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Polgampola arrested

May 16 (Island) Former Chairman of the Timber Corporation, Anuruddha Polgampola, was arrested yesterday by the CID for not appearing in court over an alleged financial offence, involving Rs. 8 million he had obtained to supply gravel for the reconstruction of the Northern railroad. CID has filed a case against Polgampola in the Kilinochchi court. He had been arrested on a previous occasion over the same offence and granted bail. Polgampola is a former JVP MP. more..

Authority to inspect Norochcholai coal plant

May 16 (DN) A team led by Central Environmental Authority (CEA) Director General Hemantha Jayasinghe will make an inspection tour at the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant in the wake of rising complaints over the environmental pollution caused by it. CEA DG Jayasinghe said it was highly questionable how the Wayamba Provincial Environmental Authority had granted permission for certain industries to operate. more..

RTI, People's power and independent oversight

May 16 (DM) The idea of independent oversight bodies to remedy the ugly party politicization of State institutions was first mooted by the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. It was a partially successful experiment as politicians refused to let go of power and the President at the time, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga even refused to appoint a nominee of the Constitutional Council as the Chairman of the Elections Commission as she disagreed with the nomination. more..

Shift of global economic dominance towards Asia: SL should seize the opportunity

May 16 (DM) Sri Lanka should seize the window of opportunity to make the country a developed nation when the world economic dominance shifts from the western hemisphere towards the Asian region by the year 2030, former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. Mr. Rajapaksa expressed these views at the Annual Convention of Viyath Maga Organisation held in Colombo on Sunday under the theme of An Intellectually Inspired Sri Lanka. Prof. Rohan Gunaratne, Vidya Jyothi Dr. Bandula more..

'Serbia, Sri Lanka stand great potential for cooperation'

May 16 (DM) First Deputy PM and Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic, who had paid a visit to SL early this month, speaks about the latest initiative to revive historic relations between his country and SL dating back to the days of the summit of the non-aligned movement. Serbia, a country that faced with separatism, shares common experience with Sri Lanka. He says Serbia can serve itself as the gateway to Europe. more..

Keith Noyahr saved because of my intervention: Karu

May 16 (DM) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said that senior journalist Keith Noyahr’s life was saved because of his intervention when Keith was abducted and he is prepared any moment to give a statement on this incident. The speaker said that the CID has informed him that they need to record a statement from him over the alleged abduction of journalist Keith Noyahr. He said that a date would be given to the CID today for this purpose. more..

The traditional tools of a Sri Lankan kitchen

May 16 (Roar) Like the traditional curries, sambols and other dishes which have a place of importance in the culinary world of Sri Lankan cooking, there are a handful of utensils which have their own place of importance in making a spicy pol sambol or flavourful dhal curry. Rice and curries are our staple meal, and many older Sri Lankans claim that one of the best ways to make a curry is to use traditional clay pots or mati walang. more..

Why the pomp and pageantry?

May 16 (DM) What was the need for all the Pomp and Pageantry? Was it deserved in any way? We read that over a 1,000 questions and more than 1,000 petitions had to be set aside due to the prorogation!!! So, why the Pomp and Pageantry? As Minister Fonseka rightly pointed out, it is too late now for the Govt to even try to fulfil its promises. When the PM was bravely trying to justify the actions of this Govt at an interview he gave more..

Beauty and the beast

May 16 (ST) Despite the proliferation of cosmetics and skin care products containing dangerous levels of heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and arsenic, and rising numbers of women seeking medical help, there is barely any regulation, enforcement or legal cover, experts say. Suitcase traders are hauling in counterfeit cosmetics from China, Thailand, Middle East, India, Pakistan, and South Korea into the country and flooding more..

CEB never agreed with PUCSL amendment

May 16 (CT) The Public Utilities Commissions of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) had informed President’s Secretary Austin Fernando in writing on 9 May, that the General Manager (GM) of the CEB had not objected to any amendments being made by them to the Least Cost Long Term Generation Expansion Plan (LCLTGEP) of the CEB. That letter, which had been compiled by the Chairman of the PUCSL, Saliya Mathew, was an utter lie, more..

CEB denies charges of ashes spreading to Sri Maha Bodhi

May 16 (DN) CEB engineers and Norochcholai Power Plant officials refuted claims that toxic acids evaporating from the power plant posed a threat to the sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, in A'pura. It was reported that toxic fumes from the power plant which contained concentrated amounts of toxic acids and heavy metals could be swept as far away as the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi due to the onset of the oncoming Southwest monsoon. more..

Prez under pressure to take action against those who destroy archaeological sites

May 16 (Island) Nationalist organisations have called upon President Sirisena to take action agaisnt those responsible for the destruction of an archaeological site in Ipalogama, Anuradhapura. "A historical site known as the Belumgala of ancient Vijithapura has been bulldozed purportedly for the construction of a housing scheme. It has been stopped owing to public protests. We demand action from the Prez more..

Britain says disappointed by Sri Lanka’s pace of change

May 16 (DM) The British Govt on Friday said it was disappointed by the Sri Lanka’s pace of change in terms of fulfilling its international commitments and said there was much remaining to be done. Mark Field, Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific told British Parliament on Friday that he met Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana in the margins of the CHOGM in London and discussed about the progress achieved by Sri Lanka. more..

Bus strike: SLTB ramps up service; leaves cancelled

May 16 (AD) The leave of all SLTB bus drivers, conductors and mechanical staff have been cancelled until the planned strike by private bus operators is called off, Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) announced today. SLTB Chairman Ramal Siriwardena said that the board has taken steps to provide 24 hour bus service and that relevant officials have been instructed to operate buses according to the needs of more..

US$ 200M Garbage Scandal

May 16 (CT) The story is told of the Greek Philosopher Diogenes who was found roaming the streets of Athens in broad daylight, carrying a lamp. When the Athenians asked him what he was searching for, he replied, I’m searching for an honest man. Diogenes may have had lived 2,500 years ago, but the moral of his story is applicable even today, especially to SL. This is in the context that a US$ 200 million World Bank (WB) funded garbage disposal programme, more..

Strength of a weak govt

May 16 (FT) It is widely believed that this Govt is incapable. Even in the areas where it exhibits its capability, the progress is very slow. There is no doubt about it. However in certain areas, even though it displays an incapability, in fact it is not incapability but capability. In this article I would like to discuss the last point. The public consciousness of this country is formed to suit to an authoritative regime and not to a democratic regime. Parents think that the children should obey them. more..

බදු මුදල්වලින් රජය නිසි ප්රයෝජන ගන්නවාද?

A land where brigands & bigots are bizarre buddies

May 16 (CT) We have a very interesting position in Sri Lanka in respect of the country’s ethnic problem, a perpetual killer force that raged throughout the north and east and now trying to emerge in some parts outside of this region. This ghastly position prevailed for thirty years because there were two main forces, a terrorist and a dodgy company of petty, prevaricating politicians. While the need of the hour is a resolution to this problem, the two main players did not want to resolve it more..

Avant Garde Chairman files FR petition

May 16 (NR) Chairman of Avant Garde Maritime Services Nissanka Senadhipathi has filed a Fundamental Rights petition at Supreme Court today requesting Court to issue an order preventing his arrest by the CID. Nissanka Senadhipathi through the petition said the CID is attempting to arrest him over maintaining a floating armoury at the Galle Fort. The petition also states the CID is attempting to arrest and remand Nissanka Senadhipathi under the Explosives and Firearms Ordinance. more..

GMOA to launch 24-hour strike tomorrow

May 16 (DM) GMOA would be on a countrywide 24-hour token strike tomorrow against the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed with Singapore and the proposed ETCA with India, GMOA Secretary Dr Haritha Aluthge said today. He said, however, the emergency treatment units, maternity, children, cancer, nephrology and Army hospitals would function as usual despite the token strike. He said the GMOA was forced to more..

Mahindananda’s transfer application fixed for inquiry

May 16 (DN) A transfer application filed by former minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage seeking an order transferring a case filed against him to any other court of competent jurisdiction other than the Colombo High Court presided over by HC Judge Gihan Kulatunga was yesterday fixed for inquiry by the Court of Appeal. On a previous occasion, Court of Appeal issued notices on the respondents. However, the court did not make any interim order in connection with this transfer application. more..

Southwest monsoon proper to hit Sri Lanka from May 23

May 16 (Island) The southwest monsoon, which brings seasonal rain to the Indian subcontinent, will hit SL on May 23, Met Department predicts. According to int'l weather forecasts, the monsoon is expected to reach the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on May 20 and advance further to SL and over East Central Bay of Bengal between May 22 and 23. Heavy rains being experienced in some parts of the country specially in Western, Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces would continue until more..

Bus strike called off after govt agrees to 12.5% fare hike

May 16 (AD) Private bus operators have decided to call off the strike action which was scheduled to commence from midnight today, after the govt had reportedly agreed to increase the bus fares by 12.5%. During the discussion held today between representatives of private bus trade unions and ministers and govt officials, govt has also agreed to increase the minimum fare to Rs 12. Cabinet yesterday approved an increase in more..

Video: Hold elections to 3 PCs: Rohitha challenges govt

May 16 (DM) Former minister and MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena yesterday challenged the Govt to hold elections to three Provincial Councils, Sabaragamuwa, North-Central and Eastern in the same month. He said although the govt had promised on numerous occasions that it would hold the elections to the three PCs, it had been unable to do so due to the instability of the govt. “If the UNP and SLFP intend to contest the PC polls together they are welcome to do so. more..

Four banks to run foreign exchange counters at Sri Lanka airport

May 16 (EN) Commercial Bank, Sampath Bank state-run Bank of Ceylon, People's Bank, Thomas Cook Lanka Pvt Ltd have been licensed to run foreign exchange counters at the arrivals terminal of Colombo airport. The cabinet of ministers had also approved Thomas Cook Lanka Pvt Ltd, has also been approved to run a counter, in a proposal submitted by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. The counters will be run beyond the customs areas in the arrivals lounge at Katunayake Int'l Airport. more..

Sri Lanka among 23 countries vulnerable to Chinese debt distress: Study

May 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka has been classified as a highly vulnerable country to debt distress of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in a recent study published by the Center for Global Development. The policy paper has identified 68 countries that fall under the scope of BRI based on reports from Chinese quasi-official organizations and BRI’s geographical representation. The paper said the annual economic output of these 68 countries more..

NARA teams up with Norway for research

May 16 (CT) National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) is going to launch a research with a team of Norwegian experts on the marine resources of Sri Lankan`s sea area. Head of the Marine Biological Science Division of NARA, Dr. H.S.S.K. Haputhanthri said that the full research covering Sri Lanka`s sea area would be launched from 24 June to 16 July. “Norwegians will also provide technical support as well as a modern sea exploration ship for the purpose,“ he added. more..

Death of two-year-old child: Parents arrested

May 16 (DM) The parents of a two-year-old child, who was found dead in a housing complex at Maligawatte, were arrested last night. Maligawatte police launched a probe after they were informed that the boy had died under suspicious circumstances and that his parents had arranged his funeral for Monday without having a postmortem examination. Police personnel who were sent to the scene on receipt of the information had been told by the child's parents that he had died after more..

Mahinda responds to accusations fuel costs were higher during his govt

May 16 (AD) Former Prez Mahinda Rajapaksa says that despite the “highest global crude oil prices in history” during his reign, they not only won the war against terrorism, but also successfully concluded the biggest infrastructure building programme ever seen in this country. “We were able to do all that while maintaining the fertilizer subsidy so as to shield farmers from the increasing prices of fertilizer,” he said, more..

Agreements between the Govt of SL and selected Agri-businesses

May 16 (WB) Hon. PM Ranil Wickremasinghe, Hon. Minister Daya Gamage, Distinguished Guests, Officials and Colleagues. It is my pleasure to have this opportunity to address you today on a subject that is close to my heart and close to the hearts of many Sri Lankans - Agriculture. Whether as a producer, a consumer or a business, we are all impacted by the sector through the food that we grow and eat, the jobs created, and the exports that support the economy. more..

Wind power plant to be constructed in Mannar

May 16 (DM) The Cabinet has approved the implementation of the construction of the Wind Power Plant in Mannar. The proposal was presented by Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya. Accordingly, the Cabinet approved the proposal to implement the project with all other infrastructure facilities. Mannar Island Wind Farm is a proposed 100-megawatt wind farm to be built on the southern coast of the Mannar Island. The project would cost approximately 17 billion rupees, funded by the ADB. more..

Cleopatra under spotlight after rugby players’ sudden deaths

May 16 (DN) Investigations have focused on the Cleopatra Night Club following the second death of a visiting British rugby player after a night out at the seedy venue, officials said. Tom Baty (26) became the second victim when he died despite intensive care at a private hospital in Colombo yesterday, Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said. He said Thomas Howard (25), was the first to die on Sunday, shortly after more..

300 houses to be built around Madhu Church

May 16 (GDI) Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs John Amaratunge, has proposed to build 300 houses around Madhu Church in Mannar for the use of devotees and tourists. The Govt of India has agreed to provide Rs. 300 million in financial assistance to implement this project. Accordingly, the proposal submitted by the Minister for a MoU between the Govt of Sri Lanka and the Govt of India was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. more..

Controlling climate with Chinese Technology

May 16 (DM) Sri Lanka is looking for the possibility of controlling droughts and floods through controlling clouds using Chinese Technology, it was revealed yesterday. This was revealed at the signing of agreement for projects under the World Bank aided Agriculture Sector Modernization programme in Colombo last evening. The report on a study carried out by the experts attached to Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences was handed over to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe by more..

Keith Noyahr abduction: CID probing whether SF involved: AG

May 16 (DM) State Counsel Udara Karunatilake appearing on behalf of the Attorney General (AG) today informed Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court that the CID had started an investigation on whether, Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka was involved in the abduction and assault of Journalist Keith Noyahr in 2008. He informed Court that earlier the CID had recorded a statement from Minister Fonseka regarding the matter. more..

Sri Lanka Cricket makes Rs2.1bn profit in 2017, pays down debt

May 16 (EN) Sri Lanka Cricket, said it had made a 2.12 billion rupee surplus in 2017, up from a 64 million rupees last year, with revenues doubling to 6.19 billion rupees, after turning around from financial crisis in 2015. SLC said it had paid down its debt, brining it down from 4.0 billion rupees from the end of 2015 to 1.3 billion at the end of 2016. "This was achieved owing to SLC’s present administration’s prudent financial management," cricket organization said in a statement. more..

War vets request full salary, pension after 55

May 16 (CT) The war veterans’ organization, Mawbima Wenuwen Ranawiruvo, has urged President Maithripala Sirisena to approve the payment of full salary and pension to war veterans who died or were permanently injured during the war, to their family members, on Remembrance Day on 18 May. Convener of the Organization, retired Major Ajith Prasanna said that it was the responsibility of the Govt to look into the welfare of the injured soldiers and officers, and more..

No more hike possible: Minister Rajitha

May 16 (DM) National Transport Commission (NTC) had granted the maximum possible bus fare increase to private bus operators on an accepted Government policy and therefore, the NTC was not in a position to give further increase to private bus operators, Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said today. He said that the Transport Ministry would strengthen the SLTB bus fleet by additional 1,500 buses with effect from tomorrow morning more..

The old Puttalam-Mannar Road

May 17 (DN) I read in the papers with sadness that the old Puttalam-Mannar Road, today a magnificent highway, has been closed due to floods in Eluwankulama, after the opening of the spill gates of the Angmuwa reservoir. It is a matter for puzzlement as to why the precious overflow is not collected using a system of canals similar to the aqueducts the Romans used to bring water to Rome, into minor reservoirs, without allowing it to empty into the sea and used during the seasons of drought. more..

The selfless leader & The people’s lawyer

May 17 (CT) Appathuray Vinayagamoorthy, a distinguished Tamil political leader, former MP for Jaffna District, Leader of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress and well-known Human Rights Lawyer bade adieu to the world on 28 May 2017. In his long arduous political journey, spanning nearly six decades, he made a niche for himself in the Tamil political arena not by seeking to achieve fame but by serving the downtrodden. He was honest, straightforward and unswerving in his more..