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Leading buddhist forum against abolition of Executive Presidency

Jun 16 (DN) The Buddhasasana Karya Sadhaka Balakaya in a statement said that the Executive Presidency should not be abolished without repealing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The organisation in a statement signed by Ven. Diviyagaha Yasassi Thera, Ven. Thrikunamale Ananda Thera and Ven. Agalakada Sirisumana Thera states that the abolition of the Exeucitve Presidency would be dangerous more..

Customs seize Couriered Geckoes, Chameleons

Jun 16 (DN) Customs officials seized 32 Geckoes and Chameleons illegally shipped to the country. These species are considered to be dangerous as they are said to be carnivorous and could pose a threat to local species of insects etc, Custom’s Spokesman Sunil Jayarathne said. These dangerous species were concealed in a shipment declared as CPU (Concealed inside the CPU in four bags) and was detected by Customs staff attached to the DHL Courier Services in Katunayake. more..

Beira Lake intervention area development plan gets underway

Jun 16 (ST) The Govt is implementing a new Beira Lake intervention area development plan aimed at restoring the lake and turning it into a scenic asset in Colombo, setting aside the former regime’s project spearheaded by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a senior official of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development told the Business Times. The banks of Beria Lake will be developed initially before executing the development activities on the land adjoining more..

Delaying trial for 12 years: SC orders CTC to pay widow Rs. 400,000 as costs

Jun 16 (DM) Supreme Court in a landmark judgment, on Thursday, ordered the Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) to pay Rs.400,000 as costs to a smoker's widow after the company was found to have prolonged the trial for more than 12 years by filing petitions in the Appeal Court and the SC. Chief Justice Priyasath Dep concurring with Justices Sisira J. De Abrew and Prasanna Jayawardena held that District Court should more..

PM's Ramadan message

Jun 16 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in his message to mark Ramadan Festival said " the festival of Eid al-Fitr, falls on the first day of the month after the holy month of Ramadan, and marks the sighting of the new moon at the end of the month of fasting. This is an important religious festival celebrated by Muslims across the globe to mark equality, purity and devotion. "Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam - along with faith, prayer, charity and pilgrimage. more..

President’s Ramadan message

Jun 16 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena, in his Ramadan message, stated that the most important thing in life should be the purification of the mind for the betterment as well as the protection of human beings. He added that the salvation of human beings could only be attained in an environment of good thoughts where moral values are strengthened. “It is the noble message of giving priority to peace with honour that is conveyed to humanity by the Islamic devotees when they celebrate Eid-ul-fitr, more..

Gnanasara Thera’s incarceration: Will not seek presidential pardon: BBS CEO

Jun 16 (CT) Although special protection has been sought by the Sihala Ravaya for Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera, who is serving a prison term, a presidential pardon would not be sought. General Secretary of Sihala Ravaya, Magalkande Sudaththa Thera said they requested special protection for the General Secretary of BBS, who is serving a prison term, due to a risk to his life. Meanwhile, CEO of the BBS, Dr. Dilanthe more..

Former Japanese PM calls on President, promises more assistance

Jun 16 (DN) Former Japanese PM Yukio Hatoyama who is currently on an official visit to Sri Lanka called on Prez Maithripala Sirisena at his official residence on Thursday. Former PM of Japan in talks with the President recalled the age-old friendship between the two countries. President appreciated the former PM’s visit to SL and invited him to visit the country again. The former PM arrived in SrL to participate at the foundation laying ceremony of the Sadaham Sewa (Dhamma Service) building of more..

Kataragama monks demands govt action to restore peace

Jun 16 (Island) Kataragama Sasanarakshaka Bala Mandalaya, condemned the recent attempt on the life of Chief Incumbent of Kirivehera Raja Maha Viharaya and Chairman of Balamandalaya Ven. Kobawaka Dhamminda Thera. Urging the govt to restore the rule of law in the country, the organisation said immediate steps had to be taken to curb drug trafficking and neutralise the underworld. Maha Sangha said shooting of the Thera was a severe blow to the Sasana and more..

Investigations into CB Bonds scam: Interested parties interfering with probe: Prez

Jun 16 (CT) Prez Sirisena has alleged that certain interested parties were interfering in the investigations into the CB Treasury Bonds scam, by exerting undue influence on law enforcement authorities. He made these revelations in response to a question as to whether the involvement of high level political interference could be inferred from a statement he made recently, where he had said that he was being stifled and not being allowed to more..

Honour your mother and father

Jun 16 (DM) Sri Lanka’s Islamic community celebrates Ramadan today, after almost one month of sacrificial and selfless fasting and prayer, in addition to sharing with the poverty-stricken or marginalised people. While wishing them showers of blessings on this day, we hope and pray that our country also will be blessed to bring about inter-religious and inter-racial unity in diversity. We hope this blessing will change the attitude and approach especially of our leaders, more..

Existence or Extinction: Choice can’t be clearer

Jun 16 (DM) When one looks back on the pros and cons of the decision taken by the people in the 2015 Presidential Election and the mandate it carried, after two-and-half-years in power, the current administration does not have anything to brag about except one outstanding accomplishment of theirs. With all the alleged corruption and ineffective management of the country’s ailing economy, the very introduction of transparency aspect of governance where the govt party’s own more..

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's US Citizenship and Presidential Ambition

Jun 16 (DM) The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap will conclude his three-year term in Colombo this August. He will be succeeded by Alaina B. Teplitz, current US Ambassador to Nepal. Both Keshap and Teplitz were appointed envoys to SL and Nepal respectively by former US President Barack Obama in March 2015. Both, however, are US Foreign Service career Officials and not political appointees of Prez Obama. more..

Gam Peraliya to revolutionize villages: President

Jun 16 (PSL) The Gam Peraliya programme initiated to make a huge revolution in the development of the village will commence in the future, says President Maithripala Sirisena. This programme is conducted spending huge amount of money covering all the Grama Niladhari Divisions and its prime motive is to bring the sunrise of development to the sufferings of the rural people, says the President. more..

Former Japanese PM meets the President

Jun 16 (PSL) The former Japanese Prime Minister Yukiyo Hatoyama, who came to the Island, met President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s office yesterday. The former PM who engaged in a friendly conversation with the President brought back to memory the historical friendship the two countries shared with each other. President Sirisena who expressed appreciation over the SL visit of the former PM of Japan, more..

Govt like a bull & buffalo-drawn plough: MR

Jun 16 (DM) Former president Rajapaksa compared the govt to a plough being drawn by a bull and a buffalo. He said this after paying homage at the Dalada Maligawa and underlined the fact that this govt would be defeated because it had not solved any of the issues faced by the people and had no proper plan of development. “This govt is similar to a plough being drawn by a bull and a buffalo. They pull in different directions. more..

Video: Mahinda will choose the most suitable presidential candidate: Gotabaya

Jun 16 (AD) As a leader who identifies the thoughts and wishes of the people, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa would choose the most suitable individual as the next presidential candidate, says former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He made these comments while speaking to reporters after meeting with the Chief Incumbent of the Getambe Rajopawanarama Temple in Peradeniya, more..

Union says too many women running railway off track

Jun 16 (ST) Recruiting unskilled employees under political influence has resulted in about 6,000 vacancies for professionals in Sri Lanlka Railways, a union official said. Railway Employees’ Union Convenor S.P. Vithanage claimed that there were only about 20 professionals to maintain the upcountry services. He said women were recruited on the recommendation of politicians from time to time and they could not run more..

Too much monkey business causing havoc on many fronts

Jun 16 (ST) Large troops of monkeys, sometimes numbering 50-100, are causing havoc in populated areas in a grab for food, with homes and public property suffering damage in many areas. Monkey attacks come up as one of the main complaints heard at District Secretariats and agriculture-related meetings. Monkeys are causing damage to crops, roofs, power cables, telephone lines and water lines and are even attacking more..

Microfinance-related suicides in North on the rise

Jun 16 (CT) In the wake of a spate of microcredit repayment-related suicides, several civil society organizations – women supporting good governance and NGOs in Mannar urged the Govt to release people from the clutches of microfinance. They argue that many lives in the Northern Province were being ruined and that in recent times a spate of microcredit repayment-related suicides have been reported. more..

Underworld thrown into disarray by STF

Jun 16 (DN) Operations conducted by the Police Organized Crimes Division and the STF resulting in the recent killing of Iresh Nawagamuwa alias Baila has destabilised operations of underworld figures Makandure Madush and Angoda Lokka. Madush is suspected to be in hiding in Dubai and Angoda Lokka is abroad, SP Ruwan Gunasekara said. It has been revealed that Iresh Madushanka’s death was a blow to Madush as more..

President asks group of 16 to remain united

Jun 16 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena is reported to have requested the 16 SLFP members, who quit the govt, to remain united amid reports about a split among the them. Eleven of the 16, excluding MPs Susil Premajayantha, John Seneviratne, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and John Seneviratne had met the President on Wednesday and discussed the current political situation in the country. Some among them are said to be more..

Elephants, forests and humans

Jun 17 (SO) Last week, in the nick of time, Prez Sirisena responded swiftly to the calls of nature conservationists and the local population and stopped the capture and transfer of the last two wild elephants living in the world famous Sinharaja forest reserve. Whether these Elephas maximus maximus will be allowed to remain in their homeland or whether these two animals will finally be trucked out to another habitat depends on either a holistic conservation plan or another whim more..

Name & Shame

Jun 17 (CT) Interfering with the law is a punishable offence. Nonetheless, Prez Sirisena had said that vested interests were interfering in the probes related to the alleged multibillion rupee Treasury (T) Bonds scam that took place during the period 27 Feb 2015 to 30 June 2016, a period covering his current tenure in office. These scams allegedly involve CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran, his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius and his family-owned company Perpetual Treasuries (PT). more..

Behind the fond farewell in Vishwamadu

Jun 17 (SO) In the backdrop of militarisation fatigue and continuing calls for the removal of the armed forces from civilian structures in the war-affected Northern and Eastern Provinces, scenes last week of Tamil civilians and ex-LTTE combatants in Vishwamadu, Mullaitivu bidding a senior military officer tearful farewell on his transfer to Ambepussa, sent shock waves all over the country. more..

Why preferential tax rates for anybody?

Jun 17 (Island) It is commonly accepted almost everywhere that equity is a first principle of taxation. But not so in this so-called democratic socialist republic, which drives its tourist promotion with the claim that Sri Lanka is a land like no other. Many people would surely agree with that claim for reasons different to those who apply that blurb to promote this country as an idyllic vacation destination. The current effort by our high earning medical consultants and specialists, more..

MPs for hire

Jun 17 (ST) Never more has the importance of transparency in campaign financing been relevant than now, when at least two Members of Parliament are revealed to have accepted millions of rupees from a company whose chairman subsequently became embroiled in one of Sri Lanka’s worst corruption scandals of recent times. Investigators sifting through piles of documentation related to the Central Bank bond scam will receive in the coming weeks the details of other cheque payments more..

Blood on the temple floor

Jun 17 (CT) The lights adorning the chaitya at the Kiri Vehera Rajamaha Vihara in Kataragama shone brightly on Tuesday night last week when the Chief Prelate Ven. Kobawaka Dammina and two other Buddhist monks made their daily routine religious observances before retiring for the day. The three monks had started to descend the flight of steps that lead to the chaitya when the night’s silence was shattered with sound of gunfire. more..

Ambassadorial swing and miss

Jun 17 (ST) My Dear US Ambassador Atul, I thought I should write to you because everyone is talking about you when you are about to leave us after spending several years in Paradise. All those years, hardly anyone knew your name and your presence was not felt but all of a sudden, you have become the hot topic of conversation. The reason for that seems to be a meeting you had with Mahinda maama. At that meeting you are reported to have made your thoughts known about Mahinda more..

Balm for the soul

Jun 17 (ST) Kussi Amma Sera came running into the sitting room, shouting, Kokatath Thailaya Mahattaya enava gate-eka langa (Kokatath Thailaya Sir is near the gate)”. For a moment, I was completely confused then realised she was referring to Sando Kumar, my Kokatath Thailaya (remedy for all ailments) friend who drops in occasionally for a chat and provides a soothing balm for aching joints, before he leaves. Unlike most of us who’ll run to a doctor for the slightest ailment, more..


SL - Singapore FTA: What has the govt committed this country to?

Jun 17 (Island) There is mounting disquiet in the country over the free trade agreement that the govt has signed with Singapore. What they have signed with Singapore is not an agreement that is restricted to trade in goods, but a more comprehensive arrangement that involves the trade in services as well. When this govt tried to sign a similar agreement with India, they encountered stiff resistance from the public and have all but jettisoned the idea. But this FTA with Singapore which more..

2 Sri Lankan women making news overseas

Jun 17 (Island) I hand out kudos, (or should it be bouquets?) to the women of Sri Lanka across the board, especially to those with political or administrative power for their apparently clean hands and dedicated service to the nation. While accusations of receiving millions from companies affiliated to Perpetual Treasuries Ltd are being flung around with excuses of not knowing who signed the gift cheques, and do-good sleuths salivating to reveal more MPs’ names, we women are more..

International community still bothered about Rajapaksas?

Jun 17 (CT) Prez Sirisena has alleged that certain interested parties were interfering in the investigations into the CB Bonds scam, by exerting undue influence on law enforcement authorities. He made these revelations, in an interview, in response to a question as to whether high level political interference could be inferred from a statement he made recently, where he had said that he was being stifled and not being allowed to carry out more..

Hooked on cricket

Jun 17 (SO) Girls from Devapathiraja College in Ratgama, Galle became unsung heroes this year when they emerged as the inter school girls cricket tournament champions with a team of extremely talented hopefuls. One of the promising stars of the school, Kaveesha Dilhara, is already part of the Sri Lanka team playing as an off spinner. “I love cricket from my childhood but I didn’t play cricket at home. I only got the opportunity at my school when I played at the school sports meet at the age of 12”, more..

Indunil shatters 25-year-old SL record

Jun 17 (CT) Middle distance runner, Indunil Herath shattered the long standing record in the 800m of Sri Lanka, clocking 1 minute 47.14 seconds in Kenya yesterday afternoon. Indunil, who trains in Kenya was placed second in the Kenyan President’s Cup when clocking this record breaking time. He broke the 25 year old SL record of 1:47.56 seconds set by Ranjith Subasinghe back in 1993 South Asian Games. The South Asian Games gold medalist skipped the Commonwealth Games, more..

Gabriel strikes for WI after narrow lead

Jun 17 (CI) Sri Lanka's quicks scythed through the West Indies lower order, and finished only 13 runs behind for the loss of one wicket by stumps. But it was what they did at the start of the day that loomed over this game. For two hours, they refused to take the field, and when they did, it was only under protest. The reason? Match officials had charged them with ball tampering, slapping on a five-run penalty, and more..

Is Faizer doing a Gamini Lokuge?

Jun 17 (Island) Since the day the Appeal Court provided interim relief by staying Sri Lanka Cricket elections scheduled for 31st of May, Sports Minister Faizer Musthapha has committed some serious blunders and the game of cricket is in very sad state. Instead of appointing an Interim Committee to look after Sri Lanka Cricket, Musthapha appointed a Competent Authority, his Ministry’s Secretary to run the affairs of one of the richest institutions in the country. more..

'Over 70% of rooms listed online unregistered'

Jun 17 (Island) Star-class city hotels in Colombo are reeling from drastically reduced occupancies resulting from competition from the informal sector. Mr. Lalin Samarawickrema, the Managing Director of Kingsbury PLC, says in the company’s annual report that over 70% of the accommodation on major online booking websites "is actually informal and unregistered homestays, guest houses etc." This websites have a room inventory of around 90,000 for the whole of Sri Lanka, he said. more..

Sri Lanka deny wrongdoing amid ball-tampering controversy

Jun 17 (CI) Sri Lanka have strongly denied any wrongdoing after being charged with altering the condition of the ball during the St Lucia Test against West Indies. Their players protested the charge - and the subsequent penalty of a ball change and the award of five extra runs to the opposition - by refusing to take the field at the start of the third day's play. The match eventually resumed after a two-hour delay, but more..