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Video: Rishad called me thrice over suspect of Dehiwala bombing: Army Commander

May 17 (AD) The Commander of Sri Lanka Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, states that Minister Rishad Bathiudeen had called him three times over an arrest of a suspect linked to the Dehiwala bombings on Easter Sunday. The Army Commander revealed this today (16) at a press conference, answering a question raised by a journalist regarding a point in the non-confidence motion against Bathiudeen. more..

PCoI probing irregularities at UL, Mihin stops open hearings as no response to ...

May 17 (Island) Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka, yesterday, stopped all open inquiry sessions. The tenure of the PCoI will end on May 31 as there has been no favourable response so far from the President to a request made by the Commission for an extension. However, lawyers from the AG’s Department will be able to submit affidavits and supporting documents. "If there is an extension and more..

Galadari Hotel starts $ 15 m refurbishment

May 17 (FT) Looking at opportunities through the crisis period, Galadari Hotel is investing a total of $ 15 million to refurbish its property completely by 2021. It is the first time the hotel is undergoing a refurbishment since its opening in 1986. “We are making maximum use of this low occupancy period to go ahead with our refurbishment which was already on our cards. The refurbishment will be done in two phases where we hope to complete the entire project by 2021,” more..

Muslims leaders espouse middle path

May 17 (FT) In the wake of anti-Muslim attacks this week, representatives of the community yesterday appealed for moderates of all religions to step up to foster inter-communal harmony, insisting that violence was detrimental to all Sri Lankans. Minister Kabir Hashim, former Ministers Ferial Ashraff and Imthiaz Bakeer Markar, and President’s Counsel Ali Sabry, speaking to media, made multiple appeals not to group more..

No advance auditing of air tickets of President Rajapaksa due to security reasons

May 17 (Island) Accounts department of the Presidential Secretariat received information about chartered flights taken by VVIPs during the Rajapaksa administration only after they had undertaken the journey and thus they were not in any position to check invoices, PCoI was informed. Former Chief Accountant of Presidential Secretariat, Don Gunaratna told the PCoI that due to security reasons they were informed of the chartered flights booked after the journey was completed by more..

Asos tycoon who lost children in Sri Lanka attacks thanks public

May 17 (TG) The Povlsen family have thanked the public for their condolences after they lost three of their four beloved and beautiful children in the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka. Anders and Anne Holch Povlsen, who own an estimated 80,000 hectares (200,000 acres) in the Scottish Highlands, said the many words of comfort they had received since the attacks last month had touched their hearts. Alma, 15, Agnes, 12, and five-year-old Alfred were among 253 people killed more..

GMOA opposes special status for Sharia Uni, uses RTI law to expose project

May 17 (Island) The GMOA says new medical faculties shouldn’t be allowed to be set up unless they meet the prescribed standards and adhere to Sri Lanka Medical Council stipulated basic requirements for enrolment. On behalf of the GMOA, its Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge laid down four conditions in case the govt intended to recognise Shariah University of Batticaloa as an institution authorised to offer medical degrees. more..

Sri Lanka Railways gets container, oil wagons

May 17 (EN) Sri Lanka Railways has taken delivery of the first batches of new container carrier wagons and oil wagons as part of efforts to improve its freight transport. The transport ministry said 10 container carrier wagons were unloaded at Colombo port Thursday morning along with five oil wagons. The wagons were part of an order for 20 container carrier wagons and 30 oil wagons from India under an Indian govt loan. SL Railways now has 25 container wagons and 160 oil wagons. more..

ICCSL strongly condemns current violence delaying tourism sector recovery

May 17 (FT) The International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) in a statement yesterday strongly condemned the violence and destruction of business property in the country during the last few days. Following is the full statement: It is profoundly sad that the country continues to experience such acts of violence after nearly one month of the Easter Sunday terror attacks that claimed over 250 innocent lives. It is regrettable that after enjoying 10 yrs of peace more..

IMF keeps Sri Lanka’s growth unchanged at 3.5% despite attacks

May 17 (FT) IMF yesterday said it was keeping Sri Lanka’s growth projection of 3.5% unchanged despite the Easter Sunday attacks, and did not see any fresh risks for debt repayments, but called on the Govt to continue reforms to ensure growth picks up in the medium term. IMF Mission Chief for SL Manuela Goretti said that the extension of the $1.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) to June 2020 would give the chance for more..

‘Future wave of local TV viewers’

May 17 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom is operating in accordance with the newest trends from the industry was once again demonstrated with the launch of the PEO TV go application, that enables their viewers to enjoy more than 50+ local and int'l channels on the go, on different devices. In order to bring the newest technology and a new form of entertainment to SL, Beenius partnered with Broadpeak, Verimartix & MillenniumIT. With this project, Beenius, together with the referenced partners, more..

CBSL to assess damage to economy

May 17 (CT) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has commenced a study into the damage caused to the economy by the 21 April attacks, a reliable source indicates. Furthermore, the Non-Cabinet Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution, Dr. Harsha De Silva noted the short and long-term effects on the economy will be identified separately. The Minister said that the tourism sector has suffered the worst impact due to the terror attacks. An informed source further indicated more..

Hakeem appoints team to assess damage suffered by Muslims

May 17 (Island) SLMC Leader, Minister Rauff Hakeem, said that he had appointed a team to visit the riot torn towns and villages to evaluate the damages caused to Muslims, their properties and mosques, according to a statement issued from his office yesterday. He this statement following his visit to the Kurunegala and Puttalam districts in the North Central Province, where the Muslim settlements were vandalized by more..

Ethnic bonding through Commonwealth Cricket

May 17 (CT) SL High Commission in London hosted the visiting Sri Lanka Cricket Team for the ICC World Cup 2019 to a reception at its Hyde Park Gardens premises on Thursday 9 May 2019, attended also by the UK dignitaries, the diplomatic corps and cricketing professionals in the UK Sri Lankan community. A warm welcome was extended to the team by the High Commissioner for SL in the UK, Manisha Gunasekera. The reception commenced with the observation of more..

WC 2019: All you need to know about SL

May 17 (NIE) SL cricket has been at the centre of match-fixing and corruption allegations for some time now. Recently, the ICC charged the team’s performance analyst Sanath Jayasundara with two counts of breaching the anti-corruption code and handed him a provisional suspension. Former players Nuwan Zoysa and Avishka Gunawardene were also suspended by the ICC for breaching the Emirates Cricket Board’s anti corruption code. Sanath Jayasuriya, former captain and more..

Apparel industry likely to miss export target

May 17 (DN) The apparel export industry is facing several short and long term challenges following the Easter Sunday attacks, the industry officials said. One of the key issues faced by the industry is to meet the delivery time set by the buyer community. Chairman, SL Apparel Exporters Association, Rehan Lakhany said, some factories had to undergo work force absenteeism due to the location of those factories and more..

The bungling political circus, continues unabated!

May 17 (Island) Why, oh why human behaviour seems to regressing to the dark ages, in spite of the vast strides made in science and technology and ever-expanding education? The world is in chaos, as sinister forces are trying to gain power with religious misinterpretations, using terrorism as an accessory. To overcome this grave threat, the need of the hour is strong leadership but, sadly, this seems to be totally lacking in our political class! Though there are a few exceptions, most politicians have more..

Avoiding a July ’83 pogrom against Muslims

May 17 (Island) Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapakse has gone on record, advising the public to avoid a repetition of the black July’83 pogrom and this time against the Muslim community. Excellent advice indeed from the former President and current leader of the opposition, one which unfortunately seems to have been observed in the breech by events which had been occurring the past few days in the North Western Province and the Gampaha District in particular. more..

From cradle to grave: NOC to amend constitutions to allow unlimited terms

May 17 (ST) Just over a year after the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) introduced term limits to promote good governance and avoid concentration of power around a few individuals, the local body wants to revert to the old system which allows the President and Secretary General to stay on without restriction. The existing constitution allows two four-year terms to the President and Secretary General. more..

Grandmother worries over future of grandchildren orphaned by blast

May 17 (ST) Three weeks after the Easter Sunday bomb blast at Katuwapitiya Negombo, the faithful of the Church of St. Sebastian’s are trying hard to come to terms with reality. While the church remains closed with army guards at its entrance, there were some devotees lighting candles inside the church. The iron fence surrounding the church was obscured with sympathy banners portraying the images of those persons lost in the blast. Echoing the sentiments of the area people, more..

Norway: A consistent partner for our common future

May 17 (CT) In Norway, today, 17 May, marks the signing of the Norwegian Constitution that took place in 1814. This is Norway’s National Day and everyone, especially children, celebrate this event with street parades all over the country. This year, as we mark our National Day, less than a month after the senseless Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, Norway stands in solidarity with Sri Lanka and its entire people. Norway has been with Sri Lanka through many different phases more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Editorial: Judging judges – II

May 17 (Island) The police generally deserve the flak they get, but there are instances where, we believe, they are flayed unfairly. He that has an ill name is half hanged, as the saying goes. So, it is only natural that whenever something goes wrong on the law and order front the police find themselves at the receiving end of public criticism. They have done precious little to improve their image. When nine out of ten suspects, arrested from a copper factory, owned by one of the NTJ suicide more..

Ethnic riots: A mix-up of friend and foe

May 17 (DM) The terrorists of the National Thawheed Jama’ath cold-bloodedly killed around 300 Christians just because they were Christians. That was clear by the statement made eight days after the terrorist attack by Abu Bakr-al Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) which seemed to be behind the Easter Sunday massacre. Baghdadi during his first public appearance after five years last month said in a televised speech, that the suicide attacks on more..

Refugees fear for their safety

May 17 (CT) SL Govt must ensure that the more than 1,100 refugees and asylum-seekers forced from their homes by violent mobs in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday massacre are immediately provided with adequate security, food, shelter, and healthcare, Amnesty International said. Living in fear of further attacks as anti-Muslim violence rises in SL, these people are currently languishing in overcrowded community more..

Mangala’s Mistake

May 17 (CT) The script of Mangala’s Mistake is simple and straightforward. It begins with a pervasive silence of our collective complicity with an untruth. Mangala decides to pierce the conspiracy of silence with the obvious truth. It is a grave mistake. You cannot argue with the custodians of Sinhala Buddhism. You cannot question its preeminence in the Sri Lankan polity. That is their exclusive preserve. They operate on the simple principle that only the fish can study marine biology. more..

Silence and Solidarity

May 17 (GV) Whatever people may tell you, whatever clichés are spouted in novels and TV broadcasts, silence isn’t deafening. It is, in fact, painfully empty, your ears searching for even the slightest morsel of sound to register. In its vacuum comes a roar like a 747 on takeoff, before you look up to see a fruit bat shoot off from a nearby branch. A door slamming in that house down the road is a rifle crack, making you jump for a second before you realize no one lies bleeding. more..

Secularism or Barbarism

May 17 (GV) The blue, red, yellow, orange and white lights are on, as are the makeshift stalls selling lanterns. Yet few pause to see, haggle, buy. Vesak, so near chronologically, had never seemed so far away spiritually. After the Easter Sunday Massacre, fears were raised about Vesak too being turned into a bloody spectacle by the IS, working through its local adherents. As it turned out, neither IS nor its local adherents more..

Square pegs in round holes in the land of no accountability

May 17 (CT) Let’s stop calling them rioters and mobs, shall we? They are terrorists. They kill people, and loot and burn the shops and houses of ordinary people. They terrorize people. That’s terrorism. They are terrorists. The Chief of Defense Staff actually went further and publicly labelled as traitors those who rampaged through much of the Northwestern Province and parts of the Gampaha District. His reasoning is that these acts of violence are anti-national acts and amount to treason. more..

President Sirisena’s unfulfilled promises: Ignoring security

May 17 (CT) It is not surprising that security scarcely figures in Maithripala Sirisena’s manifesto. He talks about food security and energy security, which are of course both most desirable, but their promotion by govt must come after the provision of physical security, which is its first and foremost obligation. But we had obtained this, irreversibly it seemed, with the destruction in 2009 of the LTTE and the lifting of the terror that had shrouded us in darkness for a quarter of a century. more..

Wife of Kochchikade suicide bomber gives birth to baby

May 16 (PTI) The wife of a Sri Lankan suicide bomber, who blew himself up at the St Anthony's Church, delivered their first baby two weeks after the deadly Easter Sunday attacks that killed more than 250 people including the attackers, the Colombo magistrate's court has been told. Alawddin Ahmed Muath, the 22-year-old law graduate, was one of the nine suicide bombers who carried out a series of coordinated attacks more..

Video: Sinhalese terrorism has risen through violence: Rosy

May 16 (AD) Not only Islamist terrorism but Sinhalese terrorism should also not be allowed in the country, says Mayor of Colombo Rosy Senanayake. She mentioned this attending a program held at Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) premises. The Mayoress pointed out that all Muslims are not terrorists or extremists. Stating that Sinhala terrorism has risen through violence under various influences, Senanayake states that it should be firmly rejected and all should stand against it. more..

No police curfew today

May 16 (AD) Police curfew will not be imposed on any part of the country today over the prevailing peaceful situation in the country, SP Ruwan Gunasekera said. He further stated that no violent incidents have been reported in North Western Province and Gampaha police divisions as of yet. The Police do expect to impose a curfew tonight as the security forces have consolidated the security in the island through security mission and no violent incidents have been reported yet, he said. more..

Video: Extremism feeds extremism: Ali Sabry

May 16 (AD) President’s Counsel Ali Sabry says that the number of members in terrorist leader Zahran Hashim’s group grew significantly following the ethnic clashes in March last year and that this goes to show extremism feeds extremism. He said Zahran’s terrorist group had only 20-25 members in the past, but after last year’s unfortunate clashes in Digana a large number of youths had joined them and this has been more..

'New political culture need of the hour'

May 16 (CT) The Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) yesterday said that it would be instrumental in forming a new political culture in the country having witnessed the fear and terror the country was going through. LPBOA President, Gemunu Wijerathne lamenting that the LPBOA had backed the setting up of the present Govt observed that the current situation was a result of political instability for which President Maithripala Sirisena and Parliament were responsible. more..

Video: President returns from China

May 16 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena returned to the island following his official visit to China to attend the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations (CDAC). President and his delegation arrived in the island early this morning. President Sirisena met with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Chinese President Xi Jinping during his official visit. President also addressed the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations, which was held in Beijing on Wednesday morning. more..