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Errant officials disgracing CMC

June 1 (CT) Municipal Councillor Roy Bogahawatte said Monday at a meeting of the Colombo Municipal Council chaired by Mayor A. J. M. Muzammil, that though everyone has remained silent regarding the misconduct of officials of the CMC, they will not be able to continue in that vein anymore. He emphasized the fact that the damage that is being done under cover of celebrating the 150th Jubilee of the CMC should be investigated. more..

'20% of country's land area vulnerable to landslides'

June 1 (Island) About 20% of the country’s total land area, which amounts to around 13,122 square kilometres, is vulnerable to landslide hazard, says Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa. He said that the landslide prone areas had been categorized into most dangerous, dangerous and least dangerous zones and the Samasara Hill in Aranayake in Kegalle District had been identified as most dangerous zone. more..

Sri Lankan mission sets out 2020 goals for expats’ welfare

June 1 (AN) Shifting the Sri Lankan Embassy to the Diplomatic Quarter is one of the goals of the 2020 Vision set out by the mission, said the country’s Ambassador Azmi Thassim said. The envoy was speaking at the launch of the mission’s 2020 Vision chalked out by more than 100 Sri Lankan expatriates in the capital. He explained that a group of professionals was formed into several groups and framed a set of more..

Vajira speaks out on Palpita affair

June 1 (DN) Minister Vajira Abeywardena rejected allegations by certain media institutions which claimed that Anusha Palpita was a close associate of his and that he [the minister] was trying to protect him through this appointment. “During the time of floods, we requested for officials from the Public Administration and Management Ministry since most of our employees in flood affected areas didn’t report for work. more..

Here come the diseases…

June 1 (CT) The devastating and catastrophic consequences of the adverse weather conditions are also leading towards another threat. This particular threat is the steady increase of various diseases, as a result of the high number of lives affected by the floods, heavy showers and landslides. Flood waters comprise numerous disease causing bacteria, dirt, oil, wastes as well as industrial chemicals. more..

Govt allocates Rs. 159 m for post-flood clean up

June 1 (FT) Two Cabinet papers allocating Rs. 159 million for post-flood clean up including garbage management in affected areas and cleaning the Kelani River bank was approved by Cabinet, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. Yapa said Rs. 18 million would be used to clean the dumped garbage in those areas while Rs. 141 million has been allocated for cleaning up the banks of Kelani River around the Kollonnawa area. more..

Mustapha rules out local elections this year; blaming it on delimitation process

June 1 (Island) Local Govt elections would not be held this year as only nine districts had so far completed the delimitation process, Provincial Councils and Local Govt Minister Faizer Mustapha said yesterday. He said that the LG elections could not be held till the end of the delimitation process in all other districts and it would take some time. Most probably, the election could be held next year, Minister said. more..

Nuwan Kulasekara retires from Test cricket

June 1 (CI) Nuwan Kulasekara, the 33-year old Sri Lanka seamer, has announced his retirement from Test cricket. "I would like to retire from playing Test cricket with immediate effect," he was quoted as saying by a Sri Lanka Cricket press release. "After much thought I believe it is the right time to retire and I hope it will allow me to better prepare for ODI and T20 cricket, which I would like to continue playing for Sri Lanka more..

Minister and GMOA must compromise soon

June 1 (CT) Yesterday, the Govt Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) launched a countrywide token strike excluding flood affected Colombo, Kegalle and Gampaha Districts urging the government to change the post intern list prepared by the Health Ministry. According to the GMOA Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath, the post intern vacancy list prepared by the Health Ministry, in consensus with the heads of institutions and the GMOA has been unilaterally altered due to political interference. more..

Sri Lankan shares fall for 3rd straight day on rising interest rates

June 1 (Reuters) Shares edged down on Wednesday for a third straight session as rising interest rates weighed on risky assets, while lack of new catalysts and concerns over foreign outflows also dented sentiment. Treasury bill yields rose between 4 and 35 basis points to near three-year highs in two weekly auctions through Wednesday despite the central bank leaving key policy rates steady for a third straight month on May 20. Foreign investors were net sellers of Rs. 35.4 million more..

පීටර් කුරුවිට

Return of Saffron violence?

June 1 (CT) “Ven. Ampitiye Sumanaratne Thero of Mangalaramaya temple in Ampara walks in to the residence of the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, Nazeer Ahamed and threatens him over the despicable incident in Sampur school function” Later, The venerable Thero leads a protest in Ampara shouting Para Thambiya, Para Thambiya. The Editor of SUNDAY (IRIDA) DIVAINA in his editorial on 29th May 2016 calls for the slaying of Nazeer Ahamed (Chief Minister) by more..

7 Indians in kidney racket further remanded

June 1 (ITN) The seven Indian nationals who were arrested for involvement in a kidney racket along with Sri Lankans have been further remanded. The Colombo Crimes Division informed the Colombo Magistrate’s Court that it was still holding comprehensive investigations on the kidney racket. The CCD told the judiciary that since the rubber seals recovered from the suspects were in the name of Indian doctors, they are investigating into the matter. more..

Multi billion tax revenue fraud by Yahapâlana group exposed

June 1 (CT) Wickremesinghe administration when keep on increasing tax in various forms, urged people to bare it, claiming that the new administration cannot run the govt business without adequate funds in the treasury blaming MR regime. Since then people were burdened with more and more tax charged on every commodity, including hospital bill payments. Yet, it has been revealed that the new govt that more..

NPC calls for credible mechanism to probe 20,000 disappearances

June 1 (Island) The National Peace Council (NPC) has reiterated its call for a credible transitional justice mechanism to inquire into war crimes allegations. The NPC’s latest call comes in the wake of the govt announcing setting up of an Office for Missing Persons. The following is the full text of a statement issued by Dr. Jehan Perera on behalf of the NPC: Among the festering wounds of Sri Lanka’s protracted war that came to its bitter end 7 years ago is the fate of at least 20,000 persons more..

Five underworld figures arrested over Dematagoda shooting

June 1 (DM) Five underworld gangsters, who wanted for the shootout in Dematagoda where Chaminda Jayanath alias Dematagoda Chaminda was shot and injured in a prison bus, were arrested with latest firearms and ammunitions. Dematagoda Chaminda, who is an accused in the killing of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, was shot at Maligawatte by two unidentified men, when he was being brought back to the Welikada Prison from the Colombo HC in a Prisons bus on March 2. more..

Video: Unseen hand preventing FCID arresting 6 suspects: JVP

June 1 (DM) An unseen hand appears to have prevented the FCID from arresting six people including an additional secretary attached to the Prime Minister’s office on charges of violating the Public Properties Act, the JVP claimed today. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told a media briefing that the FCID had failed to carry out the directive given of the Deputy Solicitor General on behalf of the Attorney General’s Department. more..

Robbers who shot 12-year-old during robbery still at large

June 1 (Island) The Galnewa police have so far failed to arrest four armed men, who shot and injured a 12-year-old girl during an abortive robbery at the victim's house in the same police area on May 28. The girl being treated at the Anuradhapura hospital is out of danger as she is recovering and she is able to walk now. Her right leg had been injured by two bullets that had been fired through an upper floor door, where she had been hiding with her parents as robbers broke into their house. more..

Sri Lanka to clear canals in flood hit area of Colombo

June 1 (EN) Sri Lanka will launch an accelerated program to clean canals in a flood hit area in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo, which have been blocked due to unauthorised landfills and no maintenance, a minister said. Information Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said a study by the Department of Irrigation and the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation has found that the canals had not been maintained, which had delayed the drainage of flood waters. more..

IGP to visit Jaffna to direct crime control

June 1 (DN) IGP Pujith Jayasundara will visit Jaffna during the first week of June to personally supervise crime control activities in the peninsula, Minister Mano Ganesan said. He said Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka and Ministry Secretary Jagath Wijeweera would accompany the IGP. “I discussed the uncontrollable crime wave in Jaffna with the IGP on Monday and discussed the same with the subject minister more..

400 acres in North to be returned to owners

June 1 (Hindu) Sri Lankan Army is planning to return shortly 400 acres of land in the Northern Province to its owners. This includes 200 acres in Tellipalai, Jaffna. Asked how soon the release of lands will take place, the official at the Resettlement Ministry said: It may be in a few weeks. Since Maithirpala Sirisena became President in January last year, 2,175.5 acres in the North and 1,055 acres in the East have been returned to owners or made available for resettlement. more..

GMOA to file legal action against Chathura Senaratne

June 1 (AD) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has been invited for an urgent discussion with the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine. Issuing a statement, the Secretary of GMOA Dr Nalinda Herath stated that the discussion will take place at 9.00pm today (01). The GMOA staged a token strike at govt hospitals across the island yesterday against alleged irregularities which have taken place with regard to post-internship appointments. more..

Norway to support resettlement process in Sri Lanka’s north

June 1 (AD) The Norwegian Govt says it has decided to financially support people to re-start the livelihood activities and promote the resettlement process in Sri Lanka’s war-affected Northern Province. “It is very important for people to return to their original places and re-established their lives,” Norway’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Tore Hattrem, said at Valalai in Jaffna while visiting the Norwegian funded UNDP programme on Wednesday. more..

Treasury repeats PB: Rajitha

June 1 (DM) Treasury gave me the same reason that was given by former Treasury Secretary Dr. PB. Jayasundera, for higher taxation on vehicle imports, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. “I used to talk with former Finance Ministry and Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera after increasing the taxes on vehicles during former Govt. Dr. Jayasundera used to say that vehicle taxes were increased for earning higher tax revenue to the Govt,” he said. “When I asked the present Treasury, it also gave what more..

Sri Lanka new tax shock for non-electric cars

June 1 (EN) Sri Lanka's latest revision of taxes on cars has triggered price rises across the board, except for totally electric-powered smaller vehicles, but hardly any were cleared Tuesday, two days after the new rates kicked in. After days of confusion about what is going up and what is coming down, official figures showed that petrol-driven small cars were also going up, with the exception of hybrid 660cc Suzuki cars. "I have a Suzuki Stingray at the port, but customs have still not told me more..

Court order vindicates Vijitha Herath from mud campaign

June 1 (LT) The case with regard to the accident that occurred when the double cab driven by JVP MP Vijitha Herath crashed into a telephone pole when attempting to save the life of a pedestrian was heard in Colombo Magistrates Court today. Additional Magistrate Chandana Kalansuriya acquitted Mr. Herath but ordered to pay Rs 1500/= govt fee for not been able to avoid an accident. However, he was acquitted from more..

Sri Lanka ratifies Trade Facilitation Agreement with WTO

June 1 (CG) Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the WTO in Geneva Ambassador R.D.S. Kumararatne has presented to Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of WTO the Instrument of Acceptance of the Protocol on Trade Facilitation. Sri Lanka is the 81st Member to deposit its Instrument of Acceptance with the WTO on the ratification of Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the WTO. Once the two-third (108) of the current membership deposits its Instrument of Acceptance, more..

Video: Vijtha Herath has set an example to entire country: Anura

June 1 (AD) Leader of the JVP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, says that JVP is a civilized party which has produced disciplined individuals and that the example set by MP Vijitha Herath is important to all the people. He stated that the accident, which took place on Monday night in Rajagiriya, occurred when the MP attempting to avoid hitting a pedestrian who crossed the road crashed into a telephone pole on the road side. JVP leader inquired whether saving that individual from being run over more..

Video: Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement being studied

June 1 (CNA) A possible Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) is being studied, with both countries keen on pursuing the deal, Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry said. The FTA is expected to comprise of commitments in trade in goods, services, investment and govt procurement. Trade Minister S Iswaran who is in Colombo, said a decision whether to proceed could be taken soon. more..

Railway fine for ticketless commuters increased

June 1 (DM) Railway department had increased the penalty fine to Rs 3,000 for those who travel without tickets with effect from today, Railway Commercial Superintendent A.D.G. Seneviratne said. “According to the instructions of Transport Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva Railways Department had increased the fine with effect from today,” he said. Earlier, a commuter traveling in the third class compartment without a ticket had to pay a fine of Rs. 900, a second class compartment more..

Video: Why was Vijitha Herath provided a state vehicle, Jayakody asks

June 1 (AD) The authorities must clarify on which basis a government owned vehicle was provided to JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath, UPFA MP Sisira Jayakody asserted. The observation was made while speaking a t a press conference held in Colombo this afternoon (01). “Why he was provided with a government owned vehicle? and if so, why the driver of the vehicle was not inside at the time of the accident? must be answered,” Jayakody said. He pointed out as far as he knows more..

President asks Ministers & MPs to visit weather affected victims at least once a week

June 1 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to the relevant Ministers and MPs to visit the areas affected by the recent adverse weather conditions, at least once a week to look into the welfare of the affected people and to ascertain their requirements. He gave these instructions during the Kegalle District Coordinating Committee meeting held at the Kegalle Town Hall, today. President also instructed the officials more..

Call for fit and proper test for CB governors following bond controversy

June 1 (EN) A governance activist has called for fit and proper tests when appointing the governor of the Central Bank following conflicts of interests involving the incumbent Arjuna Mahendran and allegations of bond auction rigging and insider dealing. Chandra Jayaratne, a former head of Sri Lanka's Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, wrote to President Maithripala Sirisena asking only persons free of conflicts of interest to be appointed as Central Bank Governor. more..

Sri Lankan delegation visits historic Buddhist Monastery at Takht-i-Bhai

June 1 (DT) The Sri Lankan delegation to Pakistan led by Minister Daya Gamage and Deputy Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Anuma Gamage visited the historic Buddhist site at Takht-i-Bahi (Throne of Origins) in Mardan. According to a press release issued on Wednesday, University of Paradeniya’s Emeritus Dr Madduma Bandara said during the visit that these archaeological sites were considered most sacred and important for the Buddhists all over the world. more..

Sri Lanka reverses draconian passport rule on asylum seekers

June 1 (EN) The govt decided to end the draconian regulations imposed by the previous regime to deprive passports to nationals who had fled the country fearing persecution. Rajapaksa administration in 20111 had ordered all Sri Lankan missions not to issue fresh passports to nationals who had claimed asylum overseas depriving them of an opportunity to return home. "The govt has issued a circular today ending the restrictive practice more..

Eastern Province Chief Minister and maximising civilian space

June 2 (GV) The recent verbal fracas involving the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province and a Navy officer, a Captain who is the commander of the Vidura Naval Training camp, has resulted in unfortunate tensions, where non needed to have occurred and created a situation where saner counsel needs to prevail and the wider national interest in post war reconciliation needs to be preserved. The incident itself was a very local affair and that it caught national attention shows more..

Central Bank’s profits/losses have no relevance for its conduct of monetary policy

June 2 (CT) Several newspaper articles have appeared recently with regard to the losses incurred by the Central Bank for the third consecutive year in 2015. A critic has alleged that the continuously loss-making Central Bank is no better than SriLankan Airlines. It was further argued that when a central bank becomes bankrupt with a negative networth due to continued losses, the public as the owners of the central bank are required to recapitalize the bank at great costs. more..

Coming to grips with nature's fury

June 2 (SO) In the aftermath of the worst disaster in a decade, experts began forecasting the future, including the island's vulnerability to flooding, cyclones and landslides. SL mainly experiences flash floods and fluvial or river floods. Flash floods are caused by heavy rainfall. Independent of an overflowing water body, river floods occur when excessive rainfall over an extended period of time causes a river to more..

Editorial: Absurd arguments

June 2 (Island) Nobody cuts a more pathetic figure than a person who tries to defend the indefensible. Some government politicians have sought to justify the recent tax increases which have sent the prices of essential commodities and services into the stratosphere. A new tax structure anent vehicles has shattered many a middle class person’s dream of owning a basic car due to steep price increases. Ordinary people no longer can afford even trishaws. Minister John Amaratunga was the first to more..

School dropouts: Implications for social advancement

June 2 (DN) At 15, Selvi Sivakumar left her school in Pussellawa. She completed Grade 10 and dropped out to work as a housemaid in Colombo. “I was just fed up with schooling,” she said. For 10 years, her journey to school took two hours, by bus and on foot. “The school is far. We would leave home at 6am to get to school at 8am. Even then, we would be late. They would punish us for it," she said. Around 30-40 students who took the bus to school were punished for late attendance. more..