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TNA urges Sri Lanka to ensure justice for murdered journalists

May 3 (TG) The TNA leader, R Sampanthan, marked World Press Freedom Day on Tuesday, calling on the present Sri Lankan govt to protect press freedom immediately and investigate the killing of murdered journalists. "At a time when the freedom of press is being subjected to oppression worldwide, I request the Sri Lankan govt to take all necessary steps to ensure the freedom and protection of press immediately in Sri Lanka," Mr Sampanthan said in a statement. more..

PRECIFAC to probe import of substandard dynamite

May 3 (FT) The anti-corruption commission is to commence an in-depth probe into the importing of 100 metric tons of substandard dynamite causing nearly Rs.22 million loss to the govt. The PRECIFAC has summoned the Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Anusha Munasinghe, on 5 May, to give evidence on the alleged irregular deal. Initial police investigations have revealed that the stocks of substandard dynamite were imported from 2012 to 2014. more..

'2006 bombing targeting Gotabhaya was an inside job'

May 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka's former army chief told parliament that a bomb blast apparently targeting former president Rajapakse's brother 10 years ago was an inside job to win sympathy for the then-ruling family. Sarath Fonseka, now a govt legislator, said the Dec 2006 bomb attack blamed on separatist Tamil Tiger rebels had been stage-managed by the president's brother Gotabhaya Rajapakse, then defence secretary. more..

Sri Lanka's public transport upgrade seen as urgent to prevent growth of traffic jams

May 3 (EN) Sri Lanka needs immediate improvements to public transport to curb the economic loss caused by road traffic congestion, Central Bank has said. In the medium term, policymakers must adopt Transport Demand Management processes to promote efficient public transportation modes and reduce travel demand from single occupancy private vehicles, or redistribute demand over space or time, it said. The bank said in its annual report that more..

Andra Pradesh Govt issued notice over illegal detention during MR's visit

May 3 (Hindu) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has served notice to the Govt of Andhra Pradesh through its Chief Secretary, directing it to pay a compensation of Rs. 20,000 to the complainant S. Gunasekaran, Bureau Chief of Sun TV Network, operating from Salem. The incident involved a group of journalists from Tamil Nadu who had reached Tirumala on December 10 , 2014, to cover the high-profile visit of the then Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Video: CSN lawyer faults FCID action

May 3 (DN) Attorney Premanath Dolawatta appearing for CSN, in the money laundering case, said today the FCID was obtaining legal recognition by seeking Court orders on the ongoing investigation. “According to normal procedure, the FCID summons the suspects if they were required to give a statement on the allegations. But, now FCID is seeking court orders to direct the suspects to give statements. The motive is obvious. more..

First SL travel guide in Arabic launched

May 3 (TA) Minister of Tourism John Amaratunga was presented with the latest edition of the only Arabic language travel guidebook on Sri Lanka, by Emirati author and entrepreneur Heba Al Mansoori. The presentation ceremony took place at the Sri Lankan Pavilion on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market, held in Dubai last month. The Minister was accompanied by Paddy Withana, chairman of SL Tourism Development Authority, Charitha Yattogoda, Consul General of SL for more..

Settling SLTB losses is priority: Nimal

May 3 (AD) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva says that although the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) has only 6,000 buses it has around 36,000 employees and that is roughly 6 workers for each bus. He stated that as the average salary of an SLTB employee is Rs 40,000 if the wages alone are to be covered from a bus, it should bring in at least Rs 240,000 per month. In addition to this a considerable cost is required for fuel, spare parts and other expenses, he said. more..

'Selectors will have to start from the bottom'

May 3 (CI) Sri Lanka's new selectors will have to start from the bottom, chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya has said, after selection strategy between his two stints had set the team back. Jayasuriya was chief selector from February 2013 to March 2015, before his panel was succeeded by one headed by Kapila Wijegunawardene. After that committee was ousted, Jayasuriya helped select the Test squad to more..

KLM resumes flights to Colombo after 20 yrs

May 3 (FT) At the start of the 2016 winter schedule, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will resume direct service to Colombo International Airport from October, the airline said. The first flight to Colombo is scheduled to depart on Monday, 31 October. This marks KLM’s return to Colombo after an absence of almost 20 years. KLM suspended service to Colombo (then served via Abu Dhabi) in 1997 as the war escalated. Sri Lanka has been a safe and stable country since the civil war came to an end in 2009. more..

NCP Minister says attended both SLFP rallies

May 3 (DM) The Provincial Minister of Irrigation of the ruling UPFA North Central Provincial Council H.B. Semasinghe said that he attended both SLFP rallies held on the May Day in Galle and Kirulapone, Colombo. He stated that he attended the rally held in Galle presided over by President Maithripala Sirisena and also participated at the May Day rally of the Joint Opposition held in Kirulapone presided over by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mr. Semasinghe opined that more..

Video: Gammanpila is a zombie: Mervyn

May 3 (DM) Former minister Mervyn Silva lashed out at MP Udaya Gammanpila over his remarks that Mr. Silva was responsible for the downfall of former president Rajapaksa and called Mr. Gammanpila a Pilliya (zombie) Mr. Gammanpila is reported to have told a news conference that the behaviour of the twosome Mr. Silva and former MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena had led to Rajapaksa's defeat at last year's presidential election. more..

‘MR needs human shield like Prabhakaran’

May 3 (DN) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa needs a human shield just like late LTTE Leader Prabhakaran did during the last stages of the war, Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Vijith Vijayamuni Soysa said. He said military personnel cannot be provided to the former President to travel around the country to topple the government. Military protection cannot be provided to the former President because there is no war in the country now. more..

No Sri Lankans involved in ATM scam: CID

May 3 (DM) No further arrests have been made in connection with the ATM scam involving two Chinese men who were arrested on Friday, the CID said today. They were arrested on charges installing an illegal electronic device on some ATMs to skim the data of those using the ATMs. The arrests were made after the CID had received several complaints from banks in Colombo stating that electronic devices had been installed at ATMs. The illegal devices had been handed over to the CID. more..

'Sri Lanka encourages Chinese investment'

May 3 (CD) Sri Lanka encourages Chinese investment, especially in new technology, Sri Lanka's ambassador to China, Karunasena Kodituwakku said. He made the remarks at a Dialogue in Tianjin Saturday and encouraged Chinese investment, especially in new technology. The event was the fourth gathering of governors, journalists, scholars, businessmen, and citizens from Tianjin and beyond. more..

'Country undergoing mop-up operation'

May 3 (CNBC) Sri Lanka's new govt is carrying out a mop-up operation after the last administration left the country in a debt-trap, tcountry's finance minister told CNBC. Speaking from Frankfurt at the ADB Conference, Ravi Karunanayake said that the new govt's "biggest problem is from the brought-forward, we're taking stock of what's on. We're basically unearthing what's been off-balance sheet items that have today become a contingent liability and bring that into books." more..

Rugby: Captaincy dilemma for selectors

May 3 (CT) Kandy Sports Club scrum half Roshan Weeraratne, Havelocks Sports Club duo of Sandun Herath and Sudharshana Muthuthanthri are being considered for the captaincy of the National 15-a-side Rugby Team ahead of the Asian Rugby Championship 2016 which is scheduled to be held in Malaysia later this month. SL Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) is expected to announce the final squad this evening which will certainly feature these three players who have been nominated as more..

A set of proposals to establish a righteous media culture in SL submit to President

May 3 (PMD) The heads of the Media institutions should be committed to fulfill their obligations to build a knowledgeable society for the betterment of the human society, President Maithripala Sirisena emphasized. It is also the responsibility of the media to criticize and point out the shortcomings and mistakes and provide accurate information to the public for the betterment of the country. He made these remarks more..

Docs to stage lunch hour protest against attack on medical students

May 3 (Island) The GMOA announced a lunch hour protest in several govt hospitals today against the attack on the protest march organised by the Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee last week. GMOA Secretary, Dr Nalinda Herath said the protest would be staged at several major hospitals in the country, including National Hospital, Colombo North Teaching Hospital (Ragama), Kalutara Nagoda General Hospital, Ampara, Peradeniya Teaching Hospital & Badulla hospitals. more..

Court summons relevant officials over disappearance of Indian from custody

May 3 (Island) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya ordered the controller of Immigration and Emigration and the Officer-in-Charge of the Mirihana police station to be present in court on May 16, in respect of the alleged disappearance of an Indian who had been in remand custody along with seven others, on suspicion of being connected to unauthorised kidney transplants. The Indian disappeared while in the Mirihana Detention Camp. The Colombo Crime Division has complained more..

Bleak place for women in male- dominated Police Dept

May 3 (ST) Never in the history of SL Police Department has there ever been a woman DIG of Police, a woman Senior DIG or a woman IGP. Under existing procedure, there never can be. Despite thousands of women now serving in the police force in different capacities, Police Department does not make allowance for female DIGs, Senior DIGs or IGPs. There are simply no allotted vacancies for them. That is not all. more..

Sri Lanka shares post near 4-mth closing high; John Keells leads

May 3 (Reuters) Shares posted their highest close in nearly four months on Tuesday, led by John Keells Holdings, while a loan agreement with the IMF last week also boosted sentiment. Benchmark stock index rose for the fifth straight session and ended 1.03%, or 66.84 points, firmer at 6,583.10, its highest close since Jan. 11. "Market was bullish with some buying interest coming into blue chips and mid caps. The main reason was due to the positive sentiment with the IMF announcement," more..

We need statesmen who think of the next generation!

May 3 (CT) Last week, Sri Lanka reached an agreement with the IMF for US$ 1.5 billion in loans to help lower its borrowing costs and bolster finances. The South Asian nation has pledged to narrow its fiscal deficit to 3.5% of GDP by 2020 through a comprehensive set of reforms to Sri Lanka's tax system, the Washington-based lender said in a statement. The loan programme will need approval by the IMF's Executive Board, which is due to consider it in early June. more..

සුසන්ත ජයසේන

Jaffna: The hell-hole of persecuted & oppressed Tamil slaves

May 3 (CT) The Dutch, British and post-independent administrators have left behind in their records grim accounts of how the Saivite-Vellahla casteists distorted and perverted the Jaffna political culture. Modern scholars (Jane Russell and Prof. Bryan Pfaffenberger etc), who had studied the socio-political conditions of Jaffna, too confirm that Saivite casteism and Tesawalamai endorsed and legalised the dehumanisation of individuals, reducing the low-castes to irrelevant non-persons. more..

Real Veddas or imposters?

May 3 (Island) A key Vedda clan cast doubt on the ethnicity of those who marched in a May Day procession on Sunday in Colombo. Heenbanda Etto, son of Vedda clan leader Uruvarigelage Vannila Etto said that the person claiming to be leader of the Nilgala Veddas identified as one Hemapala and the group of Veddas who marched with him were not known to them. "I have never heard of a Nilgala Vedda leader called Hemapala," Heenbanda said, adding that no vedda had informed his father, more..

RTI bill needs two thirds majority: SC

May 3 (AD) The Supreme Court has apprised the Parliament some sections of the Right to Information bill are not consistent with the constitution thus it needs a two third majority, the Speaker announced today. The observation was made when this was discussed at today’s Parliament section. The Speaker has also said it required a two third majority in the Parliament to pass the bill. more..

Sri Lanka to have LNG power plants, no unsolicited bids: CEB chief

May 3 (EN) Sri Lanka’s state power utility will go for liquefied natural gas power plants in future to improve its generation mix, now largely reliant on coal, but is prohibited from accepting unsolicited bids, a senior official said. With LNG prices coming down, the CEB is considering building LNG power plants but needs large units to justify the high cost of an unloading and re-gasification terminal, Anura Wijayapala, chairman of the CEB, said. more..

Sri Lanka's economic plan with IMF could slow growth, tough to implement: Fitch

May 3 (EN) Sri Lanka's economic plan agreed with the IMF would be tough to implement and could slow gross domestic product in the short term, but the economy could expand strongly if it is implemented, Fitch, a rating agency, said. "High GDP growth has supported Sri Lanka's credit profile, but the country is likely to face a period of adjustment under its IMF programme that could have a negative effect on economic performance in the short term," more..

Flouting polythene rule: Supermarkets biggest culprit

May 3 (Island) The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) said the majority of supermarkets in the Western Province had failed to comply with the ban on thin polythene, which came into effect on Feb. 1. Over 400 polythene manufacturers, users or sellers and importers in the Gamapaha, Colombo and Kalutara Districts had been investigated during the last two months since the govt imposed a ban on more..

UNAIDS welcomes landmark decision by Supreme Court to prohibit HIV discrimination

May 3 (FT) Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has welcomed a decision by Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court to prohibit HIV discrimination in education settings. Supreme Court issued the directive in response to a fundamental rights violation petition filed by Chandani De Soysa, who is from the rural community of Illukhena, Kuliyapitiya in Western Sri Lanka. De Soysa became a widow last year. When she tried to enrol her 5-year old more..

Govt to provide safe, sustainable livelihood for war affected women

May 3 (CG) The govt is committed to provide safe livelihood to war affected women. The UNDP partnered with the Divisional Secretariat in Vavuniya to highlight the important role of women in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] amongst youth, civil society and govt partners. Nearly 40 institutions representing these sectors came together for the 3 day exhibition titled, more..

Monorail project: proposals to be presented to Cabinet

May 3 (DM) The monorail project between Colombo and Malabe is back on track with the Ministry of Megapolis and Ministry of Transport finalizing the proposal that is to be presented to Cabinet. Megapolis Authority Director General Lakshman Jayasekara said the proposal was signed by both Ministers and was to be presented to Cabinet soon. “Once approval is received we can start construction within nine months and more..

84 illegal firearms handed over within a week

May 3 (DM) At least 84 illegal firearms have been handed over to the govt so far during the amnesty period declared by the Defence Ministry on April 25. More than 21 illegal firearms were handed over from the Gampaha district while 11 firearms were from Colombo. The ministry declared a general amnesty period from April 25 to May 6 so that those who possessed illegal firearms could hand them over to the nearest Police Station, the DS or the PS. more..

The Voracious and Vociferous VAT

May 3 (DM) Value Added Tax (VAT), in other words is tax on value addition. According to economists, a shirt, for instance, would cost Rs. 800 and would be sold for Rs. 1,000. In this case, Rs. 200 is the value addition and it is subjected to the VAT imposed by the govt. VAT is also termed as a regressive tax as research proves that the poor pay a higher percentage of their income in comparison to what the rich have to contribute. more..

Federalism back in the limelight

May 3 (SL) The resolution seeking a federal solution to the Tamil minority issue and political independence for the minority Tamil community, calls for the govt to include the merger of the Northern and Eastern provinces into one ruling system, and establishing it under a federal system, into the new constitution. However, there are others who oppose a federal solution and are against merger of N & E including some Muslim & Tamil communities. more..