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Sri Lanka needs scientific evidence on palm oil controversy: Minister

Jun 1 (EN) Sri Lanka has to examine a growing controversy on oil palm cultivation using science and evidence based research and not be driven by emotion Plantations Minister Navin Dissanayake said. There is growing opposition to palm oil cultivation in some districts with non-governmental organizations and political parties getting involved in protests, claiming that the environment was being harmed by oil palm. more..

Influenza outbreak Vaccine only on NMRA recommendation: Rajitha

Jun 1 (CT) Health Minister, Dr Rajitha Senaratne said that the vaccine for influenza would be distributed to govt hospitals in the South only on recommendations from a committee of medical specialists and the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA). He said the proposed vaccine could not be administered to patients suffering from influenza in the South according to media suggestions. more..

Prez criticism of 100-day programme: Civil society sets the record straight

Jun 1 (Island) General Secretary of United Left Front (ULF) Lal Wijenayake said that as the SLFP/UPFA had accepted UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the PM following 2015 presidential polls, the yahapalana administration was confident a No Faith Motion (NFM) wouldn’t be moved against him. Wijenayake pointed out that the SLFP/UPFA never contemplated a NFM against the PM though the UNP more..

NWP Environmental Authority finally gets tough with Norochcholai coal power plant

Jun 1 (Island) Norochcholai Coal Power Plant would only be given an environmental protection license (EPL) if the management was able to convince North Western Provincial Environmental Authority (NWPEA) that it had taken steps to prevent fly-ash and coal dust from affecting the people of the area, NWPEA Acting Director, Saman Lenaduwa said. "A committee was appointed with representatives from all concerned parties, more..

Govt wields big stick against Lankans over stayers in Israel

Jun 1 (Island) The govt has taken legal action against 104 Sri Lankan migrant workers overstaying their visas in Israel, Deputy Minister Manusha Nanayakkara says. He said that sixty cases against those illegal migrant workers had already been filed in courts and legal action was being taken against another thirty cases. Letters of demand had been sent to another nine illegal workers. more..

Drugs and docs at a touch of your phone, but concern over patients’ safety

Jun 1 (DM) The introduction of e-consultation in Sri Lanka, a popular method enabling patients to access general practitioners (GP) through their mobile phones is being studied by the National Medicinal Regulatory Authority (NMRA) to ensure the system is not hijacked by quacks. The NMRA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kamal Jayasinghe said that proper regulations need to be introduced soon to monitor the system & make e-prescription more..

Court orders arrest of Rohitha Bogollagama’s wife and daughter

Jun 1 (AD) Colombo Chief Magistrate has ordered the arrest of the wife and daughter of Easter Province Governor Rohitha Bogollagama, for the alleged attempted assault on a woman. Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake today ordered Cinnamon Gardens Police to immediately arrest and produced them before the court. This is in connection with a complaint lodged with the police station accusing them of verbally abusing, more..

Will ban social media if they don’t self-regulate: MS

Jun 1 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena said he had discussed with a US based global institution regarding the issues that had arisen in the country due to social media and that if they were unable to control such issues, he would have to ban social media websites altogether like some other countries had done. “I summoned a team of experts who work in a global institution in the US that attend to issues pertaining to social media. more..

Ranjan de Silva’s murder: Three arrested

Jun 1 (NR) The STF says a suspect arrested yesterday in Angulana over the murder of cricketer Dhananjaya de Silva's father, Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia Municipal Councillor Ranjan de Silva, has been handed over to the Organised Crimes Prevention Division for further investigations. Nihal Dissanayake alias Beba was arrested down Sri Gnanendra Mawatha, Ratmalana while travelling in a three-wheeler transporting heroin. Ranjan de Silva was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen more..

Whither cricket?

Jun 1 (FT) Going by the newspaper reports it is obvious that our Cricket and the Board of Management in charge of overseeing it are in deep crisis. In recent times, the performance of the Sri Lankan side against other top teams has been below par, while the management of the sport leaves much to be desired. A sad situation, especially considering that this is the one sport in which we may compete in the international arena, more or less, on an equal footing. more..

Gomin Dayasiri

Rajapaksa ordered helicopters, Sirisena’s attempt to implicate Ranil falls flat

Jun 1 (CT) It was Mahinda Rajapaksa and no one else that called for and used a helicopter to fly to Hambantota the day after he lost the Presidential Election in Jan 2015, according to sources close to the Rajapaksa family. ‘Sirisena took oaths on the evening of Jan 9th and until then Mahinda Rajapaksa was the President of the country. As was usual practice he had asked a member of his security detail, Captain Tissa Wimalasena to call for helicopters,’ sources pointed out, more..

Why can’t politicians work together for country’s good?

Jun 1 (CT) This editorial is written on behalf of the common man of Sri Lanka who is trying to make sense of the recent speech by President Maithripala Sirisena during the 76th birth anniversary of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera on Wednesday. Several media outlets have focused on various aspects of his speech, but the bottom-line was that he was critical of various actions of his own Govt. He spoke of the CB Bonds scam and of the 100-day programme among many things. more..

Prez Sec seeks AG’s opinion on releasing full Bond report

Jun 1 (DM) Following the request made by MP Dayasiri Jayasekara to release the entire Bond Report and related documents, President’s Secretary Austin Fernando today said he had requested the Attorney General for his opinion in this regard. Mr Fernando said MP Jayasekara had asked him under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, parts of the Bond Commission Report which were not presented more..

Former DIG Nanayakkara further remanded

Jun 1 (NR) Former Senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara and the former OIC of the Mount Lavinia Police Crimes Division, SI Thissasiri Sugathapala arrested in connection to investigations into the murder of veteran journalist Lasantha Wickremethunga have been further remanded till the 12th of April. The order was issued by the Mount Lavinia Magistrate's Court this afternoon. Magistrate also rejected the bail application filed by former Sub Inspector Thissasiri Sugathapala. more..

Loans of drought affected to be cancelled

Jun 1 (DN) The Govt is taking measures to cancel the loans taken by the poor from the micro finance companies in the drought affected areas, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said yesterday. He also said that the financial gap created by this move would be made up by the Samurdhi banks. He also said that the independent auditing of the Samurdhi Bank was initiated last year. “The govt has planned to formulate a programme to monitor Samurdhi Banks,” Minister Samaraweera said. more..

I have not received any funds from PTL or Aloysius: Malik

Jun 1 (AD) Minister Malik Samarawickrama states that he has not received any funds from Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL), their associate companies or Arjun Aloysius, as alleged in certain sections of social media. In a letter addressed to the Secretary to the President Austin Fernando, the minister says that he has been reliably informed that certain sections of the social media are naming Members of Parliament supposed to have more..

'Shortage of local engineers & technicians, major hindrance to development process'

Jun 1 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says the shortage of local engineers and technicians has become a major hindrance to the development process of the country. Scholars and intellectuals leaving the motherland have been a cause for this issue and the President further said that they should act with proper understanding regarding their responsibilities. He made these remarks participating in the 45th Anniversary celebrations of Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau more..

I was still President when I went to Tangalle in helicopter: MR

Jun 1 (DM) Responding to President Maithripala Sirisena’s remarks that a certain individual has provided helicopters to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to fly to Tangalle as soon as the presidential election results were announced, Mr. Rajapaksa said he was still the President of the country when he left Colombo. “As far as I am aware, I was still the President of the country when I left. I left Colombo even before the final election results were announced. more..

Cricket's match fixers

Two SL elephants to grace Safari Park

Jun 1 (ET) Lahore’s Safari Park will have two elephants which are likely to arrive from Sri Lanka next month. SL ambassador, in an official letter, has also recommended that the elephants be gifted to Pakistan. We have been trying to import elephants from Sri Lanka for a very long time. Finally, our relentless efforts have been successful; this will also strengthen relations between the two countries, expressed announced Punjab Wildlife and Parks Director General Khalid Ayaz. more..

A shocking case of extravagance

Jun 1 (DM) Plans are underway, they say, to shift a certain govt establishment essential for the functioning of the present system of governance to a 15-storey building complex located in a watta close to the country’s new administrative capital leaving behind all its furniture worth several billions of rupees. This set of furniture consisting of items carved with antique designs considered specimens of exquisite workmanship was reportedly purchased only three years ago while more..

Video: 6.2 million who voted for Maithripala as President also accepted Ranil: Harin

Jun 1 (AD) The 6.2 million voters who voted for Maithripala Sirisena to become President on Jan 8, 2015 also accepted Ranil Wickremesinghe as their PM, said Minister Harin Fernando. He made this statement with reference to the speech delivered by President Sirisena at the 76th Birth Anniversary of the Late Ven. Sobitha Thera on May 30. “It is a fact forgotten by most of them. Establishing a govt with 47 UNP MPs later more..

Missing case files from Court Room-in-charge remanded

Jun 1 (CT) Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake ordered the person in charge of the Number 2 Case Files Room, at the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court, to be remanded till 14 June. The suspect, Dilruk Gunawardene, a resident of Karandeniya was apprehended by the CID and produced in Court. The suspect has been charged with the misplacing some case files. Attorney Amila Indika, appearing for the suspect, said that the defence would accept that an offence more..

Environment considered silent victim of war

Jun 1 (Island) The environment has been considered the silent victim of war in Sri Lanka, a report released by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) said. The report said that the post-war development drive had caused harmful effects to the environment and the people that survive from it in the impacted provinces and beyond. Report titled The reverberating environmental impacts from the use of explosive weapons in Sri Lanka said that the war is thought to have been a distraction more..

New Colombo City land map launched

Jun 1 (GDI) Survey General of SL P.M.P. Udayakantha presented the new map of Colombo to the Minister of Lands and Parliamentary Reforms Gayantha Karunathilaka yesterday. The Survey Department launched the 2nd edition of Topographical Map of Sri Lanka, sheet 66 (Colombo) at a ceremony held at the Surveyor Generals' Office in Narahenpita. At the event, Survey General Udayakantha said, more..

SL vehicle registrations up 21% in April

Jun 1 (EN) Sri Lanka's vehicles registrations grew 21% from a year earlier to 40,428 units in April 2018, driven by small cars and motorcycles, an analysis by an equities research houses shows. Motor cars led by Suzuki Wagon-R vehicles rose 107% to 5,190 units in April 2018 from a year earlier after a tax change. Vans also rose 36% to 1,020 units. Motorcycles purchased by less-affluent persons to gain mobility, rose 13.8% from a year earlier to 29,855 units. more..

One lane of E01 closed from today

Jun 1 (DM) One side of the Southern Expressway (E01) on the Interchange between Kokmaduwa and Godagama had been closed from today, Southern Expressway Deputy Director R.A.D. Kahatapitiya said. Explaining the reason for closure he said it was as a result of ongoing construction work to connect the Matara-Hambantota extension to the E01. Accordingly, two of the four lanes of the expressway would be closed during this time. “Since one side of the expressway would be closed, more..

President stresses govt's responsibility to strengthen the rule of law

Jun 1 (PSL) President Sirisena says it is not suitable to create an environment where anyone in the Judicial sector to go behind the politicians when the govt is implementing the policy of upholding the rule of law. He made these remarks participating in an event to open the new court complex in Waththala. Prez said that it is the responsibility of the govt to create a conducive environment for every person in all sectors more..

Sri Lanka and South Korea discuss maritime cooperation

Jun 1 (Island) Sri Lanka and South Korea discussed maritime cooperation including the development of Aids to Navigation. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe and the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea Kim Young-Choon also signed a MoU between the Ministries of Ports and Shipping of SL and Oceans and Fisheries of Korea on cooperation in the development of Aids to Navigation in Incheon Metropolitan City in Korea, Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. more..

Flight diverted to MRIA due to bad weather

Jun 1 (DM) The SriLankan Air UL 206 flight which was scheduled to land at the BIA, Katunayake was diverted to Mattala Rajapaksa Int'l Airport (MRIA) this morning due to adverse weather, the BIA Duty Manager said. He said the flight arrived from Muscat International Airport, Oman and it was scheduled to land at BIA at 4.45a.m but due to bad weather it was diverted and landed at MRIA at 5.22a.m. “There was no clear view of the runway to land aircraft at BIA,” the Duty manager said. more..

Two-day postal strike from midnight Sunday

Jun 1 (DM) Union of Post and Telecommunication Officers today said it would launch a two-day token strike from midnight on Sunday (3), demanding the Govt to resolve the issues stemming from the 06/2006 govt administration circular. Union General Secretary H.K. Kariyawasam alleged the said circular which was issued without the consent of the postal employees had oppressed over 26,000 more..

Power rivalry in the Indian Ocean

Jun 2 (Island) A report in The Island of May 29, states: "Japanese govt plans to invest in port development in three Indian Ocean nations – Myanmar, SL and Bangladesh – as part of PM Shinzo Abe’s free and open Indo-Pacific strategy informs the Jakarta Post. Three sites that are under consideration for port development are Dawei in southeast Myanmar, Trincomalee in northern SL and Matarbari in southeast Bangladesh. A currently existing small port of Trincomalee more..

Hidden agendas of some aid workers

June 2 (CT) By 2008 Zola, however, had also realized that the authority given to international NGOs was misplaced. In the middle of the year it was found that several heavy vehicles belonging to an NGO working in Kilinochchi had been taken by the LTTE to build a high bund to stop the advance of the Sri Lankan forces. The initial story was that five vehicles had been taken, but I received information that it was in fact many more. I called the Secretary of Defence to tell him this, and more..

'In the name of a misunderstood identity, Lankan Muslims are getting isolated'

June 2 (FT) Sri Lanka is currently wedged between Buddhist fundamentalism and rigid Orthodox Islam that have made inroads into the country in the past 40 years or so. Both Buddhists and Muslims have forgotten the magnanimity and tolerance of the Sinhalese who welcomed Muslims into the country centuries ago. Sadly, Muslims have forgotten that they embraced Sri Lankan and not Arabian culture when they decided to live in more..

President Sirisena’s hard-hitting speech at Ven. Sobitha Thera’s commemoration

June 2 (FT) All newspapers carried the President’s speech made on 30th May at the Foundation Institute in their front pages while the electronic media covered excerpts in their news bulletins. He contradicted the front-page story of a popular English Daily on how Malaysia’s newly-elected PM Mahathir Mohammed handled corruption within five days of coming to power whereas in Sri Lanka a question mark hangs even after three years. I am sure the Editor will respond to that. more..

An avoidable malaise

June 2 (CT) In recent times public opinion has risen in condemning the appointments of unsuitable persons to public office. Recently it was reported that an unsuitable person had been appointed as chairman of a public corporation, subsequent to the arrest of the former chairman of that corporation who was caught red handed in the act of accepting a bribe. It was later reported that President Maithripala Sirisena, who initially made the said appointment, had suspended the appointment when more..

'Gota is not a challenge to us'

June 2 (CT) Minister P. Harrison says, “What Mahinda did was use Samurdhi officers for their election work, giving them false promises. Samurdhi officers were not made permanent, duping them like that.” Q: In today’s politics, every political party is in crisis. It’s common to the UNP too. Even the crisis in the UNP, hasn’t it got out of control? A: No, there is no such crisis within the UNP. more..

Sobitha thinking vs. Perpetual corruption

June 2 (DN) We are caught in a whirlpool of corruption far from what the late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera would have even imagined possible after three years of yahapalana governance. It is indeed appalling to see the birth anniversary of the late Sobitha Thera becoming the unveiling centre for such corruption, ranging from Perpetual millions of Aloysian linkage to the political corruption of the past and present. President Sirisena certainly made a big show of corruption exposure, more..

The rise of democracy

June 2 (DN) Minister Mangala Samaraweera, speaking to the media recently has stated that knowing well the crimes committed by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, he is in fact frightened of the former Defence Secretary. Not only Mangala Samaraweera after all, many of us who led the democratic movement that toppled the fascistic regime of Mahinda are scared of resurgence of Mahinda clan. All who reject terrorism as a method in political struggle were scared of both LTTE and DJV. more..