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Accountability for the past is part of accountability in the present & future

May 2 (CT) May Day performance of the govt’s two main parties, the UNP in Colombo and the SLFP in Galle, will be reassuring to the leaders of the govt. The large turnouts at their respective May Day rallies will give them the confidence that the mobilization capacity of their local level organizers is strong to meet the demands of electoral politics. Although the dissident faction of the SLFP led by former President Rajapaksa also posted an impressive turnout it could not match more..

Wary of China's Indian Ocean activities, U.S., India discuss anti-submarine warfare

May 2 (Reuters) India and the United States are in talks to help each other track submarines in Indian Ocean, military officials say, a move that could further tighten defense ties between New Delhi and Washington as China steps up its undersea activities. Both the US and India are growing concerned at the reach and ambition of the Chinese navy, which is taking an increasingly assertive stance in South China Sea and is challenging India's domination in Indian Ocean. more..

Ada Cartoon

Prime Minister sets the record straight

May 2 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has set the record straight with regard to the issues such as certain political elements coming hard on the Leader of the Opposition, R. Sampanthan, saying that he had forcibly entered an Army camp in Kilinochchi recently, as well as on taking some of the rehabilitated former senior LTTE cadres into custody in recent weeks. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was the Chief Guest at the 20th Anniversary of the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum (SLMMF) on Saturday. more..

The quest for power!

May 2 (CT) Oh no! This is not the Battle of Yorktown, the climax of the American Revolution which led to the independence of the US in 1776. Nor is it the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 in World War II nor Napoleon's surrender of Waterloo which ended French domination of Europe in 1815! This is very much to do with the generation of power, electric power back at home in resplendent Sri Lanka! There seems to be little clarity on the part of govt more..

President's Son, Daughter, Son-in-Law at forefront of SLFP May Day rally

May 2 (AM) Despite President Maithripala Sirisena's claims of keeping his family out of politics, President his son was at the forefront of the SLFP May Day rally held in Galle. Daham Sirisena led the party supporters from Polonnaruwa who attended the SLFP May Day rally. Walking alongside him was Thilina Suranjith, son-in-law of President Sirisena. His wife and President Sirisena's daughter Chathurika Sirisena too more..

Caught red handed! Wildlife regulation officer accepting bribe

May 2 (CT) Officials of the CIABOC took into custody on Saturday, a wildlife regulation officer caught in the act of accepting a bribe of Rs 12,000 from two fishermen in the area opposite the Maduru Oya reservoir ferry. He was in employ at the Maduru Oya National Wildlife Park. The suspect had requested a sum of Rs 15,000 from the two fishermen in order to prevent legal action being taken against them for having engaged in unauthorized fishing at Maduru Oya more..

Bopage gets an earful from Ranil

May 2 (CT) Mass Media Ministry Secretary Nimal Bopage has received an earful from PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, after he criticized journalists and media organisations for giving publicity to the Joint Opposition, and said that giving publicity to the group was illegal and they should not misuse the media freedom given under the Yahapalanaya govt. Wickremesinghe had blasted Bopage at a meeting, asking him to not take decisions according to his whims and fancies, and ordered him to more..

Namal alleges political witch-hunt by the govt

May 2 (PTI) With the army being removed from his family's security detail, former president Rajapaksa's son today accused the govt of carrying out a political witch-hunt and said they have been facing such harassment from a long time. "Change comes into force today. We have been facing this kind of harassment for a long time now. This is nothing surprising. Govt fears us more so after big crowd that was seen at our May Day rally," more..

SL’s entrepreneurial activity up in 2015

May 2 (EN) SL’s overall macroeconomic conditions deteriorated in 2015. With govt adopting expansionary policies to boost consumption spending, both fiscal and external balances deteriorated in 2015. GDP growth declined to 4.8%. This deterioration forced govt to seek an IMF support program. However, GDP growth alone may not be a reflection of underlying entrepreneurial activities of an economy. It is important to examine data, which are indicators of new businesses more..

Slip of tongue at Galle: Mahinda welcomed

May 2 (Island) Former Minister Piyasena Gamage, who made the welcome speech at the SLFP May Day rally at the Samanala grounds in Galle yesterday, made a slip of the tongue. He mentioned the name of former President Rajapaksa instead of the incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena. Gamage was welcoming the leaders to the stage amidst showers when he said the rally welcomed President Mahinda Rajapaksa while incumbent President Sirisena was getting onto the stage more..

MR’s military security replaced with police personnel

May 2 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s military security will be replaced with police personnel by this afternoon, Mr. Rajapaksa's media unit said. They said that 50 of 102 security detail, which included five Army Majors and 45 Commandos, would be replaced with four Sub Inspectors and 46 Police Constables. “Though there are 102 personnel in the security detail, only 50 of them provide security while others more..

Garbage disposed irresponsibly after May Day rallies

May 2 (DN) It has been reported that garbage has been thrown to the sides of the Sothern Expressway entrance near Pinnaduwa by those who participated in the May Day rally held in Galle yesterday. Plastic bottles, food packets, boxes and other waste material were seen among the garbage. Meanwhile, it is reported that the JVP had cleaned the entire BRC ground immediately after the May Day campaign ended late night. Further, areas surrounding other May Day rallies were more..

SL expects 20% jump in tourists from Oman

May 2 (TOO) Sri Lanka expects tourist arrivals from Oman to increase to 20 per cent of the total in 2016. This was stated by Deepal Pallegangoda, Country Manager Oman, Mihin Lanka, during a Sri Lanka Tourism road show. "It [tourist arrivals] from Oman is growing every year and we hope that 20,000 Omanis will visit Sri Lanka in 2016," Deepal Pallegangoda said. Talking about the main markets in the Gulf, he mentioned that Saudi Arabia, UAE and Oman are the main source of tourists more..

Sri Lanka, China to hold discussions on FTA

May 2 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka and China will hold high level discussions in June on the possibility of signing a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA), SL's Ministry of Industry and Commerce said in a statement here on Monday. "China is a promising market for Sri Lanka's select, premium products such as gems, and an important round of bilateral talks on Sri Lanka-China FTA is scheduled for next month," statement quoted more..

Hundreds of Sri Lankans in Italy attend annual pilgrimage

May 2 (CG) Hundreds of Sri Lankans living in Italy gathered in the city of Padua to attend an annual pilgrimage. Over 10,000 Sri Lankan immigrants from all over Italy met in Padua on the occasion of their annual pilgrimage to the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua. The pilgrimage began with Sinhalese and Tamil events. Holy Mass was presided by His Eminence, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo. Cardinal is also President of the Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka. more..

'World is with Sri Lanka now due to President, PM's policies'

May 2 (DN) The far sighted policies followed by President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, have gained the confidence of the international community which was lost during the past regime, Defence State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said. He was addressing a meeting of parents and relatives of soldiers who contributed to end the three decade war. The meeting was held to award Virusara Waraprasada to 1,002 parents and kith and kin of soldiers in Southern Province. more..

Sri Lanka migrant worker outflow fell in 2015

May 2 (EN) The number of Sri Lankans going abroad in search of work fell sharply in 2015 with remittances, a key source of foreign exchange earnings, also falling and likely to decline further. The decline was a result of lower oil prices and political problems in the Middle East, the Central Bank said in its annual report for 2015. “A sharp decline of 12.4% was observed in the total number of departures for foreign employment,” more..

Govt revenue performance improves

May 2 (CT) Fiscal management is one of the most challenging tasks for the successive governments in the context of declining government revenue as a percentage of the GDP. During last few decades, the government revenue as a percentage of GDP had decreased. According to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Annual Report 2015, in 2015, the govt revenue performance improved, reflecting a turnaround in the revenue to GDP ratio that was on a declining trend since 2011, more..

North Central Province schools to close early

May 2 (NF) According to education authorities, schools in the North Central Province, with the exception of govt schools will be conducted till 12 pm. until further notice. Secretary of Education in the North Central Province W.T.A. Manel said that the decision was made owing to the prevailing high weather temperatures. Meanwhile, the Minister of Education in the North Central Province said that the prevalent high weather temperatures have caused ill health among students. more..

Video: 'Reconsider MR's security withdrawal'

May 2 (DM) While denouncing the Govt’s move to assign Police personnel for former President Rajapaksa’s security detail, the Joint Opposition requested both the President and the Prime Minister, to call off the move. Joint Opposition Leader MP Dinesh Gunawardena said unlike other past leaders Rajapaksa should be entitled to VVIP security, since it was he who defeated the LTTE. more..

Work on second stage to be completed by this month

May 2 (DN) Work on the second stage of the Ranaviru housing project implemented on a concept of Army Commander Lt. Gen. Crishanthe de Silva will be completed by this month to be handed over to the beneficiaries, a press release issued by the Army's Media Director Brigadier K.J. Jayaweera stated. The construction work is being handled at regiment level and the beneficiaries too are selected at regiment level from among war heroes disabled due to terrorist activities. more..

Bell Helicopter signs deal with Fairway Holdings for Bell 505 Jet Ranger X

May 2 (VM) Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, has announced it has signed a letter of intent with Fairway Holdings for a Bell 505 Jet Ranger X. This is the first Bell 505 signed for in Sri Lanka. The aircraft will be used for private travel and tourism across multiple destinations around the island. “With a vision to further enhance the link between tourism and domestic aviation in Sri Lanka, Fairway Holdings is paving the way for enhanced domestic aviation operations in the country,” more..

Video: PM tells Bopage: Get your media releases approved

May 2 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had directed Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media Nimal Bopage not to issue press releases without the approval of the Subject Minister. Sources at the PM’s Office said that the PM had instructed Mr. Bopage to abide by the rules. Accordingly he had told the Secretary that he had no right to issue statements with regard to political matters. more..

President conveys best wishes for the 10th anniversary of Global Dignity in Oslo

May 2 (PMD) The Annual Country Chair meeting of the Global Dignity was held in Norway on 28-29th of April 2016. Mr. Asanga Abeyagoonasekera the Country Chair of Global Dignity in Sri Lanka delivered the message from President Maithripala Sirisena to the Crown Prince Haakon of Norway at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo. On his message President Sirisena wishes success for the 10th anniversary of Global Dignity and highlighted the value of this important initiative for today’s more..

List of items exempted from VAT

May 2 (AM) The Ministry of Finance announced that the VAT increase from 11% to 15% will take effect from Monday May 2, onwards. The Ministry has also released a list of goods and services which will be exempted from the VAT increase. According to the list, a several goods including rice, wheat flour, bread, milk powder, infant milk, all fuel types including kerosene, mobile phones and dairy products have been exempted from the VAT increase. more..

Police spokesman's office suspended

May 2 (EN) The Media Spokesman's office of the police department was suspended with immediate effect, official sources said signalling a serious issue with the incumbent, ASP Ruwan Gunasekara. The ASP was in hot water after a local newspaper quoted him extensively on the controversial discovery of an alleged suicide jacket at Chavakachcheri last month. Gunasekera had on Saturday declared that more..

May Day: A litmus test for Maithri and SLFP

May 3 (SL) May Day will mark a political milestone for the SLFP and the country’s ever changing political scenario. While all political parties in the country have made grand plans to show their strength in numbers, International Workers’ Day celebrated globally will become a political battle in SL. UNP led by PM Wickremesinghe has planned to make a grand show at Campbell Park in Borella while SLFP led by President Sirisena has also planned to bring out numbers in Galle. more..

N&E proposals for Federalism inflammatory

May 3 (CT) In the most recent times we have witnessed hypocrisy at the hands of and a violation of the mandate and trust bestowed upon the NPC. We have also witnessed the epitome of freedom of expression where a resolution passed by the NPC in direct conflict with Constitution has been tolerated. A resolution which is directly and reprehensibly racist and schismatic and seriously jeopardizes the attempts at peace and reconciliation which is one of the successes of the present regime. more..

'I’d like to invite Chandrakumar to EPDP Convention'

May 3 (CT) General Secretary of EPDP Douglas Devananda commenting on the new political stand taken by one of his party hierarchy members Murugesu Chandrakumar said, political decisions in the EPDP were reached with the contribution and involvement of Chandrakumar until recently, thus there cannot be any divergence between the party and Chandrakumar in political stands. "I would say that all decisions and more..

Continuously loss-making Central Bank is no better than SriLankan Airlines

May 3 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, supported by Senior Minister Sarath Amunugama, castigated SriLankan Airlines in a recent press briefing. He said that the National Carrier which had made losses continuously for the last seven years accumulating in the process mounting debts now fixed at $ 3.2 billion was a landmine planted on the people of the country. Senior Minister Amunugama would not have been amused by PM’s equating the present plight of the National Carrier to more..

May Day: Workers unite to boost their political leaders!

May 3 (ST) Today’s May Day rallies are of political significance rather than a means of improving the conditions of workers. The rallies demonstrate the relative strengths of parties. Ideological slogans and political accusations will not improve the lot of workers. Rapid economic growth coupled with social legislation is what would improve the living standards of workers. The crowds at the opposition rallies would shout condemning the economic policies of the govt and blame the govt for more..

Carelessness and excitement cause Dehiwala railway tragedy

May 3 (SO) Carelessness, excitement and poor timing, not head-phones or foul play killed two students of Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya, who were run over by a train while crossing the railway track in Dehiwala on April 25, according to the coroner's report. "The girls were hurrying across the tracks to the restaurant where a party was being held around 7.30 pm, to get there before a friend reached the venue," more..

Taxation, Inland Revenue & Panama Papers

May 3 (FT) Court vacation always permits that little bit of extra time to pen something down and the occasion arose when former Dep. Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Wijewardene, Island Editor Shamindra Ferdinando and I were invited by Sirasa TV last Monday for a dialogue on this general theme. Immediately the following evening our good friend Deputy Minister Dr. De Silva, an expert in the area of fiscal policy was heard to complain, during a debate on the same channel, more..

Remembering Sivaram (Taraki)

May 3 (GV) Today’s event focuses on one man. Today morning, there was a protest in Colombo, organized by a coalition of media freedom groups and others, demanding accountability for Sivaram’s murder. It is fitting that events to remember Sivaram are held in both North and South, as he had also worked and lived in South and had many friends in the South. Although the events focuses on one man, we can also reflect on broader issues related to free expression, democracy & human rights. more..

Dayasiri Jayasekara

MS-Ranil govt on firm ground: Time to focus on getting things done

May 3 (Island) To those public servants, businessman and politicians sitting on the fence waiting for the unexpected, President Maithripala Sirisena at the breakfast meeting with the editors on Wednesday fired on all cylinders at certain MPs and the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, exposing the latter’s intentions and warned any comeback bid would be a pipe-dream and strongly thwarted. PM Ranil Wickramasinghe has expressed similar views publicly many times that more..

Politics of the May Day turnout

May 3 (Island) May Day this year was different to any previous May Day that we can remember, because this became a test of strength among the contending political formations in the country. Perhaps this test of strength element may have been present at previous May Days as well, but it was never so pronounced. On the one side was the govt formed for the first time by both the main political parties - the UNP and the SLFP. On the other side was Joint Opposition made up of more..

More SL Tamil refugees in TN to arrive today

May 3 (DN) 24 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu, India will arrive in the country today under the UNHCR facilitated voluntary repatriation programme. They are scheduled to arrive on Mihin Lanka Airlines (MJ 380) at 9.25 a.m from Madurai. Minister D.M. Swaminathan had a discussion with the UNHCR and facilitated the process and increased the baggage allowance per person with assistance from more..

Editorial: Divine muscle flexing

May 3 (Island) Sunday’s downpour may be considered a divine intervention to dampen the enthusiasm of slogan shouting party supporters and disrupt the mega political rallies in Galle and Colombo on the International Workers’ Day. Never have we beheld a pleasanter sight than the servile backers of politicians running helter-skelter looking for shelter. Interestingly, while they were getting drenched to skin their bosses wore amused looks, comfortably seated on roofed platforms. more..