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Former Lankan badminton queen wins silver at World Masters Games

May 4 (DN) Former SL national badminton champion Sriyani Deepika has added another feather in her cap by winning a silver medal at the World Masters Games held in New Zealand. Deepika lost a closely contested final in the Women’s Singles 45+ ‘A’ category to Delwin Cooper of New Zealand 21-16 23-21 in her maiden appearance at the Masters held in Auckland from April 21-30. “I am grateful to all my friend and fans in UAE/SL for supporting & encouraging me more..

Nanda, Jinadasa from Gamperaliya came to life at Lumbini

May 4 (Island) I went to see a Sinhala drama after a long time. It was also a walk down memory lane to Lumbini Theatre, thanks to an invitation extended by young lawyer and critic, Dilshan Boange, and the Director of Maraka Lindey Sawariyak (Trip in the well of death) Chalaka Ranasuriya. Going back to Lumbini brought back lots of memories and I asked myself why I hadn’t seen Sinhala drama for such a long time; I felt ashamed and sad. I also remembered my respected friend late more..

Sri Lanka IMF deal to get back on track with new income tax law

May 4 (EN) Sri Lanka has reached agreement to continue a deal with IMF subject to presenting a new income tax law to parliament. Sri Lanka IMF program was paused with review scheduled for December being paused due to delays is fiscal reforms and missing a forex reserve target. IMF staff and Sri Lanka has agreed on a new staff level agreement for the next phase of the agreement, which will have to ratified by more..

Namal rebuffs SF

May 4 (DM) Responding to Minister Sarath Fonseka’s statement that former president Rajapaksa should be hung by his saatakaya, Mr. Rajapaksa’s son Namal said it would not be that easy as long as the former president’s three sons and the people were with him. MP said that Mr. Fonseka should hang former president’s sons and his supporters before hanging him. “Unfortunately, Mr. Fonseka, the same person who is in need to hang former president of the country, more..

Video: I’m ready to fill void left by Geetha in P'ment: Gamage

May 4 (DM) Former minister Piyasena Gamage said yesterday that if MP Geetha Kumarasinghe is forced to relinquish her seat in Parliament, it was he that should be appointed to fill the post from the Galle District. Addressing a media briefing yesterday, he said the post should be offered to the person who is next on the list. “I’m next in the list. If I am given the chance, I will never refuse it. However, I’m not in a hurry,” Mr. Gamage said. more..

Govt promises full media freedom, expects high standards from media

May 4 (FT) Govt is moving towards ensuring full media freedom while expecting high standards from the media as well, Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranavithana said. “We are slowly but gradually moving towards ensuring full media freedom in Sri Lanka,” Deputy Minister said. Addressing the World Press Freedom Day Conference in Jakarta, he said Govt will seek high standards in media in Sri Lanka through more..

ADB to provide over US$ 600 mn for water projects upto 2019

May 4 (DN) Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide over US$ 600 million as loans, grants and identified co financing to Sri Lanka during 2017 to 19 for water and wastewater management, water security and water supply and sanitation projects. The ADB has also allocated a staggering US$ 4.2 billion in 2017 for urban and water management projects in the Asian Region, said ADB Sustainable Development and Climate Change Deputy Director General, Amy Leung addressing media more..

German Tea Association to support Ceylon Tea promotional campaign

May 4 (GDI) Chairman of German Tea Association Jochen Spethmann during his meeting with Ambassador Karunathilaka Amunugama, assured his Association’s fullest cooperation in promoting Ceylon tea in Germany and in other European markets. Spethmann also appreciated the commitment and the efforts of the Sri Lanka Tea Board and the tea trade in producing quality products. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the 100 years anniversary celebrations of more..

Ex-President’s security reduced; MR: My life is in danger

May 4 (Island) Govt has reduced former President Rajapaksa’s security with immediate effect. About 42 police personnel including an Assistant Superintendent of Police attached to his security contingent have been withdrawn. Rajapaksa, asked for comment, confirmed that 42 police personnel detailed to protect him had been removed. He said he had threats to his life as the wartime president with many hardcore LTTE more..

Must Anti-Corruption Secretariat go?

May 4 (CT) It is learnt that the govt's attention has been drawn to the lack of logic in sustain a secretariat only to maintain documents etc, costing as much as Rs 10 million, Rs 12 million and Rs 3 million respectively to maintain that Secretariat for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 to date, when it's been a mere empty shell achieving no useful purpose. Cabinet Sub Committee to combat corruption was set up under PM Ranil Wickremasinghe on 21 Jan 2015 after more..

Bond dealers to trade repos on Bloomberg

May 4 (EN) Sri Lanka's central bank said bond dealers have been asked to quote and trade reverse repurchase deals on a Bloomberg trading platforms to increase transparency. Any over the counter deals valued 100 million rupees of over, should be reported on the platform within 30 minutes. A dedicated trading system with a central counter party will also be set up with cabinet approval. The central bank was also starting a new monthly auction system with an underwriting facility. more..

PM reveals plans to develop Trinco tank farm with India

May 4 (DN) Political decision to develop Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm as a joint venture between the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Lanka IOC has been made, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe informed Parliament. PM, tabling the MoU on cooperation in economic development projects signed between the Govts of SL and India during his visit to India last month, observed MoU includes developing Trinco Oil Tank Farm more..

Five SL migrant workers gone missing in Saudi and Lebanon

May 4 (DM) Some five Sri Lankan migrant workers have gone missing in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, their relatives told the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). SLBFE Media Secretary Nalin Rajapaksa said investigations had been launched to locate these missing persons. “Among those missing are Nirmala Periyasami of Rakwana; K. Anulawathi De Silva of Galle; Vadiwelu Vijayalalitha of Hopton; F. Premawathi of Uhana and J.H. Shyamali of Bingiriya. more..

Some Rajapaksa era DPLs were people smugglers, parliament told

May 4 (Island) Some diplomatic officers who got appointments to Sri Lankan missions abroad engaged in human smuggling during the period of Mahinda Rajapaksa govt, Parliament was told yesterday. They did so making use of the allocation made for them to take persons abroad from Sri Lanka for the post of Personal Service Assistants. Later, they released those assistants in those countries to find other jobs there and they would not return home at the end of their assignments. more..

SAITM crisis takes new turn: Strikes planned against abolition of pension, trade pacts

May 4 (Island) GMOA-led campaign against the SAITM took a new turn yesterday with the trade union putting forth new demands. Trade union collective, comprising over 100 organisations representing various sectors, including banking and transport, has called upon the govt to retain the state sector pension scheme and put on hold the proposed controversial ECTA with India or any other international agreement pending more..

For the poor, not just charity but justice

May 4 (DM) At May Day rallies there were resolutions to provide a better deal for workers in the coming months and years. Essentially the human dignity of workers and their families need to be restored. Doles and acts of charity are good but we need to go to a higher dimension and do justice to the workers. This will be achieved when a just society is created.  One of the key areas in ushering in a just society is poverty alleviation. In Sri Lanka as in almost all other countries more..

Post May Day blues (for the blues & greens)

May 4 (DM) May Day (in SL) is not about workers. It’s about show. This time it was about challenges thrown and accepted, one-upmanship and bragging rights. Regime-thinking was obvious. They believed the JO could not fill Galle Face Green. They did. Although the JO, perhaps in the permissible magnanimity of euphoria, thanked the regime for providing Galle Face Green for its rally, the tongue-in-cheek is unmistakable considering the challenge, let’s see if you can fill up the place! more..

Desperate lives inside refugee camps

May 4 (DM) Typically, refugee camps are temporary living settlements that accommodate displaced persons who have fled their home countries. When it comes to the context of the Sri Lankan civil war, it is a known fact that many local Tamils fled the country at the height of the war, with the hope of returning when a conducive environment is created for peaceful coexistence, free of violence and warfare. more..

Anura resigned over proposed appointments

May 4 (SL) The activities of some officials prompted Chairman of CEB, Anura Wijayapala to resign from his post, a senior official of the Power and Renewable Energy Ministry said. He said, that the Chairman was a man of honour and he did not want to turn a blind eye to acts that are against the law. When contacted, the outgoing CEB Chief stressed that he is answerable to the Board and he stood by the board. more..

Confusion reigns over proposal to assign SF to deal with emergencies

May 4 (DM) Confusion reigned within the govt regarding the proposal to appoint Minister Sarath Fonseka, the one-time tough, battle-hardened Army Commander to deal with the emergency situation arising due to trade union actions. It evoked a provocative response from the trade union leaders. Let alone, the govt ministers started taking on each other on the matter, with some denying the veracity of this proposal more..

8 Bids for 300 MW multi-fuel power plant at Kerawalapitiya: CEB

May 4 (ST) The CEB has received eight bids to set up a 300 MegaWatt (MW) multi-fuel combined cycle power plant at Kerawalapitiya. Bids were invited by the CEB after 12 years, for the Build, Own, Operate & Transfer (BOOT) project. The technical proposals were opened when the deadline for submissions expired on April 21. “There are a few good bids from reputed firms, including Lanka Transformers, which is a CEB subsidiary,” more..

PM denies Prez proposing SF as head of tri-forces operations

May 4 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that President Sirisena had not made a Cabinet proposal that Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka be made the head of operations of tri-forces. PM said: The Commander in Chief is the President according to the Constitution. And the appointment of a person to head the operations of the tri-forces has to be done in accordance with the existing laws. more..

Mine detection dog, Zira having cleared minefields flies back to US

May 4 (SLA) Deeply moving members of the sappers, Sri Lanka Engineers (SLE) of the Army bade adieu to their mine-detecting German shepherd, Zira-Yankee during a fond farewell on the eve of the dog’s departure back to the US after a distinguished service of more than six years in Sri Lanka, having cleared over 62,680 sq meters of heavily mine-infested land areas in the war-affected North. more..

JO pledges support to Friday’s strike

May 4 (Island) The Joint Opposition pledged its support to the countrywide strike on Friday led by the GMOA. MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the trade union federation of the JO which met under the patronage of former President Rajapaksa yesterday had decided to extend its support to the strikers. Accordingly, all trade unions representing health, education, transport & several other sectors would join the friday’s strike based on 4 demands. more..

SL proposes 3-tier corporate tax structure

May 4 (LBO) New Inland Revenue Act seeks to introduce a three-tier simplified tax structure for corporate entities. Higher rate of 40% is to be applied for liquor, tobacco and betting & gaming-related businesses. Standard rate of 28% will be applicable to banking, finance & insurance businesses as well as manufacturers, traders and any other areas not specified. 14% concessionary rate which is to be capped at 50% of the standard rate more..

'ITAK willing to include former militants'

May 4 (DM) The ITAK is willing to absorb the rehabilitated former militants into mainstream politics, Leader of the ITAK and MP Mavai Senathirajah said. He said this at the TNA May Day rally held in Alayadivembu Dharmasangari playground in Ampara. Mr. Senathirajah said that the former militants had collectively formed a new party and since they had been rehabilitated, the ITAK wished to absorb them into democratic politics. more..

'Mahendran committed daylight robbery'

May 4 (CT) Convener of the Voice Against Corruption, Member of the North Central Provincial Council, Wasantha Samarasinghe, while giving evidence, on Tuesday, said, Arjuna Mahendran had begun stealing from the Central Bank even before 27 February 2015 and the loss the country has had to bear as a result is Rs 55,000 million and the additional interest to be paid within 30 years alone is Rs 69,000 million. more..

Crowds, Political Pulse

May 4 (CT) If Monday's May Day crowds is the judge of the political pulse of the people, then former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, currently a UPFA MP and the de facto Leader of the newly formed political party the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), may well be at least the new third force in Sri Lanka politics. But in the island's political history since the eve of independence in 1947, a third force never ended up as being the first force in Sri Lanka's politics. more..

The fuss over crowds

May 4 (CT) The sure way to be cheated is to think one’s self more cunning than others. That is what happened to our dear PM who challenged Mahinda Rajapaksa to fill Galle Face on May Day. Now lets us get down to business. This is a response to Shyamon Jayasinghe’s vacuous rhetorical enquiry what is this fuss over crowds in the CT. I assumed that the caption In imminent, immediate distress, May Day! May Day was sufficiently explicit in its purpose. more..

Video: GMOA to launch strike with health, education, railway TUs

May 4 (DM) Several trade unions attached to the health, education and railway services are to go ahead with the planned 24-hour countrywide strike tomorrow over the SAITM issue, GMOA said today. GMOA Secretary Dr. Naveen De Soyza said that about 160 trade unions would join hands with them to protest against the SAITM an added that some 30 trade unions of them would protest tomorrow. “All state medical officers including more..

Govt asked to recover tax loss from Geetha's duty-free car

May 4 (EN) CaFFE asked the Treasury and parliamentary Speaker to recover the tax loss incurred by the state in providing a duty free car to former legislator Geetha Kumarasinghe. CaFFE in letters addressed to the Secretary to the Treasury and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said the monies, said to be close to 50 million should be immediately recovered from Kumarasinghe who was unseated Wednesday. Most MPs had sold their duty free permit for amounts to 20-22 million rupees. more..

Unity govt not a solution: SB

May 4 (Island) The unity govt, formed by UNP and SLFP, could not be considered the best for the country as there were differences of opinion between the two parties, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said in Kandy on Tuesday. There had been instances of the UNP opposing the views of the SLFP and vice versa, he said, addressing the media while attending a cleaning programme in Kandy following the SLFP May Day rally. The best solution was to set up a UPFA govt led by SLFP, more..

උපහාසයවත් අපහාසයවත් දන්නැති දේශපාලනඥයෝ

Weerakumara lays a poser before bond scam commission

May 4 (Island) JO member and MP Weerakumara Dissanayake, testifying before the Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating the alleged bond scam yesterday, declared that the Commission had its limitations. He said he felt that the Commission wouldn’t be able to solve the problem. He said: "The COPE could not resolve the issue; Parliament could not and if this Commission also fails who will be able to do so?" Dissanayake made this statement when more..

France to provide 30 mil euros for green energy in Sri Lanka

May 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka will enter into a loan agreement with the French Agency for Development (AFD) to fund projects for green energy development and energy efficiency improvement investment. “AFD has agreed to provide 30 million Euros to bear a portion of the total cost of US$ 260 million which is implemented under 3 sub-projects,” a statement said. Cabinet also approved an agreement for establishment of a new office of AFD in SL and to award them diplomatic status. more..

Registration fee for private companies slashes by 73%

May 4 (LBO) For the first time in Sri Lanka’s corporate history, heavy fees levied for registering a new Company, has been scrubbed by the govt in a big way-reducing as much as by 73%. And new companies born in Sri Lanka last year surged by 7% while the key state institution in charge of such new company registrations itself reporting an enormous revenue flow to it’s coffers in 2016. more..

Hambantota port development will bring in US$ 1 billion upfront: Ranil

May 4 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that the proposed agreement with China Merchant Company to develop the Hambantota Port would bring in US$ 1 billion upfront. He said that no part of the port would be given on freehold basis to foreigners, as former President Rajapaksa had done with the Colombo Port City. Hambantota Port, he emphasised would be developed as a joint venture just like in the case of the Colombo Financial City, where a small area had been given to more..

First flag of War Heroes Commemoration Month pinned on President

May 4 (PMD) The first flag of War Heroes Commemoration Month was pinned on President Sirisena today by declaring the National War Heroes Commemoration Month – 2017. Govt has been declared this annual War Heroes Commemoration Month to pay gratitude to the war heroes who sacrificed their lives and limbs during the humanitarian operation to end three decades long terrorism in the country. War Heroes Commemoration Flags will be sold in line with more..

Video: SLTB, private buses not supporting strike

May 4 (DM) The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) and the Sri Lanka Transport Bus (SLTB) Service today said they would not participate in tomorrow's trade union strike launched by the GMOA. LPBOA chairman Gemumu Wijerathne told journalists that there was no need to support the doctors because they never supported any other organizations and most of the time they used to criticize bus drivers and conductors. more..

Rs.3 mn ransom sought to release baby boy

May 4 (DM) The 28-year-old man, who had allegedly kidnapped a two-year-old baby boy in Gampola yesterday, had demanded a ransom of Rs. 3 million from the family of the child, Police said today. They said the suspect has been identified as a relative of the child. The Gampola Police had commenced an investigation after the mother of the child  lodged a complaint stating that her baby was kidnapped on Wednesday. According to the complaint, the woman had allowed the suspect, more..