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Red Alert fails, defeating purpose

June 5 (CT) The pathetic lack of planning and preparedness was laid bare when in spite of the weather forecast warning of the severity of the oncoming stormy weather on the 26th May – (the day the water level rapidly climbed to around 15 ft within barely five hours), leading to the unfortunate deaths of over 300 (and still mounting), the devastating destruction it has left in its wake, causing landslides that buried dwellings, more..

'Precautions needed to curb epidemics'

June 5 (CT) Adverse weather conditions affected the country and left many in misery. While the disaster took more than 200 lives, there is a great risk of disease spreading in the aftermath of the floods. GMOA General Secretary Dr. Naveen de Soysa, in an interview with Ceylon Today discussed about the possible health risks in the aftermath of the adverse weather conditions. He stressed that there could be threat of epidemics & disease more..

Floods wreak havoc in Kalutara

June 5 (CT) Most of the flood relief camps have now been deserted as the people have left for their damaged homes, in a vain attempt to forage for whatever was left of their belongings. Ceylon Today visited the Kalutara District to find out how the victims were faring. Stephen: We live close to the Kalu Ganga. Our area usually gets flooded. On this occasion, floods destroyed everything in our home and shop. We have to start everything more..

3-Month grace on loan repayments for disaster victims: Central Bank

June 5 (ST) The Central Bank (CB) directed all licensed banks in Sri Lanka to grant a three-month moratorium on repayment of loans, to customers in flood-affected areas. The CB is to extend this policy decision to other areas too. This is for customers in areas found to be part of the supply chain related to the flood-affected areas. The CB decision comes following an extensive assessment of flood-hit areas. more..

Landslide threat on historic Fa-Hsien caves

June 5 (CT) The worst damage of landslides in history is to be reported soon. The houses and lands can be replaced and deaths can be compensated, but the damage which is to be predicted is immeasurable. The world famous archaeological site Pahiyangala is threatened by a landslide. Fa-Hsien is a massive rock cave in which about 3,000 people had lived. It is considered the biggest rock cave in Sri Lanka. more..

Alleged CB bond scam: Harsha at PCol

June 5 (AD) Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva has appeared before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds, to testify in connection with the Sri Lanka Central Bank bond issue.  Secretary of the Commission, Sumathipala Udugamasooriya stated that the Deputy Minister was called to testify before the Commission at 10.00 am today (05). more..

President on inspection tour in Bulathsinhala, Yatagampitiya, Nagahadola

June 5 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena made an inspection tour in the areas affected by floods and landslides in Bulathsinhala, Yatagampitiya, Nagahadola in the Kalutara district, today. The President also inquired about the damaged houses and properties due to the calamity and also joined in a Shramadana Campaign organized in the area by the Ministry of Environment in parallel to the World Environment Day. more..

Parliament Mafia: Harrison to develop his own economy with NLDB funds!

June 5 (SL) Shocking facts have now emerged how the Chairman and Board of Directors of National Livestock Development Board (NLDB) are aiding and abetting the Rural Economic Development Minister P. Harrison to develop his personal economy rather than the rural economy of the country. Board of Directors of NLDB had taken an unlawful board decision on Jan 31, to develop minister’s personal economy by more..

Missing the bus to prosperity

June 5 (FT) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, lamenting over the country’s missed opportunities in the past due to not making correct decisions at the correct time, has reiterated his commitment to introducing major reforms to facilitate the country’s move to join the rich country club within a few decades. Samaraweera has done so when he had commenced wearing his other hat, Media, at the Media Ministry last week. He is reported to have said that govt will establish, more..

Terror strikes London again

June 5 (CT) The nursery rhyme is still popular among the kindergarten children highlighting the engineering marvel and the majestic appearance of the iconic bridge on the river Thames. The latest attack carried out in close proximity to the London Bridge last Saturday night by a group of terrorists arriving in a white van had led to the deaths of seven innocent Londoners and injuring several others. The preliminary investigation carried out on the incident has revealed that more..

වංචා දූෂණ විමර්ශන කොමිසමේ හිටපු ලේකම් ලැසිල්

All parties have agreed to include Unitary status in constitution

June 5 (DN) All political parties including the TNA have agreed to include the term Unitary Status into the new constitution that is being formulated, Minister Dilan Perera said. He said that some media had carried incorrect news. He said the term Unitary Status is in the Sinhala translation of the constitution and not in the English and Tamil translations. “What members like me maintained was to include the term Unitary Status into the English and the Tamil translations of the Constitution,” more..

Former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake released on bail

June 5 (DN) Former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake was released on bail today by Colombo Additional Magistrate Jayaram Trotsky after serving bail conditions. On June 3, he was ordered to be released on a cash bail of one million rupees with three sureties of Rs.5 million each by the High Court. Furthermore, he was barred from leaving the country and was ordered to appear before CID every Sunday of each month. He was severely warned not to interfere with the witnesses in the case. more..

NITF estimates Rs. 825 m initial insurance bill for flood disaster

June 5 (FT) National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF) Board estimates that the damage to houses and small businesses inflicted by the floods could add up to Rs. 825 million, with officials expecting payments to be rolled out in the next few weeks. NITF CEO Sarath de Silva confirmed they are awaiting instructions from the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) to release funds to affected households. more..

'Lankans in Japan call for a regime change'

June 5 (Island) Sri Lankans in Japan were frustrated with the conduct of Yahapalana govt and they calling for a regime change in Sri Lanka, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said from Tokyo. Sri Lankans, living in Japan especially the Lankan businessmen including vehicle importers, had complained that they were no longer in a position to survive due to the disastrous govt policies, Rajapaksa said. "They are asking us, the Joint Opposition, to take up this issue with the govt more..

President’s World Environment Day message

June 5 (GDI) It took several centuries for the human beings to be modest enough to accept the fact that they are only one of creations of the nature. Even though human civilizations, from its origin, made efforts to change the natural environment to suit their needs, at present, due to the frequently occurring of natural disasters, we have to admit that humans cannot survive without a sustainable environment. Nature reminds us its message through landslides, devastating floods and more..

Dr. Kahandaliyanage responds to GMOA

June 5 (DM) The recently appointed Competent Authority to manage Disaster Response Activities of the Health Ministry Dr. Athula Kahandaliyanage refuted allegations made by the GMOA that he was unfit for the post. He said that he was surprised to see the allegations made by a trade union requesting President to rescind his appointment made by Minister of Health to function as Competent Authority to manage more..

PM’s World Environment Day message

June 5 (GDI) SL has the advantage of a unique bio diversity footprint and ecological advantages yet over time, as a result of short term goals that border on fast gains, the eco balance has shifted, causing considerable harm to the environment around us. We need to rediscover the manner in which our ancestors were able to co-exist in harmony with nature; as a country, every one of us must be conscious of the need to address ecological and environmental concerns as we travel more..

Expressway not cause of floods: Vajira

June 5 (DM) Minister Vajira Abeywardene dismissed the claims made by his Cabinet colleague Champika Ranawaka that the Southern Expressway had been the major cause for the recent floods. “Some say that the Southern Expressway may have had a major impact on the recent floods but the real issue is mismanagement of rivers in the area,” he said. Asked whether he would rate the statement made by Minister Ranawaka as a baseless one, he said he would not call it a baseless one. more..

Faulty govt finance!

June 5 (FT) The Daily FT reproduces below the Auditor General's qualified opinion section in the Finance Ministry Annual Report and Accounts for 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 during which period the Finance Ministers were former President Mahinda Rajapaksa along with Dr. P.B. Jayasundera as the Secretary and Ravi Karunanayake as Finance Minister along with Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga as Secretary. more..

Video: Zoysa condemns govt's relief efforts

June 5 (AD) MP Ranjith De Zoysa stated that the politicians of the country should have taken a more genuine stance when helping out with the relief effort, instead of putting on a facade when it came to resolving the issue. He further added that the consequences caused by the torrential, rain was very similar to that of the Tsunami that occurred in 2004. De Zoysa stated that the govt lack of preparation for such circumstances has led to the present situation, and more..

JO complains to EU of delayed local polls

June 5 (Island) Joint Opposition has complained to the European Union of the govt’s failure to hold local govt elections. The complaint had been made when a delegation of Joint Opposition MPs led by its parliamentary group and MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena met EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka Tung-Laï Margue on June 1, UPFA MP Sisira Jayakody said. The JO delegation also comprised MPs Prasanna Ranatunga, Namal Rajapaksa and several other MPs, Jayakody said. more..

'SL needs laws to enforce evacuation orders'

June 5 (EN) SL needs laws to enforce evacuation orders to minimise casualties from natural disasters some of which could have been avoided had people heeded warnings, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. Casualties from last month’s landslides and floods triggered by heavy rains would have been higher had not the govt activated its disaster response plan, he said. “We need more laws to ensure  people at risk more..

Gayantha lodges complaint with the CID

June 5 (NR) Minister of Land and Parliamentary Reforms Gayantha Karunathileke has lodged a complaint with the CID claiming reports are circulating on social media regarding parcels of bananas being distributed as relief with images of him and his mobile number. When inquired by NewsRadio, the Minister said the distribution of the packages was a move to tarnish his reputation. Minister Gayantha Karunathileke claimed he did not distribute relief that contained his details. more..

AG to decide on maintainability of Range Bandara's case

June 5 (DM) The Attorney General is being considered over the defence objection on the maintainability of the case where Minister Palitha Range Bandara was accused of obtaining Rs.5.4 million dishonestly inducing a person to deliver a vehicle registration permit, Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) Dilan Ratnayake told court today. Earlier, the defence moved an objection over the maintainability of the case. However, AG is yet to make his stance on the objection, the DSG said. more..

Olympic Silver Medal: Susanthika suspends auction sale

June 5 (DM) Following President Sirisena's intervention, Olympic medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe has decided to put on hold her decision to auction the silver medal she won in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She said that an officer from presidential secretariat had informed her over the phone that the President would look into the matter. Ms. Jayasinghe said the Sports Minister had suspended her salary since April, more..

Mi-17 helicopter to be removed from service

June 5 (DM) SL Air Force said its Mi-17 helicopter, which was forced to land in a flooded area in Baddegama on May 29 after a technical failure, during rescue and relief operations will be removed from service. The Air Force usually did not operate helicopters which had crashed or forced to land on water. It had deployed seven Mi-17 helicopters, three Bell-212 helicopters and one Bell-412 helicopter for relief and rescue operations during the recent landslide and flood disaster. more..

Case against Rohitha A. fixed for trial

June 5 (DN) A case filed against former Minister, Kalutara District MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena allegedly for unlawfully acquiring assets worth Rs.41.1 million was fixed for trial by Colombo High Court today. Accordingly, the case will be taken up for trial on July 3 and 5. Meanwhile, High Court Judge Sampath Wijeratne permitted the defence to access evidence from the computer for the case and permitted the defence to inspect them on June 12, 13 and 14. more..

Sri Lanka hails record military deployment as toll hits 213

June 5 (AFP) SL's military recorded its biggest peacetime deployment for search and rescue operations after monsoon rains triggered landslides and floods that killed 213 people, govt said. Nearly 10,000 troops and paramilitary forces reinforced tens of thousands of police in the relief effort following the May 26 deluge, minister Anura Yapa said. "This is the biggest deployment of troops during peace time in SL," more..

Bangladesh donates US $500,000 for Sri Lanka flood victims

June 5 (TS) Bangladesh govt has decided to provide a cash assistance of US $500,000 to support the victims of recent flood and landslides in Sri Lanka which killed more than 100 people and caused severe damage to livelihood and properties of thousands. PM Sheikh Hasina declared this cash donation today in Dhaka, said a Foreign Ministry press release. Earlier, PM wrote to SL President Sirisena condoling the deaths of SL people and offered sympathy to the people, more..

Sharp decline in volume, quality anticipated at Sri Lanka tea auction

June 5 (EN) Sri Lankan brokers are anticipating a sharp decline in both the quantity and quality of tea offered at forthcoming weekly Colombo auctions after heavy rains triggered floods and landslides in key growing areas, disrupting production and transport. Most of the low grown planting sub districts in Kalutara, Galle and Matara were inundated once again due to torrential rains with rainfall figures well in excess of 500 mm, said John Keells Ltd. more..

Sathosa temporally suspends controversial Basmathi rice sale

June 5 (DM) The distribution and selling of the controversial consignment of Basmathi rice imported from Pakistan has been suspended temporally with immediate effect, Lanka Sathosa Chairman T.M.K.B. Tennekoon said. Panic made among the consumers due to a video went viral on social network news describing the subject rice as Plastic Rice due to its several suspicious qualities. more..

Anti-muslim violence: The puzzle of continuing impunity  

June 6 (CT) Some years ago, in 2011, there was a phenomenon called the grease devils that struck fear in communities in different parts of the country, and particularly those living in areas in which the Tamil people predominate. Semi clothed men with grease on their bodies started to infiltrate into the homes of people. They broke inside and sometimes groped women but usually they only caused utter fear and no other physical harm. As in the case of the present upsurge in anti Muslim violence, more..

Muslims should start asserting; We are equal citizens; not karapincha!   

June 6 (CT) It is indeed a healthy sign that at least the intellectual sections and civic leadership of the Muslim community in particular are now slowly but surely awakening to the fact that Muslims can no longer afford to live solely on the sympathy and goodwill of the rulers, and further relying on certain political personalities to safeguard or win their rights is just a futile exercise and not a long term solution. This stark reality and their imperative need to lead the community to come out of more..

Ayagama: Quick thinking and vigilance minimise losses

June 6 (SO) Ayagama, located 32 Km away from Ratnapura town was one such town in the district that was heavily affected with one landslide claiming a large area of its town centre. Home to over 31,000 residents, the road leading up to the town, though cleared now had been completely cut off from the town making it difficult to reach. While the main road running through the town remains completely impassable, more..

Disappointment and disillusionment with economic performance

June 6 (ST) There is widespread disappointment with the unity govt’s economic performance. Perhaps the most disillusioned are those who supported the regime change in 2015. The great expectations from the regime change, in as far as the economy is concerned, have virtually disappeared. A strong political will to resolve these constraints and reawaken the economy is the need of the hour. Political indecision, lack of a consensus on economic policies, consequent uncertainty more..

British elections: Shake, rattle and roll

June 6 (ST) When PM Theresa May unexpectedly called a general election she was sitting pretty with the opinion polls heavily weighted in her favour. With the election due on Thursday, the stakes could not be higher with the narrowing of the gap between the seeming runaway candidate May and Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn earlier relegated to the backburner as lacking leadership qualities. It seems that politicians never learn. In recent years opinion polls have proved woefully wrong. more..

'Turf war at Excise Department'

June 6 (CT) Excise Department is currently rocked with dissent that has led to a turf war between rival groups from the uniform sector and those in the civil administration and at the end of the day it has dwarfed performance resulting in losses of vital revenue to govt. Entire department has been politicized over the years with political pet poodles calling the shots whenever there is the possibility and to hell with standard procedures. more..

Editorial: London carnage

June 6 (Island) Terrorists have struck once again in the UK. They have left seven dead and several others injured in London. That they would carry out another massacre was not difficult to predict though the British govt adopted extraordinary security measures following the Manchester concert blast on May 22. Terrorists have demonstrated that nothing can prevent them from destroying their targets anywhere in the world. All it takes to plunge any big city into a bloodbath is a single brainwashed more..

Silver linings among the Cabinet clouds

June 6 (CT) I wrote last week, in rather sad vein, about the Cabinet reshuffle. But I did suggest that there might be a silver lining in the cloud, in that Ravi Karunanayake was less likely than Mangala to pursue the emasculation of our armed forces, and indeed the nullification of our victory over terrorism. I also argued that, absurd though Mangala was at representing the country internationally, he was supposed to be honest, and was also aware that he knew nothing about finance. more..