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Eran dismisses reports on being appointed as the CB governor

June 29 (DM) Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne dismissed reports cited that he would be appointed as the next Governor of the Central Bank. Some reports said that the govt was likely to appoint Eran Wickramaratne as the next Governor of the Central Bank. Commenting on the reports, deputy minister who gave up his highly paid profession in private sector to join politics said, he was not aware of such decision and so far, no govt official has informed him of such move. more..

NPC calls for wider public participation in post-war national reconciliation process

June 29 (Island) The National Peace Council (NPC) yesterday said that the govt needed wide public support to implement post-war national reconciliation process. The NPC issued the following statement before the release of the latest UNHRC statement on Sri Lanka. Full text of the statement issued by Dr. Jehan Perera on behalf of the NPC: "Sri Lanka is on the agenda for discussion at the ongoing 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. more..

Sri Lankan forces release 700 acres more in North

June 29 (Hindu) SL security forces have released 700 more acres and the Kankesanthurai railway station, a few days before the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Al Hussein, is to give an update to the UNHRC in Geneva on the status of implementation of the October 2015 resolution. About 200 acres, coming under the limits of the Telipalai Divisional Secretariat of the Jaffna district and adjoining the Palaly army cantonment, were handed over to legitimate owners of the land, more..

En masse expulsion of Muslims from North was blessing in disguise

June 29 (ENS) At least the Muslims of Ichchirapuram in Mullaitivu district, consider the en masse expulsion of Muslims from the Northern Province by the LTTE in October 1990, as a blessing in disguise. Abdul Gafoor, a 64 year old farmer, who had to flee with his family carrying nothing but the clothes they were wearing, said: “We lost all our possessions and property but because we quit the area as early as 1990, we did not experience bombings, more..

Ankeny residents monkey around in Sri Lanka

June 29 (DR) When we signed up for a group tour of Sri Lanka, we figured India-light. Sri Lanka, the large island 30 minutes off the southern tip of India, seemed in the brochure to be “like” India without the crowds. When we met inside the Colombo airport lounge, our native tour guide ironically said “If you came expecting India-light you are in for a great surprise.” Religious differences might explain the contrast in cultures as Sri Lanka is 71% Buddhist while India is 85% Hindu. more..

U.S. Embassy hosts Iftar in Sri Lanka

June 29 (USE) U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap hosted leaders from the Sri Lankan Muslim community, govt officials, civil society activists, and media representatives for an Iftar last night in Colombo. This is one of three U.S. Embassy-hosted Iftars in Sri Lanka during the month of Ramadan this year, including one in Jaffna and another for girls at the Fathima Welfare Center in Colombo. “As we reflect on these core values of Ramadan, we also look to the future of the country more..

US Congressmen warn Sri Lanka

June 29 (CT) Twenty four US Congressmen have written US Secretary of State John F. Kerry telling him to make it clear to the Sri Lankan Govt that additional US funding, trade and military-to-military incentives would depend on substantial and sustained implementation of the specifics in the joint US-SL resolution before the UNHRC. The letter from the Congressmen to Kerry adds that continued assistance in these areas would hinge on credible advances in more..

Bangsa Jayah, Keith Bernard appointed Joint Managing Directors of Sri Lanka Insurance

June 29 (Island) Keith Bernard is appointed as the Joint Managing Director of SL Insurance Corporation, alongside Bangsa Jayah who is re-appointed as the joint Managing Director of SL Insurance Corporation. Hemeka Amarasuriya remains in the top position as the chairman while the rest of the board comprise of Professor Lal Chandrasena, Priyanga Algama, Sanjaya Padmaperuma and Pradeep Liyanamana. The newly appointed Jt. Managing Director Keith D Bernard is a leading profile more..

GSP Plus concessions by UK to SL seen as being hit with EU exit

June 29 (Island) "Some of the GSP-Plus concessions will no longer be on offer by the UK to Sri Lanka when the UK is out of EU, Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies Dr. Saman Kelegama said. "It is said that 35% of Sri Lankan exports to the EU goes to the UK market and 40% of Sri Lankan textile and apparel exports to the EU goes to the UK market. They will not qualify for GSP-Plus preferences if and when we get such preferences, Dr Kelegama said. more..

Govt. goes for GSP+ in Britain-minus-EU

June 29 (FT) Govt yesterday handed over its formal application for regaining GSP+ and played down fears of Brexit having an immediate impact on the economy but acknowledged it would have to jump the queue to fast track Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and be judicious on when to go to the market to sell a possible $1 billion bond. After a week of informal talks SL Govt officials on Tuesday afternoon handed over the formal application of GSP+ to more..

SL targetting US$ 3.6 bn from tourism this year

June 29 (DN) Sri Lanka is targeting a revenue in excess of US$ 3.6 billion from tourism this year, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Director General, Malraj Kirielle said. The arrivals target for 2016 is 2.4 million visitors. Nearly 1.8 million tourists arrived in Sri Lanka last year contributing US$ 2.98 billion of earnings to govt revenues in 2015 compared to US$ 2.43 billion recorded during 2014. He said in addition Sri Lanka Tourism will also target of US$ 10 billion by 2020. more..

Dominant England seek series knockout

June 29 (CI) So now it's official. Break out the Brexit gags and wallow in whatever the Icelandic is for schadenfreude. England really, really, really doesn't want to be involved with Europe in any way, shape or form. What a time to be alive. Happily, for those of an escapist bent, the nation's cricketers have rarely had much need to engage with the continent - save for their biennial ICC-tournament humiliations at the hands of the Netherlands and Ireland, of course. more..

Tharanga happy to play the spare part

June 29 (CI) When Upul Tharanga first toured England a decade ago, he opened the batting with such devastating élan that he amassed 347 runs at 69.40 in Sri Lanka's 5-0 whitewash. Five years later, he scored an unbeaten century against the same opponents to complete a ruthless 10-wicket victory in the World Cup quarter-final. This time around, however, rather than furrowing his brow to face down the new ball, Tharanga has been asked to do a job down the order, more..

Sri Lanka - analysing the China mirage!

June 29 (Island) This writer cannot do better than quote extensively thewords of the chief global strategist of a premier U.S. investment firm Ruchir Sharma, a globally recognized expert on emerging markets, who writes in plain unvarnished English, free from IMF-speak: "Four key forces have been shaping the rise and fall of nations since the 2006 global financial crisis, and none of them bode well for China. Debts have risen dangerously fast in the emerging world, especially in China. more..

Sooka’s latest report to UNHRC: Glaring omissions

June 29 (Island) An expensive survey carried out by the ITJP, affiliated to the Foundation of Human Rights in South Africa, recently released Forgotten Sri Lanka’s exiled victims. The release of the report coincided with the commencement of the on-going 32 sessions UNHRC. The report inadvertently revealed the existence of clandestine networks, facilitating Sri Lankans of Tamil origin, including former members of the LTTE, reaching Europe, through illegal means. more..

Mahendran continues to mess up Central Bank as he replaces top officials with his catchers

June 29 (CT) Arjuna Mahendran continued to take arbitrary decision in his final days as Governor of Central Bank, by transferring the Bank’s Director of Human Resources, among several other top officials for not heeding his orders. Mahendran had instructed the Director of Human Resources to come up with a scheme so retired employees of the Central Bank can be absorbed back to work at the bank, however the Director of HR had objected to this decision, resulting in more..

Brexit worsens external economic environment for Sri Lanka

June 29 (Island) UK’s withdrawal from the EU following the referendum of Brexit –abbreviation of British exit – last Friday has created ripples in global markets. The British pound fell to its lowest level since 1985. In the circumstances, investors flee risky assets and take refuge in the dollar and the yen. Brexit is a blow to emerging market economies such as SL which are already hit by the global financial turmoil and the economic setback in the aftermath of the US rate hike in last December. more..

Editorial: More equal before law

June 29 (Island) George Orwell sought to ridicule the Bolshevik revolution and vilify the Soviet Union through his dystopian novel, Animal Farm, where crafty pigs decree that all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others. The socialist bloc is a thing of the past, but Sri Lanka has apparently adopted that porcine commandment as it were. In fact, what is happening in this land as regards law enforcement and justice dispensation is stranger than fiction. more..

JVP Press Conference: Bankrupting SL in Style

Continuing abuse under PTA

June 29 (GV) On 30th March, 2016, a suicide jacket, explosives and other ammunition was found in Chavakachcheri, Jaffna. Since then, as at 28th June, the arrest of at least 28 persons have been reported. All of them have been Tamils from the north and east. All were men, except one woman whose husband was been arrested. A further 2 persons, (also Tamil men) were given chits (pieces of paper) at the international airport summoning them to TID of the Police for inquiry. more..

From off-track to the right track

June 29 (DN) This oral update is presented pursuant to UNHRC Resolution 30/1 on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in SL, which was adopted by consensus with the co-sponsorship of SL. UNHRC noted with appreciation the High Commissioner’s report on Sri Lanka to its 30th session, including the findings and conclusions of the comprehensive investigation undertaken by OHCHR, and encouraged the Govt of SL to implement the recommendations contained therein. more..

'We are hopeful positive developments will happen at Geneva'

June 29 (SL) UNHRC sessions are now underway in Geneva and the Tamils are hopeful that some positive developments will take place. However, the SL govt is facing criticism by the Tamil community that there is very little progress being made on the ground, because the govt has either gone back, or done very little, to keep to their pledges. PLOT leader and TNA MP D. Sidharthan said that unless the UN High commissioner addresses SL govt’s failure to keep to the pledges made, more..

Peacebuilding of the future: The challenges

June 29 (GV) Transitions are periods of potential danger in a nation’s history. They are moments when we can move forward or moments where we may slip back into cycles of perpetual violence. They are interregnums where we must act with caution and wisdom. The nation state should take the lead but the international community, especially the Peacebuilding Commission, has an important role to play. When the Department of Peace building asked me to give the keynote speech here today, more..

Central Bank time bomb to explode

June 29 (CT) When Sir John Kotelawala was the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, he arranged a banquet for the British Bank Governor at the Temple Trees for which the Central Bank Governor at that time N.U. Jayawardena was also invited. While the dinner was in progress, Sir John suddenly flew into a rage at N.U. Jayawardena, and said, "I say, I am informed that you are earning a lot from the Central Bank monies". This made NU's face to turn red. more..

Pattaya model for Sri Lanka’s coastal resorts

June 29 (SO) Development and environment are constantly at loggerheads. Which of the two should take precedence has been a burning issue among policy makers, developers and environmentalists. However, given the magnitude and the spate of ecological disasters, policy makers are increasingly giving priority to environmental safety to minimize the impact of human activity. The impact of mega development projects such as the construction of more..

Getting Yahapâlanaya is a process?

June 29 (CT) The word Yahapalanaya (good governance) has been the most used lexis in Sri Lankan politics since Maithripala Sirisena decided to run for the office of President in November 2014. Sri Lankans would not find it difficult to understand the reasons behind this mind-set. In a nutshell, ensuring Yahapalanaya was an attractive promise (given the situation that the people were in) made to the public and many of us Sri Lankans considered it as an immediate panacea for all our woes! more..

Understanding ragging as a social phenomenon

June 29 (CT) Ragging of freshers in the University becomes a problem in the eyes of the collective, due to its inhuman nature involving a “disturbingly high degree of physical and mental harassment” as it has been highlighted. Various measures recommended by authorities seasonally to deal with the problems of ragging highlight the enormity and the gravity of the problem as perceived by the collective. All the same, the measures we adopt in combating it more..

Video: Gammanpila using politics to cover up his crime: JHU

June 28 (DM) JHU said that close associates of UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila were attempting to spread rumours that his arrest was a result of his criticism of the Yahapalana Govt, and that they are trying to dress him up in different political clothes to cover up his crimes. JHU National Organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said people were trying to pretend that Gammanpila was arrested because he was a patriot, more..

JVP insists there was no meeting between Ranil and Handunnetti

June 28 (CG) The JVP today insisted there was no meeting held between PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and JVP member Sunil Handunnetti. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that while Handunnetti was the chairman of the Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE), he had not met the Prime Minister for talks as a JVP member or COPE chairman. There were reports that Handunnetti met the PM to discuss the allegations raised against Central Bank governor Arjuna Mahendran. more..

British backpacker, 23, killed in 80ft fall from cliffs on trip to Sri Lanka

June 28 (Mirror) Tom Perry fell to his death when he went for a walk with his girlfriend after an evening at a clifftop bar and restaurant at the resort of Weligama. A British backpacker has plunged 80ft to his death during a late-night cliff-top walk with a girl in Sri Lanka, it has emerged. Tom Perry, 23, died after falling onto rocks at the foot of the sheer cliff at Weligama, a popular tourist destination on the south of the island. According to a witness, Tom, from Christchurch, Dorset, more..

Future party to be lead by Mahinda Rajapaksa: Wimal

June 28 (DM) If a new party was to be formed in the future, it would be under the leadership of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, NFF Leader MP Wimal Weerawansa said today. He said the party would be guided by Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa and all others including former minister Basil Rajapaksa, would be of equal standing.“If a new party is formed under the leadership of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, we will be a part of it,” more..

'Govt using Brexit as excuse to sign ECTA'

June 28 (DM) The Govt is attempting to expedite the signing of the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ECTA) with India in the wake of Britain leaving the European Union, would amount to a jump from the frying pan into the fire, the joint opposition charged today. Former UPFA MP G.L. Peiris told a news conference that any quantum leap to open the service sector to another country should be taken after an in-depth consideration of foreign trade agreements. more..

Zeid wants use of cluster bombs probed

June 28 (ENS) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid, has called for a probe into allegations that cluster bombs were used by the SL Security Forces in the final phase of Eelam War IV. Giving an update on the implementation of the UNHRC’s resolution of Sept-Oct 2015 by Sri Lanka at the on-going 32 nd regular session of the UNHRC, Zeid said: “In light of recent reports on new evidence that has emerged on the use of cluster munitions towards the end of the conflict, more..

36 SL Tamil refugees from TN arriving today

June 28 (AT) 36 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu, India are arriving SL today Under the UNHCR facilitated voluntary repatriation programme. They are scheduled to arrive through Mihin Lanka Airlines (MJ 130) at 11.45 a.m from Chennai Minister D.M. Swaminathan, had a discussion with the UNHCR and facilitated the process and increased the baggage allowance per person with assistance of the Ministry of more..

Pada Yathra begins from the North

June 28 (ITN) The Pada Yathra aimed and holding poojas in Kataragama has commenced from the North. Those who joined in the Pathra will be travelling a distance of 400 km by foot. The devotees will take 15 days to reach Kataragama and they have been granted permission to walks through the Kumana National Park. Devotees from the Okanda Devale premises at Panama in Ampara joined in the Pada Yathra that commenced today. Eastern Province Wildlife Assistant Director more..

DEW expresses dismay at COPE Chairman’s issue

June 28 (DN) Former Minister DEW Gunasekera expressed his dismay at the news that COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti is to resign at a time when a decision with regard to the Central Bank Governor is imminent. He was speaking at a press conference. “The COPE Chairman says that the members of his committee are being intimidated by certain quarters. This is an unprecedented situation,” he said. Gunasekera said he held the post of the COPE Chairman for five years. more..

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