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Can't MPs be more responsible?

May 10 (CT) Last week, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, told Parliament that Opposition MPs should demonstrate the same eagerness and energy they showed during last Tuesday's clash when attending to official parliamentary matters. The statement was made by the minister subsequent to the absence of MPs from the Opposition who had tabled a question. The minister went on to say that MPs from the Opposition would attend Parliament in their numbers if there was a dispute in more..

Sajith to Revive Gam Udawa

May 10 (CT) 5th Gam Udawa titled Daya Pura was ceremonially opened at Ampara by Minister Sajith Premadasa in the presence of Minister Daya Gamage and Deputy Minister Anoma Gamage on Saturday. The model village, the brain child of the late President R Premadasa was opened since his death after a spell of 22 years. The village consisting of 25 houses has been provided with all amenities and those who lived in shanties and cottages without any basic facilities could live here peacefully. more..

Talk Talk Talk: Use power for public benefit and not for personal gains: President

May 10 (PSL) A person who gains power should utilize that authority to empower the Public who vested that power with you, but not to accumulate more power for the personal benefits, President Maithripala Sirisena emphasized. The character of late Lalith Athulathmudali is an exemplary for the society as a leader who never misappropriated the power vested in him, among the politicians who used the power vested with more..

Ranga Kalansooriya tipped to be Govt Information Director

May 10 (AM) Journalist Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya is tipped to be appointed as the Govt Information Director, highly placed govt sources said. Kalansooriya, a former journalist at the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon, also functioned as the Director of Sri Lanka College of Journalism. Before his stint at the Sri Lanka College of Journalism, Kalansooriya held a senior position in the Sri Lankan diplomatic mission in Malaysia. He is the son of veteran author Somadevi Paranayapa. more..

SL to declare fish habitats protected zones

May 10 (EN) Sri Lanka intends to better protect fish habitats around the island by declaring them protected zones in order to safeguard the resources for the future, said Udaya Senevirathne, Secretary to the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment. Govt policy is to ensure sustainability of marine resources for economic development and conservation, he told the 8th GEF Biennial International Waters Conference that began in Sri Lanka Monday. more..

Sri Lanka mobile internet use up 22% in 2015

May 10 (EN) Mobile internet connections grew rapidly in 2015, supported by cheap prices and infrastructure improvements by telecommunication companies. Total internet connections grew 20.5% during 2015, raising internet penetration to 19.5%. “This was largely supported by rapid growth of 22.2% in mobile internet connections, while fixed internet connections grew 12.6%.” more..

Shares hit four-month closing high

May 10 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares rose for a fourth session of gains on Tuesday to hit their highest close in four months, led by conglomerate John Keells Holdings, while foreign investors' selling dented the sentiment. The benchmark stock index rose 0.65% to 6,637.74, its highest closing level since Jan. 11. "Today, Keells moved the market but foreign outflow is giving out a negative sentiment. It looks like a foreigner is exiting from Keells," said Dimantha Mathew of First Capital Equities. more..

'Bicycle lanes coming soon'

May 10 (AD) Today initiated by Pedal Pushers, almost 150 riders took to the streets of Colombo, supporting the World Bike To Work Day. Pedal Pusher cyclists comprised of riders representing the corporate sector, govt sector, entrepreneurs, professionals and the like. Most importantly, Pedal Pushers share the road with cyclists initiative was projected to drivers during the ride across the busy streets of Colombo. For safety on the road, Dedicated Cycling Lanes are more..

JVP Press Conference

Assault not cause of Embilipitiya youth’s death: JMO’s report

May 10 (DM) The second Judicial Medical Officer’s (JMO) report on Sumith Jayawardane’s death at Embilipitiya during a clash with the Police had revealed that his death was due to excessive bleeding and not because of injuries caused by being assaulted or being pushed. Counsel Anuja Premaratne, appearing for former Embilipitiya Police ASP C. Dharmaratne, conveyed this to Embilipitiya High Court Judge Kumari Abeyratne today. He said according to the report, the injuries were more..

Sri Lanka man caught in bid to travel to Canada with fake IDs

May 10 (CNA) A Sri Lanka national has been caught attempting to travel to Canada via Taiwan using fake Canadian identification cards, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) said. The 24-year-old man was discovered by immigrant agents at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport late Monday to be holding a fake Canadian permanent resident card when he was waiting for a transit flight to Toronto, the agency said. A fake Canadian citizenship card, health card and driver's license were seized more..

Dhammika Prasad to have scan on injured shoulder

May 10 (PA) Sri Lanka seamer Dhammika Prasad is set to have a scan on the shoulder injury which forced him out of the tourists' attack against Essex. Prasad, whose five-wicket burst set up Sri Lanka's series-clinching victory over England at Headingley two years ago, may be a doubt to return to the same venue for next week's first Test. He was unable to complete his 18th over on day two of three at Chelmsford, where Sri Lanka were more..

University entrants felicitated

May 10 (CT) Students who have been selected for universities in Thirukkovil Division were felicitated by the Thirukkovil Vipulananda Academy at the Academy's Auditorium under the patronage of its founder the director of the Academy S. Jeyapalan. TNA MP Kaveenthran Kodeewaran participated as the Chief Guest and gave away mementos to those who were selected for the university. MP Kodeewaran said, time has now come to concentrate on education and parents must more..

March tea output lowest in six years

May 10 (EN) Sri Lanka’s tea production in March 2016, which was down 27.5% from a year earlier owing to drought, was the lowest since 2010, brokers said. March tea output fell by 8.3 million kilos to 22.06 million kilos from 30.4 million kilos in March 2015. It was the lowest since March 2010, when total production dropped to 21.05 million kilos, Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said. “All elevations, High, Medium and Low Growns, have shown a decrease in production.” more..

Tamils in UK urged to back Constitutional reforms process

May 10 (CG) Tamils in London have been urged to support the Constitutional reforms process currently underway in Sri Lanka. Parliamentarian and a member of the Sub-Committee in the Constitutional Assembly, Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, said that it will be impossible and unrealistic to expect all aspirations and demands of everyone to be met when the new Constitution is drafted. more..

Investigations on Panama papers must be expedited: ACF

May 10 (AD) The Sri Lankan authorities must determine whether the persons, whose names exposed in Panama Papers, have paid the necessary taxes and if taxes are not paid steps should be taken to reclaim the money, the Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) urged. “Billions of dollars have been taken out of Sri Lanka in the recent years. Central Bank must take steps to get this money back. Panama papers have only reminded us again the need to introduce a mechanism more..

JO sets up Economic Research Unit

May 10 (DM) The joint opposition today launched an Economic Research Unit to probe the current economic crisis in the country. MP Bandula Gunawardana said the Economic Research Unit comprised several members of the JO including Prof. G.L. Peiris, former Central Bank economists and university academics. He said the govt had increased the Value Added Tax (VAT) up to 15% in an unjust manner. “The VAT increase of 15% should be reduced to 12%, the health sector should more..

Pakistan will continue to Extend all out Support to Sri Lanka: Pak Envoy

May 10 (PHC) High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Maj. Gen. (R) Syed Shakeel Hussain said Pakistan has always been extending all out support to Sri Lanka including cooperation at multiple multilateral forums which Govt of SL has deeply appreciated at all levels. Syed Shakeel Hussain said this while talking to the 11 member delegation of Pakistan National School of Public Policy delegation, which is currently visiting more..

President to leave for London tomorrow

May 10 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena and the delegation will leave for London tomorrow (11) early morning to take part in the “Anti-Corruption Summit -2016” to be held in London on Thursday (12th May). The Summit commenced under the patronage of the British Prime Minister David Cameron is scheduled to be addressed by the President Sirisena. Bilateral discussions will be held between the PM Cameron and the Sri Lanka President Sirisena after summit. more..

Video: Namal arrives at PRECIFAC

May 10 (DM) UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa appeared before the Presidential Commission Investigating Fraud Corruption, Abuse of Power State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC) today. Rajapaksa was summoned to obtain a statement on an alleged misuse of Sri Lanka Air Force air craft for domestic flights during 2013 - 2015 period. It is alleged that the SLAF has not been paid for the flights made by Rajapaksa. The loss concurred by the SLAF is alleged to be around Rs 50 million. more..

Debt-laden Srilankan Airlines to sell four new Airbus planes

May 10 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's debt-ridden national airline will sell four new Airbus A350s, a minister said, two weeks after cancelling an order for four of the aircraft. The state-owned carrier had already sold one of the four planes for a reasonably good price to a leasing company and is in talks with airlines over the other three, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. Although SriLankan Airlines needs more aircraft to expand, more..

Harin welcomes CTO's Strategic Plan

May 10 (CTO) Harin Fernando, Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure of Sri Lanka has welcomed the vision outlined in the Strategic Plan for 2016 – 2020 of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO). He was accompanied by Muhunthan Canagey, Managing Director of the ICTA of Sri Lanka. “I am pleased to note that the goals of the CTO have been designed to ensure that members receive enhanced value,” more..

High level Austrian business delegation arriving in Colombo tomorrow

May 10 (ST) Following the successful state visit of President Maithripala Sirisena to Austria in February and his meeting with business leaders, the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber is sending a 20 member High Level Business Delegation to Colombo to explore prospects for investment and enhanced trade. The delegation will be in Colombo from May 9 to14. According to the Sri Lankan embassy in Vienna, said that the Austrian delegation, comprising businessmen from more..

Panama Papers: Senadhipathi denies allegations

May 10 (DM) Avant-Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi today denied holding funds in Panama as published and presented in the media and social media websites, his counsel Nishan Premathiratne said. He said his client's earnings from Avant-garde Maritime Services Pvt. Ltd were in foreign currency. “My client informed me that if even a dollar was found in a Panama account held by him as represented by the media, more..

Question of self-determination & The demand for a federal solution to the national question

May 11 (CT) It is worth commenting on this issue of self-determination and federalism. It has, once again, become a hot issue. These are proscribed words that have been expunged from the common political vocabulary and discourse. Words that can immediately incite feelings of fear, terror, anger and suspicion, even among liberals and moderates. This is because, the concepts self-determination and federalism have come to be equated with separatist terrorism and the LTTE, more..

Going beyond the 13th A & Towards cooperative devolution

May 11 (CT) Discussions have started on devolution and/or federalism in the context of constitutional reforms and the present is an attempt to clarify some of the important issues in the form of questions and answers. The purpose is to deviate from abstract debates and bring concreate substance to the discussions as far as I can contribute. Question: What do you mean by going beyond the 13th Amendment? Answer: I basically mean four things. (1) Reducing the concurrent list more..

'Development will not solve ethnic issues'

May 11 (CT) TNA MP Sivagnanam Sritharan said that both govts in the post war period have failed to identify the actual problems of the war affected. Development will not solve ethnic issues. The war affected Tamil people have been neglected, he said. Q:? How do you assess the security situation in the North and East? People in certain parts of the region claim they are living in fear. Is that true? more..

Editorial: Saturn in beggar’s bowl

May 11 (Island) Nothing makes one look more pathetic than efforts to defend the indefensible. Govt politicians have been making frantic yet vain attempts, during the past few weeks, to justify tax increases, especially those on essential commodities and services. The recent VAT hike has dealt a solar plexus punch to the sick at the mercy of private health care providers. It is not only the wealthy who opt out of the so-called free health care system; inordinate delays, shortages of drugs more..

Towards true freedom of expression

May 11 (GV) Former editor in chief of the Nation in Thailand, Kavi Chongkittavorn received an unexpected scoop when visiting Sri Lanka in the 1990s. The source – Minister of Foreign Affairs Lakshman Kadirgamar, who challenged, If I give you stories… stories which involve Thailand, will you write them? Chongkittavorn replied that it was his duty to do so. The subsequent story he filed – revealing that Phuket was being used as a base for the LTTE to smuggle weapons to Sri Lanka more..

VAT a let-down!

May 11 (SL) Having failed to secure the much anticipated foreign assistance to carry out its promises, govt is now looking at increasing taxes. However, sustaining political power at the expense of the people is hardly justifiable. It is a known fact that a govt cannot survive without taxes. In order to cover its daily expenses, every govt imposes direct taxes upon the income of the rich and indirect taxes upon consumer goods such as fuel, more..

Why Major Generals met Basil?

May 11 (CT) Recently the government received a report from the Intelligence sector. The report stated that Basil Rajapaksa had secretly held discussion with several Major Generals of the Army. As soon as this report was received the govt became perturbed. Generally, if Army officers are to meet not only politicians of the Opposition, but even govt politicians approval has to be obtained from the Army Commander. The Major Generals have met Basil sans any such approval. more..

Taming tension the right way

May 11 (NS) The recent spate of arrests of former LTTE leaders and others who were involved with the organization has created quite a bit of ripples in the Northern and Eastern provinces. There have been rumours and concerns of LTTE regrouping that had been making the rounds during the past few weeks, especially after the detection of suicide jackets and ammunitions in Chavakachcheri and Mannar a few weeks ago. The arrests that were made recently were said to be in connection with more..

Wimal Weerawansha

The re-nationalisation of SriLankan Airlines and the follies of State enterprise

May 11 (GV) A couple of weeks ago, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe announced that the debts of SriLankan Airlines, amounting to a mammoth US$ 3.2 billion, will have to borne by the taxpayer. He said the govt is taking this action to defuse an economic landmine and that his govt is actively looking for an international partner to manage the airline. When a three billion dollar bill is passed on to ordinary Sri Lankans, many of whom have never flown the airline, it’s worth examining what more..

Malaysia in must-win game against Sri Lanka

May 11 (Island) Malaysia will host Sri Lanka in a must win game when the two teams go head to head in their second match of the Asian Rugby Championship 2016 in Royal Selangor Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this evening. The hosts were narrowly edged out in a thrilling encounter against Philippines. The runners up of the last year’s tournament, Philippines defeated Malaysia 15-10 in their first match courtesy of three tries from H. Bird, L. Saunders and H. Carroll. more..

Ford stays upbeat despite tough work-out

May 11 (CI) The opening match of Sri Lanka's tour of England, against Essex, could hardly be filed under dream starts but coach Graham Ford appeared unfazed as his side left Chelmsford with a damp draw. Having been bowled out by a schoolboy on debut under perfect skies on Sunday, the Sri Lankans took just four Essex wickets in 100 overs (maximum the game's regulations allowed), as England aspirants and solid county pros more..

Mubeen successfully defends crown

May 11 (DN) Defending champion M.M. Mubeen of the Sri Lanka Army retained his Six Red National Billiards Championship crown when he defeated Riyaz Noor of Moors SC comfortably by four frames to one (32/12, 33/30, 63/00, 37/45, 52/04) in the final played at the Sri Lanka Billiards and Snooker Association headquarters, Sugathadasa Sports Hotel, yesterday. Mubeen dominated the game from the beginning and won the first three frames in a row with a top break of 51 in the third frame. more..

Contactless technology enters Sri Lanka

May 11 (FT) Smart Metro, a SL-based international software development company, inked two landmark agreements with Sony Corporation and FujisoftInc, Japan to become SL’s sole agent for the distribution and application of Sony’s Near Field Communication Technology, widely known as FeliCa, and Fujisoft’s finger-vein biometric authentication technology. Two agreements will broadly allow Smart Metro to provide a wide range of products and applications based on the above technologies. more..

Immediate financial provisions for Nursing Degree Faculty: President

May 11 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says the government will provide required financial provisions immediately to establish the Nursing Faculty to award Nursing Degrees, which has been a long term demand. The President was speaking at a meeting with the Govt Nursing Officers Association, held today (10) at the Presidential Secretariat. The meeting was held in line with the International Nurses Day falls on 12th of May. more..

Why India’s big push for economic cooperation in Sri Lanka may backfire

May 11 (Wire) New Delhi’s policy of hustling its smaller neighbour comes at a time when the Wickremesinghe govt’s mismanagement of the economy is apparent and will end up helping the xenophobic political forces in the country. New Delhi’s relations with Colombo may appear to be at a high point but ironically, anti-India sentiments are on the rise in Sri Lanka. This divergence in sentiments between the Sri Lankan govt and its population is largely a consequence of more..