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Bleak place for women in male- dominated Police Dept

May 3 (ST) Never in the history of SL Police Department has there ever been a woman DIG of Police, a woman Senior DIG or a woman IGP. Under existing procedure, there never can be. Despite thousands of women now serving in the police force in different capacities, Police Department does not make allowance for female DIGs, Senior DIGs or IGPs. There are simply no allotted vacancies for them. That is not all. more..

Court summons relevant officials over disappearance of Indian from custody

May 3 (Island) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya ordered the controller of Immigration and Emigration and the Officer-in-Charge of the Mirihana police station to be present in court on May 16, in respect of the alleged disappearance of an Indian who had been in remand custody along with seven others, on suspicion of being connected to unauthorised kidney transplants. The Indian disappeared while in the Mirihana Detention Camp. The Colombo Crime Division has complained more..

Docs to stage lunch hour protest against attack on medical students

May 3 (Island) The GMOA announced a lunch hour protest in several govt hospitals today against the attack on the protest march organised by the Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee last week. GMOA Secretary, Dr Nalinda Herath said the protest would be staged at several major hospitals in the country, including National Hospital, Colombo North Teaching Hospital (Ragama), Kalutara Nagoda General Hospital, Ampara, Peradeniya Teaching Hospital & Badulla hospitals. more..

A set of proposals to establish a righteous media culture in SL submit to President

May 3 (PMD) The heads of the Media institutions should be committed to fulfill their obligations to build a knowledgeable society for the betterment of the human society, President Maithripala Sirisena emphasized. It is also the responsibility of the media to criticize and point out the shortcomings and mistakes and provide accurate information to the public for the betterment of the country. He made these remarks more..

Rugby: Captaincy dilemma for selectors

May 3 (CT) Kandy Sports Club scrum half Roshan Weeraratne, Havelocks Sports Club duo of Sandun Herath and Sudharshana Muthuthanthri are being considered for the captaincy of the National 15-a-side Rugby Team ahead of the Asian Rugby Championship 2016 which is scheduled to be held in Malaysia later this month. SL Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) is expected to announce the final squad this evening which will certainly feature these three players who have been nominated as more..

'Country undergoing mop-up operation'

May 3 (CNBC) Sri Lanka's new govt is carrying out a mop-up operation after the last administration left the country in a debt-trap, tcountry's finance minister told CNBC. Speaking from Frankfurt at the ADB Conference, Ravi Karunanayake said that the new govt's "biggest problem is from the brought-forward, we're taking stock of what's on. We're basically unearthing what's been off-balance sheet items that have today become a contingent liability and bring that into books." more..

'Sri Lanka encourages Chinese investment'

May 3 (CD) Sri Lanka encourages Chinese investment, especially in new technology, Sri Lanka's ambassador to China, Karunasena Kodituwakku said. He made the remarks at a Dialogue in Tianjin Saturday and encouraged Chinese investment, especially in new technology. The event was the fourth gathering of governors, journalists, scholars, businessmen, and citizens from Tianjin and beyond. more..

No Sri Lankans involved in ATM scam: CID

May 3 (DM) No further arrests have been made in connection with the ATM scam involving two Chinese men who were arrested on Friday, the CID said today. They were arrested on charges installing an illegal electronic device on some ATMs to skim the data of those using the ATMs. The arrests were made after the CID had received several complaints from banks in Colombo stating that electronic devices had been installed at ATMs. The illegal devices had been handed over to the CID. more..

‘MR needs human shield like Prabhakaran’

May 3 (DN) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa needs a human shield just like late LTTE Leader Prabhakaran did during the last stages of the war, Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Vijith Vijayamuni Soysa said. He said military personnel cannot be provided to the former President to travel around the country to topple the government. Military protection cannot be provided to the former President because there is no war in the country now. more..

Video: Gammanpila is a zombie: Mervyn

May 3 (DM) Former minister Mervyn Silva lashed out at MP Udaya Gammanpila over his remarks that Mr. Silva was responsible for the downfall of former president Rajapaksa and called Mr. Gammanpila a Pilliya (zombie) Mr. Gammanpila is reported to have told a news conference that the behaviour of the twosome Mr. Silva and former MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena had led to Rajapaksa's defeat at last year's presidential election. more..

NCP Minister says attended both SLFP rallies

May 3 (DM) The Provincial Minister of Irrigation of the ruling UPFA North Central Provincial Council H.B. Semasinghe said that he attended both SLFP rallies held on the May Day in Galle and Kirulapone, Colombo. He stated that he attended the rally held in Galle presided over by President Maithripala Sirisena and also participated at the May Day rally of the Joint Opposition held in Kirulapone presided over by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mr. Semasinghe opined that more..

KLM resumes flights to Colombo after 20 yrs

May 3 (FT) At the start of the 2016 winter schedule, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will resume direct service to Colombo International Airport from October, the airline said. The first flight to Colombo is scheduled to depart on Monday, 31 October. This marks KLM’s return to Colombo after an absence of almost 20 years. KLM suspended service to Colombo (then served via Abu Dhabi) in 1997 as the war escalated. Sri Lanka has been a safe and stable country since the civil war came to an end in 2009. more..

'Selectors will have to start from the bottom'

May 3 (CI) Sri Lanka's new selectors will have to start from the bottom, chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya has said, after selection strategy between his two stints had set the team back. Jayasuriya was chief selector from February 2013 to March 2015, before his panel was succeeded by one headed by Kapila Wijegunawardene. After that committee was ousted, Jayasuriya helped select the Test squad to more..

Settling SLTB losses is priority: Nimal

May 3 (AD) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva says that although the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) has only 6,000 buses it has around 36,000 employees and that is roughly 6 workers for each bus. He stated that as the average salary of an SLTB employee is Rs 40,000 if the wages alone are to be covered from a bus, it should bring in at least Rs 240,000 per month. In addition to this a considerable cost is required for fuel, spare parts and other expenses, he said. more..

First SL travel guide in Arabic launched

May 3 (TA) Minister of Tourism John Amaratunga was presented with the latest edition of the only Arabic language travel guidebook on Sri Lanka, by Emirati author and entrepreneur Heba Al Mansoori. The presentation ceremony took place at the Sri Lankan Pavilion on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market, held in Dubai last month. The Minister was accompanied by Paddy Withana, chairman of SL Tourism Development Authority, Charitha Yattogoda, Consul General of SL for more..

Video: CSN lawyer faults FCID action

May 3 (DN) Attorney Premanath Dolawatta appearing for CSN, in the money laundering case, said today the FCID was obtaining legal recognition by seeking Court orders on the ongoing investigation. “According to normal procedure, the FCID summons the suspects if they were required to give a statement on the allegations. But, now FCID is seeking court orders to direct the suspects to give statements. The motive is obvious. more..

Andra Pradesh Govt issued notice over illegal detention during MR's visit

May 3 (Hindu) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has served notice to the Govt of Andhra Pradesh through its Chief Secretary, directing it to pay a compensation of Rs. 20,000 to the complainant S. Gunasekaran, Bureau Chief of Sun TV Network, operating from Salem. The incident involved a group of journalists from Tamil Nadu who had reached Tirumala on December 10 , 2014, to cover the high-profile visit of the then Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Sri Lanka's public transport upgrade seen as urgent to prevent growth of traffic jams

May 3 (EN) Sri Lanka needs immediate improvements to public transport to curb the economic loss caused by road traffic congestion, Central Bank has said. In the medium term, policymakers must adopt Transport Demand Management processes to promote efficient public transportation modes and reduce travel demand from single occupancy private vehicles, or redistribute demand over space or time, it said. The bank said in its annual report that more..

'2006 bombing targeting Gotabhaya was an inside job'

May 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka's former army chief told parliament that a bomb blast apparently targeting former president Rajapakse's brother 10 years ago was an inside job to win sympathy for the then-ruling family. Sarath Fonseka, now a govt legislator, said the Dec 2006 bomb attack blamed on separatist Tamil Tiger rebels had been stage-managed by the president's brother Gotabhaya Rajapakse, then defence secretary. more..

PRECIFAC to probe import of substandard dynamite

May 3 (FT) The anti-corruption commission is to commence an in-depth probe into the importing of 100 metric tons of substandard dynamite causing nearly Rs.22 million loss to the govt. The PRECIFAC has summoned the Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Anusha Munasinghe, on 5 May, to give evidence on the alleged irregular deal. Initial police investigations have revealed that the stocks of substandard dynamite were imported from 2012 to 2014. more..

TNA urges Sri Lanka to ensure justice for murdered journalists

May 3 (TG) The TNA leader, R Sampanthan, marked World Press Freedom Day on Tuesday, calling on the present Sri Lankan govt to protect press freedom immediately and investigate the killing of murdered journalists. "At a time when the freedom of press is being subjected to oppression worldwide, I request the Sri Lankan govt to take all necessary steps to ensure the freedom and protection of press immediately in Sri Lanka," Mr Sampanthan said in a statement. more..

Heated exchange in Parliament turns violent, MP injured in clash

May 3 (CG) A heated exchange between the Govt and joint opposition in Parliament turned violent today resulting in a MP sustaining injuries. The heated exchange took place when opposition MP Dinesh Gunawardena questioned PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on the decision to withdraw the army security given to former President Rajapaksa. Gunawardena said that Rajapaksa defeated the LTTE and replacing more..

Colombo Bourse hit by global slowdown

May 4 (SL) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) ended trading on a positive note this week, with the All Share Price Index (ASPI) crossing the 6,500 mark. ASPI surged 73.73 points to close at 6,516.26. The day’s trading recorded a turnover of 1,530,337,624.80 rupees in 9,427 trades. The index has been making consistent gains over the month of April. In 2016, the ASPI recorded a dip of 14.97% in comparison to the start of the year, but has since gained 9.48% recording an upward trend. more..

May Day is D-Day for the SLFP

May 4 (CT) President Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa’s gamble to show their strengths in Galle and Kirulapone would be the final nail in the coffin of the united SLFP. Former President would see an avalanche, charging him of destroying the SLFP. It’s yet to be seen how the die-hard SLFPer’s respond. There is no doubt, the split SLFP will need to go in to a long period of hibernation and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, present day crafty political fox would have been signing all the way to more..

Life and times of former Speaker

May 4 (SO) Oct 7, 1991. This was to be a watershed date in SL's political annals. An impeachment motion that would set the stage for the ouster of the incumbent Executive President was placed with the Speaker for the first time in local political history. It had 127 signatures of MPs. Even the word impeachment (Doshabiyogaya) was unheard of until then. The entire country was collectively holding its breath, waiting for the Speaker's decision. more..

Our shared truth

May 4 (GV) There is a place, unassuming and quiet on the pristine Southern coast; white sand fringed by blue sea under the shade of an unbroken line of coconut palm trees. Weligama, sandy town. There is a place, hidden and hiding a few miles inland from the Northern shore; palmyrah grows in the scorching sun and vines entwine abandoned houses. Valikamam, sandy town. They look nothing alike; fine white dust covers the shores of one and hard-packed red dirt fills the land of the other. more..

Going back to insanity

May 4 (SL) Over a hundred thousand people are likely to turn out in Colombo and Galle today for May Day – International Labour Day. About the significance of the day, most of them are ignorant of or are simply not concerned. They consider it to be an annual exercise in which the two main parties – UNP and SLFP – together with its allies, compete with each other to show off their political muscle. But can these massive hysterical crowds screaming themselves hoarse on the streets more..

'We don’t forget our roots'

May 4 (CT) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) and Mobitel Chairman P.G. Kumarasinghe Sirisena's achievements in the national communication services are not known to many. A man who has innumerable achievements to his name and has strived towards greatness, Kumarasinghe Sirisena, shared his thoughts and stories with Ceylon Today. "Ever since I was appointed the Chairman of SLT, I have achieved many victories not only for SLT more..

Editorial: Thou shalt not speak

May 4 (Island) OED defines spokesman as a person who speaks on behalf of a group or an organisation. Interestingly, it gives police spokesman as an example. But, in this blessed country like no other, the police spokesman has been asked to stop speaking to the media and issue only written statements! (Does any other country have a spokesman who does not speak?) We thought the raison d’etre of a spokesperson was to speak! The police media unit has been disbanded more..

Toppling talk all over again…

May 4 (SL) Ahead of Sunday’s May Day rallies by different political parties and factions in different parts of the country, President Maithripala Sirisena, has revived the forgotten talk of conspiracies to topple the govt. As the chairperson of the SLFP, he seems more concerned about the rival party faction led by predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa. For now, Sirisena has sacked another batch of Mahinda loyalists from party positions. This would also ensure that media reports would not name more..

Ajith P. Perera

Public service reform in the context of the 19th amendment

May 4 (CT) Public administration has played a pivotal role in moulding the destinies of developing countries in the decolonised world because the concept of a welfare state, good governance, and democratisation of power-sharing have accentuated the need for increased state activity and intervention in all spheres of public life. The traditional concepts of public administration, including the classical Weberian type of bureaucracy popular in the 20th century, has given way to development- more..

N’cholai environment pollution almost Zero?

May 4 (Island) A newspaper quoted Deputy Minister Ajith Perera as saying that "Norochcholai Coal Power Plant's emission of flying ash as well as environment pollution is almost Zero." I was appalled to read the above news item on the 11th April. My first reaction was that the Deputy Minster has been misquoted, as I believed him to be an astute and open minded person with feet firmly on the ground. If indeed he has mentioned the above, then very clearly he has been grossly misled by more..

Reviving the ailing national carrier

May 4 (CT) When PM Ranil Wickremesinghe announced that the govt plans to absorb the colossal losses of SriLankan Airlines and amalgamate it with a private entity, no one who was keeping tabs on the ailing national carrier was surprised. Since 2008, after the management was retaken from Emirates by the previous administration, the airline has been piling up losses due to a combination of mismanagement, more..

Faux pas by the Finance Ministry

May 4 (ST) Was it a faux pas, blunder or simple inefficiency that led to a major gaffe in the latest gazette missile to the business community? Last week’s gazette pertaining to export proceeds being brought back to the country forthwith to boost sagging foreign exchange reserves is said to be a comedy of errors. “Is it an April Fool’s joke?” one expert asked, since the gazette, though announced on Friday, April 22 was actually dated April 1. According to experts, more..

'Sri Lanka need a high-profile event like IPL'

May 4 (TOI) Most of the top cricket-playing countries except Sri Lanka now boast of a successful T20 league, and it is an area that the administrators in the island nation are urgently looking to address, according to veteran Lankan cricketer Jehan Mubarak, who arrived here to play in the Mitsui Shoji T20 League on Monday. "I think we need a flagship tournament, whether it is in the T20 or One-day format. We need a high-profile domestic tournament in Sri Lanka. more..

May Day grabbed by politicians; workers totally ignored, Poll shows

May 4 (ST) Most Sri Lankans believe the essence of May Day, which is marked to celebrate International Workers Day, has been lost and the event usurped by political parties for their own ends, a BT poll has revealed. In a quick email poll this week titled May Day, May Day, the BT while stating that this event is becoming more significant as three political groups – SLFP, UNP and the so-called Joint Opposition garner more..

Sampanthan meets protesting politicos on Kilinochchi incident

May 4 (FT) A group of minor political party leaders who recently staged a demonstration outside the Opposition Leader’s Office, met with Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan yesterday. The group had demonstrated against Sampanthan’s alleged forcible entry into a military camp in Kilinochchi last month. Sampanthan had briefed the party leaders on the incident, his office said in a statement. “Party leaders thanked the honorable opposition leader for briefing them on this issue and more..

Megapolis project hires urban development specialist

May 4 (EN) Nayana Mawilmada, a SL urban development specialist, has become Head of Investments of Western Region Megapolis Planning Project (WRMPP) which aims to develop the region around the capital Colombo as an urban agglomeration. Mawilmada has relinquished his position as Director General of UDA to take on the new job. Aside from continuing to lead some of the planning efforts, Mawilmada will function as the primary interface between Megapolis project more..

Mathews hints at giving Dickwella chance at No. 3

May 4 (CI) Test captain Angelo Mathews has hinted that they might give wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella a chance at No. 3 during the Tests in England. Sri Lanka's tour begins at the end of this week, with a three-day game against Essex in Chelmsford, before they head to Leicester for their second warm-up match. The first Test starts on May 19 at Headingley. "We will try to play a fixed side and make sure more..