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JO, JVP allege vote rigging in Parliament

May 6 (Island) The Joint Opposition yesterday called for the immediate resignation of Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dassanayake after a recount of a vote taken at the end of yesterday’s debate to give approval for a supplementary estimate of Rs 55 mn for the govt revealed original result had been distorted. Joint Opposition said that the Secretary General of Parliament had assured a recount. more..

5 Kelaniya undergrads arrested for ragging

May 6 (Island) Five students of Kelaniya University were arrested yesterday for ragging a fresher. First year student of the Kelaniya University had lodged a complaint with the Kiribathgoda police station on April 25 that she had been assaulted and ragged by senior students. The complainant, who is from Kohuwala, had given ten names of undergraduates who had ragged her. Respective police stations had arrested five of them and another five were to be arrested soon, police said. more..

Lanka Coal obtains enjoining order against Liberty Commodities (UK)

May 6 (FT) Commercial High Court of Colombo extended the Enjoining Order against Liberty Commodities Ltd of UK. The litigation filed by the Lanka Coal Company against the Liberty Commodities Ltd came up before High Court Judge E.R. Amarasekere. Lanka Coal Company, a fully owned govt concern and the monopoly holder to import coal for the use in electricity generation obtained an Enjoining Order against inter alia, Liberty Commodities of UK from encashing more..

Constitutional Assembly sub-committees appointed

May 6 (Island) Members of the sub committees of the Constitutional Assembly were appointed when the Assembly met yesterday for its second day at 9.30 am with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya presiding. Uresha Fernando had been appointed the additional secretary of the Constitutional Assembly. he also announced members of six sub committees namely Fundamental Rights, Judiciary, Finance, Public Service, Law and Order, Centre-Periphery. more..

England v Sri Lanka: Dominic Cork expects hosts to dominate

May 6 (SS) Sri Lanka have touched down in England as they look to back up their Test-series victory over Alastair Cook's side in 2014 - but can Angelo Mathews' team win again? Sky Sports' Dominic Cork has his doubts. This Sri Lanka team is different to the one of two years ago, with quite a lot of senior members retired or injured. They're led quite well by Angelo Mathews, who has had to step up with Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan all gone. more..

Sri Jayewardenepura University and Lipton to uplift productivity of tea lands

May 6 (SJP) The Center for Sustainability (CFS) attached to Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, University of Sri J'pura in collaboration with Unilever Lipton Ceylon, aims to conduct a high impact program for uplifting sustainability and productivity levels of tea small holder farmers in Sri Lanka. Dr. Priyan Perera. Coordinating Director and Senior Lecturer at Department of Forestry and Environmental Science said that, this will be done through more..

Prof. Peiris briefs int’l community regarding threat on MR

May 6 (Island) Former Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has written to all Ambassadors and High Commissioners regarding the govt’s decision to replace former President Mahinda Rajapaksa security contingent provided by the Army with the Police. The following is the full text of the letter dated May 4: "I am writing to bring to your notice the potentially grave consequences arising from the Govt’s decision to withdraw more..

Karaikal fishermen to boycott polls over arrest by Sri Lanka

May 6 (CG) Fishermen of Karaikal in Puducherry, India, have decided to boycott the Assembly elections in protest over several issues, including the failure by the Indian Govt to free Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody. At a meeting held at Karaikalmedu, Karaikal fishermen decided to boycott the polls in support of their demands. They wanted the fishermen to be included in the list of most backward community by the Union Territory of Puducherry. more..

Rohana wins 100m gold at Asia Masters Athletics Championships

May 6 (TNP) National 100m record holder UK Shyam was a contender for gold in the men's 100m (35 to 39 age group) at the 19th Asia Masters Athletics Championships after he finished the semi-finals as the second fastest qualifier, 0.01 second behind India's Manoj Manoj, who posted a time of 11.53sec. But Singaporeans who turned up to watch the two-time South-east Asia Games silver medallist in action were left in dismay after he pulled out of the race due to personal reasons. more..

Asylum seekers flown back to Sri Lanka from Cocos Islands

May 6 (guardian) Asylum seekers who arrived on the Cocos Islands by boat this week appear to have been returned to Sri Lanka by the Australian govt. On Monday, a wooden vessel, which observers said was probably carrying asylum seekers from Sri Lanka based on the boat’s appearance, travelled into the islands’ bay under its own power and without interception until it nearly made it to shore. more..

Cigarettes worth Rs. 4.6 million seized at BIA

May 6 (ITN) An attempt made to smuggle cigarettes into the country has been seized. Director of Customs and Customs Media Spokesman Dharmasena Kahandawa said that four persons who attempt to smuggle in the cigarettes were arrested at the Katunayake International Airport. The Customs Media Spokesman said that the value of the cigarettes was 4.5 million rupees. The men had arrived from Doha on Flight QR 668 at around 2.00 am today. more..

Attention focused to control stray dogs

May 6 (ITN) Attention has been drawn to the crafting of a policy to control stray dogs. The Cabinet of Ministers recently took a decision to formulate a mechanism to prevent the trouble caused to the public from stray dogs. A Committee was appointed to the decisions concerned and the first discussion of the Committee was held at the Ministry auditorium. It is revealed that there are about 500,000 stray dogs in the island. This figure is daily increasing and the public hindered as a result more..

Sri Lanka to host World Export Development Forum 2016

May 6 (FT) World Export Development Forum (WEDF), flagship event of the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC) will be held in Colombo, on 12-13 Oct 2016. The announcement was made yesterday by Minister Maiik Samarawickrama. ITC Executive Director Arancha Gonzalez and EDB Chairperson lndira Malwatte. Previous editions of WEDF have been held in Qatar (2015), Rwanda (2014), more..

Removal of Meethotamulla garbage dump begins

May 6 (ITN) Removal of the Meethotamulla garbage dump has begun. Plans are afoot to construct a new town where the garbage dump was located. A British company has come forward to remove the garbage dump in Meethotamulla. Garbage had been dumped in the area for several years. The company had entered into an agreement with the WPC. It was handed over near the garbage junkyard itself. Plans have been drawn up for the disposal of 4,000 metric tons of garbage daily. more..

Navy arrests five Indians smuggling Ganja

May 6 (SLN) Naval patrol craft deployed West of Silavathurai and Mullikulam area, apprehended five Indians along with a boat who were transferring approximately 120 kg of Kerala Cannabis by sea on 4th May 2016. The SL racketeer who involved in this smuggling attempt was also arrested is the same area along with a Fiber Glass Dinghy. By the time the arrest was made, the Indian boat was heading towards Silavathurai and the Navy suspects that this consignment has been brought from India. more..

Microfinance Bill passed in Parliament

May 6 (FT) New laws on licensing, regulating and supervision of companies carrying out microfinance business received Parliamentary approval on Wednesday. Moving the second reading debate, PM stated the lack of regulation had made room for exploiting unsuspected grassroots in the country. “What has happened so far is the exploitation of the unsuspecting people by the microfinance companies. more..

Search operations for monk missing in the Balangoda landslide continue

May 6 (ITN) Operations in search of the Buddhist monk who disappeared due to the landslide at Pambahinna in Balangoda resumed this morning. Operations continued throughout yesterday in search of the missing Thera. The Niyandagala Aranya Senasanaya was destroyed as a result of the landslide experienced in the Niyandagala area in Pambahinna in Balangoda. Ven. Horana Anomadassi Thera who was in Aranya Senasanaya disappeared while action was taken to more..

May Day 2016 proved UNP remains strongest political force: Kabir

May 6 (FT) UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim in a statement said the 2016 May Day proved that the UNP remains the strongest political force in the country. Full statement: Although it was not an election related event, this year’s May Day was about the major political parties demonstrating their respective political strengths and here, once again, it was clearly established that the largest political party in the country, UNP remains the strongest political force in the country. more..

Colombo to encourage return of refugees living in India

May 6 (Hindu) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has reiterated that it is the policy of his govt to encourage the return of SL Tamil refugees living in India by removing legal and other hurdles. Replying to a question of the EPDP leader Douglas Devananda, PM told Parliament that steps would be taken to issue (provisional, one-way) passports in two to four weeks to the refugees in India through the website of more..

SINGER records excellent growth in revenue and net income in 1st quarter

May 6 (Island) The Singer Sri Lanka Group generated Group Revenue of Rs 10.6 Billion in the first quarter of 2016 representing a dynamic growth of 23%. This is in addition to strong growth achieved last year capping a record 57% increase over two years. Group Net Profit for the 1st Quarter was a high of Rs. 809 Million, an increase of 191% when compared with the previous year. The company only Net Profit generated for the 1st Quarter was Rs. 215 Million, an increase of 74%. more..

Review: Dheepan, about Sri Lankan refugees, looks like a prophecy

May 6 (NYT) Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan, which won the Palme d’Or in Cannes a year ago, arrives in North American theaters having lost none of the timeliness that was widely noted last May. Screening in the South of France a few months after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, as the Syrian refugee problem intensified across Europe, this story of a makeshift family, tossed from a distant war zone into a French housing project, looked to many festival observers less like a work of cinematic art more..

Take decisions fearlessly to protect environment: President to officials

May 6 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena instructed relevant heads of institutions to take necessary decisions without any fear to protect and conserve the environment. President also emphasized that the Govt is always ready to stand on behalf of those officials, who take correct decisions. He made these remarks participating in the inauguration ceremony of the sixth National Symposium on Air Resource Management more..

Ravi Dias new Chairman of Seylan Bank

May 6 (FT) Seylan Bank has appointed Ravi Dias as its Chairman with effect from 9 May. He succeeds Nihal Jayamanne, who retires from his position as Chairman of the bank in compliance with the Banking Act Directions No. 11 of 2007 on Corporate Governance as he reaches the age of 70 years. Jayamanne joined the Board of Seylan Bank in Dec 2008 as an Independent Director and later designated as Senior Independent Director before being appointed Chairman in Jan 2013. more..

Sri Lanka scrum down in Malaysia

May 6 (Island) In a bid to secure the Asian Rugby Championship, Sri Lanka national rugby squad, consisted of 25 players, will depart to Malaysia this morning. The tuskers will be led by the number eight Sudharshana Muthuthanthri while veteran scrum half Roshan Weeraratne will serve as his deputy. In the absence of number of senior players, Sri Lanka National selectors have picked nine uncapped players who had excelled in the recently concluded inter-club league rugby tournament. more..

Poor condition at the Dehiwala Zoo

May 6 (DM) The Born Free foundation, an international wildlife charity based in UK recently released a statement regarding the Dehiwela Zoo, with regard to the poor conditions at the Zoo and possible welfare concerns for the animals. Foundation that runs a Zoo Check programme in its release said that it was willing to work with the Govt to implement a few changes within the zoo. more..

Shame and distortion of May Day

May 6 (Island) It is said that May Day, Labour Day or International Workers' Day, is universally observed to celebrate the contributions of the working peoples’, to everybody's well-being and prosperity. This is a totally proper recognition of the truth that nature's resources, purposefully employed, is the basis of all that we enjoy physically. The contribution of human talent and effort towards this is worthy of acknowledgment. But how far have we drifted? The extent to which SL has distorted this objective more..

More blackouts in future (by 2018) unless Lankan authorities act fast

May 6 (ST) Can Sri Lanka go nuclear to solve its future electricity woes – and have no doubts there will be more blackouts and outages in the years to come? This was the question posed by the Business Times at the end of a 2-hour seminar this week on the Electricity Crisis jointly organized by the two CCCs – the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Consumer Consultative Committee of the PUCSL (Public Utilities Commission of SL, the watchdog that oversees the electricity industry). more..

Aluth Parlimantuwa

Editorial: Kadirgamar’s portrait

May 6 (Island) Yesterday’s issue of this newspaper carried a photograph of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe delivering a lecture at Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute. In the background was a picture of late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. PM said there was no way the LTTE could raise its monstrous head again. The sight of Kadirgamar’s beautiful portrait took us back in time. Kadirgamar was known as a walking encyclopaedia to his peers. He was conversant with virtually any subject. more..

Working bus drivers at risk

May 6 (NS) Health issues related to traffic noise range from irritability, sleep disorders, hormonal imbalances, hearing loss and cardiovascular disorders. On top of it lack of awareness about hygienic habits makes them susceptible to illness. It’s literally a mayday situation for working bus drivers and Nation though it apt to speak about bus drivers and health issues that comes with the territory. Smoking, drinking and betel chewing are a few of the obvious vices of bus drivers. more..

Living in a world of Plastic

May 6 (CT) Sri Lanka doesn't top a great number of world rankings but in 2010, according to a report published by the International Business Times, Sri Lanka sat near the top of the world in terms of how much plastic the island dumped into the ocean. In 2010, it was estimated that SL dumped 1.59 metric tons of plastic into its surrounding Indian Ocean, making us the 5th largest plastic-marine polluter in the world. more..

Do it right!

May 6 (DN) He entered the world of motor racing by taking part in Wales Park Hill Climb in 2000. Since then he pursued racing and became champion Colombo Supercross in 2001. In 2002, he reached another milestone in his carrer when he won his first SLARDAR (SL Association of Racing Drivers and Riders) C'ship in 2002. 7 years later, he emerged joint-champion in SLH 1600cc event of the SLARDAR C'ship in 2009. Last year, he grabbed the 1500cc Event C'ship at Katukurunda Circuit. more..

Postscript to May Day

May 6 (DN) May Day is all over, even the shouting, and both the Govt and the Opposition are now looking to the next major event on the political agenda - Local Govt elections - to establish themselves as frontrunners on the political landscape. If one is to pick a winner from the different May Day rallies that were staged by political parties, the UNP will take pride of place. Its rally at Campbell Park was arguably the best it had in many decades. more..

'Education is a right, not a commodity'

May 6 (CT) Sri Lanka never seems to run out of university student protests. Recently, university students launched yet another protest demanding the govt to abolish SAITM, the only private Medical degree awarding institute in Sri Lanka. Few students were injured during the protest while the administration failed to provide solutions to any issues. In that context Medical Faculties Students' Action Committee convener Rayan Jayalath more..

Give Mahinda an Army? Can’t joint opposition stop joking?

May 6 (CT) I tell you, these guys in the self-styled Joint Opposition (JO) are plain crazy. Imagine an opposition demanding full-scale military security to their electorally defeated leader to enable the latter to go round the country at will and pleasure with the sole and concentrated purpose of undermining the govt! Scores of military men and policemen hanging around him from Dondra to Point Pedro and buckets of money as attendant expenses for fuel and salaries and overtime? more..

The new AG & IGP: Tasked to revitalise the dying system

May 6 (CT) Now, there is a new Attorney General and a new IGP. Whatever be the disputes about the manner in which their appointments were made, they are now the operators of two of the most vital systems of the state apparatus in Sri Lanka, the AG’s Department and the police service. That both of these vital institutions have been in a state of serious crisis and even decline, are a fact that is known to everyone; and is also acknowledged by the political and all other authorities. more..