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Perliament heats up over Bathiudeen NCM

May 23 (FT) Lawmakers engaged in heated arguments yesterday in Parliament, unable to reach a decision on the date to take up the No-Confidence Motion against Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to look into allegations against him. Having listened to lawmakers of both sides for two hours, Speaker adjourned Parliament till 10.30 am today, unable to continue further with more..

Some school administrators cashing in on security fears

May 23 (Island) Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU), yesterday, demanded the govt to regulate the collection of money from parents by certain school administrators on the pretext of purchasing equipment to enhance school security. CTU General Secretary, Joseph Stalin said: "It was only on Tuesday that students started coming to schools and we have heard that a number of school administrators have imposed security measures. While school security is paramount, more..

Wildlife trade summit may move to Geneva amid Colombo security concerns

May 23 (MB) A month after a series of Easter Sunday bombings rocked SL and claimed 258 lives, including those of 46 foreign nationals, a top U.N. conservation summit scheduled to take place in Colombo is now likely to be moved to Geneva. The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) was to hold its 18th Conference of Parties (CoP18) meeting in Colombo, from May 23 through June 3. But organizers announced April 26 that the event more..

Terror victims receive special blessing by Pope’s delegate

May 23 (FT) Victims of the Easter Sunday attacks were blessed by the representative of the Pope, Fernando Cardinal Filoni, yesterday at St. Anthony‘s Church, Kochchikade. Family members of victims and faithful were allowed into a section of the church for the blessing before a statue of Saint Anthony. Cardinal Filoni blessed all the victims for a speedy recovery, and Sri Lanka to recover from the attack. Prior to the blessing, more..

Conserving biodiversity Initiative to raise Rs 31 Billion: UNDP

May 23 (CT) Sri Lanka’s total public-sector biodiversity related expenditure as of 2015 was Rs. 7.13 billion, however, an additional Rs 30.71 billion is required to achieve the country’s biodiversity conservation targets in the period of 2018-2024, UN Development Programme (UNDP) said. To bridge the resource gap, the Central Bank of SL (CBSL) together with the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN), the UNDP, the European Union (EU) and the Govts of Germany, more..

Nanda Ekanayake takes helm of INSEE Cement Sri Lanka

May 23 (DM) SL’s foremost producer of cement, Siam City Cement (Lanka) Limited (SCCCL), known as INSEE Cement, announced changes to the composition of the company’s board of directors on May 15. Nandana Ekanayake was appointed as the new Chairman of the board of directors. He will also continue in his position as the CEO of the company. Furthermore, Anuttara Panpothong and Mark Schmidt have been appointed as new directors. Aidan Lynam & Rizmy Richard will continue more..

Public school system sans religion or language: PM

May 23 (CT) The Govt will set up a new public school system that is not based on language or religion within the next two years, claimed PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. He said this while addressing a function held at Temple Trees. “The Education Ministry has a huge task ahead to ensure that public schools are not segregated by language or religion. This transformation should happen within the next one to two years. more..

Another NTJ mole in parliament to be arrested soon

May 23 (Island) Police have received information about another National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) member who works in the Parliament Complex. He would be arrested shortly, sources said. Information about the suspect has been revealed by Mohamed Naushad Jalaldeen, a senior NTJ member, who was arrested recently. Jalaldeen was working as a senior indexing officer at Parliament. Police are questioning Jalaldeen on a 90-day detention order. more..

Sri Lanka at the largest exhibition in Brazil - APAS Show 2019

May 23 (GDI) The Coconut Development Authority of SL in collaboration with the Department of Commerce and the SL Embassy in Brazil participated at the APAS Show - 2019 which is considered as the largest supermarket exhibition held in Latin America. The APAS Show 2019 was held from 6th to 9th May 2019 at the Expo-Centre, Sao Paulo, Brazil. The SL delegation was headed by Vadivel Suresh, State Minister of Plantation Industries & 4 SL leading coconut exporting more..

Govt to revise 2019 Budget

May 23 (FT) Govt is to revise the 2019 Budget, given the Easter Sunday setback and other external and internal challenges. State Finance Minister Eran Wickramaratne said yesterday the review will be completed by June, and the revised Budget will be presented to the Parliament within the first half of the year. “From the Budget we presented in November, what is obviously going to happen is that those revenues will reduce, more..

Sri Lanka sells US$165mn in dollar bonds

May 23 (EN) Sri Lanka has sold US$ 165 million of bonds aimed at the domestic market after offering US$ 200 million at an auction, the state debt office said. The debt office sold US$ 17.76 million of 1 year 8 month bonds at a weighted average yield of 5.93%, after getting subscriptions of US$ 30.3 million. Another US$ 12 million of bonds of the same maturity were sold at 353 basis points over the 6-month London Interbank Offered Rate, after getting subscriptions of US$ 13.5 million. more..

Video: Constable killed in shootout during illicit liquor raid

May 23 (AD) A 30-year old Police Constable has been killed in a shootout during a raid carried out to seized an illicit liquor racket this evening (22), the Police Spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekara said. The incident has reportedly taken place at around 5.00 p.m. at Urumuththa area in Akuressa. A group of police officers have reportedly set off on a raid to seize an illicit liquor racket in the area, however, the suspects have started gunfire at the officers on duty. The officer who was killed more..

MR undecided on PSC participation against Bathiudeen

May 23 (FT) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said he will examine his conscience on whether or not to be part of the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) appointed to investigate allegations levelled at Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, as the Govt can defeat any effort by the Joint Opposition. Govt on Tuesday decided to appoint a PSC to probe allegations listed in No Confidence Motion handed over by the JO. more..

Gayanthika in sight of Asian Bronze

May 23 (CT) Middle distance runner Gayanthika Abeyrathne is in line for the bronze medal of the Asian Athletics Championship as Gold medallist Marimuthu Gomathi of India has failed the doping test immediately after winning the medal. Gomathi has been provisionally suspended as she tested positive for anabolic steroids making way for fourth place finisher Gayanthika Abeyrathne to get the bronze medal with Gomathi now stripped of her gold medal. "She has been provisionally more..

UNP will have its own candidate: Eran

May 23 (FT) State Minister Eran Wickramaratne yesterday confirmed that UNP will nominate its own candidate for the Presidential Elections scheduled in the latter part of this year. Dismissing news reports that are circulating, particularly on social media, he said that UNP as a responsible political party will not decide its Presidential candidate over dinner. “UNP will put its own candidate. Don’t get distracted by all the rumours. The candidate will be selected by the UNP Working Committee and its MPs,” more..

CSE and SEC holds investor forum in Singapore to restore confidence

May 23 (FT) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in a proactive attempt to reassure foreign investors, recently organised an Invest Sri Lanka Forum targeting portfolio and direct investors in Singapore. The forum drew an encouraging response from investors, who were offered an assessment of the investment climate and expectations for the short-medium term, more..

Global Seafoods to process Wakame seaweed in Sri Lanka

May 23 (EN) Sri Lankan seafood exporter Global Seafoods Pvt Ltd is to process Wakame seaweed, highly valued, farmed edible seaweed species used in Japanese and East Asian cuisine. The Board of Investment (BOI) said it had signed a supplementary agreement with Global Seafoods to process Wakame seaweed for export in their existing factory complex. “Wakame is a seaweed found in the Pacific Ocean which we will be importing from Japan, processing & re-exporting to Japan,” more..

Dialog and Netflix announce strategic partnership for Sri Lanka

May 23 (Island) Dialog Axiata PLC, announced its partnership with Netflix, the world’s leading internet entertainment service. This partnership will enable all Dialog postpaid mobile customers to simply add their Netflix subscription fee to their monthly mobile bill, offering them unparalleled convenience and security. This direct billing feature eliminates the need for Dialog customers to share any additional payment details such as their credit card or debit card numbers. more..

There's no fish to catch: Global warming upends traditional livelihoods in Sri Lanka

May 23 (MB) For Nataraja Kumar, 47, a fisherman from Guru Nagar, a sleepy coastal village in Sri Lanka's north, it's no longer possible to continue with his traditional livelihood. "I went fishing as a 10-year-old boy with my father and grandfather. But I will not train my son to be a fisherman. There's no fish to catch," he said. Fishing is Kumar's only life skill, and he has five mouths to feed. Having failed to eke out a living in more..

Sudirman Cup Badminton tournament: Sri Lanka into classification round

May 23 (DN) Sri Lankan women’s double pair Thilini Hendahewa and Kavidi Sirimannage made superb fighting effort to beat Switzerland pair Celine Burklet and Sabrina Jaquet with three hard fought setter which paved the way to beat higher rank Switzerland with 3-2 at the Sudirman Cup Badminton Tournament played at Guangxi Sports Centre, Nanning, China yesterday. With this fighting game Sri Lanka finished the top of the Group 3B and qualify for the classification round tomorrow. more..

‘SL should promote setting up branded universities’

May 23 (DN) Govt spends around Rs. 1.7 million per university student for their education while private university offers the same service for around Rs 1.2 million, said Chairman Vallibel One Dhammika Perera. He said that each year out of the 160,000 students who pass GCE A/L only around 30,000 make it to govt universities and the state must offer education loans up to Rs. 1.1 million to be settled in 10 to 15 years. The govt each year has to spend around Rs 120 billion for this for a decade more..

Dimuth Karunaratne eases self-doubts with composed knock

May 23 (CI) Sri Lanka's less-heralded players helped ease through the side's first test in the UK, as they beat Scotland by 35 runs via the DLS method. Opener Avishka Fernando, who had had a poor tour of South Africa earlier this year, produced 74 off 78 balls, while Dimuth Karunaratne, on ODI captaincy debut, made 77 off 88. The pair put on 123 runs for the first wicket. Kusal Mendis also contributed 66 off 56 balls through more..

Social Media as a vector for Jihadists Can Sri Lankan law combat terror in internet?

May 23 (DM) “Twitter and Facebook should not be playing footage of murder (Australian Parliament) Both NZ and Australia passed the sweeping sharing Abhorrent Material Bill that threatens huge fines for social media companies and jail time for their executives if they don’t promptly remove abhorrent violent material from their platforms (Liza Vaas, 2019). Against this back drop, it is an urgent need to analyze whether the Laws of Sri Lanka are sufficient to control terrorism in social media. more..

Edtorial: Devious devices

May 23 (Island) The JVP has submitted a no-confidence motion against the govt over the Easter Sunday bombings. It obviously does not want to dislodge the incumbent UNP-led administration, which it defended to the hilt, last October. One may recall that it went so far as to move a no-faith motion against the hurriedly formed Sirisena-Rajapaksa govt in a bid to restore the status quo ante. It campaigned hard with others to enable the UNP’s return to power. more..

U.R. de Silva - President Counselor

Sri Lanka: At Peace or In Pieces?

May 23 (DN) A fresh wave of rioting erupted on May13, the latest in a series of violent incidents that followed the Easter Sunday attacks. In the aftermath of the bombings, tensions were stoked by a well-executed campaign of hate. Partisan, inflammatory news reporting, a continuation of the social media hate campaign from 2013, some well-placed rumours and a lack of leadership by the govt; the result was inevitable. This should surprise no one with an interest in history because more..

Strategic struggle for survival

May 23 (DN) Just over a month after the Easter Sunday bombings carried out by Islamic extremist terrorists, life in Sri Lanka is slowly returning to normal, despite subdued Vesak celebrations and crippled tourism industry. Meanwhile, the political fallout from the attacks is beginning to take shape, with both the govt and the opposition weighing options in what is an election year. In the wake of the attacks, the opposition was quick to allege that the govt would use the promulgation of more..

'Sharia Uni should be acquired by Govt'

May 23 (CT) UNP MP Dr. Kavinda Jayawardena questions why those who asked to shut down SAITM then, don’t take to the streets now, against the Sharia University. Q: I am questioning you not as a politician, but a Catholic devotee and an individual who represents the Catholic people. Did you attend church on the day the bombings took place? A: Easter is a very sensitive time for Catholics. We fast for 40 more..

National Introspection In The Aftermath

May 23 (CT) “The immediate task for the govt is to guaranty the safety and security of all innocent Muslims and prevent a recurrence of 1983 … One cannot eradicate one evil with another” (Anatomy of an Islamist Infamy (III), Colombo Telegraph 9 May 2019). In this, govt failed to take prompt action just as it failed to prevent the Easter massacre by ignoring all warnings. How can a govt tolerate parliamentarians who mobilise thugs to destroy properties and business establishments more..

One month since Easter Sunday, A pledge from us to you

May 23 (Roar) Today marks one month since that fateful Easter Sunday, when scores of innocent worshippers, families enjoying Sunday brunch and tourists on holiday lost their lives to heinous acts of terror. Even though time has trudged forward, it remains cruelly frozen for the bereaved families of the 258 men, women and children who were killed, and the more than 500 who were injured. Their grief has only been compounded by the inexplicable injustice of the losses they have suffered. more..

Reinstatement of Major Prabath Bulathwatte: Army Commander responds

May 23 (SO) Q: In an interview with a leading television channel recently you mentioned that the country’s intelligence services had collapsed in the recent past. You were a senior officer in the Army at the time as well. Are you also not responsible for this? Has the military intelligence apparatus actually collapsed? A: Rather than a complete collapse, what had happened was the weakening of the military intelligence. more..

In the name of security: How the Burqa/Niqab ban is Impacting Muslim women

May 23 (GV) My neighbour, Maya, from a Tamil Christian family, usually attends the mass at St. Anthony’s Church every Sunday. But on Easter Sunday she didn’t attend the mass as her brother had returned home after quite a long time away. A friend of Maya, used to come daily on her scooter to pick Maya’s only son and drop him at school. Both friends also met at least for a short chat during the holidays too. Maya’s friend wears the Abayah (the long robe-like dress worn by some Muslim more..

Children barely escaping trauma in Governor’s concentration camp

May 23 (CT) Abbas Ahmadi (33), wife Hakkima (30), and four children aged 12 to 6, came as refugees to Sri Lanka from Afghanistan 5 years ago, were processed by UNHCR and have papers to live here until the UNHCR finds them a country to settle in. This is all with our Foreign Ministry’s consent. Their stay in Sri Lanka is legal. Following the Easter Day bombings, their world turned upside down. Mobs attacked Muslim refugees and wanted them to leave their neighbourhood. more..

Video: AG orders full criminal investigation against IGP

May 22 (AD) Attorney General has ordered the CID to launch a full criminal investigation against the IGP Pujith Jayasundara. The Attorney General has taken this decision considering the two interim reports of the Special Investigation Committee of three members to look into the Easter Day attacks forwarded to him. Accordingly, the Attorney General submitting two letters to the Acting IGP with this regard has requested for more..

Immunity to foreign servicemen in SL alarming: Namal

May 22 (DM) While calling on the government to provide details of the planned status of forces agreement with the US, opposition parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa said that ‘immunity being provided to foreign servicemen on Sri Lankan soil is just one of the alarm bells and point to much larger issues.” He tweeted that the public should be made aware and have a say in these decisions. SL Govt. must provide a breakdown of the planned Status of Forces Agreement with the US, the MP said. more..

LTTE ban to be challenged in secretive British court

May 22 (Island) Britain’s terrorism ban on the LTTE will be challenged a decade after the outfit was militarily defeated in Sri Lanka’s civil war, lawyers have said. British newspaper The Morning Star reported that the tribunal would hear evidence later this year from a group of exiles who are calling on the Home Office to lift the ban on the LTTE. The govt department wants much of the case to be heard in secret at the seldom-used Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission, more..