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Sri Lanka police failing to stop anti-Muslim attacks

May 24 (AFP) Rights groups accused Sri Lankan police Wednesday of failing to stop a wave of hate crimes against Muslim businesses and mosques in the Buddhist-majority country. Police are yet to make any arrests in connection with more than a dozen arson attacks against Muslims shops, mosques and a burial ground in the past month. Prominent rights activist Victor Ivan said the inaction risked a repeat of more..

People to people links promote friendship between nations: Pak Envoy

May 24 (PHC) An eight member student delegation along with their teachers from The City School, Lahore led by Mrs. Shazia Zahid, is visiting Sri Lanka from May 24 to 28, 2017 under a Student Exchange Programme with Harcourts International School, Sri Lanka. The students visited the High Commission of Pakistan today, for a briefing. The Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Dr. Sarfraz Ahmed Khan Sipra, while briefing the students, highlighted that more..

Sri Lanka workers seek Korean jobs amid currency depreciation

May 24 (EN) In 2016, 6,629 Sri Lankans had officially gone to work in South Korea, a country with a stable exchange rate and better monetary policy than Sri Lanka, and 26,000 are in higher-paying jobs in the country. On May 9, SL's Foreign Employment Bureau said it had abandoned plans to charge a 500,000 rupee deposit from workers going to Korea from this month. SL's rupee has collapsed from 131 to about 154 in mid-2015. Sri Lankans are going to work in the Middle East and Korea in droves, more..

India, Japan Joint Venture To Build Gas Import Terminal In Sri Lanka

May 24 (NDTV) India and Japan will jointly set up a $250 million liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Sri Lanka, the first collaboration between the two nations to counter China's growing influence in the Island nation. Petronet LNG Limited, India's biggest gas importer, last year proposed to set up a 2-million-tonne (MT) liquefied natural gas import facility on the coast of Sri Lanka to meet its energy needs. more..

SL, Aus to discuss human smuggling issue

May 24 (DM) President Sirisena’s visit to Australia would be an opportunity to advance key areas of bilateral co-operation including action against human smuggling, Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull said. Australian Premier said that education, defence, science and technology, economic development and medical research were among the topics which would be discussed. President Sirisena arrived in Canberra and he is scheduled to visit Sydney during the three-day official visit. more..

PM proposes meeting of party leaders on delayed LG polls

May 24 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that he would discuss the proposed election reforms with all party leaders and inform the Cabinet of their position within one week. PM said so in response to a query raised by MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena. Latter also asked the govt to issue a notice calling upon the Election Commission to hold the LG polls without further delay. MP: Around 15 million people in all provinces have been deprived of their franchise. more..

Video: Protesting medical students, parents tear-gassed

May 24 (AD) The participants of a protest walk against SAITM have been dispersed using tear gas and high-pressure water cannons near the flyover in the proximity of the Lotus Roundabout. The protest walk that began in the morning today was organized as a joint effort by medical students and their parents. A heavy traffic congestion is said to have been created on account of the protest. An assembly of disabled soldiers has also more..

Prez visits Mount Majura solar farm in Canberra

May 24 (PSL) President Sirisena who is on a three-day state visit to Australia made an observation tour of the Mount Majura Solar Farm in Canberra, today. SL delegation, including Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga, Deputy Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, Ajith P. Perera, Deputy Foreign Minister, Harsha de Silva, Harshana Rajakaruna,MP, President’s Director General Public Relations, Shantha Bandara participated more..

Pakistani duo with 4kg heroin under questioning

May 24 (NR) Court today granted the Customs approval to detain and question the Pakistani couple arrested at the Katunayake International Airport with the possession of four kilograms of heroin. The heroin has been valued at 40 million rupees. The couple was produced before the Negombo Magistrate’s Court today. The couple was arrested early this morning upon arriving from Pakistan. They duo had concealed the heroin the 4 kilos and 218 grams of heroin in their luggage. more..

President visits National Arboretum in Canberra

May 24 (PSL) Prez Maithripala Sirisena visited National Arboretum in Canberra this morning. He was received by the Attorney General of Canberra Gordon Ramsay who represented the Chief Minister of Canberra. Mr. Scott Saddler, Acting Executive Manager of the Arboretum ýwas also present on this occasion. President planted a Mahogany sapling in the Arboretum to mark his visit to Australia. more..

52 women abused in Kuwait to return home

May 24 (NR) The govt has facilitated the repatriation of 52 Sri Lankan workers who were subject to abuse while employed in Kuwait. The 52 women arrived in the island at 10 this morning. Meanwhile 68 women who were also subject to abuse while employed in Saudi Arabia are scheduled to return home this evening. The women who arrived from Saudi Arabia suffered abuse such as, violation of labour rights, not receiving payments on time and being treated in inhumanely. more..

Gnanasara thera ordered to be in Court

May 24 (NR) The Court of Appeal today ordered General Secretary of the BBS Galagodathe Gnanasara thera to appear before Court on the 31st of May along with his medical records. A case is filed against Galagodathe Gnanasara thera on charges of contempt of court. The thera was ordered to appear before court on the 31st as he failed to appear before court today. The order was issued by Chairman of the Appeals Court Judge Rohini Welgama and Judge S Thurairajah. more..

'18-20 extremist activities reported recently'

May 24 (NR) JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said around 18- 20 incidents of extremist activities have taken place in the recent past. He said 18-20 of these incidents have taken place adding that however from these the govt has disregarded 8 incidents where lamps overturned or there were shortages. MP said there are 10 left from which govt can surmise that a pattern of incidents is taking place following which he then asked more..

'Finance Minister post too big for my boots'

May 24 (DM) I was thinking that the pair of shoes I was offered was too big for me when I was given the Finance Minister post, new Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Making his maiden speech in the Parliament as the Finance Minister Mr. Samaraweera stated the Finance Minister post is a serious post which had been held in the past by political giants like J.R. Jayawardene and Dr. N.M. Perera. "That was why I felt this pair of shoes is too big for me" he said. more..

Reshuffling to take place among officials in state institutions: Lakshman Yapa

May 24 (AD) During the course of the next few days, ministry secretaries and other officials will be reshuffled amongst the state institutions with the intervention of President Maithripala Sirisena, State Minister of Finance, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says. The Minister stated this today (24), upon addressing a media gathering. He elaborated that the President had paid attention towards the potential reshuffling as a means to strengthen the govt. more..

President given grand welcome in Canberra

May 24 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena arrived in Canberra this morning commencing a 3-day state visit on the invitation of the Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull. He was received by Official Secretary to the Governor General, Mark Fraser, Minister of Education, Senator Simon Birmingham and ýDeputy Secretary at Department of the Cabinet, Elizabeth Kelly, Australian High Commissioner of SL Bryce Hutchisson and more..

Govt has ensured full freedom to stage protests: Amaraweera

May 24 (DN) "The govt has ensured full freedom to stage protests but the people at large blame the govt for inaction when the protests cause hindrance to their daily lives," Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. "The medical profession is so important it has no alternatives. I request members of the medical profession not to tarnish their image by demonstrating at every turn for minor issues that can be resolved through discussion and negotiation," he said. more..

If Muslims lose patience country will face dire consequences: EPC member

May 24 (DM) If the Muslims of this country are to lose their patience the country will face dire consequences, Eastern Provincial Council member, Shibly Farooq said. He said so at the monthly sitting of the of the Eastern Provincial Council. "The racial activities taking place in the country will pave the way for another blood bath. The majority of the Sinhala community do not approve racism. The proof of this mind set could be seen in the defeat of former President Rajapaksa. more..

10 ministries in 1: More choices for deal making than before

Govt to prevent mosquito breeding in abandoned boats

May 24 (Island) Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry has taken steps to destroy or cover old and discarded boats and canoes and fishing gear so that water will not collect in them facilitating mosquito breeding. In addition, abandoned fishing boats at fisheries harbours would also be destroyed or appropriate precautionary action taken to prevent them from being breeding sites of mosquitoes. Ministry had identified 176 boats left abandoned in fisheries harbours. more..

Attacks on Muslim mosques and businesses a conspiracy against govt: Minister

May 24 (FT) The attacks on Muslim places of worship and businesses are a conspiracy against the Govt, a Minister says. Muslims in SL say that there have been intensified attacks in recent days in various parts of the country aimed at mosques and places of business. They say that since last April there have been at least 15 such attacks in various parts of the country. Minister Mano Ganesan says a conspiracy against the Govt is being launched with the backing of a number of organisations more..

Lacille de Silva

TNA’s activities are not acceptable to the international community

May 24 (CT) It is high time now for the people of Sri Lanka to challenge the authority of the TNA, to act and speak on their behalf, on various matters be they political or otherwise. International Community that includes the UN agencies, European Union, Commonwealth, UNHRC and such others too should come out openly to back the people’s demand, to stop the TNA from functioning further. During these 13 years from 2004 TNA was shrewd enough, in not missing a single chance, more..

Promotions, Demotions

May 24 (CT) Monday's Cabinet reshuffle centred round four key portfolios, though there was double that number involved. Those were Ports, going under the expanded version of Ports and Shipping, Media, Finance and the creation of a new portfolio called Development Assignments. In these aspects, Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga was demoted to be Petroleum Resources Development Minister, Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka to more..

3 bench Trial-at-bar to hear Vidya murder

May 24 (DN) Chief Justice Priyasath Dep has appointed a three member bench to hear the schoolgirl Sivaloganathan Vidya murder case. The three member bench headed by High Court Judge Balendran Sashi Mahendran comprises Judges Annalingam Premashankar and Manickavasagar Chelian as its other members. The Chief Justice has also decided that the case should be heard in the Jaffna High Court. more..

SAARC, BIMSTEC inactive, ineffective: CBK

May 24 (BDN) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has slammed the SAARC and BIMSTEC for not doing anything to solve regional crises. “Both regional organisations failed to resolve any political problems,” she said, delivering a lecture in Dhaka. “I would say (the regional groupings) are inactive and ineffective,” she said. She said that, during her time as SL President, she attended a summit in Maldives more..

‘True picture of CM Isura’s foreign jaunts hidden from parliament’

May 24 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament that party leaders should discuss the issue of provincial councils not sending information requested by Parliament and decide on remedial action. PM said so when there was an argument between Minister Faizer Mustapha and UNP MP S. M. Marikkar over the information provided by the WPC with regard to the number of foreign tours more..

Cabinet approves 6,000 prefab houses in NE subject to beneficiary preference

May 24 (ST) Cabinet has approved a proposal to build 6,000 prefabricated (prefab) houses for the war-displaced in the North and East, on condition, the beneficiaries prefer them to masonry houses–an option the Ministry of Resettlement, ironically, never afforded them. Representatives of int'l steel giant ArcelorMittal–including a technical team–were in SL over the weekend for discussions in this regard, more..

Eelam: From roar of a tiger to scream of a butterfly

May 24 (TOI) It has been eight years since the Sri Lankan civil war ended the bloody way it began with the demand for an independent Tamil Eelam in SL. Today, Eelam is heard only in the occasional slogans of a few regional parties like the MDMK, PMK and VCK and some fringe organisations and social media where a few young and restless try to reinvent the romanticism of a lost struggle. In public sphere, the cause doesn't more..

Central bank buys US$257.9mn dollar from forex markets in April

May 24 (EN) Central bank has bought US$ 257.9 million from forex markets in April 2017, with no sales, after also being a net buyer in March, official data show. When a central bank buys dollars, the rupee is prevented from going up. When a central bank buys dollars, rupees are printed into the interbank markets. Unless the rupees are mopped up by selling down the central bank's Treasury bill stock, more..

Suspect Army deserter, informant flee to India

May 24 (CT) Two of the chief suspects in the recent narcotics underworld gang killing of a Police Narcotics Bureau officer in Piliyandala have fled the country to TN by boat last week. An 11-year-old girl injured in the shooting died in hospital 11 days after a failed bid by hospital staff to save her life. Several Policemen were also injured in the attack. Minister Sagala Ratnayake revealed this in Parliament yesterday in response to being asked by more..

'EU granting GSP+ concession to Sri Lanka: No one pretends the situation is perfect'

May 24 (DM) European Commission, legislative body of the European Union, granted GSP+ status to SL, providing enhanced market access to the EU under the special scheme which came into effect last week. While the govt hailed the opportunity for economic development, political and civil society groups have pressured the European Parliament to debate the restoration of the GSP+ tariff preferences to Sri Lanka, scheduled to more..

SAITM under attack despite solution

May 24 (SL) The SAITM came under attack last week despite the govt reaching a solution on the issue. The Management of SAITM said on Friday they will be co-operating with the policy decisions presented by the govt and the suggestions made by President Maithripala Sirisena. Primarily among these is the recommendation to broad-base the institute’s ownership by listing it on the Colombo Stock Exchange. more..

'Teams will fear SL at Champions Trophy'

May 24 (DM) By his own admission Ranjit Fernando has lost count of the number of times he’s been the Manager of the national cricket team, one of the many roles he has played in his long association with Sri Lanka cricket. Having played, coached and commentated in that time, he was re-appointed as SL Team Manager in December last year and is among the contingent that travelled with the team to England for Champions Trophy. more..

Are doctors wasting public money spent on their education?

May 24 (DM) I was compelled to write this article after listening to some comments made by certain people on TV, and reading some articles published in newspapers,  regarding money spent to educate doctors; a hot topic these days (especially during trade union actions) used by many to condemn doctors.  “Doctors are educated with the taxpayers’ money. They should contribute to the free medical system of this country, serving the people who fund their education”. more..

The re-emergence of the BBS

May 24 (DM) Who is a Buddhist? That’s a simple question but one that can yield innumerable answers. Innumerability of course can be explained and explained innumerably through reference to the Buddhist canon. The point is, labelling and self-labelling are both easy exercises. For the record, if you replace Buddhist with the follower of any other faith, again there can be many responses whose multiplicity can severally be explained drawing from the particular doctrinal canon. more..