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20 deaths in 5 months says Railway Dept.

June 13 (DM) At least 20 deaths have been reported during the past five months near vulnerable places on railway tracks or stations, while the victims tried to take selfie photos using their mobile phones or while engaged in conversations with their headhones plugged, Railway Security Superintendent said. Most of the deaths had occurred between Kollupitiya and Mt. Lavinia railway lines, especially during weekends. more..

India to begin Sri Lanka tour in July

June 13 (DM) Indian Cricket Team will begin a 50-day tour of Sri Lanka next month, according to reliable sources. Team India is scheduled to reach Colombo on July 19. The tour will begin with either a warm-up match in Colombo on July 21 and July 22. Tour itinerary will have three Test matches scheduled to be played at the Pallekele Stadium in Kandy (July 26-30), Galle (August 4-8) and in Colombo (SSC) from August 12-16.  more..

President in Jaffna to observe development activities

June 13 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena presided over a discussion on the progress of the development programmes in the Northern Province today (12) at the District Secretariat in Jaffna. The discussion was focused on the development plans for the Northern Province. The President inquired about the plans formulated to utilize allocated money for the development activities in 2017. more..

President pledges to release lists of disappeared

June 13 (PTI) President Maithripala Sirisena has pledged to release the lists of those who had surrendered or were detained by the armed forces during the last phase of the brutal 30-year civil war that ended in 2009. During a meeting between representatives of the families of the disappeared from across all eight districts of the north-east and President Sirisena, the families handed over a memo laying out five key demands including more..

We as our own executioners

June 13 (CT) It has been several months, now, since the Police decided to activate the law against monk Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera of the BBS, a hard-line Buddhist fundamentalist group that, ironically, seeks to eradicate other fundamentalist groups in Sri Lanka, through the mobilization of the masses. It has been several months since the Police attempted to arrest the monk for the alleged involvement in several incidents of racial violence instigated throughout the country. more..

Asking a wings-clipped Finance Minister to fly is a classic repeat of Dunna Dunugamuwe

June 13 (FT) President Sirisena has issued the Extraordinary Gazette Notification dated 7 June 2017 allocating functions among the newly sworn-in Ministers a week ago. In this notification too, the Central Bank and state banks have not been returned to their legitimate home, Ministry of Finance. Hence, the Central Bank will continue to be under Ministry of Economic Affairs and the state banks under the Ministry of State Enterprise Development. more..

Works of Parliament Mafia

Sri Lanka seeks waste management advice from Danish company

June 13 (CPH) Denmark might not be well known for its winter sports, but one of its ski slopes is grabbing headlines and consultancy work all over the world It’s a wonder what a ski slope will do. The completion date of the winter sport-friendly biomass incineration plant Amager Bakke has been stretched from 2017 to 2020, but give the media a few slalom ski poles and a smoke ring machine, and everyone’s purring about how Denmark is a world leader in waste management. more..

Boru Show: Tell the President Program moving forward with new technology

June 13 (PMD) The software program of the Tell the President program was officially handed over to the Presidential Secretariat today. The software program was earlier handled by SL Mobitel. The Presidential Secretariat took over the authority of this to make the Tell the President program more effective. Accordingly, the issues and the complaints from the people will be presented to the President in a simple and effective way while the solutions for the problems will rapidly be provided. more..

Yahapâlanaya suppresses investigation of Rs 16 billion duty free vehicle permit scam

June 13 (CT) SL Customs has suppressed an inquiry into a 16 billion rupee tax revenue fraud involving govt servants and the BMW motorcar importer, Prestige Automobiles. According to documents in the possession of Colombo Telegraph, Customs had inquired into the importation of 1728 brand new BMW vehicles under the concessionary duty permits issued by the govt for public servants between 2011 and 2014. more..

An ICC tournament to forget for Sri Lanka

June 13 (CB) Champions Trophy is just an 18-day competition, offering a very short turnaround period. But for a team that's still not come to terms with the exit of their modern-day stalwarts - Mahela, Sangakkara and Dilshan - such short competitions become tough to cope with. Only in one game SL's batting line-up managed to do well, and more importantly together, for their solitary win in the tournament. On either side of their 7-wicket win against India, their batting floundered. more..

Warrant against Osanda Yapa Abeywardana

June 13 (DN) Colombo Traffic Court issued a warrant against Osanda Yapa Abeywardena, the son of Minister Laksman Yapa Abeywardana for not appearing in Court over the case on the road accident which took place near Nelum Pokuna theatre on December 19, 2016. When the case came up before Additional Magistrate Chandana Kalansuriya, Osanda Yapa Abeywardena was not present in Courts and warrant was issued for the arrest of the suspect. more..

President instructs officials to expedite building new houses for disaster victims

June 13 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to the officials to expedite the programme to build new houses for the affected people in the recent disastrous situation. Furthermore, the President said that five billion rupees from the TRA, which is under the purview of President will be donated to this programme. Cabinet approval was received to pay a monthly rental of Rs. 7,500 for three months more..

Southern Expressway construction delayed due to unavailability of soil

June 13 (DN) Southern Expressway construction is delayed due to the unavailability of soil, RDA Chairman Nihal Sooriyarachchi said. The Chairman said that the shortage of soil is due to the regulations imposed on soil mining and transportation. Not only the Southern Expressway constructions, other construction sites are also hampered due to this situation, he said. He said that measures were taken to solve this issue under the guidance of President and PM. more..

Super Luxury M.V. Majestic Princess calls at Port of Colombo

June 13 (Island) M.V. Majestic Princess the newest sister ship to Royal Princess  and Regal Princess made her maiden call at the Port of Colombo yesterday. The brand new super luxury passenger vessel was launched on 04th April this year.  In order to mark her maiden call at the Port of Colombo a plaque exchange was held on board the vessel  between the Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) – Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake and the ship’s  Master – Craig Stewart Street. more..

Sri Lanka obtains US$ 1.3bn foreign loans in 2016, China leads

June 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka obtained US$ 1.3 billion worth loans as project loans from various bilateral and multilateral development partners last year. 34% of loans have been received from China while 26% was obtained from the Asian Development Bank. Out of the total loans, 10% has been provided by the World Bank’s International Development Association. Sri Lanka has received US$ 46 million as grants last year. more..

Gnanasara files petition to prevent his arrest

June 13 (NR) The Chief Secretary of the BBS organisation Galagodaththe Gnanasara thera has filed a fundamental rights petition at the Supreme Court calling for an order to prevent his arrest. The petition calls for the prevention of Gnanasara thera’s arrest until a complaint filed against his is examined or until advise in this regard is issued by the Attorney General. The fundamental rights petition was filed by the attorneys representing Galagodathe Gnanasara thera. more..

Keheliya Rambukwella issued notice

June 13 (NR) Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court issued notice to Former Minister Keheliya Rambukwella and the former Chairman of the State Printing Cooperation Jayampathi Bandara Heenkenda to appear before Court on the 17th of July. MP Rambukwella has been summoned pertaining to questioning over his personal phone bill during his term as Minister of Media amounting to 240,984 rupees. The case is being heard following a complaint lodged by the CIABOC. more..

TN CM seeks PM's intervention to get back 135 boats from Sri Lanka

June 13 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today sought the intervention of PM Narendra Modi for getting back 135 fishing boats of state fishermen impounded by Sri Lanka over a period of time, saying the fishers had been deprived of their livelihood. Placing emphasis on quick retrieval of fishing boats, Palaniswami, in a letter to Narendra Modi, urged him to urgently take up the issue with Sri Lankan authorities. more..

Rajagiriya flyovers to open by end of the year: Harsha

June 13 (AD) Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva stated that the two flyovers found at the Rajagiriya Junction will be opened by December 2017. He added that although one of the two flyovers were due to be opened in Dec 2018, due to the efficient construction process, both flyover will be declared open by the end of this year. De Silva further stated that although certain channels have claimed that the bridge was falling apart and that the job wasn’t getting done properly, more..

Selfie craze leads to two brothers being killed by train

June 13 (Island) A grandmother yesterday related a heart-rending story of how an elder brother jumped before a moving train in a bid to save his younger sibling; both of them were run over by an express train. "I shouted to the youngest grandson that a train was coming. Then he suddenly decided to dash across the rail track to the other side where his elder brother was, but the latter, too, came forward to save the younger sibling when both were hit by the locomotive," said their grandmother sobbing more..

Video: Education Ministry issues synthetic text books: GMOA

June 13 (DM) GMOA today claimed that the Education Ministry has distributed among students text books printed on synthetic paper causing health hazards to children aged below 12. GMOA Assistant Secretary Haritha Aluthge said Education Ministry had printed more than 500,000 Geography text books at a cost of Rs.150 million for use by grade seven without considering recommendations of National Planning Dept (NPD). more..

Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratories will be established island wide: Health Minister

June 13 (DN) We are now in the process of equipping and establishing Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratories in every Province to minimize patients’ expenses and to reduce the waiting period for surgeries, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. According to him, Health Ministry has allocated a fairly large percentage from the Health Ministry budget worth Rs.85 billion to provide free services for interventional, surgical and medical management for cardiac patients in Sri Lanka. more..

PRECIFAC: Boru show to cover up Yahapalana corruption

June 13 (AD) PRECIFAC will expedite investigations into the major complaints it has received regarding serious acts of fraud, Secretary to the commission H.W. Gunadasa said. He stated that inquiries will be expedited by obtaining statements by affidavits through attorneys instead of conducting hearings before the commission.  Additional dates will also be set for the commission to convene within the next two months. PRECIFAC of inquiry has so far submitted 12 reports the President more..

Sri Lanka left ruing after costly mistakes

June 13 (ICC) A SL versus Pakistan virtual quarter-final was always likely to be an intriguing encounter with an unpredictable outcome – in the end Pakistan scraped through, thanks to some woeful lapses in the field from SL and a really gutsy 61 not out from Sarfraz Ahmed. It was a fantastic low-scoring game of cricket, full of twists and turns as both teams made plenty of mistakes, but ultimately SL made more mistakes and it ultimately more..

Tea prices hit new monthly high in May

June 13 (EN) Prices of low-grown teas in SL, made mainly by small farmers in the south, hit a new monthly average high at the Colombo auctions in May 2017, with heavy rains that triggered floods and landslides expected to reduce crops. A significant gain in prices was seen in May 2017 for each elevation compared to a year ago, with low-growns teas fetching their highest-ever prices. “Low-grown tea averages for the month of May 2017 of 669.08 rupees a kilo show a significant gain more..

Airman nabbed with 2kgs of gold at BIA

June 13 (DM) A 32-year-old Sri Lanka Air force (SLAF) Airman attached to the BIA Airport was arrested with two kilograms of gold jewelry worth more than Rs.10million by the Airport customs officers this morning, Customs media spokesman said. He said the customs found 2.65 kilograms of gold jewelry wrapped to his legs and he was arrested while he was on the way to the airport departure lounge from the arrival lounge. The suspect was a resident of Dehiattakandiya. more..

SL train deaths prompt selfie crackdown

June 13 (AFP) SL railway authorities announced a crackdown on selfies after a 12-year-old boy was decapitated and two other men also died while snapping themselves on a coastal track. Boy and his 24-year-old brother were killed as they took photographs of themselves on the picturesque section of track in Colombo on Sunday. Police said the boy was decapitated and his head became lodged between two railway carriages. more..

Some questions about violence and Theravada in buddhism

June 14 (GV) Recent attacks on Muslim mosques instigated by certain Buddhist groups (members of which include Buddhist monks) as well as the post-independence orientation of the Sangha in general, aside from admirable exceptions, against the Tamil community in Sri Lanka raise serious questions about the theory and practice of Theravada Buddhism in the country. One could surmise that such a dichotomy between theory and practice is common to all organised religion. more..

Reconciliation requires actions not only processes

June 14 (CT) Eight years after the end of the war the consolidation of peace and restoration of normalcy in Sri Lanka is generally taken for granted. This is also the perception of the general population outside of the North and East where most of the war, and its associated destruction, took place. On the other hand, in North and East, there is a strong sense of continuity with the past. This is on account of continuing grievances with regard to the fate of missing persons and more..

Flood managment and political agendas

June 14 (CT) The recent floods that affected over 600,000 people had a devastating impact on SL. What is more startling is that despite the increasing risk of disasters, data shows that the money allocated for the Disaster Management Ministry had been reduced. Moreover no concrete action seems to be taken to prevent the recurrence of these disasters. Ceylon Today interviewed, senior storm water specialist in Auckland Council, more..

Constitutional reforms unveiled: An analysis

June 14 (CT) The Second Republican Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka promulgated in 1978 has since had 19 Amendments made to it. As part of the ongoing constitutional reforms process, the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly has prepared a Draft Interim Report covering matters pertaining to the nature of the State, sovereignty, religion, principles in relation to the devolution of power and land, Central Govt legislating on subjects more..

Horse trading while Lankans are drowning

June 14 (SL) The contents of the middle pages, reputed for balanced commentary of an English-language Sunday newspaper contrasted very starkly with a piece on the travails of those who were inundated by flood-waters in many parts of the country on the very next page.  Both pieces were authored by respected journalists who have a reputation for accuracy and objectivity, eschewing bombast. The centre pages contained a description of sniveling to and fro-ing of political brokers more..

Restoring Salawa

June 14 (SO) Last year, on June 5 the residents of Kosgama and subsequently the entire nation were filled with paranoia when the ammunition depot of the Army suddenly erupted into a raging inferno sending out a volley of explosions. To a nation that was relishing total peace after three decades of bloody conflict where terrorism was defeated, the noise of exploding ordnance came as an alarming surprise. more..

Truth more than civilians

June 14 (CT) SL's terrorist inspired conflict ended almost eight years ago but an endless debate continues on the number of civilian casualties with figures being bandied around without much substantiation. The very absence of verified or verifiable civilian casualty figures has served as a convenient political tool to advance other agendas. Undoubtedly, these allegations formed a substantial basis for the string of resolutions targeting SL at UNHRC in Geneva from 2012 onwards. more..

Editorial: An unholy affair

June 14 (Island) Police have so far failed to trace BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera, who is in hiding, claiming that his life is in danger and, therefore, he cannot come out. Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne has said a govt minister is shielding the controversial monk. The question is whether the minister concerned was a prominent member of the Rajapaksa Cabinet. If so, he may have aided and abetted the BBS under the former govt as well. more..

Susanthika Jayasinghe

The march of folly Reassertion of traditional SLFP values

June 14 (CT) I must confess to a sense of déjà vu in reading about the disappointment Kabir Hashim has expressed about the recent changes in ministries. Two articles on the subject present very different perspectives, which together suggest that he is being the classic spoilt child, upset about his own powers and dignity – since he cannot suffer the 'indignity' of an emaciated Ministry. Typically, he lies like a Trojan about his situation, claiming indeed that, when Maithripala Sirisena's more..

Ad hoc assignment of subjects and functions

June 14 (Island) I am sure readers would have been at their wits end trying to figure out the basis on which the assignment of subjects and functions had been determined, following the recent reshuffle of Ministerial portfolios. Such an exercise should necessarily entail the allocation of subjects and functions in a logical and feasible manner, enabling their accommodation within an integral framework falling within the defined end objectives of a Ministerial assignment. more..

Cogs of democracy: SL’s court system

June 14 (Roar) The judiciary is the branch of govt that determines whether the law has been violated. Though SL’s current constitution does not effect a total separation between the legislature and the executive branches of the govt, the judiciary is intended to function in complete independence. The judiciary is made up of seven levels of courts. A tiered system allows for a party before the court to keep appealing to higher courts—thus more..