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Sri Lanka lifts travel ban on grieving British groom

May 15 (AFP) A Briton whose bride died on their honeymoon two days after arriving in Sri Lanka was allowed to return home after a court lifted a travel ban Wednesday. Khilan Chandaria, 33, said he would probably return home Thursday after thanking several Sri Lankans who helped him during the tragedy. "When I heard that I can go back, the realisation finally hit me that I am going back to a life without my wife," Chandaria told more..

Court issues interim order against new Director Board of Litro Gas

May 15 (AD) The Commercial High Court of Colombo today issued an interim order preventing the new Director Board of Litro Gas, who were appointed by the Finance Minister, from carrying out duties in those positions. The order was issued by Colombo Commercial High Court Judge R. Gurusinghe, when a petition filed by four former Directors of the company was taken up today (15). The petition has been filed by more..

Airport bedlam mirrors havoc in tourist industry

May 15 (ST) The Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) is a two-way gateway to Sri Lanka and the world for visitors – officials on business, tourists coming to see the picturesque resplendent isle and many others – and Sri Lankans. Since the military defeat of the Tiger guerillas, the airport has provided an increasingly pleasant entry and exit point for travellers. The Easter Sunday massacre put paid to all this for 18 days. more..

'America should not ask the countries to choose between China and the U.S.'

May 15 (DM) Prez Sirisena left for China, on Monday, while the country was still reeling from the Easter Sunday carnage. He apparently did not consider the national security crisis so serious as to warrant the cancellation of his foreign trip. (Nero may have fiddled while Rome was burning, but he stayed in that city on fire, didn’t he?) The UNP is worried that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has not been allowed to act for the President or, more..


May 15 (Island) Prez Sirisena left for China, on Monday, while the country was still reeling from the Easter Sunday carnage. He apparently did not consider the national security crisis so serious as to warrant the cancellation of his foreign trip. (Nero may have fiddled while Rome was burning, but he stayed in that city on fire, didn’t he?) The UNP is worried that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has not been allowed to act for the Prez or, at least, that is what Minister Lakshman Kiriella has said. more..

Virgins in Heaven and the cumulative effect of alienation…

May 15 (DM) Whether a given hadeeth in the Holy Traditions of Islam is authentic or fake could hardly have been a matter of interest to those who are not Muslims or scholars, under normal circumstances. Quite frankly speaking, why should it be? But when it comes to certain a hadeeth, as it turns out now, the answer has become a matter of life and death, not to those of Islamic faith or its scholarly pursuits, but to total outsiders who do not wish to have any darn thing with such issues. more..

Tension ticks as security forces, police tackle mobs

May 15 (FT) Police yesterday arrested 33 people linked to widespread anti-communal attacks, which erupted countrywide as PM Ranil Wickremesinghe renewed appeals for the public to cooperate with security forces and Police to restore calm. Police arrested 60 people from the North-Western Province, but only nine people were arrested from Hettipola, and another 10 from Kuliyapitiya, for taking part in attacks. more..

Mayhem toll in NWP and elsewhere: 500 houses, shops & religious centres damaged

May 15 (Island) During attacks by organised groups on mainly Muslim religious centres, shops and houses in the North Western province and some other areas, on Monday, one person was killed and ten others were seriously injured. Police said around 500 buildings including some religious centres had been destroyed in the attacks. 60 persons were taken into custody in connection with the attacks and 33 of them were remanded, while a number of attackers had been identified. more..

Attacks during curfew

May 15 (Island) The premier Muslim clergy body, the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulma (ACJU), expressing concern over the death reported due to mob attacks on mainly mosques and Muslim business establishments in the North Western province, said they requested the govt to restore law and order. ACJU Media Secretary Ash Sheikh Fazil Farook said laws should be enforced strictly against those involved in attacks on mosques, properties. Another Moulavi said that they were doing their more..

Wellampitiya Police OIC demands inquiry

May 15 (DM) Wellampitiya Police OIC Gamini Hewawithana has complained to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) demanding an inquiry against Colombo Magistrate Court Judge Priyantha Liyanage over the release of nine employees on bail of the copper factory in Wellampitiya. It was reported that the factory, which belonged to the Cinnamon Grand suicide bomber Inshaf Ahamed has been used to more..

CEB engineers work-to-rule

May 15 (CT) Engineers Union of the CEB (EUCEB) began a work-to-rule campaign from 13 May, demanding that the salary issue of its workforce be resolved and that their monthly salaries be paid accordingly. President of the EUCEB, Saumya Kumarawadu said that since 13 May, all engineers attached to the Union will not remain at their workplaces after 4.15 p.m. He warned that until the current issue is resolved to their satisfaction, they will only perform duties according to the book more..

Why LTTE is dreaded even after its eclipse

May 15 (TOI) As the Union home ministry renewed the ban on the LTTE on Tuesday, a representative of the transnational govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) met select media representatives in Chennai to announce a tree sapling planting programme to mark the Mullavaikal genocide on May 18. Professor Saraswathi Rajendran was referring to the final phase of the civil war in Sri Lanka in which the LTTE was annihilated. Later in the day, the TGTE member of parliament quietly left the country. more..

Shed cultural differences and integrate Cardinal’s call to Muslims

May 15 (CT) Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday (14), called on all Muslims in the country to personally minimise and shed their cultural differences and integrate with the rest of society and the common culture, as one people and citizens of the country. Muslim politicians, should be authentic in their faith and the core values of Islam instead of using religion as a label or for selfish purposes, he added. more..

Gamini Senarath says he acted legally, wants himself acquitted

May 15 (DN) Former Prez Rajapaksa’s Chief of Staff Gamini Sedara Senarath moved court that he be acquitted and released from all charges making a special dock statement yesterday. This is over the alleged illegal transfer of Rs.500 million from Litro Gas Company. Senarath told court that had done all financial transactions legally and with the approval of SL Insurance director board, before the Colombo Permanent High Court-at-Bar. Two accused including Senarath concluded their dock more..

Don’t rush Madrasa Bill: Bhaddiya Thera

May 15 (CT) Govt and relevant authorities should not rush the draft Bill to regulate Madrasa schools and should prepare it in a transparent manner, Ven. Mawarale Bhaddiya Thera said. He was addressing the National Path Conference, organised by the People’s Movement for the Development and Protection of the Nation, in Colombo. “All these Madrasa schools should come under the purview of the UGC just like Pirivenas. With trouble brewing, I got to know that a certain Ministry has more..

Dayasiri denies being mob hero

May 15 (Island) Social media had created an environment where lightning unverified reports created a fear psychosis, UPFA MP Dayasiri Jayasekera said. Responding to allegations that he too was involved in inciting communal violence in Hettipola and secured the release of six suspects arrested for rioting on Sunday, Jayasekera said that he had intervened to prevent further rioting and that the decision to give police bail to the rioters more..

Sri Lanka blasts accused was on radar of Indian agencies

May 15 (Hindu) A key accused in the recent serial blasts in Sri Lanka, Aadhil AX, was reportedly under surveillance by Indian agencies including Gujarat’s Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS), following the arrest of two Islamic State (IS) suspects Ubed Mirza and Kasim Stimberwala. The arrested persons were allegedly in touch with Aadhil via WhatsApp. Both Mirza and Stimberwala were arrested by the Gujarat ATS and are in judicial custody in Surat. They have been charge-sheeted by more..

Manipulative groups inciting racial conflict in Sri Lanka; harming future of nation

May 15 (EN) Manipulative groups are promoting hate and violence in the wake of Easter Sunday attacks which will set back the country by generations, State Minister Harsha de Silva said, in the wake of anti-Muslim riots promoted by nationalists. "The recent developments around the country make it clear that there are groups who are taking advantage of people’s anger and pain in this moment of vulnerability to promote hate and incite violence," Minister said in a statement. more..

China pledges help to root out terror

May 15 (CT) Chinese President Xi Jinping told his visiting Sri Lankan counterpart Maithripala Sirisena Beijing will assist Colombo to root out terrorism in whatever way possible and ensure that national security is guaranteed in the island-nation. President Sirisena, who is on an official tour to China, has had bilateral talks with the Chinese President at the latter’s official residence yesterday afternoon. more..

Dubai’s JA Resorts & Hotels looking at SL

May 15 (CT) Dubai-based JA Resorts and Hotels, a subsidiary of the Dutco Group of Companies established in 1947, is exploring options to establish a property in Sri Lanka, according to int'l sources. Recently, JA Resorts and Hotels revealed plans to expand its portfolio across the UAE and the Indian Ocean, in addition to hotels and resorts in Tanzania and China. JA Resorts and Hotels is expanding into China through a joint venture with Shanghai-based investment fund, Novel Int'l Group, more..

Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducts consular mobile service in Ampara district

May 15 (MFA) Under the Rata Wenuwen Ekata Sitimu national programme, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducted a consular mobile service at the Dehiaththakandiya Divisional Secretariat in the Ampara District on 10 May 2019. The Ministry also participated at the progress review meeting of programmes, implemented in the Ampara District, under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena, held on 11 May 2019 at the Uhana Maha Vidyalaya Ground in Ampara. more..

People taking law into their hands due to Govt’s failure: JVP

May 15 (DM) The JVP said some people were attempting to take the law into their own hands because the govt had failed to punish the culprits and stressed the need to arrest the wrongdoers irrespective of who they were or whatever their status might be. JVP General Secretary, Tilvin Silva, told a news conference that the govt should provide true information to the people and pointed out that you could not more..

A portrait by prominent Chinese artist Tang Jian wen was presented to President

May 15 (PMD) A portrait of President Maithripala Sirisena and his family members by prominent Chinese artist Tang Jian wen was presented to the President by him recently at the President’s Official Residence. He made this presentation when a team of SL China coproduction film titled, You Are Always With Me called on the President. Chairman of the SL Foundation, Sarath Kongahage and Direcor of the film, Devinda Kongahage and others were present on this occasion. more..

Sri Lanka boxing looking for Cuban coach to boost medal prospects

May 15 (DN) Sri Lanka’s best chance of winning medals in boxing at international level is by competing in the lower weight classes, according to Dian Gomes, president of the Boxing Association of Sri Lanka (BASL). “People get annoyed when I concentrate on three or four weights. I know heart of hearts that we Sri Lankans cannot produce heavyweight boxers. We can’t last even one minute in the 91kgs, 81kgs or 75kgs against the Russians, Cubans, Kazakhs, Chinese or Mongolians. more..

Mobs destroy SL’s largest pasta factory

May 15 (FT) Sri Lanka’s largest pasta manufacturing facility, Diamond Pasta Limited, which is located in Minuwangoda, was destroyed during the violence on Monday night. The company’s management stated that though Police was called to control the situation, only ten officers had arrived at the scene, and they had been unable to contain the unruly mob, which had numbered well over 200. “Factory is completely decimated, more..

Kishu Gomes resigns from SLTDA

May 15 (CT) Kishu Gomes, who has been functioning as the Chairman of both the SL Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and the SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) since Feb 2019, has resigned from his position at the Tourism Development Authority to focus on his role at the SLTPB. Meanwhile, Tourism Minister, John Amaratunga appointed Johanne Jayaratne as the SLTDA Chairman in his stead. Up to the time of his appointment, Jayaratne served as more..

GS Lakshmi appointed first female match referee by ICC

May 15 (CB) GS Lakshmi has become the first ever woman to be appointed to the ICC Int'l Panel of Match Referees. 51-year-old's appointment comes close on the heels of Claire Polosak becoming the first ever woman umpire to stand in a men's ODI. Lakshmi first officiated in domestic women's cricket in 2008-09, and has overseen three women's ODI matches and three women's T20I matches. "To be selected in the international panel by the ICC is a huge honour for me as it opens up new more..

Sri Lanka Cricket go tough on illegal bowling actions

May 15 (ST) Illegal bowling actions have been one of the major talking points in world cricket in the recent past. One of the major instances where a player was called for an illegal bowling action was during the 1995 Boxing Day Test where Muttiah Muralitharan was in the spotlight. He had to undergo several tests in Australia to prove the legality of his bowling action. According to the rules of ICC An Illegal Bowling Action is where a player is more..

ComBank deposits surpass Rs. 1 t in Q1

May 15 (FT) Commercial Bank Group, comprising of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon, its subsidiaries and associates, has reported gross income of Rs. 35.501 billion for the three months ended March 2019, an improvement of 12.86% over the first quarter of 2018. Operating profit before impairment charges for the period represented an increase of 4.86% over the corresponding period of 2018. However, operating profit before taxes on financial services at Rs. 6.804 billion reflected a negative growth more..

Terrorism and tourism

May 15 (ST) The Eastern coastal belt of Sri Lanka, stretching about 300 kilometres from Pulmoddai to Arugam Bay was freed from the 30-year long conflict in 2009. The sand beaches and marble beaches as well as lagoons and bays of the Eastern province were gradually opened to welcome tourists. There was intense competition among the investors to invest in hotels, restaurants and other tourism-related facilities on the coastal belt. Jayanath, with whom I had a chat a few days ago, more..

The current crisis: An urgent common sense action plan

May 15 (FT) The most obvious consequence of the Easter Day calamity is the fear psychosis which has gripped our society. Arguably, not even at the height of the war was this feeling as strong and pervasive as it is today. The need of the hour, then, is the removal of fear. This can be done only by the restoration of confidence by practical and credible means. Right now, it is obviously futile to call on foreign missions in Colombo to soften more..

Banning terrorist organisations; Why did it take so long?

May 15 (CT) There is little doubt that the govt’s pussyfooting around for more than three weeks since the horrendous attacks on Easter Sunday, led directly to the violent situation that erupted in some parts of the country over the last few days, bringing Sri Lanka to the brink of another civil war. In the absence of proper national leadership, while political leaders mucked around, trading accusations and shamelessly trying to gain political capital for themselves, radicals on all sides made merry, more..

Do not let our children’s future be ruined by getting caught up in a racial conflict

May 15 (CT) As an economist, I’ve spent most of my career exploring ways in which Sri Lanka can be developed and modernized to meet its full potential. I’ve expressed my views on the approaches we must take to get there; some have agreed with those views and others haven’t. That’s the beauty of living in a democracy; we can respectfully agree to disagree and live together in unity despite our differences. However, the democracy we live in has now arrived at a critical juncture more..

Wimal Weerawansa

Man behind students’ success

May 15 (DN) It was the office of the Aluyatavela Maha Vidyalaya in Girandurukotte off Mahiyanganaya. The office was little, but well-organised. “You can take a rest here,” an organising committee member said while leaving the place. What is routine around this type of place could be seen happening there. A little girl came in and went towards the cubicle of the Principal. She waited near the entrance until she received permission. The Principal saw her and then said, more..

Stopping Islamophobia

May 15 (DN) The senseless attacks on Easter Sunday shook the nation and sparked a wave of anti-Muslim hysteria that is in danger of going out of control. There is a tangled jumble of emotions and causes that need to be sifted through to understand the problem. The fears arise from: The entirely unexpected nature of the attack (there being previously no Muslim-Christian animosity). The unknown nature of the threat. Since ISIS is involved apprehension that local Muslims are more..