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එච්.එම්.ජී.එස්. පලිහක්කාර

Shares fall for 5th day on rising interest rates

June 3 (Reuters) Shares fell for a fifth straight session on Friday and posted their lowest close in five weeks, as rising interest rates and lack of new catalysts dented investor sentiment. Colombo stock index ended 0.07%, or 4.61 points, weaker at 6,519.23, its lowest close since April 29. It declined 0.8% this week, its third straight weekly fall after gaining for six consecutive weeks. Treasury bill yields rose between 4 and 35 basis points to near three-year highs in the two weekly auctions more..

AG's department must clear its name

June 3 (CT) Recently, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake charged that there was an unseen hand in the Attorney General's Department preventing the FCID from apprehending six suspects linked to a huge fraud at the Sri Lanka Tourism Board. The suspects had even made statements to this effect to the FCID over two weeks ago, MP Dissanayake said, adding that among the six suspects had been an Additional Secretary attached to the PM's Office and averred that more..

Video: Importer of suspicious cargo fined

June 3 (DM) An importer found guilty of importing disassembled vehicles in a container claiming it was machinery was fined Rs.65 million by Customs, Director General Chulananda Perera said today. “The 40-foot container was imported on the Ebba Maersk vessel on May 2 and taken into custody on May 6 by the customs and the Customs Revenue Task Force (RTF),” he said. The container had been imported by Japan Lanka more..

Tea crops reduced by floods, landslides

June 3 (EN) Although volumes at Colombo’s tea auction have been high so far, heavy rains that caused floods and landslides in Sri Lanka recently have reduced crops that will arrive at the sale in future, brokers said. “Crop harvests have reduced in most planting districts during that past week,” brokers John Keells Ltd said. Several earth slips in the mountainous regions where tea is grown and floods in the low lying areas continue to cause complications in daily operations of industry, more..

Chandra calls on Labour Minister to inquire into effectiveness of EPF bond investments

June 3 (CT) Good governance activist and former chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Chandra Jayaratne has called on Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations, W.D.J. Seneviratne to Initiate an Immediate Independent Inquiry, by persons with requisite capability, independence and integrity, to assess the operational efficiency and effectiveness of Bond Investments by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). In a letter sent to Seneviratne on 3rd June, Jayaratne said, more..

Distraught SLC employees go before Commissioner of Labour

June 3 (DM) Distraught by SLC’S decision to suspend their services for purported charges of not in keeping with the policies and constitution of Sri Lanka Cricket, the suspended employees have sought redress at the Commissioner of Labour to get them reinstated in their positions. The board suspended three employees-- chief engineer Prasanna Jinaratne, head of marking Vajira Dassanayake and his secretary Gayathri more..

Police quiz Wickramabahu on Vijitha Thera

June 3 (DM) Nava Sama Samaja Party Leader Wickramabahu Karunaratne was today questioned by the Police on a complaint made by the Bodu Bala Sena to the Kirulapone Police. Mr. Karunaratne was asked about a function he participated a few years ago where Ven. Watereka Vijitha Thera had called for the tearing of the Lion flag. The Thera had also stated that he hated the Lion flag because it separated ethnic groups in Sri Lanka through its coloured stripes. more..

Eranga can play in third Test

June 3 (CT) International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) that fast bowler Shaminda Eranga who was reported for suspect action during the 2nd Test, can be considered for selection to the 3rd Test at Lord's on 9 June. Eranga is due to present himself for assessment at Laughborough on 6 June, and the ICC has confirmed that "Eranga is permitted to continue bowling in international cricket until the results of the testing are known." more..

Ranil promises quick action against journalist Gamage attack

June 3 (CT) Journalist Freddy Gamage, who came under attack on Thursday, has accused controversial MP Nimal Lanza, and his brother, Dayan, as the culprits behind his attack. “Just two weeks back, Dayan, who is the Deputy Mayor of Negombo, warned me that if I continue to write negatively about him and his brother, Nimal, god will punish me,” Gamage said from his hospital bed. Gamage said that the Deputy Mayor had more..

Palitha Thewarapperuma climbs on top of his vehicle to hold discussions with students

June 3 (CT) Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma climbed on top of his vehicle to hold discussions with a group of protesting students at Sabaragamuwa University. He arrived there this morning for the opening of a cultural centre. However, the students obstructed him and prevented him from reaching the opening ceremony. He climbed on top of his vehicle and started discussions with students, saying that the problems should be resolved through discussion. more..

Kandy Teaching Hospital hit by dengue

June 3 (CT) Two doctors and 18 staff members of the Kandy General Hospital were hospitalized yesterday after being diagnosed with dengue fever. A spokesperson from the hospital, stated the staff members and the two doctors had shown symptoms of the disease following the death of another staff member from the virus. The staffer had succumbed to the fever several days ago. 58 dengue patients, including the two doctors and the staff members are receiving treatment. more..

SL, Singapore ink deal to develop Trinco

June 3 (CNA) Sri Lanka’s govt and Singapore infrastructure consultancy Surbana Jurong have signed a MOU to develop the port city of Trincomalee. It will see Surbana detailing a long-term development plan for the Trincomalee metropolitan area and surrounding cities. Singapore's Minister for Trade S Iswaran and SL's Minister International Trade Malik Samarawickrama on Thursday witnessed the signing of MOU. more..

'Indian vehicle imports increased by 637%'

June 3 (CT) The number of Indian vehicles imported to Sri Lanka had increased by 637 percent in 2015 compared to 2014 because of the 100-day-programme, the joint opposition said today. MP Bandula Gunawardane said the drastic increase in Indian vehicles had clearly made an impact on Japanese vehicle importers. “This is a measure taken by the government to please India for their contribution to topple the previous govt. No other country has done something like this before,” more..

Ranga, New DG of Govt Info Dept

June 3 (CT) Senior Journalist and founding Director-General of the Sri Lanka Press Institute Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya has been appointed Director General of the Govt Information Department. He was serving as Advisor - Asia Pacific Affairs, at International Media Support at the time of receiving his new appointment. He earlier served as a journalist for the Dinamina as well as the Daily News, where he became the Deputy News Editor in the late 1990s. He succeeds Dr. Dharshani Gunatilleke more..

Govt committed to resolve issues of farmers & agricultural sector: President

June 3 (PSL) It is vital to create a good market and reasonable price for farmers’ produce in the process of enriching Sri Lanka as an agricultural country and strengthening the economy of the farmers, President Maithripala Sirisena said. The President also said the immediate attention should be drawn to the problems faced by the farmers, when selling their produce, due to the large numbers of intermediaries. more..

Guinness World Records: Sri Lankan National Scrabble Championship

June 3 (CT) Sri Lankan National Scrabble Champion (10 times) and Sri Lanka's highest rated Scrabble Player Lakshan Wanniarachchi, presented his Guinness World Records certificates to the Minister of Sports, Dayasiri Jayasekara. Lakshan Wanniarachchi broke two Guinness World Records: Record for the most number of points, that is,196,525, scored in 24 hours established on 12 Nov 2012 in Colombo, with Yeshan Jayasuriya. He also broke SL's official record -162,000, more..

Hathurusingha seeks better communication in selection panel

June 3 (CI) Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha has said that communication within the BCB selection panel will improve once he becomes a part of it. Although not yet official, Hathurusingha's inclusion will be one of the major changes to the selection committee, which is likely to be approved at the next board meeting. "BCB are going to speak to me in the next couple of days about the plan they have," Hathurusingha said. "I think it is a good concept. more..

President instructs officials to not to subject to any pressure regarding land reclamation

June 3 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena instructed the officials not to subject to any pressure when implementation of the Govt’s decision to prohibit land reclamation in the Western Province. The President emphasized that he always stands on behalf of the officials who are taking the correct decision. He requested those officials to inform him without any hesitation if such incidents of undue pressures occurred. more..

Key discussion held on meeting target to make Sri Lanka mine free

June 3 (CG) Minister DM Swaminathan held a meeting today with the mine action operators to discuss about the Govt’s target of making Sri Lanka free of mine impact by 2020. The meeting focussed on achieving the set demining target specified in the Sri Lanka National Mine Action Strategy Report which was released on 25th May. The mine operators directed Minister Swaminathan’s attention towards the importance of Sri Lanka becoming signatory to the Ottawa Convention on more..

Video: Another baby elephant takes the brunt of human greed

June 3 (DM) A four-year-old female elephant cub was severely injured yesterday by a locally made explosive device (Hakkapatas) at Katenwewa area in Hambantota. The villagers had found the injured elephant in pain after it was injured by the explosive device contained in a trap set up by huntsmen in the area. The injured elephant cub, which was in a critical condition, was brought to the Udawalawa Elephant Transit Home and was treated by Dr. Vijitha Perera with help of wild life officials. more..

No tri-shaw fare hike, says union

June 3 (Island) President of All Island Three Wheeler Drivers’ Union (AITDU) Lalith Dharmasekera said the trishaw fares would not be increased in the near future, though certain political elements were spreading a rumour to that effect. Dharmasekera, said the govt should regulate and help streamline the industry, but instead successive govts were hell bent on undermining the three wheeler fraternity and destroying the industry. more..

Mahapola ship swindle under probe

June 3 (DN) The PRECIFAC launched investigations into the alleged misappropriation of Rs 1,550 million due to the govt caused by fraudulently leasing out the state owned ship Mahapola to an outside party during the previous regime. Investigations have revealed that the ship had been loaned to a person named Anuruddha Pelpola without mentioning any address. The investigation unit has also found that a former Director of SLPA named Sanjaya Senarath more..

Govt insists domestic process on war probe underway

June 3 (CG) Govt today insisted that the domestic process on investigating incidents related to the war was underway. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that the Cabinet approval given to create an office on missing persons was part of the domestic accountability process. He also dismissed claims that 40,000 civilians were killed during the war. Samarasinghe said that a former Colombo based UN official had made the claims about the 40,000 death toll and this was quoted as more..

JVP holds demonstration in Fort against VAT tax increase

June 3 (CG) JVP staged a demonstration near the Fort railway station today against the recent VAT tax hike implemented by the Govt which resulted in the price of most vehicles and other products going up. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake and several other JVP members took part in the demonstration. JVP, which backed President Sirisena at the Presidential election, said that VAT is a burden on the public. more..

ETCA & FTAs alone cannot attract investors

June 4 (FT) Businessman and National List MP Malik Samarawickrama, a Minister in the current Govt who is spearheading the Free Trade Arrangements (FTA) with India, China and now Singapore, stated that all the FTAs in the pipeline would give investors access to three billion people. This sounds very impressive on paper, but as we all know very little work is happening at ground level to get the country ready for such an explosion in trade and investment. more..

When the earth moved

June 4 (SL) The govt will soon be in a position to provide lands to those affected by landslides, land slips and floods, a senior govt official vouched on Friday. Lands Ministry Secretary Dr. I.H.K. Mahanama stressed that their top priority remains providing alternative lands to those constantly affected by landslides, adding that in the meantime Megapolis is taking steps to provide better housing facilities for slum dwellers who are plagued by regular flooding. more..

Herath in the hot seat

June 4 (FT) “I was not drunk; I don’t consume alcohol,” stressed JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath. Herath, who pleaded guilty to two traffic offence charges, added: “What happened was wrong. But I did not use my political power to escape the law.” Herath added that he was the latest victim of Rajapaksa supporters who were trying hard to return to power through political mudslinging and character assassination. more..

Overstepping boundaries: Nazeer or Navy?

June 4 (GV) Eastern Province Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamed’s recent row with a Navy Officer has now become infamous. In response, Ministry of Defence (MOD) evidently jumped the gun, ordering (and later withdrawing) a military-wide boycott of the Chief Minister. The incident and its aftermath raise two concerns. It points to the ability of the state security apparatus to operate with little democratic accountability. It also reveals the govt’s deeper failure to ensure post-war reorientation more..

Pakistan’s first-ever Wesak Festival concludes successfully

June 4 (TN) The first-ever Wesak Festival organized by the Govt of Pakistan was successfully concluded with the return of delegation to Colombo last evening. The Sri Lankan delegation which was invited by the Govt of Pakistan to visit the Gandhara region. During their stay in Pakistan the delegation visited Taxila and Takht-i-Bhai besides visiting Islamabad and Karachi from May 29th to June 1st 2016. The Sri Lankan delegation led by Ministers Daya Gamage and Anoma Gamage and more..

'Govt must monitor all relief funds and prevent swindling'

June 4 (SL) PLOTE leader and TNA MP Dharmalingam Siddharthan said that the recent floods are a good reminder to the govt that proper management of development is needed to prevent such situations in the future. He said that roads and railway lines as well as development projects are being done without proper evaluation on the environmental impact, and as a result the people have to face such situations as floods that more..

Sampur: A clash of ideas

June 4 (SO) In the latest turn of events over the proposed 500 Megawatt coal power plant in Sampur, India has agreed to begin consultations with Sri Lanka on pursuing other eco-friendly options in place of the proposed coal power plant, according to CEB sources. It was widely reported that, when President Maithripala Sirisena met Indian PM Narendra Modi recently, the controversial Sampur Power plant had figured prominently during bilateral discussions. more..

Ceylon Navy’s prized catch

June 4 (ST) “Do you know how an Italian Navy ship surrendered to the CRNVR?” It was around the middle 1970s. I was collecting first-hand accounts of incidents involving the Ceylon Naval Volunteer Force (CNVF) which had been mobilized by the Royal Navy as the “Ceylon RNVR”(CRNVR) during the second world war. The question was put to me by Cdr. E.P. Wickremasinghe (SLN), a veteran of that war. “Surprised?” he went on, “but it happened. I was there!” HMS Overdale Wyke, FY 338 more..

Aluth Parlimantuwa

Can Sri Lanka eradicate poverty and reduce income inequality by 2030?

June 6 (Island) Although inequality in a society is not a new phenomenon, if inequality persists, without proper attention, it could affect the overall economic growth of the country and the efforts to reduce poverty. Reducing incidence of poverty by half and eradicating extreme poverty, are two of the important targets expected to be achieved by 2030, under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Although many countries including Sri Lanka managed to reduce poverty more..

Cook’s achievement makes feats of Mahela, Sangakkara even greater

June 6 (DN) That Alastair Cook became only the first Englishman to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket comes as a bit of a surprise for a cricketer who hails from a country that plays on an average 12-14 Test matches a year. Cook’s effort makes the feats of Sangakkara and Mahela even more creditable because these cricketers don’t have a properly drawn up international calendar of Test matches as England has, and sometimes have to play as less as five or six Test matches per year. more..

Willis lays out ambition to aid Sri Lanka's next generation

June 4 (CI) Sri Lanka's new high performance manager Simon Willis, has said he aims to bridge the gap in standards between Sri Lanka's domestic system and the international game. High-profile players and some administrators have repeatedly drawn attention to the ailing health of SL's first-class system. Though an overhaul of the Premier League tournaments is beyond Willis' purview, he has outlined a vision more..

Sensitive North & East Provinces

June 4 (CT) It was a month ago Leader of the Opposition and the TNA Leader R. Sampanthan came under criticism in the South for his presence at a military facility in Paravipachchan, Kilinochchi. Those who criticized the Leader of the Opposition said that without obtaining any prior permission he had entered the military facility in Kilinochchi and acted in a highly irresponsible manner. Sampanthan has visited the Paravipachchan military facility following the complaints made to him more..

Erring on the side of caution?

June 4 (Island) The recent furore over eastern province chief minister SLMC provincial council member Ahmed Nazeer’s outrageously humiliating treatment of the commanding officer of the Sampur navy camp Captain I.R. Premaratne during a function at Sampur Maha Vidyalaya in Trincomalee presided over by the provincial governor Austin Fernando and graced by the American ambassador Atul Keshap on May 20, 2016 naturally called to mind by contrast govt’s lighthearted reaction more..

Former LTTE Women’s Political Wing Leader Thamilini’s husband claims his life is at risk

June 4 (FT) Jeyakumar Mahadevan, the husband of the former Head of the Women’s Political Wing of the LTTE Subramaniam Sivakami alias Thamilini, whose book gives a strong insight into the final war between the Govt forces and the LTTE in 2009, said his life was now at risk as some sections of the Tamil diaspora had threatened him. Jeyakumar, SL born British citizen, who published Thamilini’s controversial book more..