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Astrologer Sumanadasa gives evidence in case against Basil

May 24 (Island) The case against former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Tirukumar Nadesan where they are charged with misappropriation of state funds for the purchase of a 16 acre land in Mapitigama, Malwana, Dompe and building a palatial bungalow with a swimming pool and a running a farm was yesterday taken before Gampaha High Court Judge Nimal Ranaweera. Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige appearing for more..

Be vigilant about unfair treatment of students by some teachers, says President

May 24 (GDI) President Sirisena says that it has been revealed about the unfair treatment to students by some teachers. These are evident in the facts revealed in the letters and phone calls received by him and during certain discussions held. They also highlight details about the quality and excellence of the interconnection between the teacher and student as well the unfair treatment to students by some teachers. more..

Are CEB officials and interested politicians lying for coal lobby?

May 24 (Island) The officials in charge of the energy sector are misleading the public about the actual cost of electricity produced by using coal, Executive Director of the Centre for Human Rights (CHR), Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said. He said that "I took part in a TV debate with CEB and Ministry of Power officials about the Norochcholai power plant. During that debate Dr Wijekoon Banda, Chief Engineer (transmission and planning) more..

USD 700M LNG plant in Hambantota

May 24 (CT) The Govt yesterday revealed that the agreement for a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) power plant in Hambantota, at a cost of USD 700 million, had been signed and approved recently. At a symposium hosted by the Chinese Embassy, Minister Malik Samarawickrama said that China came forward to help SL to get out from a difficult situation by assisting and negotiating with Sri Lanka regarding the Hambantota Port project. more..

Mayantha calls for change of UNP leadership

May 24 (Island) As elder brother Naveen Dissanayake assumes duty today as UNP National Organiser his younger brother Kandy District MP Mayantha dropped a bombshell and said that their party members expected an imminent change in the UNP leadership. The party rank and file hoped that the change should be made as soon as possible for its future benefit, Mayantha Dissanayake said. Addressing a press conference held at more..

'Resignation not due to internal conflict'

May 24 (NR) Speaking to NewsRadio on his decision to resign from the National List MP post, MHM Navavi said he resigned from the Parliamentarian post due to an agreement reached when he was appointed. Accordingly, an agreement had been made to for MHM Navavi to serve as an MP representing the All Ceylon People's Congress for a period of two and a half years, following which another party representative more..

Adverse weather: Nearly 125,000 affected

May 24 (NR) The Disaster Management Centre says the water levels of primary rivers in the island continue to remain at flood levels, due to heavy rains reported across the country. Deputy Director and Media Spokesman of the DMC Pradeep Kodipilli said over 124,000 people have been affected by the adverse weather while over 56,000 people are presently residing in temporary shelters in various districts around the island. more..

A timely move

May 24 (CT) It’s a tragi-comedy that the world community led by the likes of multilateral donor agencies such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, bilateral donors such as the European Union, coupled with the world’s largest economy the USA are seemingly more conscious of the plight of the farmer than the Govt. This is evident by the hundreds of millions of US dollars in aid that these donors have pledged and have disbursed to alleviate this sector of SL’s socio-politico more..

Hype and haunt hovering over Gotabaya R.

May 24 (FT) There is a connection between the hype that is being built these days around Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Defence Secretary and once-powerful brother of the once-powerful President, and the haunt that shadows him wherever he goes. The hype is loud and we can see and hear. The haunt, less visible to naked observation, is that of the ghost of Lasantha Wickrematunge, former Editor of The Sunday Leader, who was butchered and murdered in broad daylight. more..

Can the UNP add up? Malinda & Faraz

John responds to allegations: Jumps into fire to save lackey but avoids core questions

May 24 (CT) Minister John Amaratunga, in a seemingly loose statement, attempted to defend the conduct of his Senior Advisor Felix Rodrigo who is currently in hot water over a Chinese wedding fiasco. The article begins with the insinuation that the official concerned, Senior Advisor Mr. Felix Rodrigo is in hot water as PM’s Office has launched a special investigation on the alleged attempt to pay Rs. 6 million to his brother’s company for organizing the Chinese mass wedding ceremony more..

SriLankan, Mihin Commission records evidence from 44

May 24 (DN) Presidential Commission investigating alleged fraud, corruption and misuse of state assets in SriLankan Airlines, Sri Lankan Catering Services and Mihin Lanka has so far recorded evidence from 44 persons. Among them were employees attached to these three institutions, Commission Secretary Ariyadasa Cooray said. Evidence was recorded by the police investigation team led by ASP Lawrence on the advice of the team of legal counsel led by Additional Solicitor General Neil Unamboowe. more..

Gnanasara Thero found guilty of threatening Sandya Eknaligoda

May 24 (EN) Sri Lanka's highly controversial Buddhist monk, Galagodaatte Gnanasara, was facing the prospect of up to two years in jail Thursday after he was found guilty of two counts of criminal conduct by the Homagama Magistrate. Sentencing was put off till June 14, but the two counts under the penal code carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison, an unspecified fine and or both. more..

Kaduwela-Biyagama bridge under repair

May 24 (DN) Heavy rains yesterday led to soil erosion below the Kaduwela-Biyagama bridge at its intersection with the Kelani River bank, putting one side of the bridge at risk. Vehicular movement along the bridge had to be restricted to one side and Police informed motorists to use alternate routes to avoid congestion. RDA Chairman Nihal Sooriyarachchi told the Daily News that soil erosion was not severe and that the RDA workers were working on repairing it. more..

FFMTA again raises alarm

May 24 (Island) Federation of Faculty of Medicine Teachers’ Associations once again expressed their concerns over fresh attempts at lowering entry standards for SAITM students proposed to be admitted to Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) through a new cabinet paper. The following is the text of statement issued by FFMTA: "We are seriously concerned about several provisions stated in the cabinet memorandum proposing to admit students from SAITM to KDU. more..

INTERPOL locates Arjuna Mahendran in Singapore

May 24 (NR) INTERPOL has officially informed the CID that former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran is currently in Singapore. Accordingly the Department of the Attorney General informed Court that an extradition process is currently underway to bring back the former Central Bank Governor. Arjun Mahendran is named as the main suspect in the case filed over the controversial issuance of CB bond issuance. more..

Advisory issued for rough seas around the island

May 24 (AD) Due to the active cloudiness in the sea areas to the West, North-Western and Northern of Sri Lanka, showers or thundershowers will occur at times in the sea areas off the coast extending from Galle to Trincomalee via Colombo, Mannar and Kankasanturai. The possibility for sudden roughness, associated with sudden increase of wind speed (up to 70-80 kmph) in the above sea areas is high, the Meteorology Department said issuing an advisory. Sea area extending from Puttalam more..

Nissanka Senadhipathi’s FR fixed for support

May 24 (DN) A Fundamental Rights petition filed by Avant Garde Maritime Service (Pvt) Ltd Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi seeking an Interim Order preventing him from being arrested over a Magisterial inquiry, was yesterday fixed for support on June 8 by the Supreme Court. Senadhipathi filed this petition challenging the magisterial inquiry on the alleged violation of the Firearms Ordinance and Explosive Act as set out in the B report submitted to the Galle Magistrate’s Court. more..

Wiggy criticizes Rajitha’s statement

May 24 (CT) NP Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran yesterday said that Minister Rajitha Senaratne should have visited the Mullivaikkal ground on 19 May, to listen to the war widows, parents, siblings and children of those who died on 18 May 2009, who would have given him the exact story of what happened on the last days of the war, where he would have learnt from them how the military studiously took charge of the surrendees more..

Govt increases subsidy for concessionary bus services

May 24 (GDI) The govt has decided to increase the subsidy provided for the Sisu Seriya, Gemi Seriya and Nisi Seriya concessionary bus services. The Sisu Seriya is to provide passenger transportation services based on subscription fees for school children and students of universities, technical colleges or similar institutes. Gemi Seriya services are for the rural public who live on uneconomical routes. And the Nisi Seriya service was introduced to provide a reliable and regular public bus more..

Ranel Wijesinha appointed to SEC as Chairman

May 24 (AD) A statement from Ministry of Finance and Mass Media said that Minister of Finance and Mass Media has appointed Ranel Wijesinha as the Chairman of Securities and Exchange and Commission (SEC) of Sri Lanka with effect from today. The statement further added that Securities and Commission of Sri Lanka's (SEC) new members appointed to the Board include Chandrakumar Ramachandra, Jayantha Fernando, Arjuna Herath, Rajeev Amarasuriya and Manjula de Silva. more..

Access for key exportable products needed in Sri Lanka-China FTA: Verité

May 24 (EN) For Sri Lanka to benefit from the planned free trade deal with China, it needs to reduce barriers for its small number of key exportable products, a new study has said. This is because a limited number of products contribute to SL’s export revenue, said the study by the Verité Research which compared China’s existing free trade agreements (FTAs) with the concessions being discussed for the FTA with Sri Lanka. more..

Chickenpox outbreak forces Rajarata University to shut down agriculture faculty

May 24 (Xinhua) A outbreak of chickenpox had forced Rajarata University to shut down academic activities of the agriculture faculty for some two weeks on Thursday, an official said. Faculty Dean A.M.J.B. Adikari said that 15 students fell sick with chickenpox a week ago and it started spreading afterwards. He said the faculty was closed for two weeks to prevent the disease from spreading further. There are 350 students attached to the agriculture faculty of Rajarata University more..

New UNICEF, Pay&Go service enables Sri Lankans to donate

May 24 (UNICEF) Sri Lankan’s across the country are now able to directly donate to the United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) work for children and young people, though Pay&Go nationwide network of payment kiosks. In a first for the UNICEF in Sri Lanka, the new service - launched today - enables anyone to donate cash of any value at over 520 Pay&Go payment kiosks by following three simple steps. Firstly, selecting the UNICEF icon from the kiosk home screen, secondly, more..

Austrian banks grant Rs2.7bn interest free loans for university & health sectors

May 24 (LBO) Two Austrian banks have provided over 2.7 billion rupees worth interest free loans for health sector development and to improve university medical facilities, Finance Ministry said. Erste Bank of Austria has provided EUR 9.5 million (approximately SLR 1,810 million) interest free credit facility to enhance the access to quality and modern healthcare facilities in hospitals in the country. more..

Cabinet nod for bonded warehouses

May 24 (LBO) Cabinet of Ministers have approved the establishment of bonded warehouses for pharmaceuticals, dairy products, solid waste management and renewable energy with intent to expand investment. The proposal, outlined in Budget 2018 was put forward by Minister Mangala Samaraweera. “Under the Budget proposal, it was proposed to give tax relief for capital investment imports made by these industries with so that they may expand their investment,” more..

Sumathipala tenders resignation letter to MS

May 24 (CT) MP Thilanga Sumathipala says he has tendered in his letter of resignation from the post of Deputy Speaker of House to President Maithripala Sirisena. Speaking during a media briefing MP informed the public of his resignation. Meanwhile several days ago Speaker Karu Jayasuriya stated the President had informed him that the Deputy Speaker had not informed him of his resignation. Deputy Speaker's post came into question following MP Thilanga Sumathipala deciding to more..

Floods to hit tea supplies to auctions

May 24 (EN) SL's torrential rains are expected to disrupt tea supplies and reduce volume coming to forthcoming auctions, though prices at the most recent sale fell due to lower quality, brokers said. Bartleet Produce Marketing said prices of Best western BOP/BOPF types teas from company estates declined by Rs.20-40 per kilo, although the below best and the plainer types gained Rs.20-40 per kilo. All Nuwara Eliya BOP/BOPFs, more..

Kaduwela-Biyagama Bridge to be closed

May 24 (AD) The bridge connecting Kaduwela and Biyagama will be closed from 10pm tonight to 5am tomorrow as a precautionary measure, Police said. Traffic had been restricted on the bridge yesterday due fears over the excessive erosion of soil underneath the bridge along the Kelani River banks. Vehicle movement along the bridge was limited to one lane yesterday, however it was later opened for traffic. The RDA had dispatched a team of engineers to the location to inspect damage caused by more..

Sugar percentage in tea to be standardised

May 24 (NR) Minister Navin Dissanayake says measures will be taken in future to inform tea manufacturers of sugar percentages that should be maintained in tea. Speaking in Parliament He said a special experiment is being carried out by the Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka in order to determine the percentage of sugar that should be included in tea. Minister made this statement in response to an inquiry by MP Janaka Wakkumbura during the debate on SL Tea Board Act Amendment Bill. more..

Dayasiri received Rs.1mn from PTL related company

May 24 (DM) According to a further report (B report) filed into the magisterial inquiry over the Bond scam by the prosecution today, it was revealed that UPFA Parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekara had received a cheque of Rs.1 million from Walt & Row Associates-a Perpetual Treasuries Ltd related group company in 2015. more..

National Prosperity Importance of professionalism

May 25 (CT) Unless we become seriously committed to whatever we may do, whatever resources that may be deployed, it shall exist only for a short while and ultimately end up as failures. National prosperity is a goal that can be achieved only through a dedicated and a concentrated effort by the whole nation, enveloping all the communities who consider this their home. While the leaders who are elected by the communities have to be clear in their minds that the success of the whole more..

Oh! justice! What crimes are committed in thy name!

May 25 (CT) There have been numerous attacks on the SL Judiciary in the recent past with allegations of corruption, partiality, and political intrigue, and listeners and readers of the public appear to gobble them up with much relish. There is a saying that no great civilization can be overthrown from without until it destroys itself from within. We are now midway in the process of proving the truth of that statement. The judiciary is the backbone of every civilized society- tarnish that with more..

'Elephants brainier than officials'

May 25 (CT) Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma says, all the projects undertaken by the relevant State officials and authorities, from the day the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) was set up; up to now have been implemented solely for their own benefit, and not to protect wildlife or to protect the people. “If it was not so the human-elephant conflict more..

Towards the Jana & Away from the Janaya

May 25 (CT) When Jothipala died somewhere in 1987, people wept. His funeral, like the funeral of Rukmani Devi years earlier, was attended by thousands of fans, who braved the soon-to-erupt JVP-UNP bheeshanaya. If we are to assess the worth of a singer on the basis of how prabuddha (highbrow) he is, then there’s nothing to help us rationalise why so many could weep at this particular singer’s funeral. And yet, many did weep. So many, in fact, that after the funeral no less a person more..

Taking local cinema to the next level: Shooting higher?

May 25 (DN) Cinema is an art that is marketable. Local cinema which had been a lucrative industry once presently is in crisis and some in the fraternity go into the extent of saying it is in dire straits. By looking at pros and cons we have to accept the fact that it is no more the money-spinning industry that it used to be. Ours was a cinema that had drawn international attention. Dr Lester James Piries’s Rekhawa screened in 1956 was a milestone in the history of Sinhala cinema. more..

Twelve traditional varieties of rice that used to be popular in Sri Lanka

May 25 (Roar) Historical evidence—like irrigation tanks and canals in the dry zone—are evidence that rice farming has been one of the major occupations in the island over the past two millennia. This was because rice was—and still is—the staple dish in SL cuisine. During the days of the ancient Sinhalese kings, hundreds of varieties of rice—or paddy—were cultivated. In the past, these traditional varieties of rice were more..

Foreign policy of a sovereign nation

May 25 (CT) Last week’s Iran visit of President Maithripala Sirisena underlined the fact that SL foreign policy is not decided in Washington, London, New Delhi or Beijing, but in Sri J'pura Kotte, the official capital of the country. SL foreign policy has been drafted on twin pillars of the Asia-centric middle path and friendship with all countries. As the foreign policy of any country puts the country’s interests first, SL too cannot be rigid in its policy towards the international community. more..

SL Army’s dedicated service to Buddhism

May 25 (DN) The unstinting cooperation extended by the Army for the promotion of the Buddhist faith and Buddhist spiritual values by way of infrastructure development of places of Buddhist worship and provision of assistance to resident religious dignitaries for diverse purposes, continues unabated across the country, under the close attention and direction of the Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake, parallel to its commitment to ongoing multifaceted nation-building projects. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa