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Corruption of power and power of corruption

June 21 (DM) Political power is not just a tool in the hands of those who hold it. It is not a license that guarantees immunity for all crimes that are committed under the cover of that license. It is not a power vested in the holder to run amok with all what is inside the national coffers. It does not give any power whatsoever to those who wield it with unlimited and unchecked supremacy to decree what is right and what is wrong. Political power is an instrument of trust; more..

Mel Gunasekera murder trial: A case of killing a journalist

June 21 (DM) After three years of court hearings the concluding arguments for Mel Gunasekera’s murder case were heard by Colombo High Court Judge Piyasena Ranasinghe on May 31, 2017. Senior State Counsel Shanil Kularatne, who led the prosecution case gave the opening address by summarizing the evidence brought to light by the prosecution.  Who was Mel Gunasekera? Melicia Gunasekera was 40 yrs more..

140-year-old heritage Castle Hotel victim of US$ 400m township

June 21 (ST) A heritage building at Slave Island in Colombo has been pulled down to construct a US$ 400 million township by Tata Housing. Castle Hotel in Masjidul Jamiah Road, Kompanna Veediya, is at least 140 years old. Nothing stands at this address today. This beautiful building, erected in British colonial style, was demolished on an approval granted by Archaeology Dept in May. Put up by philanthropist Charles Henry de Soysa, more..

Foreign employed workers topped 1.1 million 2016

June 21 (EN) Sri Lanka's total foreign employed workforce has climbed to 1,189,359 by December 2016 from 942,729 in 2015, Minister Thalatha Athukorala said. The data was based on SLBFE registrations adjusted with immigration data, Minister Athukorala told parliament. In 2014 the total Sri Lanka expatriate workforce was calculated at 914,867. Total foreign employed workforce has climbed despite reported departures falling. more..

Top official received BMW for illegal Mahaweli land transfer

June 21 (Island) A top Mahaweli official had received a BMW as a bribe to release Mahaweli lands to an influential person during the previous administration, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. The official had seen the BMW when he visited the residence of the man who sought land to collect Rs 10 mn bribe to finalise the deal, he said. Minister said that he had recently received several documents which dealt with more..

No reason to further delay LG polls say watchdogs

June 21 (FT) Once the Speaker has placed his signature on the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill, there is no reason to further postpone the long delayed LG elections, a collective of election monitoring bodies and civil society organisations said. Holding a joint press briefing in Colombo, CaFFE, PAFFREL and TISL, among others, urged the Govt to ensure that the elections are held as soon as possible. more..

Kickbacks from pvt. hospital?: Rs. 250 mil collected, no PET scanner at govt hospital

June 21 (SL) “Hello good morning, is this the Maharagama Apeksha hospital?” “Yes this is the Apeksha hospital, what can we do for you?” “I called to find out if the PET scanner has been installed yet.” “Who are you sir?” “I am someone who contributed towards it and waiting eagerly to see when it will be installed.” “Yes sir we receive many calls every day inquiring about the scanner as it is several months since the money was collected. more..

No death sentence for minors; CA delivers Judgement

June 21 (DN) The Court of Appeal set aside a death sentence imposed by the Jaffna High Court on the ground that a person under the age of eighteen years cannot be sentenced to death. Court of Appeal Judges Justice Deepali Wijesundara and Justice Lalith Jayasuriya delivering a judgment recently to an appeal filed by accused appellant, a resident of Kodikamam through his counsel, observed that Section 53 of Penal Code more..

GMOA tells Health Ministry to tackle dengue menace

June 21 (Island) The GMOA yesterday said there was a strong need for political intervention to tackle the dengue menace in the country. GMOA Secretary Dr Naveen D. Zoysa urged the Health Ministry to provide the kind of political leadership and technical guidance to battle the disease. Dr Zoysa said the dengue spread had reached epidemic proportion. In 2016 the number of dengue patients in the country was 55,150. more..

No plan to buy stake in any airline, Emirates confirms

June 21 (AB) Emirates has no plans to buy stakes in any airline and airport across the world, the airline has confirmed. The Dubai-based airline clarified its stance after Minister Eran Wickramaratne said informal talks have taken place with those, including Emirates, who have shown interest in investing in its national career SriLankan Airways. “Emirates confirms it has no plans to acquire a stake in any airline in Sri Lanka” more..

Video: Ven. Gnanasara Thero surrenders to courts and released on bail

June 21 (AD) BBS General Secretary, Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thero, who surrendered to courts this morning, has been released on the previous bail. Magistrate ordered the Thero released and postponed the case till Aug 9. Gnanasara Thero had surrendered to Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court today after an arrest warrant was issued against him on June 15. The arrest warrant was issued after he failed to appear more..

Wiggy eyes 2018 Polls

June 21 (CT) The war between TNA rebels and its Chief Minister Northern Province (NP) C.V. Wigneswaran (78) and the TNA hierarchy led by its Leader R. Sampanthan (84) for now appears to be over. But with Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections due next year, this may be but a phoney peace. Wigneswaran (Wiggy) is the TNA rebel, allegedly harbouring pro-LTTE sympathies and who apparently refused to campaign for his coalition party, TNA, at 2015 Parliamentary Polls. more..

UNP MP complains of being treated unjustly

June 21 (Island) UNP MP Chaminda Wijesiri said the new MPs in parliament were treated unjustly when they raised questions. Wijesiri said four of his questions had been postponed till August this year. "When we submit questions we do so after consulting the Secretary General and taking lot of trouble to draft them. But, it is sad to say that we do not know when these questions are answered. They are postponed for months on end. For example, I submitted several questions to be asked from more..

PM and his cronies ruining Sri Lanka

Top Sri Lankan hotelier calls for global destination marketing campaign

June 21 (EN) SL urgently needs a global strategic destination marketing campaign to promote its tourism sector and make the best use of its potential, the head of Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings, one of the island’s biggest hotel operators, has said. Harry Jayawardena, the group’s chairman, said the island has been unable to harness its remarkable potential due to the lack of a concerted destination marketing campaign. “A strategic destination marketing campaign across the world more..

Should State banks continue outside the purview of the Ministry of Finance?

June 21 (FT) The controversial divorce of the Central Bank from the duties and functions falling within the Ministry of Finance and transferring it to a new Ministry under the PM has become a hot subject of discussion.  Both legally and operationally the CBSL remained as an institution directly linked to the Ministry of Finance since its inception. Due to the haphazard and makeshift provisions during the 100-day Govt (which was generally accepted as a transitional period), more..

Bridging the generation gap: Are gamers misunderstood?

June 21 (Roar) Computers weren’t a widespread phenomena in Sri Lanka till relatively recently—computer gaming was an even later development. But with computers becoming affordable, ubiquitous and, above all, necessary in everyday life, computer gaming, too, has steadily grown. In fact, its popularity has exploded in recent years. While trying to count the number of gamers is as futile as trying to count number of readers, more..

'Some cricketers give priority to play in IPL'

June 21 (AD) Sri Lanka on Wednesday said it will make fitness priority when selecting players to the national cricket team in the future. The decision was taken after the fitness of some players was questioned after Sri Lanka failed to qualify for the finals of a cricket tournament in England recently. Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera told reporters that a programme is now being formulated on ensuring only physically fit players are picked for the team in the future. more..

Immigration Chief seeks info on all MPs

June 21 (CT) Controller of Emigration and Immigration has written to the Secretary General of Parliament, seeking a detailed report containing information of all MPs in the current legislature, for him to compile a report on whether any of the MPs possess dual citizenship. Among the details sought by the Controller of Emigration and Immigration had been the names of MPs, their identity card numbers, dates of birth, the documents to prove their Sri Lankan citizenship etc. more..

Politicians, public servants should work with public to solve waste management: President

June 21 (PSL) President Sirisena emphasized that the politicians as well as the public servants should join hands with the public to find solutions for the waste management issue and the  Dengue menace.  He made these remarks addressing Colombo District Special Environment Conference, yesterday (20). He said that many issues have arisen due to the irresponsible involvement of Ministers and MPs more..

Organized Crimes Prevention Division begins investigations on Azath Salley’s hate speech

June 21 (DN) The Organized Crimes Prevention Division commenced an investigation against NUA leader Azath Salley for allegedly making a hate speech during a press conference last year. Filing a facts report before Colombo Chief Magistrate, Organized Crimes Prevention Division informed that it has received a complaint from a resident of Mudungoda alleging that NUA leader Azath Salley made a hate speech tantamount to hurt the sentiments of Sinhala-Buddhist community more..

September deadline for SriLankan - no more bailouts

June 21 (DN) SriLankan Airlines may not have funds to continue from next September hence a strong decision has to be taken on it, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said. He made this comments while assuming duties as the news State Minister for State Enterprise Development, at the World Trade Centre. Deputy Minister said that the Treasury has funded the airline and bailed it out on many occasions. However this cannot go on after September. more..

ජනතාව ගැන හැඟිමක් නැත් ද මේ පාලකයන්ට?

US says attacks on religious places reprehensible

June 21 (NR) United States says attacks against religious places of worship are reprehensible, whether in Sri Lanka, or in the US, or anywhere around the world. Speaking at an Iftar ceremony in Batticaloa, US Ambassador Atul Keshap said those who spread hatred offend not just the good nature of human beings, but violate the human rights that all should enjoy. Keshap said it is imperative that anybody engaging in such acts of violence should be arrested and brought to trial, more..

Lankan MBBS student raped in Chittagong

June 21 (DS) Law enforcers have arrested a youth for reportedly raping a Sri Lankan girl, who is an MBBS student of University of Science and Technology Chittagong (USTC), in the port city on Sunday. Md Arif, 26, a sales executive of Khulshi Mart, a commercial establishment in Khulshi area of the city, was arrested yesterday and sent to jail today, our Chittagong staff correspondent reports quoting police. The victim filed a rape case against Arif with Khulshi Police Station on more..

National inflation slows to 7.1% in May

June 21 (EN) Sri Lanka's country-wide inflation continued to decelerate in May 2017, dropping to 7.1% from 8.4% in April as measured by the change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI), the Central Bank said. The NCPI is falling after hitting an over two-year high of 8.6% in March 2017 on a year-on-year basis “This deceleration is mainly due to the base effect amid a monthly increase in NCPI” a statement said. more..

President likely to visit Bangladesh in July

June 21 (DT) President Maithripala Sirisena is likely in Bangladesh on an official visit in July. He shared his perspectives with Bangladesh High Commissioner to SL Riaz Hamidullah on his first visit to Bangladesh as the president. Meanwhile, he expressed his gratitude to PM Sheikh Hasina for the financial assistance to the flood-affected people of Sri Lanka. Earlier in the day, High Commissioner Riaz handed over a cheque of USD 500,000 to President Sirisena. more..

GTF reiterates its call for the participation of International Judges

June 21 (CT) Global Tamil Forum (GTF) reiterates its call for the participation of international judges in the transitional justice processes following the scathing report on Sri Lankan judiciary by the UN Special Rapporteur. Issuing a statement today, GTF said: “A report prepared by the former UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Mónica Pinto, on her mission to SL from April 29 to May 7 last year, tabled by the current Rapporteur, Diego García-Sayán more..

Sri Lanka calls for remedial action to help kin of people who disappeared in civil war

June 21 (PTI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has called for a remedial action to help the kin of the people who disappeared during the two-and-a-half-decade-long civil war. PM also announced that the Office of Missing Persons will lead the Truth Commission to probe the matter. PM said the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) would not institute any legal action in persecution but would deliver justice to the relatives more..

15 arrested in Sri Lanka over instigating hate against minorities

June 21 (Xinhua) Police said they had arrested 15 people over attacks against minority communities in the island country. The police had received 21 complaints against hate speech on minorities while 14 complaints on criminal activities such as attacks, fires on businesses owned by minorities had been recorded. Complaints were also lodged against some politicians. "We assure you that all those complaints are being investigated. All those responsible for instigating hate against more..

22 state officials arrested for attempts of bribery

June 21 (AD) CIABOC announced that 22 state officials had been arrested since the beginning of 2017 in connection with incidents of bribery. Out of the 29 complaints received regarding attempts of bribery, 20 complaints had been followed through with successful raid operations. The majority of the complaints had been in connection with the Police Department and the education sector. Among the 22 arrestees are 5 Police Officers, 4 officials attached to Divisional Secretariat Offices, more..

'Bacteria from Australia to combat dengue'

June 21 (DM) Govt is planning to bring down bacteria which can successfully destroy dengue mosquitoes from Australia, Minister Rajirtha Senaratne told Parliament. Referring to questions raised by MPs on usage of BTI bacteria as in the case of Cuba he said that country was successful not because of BTI alone. "Cuban govt applied rigid rules such as demolishing houses which were found to be dengue breeding grounds and more..

Sri Lanka to abolish import control fee for tea

June 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s cabinet nod has been received to abolish the import control license fee for imported tea in line with 2017 budget proposals. There has been a significant debate on the issue of importing cheaper leaves for blending and re-export, over fears of damaging Ceylon Tea brand. Some tea exporters however want to import leaves from countries like Kenya, Vietnam and Indonesia, and blend them with higher quality local produce for higher returns. more..

Police used tear gas against protesting students

June 21 (DM) The protest of the IUSF went violent with over 85 students being hospitalized after the police used battons, teargas and water cannons to disperse the students who surrounded and took over the Health Ministry building. The university students forcibly entered the Health Ministry building at Maradana in violation of the court order issued by the Colombo Chief Magistrate. Earlier today, the Magistrate issued an order preventing IUSF students from forcibly entering more..

Video: Protesting students barge into Health Ministry

June 21 (DM) The protestors of the IUSF forcibly entered the Health Ministry building at Maradana a short while ago. The protesting students demanded the abolishment of the private medical faculty at the SAITM. The students had also covered the ministry’s sign board reading Suvasiripaya with one of their banners which demanded the private medical faculty be abolished. Earlier today, Colombo Chief Magistrate issued an order more..

The case for a Sangha rebellion

June 22 (CT) My colleague in the CCS, C. R. De Silva has asked me for my comments on the article, Buddhism & Good Governance: The Case for a Sangha Rebellion published recently in the Colombo telegraph in two instalments, for his information. CR was keen to have my comments as he had recently published ideas on the same line. Though I do not have the background to comment on the ideas of an international anthropologist and sociologist like Prof. H.L. Seneviratne, I decided to share my more..

Acts of racism: A slur on reconciliation

June 22 (NS) After many years of war and terrorism we are starving for foreign investments while tourism has just begun to pick registering satisfactory levels of growth over the last few years. Despite many other issues, both political and economic, one positive thing in our country is absence of terrorism and the prevailing peace. In this context any person or organization that engages in any acts leading to destruction of that peace will be indirectly helping to breed terrorism and more..

Oluvil Harbour: To continue or not

June 22 (SO) Reading the news item a few days back on the decision to shut down the fisheries harbour at Oluvil, some facts and views on the Oluvil Harbour given below are noteworthy. Oluvil Harbour appears a waste of public funds, local and foreign, not because of non-use or under- utilization but due to the serious issue of high recurrent maintenance cost required for the harbour to be operational arising from a very high volume more..

While there’s life, there’s hope

June 22 (SL) Having been castigated for being a prophet of doom and gloom insofar as the future of the Resplendent Isle is concerned, being subjected to recurring abuse accompanying the allegation that I am simply a “disgruntled victim of the great Hector Kobbekaduwa’s Land reform” etc. etc., it gives me a bit of satisfaction to document a ray of hope in the murk that is Sri Lanka today. As someone who underwent the travails resulting from a Specialist’s “outsourcing” of what was allegedly a more..

The rise and fall of Wigneswaran

June 22 (SL) He was chosen as a possible hero for the North but today he faces pressure from the very political party which put him in the political arena. Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran last week faced calls to step down in a corruption drama involving some members of the NPC. The TNA made it known publicly that it was not happy with Wigneswaran. In 2013 the TNA nominated Wigneswaran as the Chief Ministerial candidate for the NPC elections. more..