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TNA may launch non-violent protest campaign against govt soon

May 5 (DM) Coalition Govt may soon be facing a political challenge from an unexpected quarter, namely the TNA. TNA regarded as the premier political configuration of the SL Tamil people is becoming increasingly frustrated at what it perceives as the slow pace and tardy progress of the Constitution-making process. Therefore the TNA is planning to launch a non-violent protest campaign against UNP-SLFP coalition govt if more..

Sri Lanka has potential to implement Vision 2025 effectively: Expert

May 5 (FT) A top consultant on governance said tremendous potential existed for SL to implement its Vision 2025 in an effective manner to usher a new era of growth provided regulations were progressive and implemented competently. Addressing a business breakfast meeting themed Malta Your Gateway to Europe, two top experts discussed opportunities for SL businesses to access the European market more..

UVA CM repeatedly used political pressure

May 5 (CT) The Sub-Committee, appointed under the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Education, to look into an alleged act of political intimidation involving Uva Province Chief Minister and Provincial Minister of Education Chamara Sampath Dassanayake and a female principal of a school in Badulla, observed in a report that the former had on several occasions attempted to politically pressurize the latter. more..

Alert level rises with the heat

May 5 (ST) For the first time, Meteorology Department and Health Ministry will issue a joint daily heat advisory due to the higher temperatures all over the country. Hot and humid days will continue until the end of May and the onset of the south-west monsoon. “The highest temperatures these days are about 35 degrees [95F] but if there are no cloud formations and no winds there is a possibility of temperatures more..

Coal, not ADB's preferred option

May 5 (DN) Senior Energy Specialists of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) yesterday underlined that coal is not the ADB’s preferred option for future energy requirements. ADB Regional Sustainable Development Department Technical Advisor (Energy) Dr. Yongping Zhai, responding to a question on a suitable energy mix for Sri Lanka, said ADB encourages renewable energy, more..

Now, Longdon Place residents rise against unlawful and dangerous construction

May 5 (ST) Five residents of Longdon Place have petitioned the Court of Appeal against the illegal construction of a four-storey building (with a tall superstructure on top) in their lane adjoining a canal, saying it poses a safety threat to their own residences. The residents all live in close vicinity to the unlawful and dangerous construction at 40/5 Longdon Place, Colombo 7, the two petitions say. more..

Development projects will bear fruit in a few years: PM

May 5 (DM) People will reap the benefits of development in a few years time, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. He said this at the opening of the newly built auditorium at the Milleniya Divisional Secretariat. “Many are asking what this govt had done during the past three years. One will begin to feel and reap the benefits of the development work carried out by this govt only in few years time,” PM said. more..

Video: Lost medal of Dr. Lester James Peiris found inside private bus

May 5 (AD) Lost Golden Peacock medal of late Dr. Lester James Peiris has been found on an overhead rack of a Kollupitiya-Kaduwela 177 route private bus. The medal received along with the Golden Peacock Award won by the late Dr. Lester James Peiris in 1965, reportedly went missing on May 02 during the funeral activities. Funeral of the legendary SL filmmaker, who is the pioneer of authentic Sinhala cinema, was held on May 2 more..

SF takes swipe at President

May 5 (DM) Minister, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said that former president Chandrika Kumaratunga told him recently with tears in her eyes that she was unable to get an appointment to meet President Sirisena for three months and could not contact him over the phone for two months. He said the President, who agreed to appoint him Law and Order minister, refused to do so later saying that some people including several DIGs and more..

Sweet deal turns sour for Sri Lanka President

May 5 (EN) The arrest of President’s Chief of Staff while allegedly accepting a 20 million bribe may have seriously damaged Maithripala Sirisena’s image and weakened his position within the tenuous coalition. Sirisena was reportedly visibly shaken when a senior aide told him on Thursday that his Chief of Staff I.H.M. Mahanama had been caught a few minutes earlier while counting 20 million rupees at Taj Samudra Car Park more..

Fighting an inner demon

May 6 (SO) Fighting a war against another aggressor nation-state is a war against an external enemy. The whole nation generally comes together with relative ease to present a unified front against the enemy. But corruption within our own society, our nation, presents us with a far tougher battle: for our souls and our civilization. This nation, after decades of a growing canker of bribery and other forms of corruption, knows full well the seriousness of the problem. more..

Inflate Rupee Further

May 6 (CT) Hardly three months after the Yahapalana Govt suffered a shock; humiliating defeat at the 10 February LG Polls, a prime reason being the cost of living (CoL), as if committing further political hara- kiri, it first increased the prices of domestic gas, and yesterday, milk powder prices as well. Milk powder which dominates the country’s milk market due to the high cost of refrigeration for liquefied milk were increased by Rs 20 and Rs 50 for a 400 gram and a kilo pack, more..

Most Lankans have lost faith in current rulers

May 6 (CT) A Situational Risk Analysis (SRA) of Sri Lanka conducted in four Provinces by a team of researchers funded by UN & EU in 2017 has found that most people have lost faith and confidence in the incumbent govt. The study carried out in the North, East, South and North Central Provinces also found that the extremist BBS was disliked and was seen as a spoiler and that there was a low level of public awareness more..

Doubts that will not down

May 6 (Island) Each passing day casts fresh doubts on whether the govt can get its act together and have something to show the electorate before the next set of national elections, presidential and parliamentary, comes around. External events over which the govt has no control conspire to drive up an already unbearable cost of living. The last few days have seen gas prices going up sharply. The Consumer Affairs Authority has approved an increase in milk powder prices – more..

May Day: Distress slogan more appropriate

May 6 (ST) Marxism and Buddhism have had a somewhat unholy relationship in years gone by, at least in SL. There was a period some decades ago when Marxism was the flavour of the times globally and SL was not immune to its appeal. An unfortunate remark by its proponent, Karl Marx that religion was the opium of the masses did not go down well with the established religions, and in SL it was also inexorably linked with the establishment of local political parties. more..

Mahinda comes to Ranil’s rescue once again!

May 6 (CT) The so called new Cabinet of Ministers, which turned out to be the result of the fourth Cabinet reshuffle since the Yahapalana Govt came into power in 2015, was announced on International May Day (1) with nine incumbent Ministers seeing a change in their portfolios, five current Ministers seeing only an addition of portfolios, three incumbent Ministers retaining the same portfolios and more..

New angle to 12-year MiG deal controversy

May 6 (Island) Sri Lanka’s longest standing corruption allegation is the so called MiG deal of 2006 which has been featuring on and off in the media for the past 12 years. It all started with the allegation that there was a difference in the price of the MiG-27s bought in 2000 and those bought in 2006 and that the payment for the latter transaction had been made to a front company called Bellimissa Holdings instead of being paid directly to UKRINMASH, the Ukrainian supplier. more..

A not so scientific juggling act

May 6 (ST) My Dear Maithri and the Green Man, I thought I must write to you to congratulate you on the second Cabinet reshuffle. We have seen many reshuffles but I must say this reshuffle is like no other because it is just that – only a reshuffle with no new faces joining the team. So, you have kept your promise in the strictest sense of the word. Green Man, I have nothing but admiration for the way in which you handled a difficult situation. A month ago, there you were, your job hanging by more..

Ahilan Kadirgamar

La Trobe University, Australia signs Articulation Agreement with SLIIT

May 6 (CT) Ranked within the top 1.4% of world universities, La Trobe University is a multi-campus university in Victoria, Australia, a press release stated. La Trobe University has jumped over 200 places in the last year’s Academic Ranking of World Universities. It is placed within the top 301 in the world. Prof John Dewar, Vice-Chancellor and President, La Trobe University said, “Our visit to Sri Lanka will further strengthen our relationship with both Sri Lanka and SAARC Countries. more..

A Review of a Reshuffle

May 6 (SO) Make no mistake. This government has failed to deliver. It must be brought to its senses. If not, we must fashion something better. But, we must not allow the monster to return. As I write this column, I read that the President’s Chief of Staff has been arrested by officials of the Bribery Commission in the act of accepting a bribe of a vast sum of money. Ven Sobitha from whatever heavenly abode he presently inhabits would no doubt approve. Let us be real. more..

DG interdicted after Friday night fiasco

May 6 (CT) Director General of Sports, Buwaneka Herath was interdicted after he failed to properly maintain the hostel at the Sports Ministry, Torrington Square that was revealed on Friday night. Here the SL team for the South Asian Junior Athletic Championship had to go through another agonizing day ahead of yesterday’s championship as they were without water and electricity from 10 a.m. to late night. more..

Justin Langer’s moment of madness at SSC

May 6 (Island) Cricket Australia has chosen former Test opener Justin Langer as the man to find answers for the crisis their cricket team is facing at the moment. With the captain and vice-captain suspended and Darren Lehmann, one of the two men in the sport to win both the Ashes and World Cup as a player and then coach stepping down, the task at the hand of Langer is not an easy one. Langer, of course, is no stranger to Sri Lanka. He had toured the island a few times as a player more..

Royal celebrate another Bradby victory

May 6 (ST) Lock forward Sasitha Siyath could one day relate to his offspring on how he scored a hat-trick to lead Royal College beat their traditional rivals Trinity College 27-19 at Pallekele on May 5, 2018, as the Bradby Shield made its way back to the shelves at Reid Avenue for yet another year. Siyath played the anchor role in a game that was expected to be a one-sided affair, scoring thrice for Royal, all at crucial points while Trinity did all what they could do to upset the apple cart. more..

SL win five golds with four records

May 6 (CT) Sri Lanka won five Gold medals including a clean sweep in the Men’s 400m at the 3rd South Asian Junior Athletics Championship started at Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. Coming off a chaotic night Sri Lankan sprinters dazzled with four medals which also includes four new meet records and two Sri Lanka junior records while high jumper Tharindu Dasun clinched Gold in his field events. more..

SL riders in a tea cup as foreigners dominate

May 6 (SO) The second stage of the Tea Cup cycle tour from Mahiyanganaya to Kandy once again saw foreigners dominating for the day. Friday’s winner Yashuharu Nakajima lost to Yevgeny Nepomnychshiy of Kazakhstan who clocked a time of 2hrs12.23 secs over a distance of 90 kilometers. Yesterday Yashuharu was able to secure only the sixth position with a time of 2hrs12.58 secs. Yevgeniy also of Kazakhstan and Nicholas White of Australia who timed 2 hrs. 12.25 and more..

SLC’s High Performance Physiotherapist resigns

May 6 (ST) Nirmalan Thanabalasingam, Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) High Performance Physiotherapist has decided to part ways with his employer just one year and three months into his two year contract, the Sunday Times learns. He had a two-year contract with the SLC. Cricket sources said that Nirmalan–a highly rated Australian physiotherapist with Sri Lankan roots–was unhappy after the board decided to rotate him for the forthcoming national team’s tour to the Caribbean. more..

Billions bat for SLC despite cricket being bowled

May 6 (ST) The national cricket team might have had bad luck in 2017 but the sport’s governing body has recorded healthy financial growth with a massive increase in profits and a sizable reduction in liabilities, its audited accounts show. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) began the year on a positive outlook, recording a Rs 63mn surplus in 2016. This has improved dramatically during the succeeding financial year (2017-18) with profits soaring more..

Lankans to train in Pallekele ahead of the Caribbean tour

May 6 (ST) SL’s cricketers will head to Kandy on Wednesday (9) to begin a week-long training camp ahead of team’s tour to the West Indies. The national team will leave to West Indies on May 25 to play three Test matches–their first tour to the Caribbeans in 10 years. The training camp will be held at the Pallekele training center and will conclude on May 16. The first Test begins on June 6 in Port of Spain followed by second Test in St. Lucia on June 14 and third on June 23 in Barbados. more..

Declining agriculture threatens Lanka’s food security says major poultry player

May 6 (Island) The biggest player in SL’s poultry sector has expressed deep concern about the country’s declining agriculture sector saying that if steps are not taken to resuscitate agriculture very shortly, the country’s food security would be under threat. Ceylon Grain Elevators (CGE) has said in their recently released annual report that agriculture which had been the mainstay of the economy for decades past had made the lowest contribution to GDP in 2017 with 7.8%, more..

A prized catch

May 6 (SO) On Feb 22 this year, a foreign national walked in to the Investigation Office of Bribery Commission, to make a formal complaint. It was not the type of complaint the Bribery officials confront on any regular day. Speaking with a strong Indian accent, businessman dropped a bombshell on the Chief Investigation Officer of CIABOC, ASP Ruwan Kumara. The complainant mentioned 2 high profile names, more..

CBSL looks at Blockchain strategy

May 6 (CT) National Payment Council (NPC) has appointed two subcommittees in 2017– the Financial Technology or the FinTech Subcommittee and the Blockchain Subcommittee as part of adopting digital innovations to the financial services of the country. K. Ambagahawita, Director of Payments and Settlements Department of the Central Bank, said the CBSL, through the NPC, which is a collaborative inter-industry committee, set up a Committee of Blockchain working committee to study more..

Workplace accidents: Ticking time bomb

May 6 (ST) Kussi Amma Sera was disconsolate. Pointing to a news item from her favourite newspaper, she told her friend Serapina – during a conversation on the garden bench: Mona aparadayakda, meka (what a tragedy). Their discussion was over the recent deaths of five workers from ammonia poisoning at a rubber factory in Horana, south of Colombo. It was too far for me (the respected nosy parker), from my office room window to pick up rest of the conversation, more..

CCD bulldozes Presidential orders

May 6 (ST) Sri Lanka’s coastal protection agency is determined to tear down illegal structures on the beaches of Negombo, Dehiwala, Mt. Lavinia and Mirissa according to plan amidst Presidential orders to temporarily suspend such operations on the Southern belt. “We are planning to go ahead with it (removing illegal structures) and it will be on the coasts of Negombo, Dehiwala, Mt. Lavinia & Mirissa,” Coast Conservation Dept more..

Special Adviser to Japanese Premier called on President

May 6 (PSL) A group of representatives, including Dr. Hiroto Izumi, Special Advisor to the PM of Japan, Shinzo Abey met with President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s Official Residence, yesterday (4). These representatives visited the country to investigate and study regarding the future development activities to be launched in Sri Lanka, according to the outcomes of the bilateral talks held between the President and Japanese PM during the President Sirisena’s state visit to Japan. more..

State Dance Awards Ceremony – 2018 under President’s patronage

May 6 (PSL) State Dance Awards Ceremony – 2018 was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre in Colombo, yesterday (4). This Award ceremony is jointly organized by the Ministry of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs and Dept. of Cultural Affairs to felicitate the artistes who rendered a great service for the development of the field of local dance. Renowned dancers S.G. Kavisena and Vasanthi Kunchithapatham awarded Narthana Thilaka more..

JO debates presidential hopeful

May 6 (SO) Hotly contested debates are underway in the pro-Rajapaksa SLPP/JO faction as to which member of the former ruling family should contest the presidential election due in 2019, highly placed sources said. UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara, who is a JO frontliner in Parliament said, that it was the preference of Left groups within the Joint Opposition to nominate former Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa as presidential contender more..

VAT a way to attract tourists

May 6 (ST) Tourists, while leaving the country, will be entitled to obtain refunds on Value Added Tax (VAT) payments for goods they buy in Sri Lanka from next month, a senior official said. The Inland Revenue Department’s Deputy Commissioner General, Nadun Guruge, said the Tourist VAT Refund System (TVRS) was aimed at attracting tourists and generating income by sale of products. From June 1, the tourists would be able to obtain the VAT refund –15% of the value of the good — more..

Prez’s Chief of Staff took bribe to pay a VIP?

May 6 (SL) President Sirisena’s Chief of Staff Dr. I.H.K. Mahanama, who was arrested last week while accepting a bribe, was reportedly going to pay a VIP part of the money, sources said. Mahanama, who has since been interdicted by President Maithripala Sirisena, had accepted the bribe over a land deal. Mahanama and the Chairman of the State Timber Corporation, P. Dissanayake were arrested at the car park of a Colombo hotel while accepting the bribe from an Indian businessman. more..

Party seniors to boycott UNP May Day rally

May 6 (CT) A large number of senior UNP members have unanimously decided to boycott the Party’s May Day celebrations scheduled to be held at the Sugathadasa Stadium, from 9 a.m. today (6). The groups which have decided to boycott the Party’s May Day celebrations comprise Deputy Ministers, State Ministers, Parliament backbenchers, Provincial Councillors and the newly, elected Local Govt Members, a senior State Minister said. more..