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Aranayaka’s deadly landslide: Survivor’s tale

June 4 (ST) Out of the depths of the tragedy that struck Aranayaka where in a flash many lives were buried in the mud, there have also been stories of survival. One such survivor is 16-year-old Sayumya Dilkie, a grade ten student who was preparing to sit for her Ordinary Level examination in December when tragedy struck her family. Sayumya’s long hair was cut to pull her out as she lay trapped under a fallen cupboard. A chainsaw that was used to cut the cupboard grazed her and more..

Muhammad Ali, boxing great and cultural symbol, dead at 74

June 4 (Reuters) Former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, whose record-setting boxing career, flair for showmanship and political stands made him one of the best-known figures of the 20th century, died on Friday aged 74. Ali, who had long suffered from Parkinson's syndrome which impaired his speech and made the once-graceful athlete almost a prisoner in his own body, died a day after he was admitted to more..

Maithripala Sirisena could be Sri Lanka’s Mandela ...really?

June 6 (HP) A recently published article in a well-known political science blog ponders whether or not Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka’s current president, is poised to follow in Nelson Mandela’s footsteps and help heal a divided nation. The piece, authored by a pair of University of Maryland researchers is worth looking at in some detail. The South African and Sri Lankan cases are very different, but let’s briefly examine a few parts of the piece. Here’s one paragraph: more..

Fisheries sector flood damage estimated at over Rs 90 million

June 4 (Island) Estimates provided by the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry have placed the cost of infrastructure damage suffered by the fisheries sector during recent floods at more than Rs. 90 million. Thousands of fishermen had been affected by the recent floods which also claimed lives of three of them. A report on recent flood damage would be submitted to the Disaster Management Ministry and the Finance Ministry and they would provide assistance to more..

JVP vows to build new political camp to defeat govt

June 6 (DM) The JVP will soon build a new political camp to defeat the present govt which had pushed the country into a huge debt trap of Rs 5,000 billion and put a huge tax burden on the people, its leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said . “There will be only two political camps. One is Ranil - Maithiri Camp and the other will be one which is led by the JVP. There won’t be a third camp,” he said told a protest march organized by more..

CB to sell US$ 200mn development bonds

June 6 (LBO) The Central Bank will issue US$ 200 million development bonds with a tenor of 1 year, 2 years, 3 years and 5 years to local and foreign investors. The Debt Department said the subscription will be at a floating rate of 6 month LIBOR for USD plus a margin through competitive bidding or at a fixed rate to be determined through competitive bidding. Minimum investment is US$ 10,000 with additional investments in multiples of US$ 10,000. more..

Ban on women seeking ME jobs?

June 4 (CT) The govt is mulling the possibility of banning women from seeking overseas employment in the future, informed sources said. The sources said President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed a Committee to look into ways and means of imposing such a ban in the not too distant future. Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said last week that the President had expressed the wish that a lesser number of Lankan women should seek employment in Arab Gulf countries. more..

Discussions on to make Gotabaya second SLFP leader: WDJ

June 4 (AD) Minister WDJ Seneviratne says that although the UPFA govt led by former President Rajapaksa succeeded in winning the war against terrorism, it failed to foster unity within the communities in Sri Lanka. “Although we won that war, we did not implement a process to foster unity between Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim races at the time. “I was also part of that govt. I am not accusing only Mahinda Rajapaksa I am also accusing more..

JVP still undecided on no confidence motion on Finance Minister

June 4 (AM) The JVP is still undecided its stance on the no confidence motion against Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, political sources said. The no confidence motion is to be debated in Parliament on June 8. It was handed over to the Speaker by the Joint Opposition, the UPFA MPs who does not support the govt, on March 24. They argue that the Finance Minister was responsible for the current state of the economy and the tax reforms which add burden to the people. more..

Entire army commando contingent removed from ex-president’s security

June 4 (Island) Former Deputy Defence Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday said that the removal of the entire contingent of Army Commandos who provided security to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was giving in to the machinations of the international community. "There was an insidious move by the government to have the former President harmed and yesterday the entire contingent of 104 army commandos who provided him with security." more..

Jayalalithaa writes to PM Modi over capture of Indian fishermen by Lankan Navy

June 4 (ANI) TN Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Saturday wrote to PM Narendra Modi urging him to help release the four Indian fishermen, who were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy earlier on Thursday. “It has been reported that four TN fishermen along with their mechanised fishing boat from Kottaipattinam fishing base of Pudukottai District on 1.6.2016, have been apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy more..

Agency for Development to be one-stop shop for investors: Mangala

June 4 (DM) A new one-stop shop named the Agency for Development will be set up following the introduction of new legislation in July, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said addressing the French Employers Federation. “For foreign investors we will be introducing a one-stop shop in the form of the Agency for Development, which will be led by both the government and the private sector working together. The necessary legislation for this agency will be introduced in parliament next month,” more..

Fresh landslide warnings issued on five districts

June 4 (DM) The NBRO today issued fresh landslide warnings in four districts including Kandy, Ratnapura, Kegalle and Kalutara. Accordingly, Gangaihalakorale divisional secretariat division and surrounding areas in the Kandy district, Kiriella, Ayagama, Eheliyagoda, Ratnapura and Kuruwita divisional secretariat in Ratnapura District and Ambagamuwakorale divisional secretariat division and surrounding areas in Nuwaraeliya District were named as potential risk areas by the DMC. more..

Weliwita writes to Singapore Immigration

June 4 (DM) Carlton Sports Network (CSN) Chairman Rohan Weliwita who was deported from Singapore on Tuesday morning, had written to the Singaporean Immigration and Checkpoints Authority requesting the reason for refusing him admission to that country. Mr. Weliwita was deported from Singapore after three hours of interrogation when he arrived there to attend the Broadcast Asia Exhibition. more..

Sri Lanka, Maldives free of elephantiasis

June 4 (Hindu) Sri Lanka and Maldives have eliminated elephantiasis, also called lymphatic filariasis (LF), according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). WHO termed LF a disease “that was crippling people for decades, forcing them to lead a life of stigma, discrimination and poverty.” A statement said the success in Maldives and Sri Lanka followed intensified mosquito control efforts; treatment of the infected population, disability prevention and control; strengthening of more..

PM seeks list of officials

June 4 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday directed relevant sections to immediately forward to him a list of officials in Govt Departments, Corporations, Boards and other institutions accused of misappropriating public funds and property during the Rajapaksa regime who are still holding their positions. Steps have also been taken to forward complaints against such officials received by the Presidential Secretariat and the PM’s office too to these relevant sections. more..

IMF releases bailout cash for Sri Lanka

June 4 (AFP) The IMF on Saturday released the first tranche of a $1.5 billion bailout for Sri Lanka, which is reeling after a govt spending spree and facing a balance of payments crisis. The IMF said the formal approval of a 36-month loan under its Extended Fund Facility (EFF) will also help Sri Lanka secure another $650 million in other multilateral and bilateral loans. President Sirisena's administration sought an IMF bailout more..

Sampur: Authority vs. Dignity

June 5 (SO) The Govt did well to soothe tempers all round after the minor fracas in the East in which EP Chief Minister Ahmed Nazeer berated a senior naval officer of the area and then faced a veritable boycott by the Navy. The public, however, must take a moment to understand the various strands of the controversy and their implications for our body politic. The Govt's measured response, amid the public hue and cry arising from diverse perceptions and interpretations of the Sampur incident, more..

Success in Foreign Policy

June 5 (SL) A significant difference in foreign policies of the Rajapaksa regime and that of the Yahapalanaya govt is that the former locked horns with Sri Lanka’s time tested friendly nations and reaped disastrous harvests while the latter govt, while resurrecting the dead relations with former friends and neighbours, are in a year reaping beneficial results. While former President Rajapaksa and his entourage had to beat hasty retreats from Britain and not so cordial welcomes in other more..

'Vigneswaran deceives people in the North'

June 5 (SL) Seven years went past since the end of the war. But the issues that people in the north have been facing for decades are yet to be solved. JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa says the TNA, against this backdrop, is trying to retain power by putting the people of the north under the illusion of an Eelam, He says the country is in jeopardy because the governing parties have not got a proper plan for developing it. more..

No quick fix for traffic jams

June 5 (Island) Gemunu Wijeratna, Chairman of Lanka Private Bus Owners Association, was most likely flying a kite when he announced that private bus passengers will be imposed a fuel wastage surcharge when buses are snarled in major traffic jams – more the rule than the exception in many urban areas, particularly Colombo and its suburbs - especially during peak hours. Unsurprisingly, National Transportation Commission has made clear that this will in no way be permitted. more..

Wasting public funds on opening ceremonies & other misuse

June 5 (Island) A newspaper report says "It has now come to light as to how the former Rajapaksa regime that has been accused of lavishly spending tax payers’ money on extravagant image building programmes, has spent Rs.200,000 per minute for the opening ceremony of the Bellanwila walkway on Sept 9, 2014. SL Land Reclamation and Development Corporation which comes under the purview of Defense & Urban Development Ministry had met the entire cost for this ceremony more..

'TN politicians suffering from separatist diarrhoea'

June 5 (SL) MP Dullas Alahapperuma said that most of the politicians in TN are suffering from a separatist diarrhoea, and the Joint Opposition is taking steps to formulate a national scheme to cure their disease. Pointing out that the setting up of the NPC is a milestone in the country’s recent political history, MP admits that due to certain lapses in the previous govt it failed to find a lasting solution for the ethnic issue in this country. more..

US Embassy in Colombo and the SL Navy

June 5 (Island) One of the events that gained public attention in the aftermath of the Eastern Province CM’s outburst against a navy officer in Sampur was the transfer of the Eastern Commander of the navy Neil Rosyro to Colombo as the deputy chief of staff and his replacement with Rear Admiral Travis Sinniah. Many people thought this change of command in the navy had something to do with the incident in Sampur. However, the govt denied it and said that the change of command had been more..

Prattling on

June 5 (ST) My dear Rajitha, I thought I must write to you because you are in the news once again. I know that being a politician, you must be thinking that any publicity is good publicity but I am not so sure about that, especially when other members of your family are also involved and you are trying to do battle with doctors. Rajitha, there was a time when you were admired for your courage in leaving Mahinda maama’s cabinet, along with Maithri. At that time, you conveyed the impression that more..

Face the Nation

Lawyer issues notice on President: Wants abuse of tax revenue stopped

June 5 (Island) N. Kodituwakku & Co., Attorney-at-law (SL) & Solicitor (UK) has issued notice on President Maithripala Sirisena urging him to "stop the abuse of tax revenue with permits issued to MPs granting full waiver of all forms of tax normally charged on motor vehicles". Attorney Nagananda Kodituwakku says that with 19A coming into force, immunity granted to the President under Article 35 of the Constitution has been removed for all Right Violation Petitions. more..

Delicate balance between Development and environment

June 5 (NS) According to govt reports, recent floods and landslides in Sri Lanka have caused widespread disruption across country. Over 400,000 people have been displaced by floods, many casualties have been reported, and dozens are feared missing. Government puts this down to climate change. Such disasters were on the discussion table since 2010, and it was to be expected. Center for environmental and Nature studies (CENS), Sri Lanka repeatedly reached out to the Environment Ministry and more..

Three-wheeler drivers' network: Bridge between rescuers and victims

June 5 (SO) Sri Lankans have always shown their strength and goodwill when faced with disasters. Very few nations react with such generosity and altruism as Sri Lankans do, when their countrymen are in need of help. It is this unique quality that helped many stranded people during the recent floods that played havoc in the country. When the country's capital city almost came to a standstill, as nature unleashed her wrath, volunteers more..

The actor factor

June 5 (NS) Back in the early 90s Nalan Mendis’s Doodaruwo marked a turning point in our teledrama industry. And through this series and many other teledramas that were produced in that decade Yashoda Wimaladharma emerged as the girl next door’ whose delicate femininity captured the hearts of viewers island wide. From the small screen to the silver screen, Yashoda has come a long way portraying various types of characters. But her most challenging role played today by more..

Sampur Maha Vidyalayam stage invaded

June 5 (SO) Much has been written about the so-called Sampur incident: reports, comments, letters to the editors of newspapers and even fun articles. A newspaper carried a columnist’s parody on the incident where a film script was being crafted. The chief protagonist and star of the show was to be a chief minister and his one-word one-liner was Idiot, the mouthing of which had to be diligently practiced before a mirror. Reading about the misadventure that occurred on May 20, this feline bristled, more..

Tri-series involving Zim & WI in October

June 5 (ST) After much deliberation the FTP tour to Zimbabwe will take place in September following the Sri Lanka’s series against Australia. The tour will see the Lankans getting involved in two Test matches and a tri-series which would also involve the West Indies. The tour will take place between the first week of October and will go on till the second week of November. Sri Lanka last played a Test series there was way back in 2004 more..

Back to the old days and old ways

June 5 (ST) The opening of the Shangri-La Hambantota Resort this week was a grand affair attended by President Maithripala Sirisena, several ministers and other VIPs. A notable absentee was Mahinda Rajapaksa, the former President, who was instrumental in securing investment for Sri Lanka from the renowned Hong Kong listed group. It did not escape attention that Mr. Rajapaksa was also missing from the list of speakers. President Sirisena did not address the function. more..

Sri Lankan cultural performance a major attraction in London

June 5 (Island) A Sri Lankan cultural drum and dance performance with professional artistes living in the UK was held for the first time in London recently. They were also joined by other artistes from Sri Lanka, USA and Italy. The performers have learned the art from renowned Sri Lankan dance teachers such as Kulasiri Budawatte. Titled Dhonkara, the performance was held at Colosseum Theatre in Watford, London. After strenuous practice sessions for weeks, more..

Decision to re-appoint Arjuna lies in President’s hands

June 5 (ST) Will the Central Bank (CB) Governor Arjuna Mahendran be re-appointed for a new term when his current term expires on June 30th? This is the question uppermost in the minds of many in Colombo’s political, business and social circles. Though former Governor Nivard Cabraal’s tenure of office courted lot of controversy and questionable deals some of which are now before the FCID, for the first time in history of banking regulator more..

Rugby: Sri Lanka names 16-man squad

June 5 (CT) SL Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) National Selection Committee named a 15-member sevens rugby squad for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games Qualifiers to be held in Monaco on 18 and 19 June. Sri Lanka had earlier picked an 19-man squad from which three young players have been excluded. Former Isipathana Captain and Number Eight Omalka Gunarathne, Police Sports Club's Rizah Raffaideen and Havelocks SC wing three quarter Rehan Thiagarajah are the three more..

AMW launches Renault in Sri Lanka

June 5 (NS) Associated Motorways Private Limited (AMW) last week launched the French-based Renault brand in Sri Lanka with the introduction of its segment defining cars, the revolutionary SUV-styled compact hatchback model, Renault Kwid and the SUV, the Renault Duster. According to officials from Renault India, Sri Lanka is a priority market aptly demonstrated by the fact the island nation will receive the first shipment of Renault India exports in mid-June, prior to a global rollout of more..

Disaster at Disaster Management Centre

June 5 (ST) Billions of rupees worth of equipment to effectively cope with natural disasters have become unusable because they have been left idle after being procured by the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) on foreign loans and grants. These include tsunami-warning towers, emergency call centres and satellite communications systems. In last month’s worst-ever floods and landslides, use of this equipment more..

Raising the game at Home of Cricket

June 5 (Island) For all cricketers, Lord’s is a special place given the history and tradition of the venue. Often big stars get overawed by the place that they become spectacular failures here. Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Jacques Kallis and Ricky Ponting are all modern day greats, but none of them have a Test hundred here. So does Aravinda de Silva. However, Aravinda’s century during England’s domestic one-day competition final for Kent against Lancashire in 1995 is still highly spoken of and more..

Selective Justice under Yahapalanaya: AG yet to act on Sajin

June 5 (SL) The AG’s Department is yet to file indictment against former monitoring MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena in the case CR1/1/16 before the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court. Over six months had lapsed since the CID had handed its final report on the charges levelled against Gunawardena on the misuse of public property to the Attorney General’s Department. However, the Attorney General’s Department has yet failed to file indictment against Gunawardena. more..