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Ex-Army Intelligence Chief at FCID

June 14 (DM) Former National Intelligence Chief Major General (Retd) Kapila Hendawitharana arrived at the FCID this morning to give a statement in connection with an ongoing investigation. Maj. Gen. Hendawitharana was charged of depositing Rs. 3.2 million to his account at the Bank of Ceylon through a number of banks across the country.  Earlier, Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris allowed the FCID to probe all accounts of the former Intelligence Chief. more..

Policy decision to redress prisoners, who are sentenced for non-payment of fines: Prez

June 14 (PSL) President Sirisena says he will hold discussions with the relevant parties in the near future to take a policy decision regarding the prisoners, who are sentenced for minor offenses due to the inability to pay the designated fines. President pointed out that in 2015 43.7% of all prisoners have been jailed as a result of not being able to pay the designated fine. He further said that it is a tragic situation and a speedy solution more..

Petition by Gnanasara thera to be considered on 22nd

June 14 (NR) Supreme Court has deemed dates to hear the Fundamental Rights petition filed by the General Secretary of the BBS Galagodaththe Gnanasara thera calling for the prevention of his arrest. The two member bench led by the Chief Justice called for the petition to be taken up on the 22nd of June. 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. more..

Subsistence farming is an option post retirement, reveals Kumar Sangakkara

June 14 (SK) In an interview with The Analyst, Kumar Sangakkara laid out subsistence farming as a serious option post-retirement. The 39-year-old stated that he and his wife were keen to live off the land and provide for themselves. He cited an old tennis colleague as the source of this idea, and went on to say that Sri Lanka had a proud tradition of subsistence farming, and a profession he would be honoured to be involved in. He has announced that this county season will be his last, more..

Wigneswaran calls for the resignation of two Provincial Ministers

June 14 (DN) Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran called for the resignation of two Provincial Ministers at the Council meeting over corruption and fraud allegations today. He asked NPC Education Minister T Kurukularaja and Agriculture Minister P Ingaranesan to hand over resignation letters by noon tomorrow. Chief Minister made this request when the NPC took up a debate on the report submitted by more..

CSE announces changes to S&P index

June 14 (LBO) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) announced the following changes in S&P Sri Lanka 20 index constituents made by S&P Dow Jones Indices at the 2017 mid-year index re-balance. A revision of the S&P SL 20 methodology in March 2017 established the practice of a semiannual re-balance of the index (previously conducted annually), which is set to take place during the months of June and December each year. The revision also established the inclusion of more..

'Text books don’t have harmful chemicals'

June 14 (NR) Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne says investigations conducted thus far have not revealed that text books printed on artificial paper contains harmful chemicals. He said the GMOA has expressed its views without proper the understanding of facts. The Minister said the GMOA said yesterday that text books printed on artificial paper contains harmful chemicals. He said doctors are people who studied science, not those who randomly give out medicine. more..

Video: New laws against religious extremism

June 14 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that Cabinet has decided to instruct the Police to take legal action against those who engage in communal, ethnic and religious hatred, violence and hate speech. He said further that if someone engaged in communal, ethnic and religious hatred and violence and hate speech, measures would be taken to inquire, arrest and produce the person before court. more..

Over 300,000 mails stuck in CME

June 14 (DM) More than 300,000 mails had been jammed inside the Central Mail Exchange (CME) to date due to the 48- hour strike since Monday midnight, United Postal Trade Unions’ Front said today. However, Post Master General Rohana Abeyratne rejected the Union’s statements and said that the CME was dispatching mails at the end of each day. “A backlog of mails is not possible at CME as claimed by the TUs,” he said. Front’s President Chinthaka Bandara charged that more..

Britain makes changes in travel advice for SL

June 14 (NR) British High Commission in Colombo says changes have been made to the UK’s travel advice for Sri Lanka. High Commission said the changes come about as they have for countries around the world. The changes amend the way the UK describes the terrorism threat. British HC said the changes do not reflect an assessment by them that the level of threat in Sri Lanka has changed. It said this has been done as part of a global review of the way the threat from terrorism more..

SL to relax paddy lands law for housing

June 14 (EN) Sri Lanka’s govt has decided to relax regulations that ban development of paddy fields used for growing rice in response to rising demand for housing in the rapidly urbanising society. Under-utilised lots, especially abandoned and uncultivated paddy lands, could be made available for housing, under a proposal by Sajith Premadasa, Minister of Housing and Construction, approved by the Cabinet of Ministers this week. more..

Declaration of assets and liabilities by MPs to be make compulsory

June 14 (Island) It has been decided to form regulations requiring all MPs to declare their assets and liabilities to the Secretary General of Parliament. MPs are required to declare the assets of the parents, spouses and children and reveal their business enterprises. Secretary General has to maintain a report named Financial Commitments of MPs which is prepared on the basis of information provided by the lawmakers. Those data should be accessible to anyone under the RTI Act. more..

MPs won’t interfere in arrests against extremism: Cabinet

June 14 (NR) Co-Cabinet Spokesmen Ministers Rajitha Senaratne and Dayasiri Jayasekara say no Minister will interfere in the arrests of those who disrupt religious co-existence. Minister Jayasekara said as Ministers the Cabinet discussed the matter at length yesterday, adding that it wants religious coexistence. He said the Cabinet cannot mention names stating that the police will act on it. Minister Senaratne said 23 properties belonging to Muslims have been set on fire. more..

Ministry Secretary delaying assuming of duties: GMOA

June 14 (DM) The newly appointed Health Ministry Secretary Udaya R. Seneviratne had been unable to assume duties due to the differences with Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne, GMOA said. Mr. Seneviratne, who is currently working as the Mahaweli Development & Environment Ministry Secretary was appointed as the Secretary to the Health Ministry by President a week ago. GMOA’s Assistant Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said more..

Nestlé wins Cannes Lions Young Marketer Sri Lanka 2017

June 14 (Nestle) Nestlé’s Umeshinie Kurukulasuriya and Ashani Ratnayake have won the prestigious Cannes Lions Young Marketer Sri Lanka 2017. The duo competed against teams from leading companies to win the local title, and will represent Sri Lanka in the Young Lions Competition at 64th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France, going head-to-head with teams from across the globe. “Our experience at Nestlé, not just in marketing but also in innovating and more..

Glyphosate ban disrupted Sri Lankan cut flower exports to Australia

June 14 (EN) A sudden decision by the Sri Lankan govt to ban the glyphosate weedicide in October 2015 without consulting stakeholders badly hit exporters of cut flowers and foliage to Australia, a new study said. Verité Research, a private think-tank, highlighted the plight of cut flower exporters as an example of weak stakeholder consultation in their study of the domestic barriers to trade significantly undermining export capacity. “Impact of the ban clearly illustrates the implications of failing more..

Canada notes strength and depth of relationship with Sri Lanka

June 14 (CG) Canada has noted the strength and the depth of its relationship with Sri Lanka. High Commission of Canada, as Patron of the Sri Lanka Canada Business Council (SLCBC), hosted the 26th AGM of the SLCBC. A key stakeholder in strengthening the existing bilateral relations between SL and Canada, SLCBC operates under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and engages with HC of Canada more..

Pakistan Naval chief calls on SL President

June 14 (PTI) Sri Lanka today acknowledged Pakistan's decisive role in consolidating the country's integrity during the civil war with the LTTE as Pakistan's Navy chief Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah called on its top leadership. Admiral Zakaullah, who is on a five-day visit to SL, today called on President Sirisena at the President's official residence and PM Wickramasinghe. They thanked the Pakistan govt for its unwavering support in the fight against terrorism more..

Miraculous escape

June 14 (DM) A coconut plucker who lost his grip and had a nasty fall onto a pointed Gyridicilia stick which pierced through his left thigh, was later operated at the Karapitiya hospital, and the wooden stick of about five feet safely removed after a surgery which lasted about two and half hours. Victim Edirige Piyasiri (55) is the father of four children. Plucking coconuts is his main livelihood. On the day of the incident (12) he had plucked coconuts from 31 trees belonging to more..

Govt media should take lead in creating ethical qualitative media culture: President

June 14 (PSL) President Sirisena says Govt media institutions should take the lead in creating an ethical as well as qualitative media culture in the country. He made these remarks participating in a ceremony to open the new administrative building complex of the Independent Television Network (ITN), today. This event was organized in parallel to the ITN’s 38th Anniversary. President recalled that when he participated at Presidential Election more..

Qatar has enough food and money, Sri Lanka expats need not panic: embassy

June 14 (EN) Qatar enough financial reserves to withstand a shock, food and energy supplies are moving, ports and airports were open, and Sri Lankans in the emirate can get on with their lives, the country's embassy in Colombo said, after several Gulf state cut air and sea links with the emirate. "The above Diplomatic rift has not affected the normal course of life of the citizens of the State of Qatar and the residents and expatriates including Sri Lankans," embassy said in a statement. more..

Video: Have no intention to crown any member of my family: President

June 14 (AD) President Sirisena says Govt media institutions should take the lead in creating an ethical as well as qualitative media culture in the country. He made these remarks participating in a ceremony to open the new administrative building complex of state owned TV channel, today. President recalled that when he participated at Prez Election as the common candidate, state media were used in more abusive and an unethical manner in its history to attack him. more..

Axe murder trial highlights vicious Sri Lankan Tamil gangs feuding in UK

June 14 (SN) In May 2009, a bloody civil war in SL ended after 25 years with defeat for a rebel group who represented the island's Tamil community. Thousands of SL Tamils have migrated to Britain in recent years and a tiny minority appear to have been desensitized by the violence they witnessed growing up. In 2000-2003 violence between Tamil gangs in London spiked, with 10 murders & a series of other bloody incidents. more..

Where good fortune & intelligent backroom decisions enabled Sri Lanka to beat India

June 15 (CT) Four huge sequoia trees stood astride the path to the Champions Cup at the commencement of the tournament: South Africa, India, Australia, England.  But, as I write on Sunday night 11th June, a combination of English rain and good cricket from the minnows has felled Australia as well as that outsider prospect, New Zealand; while the Safs and Indians are battling for one semi-final spot – an outcome that will knock one of them out. My focus here is on the factors that more..

Rising anti-Muslim attacks: Home grown or imported?

June 15 (CT) Muslim community in Sri Lanka are neither political nor economic migrants into this country unlike the wave of migration to the West. They are an indigenous community of this land having inhabited here for more than twelve centuries. Their blood, culture, ethos and aspirations are more Sinhalese than Tamils, but with a distinct religious belief and a value system. The difference between the Muslims and the majority Sinhalese are their religion and language to a lesser extent. more..

Restoration of road network

June 15 (SO) The recent landslides and floods left a daunting task to the country to restore its infrastructure and bring back life to normalcy. Sound infrastructure plays a pivotal role in supporting and promoting economic growth. Sunday Observer spoke to the authorities concerned for their views on restoring the road network which is a vital cog in country’s economy. RDA Director Maintenance Kamal Amaraweera says: more..

After The Flood

June 15 (CT) We have just witnessed another weather feature that confirms the future predicted with Climate Change, localized, extreme, weather events of both flood and drought. But we still seem blissfully unaware and unprepared for such a future. The last abnormally high rainfall event should be looked at as a warning of the future to come.  There should be some commonsense in planning, for example the architecture of housing in flood prone areas must change. more..

The Political Religion

June 15 (CT) Among the many countries in the world, in Sri Lanka especially, we are oft reminded that a country divided by religion is a country divided nonetheless. How so often people have agitated over the superiority of their religious convictions? Have they no remorse? Or are the agitations on mere account of the scarcity of other problems? Irrespective of how many may perceive the answers to the above question, religion has come to play an enormous part in our lives. more..

Palitha speaks for the people

June 15 (NS) Deputy Minister, UNP MP Palitha Thewarapperuma received support and appreciation from the public for his support during relief efforts after the floods and landslides in several parts of the country. He was with the people, wading through waters and stepping on mud, carrying people towards safety and ensuring they received assistance. Clad in Shirt and a sarong, photographs of Thewarapperuma helping people went viral more..

With 13th Amendment in effect: Power devolved, power retained?

June 15 (DN) The 13th Amendment to the Constitution provides for the establishment of Provincial Councils. Article 154G (I) introduced by the Amendment vests legislative power in respect of the matters set out in List I of the Ninth Schedule (Provincial Council List) in Provincial Councils. Article 154C vests the executive power within a Province extending to the matters in List I in the Governor to be exercised in terms of Article 154F (I) on the advice of the Board of Ministers. more..

Arrest warrants, dismissals and constitutional concerns

June 15 (DN) It is now almost one week since Qatar was cut off diplomatically by several Gulf States including Saudi Arabia and our Foreign Ministry was in regular contact with Ambassador A.S.P. Liyanage to ascertain whether the crisis would in any way affect the 125,000 plus Lankans living and working there. It has now become apparent that there is no danger of food supplies running out per se, because several other Gulf States have come to Qatar’s aid and assured a continued supply of goods. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Urban planning and appreciating traditional landscaped spaces

June 15 (Island) The kings and queens of ancient Lanka respected the forested hills and regarded them as Deviyange Rata not to be exploited. Oldest monarchy the world has ever known has carried this message for close to 2,500 years till the British colonial hegemony through their plantation enterprise put paid to that. This early respect for the forests ensured the continued security of the water resources in the Ella Dolla’s and in turn ensured that the tanks and the rivers flowed full. more..

Editorial: Of that grave matter

June 15 (Island) The govt is in overdrive, trying to destroy its opponents politically. It is making use of the entire state machinery for that purpose. Determined to defend themselves and make a comeback its enemies are trying to enlist the support of even gods and demons. It was reported yesterday that evidence of hoonium (a form of black magic) against President Sirisena and his trusted lieutenant, Minister Duminda Dissanayake’s siblings had been found in a graveyard at Kebithigollewa. more..

Death by selfie

June 15 (DN) In October of last year, two Sri Lankan girls living in Oman drowned while trying to take a selfie in a water spring in Salalah, Oman. This year in May, a doctor attached to the Colombo National Hospital slipped and fell at the Makeli Ella in Palindanuwara. And in the second case of death by selfie this year, two brothers were killed on the Colpetty-Bambalapitiya railway line as they attempted to take a selfie. more..

Ratnapura flood shelters reduced after speedy action

June 15 (FT) As a result of swift relief operations, the number of flood victim shelters in Ratnapura has decreased steadily. The most critical need of the victims and Ratnapura city is a clean drinking water supply and this has now been restored. Even the entire array of destroyed water wells has been renovated. “Lanka Sathosa has issued dry rations and essential items to the value of Rs. 10 million,” said the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 13 June.  more..

Thisara’s missed catch was not the reason for our defeat: Malinga

June 15 (DN) Lasith Malinga commenting on the drop catch debate of Sri Lanka’s defeat to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy on Monday said that he is not frustrated or disappointed by two catches missed off his bowling. He said: “I don’t blame anyone for I know these kinds of things can happen when you play under so much pressure. I do not believe Thisara’s drop catch is the reason for our defeat and honestly I don’t blame Thisara for the mistake he made. That is all part of the game.” more..

Three years since Aluthgama

June 15 (FT) Exactly 3 years have lapsed since the Aluthgama riots, a seismic event in the history of Sri Lanka’s troubled ethnic relations. On 15 and 16 June 2014, mobs, in a well-organised manner, unleashed collective violence on Muslim-owned businesses and homes in Aluthgama, Beruwala, Dharga Town, Welipenna and Mathugama in the District of Kalutara, located along the island’s south-western coastal belt. more..

Pakistan in final with smashing victory

June 15 (CI) England's quest to secure their first trophy in a 50-over global tournament came to grief in emphatic fashion in Cardiff as Pakistan surged into the final of the Champions Trophy with masterful unpredictability, completing a thumping win by eight wickets with nearly 13 overs to spare. Central to Pakistan's victory was their commendable vigour and skill with the ball on a dry, abrasive surface to dismiss England for only 211. A re-used pitch was the one on which Pakistan had earned more..

SL mulls soda tax, raises duty on sugar

June 15 (FN) Sri Lanka has become the latest country to consider the introduction of a specific tax on sugar. The country’s health minister said the move is being considered in a bid to help reduce consumption to promote health. “I stressed the need for increasing tax on sugar in 2015 with an objective of controlling non-communicable diseases,” Rajitha Senaratne said. He added that he still believes a higher tax on products high in fat and salt should also be levied to control NCDs. more..