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Why war crime trials and a political solution cannot go together ?

June 14 (DM) President Sirisena has once again ruled out foreign judges to probe the allegations of war crimes in the final phase of the war. He said instead the govt would obtain foreign technical assistance for investigations. His remarks came on the eve of UNHRC’s 32nd sessions which begin in Geneva. Earlier, PM Wickremesinghe addressed at least some concerns of the security forces of which officers fear that alleged war crimes trials would in effect turn into a mass witch-hunt. more..

'Suggested Gota as a level two leader'

June 14 (DM) With the controversial statement made by Minister John Senevirathne suggesting that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa be appointed as the second in command of the SLFP; there were many who made their observations. Q: In the motion brought against Minister Ravi Karunanayake, had you all voted in support of him? A: Yes, we decided to vote against the no-confidence motion, it is obligatory as far as more..

Explosive revelations

June 14 (SL) Military sources say, had the entire stock of ammunition previously stored at the Salawa ammunition been there at the time of the blast, the damage to life and property caused by the blast would have been unprecedented. Prior to the incident, almost one third of the ammunition stocks at Salawa had been transferred to the Veyangoda armoury. The fire is believed to have started near the log commander’s office at more..

More families shifted to safety from slide risk

June 14 (ST) More families were evacuated from the Kithulgala area over landslide fears this week and warnings are still in force in relation to several areas in the Kegalle, Ratnapura and Kandy districts as wet conditions prevail. In the latest incident, 145 families were permanently evacuated after landslide warnings in the Yatiyantota Divisional Secretariat in the Kegalle District. more..

FCID questions Keheliya over Rs.20Mn accident compensation

June 14 (DM) Former Minister Keheliya Rambukwella arrived at the FCID this morning after he was summoned in connection with a probe of claiming Rs.20 million from the President’s Fund as compensation for his accident in Australia. FCID commenced a probe recently following a statement made by Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake in Parliament regarding certain allegations involving MP Rambukwella more..

Postal workers’ go-slow: Over 300,000 letters pile up at Central Mail Exchange

June 14 (Island) More than 300,000 letters are stuck in the Central Mail Exchange, Colombo due to a go-slow by postal workers from midnight on Sunday. All 28 trade unions of the Postal Department launched the trade union action to win 15 demands. They threaten to resort to a strike unless their demands are met within one week. Co-Convener of Postal Service Joint Trade Union Front H.K. Kariyawasam said their main demands more..

Draft Customs Code godsend for racketeers, say unionists

June 14 (Island) All Customs Unions are poised to launch a strike if the government goes ahead with its decision to present controversial Customs Code to Parliament on June 20. The existing Customs Ordinance was time tested and had been updated more than 50 times to meet the country’s requirements and there was absolutely no need strap it, Independent Govt Trade Union Org Customs General Secretary said. more..

Woman, paramour arrested for beating two-year-old to death

June 14 (DM) A woman and her paramour, who killed the former’s 2-year-old son by beating with a broomstick and buried the body on a land near the latter’s house, were taken into custody by the Mahiyangana Police yesterday. The woman admitted her involvement in the incident under interrogation. The woman who had separated from her husband lived in a rented house while being employed at a garment factory. more..

Leading Tamil diaspora groups in the US slam Sumanthiran

June 14 (CG) Tamil diaspora groups in the US have slammed TNA MP M A Sumanthiran alleging he is visiting Washington DC to support the Sri Lankan Govt. Tamils for Obama and American Tamil Forum said Sumanthiran is going to speak at a non- official body at the US Congress along with Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US Prasad Kariyawasam. “If history is of any guide, instead of speaking up for the Tamils, more..

Army conducts awareness programme for students on Exploded & Unexploded Devices

June 14 (MoD) In the backdrop of the Salawa Army ammunition store fire security forces personnel engaged in clearing and reconstruction work carried out awareness programmes at schools in the Kosgama area to educate children on Exploded and Unexploded Devices. According to Army media sources the awareness programmes were conducted by the troops of the Sri Lanka Army Engineers at Sumedha Maha Vidyalaya, more..

'No-confidence motion didn’t target govt'

June 14 (DN) A no-confidence motion was not brought against the govt, but against the conduct of Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Former Minister DEW Gunasekera said. He said a no-confidence motion was brought not to defeat the govt. “The no-confidence motion was brought against the conduct of Minister Ravi Karunanayake. Country’s foreign exchange level has been higher since the enactment of Exchange Control Act of 1953. more..

Finance minister & CB treasury bond scam

June 14 (CT) In a TV appearance by the Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake (Face the Nation Programme) the subject of the CBSL Treasury Bond issue came up for discussion. The FM in his opinion expressed several concerns in defending the Governor Arjuna Mahendran, and inter-alia, asked has any body calculated any loss arising out of this allegation. In fact, he categorically asked “what was the loss to the govt as a result of the Bond deal of February 2015? more..

Lifting exchange control may not be the best solution

June 14 (CT) Last week, the govt announced its plans to lift the six-decades-old restrictions on foreign exchange flows and allow a free transfer of money in and out of the island, to encourage investments in the struggling economy. The country tightly controls foreign currency transactions under, Exchange Control Act, 1953 which prevents free repatriation of capital, in an effort to protect its modest foreign reserves. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had told Parliament that more..

President feeding crooks to stay in power

Sri Lankan shares end lower on interest rate, foreign outflow worries

June 14 (Reuters) Shares closed lower on Tuesday, slipping from a more than one-week high hit in the previous session, on concerns over rising interest rates and foreign fund outflows. Treasury bill yields have risen between 16 and 36 basis points to near three-year highs in the last three weekly auctions through Wednesday despite the central bank leaving key policy rates steady for a third straight month on May 20. Stockbrokers said a rise in interest rates could be detrimental to risky assets if more..

Govt backers fill low-lying land: K’gala Mayor helpless

June 14 (Island) Some govt supporters were engaged in filling lowlands near the Kurunegala town rendering the entire area prone to floods, Kurunegala Mayor Gamini Peremunage said. He said that the govt backers were reclaiming low-lying areas including a paddy field near the Ayurvedic Hospital, Medalanda Watte and Lakeside in the Kurunegala tank bund with impunity. A plot of paddy field encompassing around nine acres near the Kurunegala Ayurvedic hospital was being more..

Video: JO to protest Mahendran's reappointment

June 14 (DM) Joint opposition has decided to launch a protest from June 24 to 30 against the reappointment of Arjuna Mahendran to the post of Central Bank Governor after his term ends on June 30. Joint opposition member Bandula Gunawardena said they had written to President Sirisena by requesting him not to reappoint Mr. Mahendran. “The country’s economy is facing a crisis. Prices of essential commodities more..

University ragging: Kelaniya dons confine themselves to teaching

June 14 (Island) Kelaniya University teachers have decided to withdraw from all activities except teaching in protest against Student Council members’ hostile action against them. Secretary of Kelaniya Uni Teachers’ Association, senior lecturer, Kumudu Sumedha said that teachers had made that decision following the arrest and subsequent release on bail of three of their colleagues. She said they had been arrested on a false complaint made by some students involved in ragging. more..

Sri Lanka pledges not to curb import freedoms of citizens during IMF deal

June 14 (EN) Sri Lanka has agreed not curb citizen's freedom to import goods or slap direct or hidden exchange controls on people known as multiple currency practices' under a deal agreed with the IMF but will instead have to follow prudent monetary policy. Central bank printed money tofinance a profligate budget in 2015 instead of raising interest rates and triggered a balance of payments crisis with currency diving to 147 to the US dollar from 131 unit before the crisis. more..

IMF program sets inflation ceiling as key target

June 14 (EN) Central bank has been given an inflation ceiling as a key target for the first time in deal the IMF as the country attempts to emerge from the its latest balance of payments crisis. Under a monetary policy consultation clause, program will be suspended if inflation reaches 8.2% by the year end, indicating that it has the status similar to a performance criteria. If the CB generates inflation of over 6.7% to hurt the poor by end 2016, more..

Niluka praises Gampola cops

June 14 (Island) Gampola police have received plaudits from Central Province Governor Niluka Ekanayake for action taken to ensure the cleanliness of the Gampola town. Governor has, in a letter of appreciation addressed to OIC of Gampola police, praised the police for taking action against those responsible for polluting environment. She has responded to media reports that highlighted steps taken by Gampola police together with Gampola MC to deal with litterbugs. more..

Nalaka Thero warns the Joint Opposition

June 14 (AD) For the sake of innocent people, the Joint Opposition should get to the streets and do more for the people, Leader of the Jathika Emamuthuwa Venerable Bengamuwe Nalaka Thero says. The observation was made at a press conference held in Colombo. “Is the Joint Opposition in sleeping mode? Because likely it has no intention to look into people’s real matters,” Nalaka Thero added. The Thero also stressed that they warn the Joint Opposition to change its stance soon. more..

Video: Cocaine worth Rs.1.8 Bn seized

June 14 (AD) A stock of drugs believed to be cocaine has been discovered inside a container which had arrived from Brazil by customs officers at the Orugodawatta container yard. The drugs were found inside 3 bags which were inside the container, which had been registered as a shipment of sugar. The drugs weigh around 91 kilograms with the three bags while the value is yet to be estimated. more..

Vengeful teacher ridicules student

June 14 (CT) A teacher at a school in Kandalama, Dambulla has instructed other students of a Grade 10 class, to write I am a fool on the back of the uniform of one student who had drawn a few lines with a pen on a student's hand. The parents' of this student it is reported are planning on entering the student to another school since she had been upset over this particular incident. The mother of the student who faced this incident is also a teacher at the same school. more..

Tiran allowed to travel overseas for medical treatments

June 14 (DM) Former MP Tiran Alles was granted permission by Colombo High Court Judge to travel abroad to seek medical treatment. Court allowed him to travel to Singapore for two weeks within next three months to be treated under the supervision of his specialist doctor. Alles was suspected to have allegedly involved in a fraud of Rs. 167 million at RADA purportedly set up to reconstruct houses for tsunami-affected people and an inquiry was conducted at Fort Magistrate's Court. more..

New Customs Ordinance; paves way for business tycoons

June 14 (CT) The so-called good governance govt has drafted a Bill for a new Customs Act, to replace the world's oldest Customs Ordinance which SL has been implementing, to safeguard and facilitate several business tycoons. Trade Unions of SL Customs protest the draft Bill and vow to defeat it by exerting maximum pressure. Customs generate 50% to 54% of State revenue. Trade Unions allege the new Bill has diluted more..

Sri Lanka marks out of 10

June 14 (CI) 7: Nuwan Pradeep (10 wickets at 31.60) Occasionally expensive, but often the most incisive in the attack, Pradeep moved the ball either way off the seam, prompting shots as bad as his haircut and sparking hope as thin as his limbs. In Sri Lanka's final bowling innings of the series at Lord's he left three sets of stumps splayed - this time, it wasn't because he had fallen into them. Team-mates dropped several catches off him and their was also Rod Tucker's erroneous no-ball. more..

No need for a second SLFP leader: Harrison

June 14 (DM) Commenting on issue of appointing former Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa as the second leader of the SLFP, Minister P. Harrison said there was no necessity for such an appointment as the present leader of the party, President was capable of handling the party. “President Sirisena had been working as the General Secretary of the party for some years and won few elections. President is an experienced man with more than 40 years in politics and therefore more..

Glyphosate banned, but new pesticide far worse: Expert

June 14 (AD) A new pesticide named Glufosinate which is reportedly 15 times more powerful than the banned pesticide Glyphosate has been registered in SL. Dr. Channa Jayasumana of the Department of Pharmacology of Rajarata University claims the new pesticide is already available in stores which can be harmful for people. The side effects of Glufosinate may harm male reproductive system and may lead to more..

Chinese envoy visits Jaffna, offers assistance for development

June 14 (CG) China today offered assistance to develop the northern province which was badly affected by a 30 year war. The Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang met Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray in Jaffna today and discussed the developments in the North. The Chinese Ambassador had told the Governor that China and Sri Lanka enjoy strong historical ties and that the relationship must be taken forward, the Governor’s media office said. more..

Friendly ties with other countries, not a sign of selling out Sri Lanka's interests: Sirisena

June 14 (Hindu) President Maithripala Sirisena has dismissed the criticism that his govt’s foreign policy amounts to betrayal of interests of the country. Addressing a seminar, Mr. Sirisena, who was present throughout the event that lasted around two and a half hours, explained how his govt had been able to re-establish very good ties with major countries and this had come in for criticism that he (Mr. Sirisena) was selling out the country’s interests to foreign powers. more..

Sri Lanka economy faces risks from policy inaction, external environment: IMF

June 14 (Reuters) The IMF said on Tuesday that Sri Lanka's economic outlook is facing risks from the govt's inaction on key policies and a significant deterioration in the external environment. Sri Lanka's finances are in a precarious situation because of high external debt, partly due to heavy infrastructure borrowing under the previous govt. SL is also facing a balance of payments crisis due to heavy foreign outflows from govt securities. more..

Aussie teenager of Lankan origin dreams of playing football in Europe

June 14 (E24|7) A 15-year-old Australian of SL origin with a passion for football is determined to pursue his ambition of playing in Europe after learning the Barcelona way in their academy in Dubai. Born to Sri Lankan parents in Sydney, Muhammed Ijaz Miskin is a gangly teenager who showed amazing striking ability at an early age and is a gifted athlete. “I have been playing football since 6 or 7. I just started playing for fun. I watch a bit of cricket but mainly play football. more..

SL’s 65,000 disappeared: Will the latest missing persons’ office bring answers?

June 14 (Wire) A few days ago I was with Mauri Inoka, whose husband disappeared in September 2013. She was protesting on the pavement of a major road in Colombo, close to the presidential secretariat, sweltering in the heat, with her twin children, aged about two-and-half years, born just two months after their father disappeared. The children seemed tired, hungry and thirsty, and cried most of the time. Their mother tried to console them and spoke with determination more..

ETCA dispute: Doctors call for national policy on international pacts

June 14 (Island) Govt doctors have joined forces with their ayurvedic counterparts to launch a fresh battle against the proposed India-Lanka Economic and Technological Cooperative Agreement (ETCA). Addressing a press conference, President of GMOA Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said a group of intellectuals who drafted the ETCA with the blessings of the govt had sought to subjugate Sri Lanka’s national interests to that of India. more..

Govt begins payment of allowances to Kosgama victims

June 14 (AD) The payment of allowances of Rs 50,000 per month for three months to those whose houses were fully damaged or partly damaged due to the recent fire at Salawa army camp in Kosgama, will commence from today, Secretary of Disaster Management Ministry S.S. Miyanawala said. The payments will be made to the owners of houses which have already been assessed for damages. Treasury has allocated Rs.100 million to assist people affected due to the recent fire at more..

Ampara to Exhibit the most sacred Buddhist relics from Taxila Pakistan

June 14 (AT) Most Sacred Relics of Lord Buddha from Pakistan will be exhibited in Mangalagiri Rajamaha Viharaya, Ampara, for two days from June 14-15, 2016. The sacred relics include two holy bone relics of the Buddha, a golden casket containing the relics and a stone reliquary in stupa shape. These holy relics are part of collection from Taxila Museum of Pakistan, which is located at one of the most important archaeological sites in Asia. Land of Gandhara where the celebrated faith more..

US says it stands very firmly on the need for accountability in Sri Lanka

June 14 (CG) US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal says the US stood very firmly on the need for respect for human rights and the need for a process of accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Speaking during the session hosted by The Program on Peace-building and Human Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights and more..

What Poddala Jayantha means to us

June 15 (CT) I do not know Poddala Jayantha personally. However, I have felt for several years and still strongly feel that I as a human being, and we as Sri Lankans, owe a serious obligation to him. I remember the first day I heard about the cruel way he was dealt with some 7 years back. Though no stranger to the extreme forms of cruelties that have taken place in Sri Lanka in the recent decades, or perhaps because of the knowledge of these things, what I heard about this incident more..

Testing time for UN & Sri Lanka

June 15 (CT) How much longer can Sri Lanka, albeit old or new regime, cajole and fool the United Nations? While the world awaits with bated breath for the UN High Commissioner’s oral report on Sri Lanka, this article endeavours to list in brief the various UN Panels’ core findings from 2010 – 2016 as well as the findings of other international human rights agencies which conducted their own investigations as to the commissions and omissions of Sri Lanka’s security forces more..