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Lasantha murder: Ex-DIG, ex-OIC re-remanded

May 14 (NR) Former Deputy Inspector General of Police Prasanna Nanayakkara and Inspector of Police Thissa Sugathapala arrested in connection to investigations into the murder of veteran journalist Lasantha Wickremethunga have been further remanded till the 25th of May. The order was issued by Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate Mohammed Nihar this afternoon. The two suspects are accused of concealing evidence in the murder of Veteran Journalist Lasantha Wickremethunga. more..

Video: A Supreme Court fundamental rights petition against the Uva CM

May 14 (AD) Principal of Tamil Girls’ Maha Vidyalaya, Badulla has filed a fundamental rights petition at the Supreme Court saying that the Uva Province Chief Minister has violated her fundamental rights by forcing her to kneel before him. Principal R. Bhavani has named 8 persons including Uva CM Chamara Sampath Dassanayake and Uva Provincial Secretary of Education as respondents to her petition. more..

Farmers to get money instead of fertiliser?

May 14 (NR) Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera says a Cabinet Paper proposing to provide funds instead of fertiliser to farmers who use organic fertilisers will be tabled in near future. Speaking at an event held in Angunakolapelessa today, Minister said the decision was taken following a request made by farmers. Minister Amaraweera stressed that farming leaders claimed they will not use local fertilizer on their fields even if it's given free by the govt. more..

Man killed in gambling den misfire

May 14 (DM) A 54-year-old man was killed after a firearm of a Policeman misfired during a raid on a gambling den in Kaluwala, Uragasmanhandiya last night, the Police said. They said a gang of gamblers had allegedly attacked the Police team that raided the place with swords and clubs and obstructed duty. “The firearm misfired when the men attempted to snatch it away from the officer,” the Police said. The deceased was identified as Hewa Hakuru Jayawardane of Samagipura, Karandeniya. more..

Petrol can be sold for Rs 90, if taxes removed: Gammanpila

May 14 (DM) A litre of petrol could be sold for Rs. 90, if not for the taxes, PHU leader and MP Udaya Gammanpila said. “There are four taxes imposed on fuel such as Import Duty, Local Tax, Ports and Airports Development Levy and Nation Building Tax,” he said. He said when the Govt increased the price of 1 litre of Petrol to Rs 137 on May 10, average price of crude oil was $67 per barrel in the World Market. more..

Northern Province doctors engaged in a strike today

May 14 (AD) Doctors of the Northern Province staged a strike today demanding their salary arrears to be paid. They stated that the special allowances, overtime allowances and salary arrears, which in accordance with the circulars issued in 2015, had not been provided up until now. Daily activities of the hospitals in Vavuniya, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Mulaitivu and Jaffna districts have been interrupted, due the strike. Reportedly, patients who had come in seeking clinical treatment were also affected more..

Corruption the cause of shortage of clean power, says Centre for Human Rights

May 14 (Island) UNP was waiting for an investor to finance its 2020 election campaign to hand over the construction of power plants, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, Executive Director of Centre for Human Rights (CHR) said. He said that several investors had offered to carry out renewable and LNG power projects last year, but the officials had deliberately discouraged them. "The govt has been talking about the importance of renewable energy. Ministry of Power called for tenders to carryout 17 more..

HR rights must take precedence over interests of communities: Vajira

May 14 (Island) Minister Vajira Abeywardana, handing over compensation to those who had been affected during recent communal riots in the Kandy region, said that human rights had to take precedence over the interests of any particular community. He said the govt denounced causing harm to the minorities by the fringe groups of the majority community. Those who violated human rights would be severely dealt with more..

New state media heads appointed

May 14 (DM) Minister Mangala Samaraweera today appointed four Chairmen to state media institutions with immediate effect. Accordingly, award-winning film directress Mrs. Enoka Sathyangani was appointed as the Chairperson of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC). Finance and Mass Media Additional Secretary Mrs. Thilaka Jayasundara has been appointed as the Chairperson of the Independent Television Network (ITN) while, Mr. Siddeek Farook was more..

'Govt accused by those charged with fraud'

May 14 (NR) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says certain factions are directing various accusations at the govt with the aim of defending fraud and corruption charges levelled against them. Speaking during an event in Nikaweratiya, he said the govt has ensured maximum freedom in the country. Minister Kariyawasam stressed regardless of what happens within the present govt, it is investigated and looked into adding even the PM went to the Bond Commission to provide evidence. more..

Abduction and forced disappearance: Sri Lanka's missing thousands

May 14 (AJ) Sasikumar Ranginithevi can't hide her tears as she looks at four faded photographs in her trembling hands. Two brothers, a husband and her brother-in-law. They all fought for the Tamil Tigers. They all surrendered to the army. And they all disappeared. Her hometown, Mullaitivu, is a city of the missing. Nestled on SL's northeast tip, this town was the front line in some of the bloodiest final battles of a 26-year civil war more..

Public sector vacancies might solve job issue: PM

May 14 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says the govt should fill the vacancies in the public sector in order to solve the employment issue. Speaking during an event held at the Temple Trees today, Premier said new job opportunities should be created within the private and public sector. PM also stressed all jobs in the private sector should be made eligible for the Employee Provident Fund facility. Meanwhile, Premier noted despite various economic crises, govt was able to earn more..

Sangakkara says no to Pataudi lecture

May 14 (MM) Kumar Sangakkara has expressed inability to deliver the annual MAK Pataudi Lecture, the guests and subject of which has become a hot matter of debate among the sections of the BCCI. The former Sri Lanka skipper has told the BCCI that he is pre-occupied with a commentary assignment and cannot be present during the second week of June in Bangalore where the annual event is to be held. Various communications and email trail shows that Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief more..

Rice imports fallen to US$ 23.5 million in Feb

May 14 (DN) Rice imports fell 34.4% to US$ 23.5 million in Feb 2018 from a year earlier, as harvest came in and domestic prices eased, official data showed. SL's rice imports surged from the second quarter of 2017 as the govt cut import duties when a drought slashed the industry. In 2017 SL imported US$ 300.9 million of rice, up from just US$ 12.8 million a year ago. However Sri Lanka had a better main cultivation season where more..

Sirisena’s second coming — or so he hopes

May 15 (ST) Hail Sirisena! Hail the mighty slayer of King Mahinda. Like Dutugemunu of old who killed Elara in mortal combat, he could not have done it alone. The Ruhunu Raja had his faithful elephant Kandula. More than three years ago Sirisena had no personal elephant but he had the support of the party with the elephant symbol which for all the pretense of loyalty was nothing like the faithful Kandula. After all the leader of the pachyderm tribe had been persuaded, nay pressured, more..

Playing the percentages

May 15 (CT) The SL voter has been cast in the not-unfamiliar role of the proverbial bird mesmerized by the swaying head of the snake preparing to swallow it, an analogy which should not be foreign to all of us co-existing with snakes on a daily basis! And what is mesmerizing a seeming majority of our citizenry? The unfailing appeal to fear bred of the irrational, that irrational being the propaganda that the wide world, particularly the western capitalist part of it, is intent on destroying the bastion more..

Deadly dengue Colombo’s bane

May 15 (SO) It’ s been a couple of months since Mohamed Zahran has been complaining to the local authorities about the dengue prone site in his locality. “No solutions are given to us up to date,” he laments. Zahran spoke about the issue faced by the residents of his locality seeking a speedy solution from the authorities. Zahran said that the public toilets located in Gemunu Lane, Awwal Zaviya, Colombo 14 has not been more..

A sigh of relief for grieving families

May 15 (CT) As defined in the Office on Missing Persons Act, a missing person is someone whose fate or whereabouts are reasonably believed to be unknown or unaccounted for and missing. But for many of our people today the definition of a missing person is something more personal, more perplexing and more painful. For them family now means an empty chair at a table, clothes hanging on a rack that have not been worn in years, an embrace that is forgotten because no one thought it would more..

Towards 2020 and beyond

May 15 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena, addressing the new sessions of Parliament last week said, the last three years has demonstrated that the country is still lacking in political and social maturity that is needed to realize the objectives of a coalition govt and added that the power struggle in the Govt and political parties in the last three years had driven the people to despair. He acknowledged the failure of the two partners of this consensual govt to duly appreciate their own respective more..

'We have only one Ace of Spades, Mahinda'

May 15 (CT) Q: It seems that problems have cropped up now, within the JO. The best example is the Ratnapura incident. You too criticized that. What will happen to the JO? A: Theoretically, there is no problem within the JO that cannot be solved. However, practically, there are some problematic situations in certain districts take place due to methods followed by individuals. Are you saying in a different way, that there more..

Mahathir’s second coming in Malaysia: Mixed lessons for Sri Lanka!

May 15 (CT) Malaysia Boleh or Malaysia Can Do It which evolved as a national slogan in the early 1990s appear to have re-emerged in the run up to the recent Malaysian elections. Mahathir Magic worked as a result, when he as head of an Opposition Alliance Pakatan Harapan, made an extraordinary political comeback as Malaysia’s leader at the age of 92,, thus ending the six-decade rule of PM Najib Razak’s party in a landmark shift for this Southeast Asian Muslim nation. more..

President’s make-believe world comes a cropper and falls apart

May 15 (ST) Evidently, these are not the best of times for President Sirisena. As he surveys the horizon, he can only expect to see the ominous prospect of fast gathering clouds further darkening the twilight sky, with thunder’s rumble starting to resound in the distance, portending bad, bad, bad stormy weather. One that will blow without respite. Sadly, and that is to put it mildly, that’s what the weather forecast holds for Prez Maithripala Sirisena for the remainder of his term, more..

Face The Nation

Executive Presidency: What the 13A SC Determination really said: Part 1I

May 15 (Island) Of the five separate determinations given by the nine judges of the Supreme Court, the lengthiest was Justice R. S. Wanasundera’s dissenting determination. This is also the determination most often referred to by nationalists who claim that the executive presidency is a sine qua non to preserve the unitary character of the state in the face of the devolution of power and the provincial councils system that was forced upon us by India. more..

When bread is buttered on both sides

May 15 (Island) Yahapalana govt is in a perpetual state of flux. It looks as if reshuffling the Cabinet and reallocating ministerial subjects afterwards had become a form of self-amusement for President Sirisena. After shuffling the same pack of jokers, he has done a Santa, at least, where one particular member of the Cabinet is concerned. Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse has really lucked out. Prez has issued a special gazette notification, granting him a bagful of extra ministerial subjects more..

What happened at Google I/O extended 2018

May 15 (Roar) One of the largest tech events in the world, Google I/O, recently concluded on the 8th of May, with the tech community left in collective excitement at the news of Google’s latest plans and launches. In Sri Lanka, Google I/O Extended completed its 3rd iteration at the SLECC, organised by Dialog Ideamart. With over 3000 people in attendance, the conference was a thoroughly engaging event for tech community in SL, more..

Say Sorry, stay happy!

May 15 (Island) If only the British colonial ruler had known how his best of intentions would be misused, abused and over-used in both ways and more, after he had left these shores, he would have non-use of the term a pre-condition for granting Independence. There have been many occasions, in personal, private and public lives of individuals and institutions where the word Sorry has saved the day. There have been more occasions in which the use, abuse and misuse of the word has made more..

HNB Group records Rs 7.2 bn PBT in Q1

May 15 (Island) HNB posted a strong start to 2018 with first quarter PAT growing by 22.5% to Rs 4.5 Bn, while the Group reported a PAT of Rs 5 Bn which is a 24% growth from last year. HNB expanded its loan book by Rs 33.7 Bn during the quarter which represented growth of 5.3%, enabling a 10.5% year on year (YoY) increase in interest income which totaled Rs 24.9 Bn. Bank grew its CASA base by 9.9% in the three month period to Rs 273.6 Bn, improving the CASA ratio to 38% more..

Sri Lanka world’s 6th most vulnerable economy: Moody’s

May 15 (CT) Moody’s, a US based credit rating agency, in a report released on 13 May, placed SL as the sixth most vulnerable country globally, in the event the Federal Reserve System raises its policy interest rates from the current 1.5-1.75% range to 3.25% in another three years’ time in 2021. Moody’s high risk perception is based on the grounds that SL’s debt to GDP ratio as at end last year was a high of 79.6% of the GDP more..

Gota shifts from defence and urban development to economics

May 15 (Island) At five o’clock in the afternoon on Sunday, long lines of vehicles two abreast were seen on both sides of Galle face, to enter the driveway to the Shangri- La hotel. Alighting from a taxi this writer walked to the hotel. That was quicker. Months after opening, the Shangri-La is the most sought-after hotel in Colombo with its restaurants still fully booked days or weeks in advance. Inside the rugby field sized ballroom was probably the largest gathering of professionals more..

Realizing proactive information disclosure under the RTI Act

May 15 (Island) The RTI Act of 2016 not only provides for a mechanism for obtaining information from public authorities on request, but also a framework through which all public authorities are required to proactively disclose important and relevant information relating to their core functions. The requirements relating to proactive disclosure of information are contained in sections 8 and 9 of the RTI Act as well as Regulation No. 20 under the RTI Act. The legal framework envisages more..

Indian Army Chief Impressed with SLA's nation-building roles

May 15 (SLA) Military salutes, including a Guard of Honour and a Guard Turnout formally greeted General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of Indian Army, now in Sri Lanka on a goodwill tour at the invitation of his SL counterpart, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake when the former called at the Army Headquarters on Monday to meet his host as the first formal leg of the itinerary in Sri Lanka. more..

Lanka Hospitals expands healthcare services to the Maldives

May 15 (CT) Lanka Hospitals recently set up its Maldivian Service Centre in the capital of the Maldives - Malé. Serving as a place for comprehensive medical inquiries, pre-assessment and real time channel consultation services and a host of value added services, the centre will offer a platform to avail int'l patients with the latest medical procedures in Sri Lanka via Lanka Hospitals. Lanka Hospitals Maldivian Service Centre will serve Maldivian and int'l patients in Malé more..

Alahakoon wins National Chess crown for fourth time

May 15 (CT) Isuru Alahakoon (ELO 2102) became the 2018 Sri Lanka National men’s chess champion for the fourth year with 9.5/13 points, despite having to concede a walk-over in the 7th round to Ahila Kavinda. CM GMH Thilakaratne (ELO 2186) secured the first runner-up position with 9/13 points and Akila Kavinda (ELO 2050) had to be satisfied with the second runner-up position with 8.5/13 points. WFM Dinushki Premanath won the women’s c'ship comprehensively with 10.5/13 points. more..

Cabinet to decide new bus fares

May 15 (FT) Following demands by private bus unions, Ministry of Transport has decided to increase bus fares and is to submit a Cabinet proposal today regarding a fare hike. Deputy Minister Ashok Abeysinghe said that the committee of experts, appointed to decide annual bus fare regulations, met yesterday afternoon to discuss the possibility of an increment in bus ticket prices. “The Committee met yesterday and we decided more..

Galle & Colombo cruise to comfortable wins

May 15 (Island) Colombo secured a comprehensive 92 run win over Kandy while Galle recorded a 15 run win on DL method in the Inter-Provincial matches worked off in Colombo yesterday. Colombo posted 309 for eight in their 50 overs batting first thanks to some healthy contributions from the top order. Kamindu Mendis (47) and Shehan Jayasuriya (81) laid the platform for their match winning total sharing a 102 run stand for the first wicket. Chamara Silva then batting at number three smashed 61 more..

FTA with S'pore: GMOA wants to brief Prez

May 15 (DM) Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) has written to President Maithripala Sirisena seeking a meeting with him before its token strike on Thursday to discuss the detrimental factors in Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed with Singapore. GMOA Secretary Haritha Aluthge said the contents of the agreement had not been disclosed to the Cabinet and the country and that there were regulatory issues in various employment sectors without necessary safety measures. more..

Authorities to take legal action

May 15 (CT) Certain Local Govt (LG) Authorities are presently looking into the possibility of taking legal action against Provincial Chief Ministers, Provincial Ministers and relevant Provincial public officials who hinder the carrying out of duties at LG level. Chairman of the LG Authorities Guild and the Walallawita PS, Udeni Atukorale said that since the matter concerned a legal issue, he could not comment further in this regard. more..

Iran underlines importance of establishing bank, air links with sri Lanka

May 15 (DN) Iran underlined the importance of establishing bank links with Sri Lanka to make uncomplicated banking transactions. This is subsequent to a discussion President Sirisena had with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during his two day State visit to Iran last week. The two countries also decided to increase trade and look at ways to promote tourism from Iran to SL. During this meeting President Sirisena pointed out that SL is the second largest export destination to more..

Army to release another 522 acres of private lands in North and East

May 15 (FT) The Sri Lanka Army has agreed to further release 522 acres of private lands in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, to resettle the displaced community presently living in the welfare centres or in the residences of their friends and relatives, amidst much difficulty. The Government has already released 4,992.84 acres of private and Government lands in the Northern and Eastern Provinces used by the three forces during the conflict situation. more..