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President offers top security post to Fonseka

Apr 26 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena offered Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka a top security job in a bid to restore discipline in the country and speed up investigations into high profile murders, it was announced Wednesday. Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the job offer was made to Fonseka during Tuesday's cabinet meeting with all ministers endorsing the proposal with a view to dealing with the seemingly unending protests across the island. more..

Justice for the dogs killed on J’Pura University: A legal perspective

Apr 27 (CT) Issue of animal welfare has been one that has been brought to attention over the last week due to the missing dogs of the University of Jayewardenepura. It is alleged that t he the dogs of the university were killed/dumped by a contracted company titled Ultrakill, under the instructions of the VC of the university. Much attention has been received to this incident due to the questionable legality of the actions that were allegedly taken by the two Parties mentioned. more..

The Northern desalination project & Abusing the people of Maruthankerny

Apr 27 (CT) It was announced last week that the desalination project (converting sea water into drinking water) to be undertaken in Maruthankerny would be shelved after it came to light through scientific assessment that the project would cause harm to the environment and to the livelihood of the fishermen of the area. A meeting was held on the 18th of April regarding this desalination project at the Jaffna District Secretariat. This meeting headed by more..

Light Rapid Transit and electrification of Colombo rail project areas

Apr 27 (SO) Even though belated a vital decision has been arrived at by the govt to implement Mass Rapid Transit systems in view of the congestion of roads faced within the Colombo city limits. Political leadership as well as every single citizen has now realized that there is a wide gap in the country’s transit capabilities; and improved carrying capacity, much higher than the upper limit of buses, is necessary to get over the issue, more..

May day; stirring dismay!

Apr 27 (DN) Ruling UNP will hold its rally at Campbell Park in Colombo but the main focus of attention will be the tug-of-war between the two factions of the SLFP- and the warning shots in this battle appear to have been fired already. The mainstream SLFP, led by President Sirisena, will gather at Getambe in Kandy. The hill capital is a stronghold of the UNP, but being away from the main political events in Colombo, the SLFP’s organisers are confident of attracting more..

Reforms long overdue

Apr 27 (DN) The news-media recently carried reports that the Education Ministry is planning to set in motion a process of education reforms. It will no doubt be most welcome since much is to be desired in the education system as prevailing today. New demands are constantly made emphasizing the necessity to ensure that education is kept relevant, result-oriented and above all consistent with the national development goals which should necessarily reflect in the National Educational Policy. more..

Muddled thinking on Trincomalee oil tanks

Apr 27 (FT) Muddled thinking has marked approaches to the Trinco Oil Tank Farm ever since the 99 giant but rusting and unused tanks of World War II vintage were handed over to India in 2003 on lease for 35 years. The agreement signed on 7 Feb 2003, envisaged the transfer of all the 99 tanks and the land on which they stood, to Lanka Indian Oil Corporation (LIOC), on a 35-year lease for an annual payment of $ 100,000. But SL Govt was guaranteed access to the tanks to more..

Right royal mess

Apr 27 (NS) It is ironic that people should die from a collapse of a garbage mound in the financial city of their country. While the military which is engaged in the rescue and recovery of bodies have been advised to wear masks and boots at all times, not to consume food at the location, use mosquito repellent and seek medical attention for possible dizziness, headache or fever, people of Meetotamulla have been breathing this air for many years, sans all these precautions, living among more..

Political corruption flourishes on garbage

Apr 27 (NS) In the aftermath of the Meetotamulla debacle reports of corruption concerning waste disposal have surfaced. Addressing a gathering of heads of media institutions President Maithripala Sirisena said that he would appoint a committee, headed by a retired judge next week to probe into the issue and submit a report within a month. He further pointed out that a major cause for the issue is failure of govt officials to carryout directives. more..

Wimal Weerawansa

Editorial: From blast to bawl

Apr 27 (Island) People of Salawa are up in arms over the non-payment of compensation. Having lost their houses and business places due to the army’s central armoury blast last year they are bawling at the ruling party politicians who have reneged on their promise to award compensation to them as a matter of urgency. The govt has since chosen to remain silent on the issue. All signs are that the pent-up resentment of the forgotten victims will spill over on to the streets soon. more..

My Peter Pan dream nearly died

Apr 27 (Island) I didn't want to write this. However, my friend, Edwina Jane, in Sydney said it would be good if I shared my experience with The Island readers. It looked normal on Sunday April 16. I drove very slowly from Kurunegala to Colombo. I went for a walk and watched IPL cowboy cricket on TV. The following day, I woke up at 4.10 am. My usual wake-up time is 4.30. I have to host the daily Programme on Sirasa TV, News 1st, and Pathikada. I found it difficult to get dressed. more..

Disaster not technically a landslide: NBRO

Apr 27 (NS) The death toll from the collapse of the Meetotamulla garbage has rose to 32, leaving 11 people injured, eight more missing, 73 houses damaged and 76 families affected, according to a Disaster Management Centre situation report. An entity called the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) has admitted that they had prior knowledge about the condition of the soil at the garbage mountain which was one of the factors that precipitated more..

SL’s Saumy wins World Amateur Chess Championship

Apr 27 (NS) Girls’ High School, 17-year-old Zainab Saumy wins the World Amateur Chess Championship 2017, rating under 2000 Women Category, held in Spoleto, Italy from April 1to 9. This was held as separate championships for the rating categories Under-2300, Under-2000 and Under-1700. Sri Lanka’s Saumy Zainab  played in rating category 2000 women section. There were 10 participants from 8 nations. In starting rank list she was listed in the 3rd place. more..

Will Lankan hopes freeze in Jiashen?

Apr 27 (DN) The second leg of the Asian Grand Prix 2017 will commence here at the Jiashen Sports Complex, 98 kms away Shanghai, China. The temperature in Jiashen has dropped to 12 degrees Celsius yesterday and Lankan athletes were badly affected by the cold weather that greeted them. They participated in two training sessions and Sri Lankan medal hopes at the second leg is at stake with the unfamiliar weather conditions. The organizers have advised athletes not to eat chicken more..

Cricket match fixing probe to be completed by end May

Apr 27 (DN) It is nearing three months since the appalling news first broke out about a Premier first-class match conducted by Sri Lanka Cricket being fixed. The two clubs concerned were Panadura Sports Club and Kalutara Physical and Cultural Club (KPCC) whose Premier League Tier B match played on January 23-25 at the Surrey Village grounds in Maggona stands accused of foul play. The issue unfolded when SL Ports Authority CC (SLPACC) who were one of the front runners more..

Laugfs Holdings’ chairman buys 6% stake in Pan Asia Bank

Apr 27 (Island) Laugfs Holdings chairman W.K.H. Wegapitiya, bought more than 27 million shares or an approximately 6% stake in Pan Asia Banking Corporation. The value of the deal is over Rs.500 million. The shares were bought via the Softlogic stock brokering firm. The seller of the majority of the shares was Nimal Perera, the former chairman of Pan Asia Bank and one-time de facto fund manager of Dhammika Perera, the single biggest shareholder of Pan Asia Bank.  more..

Tea Exporters cry foul over high taxes, CESS, levies

Apr 27 (DN) Tea Exporter’s Association (TEA) has complained of the high taxes imposed on the sector. They lament that every exporter should renew their licence with the Tea Board (SLTB) annually at a cost of Rs. 500,000 for large and medium tea companies and Rs. 50,000 for small companies. CESS and Promotion Levy paid on export of value added teas comes to Rs. 7.50 per kg and about Rs. 17.50 per kg on export of bulk tea.The income tax payment, economic service charge and more..

Hashini shines winning best athlete title

Apr 27 (CT) Another triple jump prodigy of coach Philip Ranjith, Hashini Balasooriya, shattered her senior training partner's and SL record holder Vidusha Lakshani's record with a leap of 13.20m to secure the best athlete title at the Junior National Athletics Championship concluded at Diyagama yesterday. There was total of 21 new meet records set during the games with sprinter Nirmali Madushika and distance runner Asmika Herath setting two records each. more..

Seylan Bank ups 1Q pre-tax profit by 20% to Rs. 866 m

Apr 27 (CT) Seylan Bank made a steady start in 2017 by posting impressive results for Q1 with a Profit after Tax of Rs 866 million in the backdrop of uncertain market conditions. Bank increased its Net Interest Income and recorded a robust growth of 20.97% in spite of the mounting pressure on the margins due to rising cost of funds. However Net interest Margin contracted from 4.19% in 2016 to 3.92% in 1Q 2017 due to cost of deposits increasing at a faster rate than the re-pricing of loans. more..

Former Chief Justice joins COMBank Board

Apr 27 (FT) Former Chief Justice K. Sripavan has been appointed to the Board of Commercial Bank as an Independent Non-Executive Director from yesterday. He was the Chief Justice from January 2015-March 2017. During this period he functioned as the Chairman of the Judicial Services Commission, Incorporated Council of Legal Education, Sri Lanka Judges Institute and Superior Court Complex Board of Management. Sripavan enrolled as an Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court in 1977. more..

Sri Lanka to double Development Bond limit to raise liquidity

Apr 27 (LBO) Finance Ministry is to increase the limit of issuing SL Development Bonds from US$ 1,500 mil to US$ 3,000 mil including development bonds due to expire this year. Cabinet approval has also been granted to this proposal considering the low liquidity situation and interest rates of treasury bills and treasury bonds in the country. In early January, cabinet granted approval to raise US$ 1,500 mil (Rs225 bil) through issuance of SLDBs under domestic borrowings. more..

W.B Ganegla appointed acting CEB Chairman

Apr 27 (DM) Renewable Energy Consultant W.B Ganegala was appointed the acting Chairman of the CEB with immediate effect by Power and Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya. W.B Ganegala, is a retired Senior Administrative Officer and a Former Ministry Secretary and still functions as a consultant to the ministry. Taking into account the need to fill the void created by Wijayapala’s resignation and in order to make sure that decision making process at the board is not affected, more..

JO going ahead with May Day rally in spite of SLFP threat

Apr 27 (Island) Joint Opposition (JO) said it would go ahead with its May Day rally at the Galle Face Green though the SLFP leadership had threatened disciplinary action against the SLFP MPs who turned down invitation to attend the Getambe rally chaired by President Sirisena, who is also the SLFP leader. Most of the JO members are SLFPers loyal to former President Rajapaksa. MP Dallas Alahapperuma said their participation at the Getambe meeting amounted to throwing JO’s weight behind more..

Govt confident of winning support for GSP+ bid; crucial vote in Brussels today

Apr 27 (FT) The Govt yesterday said it was confident that an eleventh hour objection to granting Sri Lanka the GSP+ trade concessions would not carry, as a resolution opposing the country’s bid is put to a vote in the European Parliament in Brussels today. The tide is rising, tweeted Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva, who is in the EU capital for talks with Members of the European Parliament ahead of today’s vote and the mid-May approval deadline. more..

SriLankan bags gold at Golden City Gate Awards 2017

Apr 27 (DN) SriLankan Airlines won a Gold Award for its destination video Epic Journey of Sri Lanka on SriLankan Airlines at the Golden City Gate Awards Ceremony at ITB Berlin recently. The video captures the cultural vibrancy and the ecological beauty of the country through extensive aerial videography; offering the viewer a novel perspective of the island experience. Elaborating the cultural festivities that bring communities together, video effectively touches more..

PM's assurance on oil tanks is misleading: JO

Apr 27 (DM) Joint Opposition said that the written assurance given by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) was misleading and the government would go ahead with the proposed agreement to be signed with India regarding the Trinco oil tanks. JO member MP Udaya Gammanpila said that the written assurance given by PM’s Secretary had not assured that no agreement would be signed regarding the China Bay Oil Tank Farm in Trinco during his Indian tour. more..

IUSF holds candlelight vigil against SAITM

Apr 27 (DM) IUSF staged a protest last night outside the Fort Railway Station to show their displeasure over the alleged double standards of the authorities on the controversial SAITM issue. During the protest they later set fire to two effigies of the President Sirisena and the PM Wickremesinghe. Hundreds of students representing State Universities and several student unions, carrying torches, joined the protest in which they claimed Minister Rajitha Senaratne more..

Moratuwa University presents EXMO 2017

Apr 27 (Island) University of Moratuwa has made all arrangements for engineering and innovative exhibition EXMO 2017, which is to be held on 28th and 29th of April within the university premises. Among the projects presented by the Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering, DRONE lifesaving unit created by a group of five with the forefront figures of Engineering Graduate Janith Kalpa and Undergraduate Insaf Ismath, will be a major attraction. more..

Communist Party to leave JO

Apr 27 (FT) The main left front of the Joint Opposition (JO), Communist Party of SL, indicated a break with the JO and that they will conduct a separate May Day rally and meeting at the Viharamahadevi Open Air theater on May Day instead of participating in the May Day rally of the JO, which will be held at Galle Face Green on the same day. CPSL sources said that the leaders of the CP, including its Chairperson Raja Kollure and General Secretary D.E.W. Gunasekara, more..

No risk of methane explosions in M'mulla dump: Champika

Apr 27 (DM) There is no risk of explosions caused by methane gas in the Meethotamulla garbage dump, Minister Champika Ranawaka assured today. Last week, the Japanese research experts warned of a methane gas explosion in the dump. However, he categorically denied reports saying there was not enough methane level to cause such explosions. Addressing a news briefing to make people aware of the measures which are being taken to rehabilitate Meethotamulla garbage dump, more..

China fear stalls India-Lanka deal

Apr 27 (TOI) India is in no hurry to complete the economic and technical cooperation agreement (ETCA) with Sri Lanka. Officially, India has said it would proceed at a pace comfortable for Colombo. But there are other, bigger reasons for India to guard its flanks while negotiating a second generation free-trade agreement (FTA) with SL. China has evinced interest in an FTA with Sri Lanka as well. This has given India pause, as it wants to see the details of that deal. more..

Ex-SLFP mayors tear into Basil

Apr 27 (Island) Time was when some Cabinet ministers had to act like labourers at the behest of Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who had no regard for workers’ rights, J'pura Kotte SLFP organiser and former Mayor Janaka Ranawaka said. He said that Basil Rajapaksa had alienated the working class. "We lost the last presidential election on Jan 8, 2015 thanks to Basil Rajapaksa, who created rifts among SLFP members thinking that he would be able to stay in power forever. more..

Bond scandal: Rs.10 bln loss for next thirty years: Fmr. DG

Apr 27 (DM) According to the personal computation of retired Deputy Governor, W.A. Wijeywardena, who testified at Presidential Commission, govt’s long term loss for the next 30 years would be Rs.10 billion due to the failure of not meeting the appropriate terms in the process of issuing Treasury Bonds which took place on Feb 27, 2015. His personal computation had also indicated that the immediate loss after the issuance of the bonds incurred Rs. 532 million to govt. more..

Will assist in SL’s development: Sonia Gandhi

Apr 27 (CT) President of Indian Congress Party Sonia Gandhi said that her party will always act towards protecting regional democracy with dedication and will provide assistance to the development programme of Sri Lanka, while further strengthening historic ties between India and SL. When PM Ranil Wickremesinghe met Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday morning, she emphasized that special attention should be focused on protecting regional and internal democracy. more..

Modi raises concerns in talks with Ranil

Apr 27 (CT) China ranked high in Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe's meeting with Indian Premier Narendra Modi, at Hyderabad House, New Delhi yesterday, official sources who didn't want to be named told this reporter. Reporters were not allowed to cover these meetings, with opportunities provided only for the taking of photographs and to be present when pleasantries were exchanged between Wickremesinghe and Indian officials, including Modi, before the beginning of talks, more..

Public fury over massive tax on EPF

Apr 27 (Island) Former Ceylon Bank Employees Union President and civil society activist Rusiripala Tennakoon yesterday urged the ruling coalition and the JO to state their position on alleged moves to impose a staggering 28% tax on EPF. Pointing out that the JVP, which had worked overtime to oust the Rajapaksa administration, had accused the yahapalana rulers of planning to tax the EPF, Tennakoon said that move had to be condemned, opposed and thwarted. more..

Preventing climate change, our sacred duty

Apr 27 (DM) Around the world in some 600 cities, hundreds of millions of people marched last Saturday, April 22 to mark Earth Day, emphasising the significance of evidence–based science on issues ranging from climate change to new technology. It was essentially a people–based mass movement though United States President Donald Trump says he wants to put American business interests first and has slashed funds for the US Environmental Protection Agency amid more..

The repeated errors of self-inflicted torture

Apr 27 (DM) Any conflagration and especially one marked by the clash of arms that lasts over several decades can be defined in multiple ways. For some, the conflict in SL, was a matter between the Sinhalese and Tamils. They call it Ethnic Conflict. Others could say that it was a battle between state entities and a terrorist outfit or one between democracy and insurgency.  Portrayal is naturally informed by ideological bent and of course, since identity is involved, more..

'I am not a person who goes after portfolios'

Apr 27 (DM) Hambantota Port development deal was frowned upon as a loss-making venture during the previous govt. With China gaining prosperity over SL, Port too would fall in to their hands as means of development. Major changes were done to this deal including bringing down the 199 year lease to 50-70 years and giving only 60% of shares to the Chinese company. In addition to that, India has shown an interest more..