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Floods and landslides: GMOA ready for any health issues

May 23 (CT) With the disaster situation affecting several areas in the country, a lot of health concerns are likely to arise. In order to dig deep into possible health concerns Ceylon Today interviewed GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Naveen de Soysa. He stressed that with the disaster situation there are possibilities of spreading communicable diseases. He said when the flood starts to reduce there can be threats of more..

Astrologer cum Governor predicts Maithri-Ranil govt. will last till 2021

May 23 (Island) According to astrological settings the Yahapalana govt led by President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremasinghe will go on till 2021, astrologer turned Governor of the Central Province Niluka Ekanayake told a media briefing. Addressing media conference, Ekanayake said the present govt would continue till 2021 mainly due to the unique concord between President Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

UN support for SL to purify water after floods

May 23 (EN) The United Nations said it was providing Sri Lanka with water purification tablets and chlorine to clean wells and homes contaminated by the worst floods in the island in 25 years as concerns arose over the spread of diseases. “In flood-affected locations in urban areas, such as Colombo, water and sanitation infrastructure has been overwhelmed,” the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) more..

'Stay away!: Sightseers hindering relief work'

May 23 (CT) Sight-seers who go to affected areas are hampering relief work by delaying the assistance which should reach victims. Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa requested the public to refrain from unnecessarily travelling to disaster stricken areas. The medical help and water bowzers which were supposed to reach affected areas in Aranayake took more than five hours to reach its destination due to congestion by sightseers more..

Hunter becomes the hunted? Not in SL: Rajitha off the hook in fishy deals

May 23 (SL) Evidence has surfaced that a prominent minister and former fisheries minister had been engaged in bribery and corruption during his tenure at the fisheries ministry depriving the country of millions of rupees in tax revenue and depriving the fishing community of many opportunities. Despite his tarnished track record, this minister jumped ship from the Rajapaksa camp and joined Maithri-Ranil bandwagon in order to more..

Volunteer boatmen, religious groups join hands to provide food to victims

May 23 (ST) Wading thigh-high through a fetid pool, a young man delivers lunch packets to residents of flood-hit Nagahamulla Road in Wellampitiya. He makes several trips through the putrid stew to ensure that nobody goes hungry. This is not river water. The black liquid the man is crawling through is drainage overflow and runoff from the Meetotamulla garbage dump which had streamed into the lane via a nearby canal. more..

Singapore to contribute almost $138,000 to flood relief efforts in Sri Lanka

May 23 (ST) Singapore said on Monday (May 23) that it will contribute US$100,000 (S$137,868) in support of immediate relief efforts in Sri Lanka where hundreds of thousands of people were forced into shelters after major floods hit the island. "Singapore Govt extends its condolences to the govt and people of Sri Lanka over the loss of lives and unprecedented destruction caused by the floods and landslides over the past week," more..

Siemens cements ties with Sri Lanka on smart city solutions

May 23 (MC) Siemens today said it has strengthened its partnership with Sri Lanka by signing a pact with the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development to offer expertise from its globally-proven smart city solutions. The major objective of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development is to bring systematic changes and development processes into the urban community in Sri Lanka, which will ensure inhabitants of more..

Death toll reaches 92 as troops recover more bodies

May 23 (Xinhua) Rescue troops on Monday recovered at least seven more bodies from a landslide site in Kegalle district bringing the total death toll to 92, the Disaster Management Center said. Kegalle District has recorded the highest number of deaths with 57 people being killed when two massive landslides struck Aranayake and Bulathkohupitiya last week, owing to heavy rains and strong winds. more..

AG’s Department comes under serious public scrutiny

May 23 (CT) The role of Attorney General’s Department in terms of upholding the justice system in Sri Lanka, and rule of law is being critically examined from many quarters. UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Ms. Monica Pinto severely critiqued the AG’s Department in her Preliminary Observations and recommendations following her visit to Sri Lanka on 7th May. Also, the UN Special Rapporteur against torture and ill treatment more..

Sabaragamuwa: 52 schools closed indefinitely

May 23 (Island) Provincial education authorities have decided to close 51 schools in the Sabaragamuwa Province until further notice and 37 schools in the Western Province for today and tomorrow in view of the disaster situation and the on-going relief programmes. Many schools belonging to the Provincial Education Ministries of the two provinces are currently used as welfare camps for the people displaced by the inclement weather. All 19 schools of the Kolonnawa more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Bank credit fueled by printed money in Feb

May 23 (EN) Sri Lanka's banking system disbursed Rs105 billion of credit to the state and private business, including Rs48 billion of printed money or Central Bank credit amid failed Treasury bill auctions, official data show. Private businesses borrowed Rs53.7 billion from banks in February, up from Rs43.50 billion a month earlier, Central Bank data showed. State enterprises were a negative Rs1.2 billion, with the total falling to Rs526.4 billion. The financial position of both more..

Sujeewa pastes his picture on state aid

May 23 (LT) A stock of goods valued at Rs.200,000 issued by the Divisional Secretariat to the flood affected people is being prepared to be distributed in bags printed with State Minister of International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe's photograph pasted in them say reports. He has added several photographs confirming this to his Face book account. Adding photographs to his Face book account Minister Senasinghe states a programme to distribute aid to affected people in more..

Brother: Another name for a terrorist

May 23 (CT) An important day 19 May came and went literally without much of a flutter. Few Sri Lankans remembered that on this historic day, seven years ago, we defeated terrorism - a feat not accomplished so far elsewhere in modern history. Hence, not many national flags fluttered. The incumbent Defence Secretary, Karunasena Hettiarachchi, explaining govt position, stated that celebrating victory more..

Fitch confirms Dialog Axiata at AAA(lka)

May 23 (EN) Fitch Ratings has confirmed Sri Lankan telecoms company Dialog Axiata's AAA (lka) National Long-Term Rating with a stable outlook, saying sales and profit margins that will contract owing to higher taxes this year will recover in 2017. The rating agency upgraded Dialog's standalone credit profile to AAA(lka) from AA+(lka), based on its improving financial profile backed by its continued market leadership in Sri Lanka's growing mobile and pay-TV segments. more..

Media in a nutshell

May 23 (CT) Media, press freedom and journalists have become a pet topic currently in Sri Lanka. Of late various accusations have been levelled against newspapers and newspaper owners with particular emphasis on certain journalists and rechristening them with indecorous names. In normal life the majority of humans tend to encourage what is sound in man and discourage, often by criticizing what is base. To point out failings of a person or a regime is not always helpful or necessary but more..

FCID arrests fmr. Ministry sec Willie Gamage

May 23 (DM) Former Secretary to the Ministry of State Resources and Enterprise Development, Willie Gamage and former bank chairman Ariyathilake Dahanayake were arrested by the FCID today in connection with a land deal at Oruthota, Gampaha. The FCID summoned Mr. Gamage and Mr. Dahanayake this morning to record statements regarding a land belonging to former Minister Basil Rajapaksa. more..

Steps taken to issue examination certificates

May 23 (ITN) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has instructed the officials to take steps to issue examination certificates that had been destroyed due to the disaster. The Examination Department has launched a one day service to issue examination certificates. It has taken steps to prepare a methodology to handover certificates to the applicants by coordinating with the Grama Niladhari and Zonal Education Directors in the disaster stricken areas. more..

Avoiding hostility with nature

May 23 (CT) "We need to live as the Buddha taught us to live, in peace and harmony with nature, but this must start with ourselves. If we are going to save this planet we need to seek a new ecological order, to look at the life we lead and then work together for the benefit of all; unless we work together no solution can be found. By moving away from self-centeredness, sharing wealth more, being more responsible for ourselves, and agreeing to live more simply, we can help decrease much of the more..

SL recalls assembly as flood toll nears 100

May 23 (EN) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya ordered parliament to reconvene a week ahead of schedule to discuss the worst flooding in 24 years as the weather-related death toll neared 100. Speaker asked legislators to attend a special session on Wednesday to discuss rains that affected 22 out of the 25 districts and drove over 500,000 people from their homes. "All MPs are invited to participate in the special session on more..

Sri Lanka appeals to expatriates in the UAE

May 23 (KT) Sri Lanka's Consulate-General in Dubai has released an urgent appeal to expatriates and other UAE residents to donate to help with relief efforts following the devastating floods that have so far left at least 68 people dead and left 425,601 people from 103,776 families badly affected. The Govt of Sri Lanka is encouraging monetary assistance - rather than collected material - for the victims, especially from overseas Sri Lankans, to enable faster relief assistance, more..

Commander of the Navy visits the two Indian Naval Ships

May 23 (SLN) Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne today visited onboard the two Indian Naval Ships INS Sutlej and INS Sunayna which arrived in Sri Lanka on 21st of this month. Two Commanding Offers of the ships Commander Muralidhar Dongri and Commander Asad Farhat received the SL Commander of the Navy very warmly upon his arrival. Indian Naval Ships arrived in Sri Lanka with a stock of relief materials for the people who were affected by more..

Three women arrested with gold valued at Rs. 60 mn

May 23 (DM) Three Sri Lankan women had been arrested with gold slabs and jewellery worth more than Rs.60 million at the BIA this morning, Customs Spokesman said. The women were arrested by the by the Customs Narcotics Control officers at the Customs Green Channel, while they were trying to smuggle the gold into the country. “Two women came in wheel chairs to pretend that they were disabled, while more..

High Court sets September 14 to hear Abrew’s case

May 23 (AD) High Court fixed date for the case where former Justice Sarath de Abrew is accused over an alleged assault on a domestic worker. The case was postponed to Sept 14 when it was taken into consideration this morning. The police investigation, in this regard, was launched after the domestic worker lodged a complaint and accused Justice Abrew of assaulting her at his residence in Attidiya, Mt Lavinia. Based on the complaint, a team of police officers had visited more..

Man who threatened President, PM on FB pleads guilty

May 23 (DM) A man, who was remanded on charges of threatening President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe via social media, today pleaded guilty at the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court. Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya discharged the suspect, Sumal Lakmana, a resident of Yakkala after stern warning. Lakmana was remanded for 25 days after he was arrested by the CID at the BIA for allegedly making death threats to the President and the PM. more..

High performance manager for SL Cricket

May 23 (PTI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has appointed a high performance manager, its chief Thilanga Sumathipala said today. Simon Willis, a 43-year-old Englishman is set to join SLC with a two-year contract. Sumathipala said the Sri Lanka A team, the development squad, under 23 and under 19 squads will be working under him. All SLC contracted coaches except the national coach would be reporting to him. more..

Turkey delivers aid to mudslide-stricken SL

May 23 (AA) The Turkish Red Crescent has delivered emergency supplies to Sri Lanka, which has been hit by floods and landslides caused by heavy rain since last week. Turkey’s largest humanitarian organization said that tents, blankets and solar kits were delivered Sunday to Sri Lankan officials. Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa thanked Turkey for its meaningful help, which he said was sent a time when the latter was already hosting over 3 million refugees. more..

AG’s department soft peddling bribery and corruption cases

May 23 (CT) In over a year, out of some 38 bribery and corruption related cases, the AG’s Department has only given rulings to a mere four cases. Even though the FCID has completed the investigations and sought the advice of the AG’s Department to proceed with 38 cases, the AG’s Department has delayed the process by not giving clear instructions to the FCID on how to proceed with the cases, which also include several high profile corruption cases, involving millions former VVIPs of more..

A special Environmental Relief Task Force to manage the damage to the environment

May 23 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena instructed the officials to establish a special Environmental Relief Task Force to restore suitable living ​conditions for the ​affected ​people while managing the damage to the environment caused by the recent ​natural disaster outbreaks. President gave these instructions presid​ing a meeting today to inquire into the initiatives taken by the CEA to manage the damage ​to the environment​. more..

Sri Lanka inflation accelerates 4.3% in April

May 23 (EN) Consumer prices nation-wide rose 4.3% in April 2016 from a year ago, accelerating from 2.2% in March, its third straight monthly rise. On a month-on-month basis, the new National Consumer Price Index (NCPI), compiled using prices collected from all nine provinces with a base year of 2013, in April rose 1.5% after having fallen 0.7% in March. Consumer prices in Colombo, measured by the Colombo Consumer Price Index, had risen 2% in March 2016 from a year ago. more..

Floods expected to cost at least $1.5 billion

May 23 (Reuters) The cost of Sri Lanka's landslides and floods will be between $1.5 billion and $2 billion at the minimum, the government said on Monday, as the Indian Ocean island struggles to recover from its worst natural disaster since the 2004 Asia tsunami. The official death toll has risen to 92 but 109 people are feared to have been buried in landslides. Days of torrential rain forced more than 350,000 people from their homes, though many were returning on Monday. more..

Pakistan hands over First Consignment of Relief Items for Sri Lankan Flood Victims

May 23 (PHC) First Cargo flight of relief goods from Pakistan, for the victims of the recent devastating floods, landslides and torrential rains in Sri Lanka, arrived today at BIA. The Pakistani Cargo Plane brought full load of C-130 aircraft carrying priority relief items indicated by the Sri Lankan authorities. The relief items containing generators, shelters, tents, medicines, etc. were handed over by the High Commissioner more..

A month after death in Sri Lanka, Odisha engineer's body reaches home

May 23 (ENS) Tension prevailed in Sahupada village under Bari police limits in the district as villagers staged a road blockade on Kusakhia- Kalamatia road protesting absence of required papers with the body of an engineer, who died in Sri Lanka. Police said Vikash Mohanty (28) of the village had joined a private company in Sri Lanka as an engineer on March 27. Nearly a month later, a relative, who also works in SL, sent a message stating that Vikash died in SL on April 24. more..

China-funded Port City donates relief supplies to thousands affected by floods

May 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's China funded Port City project distributed relief items to thousands of people affected by flash floods in the island country through a flood relief program. The Port City Sahana began in Sedawatta, along the banks of the Kelani River, in the capital where thousands have been evacuated last week due to water levels rising in the river. Port City officials distributed items such as dry rations, especially to those marooned. They worked closely with the Sri Lanka Navy more..

Anura Senanayake taken into custody in connection to Thajudeen murder

May 23 (CG) Former senior DIG Anura Senanayake was taken into custody by the CID today in connection to the murder of former Sri Lanka national rugger player Wasim Thajudeen. Senanayake was arrested after being questioned earlier in the day and was accused of concealing evidence when he was involved in the investigations. He was questioned previously as well in connection to the controversial case. more..

Rekava: One Film, 60 Years

May 24 (CT) Films are made. They age. They are as subject to decay as other art-forms. Explains why, at the end of the day, very few are remembered. Those few, I’m willing to bet, would have been cast aside, marginalised, looked over, and in other ways rubbished, because they were unconventional for their time. Makes sense. People thought Picasso was mad. His paintings don’t fetch for anything less than 100,000 dollars today. Madness and unconventionality, we can conclude then, more..

Govt reform initiatives pick up speed

May 24 (CT) In October 2015 the government surprised virtually everyone regardless of political spectrum, and friend and foe, when it co-sponsored the resolution on Sri Lanka by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. From the time that the war ended in 2009 onwards Sri Lanka came under pressure by this international body to investigate charges that massive violations of human rights had taken place in the closing stages of the war, which included war crimes. more..

Wellampitiya invaded by Kelani waters

May 24 (SO) Living in floods for five days for a section of people who experienced such a situation after 28 years is not that easy. But it seems they have adjusted themselves to the situation and are clinging to their multi- storied houses, dipping and swimming in the floods despite the fact there is no sign of the floods receding in Wellampitiya for a few more days at least. Although there were signs of the water level receding more..

Editorial: Astrology vs reality

May 24 (Island) Old habits die hard. Astrologer turned Central Province Governor Niluka Ekanayake has made a prediction. She has said that it will be smooth sailing for the govt until 2021. One is reminded of the Rajapaksas’ palace seer who also went places by making such predictions. Interestingly, Minister Lakshman Kiriella has said at the same press briefing that there is no SLFP at the grassroots level at present; he has called upon the Joint Opposition to join forces with the govt. more..