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'18-20 extremist activities reported recently'

May 24 (NR) JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said around 18- 20 incidents of extremist activities have taken place in the recent past. He said 18-20 of these incidents have taken place adding that however from these the govt has disregarded 8 incidents where lamps overturned or there were shortages. MP said there are 10 left from which govt can surmise that a pattern of incidents is taking place following which he then asked more..

Gnanasara thera ordered to be in Court

May 24 (NR) The Court of Appeal today ordered General Secretary of the BBS Galagodathe Gnanasara thera to appear before Court on the 31st of May along with his medical records. A case is filed against Galagodathe Gnanasara thera on charges of contempt of court. The thera was ordered to appear before court on the 31st as he failed to appear before court today. The order was issued by Chairman of the Appeals Court Judge Rohini Welgama and Judge S Thurairajah. more..

52 women abused in Kuwait to return home

May 24 (NR) The govt has facilitated the repatriation of 52 Sri Lankan workers who were subject to abuse while employed in Kuwait. The 52 women arrived in the island at 10 this morning. Meanwhile 68 women who were also subject to abuse while employed in Saudi Arabia are scheduled to return home this evening. The women who arrived from Saudi Arabia suffered abuse such as, violation of labour rights, not receiving payments on time and being treated in inhumanely. more..

President visits National Arboretum in Canberra

May 24 (PSL) Prez Maithripala Sirisena visited National Arboretum in Canberra this morning. He was received by the Attorney General of Canberra Gordon Ramsay who represented the Chief Minister of Canberra. Mr. Scott Saddler, Acting Executive Manager of the Arboretum ýwas also present on this occasion. President planted a Mahogany sapling in the Arboretum to mark his visit to Australia. more..

Pakistani duo with 4kg heroin under questioning

May 24 (NR) Court today granted the Customs approval to detain and question the Pakistani couple arrested at the Katunayake International Airport with the possession of four kilograms of heroin. The heroin has been valued at 40 million rupees. The couple was produced before the Negombo Magistrate’s Court today. The couple was arrested early this morning upon arriving from Pakistan. They duo had concealed the heroin the 4 kilos and 218 grams of heroin in their luggage. more..

Prez visits Mount Majura solar farm in Canberra

May 24 (PSL) President Sirisena who is on a three-day state visit to Australia made an observation tour of the Mount Majura Solar Farm in Canberra, today. SL delegation, including Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga, Deputy Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, Ajith P. Perera, Deputy Foreign Minister, Harsha de Silva, Harshana Rajakaruna,MP, President’s Director General Public Relations, Shantha Bandara participated more..

Video: Protesting medical students, parents tear-gassed

May 24 (AD) The participants of a protest walk against SAITM have been dispersed using tear gas and high-pressure water cannons near the flyover in the proximity of the Lotus Roundabout. The protest walk that began in the morning today was organized as a joint effort by medical students and their parents. A heavy traffic congestion is said to have been created on account of the protest. An assembly of disabled soldiers has also more..

PM proposes meeting of party leaders on delayed LG polls

May 24 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that he would discuss the proposed election reforms with all party leaders and inform the Cabinet of their position within one week. PM said so in response to a query raised by MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena. Latter also asked the govt to issue a notice calling upon the Election Commission to hold the LG polls without further delay. MP: Around 15 million people in all provinces have been deprived of their franchise. more..

SL, Aus to discuss human smuggling issue

May 24 (DM) President Sirisena’s visit to Australia would be an opportunity to advance key areas of bilateral co-operation including action against human smuggling, Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull said. Australian Premier said that education, defence, science and technology, economic development and medical research were among the topics which would be discussed. President Sirisena arrived in Canberra and he is scheduled to visit Sydney during the three-day official visit. more..

India, Japan Joint Venture To Build Gas Import Terminal In Sri Lanka

May 24 (NDTV) India and Japan will jointly set up a $250 million liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Sri Lanka, the first collaboration between the two nations to counter China's growing influence in the Island nation. Petronet LNG Limited, India's biggest gas importer, last year proposed to set up a 2-million-tonne (MT) liquefied natural gas import facility on the coast of Sri Lanka to meet its energy needs. more..

Sri Lanka workers seek Korean jobs amid currency depreciation

May 24 (EN) In 2016, 6,629 Sri Lankans had officially gone to work in South Korea, a country with a stable exchange rate and better monetary policy than Sri Lanka, and 26,000 are in higher-paying jobs in the country. On May 9, SL's Foreign Employment Bureau said it had abandoned plans to charge a 500,000 rupee deposit from workers going to Korea from this month. SL's rupee has collapsed from 131 to about 154 in mid-2015. Sri Lankans are going to work in the Middle East and Korea in droves, more..

People to people links promote friendship between nations: Pak Envoy

May 24 (PHC) An eight member student delegation along with their teachers from The City School, Lahore led by Mrs. Shazia Zahid, is visiting Sri Lanka from May 24 to 28, 2017 under a Student Exchange Programme with Harcourts International School, Sri Lanka. The students visited the High Commission of Pakistan today, for a briefing. The Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Dr. Sarfraz Ahmed Khan Sipra, while briefing the students, highlighted that more..

Sri Lanka police failing to stop anti-Muslim attacks

May 24 (AFP) Rights groups accused Sri Lankan police Wednesday of failing to stop a wave of hate crimes against Muslim businesses and mosques in the Buddhist-majority country. Police are yet to make any arrests in connection with more than a dozen arson attacks against Muslims shops, mosques and a burial ground in the past month. Prominent rights activist Victor Ivan said the inaction risked a repeat of more..

The Modi-Wickremesinghe constitution

May 25 (CT) As confirmed by Dr. Jehan Perera’s latest column, the PM disclosed in Mannar that Indian PM Modi had urged him, President Sirisena and ex-Presidents Kumaratunga and Rajapaksa to solve the ethnic problem by bringing in a new Constitution without delay. The PM said that this will indeed be undertaken, and a draft document presented in a week or two, with a draft Constitution ready for adoption in two or three months. What the new Constitution really hopes to achieve more..

Lack of intellectual depth in our leaders

May 25 (CT) In all political theatres, when the lights are dim and the drumroll begins, the actors and actresses, veterans and rookies alike, take their respective cues and enter the main stage. The storylines are, if the purpose is to shatter box-office records, consistently shallow and distastefully bizarre; music loud and insufferably out of tune; dialogues lofty and cascading like rainwater from a spout; costumes tailored to suit the audience-acceptance, bright and garish and more..

'Foreign powers destroyed MR'

May 25 (CT) If the law was implemented equally amongst all, the extremist elements will be contained and reconciliation can be achieved said UPFA MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene. He noted that foreign elements control the extremists who have been responsible for the hate motivated attacks in the recent past. Abeywardene added that these extremists were trained and funded by these foreign elements more..

The true human does not have a race

May 25 (CT) "Some people believe that this govt can be changed tomorrow, or day after. Certain people thought, with the count of heads seen at Galle Face, it will be possible to form a new govt the following day. If one can bring a number of heads to a stadium and by simply seeing the number of heads, one thinks that a new govt can be established, it is a big joke. As yet no answer has been given to the question why when there were two years remaining of the tenure, they held an election." more..

Eight years hence

May 25 (Island) There are 71 mentions of Army in the 491-page final report of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTF), released earlier this year. One paragraph is worth flagging in full. "Army representatives also stated that although they had achieved the Govt’s objective under its political direction and in difficult and challenging circumstances, they felt a lack of solidarity and support at present. They stated their support for a truth-seeking process more..

Garbage in the city still fights shy of media

May 25 (SO) Small mountains of uncollected garbage by the road side on Friday were conspicuous-exhibits that the authorities were still grappling to overcome a stinky issue created a month ago, with the collapse of the Meetotamulla trash dump. A full four weeks have elapsed since the Meetotamulla tragedy, but efforts to find a short term solution to dispose the tons of solid waste generated within the city of Colombo and more..

Ravi Mangala Yoga in Cabinet

May 25 (DN) The much anticipated Cabinet reshuffle eventually took place on Monday and saw several key portfolios change hands. The objective of the reshuffle was to apparently stifle growing dissent within the National Unity govt - although critics have quick to point out that it only amounted to a round of musical chairs with ministers swapping subjects among each other. The reshuffle- almost two years into the tenure of this govt- was a long time in the making. more..

Editorial: Gaddafi’s prediction

May 25 (Island) Having raised the threat level from severe to critical following the Manchester blast, Britain is bracing itself for another possible terror strike. Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has vowed that his city will not succumb to division and anger due to the terror strike. But, Monday’s attack is likely to stoke tensions over race and religion. PM Theresa May has reportedly decided to deploy the military to operate alongside police to ensure public safety. more..

Wimal Weerawansa

Police, AG’s Dept. disinterested, Lalith’s murder unsolved: Dayanthe Athulathmudali

May 25 (DN) “When Prof. Fernando requested me to speak today, I declined saying that my utterances may be interpreted as being supportive of the contents of the book being launched this evening. As he repeatedly requested and then gave me the freedom to say anything of relevance I wished, I thought I will start by doing some checks on who Prof Ravindra Fernando is. I asked my Doctor friends who now have the word Emeritus, like Prof. Fernando has, in front of their more..

Construction Expo 2017 on June 2-4

May 25 (Island) SL's largest and most focused constriction related exhibition, Construction Expo 2017, featuring all aspects related to the construction and building industry will be held on June 2-4 at the BMICH. "This event showcases products and services that help the participants to interact with all the stakeholders and key service providers within the building and construction industry," Chairman- Ceylon Institute of Builders (CIOB) Dr. Rohan Karunaratne said. more..

Cabinet Reshuffled: Now what?

May 25 (Roar) The much-hyped Cabinet reshuffle finally took place on Monday without much fanfare, though amidst heavy speculation that the event was a culmination of rising tensions between the two constituent parties of the National Unity Govt. Despite the UNP’s best efforts to hold on to the portfolios assigned to its members, party leader was forced to give in at the last minute, resulting in crucial changes that may make or break more..

New SC Justice stresses the need to think outside the box

May 25 (Island) Justice Vijith K. Malalgoda, at the ceremonial sitting of the Supreme Court, held yesterday to welcome him made the following, speech. The words that have been spoken here have truly made me feel quite humble. I’m honoured to have been appointed to the Supreme Court and I am conscious of the importance of the work of the Court and the significance of the role of a SC Judge. I will do the very best I can, to honour and fulfill the role of being a judge of the Apex Court more..

PM opens integrated manufacturing complex of Flexiprint

May 25 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe opened the new integrated manufacturing complex of Flexprint Ltd. at the Flinth Industrial Estate in Kadawatha. The complex includes the material warehouse of Flexiprint, the leading manufacturer of teabags, teabag envelopes and tagged pyramid mesh, catering to the local and international tea trade.  The new factory has space to accommodate future expansion including printing, finishing, pyramid tagging and label printing. more..

Fairway Chief rebuffs CB Governor’s warnings on apartments market

May 25 (FT) A major industry player, Fairway Holdings, has rebuffed the recent concerns expressed by CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy over the development of the apartments/condominium market as irresponsible and damaging. “I know we are living in a post-truth world, but some of the broad generalisations made by the Governor are excessive, precipitous and don’t seem to be grounded in established facts,” more..

President joins in several programmes in Canberra

May 25 (PSL) President Sirisena visited ANU-CSIRO Centre for Genomics, Metabolomics and Bioinformatics this morning (24). The President was received by the Director – High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre (CSIRO), Dr. Xavier Sirault when he arrived at the venue. The ANU-CSIRO Centre for Genomics, Metabolomics and Bioinformatics (CGMB) combines the strengths of two of Australia’s best research institutions and aims to make discoveries in plant biological science more..

Brace for dengue surge

May 25 (CT) As the dengue epidemic has now reached crisis proportions, President Maithripala Sirisena last week called for a report on the efficacy of the Dengue Control Programme and declared an extended war on dengue for another three months beginning 1 June. During a special meeting with the Presidential Task Force on Dengue Eradication, the President had revealed his plans to issue several new circulars to govt departments and ministries regarding the prevention of dengue. more..

Ducks and drakes games at Lanka Hospitals

May 25 (ST) Ministry of Public Enterprises in an unusual shake up, removed and then reappointed some directors at Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC (LHCP) within a 5-day period, raising eyebrows. Ministry officials said that they wanted to shake the board up a bit, in move to purge the institution of its lackadaisical attitude. On May 12, LHCP said in an announcement to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) that more..

Stockbrokers close outstation branches

May 25 (ST) Some stockbrokers, with the stock market continuing to show negative returns, are closing their outstation branches in a move to cut costs and manage their bottom lines. While brokerages are faced with several serious issues and their cash-flows are strapped, some companies are mulling pay cuts as well. Some closed nearly four branches outstation, they told the Business times adding that altogether about 12 branches were closed by March. more..

Inoka leads Sri Lanka at Women’s World Cup

May 25 (CT) Inoka Ranaweera will captain the SL women's team at the Women's World Cup to be played in the UK from 24 June to 23 July. The squad consists of 15 players who are ready to face stiff oppositions from all other countries. Meanwhile, the ICC confirmed the squads that will be taking part in the tournament. Defending champion Australia will be led by Meg Lanning and bids to win the tournament for the seventh time. They will begin its defence against the West Indies, more..

Worker rights under scrutiny as GSP+ gets underway

May 25 (ST) Access to the European Union (EU) has been opened without trade barriers since Friday May 19 but certain issues concerning worker rights in Sri Lanka still need to be ironed out with the govt to ensure improved conditions on the factory floor, an issue often raised by trade unions, according to EU officials. Trade unions would need to continue lobbying if worker rights is to become a reality, EU Ambassador more..

Special Police Unit to deal with religion based violence

May 25 (DN) A special Police Unit with full powers will be established to deal with organised groups bent on religion based violence. This follows a special directive issued by PM to the Ministry of Law and Order. Several officers who have shown exceptional talent and efficiency will be posted to this unit which will dispatch Police investigation teams where ever attacks on religions places are reported and provide specialist advice towards investigations made into them. more..

Archaeological sites and wildlife: Hakeem calls for PSC

May 25 (DM) Minister Rauff Hakeem said a Parliament Select Committee (PSC) should be appointed to look into issues concerning archaeological sites and wildlife and national parks. He said the recent decisions on archaeological sites, wildlife and national parks had created problems for political parties which represent people in the North and East and that a lasting solution should be provided for these contentious issues through a PSC. The minister said this in response to a more..

New Trade Policy presented to Cabinet Sub Committee on Economic Management

May 25 (FT) Minister of Development Strategies & International Trade yesterday presented the New Trade Policy (NTP) drafted by a committee comprising of trade sector experts in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders to the CCEM, making a remarkable milestone in the history trade policy making in SL. Formulation of a NTP was a long awaited task which was demanded by various parties including both public and private more..

I am reappointed Minister of Nothing-to-do

May 25 (Island) It is the month of May and I as the Minister for Nothing-to-do in the Cabinet of Sirisena and Wickremasinghe expected better things for me in life. There was so much speculation, calculation and others for months re the cabinet shuffle and reshuffle in SL’s jumbo cabinet, Yahapalanaya style. Attacks and counter attacks took place. Many insulted each other. Even those defeated candidates and people who came from the backsides and back doors got Dutch courage to attack rightfully more..

New low for Sri Lankan basketball

May 25 (Island) Sri Lankan basketball hit a new low Tuesday night when the national men’s team suffered a humiliating first ever defeat to Maldives at the ongoing SABA Championship at Male. Sri Lanka’s form in the competition had been patchy and they had earlier lost to Bangladesh apart from losing to tournament favourites India. But Tuesday’s heart breaking defeat to Maldives by six points was hard to take. However, in some quarters it was said that the defeat was expected as more..

Prez, PM owe country an explanation for removing best FM in Asia-Pacific: GL

May 25 (Island) Top Joint Opposition (JO) spokesman Prof. G.L. Peiris said on Tuesday that President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe owed an explanation to the public as to why Ravi Karunanayake, who had been selected as the Finance Minister of the year 2016 in Asia-Pacific by the prestigious ‘The Banker’ magazine, was replaced in the yahapalana govt’s first cabinet reshuffle. more..