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Now the govt should resign

May 1 (Island) Ever since the Easter carnage the previous week, we had been saturated with all sorts of bizarre and horror stories linked to those blasts which depict how just a few fanatic human beings could be so cruel and inhuman towards their fellow human beings. According to my barber, here in Rome not even animals have ever descended to the levels of those fundamentalist Islamic terrorists though the former would kill if at all to satisfy their natural hunger or in self-defence. more..

Govt of cohabitation includes security

May 1 (CT) Sri Lanka’s four major southern-based parties, the fledgling SLPP of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s, the UNP, SLFP and JVP have decided against holding May Day rallies today due to the security situation, nevertheless some parties will be holding May Day pocket meetings. This, however, is not the first time that the island’s major parties have not held or had been banned from holding May Day rallies due to security reasons. One such occasion was during the 1971 JVP insurgency. more..

'Power greedy SLPP wants to topple govt'

May 1 (CT) State Minister, UNP MP, J.C. Alawathuwala says outside forces cannot create dissention within the UNP. Q: There were stories, spread in the recent past, that there would be a huge political upheaval in the country. What is happening? A: What you say is correct. There was an opinion expressed that something would happen on 15 April. But nothing did. These opinions were circulated on social media networks, mostly. more..

Amidst the rubble: Moving forward

May 1 (ST) There were sombre thoughts and an air of melancholy in the household, and also the neighbourhood. Kussi Amma Sera (KAS) and her friends had returned from the village after their extended Avurudu vacation, sad on one side but eager to find out what was happening in Colombo after the Easter Sunday carnage. Mahattaya, megollo vanachara saththu wagey hasirune (These people behaved like wild animals), KAS said, in an expression of anger over the terrorists, more..

The Muslims of Sri Lanka: A quick snapshot

May 1 (CT) The earliest recorded engagement of a Muslim with Samantakuta, according to Senerath Paranavitana, occurs in 851 CE in a travel account by an Arab merchant called Soleyman. However, Soleyman does not refer to it as aadam malayi, the name we see in the later Muslim reconstruction of the Peak. Instead he alludes to it as Al-Rohoun, a term the 9th century Indian poet Rajasekhara uses in the Balaramanaya. Rohoun was a corruption of Ruhuna, to which the area surrounding more..

Bonds of humanity unite communities

May 1 (SO) Shards of glass from the wreckage still lie strewn across the main entrance to the shrine. Metal barricades block access. On one of them is a poster that reads- Jesu ekka gamanak yanna, (Go on a journey with Jesus). The church is cordoned off with yellow colour police-crime-scene tape. This was the grim picture that greeted media personnel who entered the St. Anthony’s Shrine in Kochchikade, Kotahena, Colombo, after more..

Edtorial: SF, imbeciles and Atlas

May 1 (Island) UNP parliamentary group is reported to have requested Prez Sirisena to appoint former Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka (SF) the Minister of Law and Order. Minister Arjuna Ranatunga has offered to resign so that the number of Cabinet ministers does not have to be increased. If the UNP thinks that SF alone is equal to the task of maintaining law and order, will it explain why PM Wickremesinghe did not consult him immediately after the Easter Sunday terror strikes? more..

The Niqab ban and the politics of distraction

May 1 (GV) As of last Monday, Sri Lanka is taking a seat at the table next to a list of 13 other countries from across the world who have passed legislation banning the niqab or face veil. Amidst incensed murmurs from certain MPs, and following a discussion with the country’s main Islamic theological body, All Ceylon Jammiatul Ulema (ACJU), Prez’s office has announced that any garment or item which obstructs the identification of a person’s face would be barred. more..

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

Easter Sunday savagery: The unanswered questions

May 1 (GV) Whilst the security operations continue, it is time for the committee set up by the president and indeed the rest of us, to consider the questions that refuse to go away and demand answers. The carnage of Easter Sunday throws up many questions, some of which have been answered albeit unconvincingly. Consequently a lot is riding on the committee appointed by the president to investigate as to how such a tragedy could have happened. more..

Sophisticated response to terror attacks needed

May 1 (CT) Sri Lanka ended its first week after coordinated terror attacks in six locations left more than 250 killed and 500 injured without any further attacks. But the country remained in a state of semi-paralysis with people fearful about going to their workplaces in urban areas and to crowded places such as shopping centres and markets. Schools also remain closed. Some foreign embassies even ordered the evacuation of children and asked their staff not to report to work. more..

A requiem for the dead: In Negombo, families lament lost ones

May 1 (Roar) White flags of mourning are strung up over small lanes in the Katuwapitiya town in Negombo. Like the silk strands of a spider’s web, the lines are drawn to the centre, where the church of St. Sebastian still stands, despite being the site of the most horrific of the terror attacks on Easter Sunday, killing over 100 worshippers. A church of the Catholic majority of Katuwapitiya, believers congregate to St. Sebastian's for more..

Browns Hospitals to offer NITF members access to healthcare services

May 1 (ST) Browns Hospitals, recently signed a MoU with the National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF) which provides NITF’s 2.5 million members and their families access to Browns Hospitals’ state-of-the-art facilities and services at a concessionary rate. The MoU was signed by Sanath De Silva – CEO, NITF, and Charitha Jayasingha – Chief Operating Officer, Browns Hospitals. “As the cost of everything continues to rise the barrier to quality healthcare increases as well,” said Sanath De Silva more..

SLC conducts Level I coach accreditation course

May 1 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket Coach Education Unit has completed (5) ICC Level I coach accreditation programs for Eastern, Western, North Central and North Western Provinces in 2019. Altogether 120 participants have attended these courses and completed the level ‘O’ course in each province. ICC Level I course covered fundamental aspects of batting, fast bowling, spin bowling, wicket keeping, fielding, role of a coach, net and group coaching, umpiring, Strength and conditioning. more..

Tourism industry braces for tough times

May 1 (ST) The tourism industry in Sri Lanka was caught unawares on Easter Sunday morning when blasts ripped through churches and hotels, sending the industry back to an era of armed sentries posted around the city and outside. This is the first time that tourists and hotels were a target by terrorists in SL. 40 tourists were killed while about 14 were unaccounted for by the blasts at Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand & Kingsbury. more..

Gunarathne youngest to captain SL at rugby

May 1 (CT) 23-year-old Omalka Gunarathne, the dashing CR&FC No.8, will go down in the history books as the youngest player to lead the SL national rugby team when he was named captain for two games against Malaysia to be held in Malaysia. Omalka started his rugby career at Isipathana College at the age of 8 at junior level at the Isipathana Rugby Academy and made great progress right throughout his school career. His superb performances ensured him more..

Navy averts the possible threat of flood to Wakwella area in Galle

May 1 (SLN) SL Navy removed logs and branches of trees clogged underside of the Wakwella and Mulkada bridges in Galle, yesterday (29). Due to the heavy rains to the upper areas of Gin ganga, it had been blocked by debris of bamboo bushes and logs from underside and since the area was under a risk of flood, Naval personnel promptly removed the collected debris making way for free downstream of river-water. Accordingly, this task was conducted amidst a situation which most of the Naval more..

Sri Lanka Tourism outlines recovery plan following Easter Sunday terror attacks

May 1 (TW) In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, the tourism board has revealed that trained teams were deployed to the affected hotels, all hospitals and the airport to ensure all tourists directly affected by the attacks received the care, attention and assistance they needed. In addition to the help desks at hotels, airports and tourist information centres, SL Tourism set up an emergency hotline to ensure more..

PM’s May Day message

May 1 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said the dignity of labour will be upheld as the country moves forward healing the wounds of the past. The message adds: “May Day, the int'l celebration of the working class falls this year at a time of great sorrow. We still feel the pain and suffering caused by the atrocious Easter Sunday terror attacks. The destruction was immense, with many innocent lives lost and many seriously wounded. This vile act struck at the heart of our nation, challenging more..

President’s May Day Message

May 1 (DN) Prez Sirisena said the people should commit themselves to strengthen mutual reconciliation. Issuing a May Day message, Prez said no sector could prosper without the help of the working people. Message: It is the day on which the legendary voice of a group of gallant workers sacrificed their lives while demanding to limit the daily working period to 8 hours. Today symbolises the fair expectations of working class strengthened due to that historical occurrence. more..

Special UN team of counter-terrorism experts to assist Sri Lanka

May 1 (AD) UN Under Secretary General for Alliance of Civilizations Miguel Angel Moratinos conveyed congratulations to President Maithripala Sirisena for taking swift action to control the situation after the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks, the PMD stated. Mr Moratinos, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain arrived in Sri Lanka as a Special Representative of UNSG and called on President Sirisena at more..

I am the plaster for every wound says sporting Avishka

May 1 (DN) Name of Avishka Gunawardene may not figure prominently as much as the head coach of the SL team because ‘A’ team coaches hardly hog the limelight. Usually the country’s attention is largely focused on the performances of the national team and not so much on sides in the lower ranks like the ‘A’ team, the Emerging team and the under 19 side. So for Gunawardene’s name to suddenly surface in the media and capture the headlines something drastic must have taken place. more..

Security has to be restored for revival of tourism: Chandra Mohotti

May 1 (CT) Tourism can be revived only by having proper security in the country and ensuring no calamities happen again and not by merely promoting the destination, says a well known tourism sector leader. “We suffered a brutal war for 30 years, and during that time, the hotels were aware of the security issues and took the necessary precautions to avoid calamities; but the Easter attacks were totally unexpected,” said Galle Face Hotel Senior VP, Chandra Mohotti. more..

Biz leaders, professionals send urgent action plan to Prez, PM

May 1 (FT) An influential and successful group of 62 business leaders and professionals, along with four major trade chambers, yesterday handed over to Prez and PM an urgent action plan to strengthen security as well as harmony in the country. In their joint signed petition, the group, comprising individuals from all ethnicities, emphasised that Easter Sunday mayhem confirmed that Sri Lanka is no longer excluded from more..

Re-correction results of A/L exam released

May 1 (NR) The re-correction results of the 2018 GCE A/L Exam have been released. The Dept of Examinations said the results can be obtained via Meanwhile several hotlines have been introduced to inquire into concerns related to the results. Accordingly the Dept of Examinations requested applicants to contact the Results Dept on 011 2784 208 or 011 2784 537 for any inquiries. Meanwhile inquires could also be directed through the Examinations Dept hotline, 1911. more..

New traffic plan for BIA

May 1 (FT) The Airport and Aviation Services (SL) Ltd., called on the public to use alternative routes to avoid heavy traffic congestion near the Bandaranaike International Airport. Following Easter Sunday attacks, the AASL beefed up security at BIA and surrounding areas. However, due to these security measures it had caused heavy traffic near BIA with general public also having to use the main road connecting Minuwangoda and Katunayake, AASL said in a statement. more..

Ongoing security operations successful: Defense Ministry

May 1 (MoD) The island wide search operations being carried out by Tri Forces, Police and STF are continuing and security has been tightened. Maximum security has been provided to all places of worship by the Tri Forces, Police and STF. Investigations carried out by the CID and TID have been successful and the Police believe that they have been able to identify all collaborators of the extremists and also believe that more..

SLFP urges govt to heed Gnanasara Thera’s claim

May 1 (CT) The SLFP urged the authorities to obtain information from incarcerated Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera in connection with his claim that another terror attack targeting temples islandwide was in the offing. He said, “In the light of the current situation, we had a discussion with PM to bring in a new law to regulate Madrasa (Islamic colleges) schools. We intend to formulate this Act by analysing the system currently present in countries such as B'desh to regulate Madrasa schools. more..

Information sharing must be prioritised: TISL

May 1 (FT) Transparency International SL (TISL) in a statement expressed its shock and dismay over the tragic loss of life afflicted on our country on Easter Sunday, tearing apart families and entire communities. “Whilst expressing our condolences and standing in solidarity with the victims of these acts of terror, TISL calls on all stakeholders including the public to focus attention on resolving systemic deficiencies which allowed for these attacks to be carried out,” statement added. more..

'200 mosques built around the country'

May 1 (CT) Govt vouched that the real truth behind the Easter attacks targeting churches and hotels will be exposed before the end of May. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that within a short span of time, forces have successfully arrested over 70 suspects out of which 39 are accepted as having been a part of the terror group behind the Easter Sunday attacks. "Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa is going to more..

Committee probing Easter attacks records statements from IGP & former Def. Secretary

May 1 (AD) The Special Investigation Committee appointed to probe Easter Sunday terror attacks has recorded statements from former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara, the President’s Media Division (PMD) stated. The Committee appointed by President Sirisena on April 21 to conduct investigations into the series of incidents occurred in 08 places of the country due to the explosions, commenced its works on April 22. more..

Religious leaders call for those with extremist links to surrender

May 1 (DN) Religious leaders yesterday requested all those with links to terrorists to surrender to law enforcement authorities without trying to take the country and nation into further destruction. Narahenpita Sri Hathbodhi Viharadhipathi Ven Galagama Dhammaransi Thera said the brutal attacks were a setback to peace and harmony among the different communities in the country. “Taking this tragedy as a challenge, we appeal to everyone to cooperate with Security Forces more..

STF finds 35 T-56 bullets in Hizbullah’s office

May 1 (CT) STF yesterday raided Eastern Province Governor A.L.M. Hizbullah's Kattankudi office where they found 35 Type 56 bullets, which the Governor claims belong to the Police security officers working for him. According to the Police, this office was shut down a month ago. STF detained two of Hizbullah’s office staff for further questioning. Two staffers were taken to the Kattankudi Police Station for an inquiry and more..

Rajitha says key govt ministers under threat

May 1 (ET) Intelligence agencies in the country have identified eight Govt ministers who are under threat, issuing instructions to restrict movements and beef up security for the individuals as the authorities crack down on the Easter Sunday attackers. Minister Rajitha Senaratne claimed that intelligence services have asked eight ministers in the Govt to restrict their movements during the week due to possible suicide attacks. “My MSD told me that I have been identified as one of them and more..

Sri Lanka mistook Indian alert as bid to create rift with Islamabad

May 1 (ET) Sri Lanka had refused to pay heed to India’s alert on possible suicide attacks and the involvement of extremists based on its belief that New Delhi is trying to pit Colombo against Pakistan by pointing fingers at the island's Muslim community. Senior Lankan officials (defence secretary and police chief who have now been sacked) had claimed that India is trying to instigate Colombo against Islamabad by proposing counter-terror operations among the minority community more..

Swords found in mosques: To clear surrounding compounds: Haleem

May 1 (CT) The recent cache of swords and knives found in mosques, according to Minister Abdul Haleem was to clear the overgrown shrubs surrounding compounds of mosques. “It is possible that certain mosques would have kept weapons and other sharp objects to clean the yards and surrounding shrubs around certain religious places,” he claimed. This was in response to journalists’ queries as to why more..

Price of progress

May 1 (DM) Human nature is basically selfish and we humans tend to pursue progress at the cost of accepted norms and values. The progression of human civilization seems to be at an exorbitant cost and the connectivity engineered through that sadly leaves us so much alone. We have only to open our newspapers to see the unending destruction of lives through absolute and utter carelessness. Ten dead in one accident, the cursed need for speed takes so many precious human lives in a split second. more..

May Day: No rallies but religious unity in diversity

May 1 (DM) Today is May Day, but acting with wisdom, major parties have called off their rallies in view of the still tense security situation, 10 days after the Easter Sunday massacres involving suicide bombers of two ISIS linked terror groups in SL. Instead of rallies, the parties will take part in religious ceremonies. It was the S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike govt which declared May Day as a public, bank and mercantile holiday from 1956 and all major political parties, trade unions and more..

The veil and the Arabanisation of Lankan Muslims

May 1 (DM) Girls too young to understand the essence of religion adorn the Nikab. Some forced due to cultural imposition, and others too young to know why. Madrasas spread across the island ignore history, art culture, literature and theology which form the core of religious education. Instead the focus is on rituals and taboos. Kattankudy, in the East, is but one example of cultural alienation and segregation. more..

Sri Lanka's NITF exposure to terror attacks limited to Rs. 500mn

May 1 (EN) Sri Lanka's state-owned National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF) will have a maximum exposure of 500 million rupees from the Easter Sunday terror attacks, a top official said. "Our total exposure will not exceed 500 million rupees," NITF Chairman Manjula de Silva said. NITF maintains the Strike, Riot, Civil Commotion and Terrorist (SRCC&T) fund, for which services are sold through insurance companies. more..