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A mother’s plea Grant citizenship to Kumar

May 1 (CT) When we visited Rajamani Gunaratnam's house in Ranwala, Kegalle the 80-year-old woman was sitting in the verandah with a vacant look. She is none other than the mother of FSP politburo member Kumar Gunaratnam. She has retired as the principal of St. Mary's Tamil School in Kegalle where she had been teaching English for a long time. She spent more than 30 years teaching a large number of children, more..

Noose tightening further around Yoshitha?

May 1 (SL) Crip of justice is tightening further around Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second son Yoshitha Rajapaksa for breach of naval laws in addition to civilian laws. A special committee report, compiled under the supervision of SL Navy Commander reveals that the Navy should intervene in bringing justice to other Navy officers who had been deprived of their fundamental rights during the recruitment of Yoshitha Rajapaksa to Navy. more..

Dispute over former PM’s five-star catering bills

May 1 (ST) Former PM D.M. Jayaratne may have been out of office for close to a year and half by now, but the outstanding catering bills of some of his meetings remain unpaid till today. The total outstanding amount is Rs. 2,174,178 for several events for which catering was done by Hilton Colombo Residences between July 20, 2014 and Dec 2014. Invoice for the expenses was sent to PM’s Secretary in Feb 2015, by which time more..

Allegedly funding MR’s polls campaign: FCID to prosecute Chinese company

May 1 (SO) The FCID will file legal action against the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) for allegedly funding the election campaign of former President Rajapaksa, in January, last year. Police source said FCID would file a B report in court in this regard within the next three weeks. FCID had probed 11 suspicious financial transactions - amounting to a staggering Rs. 3,117 million conducted by the CHEC, more..

SL’s foreign debt servicing rises steadily

May 1 (LBO) The amount Sri Lanka has spent on external debt repayment and interest has more than doubled over the last five years, Central Bank data shows. Earnings from exports, however, have not grown as much. Debt service payments increased to US$ 4.7 billion in 2015 from US$ 1.8 billion in 2011, a 160% increase. Exports however grew to US$ 16.9 billion in 2015 from US$ 13.6 billion in 2011, a 24% increase. more..

Warning signals on beverages from June 1

May 1 (ST) Crystal clear warnings, as obvious as the traffic-light system ingrained into our brains, will be mandatory on beverage labels from June 1. Red will indicate an excess level of sugar, amber a high-level and green a moderate level, giving the consumer the option to make an informed choice not only to ward off diseases such as diabetes but also to send a signal to beverage manufacturers, the Sunday Times learns. more..

Video: Govt weak in communicating with the people: President

May 1 (SO) A major shortcoming of the present Government was that it did not have the ability to articulate to the people its good deeds, President Maithripala Sirisena said today. “A major short coming of this government is that it does not have the ability to inform and educate people on the good things it has done and that particular shortcoming gives an advantage to the opponents and they often talk of what this Govt had failed to do,” more..

Vigneswaran informed to appear in Supreme Court over NPC proposal

May 1 (AD) A notice has been issued by the Supreme Court on four persons including Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran to appear before the Court on May 12, 13 and 17. Notice was issued following a petition which suggested that a proposal adopted by the NPC could give rise to a division of the country and a reemergence of terrorism. NPC adopted the resolution seeking a federal solution to more..

'Only Maithri has answers to MR’s problems'

May 1 (Island) It is only President Maithripala Sirisena who has the solutions to the grave problems that Mahinda Rajapaksa’s family is now confronted with, says Minister S.B. Dissanayake. Under these circumstances, Rajapaksa should give up his craving for power if he truly loves the SLFP and its supporters and join hands with the President and work together for the common good, he noted. "But, it is unfortunate that such a change is not in the offing", he said. more..

130-Year March from Chicago to Colombo

May 1 (DM) A.E. Goonesinghe held the first ever May Day rally under the banner of Ceylon Labour Party way back in 1927, long before students of Prof. Harold Laski returned to island from London to set up Marxist/Trotskyite movement in1935. Until the entry of Bandaranaike’s Blue i 1956 [declaring a public holiday] and Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya’s (JSS) Green in the 1960s, it was a clean agenda of labour oriented, worker centred struggle demonstrated in Blood stained red shirts on more..

Ada Cartoon

Police arrest cattle rustlers transporting 6 cows in a van

May 1 (Island) A police search on a new high-roof van at Wariyapola last week led to a startling discovery – six cows were found crammed in the vehicle, with one pregnant animal already suffocated to death. The rear seats of the van had been removed to accommodate the terrified cattle valued at more than Rs. 700,000 stolen from neighboring areas, police said. Investigations revealed that the van used to transport the animals had been hired from a vehicle rent service facility. more..

President Premadasa’s dynamic policies in Economic Development & Poverty Alleviation

May 1 (Island) As one who had the opportunity to serve President Premadasa as the Chairman and Director General of the Greater Colombo Economic Commission and also as the First Chairman of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka from 91 to 93 and prior to that as the Chairman of the Peoples Bank. It will be appropriate for me to write about the economic developments undertaken during this period especially connected to poverty alleviation and the 200 Garment Factory Program more..

Education compulsory for children between 5 and 16 years

May 1 (ST) The age of compulsory school attendance has been raised from 14 to 16 years and parents who fail to send their children to school will be guilty of an offence. These regulations will come into force within the next two months and are being made under the Education Ordinance — with a vision to create a friendly, pleasant and wholesome learning environment in the school. Earlier regulations gazetted in 1997 more..

BASL to study ETCA, comittee to be revived

May 1 (ST) After drawing criticism for its silence on the proposed Indo-Sri Lanka Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) decided to revive a committee appointed to study the proposed agreement. The decision was taken at the second council meeting presided by BASL President Geoffrey Alagaratnam PC. During the meeting held at the H.W Jayawardene hall, members said that while professional organisations such as more..

Labour hero Tampoe remembered

May 1 (ST) Trade union leaders, politicians, academics and former colleagues of Bala Tampoe will attend today’s ceremonial renaming of 22nd Lane, Kollupitiya as Bala Tampoe Lane in memory of the stalwart of the Sri Lankan workers movement who passed away in 2014. Labour Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne will take part in their naming ceremony along with the Mayor of Colombo, A.I.M. Muzammil. Mr. Tampoe was a veteran workers’ leader who spent his life striving for the betterment of more..

'We will turn SL into a high income country'

May 1 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that govt would create an independent fund to manage all profits made by state owned enterprises, “we will work towards getting these profits back to the people. We will not privatize any state enterprise”, he said. The UNP Leader who addressed the May Day rally at Campbell Park also said the govt was working towards a fairer pay model for all workers by 2020. more..

Big croc caught and dumped into lake

May 1 (ST) A huge crocodile detected in the sea off Iranawila in Chilaw has been caught and handed over to Wild Life officers who later released it into the Periya Naga Willuwa lake in the Wilpattu forest reserve last Saturday (23). Crocodile had been caught by some youths with great difficulty. Capture was conducted under the direction of H.A. Chandrasiri, Asst. Ranger at the Wild Life Office in Nawagattegama. Creature was loaded onto a lorry and then transported to the lake. more..

Swiss Hospitality & Banking Institute opens

May 1 (SO) The Swiss Institute of Hospitality and Banking was launched in Sri Lanka on Thursday. This is the first time that hospitality and banking training is provided in one module and first of its kind to be set up in Sri Lanka. The first stage of the project will have an investment of US $ 1.1 million. "Sri Lankans are naturally charming and hospitable people, they appreciate the human factor, but they haven't been trained in the same way people in many other countries have and more..

UNP conspiracy to destroy the SLFP: MR

May 1 (AD) The SLFP is now in danger of losing its identity as a political party, says former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The observation was made while speaking at the May Day rally of the Joint Opposition in Kirulapone this afternoon. Rajapaksa said “I take pride in the fact that I built the strongest SLFP govt in our party’s history during my tenure in power. That govt was so strong that it could be defeated only by more..

Drunk driver and Russian woman crash SUV into BMW, motorcycle in Havelock Town

May 1 (ST) A gem businessman from Wellawatta who was driving his Audi SUV under the influence of liquor crashed into an oncoming BMW and motorcycle, injuring many people in Havelock Town on Monday night (25) has been remanded till May 9. Police have filed charges on three counts against the suspect, identified as 30-year-old M. Fawaz: Reckless driving resulting in injuries to others, driving under the influence of liquor and failure to prevent a serious road accident. more..

Sri Lankan expatriate sentenced to jail by Doha criminal court

May 1 (CG) A Doha criminal court has sentenced a SL expatriate to one year in jail and ordered his subsequent deportation for counterfeiting an official document. Defendant had submitted – in the relevant attestation department – a university degree certificate in Economics in his name to get it officially stamped. However, official there doubted the authenticity of the document and informed the authorities concerned about the matter. Eventually, document was found to be a counterfeited more..

Contempt issue against Motor Traffic Commissioner-General

May 1 (Island) Supreme Court has listed for mention on June 13, 2016, an issue of contempt filed against Jagath Jayaweera, Commissioner-General of Motor Traffic by Vehicles Lanka (Private) Limited for refusing and/or failing to comply with a judgment on the registration of motor vehicles assembled by this BOI-approved undertaking. The contempt application has been supported by Counsel Faiz Musthapha, PC, on behalf of more..

Islandwide power outage due to negligence: Technical report

May 1 (SO) CEB has received a damning technical report on the unusual explosion at the Biyagama sub station and the subsequent island-wide power outage attributing it to sheer negligence, lack of maintenance and inspection. A detailed technical report to which the Sunday Observer had access found that the load tap changer of transformer No 2 exploded due to a fault in the diverter switch. "Consequently, the lines connected to bus bar No.1 tripped off resulting in the failure more..

New structural reforms under IMF package

May 1 (SO) Wide ranging reforms in the tax system, administration of the state-owned enterprises and pricing of electricity and fuel are to be restructured under the three year IMF US$ 1.5 Billion bailout package, Deputy Governor of Central Bank Nandalal Weerasinghe said. Last week, Sri Lankan authorities and the IMF reached a staff-level agreement on a 36-month Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for a $1.5 Billion loan, Todd Schneider, IMF Mission Chief for Sri Lanka said. more..

Fuel price formula kaput!

May 1 (CT) Minister Chandima Weerakkody said fuel prices could not be reduced in line with the initial price formula because of the hefty Rs 360 billion debt burden carried by the CPC, owed to local and foreign banks. Cabinet approved the price formula with the objective of passing on the benefit of declining global crude prices to the consumer, minister said, adding "however in the face of this mammoth debt how can we at more..

Gazette issued following lifting of ban on Lankan fisheries products

May 1 (CG) A gazette notice has been issued permitting SL fisheries products to be exported to EU member countries. President Maithripala Sirisena said that the gazette will be printed tonight after the EU had recently decided to lift the ban on Sri Lankan fisheries products. President made this announcement at the UPFA May Day rally in Galle today. EU recently said that after a lengthy dialogue process Sri Lanka has now successfully reformed its fisheries governance system. more..

Five-day week geared to reduce work stress and increase productivity

May 1 (Island) Legislation for a five-day working week requested by the Employers Federation of Ceylon, (EFC) although not shelved by the department of labour, was yet to be implemented. Legislation to effect the necessary changes in the statute books were not passed into law. The complaint by the EFC was given credence at the seminar convened by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for eWorld Day for Safety and Health at Workf on April 28. more..

WIPO commends Sri Lanka for concrete deliverables under IP Action Plan

May 1 (IL) Director General of the Geneva based World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Dr. Francis Gurry, commended Sri Lanka for its achievements and concrete deliverables under the 10 Point GoSL-WIPO Intellectual Property Action Plan, which could serve as a good model for other countries similarly placed as Sri Lanka. Dr. Gurry made these observations when Secretary of Ministry of Industry and more..

Two May day rallies held by estate workers' parties

May 1 (AM) Two May Day rallies are held in the Nuwara Eliya District by political parties representing the estate workers. The Ceylon Workers' Congress is holding its May Rally in Nuwara Eliya under the patronage of the CWC General Secretary Arumigam Thondaman. National Workers' Congress is holding its May Rally in Thalawakele under its leader Palani Digambaram. Since the NWC is a member of the Tamil Progressive Alliance, its two other constituent parties are also taking part in the rally. more..

Khuram’s killers plead against HC sentence

May 1 (CT) The Court of Appeal decided Thursday to take up for hearing on 06 October the appeal filed by five convicts, including former Chairman of the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Sampath Vidanapathirana, who have been sentenced to 20 years in prison each for collusion in the killing of British national Khuram Sheikh and raping his girlfriend, requesting that they be released and exonerated on all counts. The Colombo High Court imposed a prison sentence of 20 years each more..

Premadasa killer Babu’s boutique

May 1 (CT) 1 May is an internationally important day which has had a great impact on Sri Lankan political history. This is not a political essay on May Day or Workers' Day. It is about a special aspect of May Day of 1993. The then President R. Premadasa died in a bomb explosion at Armour Street intersection that day. It marked the first major assassination of a Head of Stage in SL, or for that matter anywhere more..

May Day is D-Day for the SLFP

Apr 2 (CT) President Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa’s gamble to show their strengths in Galle and Kirulapone would be the final nail in the coffin of the united SLFP. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa would see an avalanche, charging him of destroying the SLFP. It’s yet to be seen how the die-hard SLFPer’s respond. There is no doubt, the split SLFP will need to go in to a long period of hibernation and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, the present day crafty political fox would more..

Editorial: Hamlet without the Prince

May 2 (Island) Yesterday, Hamlet was staged without the Prince of Denmark. Another May Day has come and gone with workers’ cause being denied the pride of place. They were eclipsed by wily politicians who resorted to muscle flexing in a bid to shore up their crumbling images and dwindling political fortunes. Major political parties, true to form, held big rallies to boost the egos of their leaders. All eyes were, however, on the Joint Opposition rally at Kirulapone thanks to a great deal of free publicity govt more..

No LTTE to support: President CTC

Apr 2 (CT) President of the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) Raj Thavaratnasingham said he was pleased that the govt has delisted CTC and a few other Tamil diaspora organizations. "As a result of the delisting of CTC, for the very first time we were able to raise funds to build houses for war widows in Sampur. We have built 18 houses and handed them over to deserving owners and another 23 houses to be built in 2nd phase, more..

Lack of political will and charming promises

Apr 2 (ST) With a woeful history of repressive state regulation of the media still fresh in our collective memory, Yahapalanaya govt’s announcement this month that it will set up an independent authority to regulate the electronic media caused many to jib nervously and shy away. Apparently the proposed authority would be vested with the legal power to determine complaints against the electronic media. As explained charmingly enough by ministerial worthies, Govt will not be involved with more..

Most things are rotten in the state of SL

May 2 (Island) Technocrats led by Lee Kuan Yew transformed Singapore to a super-rich and powerful city state in twenty-five years. 68 years after independence, with far more resources than Singapore had, we are still muddling along in a grievous state of underdevelopment. In a recent address to a gathering of engineers, President Sirisena said that intellectuals must remain In SL to support the development of the motherland, rather than seek personal development through more..

Federalism: A far-fetched solution

Apr 2 (SO) There is nothing wrong in proposing a viable federal system to SL given the conflict context and its necessary resolution, in the short, the medium or the long term. In fact it is a must, unless it is stalled by adventurism. This means going beyond the existing devolution arrangements, already quasi-unitary in character. There can be other merits in expanding devolution towards federal or quasi-federal system, particularly taking more..

The resolution, response and the route

May 2 (NS) Leader of the LSSP, Prof. Tissa Vitharana urged the TNA to understand the reality and the current political scenario while placing their demands and proposals to the Govt. This comment was made in response to the much talked about resolution that was passed at the NPC where it proposed the North and East be merged and be made a single state. The resolution, which contains several other proposals and demands created a buzz in the South with politicians expressing more..

Should we sign ETCA with India?

May 2 (NS) The signing of the Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India that is still at a negotiation stage has become a controversial issue at present. This bilateral agreement is expected to contribute towards development of both countries in four main spheres: trade, economy, investment and technology. However, critics do not believe it would benefit Sri Lanka. The ETCA is the third bilateral agreement between India and Sri Lanka. more..