, once evaluated, will total to a staggering amount of money which will create another horrible impact on our economy. more..

When the best man for the job is not allowed to do his job

June 8 (CT) Wildlife enthusiasts, conservationists, environmentalists and plain right thinking Sri Lankans (they may be a minority, but they do exist) are up in arms at the news that Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya who was appointed Director General of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) on March 30, 2016 has tendered his resignation. After a 23 year career with the World Bank culminating as the Lead Environmental Specialist, South Asia, focusing on Environment, Water Resources more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Army to stitch uniforms for flood affected schoolchildren

June 8 (Island) Army Commander Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva has launched a project to help flood affected schoolchildren in Kolonnawa. Under the project school uniforms of flood affected students in the Kolonnawa Divisional Secretariat will be stitched free of charge. Army had selected 19 schools for that purpose. The army is planning to sew the uniforms in a short period of time and hand them over to the students. The first phase of the project got underway yesterday more..

Supreme Court rejects petition filed by Basil on FCID

June 8 (AD) The Supreme Court today dismissed a Fundamental Rights petition filed by former Minister Basil Rajapaksa ordering the prevention of his arrest over five cases filed by the FCID. A three member bench headed by Chief Justice K. Sripavan dismissed the case, directing that there was no legal basis to it. Through his petition, Rajapaksa informed that B reports have been filed on investigations by the FCID in Gampaha, Pugoda, Matara and Kaduwela Magistrate Courts and more..

President joins walk to mark World Oceans Day

June 8 (PSL) A special walk to mark the World Oceans Day, which is celebrated today was held at the Viharamaha Devi Outdoor Theatre, under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. This walk was organized by the Marine Environment Protection Authority in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, under the theme Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet, to raise awareness of the people about importance of protecting more..

Eight schools, 1,674 students affected by disasters: CM

June 8 (Island) Sabaragamuwa Province Chief Minister Maheepala Herath confirmed that eight schools and 1,674 schoolchildren had been affected by recent floods and landslides triggered by heavy showers in the province. He said 5,187 people belonging to 1,651 families were displaced and they were located at 65 safe places in the province. The press conference was delayed for more than two hours and the journalists were told that the participants had been summoned for more..

Our lives are in danger: Basnayake Nilames

June 8 (DM) The Govt should intervene to protect the lives of Basnayaka Nilames as they faced death threats trying to protect the temporalities of the Devalas, the Basnayake Nilames said today. President of their association Mahanuwara Sri Kataragama Devala Basnayaka Nilame Gemunu Bandara Walisundara said hundreds of acres of lands, belonging to the Devalas, had been encroached forcibly by politicians, their accomplices and underworld gangs. more..

Bribery scandals rock SLFP port union

June 8 (CT) Three rival trade unions of the Colombo Port will soon file a series of complaints with the CIABOC this week against the SLFP Trade Union of the Colombo Port for malpractices committed which border on bribery and corruption. This follows Audit Superintendent of the Auditor General's Department R.G. Hettiarachchi submitting a detailed report to the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, alleging that more..

Sri Lanka revises down revenue target after tax amendments

June 8 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has reduced its govt revenue target for 2016 due to tax amendments in this year's budget, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He told parliament that this year's total revenue is now expected to come to Rs. 1.87 trillion, 8.2% less than the originally forecast Rs. 2.03 trillion. Last year, govt's revenue came to Rs. 1.41 trillion. "We have revised down many taxes including Nation Building Tax (NBT), so revenue will be less than what we had originally estimated," more..

JO hands over no-faith motion against Parliament Sec. Gen.

June 8 (AM) The Joint Opposition today handed over a no confidence motion against the General Secretary of Parliament Dhammika Dissanayake on his conduct at the recent vote on a supplementary estimate. The motion was signed by 32 MPs of the Joint Opposition. A supplementary Appropriation Bill for Rs 55 million for the 2016 fiscal year moved by the Govt was passed in Parliament on May 5 with a majority of just 2 votes. It was announced that 33 MPs voted for it while 31 opposed. more..

Maharoof for England, Ireland ODIs

June 8 (CI) Allrounder Farveez Maharoof, who last played an international game in March 2012, has been recalled to the Sri Lanka side for the upcoming ODI matches against Ireland and England. Maharoof and four other players - allrounder Danushka Gunathilaka, legspinner Seekkuge Prasanna, offspinner Suraj Randiv and batsman Upul Tharanga - will fly to the UK to join the current Sri Lankan squad on tour. more..

Sri Lankan shares end steady

June 8 (Reuters) Shares closed steady on Wednesday as positive sentiment after an IMF loan approval was offset by concerns over rising interest rates and foreign fund outflows. Turnover was 390.8 million rupees ($2.68 million), the lowest since March 19, and nearly half of this year's daily average of around 782.5 million rupees. The benchmark Colombo stock index ended 0.03% higher at 6,526.12. "We don't expect a lot until the interest rates are down," said Dimantha Mathew, more..

Several NGOs trying to discourage Perahera tradition: Thera

June 8 (DN) Chief Incumbent of Sri Sambodhi Viharaya, Ven. Daranagama Kusaladhamma Thera disclosed of an attempt by several NGOs in Colombo to destroy SL's Perahera culture. Thera said the Sri Sambodh Viharaya has been prevented from holding its seventh annual Perahaera on May 23 this year because activists in these NGOs and a recently appointed Director General of the Wildlife Department wielding a heavy hand of authority on Perahera activities of the temples. more..

Chandrika reiterates commitment to address missing persons issue

June 8 (CG) Former President and Chairperson of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) Chandrika Kumaratunga reiterated the commitment of the Govt to address the missing persons issue. Kumaratunga said that repeated calls by families of the disappeared to the govt and the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation in early 2015 resulted in actively pursuing a process to facilitate a Certificate of Absence (COA) more..

Anti-dengue vaccine from France soon

June 8 (CT) It was revealed in Parliament that SL would be receiving a new anti-dengue vaccine, developed in France, to support the island's efforts to eradicate the scourge that's claimed hundreds of lives and infected multiple thousands every year. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that a vaccine known as Dengvaxia, which has been developed in France and been given the green light in several countries including Brazil and other Latin American nations, would be flown to Colombo shortly more..

Rs. 4 m for hit-and-run victims

June 8 (DN) A sum of Rs. 4 million was distributed to 36 persons who had either died or suffered serious injuries in road accidents caused by unidentified vehicles. This was done at a ceremony presided over by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. Ceremony was sponsored by National Committee on Road Safety. Minister said ensuring the safety of lives was prime duty of those who governed the country. “We should ensure the safety of road users and life and property of people in general. more..

No hanuman bridge: Govt

June 8 (CT) The govt denied that the much speculated road link between India and Sri Lanka was going to be a reality. Minister Lakshman Kiriella said, there was not an iota of truth in the speculation about the sea bridge between Dhanushkodi in India and Thalaimannar in Sri Lanka. He said that This is all rubbish and someone's fantasy. When pointed out that the mainstream Indian media had quoted more..

CB Governor, 2 Secys summoned by COPE

June 8 (CT) Central Bank Governor Arjun Mahendran, the Finance Ministry Secretary and the Secretary of the Ministry of National Policy and Economic Affairs have been summoned to appear before the COPE today, in connection to a case of misinforming the Auditor General (AG). The COPE Committee had previously advised the Auditor General to carry out an inquiry into all the accounts related to the controversial Treasury Bonds issue by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. more..

TNA to express disappointment with UNHRC on govt promises

June 8 (CG) The TNA is to express its disappointment with the UNHRC over the failure by the Government to keep to its promises. TNA spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran said that a TNA delegation set to visit Geneva during the 32nd session of the UNHRC which begins next week, will have meetings with UNHRC members and the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Govt had given the UNHRC several assurances when a resolution on the country was adopted last year. more..

No-faith motion put off due to fault in audio system

June 8 (EN) Parliament delayed debating a no-confidence resolution against Minister Ravi Karunanayake as the sound system of the legislature broke down. Speaker put off the session till Thursday morning after technicians struggled for hours to restore sound in the Chamber. 35 opposition MPs signed the no confidence resolution against Karunanayake, which has a comfortable majority in the 225-member assembly to more..

Here’s what makes Sri Lanka such a charming tourist destination

June 8 (HT) Sri Lanka is a perfect little world unto itself, replete with rivers and mountains, a constellation of historic sites, spectacular Buddhist temples, forests teeming with wildlife, endless beaches, cricket pitches, rice paddies, fruit orchards and plantations of tea, cardamom, cinnamon. The strong and spectacular Lankan cultural canvas has been layered over time with brushstrokes by the people of India, Portugal, The Netherlands and Britain. more..

War affected still carrying shrapnel in body to be identified

June 8 (CG) A proposal has been made to identify war affected people still carrying shrapnel from a bomb in their bodies, 7 years after the war ended. The proposal was made after the TNA raised the matter in Parliament today. Parliament was told that some people in the North and East still have shrapnel in their bodies from bombs which exploded during the war between army and LTTE. TNA said that some youth had to travel to India to have the shrapnel removed at their own expense. more..

Swindlers List: Names of Yahapalana crooks robbing people's hard earned money

June 8 (DM) Three Ministers today justified the Govt's move to seek Parliament approval to purchase luxury vehicles to various State and Cabinet Ministers and said Ministers need super luxury vehicles to travel to their electorate, various functions and ceremonies round the country. Joint Cabinet Spokesmen Ministers Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and Gayantha Karunatileka and Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranawithana answering more..

Coping with loss after Aranayake landslide disaster

June 8 (RW) Over 2,000 people remain in temporary shelters after a massive landslide triggered by torrential rains buried three villages in Aranayake district on 17 May. Prior to the landslide around 220 families were living in these villages. So far only 28 bodies have been recovered and local authorities estimate that around 99 people are still missing. Nimal Suraweera (43) lived with his family in Siripura village at the base of the Samasara Mountain before the disaster. more..

Jayawickrama Perera explains reasons for wildlife DG Pilapitiya's resignation

June 8 (AM) Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera refuted allegations that Wildlife Department Director General Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya resigned due to any political interference. He refuted the allegation that Minister Sajith Premadasa made this interference in the Wildlife Department, which made the DG to resign. According to media reports, minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera has exerted pressure on warden of the Yala wildlife park Suranga Ratnayake to apologize to minister Sajith Premadasa. more..

Corrupt ministers justifying...

Govt’s delay in dealing with laws delays

June 9 (CT) Journalist, Poddala Jayantha in a moving article, written in Sinhala, recalls his ordeal which took place exactly 7 years ago in the evening of June 1st that shocked the entire nation. A threat which has been made to him by the brother of the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, was to be carried out on that fateful day. He was picked up at Embuludeniya junction by a group of people who had arrived in a white van, and was severely beaten up. more..

Home-grown remedy for SL’s revenue crisis?

June 9 (GV) Sri Lankans sometimes like to claim perverse records for their country. You will likely have heard the proud assertion that Sri Lanka has the highest suicide rate in the world. Fortunately, that is not true. But here is a genuine perverse record, of which few people are aware: Sri Lanka holds the world record for the longest and largest unplanned decline in govt revenue collection. Over a quarter century from 1989, the ratio of govt revenue collection to GDP fell by a half, from 21% to more..

When the garbage dump came downhill

June 9 (SO) Being used as the garbage pit for over five years, the Ambuluwawa Mountain slided down over a fortnight ago, displacing nearly 70 people living along the slope. The villagers had been protesting for more than a fortnight when the landslide occurred. The landslide, along with approximately 75,000 tons of garbage gliding downhill caused the calamity, destroying property and displacing people. more..

La Affaire Sampur

June 9 (SL) Sampur Maha Vidyalaya episode involving Eastern Province Governor Austin Fernando, Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamed and an officer of SL Navy, should be the last of its kind, especially in the context of the Constituent Assembly working out a political solution to the ethnic issue. If interpreted wrongly, or misinterpreted otherwise, it could have consequences that could be worse than the problem – both that is on hand, and the larger issues of power-devolution. more..

Democracy & The critical role of civil society: The Lankan experience

June 9 (CT) Democracy and Civil society are usually dependent on the constitutional space govts have designed to protect the interests and privileges of a certain segment of society. As such, a constitution may be suspended or superseded when it is found unable to protect the interests it was originally intended to safeguard. Generally, constitutional change arises in a society that is plagued with political crises. Only on rare occasions has the majority of citizens taken part more..

The treasury bond scam: Are we not entitled to know our creditors?

June 9 (FT) According to our Constitution We, the People, are supreme. Articles 3 and 4 read: Sovereignty of the People: 3. In the Republic of Sri Lanka sovereignty is in the people and is inalienable. Sovereignty includes the powers of government, fundamental rights and the franchise. Exercise of Sovereignty: 4. The Sovereignty of the People shall be exercised and enjoyed in the following manner: more..