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Thirimanne joins team after getting visa

May 5 (ST) Lahiru Thirimanne, who was named as a last minute inclusion for Sri Lanka's upcoming tour to England flew one day after the team left today with team official Dupil Samarasekara. "Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to state that, Lahiru Thirimanne's Irish visa has been received by SLC. He and Computer Analyst Dulip Samarasekara will depart for UK on 5th May," SLC said. Earlier SLC stated that Thirimanne would join the SL squad shortly after his late inclusion in the SL Test squad to UK. more..

Minister Range Bandara indicted

May 5 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge served indictment papers on state minister Palitha Range Bandara. Attorney General has indicted Range Bandara on a charge of criminal breach of trust for having allegedly received Rs. 500,000 from a person called Dinesh Ratnayake for granting the licence for an SUV valid for five years. The counsel for Range Bandara, Kalum Kumarasinghe told the court that an appeal had been made to the Attorney General regarding the accusation. more..

Thewarapperuma, Ranaweera suspended for one week

May 5 (EN) Parliament today unanimously voted to suspend two of its members for a period of one week for instigating the worst brawl in the legislature in 12 years. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said an investigation led by his deputy found that UNP's Palitha Thewarapperuma and UPFA's Prasanna Ranaweera were the main instigators of Tuesday's punch up. Assembly through two resolutions suspended two MPs for one week more..

Laggala traffic OIC interdicted over weapons stolen last month

May 5 (CG) Laggala police traffic OIC has been interdicted over the weapons stolen last month from the Laggala police station. OIC had allegedly consumed alcohol hours before the weapons had been stolen. A T-56 weapon and five revolvers were stolen from the Laggala police station in Matale last month. An individual had stolen the weapons and fled. The weapons were later found near a Temple in the area. Three policemen attached to the Laggala police station were earlier interdicted more..

Removal of army commandos, decision of National Security Council: UPFA Gen. Secy.

May 5 (Island) UPFA General Secretary and Minister Mahinda Amaraweera (SLFP) endorsed the National Security Council’s (NSC) decision to assign police personnel to the security detail of former President Rajapaksa in place of army commandos withdrawn on May 02. He said it was the NSC’s prerogative to decide on what type of security was required by VIPs. Minister said that President and PM had also been given police security and, therefore, it was not an issue for ex-President more..

‘All top 20 global shipping lines call on Colombo’

May 5 (AD) Due to Sri Lanka’s strategic location, all top twenty global shippers call on historic Colombo port –and Sri Lanka’s central geographic location is a great draw card for the 16th World Export Development Forum (WEDF) session to be held in Colombo this October, as revealed today. “WEDF is a rare opportunity for Sri Lankan export sector to highlight its brand portfolio to the visiting international trade experts more..

Govt to establish a Pirivena in Sanchi to teach Theravada Buddhism

May 5 (GDI) Govt plans to establish a Pirivena in Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh of India to teach Theravada Buddhism. According to a proposal put forward by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe for the approval of the cabinet of ministers, the government is considering establishing a Pirivena to halt the decline of Buddhism in India, the land of its birth. The practice of Theravada Buddhism is declining in India, where it was widely prevailed in the past, and there is no established institute in India more..

Senior DIG instructed crimes OIC not to investigate discovery of Thajudeen's wallet

May 5 (AM) The lawyers of Narahenpita former Crimes OIC Sumith Perera today told Colombo Magistrate Courts that the Crimes OIC was instructed by a Senior DIG not to investigate into the discovery of Thajudeen's wallet at a different location. Senior DIG has said that a different team was investigating the matter, the lawyers said. The CID informed the court that they have recorded six statements from Crimes OIC. There were contradictions in his statements, CID said. more..

Sri Lanka cricketers leave for England

May 5 (DN) Head coach Graham Ford believes that the young group of players picked for the Test tour of England has got a great opportunity to display their skills and temperament and cement their places in the national team for the future. “It’s a great time for a young player to show what he can do. There are opportunities available at the moment and our selectors are watching closely at players who are staying behind as well,” said Ford more..

Totally unfair, says Ranaweera

May 5 (DM) Joint Opposition MP Prasanna Ranaweera, who was suspended for one week, protested the decision and called it totally unfair to victimize him without taking any action against UNP MP Sandith Samarasinghe who assaulted him. Mr. Ranaweera in a letter to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said the decision to suspend him from parliamentary sessions for one week from today, had been taken in a manner which was not fair and transparent. "A person who has been legally challenged by more..

President to attend Anti-Corruption Summit in London

May 5 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena will leave for London on May 11 to attend the Anti-Corruption Summit organized by the British govt. British PM David Cameron, who will host the landmark international summit in London on May 12, has extended an invitation to President Sirisena when the two leaders met at the CHOGM held in Malta last year. The summit, a first of its kind, will bring together world leaders, business and civil society to agree a package of practical steps to more..

Parliament clash: Lawmakers/lawbreakers?

The new AG & IGP: Tasked to revitalise the dying system

May 6 (CT) Now, there is a new Attorney General and a new IGP. Whatever be the disputes about the manner in which their appointments were made, they are now the operators of two of the most vital systems of the state apparatus in Sri Lanka, the AG’s Department and the police service. That both of these vital institutions have been in a state of serious crisis and even decline, are a fact that is known to everyone; and is also acknowledged by the political and all other authorities. more..

Give Mahinda an Army? Can’t joint opposition stop joking?

May 6 (CT) I tell you, these guys in the self-styled Joint Opposition (JO) are plain crazy. Imagine an opposition demanding full-scale military security to their electorally defeated leader to enable the latter to go round the country at will and pleasure with the sole and concentrated purpose of undermining the govt! Scores of military men and policemen hanging around him from Dondra to Point Pedro and buckets of money as attendant expenses for fuel and salaries and overtime? more..

'Education is a right, not a commodity'

May 6 (CT) Sri Lanka never seems to run out of university student protests. Recently, university students launched yet another protest demanding the govt to abolish SAITM, the only private Medical degree awarding institute in Sri Lanka. Few students were injured during the protest while the administration failed to provide solutions to any issues. In that context Medical Faculties Students' Action Committee convener Rayan Jayalath more..

Postscript to May Day

May 6 (DN) May Day is all over, even the shouting, and both the Govt and the Opposition are now looking to the next major event on the political agenda - Local Govt elections - to establish themselves as frontrunners on the political landscape. If one is to pick a winner from the different May Day rallies that were staged by political parties, the UNP will take pride of place. Its rally at Campbell Park was arguably the best it had in many decades. more..

Do it right!

May 6 (DN) He entered the world of motor racing by taking part in Wales Park Hill Climb in 2000. Since then he pursued racing and became champion Colombo Supercross in 2001. In 2002, he reached another milestone in his carrer when he won his first SLARDAR (SL Association of Racing Drivers and Riders) C'ship in 2002. 7 years later, he emerged joint-champion in SLH 1600cc event of the SLARDAR C'ship in 2009. Last year, he grabbed the 1500cc Event C'ship at Katukurunda Circuit. more..

Living in a world of Plastic

May 6 (CT) Sri Lanka doesn't top a great number of world rankings but in 2010, according to a report published by the International Business Times, Sri Lanka sat near the top of the world in terms of how much plastic the island dumped into the ocean. In 2010, it was estimated that SL dumped 1.59 metric tons of plastic into its surrounding Indian Ocean, making us the 5th largest plastic-marine polluter in the world. more..

Working bus drivers at risk

May 6 (NS) Health issues related to traffic noise range from irritability, sleep disorders, hormonal imbalances, hearing loss and cardiovascular disorders. On top of it lack of awareness about hygienic habits makes them susceptible to illness. It’s literally a mayday situation for working bus drivers and Nation though it apt to speak about bus drivers and health issues that comes with the territory. Smoking, drinking and betel chewing are a few of the obvious vices of bus drivers. more..

Editorial: Kadirgamar’s portrait

May 6 (Island) Yesterday’s issue of this newspaper carried a photograph of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe delivering a lecture at Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute. In the background was a picture of late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. PM said there was no way the LTTE could raise its monstrous head again. The sight of Kadirgamar’s beautiful portrait took us back in time. Kadirgamar was known as a walking encyclopaedia to his peers. He was conversant with virtually any subject. more..

Aluth Parlimantuwa

More blackouts in future (by 2018) unless Lankan authorities act fast

May 6 (ST) Can Sri Lanka go nuclear to solve its future electricity woes – and have no doubts there will be more blackouts and outages in the years to come? This was the question posed by the Business Times at the end of a 2-hour seminar this week on the Electricity Crisis jointly organized by the two CCCs – the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Consumer Consultative Committee of the PUCSL (Public Utilities Commission of SL, the watchdog that oversees the electricity industry). more..

Shame and distortion of May Day

May 6 (Island) It is said that May Day, Labour Day or International Workers' Day, is universally observed to celebrate the contributions of the working peoples’, to everybody's well-being and prosperity. This is a totally proper recognition of the truth that nature's resources, purposefully employed, is the basis of all that we enjoy physically. The contribution of human talent and effort towards this is worthy of acknowledgment. But how far have we drifted? The extent to which SL has distorted this objective more..

Poor condition at the Dehiwala Zoo

May 6 (DM) The Born Free foundation, an international wildlife charity based in UK recently released a statement regarding the Dehiwela Zoo, with regard to the poor conditions at the Zoo and possible welfare concerns for the animals. Foundation that runs a Zoo Check programme in its release said that it was willing to work with the Govt to implement a few changes within the zoo. more..

Sri Lanka scrum down in Malaysia

May 6 (Island) In a bid to secure the Asian Rugby Championship, Sri Lanka national rugby squad, consisted of 25 players, will depart to Malaysia this morning. The tuskers will be led by the number eight Sudharshana Muthuthanthri while veteran scrum half Roshan Weeraratne will serve as his deputy. In the absence of number of senior players, Sri Lanka National selectors have picked nine uncapped players who had excelled in the recently concluded inter-club league rugby tournament. more..

Ravi Dias new Chairman of Seylan Bank

May 6 (FT) Seylan Bank has appointed Ravi Dias as its Chairman with effect from 9 May. He succeeds Nihal Jayamanne, who retires from his position as Chairman of the bank in compliance with the Banking Act Directions No. 11 of 2007 on Corporate Governance as he reaches the age of 70 years. Jayamanne joined the Board of Seylan Bank in Dec 2008 as an Independent Director and later designated as Senior Independent Director before being appointed Chairman in Jan 2013. more..

Take decisions fearlessly to protect environment: President to officials

May 6 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena instructed relevant heads of institutions to take necessary decisions without any fear to protect and conserve the environment. President also emphasized that the Govt is always ready to stand on behalf of those officials, who take correct decisions. He made these remarks participating in the inauguration ceremony of the sixth National Symposium on Air Resource Management more..

Review: Dheepan, about Sri Lankan refugees, looks like a prophecy

May 6 (NYT) Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan, which won the Palme d’Or in Cannes a year ago, arrives in North American theaters having lost none of the timeliness that was widely noted last May. Screening in the South of France a few months after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, as the Syrian refugee problem intensified across Europe, this story of a makeshift family, tossed from a distant war zone into a French housing project, looked to many festival observers less like a work of cinematic art more..

SINGER records excellent growth in revenue and net income in 1st quarter

May 6 (Island) The Singer Sri Lanka Group generated Group Revenue of Rs 10.6 Billion in the first quarter of 2016 representing a dynamic growth of 23%. This is in addition to strong growth achieved last year capping a record 57% increase over two years. Group Net Profit for the 1st Quarter was a high of Rs. 809 Million, an increase of 191% when compared with the previous year. The company only Net Profit generated for the 1st Quarter was Rs. 215 Million, an increase of 74%. more..

Colombo to encourage return of refugees living in India

May 6 (Hindu) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has reiterated that it is the policy of his govt to encourage the return of SL Tamil refugees living in India by removing legal and other hurdles. Replying to a question of the EPDP leader Douglas Devananda, PM told Parliament that steps would be taken to issue (provisional, one-way) passports in two to four weeks to the refugees in India through the website of more..

May Day 2016 proved UNP remains strongest political force: Kabir

May 6 (FT) UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim in a statement said the 2016 May Day proved that the UNP remains the strongest political force in the country. Full statement: Although it was not an election related event, this year’s May Day was about the major political parties demonstrating their respective political strengths and here, once again, it was clearly established that the largest political party in the country, UNP remains the strongest political force in the country. more..

Search operations for monk missing in the Balangoda landslide continue

May 6 (ITN) Operations in search of the Buddhist monk who disappeared due to the landslide at Pambahinna in Balangoda resumed this morning. Operations continued throughout yesterday in search of the missing Thera. The Niyandagala Aranya Senasanaya was destroyed as a result of the landslide experienced in the Niyandagala area in Pambahinna in Balangoda. Ven. Horana Anomadassi Thera who was in Aranya Senasanaya disappeared while action was taken to more..

Microfinance Bill passed in Parliament

May 6 (FT) New laws on licensing, regulating and supervision of companies carrying out microfinance business received Parliamentary approval on Wednesday. Moving the second reading debate, PM stated the lack of regulation had made room for exploiting unsuspected grassroots in the country. “What has happened so far is the exploitation of the unsuspecting people by the microfinance companies. more..

Navy arrests five Indians smuggling Ganja

May 6 (SLN) Naval patrol craft deployed West of Silavathurai and Mullikulam area, apprehended five Indians along with a boat who were transferring approximately 120 kg of Kerala Cannabis by sea on 4th May 2016. The SL racketeer who involved in this smuggling attempt was also arrested is the same area along with a Fiber Glass Dinghy. By the time the arrest was made, the Indian boat was heading towards Silavathurai and the Navy suspects that this consignment has been brought from India. more..

Removal of Meethotamulla garbage dump begins

May 6 (ITN) Removal of the Meethotamulla garbage dump has begun. Plans are afoot to construct a new town where the garbage dump was located. A British company has come forward to remove the garbage dump in Meethotamulla. Garbage had been dumped in the area for several years. The company had entered into an agreement with the WPC. It was handed over near the garbage junkyard itself. Plans have been drawn up for the disposal of 4,000 metric tons of garbage daily. more..

Sri Lanka to host World Export Development Forum 2016

May 6 (FT) World Export Development Forum (WEDF), flagship event of the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC) will be held in Colombo, on 12-13 Oct 2016. The announcement was made yesterday by Minister Maiik Samarawickrama. ITC Executive Director Arancha Gonzalez and EDB Chairperson lndira Malwatte. Previous editions of WEDF have been held in Qatar (2015), Rwanda (2014), more..

Attention focused to control stray dogs

May 6 (ITN) Attention has been drawn to the crafting of a policy to control stray dogs. The Cabinet of Ministers recently took a decision to formulate a mechanism to prevent the trouble caused to the public from stray dogs. A Committee was appointed to the decisions concerned and the first discussion of the Committee was held at the Ministry auditorium. It is revealed that there are about 500,000 stray dogs in the island. This figure is daily increasing and the public hindered as a result more..

Cigarettes worth Rs. 4.6 million seized at BIA

May 6 (ITN) An attempt made to smuggle cigarettes into the country has been seized. Director of Customs and Customs Media Spokesman Dharmasena Kahandawa said that four persons who attempt to smuggle in the cigarettes were arrested at the Katunayake International Airport. The Customs Media Spokesman said that the value of the cigarettes was 4.5 million rupees. The men had arrived from Doha on Flight QR 668 at around 2.00 am today. more..

Asylum seekers flown back to Sri Lanka from Cocos Islands

May 6 (guardian) Asylum seekers who arrived on the Cocos Islands by boat this week appear to have been returned to Sri Lanka by the Australian govt. On Monday, a wooden vessel, which observers said was probably carrying asylum seekers from Sri Lanka based on the boat’s appearance, travelled into the islands’ bay under its own power and without interception until it nearly made it to shore. more..

Rohana wins 100m gold at Asia Masters Athletics Championships

May 6 (TNP) National 100m record holder UK Shyam was a contender for gold in the men's 100m (35 to 39 age group) at the 19th Asia Masters Athletics Championships after he finished the semi-finals as the second fastest qualifier, 0.01 second behind India's Manoj Manoj, who posted a time of 11.53sec. But Singaporeans who turned up to watch the two-time South-east Asia Games silver medallist in action were left in dismay after he pulled out of the race due to personal reasons. more..