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A bid to put off 2019 prez polls alleged

May 21 (Island) Executive Committee member of National Joint Committee (NJC) Manohara de Silva, PC, warned of a possible attempt to put off the scheduled 2019 presidential election purportedly on account of the current security situation following the Easter Sunday carnage. Speaking at a media briefing, held by civil society group Yuthukama, De Silva said so, having accused the National Election Commission more..

Vistara eyes new destinations post Colombo attacks

May 21 (ET) Carrier Vistara has stalled plans to fly to Colombo, after the spate of terrorist bombings that recently ravaged the Sri Lankan commercial capital and is instead looking at South Asian destinations for its maiden international flight. “Colombo flights were to start this month. But the airline had to delay it in view of the attacks. It is now working on a plan B,” said a person close to the development. He did not disclose which specific destinations in the region are being looked at more..

Messe Duesseldorf to promote Lankan brand overseas

May 21 (DN) World renowned trade fair organizer Messe Duesseldorf who has been represented officially by the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK Sri Lanka), met with the Minister Malik Samarawickrama recently to discuss on how to promote the Made in Sri Lanka brand name in the international arena. “The SL govt shows full openness in cooperating with Messe Duesseldorf,” said Director, International Business of Messe Duesseldorf, Dr. Clemens Schuette. more..

Video: Send children to school without fear: Army Commander

May 21 (AD) The SL Army Commander urges parents to send their children to school again from tomorrow, without any fear. Commander of the SL Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake says that the tri-forces and the police have given priority to strengthening the security of schools. The complete message of the Army Commander: “Following the unfortunate terrorist attack and its impact on 21 April 2019, more..

Pharma Chamber welcomes drug price revision linked to rupee devaluation

May 21 (FT) SL Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry has welcomed the move by the Govt, in consultation with the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA), to gazette a 14.4% increase in the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of 60 price-controlled pharmaceutical drug molecules. “The increase in the MRP of all price-controlled molecules will provide all our stakeholders with a measure of relief from the escalating cost burden created by extreme rupee devaluation,” more..

Shayama wins Gold in Thai Open

May 21 (CT) Hurdler Shayama Dulani finished her maiden international outing in emphatic fashion as she won the Gold Medal in the 400m hurdles at the Thailand Open Athletics Championship, yesterday. The 26-year old clocked a modest 1 minute 2.49 seconds, but it was enough for her to win the Gold medal, with Koniel Donna of Papua New Guinea finishing second and Suchada Meersi of Thailand coming in third. Hailing from Down South, Shayama trains under coach Muddika Thushara, more..

New take-off for UL

May 21 (FT) An Expert Committee appointed for obtaining recommendations for the restructuring of the Sri Lankan Airlines (SLA) has proposed the establishing of an independent board and management by separation of Govt’s ownership of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) from the operations and management of SLA. It has also recommended an independent procurement process for the Airline as well as more..

Inaugural SL Basketball League scheduled for May 2, postponed

May 21 (ST) The inaugural SL Basketball League (SLBL) scheduled for May 2, has been postponed due to the present security situation in the country. SL Basketball Federation (SLBF) Vice President Chandana Litanage said that the organising committee unanimously decided to monitor the situation in the country for some time, before declaring a possible new timeframe for the SLBL. “The whole thing came as a surprise, not only for us at SLBF, but the whole of Sri Lanka more..

Sri Lanka seek to set right dubious bilateral series record

May 21 (DN) After their first ODI against Scotland was washed out, Sri Lanka, who have lost their last eight ODIs, would like to get a win under their belt before the start of their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign. It’s been almost three years since Sri Lanka have won a bilateral ODI series. Now, with a World Cup less than two weeks away, they will be starting afresh, under a new captain in Dimuth Karunaratne, seeking to familiarise themselves with English conditions. more..

China trip and son's wedding: Sri Lanka leader denounced after Easter bombings

May 21 (Reuters) After coming under fire for not acting on warnings about Easter bombings that killed more than 250 people, Prez Sirisena is now facing criticism over his leadership in the aftermath of the Islamist attacks. On Monday last week, just as anti-Muslim riots were spreading in apparent reprisal for the attacks, Sirisena embarked on a 3-day trip to key financier China, leaving some Sri Lankans feeling abandoned. more..

Younger generation takes centre stage at Tennis Nationals

May 21 (DN) Tennis Nationals taking place at the SLTA clay courts saw some major upsets as some raising stars took centre stage. Unseeded Alana Seneviratne stormed into the finals of the under 18 girls singles with solid wins over Sethmi Sumanaweera 6/4, 4/6, 10/8, fourth seeded Oneli Perera 6/4, 2/6, 10/8 and Prithika Chandramohan 6/1, 6/1. In the finals today Alana meets bottom seed Savini Jayasooriya. Defending women’s singles champion Anika Seneviratne made short more..

Sisira Kumara wins final round with 6 under par

May 21 (CT) George Patrick Sisira Kumara fired a fantastic six under par 66 in the final round of the 2019 LECTRA Grand Prix May Edition played at the picturesque Eagles Catalina Golf Club in Koggala, an excellent nine-hole golf course with two sets of tee markers for each hole. The beautifully placed golf course at the edge of the amazing Madhu Ganga is relatively short, but the windy conditions make scoring very tough and only 3 golfers broke par in the last round. more..

More Sri Lankans to be charged by ICC for corruption

May 21 (Island) Britain’s leading newspaper The Daily Telegraph claims that corruption investigations in Sri Lanka will drag on at least till the end of this year and that more individuals will be charged before September, possibly after the World Cup. Sri Lankan cricket is rocked by serious allegations of corruption with former Test captain Sanath Jayasuriya banned from the game for two years and several other individuals charged. more..

Recovering from terrorist attacks and insecure conditions

May 20 (ST) The pace and extent of the country’s economic recovery after the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks will depend on how swiftly security is restored and the country made safe. Once there is confidence that such an attack is not likely to recur, the economy could return to its normal levels of economic activity and production. Resurgence of the economy could be expected when there is certainty that terrorism is eliminated, as was the case in 2009, after the end of prolonged civil war. more..

Vehicle check point shooting: Was it necessary?

May 21 (Island) On 11 May, with a state of emergency declared Chamara Ranasinghe (34), married with a young family, was shot and killed when he allegedly attempted to evade a vehicle check at Hunupitiya in Wattala. He was an innocent man. Was it necessary to shoot at what was said to be a fleeing vehicle but not at a known terrorist suspect? Is life that cheap in SL? Powers that be, and the Commissioner, chock full of Human Rights, have been silent as mice at this death. more..

'Skipper Dimuth must get the runs first'

May 21 (MM) Muttiah Muralitharan, Test cricket’s highest wicket-taker, is unforgiving of the mire of chaos SL cricket has sunk into. Since 2016, the Sri Lankan cricket board has been changed thrice and the selection committee four times. Naturally, the uncertainty filtered down to the support staff too, with five captains, as many chief coaches, and four batting coaches going in and coming out of the revolving door. more..

The road to PEACE...

May 21 (Island) The road to PEACE is certainly going to be quite bumpy, but we have got to get there…in a peaceful manner. It’s heartening to see some of our leading personalities, with world-wide fame, approaching this unfortunate situation, the Easter Sunday carnage, in the correct perspective. Kumar Sangakkara, brilliant with the bat, and a legend, no doubt, Tweeted: For each other and for our children. Be smart, be united, be at peace, keep each other safe. more..

President Sirisena’s unfulfilled promises: Traducing right to information

May 20 (CT) I was astonished by a news item that appeared a couple of weeks back, to the effect that the Presidential Secretariat was to appeal against the order of the Right to Information Commission that it reveals the Assets Declaration of the PM. Given what seems to be continuing bad blood between the President and Ranil, this seems odd. Several possible explanations come to mind. One is that the hostility is an elaborate hoax, designed to fool the country and the Opposition. more..

ධම්මික පෙරේරා හොරෙන් මුණගැසුනේ කාවද ?

Edtorial: The no-faith trap

May 21 (Island) Is the JO confident of punching above its weight? It has handed over to the Speaker a no-faith motion against Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. That the JO lacks a working majority in the House is only too well known. After all, that was why it failed to retain the power it grabbed from the UNP, late last year. It is only wishful thinking that the JO will be able to secure the passage of the no-faith motion under its own steam if its rivals leap to Bathiudeen’s defence. more..

Cross between career cartoonist & academic

May 21 (Island) One of his most memorable brush-offs with a politician was the result of the infamous cricket cartoon he did for the Divaina. The first day and night match was being played in Sri Lanka, at a time when the country was facing a power crisis. The cartoon was of a boy reading a newspaper in the dark, by lamplight and reading the headline aloud, Cricket and lights in Colombo. Needless to say, the incumbent president got his panties in a wad and duly threatened him, more..

'Islamic terrorism was allowed to grow'

May 20 (CT) MP Venerable Athuraliye Rathana Thera says the political leadership, which is favourable towards the Islamic terror campaign, always joins the existing govt. Q: How do you analyse the situation that has been created? A: This is an attack that was carried out with the knowledge, sponsorship, and influence of the Islamic State terrorist organisation. Responsible people in our country have been saying for more..

Together, we go!

May 20 (CT) The Nation should thank Colombo’s Catholic Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith for two or more reasons. In doing what he has since done, His Eminence has reflected the mood of the Nation, the mood of the common man on the streets across Sri Lanka, soothing him in a way, and also reassuring him that he was not alone in feeling the way he has been feeling, more so in these days and weeks after the Easter Day blasts. First, he restored the confidence of the affected communities more..

When will they ever learn?

May 20 (ST) There was a time when those untutored in technological advances were told that it takes just 60 seconds to send a message round the world. Today it must be even quicker, perhaps a few nano seconds or whatever they are called. The irony is this. While communication becomes increasingly speedier it takes so much longer to penetrate half an inch of human skull. Not that one wants to chip away with hammer and chisel at thick heads. But it sure takes a long time for some people to absorb more..

Rebuilding from tragedy

May 20 (SO) The reconstruction of the churches hit by the Easter Sunday tragedy is underway, marking the beginning of a long walk towards normalcy Almost a month after the horrific Easter Sunday attack spread tremors through the country, life is now picking up, one brick at a time. Reconstruction of the churches where the atrocities took place has already begun, which is an important aspect of returning to normalcy, especially more..

Blessed are the Peacemakers!

May 21 (CT) Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith played a responsible role as one of the foremost spiritual leaders in the country towards maintaining peace soon after the Easter Sunday explosions which had shaken the entire country a month ago. The manner the Colombo Archbishop had pleaded to the countrymen to maintain peace had averted untoward incidents to a great extent soon after the Easter Sunday explosions. However, some unruly men created problems causing more..

Historic Shifts of 2009 and 2019

May 21 (DM) The end of the war in May 2009, signalled a historic moment for Sri Lanka. The tragedy of war with tremendous devastation and suffering required considerable reflection about our past. Furthermore, the aftermath of war required collective thinking and action about our future. However, we as a people did little critical reflection about the past and even less thinking about our future. Rather, we succumbed to the narratives and prescriptions of powerful actors, more..

US, Lanka agree to expand defence ties

May 20 (Island) US and SL have agreed to expand military-to-military cooperation, the govts announced in a joint statement issued following high level talks in Washington. In accordance with the overall US-SL relations, the US has offered to continue to expand counterterrorism and maritime and border security cooperation with SL. Statement followed talks between Minister Tilak Marapana and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo more..

Opposition to increase ex-MPs’ pensions

May 20 (Island) Employees Centre for Protecting Pensions spokesperson Dhammika Munasinghe, strongly condemned a move to increase former MPs’ pension by Rs 15,000 at a time the govt was trying to abolish the state pension scheme. He said that the media had recently revealed the move. The statement urges the working class to join hands to oppose govt plans and regain pension rights. A proposal to increase former lawmakers’ pension had been submitted to the cabinet, more..

Minuwangoda clashes: Police to arrest Opposition politician

May 20 (DN) Police investigations have revealed that an Opposition politician had been involved in a clash that occurred in the Minuwangoda town and the surrounding areas on May 13. According to a senior police officer, investigations have revealed that the politician had organised some rallies in the area since May 9. The politician had been in Minuwangoda for more than three hours during the recent clashes and that information had been received that he was involved in the attack on more..

Video: National War Heroes’ Day: remembering the fallen

May 20 (DM) The National War Heroes’ Day commemoration ceremony was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena, this evening (19). The event titled Uththama Pranaama 2019 was attended by the family members and the relatives of the war heroes who had fallen victim to the prolonged warfare of three decades. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya and Opposition Leader more..

Import levy on big onions hiked

May 20 (AD) The govt has decided to increase the import levy on big onions by Rs 20 per kilo. Minister of Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs, Livestock Development, Irrigation and Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Development P. Harrison stated this addressing the media yesterday. Accordingly, the revised import levy on big onions following the increase will be Rs 40. The step was taken to in consideration of the local big onion farmers, Minister Harrison commented further. more..

Report on Batticaloa campus in early June

May 20 (GDI) The Subcommittee on Education, an extension of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Education and Human Resource Development will submit its report on the controversial Batticaloa campus to Parliament in early June. The Chairman of the Subcommittee, Prof. Ashu Marasinghe, said they have completed the investigations and would finalise the report by the end of this month. “We hope to table it in Parliament early June,” he said. The members of the subcommittee visited more..

Parliament employee with NTJ links arrested

May 20 (Island) The Kurunegala police have arrested a senior translator attached to Parliament for his alleged involvement with the now proscribed National Thawheed Jamat (JMT), which is responsible for the Easter Sunday carnage. Investigators took the suspect into custody from his residence at Rajagiriya. Police made the arrest after informing Speaker Karu Jayasuriya of the suspect’s alleged involvement with NTJ. more..

Udaya confident Mahinda will vote for NC

May 20 (Island) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa would certainly vote for the no-confidence motion (NCM) to be moved against Minister Rishad Bathiudeen over his alleged involvement with those responsible for the Easter Sunday carnage, JHU leader Udaya Gammanpila said. He said so when The Island asked him why Rajapaksa had refrained from signing the NCM. MP Gammanpila pointed out that Rajapaksa hadn’t signed NCM against Ministers Ravi more..

No-Confidence against Minister Bathiudeen: UNP MPs want Conscience Vote

May 20 (CT) A group of UNP MPs has decided to present a proposal to PM requesting him to allow them to exercise their right of conscience in using their votes for the No-Confidence Motion against Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. Some UNP Ministers, including the Catholic Ministers, have already had discussions and agreed to vote positively when the no-confidence motion against Minister Bathiudeen is taken for a vote in Parliament. Meanwhile some UNP Muslim Ministers say that this more..

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