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Strike cripples postal service

Jun 12 (Island) Joint Postal Trade Union Allaince yesterday at 4 p.m. launched an indefinite strike making two demands. Its convenor Chinthaka Bandara said. A suitable recruitment policy had to be be formulated and job security of acting post masters ensured. He said that though the demands had been made sometime earlier, there had been no positive response from the authorities. Bandara said "There were moves to recruit outsiders as post masters, though there were acting more..

'Come what may, Kandy hiway will be built'

Jun 12 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella said, in Kandy yesterday, that the Kandy-Colombo Expressway would be built as planned despite objections raised by those through jealousy and hatred. PM Ranil Wickremasinghe had given an assurance to help him to complete construction of the expressway as planned, he said, laying the foundation stone for the Rs. 600 million three-storeyed auditorium of the D.S. Senanayake more..

Gang robs Rs. 5 mn in Ududumbara while in transit

Jun 12 (DM) A vehicle of a private security firm carrying cash amounting to more than Rs 5 million belonging to two private companies in Kandy was robbed by an unidentified gang in the Ududumbara area this evening. Around five suspects who had come in a van had obstructed the vehicle in the Galkele area and threatened the security officers using a pistol and robbed the money around 4.35 pm yesterday. Police had later found the vehicle used by the suspects abandoned more..

UDA plans to call fresh RFPs for 9-acre Chalmers Granaries land this month

Jun 12 (DM) The Urban Development Authority (UDA) plans to call fresh request for proposals (RFPs) for the mixed development project for the nine-acre Chalmers Granaries land, under the Beira Lake Intervention Plan, within this month, following the necessary Cabinet approval. UDA Chairman Dr. Jagath Munasinghe said that the UDA, via the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry, has sent the proposal to the Cabinet and the UDA expects the Cabinet approval in two weeks. more..

NCPA to propose radical reforms in education: No exams until children reach 17

Jun 12 (CT) National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) is to propose that our education system be radically changed to ultimately eliminate all examinations for children, until they reach the age of 17 years. Chairman of NCPA H.M. Abayarathna, said the idea is to create a social discourse and debate on the subject. NCPA is of the view that examinations are being touted as the primary reason for issues faced by children, more..

Reducing taxes by 20%: I have accomplished far more difficult tasks: MR

Jun 12 (Island) The same people who challenged him to end the war a decade ago were now daring him to reveal how he could reduce the taxes by 20%, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. "I took up their challenge and enabled our military, police and the civil defence force to neutralise terrorism. Some of my detractors belittled the war effort and the sacrifices made by the troops. I think everyone remembers how some people derisively asked us at the height of the war whether more..

Dy Ministerial posts for 6 UNP backbenchers? Prez yet to approve list

Jun 12 (CT) The UNP is awaiting President Maithripala Sirisena’s approval to appoint several UNP backbenchers as Deputy Ministers, UNP MP Ranjith Aluwihare said. Ceylon Today queried as to whether there was any truth behind the report that surfaced that six UNP backbench MPs are to be appointed as Deputy Ministers. In response, Aluwihare said a list of MPs had been sent to the President for his approval. However, that list is yet to be approved, he added. more..

Norochcholai CEB engineers threaten shutdown today

Jun 12 (DN) If the authorities fail to provide a favourable response, CEB Engineers who are currently on a work to rule campaign will decide to suspend work at the Norochcholai coal power plant today, said the CEB Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) President Athula Wanniarachchi. CEBEU had earlier warned that it will have to shut down the Norochcholai, Lakvijaya Coal Power Station, if the environmental protection license (EPL) is more..

Knuckles forest controversy: Its time that UNESCO intervened

Jun 12 (DM) When Knuckles conservation forest, along with Sri Pada peak wilderness area and Horton plains, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010, the World Heritage Committee came up with a set of recommendations. The purpose of this was to ensure that the successive governments of Sri Lanka prioritized the protection of these three sites, which form the central highlands of SL. The recommendations read that “an overall management system for the whole property more..

Can we rule out Glyphosate in CKDU ?

Jun 12 (DM) Dr. Rohan Pethiyagoda, former chairman of SL Tea Board, presents a logical argument for lifting the ban on glyphosate, due to the lack of evidence. He also points to the fact that the technical capability and the legal authority associated with these rests lies with the Registrar of Pesticides. He also underscores the Registrar’s obligation to consult appropriate bodies. Given that the matter pertains to health we assume that he would have consulted the medical profession. more..

On Somaweera Senanayake & on television

Jun 12 (DM) Not too many years ago, before I found a job, I was involved with tracking down, calling, and interviewing veterans from various cultural fields who had contributed something substantive to Sri Lanka. I would summarise their lives and work and try to fit those into the (horrendously meagre) space of a 1,500 or 2,500 word article (which would sometimes be in two parts). It was a challenge I had to meet and more..

Diving into a whole new world!

Jun 12 (DM) Niluka Damayanthi is up at 2.00 a.m. each day to prepare for the long day ahead. This entails cooking for her household which include her mother, husband and children. She also prepares snack boxes for the snorkelers or divers she would be accompanying for the day. As one of the two female snorkelers at the Kalpitiya Diving Centre, Niluka never imagined that she would turn her love for the ocean into her occupation. more..

SC judgment calls for law reforms to expand grounds for divorce

Jun 12 (ST) A Supreme Court judgment this week advocated amendments to Section 19 of the Marriage Registration Ordinance to expand the grounds for divorce to instances where one party wishes to end the union but the other does not. At present, the only grounds for divorce in Sri Lanka are adultery subsequent to marriage, malicious desertion or incurable impotency at the time of such marriage. more..

Prasanna Ranatunga extortion case: Dire threat on businessman

Jun 12 (DN) Businessman Gehard Mendis, the virtual complainant in the alleged extortion case filed against the three accused including Gampaha District MP Prasanna Ranatunga and his wife yesterday informed the Colombo High Court that Prasanna Ranatunga demanded money after threatening him not to get on the wrong side with him. Attorney General (AG) had filed indictments against former Western Province more..

Ravana Balaya lodges complaint with CIABOC

Jun 12 (CT) The Ravana Balaya organization, lodged a complaint with the CIABOC urging an inquiry into MPs and State officials who have obtained monies from tainted primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries Limited and/or its Beneficiary cum owner Arjun Aloysius and/or from associate Companies. Aloysius and CEO of the primary bidder Kasun Palisena are presently in remand custody over the CB Treasury Bonds scam while more..

Judges recent recusals come under fire from ex-CJ

Jun 12 (CT) Former Chief Justice (CJ), Sarath Nanda Silva criticized several recent recusals of Judges of the Superior Court in relation to cases, involving former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The concept of recusal or judicial disqualification is founded on the principle of bias, the latter which can be actual or perceived. While there are no statutory provisions governing the matter in SL, it has evolved out of practice. more..

Cabinet approves kerosene relief for fisher folk

Jun 12 (DM) Cabinet approval had been granted to reduce the selling price of one litre of kerosene by midnight today, Fisheries Minister Wijith Wijayamuni Zoysa said. He also said that a decision had been taken to grant more relief on other fishery facilities. Sources said that the fishing kerosene would be of different colour. Minister said at the Cabinet meeting held today headed by Prez Sirisena was the proposal was approved. more..

Wrongdoers using Maithri Gunaratne as cat’s paw: JVP

Jun 12 (DM) The JVP said some people hell-bent on protecting their sons-in-law, who obtained financial inducements from Perpetual Treasures Ltd., were employing individuals like Maithri Gunaratne as a cat's paw to sling mud at the JVPers. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said this in the wake of Mr. Gunaratne accusing JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa of having received money from PTL owner Arjun Aloysius. more..

US citizenship not a barrier for Gota to contest Presidential election: Gammanpila

Jun 12 (DM) The US citizenship was not a barrier for former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to contest the upcoming Presidential Election, MP Udaya Gammanpila said. He said Mr. Rajapaksa had requested him to explain the true legal position and the procedure in respect of renunciation of the US citizenship. “Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 is the governing law in respect of renunciation of citizenship. more..

Two State Ministers & Five Deputy Ministers sworn-in

Jun 12 (NR) Two new State Ministers and five Deputy Ministers were sworn-in before President Maithripala Sirisena this morning. Accordingly, Matale District MP Ranjith Aluwihare was sworn-in as the State Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs. Kandy District MP Lucky Jayawardena was sworn-in as the new State Minister of Hill Country, New Villages, Infrastructure & Community Development. more..

'Fomer govt members attempting to hide mistakes'

Jun 12 (NR) The UNP says members of the former UPFA led govt who are accused of fraud are engaged in pre-planned attempts to hide their mistakes. Speaking during a media briefing at the Sirikotha Minister Harin Fernando said members of the former govt are attempting to deceive the public. Minister said those who received money from Aloysius have been named the biggest thieves in the country while those who took money from the public have been named as innocent. more..

The future of China’s ‘soft power’ in Buddhist diplomacy and Sri Lanka

Jun 12 (FT) China will soon inaugurate the 350-metre-high Lotus Tower in Sri Lanka, the tallest telecommunication-skyscraper in South Asia. The tower, emanating from the Lotus Sutra in Buddhism, is a narrative for Beijing to formulate a sustainable and peaceful soft power strategy that would appeal globally. Because religion has a mutually beneficial causal impact on the lives of people and state, especially in civilisational polities like China and Sri Lanka. more..

මහාචාර්ය රෝහණ ලක්ෂ්මන් පියදාස

Kiriella responds to Gota-Maithri plot to abuse Bribery Commission

Jun 12 (CT) Minister of Public Enterprise and Kandy City Development Lakshman Kiriella responding to a query regarding the Colombo Telegraph report on investigations into alleged corruption said that he has declared the assets of his family in Parliament. Colombo Telegraph reliably learns that already the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption (Bribery Commission) has requested relevant statements from banks regarding the 16 persons and their close family emcees. more..

TV presenter Mahesh Nisshanka arrested over assault

Jun 12 (DM) TV presenter Mahesh Nisshanka has been arrested by the Kadawatha Police in connection with an alleged assault in which an individual was stabbed. Police said an owner of a fitness centre at Enderamulla was admitted to the Colombo General Hospital with stab injuries following a clash allegedly between the TV presenter and the owner on Saturday. They said Mr Nisshanka also had lodged a complaint with the Police stating that he was also assaulted. more..

PUCSL approves CEB’s base case plan for power generation

Jun 12 (AD) The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has approved the CEB’s base case plan subjected to the accommodation of already Cabinet approved Govt to Govt power plants and the latest Govt Policy. In a communication to the CEB General Manager, the commission said that it had approved the Least Cost Long Term Generation Expansion Plan (LCLTGEP) 2018- 2037, following an extensive public more..

EU provides emergency relief to flood victims in Sri Lanka

Jun 12 (EC) Following the devastating floods and landslides which struck Sri Lanka over the last weeks, the European Commission gave €160 000 in humanitarian funding to bring emergency assistance to the communities affected by the recent floods. Some 17 500 people in the seven most affected districts of the country will benefit from aid. Priority will be given to those who have been displaced. This EU funding supports the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society in delivering relief assistance to more..

Udapalatha PS Chairman in hospital after assault

Jun 12 (NR) Chairman of the Udapalatha Pradeshiya Sabha in the Kandy district DG Gunasena has been hospitalised after being assaulted by a member of the PS. The Chairman was assaulted by a member of the Udapalatha PS that is governed by the SLPP. Chairman Gunasena said he was assaulted by Dharmasiri Agalawatta who was elected under the SLPP. Gunasena noted seats have been allocated to members of the PS name boards displayed on the table. more..

Karunaratne to captain SL A in Bangladesh

Jun 12 (CI) Dimuth Karunaratne will return to competitive cricket with two four-day matches for Sri Lanka A in the forthcoming tour of Bangladesh. He had fractured his index finger in early May, effectively ruling him out of the ongoing tour of the West Indies, but has now begun training, and will aim to have matches under his belt ahead of July's home Tests against South Africa. Sri Lanka A are set to play 3 four-dayers in Bangladesh, more..

Alethea private school gets investor

Jun 12 (EN) Alethea group, which runs a private school system said its founding shareholders has divested a majority stake to Fairfield Holdings, a Colombo-based investment firm for an undisclosed sum. The new shareholder will also invest in expansion, the firm said. The school is certified by UK's Cambridge International and Edexel for their exams, and it also offers SL's national syllabus. The transaction was arranged by M Power Capital, a private equity firm, while more..

How to reduce taxes: JO accepts PM’s challenge

Jun 12 (DM) JO today accepted PM's challenge to former President Rajapaksa to explain how he would reduce taxes by 20% if he comes to power. JO MP Bandula Gunawardana said they would accept the challenge on behalf of Mr. Rajapaksa. “PM Ranil Wickremesinghe continues to mislead the people by saying that Rajapaksa era loans had resulted in economic hardships. To cover up their inefficiency, the UNP-led govt is resorting to their famous Goebbel's Theory and blaming others,” more..

Linear Park along Beira Lake vested with the public by President

Jun 12 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena vested the reconstructed and developed eastern bank conservation of the East Beira Lake and the Linear Park along Beira Lake with the public, today. The programme was implemented by the Urban Development Authority under their project to develop the water surfaces of the city of Colombo. These development activities are done with the assistance of the World Bank under more..

Gramashakthiyen – Gama Hadana Gamana programme will be launched tomorrow

Jun 12 (PMD) The Gramashakthiyen – Gama Hadana Gamana programme will be launched tomorrow from the Puthtalam district under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. This programme will be implemented in parallel to the Grama Shakthi People’s Movement. Gama Hadana Gamana programme will provide immediate solutions to the developmental problems of the villagers and its first programme will be held at Puthtalam- Mahawewa-Medagoda under more..

President should re-think Masthan’s appointment: Vadivel

Jun 12 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena must re-consider the appointment of K. Kader Masthan as the Deputy Minister of Resettlement, Rehabilitation, Northern Development and Hindu Affairs, UNP MP and Lanka Jathika Estate Workers' Union General Secretary Vadivel Suresh said today. He said the President should take into account the fact that Mr. Masthan was a Muslim. “It would have been better if a Hindu MP was appointed to be in charge of Hindu Affairs. more..

Six ways Sri Lanka can attract more foreign investments

Jun 12 (WB) To facilitate Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Sri Lanka launched last week an innovative online one-stop shop to help investors obtain all official approvals. To mark the occasion, this blog series explores different aspects of FDI in Sri Lanka. Part 1 put forth 5 Reasons Why Sri Lanka Needs FDI. Part 3 will relate how the World Bank is helping to improve Sri Lanka’s enabling environment for FDI. more..

No request made for deportation or arrest of website editor: PMD

Jun 12 (AD) President’s Media Division has rejected the report that was published on a newspaper on Sunday, claiming that the arrest and deportation of the editor of a website was requested in a meeting between President Maithripala Sirisena and British High Commissioner James Dauris. “The said news item is incorrect and falsely reports the said meeting, and no request was made for either deportation or arrest of the editor of the claimed website or any other person,” PMD said in a statement. more..

Polls campaign funding and ethics

Jun 12 (CT) It is an open secret that our politicians freely accept cash from businesses for their political activity and many businessmen hand out money, at different times, usually with a quid pro quo. The shrewd businessman will usually hand out cash to all sides in the political game. In recent weeks, accusations have emerged that companies connected to Arjun Aloysius have given money to a number of politicians in the current Parliament. These charges were made by the Police more..

Former MP Sarath Kumara indicted

Jun 12 (NR) Colombo High Court today served indictments to six persons including to former Deputy Minister of Fisheries Sarath Kumara Gunaratne over a case filed against the group on charges of misappropriating 10 million rupees during the tenure of the UPFA-led govt. Group was charged for the alleged misappropriation of rs. 10 mil belonging to Ceylon Fisheries Harbour Corporation during last Prez election. more..

US-North Korea summit example for world: Mano Ganesan

Jun 12 (PTI) A Sri Lankan govt minister today hailed the US and North Korean leaders' summit in Singapore as an example to the world. "Despite all foul talks world shall salute both #trump & #kim for setting an example for talking over warring," tweeted Mano Ganesan, a minority Tamil leader and minister of national integration and languages, as he praised US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for engaging in negotiations. Trump and Kim today met for more..

6 Sri Lankan nationals held in Seychelles on illegal fishing charge

Jun 12 (SNA) Six Sri Lankan nationals are being held by local law enforcement after their fishing boat was intercepted on suspicion of fishing illegally in the waters of Seychelles. The Sri Lankans nationals appeared in court last Friday and will remain in custody for 14 days. The Sri Lankan-flagged vessel was spotted by Seychelles Coast Guard patrol ship Andromache north-west of the main island of Mahe during a routine patrol last Thursday (7). A Coast Guard team was subsequently sent on board more..