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Uproar over Palpita appointment: Govt under fire to revoke decision

May 25 (DN) Civil Society activists are up in arms against the appointment of former TRC Director General Anusha Palpita as an Additional Secretary of Home Affairs Ministry, when he is facing charges of allegedly misappropriating over Rs. 600 million for the distribution of Sil Redi on the eve of the last Presidential election. They questioned the rationality of the appointment in the public sector when Palpita is facing charges of criminal more..

Food and teas from Sri Lanka featured at Mississauga’s Benares Historic House

May 25 (MN) Tea aficionados can try some of the best that Sri Lanka has to offer at an event on Sunday at Benares Historic House in Mississauga. Ceylon Tea Room is being staged as part of South Asian Heritage Month and will feature Ceylon teas that are grown and harvested from SL’s famous tea regions. At the service, three teas will be served – black tea, jasmine green tea and chai tea. Each will be paired with a traditional SL dish, including coconut pancakes with palm sugar syrup. more..

Contempt of court case against BBS leader put off to Oct 31

May 25 (Island) Homagama Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake yesterday put off the case in which the leader of Bodu Bala Sena Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara had been charged with contempt of court, to 31 Oct. The monk is charged with abusing the lawyers appearing in the Pradeep Ekneligoda case and threatening the suspects in the case who intelligence officers of the army and obstructing court proceedings. The suspect has also allegedly threatened & abused the wife of Ekneligoda. more..

Constitutional reforms: Political parties urged to retain unitary character

May 25 (Island) Global Sri Lankan Forum (GSLF) has urged political parties represented in parliament to defeat ongoing moves to create a Federal State in a re-merged North-East Provinces at the expense of the current unitary status. Alleging that UNP-SLFP coalition had been pursuing a political project severely inimical to the Sri Lankan State, GSLF called for a coordinated campaign to thwart proposed Federal solution. more..

15 Jumbos released until August pageants

May 25 (CT) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday ordered the Director General of the Wildlife Department to release 15 elephants to their rightful owners immediately. The 15 elephants were taken into custody by the Wildlife Department after they had been illegally kept by their owners on forged licenses and other related documents, and having hence deemed to have effected fraudulent registrations of the animals. The Colombo Chief Magistrate issued an order on more..

SLBA makes selection blunder

May 25 (CT) Badminton enthusiasts are highly perturbed over the selection of an unqualified player to the National Pool and subsequently to the SL Squad which is currently preparing for the Asian Junior Badminton Championships to be held in Thailand from 9 to 17 July. At the first trials held on 17 April this player had lost all his matches but was given another opportunity to participate at the next trials held at the Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) Indoor Stadium from 16 to 19 May. more..

US assures $40 million assistance to SL

May 25 (DM) U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap said that U.S. Govt assistance to SL totaled approximately $40 million last year and they had requested similar amounts in the coming years as a result of SL's commitment to good governance. He said the Millennium Challenge Corporation was working to design a threshold program that can potentially unlock millions of dollars in additional assistance to boost economic growth in SL. more..

Rapes two underage girls!

May 25 (CT) A 40-year-old suspect who was posing as a fortune teller was apprehended by the Weragama Police for sexually abusing two underage girls under the guise of performing a ritual. According to the Police, the two girls aged ten and 16 were taken to this fortune teller to check their horoscope to help with their studies. However, the suspect had informed the father that the daughters were suffering from bad luck and an immediate ritual was necessary to rid them of it. more..

Lankan in Doha gets jail, deportation for counterfeiting degree certificate

May 25 (GT) A Doha Criminal Court has sentenced a Sri Lankan man to three years in jail and subsequent deportation for counterfeiting his university degree certificate. The defendant was spotted by the employee concerned when he submitted the certificate in Doha to attest the stamp of the Qatari embassy in Colombo. It turned out that the defendant agreed with an unidentified person to counterfeit for him a degree in accounting, and used on it a sticker of the embassy, retrieved from more..

Kausal Mendis grateful for English league experience

May 25 (CI) There was no long apprenticeship at the fringes of the Test side for Kusal Mendis. There were no tours with the A team, or leadership positions in his club side. But such opportunities as have been thrown his way have been seized, and now, he has his first Test fifty. In five innings in England so far - including in the two warm-up matches - Mendis has hit three half-centuries. more..

Ekneligoda Case: Suspects further remanded

May 25 (Island) Homagama Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake yesterday further remanded seven suspects taken into custody in connection with the alleged abduction and disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda. The suspects were Lt. Col Shammi Karunaratne. Lt. Col. Proboda Siriwaredena. Lt. Chaminda Abeyratne Staff Sgt. Priyantha Rajapaksa, Sgt. Subramanium, Sgt. Kanishka Gunaratne and Sgt. Tharanga Gamage. Sergeant Major Neranjan Upasena, more..

Combating floods, landslides and droughts

May 25 (Island) The heat wave in April 2016 followed with an incessant island wide rainfall over several days caused devastating floods and land-slides in many parts of the country. Kilinochchi received 385 mm of rain and in many other places the measured rainfall varied from 150 to 200 mm per day. In many locations including Aranayake, there were unprecedented land- slides where some people were buried alive. The death toll of the two disasters as reported on 22nd May, was 73 more..

Truth behind the Debt-trap in Sri Lanka

May 25 (DM) During the past few weeks, a highly-expensive and politically-driven media campaign had been conducted by the Ministry of National Policy and Economic Affairs, using public funds, to convey the impression that the debt trap that the country has now fallen into, has been due to the mismanagement of the previous regime. Through that campaign, they have also attempted to claim that the present govt more..

Australia name squad for Sri Lanka Tests

May 25 (CI) Moises Henriques was a hotel room key away from being among the players suspended for Homework-gate on the 2013 India tour, but may now play a key role in Australia's effort to build subcontinental momentum by beating Sri Lanka at home in July and August. Henriques and the fit-again fast bowler Mitchell Starc have been named in the 15-man Test squad for the Sri Lanka tour. The recalls of Henriques alongside Starc were the key outcomes of the touring party more..

7 years on: Remembrance ceremonies for soldiers, civilians in the North and South

May 25 (FT) Govt marked the seventh anniversary of the defeat of the LTTE on the battlefields of the Wanni by shifting the tone of the annual commemoration to one of solemn remembrance, shunning the traditional military parade for a sunset memorial for fallen soldiers in Battaramulla. President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe presided over the somber ceremony at Parliament Grounds and paid tribute at the foot of the memorial as dusk fell over the monument. more..

'Govt will compensate every person affected by floods and landslides'

May 25 (FT) “We have money; we will pay each and every person affected by floods and landslides,” assured Minister of Disaster Management Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, in an interview with the Daily FT. Yapa pointed out that people need not worry about compensation because all those who were affected are covered by insurance. Once they complete ascertaining the damages, the Govt will immediately start paying the victims, more..

Sri Lanka Tourism takes on Australia

May 25 (TW) Eclipsing other tourism roadshows by generating more delegates than ever before in Brisbane, The Sri Lanka Roadshows attracted 74 Australian travel agents, media and tour operators. Australia’s largest outbound travel agency, Flight Centre showed exceptionally strong attendance, which bodes well for arrivals into Sri Lanka. Other companies represented included Wend Wu Tours and Infinity Holidays – two of Australia’s foremost tour operators – more..

What did Maithri discuss with Modi?

May 25 (CT) Although everyone knew about Maithripala's visit to India, the fact that he was going to meet Indian PM Modi was known not only to the media in this country, but to the Indian Media as well only at the very last moment. It was a question for the Indian Media why the Maithri-Modi meeting was kept as a secret. More than that, everyone was curious why Maithri and Modi went to Madhya Pradesh in India by air to participate in the Kumbh Mela festival accompanied only by more..

A disputed island, a disputed shrine

May 25 (SO) Political daggers are drawn again over the tiny island of Kachchatheevu, this time over Sri Lanka Navy’s involvement in the construction of a new church for St. Anthony there, replacing the existing church. For decades, TN has been calling for the retrieval of the island, ceded to SL in 1974, but the new development, appears to have unsettled India with Delhi reacting swiftly and negatively. A place of worship for both more..

Editorial: Active crooks and slumbering cops

May 25 (Island) Disaster victims have spent sleepless nights during the last several days. But, the guardians of the law have had no such problem; they have been slumbering blissfully in flood waters. Our photo journalists risked their life and limb, on Sunday, to expose a racket where a gang led by a woman, identified as a drug peddler, fraudulently secured large stocks of relief items distributed by donors near the Kelani Bridge and sold them subsequently. more..

All blankets need holes: reflections on Let her cry

May 25 (Island) The opening scene of Asoka Handagama’s new film Age Asa Aga (Let her cry) is also its last scene. Only thing we get to see here is a windshield of a car on a rainy night. The two wipers move fast mopping off the water from the windshield. The lights reflected on the glass seem to blur the vision even further. The driver, whose face we cannot see, struggles to find his way. Four voices are heard from within the car. They seem (or heard) to be speaking of more..

Pavithra Wanniarachchi

French and Sri Lankan Connection

May 25 (CT) Previous Rajapaksa Govt had a strategic beautification plan to develop the metropolis first, and then gradually extend to other major towns in the country. The planner behind the programme was Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, who was also in charge of the UDA. Consequently many parks, lakes and jogging tracks appeared, along with changing of the skyline in Colombo to the liking of many and towards a tourist boom. more..

Creation of panic

May 25 (CT) Even more depressing than the failure of the govt to fulfil the promises in the manifesto with regard to structural reforms was what seemed to be continuing corruption. At the same time, though during the campaign much had been made of the corruption of the previous government, there seemed to be no serious effort to deal with this. Instead it seemed that the govt was anxious only to denigrate those it saw as most dangerous, in particular the former President. more..

Colonel Thamilini’s version of events leading to LTTE’s annihilation

May 25 (Island) The launch of Thiyunu Asipathaka Sevana Yata (In the Shadow of a Sharp Sword), Sinhala translation of Oru Koorvaalin Nizhalil, life story of high ranking LTTE cadre, Subramaniam Sivakamy alias Col Thamilini, took place at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) on May 13, 2016. Oru Koorvaalin Nizhalil was launched on March 19, 2016, in Kilinochchi, a one-time LTTE bastion. Her husband, J Mahadevan, more..

Coming out of the economic crisis: Time is running out for Sri Lanka

May 25 (CT) Sri Lanka’s economic crisis has now been manifested in its severest form as a shortage of foreign exchange, pressure for the rupee to depreciate and the need for IMF to extend a helping hand. This last manifestation, dubbed as rescue of last resort, arises when a country has no any other source to turn to. Sri Lanka is a member of IMF and, hence, there is nothing wrong in the country seeking IMF assistance. On the other hand, it is also in the interest of IMF to prevent more..

Unscrupulous foreign employment agencies deceive female household workers

May 25 (DN) Amara* a migrant worker who recently returned to the country through a Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) facilitated programme said she worked so hard, she had no time to eat or sleep: “I had to work at three houses. I had no time to eat or sleep. Days passed but the hardships I faced never ended, until I returned to Sri Lanka.” She said her experience as a migrant worker was a nightmare: “It was a dreadful experience,” she said. more..

'SriLankan must be privatised inclusive of the debts'

May 25 (SL) Deputy Minister Arundika Fernando admitted that the govt was planning on taking on the debt burden of SriLankan Air Lines and then privatising it without the debt burden. He said that privatisation would be beneficial to the country only if a loss making institution is taken over by a private company inclusive of its debts and transformed into a profit making institution. He said that if not there was absolutely no purpose in more..

Some lessons beyond floods & landslips

May 25 (CT) The island wide catastrophic situation that we are experiencing nowadays teaches us some timely lessons or reminds us of lessons that we have already learnt and have forgotten. These lessons range from the enshrined norms of humanity to reviewing of our policies, rules and regulations that govern construction of houses, large scale commercial buildings and town planning. The first lesson that it teaches us is the kindness and unity that are overwhelmingly seen among majority more..

Corruption, a qualification in Tamil Nadu

May 25 (DM) How else does one explain the return of Jayalalitha Jayaram as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu; she had two cases filed against her amongst others for acquiring wealth wholly disproportionate to her income. It was in 2001 that she was first found guilty by a five- member bench of the Supreme Court; (almost an year earlier she had been found guilty of abusing her position to acquire property at undervalued prices by a lower court) of misappropriation and more..

Presidential Task Force meets

May 24 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena headed the meeting of the Presidential Task Force to manage recovery from the recent natural disaster outbreak and to normalize the livelihood living hood of the victims of the disaster, yesterday. The meeting was attended by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, other relevant line ministers, Secretary to the President and the Secretaries to the line Ministries, Commanders of Tri-Forces more..

No restrictions in funds: Amaraweera

May 24 (DN) The govt will provide funds without any restrictions to provide relief to the displaced, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. “A large number have been affected by floods and mudslides. Nearly 90 people have died and over 100 persons have disappeared. A large group have also lost their houses and other property. We as the government has the responsibility to start rebuilding the lives of the people,” the minister said. more..

Sri Lanka may need 100,000 itinerant foreign workers in ten years

May 24 (ENS) With the Chinese-funded Colombo Port City project and the ambitious Megapolis project likely to get off the ground soon, and given the acute shortage of skilled and unskilled manpower at home, Sri Lanka may have to import 100,000 itinerant foreign workers, asserts Dr. Surath Wickramasinghe, President, Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI). “At the rate of 400-500 workers per big project like the construction of a large hotel of international standard, more..

Yahapalanaya gone to the dogs: Appoints Palpita as a Ministry Additional Secretary

May 24 (AM) The Campaign for a Free and Fair Election has slammed Minister Vajira Abeywardena for appointing Anusha Palpita as an Additional Secretary to the Ministry. CaFFE points out that Palpita is one of the accused in the sil redi case in which Rs 600 million of govt money was misappropriated. The appointment of Palpita violates administrative and financial regulations and reveals that the Home Affairs Ministry has no shame, more..

Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe meets Thai Deputy PM to strengthen relations

May 24 (NNT) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe has met with Thai Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam to strengthen Thai-SL relations. Mr. Wijeyadasa came to Thailand last Friday to celebrate Vesak Day at Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University. He later visited Dr. Wissanu and said that Sri Lanka would like to host a religious event next year. Thai Deputy PM expressed his gratitude to Mr. Wijeyadasa for joining the event. The last time the two met was when the SL minister traveled to the Kingdom more..

Hayleys PLC completes strong year of growth; Posts Rs. 6.8 billion in PBT

May 24 (AD) Hayleys PLC posted Profit before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 6.8 billion for the financial year 2015/16, a 7% increase over the previous year. Earnings per Share increased to Rs. 40.05 from Rs. 34.42 per share in the previous year. This strong growth reflects the effectiveness of the Conglomerate’s focused strategy on expanding its core business sectors and ended the year with a Group turnover of Rs 92 Bn. Group’s Income Tax paid during the year, amounted to Rs 2.3 Bn. more..