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NPC cools down: No-faith motion against Wiggy to be withdrawn

June 20 (Island) TNA leader R Sampanthan has written to CM CV Wigneswaran that the no-confidence motion against the latter will be withdrawn. The former has assured the latter that there will be no punitive action against two ministers. In his letter to Chief Minister dispatched yesterday Samapanthan said that he had informed the Governor of Northern Province that the no-confidence motion would be with drawn. more..

MR to address a gathering in Pakistan: Sri Lanka’s campaign against LTTE

June 20 (CT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to address a gathering of politicians and military officials in Islamabad, Pakistan on several matters related to the country's civilian and military leadership and its importance to SL. He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation and is scheduled to address a gathering of politicians and military officials at the National Defense University, Islamabad tomorrow. He will discuss SL's successful campaign against Tamil Tigers more..

Srilankan Airlines Board summoned to Cabinet meet today

June 20 (CT) Board of Directors of SriLankan Airlines has been summoned to the Cabinet meeting today. Since SriLankan is accumulating continuous losses, the govt is compelled to take serious action about the institution, thus the Board of Directors have been summoned so that they can clarify and explain the situation. SriLankan currently has 25 aircraft, 360 pilots and 7,200 employees. Commenting on the issue last week, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that more..

Yahapalana Corruption: High level probe into Central Expressway Phase III tender

June 20 (ST) In a dramatic turn of events, a high level investigation will get underway into Central Expressway Phase III tender on the directions of PM following concerns expressed by Japanese govt. PM intervened and instructed RDA to investigate as to how the highest bidder of the recently concluded Central Expressway tender was accepted as technically competent whilst there were accusations of the facts being otherwise, more..

In politics, self takes precedence over nation

June 20 (DM) When it comes to politics there is no difference between the North and South. In both parts of the country one’s self comes first while pushing the nation, the people and the nationality one represents into the back-burner. That was what happened when the committee appointed by Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran to investigate allegations against his board of ministers handed over its report to him. The Chief Minister told the NPC more..

Why newspaper ads won’t end students’ protests: Teach them English instead

June 20 (DM) A little anecdote about one of America’s most left leaning liberal arts schools brought back memories of my undergraduate days in our university system. First, here is the story about the American school. Evergreen State College, a progressive liberal arts school in Olympia, Washington has been known for its left-leaning student activism, in part nurtured by the school curriculum itself (which reportedly shuns grades). The school has been holding an annual day more..

'What was given to me is not what I asked for'

June 20 (DM) Newly-appointed Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake, in an interview with Dailymirror, charged that someone envious of his success story as the Finance Minister was behind his transfer to a new portfolio. Also, he said he would introduce commercial diplomacy to the foreign policy as a prioritized matter. Q: Finance has been your passion right throughout. All of a sudden, you were given a different portfolio. more..

Only 50 Trucks which are 20 years old at CMC for garbage collection

June 20 (DN) Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) said that the council was in possession of only 50 compactors and trucks to collect garbage and they were over 20 years old. CMC said that the Provincial Council had allocated funds to provide the Council with more compactors and trucks, but they are yet to materialise. Colombo has seen a stark increase in garbage visible in many parts of the city. more..

Jeep drivers A law unto themselves with political patronage

June 20 (SL) Department of Wildlife Conservation’s failure to take action against errant safari jeep drives at the Yala National Park for blatantly breaking speed limits and taking food for the wild animals to attract them to their vicinity to please the clients had endangered the wildlife. Director General, DWC is accused of for the present deteriorating situation in the park which has allowed jeep drivers to take the law unto their hands, more..

Retrieved lifeboat tells stories of Tamil refugees

June 20 (TS) Siva Mehanathan left his war-torn home country of Sri Lanka in 1986 on a cargo ship, hoping he would make it to Canada, but having very little assurance that the journey would take him here. After 13 days on the ship, Mehanathan recalled Monday, he and the 154 others were abandoned in the two lifeboats in the Atlantic Ocean, without food or water. They remained there for 3 days, firing a flare gun more..

Japan to assist in disaster risk reduction, sustainable development

June 20 (Island) Following considerable damage to life and property due to the recent floods and landslides in many districts, Japan has pledged to work closely with Sri Lanka, in  Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development. The assurance is contained in a report that the  team of Japanese experts in the field of  disaster relief  submitted to President Sirisena, Ministers Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and more..

Sri Lanka’s latest export to Hong Kong: Deadly dengue, duty free

June 20 (ST) Sri Lanka, which has been unable to collar the runaway dengue epidemic, is even exporting infected people to Hong Kong. Hong Kong has remained free from the killer mosquito-borne virus because of a highly systematic, efficient and effective monitoring system by public health authorities. Among the 41 cases reported to Hong Kong’s health authorities in the past 5 months, infections exported from SL account for more..

Sri Lanka moves to counter bad rep from expropriation, nationalist tax

June 20 (EN) Sri Lanka is moving to combat the bad reputation gained from expropriation of businesses in 2011 and a land tax that discriminated against foreign investors, the head of the island's investment promotion agency said.  "These are wrong steps that were taken," Upul Jayasuriya, Chairman of BoI told a forum in Colombo where a country report by UK-based Oxford Business Group was launched. more..

Vasu asks President Sirisena why no action against Chandrika

June 20 (Island) UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara, in a letter to President Sirisena, demands to know why the Progress Review Committee chaired by the President to supervise the progress of probes conducted by the state investigation agencies has failed to take action as regards serious charges against former President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Nanayakkara says that he is shocked to see that former President more..

Sri Lanka relents, releases confiscated bottom trawling vessels to India

June 20 (Island) The govt would release 42 Indian bottom trawling vessels taken into custody in 2015, under strict conditions that those vessels would not return to engage in bottom trawling, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. He said that there were 140 such trawlers in Sri Lankan custody and they would be handed back to the owners after signing an agreement that they would not enter into SL waters again in the future. more..

'Central Bank eyes full inflation targeting'

June 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka is planning to adopt a full inflation targeting framework probably by next year, CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. Delivering the keynote address at the launch of the Oxford Business Group’s 2017 report on SL, Coomaraswamy said this step will enhance greater transparency and predictability for businesses. “We have set up a macro level unit in the research department of CB for this,” more..

Army for garbage collection: A definite No!

June 20 (CT) Sri Lanka's waste disposal and gathering mechanism has become a hot topic of late due to the direct connection it has with the weather related consequences in the country. In the fallout of the Meethotamulla incident last April and the floods of last month, the public and the country's administration have begun paying more attention to the waste disposal mechanism that is currently active in the country. That, and the added problem of the increasing dengue deaths has now more..

MPs attend exchange programme in Washington

June 20 (SLE) House Democracy Partnership (HDP) of the United States Congress welcomed members of parliament of four HDP partner countries, including Sri Lanka to an exchange programme in the second week of June. A bipartisan group of members of SL Parliament comprising State Minister Wasantha Aluwihare, Deputy Minister Anuradha Jayaratne, Keheliya Rambukwella, Buddhika Pathirana and Eswarapatham Saravanapavan participated in this programme. more..

JVP Press Conference

Sri Lanka committed to green goals

June 20 (FT) Following is the address by Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne at the 106th Session of the International Labour Conference on 12 June in Geneva. It is a great pleasure for me to address this June assembly of 106th session of the ILO on behalf of the Govt of Sri Lanka as the Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations. Reading the report of the Director General submitted to this session, titled Work in a Changing Climate: The Green Initiative, I strongly feel that the Report is more..

Lawsuit against Upul Shantha Sannasgala

June 20 (DN) The wife of late Prof. Sucharitha Gamlath filed a lawsuit in the Colombo District Court against well-known tuition master and author Upul Shantha Sannasgala for allegedly defaulting a payment of Rs.2.9 million owed to Gamlath family in lieu of publication of a dictionary. Plaintiff, Shantha Pathmaperuma, alleged that Upul Shantha Sannasgala had defaulted the concerned amount for the publication of an edition of English-Sinhala Dictionary authored by Prof. Gamlath. more..

Is global warming mass murdering Sri Lankans?

June 20 (Roar) In the first few months of 2016, if you recall, there was barely a drop of rain in the first few months of the year. But come mid-May, there was a torrential downpour that resulted in flash floods that killed hundreds and displaced thousands. No sooner had the rains stopped, many parts of the country were engulfed in a devastating drought. A year later, it was a similar story—only, on a larger scale. more..

Constitutional means needed for prudent fund allocations

June 20 (Island) Human Rights Commissioner Ambika Satkunanathan calls for the inclusion of specific socio-economic rights such as health, education and livelihood in the proposed new Constitution to enable the judicial intervention to guarantee required allocation of available resources. Satkunanathan stressed that as the misuse of state sector resources severely impacted on socio-economic rights, the public had sought the enactment of necessary legislation. more..

'Security forces not for garbage disposal'

June 20 (DM) Security forces personnel do not engage in garbage disposal, Military Spokesman Roshan Seneviratne said. He said however they were currently involved in monitoring the unauthorized and haphazard disposal of garbage. “Military personnel will inform relevant authorities about such incidents and monitor the proper collection of garbage,” he said. He said security forces would assist Police to arrest persons involved in illegal and improper disposal of garbage. more..

Several railway trade unions to strike

June 20 (NR) Several railway trade unions have decided to engage in a trade union action from midnight. The trade union action will be launched based on demands including issues surrounding salary anomalies and the increase of welfare payments. Railway Trade Union Alliance, All Ceylon Railway General Employees’ Union and the Railway Guards’ Union are among those involved. Co-convenor of Railway Trade Union Alliance more..

SC to take up Perpetual Treasuries petition against CB today

June 20 (FT) The fundamental rights petition filed by the Perpetual Treasuries Group of Companies against the Central Bank is to be taken up today in the Supreme Court. Petitioners Perpetual Treasuries, Perpetual Asset Management, Perpetual Capital Holdings, Perpetual Capital, Geoffrey Joseph Aloysius and Arjun Joseph Aloysius filed their petition through Attorney G.G. Arulpragasam. They cited Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, members of the Monetary Board, more..

Legal action against hospitals that do not subsidise blood test reports

June 20 (DN) Health Ministry will take legal action against private hospitals and laboratories that do not implement the new reduced charges for the blood tests use to diagnose dengue fever. Minister Rajitha Senaratne had instructed National Medicine Regulatory Authority (NMRA) officials submit a report to him on if people are receiving the benefit of reduced prices for blood tests. All private hospitals are required to implement the new prices and issue blood reports to patients within 1/2 hour. more..

Violence against Sri Lanka Christians widespread; backed by state officials: report

June 20 (EN) Violence and discrimination against minority Christians is widespread in Sri Lanka with the support of state officials and institutions at the local level, Colombo-based think tank that analysed data over two decades has said. "The figure suggests that, for the past two decades, on average, an attack has taken place against a Christian person or group every week," Verité Research, said. more..

Qatar Embassy says no emergency evacuation of Sri Lankans

June 20 (EN) There are no plans for emergency evacuation of 150,000 Sri Lankans in Qatar, the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Colombo said. “Qatari Govt has taken all necessary measures to guarantee the normal course of life in case any development arises,” it said in a statement. “The maritime ports and the airfield remain open for imports, transit and flights to and from rest of the world.” The embassy said it advises Sri Lankans not to be misled by reports on more..

Higher borrowing costs will hurt Sri Lankan companies: Fitch

June 20 (EN) Rising domestic interest rates will hurt SL corporates over the next 12 months, with about half the debt at variable rates, and retailers like Singer and Abans the most affected, Fitch Ratings has said. “Fitch does not expect the pressure on interest rates to ease in the near term owing to rising inflationary pressures and weak external finances,” agency said. Annual inflation as measured by Colombo consumer price index rose to 8.4% in April 2017 from 4.3% a year ago. more..

Lanka court grants bail to 6 army men in scribe assault case

June 20 (PTI) Six military intelligence personnel arrested for allegedly being involved in the assault and abduction of a prominent journalist in 2008 during the civil war against the LTTE were today granted bail by the high court here. The six army men, including a Major, were arrested in February following a probe by CID into the abduction and assault of Keith Noyahr, former deputy editor of The Nation, in May 2008. more..

Two French naval ships arrive at Colombo harbour

June 20 (SLN) The Deputy Commander of the French Maritime Force, Rear Admiral Olivier Lebas called on the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne at the Naval Headquarters today. They held cordial discussions on a range of matters of mutual interests and bilateral importance. French Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Jean Marin Schub and Defence Attaché of the French Embassy, Commander Loic Bizot were present on this occasion. more..

Cash donation by Bangladesh for flood relief handed over to President

June 20 (PSL) A cash donation by the Bangladesh Govt to assist the victims of recent flood and landslides in Sri Lanka was officially handed over to President Maithripala Sirisena today. PM of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina declared the cash donation. Bangladesh HC, Riaz Hamidullah handed over the cheque to the President. President appreciated the assistance given by the Bangladesh for their friendly neighbour, even their own people are facing flood havocs and more..

President emphasizes importance of ending teacher shortage

June 20 (PSL) President Sirisena emphasizes the importance of ending the teacher shortage and called for an independent method in filling of teacher vacancies and transferring of teachers. President was speaking at a meeting with Provincial Chief Ministers, held today (19) at the Presidential Secretariat. The discussion was held with the participation of Provincial Chief Ministers and the Ministers of the central govt and more..

Govt to sell land in D.R. Wijewardena Mw. to Indian company: JO

June 20 (AD) The resources of the country are being sold to foreign nations and the Govt intends to drag the attention of people from this in a bid to pave the way, JO MP Bandula Gunawardena alleged. He pointed out there is a move to sell a state owned land at D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha to an Indian company. “They are going to Indianize the D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha which is the heart of Colombo,” he said. He added Govt is allegedly eyeing to sell the 3 acre state owned land to more..

Four more flights to SL from Visakhapatnam

June 20 (TT) Sri Lankan Airways has agreed to operate four more flights from Visakhapatnam. Four flights would be operated every week from Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad to Colombo from July 8. The Vizag flights would be operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. A SL cargo plane will transport marine products, garments, and medicines from Vizag. Travellers to Colombo will have the opportunity to visit Sakti Peetham of Saankari Devi, temples of more..

Ravi hails China's Belt and Road Initiative

June 20 (Xinhua) SL's newly appointed Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake commended China's Belt and Road Initiative, saying it would be advantageous for the island country. He said the Silk Road had been in existence for over 3,000 years and SL was definitely going to be a part of this ambitious project. Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, more..

Those misusing public funds will be prosecuted: Amaraweera

June 20 (DM) The govt will prosecute the politicians and the public servants who misused public funds and the country's national resources, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. He said the govt would not allow the perpetrators of fraud and corruption to roam free but would take legal action against them. The minister said some public officials wrongly believed they were off the hook after they being suspended for some time but this would not be the case. “We will make sure that more..

Sri Lanka slams report by UN envoy on judges, lawyers

June 20 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka on Tuesday slammed a report by a special UN envoy, saying she has misled the international community on the judicial process currently followed in Sri Lanka. Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, delivering a statement in parliament, said the UN must act with responsibility when appointing top officials. He said the report by the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Monica Pinto was a harm to Sri Lanka's sovereignty. more..

Asgiriya chapter issues tough statement

June 20 (DM) Following a meeting of the Karaka Sangha Sabha, the Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter, the Most Venerable Warakagoda Gnanaratana Thera in a strongly worded statement today highlighted concerns about the challenges posed by internal and external conspiracies against Sinhala Buddhists and emphasized the need for the Mahanayake Theras of the Three Nikayas and the patriotic people of the country to act in unison more..