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Mayor bats for funding for Colombo

May 4 (FT) Colombo Mayor M.J.M Muzammil called on international funding organisations including the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to fund mega infrastructure projects in urban centres, including the Govt’s flagship megapolis project. Addressing a session on Moving towards cities of the future at the ADB’s Annual Meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, Muzammil insisted it was important for multilateral financial organisations such as the ADB, World Bank and others to fund infrastructure programmes more..

Sri Lanka revises National Energy Policy

May 4 (FT) Considering the importance of energy security and sustainable development, Sri Lanka is in the process of revising its National Energy Policy, a top official said. “We are in the process of revising the National Energy Policy and within a month’s period, the draft of the policy would be circulated among stakeholders for their inputs,” Power and Renewable Energy Ministry Secretary Dr B.M.S Batagoda said at a Power & Energy forum organised by American Chamber of Commerce. more..

Man bolts minus part of tongue: Intrepid teenage girl foils rape

May 4 (Island) An 18-year-old schoolgirl in Mawathagama recently succeeded in freeing herself from the clutches of a man who tried to rape her. She bit off part of his tongue. the girl handed over the severed part of the man’s tongue to the police. It is being kept in a freezer to be produced in court. Police have not yet been able to arrest the suspect. The victim with her 7-year-old sister had returned home on that day after school. more..

Sri Lankan student jailed for 10 weeks in Singapore for molesting woman in lift

May 4 (ST) A Sri Lankan student who molested a woman in a HDB lift was jailed for 10 weeks on Tuesday (3). The 28-year-old pleaded guilty to grabbing the 33-year-old woman's buttock in a lift at Buangkok Crescent at about 7.20pm on April 13 this year. A court heard that he was on his way home at about 7.15pm that day when he saw the victim walking alone from a bus stop. He decided to follow her as he found her very attractive. He followed her into a lift at a block at Buangkok Crescent more..

Double whammy for lubricant users

May 4 (FT) The local lubricant market is set to have a double whammy as the industry has passed on the Value Added Tax (VAT) hike and Nation Building Tax (NBT) onto the customers. Chevron Lubricants Lanka CEO Kishu Gomes said that customers will have to absorb the increased VAT rate of 15%, as well as the 4% NBT which the industry was exempted from prior to the coalition budget. Govt increased VAT by around 36% or four basis points from 11% to 15% with effect from 2 May more..

Media secretary to be removed

May 4 (DM) The govt has decided to remove Nimal Bopage from the post of Secretary of the Ministry of Parliamentary reforms and Mass media. This decision had been arrived at after considering the impact of a statement made by the secretary on the media policy of the govt of good governance, and acting in contravention of the efforts of President and PM to establish an independent media environment by issuing more..

Parliament sees worst brawl in 12 years

May 4 (EN) SL's parliament erupted in brawls between rival lawmakers today after ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka announced that a bomb blast apparently targeting Gotabhaya Rajapaksa 10 years ago was an inside job. MP's from Sri Lanka's ruling party traded blows with those loyal to former president Rajapaksa who became enraged after Fonseka said the 2006 bombing was aimed at winning sympathy for the then-ruling family. Speaker said several lawmakers were injured more..

Muthuthanthri appointed 15’s rugby captain

May 4 (DN) Sudarshana Muthuthanthri, who has represented the country since 2012 with distinction has been appointed captain of the National 15-a-side rugby team by the national selectors for the Asian Rugby Championship 2016 to be held in Malaysia later this week. Muthuthanthri replaces Fazil Marija who is recovering from a spinal injury as captain. Muthuthanthri who represents one of SL’s most prominent clubs Havelocks Sports Club, is a versatile player with great experience more..

How Yahapalana works: Outfit worth Rs.2 million bought with People's money

May 4 (DM) Head of the biggest financial institution here bought an outfit worth about Rs.2 million made in the country of Uncle Sam and referred the bill to the Accounts department of his institution for settlement. Discreet inquiries made by inquisitive ones had later brought to light that this bigwig had sent even a domestic bill running into several millions of rupees to the institution’s Accounts department for payment. more..

JA Resorts & Hotels unveils first look of Sri Lankan project

May 4 (TA) UAE-based JA Resorts & Hotels has revealed the first look of the designs of its latest venture, JA Eclipse Beach Resort, in Sri Lanka, which is set to open in 2018. The group announced the development of a premium tropical beach resort in Kathiraveli on the East Coast in partnership with the Gravity Resort Group (GRG) last year– strengthening JA Resorts & Hotels’ international expansion plans in the Indian Ocean. It is scheduled to break ground on the site this summer. more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 11.6% in April

May 4 (EN) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 11.6% from a year earlier to 136,367 in April 2016, with India and China dominating, official data show. Total arrivals for the first four months are up 20% to 721,185. Visitors from India rose 12.3% to 25,890 in April. Maldivian arrivals rose 14.5% to 6,706 while those from Pakistan dropped 18% to 2,260. Visitors from Bangladesh rose 51% to 1,258, taking total South Asian visitors to 37,312 up 13.4%. Chinese tourists rose 37.6% to 18,972. more..

Video: UNP MPs started to attack us: Jt.Opp

May 4 (DM) The Joint Opposition said UNP MPs had started the brawl inside the Parliament chamber, when some Joint Opposition members were conducting a peaceful protest inside the chamber. Joint Opposition leader MP Dinesh Gunawardena said the Joint Opposition had sought permission from the Speaker to express their views on the removal of army personnel from the security detail of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Facebook adulterers planed murder... Trapped by Police decoy

May 4 (CT) Mount Lavinia Magistrate Mohammad Sahabdeen yesterday remanded a woman and her Facebook paramour till 13 May, over an alleged attempt to murder the woman's husband. The duo were produced before the Mount Lavinia Magistrate's Court yesterday after being arrested by the Wellawatta Police recently. The two suspects who were identified as Ganbimani Jayawardene, a resident of Malabe and Samsudeen Saheeb, a resident of Kerala, India. more..

Sirisena awards electorate organizer post to Kamal Indika who assaulted artistes

May 4 (AM) North Western Province Councilor Kamal Indika, who allegedly led the assault against a group of artistes attached to the Aluth Parapura on Dec 29, 2014, was awarded an electorate organizer post by President Maithripala Sirisena. Indika was appointed as Hiriyala Electorate SLFP Organizer this morning, replacing Salinda Dissanayake. The Aluth Parapura artistes, who played a vital role in the election campaign of President Sirisena, were in Kumbukgate in Kurunegala District more..

Video: Gayantha condemns JO members’ actions

May 4 (DM) Parliamentary sittings were suspended due to the unruly behaviour of members of the joint opposition, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said. “While Minister Sarath Fonseka was speaking in parliament of Former President Rajapaksa’s security, the Joint opposition members could not bear to listen to his comments. That is why they misbehaved,” he said. “Unfortunately UNP MP Sandith Samarasinghe was admitted to more..

‘Sri Lankans figuring in Panama Papers using bogus names’

May 4 (Island) A Central Bank official said that the CBSL would be investigating all questionable dealings relating to Sri Lankans figuring in the Panama Papers, once a report by a state panel appointed to probe the issue is released during the course of this month. Some of the Sri Lankan names that are in the report are bogus ones and not the real names, he said. Earlier, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said, among other things, that the state would investigate more..

Demolition of Wattala jogging track: Five remanded till May 10

May 4 (Island) Mahara Magistrate Purnima Paranagamage yesterday remanded till May 10 five persons produced before her by Wattala police over their alleged involvement in the destruction of a jogging track adjacent to Kaluela in the Wattala electorate. The suspects included former UPFA member of the Wattala Pradeshiya Sabha Don Jagath Chandana Jayatunga, Panawala Vithanage Sujith Rangana, Prasad Ekanayake, Yathila Lakmal Nissanka and Dilruk Dammika Rajapaksa. more..

Speaker orders probe into fracas, threatens action against culprits

May 4 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said that he had assigned Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala and Deputy Chairman of Committees Selvam Adaikalanathan to hold an investigation into the yesterday’s fracas in Parliament and submit a report immediately. Addressing the House soon after it had been summoned following a free-for-all over the reduction of security provided to former President more..

Are we addicted to allopathy

May 5 (DM) The national or consensus Govt has pledged that after May Day and its roaring rallies, priority would be given to the implementation of promises or policies relating to vital areas. On Monday the Daily Mirror in its Editorial spotlighted the Govt’s plan to make it compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 16 to go to school and receive a life-building education. Parents who fail to ensure this will be guilty of an offence. Today we wish to spotlight another vital area-health more..

Media Ministry Secretary’s media missive

May 5 (DM) Every Tom, Dick and Harry in this country wants to teach journalists a thing or two about how they ought to do their work. Those self-interested busybodies range from the bigwigs at the very top of the govt to the Kachcheri clerks in the periphery and the NGO captains of civil society to the fishmongers at the Peliyagoda Fish market. Then there is a new breed of media educators, who have increasingly become disparaging towards us and want to share their received wisdom with more..

A crime is a crime even on campus: UGC

May 5 (ST) The UGC wants ragging to be considered a criminal offence, as it plans to carry out a full scale anti-ragging campaign. The move follows wide-ranging discussions at a 10-day conference in Colombo on Preventing Ragging and Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) with the participation of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Indian University Grants Commission officials and other experts. more..

'I act like a Supreme Court Judge'

May 5 (DM) The Dailymirror spoke to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya over a number of current issues ranging from the Joint Opposition to new Standing Orders to be introduced, Commonwealth and the IPU. Q: You have a huge national responsibility on your shoulders presiding over sessions of an exceptional Parliament and the Constitutional Assembly tasked to introduce a new Constitution. Are you ready for the challenge more..

CPC losses rise despite falling oil prices

May 4 (LBO) State-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) made a substantial loss of 18.4 billion rupee in 2015 compared with a marginal profit of 1.5 billion rupees in 2014, despite international oil prices falling sharply, according to provisional data. A significant reduction of domestic petroleum prices at the beginning of 2015 without a commensurate duty reduction contributed to the loss, the Central Bank said. more..

Disciplinary inquiry against former police media spokesperson

May 4 (DM) The Minister Sagala Rathnayake had informed the IGP yesterday to conduct a disciplinary inquiry at Department level against the former police spokesperson ASP Ruwan Gunasekera relating to his conduct. The report of the disciplinary inquiry is to be forwarded to the Minister Rathnayake within three days. Ministry had further instructed that until the instructions of the Minister is received basing on the findings more..

Fierce dragon wheeler-dealers pounding Sri Lanka Air Force

May 5 (SL) A former Air Force Chief and an infamous big business wheeler-dealer are attempting to influence the SL Air Force to acquire multi-role JF-17 Fierce Dragon fighter aircraft jointly developed by China and Pakistan, at a higher rate, an Air Force inside source said. A JF-17 will cost the SLAF a staggering US $ 29 million while the same aircraft from a reputed manufacturer in Russia would cost between US $ 20-25 million. more..

Bopage faults media for brouhaha over his request

May 5 (Island) Secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media, Nimal Bopage alleged that the reportage of recent controversy over issuance of a missive by him requesting the media not to use the term Joint Opposition to denote the dissident group was offensive and disparaging. He claimed that he had been unfairly attacked by a section of the media. Bopage was addressing a seminar organised by SL Press Council more..

Army security for Basil’s US home: PRECIFAC summons Gota for statement

May 5 (CT) Member of Parliament for the Hambantota District Namal Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa have been summoned to the PRECIFAC to answer allegations relating to the misuse of aircraft belonging to the Sri Lanka Air Force. PRECIFAC is also expected to question Gotabaya Rajapaksa about why two soldiers had been deployed to protect the house of former Minister Basil Rajapaksa in America. more..

Differences arise in Parliament over PM question time

May 4 (CG) Differences arose in Parliament today over the Prime Minister’s question time with some members objecting to the procedure. The opposition said that questions submitted by them to the Prime Minister was not being entertained. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe however said that some questions reach him late and so he is unable to respond to some of them. He said that officials of the respective Ministries more..

MR’s security issue plunges House into chaos

May 4 (Island) A row broke out in Parliament yesterday leading to the suspension of sittings and sending several MPs to parliament medical room after the govt had turned down a Joint Opposition request to reverse its decision to reduce the security provided to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Several MPs including UNP Kegalle District MP Sandith Samarasinghe were injured. He was rushed to the Hospital subsequently. more..

Quick solutions to Police promotions: IGP

May 4 (CT) IGP Pujith Jayasundara says issues surrounding Police promotions will be solved promptly and President and PM have issued necessary directives in this regard. The IGP made these comments to the Media after calling on the Chief Prelates in Kandy. He said there have been issues with the promotion of Police Officers for a long time and in order to solve this issue by confirming these delayed promotions, more..

Balancing National Security & Media Rights

May 4 (CT) Since he joined the Sri Lanka Police, way back in 1981 as a Trainee ASP, consistent dedication to what he has always considered the Police Force should be has apparently marked Pujith Jayasundara's approach to the tasks of maintaining law and order, to the extents which they now and again fell within his scope of compliance or command. His track record through the JVP uprising 1983 and the reign of LTTE terror, or against drug trafficking, there's been no blemish against more..

Shares snap 5-day winning streak on tax woes

May 4 (Reuters) Shares ended weaker on Wednesday, snapping five straight sessions of gains, as worries about tax hikes dented sentiment. Brokers said investors were worried over a tax hike, which takes effect from Monday, as it could hit the bottomlines of companies. However, a loan deal with the IMF last week limited the fall. The benchmark stock index fell 0.22% to 6,568.85, slipping from its highest close since Jan. 11 hit on Tuesday. "We saw some selling pressure come in more..

මහාචාර්ය සරත් විජේසූරිය

Strangling a Democracy – Collectively

May 4 (CT) All states have nations. However, all nations may not have a state. A bitter political reality the Tamil separatists should get into their political psyche and come to live with. This is not to deny the Rowlinian justice to a minority nation that has lived and struggled for their political freedom with huge historical human and cultural cost: but to negotiate with the global, regional and contemporary national strategic/security realities within the Lankan context. In the same breath one must more..

Cecille Kotelawala out on Bail

May 4 (CT) Fort Magistrate yesterday released former Ceylinco Chairman Lalith Kotelawala's wife Cecille on cash bail of Rs 150,000 and three personal bonds of Rs 1.5 million each. Mrs. Kotelawala has been in remand custody in connection with a case related to misappropriation of funds of Golden Key Credit Card depositors. However, the Magistrate banned Cecille Kotelawala from going overseas. She also ordered Kotelawala to appear before the CID on last Sunday of more..

As the climate shifts, tradition threatens Sri Lanka's rice harvest

May 4 (Reuters) In mid-April, at the same time of year as their families have done for generations, SL's paddy farmers started cultivating their rice fields. But this year, that may be too late. President Sirisena has warned SL farmers that they may run out of water before their crops are ready to harvest. Devotion to tradition – in particular, planting spring crops after a traditional New Year's holiday in mid-April – could now prove devastating, more..

Our struggle is to build a modern Socialist society: Tilvin

May 4 (LT) “Ranil, Maithri and Mahinda deceived the working masses, students, youths, women, farmers, fishermen and all communities. The JVP can rally those forces to develop the country. We have a struggle to develop this country as a model state for the whole world. We hold this Red May Rally with the intention of building people’s power to create a new economy and a new society. The people should be rallied for a production economy instead of burdening them with taxes and fines,” more..

Calamander Group's Roman Scott says Sri Lanka can be top tourist spot

May 4 (CNBC) Sri Lanka would have been the world's top tourist destination, if not for the decades lost to the country's civil war. That's the firm conviction of Roman Scott, founder and chairman of the Calamander Group, which is why he decided to put his money into the country's hospitality sector right after Sri Lanka's internal strife ended. "I was one of the first people on the plane, there was a picture of me arriving in May 2009 before the dust was settled, because more..

Amarapura prelates requests MS to maintain MR’s military security

May 4 (DM) Amarapura Chapter Mahanayake the Most Ven. Dawuldena Gnanissara Thera has written to President Maitripala Sirisena requesting him to continue with the military security provided to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa considering the fact that he gave leadership to the erradication of terrorism from the country. The English translation of the full letter sent by the Chief Prelate follows: more..

Attempt to kill Gota: Trial fixed for June 27

May 4 (Island) Special High Court Commissioner Irangani Perera yesterday fixed for trial on June 27, 2016, the indictment filed in respect of the LTTE attempt on the life of the former Secretary Defence, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Five persons have been indicted. Only four have been arrested so far. The LTTE suicide bomber attacked the motorcade in which Rajapaksa travelled on Dec, 2006 at Piththala Junction, Colombo 3. Counsel for Rajapaksa told the court that Rajapaksa was in America and more..