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President praised for taking bold step to ban glyphosate

May 25 (Island) Kidney Research Scientist Dr. Channa Jayasumana praised President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to ban glyphosate despite pressure from their powerful multinational companies and their local agents. Dr Jayasumana said the CKD research team comprising Prof. Nalin de Silva, Prof. Mala Amarasinghe, Prof. Sisira Sribaddena, Prof. Pryani Paranagama, Prof. Sarath Gunathilaka (California State University), more..

MP Johnston further remanded

May 25 (NS) Kurunegala district MP Johnston Fernando who was produced before the Kurunegala Magistrate this morning on the alleged financial fraud at Lanka Sathosa has been further remanded until June 8. Kurunegala Chief Magistrate gave the order extending the questioning period for two more weeks. Former Minister of Co-operatives and Internal Trade, Johnston Fernando was taken into custody by the FCID on May 5 more..

Trichy police remove Prabhakaran hoardings

May 25 (CG) Tension prevailed for a while at different places in Trichy yesterday, when a group of volunteers of the Naam Tamilar Katchi objected to police action of removing the party’s flex hoardings, carrying the portraits of the banned LTTE chief Prabhakaran, erected by them. The flex hoardings were erected in connection with the party’s state conference held last evening at the suburban Panchapur in which party’s founder more..

'Don’t elect lawbreakers'

May 25 (Island) Deputy Minister of Highways and Investment Promotion Eran Wickramaratne said on Saturday that there were many MPs who owned liquor shops, engaged in drug dealing and illicit businesses though they had not yet been brought to justice. He said that many members in current parliament were not suitable to be called representatives of people because they engaged in many anti-social businesses to earn money. more..

Sri Lanka police probe death of U.S. pilot

May 25 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan police have launched a probe into the death of a U.S. Air Force pilot whose body was discovered from a hotel room in the capital Colombo last week. The victim's body was discovered on Thursday night from a room of a five star hotel where he had checked in a day earlier. Police officers conducting the investigations revealed that hotel employees contacted the police after they grew suspicious as several calls to more..

India keeps high stakes game in Sri Lanka at arm's length

May 25 (BS) With all the attention concentrated on the Narendra Modi-led NDA govt's first anniversary, India is not paying much attention to events in its neighbourhood. But what is happening in Sri Lanka is utterly fascinating. With the abolition of the executive presidency on April 29, 2015, the coalition govt in SL headed by President Sirisena has managed to keep most of the governance reform promises it had made when more..

Environmentalists to fight Wilpattu clearance in court

May 25 (ST) Despite President Sirisena’s order to stop the clearance of forests in the Wilpattu area, the row over the forests dragged for another week with Minister Rishad Bathiudeen justifying his actions while environmentalists fought back, insisting the clearances were illegal. The problem of illegal resettlement inside Wilpattu National Park surfaced earlier this month with social media and more..

Jaffna seeks justice for Vithiya

May 25 (SL) Incidents of rape have become alarmingly high in post-war Jaffna and many young women have become the victims of ruthless rapists who seem to walk away scot-free. With reference to many such incidents, people question the law enforcement authorities for their prolonged inability to bring the culprits to justice. Recently, an 18-year-old girl was gang-raped and murdered in Kayts in the Jaffna Peninsula adding to the more..

'I am driven by three main objectives'

May 25 (DN) When Thilak Karunaratne was appointed as the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission many thought he would recommence his work from where stopped in 2012. Three years ago, Karunaratne replaced Indrani Sugathadasa, wife of former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, who was forced out of her position under mysterious circumstances. However, after a few months, Karunaratne more..

‘A Western coup’

May 25 (DM) The discussed current political situation in the country with the LSSP Chief Prof. Tissa Vitharana. Q: The country is experiencing a major transformation politically, socially and economically right now in the backdrop of the recent change of govt, the introduction of the 19th Amendment to prune the much criticized absolute powers of the Executive Presidency and change of economic and monetary policies. more..

Let us not sleepwalk towards catastrophe

May 25 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena recently said the policy of the new Govt was both reconciliation among communities and development of physical resources. Addressing the 6th commemoration in Matara on the dawn of peace through the defeat of separatism, the President emphasised that reconciliation and development should be considered as equally important requirements to overcome today’s challenges and called upon all to unite to rebuild the country. more..

Police should have acted fast in Jaffna

May 25 (DM) One of the charges levelled against the former govt was the politicisation of the police department. This social cancer was so malignant that critics described police stations as virtual branches of the then ruling party. Most law abiding or self-respecting citizens were unwilling or afraid to go to a police station when they had a problem. So the image of the police as a friend of the people had crumbled. With the installation of the Yahapalanaya administration by President Sirisena and more..

Cannes winner stars SL former child soldier

May 25 (AFP) A SL novelist and former child soldier stars in Dheepan, a French thriller which won Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday. In the picture by acclaimed director Jacques Audiard, Anthonythasan Jesuthasan plays a former Tamil Tiger fighter fleeing the mayhem of his war-ravaged homeland. He and two strangers - a young woman and a 9-year-old girl - pretend to be a family to make it to France on fake passports. more..

Viral flu invades country

May 25 (Island) Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala said a viral infection was fast spreading in the country and the worst affected were pregnant women. He, however, said it was not bird flu and the Medical Research Institute (MRI) had identified it as A/H1N1. He said the Medical Supplies Division (MSD) had been instructed to provide all necessary drugs to the hospitals to battle the disease. The A/H1N1 was highly infectious and people should avoid crowded places more..

'Parliament to be dissolved within 3 weeks'

May 25 (AM) Minister Lakshman Kiriella stated that the Parliament will be dissolved in about three weeks and asked people to give a mandate to Ranil Wickremesinghe to administer the country for the next few years. Kiriella added that it was not correct to describe the questioning of former ministers and govt officials as harassment. He pointed out that the govt was not taking people to Bribery Commission or other institutions on trumped-up charges. He said that certain people have amassed immense more..

Athurugiriya police make grisly find in van

May 25 (Island) Police on Saturday arrested four men at Kahantota when they were found to be transporting the partially burnt body of a person they had beaten and burnt. Vehicle transporting the body was moving in a manner which aroused suspicions and the body was recovered from the rear of the vehicle. Under interrogation, suspects have confessed to the killing. Victim had an illicit affair with the wife of one of suspects, more..

Fuel pricing formula before Cabinet this week

May 25 (CT) Minister of Power and Energy Champika Ranawaka will submit a special cabinet paper this week to re-introduce a cost reflective transparent energy pricing formula, based on international market prices. Secretary to the Minister of Power and Energy Dr Suren Batagoda, while confirming that the Cabinet paper would be presented this week by the Minister, told the Ceylon FT that the new formula would benefit both the consumer and the utility, he said. more..

Govt debt increases by 8.8% in 2014

May 25 (DN) The total outstanding government debt increased by 8.8% to Rs. 7,390 billion by end of 2014 from Rs. 6,793 billion at the end 2013, stated the Central Bank Annual Report 2014 tabled in Parliament last Tuesday. Out of the total govt debt, Rs. 4,277 billion was domestic debt, while Rs. 3,113 billion was foreign debt. The total outstanding foreign debt increased by 5.2% compared to 2013. Among them 1,164 billion had been obtained as commercial loans. more..

Ten more ministers to quit govt ?

May 25 (CT) Ten more SLFP Ministers are to resign from their portfolios shortly, a reliable party source revealed. According to the source a few Cabinet Ministers, State Ministers and Deputy Ministers would be resigning from their posts. The source added, these Ministers are planning to leave the Govt in two stages. "Five Ministers would leave the Govt soon to be followed by the other five," this source said. more..

TNA suspects hidden hand in Jaffna violence

May 25 (CG) The TNA raised suspicion of a hidden hand in the violence which erupted in Jaffna last week. TNA MP S. Sritharan said that the violence took place despite the strong presence of the military and the police. He also said that individuals with links to military intelligence officers were seen taking part in the protest and resulting violence. The protest over the rape and murder of a Tamil girl turned violent in Jaffna last week with the mob throwing stones towards the Jaffna court more..

John, Pavithra back Mahinda, attend Balangoda meeting

May 25 (Island) Ratnapura District MPs John Seneviratne and Pavitra Wanniarachchi pledged their support for the on-going campaign to bring back former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the UPFA’s prime ministerial candidate at the next parliamentary election. Several rallies organised by political parties belonging to the UPFA alliance have been held in different parts of the country as part of the bring-back-Mahinda campaign. Two MPs didn’t participate in the pro-Mahinda rallies earlier. more..

No trust motion against Lankan PM may hasten parliament dissolution

May 25 (ENS) The contemplated No Confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe may hasten the dissolution of parliament, political observers said. Over 60 opposition MPs in the House of 224 members have petitioned the Speaker for a No Confidence motion against Wickremesinghe for launching a witch hunt against those associated with former President Rajapaksa and for turning a blind eye to CB Governor’s more..

Construction work begins on Puttalam roads

May 25 (DN) Reconstruction works on five roads in the Puttalam town had begun last Friday, while funds for the reconstruction works had been allocated by the Highways Ministry on the request of North Western Provincial Councillor Ashoka Wadigamangawa who was the chief guest at the event. The five roads consisting 5th Cross Street, 3rd Cross Street, North Road, J.P.Lane and Wannankulam roads have been selected for this project. more..

Parental negligence leads to toddler's death

May 25 (CT) An infant was killed in a train accident on Friday, in the Sirigampola area in Wennapuwa due to parental negligence. The 22 months old toddler was hit by a train travelling from Chilaw to Colombo. Child's home is situated alongside the railway track and the baby is believed to have wandered on to the track without the parent's knowledge. Body of the child was taken to the Lunuwila Hospital following the incident and the Police are conducting further investigations. more..

Jaffna mayhem: Action will be taken against cops if found guilty: John

May 25 (Island) Minister John Amaratunga, has called for a report from the IGP on the conduct of police over the gang-rape and murder of a 17-year-old schoolgirl, which led to the biggest public demonstration recorded in Jaffna in recent times. IGP has already transferred several police personnel including the SSP of the division for their failure to prevent the outbreak of violence while police had taken actions to arrest suspects more..

Minister Ranawaka launches website at the Sigiriya Rock

May 25 (ST) The newly updated website of Minister Champika Ranawaka was launched on May 22, in front of the Sigiriya Rock entrance flanked by the two famed lion paws. Minister said that he completed 14 years as a politician on that day. “It was on May 22 in 2001 that I first took oaths as an MP. As for the choice of Sigiriya as a venue, it was because of the cultural and technological importance this place holds. Written records have it that Sigiriya is about 1500 years old; but more..

'Most projects entertained as unsolicited proposals'

May 25 (SO) Although many construction projects were undertaken during the past regime there has been no transfer of new technology to the country, a construction industry expert and Secretary General of Chamber of Construction Industry, Daksitha Thalagodapitiya said. He said while many of the projects were executed by foreign contractors, local construction companies were provided little opportunity to undertake projects in an environment where there was no level playing field. more..

Financial crimes suspects to face direct indictment

May 25 (DN) Several powerful politicians and public officials of the previous regime under investigation by the FCID are likely to face direct indictments in the High Court. Up to now, the suspects were arrested by the police FCID after inquiries and were produced before court. With the new move, the suspects will only be arrested after being produced before court, highly placed sources of the Attorney General’s Department said. more..

'CEPA detrimental to Sri Lanka'

May 25 (SO) Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and Sri Lanka has failed to deliver what was expected of it. Trade has not improved to the anticipated level and trade under the FTA remains less than five percent, Chairman, Nature’s Secrets, Samantha Kumarasinghe said. “We should not go for any further agreements with India, especially CEPA which is detrimental to the country and not needed. Govt should look at countries such as China and Eastern Europe. more..

Brand new SEC act in 2016

May 25 (CT) Sri Lanka will introduce a totally new Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Act before the end of 2016, SEC Chairman Thilak Karunarathne said. This will totally replace the earlier amendments, which were scheduled to be incorporated in the SEC Act some years ago. "I have three major tasks at the moment. Firstly we have to replace our existing act to broad base our regulatory scope. Secondly, we are on the process of establishing a steering cooperation system to more..

Evicted under the World Bank’s watch

May 25 (ST) When officials from the UDA came to measure their homes in late 2013, the residents living by the St. Sebastian South canal in Colombo 12 did not know why details of their homes were being taken down. A few weeks later, they found out that due to the rehabilitation of the canal under the Metro Colombo Urban Development Project (MCUDP) of World Bank and the then Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, more..

Rumesha shatters Dharsha's record

May 25 (CT) Sprinter Rumesha Rathnayake blazed the track to go beyond Damayanthi Dharsha's 200m meet record as she clocked 24.27 seconds in the heat for girls under 20 at the 94th Junior National Athletics championship held at Diyagama yesterday. The sprinter from St. Joseph's BV Kegalle clocked this incredible time competing from the outer lane in the first heat and she went beyond Asian Games record holder Damayanthi Darsha's record (24.4 seconds) which was set in 1993. more..

Why authorities don’t see Lakshani’s beyond-her-age feats, queries coach

May 25 (Island) Vidusha Lakshani won an Asian Junior Athletics Championship medal in 2014. She took under her belt the Junior National record (Under-20) in the same year. She was Sri Lanka’s sole girls’ competitor at the IAAF World Junior Championships last year. She was selected for the Sri Lanka national team for the upcoming Asian Athletics Championship when she smashed the national record a fortnight ago at Diyagama. The 18-year-old improved her own meet record with more..

'Sri Lanka on the road to achieve US$ 4,000 Per Capita Income'

May 25 (Island) Credit Information Bureau (CRIB) of Sri Lanka celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Established in 1990, it played a pivotal role as the first Credit Bureau in the country to establish integrity in financial stability of its members. Chairman, CRIB, Deputy Governor, Central Bank, Ananda Silva, said at the 25th anniversary AGM, that since its inception, membership has grown to around 6 million. more..

Mumbai Indians crowned IPL champs

May 25 (CI) Mumbai Indians completed one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the eight-year history of the Indian Premier League by transforming a terrible start to the tournament - they were at the bottom of the table for the first two weeks - into a title win. The final, a repeat of their 2013 success at the same ground against the same opposition, turned out to be one of the easier outings after an unbridled early onslaught by Rohit Sharma & Lendl Simmons, both of whom hit half-centuries, more..

Secretary graces passing out in Maduruoya

May 25 (MoD) Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Mr. BMUD Basnayake graced the 46th Passing out Parade of the Special Forces Training School of Sri Lanka Army in Maduruoya as the Chief Guest today (23). The Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva together with the Colonel of the Regiment Major General Sumeda Perera warmly received the Chief Guest Mr. Basnayake on his arrival at the venue. During the colourful parade, 7 officers & 327 other ranks more..