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Prez discusses asylum seekers in Australia

May 25 (AP) President Maithripala Sirisena met with Australian PM with fighting people-smuggling high on the agenda. President is making the first visit by a SL head of state to Australia. His visit to Canberra and Sydney marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the countries. After meeting with PM Malcolm Turnbull, he was also scheduled to speak with Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton. more..

New security system from 1 June at BIA

May 25 (CT) It has been decided to implement a new security system from 1 June with the objective of providing protection to airlines at the BIA. According to the new security system, the quantity of liquids, sprays and gels that can be taken in hand luggage of an Airline passenger, has been restricted further. Manager of the Bandaranaike Airport and Air services company H. S. Hettiarachchi made this statement at a press briefing held at the BIA yesterday. more..

Heavy rains likely

May 25 (CT) South-West monsoon conditions are likely to develop over the country during the next few days, the Department of Meteorology informs. Hence, showery and windy conditions are expected to increase over the South-Western part of the country. Showers or thundershowers are likely to occur in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Central and North-Western Provinces. Showers or thundershowers may also occur in other regions during the afternoon, it said. more..

Govt failed to curb communal violence: JVP

May 25 (CT) The JVP charged in Parliament that the Govt was dragging its feet on curbing and controlling the escalating number of instances of racial and communal violence around the country. JVP leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayake said, "The govt should have acted fast and nipped this trend in the bud. Instead, it is displaying a very impotent and ineffectual attitude to this very dangerous issue which has potential more..

Only a professional to head Sri Lanka Ports Authority, new minister says

May 25 (EN) New Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe has said only a professional will be appointed as chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), which operates the island’s ports and provides navigation services. No political influence will be entertained in appointing the new chairman of the SLPA, a Ministry of Ports and Shipping statement quoted Samarasinghe as saying at a meeting with port labour unions soon after he took over his new job. more..

Case over Antonov aircraft crash in 2000 to be heard today

May 25 (NR) The case pertaining to the murder of 35 individuals by firing a missile at an Antonov aircraft from Wilpattu in the year 2000, will once again be taken up for hearing today. The case will be heard at the Anuradhapura Special High Court. Two LTTE cadres who were arrested and remanded over the case will also be presented in Court today. The Aircraft carrying 32 army personnel crashed as a result of the missile attack. A leader of the LTTE Missile Unit testified in Court, more..

GDP growth up last year: Kabir

May 25 (DN) Although the economic growth rate had slowed down to 4.4% in 2016 from 5% in 2014, growth in terms of GDP has actually increased last year amounting to Rs. 11,839 billion from Rs. 1,0361 billion in 2014, Minister Kabir Hashim said. In this context it is not correct to say that the economy is failing, simply going by the economic growth rate. He said a Professor from a leading University has commented that more..

Congratulations with a sting

May 25 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya congratulated Minister Mangala Samaraweera and all new ministers on their new appointments. When Speaker congratulated Minister on his new appointment, both the Govt and Opposition members joined in congratulating him during the course of the debate.  MP Dullas Alahapperuma raised a question from the Finance Minister and congratulated the latter saying that the appointment was victory for people from Matara. more..

Collaborative robots to boost productivity, expand SL female employment: officials

May 25 (EN) Deploying collaborative robots that work with humans in the workplace can boost productivity, create new jobs and help expand employment opportunities of female workers in SL, officials said. Collaborative robot (cobot) arms can lift heavy weights, do repetitive work, expand the reach of a worker and make precise placements of items on a production line. "A cobot is a third hand or a helping hand that improves the quality of life, the ergonomics and productivity of workers," more..

Prez, PM owe country an explanation for removing best FM in Asia-Pacific: GL

May 25 (Island) Top Joint Opposition (JO) spokesman Prof. G.L. Peiris said on Tuesday that President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe owed an explanation to the public as to why Ravi Karunanayake, who had been selected as the Finance Minister of the year 2016 in Asia-Pacific by the prestigious ‘The Banker’ magazine, was replaced in the yahapalana govt’s first cabinet reshuffle. more..

New low for Sri Lankan basketball

May 25 (Island) Sri Lankan basketball hit a new low Tuesday night when the national men’s team suffered a humiliating first ever defeat to Maldives at the ongoing SABA Championship at Male. Sri Lanka’s form in the competition had been patchy and they had earlier lost to Bangladesh apart from losing to tournament favourites India. But Tuesday’s heart breaking defeat to Maldives by six points was hard to take. However, in some quarters it was said that the defeat was expected as more..

I am reappointed Minister of Nothing-to-do

May 25 (Island) It is the month of May and I as the Minister for Nothing-to-do in the Cabinet of Sirisena and Wickremasinghe expected better things for me in life. There was so much speculation, calculation and others for months re the cabinet shuffle and reshuffle in SL’s jumbo cabinet, Yahapalanaya style. Attacks and counter attacks took place. Many insulted each other. Even those defeated candidates and people who came from the backsides and back doors got Dutch courage to attack rightfully more..

New Trade Policy presented to Cabinet Sub Committee on Economic Management

May 25 (FT) Minister of Development Strategies & International Trade yesterday presented the New Trade Policy (NTP) drafted by a committee comprising of trade sector experts in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders to the CCEM, making a remarkable milestone in the history trade policy making in SL. Formulation of a NTP was a long awaited task which was demanded by various parties including both public and private more..

Archaeological sites and wildlife: Hakeem calls for PSC

May 25 (DM) Minister Rauff Hakeem said a Parliament Select Committee (PSC) should be appointed to look into issues concerning archaeological sites and wildlife and national parks. He said the recent decisions on archaeological sites, wildlife and national parks had created problems for political parties which represent people in the North and East and that a lasting solution should be provided for these contentious issues through a PSC. The minister said this in response to a more..

Special Police Unit to deal with religion based violence

May 25 (DN) A special Police Unit with full powers will be established to deal with organised groups bent on religion based violence. This follows a special directive issued by PM to the Ministry of Law and Order. Several officers who have shown exceptional talent and efficiency will be posted to this unit which will dispatch Police investigation teams where ever attacks on religions places are reported and provide specialist advice towards investigations made into them. more..

Worker rights under scrutiny as GSP+ gets underway

May 25 (ST) Access to the European Union (EU) has been opened without trade barriers since Friday May 19 but certain issues concerning worker rights in Sri Lanka still need to be ironed out with the govt to ensure improved conditions on the factory floor, an issue often raised by trade unions, according to EU officials. Trade unions would need to continue lobbying if worker rights is to become a reality, EU Ambassador more..

Inoka leads Sri Lanka at Women’s World Cup

May 25 (CT) Inoka Ranaweera will captain the SL women's team at the Women's World Cup to be played in the UK from 24 June to 23 July. The squad consists of 15 players who are ready to face stiff oppositions from all other countries. Meanwhile, the ICC confirmed the squads that will be taking part in the tournament. Defending champion Australia will be led by Meg Lanning and bids to win the tournament for the seventh time. They will begin its defence against the West Indies, more..

Stockbrokers close outstation branches

May 25 (ST) Some stockbrokers, with the stock market continuing to show negative returns, are closing their outstation branches in a move to cut costs and manage their bottom lines. While brokerages are faced with several serious issues and their cash-flows are strapped, some companies are mulling pay cuts as well. Some closed nearly four branches outstation, they told the Business times adding that altogether about 12 branches were closed by March. more..

Ducks and drakes games at Lanka Hospitals

May 25 (ST) Ministry of Public Enterprises in an unusual shake up, removed and then reappointed some directors at Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC (LHCP) within a 5-day period, raising eyebrows. Ministry officials said that they wanted to shake the board up a bit, in move to purge the institution of its lackadaisical attitude. On May 12, LHCP said in an announcement to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) that more..

Brace for dengue surge

May 25 (CT) As the dengue epidemic has now reached crisis proportions, President Maithripala Sirisena last week called for a report on the efficacy of the Dengue Control Programme and declared an extended war on dengue for another three months beginning 1 June. During a special meeting with the Presidential Task Force on Dengue Eradication, the President had revealed his plans to issue several new circulars to govt departments and ministries regarding the prevention of dengue. more..

President joins in several programmes in Canberra

May 25 (PSL) President Sirisena visited ANU-CSIRO Centre for Genomics, Metabolomics and Bioinformatics this morning (24). The President was received by the Director – High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre (CSIRO), Dr. Xavier Sirault when he arrived at the venue. The ANU-CSIRO Centre for Genomics, Metabolomics and Bioinformatics (CGMB) combines the strengths of two of Australia’s best research institutions and aims to make discoveries in plant biological science more..

Fairway Chief rebuffs CB Governor’s warnings on apartments market

May 25 (FT) A major industry player, Fairway Holdings, has rebuffed the recent concerns expressed by CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy over the development of the apartments/condominium market as irresponsible and damaging. “I know we are living in a post-truth world, but some of the broad generalisations made by the Governor are excessive, precipitous and don’t seem to be grounded in established facts,” more..

PM opens integrated manufacturing complex of Flexiprint

May 25 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe opened the new integrated manufacturing complex of Flexprint Ltd. at the Flinth Industrial Estate in Kadawatha. The complex includes the material warehouse of Flexiprint, the leading manufacturer of teabags, teabag envelopes and tagged pyramid mesh, catering to the local and international tea trade.  The new factory has space to accommodate future expansion including printing, finishing, pyramid tagging and label printing. more..

New SC Justice stresses the need to think outside the box

May 25 (Island) Justice Vijith K. Malalgoda, at the ceremonial sitting of the Supreme Court, held yesterday to welcome him made the following, speech. The words that have been spoken here have truly made me feel quite humble. I’m honoured to have been appointed to the Supreme Court and I am conscious of the importance of the work of the Court and the significance of the role of a SC Judge. I will do the very best I can, to honour and fulfill the role of being a judge of the Apex Court more..

Cabinet Reshuffled: Now what?

May 25 (Roar) The much-hyped Cabinet reshuffle finally took place on Monday without much fanfare, though amidst heavy speculation that the event was a culmination of rising tensions between the two constituent parties of the National Unity Govt. Despite the UNP’s best efforts to hold on to the portfolios assigned to its members, party leader was forced to give in at the last minute, resulting in crucial changes that may make or break more..

Construction Expo 2017 on June 2-4

May 25 (Island) SL's largest and most focused constriction related exhibition, Construction Expo 2017, featuring all aspects related to the construction and building industry will be held on June 2-4 at the BMICH. "This event showcases products and services that help the participants to interact with all the stakeholders and key service providers within the building and construction industry," Chairman- Ceylon Institute of Builders (CIOB) Dr. Rohan Karunaratne said. more..

Police, AG’s Dept. disinterested, Lalith’s murder unsolved: Dayanthe Athulathmudali

May 25 (DN) “When Prof. Fernando requested me to speak today, I declined saying that my utterances may be interpreted as being supportive of the contents of the book being launched this evening. As he repeatedly requested and then gave me the freedom to say anything of relevance I wished, I thought I will start by doing some checks on who Prof Ravindra Fernando is. I asked my Doctor friends who now have the word Emeritus, like Prof. Fernando has, in front of their more..

Wimal Weerawansa

Editorial: Gaddafi’s prediction

May 25 (Island) Having raised the threat level from severe to critical following the Manchester blast, Britain is bracing itself for another possible terror strike. Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has vowed that his city will not succumb to division and anger due to the terror strike. But, Monday’s attack is likely to stoke tensions over race and religion. PM Theresa May has reportedly decided to deploy the military to operate alongside police to ensure public safety. more..

Ravi Mangala Yoga in Cabinet

May 25 (DN) The much anticipated Cabinet reshuffle eventually took place on Monday and saw several key portfolios change hands. The objective of the reshuffle was to apparently stifle growing dissent within the National Unity govt - although critics have quick to point out that it only amounted to a round of musical chairs with ministers swapping subjects among each other. The reshuffle- almost two years into the tenure of this govt- was a long time in the making. more..

Garbage in the city still fights shy of media

May 25 (SO) Small mountains of uncollected garbage by the road side on Friday were conspicuous-exhibits that the authorities were still grappling to overcome a stinky issue created a month ago, with the collapse of the Meetotamulla trash dump. A full four weeks have elapsed since the Meetotamulla tragedy, but efforts to find a short term solution to dispose the tons of solid waste generated within the city of Colombo and more..

Eight years hence

May 25 (Island) There are 71 mentions of Army in the 491-page final report of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTF), released earlier this year. One paragraph is worth flagging in full. "Army representatives also stated that although they had achieved the Govt’s objective under its political direction and in difficult and challenging circumstances, they felt a lack of solidarity and support at present. They stated their support for a truth-seeking process more..

The true human does not have a race

May 25 (CT) "Some people believe that this govt can be changed tomorrow, or day after. Certain people thought, with the count of heads seen at Galle Face, it will be possible to form a new govt the following day. If one can bring a number of heads to a stadium and by simply seeing the number of heads, one thinks that a new govt can be established, it is a big joke. As yet no answer has been given to the question why when there were two years remaining of the tenure, they held an election." more..

'Foreign powers destroyed MR'

May 25 (CT) If the law was implemented equally amongst all, the extremist elements will be contained and reconciliation can be achieved said UPFA MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene. He noted that foreign elements control the extremists who have been responsible for the hate motivated attacks in the recent past. Abeywardene added that these extremists were trained and funded by these foreign elements more..

Lack of intellectual depth in our leaders

May 25 (CT) In all political theatres, when the lights are dim and the drumroll begins, the actors and actresses, veterans and rookies alike, take their respective cues and enter the main stage. The storylines are, if the purpose is to shatter box-office records, consistently shallow and distastefully bizarre; music loud and insufferably out of tune; dialogues lofty and cascading like rainwater from a spout; costumes tailored to suit the audience-acceptance, bright and garish and more..

The Modi-Wickremesinghe constitution

May 25 (CT) As confirmed by Dr. Jehan Perera’s latest column, the PM disclosed in Mannar that Indian PM Modi had urged him, President Sirisena and ex-Presidents Kumaratunga and Rajapaksa to solve the ethnic problem by bringing in a new Constitution without delay. The PM said that this will indeed be undertaken, and a draft document presented in a week or two, with a draft Constitution ready for adoption in two or three months. What the new Constitution really hopes to achieve more..

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