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Can bond scam probe be finalised in July due to breaks in public proceedings?

May 26 (Island) A senior spokesperson for the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing bond scams allegedly perpetrated by the Central Bank and Perpetual Treasuries said that its report could be finalized in July 2017 in spite of suspension of public sittings for more than three weeks in April as well as May-June. The Commission held its last sittings on May 19. Sittings will resume on June 5. more..

Conserve fresh water; rain is not bad weather

May 26 (DM) Whether patterns now are largely unpredictable mainly due to the pollution of the ocean and the rising of the sea temperature. Hopefully in SL South-West monsoonal rain appears to have started in most parts of the country though hundreds of thousands of people are still without fresh water for drinking, cooking and other essential purposes. In what is selfish terminology we often describe rain as bad weather. Rain may be inconvenient and cause problems for some more..

Religious tension, A shot in the arm of communal politics

May 26 (DM) What could have been the reason behind recent spate of attacks against mosques and business establishments owned by Muslims and the resurgence of anti-Muslim verbal attacks by the BBS? It is a very difficult question to answer this time. When a similar situation prevailed during the last three years of former President Rajapaksa’s regime, where not only Muslim religious places but also Christian churches and Hindu temples had also been attacked, a few theories-though more..

'Separate admin. unit for up-country Tamils is not a viable demand'

May 26 (DM) Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) stalwart Provincial Minister Senthil Thondaman, shares insights on the visit of Indian PM Narendra Modi to the upcountry. Mr. Thondaman, a nephew of MP Arumugam Thondaman, says it is a positive move. Q: After a long time, the CWC is in the govt without any ministerial responsibilities. How do you see the current political situation? A: We are in alliance with the SLFP. It is good that more..

'Insights from traditional medicine to treat Kidney Disease'

May 26 (DM) Dr. Channa Jayasumana, Head of the Department of Pharmacology at Rajarata Medical Faculty who has conducted extensive research into Chronic Renal Failure in SL, recently participated at the World Congress of Nephrology (WCN) in Mexico and submitted his research. He says valuable insights can be derived from traditional medicine to reverse the disease. Q: You recently made a presentation in Mexico more..

CMC, UDA responsible for building collapse

May 26 (SL) In the realm of the collapsing of a five storied building under construction at Wellawatte, housing a reception hall last week, the quality, standards and safety assurances of several other buildings constructed along the canal reserve has become a major subject of discussion. Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said that officers from the relevant licensing authorities such as the CMC & UDA, who are responsible more..

'Media obstacle to free and fair polls'

May 26 (Island) Justice and Buddha Sasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, alleged that a section of the SL media was an impediment to having free and fair elections. Minister launched the scathing attack on the media when he delivered the keynote address at the 14th International Electoral Affairs Symposium conducted by the Int'l Centre for Parliamentary Studies with collaboration of Election Commission of SL more..

Curb on threewheelers called for as drivers show criminal bent

May 26 (ST) The brutal assault, robbery and attempted murder of a woman in Matara by a threewheeler driver earlier this week highlights how the vehicle is increasingly being used for criminal activities. 57-year-old victim had been waiting for a bus to travel home when a three-wheeler had stopped and the driver offered to drop her. Victim had mentioned that she needed to get off near Godagama exit of Southern hiway. more..

People should enjoy fruits of state asset development: New Petroleum Minister

May 26 (FT) Newly-appointed Petroleum Resources Development Minister Arjuna Ranatunga refuted allegations of selling the Trincomalee oil tanks, dismissing it as a myth propagated by political refugees. At a press conference held after assuming duties, the Minister said the oil tanks in question are being leased and not sold. A framework is need, he said, to develop state assets through private investments while securing country’s more..

Sri Lankan sex ring in Haiti reveals cracks in UN system

May 26 (AP) The general sat on a plastic lawn chair in the garden of his mother's home, the scent of tropical blooms filling the air as he talked about the alleged rape and sodomy of a Haitian teenager by a Sri Lankan peacekeeper. There was no rape, insisted Maj. Gen. Jagath Dias, who was dispatched to Haiti to investigate the 2013 case. He may not have been the best choice for that job — Dias had been accused of atrocities more..

JVP flays govt. for bid to hand over 65,000 acres in Uva to foreign company

May 26 (Island) The JVP accused the govt of handing over thousands of acres of land in the Uva to foreign companies to set up factories without considering the attendant environmental damage. JVP Leader and Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the govt had brought up a proposal to grant 65,000 acres in Rideemaliyedda, Bibile, Madulla and Medagama to a foreign company to start sugar factories.  more..

'Cabinet reshuffle portends a new direction'

May 26 (DN) The cabinet reshuffle built up the atmosphere to lead the country on a new direction and to create a new Sri Lanka, Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He assumed official duties at the Foreign Ministry premises yesterday, following multi religious observances. Making his maiden speech as the new Foreign Affairs Minister said that foreign affairs would be conducted in a manner more..

Rain-triggered mudslides kill 13 people

May 26 (AP) Mudslides and floods triggered by heavy rains in SL killed at least 13 people with four others missing. Minister Vajira Abeywardana said that adverse weather conditions could escalate. Govt advised people living closer to rivers and areas prone to landslides to evacuate, he said. Leave of govt workers has been cancelled, he said, adding that he had asked rescue and aid organizations to stay alert for the next 72 hours. more..

Economic, Not Political

May 26 (CT) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga is reported to have said in Dhaka that the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) were ineffective to solve political problems. SAARC was established in 1985 as an economic grouping. BIMSTEC was established 12 years later in 1997, as that article inferred, because SAARC was going nowhere. more..

Why has SAITM become a spike in the progress of Sri Lanka?

May 26 (CT) Recently I was invited to attend a forum organised by a group of professionals in Melbourne. In fact I was invited as a panel speaker. There were three others in the panel totalling four including myself. The topic was quite appropriate and was addressing one of the burning issues in Sri Lanka. I must confess at the offset that I am not an agent nor shareholder of SAITM. I am a keen follower of issues that are of controversial nature that prop up from time to time in Sri Lanka where more..

අල්හාජ් බකීර් මාකර් සම්බන්ධයෙන් විජමු ලොකුබණ්ඩාර

Parliament closed, MPs rush to flood-affected areas

May 26 (DM) Party leaders today decided to end Parliament sessions at 2 p.m. to allow the MPs to supervise rescue operations and distribution of relief among flood and landslide victims. The decision to end sessions early was made as MPs from the Opposition and the Govt benches urged for swift action to help victims of landslides and floods. JO MP Dinesh Gunawardane said immediate action had to be taken to provide assistance to the victims of what seemed to be the worst floods since 2003. more..

Illegal constructions along canals to be removed

May 26 (DM) Minister Champika Ranawaka today ordered the authorities to remove all illegal constructions that built blocking the canals and waterways. Minister said due to the heavy showers received, the water level of Kelani River has rose and therefore a flood risk has been erupted in the Colombo, Kolonnawa, Kaduwela, Wattala and Kelaniya areas. The Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLRDC) and the related institutions were instructed to remove more..

Iran, Sri Lanka ink 2 MoUs to broaden scientific cooperation

May 26 (FNA) Tehran and Colombo signed two MoUs to broaden their mutual cooperation in the fields of science and technology. MoUs were signed between Iran’s Ambassador to Colombo and SL Minister Susil PremaJayanta on Thursday . During the meeting, the Iranian envoy conveyed Vice President Sourena Sattari’s message to the Sri Lankan minister. SL minister referred to his recent trip to Iran and called for promoting collaboration between the two countries. more..

Water distribution pipe takes hit from landslide: Supply hindered in several areas

May 26 (AD) Water supply to several areas has been affected due to the damage sustained by one of the main water pipes that distributes water from the Kalatuwawa and Labugama water purification centres, National Water Supply and Drainage Board says. The pipe line had reportedly been damaged due to a landslide in Thunmodara, Kaluaggala. Accordingly, the Water Supply and Drainage Board announced that the water supply to the areas of Waga, Kaluaggala, Hanwella, Jayaweeragoda, Jalathara, more..

A DIG’s assessment of anti-SAITM protesters

May 26 (Island) DIG Colombo N. S. Pathinayake said that anti SAITM activists were willingly becoming victims of tear gas attacks in order to get more exposure for what he called their futile cause. They were making a vain attempt to create a favourable impression in the minds of the public, he said. The DIG said the anti SAITM activists thereby received some coverage in the media. "With prior knowledge that the unlawful protesters will be subjected to tear gas attacks and heavy splashes of water, more..

Tissa says American Naval camp to be set up in Trinco

May 26 (DN) LSSP Leader Prof. Tissa Witharana yesterday said that an American Naval camp is to be set up in Trincomalee, with the Trincomalee harbor as the focal point. According to him, a bilateral agreement in this regard has already been signed between Sri Lanka and America. He said that the agreement has been signed secretly to establish an American naval camp. He said that America has agreed to set up the Naval camp in Trincomalee in the future. more..

Govt has no knowledge of IDPs’ gold: Minister

May 26 (Island) Govt had no information about the gold belonging to IDPs who were in welfare centres immediately after the war, Parliament was told. A document tabled by Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka on behalf of Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, in response to a question raised by UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara, said that govt did not possess any information regarding gold belonging to Tamil people who were in IDP camps. more..

Sri Lankan Culinary Show at the Embassy Chef Challenge in Washington

May 26 (SLE) Sri Lanka presented its authentic culinary at the Annual Embassy Chef Challenge held on May 24th at the International Trade Center in the Ronald Regan Building in Washington DC. At this well attended annual event over 30 Embassy Chefs showcased their culinary talents with food preparation skills and signature delicacies of each country. SL was represented by the Embassy Chef Anuradha Wijesinghe, who received public compliments for his spicy kottu with chicken curry more..

Australia and Sri Lanka to enhance cooperation in maritime security

May 26 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena assured that his govt is totally committed to support the campaign against human smuggling and sea piracy. He said that Sri Lanka would extend fullest cooperation to the efforts taken to enhance maritime security. President made this statement when the Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne called on him at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney, yesterday. Ms Payne thanked the President for excellent cooperation extended to Australia more..

Salawa victims still not compensated: HRCSL

May 26 (CT) The Human Rights Commission Sri Lanka (HRCSL) in interim recommendations made on the explosion at the Salawa Army Armoury has stated that as promised the Govt has not provided relief to help victims of that destruction to return to their normal lifestyles because their houses and property still remain un-restored. Chairperson of the HRCSL Dr. Deepika Udagama has signed this report which includes these interim recommendations. more..

Rohingyas are ISIS infiltrators: BBS

May 26 (CT) The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) alleges that the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar who illegally entered Sri Lankan waters and were arrested about a month ago are suspected of having links with the ISIS. Dilantha Withanage, CEO of the BBS said: "When we asked the Myanmar Embassy about these people who claimed to be citizens of Myanmar, its officials confirmed that none of those apprehended by the Sri Lanka Navy was conversant in Burmese, the main language of Myanmar. more..

Do not be mislead by false propaganda against motherland: President

May 26 (PSL) Some groups are spreading false propaganda, expecting to bring those who were in power back to power says the President. “Untruth spreads sooner than truth. I request all Sri Lankans living overseas not to be mislead by false propaganda”, he said. President was speaking to the Sri Lankans in Australia when he met them in Canberra yesterday. Professionals, businessmen, university academics and students and SL people who work more..

Elections Commission focuses on empowering young voters

May 26 (DN) Empowering young and future voters is the key area of the 2017- 2020 strategic plan introduced by the Election Commission, Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said. He was addressing the 14th International Electoral Affairs Symposium held in association with the Elections Commission in Negombo yesterday. Deshapriya said the youth are negative about politics and are frustrated as they feel that politicians ignore them. more..

Prof. Siri Gunasinghe Passes Away

May 26 (CT) Professor Siri Gunasinghe, 92, a well-known poet and novelist passed away yesterday. Born 18 Feb 1925 in Galle, Professor Gunasinghe was a Sinhala poet, novelist, historian and an arts critic who filled a vital niche in the nation's literary and cultural growth. He received his initial education at a Sinhala school run by Bhikkus in the village. Subsequently he was educated at a mixed language school in Ruwanwella and later at Mahinda Vidyalaya in Galle. more..

Parliament Mafia: Rs.360mn sought to purchase ministers’ vehicles

May 26 (DM) A supplementary estimate to seek Parliament's approval to spend more than Rs.360 million to purchase vehicles for some ministers and renovate official residences of several other ministers was presented to Parliament today. Accordingly, approval was sought to spend Rs. 154 million to purchase new vehicles for the Ministry of Defence which is under President Sirisena while Rs. 120 million was sought to purchase vehicles for the Finance Ministry. more..

Padeniya likely to be re-elected

May 26 (CT) Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya is likely to be elected President of the GMOA for the year 2017/2018. The deadline for handing over nominations for executive positions in the GMOA for the year 2017/2018 ended at 4 p.m. 24 May and only a team led by Dr. Padeniya had handed in nominations. Dr. Padeniya has remained President of the GMOA since 2011. However, there was a controversy last year when a team headed by Dr. Deepal Attanayake competed against Dr. Padeniya's team. more..

Sri Lankan cricketers to play in second 10PL

May 26 (GN) Following the huge success of the first edition of the Ten Premier League (10PL) gully cricket tournament, organisers are gearing up for the second season with wider participation. Virender Shewag, as the brand ambassador for the first edition of the event, is expecting more intense battles than last year. “The nature and structure of the competition had caught my attention. I am one like many youngsters began by playing with tennis ball and want the event to be a success,” more..

Tri forces troops involved in rescue and relief efforts

May 26 (MoD) A large number of tri forces personnel and rescue teams are currently involved in rescue and relief efforts in flood affected areas in Weeraketiya, Neluwa, Morawaka, Deiyandara, Padukka, Bulathsinhala, Kalawana, Wellampitiya, Palindanuwara and Beliatta areas. About 300 army personnel along with 13 navy rescue teams and air force reconnaissance teams are presently working in close coordination with the DMC and relevant District Secretariats. more..

SLNS Sagara and Nandimithra return home on completion of successful tour

May 26 (SLN) SL Naval Ships Sagara and Nandimithra returned to the Colombo port today (25) completing a successful official tour in Singapore. On their way back to Sri Lanka, the ships’ crew conducted several naval exercises in collaboration with the Singapore Navy. On arrival in Colombo, the two Commanding Officers of the ships, Captain Anura Dhanapala and Captain Nishantha Peiris called on the Deputy Area Commander of Western Naval Area, Commodore Sanath Uthpala and more..

Sri Lanka issues evacuation orders after floods, landslides

May 26 (EN) Sri Lankan authorities have asked people living on the slopes of hills and flood plains in the island’s southwest, taking the brunt of heavy monsoon rains, to evacuate to minimise risks from landslides and floods. “If the rains continue within the next 24 hours, evacuate from unstable slopes to minimise disasters due to landslides and cut slope failures,” the Disaster Management Center said. Water levels in the region’s major rivers including Kelani, which more..

Floods, landslides kill at least 91 in Sri Lanka

May 26 (AFP) Flooding and landslides killed at least 91 people and left another 110 missing in Sri Lanka as the monsoon set in Friday, dumping record rainfalls in many parts of the island, authorities said. About 20,000 people were also driven out of their homes in the south and western parts of the country, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said. "There are some areas where we are unable to reach, but relief operations are under way," more..

I came to worship Siri Gunasinghe & found Dhammi

May 27 (CT) Siri Gunasinghe passed away this week. I have never met the man but knew him through his work Sath Samudura. Denawake Hamine, Cyril Wickramage. They inhabited my conscience through the years. If not for horrible sites like You Tube that flout copyright rules or un-rules these memories would die with folks like me. It’s not every day, while living in a Western metropolis, albeit one that is arguably the most mixed culturally given its state as a beach of sorts where more..

Unemployed Graduates: The worst affected are Tamil Youth

May 27 (CT) Having moved my Adjournment Motion, Sir, may I have your indulgence to make a few comments in regard to that. According to figures available, in the Northern Province, there are 4,429 unemployed graduates while in the Eastern Province, the number is around 4,500. I might say that the number of unemployed graduates in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces is much higher than the number of unemployed graduates in other provinces in the country. more..

Deal opposition and tame opposition silent

May 27 (CT) JO MP Bandula Gunawardane warns that countries far more developed than us collapsed by relaxing foreign exchange controls. Q: Why is the JO opposing the Exchange Control Amendment Bill? A: Not only the JO, top officials at the Central Bank who have a technical knowledge of exchange control as well as many of those opposed to thefts regarding foreign exchange and fraud are against this Bill. more..