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Blue Diamonds Jewellery audit reveals fraud

May 26 (EN) SEC said an audit ordered of the books of Blue Diamonds Jewellery Worldwide, has found possible misappropriation of public funds and capital market offences and offences under the penal code. SEC will conduct further investigations into the company and was taking all steps necessary to protect the interests of investors. The audit by Ernst and Young, an accounting firm, was ordered by the SEC over allegations of accounting fraud and mis-use of funds in a rights issue. more..

No drugs in govt hospitals

May 26 (Island) The Joint Opposition questioned the purpose of the National Drug policy and Act as the prices of pharmaceuticals had not come down and the VAT increase had in fact raised them. UPFA MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana, said that the VAT increase had resulted in pharmaceutical prices sky rocketing. "Due to the VAT increase medicine for patients with diabetes costs Rs. 4,700 more now and kidney patients now have to pay Rs. 35,000 for their medications each month." more..

Time to seize the moment in Sri Lanka

May 26 (ICG) The bloody end of Sri Lankaís long civil war with the LTTE has been marked across the country this month in very different ways, highlighting both the tentative progress made over the past year and the profound divisions still be overcome seven years into peacetime. Across the north and east, Tamils held public events to remember the victims killed during the final weeks of the govt offensive in May 2009. more..

Special program to issue ID cards for flood, landslide affected

May 26 (AD) A special program is underway to issue national identity cards and birth certificates free of charge to displaced people who lost them in floods and landslides, Minister Vajira Abeywardena says. The Minister also added necessary funds to this program will be obtained through the Ministry. Meanwhile, the DMC announced, with the prevailing weather condition is expected to continue, some 3000 persons have been evacuated from landslide prone areas across the island. more..

Chinese President offers condolences over Sri Lanka floods, landslides

May 26 (Xinhua) Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday sent a message of condolences to his SL counterpart Maithripala Sirisena over the devastating floods and landslides that hit the country last week. In the message, Xi mourned the dead and extended condolences to those affected. Xi said that the Chinese govt fully supports Sri Lanka's disaster relief efforts, pledging assistance and support within China's capacity to help with the relief and post-disaster recovery of Sri Lanka more..

Sri Lanka will enact a new, nationwide building code

May 26 (IRIN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake blamed the worst of the flooding in the capital on illegal landfills and construction, which filled in marshlands and other drainage areas. Without those areas, the city was unable to absorb the heaviest rains in a quarter of a century, which struck last week and caused about $2 billion worth of damage. In addition to protecting drainage areas, govt will ban new construction in areas more..

National Cancer Institute PET scanner fund gets Rs 35 million donation

May 26 (AD) The initiative launched by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Maharagama to seek public assistance for the purchase of a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner, which is receiving the support of Manusath Derana, has received a donation of Rs 35 million from a Good Samaritan. The generous donor, who wishes to remain unanimous, has deposited the sum to NCIís bank account several days ago bringing the total of the collection so far to just over Rs 110 million. more..

Nintavur Hospital gets Rs 80 M worth equipment

May 26 (CT) A ceremony to hand over a transformer valued Rs 4.9 million and operation theatre equipment valued Rs 60 million to the Nintavur Base Hospital was held on Monday with Deputy Minister for Health, Faizal Cassim, as the chief guest. The ceremony was presided over by Medical Superintendent Dr. Shaheela Issadeen. Provincial Minister of Health A.L.M. Nazeer, Provincial Director of Health Services Dr. K. Murugandam, Regional Director of Health Services more..

Video: Ex-Senior DIG, Ex-Crimes OIC re-remanded till June 09

May 26 (DM) Former Western Province Senior DIG Anura Senanayake and Former Narahenpita Crimes OIC Sumith Perera were ordered to be further remanded till June 09 over the Magisterial Inquiry relating to the murder of ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen by the Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris today. Acceding the request of the prosecution that Mobitel Company was not supporting sufficiently more..

President meets Indonesian President

May 26 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena met the President of the Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo, at Hotel Hilton Nagoya today. The discussion was focused on the developing of Indonesian investments in Sri Lanka. ďThe current stable conditions in Sri Lanka gives an opportunity for investors for local productions as well as the productions made from imported raw materials, which can be sent for international marketĒ, said President Sirisena. more..

Northern challenge set to give SL the shivers

May 26 (CI) It's grim up north. Especially if you are more used to hanging out in the tropics. Aside from some early success with the new ball at Headingley, Sri Lanka's two-and-a-half days in Yorkshire were miserable in the extreme - they were bundled out for 91 and 119 in the space of 433 deliveries all told, the second shortest batting effort in their Test history. But sometimes you just have to doff your cap at the skills on display in such debacles, and with match figures of 10 for 45, more..

Mathews hopes Sri Lanka warm to their task

May 26 (CI) Two days out from the Test, with thick grey clouds overhead and the wind whistling in from the north east, Sri Lanka trained in the coldest temperatures many of the team had experienced. Gloves stayed on during fielding drills. Some bowlers wore two woollen jumpers. Batsmen only removed their hoodies to put helmets on. And after training ended, players all but sprinted back into the dressing room. more..

Horowpathana OIC's wife, daughter stabbed

May 26 (DM) The 46-year-old wife and the 20-year-old daughter of Horowpathana Police OIC had been stabbed by his son-in-law last night at their residence in Galenbindunuwewa, Anuradhapura, Police said. They said the two victims who were in critical condition were admitted to the Anuradhapura Hospital and the daughter succumbed to injuries at the hospital. According to the police dispute having escalated had resulted in the murder. Investigations into the situation is underway. more..

HC sets aside Magistrateís order to release 15 elephants

May 26 (DM) The Colombo High Court today set aside an order given by Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya to entrust the custody of 15 elephants that were kept in Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home and Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage to their owners on a Rs. 30 million bond each. High Court Judge Manilal Waidyathilaka made this order resultant to a submission by Senior State Counsel Dileepa Pieris and perusing the documents filed in court on behalf of the Attorney General. more..

JVP Leader appeals for conserving environment

May 26 (Island) JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament that a conservation plan for the central hills was an urgent need. Participating in the debate on a motion moved at the time of the adjournment of the House by the Govt on the relief measures and damages caused by the floods and landslides, he said the destruction of forest cover in the central hills had resulted in water levels rising in rivers and mountainous areas more..

Community mediated justice in post-war SL

May 26 (AF) Seven years after a bloody, 26-year civil war ended, the Northern Province of Sri Lanka is still limping back to peaceful living. Issues related to security, housing, and livelihoods are rife, and negotiations over transitional justice mechanisms cloud the peace-longing landscape of the region. Yet, amid these more publicized issues, the people of the Northern Province are getting back to some degree of normalcy Ė plowing fields, educating their children, and socializing. more..

Insurance claims may reach Rs5 bn: FM

May 26 (EN) Insurance claims from the household and small businesses may reach 5 billion rupees with two largest insurers already receiving claims for 2.9 billion rupees, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. State-run Sri Lanka Insurance had already received claims of 1.6 billion rupees and private listed Ceylinco Insurance had got claims of 1.2 billion rupees, he said. Claims in the household and small claims may reach 4 to 5 billion rupees, he told SL's Foreign Correspondents' Association. more..

Video: Sampur incident: Protestors demand Chief Minister to make an apology

May 26 (AD) It is the duty of the Govt to formally investigate the conduct of the Eastern Province Chief Minister of a video clip he verbally abusing a naval officer and to take steps to ensure that such incidents do not occur anywhere in the country in future, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. He said they suspect that this latest incident is a part of the project that began in January last year to demoralise war heroes. more..

Govt to address four issues to develop higher education: Grero

May 26 (DN) The Higher Education sector needs to be developed with proper planning and prudent decisions. The govt aims to develop the sector by addressing four major issues, Minister Mohan Lal Grero said. He was speaking at a ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the proposed eight storeyed academic building for the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine at Rajagiriya recently. The identified areas are studentsí intake and admission, quality assurance and accreditation, more..

Bangladesh to send aid for flood victims

May 26 (BDN) Bangladesh will send emergency relief aid to Sri Lanka in the wake of floods and landslides in the country as a follow-up to PM Sheikh Hasinaís directive. A minister, who saw the PM off at the airport as she left for Japan on Thursday, said she had issued the instruction before leaving for Tokyo. ďA special Bangladesh air force aircraft will carry the materials tomorrow. We are sending materials worth over Tk 100 million in line with the needs of Sri Lanka,Ē more..

SL and Vietnam for agro-techno cooperation

May 26 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena and Vietnamese PM Ngyuyn Xuan Phuc agreed to establish close cooperation in agriculture, technology related to rice and other common crops.Ā This was decided during the bilateral discussions between the two countries held at the Nagoya Tokyu Hotel today (26). President Sirisena invited Vietnamese entrepreneurs to invest in Sri Lanka and Vietnamese PM said that more..

Speech by Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda on his retirement from Colombo University

May 27 (GV) Vice-Chancellor and Colleagues, I want to begin by thanking all of you for being present today. You all have also endured bad weather. I feel delighted to see so many friends from all faculties, other universities, and from civil society outside the university as well. I am also glad that Nirmal, Mahesh and Pradeep, and the colleagues in the department of political science, have managed to honour at least one of my injunctions Ė to make this a low key event, with no song, more..

Privatization and Public private partnerships of SOEs in Sri Lanka

May 27 (CT) In many Asian countries including State-owned Enterprises (SOE) continue to control vast swaths of national GDP with the state as their biggest share holder. As such, they control about 1/3 of total enterprise assets and SOEs are larger than their non-SOE peers. There is a great variety among Sri Lankan SOEs. Meanwhile, SOEs in the sectors that are monopolized by the state yield good income and profitability, while those that are not supported by the state record poor performance. more..

'The JO should not act like thugs'

May 27 (CT) Minister Thalatha Athukorale says the PRECIFAC and the FCID are both carrying out investigations into the corruption allegations against stalwarts of the previous regime. "Some of the investigations have been completed and handed over to the Attorney General's Department and he will do the rest". Q: Do you believe that the path this govt is taking to be correct? A: Yes of course, it is because more..

Affairs of an Island and The world

May 27 (CT) On the 15th of May sixty five years ago was the death of one of the great national heroís of Sri Lanka Ven. S. Mahinda also known as Tibet S. Mahinda. Born in Gangtok, Sikkim state of India located in the Himalayan Mountains, this foreigner by nationality to Lanka dedicated his life to awaken the nationalistic sentiments to liberate the country from the British. His poetry generated sparks through our independence movement. Remembering individuals in our society is more..

Perfections & imperfections of a hub aspirant

May 27 (FT) We may conclude a particular person to be of unusual capability or intelligence. But another society, a different set of standards, a different way of seeing things, may judge him to be merely in the median, meriting no special status. Which understanding is most approximate to the truth? For those living in a certain society, particularly in an island culture, that is the world; seeing through a private lens, a particular way of looking, with a distinct manner of understanding. more..

China's Jewel in the Heart of Indian Ocean

May 27 (TD) At sunset, I had an unimpeded view of a crimson-tinted sea from the rooftop bar of the Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo. This hotel, which sits right between the Port of Colombo to the north and the Galle Face Green to the south, is 100 meters from the beach ó you can hear the waves crashing against the sand nine stories below. This seaside position could be assumed to be immutable, but it isnít. In just a few years more..

Reconciling to India & Reconciling with India

May 27 (SL) Coming as it did just ahead of President Sirisenaís India visit and meeting with PM Narendra Modi, the commencement of church renovation work on Katchchativu islet has drawn attention in more ways than one. Apart from TN chief minister Jayalalitha writing to PM Modi, it reflects a certain element of insensitivity to diplomatic niceties, unlike in the war-time past. It did not stop there. Generally, a VVIP visit of the kind from one country to another has been more..

Kolonnawa picks up the pieces after floods

May 27 (DN) The tree that crushed Mohamed Thanzilís house seemed to have crushed his spirit too: Thanzil and his wife stood staring at what was left of their house in despair, unable to come to terms with the recent tragedy that befell them. Having lost even the few possessions they had to the recent floods, the couple, with their four young children now live in a tarpaulin tent on the bund in Harvard Wella. ďEveryone is returning home, except us,Ē Thanzil said. more..

Mervyn Silva

Very keen to promote economic cooperation with Sri Lanka: JETRO Chief

May 27 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena and Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman and CEO of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) held a cordial discussion on ways to promote trade and investments between the two countries, today (26) at the Hilton Nagoya hotel in Japan. The Chairman of JETRO expressing his views regarding the Japanese products said that the concept of Japana Hapana has created a such a positive impression for Japanese products and investments in SL. more..

Editorial: Seamy side of paradise

May 27 (Island) How civilised a country is can be judged by the way it handles its garbage. In colonial days, crocodiles were kind enough to take care of Colomboís waste, we are told. Most people used to dump their garbage into Beira Lake, letting massive crocs living there do the rest. Those reptiles were lucky that polythene and chemical waste was unheard of in those days. Crocs have disappeared over the years and the garbage problem has worsened. In ancient times, kings who ruled more..

Why Aranayake ?

May 27 (SO) The effects of climate change and climate variability give rise to frequent disasters globally, and the frequency of occurrence which has been observed as ever increasing. The situation in Sri Lanka is no exception, with landslides and flood incidents, becoming too frequent. Heavy and localized rains which fell in Sri Lanka during recent times caused an unprecedented disaster situation. more..

Ice-cold in BrontŽ country

May 27 (CI) Long before Brian Close wore a ball on burly body, before Fred Trueman terrified opponents or Geoff Boycott ground them down, three Yorkshire natives had brought to life the northern character - the homes people dwelt in, their trials, their desires, their barely decipherable accents, their icy moors. I am in Haworth, about 30 km west of Leeds. Ahead of me a cobbled street climbs past a windswept old village, beyond a stone pub that serves beef nihari, and an apothecary that sells soy candles. more..

Hemas FY 16 earnings up 38% to Rs. 2.7 b

May 27 (FT) Hemas Holdings and its subsidiaries have achieved consolidated revenues of Rs. 37.9 billion, a year-on-year (YoY) growth of 16.9% for the 12 months ended 31 March 2016. During this period operating profit reached Rs. 4 b and earnings Rs. 2.7 b, growth of 17.5% and 37.7% respectively. An additional interest income of Rs. 280 m was earned from investing the proceeds of the rights issue. The FMCG sector achieved total revenues of Rs. 14.3 b for the 12 months, a 20.2% YoY increase more..

IMF bailout is a dire need: Poll

May 27 (FT) The latest nationwide survey reveals that majority of the people believe Sri Lanka is in dire need of an IMF bailout. The magazine notes that, according to the poll results, 60% of those polled acknowledge that the bailout is needed on the grounds that it will help stabilise the countryís economy and benefit national development. However, 32% disagree with this claim and 8% are sitting on the fence, more..

Why accept such lop-sided tour itineraries?

May 27 (Island) Playing in the cold of Leeds, Sri Lanka was simply wiped off the slate by an innings and plenty within the first three days of the First Test versus England. Of course, on paper it seems a one-sided affair. If on the other hand, an itinerary was arranged for England to play the First Test in Colombo when the mercury was scaling 30+ degrees Celsius the result would quite possibly be similar to what happened to Sri Lanka at Leeds. Admittedly, playing in the bitter cold is more..

'Local companies have to make CSR count'

May 27 (FT) Private sector corporates were challenged to bring national priorities to the boardroom by strategically devising their annual corporate responsibility budgets. Currently Sri Lankan companies spend over Rs. 4 billion on CSR projects, however a study conducted by the Durham University of UK has observed that many of these project-based activities focus on certain marginalised schemes, resulting in short-term results while neglecting national priorities. more..

GMOA gives new ultimatum for TU action

May 27 (DM) The GMOA said they had given a few more days to the govt to find a solution to the issue which had arisen due to the undue intervention of the Medical Services Director in the post-Internships appointment process before their proposed trade union action on May 31. GMOA Secretary Nalinda Herath said they attempted to resolve the issue through discussion but had to resort to a trade union action as there was no option having failed in more..

Cement bags, monetary aid for flood affected

May 27 (CT) National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) under its Semata SevanaĖ2016 programme issued cement bags to low income families while the Department of Disaster Management issued their first part payment to those who were affected by the recent floods in Alayadivembu at a ceremony held at Auditorium of Alayadivembu DS Office on Tuesday. The ceremony presided over by Divisional Secretary V. Jegatheesan was attended by more..