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May 27 (NS) Quite a few things happened during the past week. What started with a Cabinet reshuffle, ended with a few lives lost due to landslides and incessant rains. In between there were also developments on actions taken against those who attacked Muslim religious places. In most cases, the public has been mere spectators simply because of the fact they are not in a position to do anything. Many people use the social media sites to vent their frustrations while some try to move on more..

Much awaited RESHUFFLE and its IMPACT

May 27 (NS) The week began with the long awaited and much speculated Cabinet reshuffle becoming a political reality. Though there were changes in practically nine Ministries, the most far reaching change among them was the exchange of the finance and foreign portfolios between Ravi Karunanayake and Mangala Samaraweera. This was a change much anticipated as that was one of the key demands of those who were agitating for a reshuffle and probably the whole idea of more..

Fast of the faithful

May 27 (NS) By the time this edition of the paper is out on the newsstands, Muslim households would be busily preparing for the most anticipated month in the Islamic calendar, the advent of Ramadhan. The exact date Ramadhan would begin is always debated, but calendars show that Sunday, May 28 could likely be the first fast of the faithful. Ramadhan or sawm as it’s referred to in Arabia is the fourth pillar of Islam. more..

Mayday! Mayhem in the making?

May 27 (FT) By the time you read this, you would have perused many pieces, no doubt, on the precarious state of the nation of late. The painful memories of April-May – Meethotamulla pitfall and the proposed appointment of a military panjandrum to curb, inter alia, a rising spate of civil unrest in our country, among other imbroglios – have been overshadowed by more recent events of alarming proportions.  With that said, the calibre and ethos of the egregious Cabinet shuffle more..

Editorial: Trust is the key

May 27 (Island) Only a few things stand between devolution under the 13th Amendment and federalism. Among them are the unitary character of the state, the executive presidency and the powers of the provincial Governors to keep Chief Ministers in check. It is only natural that these constitutional safeguards continue to trouble the tenacious seekers of more devolution. The TNA and others of its ilk including pro-LTTE groups threw their weight behind Maithripala Sirisena in the last more..


Charting ways to end poverty through Forestry

May 27 (SO) Ending poverty by 2030 on our planet is a global agenda. Not many people would readily think forests can contribute to this agenda. People tend to look at manufacturing and service sectors such as tourism as the main vehicles for poverty reduction. But forests can play an important role in overcoming poverty too. FAO estimates that globally 750 million people live in or near forests and an additional 500 million live in open savannas with scattered trees and woodland. more..

A Shadow of a Great Man: A Tribute to Siri Gunasinghe

May 27 (Island) On hearing the sad news about the death of Prof. Siri Gunasighe, one of the greatest literary men of Sri Lanka, I found myself wordless to express my grief. So I revisited one my own essays written eight years ago and found believing it to be a fitting a tribute the great man. It is an essay about and around the English translation of Hevenalla a Siri Gunasinghe masterpiece and one of the literary monuments of Peradeniya School. When famous and important books are translated, more..

India’s new plan for TN fishermen could end row with Sri Lanka over fishing

May 27 (FT) India’s new INR 16,210 million ($ 250.9 million) plan to enable Tamil Nadu fishermen to exit fishing in the Palk Bay in three years from this year could end its decades-long row with Sri Lanka over poaching in SL waters. Announced by the Govts of India and TN on Tuesday, it is a three-year scheme to supply 2000 deep sea going tuna long liners to TN fishermen between 2017 and 2020 so that they stop poaching in SL waters more..

Musings on the Rule of Law and Ethics for Election Commissions

May 27 (Island) While my subject is the design of electromagnetic devices, I am also asked often to teach ethics for engineers which we must include in our treatment for degree accreditation. Last week Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya gave a fine interview with the Daily Mirror. He challenged the govt for delaying LG elections. I think he set a fine example for all election administrators in leadership. It is therefore natural for me to muse on the Rule of Law and Ethics for Election Professionals. more..

PCs celebrate in 5–Star hotels while close to 200 flood victims die or are missing

May 27 (CT) While at least 91 persons have died, a further reported 110 have been reported missing and thousands have been rendered homeless to date due to severe floods and mudslides due to inclement weather which has swept through Sri Lanka during the past days, several President’s Counsel newly appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena celebrated in style on Friday night (26th) wining and dining at Colombo’s swanky five star hotels. more..

Mathews hits form for Sri Lanka

May 27 (CI) After weeks of pay talks with their board, there was some cheer for the Australians, on the field, as they warmed up for the Champions Trophy with a two-wicket win over Sri Lanka at the Oval. Aaron Finch smashed 137 off 109 balls with 11 fours and six sixes while Travis Head, reprieved on 60, made an unbeaten 85 to help Australia overhaul 318 with two balls to spare. The victory would be that much sweeter to more..

Aitken Spence posts 38% growth on PBT

May 27 (FT) Aitken Spence has recorded a 38% rise in its profit before tax year-on-year with a top line of Rs. 45.9 billion for the year ended 31 March. Conglomerate concluded the reporting period with a strong fourth quarter performance during which both revenue and PBT figures showed strong growth trajectories, Spence said in a statement. Holding company’s revenue growth reflected across all key operational sectors including tourism, maritime and logistics, strategic more..

JKH posts record results in FY17

May 27 (FT) John Keells Holdings (JKH) announced record results for the financial year ended 31 March 2017, yet again proving its resilience despite challenges. Profit before tax grew by 19% to Rs. 22.88 billion and after-tax profit was up 15% to Rs. 18.1 billion. The bottom line improved by 16% to Rs. 16.27 billion as per provisional results. Group revenue for the year was up 13% to Rs. 106.2 billion. Pre-tax profit included Rs. 10 billion in finance income, up 25% from the FY16. more..

Mahela to coach Bangladesh league team

May 27 (AFP) Mahela Jayawardene was Friday named as the head coach of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) side Khulna Titans for the next two seasons of the Twenty20 tournament. Jayawardene, who has plied his trade across the globe after taking international retirement in 2015, played for BPL franchise Dhaka Dynamites last season. This will be the second stint for the Sri Lankan great as a head coach of a team, more..

Census Dept to unveil household debt Stats

May 27 (NS) Department of Census and Statistics is scheduled to publish a report containing statistics pertaining to household debt in the country. Central Bank recently stated that they would be studying the levels of growing indebtedness in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Resettlement and livelihood related issues and poverty are prevalent in the said areas. The agriculture sector in the said regions has also been adversely impacted owing to the drought conditions in the country. more..

Disaster Situation Report: May 26, 2017

May 27 (Roar) According to the latest situation report by the Disaster Management Centre (May 26, 7:30 p.m.), rains, floods, and landslides across 14 districts have affected around 61,315 people, belonging to 16,759 families. So far, 91 deaths have been confirmed by the DMC, along with 11 injuries, and 110 people reported missing. Ministry of Disaster Management said that Govt has allocated Rs. 45 million, to be sent to the relevant Divisional Secretariats for emergency relief work. more..

Gnanasara Thera in hiding

May 27 (CT) An arrest warrant has been issued to apprehend Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera on allegations of obstructing the Police in the exercise of their duties in addition to making hate speeches in several places and thereby creating conditions for a potentially violent communal backlash. Police said the Aluthkade Magistrate's Court has also barred the controversial monk from leaving the country. more..

BBS goes to HRC

May 27 (CT) BBS has lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission against the warrant issued for the arrest of its Chief, Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera. BBS warns that Gnanasara Thera could be assassinated in a manner similar to that of the underworld bigwig Samayan, who was killed by a group clad in Police uniforms. Jaburewela Chandarathana Thera stressed that Gnanasara Thera could also be assassinated while in prison. more..

Fonterra’s Rs. 2b investment creates sustainable impact

May 27 (Island) Fonterra Brands SL is seeing sustainable returns from its ten year plan to build a thriving dairy industry and improve access to locally-made dairy products. The dairy co-operative behind Anchor recently surpassed the Rs. 2 billion investment-mark, which has contributed a strong and sustainable wave of change. It has done this through upskilling thousands in the industry and introducing game-changing supply chain innovations to deliver high-quality nutrition to Sri Lankans. more..

Parliament Mafia is buying luxury vehicles; M'mulla victims still without compensation

May 27 (Island) Attorney-at-law Nuwan Bopage said that those who had lost loved ones in the Meethotamulla tragedy on Sinhala and Tamil New Year day were yet to receive compensation. Bopage alleged that the govt had been dragging its feet and was obviously reluctant to make a commitment in respect of compensation. Bopage was responding to The Island, after having made representations to HRCSL. more..

Basketball team selected behind closed doors

May 27 (CT) Sri Lanka's top ranked basketball player Nichula Liyanage laments that the Sri Lanka Basketball Association has selected a four-man squad to represent Sri Lanka in a series of tours to Europe without having proper trials. Liyanage who plays for Army SC and the Hambantota SC said that the Association had called the players for trials some time back and about 40 players turned up. However, there was only one member of the selection committee during that trial. more..

India offers scholarships to children of Sri Lankan estate workers

May 27 (HCI) Applications are invited from the children of Estate Workers, who are residents of Estates, for award of scholarships by the Ceylon Estate Workers’ Education Trust (CEWET).  These scholarships are available for GCE A/L, Undergraduate courses and for students undergoing Vocational/Technical courses. Students, who have passed GCE O/L (with minimum 6 credit passes) or A/L exam, and are below 25 years of age, can apply for this Scholarship. more..

President seeks Australian nuclear technology for CKDu research

May 27 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena visited Australia’s nuclear agency, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO), on an inspection tour to see its advanced research on utilization of nuclear science for disease diagnosis and medication. President went to different sections of ANSTO, including Nuclear Power generator. ANSTO already provides nuclear technology based more..

Industry with academia launches competition for Sri Lanka's innovators

May 27 (Island) Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka, (IESL) together with United Tractor & Equipment (Pvt) Limited (UTE) have launched the Raspberry Pi Challenge 2017 to fuel the spirit of innovation-savvy Sri Lankans and help create a knowledge-based economy in the coming years. The Raspberry Pi, launched in the UK in 2012, is a low cost, high performance microcomputer with a Linux-based operating system on a Micro SD. With its flexible capabilities and affordability, more..

Court of Appeal hears case on illegal construction of condominium in Dehiwala

May 27 (FT) Court of Appeal heard parties in relation to an illegal construction of a condominium on Atapattu Road, Dehiwala. The Petitioners are all residents of the area who alleged that the Dehiwala-Mt. Lavinia Municipal Council and Commissioner Dammika Muthugala have issued a Development Permit to Greenfield Realestate Lanka Ltd. to construct a six-storey apartment complex in Atapattu Road, Dehiwala in violation of Planning and Building Regulations 2008-2020 promulgated by UDA. more..

Mass evacuations in several districts: Military called in for assistance

May 27 (Island) Intense rainfall sparked widespread flooding across the country on Friday. As heavy rains continued to lash the country’s south-western part, the govt declared a major flood situation around all rivers countrywide and urged people to evacuate immediately. According to the DMC, thousands of people in Galle, Matara, Kalutara, Ratnapura & H'tota have been affected by floods caused by heavy downpours more..

Govt appeals to UN, ISARAG for relief support

May 27 (DN) Govt yesterday appealed to the UN, International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (ISARAG) and neighbouring countries to provide assistance to the people affected by flash floods and landslides. Foreign Affairs Ministry has made the appeal for immediate assistance to the affected specially in the areas of search and operation. Foreign Affairs Ministry has activated the Emergency Response Unit of the Ministry to coordinate rescue and relief measures more..

Minister says sluice gates of hydropower reservoirs will not be opened

May 27 (ITN) Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya has said that the sluice gates of Reservoirs affiliated to power plants coming under the purview of the CEB will not be opened despite the prevalence of the rain. He made this reference briefing the media over the disastrous situation in Kegalla District. Water level of Maoussakelle, a main Reservoir is now at 30.9%. Water level of the Castlereigh Reservoir is 36%. He pointed out that more water is needed for these Reservoirs to reach the spill level. more..

Monsoon mayhem

May 27 (FT) Heavy monsoonal rains created havoc yesterday with floods and landslides in several areas killing 91, while 110 are recorded missing, as authorities struggled to deal with the disaster situation in the country. Over 60,000 people belonging to around 16,000 families across 14 districts have been affected officials said, with warnings being issued to those who are living in low-lying areas along the banks of Kelani River more..

India condoles loss of lives due to flooding

May 27 (ANI) PM Narendra Modi has said that India condoles the loss of lives and property in Sri Lanka due to flooding and landslides. "India condoles the loss of lives and property in Sri Lanka due to flooding and landslides. We stand with our Sri Lankan brothers and sisters in their hour of need," PM Modi tweeted. "Our ships are being dispatched with relief material. The first ship will reach Colombo tomorrow morning. Second will reach on Sunday. Further assistance on its way," he added. more..

Indian Navy joins flood relief operations

May 27 (ANI) India has sent navy ships with rescue and relief material to Sri Lanka, where torrential rains and landslides have resulted in several deaths and massive devastation over the last two days. INS Kirch operating in South Bay of Bengal, has been diverted to Colombo in Sri Lanka to render immediate assistance in flood relief operations. According to reports, ship will enter Colombo anytime soon. Additionally, INS Jalashwan shall sail out from Visakhapatnam today more..

Unleashing catastrophe, death, destruction

May 27 (CT) District Secretaries reported that by 5 p.m. yesterday around 91 persons in seven districts had died in floods unleashed by the torrential South-West Monsoon, which has been lashing the country without let over the past three days, less than a fortnight after the eight-month long drought ended. While incessant downpours inundated lower lying areas and led to landslides, swollen rivers around the country scaled spill more..

Nature strikes back

May 28 (SO) Nearly one hundred Sri Lankans, mostly the poor, have been killed so far in sudden landslides and flash floods and, with over 150 still missing as at yesterday, the death toll is expected to rise. If the onslaught of this unusually ferocious South West Monsoon rainy season continues unabated and the disaster-affected area widens, then more human casualties are likely. And the scale of social and economic damage will also worsen. Already, in anticipation of further more..

Suppl. estimates and Death by drowning

May 28 (CT) When the last major flood created a massive emergency in the country back in January 2011, it caused damage aggregating Rs 50 billion causing then Minister G.L. Peiris to consult the heads of missions of Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) based in Colombo at the Ministry to discuss relief measures for persons affected by that one specific flood disaster damage. The govt then spent US$ 10 million to provide cooked meals & dry rations more..

'My life is under threat'

May 28 (CT) Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara said several recent incidents have compelled him to live in hiding as there is an attempt to assassinate him after arrest. Thera further said he had to keep changing his hideouts for the protection of his life as he has hardly any faith in the govt to protect his life. "Several unidentified people were loitering around my temple in Rajagiriya a couple of days ago. more..

After the drought, the deluge

May 28 (Island) After the drought, the deluge is becoming a more common experience in this island nation of ours blessed by two monsoons every year. Although Colombo did not on Friday have the heavy rainfall that overcast skies foretold, and there was no rain in the metropolis as this is being written yesterday, the news of the havoc caused by recent weather in many parts of the country was most depressing. By Friday night the govt had a figure of over 200 people dead and missing more..

Minorities unite

May 28 (NS) President Maithripala Sirisena on May 23 issued a directive to Minister Sagala Ratnayake to probe into recent incidents related to racism and attacks on places of religious worship in the country. The directive comes after several incidents of attacks on Muslim religious places and business entities were reported over the past several days. There were reports of mosques attacked in Panadura and Wennappuwa which triggered a sense of fear among the Muslims. more..

'This is Not Final'

May 28 (NS) The Nation spoke to Minister of Posts, Postal Services and Muslim Religious Affairs, M.H. Abdul Haleem regarding how the United National Party (UNP) viewed the recent turn of events as regards to the Cabinet reshuffle, the proposed reshuffle of Deputy Ministers, State Ministers and State officials and Governmental officers of the public administration and the constant postponement of Local Govt Election. more..

Whither merit in public service reshuffle

May 28 (ST) After months of struggling and straining to implement a Cabinet reshuffle, the President eventually delivered on his promise. Whether the answer lies in changing pillows for a continuing headache, i.e. the economy, however, is left to be seen. For some time now, it had been known that the President’s main intention was to change his Finance Minister. However he required the concurrence of the other party in his National Govt, the UNP, to do this. more..