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Hamilton Canal is dead!

May 15 (ST) Here and there, the skeleton of a fish bobs on the surface of the water, starkly white against the black or is found entangled in the grasses edging the bank. There are no birds because the fish and other crustaceans are dead. The water too is still, having taken on the colour of murky black, whereas earlier it had been flowing clear and transparent. The Hamilton Canal is dead! Many blame it on a massive discharge more..

Conspiracy theories

May 15 (CT) The suicide bombs that caused such mayhem on Easter Sunday were packed with ball bearings, iron nails, and the explosive TATP, all hallmarks of the way the Islamic State likes to commit mass murder. Nevertheless, many were ready to cast doubt on IS being the culprit. IS usually quickly claims the credit for such carnage, but the group’s Amaq News Agency waited until 23 April. Even Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith spoke of an invisible hand behind international forces. more..

Random Musings

May 15 (GV) What does ail thee Sri Lanka? Is it, as Bishop Heber once notoriously stated, that it is a land where every prospect pleases but only man is vile? We could dismiss his views as those of a 19thcentury Colonial master regarding his subjects. But then, we have done everything we can to prove the veracity of his words since Independence. To recount briefly there was the Sinhala only act of ’56, the race riots of ’58, the violent JVP uprising in the early ‘70s, posing an armed challenge to more..

Left behind: Child survivors of Easter terror

May 15 (SO) Lying bandaged and bruised in sparse hospital beds or trying to pick up the pieces after a devastating tragedy ripped their worlds apart, they all have a story, each one as heart wrenching as the next. Eighty one children were injured in six suicide bombings on April 21, many of them while attending Easter Mass at popular churches in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa, and at least six were orphaned more..

Appoint Presidential Commission

May 15 (CT) Acting Defence and Law and Order Minister Ruwan Wijewardene on Monday did what his uncle President J.R. Jayewardene did not do 36 years ago that led to the July ’83 riots and Sri Lanka’s bloody and destructive 26-year separatist war that followed thereafter, by declaring an islandwide curfew in the backdrop of Sinhala-Muslim riots that took place in the Wayamba Province and in the Gampaha District, that day. Wijewardene was made Acting Minister, more..

Food for thought: Counter–Terrorism Act

May 15 (FT) There is an ongoing debate these days in the Parliament as well as among the interested circles in our country about the introduction of a new bill, the Counter Terrorism Act, advocated by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Naturally, the subject remains focused on by all and sundry due to the horrendous happenings on Easter Sunday which shook the whole world. The revelations made by the security forces deepen interest more and more because the country is reminded of an era more..

Dehiwela suicide bomber radicalised by hate preacher in UK

May 14 (DM) One of the Sri Lankan suicide bombers was allegedly radicalised by hate preacher Anjem Choudary. Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed, 37, was the link between Islamic State and the bombers, according to security services. A security official told the BBC: 'He was completely radicalised and supported the extremist ideology. I tried to reason with him. 'When I asked him how he got into this… he said more..

Video: Security in NE, a matter for Army to decide: TNA

May 14 (DM) Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader R. Sampanthan said on Sunday that it was left to the Army Commander to decide on the security in the North and East if something untoward happens there and as such there was no point in him (Sampanthan) commenting on the matter. “Should anything untoward happens, it is the Army which needs to decide on the action to be taken. There is no point in me commenting on that. The Army Commander will decide on that,” he said. more..

CICT invests in dangerous goods storage facility

May 14 (EN) Sri Lanka’s Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) said it has opened a Dangerous Goods Storage Facility (DGSF) at Colombo port with an investment of US$ 1.5 million (about 265 million rupees). A statement said the facility is South Asia’s most advanced IMDG storage which will enhance Port of Colombo’s capabilities and reputation. The facility is a sophisticated storage yard for cargo classified under the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code. more..

Police arrest 23 for targeting Muslims after Easter bombings

May 14 (Reuters) SL police arrested 23 people on Tuesday in connection with a spate of attacks on Muslim-owned homes and shops in apparent reprisal for the Easter bombings by Islamist militants that killed more than 250 people. Soldiers in armored vehicles patrolled the towns hit by sectarian violence this week as residents recalled how Muslims had hid in paddy fields to escape mobs carrying rods and swords, incensed over more..

Xi: China supports Sri Lanka in counteracting terrorism

May 14 (CGTN) Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized that the Chinese govt and people stand firmly with the Sri Lankan people and resolutely support Sri Lanka in safeguarding its national security and stability. President Xi made the remarks while meeting with his SL counterpart Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday in Beijing. Both sides need to maintain the high-level dialogue regularly, promote cooperation in jointly building the Belt and Road, facilitate law-enforcement more..

Court calls for postmortem of Kochchikade bomber

May 14 (AD) Colombo Chief Judicial Medical Officer has been ordered to submit a post mortem report on the death of Alawdeen Ahamed, who carried out the bomb attack at the Kochchikade church in Kotahena. The magisterial inquest into the death was held before the Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne and the relatives of the bomber including his parents had been witnesses at the event. The father of the bomber stated that his 22-yr-old son had completed basic law education more..

Don’t take citizens for fools: Wimal

May 14 (CT) UPFA MP and NFF Leader, Wimal Weerawansa yesterday, claimed that the Govt still does not have a Joint Operations Command Centre (JOCC) in the Police to deal with terrorists. He said, “The country today is at a very crucial point. More than 250 lives have been lost, and it’s a joke if we think we are safe amidst that. The President is saying that there are only 150 terrorists and that 80% of them have been caught. more..

Improved student turnout observed today

May 14 (AD) Despite the low turnout of students that was observed yesterday (13) as the primary classes at govt schools reopened for the second term, the attendance of students had considerably increased today (14). However, at certain schools, the attendance of students had passed 50%, according to school principals. An increased turnout of students and teachers was observed at schools in Colombo and suburban areas, Anuradhapura, Ratnapura, Polonnaruwa, Badulla districts. more..

SL and Gambia establish diplomatic relations

May 14 (Island) Sri Lanka and Gambia have established diplomatic relations between the two countries with effect from May 10, Foreign Ministry said. The Foreign Ministry said that upon the signing of an Agreement by Dr. Amrith Rohan Perera, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN and Lang Yabou, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Gambia to the UN on 10th May 2019 in New York, the Govt of SL and the Govt of Gambia more..

The Martyrdom Myth

May 14 (DM) Submerged in our current encounter with terrorism, devastation and anger provoke us to impulsively ascribe suicide bombing to the lunacy of the bombers themselves, or to something inherent in the ideals of the bomber’s ethnic or religious group- which to those of us on the outside is blatantly brutal, inhumane and regressive. The world however, having witnessed her fair share of suicide attacks, has challenged this more..

Islandwide police curfew from 9 pm

May 14 (AD) An island-wide police curfew will be enforced from 9 pm today, says Police Media Spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekara. The curfew will be in effect until 4 am tomorrow. Meanwhile, a 12-hour police curfew will commence within the North Western province from pm today and it will last until 6 am tomorrow morning. The police curfew will be imposed within the Gampaha Police Division starting from 7 pm. The curfew is set to be lifted at 6 am tomorrow. more..

UNP: PM should act for President

May 14 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe should be vested with full powers in the absence of President Maithripala Sirisena, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said yesterday. With reference to the Easter Sunday terror attacks, Kiriella said that when Prez Sirisena was in Singapore at the time, Premier was faced with too many restrictions. He said that when the PM wanted to summon the Security Council, he was not permitted to do so. Kiriella also said that they had not been informed of Indian warning more..

Gazette issued banning three groups including NTJ

May 14 (AD) The govt has issued an extraordinary Gazette notification proscribing three organizations in SL. National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim (JMI) and Willayath As Seylani have been banned accordingly. Prez Sirisena has issued the relevant Gazette notification under the Public Security Ordinance. On April 27th, using the powers vested with him under regulation 75(1) of the Emergency more..

US envoy wants Male and Colombo to cooperate to defeat terrorism

May 14 (Island) The US has urged the Maldives and SL to collaborate to defeat terrorism. Ambassador of the US to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Alaina Teplitz encouraged the Maldives to cooperate with all nations to prevent terrorist acts from taking place and stressed that there is ever more a need for collaboration between the Maldives and Sri Lanka, than there ever was, Male-based RaajjeMV reported. "This is the moment for all nations to be reminded of the need to work together. more..

Brother of British teenagers killed in SL bombings hopes to raise £500k for victims

May 14 (ES) The brother of the British teenagers killed in the SL terror bombings is aiming to raise £500,000 to help victims' families. David Linsey, 21, lost his sister Amelie, 15, and brother Daniel, 19, when one of the seven suicide bombers struck the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo on Easter Sunday. More than 300 people were killed in the attacks, including eight British nationals, which targeted churches and hotels across the country. 21-year-old Oxford graduate has already raised £78,000 more..

Arrested software engineer key in Easter attacks

May 14 (DM) The software engineer suspected by authorities of having provided technical and logistical support to the Easter Sunday suicide bombers was monitored by Indian intelligence agencies three years ago for links with Islamic State suspects, Reuters reported on Tuesday quoting investigators. Four sources in SL investigating agencies had said they believed 24-year-old Aadhil Ameez was the link between two groups more..

Sri Lanka gets US$70mn World Bank loan to strengthen local govt services

May 14 (EN) International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank has given Sri Lanka a loan of US$ 70 million to strengthen services by 134 local authorities in the Northern, Eastern, North Central and Uva provinces. “This development support project is designed to strengthen local authorities’ capabilities to deliver services to communities in a responsive and accountable manner,” the Finance Ministry’s Dept of External Resources said in a statement. more..

‘Education Minister busy giving jobs to henchmen while schools remain deserted’

May 14 (Island) School attendance continued to be abysmal for the second week as the average turnout country wide was around 2%, teacher trade unions said, alleging that the Ministry of Education had failed to identify priorities. "Yesterday, primary sections of schools also started and school attendance should have doubled. But things are worse than last week. The attendance at schools in main cities as well as rural schools has decreased." The overall attendance was around 2%," more..

Ex-US Coast Guard cutter arrives in SL

May 14 (SLN) Ex-United States Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Sherman taken over by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) from the US govt, arrived at the port of Colombo today (12). The vessel acquired by the SLN from the US govt in a bid to increase the operational capability of the island’s sea arm, arrived at the port of Colombo around 10 a.m. this morning. SLN welcomed the newly arrived platform in compliance with naval traditions more..

Dialog record revenue of Rs. 9 B for Q1 2019

May 14 (LBO) The Group continued its growth momentum across all key business segments, namely, mobile, international, tele-infrastructure, digital pay television and fixed line to record a consolidated revenue of 29.0 billion rupees for Q1 2019, demonstrating a growth of 2% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) and 11% year-on-year (YoY). Underpinned by strong revenue growth and cost optimisation, Group Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation grew 5% more..

Gamini Senarath to make a dock statement today

May 14 (DN) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Chief of Staff Gamini Sedara Senarath is to make a dock statement today regarding a case filed against him and several others over alleged financial misappropriation case. When the case came up before the Trial-at-Bar bench comprising High Court Judges Sampath Abeykoon (President), Sampath Wijeratne and Champa Rajaratne, former Treasury Secretary P. B. Jayasundara who had been named as a defence witness concluded more..

Rinaz Mohammed, Roshan Watawala

Is Sri Lanka a pawn in a political conspiracy?

May 14 (FT) Over three weeks have passed, since the people of Sri Lanka were made subjects of a deadly terror attack that transmitted shock waves amongst the entire strata of the population. Unlike the LTTE, the group involved in these acts of terror appeared to be far superior in their organisation, conduct and implementation. Many lives were lost, changed and the ill effects would take many years to heal. What led to this scenario? Was it negligence, incompetence or was it a conspiracy? more..

Angst, agony and a suffering Cardinal

May 14 (CT) Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, at Mass celebrated at St. Lucia’s Cathedral, Colombo Sunday, demanded punishment and expulsion from power and positions of all political leaders… and authorities who were aware of the planned carnage by Islamist suicide bombers who laid waste to three major Christian churches in Sri Lanka in a spree of carnage that killed 250 Christians at recent Easter Sunday services. Giving vent to his pent-up grief, more..

Easter bombs had explosives not used before by LTTE or Military, source

May 14 (DM) The explosives used by the suicide bombers for the Easter Sunday attacks, had been improvised by the terrorists which neither the military nor the LTTE had used before, sources said. The explosives were believed to have been created with combination of several chemicals. It was also revealed that bombers had used bulb filament to detonate the bombs. more..

Police inaction against mobs could trigger more unrest, TNA warns

May 14 (EN) Police inaction against mobs attacking minority Muslims in SL might force the community to resort to defending themselves and trigger more violence, TNA warned. TNA said it is deeply concerned by reports of mobs attacking Muslim homes, businesses and Mosques in several villages over the last two days. “It is particularly concerning to hear of reports of such attacks more..

Namal Kumara-Amith Weerasinghe arrested

May 14 (AD) The Leader of Maha Sohon Balakaya Amith Weerasinghe and the Director of Anti-Corruption Movement Namal Kumara have been arrested. Reportedly, the arrests have been made today by a special police team, stated the Police Media Spokesperson. Amith Weerasinghe has been arrested at Theldeniya while Namal Kumara was arrested at Warakapola. They have been arrested to record a statement on the violent and more..

India extends ban on LTTE for five years

May 14 (Hindu) India on Tuesday extended the ban on the LTTE for violent and disruptive activities that are prejudicial to the integrity and sovereignty of the country. T Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) renewed its 2014 notification to declare LTTE as an unlawful association for another five years. In the notification, the MHA said the LTTE “continues to adopt a strong anti-India posture as also continues to pose a grave threat to more..

Stop hateful attacks in Sri Lanka before things escalate: UN

May 14 (UN) Joint Statement by Adama Dieng, United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, and Karen Smith, United Nations Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, on attacks against religious minorities in Sri Lanka. Recalling their recent statements against violent extremism and hate speech, the United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, and more..

Nuwan Zoysa files petition seeking suspension of SLC’s decision

May 14 (AD) National bowling coach Nuwan Zoysa has filed a petition seeking the Court of Appeal to suspend the decision taken by the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to send him on compulsory leave. The chairman of SLC and 16 others have been named as the respondents of the petition filed by Zoysa. In his petition, Zoysa says that the ICC has charged him for allegedly engaging in an activity that has improperly influenced the result, more..