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Sri Lanka in talks with India, Japan to build container terminal in Colombo

May 24 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is in advanced talks with India and Japan to construct a container terminal at the port in Colombo, next to a Chinese terminal built as part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, govt officials said. The involvement of India and Japan is the latest sign that Sri Lanka wants to neutralise the growing influence of China, which has poured money into the South Asian island under its mammoth Belt and Road Initiative more..

Student arrested for posting fake rumour on President on Facebook granted bail

May 24 (AD) The university student, who was arrested for publishing a fake rumour on his Facebook account saying that the flight en route to China with President Maithripala Sirisena on board had crashed, has been released on bail. He was produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today. Accordingly, the Chief Magistrate has ordered a personal bail of Rs 100,000 on the suspect as bail conditions. The investigation officers who are working on more..

Avishka Fernando stretchered off in warm-up game against South Africa

May 24 (ICC) Avishka Fernando, the Sri Lankan batsman, had to leave the field after appearing to turn his ankle in Cardiff while playing against South Africa in an ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 warm-up match. During the 18th over of the match on Friday, 24 May, Fernando was fielding in the covers when he put in a slide to field the ball from a shot from Faf du Plessis and landed awkwardly on his ankle. He appeared in significant pain as soon as the incident took place, more..

Singaporean-style law proposed to rein in social media

May 24 (Island) Chairman of Sri Lanka Press Council Koggala Wellala Bandula says those who perpetrated the Easter Sunday carnage certainly took into consideration political instability. Bandula asserts that countries in political turmoil become targets of terrorists and other detrimental international elements. Bandula said so in his opening remarks at a workshop organized by SLPC for Matale District journalists more..

Extending State of Emergency passed in Parliament; TNA votes against

May 24 (AD) Extending the State of Emergency by another month has been passed in the Parliament with majority votes today. TNA had called for a vote on extending the State of Emergency during today’s parliamentary session. Accordingly, 22 parliamentarians have voted in favour of extending the State of Emergency, while 8 MPs of the TNA had voted against. A Gazette Extraordinary on extending the State of Emergency by another month, signed by Prez Sirisena, was issued more..

Indictment against ex-Senior DIG Lalith Jayasinghe forwarded to Jaffna HC

May 24 (AD) The Attorney General has forwarded an indictment against former Senior DIG Lalith Jayasinghe to the Jaffna High Court, for allegedly assisting the key suspect in the rape and murder of school girl Sivalokananthan Vidya. According to State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne, the Coordinating Officer to the Attorney General, the indictment against former Senior DIG Anurudhdha Lalith Jayasinghe was forwarded to the Jaffna High Court today (24). more..

Sarvodaya conducts special anti-drug program

May 24 (CT) The abuse of psychotropic substances is becoming a significant problem in SL. People get addicted to one or more of these substances, either after medical use, or to evade withdrawal symptoms of heroin addiction, when heroin is not available in the market. Although these substances are controlled medicines, they seem to be freely available in the black market. According to the data more..

PM briefs ambassadors in bid to lift travel advisories

May 24 (EN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and members of the security establishment had met foreign ambassadors based in Colombo on February 24, in a bid to lift travel advisories slapped on the island after Easter Sunday blasts. Dozens of countries slapped travel advisories on Sri Lanka after Easter Sunday blasts by Islamist suicide bombers. On May 13, Sinhalese nationalists attacked Muslim businesses, creating further unrest. PM had explained that life has come back to more..

Easter Sunday Attacks: Speaker asks PSC Chief to let media cover it

May 24 (DM) Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee, which has been appointed to look into the Easter Sunday attacks is free to make its proceedings open to media, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament today. He said this when a few govt MPs including the House Leader Lakshman Kiriella requested that the PSC proceedings be opened to media so that there would be transparency and accountability. “We want you to make the proceedings open to media as more..

Video: 41 bank accounts of Easter attack suspects suspended

May 24 (AD) Rs 134 million in 41 bank accounts belonging to the suspects, who are currently held in custody of the CID and the Terrorism Investigation Division over their alleged links to Easter Sunday terrorist attacks, have been suspended. On May 6th, the Police Spokesperson said that money accumulating over Rs 140 million, owned by the terrorists responsible for the attacks, was identified during investigations. more..

Govt must cut down on expenses: Vijitha

May 24 (NR) JVP says the govt should cut down on all unnecessary expenses at a time that the Easter attacks have had an impact on the country’s economy. MP Vijitha Herath speaking in Parliament said failure to do so will lead to more public discord against the govt. The MP expressed that actions of this terrorist group have affected the national economy and the economy has collapsed. MP Herath added the govt starting from the President, certain govt Ministers and Department heads more..

I never wanted Wijerama MW closed: MR

May 24 (DM) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa today rejected allegations that he had wanted Wijerama Mawatha where his official residence is located closed. In a statement in Parliament he said he never asked that Wijerama Mawatha be closed. “I have never asked for the closure of Wijerama Mawatha at any time. It is not only me who is residing on this road. Minister Gayantha Karunatilleke and Minister Champika Ranawaka also live down this road. more..

NOPPR protest medicine price hike

May 24 (CT) National Organisation for the Protection of Patients’ Rights (NOPPR) vehemently protested against the Govt’s alleged move to jack up the prices of medicines once more. NOPPR Secretary, Dhammika Edirisinghe said that in 2016 and 2017 Health Minister, Rajitha Senaratne reduced the price of 300 essential drugs through a special Gazette Notification. However, it is unfortunate that another Gazette Notice more..

Intel officers too should be pardoned: Dilan

May 24 (CT) MP Dilan Perera yesterday said the Presidential Pardon afforded to General Secretary of the BBS, Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera should also be given to Intelligence Unit Officers who were facing a jail term. He further said that releasing Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera would relieve the distress among Sinhala Buddhists who were disappointed about the immediate release of National Thowheed Jama’ath suspects taken into custody over the Easter Sunday attack. more..

Mercurial Perera poised to repay Sri Lanka's faith at World Cup

May 24 (Reuters) Sri Lankan selectors have long persevered with Thisara Perera’s potential rather than his form and the all-rounder is finally showing signs of maturity in white-ball cricket ahead of his third World Cup appearance. Perera endured a frustrating spell since clubbing a match-winning six to clinch SL’s maiden Twenty20 World Cup title in 2014 but has turned a corner over the last 18 months to become one of their most dependable players. more..

Tabs for A/L students: Education Minister ignored President’s recommendations

May 24 (Island) Ministry of Education had repeatedly attempted to ignore the recommendations of President Maithripala Sirisena on procurement guidelines, with regard to the provision of tab computers to GCE A/L students, the Presidential Commission investigating frauds under the current administration was informed yesterday. Senior Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Education Mahesh Hewawitharana, referring to more..

5 Sri Lanka cricketers signed for Caribbean Premier League 2019

May 24 (IC) Five SL cricketers were picked up by teams in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) player draft, which was held in London on Wednesday. Niroshan Dickwella, Lasith Malinga, Isuru Udana, Seekkuge Prasanna and Thisara Perera were the only Sri Lankans picked, despite 34 SL players making themselves available for selection for the Caribbean’s premier T20 tournament. Malinga and Udana, who have been signed for a top price of US$ 160,000 each, more..

Five-storey building in Negombo set on fire

May 24 (AD) An unknown person has set fire to a five-storey building in Kochchikade, Negombo, causing massive damages to its properties. It was reported that the incident took place last night. Accordingly, a home appliance store on the first floor and the reception halls on the fourth and fifth floor have been gutted in the fire. The fire brigade of the Negombo MC has doused the fire. Preliminary investigations have uncovered that the said building was set on fire by an unidentified person. more..

Video: Development officer among 5 arrested over links to Easter Sunday attackers

May 24 (AD) Five individuals have been arrested this morning by Horowpathana Police over their suspected links to the Easter Sunday attackers, the Police Spokesman said. Speaking at a press conference, SP Ruwan Gunasekara said that three of the arrested suspects are residents of Hijrapura while one is from Ellawewa in Kebithigollewa. The other suspect is a Development Officer attached to the Horowpathana DS more..

Rajtha and Nalinda appointed to Select Committee probing Easter attacks

May 24 (AD) Minister Rajitha Senaratne has been appointed as a member of the Special Parliamentary Select Committee looking into the Easter Sunday terror attacks following UNP MP Kavinda Jayawardena’s decision to step down from the committee. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced in Parliament that JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa has also been included as a member of the special select committee. Earlier today, MP Kavinda Jayawardena decided to step down from the parliamentary more..

Ecologically-damaging steel plant: BOI responds to allegations

May 24 (CT) In response to our story titled Alleged Money Launderer Lokuwithana Back: This Time With Plans For Ecologically Damaging Steel Plant In Trincomalee, the Board of Investments (BOI) has sent the following explanation. The proposed steel manufacturing and export plant in Trincomalee was approved by the BOI in December 2018, pursuant to diligent scrutiny and review. This project envisages strict adherence to European environmental standards, and final implementation more..

Anura Kumara Disanayake

Sri Lanka needs urgent surgery!

May 24 (FT) Sri Lanka was on the slippery slope of a serious crisis, heading for a great disaster of the State, even before the outbreak of Easter Sunday attacks. Now, in the aftermath of the ruthless Easter Sunday attacks, the country’s crisis has become exacerbated by many times compared to what it was, resulting in a near collapse of not only the State, but also the society, economy and the political background as well. The decline in the economy can lead to a state of complete bankruptcy. more..

Politics of the Desperate

May 24 (CT) Yesterday, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said that the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against Industries Minister Rishad Bathiudeen would be debated in Parliament on the 18 and 19 of next month. This debate is in connection with his alleged involvement in the Easter Sunday Islamic extremists’ suicide bomb attacks, which killed at least 257 and wounded 496. The NCM was filed by the Opposition. Bathiudeen’s party, the ACMC, is aligned with the UNP/UNFGG Govt. more..

Sri Lankan with possible links to Easter attacks arrested in Myanmar

May 24 (AD) A Sri Lankan man, believed to have connections with those involved in the Easter bombings that killed at least 250 people, was arrested in Myanmar on Thursday afternoon. Abdul Salam Irshad Mohmood, 39, was detained by police when he appeared at an immigration office in downtown Yangon to renew his visa. The arrest came after Myanmar Tourist Police’s request on Wednesday to more..

‘HRCSL does not condone any form of violence’

May 24 (Island) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka says it does not condone any form of violence, whether in the public or private sphere. HRCSL Chairperson Dr. Deepika Udagama said so in response to a query regarding TNA MP and attorney-at-law M.A. Sumanthiran controversial statement on the Easter Sunday carnage. Pointing out that Dr. Udagama had been present when MP Sumanthiran, more..

Video: Kavinda steps down from Select Committee probing Easter attacks

May 24 (AD) UNP MP Kavinda Jayawardena says that he has decided to step down form the Special Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to look into and report on the Easter Sunday terror attacks in SL. MP said that he decided to step down due to personal reasons. Jayawardena stated that he has had to dedicate himself fulltime for the people and that due to being unable to allocate all his time for this committee, more..

US only sought to amend 1995 agreement with Sri Lanka: Official

May 24 (DM) The United States has sought to amend the 1995 agreement with Sri Lanka on the status of Department of Defence (DoD) military personnel and civilian employees, only to include some additional privileges, such as the mutual recognition of professional licenses, fees for support services rendered, and regulations for hiring foreign and local contractors, a spokesman said yesterday. more..

SLFP and UPFA to boycott PSC on Bathiudeen

May 24 (FT) The UPFA said it would not be part of the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) appointed to investigate allegations levelled at Minister Rishad Bathiudeen as it feels the PSC will only divert attention from recent political developments and seek to whitewash the minister. UPFA General Secretary MP Mahinda Amaraweera said UPFA and SLFP members have taken a collective decision not to be part of PSC but more..

Why must we pay this price, ask victims of mob attacks

May 24 (ST) The mobs that hurled the stones were largely outsiders. But the men that threw bottles of petrol into his wholesale shop and struck the match while his family quaked in the flat above were from his own village. And that is what’s tearing communities apart in areas where, on Sunday and Monday, violence was unleashed on ordinary Muslims on the pretext that they were somehow responsible for the April 21 more..

Finance minister slams Judenboykott, Kristallnacht re-enaction against Muslims

May 24 (EN) Minister Mangala Samaraweera slammed a Nazi-style boycott of Muslim businesses and mob violence unleashed by Sinhalese nationalists in 2019 who got a new lease of life in the wake of Islamist Easter Sunday bombings. "The attacks against Muslim businesses is also terrorism which is also as bad as bombing," he said. Muslim-owned apparel factories alone employed over 100,000 Sinhalese more..

New Sri Lanka stock market misconduct criteria to improve enforcement: IMF

May 24 (EN) New criteria for reporting capital market wrongdoings to the regulator by Sri Lanka’s stock exchange should help improve investigations and enforcements, the IMF said. Sri Lanka’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) run parallel surveillance programs to identify misconduct in the market. New criteria on referring market misconduct to the SEC for investigation more..

Bathiudeen denies calls to Army Commander

May 24 (FT) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has denied a slew of allegations levelled against him, including employing an Islamic cleric as an advisor to the Ministry, and exerting pressure on the Commander of the Army to release an arrested person. “There are no Moulavis functioning in an advisory capacity to me as the Minister. Therefore none of the Moulavis arrested to date were my advisors. My two official advisors more..

A symbolic arrest

May 24 (DM) Recently a Muslim woman was arrested for wearing a dress with a picture that apparently resembled the Dharmachakra- the wheel of dharma. Social media was abuzz criticizing the arrest as many believed that the picture was that of the helm of a ship. Amnesty International (South Asia) said that the absurdity of the purported offense should be sufficient to release her immediately and provide her with compensation. more..

Global Islamophobia and its Lankan agents

May 24 (DM) Islamophobia is an industry. It is US$ 500 million strong in the United States alone, according to research carried out by the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the University of California, and a Carter Centre publication titled Countering the Islamophobia Industry. Certainly, the millions being pumped into this industry are not spent on creating a peaceful world. Rather, it is spent on spreading hate, violence or bringing about a clash of civilisations. more..

Voices of dissent against Rishad

May 24 (DM) The opposition against Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and the support to keep him in power underscore the fact that SL is a nation which is confused about what’s right and wrong. The allegations that Bathiudeen offered political patronage to those involved in the Easter Sunday bombings is yet to be proven. But opposition forces in parliament demand the removal of the portfolios he holds as the minister of Industry and Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaces more..