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China offers to assist relief work following floods and landslides

May 19 (CG) The Chinese Govt has offered to assist relief work in Sri Lanka following the devastating floods and landslides. In a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, Chinese Ambassador in Colombo, Yi Xianliang said that China will do its utmost to assist Sri Lanka’s relief work. “On behalf of the govt and people of China, I wish to extend my deepest condolence to the Govt and people of SL more..

Conspiracy to murder EPDP Leader: Three more accused ready to plead guilty

May 19 (Island) Counsel Lakshman Perera, told the Colombo Special High Court Commissioner, that three more accused indicted in respect of a conspiracy to murder, former Minister Douglas Devananda would plead guilty to the charge at the next date of calling of the case. They are Robert Maxlain, S. Sivakumar and S. Skandarajah. Counsel said that already those persons had been in remand custody for 18 years, since June 1998. Hence, Counsel would like to request the AG to more..

Fonseka disappointed with decision to shift army headquarters

May 19 (CG) Former army commander, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka today expressed disappointment at the decision taken by the former Government to shift the army headquarters to Battaramulla. Fonseka told Parliament that the Galle Face property which housed the army headquarters was sold to a foreign firm for a hotel project, disrespecting the service rendered by the army to the Nation. He said that most countries maintain the army headquarters at their historic locations more..

President instructs officials to carry out immediate relief

May 19 (PSL) President Sirisena held a meeting look into immediate measures necessary to look after the people affected by inclement weather, landslides and floods. He discussed with officials about evacuation of people affected from landslide prone and flooded areas, settlement of displaced persons and supply of food and other requirements of the displaced persons. President instructed the Navy to deploy more boats more..

Sajith promises to build new houses for those destroyed by adverse weather

May 19 (Island) Minister Sajith Premadasa yesterday told Parliament that the govt would immediately take necessary action to construct houses for the families who had lost theirs due to landslides and inclement weather during the last several days. The new houses would be built in safer areas and the National Building and Research Organisation had been instructed to find suitable places to build new houses for the victim families. He said that financial allocations had already more..

Basil wife, daughter fail to appear before PRECIFAC

May 19 (DN) PRECIFAC has decided not to summon security officers at former President Rajapaksa’s ancestral home in Medamulana. Commission had arrived at this decision after the security officers had given a statement to the Police that Pushpa Rajapaksa and Theja Rajapaksa are not the house and they are out of the country. PRECIFAC earlier decided to summon the securirty officers over the failure of Pushpa Rajapaksa and Theja Rajapaksa, wife and daughter of more..

Pakistan hands over most Sacred Buddhist Relics to Sri Lanka

May 19 (TN) Govt of Pakistan has handed over the most sacred relics of Lord Buddha to Govt of Sri Lanka today in a special ceremony arranged at the historic Taxila Museum today. The relics were handed over on behalf of the govt of Pakistan, by the Advisor to Pakistan’s Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage, Mr. Irfan Siddiqui to Sri Lankan Minister Mr. Gamini Jayawickrama Perera and his delegation. more..

Ranil tells his MPs who were shouting to shut up and sit down

May 19 (CG) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today told a group of Parliamentarians who were shouting at the opposition while he was speaking to shut up and sit down. The PM had a verbal exchange with the opposition over the controversy which arose on the vote earlier this month on the Supplementary estimates. Wickremesinghe said the opposition cannot behave in an unruly manner and if they continue to do so they should be removed from the House. more..

Elephants in state custody to be released on bonds for religious functions

May 19 (Island) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya, said a temporary bond would be issued to the Department of Wildlife and the CID, to release elephants taken into custody, to be used in Vesak, Poson and Esala Perahera of Buddhist temples. Attorney General will give his opinions on May 20, the next date of calling of application by alleged owners of elephants. The applicants wanted the animals to be used in the Perahera. The recipients will have to pay Rs. 10 million to more..

Video: Sudden increase of rains: Met Dept

May 19 (DM) The deep depression in the Bay of Bengal which has intensified in to Cyclonic storm ROANU is now located about 600 km north of Kankesanthurai and it is further moving away from the island, the Met department said in its 4 pm bulletin today. Issuing a weather forecast for the next 24 hours today, “Strong windy conditions over the country and in the sea areas around the island will continue during next few days more..

Sri Lanka’s uneasy peace

May 19 (TD) Sri Lanka’s civil war ended on May 18, 2009 — seven years ago. The country’s govt forces defeated the Tamil Tigers, a group that had been fighting for a separate Tamil state in the nation’s northern and eastern provinces. Credible allegations of abuses committed by Sri Lankan military personnel and the Tigers have persisted since the conclusion of war. In the post-war era, longtime president Rajapaksa took the country in an increasingly authoritarian direction. more..

Ravi K says Japan agrees USD 2.5bn development loan to Sri Lanka

May 19 (LBO) Minister Ravi Karunanayake told Parliament that Japan has agreed to provide about US$ 2.5 billion worth development policy loan. This has been revealed when Japanese PM Shinzo Abe’s Special Representative Hiroto Izumi called on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, he said. “Mr. Izumi also talked about issuing USD1.2bn bond,” he said. “We are using this yen loan for the goods we are importing from Japan. Japan has provided us with a yen loan with 0.05% interest.” more..

Video: Tri-forces, police to provide security in flood-affected areas: PM

May 19 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today urged those living in flood-affected areas to evacuate their homes without delay as the armed forces and police will be deployed to provide security to their personal belongings and property. He was addressing a special press conference to brief media on the steps taken by the govt regarding the disaster situation prevailing in the country due to torrential rains. more..

Victims of natural disasters: Speaker expresses sorrow on behalf of Parliament

May 19 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on behalf of the entire parliament expressed his sorrow to the victims of natural disasters that had ravaged the country during the past few days. Making a special announcement the Speaker said that he had been shocked by the devastation caused by continuous rains that ravaged the country resulting in landslides, earth-slips, floods and destruction of roads. "It was with great distress and sadness that we received the news about natural disasters more..

US team of officials visits Polonnaruwa District at President’s invitation

May 19 (ITN) A group of officials including the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka undertook a visit to the Polonnaruwa District at the invitation of President Maithripala Sirisena. The aim of their visit was to make inquiries into the programmes planned to be launched in Polonnaruwa under the US Foreign Aid Programme. A group including US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Athul Keshap and Director of the United States Foreign Air Programme Harishasthri joined in this tour. more..

Injured Prasad unlikely for remainder of England tour

May 19 (CI) Fast bowler Dhammika Prasad is being sent to Sri Lanka for further treatment on his shoulder strain, and is unlikely to play a further role on the tour of England. The injury had continued to prevent Prasad from bowling in the nets, nine days after he sustained it during a tour match. The exact nature of the injury is unknown, as tests have so far have proved inconclusive. "After yesterday's fitness test, the management more..

Navy continues to assist people affected by floods due to adverse weather

May 19 (SLN) As a result of the torrential downpour prevailed in the country during past few days, many people across the country became victims of floods and landslides. The navy was very swift to come to the rescue of people in this hour of need. As at today evening the Navy managed to rescue lives of 13,772 people and transferred them by boats to safe locations. 81 flood relief teams are deployed in areas such as Thalduwa, Hanwella, Ranala, Navagamuwa, Malwana, Kegalle, Kaduwela, more..

JO takes Defence Secy to task for V-Day comments

May 19 (Island) Condemning the govt’s decision to cancel the military parades to celebrate the victory day, the Joint Opposition yesterday also took Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi to task for his recent statement that government forces fought a war with another group of Sri Lankans, but not with another country. MP Wimal Weerawansa said if the security forces had not won the war the country would have been divided by now. "I ask Defence Secretary how the LTTE terrorists more..

Hopes fade for over 130 feared buried in Sri Lanka landslides

May 19 (Reuters) Hopes faded on Thursday for the survival of about 130 people trapped under the mud and rubble of two landslides in Sri Lanka, as heavy rain hampered rescue operations and the death toll from the disaster rose to 58. Days of torrential rains have forced around 300,000 people from their homes across the island nation, official data showed. Thirty bodies have been retrieved at the landslide sites. more..

Fate of the Tamil community, 7 years later

May 20 (CT) Seven years have passed since the Tamil community in Sri Lanka lost everything in their fight to unchain 500 years of slavery under the command of foreigners who ruled over the Tamils and enforced their alien laws upon them. It was only after several non-violent efforts that Tamil turned to a campaign of armed resistance for self-defense. Today, society has awoken to the atrocities carried out by ISIS in the Middle East. If only they had opened their eyes to the crimes of Sri Lanka more..

The tightrope walk

May 20 (DN) When Maithripala Sirisena, then the General Secretary of the SLFP left the party in Nov 2015 and announced he would contest his leader Mahinda Rajapaksa at the next presidential elections his campaign theme encompassed of two major issues: the rule of law and corruption. Candidate Sirisena argued that Rajapaksa, for all his efforts in rooting out terrorism, had two major flaws: he had abused his powers and under his watch, corruption in govt had grown exponentially. more..

'Taxes needed for a country to provide basic necessities'

May 20 (FT) The recent tax hike on telephone charges should have been imposed on usage, Minister Harin Fernando said. Dismissing requests to scrap the VAT imposed on telephone charges, he pointed out that although the decision may seem like a discomfort, it is done in the best interest of the people. “Finance Ministry has to go by certain rules in order to find short term measures to bridge the gap in finances. more..

A strategic management system for Sri Lanka’s governance!

May 20 (CT) This refers to the weekly Cabinet news briefing by Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne. In his briefing, reference has been made to certain Ministers sabotaging the anti-corruption drive, inefficiency and treachery etc. This govt has now been in power for about 18 months. However, it does not appear to have developed any strategic measures to handle or manage this pathetic situation! The government’s rhetoric alone does not help. more..

Intelligence: Essential parent of VIP security

May 20 (DN) Many leaders have been assassinated starting from PM S W R D Bandaranaike in 1959. This was due to the poor security system at the time plus stubbornness of the VIP not listening to the security advice. Any nation has experienced an assassination or an attempted assassination directed against its leaders. We require a basic understanding on general methods used to assassinate a selected individual. To prevent a terrorist attack, the security detail must first more..

'Hold Local Govt Polls if you dare!'

May 20 (CT) Leader of the Joint Opposition (JO), Dinesh Gunawardena challenged the govt to hold Local Govt Polls as soon as possible, to show what the 'JO' has in store against the present govt. Q: The 'JO' is stuck in a never ending struggle to win recognition in Parliament. What is the latest on this? A: 'JO' represents various political parties. They were the victorious parties contesting under Betel leaf (UPFA). more..

18th of May 2009 and the battle over meaning

May 20 (DM) Thrishantha Nanayakkara once said All wars have been fought twice; once in the battlefield and once down the alleys of memory. This is true. The battle today is about remembrance. It’s not just about commemoration but about meaning. It’s about definitions. It is about post-war language. The National Peace Council (NPC) issued a statement recently with a nice line: No wise country celebrates war victory after a civil war. Civil war, did they say? more..

Learn a lession from Aranayake tragedy

May 20 (CT) In the recent few days nature had hit Sri Lanka hard. Thousands of people were affected by the floods due to the heavy rains. Making the situation worse a massive landslide in Aranayake has taken away many lives. Accordingly, by yesterday 17 deaths have been confirmed in landslides in Aranayake with over 100 men, women and children feared interred alive. According to statistics exactly 62 persons including children have been buried alive in the landslides more..

Aluth Parlimantuwa: University Ragging

Policy paralysis: Multiple crises and the political response

May 20 (DM) The present state of affairs in the country can be described only as a national calamity. This is due to the convergence of a number of economic, social, environmental and political crises. All of these crises are serious and cannot be easily resolved. This is a time when one would expect those who are entrusted with the responsibility of managing public affairs to come up with the best possible collective response to deal with the situation in order to protect more..

Looking for the Human factor in this Rainbow Revolution

May 20 (GV) Two things trouble and pain me. The Mullivaikkal remembrance on 18 May, of the dead and missing people due to war, whose families are still agitating to know the truth and want justice and now in the South, reports coming in on the same day of the displaced, the dead and the 03 buried villages due to what would be called a natural disaster; unprecedented rains, earth slips and floods. I tend to believe, over many decades we invented and invited these earth slips and floods – though more..

Abortion: Society needs to reach out to save pain and hardship

May 20 (SO) Recently, medical practitioners made a sincere plea to the authorities to decriminalise abortion in Sri Lanka, quoting statistics, that there are around 650 abortions daily in the country and around 20 women die due to complications, as these abortions are done in clinics with poor hygiene and minimal safety conditions. In this context, the Sunday Observer looked in depth into the worrisome state the doctors spoke of, and beyond. more..

Three-member Sri Lanka team for Wheelchair Tennis World Cup

May 20 (DN) A three-member SL wheelchair tennis team will take part in the Wheelchair Tennis World Cup which is to be held from May 23 to 28 in Haneda, Japan. Local team comprised Upali Rajakaruna, D.M. Gamini and Lasantha Ranaweera, who are proud products of SL Army and the team will take wings to Japan on May 21. The local trio is in high spirit after receiving a short comprehensive training under a world renowned coach, Aad, a former national coach of Netherlands more..

Moratuwa undergrads develop novel flexible robotic arm

May 20 (ST) Three final year students of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Moratuwa have developed a novel biomimetic flexible robot arm. This robot arm differs from traditional robot arms by being flexible instead of being rigid. Traditional robot arms are normally associated with large production factories with ample room for manoeuvring of their rigid arms. These traditional rigid robot arms meet with problems when dealing with applications in more..

Shanaka baits England's top order

May 20 (CI) In January he was purveyor of record-setting brutality, clubbing 16 sixes and two fours in a domestic T20. In Feb, he bounced MS Dhoni out in Pune, en route to the game's best figures of 3 for 16. The World T20 cameos came in March: 15 off 9 against England, 20 not out against South Africa. And though he'd seemed a strange presence in the May squad to England, he wangled his way into the XI with more..

Floods 2016: Avoiding the mistakes of 2004

May 20 (GV) Sri Lanka is experiencing its worst natural disaster since, arguably, the tsunami. Thousands have been displaced and hundreds killed by the floods and landslides caused by the unprecedented rain (ironic in itself given that many for weeks before had been praying for rain to bring some relief to a heat wave that had been plaguing the country). While the attention is understandably on immediate search and rescue, it would be wise as well to remember lessons from tsunami, more..

Prof. Ashely Halpe: Unassuming but charismatic, perceptive yet discreet

May 20 (DN) Professor Ashely Halpe has rendered a yeoman service to the field of English music, drama and literature. He was a giant who had strolled along the corridors of Peradeniya University, nurturing many youth and bringing out the best of what they have been gifted with innately. He was the youngest professor of English at the age of 31. His devotion to English Literature and theatre has been invaluable, and those he has touched remember him as one of the foremost authorities more..

Prospects for SL scientific community to engage in research carried out by CERN

May 20 (IL) Minister Susil Premajayantha who visited the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), has agreed to enhance collaboration between CERN and Sri Lanka, through the development of a network of scientific community of Sri Lankan scientists and researchers, who could remain engaged with the research activity carried out by CERN - the most prominent particle physics research institute more..

Common policy to develop sports

May 20 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena emphasized that a common sports development policy will be introduced to the Sports Ministry for future development of sports in the country under the new govt sports policy. He made these observations while participating at the Presidential Sports Awards Ceremony held at the BMICH in Colombo on Wednesday. He further said that there has been a change in the sports policy of the country every time there is a change of govt more..

SLC buried in court cases

May 20 (CT) Parliament was informed yesterday that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had been forced to pay an excessive amount to employ the services of outside legal firms' cadre as it did not have permanent lawyers. Responding to a question raised by the JVP Kalutara District MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekara said that a total of Rs 36,313,024.22 had been paid as legal and professional fees for lawyers and legal firms during 2013, 2014 and 2015. more..

Hales and Bairstow steady England after Shanaka strikes on debut

May 20 (CI) If Dasun Shanaka was an English seamer, he might well be on the endangered species list. His unassuming line and length, delivered with a high action and at a pace in the mid-to-high 70mphs, is precisely the sort of fare that the ECB - with this season's new toss and pitches edict for domestic cricket - is looking to phase out of the county game. Such skills don't cut the mustard at Test level these days, apparently. more..