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Hambantota port inauguration under probe

May 7 (Island) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga told Parliament that a presidential commission had commenced a special investigation into the expenses incurred on the flooding of the Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port and the inauguration ceremony. He said that Nalin Aponso, the then deputy chief manager of the SL Ports Authority had been accused of misappropriating around Rs 113 million for the Karadiyawara Mangallaya and an investigation more..

Seven undergraduates remanded

May 7 (DN) Seven Kelaniya University undergraduates arrested in connection with a ragging incident were remanded till May 17 after being produced before Mahara Magistrate, Peliyagoda SSP Deshabandu Thennakoon said. According to him, seven students including four females and three males, were arrested following a Police complaint filed by another female student who had alleged that she was subjected to severe ragging by the suspects. more..

Vote dispute: 163 out of 225 MPs missing

May 7 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, said that it was the responsibility of party leaders to ensure the participation of their members in parliamentary proceedings. Speaker said that in case members skipped sessions it would be the responsibility of the respective leaders to take punitive action against them. speaker is on record as having said that a single day’s parliamentary sittings cost the Sri Lankan taxpayer Rs. 4.6 mn, more..

Mother, thank you for the love in every stitch

May 7 (DM) Dolly Parton, the most honoured female country performer of all time has written a beautiful song about her mother’s love and care when she was a poor child. With encores from music’s great halls of fame, she sang one of her memorable hit songs about the coat of many colours that her mother had made for her, with love in every stitch. Dolly Parton sang; “Back through the years; I go wonderin’ once again; Back to the seasons of my youth; I recall a box of rags that someone more..

Why we shouldn’t be surprised if Packer makes a little jaunt to Colombo

May 7 (DM) Joint opposition lawmaker Weerakumara Dissanayake on Wednesday told journalists that Australian gaming mogul James Packer, who once said he wanted to make Sri Lanka a gaming Mecca, was in town. Dissanayake urged the govt to disclose the purpose of Packer’s visit. Dissanayake’s claims on Packer’s visit are yet to be verified for their accuracy. But if one analyses the recent developments surrounding Packer, it makes sense for him to make a return trip, more..

Robin Hood / Soora Saradiel economics: Friend or Foe?

May 7 (SL) Court vacation always permits that little bit of extra time to pen something down and the occasion arose when former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank Dr. W. A. Wijewardene, The Island Political Columnist Shamindra Ferdinando and self were invited by SIRASA TV last week for a dialogue on this general theme. Immediately the following evening (Tuesday) our good friend Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva, an expert in more..

Police TID arrests 4 top Eastern Ex-Tiger leaders who worked with military intelligence

May 7 (DBS) A widespread security crackdown has been underway in the Northern and Eastern provinces. Over 20 former members of the LTTE have been reportedly taken into custody over the past weeks in a staggered security operation spearheaded by the Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) of the Police. Almost all of the ex-LTTE cadres are being detained under provisions of draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). more..

Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to discuss Sri Lanka

May 7 (CG) The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances is to discuss Sri Lanka at its 109th session in Geneva. The Working Group will hold its 109th session from 9 to 18 May to examine almost 800 cases from 40 different countries. The Group’s five independent human rights experts will also meet relatives of those who have disappeared, State authorities from different countries and more..

Arjuna and Marikkar in verbal battle

May 7 (DM) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga and fellow govt MP S.M. Marikkar were engaged in a heated argument in Parliament yesterday. The argument flared up when Mr. Marikkar raised an oral question on an alleged fraud at SL Ports Authority and linked it up with the recent elections of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). The alleged fraud was regarding spending a sum of Rs 113.3 million for two opening ceremonies of the Magampura Port. more..

National policy on stray dogs

May 7 (Island) The Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Govt (MPCLG) said it would formulate a National Policy to control the stray dog population. The pilot project on implementing the National Policy would be initiated in the Colombo District over a period of six months. The decision to come up with proper scheme to minimise the nuisance of stray dogs had been taken during a Cabinet meeting held last month, more..

Athletes in dilemma over new gym rules

May 7 (CT) New rules enforced by the Fitness Gymnasium at Torrington Premises have left National Athletes in dilemma as their work-out time has been limited specifically for one hour while restricting the usage of the gym only on the specified three days of the week. New rules came into effect from the start of this month, where the authorities have imposed a monthly charge for each group of athletes and it has also limited access more..

SL, Pakistan joint op. to combat drug menace

May 7 (ST) Authorities in Sri Lanka wish to enhance cooperation with Pakistan in anti-narcotics efforts, amid mounting concern over the large quantities of heroin from that country, detected in Sri Lanka. Statistics also show that, in recent years, Pakistanis are the largest number of foreigners arrested here for heroin smuggling. The latest such arrest occurred on Friday when Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) officers arrested more..

Reconciliation program for school children commenced

May 7 (PSL) The inaugural session of the national program Sisu Diviyata Nawa Aruthak (New meaning to students’ life), which aimed at educating school children regarding the national reconciliation process in the country, commenced under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the BMICH on May 05. Ministry of National Integration & Reconciliation organized this event with the intention of more..

Supreme Court ruling on RTI bill will prevent premature disclosures on ETCA

May 7 (ENS) The Supreme Court's Determination on the constitutionality of the Right to Information (RTI) Bill, which was given earlier this week, will prevent premature disclosures on the negotiations to be held between Sri Lanka and India on an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). The ETCA is being vociferously opposed by influential sections of the island nation even before commencement of talks on it. more..

'Speaker should refrain from signing Supplementary Estimate'

May 7 (DN) The Speaker should refrain from placing his signature on the Supplementary Estimate of Rs. 55 million until the prevailing issues about it are resolved, MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena said. He said if the Speaker endorsed the Supplementary Estimate before the four member committee submits the report, it would be illegal, adding that a court case could be filed against the Speaker then. more..

None to present private members’ motions: House adjourned

May 7 (Island) Deputy Speaker adjourned Parliament sittings during the presentation of Private Members’ Motions as there were no members to move them. According to the order paper, nine Private Members’ Motions from eight MPs of both govt and the Opposition were to be debated yesterday. Names of UNP MPs Buddhika Pathirana, Abdullah Mahroof, S.M. Marikkar, Hesha Withanage, Lucky Jayawardana, J.C. Alawathuwala and M.H.M. Salman and UPFA MP Douglas Devananda more..

Sinhala nationalists against federalism but unintentionally promoting separatism

May 7 (CT) Recent comments on federalism in the light of the forthcoming new constitution for the discordant Sri Lanka, highlight the preconceived mindset that denied peace and development to the nation after independence. The living conditions of the people, particularly those in the low and middle income groups were constrained by this neglect. Mothers had to seek employment in the Middle East as domestic helpers to supplement their family incomes. more..

Face the Nation

Pushing juniors purposefully

May 7 (CT) The ongoing Super 19 provincial tournament organized by Sri Lanka Cricket is scheduled to pick their Man of the Tournament to get on the Sri Lanka contracted player list. To be fair by all, it should be extended to at least a dozen or so, may be even more, going by age categories. It will be helpful to select the ultimate Under 19 Squad if they are purposefully taken into account and prepared for roles they will play eventually for the country internationally. more..

Rugby: Sri Lanka favourites over Singapore

May 7 (CT) Asian Rugby Championship 2016 will kick-off tomorrow when the Sri Lanka 15-a-side Rugby Team go head to head against Singapore in the opening match of the tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Having won this tournament last year, Sri Lanka would once again be firm favourites to win the championship. However, the National Selectors have picked a very young and inexperienced side which includes nine uncapped players. more..

Asylum seekers deported from Cocos Islands arrested by Sri Lankan police

May 7 (TG) The 12 Sri Lankan asylum seekers deported from Australia’s Cocos Islands have been arrested and taken into police custody in Colombo. The group, which included a woman, one child, and one infant, were flown back on a secret charter flight from the islands overnight on Thursday. Australian govt has declined to comment on the arrival of the asylum-seeker boat at Cocos, or the group’s rapid forced removal, more..

Four female undergrads among seven remanded for Kelaniya ragging

May 7 (Island) The Mahara Magistrate yesterday remanded till May 17 seven Kelaniya university students for ragging a Fresher on April 25. Top ranking police officer said that the student who made a complaint to the Kiribathgoda police station had suffered from mental stress due to ragging by the seniors according to the JMO report. Among seven remanded four are female students of the Kelaniya university. He said another three would be taken into custody over the incident. more..

Confusion over documents in Parliament

May 7 (CT) Confusion over another document mistakenly construed to have been a part of the controversial Supplementary Estimates issue arose once again in Parliament yesterday. A document containing details of estimated future govt expenditure and allocations for such purposes had been placed on the tables of MPs. Members had mistaken this to be a part of the Supplementary Estimates Bill. As a result, Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who initially more..

This PET is a grave need

May 7 (ST) A mother and her little son are gently moving back and forth on a brightly-coloured outdoor-swing. They are not in a playground for the afternoon, when we meet them on Monday, but just outside Ward 16, the Paediatric Ward of the National Cancer Institute at Maharagama. Heart-rending are the scenes that pass before our eyes, as we talk to Subodha Suranji, a teacher from the south. All children here, both girls and boys – more..

Ranil to crack the whip?

May 7 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is learnt to have ordered a complete list of the names of all govt MPs who were not in their seats in Parliament when the vote on the Rs 55 million Supplementary Estimates was taken on Thursday. PM's order had come from Singapore where he is on a private visit at the moment. Sources said he had telephoned two of his ministers to get first-hand information on the vote which was a tie, leading the Speaker to appoint a four-member panel to look into the issue. more..

Mathews no fan of points system

May 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has questioned plans to introduce a points system for his side's upcoming tour of England. The proposal is, as happens with the women's Ashes, to aggregate the results of all the international fixtures this season between England and Sri Lanka. A similar scheme is envisaged when Pakistan visit for the second half of the English season, with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) holding talks with their counterparts in Sri Lanka and Pakistan. more..

'Kaushal Silva incident was scary'

May 7 (CI) Graham Ford, the Sri Lanka coach, has said it was a scary moment when Kaushal Silva, the opening batsman, was struck on the back of the head while fielding at short leg recently. Silva was taking part in a practice match in Pallekele ahead of Sri Lanka leaving for England when he took the blow. He had ducked and turned his head, but was hit below the back rim of the helmet, in the padded rear attachment that more..

Root expected to stay at No. 4

May 7 (CI) Joe Root is set to stay at No. 4 in England's Test line-up for the series against Sri Lanka, but Alastair Cook admitted there were some tough decisions to be made about other batting positions. Three of England's top five slots are under scrutiny going into the international season - which begins with the first Test at Headingley on May 19 - and the selectors will meet next week after one more round of Championship matches. Trevor Bayliss, the England coach, returns from Australia to more..

GMOA threatens legal action against black coat for irresponsible utterances

May 7 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) warned that it was prepared to take legal action against a prominent member of the legal profession who made false allegations against the Sri Lanka Medical Council during a political talk show on a television channel last month. GMOA Spokesman Dr Naveen Zoysa urged the SLMC also to take action by instituting legal action against the said attorney-at-law or the television station unless remedial action was taken. more..

Over 400 illegal weapons surrendered as amnesty period ends

May 7 (AD) A total of 423 firearms were handed over to authorities during the amnesty period declared by the Defence Ministry to return illegal weapons. The amnesty period was in effect from April 25 and ended yesterday while during the period illegal weapons were handed over to the nearest Divisional Secretariat, District Secretary offices and police stations. A majority of illegal weapons had been handed over in Gampaha Disitrct with more..

Promotions given to 60 ASPs

May 7 (ITN) 60 Assistant Superintendents of Police have been promoted as Superintendents of Police. These promotions have been granted by the Police Commission. Among those who had been granted promotions are two women officers. The Commission has decided to suspend promotions of three Police Officers who are facing disciplinary inquiries. The IGP has announced these promotion list on the recommendations of the National Police Commission. more..

Youth players to benefit from 'A' tour

May 7 (CT) Aravinda de Silva, the Advisor of Cricket Affairs, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) stated that the best performers in the Super-19 Inter-Provincial Cricket Tournament could be a part of the Sri Lanka 'A' Team which is due to tour England in June. However, earlier there were claims that one of the Under-19 players could feature in the Sri Lanka National Squad which departed to England on Wednesday. "First, they (Under-19s) have to play 'A' team cricket and therefore more..

'Fisheries Ministry causes embarrassment by rushing with news'

May 7 (Island) Political integration had led to Sri Lanka reaping the benefits of economic fusion, says Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva. "In eight weeks’ time the first fish would be exported to the European Union after a lapse of about two years" he said recently. Sri Lanka, which was previously the second biggest exporter of fresh and frozen swordfish and tuna to the EU with exports worth EUR 74 million in 2013, more..

Sri Lankan art makes its mark at One Belt, One Road international exhibition

May 7 (FT) Sotheby’s Hong Kong recently exhibited the ground-breaking show by women artists reflecting the cross regional and cross cultural concept of China’s initiative One Belt One Road. Sri Lanka was the only South Asian country included and was represented by the renowned artist Anoma Wijewardene. The exhibition curated by the entrepreneur Pansy Ho and organised by the powerful Hong Kong Federation of Women, with the support of a number of politicians, such as more..

Govt: Port City won’t harm fisheries industry

May 7 (Island) According to the new reports of experts, no harm would be caused to the fisheries industry due to the Port City Project as feared earlier, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. He said the fisheries community along the coastal belt from Colombo to Negombo and Colombo to Galle had feared for their livelihood due to the project as massive sand excavation was taking place from the breeding sites of fishes. He said a meeting had been held in Negombo recently to discuss whether more..

Fears that ancient giant tanks could dry up

May 7 (ST) Thousands of villagers pray for rain as the ancient giant tanks and irrigation systems could dry up if the drought continues in the North, East and North-Central provinces, with the experts forecasting a continued need for trucked-in drinking water. Govt Agents and irrigation and meteorological experts voiced the need for continued supplies of clean drinking water as well as for containers, barrels & tanks to hold water. more..

Gang of three finally relents

May 7 (DM) The white collar high-ups of the statutory body responsible for lighting up the country who were set to purchase power from the private sector in defiance of the ruling by the highest decision-making body have finally relented, they say. The top ones of yahapalanaya at a powwow the other day had tried to unravel the secret behind the unusual power commanded by the statutory body’s big guns and it had transpired that it was a Gang of Three that was calling the shots more..

Shangri-La in Dengue soup

May 7 (DN) The Police on Thursday arrested a project director of the Chinese company handling the construction of Shangri-La Hotel in Galle Face for maintaining dengue breeding grounds. The raid was carried out by police and CMC health officials on the directive of Central Colombo DIG Gamini Maturata after police received a number of complaints that around 40 employees working in the construction site were diagnosed with dengue during the past few weeks. more..

Torture continues in Sri Lanka due to weaknesses in law: UN

May 7 (PTI) Sri Lanka continues to use torture mechanisms even after the end of the civil war due to weaknesses in law, a top UN official said here today and described the condition of detention camps and prisons in the country as deplorable. "Torture continues in the system due to weaknesses in law," said Juan E Mendez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment. more..

‘AIADMK govt failed to protect fishermen’s interests’

May 7 (Hindu) DMK leader M.K. Stalin said that the AIADMK govt had failed to find a lasting solution to the fishermen issue, despite promising to protect their livelihood and retrieve Katchatheevu in its 2011 election manifesto. He said that after the AIADMK came to power in 2011, Sri Lankan navy had arrested about 3,000 fishermen when they set out for fishing in the Palk Bay and confiscated more than 400 boats, but the govt had not taken any step to find a permanent solution to the issue. more..