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5 fishermen rescued, remanded in Sri Lanka

June 24 (Hindu) Five fishermen from Tamil Nadu were on Thursday rescued by their Sri Lankan counterparts after their boat developed a snag off the island nation’s coastal waters. The fishermen were taken to the army camp at Velvettithurai. Later, they were produced in a court which remanded them in custody till July 7. They were stranded in midsea off Velvettithurai coast after their boat developed a snag, Joint Director of Fisheries Subbraj said. The fishermen, all of whom were from more..

Sirisena in fresh bid to checkmate Mahinda

June 24 (Island) In a desperate bid to thwart the formation of a new party led by former President Rajapaksa- in the run-up to forthcoming local govt polls, SLFP yesterday assured Rajapaksa loyalists nominations. Vast majority of members of dissolved local govt bodies have called for the formation of a new alliance under former President Rajapaksa's leadership. Urging Rajapaksa loyalists to reach an understanding with more..

CHC forays into Maldives with Rs 5 bn hotel

June 24 (DN) Ceylon Hotels Corporation (CHC) will invest over Rs.5 billion to build a 50 room hotel in the Maldives. All the rooms will be water bungalows. Hotels Corporation and Galle Face Hotels Chairman Sanjeev Gardiner said they have already started construction and the property will be opened by end 2017. The hotel is situated 30 minutes flying time from the Maldives airport or one and a half hour ride on the speed boat, in Ambaraaa island. Managing Director of the hotel, Chethiya Perera said more..

Delaying LG polls a rights violation

June 24 (CT) Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) charged the continuous postponement of LG polls citing various reasons by the govt is a clear infringement on the democratic rights of the public. Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, co/convener of CMEV made this remark during a press conference. He stated the responsibility was on the govt to conclude the report of the delimitation committee, to gazette it and to announce a timeline on when the LG polls will be held. more..

After 14 year battle, Right to Information law debated in Parliament

June 24 (FT) Bipartisan efforts launched in 2002 to introduce freedom of information laws finally succeeded yesterday after a space of nearly 15 years, with the Unity Govt moving the Right To Information Bill in Parliament in a bid to increase public access to information on state affairs and shed spotlights on corruption and losses. Govt is fulfilling a major campaign promise with the introduction of draft legislation with a vote on more..

Sri Lanka and Vietnam assured close cooperation in agriculture

June 24 (DM) Govts of Sri Lanka and Vietnam agreed to establish close cooperation in agriculture, technology-related to rice and other common crops. Both leaders, President Maithripala Sirisena and Vietnamese PM Ngyuyn Xuan Phuc reached this decision during the bilateral discussions held at the Nagoya Tokyu Hotel last month. President Sirisena invited Vietnamese entrepreneurs to invest in Sri Lanka and Vietnamese PM said that his country wanted to enhance bilateral relations more..

SL-SA U19 series for Gamini Dissanayake challenge trophy

June 24 (DN) Cricket South Africa and Sri Lanka Cricket have agreed to name the series after the late Gamini Dissanayake, an illustrious cricket administrator. The Gamini Dissanayake challenge trophy is the brain child of current Sri Lanka Cricket president Thilanga Sumathipala to honour the late Sri Lankan politician cum cricket board chairman who strived hard to earn Test status for the country. The first test of the series commenced at the P Sara Oval yesterday. more..

Thajudeen murder: CID to get CCTV report in August

June 24 (DM) Senior State Counsel Dilan Ratnayake told court that the CCTV footage relating to the inquiry over the murder of Ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen, has been sent to the British Columbia Laboratory- Canada for expert examination and the progress of the examination would be received by the CID by the first week of August. Counsel Anil Silva who appeared for the suspect former SDIG Anura Senanayeke, said that according to more..

'Celluloid gang operating in Jaffna'

June 24 (DM) A gang, inspired by violent scenes in South Indian cinema, is engaged in emulating them for various criminal activities in the Jaffna peninsula according to initial observations, Minister Sagala Ratnayake informed Parliament. Minister, in his statement tabled in the House in response to a question raised by EPDP leader Douglas Devananda earlier, said many such gangsters had been arrested and remanded He said in the statement that the gang called Ava Group more..

VAT: Matara erupts

June 24 (Island) Traders in the Matara district yesterday conducted a hartal closing as they did their shops against 15% VAT. The protest was organised by the Matara District Traders’ Association. Shops in Matara town, Akuressa, Deniyaya, Pitabeddara, Morawaka, Makandura, Hakmana, Kirinda, Weligama, Mirissa, Kamburupitiya, Thihagoda, Kekanadura, Dickwella, Devinuwara and Gandara remained closed for several hours and traders took to the streets. more..

Undergrads’ protest march halted with tear gas, water cannon

June 24 (Island) Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse a group of medical undergraduates who attempted to march towards Temple Trees yesterday. Two protesting students were injured. One of them was arrested and subsequently released by Kollupitiya Police. Police had to close the Galle Road from Kollupitiya junction due to the protest march. Several roads leading to High Level Road and surrounding roads more..

Sri Lanka plans to fix finance companies; IMF to help

June 24 (EN) Sri Lanka wants to set up a special purpose vehicle to fix troubled finance companies, with IMF standing by to help with technical assaistance. "Staff concurred with the authorities that continued efforts are needed to strengthen the legal framework for crisis preparedness and resolution," an IMF report said. "The Fund will work to provide technical assistance in support of ongoing work toward a resolution framework to deal with finance." The report said banks are generally more..

Moody’s downgrading seen as having ‘no major negative impact’ on banking sector

June 24 (Island) Moody’s Investors Service downgrading of three local commercial banks will not be having a major negative impact on the banking and financial sector in the country, Central Bank Deputy Governor Dr Nandalal Weerasinghe said. Moody's revised their rating outlooks to negative from stable for three banks, namely, People's Bank, HNB and Sampath Bank. "As the country's sovereign rating is downgraded it is obvious other sectors are also subjected to more..

Panama land grab: Environmentalists castigate Gamage

June 24 (Island) Environmentalists have alleged that Minister Daya Gamage is behind the land dispute in Panama in the Ampara District. ECT Director Sajeewa Chamikara, speaking on behalf of the environmental groups, said that Minister Gamage, who had encouraged the people in Panama to protect their land rights during the previous govt, was now trying to construct a luxury tourist hotel in the same area. more..

Lady Widow, arise from the ashes

June 24 (DM) Yesterday was a special and important day - the International Widows’ Day intended by the UN to focus attention on the staggering worldwide tragedy of around 259 million widows most of whom are often forced to live in abject poverty and suffer ill-treatment as an ostracized community. UN in a statement to mark the event says widows are often absent in statistics, unnoticed by researchers, neglected by national and local authorities and mostly overlooked by more..

Somawansa and the ethnic problem

June 24 (DM) Former JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghewho passed away last week seemed to have been a leftist politician of a different kind. When a group breaks away from a leftist party that group and the party hate each other more ferociously than they hate their so-called class enemy, the capitalist parties. But that was not the case with Amarasinghe who seemed to have been loved by almost all break away groups of the JVP as well as by the JVP from which he had broken more..

Defeating the deadly dengue

June 24 (DM) It is pandemic and has become a terror in many sub-tropical and tropical countries of the world. Especially after the heavy rains and floods, SL has become a country, which is gravely affected by this deadly disease. However, in the recent past the country has carried out many programmes towards eradication and prevention of dengue, such as awareness programmes for the public, regular fumigation, and more..

Continuing to protect thieves?

June 24 (SL) The failure to bring in the Audit Act which gives powers to the Auditor General to recover state money looted by errant politicians and govt officers is a clear indication of how the Good Governance administration is trying to protect thieves. The rulers who promised to bring in the long-stalled Audit Act are now preventing it from being tabled in cabinet to have it approved for implementation. more..

'I don't mind losing a few on the way to a win'

June 24 (CI) Angelo Mathews talks about the challenges of leading an inexperienced team, and the possibility of giving up the T20 captaincy. In the space of 23 months at Headingley, SL went from series winners to a rabble bundled out twice in the equivalent of under a day's play. For Angelo Mathews, journey was from a personal triumph, as Wisden termed the Test series win in 2014, to a figure decried as lethargic & inert. more..

More economic negatives than positives last year

June 24 (ST) The Govt borrowed more, repaid more debts and spent more on public service emoluments while receiving fewer foreign grants in 2015 than in the previous year, reports presented to Parliament show. Higher public service emoluments (salaries, allowances, pensions and gratuities) and Samurdhi subsidy caused the Govt’s recurrent expenditure to increase by 22% last year when compared with the previous year, more..

Maximum punishment that can be given for child exploiters is to expose them to society

June 24 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says the maximum punishment that can be given for child exploiters is to expose them to society. President participating at the national ceremony held in parallel to The World Day Against Child Labour in BMICH on June 22 said that the media has a major responsibility in this regard. As a Govt which acts according to the UN charters, govt fulfills its duties with great commitment to more..

Politicians’ asset declarations to be open for public scrutiny

June 24 (Island) Declarations of politicians’ assets and liabilities would be opened to the general public and laws amended for that purpose, Executive Director of the Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) Asoka Obeyesekere said. Addressing the media to announce the progress of the Open Govt Partnership programme (OGP), he said at present all were talking about declaration of assets of MPs only during elections. more..

Anxious and excited, Sri Lankan refugees are leaving India in search of freedom

June 24 (NM) Over cups of milky coffee, 3 young SL Tamil refugees are excitedly discussing meeting their cousins back in their hometowns of Jaffna, Killinochi & Mannar. After the war, 19-year-old Kausalya, a SL Tamil refugee from Killinochi, didn’t want to move away from her tight-knit camp in Tiruvannamalai. Sure, she was curious about her roots. “But I didn’t know a life away from this, and living in a camp wasn’t so bad,” more..

Under fire Lankan Central Bank chief to stay away from job

June 24 (PTI) Central Bank Governor, under fire over alleged involvement in bond dealings favouring a firm linked to his son-in law, will stay away from the job until the parliament's scrutiny committee clears his name, the govt said today. Arjuna Mahendran, whose term was to end on June 30, will stay away from his job until Parliament's COPE investigate him in the issuance of Treasury Bonds issue, Information Department said. more..

Economy suffered due to suppression of vital information: PM

June 24 (DN) The country had suffered huge losses due to the suppression of vital information related to the economy over the past decade, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. PM observing that the RTI Bill was initially presented to the House by the UNP Govt in 2003 noted had the succeeding Govt that took office in 2004 enacted the Bill, Sri Lanka could have become the first country in South Asia to endorse the RTI Act. more..

Britain votes to leave EU, Cameron quits

June 24 (Reuters) Britain has voted to leave the European Union, forcing the resignation of PM David Cameron and dealing the biggest blow to the European project of greater unity since World War Two. Global financial markets plunged as results from Thursday's referendum showed a near 52-48% split for leaving. The pound fell more than 10% against the dollar to levels last seen in 1985, its biggest one-day fall in history, more..

Advancing Reconciliation Diplomacy

June 24 (CT) If you want to know what kind of diplomacy Sri Lanka is following, I would like to go back to something Jawaharlal Nehru said in 1947. He said “Whatever policy you may lay down, the art of conducting foreign affairs of a country lies in finding out what is most advantageous to the country.” So I think today it may sound very selfish but we aren’t ideologically driven but self-interest is I would say is the driving force in our foreign policy. Because we want to ensure more..

VAT Increase: An addition to the common man’s problems

June 24 (CT) Progress takes time and sacrifice. Development of a country comes with risk and its own consequences. Sometimes, decisions made with positive long-term development in mind, draws denunciation from the masses. Sometimes the decisions get scrapped because they are downright outrageous, and sometimes not. Amendments made to VAT and NBT last May, is one such decision that has received an outrageous amount of flak due to its extravagant nature. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Arjuna Mahendran wants Samarasiri to oversee his functions, until his return

June 24 (CT) Governor of thee Central Bank, Arjuna Mahendran today recommended Senior Deputy Governor P. Samarasiri, to oversee the affairs of the Bank during his absence. However, Samarasiri comes with a checkered history himself, amidst allegations that he too had a hand in the bond scam, and had sided with Mahendran at several instances even going to the extent of refusing to release details in relation to the bond issuance to the Auditor General. more..

Sri Lankan shares hit over 2-mth low ahead of rates decision; Brexit weighs

June 24 (Reuters) Shares fell for a fifth straight session to a more than two-month closing low on Friday as investors turned cautious ahead of a rate announcement by the central bank and as Britons voted to leave the European Union. The bourse fell 1.5% on the week. The benchmark Colombo stock index ended down 0.44%, or 27.95 points, at 6,370.11, its lowest close since April 12. Results from Thursday's referendum showed that Britain voted to leave the 28-member bloc, more..

Illegal fishing, land grabbing by outsiders add to Tamil fishermen's woes

June 24 (ENS) Seven years after the end of the war the fishermen of Kokkilai in the Tamil-majority Mullaitivu district of North-East Sri Lanka are yet to enjoy the fruits of peace. If fighting on land and sea disrupted their livelihood during the 30 year war, illegal fishing by Sinhalese and Muslims from outside the area; forcible occupation of lands by outsiders with state-backing; and grabbing of private lands to build more..

CMEV tells Minister Mustapha: Stop giving excuses for not holding local elections

June 24 (Island) Centre for Monitoring of Election Violence (CMEV) lashed out at Minister Faizer Mustapha for postponing local govt elections by blaming technical matters. It claimed the Minister was issuing contradictory statements on the election from time to time. CMEV National Organiser Manjula Gajanayake told a media briefing in Colombo that Minister Mustapha had failed to set a timeframe for the newly appointed delimitation committee headed by Asoka Peiris and the reason for more..

Suspect in drug case shot dead outside Mahara MC

June 24 (Island) A suspect in a drug case being heard at the Mahara Magistrate's Court was shot dead yesterday outside the court house. Police identified the 35-year-old victim as Suresh Asanka Silva. The gunmen had fired from a jeep as Suresh was about to get into the front seat of his car after the conclusion of the day's proceedings. The two assailants used a T-56 assault rifle and a pistol to gun down Suresh, a suspect in a case filed by the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) during 2015. more..

Video: Rohitha Abeygunawardena injured during protest

June 24 (DM) Former Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardene was hospitalised after being injured during a protest launched by the Joint Opposition against the re-appointment of Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran. MP Abeygunawardene was injured when he and the protesters had forcibly attempted to pass the barricades opposite the Central Bank in Colombo Fort. Meanwhile, joint opposition MP Shriyani more..

Galigamuwa accident-Death toll rises to six

June 24 (DM) The death toll in the road accident at Ballapana in Galigamuwa on Thursday increased to six when two of the injured who had been under treatment at the Kandy General Hospital succumbed to their injuries, police said. Three passengers had died on the spot and another after admission to hospital immediately after the accident. A spokesman for the hospital said another, in critical condition, was under treatment. A group of passengers from Urapola in Nagoda more..

SLPA TUs call off strike

June 24 (DN) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority trade unions yesterday called off their strike, following talks with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Those on hunger strike too gave up their protest and were warmly greeted by other colleagues. Convener of the trade union collective, Udeni Kaluthanthri said that the port unions had decided to call off their seven day strike action following an assurance by the Premier that solutions will be provided to their issues. more..

Govt to construct international cricket stadium and sports complex in North

June 24 (Island) The govt is planning to construct an international cricket stadium in Jaffna, Parliament was told. Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said that a land area had been identified at Elephant Pass between the A 9 and A 32 roads for the purpose. He said that a Sports Complex with a Swimming Pool was being constructed in Kilinochchi for the use of children and youth in the Northern Province and that project would be completed more..

State Minister fires back sarcastic replies to Gammanpila

June 24 (Island) Minister Niroshan Perera said that the good name of the country’s economy had been affected by acts of some unscrupulous elements of the former regime who robbed the assets of foreign investors by producing forged documents. As a result of such misdeeds that took place in the past, foreign investors were discouraged to come to SL for investment. "This also damages the image of the country", Minister Perera said. "When the govt takes action against these errant people, more..

Ukrainian captain of Avant-Garde vessel remanded

June 24 (AD) The Ukrainian captain of the ‘Avant-Garde’ vessel, who was arrested by the CID, has been remanded till July 05 after being produced at the Galle Magistrate’s Court. He was arrested by the CID at the Galle Harbour last evening in connection with the ongoing investigation pertaining to the vessel. The arrest was made under charges of illegally importing firearms to Sri Lanka and illegal possession of firearms and explosives. Gennady Gavrilov, 43, was arrested by the CID more..