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Truth behind the Debt-trap in Sri Lanka

May 25 (DM) During the past few weeks, a highly-expensive and politically-driven media campaign had been conducted by the Ministry of National Policy and Economic Affairs, using public funds, to convey the impression that the debt trap that the country has now fallen into, has been due to the mismanagement of the previous regime. Through that campaign, they have also attempted to claim that the present govt more..

Australia name squad for Sri Lanka Tests

May 25 (CI) Moises Henriques was a hotel room key away from being among the players suspended for Homework-gate on the 2013 India tour, but may now play a key role in Australia's effort to build subcontinental momentum by beating Sri Lanka at home in July and August. Henriques and the fit-again fast bowler Mitchell Starc have been named in the 15-man Test squad for the Sri Lanka tour. The recalls of Henriques alongside Starc were the key outcomes of the touring party more..

7 years on: Remembrance ceremonies for soldiers, civilians in the North and South

May 25 (FT) Govt marked the seventh anniversary of the defeat of the LTTE on the battlefields of the Wanni by shifting the tone of the annual commemoration to one of solemn remembrance, shunning the traditional military parade for a sunset memorial for fallen soldiers in Battaramulla. President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe presided over the somber ceremony at Parliament Grounds and paid tribute at the foot of the memorial as dusk fell over the monument. more..

'Govt will compensate every person affected by floods and landslides'

May 25 (FT) “We have money; we will pay each and every person affected by floods and landslides,” assured Minister of Disaster Management Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, in an interview with the Daily FT. Yapa pointed out that people need not worry about compensation because all those who were affected are covered by insurance. Once they complete ascertaining the damages, the Govt will immediately start paying the victims, more..

Sri Lanka Tourism takes on Australia

May 25 (TW) Eclipsing other tourism roadshows by generating more delegates than ever before in Brisbane, The Sri Lanka Roadshows attracted 74 Australian travel agents, media and tour operators. Australia’s largest outbound travel agency, Flight Centre showed exceptionally strong attendance, which bodes well for arrivals into Sri Lanka. Other companies represented included Wend Wu Tours and Infinity Holidays – two of Australia’s foremost tour operators – more..

What did Maithri discuss with Modi?

May 25 (CT) Although everyone knew about Maithripala's visit to India, the fact that he was going to meet Indian PM Modi was known not only to the media in this country, but to the Indian Media as well only at the very last moment. It was a question for the Indian Media why the Maithri-Modi meeting was kept as a secret. More than that, everyone was curious why Maithri and Modi went to Madhya Pradesh in India by air to participate in the Kumbh Mela festival accompanied only by more..

A disputed island, a disputed shrine

May 25 (SO) Political daggers are drawn again over the tiny island of Kachchatheevu, this time over Sri Lanka Navy’s involvement in the construction of a new church for St. Anthony there, replacing the existing church. For decades, TN has been calling for the retrieval of the island, ceded to SL in 1974, but the new development, appears to have unsettled India with Delhi reacting swiftly and negatively. A place of worship for both more..

Editorial: Active crooks and slumbering cops

May 25 (Island) Disaster victims have spent sleepless nights during the last several days. But, the guardians of the law have had no such problem; they have been slumbering blissfully in flood waters. Our photo journalists risked their life and limb, on Sunday, to expose a racket where a gang led by a woman, identified as a drug peddler, fraudulently secured large stocks of relief items distributed by donors near the Kelani Bridge and sold them subsequently. more..

All blankets need holes: reflections on Let her cry

May 25 (Island) The opening scene of Asoka Handagama’s new film Age Asa Aga (Let her cry) is also its last scene. Only thing we get to see here is a windshield of a car on a rainy night. The two wipers move fast mopping off the water from the windshield. The lights reflected on the glass seem to blur the vision even further. The driver, whose face we cannot see, struggles to find his way. Four voices are heard from within the car. They seem (or heard) to be speaking of more..

Pavithra Wanniarachchi

French and Sri Lankan Connection

May 25 (CT) Previous Rajapaksa Govt had a strategic beautification plan to develop the metropolis first, and then gradually extend to other major towns in the country. The planner behind the programme was Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, who was also in charge of the UDA. Consequently many parks, lakes and jogging tracks appeared, along with changing of the skyline in Colombo to the liking of many and towards a tourist boom. more..

Creation of panic

May 25 (CT) Even more depressing than the failure of the govt to fulfil the promises in the manifesto with regard to structural reforms was what seemed to be continuing corruption. At the same time, though during the campaign much had been made of the corruption of the previous government, there seemed to be no serious effort to deal with this. Instead it seemed that the govt was anxious only to denigrate those it saw as most dangerous, in particular the former President. more..

Colonel Thamilini’s version of events leading to LTTE’s annihilation

May 25 (Island) The launch of Thiyunu Asipathaka Sevana Yata (In the Shadow of a Sharp Sword), Sinhala translation of Oru Koorvaalin Nizhalil, life story of high ranking LTTE cadre, Subramaniam Sivakamy alias Col Thamilini, took place at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) on May 13, 2016. Oru Koorvaalin Nizhalil was launched on March 19, 2016, in Kilinochchi, a one-time LTTE bastion. Her husband, J Mahadevan, more..

Coming out of the economic crisis: Time is running out for Sri Lanka

May 25 (CT) Sri Lanka’s economic crisis has now been manifested in its severest form as a shortage of foreign exchange, pressure for the rupee to depreciate and the need for IMF to extend a helping hand. This last manifestation, dubbed as rescue of last resort, arises when a country has no any other source to turn to. Sri Lanka is a member of IMF and, hence, there is nothing wrong in the country seeking IMF assistance. On the other hand, it is also in the interest of IMF to prevent more..

Unscrupulous foreign employment agencies deceive female household workers

May 25 (DN) Amara* a migrant worker who recently returned to the country through a Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) facilitated programme said she worked so hard, she had no time to eat or sleep: “I had to work at three houses. I had no time to eat or sleep. Days passed but the hardships I faced never ended, until I returned to Sri Lanka.” She said her experience as a migrant worker was a nightmare: “It was a dreadful experience,” she said. more..

'SriLankan must be privatised inclusive of the debts'

May 25 (SL) Deputy Minister Arundika Fernando admitted that the govt was planning on taking on the debt burden of SriLankan Air Lines and then privatising it without the debt burden. He said that privatisation would be beneficial to the country only if a loss making institution is taken over by a private company inclusive of its debts and transformed into a profit making institution. He said that if not there was absolutely no purpose in more..

Some lessons beyond floods & landslips

May 25 (CT) The island wide catastrophic situation that we are experiencing nowadays teaches us some timely lessons or reminds us of lessons that we have already learnt and have forgotten. These lessons range from the enshrined norms of humanity to reviewing of our policies, rules and regulations that govern construction of houses, large scale commercial buildings and town planning. The first lesson that it teaches us is the kindness and unity that are overwhelmingly seen among majority more..

Corruption, a qualification in Tamil Nadu

May 25 (DM) How else does one explain the return of Jayalalitha Jayaram as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu; she had two cases filed against her amongst others for acquiring wealth wholly disproportionate to her income. It was in 2001 that she was first found guilty by a five- member bench of the Supreme Court; (almost an year earlier she had been found guilty of abusing her position to acquire property at undervalued prices by a lower court) of misappropriation and more..

Presidential Task Force meets

May 24 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena headed the meeting of the Presidential Task Force to manage recovery from the recent natural disaster outbreak and to normalize the livelihood living hood of the victims of the disaster, yesterday. The meeting was attended by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, other relevant line ministers, Secretary to the President and the Secretaries to the line Ministries, Commanders of Tri-Forces more..

No restrictions in funds: Amaraweera

May 24 (DN) The govt will provide funds without any restrictions to provide relief to the displaced, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. “A large number have been affected by floods and mudslides. Nearly 90 people have died and over 100 persons have disappeared. A large group have also lost their houses and other property. We as the government has the responsibility to start rebuilding the lives of the people,” the minister said. more..

Sri Lanka may need 100,000 itinerant foreign workers in ten years

May 24 (ENS) With the Chinese-funded Colombo Port City project and the ambitious Megapolis project likely to get off the ground soon, and given the acute shortage of skilled and unskilled manpower at home, Sri Lanka may have to import 100,000 itinerant foreign workers, asserts Dr. Surath Wickramasinghe, President, Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI). “At the rate of 400-500 workers per big project like the construction of a large hotel of international standard, more..

Yahapalanaya gone to the dogs: Appoints Palpita as a Ministry Additional Secretary

May 24 (AM) The Campaign for a Free and Fair Election has slammed Minister Vajira Abeywardena for appointing Anusha Palpita as an Additional Secretary to the Ministry. CaFFE points out that Palpita is one of the accused in the sil redi case in which Rs 600 million of govt money was misappropriated. The appointment of Palpita violates administrative and financial regulations and reveals that the Home Affairs Ministry has no shame, more..

Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe meets Thai Deputy PM to strengthen relations

May 24 (NNT) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe has met with Thai Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam to strengthen Thai-SL relations. Mr. Wijeyadasa came to Thailand last Friday to celebrate Vesak Day at Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University. He later visited Dr. Wissanu and said that Sri Lanka would like to host a religious event next year. Thai Deputy PM expressed his gratitude to Mr. Wijeyadasa for joining the event. The last time the two met was when the SL minister traveled to the Kingdom more..

Hayleys PLC completes strong year of growth; Posts Rs. 6.8 billion in PBT

May 24 (AD) Hayleys PLC posted Profit before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 6.8 billion for the financial year 2015/16, a 7% increase over the previous year. Earnings per Share increased to Rs. 40.05 from Rs. 34.42 per share in the previous year. This strong growth reflects the effectiveness of the Conglomerate’s focused strategy on expanding its core business sectors and ended the year with a Group turnover of Rs 92 Bn. Group’s Income Tax paid during the year, amounted to Rs 2.3 Bn. more..

JVP Press Conference

Video: Presidency -- Ranil may contest if MS steps down: Dilan

May 24 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will contest at the next presidential election only if President Maithripala Sirisena does not contest for a second term, SLFP Spokesman Dilan Perera said today. “While taking oaths as the sixth executive president of Sri Lanka, President Sirisena had vowed not to contest for a second term. If he does not contest the presidency for a second term we will have to find another candidate to contest in his place," he said. Mr. Perera said two ministers from the UNP more..

FinanceAsia declares Commercial Bank Best Bank in Sri Lanka

May 24 (DN) Commercial Bank of Ceylon has won two more prestigious international accolades, being adjudged the Best Bank in Sri Lanka in 2016, and presented a Platinum award for 20 years of excellence by Hong Kong based FinanceAsia magazine, one of the most respected financial publications in the region. This is the sixth FinanceAsia Country Banking Achievement Award presented to Commercial Bank in the eight years since the Bank became the first entity in SL more..

Lankan Tamils want Jayalalithaa to help secure federal constitution, not eelam

May 24 (ENS) SL Tamils are taking AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa’s electoral promise to help them secure a separate Tamil Eelam with a pinch of salt. They see the lofty declaration about Eelam in her manifesto as a grand political ploy to silence her Tamil nationalist rivals. However, Lankan Tamils appreciate her bold steps to highlight their plight and presently want her to take constructive steps to get New Delhi to help secure more..

4-year development plan out next month: PM

May 24 (EN) The govt will present its four-year development in a month, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. “The govt has spent the last one year stabilising the economy,” he told the national summit on foresight and innovation held by UNDP and Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs. “This will ensure that despite the global downturn we will not face a serious financial crisis.” The govt’s last two budgets had been prepared in the belief that the global economy will improve but more..

Gammanpila irked by Premier’s remarks

May 24 (CT) The UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila refuted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's alleged claim which said that dashing Devalaya (shrine) was an invocation to destroy the country. Earlier this year, the Joint Opposition went to Seenigama Devalaya, and dashed coconuts seeking the wrath of the Gods against the present govt. Gammanpila added that he was utterly disappointed with the utterance by the PM. He further elaborated the coconuts were dashed invoking the wrath of Gods against more..

Wigneswaran takes over key portfolios

May 24 (CG) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V Wigneswaran took over some key portfolios in the NPC. Ministries were earlier under provincial ministers in the NPC. Wigneswaran took oaths as the provincial Ministry of Finance & Planning, Law & Order, Lands, Social Services, Rehabilitation, Woman Affairs, Electricity, Housing & Construction, Industries & Enterprise Promotion, Tourism, Local Govt & Provincial Admin. more..

Vehicle registrations subdued in April

May 24 (EN) Vehicle registrations were subdued in April 2016, continuing a trend seen from January, with 35,753 vehicles being registered, down from 48,988 a year earlier, when a credit bubble was at full swing. Motor car registration were down to 3,618 in April from 5,116 a year earlier, with Indian made Maruti cars used by less-affluent people and first time buyers taking the biggest hit. Registrations following a tax hike and credit restrictions in January 2016 fell to 255 in the month, 525 in Feb, more..

Petition filed against Fonseka’s appointment as MP dismissed

May 24 (CG) A Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed against the appointment of Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka as a MP was dismissed by the Supreme Court today. The petition was filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), a Colombo based NGO. The CPA and its Executive Director filed the Fundamental Rights application challenging the appointment of Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to fill the vacancy created by the death of M.K.A.D.S. Gunawardana, as a MP elected more..

Canada, UNDP, FAO to support Northern Dairy, Agri sectors

May 24 (DN) Canadian High Commissioner, Shelley Whiting, and UNDP SL Resident Representative, Peter Batchelor recently concluded a two day mission to the Northern Province during which four communities driven Projects were officially handed over to the respective Cooperative Societies and their members. During this Govt of Canada - UNDP joint mission, the delegates met with several govt officials. more..

Rohitha Abeygunawardena released on strict bail conditions

May 24 (AM) Former Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena was released on bail by Colombo High Court Judge in a corruption case filed by the Bribery Commission. He was released on a cash bail of Rs 100,000 and four sureties of Rs 10 million each. His passport was also impounded. However, the court allowed him to visit Japan between June 6 and 22 after he informed that he was required to visit that country in that period. The Bribery Commission filed indictment this January more..

Governor discusses security situation with Jaffna SF Commander

May 24 (CT) Northern Governor Reginald Cooray visited the Security Forces Headquarters at Palaly in Jaffna for the first time on 19 May. The Governor had discussion with the Commander Security Forces Jaffna Major General Mahesh Senanayake and other senior Army officials on the general security situation in the Peninsula. Governor Cooray was given a warm welcome on his arrival by the Jaffna Security Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake at SF Headquarters in Palaly. more..