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Govt trying to give oxygen to fishermen after sending them to deathbed: GL

May 15 (AD) Chairman of SLPP, Professor G.L. Peiris, says that after the sending the fishermen to their deathbed, the govt is now preparing to give them oxygen. He said that depressing situation has presently arisen within the country and that the fishermen communities have fallen. The former minister said that fishermen are presently refraining from setting out to sea in protest over the fuel price increase and that the govt should have thought about such situation beforehand. more..

Former President given until July 4 to respond to charges in SLTB case

May 15 (AD) Case filed by Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) against former President Rajapaksa, seeking Rs 140 million in compensations for losses incurred, was taken up today at the Commercial High Court of Colombo. SLTB requests compensation for the expenses borne by the institution for the SLTB buses used for Rajapaksa’s political campaign at the last Prez Election. Court granted the defendant, former Prez Rajapaksa, time until 4th July to respond to the charges. more..

Severe shortage of textbooks for 2018: CTU

May 15 (AD) There is a severe shortage of textbooks, as only 28,210,600 text books have been printed for the year 2018 although the total requirement is 41,189,027, according to the Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU). Secretary of CTU Joseph Stalin stated that, the teachers too are affected by this situation as the amount of textbooks needed for the teachers has not been included in the printed textbooks. more..

Was he in a coma?

May 15 (DM) Green party’s businessman-politico from Digamadulla was among the top team members sworn in, the other day. However, he was in for a big disappointment when he did not get the portfolio he expected, they say. When his name was called, he came forward and signed the appointment letter after being duly sworn in. However, to everyone’s surprise, he walked away without receiving the appointment letter from Number One. An obviously disconcerted Number Two more..

GMOA welcomes decision to absorb SAITM students to KDU

May 15 (DM) GMOA today welcomed the Cabinet decision to absorb 982 SAITM students to General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU), after their discussion on Friday with Higher Education Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe. GMOA Secretary Haritha Aluthge said that the Gazette notice on abolishing SAITM should also be delivered, parallel to this decision. He expressed his gratitude to the Minister for his decision to absorb only the students, without absorbing the SAITM more..

Night club probed over British rugby players’ sudden deaths

May 15 (EN) Two British rugby players who died after what is suspected to be a drug overdose had visited a night club in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo, shortly before they developed respiratory problems, investigators said Tuesday. Police sources said the two players identified as Thomas Howard, 25, and Tom Baty, 26, had serious breathing difficulties on Sunday morning and admitted to Colombo National Hospital more..

Prominence for Loincloth

May 16 (DN) All media highlighted pictures of the peasants, backed by the JVP controlled Sri Lanka Govi Sammelanaya leaders, demonstrating in the city clad in their traditional field dress, the Amude [Loincloth] a couple of years back. The Government withdrew the heavily subsidised issue of fertilizer and substituted it with alternative schemes. The protest was aimed at conveying to the public and authorities on the negative effects of the fertilizer subsidy withdrawal. more..

Forgotten war victory

May 16 (Island) Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt has reduced the annual Victory Day parade to a mere commemoration ceremony for fallen officers and men, at Palaly, in the Jaffna peninsula. Jointly organized by NP Governor Reginald Cooray’s Office and Ranaviru Seva Authority, in coordination with the Security Forces Headquarters, Jaffna, the brief ceremony, held on the morning of May 4, 2018, was certainly not quite enough to celebrate SL’s biggest post-independence achievement. more..

'20A: Beware of foreign agendas'

May 16 (Island) SLFP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera discussed the party’s restructuring initiatives between May 08 and 15 as well as the future plans of the 16 rebel MPS. Q: Out of the 16 SLFP MPs that voted for the No Confidence Motion only SB Dissanayaka got on stage at the SLFP May Day Rally. Most of you remained with the crowd, while others didn’t attend, does that indicate a split in your group? A: The 16 MPs that voted for more..

Tamil national question & Tamil insurgency

May 16 (CT) On May 17, 2009 the LTTE admitted the defeat in the war against the Sinhalese dominated Sri Lanka security forces and vowed to silence guns. In May 18, Sri Lanka security forces announced that the LTTE chief V Prabhakaran, who led the three decades old violent campaign to build ethnic nation for the Tamils who predominantly live in the Northern and Eastern territories of the island of Sri Lanka, was killed by SL’s military in a firefight that signaled the effective end to more..

Independent Election Commission for cricket elections: is it for real?

May 16 (ST) The other day, I was in conversation with a high ranking official of a cricket club which is a top level stakeholder of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) system. Usually, when we sit at the Clubhouse, the topics vary, yet, as of this moment, the SLC AGM is around the corner and involuntarily, we plunged into that thorny subject. While discussing the pros and cons, one of the stakeholders of our little conclave argued there would be nothing to stop so and so from winning, more..

'Samurdhi a path to emancipate downtrodden'

May 16 (SO) Contrary to speculation, the new Social Empowerment Minister, P. Harrison says, there is no decision to place Samurdhi Banks under the Central Bank. Minister said, verifying the eligibility of Samurdhi beneficiaries to qualify for the Samurdhi allowance does not mean curtailing the allowance given to beneficiaries. There is a considerable number of people, who we understand, are qualified for the Samurdhi allowance. more..

Continuing moribundity in higher education

May 16 (CT) Wickrema Weerasooriya did not try to win me over after that first discussion, which happened at a workshop on education organized by the IMF representative at the time, redoubtable Nadeem Ul Haque. But his malign influence continued at the University Grants Commission (UGC). At the Bank, the experienced Governor of those days, A.S. Jayewardene, did not allow him much leeway. With Ranjith Mendis a cipher, however, Wickrema could assert himself more..

Who then wants to retire gracefully?

May 16 (CT) It does not require great wisdom to guess why President Maithripala Sirisena said that he would not retire from active politics in 2020, when the next polls to the nation’s highest office is due, by early January. His predecessor-boss, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has hit the nail on the head when he said that this was Maithri’s way of trying to keep the weakened flock together, at least until the polls. Down not out, Maithripala began his Presidential career with the loss of a majority more..

Mahinda Amaraweera

Editorial: Futile attempt to disown yahapalana baby

May 16 (Island) JVP has flayed the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration for using the military to introduce private medical degree courses through the Kotalawala Defence University (KDU), in contravention of Gen. Sir John Kotelawala’s last will. Claiming that the govt is doing so on the pretext of resolving the SAITM, it has threatened to intensify its protest campaign against efforts being made to set up private medical schools. JVP has seen through the govt strategy, more..

Oil at boiling point, for most economies!

May 16 (ST) It is again time for oily talk, because world oil prices are on the rise. We are caught up in between economics and politics of setting oil prices and spending on oil bills. How we set the domestic oil price will determine who will pay for the oil bills. Well, we also have to cope with many oil blunders in the past; I am not surprised if we keep repeating the same. It is important to examine the current oil market issue to see where we might slip and float and, how much we have to bear more..

Ramadan: Chance to build yourself

May 16 (DN) Millions of Muslims across the globe look forward to the holy, merciful and blessed Ramadan which falls on May 16 and 17. With the sighting of the moon, the devotees will initiate the Ramadan fasting. Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) used to get ready for this special month two months ahead of Ramadan because of its significance and numerous benefits. Muslims fast from dawn to sunset for 30 days with more..

Neglecting country’s highest export earner

May 16 (ST) Tea has been SL’s highest export earner from the latter part of the nineteenth century and is still the country’s highest domestic value added export earner. Despite the paramount importance of tea for the economy, the seventy post independent years have been characterized by a neglect of the tea industry. Over the past seven decades the country has lost her preeminent position in global tea production and exports, though it remains among the highest producers more..

Singer revenue in 1Q up 13% to Rs. 13.6 b

May 16 (FT) Singer (Sri Lanka) Plc yesterday announced a 13% increase in revenue to Rs. 13.6 billion in the first quarter of 2018 in spite of challenging business conditions. In the period under review for the three months ended 31 March 2018, profit before tax was Rs. 419.8 million, recording a slight growth of 3% over the previous year. However, corporate taxes increased during the period under review as subsidiaries declared dividends resulting in withholding tax. more..

‘Sri Lanka is the only country that has eradicated terrorism’

May 16 (Hindu) Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake took over as the 22nd Commander of the SL Army in June 2017. The conduct of the army in the past, during the island’s civil war that it ended by defeating the LTTE in 2009, and its contentious presence and role in the country’s Tamil-majority north and east since then continue to dominate the discourse around post-war resettlement and reconciliation. more..

Six U-12 footballers to receive training in Barcelona

May 16 (CT) Six Under-12 football players will get a rare opportunity of a lifetime to attend a 4-day football coaching camp in FC Barcelona, Spain. These six most talented footballers will be selected after going through a challenging selection process during the all-island Under-12 schools football tournament organized by the Ministry of Education. This four-day all expenses paid trip by Milo will enable the players to enhance their skills in the game. They will receive coaching by legends more..

HNB Group records Rs7.2Bn PBT in Q1

May 16 (LBO) Hatton National Bank reported a first quarter profit after tax growth of 22.5% to 4.5 billion rupees, while the Group reported a PAT of 5 billion rupees which is a 24% growth from last year. HNB expanded its loan book by 33.7 billion rupees during the quarter which represented growth of 5.3%, enabling a 10.5% year on year (YoY) increase in interest income which totaled 24.9 billion rupees. Bank grew its CASA base by 9.9% in the three month period to 273.6 billion rupees, more..

Boyagoda sidelined again

May 16 (CT) Hasitha Boyagoda, SL’s under-19 opener whose blistering 191 at the Youth World Cup caught the world’s eye, was sidelined once again by Team Kandy during the ongoing Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Inter Provincial One Day Tournament, which has now reached the semi-final stage. The masterful opener who is a product of Trinity College Kandy, has been in good nick since the World Cup hammering two centuries, more..

Commercial Bank accelerates into 2018 with impressive growth

May 16 (Island) Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has reported profit before VAT and NBT of Rs 7.677 billion and profit before tax of Rs 6.337 billion for the first quarter of 2018, with growth of 21.07% and 21.36% respectively signalling an exceptionally strong start to the financial year 2018. Gross income for the three months ending 31st March 2018 was up 19.03% to Rs 32.096 billion, with interest income improving by a robust 20.59% to Rs 28.567 billion, SL’s benchmark private bank said more..

‘FTAs, proposed trade agreements, a boost for business relocation’

May 16 (DN) The recently-inked comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) with Singapore and FTA being negotiated with China together with the enhancement of the existing agreement with India and Pakistan will encourage business relocation to Sri Lanka. This should have positive effects on rental markets,” Chairman of the Condominium Developers Association of SL, Pradeep Moraes said. He also said that around 10% of investors in SL’s luxury residential property developments more..

Service sector professionals betrayed by SL-Singapore FTA, says SLIA

May 16 (Island) Submissions made to the govt by professionals in the construction industry to not include or implement liberalization of the services sector through the SL-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) fell on deaf ears and the country will have to pay the price for it, Architect D.H. Wijewardene, Chairman, SL Institute of Architects (SLIA) said. "As a result of SLSFTA, there will soon be an influx of low quality more..

Walawa Supercross 2018: Ashan, Evon retain top titles in style

May 16 (DN) Ashan Silva and Evon Gurusinghe won the Best Driver and Best Rider awards respectively for the second consecutive time at the 8th Walawa Supercross 2018, conducted by the SL Army's Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Regiment in collaboration with the SL Motorcycle Club at the Craftsman Autodrom, Sewanagala, Ambilipitiya recently. The contestants were competed for 11 driving and 12 riding events at the meet while Best Driver and Best Rider received DEMAC more..

Muslim Council condemns Israel’s attack on Palestinians

May 16 (FT) Muslim Council of SL in a statement yesterday vehemently condemned Israel’s deadly attack on the innocent Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and held Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump and the US Govt responsible for this pogrom. In a statement issued by its president N.M. Ameen, the MCSL said it condemned the violent aggression and murder of children, women and men carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border, more..

Prasanna Ranatunge extortion case: Threatening call played in open court

May 16 (DN) An audio recording pertaining to a threatening telephone call alleged to have made by former Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunge demanding money in a land deal was played in open court yesterday. An audio recording of a telephone call conversation between Prasanna Ranatunge and businessman Gehard Mendis, the virtual complainant in the alleged extortion case was played more..

CPC to venture into bulk bitumen next month

May 16 (FT) State-run CPC will venture into supplying bulk bitumen from next month and has the capacity to cater to 50% of country’s demand. “The option of venturing into bulk bitumen was on the cards of the new management. We have been looking at it for a while and now we have put everything together. By mid-June we are going to produce bulk bitumen from our refinery at Sapugaskanda, which will have a capacity to produce 5,000 MTs per month,” more..

Matchsticks industry to go up in flames

May 16 (CT) Sri Lanka’s largest matchsticks manufacturer employing 1,500 people will close down its plant at Kundasale on 18 May because of new Government regulations for the authorization of inflammable material required for production. Sri Lanka Safety Match Makers Association (SLSMMA) and Sun Match Company Limited Chairman B.D.R. Rajan said that the new Govt requirements of samples of inflammable material needed for the manufacture of matchsticks having to be more..

CPC probing massive fraud

May 16 (CT) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has commenced an internal investigation into an alleged large scale fraud of more than Rs 80 million, committed by a top official at the distribution division of the CPC’s Kolonnawa terminal. A senior CPC official said that if this investigation was to find that such a fraud had in fact and indeed taken place, the official concerned could be interdicted from work. more..

Facebook to empower entrepreneurs in SL

May 16 (DN) Facebook’s global Boost Your Business program is now available for the youth and entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka. Recognizing the potential of the country’s small business owners, Facebook has partnered with the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka to train 10,000 small business owners across the country by the close of 2018. In the first phase, the programmed will cover Colombo, Galle, Kandy and Jaffna. more..

62-year-old gets death penalty

May 16 (CT) A 62-year-old man, who was convicted of causing the death of an individual during a gold jewellery robbery in 1992, was sentenced to death by the Colombo High Court on 14 May. The death sentence was handed down by High Court Judge Gihan Kulathunga to Malat Fernando, a resident of Kochchikade in Negombo. The suspect had been indicted with having gunned down the son of a priest of a devale, situated in the Maligawatta area, on 5 May, 1992 before stealing gold jewellery. more..

Primary industries to the fore

May 16 (FT) Bringing the Govt’s ambitious agriculture modernisation program to the fore, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe displayed renewed focus on expanding primary industries with sweeping new measures to modernise agriculture, create jobs and develop SL’s rural economy. As the latest step in this process, Social Welfare and Primary Industries Ministry kicked off a Rs. 16 billion project with a Rs. 9 billion loan more..

Kerosene subsidy to outboard motor boats, 47,000 off-grid houses

May 16 (EN) A subsidy for kerosene will only be paid to houses without electricity and owners of fishing boats with outboard motors, finance ministry said. A subsidy of 57 litre will be paid based on average consumption in the past. There are an estimated 47,555 houses without power and 24,282 fishermen with small boats driven by kerosene. The subsidy will be paid from June 01 directly to bank account of holders, but it will be effective from May 10, when prices were raised. more..

Rights group: At least 29 children disappeared in Sri Lanka

May 16 (AP) An international human rights group says at least 29 children disappeared in the custody of Sri Lanka’s military after surrendering with their ethnic rebel parents at the end of the island nation’s civil war. The South Africa-based International Truth and Justice Project said Tuesday that it has 280 names of people who surrendered to the military on or about the final day of the fighting nine years ago. It said some of the names could be duplicated because of nicknames used by more..

JVP comes out blazing against govt

May 16 (Island) JVP yesterday called on people to take to the streets against the exploitation by the govt of the masses to cover the cost of its extravagance and frauds. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said: "The govt has increased prices of fuel and now prices of all commodities will increase. It increased the prices of milk powder by Rs. 50. After slapping taxes the govt says it will spend tax money on free health care and education. more..

National cricket selectors’ term ends

May 16 (DN) The term of the current national cricket selection committee headed by former Sri Lanka fast bowler Graeme Labrooy ended yesterday and according to SLC sources they would be submitting the names for the new selection committee to the Sports Minister shortly. There is likelihood that the majority of members who served in the current committee namely Labrooy, Gamini Wickremasinghe, Gerry Woutersz, Sajith Fernando and Asanka Gurusinha will be retained more..