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Employment crisis for educated women

May 16 (CT) Over the decades the issue of women being marginalized was raised on many platforms. Many conferences were held and resolutions were adopted. The Commission on the Status of Women organized world conferences on women in Mexico (1975), Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1985) and Beijing (1995). Over the past decade, the Commission has systematically reviewed progress in the implementation of more..

Comm Bank says warded off hacker attack

May 16 (EN) Sri Lanka’s Commercial Bank said it had been subject to a hacking attack against which it defended itself with no loss of customer data or passwords and that it had hired outside experts to check its defences. “There was a hacking attack on our website and the bank took immediate corrective steps,” a statement said. “Our systems are fully secure and operational. The hacking attack was also immediately more..

Rosy Senanayake's petition requesting recount of Preferential votes dismissed

May 16 (AM) The Fundamental Rights petition filed by former Minister Rosy Senanayake requesting a recount of the preferential votes of the 2015 August 17 General Election was today dismissed by the Supreme Court. AG submitted relevant documents to the court, pointing out that the UNP party agents had signed them saying that the election counting was carried out without an error. Senanayake had argued that the counting more..

Govt expects to raise Rs. 100 billion through VAT increases

May 16 (Island) State Finance Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that the govt intended to raise Rs 100 bn through the increase in VAT. He said that the govt required additional funding to meet its requirements. Asked whether it would be possible to raise enough funds for that purpose through the imposition of VAT, Minister Abeywardena asserted that perhaps about 70% of that amount could be obtained. more..

Alleged gender discrimination in police: A fourth woman ASP goes to court

May 16 (ST) Another woman Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) has filed a fundamental rights petition in the Supreme Court seeking an increase in cadre positions available to females in ranks of Superintendent of Police (SP) and above. This brings to four the number of policewomen who have now sought the Court’s intervention against what they plead is gender bias in the Police Department. more..

COPE to present report on 26 public institutions to Parliament in June

May 16 (DN) The COPE will present a concise report on 26 public institutions to Parliament in the first sitting week in June, COPE Chairman and JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said. He said this report would consist of the COPE findings on the institutions that were summoned before the committee from January to April. Some of the key institutions covered in the report include the Central Bank, CEB, SriLankan Airlines, SPC, more..

Govt accused of failing to probe several allegations of corruption

May 16 (CG) Govt has been accused of failing to probe several allegations of corruption, despite complaints being filed. Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) said that putting an end to bribery and corruption and punishing those engaged in serious financial crimes during the previous regime were the top election promises of the UNFGG Govt. ACF advisor Keerthi Tennakoon said ACF had tendered 512 verified complaints more..

Yahapalana double game: Rajapaksa continues to enjoy military security

May 16 (CT) Amidst much hue and cry that the military security given to former President Rajapaksa was stripped on a govt order, it has now come to light that Rajapaksa continues to enjoy military security, despite initial reports that his military security detail was stripped and replaced with police. Rajapaksa who left for Uganda on a ticket bought from public money, had with him four army personnel, including a Major and a Colonel as part of his security detail that accompanied him. more..

The challenge of May 19 is to commemorate and to mourn

May 16 (CT) The war ended on the battlefields of the north seven years ago on May 19. The commemoration of this day is a divisive one. During the period of the previous govt, which claimed ownership of the war victory, the commemoration took the form of a victory celebration, with military parades and narrow ethnic nationalistic speechmaking that catered to ethnic majority sentiment but injured the sentiments of the ethnic minorities. At the same time more..


Shares gain to over four-month closing high

May 16 (Reuters) Shares rose on Monday to its highest close in more than four months, led by gains in large caps while traffic woes caused by a heavy downpour dented the trading session. The benchmark stock index ended up 0.43%, or 28.56 points, at 6,708.40, its highest close since Jan. 8. However, the gains were also capped on concerns that the govt's move to increase value added tax and impose new taxes, effective from May 2, would hit the bottom line of many companies. more..

MTD Walkers sets up Maldives unit

May 16 (EN) Sri Lankan construction and engineering firm MTD Walkers said it has set up a subsidiary in the Maldives as it plans to expand operations in the archipelago. The company, an integrated infrastructure and engineering solutions provider, said the new unit, Walkers CML International (Private) Limited, was needed to meet the growing demand of infrastructure development activities in the country. Group said it also hopes to work with local partners and govt institutions more..

Sri Lankan military under attack

May 16 (CT) "Heavy military presence, military occupied land, irregularities of the military, prolonged detention, and signs of torture" are phrases we frequently hear nowadays concerning our military. We are again confounded with the one question, whether our military consists of heroes or villains. The TNA-led Tamil politicians along with India and the West-led international community are much concerned. more..

Exemplary North & East Bishops

May 16 (CT) Catholic Bishops of Batticaloa and Jaffna have come out with thought provoking comments on strengthening the reconciliation process as well as creating a civilized society by stabilizing law and order. As arrangements are being made to mark the seventh anniversary of ending the civil war in the island this week, the Catholic Bishop of Batticaloa Rt. Rev. Joseph Ponniah emphasized the need of rejecting completely the religious radicalism and extremism in politics. more..

Sri Lanka's state aristocracy by popular vote: King unware of tax by Royal Prerogative

May 16 (EN) Sri Lanka's taxation by Royal Prerogative progressively built by the elected ruling class and bureaucrats after independence from British has seen a new twist with the King apparently unaware taxes being slapped on citizens without parliamentary consent. The time has come to re-establish taxation by consent and stop the parliament from being a rubber stamp. In Sri Lanka's new constitution, specific provisions must be enshrined to re-establish taxation by consent more..

ICC verbally agrees to reimburse Sri Lanka for Kusal case: SLC official

May 16 (CI) ICC has verbally agreed to reimburse the funds SLC spent in clearing Kusal Perera of doping charges. No decision on whether legal action would be taken has been made, though SLC has not ruled out that option. "The ICC has agreed to compensate us, but there is nothing in writing," SLC secretary Mohan de Silva said. "In any case we will be making an appeal for that. I'm quite confident that they will oblige us." more..

Sri Lanka fisheries ready for return

May 16 (WF) With its ban on fisheries exports to the EU market lifted, the country anticipates it will start to reinstate crucial trade links from next month. The lifting of the red card given to Sri Lanka that had banned the export of the country’s fisheries products to the European Union for 15 months presents its seafood industry with the opportunity to quickly regain a big slice of its former €100 million ($113.5 million) export market, according to fishing and political leaders. more..

SL bureaucracy said deterring investors

May 16 (EN) The head of a Sri Lankan law firm that advises foreign investors has called for more transparency in decision-making and less administrative discretion, saying companies face delays caused by lower rungs of the bureaucracy. A key aspect of building investor confidence was that the rule of law must be followed, said John Wilson, Partner at John Wilson Partners, among whose specialties are corporate law and foreign investment. “Administrative discretion and action more..

President meets visiting German business delegation

May 16 (PSL) Head of visiting German Business Delegation to SL, and Parliamentary State Secretary Uwe Beckmeyer called on President Maithripala Sirisena at his residence today. The visit of the Business Delegation took place subsequent to President’s recent visit of Germany, during which Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that she will send a Business Delegation to explore business and investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. more..

Schools to be closed if severe weather continues

May 16 (GDI) Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam today instructed authorities of all the regional and zonal education divisions to take the necessary decisions regarding closure of schools in their areas due to the prevailing adverse weather. Accordingly, principles of school that had an impact from the adverse weather could inform the regional or zonal directors about the situation and follow the instruction, to continue or close the school. Minister further stated this decision had been taken more..

President calls for immediate action to assist thousands affected by heavy rains

May 16 (Xinhua) President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday instructed authorities to provide immediate relief to the thousands of people who had been affected by heavy winds and rains within the past 36 hours. President had issued instructions to allocate the necessary funds to supply food and other required facilities to those affected by the extreme weather. The president further gave instructions to the minister of disaster management, defense secretary, tri forces' commanders and more..

Video: MR security: Remaining army personal removed

May 16 (DM) NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa said the last batch of army personnel attached to former President's security detail had been asked to report to Army Headquarters. He said this was a sign that govt feared Mr. Rajapaksa "This also proves that the govt has affected by Mahinda Rajapaksa Phobia when considering the fact that all army personnel have been removed from his security detail," more..

Nine Laggala Police officers transferred

May 16 (DN) Nine officers attached to the Laggala Police Station have been transferred with immediate effect due to service requirements. Among those transferred were a Sub Inspector, four Sergeants and four Constables. The CID earlier recorded statements from the staff of Laggala Police Station in connection with the fire arm theft at the Laggala Police Station. Following a search carried out based on information received, police found the firearms near a washroom in the premises of more..

PRECIFAC quizzes Abeygunawardane

May 16 (DM) PRECIFAC recorded a statement from former Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardane over an allegation of misappropriating over Rs. 300 million when organizing the opening and water-filling ceremony of Hambantota Port in 2010. A spokesman said they have received a complaint alleging that over Rs. 300 million had been misused when organizing ceremony. Mr. Abeygunawardane was questioned by Commission over the matter as he was the subject minister during that time. more..

US notes importance of Right to Information in Sri Lanka

May 16 (CG) The US today noted the importance of Right to Information in Sri Lanka saying it will give Sri Lankans the tools to make their country a better place, and prevent any return to an era of secrecy and a lack of accountability. US Ambassador Atul Keshap, speaking at a Right to Information (RTI) interactive dialogue launch at the Water’s Edge Hotel said that any democracy requires that Govt officials be accountable to more..

FCID awaits AG’s advice on 36 cases of mega frauds

May 16 (DM) The FCID, investigating allegations of mega scale fraud and corruption involving top politicians of the previous regime said only five cases had been taken up in Courts out of 41 completed files. A Senior FCID Officer said 36 files had been referred to the Attorney General’s Department for his opinion prior to taking legal action and was awaiting a response from the AG even though it’s a year since the files were referred to the Department. more..

Yoshitha's grand aunt denies any transaction Land sale worth Rs 51.2M

May 16 (CT) The grand aunt of former President Rajapaksa's son Yoshitha Rajapaksa has been ordered to appear before the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate's Court on 20 May with regard to a land sale worth Rs 51.2Mn. Magistrate Mohamed Sahabdeen had made this directive. Attorney- at- Law Premanath Dolawatte who appears on behalf of Yoshitha Rajapaksa added that the female relative, Daisy Forest, aged 80, was ordered to appear before the magistrate on 20 May. more..

Video: Mervyn forms his own Joint Opposition

May 16 (DM) The sacred term, joint opposition must not be used to identify a gang of rogues, I will form a joint opposition so as to perform the duties of an actual opposition, former minister Mervyn Silva said. He said in the past everything took place according to the whims and fancies of the Rajapaksas and he had to act on their behalf on several occasions. Mr. Silva said that from today he would act as convener more..

MR not invited for Victory Day ceremonies

May 16 (DM) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa has not been invited to participate in the Victory Day ceremonies being held on May 18, Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said today. The seventh war victory celebration, Sanhindiyawe Piya Satahan is scheduled to be held at the War Memorial in Battaramulla under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. The event is to be followed by a cultural show at the Independence Square in Colombo. more..

Three killed, 11,667 displaced by heavy rains

May 16 (DM) Three people were killed and 11,667 people were displaced due to the adverse weather conditions prevailing in the country, DMC said today. Among the dead was a victim struck by lightning at Anuradhapura while the other two were killed by landslides at Dehiowita. The rains which wreaked havoc during the past few days had displaced 11,667 people from 7,880 families. Residents of Kalutara, Colombo, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Galle, Matara and Chilaw more..

Video: Mahinda was officially invited: Udaya

May 16 (AD) Former President Rajapaksa visited Uganda only after receiving an official invitation for the tour, MP Udaya Gammanpila says. He admitted that Foreign Affairs Ministry had paid for the travel expenses of former President’s visit. However, while responding to media personnel he refused allegations the former President of meeting former Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga during the visit. more..

Sri Lanka decides to free all TN fishermen

May 16 (CG) Sri Lanka has decided to free Indian fishermen who are now in custody for violating maritime boundary laws. Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that the Govt has decided to release 34 Indian fishermen today. The move follows talks held between President Maithripala Sirisena and Indian PM Narendra Modi last week. Following the talks it was reported that both sides sought a permanent solution to the issue of frequent arrests of Indian fishermen by the SL Navy more..

Video: At least three missing in flash floods; alert issued

May 16 (AD) Floods and landslides in Sri Lanka have killed at least eight people, including a 10-month-old baby, and forced tens of thousands more to flee their homes, officials said today. “Three people are reported missing in Dehiowita area,” DMC spokesman Pradeep Kodippily said. Relief operations are well underway even the military had been deployed in the hill country areas to provide relief, he said, adding that the men went missing from district of Kegalle. more..

Military to commemorate end of war by focusing on reconciliation

May 16 (CG) The military will on Wednesday commemorate the end of the war by focusing on peace and reconciliation. A Reminiscence of Reconciliation, a cultural presentation of victory by the tri-forces, police and civil security department will be held on Wednesday evening at the Independence Square premises in Colombo. The cultural event will be held as part of the War Heroes commemoration programme. more..

The crippling burden of mounting foreign debt servicing costs

May 17 (ST) The massive increase in the country’s foreign debt and its huge debt servicing costs are a severe burden on the economy. They are a severe strain on the public finances and external reserves of the country. The current balance of payments crisis is very much due to this. Therefore bringing down the foreign debt is vital for reinforcing the external finances of the country and ensuring economic stability. The nation’s foreign debt increased sharply since 2000. more..

Fighting corruption; govt resolve depends on public resolve !

May 17 (CT) It was in the news that President Sirisena attending the Anti-Corruption Summit in UK reiterated : ‘We were elected to office on the policy platform of democracy, good governance and rule of law. Therefore, we consider our prime duty to root out of corruption from the country. We have already taken significant measures for this purpose’. Quite a good assertion indeed! But have this lofty rhetoric transformed itself into actionable plans and walking the talk? Sadly not (fast enough), more..

Hooked on a high

May 17 (SO) Young people are on a roller coaster today. Peer pressure, impulsive behaviour and the desire to experiment with whatever new product surfaces on the current scene, have collectively propelled them to step out of the accepted norms of social behaviour at the risk of their own health and lives. This risky, devil- may care attitude to life in general, often lures them to anti social activities, the most dangerous of more..

Reflections on paths not taken

May 17 (GV) Former President Rajapaksa is unlikely to know the poem or the poet, but the sentiments would have been his as he watched Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni swearing in as president for the seventh time. For all the sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’ Mr. Museveni’s seventh consecutive investiture (he has been in power since 1986) was as controversial as the election he purported to win. A clamp down on dissent kept Uganda quiet and more..

Editorial: Of that fishy issue

May 17 (Island) No discussion between Sri Lankan and Indian leaders is complete without mention of the piscatorial issue, which has figured in recent talks between President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Narendra Modi, in India. It was thought that no contentious issues would be taken up when they met during a religious festival, but the Indian side had bigger fish to fry. PM Modi has stressed the need for evolving what he has termed a permanent solution to the problem of illegal fishing. more..

'All out probe into Panama Papers'

May 17 (CT) We have opened investigation into individuals listed in the Panama Papers and action will be taken without undue delay against anyone found guilty of any violations of the country's laws, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. Q: The people had great expectations of relief measures when govt was about to present Budget 2016 proposals in Parliament last November, It was ultimately dubbed Saradiel Budget more..