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Kiriella rules out Supreme Court intervening in parliament affairs

May 9 (Island) Leader of the House and Minister Lakshman Kiriella said on Saturday that Supreme Court could not intervene in affairs of Parliament. Addressing a ceremony, he said: "I hear that an Opposition MPs has said they will go before the Supreme Court against the Speaker if the latter signs the supplementary estimate which the Opposition claims has not been passed. The Opposition cannot do so. more..

EPF in 2013/2014 has diminished by billions

May 9 (DM) Investments made by the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) in 2013/2014 in the share market, has diminished by billions, the EPF annual report which was presented to Parliament last Friday said. “Out of the total long term and short term investments amounting to Rs. 71,690,881,118 made by the funds in 80 companies in the share market as at Dec 31, 2013, an investment of Rs. 52,092,805,864 made in more..

Concerns of UN Rapporteurs

May 9 (CT) The UN Special Rapporteurs Monica Pinto and Juan E. Mendez have expressed their concerns over the existing legal system in the island and emphasized the need of bringing structural reforms to the key institutions such as the Attorney General's Department, Armed Forces, Police and the Judiciary. The two UN Special Rapporteurs held a press conference in Colombo last Saturday on their Sri Lankan assignment and briefed on the measures to be taken into consideration by more..

Good governance necessary to achieve govt’s economic vision

May 9 (CT) The re-opening of the EU fisheries market to Sri Lankan exporters came as a welcome success to the govt at a time when it needs to show some tangible progress on the economic front to the people. The main criticism of the govt amongst the general population is the absence of economic development and poverty alleviation in their lives. While a relatively small fraction of the population travels in luxury private cars, the general public continues to hang on to the footboards of more..

ශමින්ද්žර ෆර්ඩිනැන්ඩු

Shares post near 4-month closing high

May 9 (Reuters) Shares edged up on Monday and hit their highest close in about four months, led by beverage and diversified stocks amid foreign investors' buying. However, the gains were capped as investors were worried that the island govt's move to increase the VAT and impose new taxes effective from May 2 would hit the bottom lines of companies. The benchmark stock index rose 0.04% to 6,594.80, its highest closing level since Jan. 11, and the third session of gains. more..

Murder suspect nabbed after 30 years

May 9 (Island) Acting on a tip-off, the Keselwatte police arrested a suspect named Withanachchige Premasiri alias Keselwatte Siri wanted in connection with the killing of the father of Colombo Municipal Councillor Ajantha Liyanage. The suspect had fled the country after the killing many years ago and he was arrested while talking to a friend at the Manning Market in Pettah. The suspect allegedly entered the home of the victim Liyanage Karunaratne at Hulftsdorp with two others in 1981 while more..

President misses Mahinda at VVIP wedding

May 9 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena who was the attesting witness at the wedding of Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe's son left early missing a public meeting with his nemesis Mahinda Rajapaksa. A guest at the wedding said the President left the Cinnamon Grand hotel about 10 minutes before his predecessor Rajapaksa turned up to wish the couple at the extravagent wedding. Special arrangements were made at the hotel more..

Another mysterious leopard death

May 9 (DM) Another leopard was found dead on Sunday at the Albion Estate in Agarapathana, yesterday. Wildlife Director General Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya said the leopard was suspected to be poisoned. “Officers have been deployed to investigate the area and we will conduct a post mortem to determine the cause of death,” he said. At least 10 leopards were found dead inside tea estates in Hatton, Watawala, Agarapathana and Norwood areas during the last five months. more..

Ex-IGP’s house robbed

May 9 (DM) Ex-IGP Victor Perera’s residence in Panadura was robbed last night, police said. The robbers have made off with cash and jewellery valued about Rs. 1 million. A security officer had been on guard duty at the front entrance to the house. Therefore, the police suspect that the thieves might have entered through the rear door. Panadura Police are conducting further investigations. He was also appointed as the first governor of the North Eastern Province in 2007. more..

Video: Having GSP Plus is not must: Udaya

May 9 (AD) Having the European Union’s GSP Plus is not a must for a country, PHU Leader Udaya Gammanpila says. He also pointed out that GSP plus scheme was first granted to Sri Lanka in 2004 and lost in 2010. “Before 2004, we didn’t have a GSP plus scheme,” he said. Gammanpila reminded that the European Union (EU) has recommended the Govt to implement a list of 58 conditions linking to more..

Haul of Kerala ganja, traffickers and vehicle released

May 9 (DM) There is a powerful politico who was in the limelight for his sensational doings in the Vilpattu area. The lucky man held high office under the previous regime and he is holding similar high office in yahapalanaya as well. The security personnel who searched a South-bound jeep at Galgamuwa recently had unearthed a haul of Kerala ganja from under the rear seat. And they had seized the ganja haul and taken into custody the vehicle and its occupants as usual. more..

Construction sites warned over dengue breeding grounds

May 9 (CG) Local Govt and Provincial Councils Minister Faiszer Musthapha today warned that measures will be taken to suspend the clearance given to construction sites in Colombo and other parts of the country if they fail to adhere to the notice issued over dengue breeding grounds. The warning comes following reports a project director of the Chinese company handling the construction of the Shangri-La Hotel in Galle Face was arrested for maintaining dengue breeding grounds. more..

Canada to assist transition in North from recovery to development

May 9 (CG) Canada is to assist the transition in the North from recovery to development. Canadian High Commissioner, Shelley Whiting, and UNDP Sri Lanka Resident Representative Peter Batchelor will visit Canadian-funded Community Projects in the North, and open several dairy and agriculture based Cooperative Projects in Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu this week. Canadian Govt under a financial envelope of CAN$ 6 Million more..

Sri Lanka businesses call for policy consistency to spur investment

May 9 (CG) Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has called for consistent and predictable govt policies to enable private sector investment, saying ad hoc changes and mixed signals were hurting confidence. “The most critical concern right now is tax policy uncertainty and ad-hoc policy changes,” it said in a statement. “Consistency in policy should be a top priority of the govt in order to build confidence and boost private sector investment, according to members of the main Committee of CCC.” more..

VAT on healthcare is unconscionable

May 9 (EN) One is not against the imposition of VAT so long as essential commodities and public utilities are taxed at a bearable minimum. VAT on healthcare services was exempt in Sri Lanka until 1st May 2016, as the principal purpose of the healthcare service was “protection, maintenance or restoration of the health of those who are sick”. The primary purpose of healthcare service is “protecting, (including maintaining or restoring a person’s health) or diagnosing, treating and if possible more..

Australia turns back 3 asylum-seeker boats

May 9 (AFP) Australia has intercepted three asylum-seeker boats so far this year, including one carrying women and children from Sri Lanka, the country's immigration minister revealed on Monday. Under Canberra's hardline measures, asylum-seekers trying to reach Australia by boat are either sent back to where they departed or to remote Pacific island camps, where living conditions have been criticised. more..

Buddhist monks suspend Satyagraha campaign for Rajapaksa's security

May 9 (AM) The Pavidi Handa organization has suspended the Satyagraha campaign it had planned for May 15 in Galle, to urge the government to grant army security for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Muruththettuve Ananda Thera made this comment this morning during a press conference at the Abhayarama Temple. The decision was taken after President Maithripala Sirisena granted a discussion for the Pavidi Handa organization over the matter, Ananda Thera also said. more..

Bharatha killing: Defence evidence concluded, fixed for oral submissions

May 9 (DM) Defence evidence in connection with the case against former MP Duminda Silva and 12 others over the killing of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others was concluded today before the Trial at Bar in the Colombo High Court. The Trial at Bar including Justices Shiran Gunaratne, Pathmini Ranawaka and M.C.B.S. Morais fixed the case for oral submissions on May 24. Concluding the Defence evidence, father of Duminda Silva, Premalal Silva, had given more..

Video: Gota arrives at PRECIFAC

May 9 (DM) Former defense secretary Gotahaya Rajapaksa arrived at the PRECIFAC this morning to give statements in connection with several allegations. The commission said that they would record statements from Mr. Rajapaksa in connection with alleged misuse flights operated by the Air Force and employing two naval ratings at Basil Rajapaksa’s residence in the US. The PRECIFAC is also to record statements more..

‘Proposed ETCA should have 2/3rd majority’

May 9 (CT) The National Joint Commission (NJC) believes that the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India must be tabled in Parliament and approved by a two thirds majority for it to have the force of law as per Article 157 of the 1978 Constitution. Article 157 states: "Where Parliament by resolution passed by not less than two-third of the whole number of Members of Parliament (including those not present) voting in its favour, approves as more..

Minister finds Kandy railway workers shirking their responsibilities

May 9 (Island) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, after an inspection tour of the Kandy Railway Station yesterday, blamed the railway station workers for failure to keep the place clean. He issued instructions to the officials of the railway station to take immediate steps to clean the station and effect necessary repairs thereto. He also instructed officials to remove many eateries from the railway station. It was sad to find the Kandy Railway station so unclean even though it had about 80 more..

Video: JVP complains to Press Complaints Commission

May 9 (LT) The JVP has complained to the Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka regarding the lead news and feature article maliciously published in Irida Divaina on the 8th targeting the JVP. The Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayaka, its General Secretary Tilvin Silva, the Information Secretary Vijitha Herath. National Organizer Bimal Rathnayaka and Administrative Secretary K.D. Lal Kantha and senior members participated. more..

Post abortion care provided at state hospitals

May 9 (DN) All Sri Lankan women who undergo illegal abortions at various places with the assistance of those who call themselves doctors can now come to a state hospital immediately after the abortion and get their lives saved without getting arrested by the police. The relevant authorities should make arrangements to legalize abortion on specific medical/social reasons decided by a panel of doctors, Consultant Obstetrician Dr. Mangala Dissanayake said. more..

Sri Lanka to pick new Colombo terminal operator by year's end

May 9 (JOC) Sri Lanka plans to announce the winner of the bidding contest to operate Colombo’s East Container Terminal by the beginning of next year. With construction of the first container berth at the terminal due for completion before then, the chosen operator will be able to start handling containers very soon after the awarding of the concession, according to the Asian Development Bank. The ADB, which is advising the Sri Lanka Ports Authority on the transaction, said more..

Panel on constitutional reform found sharp differences on ethnic lines

May 9 (ENS) The Public Representation Committee (PRC) set up by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to ascertain the views of the public on constitutional reform, encountered sharp differences on ethnic lines. Express learns from reliable sources that the Sinhalese, Lankan Tamils, Muslims and Plantation Tamils of Indian origin held different and conflicting views on the Nature of the State, Devolution of Power and Unit of Devolution. more..

President Chief Guest at International Day of the Midwife celebrations

May 9 (PSL) A ceremony was held today at the Temple Trees to celebrate the International Day of the Midwife and President Maithripala Sirisena was the Chief Guest. More than 3,000 midwives participated in the ceremony, held under the theme Women and Newborns: The Heart of Midwifery. The President also presented awards for the Midwives, who showed excellent performance in the field. The most expanded govt service for the women in Sri Lanka is the midwife service. more..

Govt to crackdown on foreign recruitment agency mafia

May 9 (CG) Govt says it will crackdown on the foreign recruitment agency mafia in Sri Lanka. Deputy Minister, Dr. Harsha de Silva said that he had discussed with the Saudi Arabian authorities, the issues faced by SL maids. He said that during the discussion he called for a new system to address the issues faced by SL maids working in Saudi Arabia. He said that Saudi Arabian authorities felt some foreign recruitment agencies were the cause for the issues faced by the maids. more..

Video: Witness in crucial FCID case says CCD officials assaulted him

May 9 (CT) An important witness in a crucial FCID case, Sarath Dissanayake, the driver of former Presidential Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath today lodged a complained with the Human Rights Commission in fear of his life, after officials of the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) allegedly abducted him last Thursday and assaulted him severely. Dissanayake, who is an important witness in several FCID cases in relation to more..

Ben Bavinck’s personal stance: Extracts from his diaries

May 10 (CT) Needless to say these selections are interpretative acts, my choices. I was tempted to impose a further dimension of selectivity by highlighting some phrases or segments, but have decided against that step. Readers can form their own evaluations – noting that this item is just one in the series of Motifs that I have foreshadowed in my Introduction, viz.. However, I have occasionally injected my thoughts via footnotes assembled at the end. more..

SMEs as a powerful hybrid engine for development & prosperity of a nation

May 10 (CT) Small and medium enterprises (SME) is a Universal Concept tested and used worldwide successfully, in underdeveloped, developing and developed world. It is a part of economic strategy using human technology and experience to accelerate the growth to lessen the gap between the rich and poor, eradication of poverty and prosperity of the global population. 600 million jobs are needed in the next 15 years to absorb global workforce and the demands for funds for the humanity is more..

Major restructuring on the cards for SriLankan

May 10 (SO) Over the next six months, the debt-ridden national carrier SriLankan Airlines is scheduled to go through a major restructuring process that will, hopefully, pave the way to implement a sustainable business model. Despite the ambitious plans, the full details of the business model are not yet available. When asked about the proposals for the national airline, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said, more..

Mightypala knocks out Dutu Gemunu for third time

May 10 (SL) Like we predicted last week all sides claimed victory in the May Day frolics. Crowd estimation is difficult when such large numbers are involved. However, going by realpolitik we would pick Mightypala Sirisena the winner. Sirisena, though a veteran in politics, was new to May Day rallies. He faced a severe challenge. Had massive crowds not gushed into Butterfly Park (Samanala Uyana) and its environs in Galle to better the crowds at Kirullapona organized by the Joint Ops more..

Editorial: When the fish rots

May 10 (Island) Attempts are being made in some quarters to invoke the jurisdiction of the apex court to stop the rot in Parliament. However, Chief Govt Whip Lakshman Kiriella is of the view that the judiciary cannot intervene in the affairs of the legislature. He has, at a recent meeting in Kandy, cited, in support of his argument, a path-breaking ruling the late Speaker Anura Bandaranaike gave in 2001; the Supreme Court issued an interim order restraining the Speaker from entertaining more..

Winning the war and staying ahead

May 10 (CT) Terrorism raised its ugly head when this writer was about six or seven. Since then, terrorism has been a pervasive factor. Bomb scare was such that at one time the school rule was that our books and stationary must be carried in transparent polythene bags. Prefects at the gate checked our snack boxes to ensure that we were not smuggling a bomb to school. It was a ridiculous situation. It had its funny moments too. more..

Indian aid for Ramayana trail may be finalised soon

May 10 (Hindu) India’s assistance for the Ramayana trail in Sri Lanka may be finalised in a high level meeting between the two govts next month. India’s help has been sought for development of infrastructure or amenities in the sites that form part of the Ramayana circuit. About a dozen places have been identified as part of the circuit and Sita Eliya in Nuwera Eliya of the Central Province is one of them, according to Janaka Sugathadasa, Secretary of the Tourism Development, Sri Lanka. more..

Petition against Port City to be resumed for support

May 10 (Island) A petition filed in the Supreme Court by a group of fishermen from Negombo against the Colombo Port City Project will be resumed for support on June 17. The court directed the petitioners to note all areas of the Environmental Impact Assessment, which, according to them, violate the National Environment Act and submit the document to court with copies to respondents. Petitioners have complained that digging of the sea bed will adversely affect bio diversity more..


Promises made, promises kept: The first installment!

May 10 (SL) I have, often, been accused of pillorying the current government and not giving it time to live up to the promises made at the time it was seeking to be elected to run this country. Well, here’s an acknowledgement of the efforts of one MP (and Cabinet Minister) Mr. Haleem who appears to have begun living up to at least one of his promises. I am submitting three photographs with this piece which I hope the editors will publish together with the script because I believe in the old adage about more..

Reflecting on May Day 2016

May 10 (Island) Media was unusually attentive of May Day 2016 mainly because of the assumption that May Day 2016 would be critically decisive for the future of SLFP and ex-president Rajapaksa. Although he has been out of power for 16 months, it seems that the politics in Sri Lanka, at least in many peoples’ mind, still continues to revolve around Rajapaksa. During the last 50 years, May Day has, as an occasion where the wage-earning class is supposed to show its strength more..