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Unauthorized constructions must be stopped: DMC Chief

June 2 (CT) We experienced the bitter taste of Mother Nature's wrath during the last couple of weeks. A storm that had been brewing for days in the Bay of Bengal caused torrential rain, flooding and a deadly landslide resulting in more than 100 unfortunate deaths and affecting over 400,000 individuals. Many innocent lives were shattered due to this disaster of epic proportions. The cyclone's heavy rain triggered a devastating landslide more..

White Vans & unlawful detention under PTA

June 2 (GV) Rasathurai Jeyanthan, from Nunavil, Jaffna, was abducted in a white van, and was later found to be in custody of the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) last month. He was taken away from his home on 10th April, 2016, by unidentified men in civil clothes claiming to be from the police. His family who saw him being taken away was asked to go to the Vavuniya and Boossa detention facilities by the abductors, but they were only able to establish his whereabouts and more..

War heros and crocodile tears

June 2 (DN) Wimal Weerawansa’s NFF and several other Sinhala Buddhist ultra-nationalist organisations staged a protest opposite the UN office in Colombo, in 2012, against a resolution presented on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC session. The resolution, needless to say, was a worry for the Rajapaksa administration and the protestors were explicit supporters of the previous regime. Rajapaksa administration had immense faith in gung-ho diplomacy and they assumed some drama opposite more..


The recent floods, A catalyst for communal harmony

June 2 (CT) The common practice of humans building homes and towns near rivers and other bodies of water (i.e., within natural floodplains) has contributed to the disastrous consequences of floods. These natural floodplains are converted from fields, marshes or woodlands to roads and parking lots, it then loses its ability to absorb rainfall. At the discussion in Parliament on the damage caused by the floods, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe pointed out that about 1,000 acres of land more..

The Losses of Central Bank

June 2 (Island) A prominent economist in Sri Lanka contends in a series of articles published recently that the continuously loss-making Central Bank is no better than Sri Lankan Airlines. In his essay he pointed out that the Central Bank made losses for the third year in succession in 2015, resulting in a depletion of its capital base. It appears that his motive in raising this argument is to impress upon the public that the present administration of Central Bank is lacking the required competencies more..

Chandi on filling the big shoes of Sangakkara

June 2 (Island) In different eras of our Test cricket, we have had a hero on whose shoulders the team’s batting rested. In early 1980s, Roy Dias shouldered those burdens before passing the baton onto Aravinda de Silva. When Aravinda reached the twilight of his career, Kumar Sangakkara took over. Dinesh Chandimal seems to be the anointed one in current era. He may not have Sanga’s consistency but what he has is Aravinda’s flare. more..

CEAT to invest Rs 800 million to increase radial capacity by 75%

June 2 (Island) CEAT Sri Lanka has announced it will invest Rs 800 million over the next 12 months to substantially expand its radial tyre manufacturing capacity in the country to supply growing local and export demand. The company, which currently has a 30% share of the radial tyre market and supplies nearly half of Sri Lanka’s overall requirement of pneumatic tyres, said the investment would increase radial tyre production by 75 per cent, from 40,000 tyres a month to 70,000. more..

Cabinet nod for $ 147 m road upgrade in Kandy and Galle

June 2 (FT) Megapolis and Western Development Ministry has received Cabinet approval to spend $ 147 million from the International Development Agency to improve infrastructure in Kandy and Galle. A portion of the funds will be used to rehabilitate and improve Dharmashoka Mawatha, Katugastota-Madawala road and Madawala- Digana road, according to the Cabinet paper submitted by the Ministry. Approval was also given for a second Cabinet paper jointly submitted by more..

Never again

June 2 (FT) Govt’s ambitious truth and justice project is only as successful as its recognition of the real victims transitional justice mechanisms are supposed to serve and its ability to convince the entire country of the desperate need to acknowledge pain on both sides of the ethnic divide in order to reconcile On a rain-washed evening in Kilinochchi about three weeks ago, Saraswathi Ramasamy related a story, her words more..

South Eastern Uni symposium a success

June 2 (CT) "Organizing a symposium of this nature is vital importance to enhance one's knowledge and gain vast experience. Although this is big task and challenge, the University Community must concentrate in this venture with full of enthusiasm. In this context the interest shown by our academics is highly appreciable and I sincerely thank those who have taken great interest to make this symposium a great success," said Vice-Chancellor of South Eastern University, Prof. M.M.M. Najim. more..

Govt claims GMOA strike a failure

June 2 (Island) The Govt claimed that the doctors’ strike had failed to cripple services at State Hospitals. Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said hospitals countrywide had functioned without much difficulty on Tuesday. "Out Patient Departments, Emergency and Accident Services at national hospitals operated without a hitch." The GMOA struck work demanding that the Health Ministry rectify the post-intern appointment list for 2016, which it alleged had been tampered with. more..

Private buses will charge extra: LPBOA

June 2 (DM) An extra percentage would be charged from private bus passengers taking into consideration the cost of fuel wasted due to delays caused by traffic congestion, from July 1, said LPBOA Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne. He said such a decision would be taken if the government did not take action to reduce the number of private vehicles on the road. “The recent tax increment was mainly on luxury vehicles, but more..

Vijitha Herath denies vehicle driven by hiim was govt owned

June 2 (CT) JVP MP Vijitha Herath has rejected allegations by the Joint Opposition that the vehicle driven by him on Monday night which crashed into a telephone post was govt owned. “This is utter lies, the vehicle belongs to me, which I have had since 2012 and I continue to pay the lease to the Bank of Ceylon for it,” he said. UPFA MP Sisira Jayakody, who represents the Joint Opposition alleged that Herath was driving a govt owned vehicle at the time of the accident on Monday night. more..

A lesson from Kaushal on how to play seamers

June 2 (Island) Sri Lanka came up with a much improved effort in their second innings of the second Test against England here at Chester-le-Street. There was a century and three half-centuries in the Sri Lankan innings and the game was stretched well into day four as the tourists avoided successive innings defeat. Openers Kaushal Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne played pivotal roles in Sri Lanka’s improved effort making their top scores in the series. Kaushal came up with some new tactics more..

India, Lanka officials yet to discuss change of fuel in Sampoor power plant

June 2 (ENS) Indian and Sri Lankan officials are yet to discuss the conversion of the proposed 500 MW power plant at Sampoor in Eastern Sri Lanka from a coal-based one to one based on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), despite Indian PM Narendra Modi’s assurance to SL President Maithripala Sirisena in mid-May, that he will ask his officials to talk to their Lankan counterparts about it. Informed sources said, more..

TN fishermen urges CM Jayalalithaa to seeks talks to end dispute

June 2 (PTI) Condemning the arrest of seven Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy near Katchatheevu, a fishermen body here today urged Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to seek Centre's intervention and arrange for talks between the fishermen community of the two countries to resolve the dispute over fishing in traditional areas. Referring to the arrest of the seven fishermen from this island town yesterday while fishing near Katchatheevu, an islet ceded by India to SL in the 1970s, more..

'Sri Lanka undertaking fundamental review of trade policy'

June 2 (DN) Sri Lanka is undertaking a fundamental review of its trade policy to get country’s trade -to -GDP ratio back up at least to the 89% recorded in 2000, Minister Malik Samarawickrama said. Speaking at SL–Singapore Business Forum held, he said exports have also been disincentivized by the fact that the real effective exchange rate has often been overvalued. “We recognize the need to implement bold measures to eliminate the anti-export bias in our policy framework. more..

Missing Persons Commission says over 3,000 duplicated complaints

June 2 (FT) The Presidential Commission Investigating Cases of Missing Persons (PCICMP) is now sorting out over 19,000 complaints on missing loved ones received from civilians since 1980 in order to identify the duplicated complaints. PCICMP, which was established by former President Rajapaksa, has now been terminated and was instructed by the Govt to hand over all its files of investigations to the proposed more..

Knitwear institute plans MoU with Sri Lankan institute

June 2 (Hindu) NIFT-TEA Knitwear Institute, promoted by Tirupur garment exporters, plans to sign a MoU with Sri Lanka Institute of Textile and Apparel shortly to seek expertise on production management. Tie-up is gains significance as the Lankan Institute is known for producing some of the best technical experts in production technology and management. The alumni of the Institute are posted in key managerial positions across the globe, including in clusters such as Tirupur. more..

Police look for businessman who falsely complained of being robbed

June 2 (Island) A senior police officer investigating a complaint lodged by a fruit businessman that he was relieved of Rs. 500,000 by an armed man after stopping his cab in the Madawachchiya police area on May 1 has drawn the conclusion that it was a false entry. He said the police would take legal action against the complainant as the doctor who examined him after he was admitted to hospital had found no evidence of any assault. The complainant had gone missing from the hospital more..

Dual citizenship given to 1,885 more

June 2 (CT) Sri Lanka on Tuesday (31) granted dual citizenship to another 1,885 applicants at a function held at the BMICH. The govt has already received around 10,000 applications for Dual Citizenship and this would be the seventh time that dual citizenship privileges were being granted to new applicants. Applications for dual citizenship had been received from Sri Lankans resident in Australia, Italy, England and US. more..

Title deeds data vanish from Kandy MC

June 2 (DN) Data relating to land title deeds held at the Lands Unit of the Kandy Municipal Council, has been misplaced, Kandy Municipal Councillor Ananda Sarath Kumara said. Sarath Kumara said he had repeatedly raised the issue at council meetings. As there was no response to the issue he urged that the case be reported to the CID for investigations. He was informed by a letter that the matter had been reported to the CID for investigations, but although he received a letter saying more..

President evacuated from Shangri-La fire

June 2 (AFP) President Maithripala Sirisena was evacuated Wednesday night from a fire at a luxury beach hotel minutes after presiding over its opening ceremony. Sparks from fireworks hit a straw-roofed beach hut at the 300-room Shangri-La following the ribbon-cutting and triggered the fire at the hotel in Hambantota, president's spokesman Dharmasri Bandara said. "The president had just walked back to the hotel while the fireworks display was still on," Bandara told AFP. more..

‘Most people unhappy with political culture’

June 2 (Island) Chairman of the Public Representation Committee on Constitutional Reforms, Lal Wijenayake said the committee members had visited all districts and discussed with over 2,000 people from all walks of life about constitutional reforms that had to be effected, while another 3,000 had contacted them via e-mails, letters and telephone in that regard. "People were quite unhappy about political culture in the country, more..

Holcim to exit US$150mn a year cement business in Sri Lanka

June 2 (EN) Switzerland-based LafargeHolcim, a materials group, is exiting Sri Lanka's cement business where it operated the island's only integrated factory and had annual business volumes of US$ 150 million. A spokesperson said the decision to sell Holcim Lanka was part of a larger global divestment strategy of the Swiss materials group. Market sources say at least three Sri Lanka based firms are vying to buy the firm including a diversified listed company and more..

Simon to play key role in moulding top cricketers

June 2 (DN) Simon Willis, the newly recruited Sri Lanka Cricket High Performance Manager, hopes to bridge the gap between domestic cricketers and national cricketers and also eyes to have a load of bench players, who can replace the national side at any moment, told the journalist in his inaugural press conference held at Sri Lanka Cricketer Headquarters, yesterday. The 42-year-old Englishman, who became the youngest Level 4 qualified coach in the world at the age of 29, more..

Explanation sought from those named in Panama Papers et al

June 2 (Island) The govt has sought explanation from those who had been recently named in the leaked Panama Papers as well as during 2013 for having offshore holdings. The 2013 revelation pertaining to 42 Sri Lankans had been made by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) also involved in investigation into Panama Papers. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that they had been given more..

'No epidemics reported from flood affected areas'

June 2 (DN) No epidemics have been reported from flood-affected areas or any other area in the country so far, Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. He said 59 special teams are working hard to ensure the health of the victims of recent adverse weather conditions. Each team consisted of two doctors, two nurses, a dispenser and an attendant. All OPDs of state hospitals in Colombo and Gampaha have been kept open till 8 pm for the benefit the affected people, he said. more..

Rajitha challenges GMOA to produce second Medical Intern List

June 2 (Island) Prior to a scheduled meeting between Minister Rajitha Senaratne and govt medical officers last night, Minister said that there was only one Medical Intern List and not two as alleged. Minister that he was surprised at the allegation by GMOA that there were two Intern Lists. "Few days back the GMOA at a meeting with me signed a fresh Medical Intern List. Now they say that there are two lists. If so let them produce it. They can bring it to the meeting with me tonight." more..

Sri Lanka to gradually ban house maids abroad amid abuses, social cost

June 2 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will gradually stop sending house maids abroad, mainly to the Middle East, due to rights abuses, social costs and a local labour shortage, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Sri Lanka's expatriate workers, mainly house maids and unskilled labourers, send back remittances - the island nation's main foreign exchange earner - that help earn around $7 billion a year for the $82.2 billion economy. more..

One country, one law

June 2 (DM) Here’s a challenge: Name a country that is mono-ethnic, mono-religious and monolithic in terms of political beliefs. There are none. In SL we have Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and other communities. Some are Buddhists, some are Hindus, some are Christians of various denominations and some are Muslims. There are atheists other than Buddhists and there are those who do not belong to any of the aforementioned religious communities. more..

Creativity: Dare to leap into the deep

June 2 (DM) In an era when one time science fiction is becoming factual, the US based National Aeronautis and Space Administration (NASA) sent one of its top scientist to Colombo to deliver yesterday a memorial tribute to internationally acclaimed space prophet Arthur C. Clarke, who was one of our most eminent guest citizens of the past few decades. Dr. Sarath Gunapala, Director of the Centre for Infrared Photo-detectors of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, more..

Local govt elections are due

June 2 (DM) As flood waters recede and relief aid pours in from the world, the political stage is poised to heat up with the demand for the restorations of the functions of local authorities by conducting LG elections as early as possible. The terms of the local authorities: municipal councils, urban councils and municipal councils, lapsed in 2014. They were then placed under special commissioners for a period of one year as provided by law, if the incumbent more..

WB provides US$ 55mn to develop Jaffna

June 2 (LBO) The World Bank has approved a 55 million US dollar loan to Sri Lanka to improve urban services, preserve cultural and environmental assets and improve livability in Jaffna. “The loan will add development of rapidly urbanizing Jaffna to the existing Strategic Cities Development Project (SCDP), which is supported by the World Bank and was originally approved in 2014,” the bank said in a statement. more..

Little coordination, no deterrent laws main reasons for landslide tragedies

June 2 (ST) The landslide at Aranayake killing 37 people and trapping hundreds of families under its heavy sludge underscores the importance of state organisations taking their responsibility seriously. It is on record that despite the NBRO declaring Aranayake as a highly hazardous place for habitation no action was taken to mitigate the danger. Chairman R.M.S. Bandara said that NBRO, a semi-govt organisation more..

JO wants all MPs to support no-confidence motion against Finance Minister

June 2 (Island) Joint Opposition (JO) requested all MPs to support the no-confidence motion against Minister Ravi Karunanayake for the sake of millions of Sri Lankans who had cast their vote to elect them. UPFA MP C.B. Ratnayake said that the no-confidence motion against Finance Minister would be taken up for debate in parliament after June 6. The JO handed over the motion to Speaker and has been listed for debate. more..

Prof. Vitarana asks why the haste to buy fighter jets for Air Force at a colossal cost

June 2 (Island) LSSP leader and former cabinet Minister Prof. Tissa Vitarana alleged that the govt was planning to buy new fighter jets for Sri Lanka Air Force spending a colossal sum at a time when there was no war or risk of foreign invasion. He said the government was going to allocate USD 400 million from the USD 1,500 loan which it had agreed to obtain from the World Bank and IMF to purchase new fighter jets. more..

Sri Lanka's top spies work for foreign interests after retirement

June 2 (EN) The heads of Sri Lanka's most controversial intelligence units implicated in several high profile politically-motivated murders have landed lucrative jobs with foreign organisations, official sources said. The former head of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) major general Kapila Hendavitharana is a security consultant to the Shangri-la hotels group which opens its first Sri Lanka hotel today. more..

Garbage pile-up delays return to normalcy

June 2 (CT) It has been two weeks since torrential rains caused several areas in Colombo and suburbs go under flood water. People in Kolonnawa and Wellampitiya, two of the worst hit areas, are now gradually trying to establish normalcy to their lives. Ceylon Today visited these areas in order to ascertain the cleaning activities taking place there. What greeted us was a pungent smell; a stark reminder of the garbage that was washed on more..