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Editorial: Error of the moon?

Apr 25 (Island) Winston Churchill famously dubbed Russia a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. How would one describe SL, under the yahapalana govt? One may call it a tangle, wrapped in a jumble, inside a muddle. Anything King Midas touched got transmuted into solid gold, we are told. Present-day Sri Lankan leaders also have a magical touch of sorts. Anything they lay their hands on turns into an unholy mess, instantly. They have a remarkable ability to bring chaos out of order. more..

S.B. Dissanayake

Ven. Sobitha wanted the Executive Presidency abolished ...

Apr 25 (ST) The issue of abolishing the Executive Presidency (EP) has once again come to the forefront of the political agenda, with the JVP announcing they would move a Private Members motion in Parliament to amend the Constitution, to achieve this objective. Not surprisingly, opposition to this move has come from several quarters. Some argue this will weaken the Sri Lankan State and that, the EP is required to quell any insurgency or civil war. Others, such as the minority parties, more..

The Opposition’s 20-A dilemmas

Apr 25 (Island) It’s the arithmetic, stupid! A no-confidence motion against the Leader of Opposition, Mr. Sampanthan, is logical and legitimate, neither because he is a Tamil nationalist nor because he propped up Ranil in the no-faith motion on the bond scam, but because he, unlike his TULF predecessor in the same post, Mr. A. Amirthalingam, by no means, commands the largest number of seats in the Opposition benches, while Mahinda Rajapaksa does. Talk to anybody on the street. more..

Land release brings new lease of life for IDPs

Apr 25 (SO) After 28 years of occupation, SL Army released an unprecedented 683 acres in the Palaly High Security Zone in a single day last week, allowing residents who have lived large portions of their lives in displacement camps to finally return home. For some younger residents of the recently released areas, last week was the first time they were able to visit their ancestral lands, having lived all their lives in camps more..

Peacetime sinking of a ship: We Ling affair

Apr 25 (SO) The Navy, on the morning of March 26, 2018, sank We Ling (aka 522) in the Western seas. The vessel had been taken in soon after its crew abandoned it off Pottuvil, Battticaloa, at the height of eelam war IV (Aug 2006-May 2009). The foreign crew had abandoned the vessel due to the undue delay on the part of the owners in providing required assistance, following a serious engine trouble. Fearing the Sea Tigers could make an attempt to seize We Ling, Navy had towed the vessel more..

Signature campaign seeking pardon for lifer

Apr 25 (CT) I have been closely following the Anandan Sudhakaran episode, where his wife died recently and the little daughter making an appeal to get her father released from prison. I am a former Police and Para Military Officer who has been involved in counter terrorism operations from the inception of this conflict. I have served in the north and east and in 2009, I was in charge of the Northern Province as Senior DIG. During my long years, I have encountered many a battle and more..

Policy before liberalisation says Lubricant industry

Apr 25 (FT) Sri Lanka’s lubricant industry market leader Chevron Lubricants Lanka Plc yesterday stressed it believed it was hopeless to attempt to liberalise the market without setting out a comprehensive policy document to regulate the sector beforehand. “I really don’t understand the rationale in trying to open up the market without having the proper mechanism to regulate the market,” Chevron Lubricants Lanka Plc CEO more..

Nations Trust Bank unveils open banking API platform

Apr 25 (EN) Nations Trust Bank said it has opened the door for firms and techies to directly link their businesses to their bank accounts for transactions and information sharing which can cut costs and win business. NTB is offering an application programming interface (API) which can be linked to the computer system of a large corporation or a small business. Customers can use a bundle of software provided by the bank or write their own. "The future of banking will be one of the more..

China’s massive OBOR hub for Asia bullish on Sri Lanka FTA

Apr 25 (FT) South East Asian gateway province to mainland China’s ambitious One Belt-One Road (OBOR) initiative voiced its impatience to witness the historic Sri Lanka-China FTA’s take-off so that greater bilateral trade would soon become a reality. “Currently total bilateral trade between Yunnan and Sri Lanka is only $ 18 million. SL-China Free Trade Agreement is a major step between both countries, and this FTA will open new trade potential for Sri Lanka with Yunnan as well as China,” more..

Aruna dazzles track with record breaking 200m

Apr 25 (CT) Sprinter Aruna Darshana dazzled the track in the Boys Under 20 200m breaking the record thrice during the heats, semi-finals and final at the Junior National Athletics Championship where several record breaking performances were seen at the newly laid Sugathadasa track in Colombo. Darshana hailing from Weera keppetipola National School, Akuramboda in the Central Province, more..

‘Spending Rs. 1 billion on Parliament, a national crime’

Apr 25 (DN) Spending Rs. 1 billion for the renovation of Parliament, the amount of which is enough to construct 80 udagammana model villages consisting of 2,000 houses is a national crime, said Minister Sajith Premadasa. He made this observation at the opening ceremony of the 57th model village - Mihindumgama in Kirigangkumbura, Ududumbara, under the govt’s project to open 2,500 model villages by 2020. He also said that the people vote once every five years to elect politicians to more..

SriLankan Airlines offers Colombo-Hyderabad daily services

Apr 25 (Hindu) SriLankan Airlines has added two more flights per week to Hyderabad and now offers a daily flight to Colombo and onward connectivity to other destinations. Currently, it operates 145 flights per week to India across 14 destinations. Chammika Iddagodage, Manager for SriLankan Airlines, in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, said, “India is SriLankan Airlines largest market for holidaying, conferences and even onward connectivity to various locations in Middle East, Far East more..

Galle win Inter-Provincial tournament

Apr 25 (CB) Sri Lanka's much anticipated Inter-Provincial cricket tournament concluded on Tuesday (24) with Galle being crowned as champions. The tournament did not have a final and the winner was decided after each of the four teams played their opponents once. Galle after three games had accumulated 37.5 points while Dambulla finished a close second with 35.5 points. Kandy were third with 22.5 points. more..

'Low fuel prices in SL killing its Treasury'

Apr 25 (Island) I see and hear news in the Sri Lankan media these days about an automatic fuel price formula connected to world oil prices. Sri Lanka is the most developed country in South Asia and you have one of the lowest fuel prices in the region. This kills your Treasury, German Ambassador Jörn Rohde said in Colombo yesterday. German Ambassador made this comment while speaking at a meeting held between a German delegation to Sri Lanka and more..

Sri Lanka wooing Telangana tourists

Apr 25 (Hindu) The island nation of Sri Lanka is fast becoming a popular pilgrim and tourist destination for people of this State with the SriLankan Airlines now having daily flights to Colombo. The airlines restarted the service from Hyderabad in July last year with four flights, and increased it to five by November. It has now gone for daily service with a round trip ticket available for about ₹15,500 with 80% occupancy claims for the less-than-two-hours flight. more..

Ranjan asks Ranil to resign

Apr 25 (CT) Dy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake has asked UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to step down from the party leadership and allow young leaders to come to the fore. “Each and every animate and inanimate thing in the world has an expiry date. World leaders resign when their time is up. For example, leaders like Lee Kwan Yu and Fidel Castro stepped down. None of them stayed in power until their followers had to chase them more..

SriLankan Aviation College partners with Kingston University London

Apr 25 (Island) SriLankan Aviation College and Kingston University London have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the launch of the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) top up degree in Aircraft Engineering in Sri Lanka, providing an exciting new dimension in airline-related education in the region. Kingston University London has been delivering this programme in the UK since 2001 and has had hundreds of graduates who now work with major airlines in UK and around the world. more..

14 persons apprehended by Navy for engaging in illegal activities

Apr 25 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy apprehended 14 persons engaged in illegal activities during the past few days in several locations the country. Accordingly, they were held by the Navy for engaging in illegal fishing and cutting mangrove shrubs illegally. Naval personnel attached to the Northwestern Naval Command, during a routine patrol at sea, apprehended 04 persons engaged in illegal fishing using banned nets in the sea area of Kimbulbokka on 20th April. more..

JO to launch massive anti-govt campaign

Apr 25 (CT) Former Prez Rajapaksa has instructed leaders of the JO to commence several massive protest campaigns against the people being heavily burdened with the taxes imposed on them. This instruction was given at a discussion, between the Rajapaksa and party leaders of the JO, held yesterday. SLFP MP Ranjith Zoysa added that the 10% rental tax, in effect since 1 April, to the 15% tax imposed on gold, had the effect of the public more..

UNP Politburo meets again today

Apr 25 (DN) UNP Politburo which met to decide on 26 new positions under the party’s restructuring process failed to arrive at a decision yesterday. “Politburo is to meet again at 5 pm today to discuss the matter further,” sources within the UNP said. The Politburo which was formed recently to allow second tier UNPers more access to the decision making centres of the party has 12 members. Yesterday’s meeting follows a similar pattern to that of last week’s Politburo meeting which more..

Tissa praises Ranjan for taking on Ranil

Apr 25 (Island) Former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake lauded State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake for calling for a change in the UNP leadership. He said: "Ranjan is not alone and many within the party circles are on the same page as he. If the party is to be revived and steered to victory at a future election, there has to be a different leader. Incumbent leadership cannot do that. Problem is that others who seek a change in the leadership are not courageous enough to speak up. more..

Complete overhaul of SLFP in June

Apr 25 (CT) SLFP Central Committee (CC) has decided to implement reforms to overhaul the Party within 45 days of the commencement of the Parliament's new Session on 8 May, Party Media Spokesman Dilan Perera said. He said that during that period, a decision would also be taken with regard to leaving the Govt, adding that furthermore, a decision would also be taken on the limited time left for the consensual, Unity Govt. more..

Reconciliatory Cabinet meeting with SLFP participation

Apr 25 (FT) Striking a conciliatory tone, the weekly Cabinet meeting was held with the participation of all Cabinet Ministers, including the SLFPers who boycotted the previous meeting, with the President presiding over a tea party following the completion of discussions. Minister Lakshman Kiriella was upbeat about the cordial atmosphere after weeks of speculation about crossovers and open dissent within the SLFP. “It was a very cordial occasion and the meeting finished within an hour. more..

BOI Kandy Industrial Park: Workforce 8,506 of which 71% are women

Apr 25 (Island) Board of Investment of SL’s Kandy Industrial Park (KIP) is located in Kengalle, Kundasale Divisional Secretariat in the Kandy District, in the Central province. The Industrial Park became operational in 1995 and its total extent is of 207 acres, of which 85 acres are dedicated to industrial use. A total of 75.5 acres of land in the industrial area are already utilized and productive. Working population in the Industrial Park currently stands at 8,506 of which 71% are women. more..

Welikada prison riot case: Arrest of real perpetrators imminent

Apr 25 (DN) Colombo additional Magistrate Ranga Dissanayaka yesterday observed that the real perpetrators involved in the killing of 27 prisoners at Welikada in 2012, should be arrested immediately. He said the inquiry into the deaths suggested that inmates had died after being shot in their heads and chests. The Additional Magistrate said it was revealed through the post-mortem reports that the victims had died after more..

CEB engineers study national LNG requirement

Apr 25 (Island) CEB was conducting a study to determine the Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) requirement of SL, CEB Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) President Saumya Kumarawadu said, adding that the govt must wait until the study was over before entering into agreements to procure LNG. CEBEU last week said that Minister Malik Samarawickrama was pushing the govt to sign an agreement with private investors from Japan and India to build an LNG terminal and to purchase 2.7 million tons more..

Cabinet Paper clears confusion over energy policy

Apr 25 (DN) Confusion over the energy policy of the govt was cleared yesterday, with a Cabinet Paper seeking to approve the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy’s policy on the matter. Ministry Secretary Suren Batagoda said approval was granted for their paper which proposed that all energy sources be included in the energy mix of the country. This includes the controversial coal option. Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) in its approval of the 2018-2037 plan, more..

Onus now on Parliament to clear way for delayed PC polls, says NEC Chief

Apr 25 (Island) National Elections Commission (NEC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, said that it would be the responsibility of Parliament to endorse the Report of the Delimitation Committee for the Demarcation of Electorates in Provincial Councils, with a two-thirds majority urgently clear the way for the PC polls. A delay on the part of the parliament couldn’t be justified under any circumstances, Deshapriya said. more..

Take a cue from Modi

Apr 25 (DM) Indian PM Narendra Modi may not be the best democrat or one to assure a greater freedom to media. However a few days ago he came with a fine piece of advice to his MPs on deportment and reading that one cannot help, but wish the SL Prez and PM too offer the same counsel to our MPs. “We make mistakes and give masala (fodder) to media. The moment you see a camera you start speaking. Don’t stand in front of the TV cameras and start preaching the country,” more..

Unheard sounds and faint memories of bloody white vans…

Apr 25 (DM) In the questionable days of the Rajapaksa regime, the most dreadful sound, amongst many a sound of shooting in Rathupaswela, Katunayake and post-war Jaffna, was the one that you did not hear: A white van parked outside your home. How many men and women were forcibly shoved into the van and taken away and threatened, their bones smashed, and spirit drained, one may never know. Among those countless shrieks and screams and more..

Where have all the suspects gone: Far, far, away!!!

Apr 25 (DM) Do we hear loud whispers asking where have all the suspects gone? Far, far away we are told!!! Should we ask why??? Arjuna Mahendran was last known to have been in Singapore, Udayanga in Dubai, Jaliya only the good Lord knows!!! We’ll definitely need to keep an eye on that since it was the director of the National Eye Hospital who gave him the green light saying that the surgery could not be performed in SL!!! more..

One year on, Meethotamulla victims continue to be hit by official indifference

Apr 25 (ST) One year after the Meethotamulla garbage dump tragedy, survivors are still haunted by memories of that fateful day. Many also allege that their plight has been largely forgotten by the officials. Over 30 people lost their lives when the garbage dump collapsed on their homes on April 14, last year. Most were celebrating the Sinhala and Hindu New Year at the time. More than 100 houses were completely destroyed, more..

A land left behind

Apr 25 (DN) Something is stirring in Mullaitivu. For years, this corner of northern Sri Lanka was a stronghold for the LTTE. The LTTE had its own police here, its own courts. Its leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, had a house and a fortified bunker in Puthukkudiyiruppu, the area’s bustling little commercial centre. A whole generation of young people in the Mullaitivu district today lived for longer under the LTTE administration than SL govts. more..

Power struggle keeps Sri Lanka rudderless

Apr 25 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena's failure to dislodge PM Ranil Wickremesinghe could have damaged their relationship permanently with devastating consequences for the national unity govt. With most protagonists acknowledging that the failed April 4 no-confidence motion (NCM) was fuelled by Sirisena, a fractured UNP has rallied to support Wickremesinghe despite his lacklustre leadership. more..

No one has backbone to probe Gota’s abductions: Mervyn

Apr 25 (DM) The man behind the white van culture was former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and the FCID had no backbone to investigate into the person who gave orders to the white van abductions, Former Minister Mervyn Silva said. He said without orders, nothing could have happened. “The orders should have been given by the Defence Minister or the Defence Secretary” he said. “Gothabaya Rajapaksa should also be more..

Cabinet approves purchasing crude oil at fixed price for 8 months

Apr 25 (LBO) Cabinet of Ministers have approved a proposal to purchase 7 million barrels of Murban crude oil at a fixed price for a period of eight months starting from 1 April 2018. Accordingly, the contract for purchasing Murban crude oil at US$ 1.69 per barrel will be awarded to the selected supplier, Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises Pvt Ltd. The decision has been taken following the recommendation from cabinet more..

Corrupt officials hampering drug bust: IGP

Apr 25 (DN) Preventing underworld drug kingpins operating from within the prison is a huge challenge due to limited resources and Prisons Department staff, IGP Pujith Jayasundara said. He said in some of these high profile cases, the police officers are helpless when pressure is brought on them by higher authorities with regard to some of the high profile cases. Although the police have arrested several drug kingpins and put them more..

New Sri Lanka map in the pipeline

Apr 25 (CT) Surveyor General Palitha Udayakantha said that they were currently busy updating the country’s map with the use of satellite technology, after some 18 years, and expressed hope that they will be able to publicize the new map before the end of the year. He said that when drawing up SL’s country map, they had taken into consideration the increase in the country’s area by 2.69 kilometres due to Colombo Port City more..

Video: Sri Lankan woman killed in Toronto van attack

Apr 25 (AD) A Sri Lankan woman, a mother of one, is among the 10 victims killed in the deadly attack that saw a white van plow into pedestrians on Toronto’s busy Yonge Street on Monday. Renuka Amarasinghe, 48, who is from the town of Horana in Sri Lanka and has been living in Toronto for the past couple of years, has been identified as one of the victims. The deceased was a single mother of a 7-year-old boy. more..