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'Sri Lanka encourages Chinese investment'

May 3 (CD) Sri Lanka encourages Chinese investment, especially in new technology, Sri Lanka's ambassador to China, Karunasena Kodituwakku said. He made the remarks at a Dialogue in Tianjin Saturday and encouraged Chinese investment, especially in new technology. The event was the fourth gathering of governors, journalists, scholars, businessmen, and citizens from Tianjin and beyond. The highlight of the afternoon was the ambassador's speech, during which more..

KLM resumes flights to Colombo after nearly 20 years

May 3 (FT) At the start of the 2016 winter schedule, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will resume direct service to Sri Lanka’s Colombo International Airport from October, the airline said in a statement Monday. The first flight to Colombo is scheduled to depart on Monday, 31 October. This marks KLM’s return to Colombo after an absence of almost 20 years. KLM suspended service to the Sri Lankan capital (then served via Abu Dhabi) in 1997 as the war escalated. more..

NCP Minister says attended both SLFP rallies

May 3 (DM) The Provincial Minister of Irrigation of the ruling UPFA North Central Provincial Council H.B. Semasinghe said that he attended both SLFP rallies held on the May Day in Galle and Kirulapone, Colombo. He stated that he attended the rally held in Galle presided over by President Maithripala Sirisena and also participated at the May Day rally of the Joint Opposition held in Kirulapone presided over by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mr. Semasinghe opined that more..

Video: Gammanpila is a zombie: Mervyn

May 3 (DM) Former minister Mervyn Silva lashed out at MP Udaya Gammanpila over his remarks that Mr. Silva was responsible for the downfall of former president Rajapaksa and called Mr. Gammanpila a Pilliya (zombie) Mr. Gammanpila is reported to have told a news conference that the behaviour of the twosome Mr. Silva and former MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena had led to Rajapaksa's defeat at last year's presidential election. more..

‘MR needs human shield like Prabhakaran’

May 3 (DN) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa needs a human shield just like late LTTE Leader Prabhakaran did during the last stages of the war, Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Vijith Vijayamuni Soysa said. He said military personnel cannot be provided to the former President to travel around the country to topple the government. Military protection cannot be provided to the former President because there is no war in the country now. more..

No Sri Lankans involved in ATM scam: CID

May 3 (DM) No further arrests have been made in connection with the ATM scam involving two Chinese men who were arrested on Friday, the CID said today. They were arrested on charges installing an illegal electronic device on some ATMs to skim the data of those using the ATMs. The arrests were made after the CID had received several complaints from banks in Colombo stating that electronic devices had been installed at ATMs. The illegal devices had been handed over to the CID. more..

'2006 bombing targeting Gotabhaya was an inside job'

May 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka's former army chief told parliament that a bomb blast apparently targeting former president Rajapakse's brother 10 years ago was an inside job to win sympathy for the then-ruling family. Sarath Fonseka, now a govt legislator, said the Dec 2006 bomb attack blamed on separatist Tamil Tiger rebels had been stage-managed by the president's brother Gotabhaya Rajapakse, then defence secretary. more..

Court summons relevant officials over disappearance of Indian from custody

May 3 (Island) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya ordered the controller of Immigration and Emigration and the Officer-in-Charge of the Mirihana police station to be present in court on May 16, in respect of the alleged disappearance of an Indian who had been in remand custody along with seven others, on suspicion of being connected to unauthorised kidney transplants. The Indian disappeared while in the Mirihana Detention Camp. The Colombo Crime Division has complained more..

Rugby: Captaincy dilemma for selectors

May 3 (CT) Kandy Sports Club scrum half Roshan Weeraratne, Havelocks Sports Club duo of Sandun Herath and Sudharshana Muthuthanthri are being considered for the captaincy of the National 15-a-side Rugby Team ahead of the Asian Rugby Championship 2016 which is scheduled to be held in Malaysia later this month. SL Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) is expected to announce the final squad this evening which will certainly feature these three players who have been nominated as more..

Heated exchange in Parliament turns violent, MP injured in clash

May 3 (CG) A heated exchange between the Govt and joint opposition in Parliament turned violent today resulting in a MP sustaining injuries. The heated exchange took place when opposition MP Dinesh Gunawardena questioned PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on the decision to withdraw the army security given to former President Rajapaksa. Gunawardena said that Rajapaksa defeated the LTTE and replacing more..

Docs to stage lunch hour protest against attack on medical students

May 3 (Island) The GMOA announced a lunch hour protest in several govt hospitals today against the attack on the protest march organised by the Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee last week. GMOA Secretary, Dr Nalinda Herath said the protest would be staged at several major hospitals in the country, including National Hospital, Colombo North Teaching Hospital (Ragama), Kalutara Nagoda General Hospital, Ampara, Peradeniya Teaching Hospital & Badulla hospitals. more..

'Country undergoing mop-up operation'

May 3 (CNBC) Sri Lanka's new govt is carrying out a mop-up operation after the last administration left the country in a debt-trap, tcountry's finance minister told CNBC. Speaking from Frankfurt at the ADB Conference, Ravi Karunanayake said that the new govt's "biggest problem is from the brought-forward, we're taking stock of what's on. We're basically unearthing what's been off-balance sheet items that have today become a contingent liability and bring that into books." more..

Sri Lanka's economic plan with IMF could slow growth, tough to implement: Fitch

May 3 (EN) Sri Lanka's economic plan agreed with the IMF would be tough to implement and could slow gross domestic product in the short term, but the economy could expand strongly if it is implemented, Fitch, a rating agency, said. "High GDP growth has supported Sri Lanka's credit profile, but the country is likely to face a period of adjustment under its IMF programme that could have a negative effect on economic performance in the short term," more..

Sri Lanka shares post near 4-mth closing high; John Keells leads

May 3 (Reuters) Shares posted their highest close in nearly four months on Tuesday, led by John Keells Holdings, while a loan agreement with the IMF last week also boosted sentiment. Benchmark stock index rose for the fifth straight session and ended 1.03%, or 66.84 points, firmer at 6,583.10, its highest close since Jan. 11. "Market was bullish with some buying interest coming into blue chips and mid caps. The main reason was due to the positive sentiment with the IMF announcement," more..

Real Veddas or imposters?

May 3 (Island) A key Vedda clan cast doubt on the ethnicity of those who marched in a May Day procession on Sunday in Colombo. Heenbanda Etto, son of Vedda clan leader Uruvarigelage Vannila Etto said that the person claiming to be leader of the Nilgala Veddas identified as one Hemapala and the group of Veddas who marched with him were not known to them. "I have never heard of a Nilgala Vedda leader called Hemapala," Heenbanda said, adding that no vedda had informed his father, more..

සුසන්ත ජයසේන

Jaffna: The hell-hole of persecuted & oppressed Tamil slaves

May 3 (CT) The Dutch, British and post-independent administrators have left behind in their records grim accounts of how the Saivite-Vellahla casteists distorted and perverted the Jaffna political culture. Modern scholars (Jane Russell and Prof. Bryan Pfaffenberger etc), who had studied the socio-political conditions of Jaffna, too confirm that Saivite casteism and Tesawalamai endorsed and legalised the dehumanisation of individuals, reducing the low-castes to irrelevant non-persons. more..

We need statesmen who think of the next generation!

May 3 (CT) Last week, Sri Lanka reached an agreement with the IMF for US$ 1.5 billion in loans to help lower its borrowing costs and bolster finances. The South Asian nation has pledged to narrow its fiscal deficit to 3.5% of GDP by 2020 through a comprehensive set of reforms to Sri Lanka's tax system, the Washington-based lender said in a statement. The loan programme will need approval by the IMF's Executive Board, which is due to consider it in early June. more..

RTI bill needs two thirds majority: SC

May 3 (AD) The Supreme Court has apprised the Parliament some sections of the Right to Information bill are not consistent with the constitution thus it needs a two third majority, the Speaker announced today. The observation was made when this was discussed at today’s Parliament section. The Speaker has also said it required a two third majority in the Parliament to pass the bill. more..

84 illegal firearms handed over within a week

May 3 (DM) At least 84 illegal firearms have been handed over to the govt so far during the amnesty period declared by the Defence Ministry on April 25. More than 21 illegal firearms were handed over from the Gampaha district while 11 firearms were from Colombo. The ministry declared a general amnesty period from April 25 to May 6 so that those who possessed illegal firearms could hand them over to the nearest Police Station, the DS or the PS. more..

Bleak place for women in male- dominated Police Dept

May 3 (ST) Never in the history of SL Police Department has there ever been a woman DIG of Police, a woman Senior DIG or a woman IGP. Under existing procedure, there never can be. Despite thousands of women now serving in the police force in different capacities, Police Department does not make allowance for female DIGs, Senior DIGs or IGPs. There are simply no allotted vacancies for them. That is not all. more..

Flouting polythene rule: Supermarkets biggest culprit

May 3 (Island) The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) said the majority of supermarkets in the Western Province had failed to comply with the ban on thin polythene, which came into effect on Feb. 1. Over 400 polythene manufacturers, users or sellers and importers in the Gamapaha, Colombo and Kalutara Districts had been investigated during the last two months since the govt imposed a ban on more..

UNAIDS welcomes landmark decision by Supreme Court to prohibit HIV discrimination

May 3 (FT) Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has welcomed a decision by Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court to prohibit HIV discrimination in education settings. Supreme Court issued the directive in response to a fundamental rights violation petition filed by Chandani De Soysa, who is from the rural community of Illukhena, Kuliyapitiya in Western Sri Lanka. De Soysa became a widow last year. When she tried to enrol her 5-year old more..

Govt to provide safe, sustainable livelihood for war affected women

May 3 (CG) The govt is committed to provide safe livelihood to war affected women. The UNDP partnered with the Divisional Secretariat in Vavuniya to highlight the important role of women in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] amongst youth, civil society and govt partners. Nearly 40 institutions representing these sectors came together for the 3 day exhibition titled, more..

Monorail project: proposals to be presented to Cabinet

May 3 (DM) The monorail project between Colombo and Malabe is back on track with the Ministry of Megapolis and Ministry of Transport finalizing the proposal that is to be presented to Cabinet. Megapolis Authority Director General Lakshman Jayasekara said the proposal was signed by both Ministers and was to be presented to Cabinet soon. “Once approval is received we can start construction within nine months and more..

Sri Lanka to have LNG power plants, no unsolicited bids: CEB chief

May 3 (EN) Sri Lanka’s state power utility will go for liquefied natural gas power plants in future to improve its generation mix, now largely reliant on coal, but is prohibited from accepting unsolicited bids, a senior official said. With LNG prices coming down, the CEB is considering building LNG power plants but needs large units to justify the high cost of an unloading and re-gasification terminal, Anura Wijayapala, chairman of the CEB, said. more..

Federalism back in the limelight

May 3 (SL) The resolution seeking a federal solution to the Tamil minority issue and political independence for the minority Tamil community, calls for the govt to include the merger of the Northern and Eastern provinces into one ruling system, and establishing it under a federal system, into the new constitution. However, there are others who oppose a federal solution and are against merger of N & E including some Muslim & Tamil communities. more..

The Voracious and Vociferous VAT

May 3 (DM) Value Added Tax (VAT), in other words is tax on value addition. According to economists, a shirt, for instance, would cost Rs. 800 and would be sold for Rs. 1,000. In this case, Rs. 200 is the value addition and it is subjected to the VAT imposed by the govt. VAT is also termed as a regressive tax as research proves that the poor pay a higher percentage of their income in comparison to what the rich have to contribute. more..

Denial of Democratic Rights! POWER at any cost

May 3 (DM) Do we know what exactly went wrong in Sri Lanka? A majority of politicians and public officers did not accept that there were problems. They concealed all the shortcomings and deviously ignored values and ethics. They thought the purpose of the public service was to deceive the general public. They wanted to cling to the status quo and hold on to power purely for personal gain, while enjoying all the perks and benefits at a massive cost to the people. more..

Bopage: Minister failed to see misuse of position

May 3 (DM) Parliamentary Reforms and Media Ministry Secretary Nimal Bopage may be correct, in a way, when he said in a statement last week that the term Joint Opposition used by a group of Parliamentarians was wrong, since it connotes the entire Opposition in the Parliament, which was not the case. The parties representing the Opposition Leader and Chief Opposition Whip do not represent the group that calls itself the Joint Opposition. But, even if it is wrong, this is not the only term more..

Sri Lanka hope to take on England with fearless approach

May 3 (DN) On paper Sri Lanka looks like a Test team of no-hopers for their tour of England which begins at the end of the week with a three-day game against Essex at Chelmsford. That is because the side lacks the experience that is required to survive under early English conditions. However skipper Angelo Mathews feels that what they lack by way of experience his young side can overcome by their fearless approach more..

Mulleriyawa mental patients for SAITM final-year activities: GMOA

May 3 (DN) GMOA has learned of plans to move a number of in-house mental patients from the Mulleriyawa Hospital to the Malabe private medical faculty, for final-year exam related activities, GMOA Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said. He said the consent of the patients is to be obtained by promising to pay them for the trip. Since this is a grave violation of the law and patients’ rights the GMOA intends to inform the Health Ministry and SLMC and ask them to hold an inquiry, more..

Sri Lanka seeks to raise US$ 685 mil in revenue from taxes

May 3 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is seeking to raise 100 billion rupees (US$ 685.6mil) in revenue in 2016 by increasing the value added tax (VAT) and new taxes effective from Monday, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. The VAT will rise to 15% from 11% and will be imposed on private sector health services as the govt struggles to reduce a ballooning budget deficit amid a debt crisis. The move is part of govt’s plan to meet a repeated request to raise revenue from the IMF, more..

Issues relating to Uma Oya project to be discussed with AG

May 3 (DN) Supreme Court yesterday permitted the Attorney General to discuss the hardships faced by people due to the Uma Oya multi-purpose project, between the govt authorities and relevant parties. Two judge-bench comprising Chief Justice K. Sripavan and Buwaneka Aluvihare made this arrangement to engage in a discussion regarding the Uma Oya multi-purpose project on May 9 at the Attorney General's Department. more..

Nigerians, Lankans nabbed with cocaine

May 3 (DN) Eight Nigerians and two Sri Lankans with cocaine were arrested by Police. Police found 222 grams of cocaine in the suspects’ possession during a joint operation conducted by the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) along with the STF on Sunday. Police said PNB and STF arrested the suspects during raids in Ragama, Kelaniya, Mount Lavinia and Battaramulla. One Nigerian was arrested near a restaurant at Waragoda Road, Kelaniya and the other opposite a textile shop more..

TID arrests former senior Tamil Tiger cadre

May 3 (Xinhua) A former high ranking cadre from the Tamil Tiger rebel outfit was arrested by Sri Lanka's Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) in eastern Sri Lanka on Monday. The ex-cadre, known as Krishnapillai Kalainesan alias Praba, was taken into custody in Eravur, Batticaloa, to be interrogated. He is the third high profile former rebel cadre to be arrested by the TID recently. Reports said that Praba had been released in 2013 after being rehabilitated, following the end of the war. more..