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Coal power here to stay, who says otherwise: CEBEU

May 9 (ST) Despite earlier govt statements to the contrary, coal is set to play a major role in the CEB's Long Term Generation Expansion Plan (LTGEP) 2018-2037. The CEB’s LTGEP 2018-2037 was submitted to the country’s power sector regulator, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) on Friday, for approval. The LTGEP envisages a mixed energy system to power the country for the next two decades, more..

Captaincy conflict hit Junior Netballers in Korea

May 9 (CT) A number of problems had arisen within the Sri Lanka Junior netball team prior to their first match against Thailand at the Asian Junior Netball Championship in Korea, which led to their defeat by Thailand for the first time in history. But Sri Lanka managed to bounce back in the second game beating Pakistan by a big margin of 93-06 yesterday. Ceylon Today learns that the main reason for these problems is that more..

RTI used to seek info about parliamentarians with dual citizenship

May 9 (Island) Following the Court of Appeal disqualifying UPFA MP Geetha Kumarasinghe to be a MP due to her dual citizenship the Joint Opposition member Udaya Gammanpila has requested Controller of Immigration and Emigration to name all those MPs with dual citizenship. UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila has sought information in accordance with the Right to Information (RTI) Act adopted by ruling coalition. more..

Geetha’s MP post annulled; Parliament Sec.Gen

May 9 (NR) General Secretary of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake has informed the Elections Commission that the Parliamentary seat of Geetha Kumarasinghe has been vacated. Notice was issued in writing to the Elections Commission. Court of Appeal last Wednesday ruled that UPFA MP cannot hold a Parliamentary post as she holds dual citizenship and was against 19th Amendment to the Constitution. more..

Don't change our portfolios: UNP tells MS

May 9 (DM) The UNP has requested President Sirisena not to reshuffle cabinet portfolios assigned to it. According to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, it is discretionary for the President to consult the PM in the appointment of Cabinet Ministers and assignment of subjects. In this scenario the President is unable to reshuffle the Cabinet without consulting the PM who is from the UNP. more..

'Cabinet reshuffle at auspicious time'

May 9 (CT) The much speculated and hyped Cabinet reshuffle will take place at the auspicious time given by astrologers, most likely after Vesak Poya Day (10), Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. Earlier, President Sirsena said that there would be a Cabinet reshuffle, accompanied by a series of sweeping political and bureaucratic changes, soon after May Day. He also said that Cabinet reshuffle would also be prior to the Vesak Holidays. more..

Fake News and the AIDS Scare

May 9 (CT) The spread of fake news has reached an unprecedented level in the recent times. And it hasn't just been local and isolated – only to have occurred in Sri Lanka – but has become a viral and worldwide phenomenon. Of course, it's not the first time it has happened. People tend to spread invalid and wrong information regardless of the situation, the potential consequences that it might lead to and it has been happening since time immemorial. It's nothing new to us. more..

Rajapaksa should be arrested

May 9 (CT) What is this govt of President Sirisena doing? Waiting, watching, ruminating while the old dictator is mobilising crowds unleashing his money and the moneys of other former UPFA govt’s Ministers including his rich brother Basil Rajapaksa. Maybe Yoshitha’s phantom grandma has also put in some of the riches she is said to have earned after selling the sapphires mysteriously gotten from a heavenly angel. Sri Lanka is fairy land-although broke. more..

මැජික් කියන්නෙ බොරුවක් ද? පැතිකඩින් විමසුමක්

Monetary Board holds key rates unchanged

May 9 (LBO) Monetary Board held key interest rates unchanged on Tuesday on slower inflation, a month after hiking rates. Colombo Consumer Price Index headline inflation decelerated to 6.9% in April from 7.3% in March, year-on-year, a factor which supported the decision. Growth of credit extended to the private sector by commercial banks decelerated to 21% by end Feb and 20.4% by end March, year-on-year, although growth of broad money (M2b) remained high at 20% in March. more..

Ananda Samarasekara files revision bail application

May 9 (NR) The amended bail application filed by the Former Colombo Chief Judicial Medical Officer Professor Ananda Samarasekara at the Colombo High Court will be heard once again on the 7th of June. The revision bail application was filed after the Colombo Additional Magistrate’s Court previously rejected the bail application. The Deputy Solicitor General representing the Attorney General tabling details in Court said the Magistrate’s Court refused bail due to justifiable doubts more..

Malik wants FTA with Singapore to be finalized before July

May 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka wants the scheduled free trade agreement with Singapore to be finalized before July this year, BOI said quoting Minister Malik Samarawickrama. BOI said another FTA with China is expected by the end of this year. “Minister spoke of the Govt’s interest to develop FTZs and of formulating a new incentive package, adding that Sri Lanka would allow a more liberalized regime for trade and investments,” more..

MR’s security needs must be confirmed

May 9 (NR) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says govt is paying special attention to the security of Former President MP Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said the Former President’s security detail was reduced following a complete assessment of his security. Minister said Govt is clearly of the stance that Mahinda Rajapaksa should have a security detail. He said the required number of security personnel however does not lie in the hands of politicians, adding security is provided based on more..

FR filed by Udayanga re-fixed for support

May 9 (DN) The Fundamental Rights petition filed by former Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga seeking an Interim Order to recall the warrant issued for his arrest by the Colombo Fort Magistrate was re-fixed for support on Aug 28 by Supreme Court. At a previous occasion, the Attorney General was given further time to seek possibility of releasing funds from several frozen bank accounts belonging to Udayanga Weeratunga following his request to do so. more..

Bandula to go to SC on Mahendran’s citizenship

May 9 (DM) The JO said today it would file a case in the Supreme Court seeking to clarify whether the duties and responsibilities carried out by former Central Bank governor Arjuna Mahendran were legal on the basis of not being a Sri Lankan citizen but that of Singapore. Referring to the last week’s Appeal Court ruling disqualifying Geetha Kumarasinghe from being a parliamentarian because of her dual-citizenship, it queried more..

World's biggest star tortoise found in Lunugamvehera?

May 9 (DM) A star tortoise weighing 13 kg - believed to be the world's biggest and heaviest - has been found by wildlife officers from the Lunugamvehera National Park. This tortoise is believed to be the biggest tortoise found on far in the world. This tortoise which belongs to the Chelonian species has been recognized by the people as striped tortoise, forest tortoise, Mevara tortoise, Huniyan tortoise (Black magic tortoise), spring bean tortoise and Batakeya tortoise. more..

Lankan guilty of 2nd-degree murder in Canada

May 9 (MG) A jury that had been deliberating since last week found Amalan Thandapanithesigar guilty of second-degree murder for having stabbed his neighbour in Côte-des-Neiges.  Thandapanithesigar was originally charged with first-degree murder, but the jury found him guilty of the lesser charge late Monday afternoon. It meant the jury was probably not convinced he planned the murder even though they heard evidence that, a week before the murder was carried out, more..

Sri Lanka lacks progress on job quality, quantity: ESCAP

May 9 (EN) Sri Lanka failed to make progress in improving the quantity and quality of employment last year with a large proportion of low-productivity jobs in her economy and wage inequality high. In 2016, average employment growth in the Asia-Pacific region was modest but remained steady at 1.1%, while the share of vulnerable employment remained persistently high at about 50%, ESCAP said. more..

Roads closed for Vesak

May 9 (DN) Police has announced that certain roads in Colombo will be closed for Vesak, which falls on May 10-11. Following roads will be closed from 7 p.m. on the above-mentioned dates: Bauddhaloka Mawatha: from Borella cemetery junction to Stanley Wijesundara junction. Gregory’s Road: from Kinsey Road junction to Maitland Crescent junction. James Peiris Mawatha: from the Slave Island roundabout to Piththala junction. Dawson’s Lane: from Union Place to Braybrook Place. more..

Six policemen found guilty of killing suspect

May 9 (Island) Jaffna High Court Judge H. Ilancheliyan recently sentenced the former Chunnakam police OIC and five other policemen to 10 years rigorous imprisonment for killing a suspect taken into custody in connection with a robbery of gold jewellery. The convicts are Chinthaka Bandara (OIC) and constables Gnanalingam, Mayuran, Rajapaksa, Jayantha, Weerasinghe and Gopi Krishnan. The deceased was Sri Skandaraja Sumanan of Kadduwan South. more..

Appeal filed by SLMC challenging SAITM order fixed for support

May 9 (DN) Supreme Court fixed the Appeal filed by Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) for support on May 31, today, challenging the judgment of Court of Appeal to register a student of SAITM in Malabe provisionally as a medical practitioner in terms of section 29(2) of the Medical Ordinance. The Supreme Court bench comprised Justice Buwaneka Aluvihare, Justice Priyantha Jayawardena and Justice Nalin Perera. more..

Video: Kerawalapitiya murder: body of the deceased exhumed

May 9 (AD) The body of the 65-year-old man in Kerawalapitiya who was believed to have been killed and buried by his son-in law was exhumed today. The body was exhumed in the presence of Negombo Chief Magistrate Purnima Paranagamage. The son-in-law, his daughter and wife have been arrested in connection with the murder so far. The daughter and son-in law had too visited the crime site this morning. An investigation to locate deceased’s whereabouts was initiated as more..

National Security not sidelined: CBK

May 9 (NR) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga says the govt is not engaged in efforts to sideline the importance of national security by directing its focus on reconciliation. Addressing a media briefing this afternoon in Colombo to inform the media on the recently approved National Reconciliation Policy the former president said the President, Prime Minister and head of the Armed Forces convene weekly to discuss the country’s national security. more..

Ports Authority concerned over Hambantota

May 9 (Hindu) It is not just New Delhi or Washington that is worried about Colombo’s proposed deal to sell a deep-sea port in Hambantota to a Chinese company. Sri Lanka’s ports authority has fundamental concerns over the proposed deal, its Chairman Dammika Ranatunga said. While the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) appreciates the importance of foreign investment, it would only go by the book, Ranatunga said. more..

Video: Parachutist survives mid-air explosion

May 9 (MO) A military parachutist survived a mid-air explosion after crashing into high-voltage power lines and suffering an electric shock. Onlookers heard a loud explosion as a huge flash of light emerged during the training exercise in Sri Lanka. In terrifying footage the woman can be seen careering towards the lines but is unable to change her course. She then crashes directly in to the high-voltage cables and immediately explodes into a flash of light. more..

Video: Geetha files appeal against ruling

May 9 (DM) Geetha Kumarasinghe has filed an appeal at the Supreme Court against the Appeal Court's decision which disqualified her as a MP. A court of appeal decision recently ruled that Kumaasinghe could not hold a seat in parliament as she was also dual citizenship holder. Kumarasinghe said her lawyers had filed the appeal at the Supreme Court. “I will also meet and inform the chairman of the elections commission that I can remain a MP until the Supreme Court decision,” she said. more..

President instructs relevant sectors to eliminate obstacles for waste management

May 9 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to expedite the submission of investigation reports on waste management by the Ministry of Environment and the Central Environmental Authority to take further actions in this regard. He also gave instructions to the relevant sectors to prepare a new cabinet paper to ban the use of unsafe polythene types. He made these remarks during a meeting with more..

Will go to court against Burkas worn by Muslim women: BBS

May 9 (AM) Body Bala Sena General Secretary Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera said he would go to court against allowing Muslim women to wear burka in public. “There has to be one law in the country. You cannot have a different law for the Muslims,” Gnanasara Thera said, addressing a press conference in Colombo yesterday. He said the Police have no qualms about arresting those wearing full-face helmets but the same rule did not apply to the Muslim women who wear burkas. more..

Environmentalists urge ADB to stop funding coal projects

May 9 (Island) Friends of the Earth Asia Pacific has recently released a report calling on the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to cease all funding of coal projects, saying that its current climate and energy policies are incompatible and hypocritical. This year the ADB turns 50, and in the last decade alone it has financed over US $3 billion in coal projects across the Asia Pacific region and was one of the largest international public financiers of coal. Friends of the Earth Asia Pacific, more..

Sri Lanka takes the sting out of Modi’s tea plantation trip

May 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka has taken the unusual step of clearing thousands of wasps from a tea plantation to ensure Indian PM Narendra Modi is not stung during his upcoming visit. Police in Hatton, hired a private company to remove the wasps from its picturesque tea fields which Mr Modi will tour with his entourage on Friday. The private Bee protection organisation said they removed nests from two locations to ensure the Indian visitors could more..

Reconciliation in a country entrenched with multiple discriminations

May 10 (CT) In spite of several years of discussions and talks the work towards reconciliation in Sri Lanka has not made much progress. In this paper we will try to look into the problem areas relating to reconciliation in the light of multiple discriminations that are entrenched in SL. This is against the usual approach of treating the issue of reconciliation only from a racial point of view that is as a conflict defined by racial relationships between Sinhalese and the Tamils communities. more..

Easy access to credit triggers violence against women in Sri Lanka

May 10 (CT) Microfinance was introduced to provide affordable financial services to women from low-income households with an objective intended to finance income-producing activities, build assets, protect against risks and thereby fight against poverty. It is widely believed that microfinance would benefit the poor by eradicating poverty and result in financial inclusion, encourage savings, job creation, provide education, improve health & welfare and finally empower women. more..

The ideal way to celebrate Vesak

May 10 (SO) Vesak celebration falling on Full Moon Poya day in the month of May is the holiest religious event for Buddhists, especially, for Theravada Buddhists, the world over. This is because the long cherished hallowed Theravada Buddhist tradition faithfully believes that the three great events connected with the life of the Buddha occurred on three full moon days falling in the month of May. The first of these events is the birth of more..

Playing pandu with the press

May 10 (ST) Overawed by the May Day public display of support for their political opponents and even for their partners in govt and perhaps exhausted by their own efforts to convince the people that promises made two years ago have not been forgotten, our ruling elite seem to have forgotten one important event. May 3rd was World Press Freedom Day which is commemorated in most parts of the world where even a semblance of freedom still exists and media practitioners more..

Joy of giving: Is it usurped?

May 10 (NS) With the Vesak full moon day around the corner, Sri Lankans have begun to pick up momentum in lantern making, Pandol construction and free-meal (Dansala) outlets all over the island. Dansalas can be defined as an open house of food and drinks where everyone is welcome irrespective of their caste, creed, religion or personal assets. The philosophy of giving is a noble gesture associated with the core teachings of Buddhism. Benevolence in giving food or Dana (almsgiving) has been more..

'Party will not sacrifice or change mentality'

May 10 (CT) ITAK Leader and TNA MP Mavai Senathiraja said his party will not sacrifice or change their mentality in achieving a political solution through a North-East merger as it is an essential demand of his people. "The proposal put forward by President Chandrika Kumaratunga on 3 August 1995 introduced the union of regions, North-East merger with power sharing including an administrative unit for the Muslims in the East more..

Pilgrim’s path

May 10 (DN) Despite the doomsday-like heat, the sacred sites of SL never run short of pilgrims. Come Vesak, the pilgrims carrying backpacks, rucksacks and bottles of water with sweat trickling down the white garbs are a common sight. The journey, like any other spiritually-strengthened one, needs much preparation. You are supposed to shun the basic vices, smoking, consuming liquor and eating meat, at least for three days prior to setting off. The pilgrims have a reason to gather at this place, more..

Meaningful Vesak celebration

May 10 (DN) The annual Vesak festival is tapping at our doorsteps. If one were to walk on the highways or on byroads right now, one would see the country getting ready to display the life events of the Buddha by erecting storytelling pandals and close to them dansel or almsgiving halls coming up or already set up. Also, there are special Vesak zones as well. However, does it really display the true meaning of the great life events of Gauthama Buddha who showed the path to live in peace & harmony, more..

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe

KOICA volunteers supporting human resources development in N&E

May 10 (FT) Three Korean volunteers of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) have successfully completed three small scaled projects in the Sri Lankan respective organisations in the end of April. The projects are titled, IT education environment improvement for Jaffna CoT (Center of Technology), Korean language classroom facilities improvement for Ampara CoT and Taekwondo gymnasium establishment in South Eastern University in Oluvil. more..