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Face the Nation

Press freedom & enforced disappearances: Two sides of the same coin in Sri Lanka

May 2 (IPS) When Sri Lankan journalist Richard de Zoysa was abducted from his home in Colombo on the night of February 18th, 1990, his family knew there would be dark days ahead. The population was still reeling from one of the bloodiest episodes in the island nation’s history – a govt counterinsurgency campaign to crush a Marxist rebellion in southern Sri Lanka, which left between 30,000 and 60,000 people dead at the hands of govt death squads. more..

HealthHub debuts innovative flagship store and retail pharmacy concept

May 2 (Island) With an aim to provide customers the most credible pharmacist-led healthcare experience every time, HealthHub, the new groundbreaking retail pharmacy outlet held its launch and open day recently in Thimbirigasyaya. Creating a welcoming in-store environment, HealthHub offers customers a modern retail destination to meet their health and wellbeing needs. Offering a multi-functional pharmaceutical service and retail concept, the store gives customers access to prescription more..

The Importance of Psychological support for social workers

May 2 (Roar) Milani Salpitikorala, founder of the Child Protection Force and attorney-at-law, deals with young victims of rape and abuse almost on a daily basis. Juggling her time between going to courts, visiting probationary homes, and interacting with affected children and their mothers, Milani is aware of the emotional toll her job takes on her. In an interview with Roar Media for an article about child sexual exploitation more..

Wartime elimination of UNP leadership

May 2 (Island) The JVP held a successful May Day rally in Jaffna yesterday. In Colombo, a commemorative event was held near Aluthkade court complex to mark the 25th death anniversary of the late President, Ranasinghe Premadasa, assassinated by the LTTE near the Armour Street police station as he was leading the UNP May Day procession, in 1993. The UNPer was 69 years at the time of his assassination. Among those present at the Aluthkade event, organized by more..

Tribute to Dr Lester James Peries

May 2 (DN) As the curtain falls in years and decades, the living episodes become history. And history evolves too. Ceylonese Independence will gradually become a distant history in three decades when it reaches the centennial milepost. Dr Lester James Peries epitomises that distant history. In a few years – or maybe decades – he might become an obscure historical figure confined to the chronicles of cinema. SL cinema has gone far ahead and would be even farthest ahead in more..

Latest 2017 data on suspicious financial transactions next month

May 2 (ST) The 2017 study on Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs), particularly money laundering attempts, probed by the Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) of the Central Bank (CB) will be released next month, officials say. They said that FIU suspended funds amounting to Rs. 146 million in 2016, but declined to comment on how much it was for 2017. Since the end of the internal conflict of the country in 2009, STRs on terrorist financing more..

Excise Department carries out 859 raids during Vesak

May 2 (Island) Excise Department said it had conducted over 850 raids from April 27 to 30 to prevent the transportation and sale of illicit liquor, tobacco and narcotics during the Vesak Season. Deputy Excise Commissioner Kapila Kumarasinghe said that his department had taken steps to carry out special operations, covering all parts of the country, during the Vesak Season from April 27 to May 3. The highest number of raids pertained to the possession of liquor in large quantities more..

Dilshi, Amasha, Ridmi among top local favourites

May 2 (Island) With a strong Indian presence a tough contest is expected but there are several sprinters and middle distance runners in the female category for SL to rely on for top performances when the country hosts region’s best junior athletes over the weekend at the Sugathadasa Stadium. Ratnayake Central, Walala damsel Dilshi Kumarasinghe and Swarnamali Girls’ School, Kandy sprinter Amasha de Silva are among the top contenders for medals in the female category more..

Industry hails Harin for selection of professionals to new ICTA Board

May 2 (FT) The country’s IT industry has hailed Minister Harin Fernando for his selection of professionals to serve on the Board of ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA). In reconstituting the ICTA Board, Minister Harin Fernando picked professionals with knowledge and expertise in the software and business process outsourcing sectors, telecommunications, cyber security, Govt and verticals that are major users of ICTs. more..

Mastercard Partners with Jetwing Hotels to Provide Exciting Discounts

May 2 (DM) Mastercard cardholders now have the opportunity to enjoy attractive discounts on their stay at select Jetwing hotels and experience the convenience of cashless payments. Under this partnership, Mastercard cardholders will receive 15% discountduring their stay at Jetwing Lagoon, Jetwing Kaduruketha, Amaloh ByJetwing, Jetwing Kurulubedda, JieJie Beach By Jetwing, Jetwing Blue, Jetwing St. Andrew’s, Jetwing Lake, and Jetwing Colombo Seventill 15th Dec, 2018. more..

Jude Fernando new CEO Janashakthi Insurance

May 2 (CT) Janashakthi Insurance PLC announced the appointment of Jude Fernando as the company’s Director/CEO with effect from 1st May 2018. Having divested its General Insurance business earlier this year, Janashakthi has focused its efforts on the country’s underpenetrated Life Insurance segment. With Jude at the helm, Janashakthi Life is set to embark on a major growth drive to further strengthen its position as a significant player in the Life Insurance industry. more..

SLC seeks permission to hold election on 31

May 2 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Committee President, Thilanga Sumathipala said that the SLC had sought permission from the Sports Minister Faiszer Musthapha to hold the SLC election on 31May, appointing the Election Committee on 19 May during the already called for Especial General Meeting (EGM). Earlier the SLC election was postponed by Minister Faiszer Musthapha calling the earlier appointed election committee illegal, more..

Army players mark historic victory

May 2 (CT) It’s a short spanned milestone for Army Chess players who won both Runner-Up and 2nd Runners-up slots in the Mercantile and Govt Sectors having participated in the 8th Dhamso Int'l Chess Festival 2018 - held from 19th to 23rd April at the S Thomas De Silva Memorial Auditorium, in Ambalangoda. This tournament was organized by the Old Boys’ of Chess Association of Dharmasoka College in collaboration with the Chess Federation of SL under the aegis of World Chess more..

Dinesh Weerakkody new Chairman of HNB

May 2 (CT) The Board of Directors of the Hatton National Bank PLC (HNB), has appointed Dinesh Weerakkody, as the new Chairman of Bank with effect from 26 May 2018 on the retirement of the incumbent Chairman Rienzie Arseculeratne PC on 25 May 2018 having reached the age of 70 years. Dinesh Weerakkody joined the Board of HNB PLC on 29 June 2017 as a non-independent/non-Executive Director. On the recommendation of the Board Nomination Committee, more..

Mullivaikkal memorial ban irks TNPF/EPRLF

May 2 (CT) Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) condemned the ban imposed on the construction of the Mullivaikkal memorial within the Jaffna University premises. TNPF leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam said on Monday that the banning of the Mullivaikkal memorial by the govt cannot be accepted. This action had angered us. The university societies in the North and East have been thoroughly affected by the war. more..

Japan confers prestigious decoration on Professor Carlo Fonseka

May 2 (Island) On 29th April, Govt of Japan announced the conferment of The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon upon Professor Carlo Fonseka, in recognition of his significant contribution to the promotion of Japanese culture in SL. Taro Kono, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs has sent a congratulatory message upon the announcement stating "Please accept my sincerest congratulations on the conferment of The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with, more..

Ranjan puzzled by sudden rehabilitation of Wijeyadasa

May 2 (Island) The UNP leadership must apologise to newly appointed Minister of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, for having made very serious allegations against him last year, Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said, commenting on the appointment of Rajapakshe. "Otherwise, Rajapakshe should apologise and say that he made mistakes in the past and he has rectified them. This is what the UNP Working Committee asked him to do last year. more..

Politicians in Sri Lanka patronize sports

May 2 (PO) Dayasiri Jayasekara, who last month resigned as Sri Lanka’s sports minister will continue to support the sports persons in the country. Speaking exclusively over hos mobile, he said, “though I am not a sports minister now, will continue to follow the sports and cricket in particular”. Jayasekera begged to differ with Murali’s recent comments, where he had said that the politicians are destroying cricket in Sri Lanka. more..

Get ready for Google IO Extended SL 2018

May 2 (RM) Google’s biggest annual developer conference, Google IO kicks off in a few days. So what exactly is the big deal with Google IO? Well, for starters, its where everything related to Google gets announced. The actual Google IO Conference happens from the 8th of May 2018 to the 11th of May 2018 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. Now before you go packing your bags and getting your visa, hold on to your seats.Google IO Extended Sri Lanka 2018 is happening! more..

DFCC drives its core business forward in 1Q

May 2 (DN) DFCC continues to aggressively pursue its role as a commercial bank by strengthening its core business, creating momentum in the industry with its constantly evolving best in class offerings and creating a culture of service among its people. For quarter ended March 31, 2018, the DFCC Group recorded a profit before tax of Rs 1,545 million and profit after tax of Rs 1,110 million as compared to Rs 1,647 million and Rs 1,301 million respectively in the comparative period in 2017. more..

Defiant workers hold May Day rallies

May 2 (Hindu) Thousands of workers on Tuesday defied an order of the SL govt postponing May Day events, by rallying in Colombo’s Fort area to mark the International Workers’ Day. Earlier, the Cabinet decided to defer workers’ day events to May 7, citing an overlap with the Buddhist festival of Vesak or Buddha Poornima, that fell on April 29 and 30. Move, which followed a request from influential Buddhist clergy, drew severe criticism more..

'Late President wanted undivided country'

May 2 (DN) The late President R. Premadasa was firmly committed to a united and undivided country, Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan said. He was addressing the ceremony held to commemorate the 25th Death Anniversary of the late President R. Premadasa. He pointed out that the late President Premadasa was committed to promoting unity and harmony among all. “He wanted all people to live together in one undivided indivisible country that celebrates equality, rights & justice,” more..

Ex-DIG phoned JMO several times

May 2 (CT) Former DIG in charge of Mount Lavinia, Prasanna Nanayakkara, a suspect in the Sunday Leader newspaper Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge murder case, had, on the day of the post-mortem was conducted on the deceased at the Kalubowila Hospital, on several occasions contacted the then Judicial Medical Officer of the Hospital, Dr. Sunil Kumara on the phone, Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara revealed, before Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate Mohamed Mihal, yesterday. more..

JO scoffs at reshuffle; demands election

May 2 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday alleged that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt had harmed the national economy to such an extent, the change of cabinet portfolios couldn’t remedy the crisis. Former External Affairs Minister and Chairman of the SLPP Prof. G.L. Peiris said that fresh parliamentary polls were a must to restore much needed political stability needed to change Sri Lanka’s direction. more..

'Self-serving politicians causing problems'

May 2 (DM) Sri Lanka is currently facing various problems because of the personal agendas of politicians, President Maithripala Sirisena said. He said this at a ceremony to mark the 25th death anniversary of former President Ranasinghe Premadasa at Hulftsdorp last morning. “Many politicians forget the aspirations of the people and give priority to their personal goals. They give priority to their personal dreams. This is the political culture we have in this country today. more..

There's no alternative to national Govt: PM

May 2 (DM) PM Ranil Wickermesinghe said at the ceremony to mark the 25th death anniversary of former Prez R Premadasa held at Hulftsdorp that there was no alternative to the national govt. He said there were many who criticised it but none of them were able to come up with an alternative form of governance. "We will implement a speedy development programme in the wake of today's Cabinet reshuffle taking into consideration the message given to us at the LG elections," more..

Prez swears in 18 new Cabinet ministers

May 2 (FT) Cabinet changes made yesterday by President Sirisena held few surprises with most of the key ministries remaining unchanged with the exception of MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe who returned to Cabinet as Higher Education and Cultural Affairs Minister. Six SLFP Cabinet members who had voted for the no-confidence motion against PM in early April were noticeable absentees in the new portfolio distribution with more..

Impact of gas price increase on cost of living

May 2 (DM) Cost of living is proportionate to, and depends on the prices of the consumer items and the management of the economy and trade by the governance. Gas plays a main role in cost of living. This is because the use of gas is fast increasing due to the shortage of traditional wood and want of clear, fast, energetic and convenient energy. Every drop of gas is imported in liquid form and distributed by two main companies Litro and Laugfs with full monopoly on trade and distribution. more..

Lester: Sri Lanka’s greatest story ever told

May 2 (DM) One of Sri Lanka’s greatest stories of recent times-- a story that may never be told again—comes to a sublime end today when a grateful nation and the govt give a state funeral with full honours at Independence Square to Dr. Lester James Peries, a genius widely acclaimed as the Father of Sri Lankan cinema. After a prolonged illness he went to his eternal rest significantly on Vesak night when SL marks the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama the Buddha. more..

The buring question: When

May 2 (DM) 1. We have talked about so many burning issues including the ones of UDAYANGA, MAHENDRAN and JALIYA, but we haven’t seen a single brought to conclusion. Either we await action from INTERPOL or our own sleuths. Going back on the local scenario, what happened with the findings on THAJUDEEN, LASANTHA, AVANT GARDE, ALOYSIUS, PALIASENA et al? We continuously seem to be waiting and waiting, more..

Could it be Asthma?

May 2 (Roar) Rapid industrialization has been great for the economy. However, this development has also made way for massive global environmental changes such as global warming, pollution, destruction of forest and changing lifestyles. Always on the move, people often fail to understand the effect these environmental changes can have on their health. With the aim of making people aware of how these environmental more..

Health Ministry to regulate food promotions targeting children

May 2 (CT) Ministry of Health said that it would introduce regulations to prohibit marketing promotions which influence children. Sources said that promoting any food items which claimed to affect or better a child’s growth or affect or better his or her taste buds would be prohibited through the regulations. A majority of the advertisements promote food and beverages which could affect the child’s health. more..

JO defends tax exemptions for members of Parliament

May 2 (Island) JO MP Bandula Gunawardena alleged that the new Inland Revenue Act No. 24 of 2017 had mercilessly targeted the poor. Addressing the media, he said that even children’s saving accounts hadn’t been spared and was the cause of severe pressure on those struggling to make ends meet. The people had never been taxed the way Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration did it, he said. more..

Japanese startup plans Sri Lanka’s first Electric Vehicle plant

May 2 (AD) Opening a new chapter in Sri Lankan automotive industry, a Tokyo based high-tech research and development startup is planning Sri Lanka’s first ever large, industry scale Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturing facility. The startup from Tokyo is also setting up international standard EV charging systems known as micro-grid stations across the country, as part of their hi-tech transfer to Sri Lanka. A top Japanese investment team consisting more..

Central Bank urges fast tracking trade reforms

May 2 (EN) Central Bank says international capital market sentiments on the island's economic performance are seen improving, but stable policy, a flexible exchange rate, improving trade facilitation and completing trade negotiations were critical to building confidence of hard-nosed investors. The central bank said recent foreign inflows to govt bonds and stocks, record FDI and sovereign bond issue, more..

CEP project: Japanese insurer to examine environmental and social risks

May 2 (ST) The Govt has commissioned Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) to carry out an environmental and social due diligence on the third and most complicated stage of the Central Expressway (CEP III), according to a source from the Finance Ministry’s External Resources Department (ERD). An environmental and social due diligence examines environmental & social risks associated with more..

Tourism Minister says powerless to act on Mirissa

May 2 (FT) The issue of illegal structures in Mirissa is set to drag on with Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga yesterday admitting that he was powerless to take action as he could not override the President’s orders following political interference tying up the Coast Conservation Department (CCD). “What has happened is some politicians have gone and protested, so Prez would have said to stop. more..

SL’s external debt rises $ 5.4 b in 2017: CB

May 2 (FT) Sri Lanka’s total external debt increased by $ 5.4 billion last year, raising the country’s total debt to $ 51.8 billion by end-2017. With the increase in govt external debt, the total outstanding external debt of the country as a percentage of GDP increased to 59.5% by the end of last year from 56.8% at the end of 2016. Govt raised $ 4 billion in 2017 by issuing an international bond, and program and project loans, more..

Video: State and Deputy Ministers sworn in

May 2 (AD) Several State and Deputy Ministers took oath today in the fourth Cabinet reshuffle under the coalition govt, at the Presidential Secretariat this morning before President Maithripala Sirisena. Accordingly Palitha Range Bandara took oath as the State Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources and Disaster Management, Dilip Wedaarachchi was sworn in as State Minister of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Development more..