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Is it helplessness or stubbornness that endangers the people at Meeriyabedda?

Apr 30 (FT) 13-year-old A. Vinodhani a grade six student lives with her family on Meeriyabedda Tea Estate in Koslanda. She saw the devastation that was caused by the landslide that took place a few hundred metres from her home on the morning of 29 Oct 2014. She also knows that the area where her house is has been recognised as a high risk zone and that her parents have been asked to move to a safer place which more..

Intrepid travel in Sri Lanka

Apr 30 (WE) Master travel writer John Gimlette’s journey to SL began with a modest bus ride from his home in southwest London, where nearby, he tells us, some 8,000 British Tamils live in Tooting, all originally from the town of Velvettithurai, and many of whom are members of tough urban gangs with names like the Tamil Posse or the Jaffna Boys. Unlikely as it sounds for England, these toughs had run amok on a beach in Norfolk in 2001, stabbing and beating holidaymakers. more..

Editorial: Blues crossing Rubicon

Apr 30 (Island) UNP and SLFP big guns in the govt are all out to scuttle the Joint Opposition’s May Day rally. Their desperation is understandable. The SLFP leaders and dissidents are playing a game of chicken. The latter will cross the Rubicon tomorrow. The Sirisena faction of the SLFP will find itself in deeper trouble if its efforts to consolidate its power in the party with the help of tomorrow’s rally in Galle fail; it will have to contend with stiffer resistance from within. In such an eventuality, more..

Classrooms: A pain in the back

Apr 30 (NS) Over 35% of Sri Lanka’s student population are likely to be suffering from backache, joint pain and neck pain and other multiple complications arising out of mismatched ergonomics in classroom environments, a recent research carried out by the SLMA has revealed. Physician, Dr. Kapila Jayaratne said the complications included musculo-skeletal pain, fatigue, psychological disturbances & scoliosis. more..

Bound by the chains of Blue Party rivalry

Apr 30 (Island) This popularization of the last sentences in the Communist Manifesto was the great hope of the workers of this country too, who participated in the Labour Day and later May Day demonstrations and rallies, led by political parties that represented the working people; from A.E. Gunasinha who led the Labour Party, and subsequently the Marxists of the LSSP and later the CP. The colour of those May Day celebrations was red. This changed after PM S.W.R.D. more..

Sri Lanka projected economic growth 5.4% in 2016; 5.9% in 2017: UNESCAP

Apr 30 (LBO) SL’s economic growth is projected to gain further momentum, at 5.4% in 2016 and 5.9% in 2017, newly released 2016 UNESCAP report said. UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) report further said private consumption in SL will likely remain the key growth driver amid greater urbanization and rising demand for housing. As per the report, one immediate policy challenge is to ensure a strong fiscal position and debt sustainability. more..

Balaya

Stability of the govt

Apr 30 (FT) The UNP and its allies secured 106 seats at general election 2015 and the SLFP and its allies secured 95 seats. In the history of Parliamentary elections under the new Constitution only in two instances was a clear majority of 113 seats secured by the winning party. That was in 1989 when the UNP secured 125 seats amidst the JVP insurrection and in 2010 where the UPFA secured 144 seats soon after winning the war. In all other instances there were stable govts with more..

They march on May Day

Apr 30 (FT) Whatever the disputed number or density of bodies at the different rallies held to commemorate the workers’ day, one thing is certain; on May Day, all the meetings added up, there will be a good million Sri Lankans marching, shouting themselves hoarse in the burning sun. If the climate prevailing now holds, it will not be their ally, tormenting the weary marchers with a sweltering day of extreme humidity. After all the sound and fury, the day will end like most their days, more..

The Malaria malaise

Apr 30 (SO) The recent statement by a senior official of the GMOA has ruffled a few feathers and raised health concerns - much more than the GMOA official ever expected. The GMOA is vehement in its stand against getting employees from malaria-ridden countries to be employed here as it might cause an epidemic. Allegations were levelled against the statement by the General Secretary, GMOA, Dr. Nalinda Herath at more..

Public Service under Yahapaalanaya

Apr 30 (GV) Ceylon Electricity Board. I can imagine the range of emotions the mere mention of this public institution will inspire in a number of you. Particularly those of you who, like me, do not have a generator, and have sweated it out through the power cuts over the past few weeks. But this article is not aimed at grumbling about the power failure per se. It is concerned instead with the total inefficiency of CEB in performing its duties. The episode I am about to describe is the first hand experience more..

Meddling with Sampanthan!

Apr 30 (CT) Forty years ago unfavourable conditions emerged not only from the South but even from the Tamil militants in the North to the first Tamil Opposition Leader late Appapillai Amirthalingam to discontinue from his representation in the Parliament. TULF, emerging as a formidable political force at the Parliamentary polls in 1977, became the main Opposition Party in UNP Govt led by J.R. Jayewardene. However, following the rise of Tamil militancy in the North and the East more..

'Any Party has to have discipline'

Apr 30 (CT) SPC Chief Minister Shan Wijayalal de Silva says, "I do not understand why Mahinda Rajapaksa is going to attend a May Day Rally which is organized by the Joint Opposition at Kirulapone". Q: How are the preparations for the May Day Rally in Galle? A: This time it has been decided to hold the May Day rally of the UPFA led by the SLFP in Galle. There are several facts that influenced the decision. more..

Jaffna University sexual harassment: A/L students demand UGC inquiry

Apr 30 (CT) As has been reported in Colombo Telegraph Dr. S. Dharshanan, Head of the Department of Music and a close relative of Jaffna VC Vasanthi Arasaratnam, was suspended from service without pay following numerous accusations of sexual harassment by his students and staff colleagues at the Ramanathan Academy of Fine Arts (RAFA). These accusations had been there from 2011 but the Council inquiries had asked the accusers to cooperate with their accuser. more..

Mr. Prime Minister, Please be serious about economic governance!

Apr 30 (CT) Let me write freely. I knew that PM and his close political associates strongly believed that they know economics better. Therefore, they did not pay any attention to any serious govt official or other economic analysts who performed their duty outside the govt by airing their views through media. Politicians thought that they can instruct the govt officials as to what they should do. This wishful thinking has almost ended by now. The economy is in a mess. more..

Court prevents Joint Opposition from entering Shalika grounds

Apr 29 (AD) An interim order has been issued by Court preventing members of the Joint Opposition and SLTB trae unions from entering Shalika Grounds in Narahenpita for 14 days from today, ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said. The May Day rally of the self-styled Joint Opposition was scheduled to commence from Shalika Grounds and at Kirulopane Grounds on Sunday. However, the reservations made by the leaders of more..

French Naval ship Aconit arrives at the Port of Colombo

Apr 29 (SLN) French Naval Ship Aconit arrived at the Port of Colombo on 29th April on a goodwill visit. The ship was ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on her arrival. Commanding Officer of the Ship, Captain Laurent Machard De Gramont paid a courtesy call on the Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Jayantha De Silva in Colombo. They held cordial discussions and exchanged mementos to mark the occasion. more..

Police officers interdicted for threatening man with gun

Apr 29 (DM) Four police officers including a Sub-Inspector (SI), two Sergeants and a Police Constable of the Dambulla Police Station have been interdicted in connection with a tense situation which occurred at a restaurant in Dambulla. ASP Ruwan Gunsekara said the four police officers, who were in civilian clothing, had entered the restaurant last night and requested the staff exchange a bottle of alcohol. When the restaurant staff refused to exchange the bottle, one of the police officers had more..

Udayanga meets Mahinda, insists he will not return to Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (CG) SL’s former Ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga, who is wanted in Sri Lanka over allegations he sold arms to rebels in Ukraine, has met former President Rajapaksa in Thailand. Weeratunga said in a statement today that he met Rajapaksa when the former President visited Thailand this week. The former Ambassador said that he has no intention of returning to SL since baseless allegation more..

1,200 Lankan fishermen held in five years

Apr 29 (Hindu) About 1,000 Sri Lankan fishermen were arrested by the Coast Guard in the last five years on charges of illegally entering and fishing in Indian waters, a senior official said here on Thursday. A total of 1,205 Sri Lankan fishermen and 241 fishing boats were arrested in the last five years, IGP Satya Prakash Sharma said. Listing the actions of the Coast Guard under his command, the officer,said 2,391 Indians and 1,048 Sri Lankans were repatriated in the last five years. more..

Inflation in Sri Lanka's capital 3.1% in April

Apr 29 (EN) Consumer prices in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo rose 3.1% in April 2016 from a year ago, after having risen 2% in March. The Colombo Consumer Price Index rose 1.3% to 184.1 points in April from 181.7 points in March. Inflation in April was driven by increases in food prices, the statistics office said. The Food Group of the index increasing from 1.4% in March 2016 to 4.9% in April 2016 while Non-food Group slowed from 2.5% to 1.7% during this period. more..

Govt tells ex LTTE cadres, time to move forward

Apr 29 (CG) Govt today told a group of former LTTE cadres that the time has come to move forward following the end of the war. A group of rehabilitated former LTTE members visited Colombo today concluding their annual educational tour. The tour was organised by the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs. An event was held at the Ape Gama premises in Battaramulla more..

‘Converting SL into PPP: Profits to go to health, education sectors too’

Apr 29 (DM) A portion of the profits earned by our national carrier SriLankan Airlines will be allocated for the development of the health and education sectors once it is converted into a Public-Private Partnership (PP), PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. PM had said this while addressing the management of the national carrier when he met them yesterday. He emphasised that a portion of whatever profits earned by SriLankan Airlines would be allocated for the benefit of the general public more..

Video: I will quit as Minister if Mahinda comes to Galle: Dayasiri

Apr 29 (AD) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara today accused former Minister Basil Rajapaksa of fulfilling a contract for the UNP with the assistance of a neighboring country. He claimed that Rajapaksa’s intention is to create a division within the SLFP and that he is receiving the money necessary for this from a neighboring state. Jayasekara said he has no issue with relinquishing posts and that he would resign from his ministerial portfolio if former President Rajapaksa attends more..

Video: Bopage looking into words with AG, IGP

Apr 29 (DM) Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Ministry secretary Nimal Bopage, who is in the centre of controversy over his statement to the media, said today he, in consultation with the AG and IGP, would discuss the possibility of introducing a legal framework to deal with the use of words with no legal validity in the media. He said it was his initiative to issue a statement to the media asking them to more..

Malaysian trade delegation to visit Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (Bernama) Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed will lead a trade and investment mission to India and Sri Lanka from May 1-6 in a continuous effort to promote Malaysia as a profit and regional centre for businesses and investments. Together with top officials of the Malaysia Investment Development Authority (Mida), including its Deputy CEO II, Datuk Narayanasamy, investment seminars will be held in New Delhi and Colombo. more..

Japan to finance Sampur phase II

Apr 29 (CT) Japanese Govt has decided to provide complete financial assistance for the construction of the second phase of the Sampur Coal Power Plant which is due to add 500 MW, that is 250MW x 2 to the national power grid. Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said, Japanese Ambassador to SL Kenichi Suganuma had mentioned this during a discussion held yesterday at the Ministry. Minister further said "The significance of this is that Japan is providing assistance to construct more..

Sri Lankan protest demands new probe of journalist's killing

Apr 29 (AP) Hundreds of journalists and media rights activists protested on Friday to demand SL's new govt start a fresh investigation into the abduction and killing of a prominent ethnic Tamil journalist 11 years ago, during the country's civil war. Those demonstrating in front of Colombo's main railroad station said Dharmeratnam Sivaram was targeted because of uncompromising coverage of political & military matters. more..

Sri Lanka shares hit over 15-week closing high on IMF loan

Apr 29 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares closed more than 1 percent up on Friday, trading in high volumes after the IMF said it had reached a staff-level agreement with the island nation for a $1.5 billion three-year loan. Investors were also buoyed by positive sentiment after the central bank left rates steady earlier this week. The benchmark stock index ended up 1.14%, or 73.73 points, higher at 6,516.26, its highest close since Jan. 13. "It's purely on the IMF deal. The buying came in and more..

Sicille gets bail for F&G; still in remand over GK

Apr 29 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate today released on bail former F&G Property Developers Director Sicille Kotelawala on Rs. 100,000 cash, with four sureties of Rs. 10 million each. Mrs. Kotalawala, who was taken into custody by the CID on her return to the country, was remanded till yesterday on charges of misappropriating the deposits of the F& G. However, she had to be in remand custody over the Golden Key Company charges. When the case was called before the Court, more..

Video: I will continue my political career with Joint Opp: Geetha

Apr 29 (DM) Former Benthara – Elpitiya SLFP Organiser Geetha Kumarasinghe said she would continue her political career with the Joint Opposition and would take part in the May Day rally of the Joint Opposition at Kirulapone. Mrs. Kumarasinghe said she had decided to attend the rally, where the people of Benthara-Elpitiya Electorate would prefer to participate. “I was the only woman, who represented Parliament from more..

Rathupaswela pollution case withdrawn

Apr 29 (Island) The pensioner, the Siyane Korale Jala Surakeeme Sangamaya, withdrew the petition, they had filed in the Court of Appeal earlier, complaining of pollution of the water in Rathupaswela, due to untreated chemical emission to the soil. The petitioner told the court that the suspect chemical factory had removed from the area and there was no need to proceed with the case. Hence, the proceedings were terminated. A BOI company had allegedly discharged untreated more..

6,600 cops deployed on May Day

Apr 29 (CT) Nearly 6,600 Policemen will be deployed islandwide to maintain the peace on May Day, with a large concentration in and around May Day rallies in Colombo and Galle. It is likely that some roads will be closed to traffic with the objective of ensuring that rally crowds are not impeded by too many vehicles. 4,100 personnel will directly take charge of security concerns at May Day rallies, while 2,500 officers will deployed to maintain traffic control especially in Colombo and Galle. more..

'Megapolis already an accelerated project'

Apr 29 (DM) In response to the concerns expressed by various quarters on the proposed Western Region Megapolis Project moving ahead in a snail paced, Minister Champika Ranawaka assured the venture is in the midst of being executed in an accelerated manner. Calling it a series of processes, the minister asserted relevant stakeholders, such as investors and the construction community, need not worry as the project is more..

Asking for more market access from US

Apr 29 (CT) The US is Sri Lanka’s largest export market. Let me know say that like Oliver Twist, the main theme of my remarks today is going to be about asking for more market access. It is a great pleasure to be here with you at the 12th Joint Council Meeting under the US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. Let me also express my sincere gratitude to Ambassador Michael Froman and Ambassador Samantha Power for their participation in these sessions. more..

IMF deal will ease Sri Lanka’s financing pressure: Moody’s

Apr 29 (EN) Sri Lanka’s deal with the International Monetary Fund to get a loan of US$ 1.5 billion will ease immediate financing pressure and has the potential to improve the island’s credit profile, Moody’s Investors Service said. The rating agency said the agreement under IMF’s Extended Fund Facility comes as Sri Lanka’s sovereign credit profile is increasingly under pressure from its large fiscal deficits, high debt levels and poor debt affordability. “If the program supports SL authorities' more..

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