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Govt to work closely with ICRC

May 19 (CG) Govt says it will work even more closely with the ICRC in future, to address the humanitarian needs of the people in the country. The sixth annual South Asian Regional Conference on international humanitarian law (IHL) jointly organized by the Govt of Sri Lanka and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), is being held in Colombo this week. Welcoming the opportunity of hosting the Conference for the first time, more..

Dipped Products records Rs 1.7B profit

May 19 (CT) Dipped Products Group (DPL), posted a turnover of Rs 27.7 billion, a 20% increase for the financial year 2014/15 with a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs 1.7 billion. Hand Protection, the company's glove making business contributed Rs 15 billion to turnover, up 12% and a PBT of Rs 1.5 billion, up 65% from the previous year. The company's plantation business reported Rs 13.4 billion in turnover, up 28%. The plantation sector's contribution includes the consolidation of more..

China-Sri Lanka: Maritime infrastructure and India’s security

May 19 (EAR) When the new govt of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena decided to review every Chinese investment approved by the previous President Mahinda Rajapakse’s govt – including the Colombo Port Expansion Project (CPEP) – many believed this would lay the groundwork for Sri Lanka’s China policy. Indian observers keenly monitored developments to see if the CPEP would be approved, as a disapproval of the project would lead to probable closer relations with India. more..

Young Talent: Actor Ishan Mendis

Franklin Sathyapalan had a large heart

May 19 (CT) Franklin Raviraj Sathyapalan was a friend of mine whom I knew from my childhood, being classmates at S. Thomas' College, Mt. Lavinia. He was my lifelong friend till the time of his sudden demise. We studied together and in later years we met as colleagues in journalism. Franklin joined The Island newspapers a few years after I joined. He was affectionately addressed as Saththi the man with a large heart. However much his Editor at that time Gamini Weerakoon would more..

Robbing the taxpayer

May 19 (CT) On Sunday, State owned Silumina newspaper carried an article alleging that 211 vehicles belonging to the Presidential Secretariat cannot be accounted for. These were vehicles that allegedly had been used during former President Rajapaksa's tenure. According to that article there had allegedly been a total of 958 vehicles registered with the Presidential Secretariat, the time the previous regime was in power, of which however only 747 could now be accounted for. more..

'West wanted a Puppet, They could not control Mahinda'

May 19 (SL) Six years since the end of the war, Sri Lanka has seen many changes, especially in recent months. While the current govt is pursuing a path that is friendlier towards the west, the former regime is critical of the current stand. In an interview, former Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa is the leader who took up the challenge of defeating the LTTE terrorist network. more..

Valalai (Jaffna): Re-militarisation of released villages with façade of resettlement

May 19 (GV) Valalai is a Tamil village of about 233 acres that was occupied by the military for nearly 25 years and before it was handed back to villagers in March 2015 by President Sirisena. Yet, more than 50 days after that handover, villagers don’t see hope for resettlement as almost nothing has been provided for them to resettle into. I met a few villagers who had already decided to stay there in makeshift tents and huts and few others who had visited for the day. more..

FCID: Re-emergence of Nazi Gestapo

May 19 (CT) There is a police division widely known as Prime Minister's Police Division. That is not the Prime Minister's Security Division. It is the recently established unusual division which entertains only the complaints received from a Cabinet Sub-Committee headed by the Prime Minister. The official name of the division is "Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID)" which was established by the IGP by publishing a regulation in Gazette on 13 Feb 2015. more..

'True reconciliation requires compromise'

May 19 (SL) Perhaps the most senior politician in active politics today, with of over fifty five years of service, V Anandasangaree is very patriotic and he loves the country and its people. However he feels that even under the present circumstances he is ignored and sidelined. Having won the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh award for tolerance and nonviolence in 2006, he believes that all Tamil parties should unite and work for more..

A few thoughts on the challenges facing the President

May 19 (SL) President Maithripala Sirisena is quoted as having made a few statements at the events he attended in the past few weeks. Spanning three broad themes, these are all equally important for the citizens of Sri Lanka. The first statement, made at St. Johns College, Nugegoda in commemoration of their century centennial, was the need to conduct a large colloquium on the topic of education in Sri Lanka. The second statement, made during the opening ceremony of Magampura museum, more..

Parliamentary Elections: What should President Sirisena do?

May 19 (CT) It’s out in the open now, the discrepancy in the views of the President and the Prime Minister about the timing of the elections. The Prime Minister hopes for July, while the President’s circle prefers September. I suspect it may be about astrology, but in Sri Lankan politics, the broad timing of the decision is not astrological –not even President Rajapaksa’s decision to go for an election two years ahead of schedule—but the fine tuning is. In other words, unlike in personal matters more..

Tamils in Sri Lanka openly mark anniversary of war's end

May 18 (PTI) Hundreds of Tamils in Sri Lanka's former war zones today for the first time openly commemorated their loved ones killed during the civil war as they marked the 6th anniversary of the end of the conflict. Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran chaired the main commemoration event held at Vellamullivaikkal in northeastern Mullaithivu district. He and joined hundreds of Tamil people more..

FMM and SLWJA call for better working conditions for Sri Lanka’s journalists

May 18 (IFJ) International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliates the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the Sri Lankan Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) have called for more dialogue and discussion on improving working conditions for journalists in Sri Lanka if the country is to rebuild a strong, robust and professional media industry in the country. IFJ joined the International Media Assessment Mission to Sri Lanka from May 8 to 14 to follow-up on its recent assessments more..

Govt to work closely with ICRC

May 18 (CG) The Govt says it will work even more closely with the ICRC in future, to address the humanitarian needs of the people in the country. The sixth annual South Asian Regional Conference on international humanitarian law (IHL) jointly organized by the Government of Sri Lanka and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), is being held in Colombo this week. Welcoming the opportunity of hosting the Conference in Colombo for the first time, Deputy Foreign Minister more..

MR not invited for Remembrance Day

May 18 (DM) Ministry of Defence has not invited former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to the main Remembrance Day ceremonies organised by the Defence Ministry, Ranaviru Seva Authority Chairperson Anoma Fonseka said today. She told a news conference held at the Defence Ministry that as such Mr. Rajapaksa was not expected at tomorrow’s ceremony in Matara organised by the ministry and the one more..

Govt to restructure registration of tamed elephants and tuskers

May 18 (GDI) After receiving numerous complaints on illegally kept elephant calves, the Sri Lankan govt plans to take measures to restructure the registration of tamed elephants and tuskers. The govt said under the legal provisions of the Act relating to the protection of wild life and forests to retain the tamed elephants and tuskers domestically, it is necessary to register such tamed elephants and tuskers in the Wild Life Conservation Department and obtain a permit annually. more..

Tamil leaders honor dead from Sri Lankan war at battle zone

May 18 (AP) Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil politicians and a few civilians gathered Monday under heavy surveillance at a ceremony to honor thousands of dead on the battleground of the final days of the decades-long civil war that ended in 2009. Lawmakers and local leaders lit earthen lamps and offered flowers at a makeshift memorial in Mullivaikkal village in northeastern Sri Lanka where thousands of people were killed in fierce fighting between the army and Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Forex case: Ravi K. Acquitted

May 18 (DM) Colombo High Court Judge Iranganie Perera today acquitted Minister Ravi Karunanayake and two others on charges of money laundering in violation of the Exchange Control Act. She said the charges framed against the accused did not comply with the Exchange Control Act. Judge Perera acquitted the three suspects after hearing the submissions made by prosecuting counsel Deleepa Pieris and more..

Bribery Comm. allegedly split into factions

May 18 (DM) Bribery Commission appears to have split into two factions following the resignation of one commissioner, informed sources said. Though some officials hold the view that the commission’s functions can be carried out satisfactorily despite the resignation of the commissioner, another set of officials say otherwise. Following the enactment of the 19th Amendment, the vacancy left by the resignation can only be filled by Constitutional Council (CC). more..

Threat on President's life: Two more cops arrested

May 18 (CT) An ASP and a Sergeant attached to the Presidential Security Division (PSD) who were in charge of security at Angunukolapelessa City Hall, where an armed bodyguard of MP Namal Rajapaksa got close to President Sirisena on 25 April, have been interdicted effective from May, according to ASP Ruwan Gunasekera. Meanwhile, a preliminary investigation report has been forwarded to the IGP, and in the next few weeks changes are likely to take place in the senior positions in the police, more..

Sri Lanka nominates former cricket boss as top envoy to Australia

May 18 (CT) Sri Lanka has nominated a new chief envoy to Australia – a former cricket administrator, businessman and member of country's Tamil minority. Somasundaram Skandakumar, originally from the country's northern city of Jaffna and a past secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka, has been put forward as the next high commissioner to Australia. The post has been vacant since January when previous more..

Leaked photographs reveal former SriLankan Airlines chairman's alleged associations

May 18 (AM) In the wake of the shocking report submitted by a committee headed by senior lawyer J.C. Weliamuna, the conduct of former Chairman of SriLankan Airlines Nishantha Wickramasinghe came under severe criticism from various quarters. The report underscored the fact that the former Chairman's alleged association with certain cabin crew members had cost the organization millions of rupees. The report said former chairman had also created a post of SLA Brand Ambassador more..

Govt official attacked for allowing National Anthem in Tamil

May 18 (CT) A Govt official has been attacked for allowing to sing the National Anthem in Tamil at the Eastern University in Batticaloa on Saturday. Official is attached to Eravur Divisional Secretariat and he was at the Eastern University organizing an exhibition which was conducted for the third year at the university. When the National Anthem was sung in Tamil at the beginning of the event a group of students had attacked Patthu Kutty Suman for allowing National Anthem sung in Tamil, more..

'Limit to what we can do in a short time'

May 18 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket's interim committee is fighting against time to fulfil the tasks they have set out to achieve after sports minister Navin Dissanayake assured the stakeholders, who met him last week to forward their grievances, that elections would be held by January. The interim committee, headed by Sidath Wettimuny, was appointed last month by the sports minister on the grounds of corruption and malpractice by more..

Fish rain in Nallur

May 18 (CT) People from Nallur were surprised to experience fish rain in the area. There have been downpours in the Jaffna District during the past several days and on Thursday morning people living near the Veerama Kaali Amman Temple on the Point-Pedro road experienced a heavy downpour. A significant number of fish fell from the skies with the heavy downpour and they collected the fish in huge buckets. In recent days Jaffna is experiencing a heavy rain fall in several areas. more..

Sri Lanka electric car ownership almost doubles in May

May 18 (EN) Sri Lanka's electric car ownership almost doubled in May 2015, generating a surge of new registrations, in the wake of an interventionist tax policy that penalized hybrid and conventional cars. In an analysis of vehicle registry data by JB Securities, a Colombo based equities research house shows that 151 new electric cars were registered in Sri Lanka in May 2015, a little under the 169 units that were registered over the entire past 18 months. more..

'No litigation powers until new Board appointed'

May 18 (CT) Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody said the official tenures of the Chairmen and the Commissioners of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) have automatically ended with the 19th Amendment coming into effect on 15th May. He however said that the Director General and the staff of CIABOC could continue in their positions. He added Commission will however continue to more..

Expansion of Telecom Industry contributes to economic growth: President

May 18 (GDI) It is necessary to look at how the significant growth of the country's telecom industry can contribute to the peace and reconciliation in the island, President Maithripala Sirisena said. Issuing a message on the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day that fell on 17th May, the President said Sri Lanka's Telecom Industry has shown a significant growth. The industry has more than 23 million fixed and Mobile subscribers in the country, exceeding the population with more..

Protect the space for reconciliation during may 18 commemorations: NPC

May 18 (CT) The govt has declared that May 18, the day the war ended six years ago in 2009, will be commemorated as a Day of Remembrance. This signifies a departure from the practice of the past five years when it was considered a Day of Victory, and is recognition that the people who fought against the govt were part of the same national community and constituted members of the same State. The govt will be conducting its own military parade on this day, but unlike in the past more..

Mahela approached for Legends T20 league

May 18 (PTI) Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has been approached for the proposed Legends' T20 matches, promoted by legends Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne to make inroads into the untapped US market. A source close to the Lanka's legendary batsman confirmed the development. "Yes, Mahela has been approached to play in the league promoted by Tendulkar and Warne. more..

Teacher trainees in the lurch

May 18 (Island) Over 400 candidates selected to undergo training at the new College of Education for Management and Entrepreneurship at Homagama have been compelled to wait more than one year at home owing to delays in the construction of the college. Candidates complain that they were selected for the course on the basis of the GCE A/L results (2012). Candidates selected for similar courses at other colleges of education had now completed part of their programmes. more..

Political necessity used for politicking, negates independent commissions

May 18 (CT) In a not so peculiar turn of events for Sri Lanka, but certainly beyond what was expected, the Fundamental Rights petition by former secretary to the ministry of defence and urban development Gotabaya Rajapaksa, was allowed leave to proceed by a two member Supreme Court bench with a restraining order that prevents him being arrested, at least till 06 of October, when the petition is fixed for hearing. From 12 May to Oct 6, Gotabaya is now free to travel anywhere more..

World watchdog seeks whereabouts of 110 LTTE surrendees

May 18 (ENS) International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) Sri Lanka, headed by South African rights activist Yasmin Sooka, has asked Lankan govt to give information about the whereabouts of 110 LTTE leaders who had surrendered to SL military in full public view on May 18, 2009. “Those who surrendered on 18 May 2009 were screened and put in a barbed wire holding area just south of Wadduvakkal Bridge, which was more..

Rupee forwards tad weaker; stocks slip

May 18 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee forwards were slightly weaker on Monday due to importer dollar demand, while the country's central bank prevented a sharp fall via moral suasion, dealers said. Actively-traded three-month forwards were at 136.05/10 per dollar at 0545 GMT compared to Friday's close of 135.95/136.00 after the central bank prevented two-month forwards trading below 135.20. Two-month forwards were at 135.20/50 per dollar, compared to Friday's close of 135.35/40. more..

Rs 2.3 million worth of loot recovered

May 18 (Island) Minuwangoda Police nabbed a 5-member robber gang and recovered jewellery and goods worth around Rs 2.3 million last week. Police found a locally manufactured gun and a sword in their possession. They divulged to the police that they had robbed 12 houses - nine houses at Minuwangoda, two at Ja-Ela and one at Veyangoda. Robbers used to break into houses through windows at night and then hold the residents at gun point and take away the valuables and money. more..

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