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Udayanga rejects allegations over Thailand, Uganda visit

May 24 (CG) Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga has rejected the allegations raised against him over his recent visit to Thailand and Uganda where he met former President Rajapaksa. Weeratunga said in a statement today that several ministers and the media who worked for the current regime have started to attack him again by making false allegations. He said that he has every right to more..

PRECIFAC questions Jackson Anthony over Hambantota ceremony

May 24 (AM) Artiste Jackson Anthony was summoned to the PRECIFAC to obtain a statement on the opening ceremony of the Hambantota Harbour in 2010. He was summoned on an earlier occasion last October on the same matter. Anthony was the creative director for the ceremony held in 2010. Questions have been raised on the expenditure of the event as Rs. 15 million had been spent for the dance acts alone. more..

Police Scotland under fire after new evidence of Sri Lankan torture

May 24 (TF) Police Scotland is seeking to extend a controversial training project with Sri Lankan police despite new evidence of the force’s involvement in torture, The Ferret can reveal. Police Scotland had a contract that expired at the end of March this year to train Sri Lankan police officers and develop ethical leadership at its National Police Academy. The project proved highly controversial at the outset in 2012 due to more..

Ragging comes under fire

May 24 (CT) "The govt has decided to take drastic action against ragging and violence against university students in the wake of a first year female student of the University of Kelaniya was allegedly assaulted by a group of senior students during a ragging session," State Minister Mohan Lal Grero said. It is said they assaulted her because she was wearing a pair of trouser and the seniors had decided it was not appropriate for a female first year student more..

In helping the flood affected

May 24 (CT) After two decades, Sri Lanka is severely affected by floods and landslides. Many people lost their lives and thousands of people got trapped by the floods, while thousands of people have become homeless. In the moment of national importance, most of the people in the country have got together to help those who are affected. Social media flooded with the posts supporting flood and landslide victims. Many of those are sacrificing their time and money and helping out more..

SriLankan Airlines expands aviation training franchise; eyes Seychelles

May 24 (EN) SriLankan Aviation College, a unit of state-run SriLankan Airlines, said its franchise schools will be expanded around the country in a franchise deal with Colombo-based Nawaloka Group, with plans to move to Seychelles. Nawaloka Air Services will open training centres in Galle, Batticaloa, Jaffna and Kandy, the training school said in a statement. SriLankan Airlines CEO Suren Ratwatte said Nawaloka was selected following a call for a franchise partner. more..

වෛද්žය සුසිත සේනාරත්න

Shares close at 3-wk low on flood woes

May 24 (Reuters) Shares fell for the third straight session on Tuesday to a 3-week closing low, led down by large caps and stocks likely to be hit by the country's worst natural disaster since the 2004 Asia tsunami. The benchmark stock index fell 0.95%, or 62.69 points, to 6,570.58, its lowest close since May 4. The index fell 1.12% last week, its first weekly fall in seven weeks. On Monday, govt said the cost of landslides and floods will be between $1.5 billion and $2 billion at the minimum, more..

The floods: Get me a pencil

May 24 (CT) If there is such a thing as too much goodwill, I think I’ve seen it. Gripped by a desire to help out our fellow Sri Lankans, we’ve cooked, screamed, delivered, run supplies by the truckload and picked clean the shelves of our supermarkets. The result? Incredible good – people fed, clothed, supported to another day by people they’ve never even heard of; and at the same time, incredible waste – truckloads of spoiled food, supplies being shuttled with no tracking or double-checking, more..

How did my father’s driver, Raththaran stack up billions in 10 years?

May 24 (CT) How did my father’s then driver, Raththaran aka Rohitha Abeygunawardhana, who came to my house in a push bike and won my father’s heart, manage to stack up billions in 10 years. Hope he was smart and made up papers like others do. But, this man I tell you, is a Disgrace!! Being my driver isn’t the case, but the point is he fooled my father into thinking he is a good person. My father, who didn’t bring his wife or more..

DPLF convention decides unanimously to back TNA stand on constitutional process

May 24 (Island) DPLF representatives from 12 countries unanimously decided on Sunday that it should stand by the TNA and its Leader R. Sampanthan on Constitution making. They resolved that disunity of parties within the TNA could be used by anti-govt elements to derail the reconciliation process. The eighth annual convention of the DPLF was held at Kovilkulam, Vavuniya on May 21 and 22 with the participation of party seniors and district organisers. more..

Germany to provide 1 Million Euro as aid

May 24 (CG) German Govt will provide financial support of one million Euro for flood and landslide relief efforts in the aftermath of the recent natural disaster. The funds will be used to meet the priority needs of people affected by the crisis. Federal Foreign Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the aim is to help those most in need. Germany will not only help Sri Lanka in the short-term with this natural disaster, but will do its utmost to support and foster medium-term development more..

Video: EP Chief Minister’s tirade

May 24 (DM) Defence Ministry Secretary Karunasena Hettiarchchi said he had not received any complaints about an incident where Eastern Province Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamed was alleged to have rebuked a naval officer at an event at the Sampur Maha Vidyalaya on Friday. A video showing CM allegedly scolding a naval officer at the opening ceremony of the Science Lab and Computer Unit of more..

Governor discusses security situation with Jaffna SF Commander

May 24 (CT) Northern Governor Reginald Cooray visited the Security Forces Headquarters at Palaly in Jaffna for the first time on 19 May. The Governor had discussion with the Commander Security Forces Jaffna Major General Mahesh Senanayake and other senior Army officials on the general security situation in the Peninsula. Governor Cooray was given a warm welcome on his arrival by the Jaffna Security Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake at SF Headquarters in Palaly. more..

Rohitha Abeygunawardena released on strict bail conditions

May 24 (AM) Former Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena was released on bail by Colombo High Court Judge in a corruption case filed by the Bribery Commission. He was released on a cash bail of Rs 100,000 and four sureties of Rs 10 million each. His passport was also impounded. However, the court allowed him to visit Japan between June 6 and 22 after he informed that he was required to visit that country in that period. The Bribery Commission filed indictment this January more..

Canada, UNDP, FAO to support Northern Dairy, Agri sectors

May 24 (DN) Canadian High Commissioner, Shelley Whiting, and UNDP SL Resident Representative, Peter Batchelor recently concluded a two day mission to the Northern Province during which four communities driven Projects were officially handed over to the respective Cooperative Societies and their members. During this Govt of Canada - UNDP joint mission, the delegates met with several govt officials. more..

Petition filed against Fonseka’s appointment as MP dismissed

May 24 (CG) A Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed against the appointment of Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka as a MP was dismissed by the Supreme Court today. The petition was filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), a Colombo based NGO. The CPA and its Executive Director filed the Fundamental Rights application challenging the appointment of Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to fill the vacancy created by the death of M.K.A.D.S. Gunawardana, as a MP elected more..

Vehicle registrations subdued in April

May 24 (EN) Vehicle registrations were subdued in April 2016, continuing a trend seen from January, with 35,753 vehicles being registered, down from 48,988 a year earlier, when a credit bubble was at full swing. Motor car registration were down to 3,618 in April from 5,116 a year earlier, with Indian made Maruti cars used by less-affluent people and first time buyers taking the biggest hit. Registrations following a tax hike and credit restrictions in January 2016 fell to 255 in the month, 525 in Feb, more..

Wigneswaran takes over key portfolios

May 24 (CG) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V Wigneswaran took over some key portfolios in the NPC. Ministries were earlier under provincial ministers in the NPC. Wigneswaran took oaths as the provincial Ministry of Finance & Planning, Law & Order, Lands, Social Services, Rehabilitation, Woman Affairs, Electricity, Housing & Construction, Industries & Enterprise Promotion, Tourism, Local Govt & Provincial Admin. more..

Gammanpila irked by Premier’s remarks

May 24 (CT) The UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila refuted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's alleged claim which said that dashing Devalaya (shrine) was an invocation to destroy the country. Earlier this year, the Joint Opposition went to Seenigama Devalaya, and dashed coconuts seeking the wrath of the Gods against the present govt. Gammanpila added that he was utterly disappointed with the utterance by the PM. He further elaborated the coconuts were dashed invoking the wrath of Gods against more..

4-year development plan out next month: PM

May 24 (EN) The govt will present its four-year development in a month, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. “The govt has spent the last one year stabilising the economy,” he told the national summit on foresight and innovation held by UNDP and Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs. “This will ensure that despite the global downturn we will not face a serious financial crisis.” The govt’s last two budgets had been prepared in the belief that the global economy will improve but more..

Lankan Tamils want Jayalalithaa to help secure federal constitution, not eelam

May 24 (ENS) SL Tamils are taking AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa’s electoral promise to help them secure a separate Tamil Eelam with a pinch of salt. They see the lofty declaration about Eelam in her manifesto as a grand political ploy to silence her Tamil nationalist rivals. However, Lankan Tamils appreciate her bold steps to highlight their plight and presently want her to take constructive steps to get New Delhi to help secure more..

FinanceAsia declares Commercial Bank Best Bank in Sri Lanka

May 24 (DN) Commercial Bank of Ceylon has won two more prestigious international accolades, being adjudged the Best Bank in Sri Lanka in 2016, and presented a Platinum award for 20 years of excellence by Hong Kong based FinanceAsia magazine, one of the most respected financial publications in the region. This is the sixth FinanceAsia Country Banking Achievement Award presented to Commercial Bank in the eight years since the Bank became the first entity in SL more..

Video: Presidency -- Ranil may contest if MS steps down: Dilan

May 24 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will contest at the next presidential election only if President Maithripala Sirisena does not contest for a second term, SLFP Spokesman Dilan Perera said today. “While taking oaths as the sixth executive president of Sri Lanka, President Sirisena had vowed not to contest for a second term. If he does not contest the presidency for a second term we will have to find another candidate to contest in his place," he said. Mr. Perera said two ministers from the UNP more..

JVP Press Conference

Hayleys PLC completes strong year of growth; Posts Rs. 6.8 billion in PBT

May 24 (AD) Hayleys PLC posted Profit before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 6.8 billion for the financial year 2015/16, a 7% increase over the previous year. Earnings per Share increased to Rs. 40.05 from Rs. 34.42 per share in the previous year. This strong growth reflects the effectiveness of the Conglomerate’s focused strategy on expanding its core business sectors and ended the year with a Group turnover of Rs 92 Bn. Group’s Income Tax paid during the year, amounted to Rs 2.3 Bn. more..

Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe meets Thai Deputy PM to strengthen relations

May 24 (NNT) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe has met with Thai Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam to strengthen Thai-SL relations. Mr. Wijeyadasa came to Thailand last Friday to celebrate Vesak Day at Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University. He later visited Dr. Wissanu and said that Sri Lanka would like to host a religious event next year. Thai Deputy PM expressed his gratitude to Mr. Wijeyadasa for joining the event. The last time the two met was when the SL minister traveled to the Kingdom more..

Yahapalanaya gone to the dogs: Appoints Palpita as a Ministry Additional Secretary

May 24 (AM) The Campaign for a Free and Fair Election has slammed Minister Vajira Abeywardena for appointing Anusha Palpita as an Additional Secretary to the Ministry. CaFFE points out that Palpita is one of the accused in the sil redi case in which Rs 600 million of govt money was misappropriated. The appointment of Palpita violates administrative and financial regulations and reveals that the Home Affairs Ministry has no shame, more..

Sri Lanka may need 100,000 itinerant foreign workers in ten years

May 24 (ENS) With the Chinese-funded Colombo Port City project and the ambitious Megapolis project likely to get off the ground soon, and given the acute shortage of skilled and unskilled manpower at home, Sri Lanka may have to import 100,000 itinerant foreign workers, asserts Dr. Surath Wickramasinghe, President, Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI). “At the rate of 400-500 workers per big project like the construction of a large hotel of international standard, more..

No restrictions in funds: Amaraweera

May 24 (DN) The govt will provide funds without any restrictions to provide relief to the displaced, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. “A large number have been affected by floods and mudslides. Nearly 90 people have died and over 100 persons have disappeared. A large group have also lost their houses and other property. We as the government has the responsibility to start rebuilding the lives of the people,” the minister said. more..

Presidential Task Force meets

May 24 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena headed the meeting of the Presidential Task Force to manage recovery from the recent natural disaster outbreak and to normalize the livelihood living hood of the victims of the disaster, yesterday. The meeting was attended by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, other relevant line ministers, Secretary to the President and the Secretaries to the line Ministries, Commanders of Tri-Forces more..

Corruption, a qualification in Tamil Nadu

May 25 (DM) How else does one explain the return of Jayalalitha Jayaram as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu; she had two cases filed against her amongst others for acquiring wealth wholly disproportionate to her income. It was in 2001 that she was first found guilty by a five- member bench of the Supreme Court; (almost an year earlier she had been found guilty of abusing her position to acquire property at undervalued prices by a lower court) of misappropriation and more..

Some lessons beyond floods & landslips

May 25 (CT) The island wide catastrophic situation that we are experiencing nowadays teaches us some timely lessons or reminds us of lessons that we have already learnt and have forgotten. These lessons range from the enshrined norms of humanity to reviewing of our policies, rules and regulations that govern construction of houses, large scale commercial buildings and town planning. The first lesson that it teaches us is the kindness and unity that are overwhelmingly seen among majority more..

'SriLankan must be privatised inclusive of the debts'

May 25 (SL) Deputy Minister Arundika Fernando admitted that the govt was planning on taking on the debt burden of SriLankan Air Lines and then privatising it without the debt burden. He said that privatisation would be beneficial to the country only if a loss making institution is taken over by a private company inclusive of its debts and transformed into a profit making institution. He said that if not there was absolutely no purpose in more..

Unscrupulous foreign employment agencies deceive female household workers

May 25 (DN) Amara* a migrant worker who recently returned to the country through a Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) facilitated programme said she worked so hard, she had no time to eat or sleep: “I had to work at three houses. I had no time to eat or sleep. Days passed but the hardships I faced never ended, until I returned to Sri Lanka.” She said her experience as a migrant worker was a nightmare: “It was a dreadful experience,” she said. more..

Coming out of the economic crisis: Time is running out for Sri Lanka

May 25 (CT) Sri Lanka’s economic crisis has now been manifested in its severest form as a shortage of foreign exchange, pressure for the rupee to depreciate and the need for IMF to extend a helping hand. This last manifestation, dubbed as rescue of last resort, arises when a country has no any other source to turn to. Sri Lanka is a member of IMF and, hence, there is nothing wrong in the country seeking IMF assistance. On the other hand, it is also in the interest of IMF to prevent more..

Colonel Thamilini’s version of events leading to LTTE’s annihilation

May 25 (Island) The launch of Thiyunu Asipathaka Sevana Yata (In the Shadow of a Sharp Sword), Sinhala translation of Oru Koorvaalin Nizhalil, life story of high ranking LTTE cadre, Subramaniam Sivakamy alias Col Thamilini, took place at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) on May 13, 2016. Oru Koorvaalin Nizhalil was launched on March 19, 2016, in Kilinochchi, a one-time LTTE bastion. Her husband, J Mahadevan, more..

Creation of panic

May 25 (CT) Even more depressing than the failure of the govt to fulfil the promises in the manifesto with regard to structural reforms was what seemed to be continuing corruption. At the same time, though during the campaign much had been made of the corruption of the previous government, there seemed to be no serious effort to deal with this. Instead it seemed that the govt was anxious only to denigrate those it saw as most dangerous, in particular the former President. more..

French and Sri Lankan Connection

May 25 (CT) Previous Rajapaksa Govt had a strategic beautification plan to develop the metropolis first, and then gradually extend to other major towns in the country. The planner behind the programme was Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, who was also in charge of the UDA. Consequently many parks, lakes and jogging tracks appeared, along with changing of the skyline in Colombo to the liking of many and towards a tourist boom. more..

Pavithra Wanniarachchi