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Sri Lanka calls on Tamil expatriates to compromise

May 14 (PTI) SL Tamil expatriates in the UK have been asked to be open to political compromises as the island nation undergoes constitutional reforms. It is important to make the most of the opportunity as it is the first time that Sri Lanka's two main political parties had come together to form a govt, Jayampathy Wickramaratne, head of a committee providing technical support to Constitutional Assembly to draft SL's new more..

Video: Mervyn Silva arrives at FCID

May 14 (AD) Former Minister Mervyn Silva has arrived at the FCID, a short while ago on Saturday. He was summoned to record a statement regarding a land issue, the police confirmed. Silva while denying to make any observations with respect to the case as an investigation is still underway, stressed that the FCID should have established earlier in a bid to monitor frauds. He also went on to say that he hope the FCID would strengthen its ability to pursue corruption cases. more..

Lankan teachers participate in MIE Expert programme

May 14 (DM) Sri Lankan educators were given an opportunity to interact with their peers from around the world and experience firsthand how technology can be utilized in successful ways to help students learn better at the recently concluded Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert programme in Budapest, Hungary. The teachers from Sri Lanka participated in creating content and utilizing technology in exemplary ways to prepare students for the digital age. more..

'Lanka govt under western pressure to ignore war anniversary'

May 14 (PTI) Sri Lanka is under international pressure to ignore celebrating the seventh anniversary of its victory over the LTTE, former president Rajapaksa's brother alleged. "When we were in govt, ambassador's pressurised us not to celebrate the war victory", Basil Rajapaksa, younger brother of the then president Rajapaksa said. "The govt is not willing to celebrate the victory which liberated our country so that they can please more..

MR’s Uganda jaunt

May 15 (Island) Yesterday’s FT scooped the story that former President Rajapaksa’s air ticket for his visit last week to Uganda for the inauguration of President Yoweri Museveni’s new term of office has been paid by the foreign office in Colombo. This in effect means the SL taxpayer whom the Joint Opposition, powered by Rajapaksa, is striving might and main to protect from the demands of the VAT imposed by his successors. Lead story headlined Old habits dies hard for Mahinda more..

Stealth diplomacy with finesse

May 15 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena's talks with Indian Leader Narendra Modi would on a superficial level have appeared to have been one lacking much significance. That's the conclusion the two leaders would, perhaps have wanted best. A slightly deeper look at the facts would however reveal one heck of a big difference in that they discussed something that was never on the public or even diplomatic radar – something never even hinted at in all these months of speculation as more..

'Irrespective of race or religion all must celebrate war victory'

May 15 (SL) Minister Champika Ranawaka says that the people should be grateful for the freedom that we are enjoying today and we should all celebrate the war victory irrespective of race or religion. He said that the Tamil people need not feel betrayed and bitter as they too are enjoying the fruits of this freedom. According to him, during the war it was the Tamil people who suffered the most & now that there is peace more..

Revelations about MR’s Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath

May 15 (Island) Last week sensational revelations about the doings of Gamini Senarath, the chief of staff to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa were made by one Dissanayake Mudiyanselage Sarath Dissanayake who claimed to have been a driver working for both Gamini Senarath as well as a businessman by the name of Rohan Lokumudalige. Sarath Dissanayake described Rohan Lokumudali as the person who does all the crooked deals (hora weda) for Gamini Senarath. more..

Microsoft supports Lanka’s technology transformation

May 15 (SO) Microsoft Corpor- ation assured the government of its continued support to accomplish the country’s ICT (infor- mation and commu- nications technology) plans and goals. Following up with the meeting between Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Microsoft International President Jean-Philippe Courtois in Davos in January, the tech corporation reiterated its commitment to facilitate Sri Lanka’s journey towards a sustainable digital transformation. more..

'Returning lands to Tamil people: A moral responsibility'

May 15 (SL) JVP Western Provincial Councillor Sunil Watagala said that JVP is not a racially partial party and do not intend to spread racial disharmony. He said that 7 years after the conclusion of the war, the Tamil people are still destitute and said that both govts have only made use of them to win votes and cheated them. According to Watagala, releasing the lands that are rightfully the Tamils is not a favour that the govt is doing more..

Disciplinary action could disrupt SLFP unity

May 15 (SO) When former President Mahinda Rajapaksa left for Uganda on Tuesday morning, little did he know that he was flying into a major controversy. Although the former President’s second son, Yoshitha, was not permitted by court to accompany his father, several close allies of the former first family were handpicked for the visit. It was more like a picnic for the associates of Rajapaksa who toiled and moiled to facilitate his ‘comeback’, over the past 16 months. more..

Europe’s economic neo-colonialism

May 15 (ST) That even Cabinet Ministers were taken by surprise by this newspaper’s front page lead story last week was not the best example of transparency and good governance — supposedly the trademark of this Govt. The story; that the European Union (EU) and SL’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs have agreed on 58 conditions for Sri Lanka to win back GSP plus facilities (a GSP on tariffs) into European markets was strenuously denied by some junior ministers eager to score brownie points more..

'Action plan to uplift living standards and livelihood'

May 15 (SL) Minister D. M. Swaminathan says that his ministry in its action plan for this year has identified 14 areas in the North and East to uplift the living standards and livelihood of those who were affected by the war. He said that 9000 new houses will be constructed for the IDP’s and returnee refugees in the North and East at a unit cost of Rs. 800,000. Further he said the 2400 partially damaged houses will be renovated more..

World-class, $300m ITC One, Colombo 1 to open in 2021

May 15 (Island) 35 metres below the surface, the foundation for a world-class hotel-cum-luxury residences complex is nearing completion on a sprawling plot of land facing the bustling Galle Face Center Road in Colombo between the Indian Ocean and the Beira Lake. By end-June, 500 to 1,000 people will be engaged in two shifts in building basements. The $300-million state-of-the-art hotel and luxury apartment complex is being built by WelcomHotels Lanka Private Limited, more..

Tittle tattle

May 15 (SO) So our ex-Prez has gone to Uganda to be present when a supposed to be dictator guilty of corruption is sworn in for his fourth term in office. Yoweri Kaguta Musevni, 71, has been continuously in office from 1986 for 26 years and for sure getting more and more autocratic. His election was supposedly rigged and the Opposition, led by Kizza Besige, staged street protests. The police used tear gas liberally and even shot at the protesters killing ten people, one a child of two years more..

Honeymoon ends: Showdown begins

May 15 (CT) Corruption is one of the factors that promotes political violence and other forms of human rights abuses. Sri Lanka went through such a stage during the previous administration. The people reacted strongly against corruption by changing the corrupt administration by the power of the ballot in Jan 2015 at the presidential election and again at the parliamentary election in August 2016. "The people acting democratically got rid of more..

30 years after LTTE massacre of TELO!

May 15 (CT) The month of May is very significant in terms of the three decades of the North and East civil war. The Indians will remember their flamboyant PM Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated by an LTTE suicide cadre in Sriperumbudur on 21 May 1991. It was 17 years after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, that LTTE Leader V. Prabhakaran, who had been the mastermind of the assassination, was killed by the SL Security Forces at Nanthikadal in the Mullaitivu District on 19 May 2009. more..

Heaping congratulations just isn’t enough

May 15 (ST) My Dear Palitha Thevarapperuma, I thought I should write to you to congratulate you on your latest achievement. No, it is not being appointed a deputy minister a few weeks ago by Maithri but being able to get a child admitted to a school in Kalutara, when his application for admission had been rejected by the school earlier. I know many people criticise you for what you did but with your straightforward and direct approach you have shown the entire country that more..

Still a window is open for Athletics at Rio 2016

May 15 (ST) Sri Lanka is trying its level best to include three more athletes to the already qualified three athletes for the Rio Olympics according to Sugath Tillekeratne, the President of the Sri Lanka Athletics Association, who stated in an in interview with the Sunday Times. The already qualified athletes are Anuradha Indrajit Cooray (Marathon), Geethani Rajasekera (Women’s Marathon) and Sumeda Ranasinghe (Javelin). more..

Sri Lanka becomes transit point for hemp smugglers

May 15 (ENS) THAT cannabis is smuggled out of India from Visakhapatnam has come as a rude shock to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs which, acting on the information, has asked the AP Police take a look into the extent of the operations. According to sources, cannabis also known as ganja and hemp, is grown in North Andhra and Kerala and is being shipped out to Sri Lanka through fishing boats. The contraband from there is finding its way to other countries. more..

Kusal’s mental agony

May 15 (Island) Conspiracy theories were plenty among Sri Lankan fans over the last couple of days after the suspension of Kusal Janith Perera was lifted immediately by the ICC earlier in the week. Many fans believed that India had something to do with Kusal’s ban to make Sri Lanka weaker during Asia Cup and World T-20 campaigns. Sri Lanka entered both events as defending champions, but made early exits failing horribly in their title defense in Bangladesh and India. more..

Navy grabbed our business: Avant Garde

May 15 (SL) Chairman, Avant Garde Maritime Services, Nissanka Senadhipathi claims the Navy has allegedly taken over a business he had entered into with the Nigerian Navy last year. Senadhipathi’s claim comes following the handing over of nine small petrol craft and arrow boats manufactured by SL Navy to the Nigerian Navy recently. However, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne refuted the allegations and more..

Bradby Shield: Trinity wins second leg

May 15 (ST) At the conclusion of a wonderfully exciting game, a rejuvenated Trinity side had pulled off an 18 points (1 goal, 1 try, 2 penalties) to 13 (1 goal, 2 penalties) win over a Royal team that was a bit flat, especially in the second half. Royal’s inability to pull off a win, especially after they had led 10-5 at the break was probably due in part to the fact that Trinity blocked their celebrated rolling maul. Credit should go to the Trinity forwards for their endeavour. When they found that their hitherto more..

Sri Lanka beat Philippines to finish second

May 15 (Island) Sri Lanka finished second in the Asian Rugby Championship despite a thrilling 25 (3-tries, 2-conversions, 2-penalties) – 21 (2-tries, 1-conversions, 3-penalties) win over Philippines in Malaysia yesterday. Meanwhile the hosts emerged champions of this tournament as they defeated Singapore 40-13. Sri Lanka having lost to Malaysia in the previous encounter were under pressure to beat Philippines in the third and final match, and they made couple of changes to more..

CPC flouts tender procedure?

May 15 (CT) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is planning to award the contract to modify the 40-year-old Sapugaskanda Petroleum Refinery to an Indian company without calling for open tenders. Internal CPC sources alleged a group of senior officials, who have been bribed by the Indian company, are making attempts to give the contract to the Indian company. Sources also said the US$ 1.5 billion project has to be on par more..

Burgess 98 makes SL bowlers toil

May 15 (CI) Sri Lanka's bowlers were given another testing workout ahead of the Test series, as Michael Burgess, on first-class debut for Leicestershire, fell two short of what would have been an elegant maiden century. Burgess's efforts helped Leicestershire to 304 for 5 in their reply and left the Sri Lankans to dwell most fondly on the morning session, when Dasun Shanaka completed his fourth first-class century. Burgess, whose six previous appearances had come for Loughborough more..

Akila, Uditha clear hurdles for World Juniors

May 15 (CT) Hurdlers Akila Ravishanka and Uditha Chandrasena achieved IAAF World Junior Qualifying standards with record breaking performances at the Junior National Athletics Championships 2016 continued for the third day in Diyagama yesterday. Ravishanka from Seevali Central College Ratnapura clocked 14.19 seconds in the boys Under-20 110m hurdles to shatter the previous record of 14.22 seconds set by Supun Viraj Randeniya in 2012. more..

Tax on pavement hawkers on the cards

May 15 (ST) Sri Lankan pavement hawkers, on one hand a menace to pedestrians while on the other a crucial vote base for politicians, are to be provided legitimacy by making them taxpayers. The proposed tax is aimed at making them contribute towards the economic development of the country, reducing the number of street vendors, maintaining cleanliness in the city and minimising the hassle to pedestrians, official sources revealed. more..

Hassen Ali, Hakeem clash

May 15 (SL) A new rift has emerged in the SLMC with party General Secretary Hassen Ali accusing SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem of taking arbitrary decisions. Ali said that Hakeem made some appointments to the SLMC High Command without consulting others in the party. He also said that Hakeem had taken a decision to amend the party constitution before obtaining the backing of the party leadership. Ali however said that there was no move to create a split in SLMC nor will he resign more..

President directs sale of three state hotels

May 15 (ST) President Sirisena has requested the Ministry of Public Enterprise Development to issue bids for sale of three state-owned hotels to attract potential investors. The three hotels are the Hilton, the proposed Grand Hyatt and Grand Oriental. “We’re gauging on how to maximise the value of these,” a source said adding that plans are to either totally or partially divest them. He said that already they got a few unsolicited proposals pertaining to the three hotels which are more..

President’s visit to London: LTTE sympathizers protest at wrong venue

May 15 (Island) Pro-LTTE activists in the UK got it mixed up and protested at the wrong venue in the belief that visiting President Maithripala Sirisena was attending the Anti Corruption meeting at Marlborough House. This was, in fact, a separate conference initiated by the Commonwealth Secretariat for NGO Group members. While the LTTE sympathizers were demonstrating, the Sri Lankan leader was addressing more..

Maithripala does not scold Editors in filth like Mahinda did: Rajitha

May 15 (Island) Unlike former President Rajapaksa, the current President Sirisena never threatened editors, says Minister Rajitha Senaratne. He said that Mahinda used to threaten editors not to publish news that exposed wrongs done by him and his family and if they dared ignore his orders, they used to get blasted in raw filth. "No such thing happens now. President Srisena never abuses his power nor does he call journalists and tell them how they should do their job." more..

No action against ministerial crooks in MR Regime

May 15 (CT) Legal action had been delayed in relation to 43 files sent by the FCID to the Attorney General for legal advice. "These files are related to investigations into serious financial frauds committed by Ministers, MPs and relations of those in the former Mahinda Rajapaksa regime", a senior spokesman for the Attorney General's Department said. All files sent by the FCID are re-checked by Senior Additional Solicitor General Kapila Vaidyaratna, head of the Criminal Division. more..

Work suspended after New Delhi claims it may be a naval facility

May 15 (ST) The construction of a new church on the island of Kachchativu has been stopped by the Sri Lankan Government after India raised issues over it. Navy Commander Ravindra Wijegunaratne said construction work had been suspended until the issues were resolved. He said the Navy had been asked to undertake the construction by Jaffna’s Bishop the Rt. Rev. Dr. Bernard Gnanapragasam. more..

Sri Lankan President Sirisena visits Sanchi

May 15 (TOI) President Maithripala Sirisena visited Sanchi on Saturday. Sirisena arrived in India to attend the `Vichar Mahakumbh' in village Ninora, near Ujjain. At Sanchi, Sirisena unveiled the statue of Dhammapathik Anagarika Dharmapala, a Sri Lankan Buddhist revivalist and writer who was one of the founding contributors of non-violent Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism. Expressing gratification over his visit, Sirisena said that he felt blessed and thanked MP chief minister more..

Sea rescue demonstration & Training at VVT

May 15 (Island) The Sri Lanka Air Force conducted a demonstration and an Air Sea Rescue (ASR) refresher exercise at Valvettithurai sea area on Friday. Pilots, SLAF Regiment Special Force members, Air Gunners and Technicians along with the instructors took part in this training exercise conducted by the No. 7 Helicopter Squadron at SLAF Base Hingurakgoda. Life savers and boats from the Sri Lanka Navy also joined with the SLAF rescue team during the exercise. more..

Sampur shelved

May 15 (SO) A delegation of the Ministry of Power and Energy will meet their Indian counterparts on Friday, to discuss the possibility of shelving the proposed 500 megawatt coal powered plant in Sampur. An official said that decisions were reached by the the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CEM) to conduct feasibility studies to set up of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plants in Sampur instead of coal powered plants. more..

Cabinet Reshuffle Expected After May 21

May 15 (SO) A cabinet reshuffle is expected to take place after May 21. President Maithripala Sirisena is expected to reshuffle the cabinet after returning to Sri Lanka following his participation at the G7 Summit in Japan. When contacted by The Sunday Leader, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said he could not confirm or deny claims that a cabinet reshuffle will take place soon. The Minister however said he has not been informed of any change in the current cabinet. more..

Environmentalists Up In Arms Over Kithulgala Project

May 15 (SL) Environmentalists, researchers and scientists are up in arms against a power project proposal that would be detrimental to the biodiversity in Kithulgala, especially affecting freshwater fish species in the vicinity. Last Friday, a group of environmentalists opposed the involvement of Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and high level officials in approving the Kithulgala Mini Hydropower Project proposed by Vallible Lanka, to dam Kelani River about 700m downstream more..

Govt’s popularity gets a beating; growing concern over failure to tackle corruption

May 15 (ST) One morning last week, Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s mobile phone rang a few times. He was at his official residence at Stanmore Crescent, one of the most secure locations in Colombo, sandwiched between the residences of the Commanders of the Army and the Air Force. Interrupting some of the paper work he was engaged in, he answered. It was former President Rajapaksa who was the caller. more..