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CID to file criminal charges against Army Commander, DMI head?

June 5 (SL) The CID is contemplating filing criminal charges against the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army and the head of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) if the military fail to cooperate in the investigations carried out on several high profile murder cases. CID has continuously sought the assistance of the DMI in several murder probes, but the latter had failed to cooperate in the investigations by providing more..

Indians to invest in Port City project

June 5 (SO) CHEC Port City Colombo, the company handling the much-talked-about Colombo Port City project, pulled off a masterstroke last week, when it approached several top Indian companies to invest in the project. This was a highly significant achievement in terms of geo-political relations concerning India, China and Sri Lanka. The previous administration launched the multi million-dollar Port City project amid claims on China’s increasing activity in the Indian Ocean, more..

Oil firms submit several proposals

June 5 (SO) International companies specialising in hydrocarbon exploration have submitted several proposals to do surveys in the offshore Mannar and Cauvery basins to acquire data about the potential for oil and gas deposits, Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat (PRDS), Director General Saliya Wickramasuriya said. The proposals are in addition to an agreement signed by the PRDS with French oil major, Total SA, for exploration in two blocks off the east coast. more..

Public scathing in their views on MPs, MPCs & family politics

June 5 (Island) Representations made before the Constitutional Reform Committee whose report is now out reveals that persons appearing before it had been scathing in their opinions of their elected representatives with the role of thugs, the underworld and the influence of business interests in recent elections becoming quite obvious. "This has led to political intimidation, violent & confrontational politics even within the same political party. more..

Auditor General's Dept. to keep close tab on flood relief mechanism

June 5 (SO) Following a spate of complaints that relief given to the flood-affected was not reaching the victims, the Auditor General's Department is keeping a close tab on the relief distribution mechanism by govt officials, Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe said. He said complaints regarding lapses in flood relief distribution in the Kaduwela and Kolonnawa areas have been flooding in. Teams from the AG's Department have been sent to these areas to investigate these complaints. more..

Lankans have not lost at Lord’s for 25 years

June 5 (SO) There was so much consternation when Sri Lanka didn’t play their opening match of the three-Test series against England at Lord’s on the current tour They were thrown into the deep end of the coldest part of England in the north where they perished losing at Leeds and at Durham to make the third and final Test which begins at Lord’s on June 9 of academic interest as England have already pocketed the series by taking a winning 2-0 lead. Ever since Sri Lanka began playing a series more..

Ex-Intel chief linked to probe on hotel fire

June 5 (SL) An investigation launched over what seemed to be an accidental fire during the opening of a 5-star hotel in Hambantota last week, is said to include the role played by a former intelligence chief, who is now a security consultant of the hotel. The investigators probing the fire at the opening ceremony of the Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts in Hambantota, which was attended by President Sirisena, are looking at the advice more..

After the brawl: House to get new Standing Orders

June 5 (SO) In the wake of a series of incidents of breach of privilege in Parliament, a draft document has already been made to amend existing Standing Orders which were last amended in 1993, incorporating new key amendments and new provisions to regulate the businesses of Parliament. Parliament authorities have already completed the draft to amend Standing Orders and it has laid emphasis on two aspects - updating existing Standing Orders and covering new additions, more..

Navy member who gave evidence to be court martialed

June 5 (SL) A senior Navy intelligence officer, who had reportedly given evidence to the Criminal Investigations Department on Navy members allegedly involved in abductions and assisting illegal asylum seekers, is to be court martialed. Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne said that Commander K. C. Welagedara will face a court martial on the charge of going overseas without informing the Navy command and for bringing disrepute to the Navy. more..

Sri Lanka faces Zika threat, strict airport monitoring essential

June 5 (ST) The main vectors of the Zika virus are present across Sri Lanka and, as one of the most densely populated countries in the world, the risk of infection through mosquito bites or sexual transmission remains a major concern, researchers in Singapore warn. “Should Zika not be currently present in Sri Lanka, it is highly likely in the near future that an importation event will occur,” say Dr. Borame Dickens and Dr Jie Yang. more..

AG may file case on Thilina Gamage’s release

June 5 (SL) Attorney General is likely to file a case at the Colombo High Court against the granting of bail to former Colombo Additional Magistrate Thilina Gamage by Gangodawila Magistrate Kanishka Wijeyratne. He was granted bail by the Gangodawila Magistrate in the case over having a baby elephant without proper documentation. Gamage surrendered to court last week after the CID had launched an investigation over the Magistrate having in his possession the elephant calf. more..

To ease traffic, light rail services and passenger boats

June 5 (ST) Colombo and its suburbs are to have an integrated transport system linking up roads, rail and water transport routes. The proposals for the US$ 11.4 billion project have been included in the Megapolis traffic plan intended to reduce heavy traffic congestion in the city and the suburbs. This has been approved by the Cabinet for immediate implementation. A Light Railway Transit system which runs on elevated tracks and surface tracks to cover the main public institutions in the city more..

Corruption probes: President mindful of impact of grilling public officials

June 5 (ST) It may have been bacon and eggs for breakfast for most G-7 leaders who attended their 43rd summit in Japan last week, but for President Maithripala Sirisena it was just a simple meal of boiled Batala (sweet potatoes) and Lunumiris (ground dried chillies and onion with salt and lime). He ate that at pre-dawn before being driven to the summit venue in Ise-Shima in a three-and-half-hour-road journey. more..

President Sirisena’s Integrity will be tested

June 5 (CT) It was a few days ago that we said that China will be wanting a chat with President Sirisena on his return from Japan where the warmth with which he was received there by the planet's top 7 most powerful men from the West jolted Beijing into even condemning the G7 statement at the end of the Summit. G7 this year was all about China. We said China will be wanting to pick Sirisena's brains in an effort to get at the nitty-gritty of what went on between him and the G7 in Japan. more..

60 years after June 5, 1956: The making, unmaking & the difficult remaking of a nation

June 5 (Island) 60 years ago, on 5 June 1956, Sri Lanka’s third parliament began the Second Reading and debate on enacting the Official Language Act, also known as the Sinhala Only Act. There is nothing special about this sixtieth anniversary except today is fifth of June and presents an occasion to write about it. June 1956 legislation was the fulfillment by the then newly elected PM, SWRD Bandaranaike, of his dramatic electoral promise to make Sinhala the country’s official language more..

Mendis aiming to make bowlers tired of him

June 5 (CI) While other Sri Lanka batsmen have spoken of embracing positivity at the crease against a strong England attack, the youngest man in the top order has instead begun to focus on batting time. Impulsive, raw and attacking, 21-year-old Kusal Mendis may average less than 30 in 10 Test innings so far, but coaches and selectors have seen in him a spark that could be fanned into flame. Mendis hit SL's sole half-century more..

A disaster called corruption

June 5 (SL) In the aftermath of the gravest natural disaster the country has experienced since 2004, the govt was subjected to heavy criticism for its lack of efficiency in managing the relief process. Responding to the allegations regarding the lack of preparations to meet such a situation, Minister Sajith Premadasa said that such a disaster could not be forecast, as all the modern equipment that had been installed to monitor adverse more..

What is the mission that Maithri gave Ranil?

June 5 (CT) Last Wednesday President Sirisena was enjoying a dance recital at a newly opened resort owned by the Shangri-La Five Star Hotel Company in Mirijjawila, Hambantota when a straw thatched hut built at the dancing zone caught fire during a fireworks event. Stray sparks from a firecrackers display may have ignited the fire after the opening ceremony and the President was just about 50 metres away from the fire. more..

Lanka Sathosa to sell 80mn kilos of contaminated Indian rice as poultry feed

June 5 (Island) In what was described as a criminal waste of public funds, 80,000 metric tons (80 million kilos) of rice imported by Lanka Sathosa from India during the previous govt at a staggering cost of Rs. 6.020 billion is now being disposed of as poultry feed claiming that the consignments were unfit for human consumption, officials said last week. Moves to sell such a huge stock has raised eyebrows in trade circles, more..

Bidding suspended as storm brews over Chunnakam wind power plants

June 5 (ST) The Power and Renewable Energy Ministry has suspended the competitive bidding process for two 10 Megawatt wind power plants in Chunnakam in the North after concerns were raised by the Treasury. Deputy Minister Ajith Perera said the bidding process would remain suspended until the concerns raised by the Treasury were addressed. However, he said the decision to suspend the bidding processes more..

Ban on chief minister: President rescinds order by military commanders

June 5 (ST) One of the first tasks for President Sirisena, after he returned from Japan, was to issue an order to immediately rescind instructions sent out by Commanders of the tri-forces. They had issued separate instructions that debarred Eastern Province Chief Minister Naseer Ahmed from entering their respective installations. All military personnel were ordered to refrain from attending functions organised by CM. more..

'Govt caught up in Rs. 282Bn in debt because of Hambantota Port'

June 5 (Island) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, said the Colombo Port was being developed to enhance its international potential. Sri Lanka’s growing hub status, particularly its Indian ocean shipping lane placing, was constantly assessed for convenience and access for transit cargo, he noted. He was the chief guest and keynote speaker at the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka Meet the Minster program last week. more..

Tax worries: 400 luxury vehicles stuck in port

June 5 (ST) Finance Ministry has ruled out the provision of concessions to vehicle importers who have protested against the imposition of a heavy tax from last week. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the new tax was justified because it would help solve issues related to undervaluation of vehicles. Most importers this week held back clearing of their vehicles expecting concessions from the Finance Ministry. more..

Tamil Diaspora, TNA MPs to meet Zeid

June 5 (CT) Tamil Diaspora representatives and TNA MPs will meet UN High Commissioner, Zeid Al Hussein in Geneva, prior to his oral presentation at the 11 to 27 June Sessions of the UNHRC. SL faces crucial times in Geneva this month where mammoth Tamil Diaspora-backed rallies alleging delayed justice and prolongation of injustices to the Tamils will come against Lankan delegation to that meeting. more..

India to be Stakeholder in Port City

June 5 (SO) Five leading Indian companies, based in Mumbai, have expressed willingness to invest in the Chinese-funded Colombo Port City project. Three of the five companies already have a strong presence in Sri Lanka, top govt sources said. With this development, India, which earlier raised concerns over the Colombo Port City project, is likely to become an important stakeholder of the development plan. more..

Kaerakena Keliya and transitional justice

June 5 (Island) Kaerakena Keliya, the Sinhala adaptation of Travelling Circus, a play first performed and produced by The Mind Adventures theatre company in 2009, went on stage last week. Directed by Tracy Holsinger, the play was a collaboration with the renowned Sinhala theatre group Janakaraliya and marked Holsinger’s entry into Sinhala theatre. Reviewing ‘Travelling Circus’ seven years ago, I had no hesitation calling it one of the best plays I had seen. more..

Australia to employ intriguing tactic to counter Rangana Herath

June 5 (CB) For a full tour of Sri Lanka, starting with three Tests in late July, Australia are banking on Sridharan Sriram, former India cricketer, to help their batsmen stand tall against Rangana Herath. The senior Sri Lankan spinner could hold the aces against a team that has shown signs of struggle against spin in the recent past. Herath had bagged 14 wickets in two Tests when Australia toured the country last time in 2011, but the visitors will go in with an intriguing tactic, more..

Ada Cartoon: A leader for all seasons

When politics is less than art of the possible

June 5 (Island) The frequent apology for the shortfall in achievements of the govt and one that I have sometimes repeated is that politics is the art of the possible, hence it is sterile to demand things that, for reasons of structure or circumstance, it is impossible to accomplish. It is PM Ranil’s frequent defence, I understand. By structure I refer to the fact that President, and a large number of govt MPs and Cabinet Ministers come from the SLFP, while the PM and parliamentary and cabinet more..

SLFP to propose alternatives to tax

June 5 (SL) The SLFP is to propose alternatives to tax for the govt to earn revenue. SLFP member S.B. Dissanayake said that a presentation was made to the President on the proposed alternatives for the govt to earn revenue without simply depending on high taxes. He said that the President had advised the SLFP to take the proposals to economists and others before submitting a report to the govt. Dissanayake said that the govt needs to earn revenue to cushion the concessions given to more..

160 Sri Lankan students receive prestigious Jinnah Scholarship Awards for 2016

June 5 (TN) The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Maj General (R) Shakeel Hussain reiterated Pakistan’s continued support to Sri Lanka in enhancing younger generation’s nation building capacities with better educational opportunities. He was speaking on the occasion of award of educational scholarships worth SL Rs 3.84 Million to 160 bright Sri Lankan students of O/L and A/L under Jinnah Educational Scholarship more..

Initiate immediate investigation into attack on Meepura editor: FMM

June 5 (Island) Free Media Movement (FMM) vehemently condemned the attack on the editor of the regional newspaper and website Meepura and asked the govt to conduct an immediate inquiry to take proper legal action against the perpetrators. The editor, Freddy Gamage, came under attack while he was returning from the Negambo Municipal Council after covering its General Meeting. He was assaulted by two men wearing full face helmets as he was walking towards his vehicle, more..

Cleaning up operations: 6,000 tonnes of garbage removed

June 5 (DM) More than 6,000 tonnes of garbage had been collected from flood affected areas in Colombo for the last four days, the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government said today. The ministry said most of the garbage had been collected from Kotikawatta, Kolonnawa, Meethotamulla, Sedawatte, Kohilawatte and Wellampitiya had dumped onto a land situated in Kolonnawa. It said the removal of garbage piling up in flood affected areas had commenced more..

'Pentagon chief's China self-isolation claims counter-productive for regional stability'

June 5 (Xinhua) U.S. defense secretary's China self-isolation claims will do no good to peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region, a Sri Lankan expert said on Sunday on the sidelines of the 15th Shangri-La Dialogue. "U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's remarks will not help build bridges between countries. What's important to do at present is to have a collaborative approach, rather than harsh comments," more..

Suspects who assault Gamage arrested

June 5 (ITN) Police have arrested two suspects in connection with the assault on Web Journalist and Editor of Meepura Newspaper Freddie Gamage. The suspects have been arrested following investigations conducted by two Police teams on the orders of the Negombo Police Division SP, Anura Abeykoon. Police have arrested the two suspects while hiding in a house at Janajayagama, Bolawalana area in Negombo. They said that the suspects who are of 28 and 22 years of age, are brothers. more..

President’s Environment Day Message

June 5 (PSL) The human being, as a cultural creature, is considered more important than any other living creature because of their ability to conquer the environment. Although, mankind forced itself to make changes in the environment to a certain extent to build the thing essential for the survival of them such as houses and roads, the natural disasters that occur from time to time emphasize to us, the human beings, our boundaries that they should know while dealing with more..

Will Sri Lanka filibuster this time around too?

June 5 (CT) Despite one of the UN panel of experts who visited Sri Lanka recently saying, that he was doubtful whether the SL question would be on the agenda in Geneva this month, once again the disturbing topic of alleged human rights violations will be taken up at UNHRC 32nd Session from 30 June to 1 July. A vast number of the Tamil Diaspora from all corners of the world are (supposedly larger in number this time) more..

Underage girl overplays love

June 5 (DM) As the extensive damage and loss of life caused by the Aranayake landslide made national headlines, another shocking story has emerged from the area involving an underage girl who had eloped twice with two young lovers within a span of two weeks and being sexually abused by both of them. The underage girl’s two young boy friends aged 16 and 19 who had eloped with her were remanded after being arrested by the police. The 14-year-old girl had initially eloped with more..

Mahela, Atapattu among shortlist to become BCB HP Unit coach

June 5 (BDC) Former captains Mahela Jayawardene and Marvan Atapattu are leading contenders to become the coach of the BCB High Performance (HP) Unit, which is going to resume next month. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) vice-president Mahbubul Anam, who is also in charge of the HP Unit, informed that they have made a shortlist of three high profile names, and one of them could come Bangladesh to coach the HP Unit cricketers. “We have formed a three-man shortlist. more..

Bibile loyalists want to take Rajitha to court over NMRA decisions

June 5 (DM) Prof. Senaka Bibile Commemorative Association (SBCA) today said they would take legal action against Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne for allegedly sabotaging work of the National Medicinal Regulatory Authority (NMRA), in support of multinational pharmaceutical companies. National Organiser of the SBCA Dr. Jayantha Bandara said that they would file a case in court against Health Minister for his actions, more..