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What questions should the public ask?

May 16 (CT) In another landmark judgment, the Supreme Court, on Wednesday (8), ruled that State Minister Diana Gamage is disqualified from being a MP and therefore not entitled to hold office, as she is not a Sri Lankan citizen. The Writ of Quo Warranto was issued by the three-member Bench comprising Justices Gamini Amarasekara, Kumudini Wickremasinghe and Janak de Silva when the petition filed against State Minister more..

Stolen Assets Recovery Framework: There is much room for improvement

May 16 (DM) The rallying call for recovering stolen assets during the 2022 protests is still fresh in our minds. If the Abacha loot could be returned to Nigeria by Switzerland, could SL not do the same? In response to the protests and building on the work done by experts over many years, the agreement between Govt of SL (GoSL) and IMF now contains a structural benchmark where the GoSL has committed to enact a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) in keeping with int'l standards by Apr 2024. more..

Family is the first essential cell of human society

May 16 (DM) Families stay together if they regularly pray or meditate together. This is a hallowed philosophy that goes a long way to show that good families make good societies and countries. We need to see unity in diversity in families with none dominating or having his/her way. Family members need to be sacrificial and forgiving, embodying values of love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, humility, gentleness and meekness. Some believe the husband is the head of the family and more..

Oshala Herath

Over 10,000 visitors witness 188 base jumps from Lotus Tower

May 15 (DM) More than 10,000 local and foreign visitors witnessed a total of 188 base jump events held during the last three days at the Lotus Tower. Two sets of fathers and daughters from the USA and Japan participated while highlighting the base jump event. They said a 35 international Base Jumpers exhibited their adrenaline-fueled skills. The jumpers were brought into the country by the Team Ill Vision who represents the Professional Stunt Skydivers and BASE Jumpers. more..

Shakib and Hasaranga share top spot in T20 all-rounder rankings

May 15 (ICC) The race to be the No.1 ranked all-rounder at the start of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup has further intensified as two players share top billing following the latest update to the ICC Men's T20 Player Rankings. Just 23 rating points separate the top five players on the updated list for T20I all-rounders, with Bangladesh veteran Shakib Al Hasan joined by Sri Lanka captain Wanindu Hasaranga in the top spot with just over a fortnight to the start of the T20 World Cup. more..

Families complain about 280 Sri Lankans in Russia-Ukraine war, 16 confirmed dead

May 15 (EN) SL’s defence ministry has so far received 280 complaints from family members of citizens who have been recruited to fight in the Russia-Ukraine warfront by mercenary companies, State Minister Premitha Bandara Tennakoon said. So far 16 persons have been confirmed dead, he said. SL’s Defence Ministry set up a hotline for family to members to lodge complaints after a few returnees exposed more..

Fallout between the Maldives and India is absolutely benefiting SL: Harin

May 15 (CNBC) Calls for Indian travelers to boycott the Maldives is absolutely helping Sri Lanka’s travel industry, the country’s Tourism Minister Harin Fernando said Thursday. “Maldives issue is … helping us,” Fernando said, referencing a social media row in January that resulted in a sharp drop in Indian visitors to the Maldives this year. India was the Maldives’ largest source market in 2023. But now it sits in 6th place, behind arrivals from China, Russia, UK, Italy and Germany, more..

Govt remains steadfast in commitment to combat crime and ensure justice: President

May 15 (AD) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe has highlighted the govt’s efforts to enact numerous new laws aimed at apprehending criminals over the past two years. He made this observation during the opening ceremony of the new Court Complex in Theldeniya today (15). Wickremesinghe also highlighted the govt’s achievement of implementing 75 new laws in the past two years emphasizing that this initiative has positioned SL as the sole country in South Asia with a modern legal system. more..

Adani deal symptomatic of Sri Lanka’s high costs from lack of competition: Analyst

May 15 (EN) Sri Lanka has to open both traded and non-traded sectors to competition, in order to boost productivity and drive prices down, Murtaza Jafferjee, Chairman of Advocata Institute, a Colombo-based think tank said. An unsolicited deal given to India’s Adani group without competition despite a requirement under an IMF to reduce corruption though tendering was symptomatic of the crisis facing Sri Lanka. more..

Telecom law change hits media freedom: opposition

May 15 (EN) A proposed change to Telecom Regulatory law will give powers to the commission to cancel license of electronic media, undermining media freedom, the opposition has warned. “These changes to the Act contain several proposals that are detrimental to media freedom. One is the that you have to pay a fine to get your license back. Also the commission can interpret and decide what is not in the public’s interest,” Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa said in parliament. more..

Indian Supreme Court trains Sri Lankan Supreme Court officials

May 15 (DM) A delegation comprising 15 officials of the Sri Lankan Supreme Court completed a four-day training programme from May 9 to13 at the Supreme Court of India, a statement from the Indian High Commission said. During the programme, the delegates were introduced to the technological and digital transformation of the Supreme Court of India including the e-Courts project, Library, Court processes such as filing, listing, scrutiny, scanning and record keeping. more..

Nalinda Jayathissa | NPP |

Two schoolgirls reported missing after O/L exam in Ambagamuwa

May 15 (AD) The guardians of two schoolgirls, who had failed to return home from the G.C.E. O/L Examination center at a school in Ambagamuwa, have filed a complaint with Ginigathhena Police. The students in question were scheduled to sit for the exam held yesterday (14) at the Ambagamuwa National School’s examination center last morning. According to the complaint, one of the students had arrived at the examination center accompanied by her parents. more..

CEB facing serious shortage of engineers: Officials tell COPE

May 15 (AD) It has been revealed during the meeting of the COPE that about 130 engineers of the CEB have left the service as of recently. Responding to a question put forward by MP Madhura Withanage during the meeting, the Deputy Managing Director of CEB Palitha Perera said that there are 330 vacancies for engineers in total presently. “130 have resigned last year and within the first 4 months of this year. We have a shortfall of 330 engineers because we did not recruit more..

Tamils’ struggle for political rights reasonable, says Sumanthiran

May 15 (Island) TNA MP M.A.Sumanthiran told Parliament that the Tamils’ struggle was a struggle for justice. “It is a reasonable struggle for political rights. Our struggle may be too long and hazardous. But we will attain a just solution if we continue in the non-violent path without deviating from it,” he said. “This week we commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Mullivaikkal killings and other atrocities. more..

Moragoda releases six-point statement concerning the present economic situation

May 15 (FT) Pathfinder Foundation Founder and diplomat Milinda Moragoda yesterday released a six-point statement concerning the present economic situation. “The bitter truth that half-hearted economic reforms by successive govts have been a major contributory factor to the current economic crisis,” Milinda Moragoda said. He stated that It is critical that all political parties and society at large come to terms with the fact that economic reform and privatisation are integral components of more..

Russia envoy asked for list of Sri Lankans hired for Ukraine war, ashes of the dead

May 15 (EN) Sri Lanka has made several requests from the Russian Ambassador to Colombo, the Defense Secretary has said. “One is that they provide us with a list of SL war heroes (ranaviruvo) engaged in the war,” Kamal Gunaratne said. “Then a complete list of the dead, so we can inform their family that their war hero died in that war.” SL has also learnt that there are injured soldiers. “We asked that they repatriate the injured, so we can look after them in our Army Hospital.” more..

Amnesty International head to join M’vaikkal commemoration

May 15 (Island) General Secretary of Amnesty International, Agnčs Callamard, is scheduled to visit Mullivaikkal, in the Mullaithivu District, where the combined security forces defeated the LTTE. The visit is scheduled to take place on 18 May, the day before the military killed LTTE leader V Prabhakaran, 15 years ago. Amnesty International confirmed the visit. London headquartered group said that its Secretary more..

Tense situation near Presidential Secretariat

May 15 (DM) A tense situation was reported near the Presidential Secretariat due to a protest by the Citizen Power Organization Against Bribery, Corruption and Waste this morning. Protesters demand the govt take action against the decision to restore the vehicle permits to the MPs. Soon after the protest started, the police removed the banners and as a result, the heated situation occurred. Later, protestors handed over a memorandum to Prez's Additional Secretary, Kapila Munasinghe. more..

YJA calls for investigation on Sampur arrests

May 15 (FT) Young Journalists Association of SL in a letter to Human Rights Commission of SL (HRCSL) has called for an investigation to be launched regarding the arrests of four persons in Sampur for holding a commemoration event in remembrance of the Mullivaikkal war dead. The YJA said the police had obtained a court order prohibiting the distribution of porridge and there have been several similar instances in the past. “Despite the HRCSL’s 2016 recommendation to uphold the right to more..

අනුර සජිත් විවාදය වෙන්නේ නෑ

KDU gets almost 1,000 applicants for medical degree

May 15 (EN) General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) has received 956 applications for its paid medical degree program from students who passed local and London A Levels, State Minister Premitha Bandara Tennakoon said. “We have received 956 eligible applications; 868 from local syllabus and from London syllabus 88,” Tennakoon told reporters. Cabinet approved paid medical degrees at KDU on April 2024. KDU charges 12.5 million rupees for its medical degree. more..

A wise fool’s paradise

May 15 (FT) Sustaining Stability is the oxymoronic title of the recent panel discussion organised by the Central Bank. How to make a three-legged stool stand on two legs would have been a more commonsensical, down to earth title for the profoundly perplexing exchange of views by five panellists – all steeped in the science of economics. That makes it easy. A repetition of remarks made by participants or attempting to qualify who said what, is not necessary. more..

SL visa problem caused by technical issue

May 15 (TM) Sri Lanka’s visa problem that doubled the visa cost to $ 100 was due to a technical issue as the visa processing company missed out on the 30-day visa, Tourism Minister Harin Fernando said. Speaking to CNBC, he said that the technical issue happened in connection with the country moving away from Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) to requiring travellers to have an e-visa which was processed by VFS Global. more..

University non-academic staff to intensify their strike action

May 15 (AD) The Joint Committee of University Trade Unions says they have decided to further intensify their strike action due to delays in addressing their demands. Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee of University Trade Unions Dhammika S. Priyantha stated that the association unanimously agreed to withdraw from all voluntary services within universities. This includes halting the supply of water and electricity, as well as discontinuing internet facilities. more..

Court order issued against JVP trade unions’ protest in Colombo

May 15 (TM) Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court has issued an order on several trade union leaders of the JVP and others over a protest march planned in Colombo yesterday (15). Accordingly, the court order prevents K.D. Lal Kantha, Mahinda Jayasinghe, Ranjan Jayalal and other protestors from inconveniencing the public or pedestrians along several major roads in Colombo including Dean’s Road, T.B. Jayah Mawatha, Technical Junction, Ibbanwala Junction. more..

Indo-Lanka land connectivity most ambitious move: Indian HC

May 15 (DM) Indian High Commissioner Santos Jha, in an interview with a select group of journalists, discusses the current status of bilateral ties and the future direction. Q: It has been a little over four months since you assumed duties as High Commissioner here. What are your initial impressions? A: Coming to SL as India’s High Commissioner was in some way a homecoming for me - in a role with greater responsibility. more..

Public asked not to panic over AstraZeneca vaccine

May 15 (DM) In the wake of the recent mass withdrawal of AstraZeneca vaccines due to concerns over rare blood clots, SL health experts emphasized that individuals who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine need not harbour undue fears regarding its safety. Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama, Chairman of the NMRA, referenced a case in which the manufacturer of AstraZeneca acknowledged that complications from the vaccine are exceedingly rare, a fact they had previously admitted. more..

Court issues directive to halt deforestation at Bogahapalassa reserve

May 15 (AD) The Court of Appeal has issued an order to the Director General of the Wildlife Conservation Dept and the IGP to take action to prevent the illegal deforestation taking place within the Bogahapalassa Forest Reserve. This order has been issued by a judge bench consisting of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne and Justice Sasi Mahendran, while considering a petition submitted by the Centre for Environmental Justice. more..

අපි ගන්නෙ හරි බෙහෙත්ද?

Playing Blind man’s buff with SL’s Free Trade Agreements: Part 2

May 15 (FT) It is important to realise that the mere reduction of an import duty at the border, through an FTA does not mean free market access for SL goods to the Indian or any other market since there are many non-tariff barriers and trade facilitation documentation issues facing our exports to those markets. An UNCTAD Study on Non Tariff Measures in China and India (2020) noted that despite reduction in import duties at the border, a host of NTMs as sanitary and phytosanitary more..

Army Commander obtains order against YouTube channel under Online Safety Act

May 15 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court today issued a conditional order preventing a YouTube channel from publishing and communicating defamatory information against Army Commander Lt General Vikum Liyanage, under the newly enacted Online Safety Act. Colombo Chief Magistrate Thilina Gamage issued a conditional order in favour of the Army Commander in terms of Section 24 (1) and Section 24 (2) of the Online Safety Act No. 09 of 2024 and directed that more..

Russo-Ukraine war: PSC sought on retired soldiers’ recruitment

May 15 (TM) In the wake of growing concern about multiple rackets involved in sending retired SL armed forces personnel to Russia and Ukraine as mercenaries, Opposition MP Gamini Waleboda urged the Speaker of the Parliament to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to look into the matter. Over the last month, families of victims and Sri Lankan caught up in the mercenary racket have aired their grievances, some calling more..

Bakeer Markar in Parliament attributes Palestine crisis to global political interests

May 15 (FT) SJB MP Imthiaz Bakeer Markar said the current humanitarian crisis in Palestine is a product of international political interests. Speaking in parliament at the Adjournment Debate on the Palestine Issue, he also pointed out the contradiction in Israel’s stance. “While Israeli propaganda suggests an end to the conflict if Israeli hostages are freed, statements from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his govt ministers have emphasised their determination to continue the war, more..

As team leaves for New York: Visa delay leaves Kusal and Asitha stranded

May 15 (TM) Two players of the SL team namely batter Kusal Mendis and pacer Asitha Fernando were left stranded due to delays in their visas being issued on time, SLC CEO Ashley de Silva said. This happened as the rest of their mates flew out to New York via Dubai last morning (14), to contest the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup next month. He said the SLC was currently liaising with the US Embassy in Colombo to expedite the departure of the duo and expressed hope that before Friday (17), more..