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Minister demands disciplinary action against Anusha Pelpita

May 28 (CT) The Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration and Management has submitted a written request to the Chairman of the Public Services Commission (PSC) on 27 May, requesting disciplinary action against Anusha Pelpita on the basis of 27-10 of the Administrative Service Establishment Code since he stands accused of misappropriation of State funds amounting to Rs 600 million. Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration & Management has submitted more..

As Sri Lanka reels under worst disaster in a decade, start-ups do their bit to help out

May 28 (FT) As Sri Lanka struggles to deal with the devastation caused this week by Cyclone Roanu, which left floods, landslides and at least 58 people dead in its wake, citizens are pitching in to help with Government relief initiatives. Assisting with these efforts are local start-ups. “As start-ups, we can bring to the table innovations, new technology and new thinking,” said Jiffry Zulfer, Chief Executive Officer of PickMe, a local taxi-hailing app in the vein of Uber and Ola. more..

World Bank team concludes visit to Sri Lanka

May 28 (LBO) The World Bank Board of Executive Directors completed a five-day visit including site inspections on work being implemented under the Bank supported projects in the island. During the five-day visit, the team met with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake to understand the current country context and challenges, the World Bank said. more..

PickMe’s SOS feature breaks new ground

May 28 (FT) Whilst the last few days of flooding in the city of Colombo brought in a huge amount of public empathy and relief measures where the ordinary citizen plus the corporate sector threw the full might of their resources to bring relief to the destitute, some startup companies were experimenting with unique ways to support relief measures. Amongst them was the mobile app based taxi hailing service, PickMe. PickMe initially teamed up with a television station to pick up more..

Israel provides disaster-relief supplies to Sri Lanka after deadly floods

May 28 (Algemeiner) Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) announced that it is providing Sri Lanka with $2,000 worth of supplies to help residents of the areas affected by last week’s deadly floods. Disaster Relief Management Ministry of Sri Lanka received water pumps, water filters, solar lighting kits and LED torches, as well as 50,000 tablets for water purification. The MFA said in a released statement that, depending on the needs of the Sri Lankan people, more..

Rajitha accepts responsibility for changes made to Post-Intern appointment list

May 28 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne has said his Ministry is not prepared to give in to the whims and fancies of the GMOA when giving post intern appointments. Lashing out at GMOA, Senaratne said its demand had been to appoint more post interns to major hospitals including those in Colombo. Those were not the hospitals that were in need of doctors. Health Ministry had followed a proper method in more..

Sri Lanka panel gives approval for pre-fabricated steel houses

May 28 (Hindu) The option of building 65,000 pre-fabricated steel houses for conflict-affected people in the Northern and Eastern Provinces has been termed by a panel of experts as a fair solution. The panel, drawn from the Department of Civil Engineering at University of Peradeniya, studied two model houses in Jaffna before arriving at its conclusion. Apart from pointing out that housing is an urgent need for those who were displaced due to the civil war, it cited limited availability of more..

Jayalalithaa seeks PM’s intervention for release of Indian fishermen

May 28 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday sought PM Narendra Modi’s intervention in ensuring the release of five innocent Indian fishermen arrested by Iran for allegedly straying into its waters. Jayalalithaa told Modi that the five fishermen from Kanyakumari district had been contracted by a Saudi individual and that they were engaged in fishing in Saudi Arabia. These five had ventured for fishing from Qatif fishing base of Saudi Arabia on April 23, more..

Indonesia seeking to supply train carriages

May 28 (AN) Indonesian president Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has met with Sri Lanka's president Maithripala Sirisena to discuss the sale of train carriages to that country. The meeting took place on the sidelines of his visit to Japan to attend the Outreach G-7 Summit at Orion A Room, Hotel Kanko, Nagoya, on Thursday. The bilateral meeting focused on Indonesias readiness to support economic development in Sri Lanka, more..

Former SLPA Chairman granted bail

May 28 (DN) Former Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) Chairman Priyath Bandu Wickrama and two others were yesterday granted bail by Colombo Chief Magistrate for allegedly causing a Rs.65 million unlawful loss to the govt by employing 319 employees of the Ports Authority for election work during the 2015-January Presidential Election. The Director General of CIABOC filed this corruption case against Priyath Bandu Wickrama, Sanjaya Kumara and Nihal Keppetipola more..

Probe if Sampur incident was premeditated

May 28 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe requested Tri Forces’ chiefs to investigate whether the incident at Sampur Maha Vidyalaya, was premeditated and targeted at the G7 Summit. He requested them to look into whether there was a ploy to embarrass the President and the country in the face of world leaders who invited the latter to the Summit. PM also asked that they use all reports involving the incident, including those which appeared on the internet and social media, for their report. more..

‘Over 3,800 flood affected at 226 relief camps’

May 28 (DN) Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said 3,814 people affected by the floods and landslides are still at 226 relief camps. “Owing to the bad weather conditions,104 deaths and 36 injuries were reported. While 100 persons have gone missing, he added. Yapa along with Minister Sajith Premadasa and govt officials, whose subjects directly link with disaster management & mitigation addressed media. more..

Ghouls in the health sector

May 28 (DM) The transnational pharmamafia, some corrupt official in the Health Ministry and other vested interest are still trying to sabotage the implementation of the national medicinal drugs policy in line with Prof. Senaka Bibile’s essential medicines concept. After a delay of more than 10 years, President Maithripala Sirisena who was earlier the Health Minister, had personally ensured that legislation to implement the Senaka Bibile policy was approved by Parliament in May last year. more..

Floods Penance for Poor Governance

May 28 (DM) There have been many contentions with regard to the reasons for the floods in Colombo. Many state it is because of the severe rainfall, while others contest it is due to the poor drainage system. However, when speaking to Chartered Civil Engineer Anton Nanayakkara, we realised that there were an array of historical reasons, even dating back to the Dutch Period that gave rise to the floods. But, we cannot blame the Dutch for the floods in Colombo as of today. more..

Eastern Province Chief loses his cool; Whose protocol got out of hand?

May 28 (DM) Political misfires are seen in abundance irrespective of the regime in power. Recently the Eastern Province Chief Minister rebuked a naval officer in the presence of many other guests at a function held at the Sampur Maha Vidyala, creating a huge uproar. He was heard saying: “Get out from here, idiot. If you don’t know what protocol is, just get out. Who the hell are you to stop me? more..

AIADMK leader Amma Jayalalithaa has Tamil Nadu at her feet Again

May 28 (DBS) Jayalithaa Amma has done it again! The supreme leader of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (AIADMK) has triumphed at polls held for Tamil Nadu. Elections were conducted on May 16th 2016 for 232 out of 234 Constituencies in the state legislature known as the Legislative Assembly. The elections commission rescinded polls for two electorates due to irrefutable evidence of pre-poll malpractices. more..

Justice delayed is corruption condoned

May 28 (SL) Putting an end to corruption was one of the key election slogans of the present govt. Their Yahapalanaya manifesto was approved by the public and a mandate given accordingly. After coming to power, the govt initiated a large-scale counter-corruption operation by setting up special units such as the FCID and PRECIFAC which started probing mass-scale corruption that had taken place during the previous regime. more..

No-faith motion against Ravi K

May 28 (DN) Parliament has decided to take up the vote on No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake on June 8. Parliament Secretary General Dhammika Dasanayake said the debate on the NCM would be held from 2pm to 6.30pm. The NCM was submitted to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya by the Joint Opposition on March 24. It carries the signatures of 37 Joint Opposition MPs. Dasanayake said more..

Nearly 190 death sentences commuted under present govt moving to abolish death penalty

May 28 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has commuted 187 death sentences to life imprisonment on recommendations by an expert committee headed by retired Supreme Court judge Nimal Dissanayake. The decision has been announced in the wake of protests demanding the implementation of the death penalty on the person convicted by Negombo High Court for rape and murder of a 5-year old girl more..

Sampur Saga: Ex-security forces top brass urges CM to tender apology

May 28 (Island) Rear Admiral (Rtd) H.R. Amaraweera said President should order Eastern Province Chief Minister Ahamed Nazeer to tender an apology to the Naval officer Captain Ranjith Premaratne for scolding the latter in public. Amaraweera said, "Chief Minister's conduct was unbecoming and he behaved like a mental patient. He had no right to abuse a Naval officer in public and it was the first time that an officer of the security forces more..

Power regulator wants licensees to submit regulatory accounts

May 28 (CG) The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka has issued a set of accountancy guidelines to licensees who are in the business of electricity generation, transmission and distribution, in order to gain more information for the process of regulatory decisions making. According to the tariff methodology designed by the Commission, the determination of allowed revenue requires information at more..

Ravi K. keeping MPs happy: Another Vehicle bonanza for MPs

May 28 (CT) The govt has decided to grant an additional vehicle lease option to all MPs entitling them to an additional vehicle besides the duty free vehicles to which they are now entitled to. A Cabinet Paper in this connection had been submitted by Minister Ravi Karunanayake on 10 March and based on that paper the names of MPs who will be entitled to this vehicle bonanza are to be obtained from Party leaders. more..

Japan extends Yen 38 billion ODA assistance

May 28 (PMD) Japanese PM offered a Yen 38 billion ODA loan to Sri Lanka for water purification projects for Kidney diseases and establishment of electricity transmission lines connecting the entire country. PM Abe thanks President Sirisena for raising Asia’s voice and explaining the Asian perspective to the Western nations at the G 7 Outreach Summit in Ise Shima in Japan. Following is the joint media statement. more..

100 missing in landslides are dead: DMC

May 28 (AFP) Around 100 people still missing following landslides last week are believed dead, authorities said Saturday after failing to find signs of life under tonnes of mud. The DMC said 67 bodies had been recovered from the worst hit central district of Kegalle where 99 people were still listed as missing following the rain-triggered May 17 disaster. "The military is keeping up a search, but there is no hope of finding anyone alive now," more..

Return of Jayalalithaa

May 28 (CT) Jayalalithaa Jayaram has sworn-in as TN Chief Minister for the 6th time at a colourful ceremony last Monday. Her journey in Tamil Nadu politics had never been a cake walk. Following in the footsteps of her mentor late TN Chief Minister M. G. Ramachandran, Jayalalithaa also entered politics from the film industry and became the youngest Chief Minister of TN for the first time in 1991 heading the AIADMK founded by her hero in cinema as well as in politics late M.G. Ramachandran. more..

Sampur incident & Tensions in devolution

May 28 (CT) There are several issues related to the devolution of power to the provinces lurking behind the Sampur event where the Chief Minister (CM) of the Eastern Province (EP), Nazeer Ahamed, abused and insulted a senior naval officer, Captain I. R. Premaratne, at a school event where small children were present in addition to the US Ambassador. The behaviour typical of many politicians in recent past or even today should be condemned without hesitation. more..

Is the Ministry of Home Affairs a home for crooks?

May 28 (CT) The civil society movement recently demanding the removal of Anusha Pelpita from his position as Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs has warned the govt that they will stage a massive protest demonstration. Pelpita who was the former Director General of the TRC, was the main accused of misappropriating a sum of Rs 600 million in TRC in the run up to 2015 Presidential Election by distributing white clothes (sil redi) in more..

Pakistan’s third batch of relief items reaches flood victims in Sri Lanka

May 28 (PT) Pakistan’s third consignment of relief goods for the flood-hit people of Sri Lanka has arrived in Colombo. Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Dr. Sarfraz Ahmed Khan Sipra handed over the consignment to the Sri Lankan officials. It contained shelters and tents, medicine, raincoats, rain boots and other necessary items. According to the SL govt assessments, 427,918 people belonging to 105,360 families were affected by floods and landslides. more..

Undergrads of all universities protest against Mahapola and Bursary delays

May 28 (Island) Undergraduates of all state univrsties were planning to launch a fresh protest demanding that Mahapola stipend and bursary be made on time, the Inter University Students' Federation said. IUSF Convener Lahiru Weerasekera said first year students in some universities had not received state given financial assitance. "New students admitted to the Peradeniya University last year, had not received Mahapola stipends for nearly 10 months," Weerasekera said. more..

Kiriella now denies justice to universities, dissolves USAB

May 28 (CT) In an arbitrary move, Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella dissolved the three member University Services Appeals Board (USAB), a move which has denied justice across universities and also violated the Universities Act, which stipulates that the USAB is compulsory. In March, Colombo Telegraph reported that the Chairman of the USAB, Nigel Hatch, PC, was asked to resign by Minister Lakshman Kiriella. However, at the time, it was not known if more..

Youth remanded over murder of OIC’s daughter

May 28 (Island) Anuradhapura Magistrate remanded, till June 02, 23-year-old Asiri Romesh, son-in-law of the OIC of the Horowpatana police station for killing the officer’s daughter and injuring his wife in the early hours of May 26. Galenbidunuwewa police probing the incident arrested the suspect while he was hiding in a village in the same police area within 24 hours of the brutal attack. The suspect was admitted to the Anuradhapura hospital immediately after he was taken into custody. more..

Vietnam Vice President discusses ties with Sri Lankan delegation

May 28 (VNS) Vice President Ðặng Thị Ngọc Thịnh hosted a reception in Hà Nội yesterday for a delegation of the Sri Lanka-Việt Nam Solidarity Association led by Most Venerable Baddegama Samitha Thero, a member of the association’s executive board. The host hailed the delegation’s visit as a contribution to reinforcing the traditional friendship between the two peoples. She said both sides should facilitate all-level visits to deepen bilateral ties in the future, and expressed her belief that more..

Top Norwegian official to visit Sri Lanka

May 28 (AD) The State Secretary of Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Tore Hattrem, is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka from May 31 to June 02, 2016. The State Secretary will meet the Minister of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday where discussions are expected to take place on follow-up to the visit in January this year of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende. He is also scheduled to meet the Leader of Opposition more..

Need for more targeted taxation

May 29 (SO) High society right now is abuzz with calculations of the increased costs of imported luxury vehicles following last week's tax increases on vehicles with over 1000 cc engines. The broad social band of middle and lower-middle income classes, however, can look forward to access to slightly cheaper small cars. The Govt, in its latest taxation foray, risky though higher taxation may be in terms of electorate reactions, is clearly endeavouring to do what this column more..

Deja Vu and pantomime

May 29 (CT) It's with a sense of Déjà Vu that we say, that quite apart from the hard fact that the government is indeed hamstrung by the mountains of debt it inherited from its predecessor in office, it has now clearly established a pattern of staggered indirect taxes on all sections of the people that has lost any shadow of justification. Friday's stunning duty hikes on three-wheelers, vehicles above 1000cc and hybrids reflect anything but sensible budgetary measures. more..

'Regrets use of unparliamentary language'

May 29 (SO) Unparliamentary language used by Minister Harin Fernando during a heated exchange of words in Parliament on May 18 with UPFA Kandy District MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage led the way for the Joint Opposition to make a hue and cry on the floor of the House, citing the Minister’s conduct as being a violation of Standing Orders. However, Minister Fernando tendered an apology in Parliament on Wednesday for his lapse in more..

A watery end

May 29 (ST) My dear Nazeer, I thought I must write to you even though, this time last week if someone asked me who Nazeer Ahamed was, I would have said, maybe a Pakistani cricketer. Now, you might say who the hell are you to write to me? and ask whether I knew the protocol, but I feel I should still write to you. Please pardon my ignorance for not knowing who you were a week ago. As you know, this paradise of ours has a President, a PM, 47 Ministers, 25 Dy Ministers, 20 State Ministers more..

After the deluge — and before the next

May 29 (ST) There was a sense of deja vu to see the President (who is also Minister of Environment) and all the Govt leaders conferring on what must be done to mitigate the effects of another flood. Only days earlier Disaster Management Minister was giving interviews to the media how amendments are to be brought to the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) law. He had to say something after the disaster after all but the problem, Mr. Minister, is that laws are plentiful; more..

'We sent the best available squad to England'

May 29 (CT) Chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket Thilanga Sumathipala believes that the best available squad was sent for Sri Lanka's Cricket tour of England. "We knew that England was going to be the toughest tour this year, with issues such as those relating to the climate as well. We also knew what was in store for us as we are a new team, and this England side is a world class side," he told Ceylon Today in an interview. more..

Palpitations over Pelpita appointment

May 29 (SO) Anusha Pelpita, the controversial public servant who functioned as the Director General of the TRC under the Rajapaksa administration, plunged the govt into fresh trouble last week when he assumed duties as the Assistant Secretary of the Home Affairs Ministry. He was indicted by the Attorney General (AG) in connection with the misappropriation of Rs 600 million from the SLTRC, between the period Oct 30, 2014 and Jan 5, 2015. more..