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Nebulous in Never-Never Land

May 25 (FT) A wag said on social media recently that the inhabitants of our Blessed Isle must have liked the royal wedding so much that the good lord gave them a double dose of British weather. He didn’t put it quite so well, o ye gods above. And the trolls who inhabit Facebook below gave him a full blast of the double barrelled sanctimoniousness that passes for a conscience on antisocial media. Be that as it may, our blasphemous commentator made a jolly good observation. more..

පොලීසියට පැතිකඩ වැඩසටහනෙන් අභියෝගයක්

Exposé: Gota is a liar, he owns luxury bungalows around the country

May 25 (CT) Although Gotabaya Rajapaksa claims he had no property in Sri Lanka except his wife’s house in Udahamulla, Colombo Telegraph can exclusively reveal that he had build a luxury house in his name in Kataragama. The luxury bungalow built at Wanaraja Pedesa, Depot Road, Kataragama was constructed by using Army soldiers as forced labour. The architecturally built bungalow is designed in such a way where the occupants of the house could wade into the the famous Menik Ganga river. more..

11 smugglers nabbed so far this week with Rs 12.42 mn worth of precious metal

May 25 (Island) Highlighting the increased attempts to smuggle in gold to the country, Customs revealed yesterday that 11 such smugglers had been nabbed so far this week at the BIA. They were caught smuggling in gold worth Rs 12.42 million. In the latest detection customs arrested three individuals who were attempting to smuggle in 850 grams of gold yesterday. "One Indian passenger from Chennai was arrested at the BIA while attempting to smuggle in 5 gold pieces weighing 501.44g. more..

Listed Sri Lanka hospitals have strong growth prospects: Fitch

May 25 (EN) SL’s listed hospitals will continue to grow strongly given growing demand for private health care, although regulatory price controls will constrain profitability, Fitch Ratings said in a new report. Long-term demand drivers are intact for private hospital operators, report on the sector said. “Increasing demand for private healthcare is driven by SL’s aging population and rising incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), more..

Troops prevent irrigation canal bursting its banks

May 25 (Island) Alert Army troops of the 16 Gajaba Regiment (GR) of the 143 Brigade of Colombo-based 14 Division under the Security Force Headquarters - West (SFHQ-West) Wednesday evening hurried to flood-threatened Moriyakulama area in Karuwalagaswewa and prevented the possible bursting of the banks of Moriyakulama irrigation canal by stacking as many sand bags as possible, along its vulnerable patches. The danger of bursting its banks prompted the troops to more..

Avant Garde case: Gotabhaya’s revision petition gets postponed

May 25 (AD) Appeal Court has postponed considering of the revision petition filed by former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, requesting that eight defendants including himself be acquitted from the Avant Garde case, until May 31. Petition was taken up today, before Prez of Court of Appeal Justice Preethi Padman Surasena and Justice Arjuna Obeysekara. Prez of Appeal Court stated at the open court that the case will be heard before a different panel of judges. more..

Treasury can’t absorb CPC losses, debt: DST

May 25 (CT) The Finance Ministry is unable to reimburse the whopping losses of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) amounting to Rs 320 billion and another Rs 375 billion in loans for which an unprecedented Rs 1 billion monthly is paid as Capital and interest. “There is no possibility of the Treasury absorbing these losses and debts immediately, due to the magnitude of the amount, Deputy Secretary to the Treasury (DST), more..

Sri Lankan weaving art introduced in Vietnam

May 25 (VNA) The art of Sri Lankan traditional costumes and fabric was introduced at a fashion event in Hanoi on May 24. The show is inspired by a rhapsody of colours with Sri Lankan handloom fabric invading Vietnamese design space by Sri Lankan designer Dhamique Amarasekara. The event expects to showcase the perfect blend of Vietnam – Sri Lanka fashion, spectacularly through the delivery of talented models, representing a wide range of ages, skin colours and shapes. more..

Fonseka ready to pay Gotabhaya’s deposits

May 25 (AD) Minister Sarath Fonseka says he is ready to pay the Presidential election candidate deposits if Former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is contesting for the upcoming presidential election. He made this statement in response to a question raised by journalists in Gampaha today. “Not only members of the UNP but also ministers in the govt were terrified of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa because of the white van abductions, assaults and looting public property” he said. more..

JVP calls for int'l healthcare exchange

May 25 (NR) JVP says the public should direct its attention towards introducing an international healthcare technology exchange programme pertaining to the health sector. Speaking in Parliament MP Chandrasiri Gajadeera said the expertise of foreign doctors should be acquired in order to combat communicable diseases. He said it is good if specialist doctors have an international network of sorts to communicate and share knowledge more..

Senasinghe disappointed with his ministerial post

May 25 (AD) State Minister of International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe expressed his displeasure over his State Ministerial portfolio saying that he has not been provided the opportunity to serve the country. Senasinghe said that his job role is similar to a chairman post in the Mediation Boards Commission and what he can only do is to resolve disputes. The State Minister made this statement during a certificate awarding ceremony held at Maharagama DS Auditorium. more..

Police officer reported missing during rescue mission

May 25 (DN) A Police Officer who attempted to rescue a woman and three children who were trapped in a house in Galwala, Madampe due to floods was reported missing. Madampe Police report that they had received a call with the plea that the woman and children were trapped in a house and that flooded waters were rising fast. A team of policemen were deployed to the area to rescue them, who were residing in a house located next to a lake. more..

Ten household brands only your mother remembers

May 25 (Roar) The market today is saturated with products, each competing with the other to attract potential customers. Branding, advertising and marketing work alongside businesses to grow their visibility in order to garner a larger share of the market. With a population of over 21 million, Sri Lanka has a thriving market evolving frantically to match supply with demand. more..

Dhananjaya de Silva withdraws from WI tour after father's murder

May 25 (CB) SL's top order batsman Dhananjaya de Silva has withdrawn from SL's tour of West Indies after the brutal assassination of his father, Ranjan de Silva. Less than 12 hours before the Sri Lankan team boarded the flight to Dubai and from there to the Caribbean, De Silva's father was gunned down in the Mount Lavinia, a municipality south of Colombo. He was pronounced dead upon admission to the Kalubowila Hospital while two others with him during the incident suffered injuries. more..

Ceremony to handover Parliament land deed

May 25 (CT) The Title Deed for 12 acres of land where the Parliament complex is situated, would be officially handed over to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya in the near future. Responding to a question by UNP Parliamentarian Buddhika Pathirana under Standing Orders Number 27/2, Speaker Jayasuriya said a ceremony to grant the Title Deed would be held soon. “We have received a letter signed by you to attend a ceremony to grant the Title Deed for the land where Parliament sits. more..

Remanding of JO MP unacceptable: Speaker

May 25 (DM) The remanding of joint opposition MP Sarath Nishantha is unacceptable and unreasonable, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament today. He said this when joint opposition MPs raised the matter in the House this morning. JO parliamentary group leader Dinesh Gunawardene said nothing has been done about this even though his party had raised this matter thrice. “We are highlighting this matter more..

'Sri Lanka committed against corruption'

May 25 (NR) Director General of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption Sarath Jayamanne says Sri Lanka remains fully committed to implementing the provisions of the Convention in an effective manner. Sri Lanka participated in the High Level debate of the United Nations General Assembly to mark the 15th Anniversary of the UN Convention against Corruption. The event was held on Wednesday at the UN Headquarters in New York. more..

'Parliament must discuss state debt burden'

May 25 (NR) UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena says Parliament must hold lengthy discussions over the state’s debt burden. Speaking in Parliament he said agreements which are unfavourable to the country must be halted. MP charged the present govt of creating an economic crisis due to their inability to manage the economy. He noted Parliament must discuss in detail the statistics and data of the present financial crisis. Joining the debate State Minister Niroshan Perera said more..

Adverse weather: Death toll rises to 17

May 25 (NR) The DMC says 138,000 persons continue to be affected as a result of the inclement weather being experienced in various parts of the island. Spill gates of the Kukule Ganga, Udawala, Laxapana, Rajanganaya, Upper Kotmale, Deduru Oya, Thabbowa and Bathalagoda reservoirs have been opened due to the incessant rains in the area. Engineers at the Laxapana hydro power plant said continuous rain fall would more..

49 Navy teams continue relief operations

May 25 (SLN) The routine lifestyle of the public is not fully restored yet, as the adverse weather condition affecting the island has not yet completely ceased. It is in this backdrop, the Navy has increased their rescue and relief missions by deploying 49 teams comprising experienced officers and sailors along with the same number of dinghies in the Southern, Western, Sabaragamuwa and Northwestern provinces. The community in Ayagama, Elatpatha, Madabaddara, more..

Arjun Aloysius, Kasun Palisena bail plea postponed

May 25 (NR) Court of Appeal has postponed the hearing of the bail application filed by the owner of Perpetual Treasuries Arjun Aloysius and CEO Kasun Palisena till the 01st of June. The petition was taken up for hearing before Chairman of the Appeals Court Preethi Padman Surasena and Judge Shiran Gunaratne. Meanwhile speaking during the hearing Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda said the CID launched investigations into the controversial Treasury Bond issuance more..

Marine biologist from SL wins at British Council’s first-ever Global Alumni Awards

May 25 (FT) Following prestigious national awarding ceremonies hosted by the British Ambassador/High Commissioner in more than 10 countries, and high-profile digital campaigns to celebrate 63 regional finalists, and 21 regional winners, the British Council has announced the names of three outstanding global award winners of the Study UK Alumni Awards. All are alumni of UK universities, representing more..

Gotabaya’s Operation Shangri-La

May 26 (CT) In a barroom scene in the movie 48Hrs, with Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy, the latter fires a shot into the air and announces to a group of rednecks: I’m your worst nightmare—a nigger with a gun. When a future historian writes the political history of the most obtuse and inept govt in post-independence Sri Lanka, he or she will doubtless identify the zenith of idiocy having been the Constitutional prevention of Mahinda Rajapaksa running for President in 2019, more..

Presidential puzzle

May 26 (DN) In a unique first in SL’s political history, the elections of 2020, still over one and a half years away, has already begun to take centre stage in SL’s political debate. Never before has it been this way. We were not focused on the 1982 presidential election during mid-1980, nor focused on the 1988 presidential election in mid-1986, nor was there much talk in 1992 about the presidential polls of 1994 but since 2017 political actors seem focused on prez polls, still quite some distance away. more..

Thuryaa: Making history as Sri Lanka's first female percussion band

May 26 (Roar) Once an art that was strictly limited to men in the country, traditional drumming was considered taboo for women. There was no way for a woman, or girl, to learn it, especially as boys were taken under the wings of a patron who would teach them rigorously for years. This left a void where female performers were concerned. However in 2015, SL saw a change in gender norms when a group of u'grads more..

Universal basic income (UBI): Conceptual background & possible implementation?

May 26 (CT) The concept of a universal basic income (UBI) for all is relevant to both developed and developing countries alike, as all our social systems deprive large portions of people of their basic human needs and decent living. This is undoubtedly more so in developing countries like Sri Lanka than developed ones, for example, Australia. Although there are extensive discussions going on in Australia on the subject today irrespective of the far-reaching welfare measures, more..

Business school for the poor

May 26 (DN) The title of this article might seem misleading at best if not strange. Background to it is a recent set utterance by the Governor of the CB Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy. His comments were - “absolute poverty in SL is at a low level of 3.3%, which is based on a poverty line of US $1.30 per day. However, when you increase the poverty line to the US $2.50, which is less than Rs. 400, more than a quarter of the population in Sri Lanka falls below the poverty line with earnings just above more..

An Island of Disaster

May 26 (Island) At least 13 are dead, 125, 054 persons, of 32,136 families affected in 19 districts, as I write this. We are in the midst of another natural disaster, in a pattern of disasters that appear to be very much part of the continuing tragedy of Sri Lanka. The leaders have made statements, called for all state bodies to carry out their duties. The private sector has chipped - Corporate Social Responsibility is making hay in flood waters. more..

Public angry over State sector lethargy, corruption

May 26 (CT) There is a populist belief that the State-owned sector including State machinery is socialist and hence secure. Strangely enough this opinion has come from the colonial governance not from socialist propaganda. The opinion that State employment is god given and the one and the only answer to the god given rules and regulations was promoted by the colonial civil service and it continues today even in the State corporate sector. On the other hand, general public is angry more..

Responsible politicians, irresponsible politicians and irresponsible Govt servants

May 26 (FT) I listened to the discussion that Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka had with the press after his appointment as the Minister in charge of Wildlife. He dealt with the killings of innocent, poor villagers in remote areas by the elephants and the destruction of their only asset – their house and the crop. I was also very impressed by his response to the problem – not shoving it under a carpet and leaving the problem to a measly lower-end Govt servant to handle it. more..


Lester James Peries in Paris: Random recollections

May 26 (Island) I had just arrived on a sunny, hot Parisian afternoon on posting at our Embassy in May 1995. Good afternoon, call me Lester, he said rather casually in response to my good afternoon, nice to meet you, Dr. Peries. I had never met the legend before and only read about his exploits in the media. Having Leonard Woolf’s The Village in the Jungle as a text for the Advanced Level, our English Literature teacher insisted that we see Baddegama. Over the next few years, more..

Editorial: Dead in the water

May 26 (Island) Parliament is said to be facing a serious flood threat. Troops have been placed on full alert and the situation is being closely monitored, we are told. Weather gods should not be unfairly blamed for this sorry state of affairs. They should, in fact, be praised for posing a threat to Parliament and, thereby, jolting politicians and bureaucrats into addressing the issue of floods. Yesterday, we commented on the refusal by Parliament to put on hold a scheduled debate on more..

Clearing the Mirissa beachfront

May 26 (DN) The beachfronts of some hotels on the picturesque Mirissa beach looked like battle fields, a week after officials of the Department of Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management together with the SL Police tore down the unauthorized structures on May 11, 2018. The owners and staff of 23 hotels and restaurants on the Mirissa beach that had gradually expanded their establishments without more..

SuttaCentral: All Sutta under one roof

May 26 (Island) He didn’t know anything about Buddhism when he went to his first meditation retreat in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in 1992. He humbly admitted that he just went for the free food and lodging. Having been brought up as a Catholic, he was surprised at how little the monks tried to teach him. "Apart from introducing a few basic Buddhist principles, they just taught the basics of meditation. The rest of it came from experience," he said. And one fine evening, when Anthony Best was more..

Hemas FY18 revenues up, profits down

May 26 (FT) Hemas Holdings PLC (HHL) has reported a full year consolidated revenue of Rs. 50.9 billion in FY18, up 17.2% whilst profits were down due to acquisition costs and depressed economic factors. Pre-tax profit was down by 14% to Rs. 4.4 billion, and post-tax by 21% to Rs. 2.95 billion. Hemas bottom line was down 23% to Rs. 2.68 billion. Operating profit was down 11% to Rs. 4.2 billion. Revenue growth was primarily driven by enhanced performance in Hemas healthcare more..

We are in total shock

May 26 (Island) Test captain Dinesh Chandimal says that the Sri Lankan cricket team is in shock following the brutal assassination of Ranjan de Silva, the father of team-mate Dhananjaya de Silva. The national cricket team took off to the Caribbean last night via Dubai and New York leaving behind their number three batsman. Ranjan de Silva, a Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Municipal Councilor, was shot by unknown gunmen more..

President orders IGP to probe fake news

May 26 (DM) President Sirisena directed IGP Pujitha Jayasundara to conduct an investigation to find out as to who was behind the story published in two Sinhala newspapers today which said that the govt was concerned about a threat to national security. The two news items published in those newspapers on Friday purportedly based on a discussion at the National Security Council and the President's Media Unit said that the Security Council did not discuss any issue pertaining to more..

Melstacorp enters into USD20mn joint venture project to distribute cement

May 26 (LBO) Melstacorp has entered into a joint venture agreement with Pymmid Gama (Private) Limited for importation, processing, packaging and distribution of cement. The company said in a stock exchange filing that the agreement is effective from 18th May and operations are to be undertaken by a joint venture company in the name of Melsta Gama (Private) Limited. Pyramid Gama is a joint venture between Pyramid Holdings of Sri Lanka and Gama Corp of Indonesia. more..