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Who gave official status to Mahinda’s Ugandan jaunt?

May 24 (ST) Politicians will be politicians: Either in office or out. Once the notion has set in and taken hold that public wealth is theirs to be enjoyed, public money theirs to be used, public coffers theirs to be squandered on paying for their every whim and vanity, it becomes almost impossible to dethrone the belief in their minds that the people owe them an affluent living. And people-deposed former president Rajapaksa demonstrated last week he was no less different from any two bit politico to whom more..

'Govt institutions are overstaffed with incompetent management'

May 24 (SL) UNP MP Harshana Rajakaruna says that privatisation of loss making govt institutions is not a bad thing but there are certain institutions that simply cannot be privatised. He said that being overstaffed and having incompetent management was one of the key factors for these state institutions to fail, adding that during the past regime family members and friends without any experience were appointed to key positions, more..

Sri Lanka holds sole living link to Buddha’s enlightenment

May 24 (ST) Thousands braved the monsoonal torrents this week to converge on the ancient capital of Anuradhapura and celebrate the thrice blessed day of Vesak by paying reverence to the living symbol of Buddha’s enlightenment that no country but Lanka is honoured and proud to possess. For neither in the far off plains of Nepal’s Lumbini where the Buddha was born nor in Uruwela now known as Buddha Gaya where he attained enlightenment by the banks of the Neranjana nor in Kushinagar more..

Exciting range, vision and ambition at this year’s Gratiaen: Judges

May 24 (ST) Over the past two decades, the Gratiaen Prize has evolved to become a firm fixture in the SL literary calendar, ensuring the continuation of SL writing in English. This year, Thiyagaraja Arasanayagam won the 2015 Gratiaen Prize for White Lanterns: Wesak 2011, a manuscript of unpublished poetry. Based in Kandy, Arasanayagam is a teacher of English literature and a past winner of the State Literary Award for the best original play script in English for his play The Intruder. more..

මිහිමඩල: ගංවතුර සහ නියග

Latest population projection of 25 million poses serious challenges

May 24 (ST) The most recent population projections expect the Island’s population to reach 25 million by 2042 and 25.8 million by 2062. It is expected to stabilise around the mid 2060s at 25-26 million. This is a significant departure from earlier projections that expected population stability much earlier at around 23-24 million in the 2030s and to decline thereafter. This higher population growth that is mainly due to the recent increase in fertility from below replacement level to above replacement more..

Hockey in the lurch: Who is responsible

May 24 (ST) Hockey, a sport that was thriving to earn limelight in the international arena, is gradually spreading out among schools. After much struggle finally Sri Lanka managed to taste a little bit of success at the first round of recently held World League Qualifiers, booking a berth for the second round. But there are administrative issues, which has been haunting the progress of the sport for some time. With such surroundings, is hockey on the right mat, is a question that more..

Mystery deepens

May 24 (CT) Mayomi Sanjeewani was a vibrant 24-year-old teacher trainee on the brink of completing her education at the Nilwala Teacher Training College in Akuressa in 2013. She was just like any other girl, had friends and a boyfriend, and was about to venture into the real world. That is, until she mysteriously disappeared on 20 Sept 2013. Since then, her mother, father, four brothers and her sister have been waiting for her to come home. more..

Civil society urges for special court on fraud and corruption

May 24 (NS) The civil society called on the Govt to establish a special court to hear cases ,involving massive fraud and corruption and conclude them prior to the end of the year. National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) and the Purawesi Balaya informed that they would consider taking action to apply pressure on the Govt if the Government failed to address this issue. Member of the General Committee of the NMSJ and Co-Convener of the Purawesi Balaya, Saman Ratnapriya said more..

‘Banking sector needs urgent reforms to support govt. development goals’

May 24 (Island) Banks accept deposits and make loans and derive a profit from the difference in the interest rates paid and charged to depositors and borrowers respectively. The process performed by banks of taking in funds from a depositor and then lending them out to a borrower is known as financial intermediation. Through the process of financial intermediation, certain assets are transformed into different assets or liabilities. As such, financial intermediaries channel funds more..

Poor man’s asset needs protection from snatchers

May 24 (NS) When all other banks were not willing to touch pawning service, even by a barge pole People’s Bank, a state-sponsored bank pioneered this service right from its inception in 1961. It was mooted more as an antidote to the usurious interest, foreclosing, confiscation after one year and other malpractices found in abundance in the practices of the pawnbrokers. Licensed pawnbrokers were few and far between but more..

Two pools in preparation for Asian Junior Volleyball Championships

May 24 (ST) The Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation has taken a decision and has picked two pools in preparation for the Asian Junior Volleyball Championships. Already 19 boys and 19 girls have been picked for the event and they are currently under training at Torrington Square and Heyantuduwa. The boys are training for the 18th Asian Men’s Under 20 Volleyball Championships to be held in Chinese Taipei from July 9 to 17. The girls are training for the 18th Asian Women’s more..

CCI urges conditional import of foreign labour

May 24 (Island) Due to the prevailing acute labour shortage, building contractors dig into labour pools of other contractors by offering more pay to workers, luring them to switch construction sites. If permission could be granted to allow employment of foreign workers on conditions, this practice could be avoided, Dr Surath Wickramasinghe, president, Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI) said at the Build Sri Lanka 2016 inauguration held at the BMICH recently. more..

Sri Lanka parliament to embark on a digitisation initiative

May 24 (Island) Minister Harin Fernando recently indicated that parliament may embark on a digitisation initiative of its records; bills, reports, minutes, committee proceedings, appropriations and so on, which would offer the potential for financial savings and more productivity of parliamentary sessions. He referred to the UK parliament which has migrated to Microsoft Office 365 making it the default option for email, more..

Imposition of VAT, NBT to telecom services; FR petition re-fixed

May 24 (FT) Supreme Court has re-fixed for support on 12 July the rights petition against the imposition of VAT and NBT on telecommunication services. The Bench comprised Justices Eva Wanasundera, Priyantha Jayawardane and Upaly Abeyrathne. A telephone user decries that the Finance Minister has no legal authority, power and/or mandate to impose multi-stage tax called VAT and NBT on the telecom services which are, he claims, already subject to the Telecommunication Levy. more..

SLCOG pushes for relaxation of abortion laws

May 24 (NS) The medical community informed that it was Minister of Health, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne’s responsibility to take up the issue of relaxing laws on abortion to allow for abortions in cases of incest, rape and lethal congenital abnormalities, to and with the law and policy makers. SL College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists observed that when dealing with a lot of patients that come in facing such situations, there was no help that doctors could offer owing to the laws in place. more..

Interim order against Dr. Chris Nonis

May 24 (DM) Commercial High Court of Colombo has recently issued an interim order against Dr. Chris Nonis et al, in a case filed by majority shareholders of Mackwoods Securities for alleged oppression, mismanagement and misappropriation of assets belonging to Mackwoods Group of Companies. Dr.Nonis was a former High Commissioner to the UK during Rajapaksa govt. In a case recently filed at Commercial High Court more..

To the rescue of Sri Lanka

May 24 (ENS) India’s foreign policy under the current dispensation has accorded the right priority to nurturing and improving relationships with neighbours such as Sri Lanka and Nepal. Even otherwise, India has always been proactive in providing humanitarian assistance to countries in distress, near or far, without too many policy calculations, as it ideally should be. So it is not surprising that India rushed aid to Sri Lanka which was reeling under challenges posed by floods more..

Lankan bird makes Thane its home

May 24 (TOI) The Yeoor jungles have seen a Sri Lankan bird—frogmouth——make it its home over the last one year. Almost four years after it was seen in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) near Borivli, the rare nocturnal bird was spotted by a wildlife enthusiast, Aditya Salekar, in the Yeoor forests during a 24-hour animal census on Saturday and Sunday. Experts say the presence of this species is limited to the Western Ghats and the recent sightings in the north Western Ghats, more..

Namal questioned on Krrish deal

May 24 (DN) UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa arrived at the FCID of the Police yesterday. He was summoned by the FCID to record a statement regarding a land related issue. The MP was summoned to obtain a statement regarding a financial transaction with the Indian real estate company Krrish Group for a proposed housing and shopping complex in the city of Colombo on an earlier occasion as well. more..

Gammanpila trumpets to Gamage’s defence

May 24 (CT) MP Udaya Gammanpila claimed that accusing Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage of illegally possessing an elephant without valid registration documents was baseless. He added that the Judicial Service Commission has interdicted Gamage. Gammanpila furthermore noted that Gamage had bought the elephant from a person called Yatawara on 22 July 2012, and that Gamage had submitted a document to Wildlife Department to register the elephant on the annual license 304. more..

Thai canning company to invest $ 200 m

May 24 (FT) Anusorn Group Thailand, one of Asia’s largest fish canneries, has identified Sri Lanka as the ideal destination to open its first overseas fish canning and dry ice manufacturing plant. The total investment, which will include a fleet of 500 fishing vessels as well as training for local fishermen, will be to the tune of $ 200 million, $ 50 million of which will go towards building the factory. Anusorn Group Thailand Managing Director and Thai Overseas Fisheries Association more..

South Korea to sign deal with Sri Lanka on new town development

May 24 (Yonhap) South Korea's govt said that it plans to sign an initial deal with Sri Lanka on the development of Colombo and adjacent areas. Minister Kang Ho-in, is set to sign a MoU with his counterpart from Sri Lanka, Champika Ranawaka, today. The deal calls for, among other things, South Korea and Sri Lanka to primarily cooperate on projects to develop a science and technology based city in Malabe while more..

amanté opens its first exclusive boutique in Pakistan

May 24 (Island) amanté opened its first flagship store in Pakistan on May 7 at the Dolman Mall, Clifton, Karachi. This is the first international franchise, outside of India for the brand. The glitzy launch was attended by fashionistas, media and enthusiastic consumers. There was abuzz around film icon and celebrity Mahirah Khan who opened the boutique and made the first transaction to mark the occasion. Pakistan’s premium brands retailer SFnZ & Co. Ltd. signed franchise agreement more..

TULF Leader urges govt, Opposition, all Sri Lankans to sink differences

May 24 (Island) Cyclone Roanu, which shattered the lives of more than 420,000 Sri Lankans had reminded Sri Lankans of the need to to forget petty differences amongs them and get together for the sake of our loving country, TULF leader V Anandasangaree says. He said the political leaders had missed the opportunity to unite to build the nation when the country was hit by the 2004 tsunami. "I hope Sri Lankans will draw lessons from the recent disasters and realise the need to more..

Flood-hit Meethotamulla receives garbage from CMC

May 24 (Island) Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) yesterday said that collection and disposal of garbage had been suspended for about a week as the road leading to Meethotamulla garbage dump was impassable due to torrential rains. Deputy Mayor of CMC Titus Perera said that garbage trucks hadn’t been able to reach the site for almost a week. "We have cleared the way for garbage trucks to reach the site," Deputy Mayor Perera said. more..

Finding shelter for Sri Lankan victims a challenging task: UN

May 24 (Hindu) Finding suitable locations for shelter for the flood-hit people in the densely populated Colombo and Gampaha is a challenging task, according to a UN agency. In its first situation report, which covered events up to May 22, OCHA mentioned that “a sizeable segment of the flood affected population are squatters living in vulnerable areas prone to frequent flooding. Therefore transitional shelter arrangements maybe required until suitable land is identified for relocation.” more..

South-West monsoon gradually establishing over Sri Lanka: Met Dept

May 24 (LBO) The South-west monsoon condition is gradually establishing over the country, and showers or thundershowers will occur at times in the Western, North-Western, Southern, Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces, the Met Dept said today. “Fairly heavy to heavy falls are also likely at some places,” a statement released at 5.30 am for May 24th, said. Showers or thunder showers will occur at several places in the Uva provinceand in the Ampara and Batticaloa districts. more..

Anura Senanayake remanded

May 24 (DN) CID yesterday arrested Western Province former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake over his alleged role in the cover up of evidence in the rugby player Wasim Thajudeen murder. Senanayake produced before the Colombo Fort Magistrate was remanded till May 26. A senior CID Officer said Senanayake was questioned by the CID on three previous occasions in this regard. Senanayake was the Police Chief in more..

Kasippu Dansal busted!

May 24 (CT) Panadura Walana Anti Vice Squad which raided a land belonging to a person in Morawaka had nabbed him for having allegedly operated illegally a distillery in it along with 1,728 liquor bottles. Suspect had been planning to hold a Dansala by providing illicit liquor (Kasippu) on the Vesak Poya Day. Sources said the raid had been carried out on 21 May and during the raid the illegal liquor bottles had been kept hidden inside four barrels and in six big bags. more..

Concessions for flood relief imports

May 24 (EN) Finance ministry said a range of items imported for flood relief, like medicine, life jackets, water filters and boat engines, will be given concessions to ensure their speedy release. “These concessions will be given only for the imports made by UN agencies, diplomatic missions, international NGOs and individuals involved in relief work in the flood and landslide victims’ areas,” a statement said. This was to ensure these items are used only in the flood relief assistance programs more..

President declares disaster areas HSZs

May 24 (FT) As Sri Lanka reels from a week of devastating flash floods and deadly landslides, President Maithripala Sirisena slapped a ban on land reclamation in the Western Province and declared disaster affected regions as high security areas until the situation can be normalised. President issued the orders during a meeting of the Presidential Task Force appointed to address the emergency situation in the country. more..

Don’t destroy our biological supermarkets

May 24 (DM) With the deluge continuing and hundreds of thousands of people seriously affected by the worst flood havoc in recent decades, we wish to focus attention today on how much the construction of housing schemes and other buildings on what were once wetlands or marshlands has contributed towards the calamity. For instance in the suburbs of Colombo city, a wetland including an ancient stream was apparently bought at a lower price, covered up and luxury 2-storey houses more..

Why JO wants rival war heroes commemoration?

May 24 (DM) Torrential rains and floods shattered the prospect of two rival war hero commemorations. It also relived the horror and trauma of the war, unleashing a wave of destruction that wiped out villages, burying many dozens in unmarked graves and causing mass displacement. Finally, the govt held the official ceremony at the Parliament grounds sans its predecessor’s usual display of military hardware & parades. (Ex-president had postponed the rival event to some unknown date). more..

Can govt keep the momentum?

May 24 (DM) After 16 months of holding the post of PM, is UNP on a navigated route or on a collision course with the people? Undoing is self-inflicted: mainly caused by the leader’s cloistered advisers living far away from the people. Good governance kids of this regime are deserting in its early days: the last regime lost the youth in their last days. Premier Wickremasinghe promised to introduce transparency and eliminate sharp practices. more..

GMOA cautions lactating mothers not to get duped

May 24 (Island) GMOA cautioned lactating mothers to beware of the ploys used by manufacturers of infant milk food formula, during the present disaster situation. Secretary of the GMOA, Dr Nalinda Herath said there were possibilities of infant formula producers attempting to promote their products among lactating mothers by distributing milk food free of charge. Those companies would only be exploiting their mental condition and more..

How the bankers to the nation were taken to the cleaners

May 24 (SL) Following a fraudulent third party wire transfer carried out by Bank of Ceylon (BoC) leaving the account holder in total darkness, questions have now been raised as to how safe it is to maintain a bank account with BoC and what assurance this bank can give its depositors that their money is safe with them. Subsequent to the revelations of how BoC had obeyed and acted on a fraudulent e-mail request for a wire transfer more..

Officials moving fast to head off threat of plagues

May 24 (ST) This week’s rains and flash floods have raised fresh concerns about an outbreak of water-borne diseases among the hundreds of thousands of displaced people. To meet this emergency and neutralise epidemic the outbreaks of cholera, dysentery, rat fever, allergies and food poisoning that generally follow massive floods the Health Ministry has moved in with counter-measures. The ministry has deployed more..

Chameera ruled out of England tour due to back injury

May 24 (CI) Sri Lanka fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera has been ruled out of the England tour after suffering a stress fracture to his lower back. Chameera has been advised rest for four months and will return to Sri Lanka to continue his treatment. Chameera is also likely to miss the home Tests against Australia, which start from July 26. The Sri Lanka selectors are expected to meet by Wednesday to pick a replacement more..

Over 229,000 generous Lankans step forward to assist victims

May 24 (Island) As the govt is trying to obtain more and more assistance from foreign donors more than 229,000 local donors have come forward to provide aid to about 400,000 people in disaster-hit areas. The assistance from foreign countries including Pakistan, India, Australia, Japan the United States, Nepal, China and the Maldives for victims of floods and landslides started to arrive in the country on Saturday, following an urgent more..