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How Mahanama appointed as President’s Chief of Staff: CHR

May 8 (DM) It is a question to be raised as to how I.H.K. Mahanama who was appointed as the Prez’s Chief of Staff, when the investigation had been underway against him in relation to soliciting a bribe of Rs. 540 million from an Indian businessman, when he was caught red handed recently, Centre for Human Rights (CHR) Executive Director Keerthi Tennakoon said. He said I.H.K. Mahanama was unaware until he was more..

Absence of MPs at May Day event: UNP says ...

May 8 (Island) The UNP has said, in response to our main news item, on May 07, UNP dissidents boycott party’s May Day rally, that the absence of some party seniors and backbenchers, at the UNP May Day rally on Sunday, was not a case of them boycotting the event. "They couldn’t attend the rally for genuine reasons. They had informed the party leadership of the reasons and been excused by UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. more..

Five more Aava gang members arrested

May 8 (DN) The Police arrested five individuals who are alleged to be members of the Aava group on Sunday. The arrested individuals are held responsible for the murders of some individuals during the past days using typical Aava gang swords. Police raided a house on a tip off received and arrested 2 persons along with 3 swords and few face covering clothing. Upon further questioning, the police managed to arrest 3 more persons along with more face covering clothing. more..

'Nepotism is not a solution'

May 8 (CT) Nepotism will not be the solution to Sri Lanka’s crisis, said the Leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Speaking at the JVP May Day rally held at the Burgher Recreation Club Ground, Havelock Park, in Colombo yesterday (7), Dissanayake was referring to certain possible future Presidential candidates, such as incumbent Minister Sajith Premadasa, the son of late President R Premadasa and former Defence Secretary more..

Having robbed CBSL, UNP eyeing Samurdhi bank: MR

May 8 (Island) The UNP was now eyeing the assets of the Samurdhi Bank greedily after robbing the Central Bank, Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said, addressing the SLPP May Day rally in Galle. Commenting on Prez Sirisena’s declaration that he would not retire from politics in 2020, Rajapaksa said: "He has to say this. Otherwise, the few SLFP MPS who remain in the govt will also decamp." By postponing the Int'l Workers’ Day to May 07 the govt had insulted the working class, more..

President to make Policy Statement in Parliament today

May 8 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena in a Special Statement in Parliament today will outline the policies and programmes to be implemented during the rest of the govt’s term in office, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera told the Daily News yesterday. Minister Amaraweera emphasised that the speech will not be a political statement of any sort and added it is only customary for a Head of State to make a statement when Parliament reconvenes following a prorogation. more..

Video: Govt unable to govern a GN division, let alone country: Mahinda

May 8 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that the incumbent govt is unable to govern a Grama Niladhari Division, let alone a country. “It is no longer the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. It is now the Democratic UNP Police State,” he said, addressing the May Day rally of the JO at Samanala Ground, Galle. He claimed that presently weddings in the underworld are taking place under police protection. more..

International conference on Right to Information (RTI) today and tomorrow

May 8 (Island) Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) with the collaboration of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Sri Lanka has organised an international conference on Right to Information (RTI) to be held today and tomorrow at the Institute of Policy Studies in Colombo, a press release issued by the SLPI said. Two-day conference, themed Empowering citizens with RTI – the first year, will be held in view of the first anniversary of the implementation of RTI Act in Sri Lanka and more..

5-day workweek for health workers: Rajitha

May 8 (AD) Minister of Health Dr Rajitha Senaratne says that presently workers do not respect the 8-hour workday which was achieved through the sacrifice of lives. He made this observation while addressing the May Day rally organized by the Sri Lanka Janaraja Health Services Union at Maradana on Monday (7). He stated that discussions have begun with regard to establishing the five-day workweek for health workers. He stated that they will be paid overtime for the remainder of days. more..

Won’t retire in 2020: President

May 8 (DM) President Sirisena declared that he would not retire from politics in 2020 as he had to complete his mission to serve the people and the country beyond 2020. Addressing the SLFP May Day rally at the Chenkalady Sports Grounds in Batticaloa this afternoon, Prez went on to say that the media and many others kept asking him whether he would quit politics in 2020. “I would like to tell all of them that I have a mission more..

Hope for a result -oriented policy statement

May 8 (DM) The policy statement scheduled to be made by President Maithripala Sirisena today only fulfils a tradition. Had it been like the one made by the head of the state in the past the Opposition would have made a big fuss about it, on the basis that a vote on it would then be a must and therefore the Opposition would attempt to topple the govt by defeating it. However, the policy statements of govts set up after the first Republican Constitution of 1972 are not do-or-die events. more..

May Days and Mayhem

May 8 (DM) A few days into the month of May, the country is further polarized and in disarray. The internationally recognized May Day itself was officially postponed in SL from May 1 to May 7. And May 1 was marked by yet another cabinet reshuffle worsening the persisting confusion and lack of any initiative from a crippled Govt. New corruption scandals keep erupting, leaving the people puzzled and disillusioned. Furthermore, the month of May also marks 9 years since the end of the war, more..

Sri Lanka’s Monkey Camp

May 8 (Roar) There are many reasons why we loved DisneyNature’s epic nature documentary, Monkey Kingdom; the nostalgia-inducing Disney-esque soundtrack, the breath-taking scenery, and the good healthy doses of education, tragedy, comedy and drama all in one pleasant jumble. We saw law of the jungle play out, but also caught glimpses of how these creatures are more like us than we could have ever more..

Beware of the heat and stay hydrated

May 8 (ST) The Meteorology Department has issued a severe heat wave advisory in the upcoming weeks for the northern, eastern and north-central provinces as southwesterly winds pass through the region, a senior official of the department said. “Currently the temperature in some parts of the country is recorded as 36 degrees. There won’t be a sudden increase but the public should take early precautions,” more..

Status of ICT Laws: ‘We’re incompetent in dealing with computer related laws’

May 8 (DM) It would go uncontested if one opines that the best words to define the 21st century is Digital Age. We live in a world where we simply cannot do without digital devices and the internet. As much as we eat food and inhale air, we are constantly engaged in the cyber world. Although millions are connected to their mobile phones, laptops and computers all the time, very few are aware of the laws that govern their usage. more..

USNS Mercy’s two women Navy personnel sexually harassed

May 8 (DM) Two US women Navy personnel attached to the US Navy Hospital Ship, USNS Mercy, had been subjected to an attempted act of sexual harassment by a hotel employee in Uppuveli on Sunday. Suspect, who is a resident of Mullaitivu, was arrested by the Uppuveli Police today. The two women aged 25 and 23 had been staying at the Trinco Blu Hotel in Uppuveli when the incident is alleged to have happened. more..

Sri Lanka needs cheaper, faster solutions to traffic jams: central bank

May 8 (EN) Sri Lanka should explore cheaper and faster options to tackling traffic jams leading to lost productivity, like a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system while implementing a light rail transit (LRT) system, the central bank said. "Expeditious implementation of effective and affordable traffic management solutions is vital to curb numerous negative externalities arising from traffic congestion," the bank said in its 2017 annual report. more..

Engine Operators & Deputy Minister conclude talks

May 8 (NR) The special discussion that was held between the Locomotive Engineering Operators' Union and Deputy Minister of Transport Asoka Abeysinghe has concluded. Accordingly, Deputy Minister informed the Trade Unions that a prompt solution will be presented after holding talks with President Maithripala Sirisena. Chairman of the Railway Guards' Association Janaka Fernando said the Trade Unions are more..

Mirissa structures down in 2 weeks

May 8 (CT) Coast Conservation Department (CCD), confirmed that they would commence the removal of unauthorized structures, located along the Mirissa beach, in a fortnight. According to CCD‘s Director of the Coastal Resources Management Division, Gamini Hewage, Dept had identified around 17 structures, with 12 of them posing critical problems to the area such as beach encroachment, and “many nefarious and more..

CEB Engineers embark on work-to-rule

May 8 (CT) CEB Engineers will launch their work-to-rule campaign from today, according to the Engineers’ Union chairman, Saumya Kumarawaduge. He said, “Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has to approve our mixed power generation plan, according to the law of the country. There are some reports that it will be presented to the Cabinet of Ministers for approval. We don’t think that such a thing is necessary. more..

Sri Lanka expects to complete India trade deal this year, China longer

May 8 (EN) Sri Lanka is expecting to wrap up an expanded trade deal with India, this year, but a free trade deal with China will take longer. Minister Malik Samarawickreme said talks with India was also aimed at reducing non-tariff barriers. There is already an Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement where India has freed about 80% of good for her people, making it impossible for politically connected businesses to exploit the poorest section more..

Sri Lankan born activist writer among women abused by NY State AG

May 8 (NYP) State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called his Sri Lankan girlfriend his brown slave and wanted her to refer to him as Master, the woman says. Harvard-educated activist writer Tanya Selvaratnam told the New Yorker magazine that her yearlong affair with Schneiderman was a fairytale that became a nightmare — and quickly escalated into violence in the bedroom, even as he begged for threesomes. more..

Give poor strength to help themselves

May 8 (CT) Speaking at the May Day Rally of the UNP on 6 May, Deputy Leader andMinister Sajith Premadasa said a mouthful. He said that economic growth that does not benefit the poor has no meaning. “On this day I have to tell you that the poor in this country enjoy only four per cent of its wealth. While there is rapid development and economic growth it has served only to make the rich richer”. He also observed that the gap between rich and poor was increasing alarmingly. more..

Rohan Pallewatta: Man who has proved that Sri Lanka can also do

May 8 (FT) Imagine a scenario like this. You invite a CEO of a successful start-up company to speak to your students. Your wish has been to drive the message home to students that they do not have to live with a constant defeatist mentality. If they try, perseveringly, again and again, they can, at the end, succeed. No need to give up if you have failed even a hundred times. The speaker under reference walks to the stage with an unusual implement hanging over his shoulders, a guitar. more..

Malinda Seneviratne

Arjuna R. joins hands with Tiran Alles, Dharisha B. takes up Lake House position

May 8 (CT) Tourist journalist Arjuna Ranawana has joined Ceylon Today as Editorial Director, owned by Tiran Alles, a former MP and a man facing multiple charges of financial wrongdoing. Meanwhile Dharisha Basitians has been appointed as the Editor of The Observer published by the state-owned and govt controlled Lake House. Bastians has won multiple awards for excellence in journalism. Lake House has the reputation for toeing the line the particular govt in power. more..

Video: Two women arrested with gold worth Rs 10 million

May 8 (AD) Two Sri Lankan women have been arrested at the BIA in Katunayake for attempting to smuggle 1.1kg of gold into the country. Police said that the suspects, who arrived from Singapore this morning, were arrested by officers of the the Police Narcotics Bureau at the airport. The seized gold jewellery is estimated to be worth around Rs 10 million. Arrested women, aged 50 and 56, are residents of Jaffna and have been handed over to Sri Lanka Customs for onward action. more..

Presidents says coalition made progress made in key areas

May 8 (EN) SL's ruling coalition has made progress in key areas restoring rule of law, making the judiciary independent, reconciliation and wining back the good will of the international community but much more needed to be done, President Sirisena said. He said the govt made progress despite a massive debt burden, volatile international conditions and a drought amid climate change which hurt the farming community in particular, more..

Swashakthi loan scheme provides Rs. 2.2 billion of loans in 2017 for SME startups

May 8 (GDI) Under the Swashakthi loan scheme launched by the Govt with the objective of creating a new generation of small and medium-sized enterprises, govt in 2017, has provided Rs. 2.2 billion of loans to 9,700 entrepreneurs, Central Bank said. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe launched the Swashakthi national loan scheme loan scheme in Feb 2017 to help the small and medium scale entrepreneurs to start self-employments and industries to strengthen the village economy. more..

IP Rangajeewa and Prisons Commissioner further remanded

May 8 (AD) IP Neomal Rangajeewa and Prisons Commissioner Emil Lamahewa, who were arrested over the Welikada Prison clashes in 2012, have been further remanded until May 22 by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court. IP Rangajeewa of the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) was arrested by the CID on March 28 over the alleged killing of inmates at Welikada prison during the clashes in 2012. Lamahewa, who was the then Prisons Superintendent in charge of Magazine Prison more..

Demand their consultation over proposed UNF-UPFA MoU

May 8 (CT) Coalition Govt partners, the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA), the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) are scheduled to meet Prez & PM seeking accommodation in the fresh agreement between the two major parties in the ruling alliance and to intimate their opposition to piecemeal Constitutional amendments and instead call for those reforms to be presented as more..

Sengal Oya Irrigation Project to commence on May 10

May 8 (GDI) Construction of the Sengal Oya Irrigation Project will commence on May 10, according to State Minister Palitha Range Bandara. He said this at a discussion regarding the commencement of the project, held at the Ministry. An amount of Rs 350 million has been allocated for the project. Under this project, 20,000 acres of fallow paddy fields will be re-cultivated. Furthermore, it is planned to carry water to 8 more small tanks through this project. more..

Coalition has to stop infighting: President

May 8 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena said a ruling coalition has to stop infighting and called on opposition parties to also work together to solve national problems, at a policy speech starting off a new session of parliament. The 2015 coalition was set up to solve national problems which have been unsolved for decades, and progress has been made in many areas, he said. But some events showed that even the constituents of the coalition was not mature enough to work together, Prez said. more..

SL tourist arrivals up 12.6% in April 2018

May 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka tourist arrivals increased 12.6% in April this year against last year with the largest source market for tourists becoming India, followed by UK and China. The total number of international tourist arrivals to SL during April 2018 was 180,429. In comparison to April last year, there is a growth of 12.6% when the arrivals were 160,249. This month, the largest source market for tourists was India, more..

Nearly 100,000 Chinese tourists visit Sri Lanka up to April

May 8 (Xinhua) Nearly 100,000 Chinese tourists visited Sri Lanka till April this year, making China among the top three countries generating the most number of tourists to the island country. In April, 17,462 Chinese tourists arrived in Sri Lanka, making China the third largest market. India and Britain were the other two top markets last month. The total number of international tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka in April was 180,429, a 12.6% growth from the same period last year. more..

Sumanthiran denies calling for ban on Buddhist temples in North and East

May 8 (AD) TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran says that the reports alleging that he made a statement calling for prohibiting the establishing of Buddhist temples in the North and East are false. According to the MP, the news report regarding this which was published on a weekend newspaper is completely incorrect and it was an attempt to anger the Buddhists community by distorting a statement he made at an interview. Jaffna District MP clarified that he had only stated that there is no point in more..

CID finds cable TV company involved in major fraud

May 8 (SL) The CID has found that a private cable television network operating in Sri Lanka has been involved in a major fraud. The discovery was made following a complaint made to the CID over the activities of the cable television network. The cable television industry in SL is mostly popular among Tamil language speaking communities in the North and East, upcountry and parts of Colombo. more..

Police fire water cannon at protesting unemployed graduates

May 8 (AD) Riot police used high-pressure water cannons to disperse protesting unemployed graduates near the Lotus Roundabout in Colombo. The protest was organized by the Combined Association of Unemployed Graduates, demanding the jobs promised to graduates by the govt. The protest commenced near the Colombo Fort Railway Station and afterwards they marched towards the Prez Secretariat. Lotus Road was closed for traffic from Ceramic Junction due to the protest more..

Two youths brutally assaulted by Ava gang

May 8 (DM) 23-year-old Kirinasan and 21-year-old Anujan were admitted to the intensive care unit of the Jaffna Hospital after being attacked with sharp weapons today at Kopay in Neeverly, Jaffna, by members of the Ava gang, Police said. Eight men wearing masks had arrived on three motor cycles and attacked the two youths at the Pillayar Kovil premises and had thrown a motor cycle and three bicycles parked in the premises into a nearby well. Police said they believed that more..

'Need to address Tamil political issue'

May 8 (PTI) President Maithripala Sirisena today underlined the need to address the concerns of the Tamil minority in a political arrangement, saying though the problem has ended militarily, but no solution has been given for its causes. Addressing Parliament on the ceremonial opening of a new session, he also called for support from political parties in addressing issues faced by the Tamil minority community in more..