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Govt to amend Muslim marriage/divorce act

May 25 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is reported to have informed the diplomatic community in Sri Lanka yesterday that the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act would be amended to increase the age of marriage to 18 for Muslim women in a move aimed at unifying the personal laws as far as possible. He briefed the heads of diplomatic missions in Colombo on the security situation in the country after serial bombings more..

OCPD probing Hesha’s statement

May 25 (CT) The Organised Crimes Prevention Division (OCPD) informed Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayarathna that an investigation has commenced into MP Hesha Withanage’s statement, to the effect that if the Easter Sunday attacks was focused on a Buddhist religious place, huge destruction would take place with the killing of innocent Muslims. Withanage had made this statement on 25 April, while attending a live discussion on a private television channel. more..

CEA instructed to strengthen programmes ensuring environmental conservation

May 25 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to the relevant authorities to take forward all the programmes implemented to protect the environment in a strong and efficient manner while declaring an Environment Week in parallel to the World Environment Day which falls on June 05. Prez gave these instructions participating in a progress review meeting of the Central Environmental Authority held at the auditorium of the Central Environmental Authority, today (24). more..

Easter bombing suspect no longer in Myanmar

May 25 (TI) Myanmar President’s Office said the actual suspect of Easter bombings that killed at least 250 people in SL is no longer in Myanmar. This follows the arrest of a Sri Lankan man on Thursday believed to have connections with those involved in the attacks. On Wednesday, Myanmar Tourist Police sent a request to the country’s Hotel and Tourism Department to report Abdul Salam Irshad Mohmood, 39, more..

Monthly inbound flights reduced by 300: MR

May 25 (DM) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the number of monthly inbound flights at the BIA has been reduced by 300. He said artistes including film directors who had made movies for Vesak and those who were planning to put up pandals and other decorations for Vesak have also been affected. Therefore, Mr. Rajapaksa said it was vital to have an overall economic management package to help those economically affected by the current crisis. more..

Navy brings ashore sick fisherman

May 25 (Island) The Navy brought a fisherman who had suddenly fallen ill at sea, ashore for treatment yesterday. The patient was aboard the multi day fishing trawler ‘Surathlie 4’ which had left the Negombo fishing harbour for fishing on 20th May. In response to information given by the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources about the patient, a Fast Attack Craft attached to the Western Naval Command was dispatched to retrieve the patient. The patient was transferred safely to more..

AG urged not to assist possible attempt to put off presidential poll

May 25 (Island) Ven. Elle Gunawansa has requested the Attorney General not to assist a possible attempt to put off the 2019 presidential election. The following is the text of a letter addressed to Attorney General Dappula de Livera PC: "I understand that a reference is likely to be made in terms of Article 129 of the Constitution invoking the consultative jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. "This is in connection with a provision more..

Over 300,000 affected by severe dry weather in Sri Lanka's north

May 25 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's Disaster Management Center (DMC), on Friday said that Sri Lanka's northern districts faced a severe dry weather condition, affecting over 300,000 people. The DMC said in Jaffna district alone, 46,000 people had been affected by the drought while in the Mannar district 56,000 people had been affected. In the Mullaitivu district 40,000 people had been affected while thousands of families residing in several other areas in the north also had been affected. more..

Sampanthan extends warm congratulations to Modi

May 25 (Island) TNA Leader R. Sampanthan has extended on behalf of the Tamil speaking people his warm congratulations and heartiest wishes to Indian Premier Narendra Modi on his convincingly winning the confidence of the People of India for the second term in office. The following is the text of the congratulatory message sent by Mr Sampanthan: Your Excellency, I extend to your excellency and to the Barathiya Janatha Party our warm congratulations on your convincingly winning more..

JO alleges Bathiudeen trying to muddy the waters

May 25 (Island) The JO, yesterday, said that State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene owed an explanation as regards ACMC and Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s latest claim that he had intervened on behalf of a person taken into custody in connection with the Easter Sunday carnage on his (Wijewardene’s) instructions. Bathiudeen is on record as having said that State Minister Wijewardene instructed him to speak more..

Speaker announces setting up of Special Media Unit in House

May 25 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday announced that a Special Media Unit would be set up in the Parliamentary Complex next month to open parliamentary proceedings and affairs to public. He said that he had instructed Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dassanayake to take measures to remove barriers enabling more proceedings to be opened to the media. The chairman of any Parliamentary Select Committee had been vested with powers to invite more..

Opposition to change of school name to pamper ex-Chief Minister of WP

May 25 (Island) Old boys and well-wishers of the oldest school in Madiwela, Sri Rahula Maha Vidyalaya, whose name has been changed to Jaya Isura Vidyalaya, have urged President Maithripala Sirisena to retain the original name of the school because of its historical and cultural significance. The group of representatives submitted the petition addressed to the President to Western Province Governor Azath Salley at a meeting held at the Governor’s Office on Friday. more..

MR calls on Govt. to broaden post-Easter Sunday economic relief

May 25 (FT) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa proposed the Govt launch a special economic package targeting those who lost their livelihoods due to the Easter Sunday attacks. According to Rajapaksa, the economy took a serious blow with almost all industries and trades coming to a stop, reducing the income levels of the employees, entrepreneurs and the farmers. Demanding the PM’s response, the Opposition Leader told more..

LKI Experts speak on Indian Ocean Order at Chatham House, UK

May 25 (FT) Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKI) Executive Director Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja and LKI former Executive Director and Nonresident Fellow Dr. Dinusha Panditaratne recently delivered a joint presentation at The Royal Institute of International Affairs – also known as Chatham House. They were invited to provide a Sri Lankan perspective on ‘Challenges of a Rules-Based Order in the Indian Ocean’ on 26 April in London, before more..

Sandya Eknaligoda writes to PM

May 25 (FT) Sandya Eknaligoda, the wife of missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, had written to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe requesting for security for herself and her children after the release of BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara. The monk was jailed after he was found guilty of Contempt of Court following verbal abuse hurled at Eknaligoda during the court proceedings into her husband’s disappearance. She had earlier objected to the granting more..

Tea untouched by terror

May 25 (FT) Tea exports for the month of April was recorded at 20.8 Mkg, which is identical when compared to the same period of the previous year, produce broker John Keells Ltd., said in their weekly report. Sri Lanka harvested a crop of 23.6 Mkg during the month of April – a negative variance of 15.6% when compared to the crop harvested in April 2018. The main contributor for the 23.6M kg was from the Low Grown planting more..

‘Empower banks to defer payments due from biz community’

May 25 (DN) The Govt should request international donors to defer Sri Lankan foreign debt repayments for six months and offer this benefit to SL banks. As a result local banks could then be in a better position to defer payments due to them from local business community. These views were expressed by Secretary of the Colombo Business Association, Chaminda Vidanagamage. “Due to Easter Sunday blasts and downturn in tourism there is a negative economic climate which is reflecting badly more..

Skippers predict most closely fought World Cup ever

May 25 (ICC) The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 is officially up and running and all ten skippers are anticipating the most competitive tournament in history. The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 is officially up and running and all ten skippers are anticipating ‘the most competitive tournament in history’. The Film Shed in London’s trendy east end played host to the official captain’s media launch of the 2019 tournament on Thursday afternoon. And with hosts England kicking off the tournament more..

SL shuttlers emerge group champions

May 25 (DN) SL shuttlers finished group champions when they beat Ireland 3-2 in the classification round match of the Sudirman Cup Badminton tournament played at Guangxi Sports Centre Nanning, China. It was a fine come back for Sri Lanka after losing first two matches, mixed doubles and men’s singles. Ireland started with mixed double and men’s single matches wins but SL Kavidi Sirimannage was the player of the day more..

SLC launches World Cup song

May 25 (CT) The World Cup Song for the ICC ODI World Cup 2019 was launched by SLC yesterday at the Sports Ministry at a grand musical extravaganza featuring Sanka Dineth. Warak Wati Dewarak Nagi Siti Sinhayan api (Once fallen, twice risen, we are Lions) is a heart-felt song centered on the theme of unity, and calls on Sri Lankans from all walks of life to come together as one to support the national team. With music and vocals by Sanka Dineth and lyrics by Wasantha Moragoda, more..

All bunkum.., playing to the gallery …

May 25 (Island) A loud and screeching headline, embellished in a red background in an English Newspaper (not of the Upali Group), on Thursday the 23rd of May 2019 screamed at all and sundry "VIPs beware on roads, President tells Cabinet". Apparently at the Cabinet Meeting on Tuesday the 21st, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka had given ‘strict instructions not to close roads in any way causing obstruction to the public to facilitate VIP convoys’. more..

WC warm-ups: South Africa beat Sri Lanka

May 25 (CI) As warm-up matches go, South Africa couldn't have hoped for a better one. Nine of their batsmen, including their allrounders, had a hit and eight of them surpassed double figures. Hashim Amla found form with 65 off 61 balls, captain Faf du Plessis blazed to 88 off 69 balls, before cameos from Andile Phehlukwayo and Chris Morris hauled them to an imposing 338. Lungi Ngidi, South Africa's highest wicket taker more..

Talented youngsters make racquet

May 25 (CT) The Women’s Singles Open semi-final fixtures of National Clay Court Tennis Championship 2019 will commence today at SLTA, with Anjelika Qurera facing Anika Seneviratne; while the latter’s younger sister Alana Seneviratne will lock horns with Janali Manamperi. The Women’s Singles Open category was a much awaited fixture for all Sri Lankan tennis fans. Tennis sensation Anjelika Qurera made her way to the semi-finals after easily defeating Tania Doloswala 6/2, 6/0 in more..

The best is yet to come!

May 25 (Island) Kumar Sangakkara has played many a fine inning in his time. They have spanned across every notable playing field and every nook and cranny worth knowing on the cricket map. They have stretched across all types of the game – from Tests to ODIs, to the T20s. In each of them, his performances have won him accolades from men of discernment. Be it with bat or lip, he has made his mark. His opponents know only too well how fiendishly difficult it is to match him – more..

On the Presidential Pardon: Reactions to Gnanasara’s Release

May 25 (GV) The photos, depicting a saffron-robed Gnanasara Thero, received thousands of reactions on Facebook. He has been freed they read. Budu saranai and Theruwan saranai commenters posted on the Facebook Pages of mainstream media like Neth FM and Hiru News. On May 23, the General Secretary of the BBS Galagodaththe Gnanasara Thero received a Presidential pardon, and was released more..

Sri Lanka out to win Asia Championship Saranga to pull out

May 25 (CT) SL National Rugby fifteen-a-side outfit will be determined to win the Asia Rugby Championship Division I tournament which will be held from 29 May in Chinese Taipei. Sri Lanka is captained by the former Isipathana skipper Omalka Gunarathne, while Jason Melder and Kavindu Perera will be the joint vice captains of the team. SL Rugby announced the squad for the Asia Rugby Championship Division I tournament on Thursday at a function at Maharaja Palace in Colombo 7. more..

Edtorial: Filicide, extremism and duplicity

May 25 (Island) We reported, yesterday, that a father had clubbed his son to death over a family dispute. We have witnessed an instance of filicide on the political front as well. President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe have strangled the poor yahapalana baby, whom they jointly fathered, to death. They have become defenders of extremists! The incarceration of BBS leader Galabodatte Gnanasara Thera was widely hailed as a triumph for the rule of law. more..



May 25 (CT) Customarily a post-mortem is done within 24 hours after a person’s tragic death, but it has taken more than a month to write about Sri Lanka’s atrocities that took place on Easter Sunday, 21 April 2019. First and foremost, it was impossible to think how some of the bombers came from respectable families, who had been brainwashed into thinking that by killing anyone against Wahhabism in Islam faith would end up in heaven! The aim of this column is not to focus on more..

Pursuing Peace: Belittling the TNA

May 25 (CT) I felt, after studying the suggestions put forward in February by the TNA, that we should have responded positively to most of them, while making it clear that there were a few we found unacceptable. I sent a brief draft to the rest of our team about the more significant proposals, as follows: a) While abolishing the concurrent list is desirable, there are areas in which joint action is required, for instance – Rivers and Waterways, Continental Shelf, more..

Why be ruled by the worst: When we can be served by the best?

May 25 (CT) On 21 April, the citizens of Sri Lanka woke up to a brand new low from their democratically elected representatives. After eight different locations were attacked killing up to 250 people, these elected representatives revealed that they were given prior warning of the said attacks and had only taken steps to fortify their own security whilst leaving their citizens unprotected. This gross selfishness and disregard in terms of more..

Darkness scary, daytime uncomfortable

May 25 (DN) People may tell many stories, some collected in the streets, or collected from novels and TV broadcasts, silence isn’t deafening. It is, in fact, painfully empty, ears searching children cry or barking dogs, even the slightest creak of sound to register. In its empty sadness comes the roar of tiger, when one looks up to see a fruit bat shoots off from a nearby branch. A door slamming in that house down the road is a rifle crack says the neighbour, making you jump for a second more..

Sinhala-Muslim communities have demonstrated maturity since ...

May 25 (DN) It was a couple of days after the Aluthgama attack by hooligans. As I woke up on one Saturday morning in 2014, I smelt some rubber and toxic chemicals being burnt; the first thought was to check the house. Suspicious that something was very wrong outside, I stepped out of the house to witness a deep red /amber western sky: a little distance away, I observed upper ends of flames fluttering up in the air aided by the blowing. A thick black smoke surrounded the area; more..

Hardest hit: Small businesses bear the brunt of the Easter Sunday bombings

May 25 (Roar) As dusk settles over the Galle Face Green, the usual sprawl of street vendors is glaringly absent. All the stalls lining the edge of the Green remain closed, and nobody is around to notice. No kids playing with plastic glow-in-the-dark toys, no couples strolling along the walkway by the sea, and not a single kite in the sky. It has been over a month since the Easter Sunday bombings, and the tumultuous aftermath of the attacks has kept more..

Mangala, Monks, Magala Sutta & Marx

May 25 (CT) In the Buddhist belief system, Mangala means a blessing. In the abstract Mangala denotes an auspicious sign. In the Mangala Sutta, the Buddha has enumerated 38 of the highest blessings that we must or should be guided by. Mangala says that Buddhism is not a religion. That it is a message to all mankind. He says that he follows the vision of the Buddha and does not regard it as an inflexible dogma held in hegemony by the Sinhala Buddhist tribe. more..

Symbolic but significant

May 25 (CT) The dreadful attacks of Easter Sunday, 21 April have cast a heavy gloom on our nation. The media have been inundated with narratives, interpretations and speculations. In this situation, an important issue has not invited attention. I refer to the NCM (no confidence motion) against the Minister Rishard Bathiudeen. If I have got it right, the PM who also heads the UNP, has allowed Members of his Party although a partner in Govt, to exercise a Conscious Vote. more..