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Insurance payments expected to rise to Rs. seven billion in floods aftermath

May 31 (Island) As a consequence of the recent flood devastation in the country, around Rs.7 billion in insurance payments are required for compensation and reconstruction operations. Numerous listed companies have been affected on both sides of the Kelani river. "Our costs will be borne by foreign reinsurers due to appropriate transfer of risks, Sri Lanka Insurance Managing Director Bangsa Jayah said recently. more..

Eastern Province Mosque collect flood relief for food, landslide victims

May 31 (Island) Several mosques in the eastern province have collected flood relief to be distributed to the flood/landslide victims in western and central provinces. "The relief collected from Muslims are to be distributed among all victims irrespective of their religion", Mr. M. Hanees, Chief Trustee of Addalaichenai Grand Mosque said. He said almost all the people had made contributions showing their empathy and the sense of humanity. Such disasters, help build brotherhood and more..

JKH Chief welcomes govt’s thrust for PPPs

May 31 (FT) Premier blue chip John Keells Holdings Chairman Susantha Ratnayake has welcomed the Government’s thrust on Public-Private Partnerships and the policy decision will widen opportunities for the Group. “The economic policy pronouncements of the Govt signalled its desire to encourage public private partnerships and exit investments in non-core public owned interests and this, we believe, will give rise to opportunities for the Group, given our strong balancesheet,” JKH Chairman said. more..

President warns negligent public officials

May 31 (PSL) “If any unauthorized buildings or environmental pollution happens damaging the canal and river preservations in any area, strict actions will be taken against the responsible govt officials in the areas”, emphasizes President Sirisena. “The govt is committed to protect the public servants who fulfill their responsibilities properly. Similarly, govt will not hesitate to take action against the officials who don’t execute their duties”, more..

French tourist (66) arrested for sexually abusing boy

May 31 (Island) The Ambalangoda police on Sunday arrested a 66-year-old French tourist and a 32-year-old local guide for sexually abusing a 14-year-old schoolboy after getting him drunk. Police probing the incident arrested the suspects after the victim's father made a complaint to the police that the child was missing for many hours from home on that day. The suspects had abused the child in a private villa at Ovakanda, where the foreigner had been residing. Ambalagoda police produced the suspects more..

Survey Department joins hands with Sri Lanka Navy in flood mapping

May 31 (SLN) Survey Department has sought cooperation with SL Navy in order to expedite data collection and mapping of recently flood affected areas in Colombo and Gampaha districts. Accordingly, SLN deployed its officers and sailors along Kelani river basin in Biyagama, Malwana, Dompe, Hanwella areas since 28th May to collect data. The task was assigned to Navy Hydrographic Service and other Information Technology and Geographical Information System (GIS) more..

England beat SL by 9 wickets, win series

May 31 (CI) Alastair Cook finally reached the 10,000-run landmark, the 12th man to do so in Test history, as England secured a nine-wicket victory to take the series although not without some significant toil. Dinesh Chandimal's 6th Test century, and first outside Asia, had continued Sri Lanka's batting resurgence before they were bowled out for 475 to leave a target of 79. Cook reached his milestone, which has been within his grasp more..

Faces don’t take policies forward

May 31 (CT) There seems to be something drastically wrong with Sri Lanka's cricket. Recently the President of Sri Lanka Cricket Thilanga Sumathipala made a statement. He made it answering a question about the present squad touring England. The question posed to him during the interview was "Did the well beaten SL side have the best players in Sri Lanka there in that squad." Sumathipala answered saying they were the best available. more..

Schoolgirl hit on the head with a club

May 31 (Island) A student of Ratmalgoda Vidyalaya, Polgahawela was admitted to Kurunegala Hospital yesterday morning with serious head injuries after she was hit on the head with a club by an unidentified person while she was on her way to school. A teacher of her school had spotted the 17-year-old victim lying on the road and she had been rushed to hospital with the assistance of residents in the area. The police suspect that the attacked was a result of her turning down on overturn of more..

Laws soon to ban animal sacrifices

May 31 (DM) The Ministry of Rehabilitation, Resettlement, Prison Reforms and Hindu Religious Affairs is expected to submit a Cabinet paper next week seeking to introduce legislation banning all forms of animal sacrifices at Hindu temples. Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs Department has already drafted the legislation which has been endorsed by Legal Draftsman’s Department. more..

Army ordered to hand over information related to Lasantha’s murder to CID

May 31 (FT) The Mount Lavinia Magistrate court ordered the Sri Lanka Army to hand over documents and other information related to the investigation of the 2009 murder of a senior journalist. The Magistrate ordered the Army Commander to hand over documents and other information related to the investigation in to the murder of Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge to the CID. The magistrate made this order considering the facts presented by the CID. more..

CID yet to name Thilina Gamage suspect in unlisensed elephant case

May 31 (AM) The CID were yet to make Magistrate Thilina Gamage a suspect in the case regarding the possession of an elephant with no proper licenses, Gangodawila Magistrate's Court was informed. This was revealed when Gamage's anticipatory bail application was considered at the court. The Attorney General reprimanded the CID for not naming Gamage a suspect, although the AG had given instructions to do so 18 days ago. However, the CID said that they wanted to obtain more..

Geneva-sanctioned Office for Missing Persons to succeed Paranagama Comm.

May 31 (Island) The govt has directed the Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons to hand over all its files to proposed Office for Missing Persons, thereby terminating the Commission. Chairman of the Commission retired High Court Judge Maxwell Paranagama yesterday said that he had been to told to hand them over before July 15, 2016. Paranagama said that he had requested time more..

Vesakha Festival: Enhanced ties between Pakistan, Sri Lanka stressed

May 31 (AAP) Adviser to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage Irfan Siddique has said that culture makes it easier for people to understand each other. He said this while addressing a group of 50 Sri Lankan monks including ministers and media representatives who observed Vesakha Festival at Buddhist sites in Taxila on Monday. The Sri Lankan delegation visited Dharmarajika Stupa, Sirkap site and Taxila Museum and offered religious rituals. Irfan Siddiqui, adviser to the PM on more..

Vijitha Herath testifies in case against ex-DLB chairman

May 31 (DM) JVP MP Vijitha Herath testifying at the trial against the Development Lotteries Board's former chairman Chandrawansa Pathiraja told Additional Magistrate Aruni Attygala that in January last year complained to the Bribery Commission that the accused had caused a huge monetary loss to the DLB. He said inside sources at the DLB had informed him that the loss had occurred when Dr. Pathiraja had violated accepted tender procedures by awarding promotional work on Janajaya more..

Health Minister–GMOA showdown leads to countrywide docs strike

May 31 (Island) GMOA would cripple the countrywide state hospitals today against alleged meddling with the post–internship vacancies list by the Director (Medical Services) of the Health Ministry and subject minister’s coordinating secretary. GMOA Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said the token strike would be staged from 8 am to 12 noon countrywide except in flood and landslide affected Colombo, Gampaha and Kegalle Districts. more..

A flame at one end, fool at the other

May 31 (DM) With smoking now under increasingly heavy fire, Sri Lanka joins the international community today in marking World No-Tobacco Day. The World Health Organisation (WHO) in a statement has called on all countries to get ready for plain or standardised packaging of tobacco products. The WHO says plain packaging of tobacco products is an important demand reduction measure. It reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products, restricts use of tobacco packaging more..

Under regulated local Beedi industry

May 31 (DM) Flakes of tobacco rolled in Indian Tendu leaf stands a stick named beedi which contributes largely to an epidemic that claims six million lives each year around the world. According to statistics of the WHO in 2015, out of these six million people, more than 600, 000 are non-smokers dying from passive smoking. It also predicts that, if failed to take sound action against tobacco consumption, the epidemic would kill more than eight million people every year by 2030. more..

Plain Packaging: How prepared are we?

May 31 (DM) For this year’s World No Tobacco Day, The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) are calling on countries to get ready for plain (standardized) packaging of tobacco products. Plain packaging is defined as ‘black and white or two other contrasting colours, as prescribed by national authorities; nothing other than a brand name, more..

Gammanpila’s signature scams

May 31 (SL) Yet another Rajapaksa follower is soon to be arrested by the Police Special Investigation Unit (SIU) for allegedly cheating an Australian national of more than Rs. 1,000 million. The long delay at the Attorney General’s (AG) Department over the past few months has prevented the SIU from arresting the ever-pontificating leader of the PHU and UPFA MP, Udaya Gammanpila for allegedly using a fraudulent power of attorney more..

Soldiers might yearn for Rajapaksa days, if…

May 31 (CT) Apparently a special meeting is to be held soon between the President Sirisena and the PM Wickremesinghe on an alleged directive by Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi debarring military personnel from taking part in any event attended by Eastern Province Chief Minister Nazeer Ahmed. Last week the tri forces announced this decision after Ahmed spoke harshly to a senior Naval Officer at a prize-giving at more..

Sri Lanka’s successful mountaineers return

May 31 (LBO) Mountaineering duo Jayanthi and Johann have returned to Sri Lanka following their successful expedition to the top of the world, with a heart-stopping story to relate. At just before 5:00am, local time, on 21st of May, 2016, Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala summited Mt Everest at 29,029 feet. “It was a dream come true to finally be able to stand on top of the world and wave the Sri Lankan flag. more..

Illangakoon scoffs at allegations

May 31 (CT) Former IGP N.K. Illangakoon said that rumours spread by certain media outlets that as the murder of former Sri Lanka rugby star Wasim Thajudeen had taken place during his watch that he too was responsible for the crime, was both a fabrication and baseless. When contacted the ex-IGP said that he has decided to request the govt to conduct a prompt probe into the allegations directed against him. more..

GMOA levels new charge against Health Minister involving NMRA

May 31 (Island) The GMOA claimed that there was a move to appoint a professor who is handling research of a drug company as the CEO of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) by Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne replacing qualified person who handled the post currently. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Harith Aluthge said minister Senaratne's earlier bid to appoint a director of a milk food company for more..

After the floods, complaints regarding missing items flow in

May 31 (ST) As rescue workers and volunteers rushed to help flood victims, thieves moved in to remove electronic items, mobile phones, vehicle parts and other valuables from houses that went under water, police revealed yesterday. So far 22 suspects have been arrested and more complaints are flowing in, prompting the police to open up a special entry book to record complaints, according to SSP Ajith Rohana, more..

JVP MP Vijitha Herath arrested and released on bail after late night accident

May 31 (AM) JVP MP and its Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath was released on police bail after being arrested over an accident last night, police said. His vehicle collided with a lamp post last night when he was driving. It is suspected that the accident occurred because he fell asleep while driving. A statement was recorded from Herath and he was released on police bail. He will be produced before the Magistrate tomorrow. more..

Singaporean Trade and Industry Minister in Sri Lanka today

May 31 (CNA) Singaporean Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran will visit Sri Lanka to strengthen bilateral relations and open up business opportunities for Singapore companies in the fast-growing market. Mr Iswaran will visit Colombo and Trincomalee, from today (31) to Thursday. While in Colombo, he will attend the Sri Lanka-Singapore Business Forum with Minister of International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama on Jun 1. more..

Shaminda Eranga reported for suspect action

May 31 (CI) Sri Lanka fast bowler Shaminda Eranga has been reported for a suspect action following the second Test against England in Chester-le-Street. Eranga must have his action tested at an ICC accredited centre within 14 days - Loughborough University in England is his closest option - but can continue bowling until the result of that test is known. The Chester-le-Street Test was umpired by Aleem Dar and S Ravi, with more..

Vehicle bonanza for MPs

May 31 (CT) 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. A Cabinet Memorandum in this connection had been submitted by Minister Ravi Karunanayake on 10 March and based on that Cabinet Memorandum the names of MPs who will be entitled to this vehicle bonanza are to be obtained from Party leaders. Tenures of such MPs who obtain such vehicles end, more..

Sri Lanka dockyard seeks to diversify away from offshore vessels

May 31 (EN) Colombo Dockyard is looking to diversify away from making offshore support vessels (OSVs) for the petroleum industry and build other types of vessels like passenger craft given the prolonged slump in oil prices, its chairman has said. “We have already received several inquiries from adjacent countries in connection to the assembly of passenger boats, barges and other vessels unrelated to oil drilling and OSVs,” Toru Takehara said. more..

ලංකා විදුලිබල මණ්ඩලයේ සභාපති

Shares end at over one-month closing low

May 31 (Reuters) Shares edged down on Tuesday as investors sold banking and large cap stocks amid lack of new catalysts for buying risky assets, and on concerns over foreign investment outflows and rising interest rates. Colombo stock index ended 0.04%, or 2.34 points, weaker at 6,550.51, its lowest close since April 29. The index declined 0.94% during last week. "Not much of retail activities in the market," said Atchuthan Srirangan, a senior research analyst at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd. more..

Since 1948 – SL’s deceptions continue!

May 31 (CT) A few days back, Eelam Tamils, diaspora Tamils and the World Tamils commemorated 7th anniversary of Mullivaghzhal, in which thousands of innocent lives were lost – massacred in cold blood. I will avoid going into the history of this massacre. There is nothing to hide. It was done with the help of China, Pakistan, India and a few other counties, including the then state govt of TN. I know that patriotic Indians will not like to see that I have included India in this list. more..

I wasn’t under the influence of liquor: Herath

May 31 (DM) While rejecting allegations that he was under the influence of liquor at the time of Monday’s accident in Rajagiriya, JVP MP Vijitha Herath said today he admitted committing a traffic offence by not avoiding an accident and driving carelessly. He said he condemned the attempts by certain people to take undue advantage of the incident by alleging that he was under the influence of liquor at the time of the accident. more..

Sri Lanka’s Credit Crunch

May 31 (WSJ) SL sought a $1.5 billion bailout from the IMF last month after saddling itself with billions of dollars in Chinese loans. This is a reality check for reformers who hoped that last year’s election of the liberal-minded Maithripala Sirisena as President would alleviate fiscal woes. SL’s economic growth slowed to 4.8% last year after averaging near 7% under former President Rajapaksa. Investors are running for the exits, selling $577 million in rupee bonds in the 1st quarter. more..

Hydro power generation up

May 31 (Island) The country’s hydro-power generation has been increased significantly following heavy rains in the catchment areas of the reservoirs during the last two weeks. Power and Renewable Energy Ministry Director (Development) Sulakshana Jayawardene said that the country’s total hydro-power generation had accounted for over 50% of the daily electricity consumption since Sunday. Before the rains began, the hydro-power generation was down to 20%, he said. more..

Inflation hits two and a half year high at 4.8%

May 31 (EN) Sri Lanka's consumer price inflation accelerated to 4.8% in the 12-months to May from 3.1% a month earlier, hitting a 2.5 year high, data showed. Food prices rose 2.2% in the month, after rising 2.2% a month earlier. Central bank followed loose monetary policy in 2015 and precipitated a balance of payments crisis, which it does every 3 to 4 years and the currency collapsed from 131 to 147 to the US dollar. more..

AG given time to submit recommendations

May 31 (Island) Additional Magistrate of Colombo, Mrs. Dulani Amerasinghe yesterday gave the Attorney General time till August 1, 2016 to submit his recommendations in respect of the CID investigation reports involving Anusha Palpita, Sudharman Radaliyagoda and twelve others, who are suspected of having insulted President Maithripala Sirisena in the run up to Presidential Poll of January 8, 2015. the defamatory telecast had been done, involving a child. more..

Landslide warning extended with fresh rains

May 31 (Island) NBRO has extended the landslide warning issued to five districts including Kegalle, Ratnapura, Kalutara and Nuwara Eliya and told the residents living in landslide prone areas to evacuate, in view of fresh rains expected over these areas. All mountainous areas, man-made cut slopes and roads within the above districts were vulnerable for landslides and specially people living in all the landslide susceptible areas previously identified by the NBRO should be evacuated immediately, more..

Japan to lend Sri Lanka $4.2 bln to help shore up forex reserves

May 31 (Reuters) Japan will lend $4.2 billion to Sri Lanka through both a loan and bond financing for budgetary support in the next two years, including infrastructure development, Sri Lanka's finance minister said on Tuesday. The borrowing comes as Sri Lanka seeks to resolve its precarious balance of payments position after a sharp depletion of foreign exchange reserves - a legacy of massive debt piled up under the previous govt. more..