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Parliament clash: Lawmakers/lawbreakers?

President to attend Anti-Corruption Summit in London

May 5 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena will leave for London on May 11 to attend the Anti-Corruption Summit organized by the British govt. British PM David Cameron, who will host the landmark international summit in London on May 12, has extended an invitation to President Sirisena when the two leaders met at the CHOGM held in Malta last year. The summit, a first of its kind, will bring together world leaders, business and civil society to agree a package of practical steps to more..

Totally unfair, says Ranaweera

May 5 (DM) Joint Opposition MP Prasanna Ranaweera, who was suspended for one week, protested the decision and called it totally unfair to victimize him without taking any action against UNP MP Sandith Samarasinghe who assaulted him. Mr. Ranaweera in a letter to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said the decision to suspend him from parliamentary sessions for one week from today, had been taken in a manner which was not fair and transparent. "A person who has been legally challenged by more..

Sri Lanka cricketers leave for England

May 5 (DN) Head coach Graham Ford believes that the young group of players picked for the Test tour of England has got a great opportunity to display their skills and temperament and cement their places in the national team for the future. “It’s a great time for a young player to show what he can do. There are opportunities available at the moment and our selectors are watching closely at players who are staying behind as well,” said Ford more..

Senior DIG instructed crimes OIC not to investigate discovery of Thajudeen's wallet

May 5 (AM) The lawyers of Narahenpita former Crimes OIC Sumith Perera today told Colombo Magistrate Courts that the Crimes OIC was instructed by a Senior DIG not to investigate into the discovery of Thajudeen's wallet at a different location. Senior DIG has said that a different team was investigating the matter, the lawyers said. The CID informed the court that they have recorded six statements from Crimes OIC. There were contradictions in his statements, CID said. more..

Govt to establish a Pirivena in Sanchi to teach Theravada Buddhism

May 5 (GDI) Govt plans to establish a Pirivena in Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh of India to teach Theravada Buddhism. According to a proposal put forward by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe for the approval of the cabinet of ministers, the government is considering establishing a Pirivena to halt the decline of Buddhism in India, the land of its birth. The practice of Theravada Buddhism is declining in India, where it was widely prevailed in the past, and there is no established institute in India more..

‘All top 20 global shipping lines call on Colombo’

May 5 (AD) Due to Sri Lanka’s strategic location, all top twenty global shippers call on historic Colombo port –and Sri Lanka’s central geographic location is a great draw card for the 16th World Export Development Forum (WEDF) session to be held in Colombo this October, as revealed today. “WEDF is a rare opportunity for Sri Lankan export sector to highlight its brand portfolio to the visiting international trade experts more..

Removal of army commandos, decision of National Security Council: UPFA Gen. Secy.

May 5 (Island) UPFA General Secretary and Minister Mahinda Amaraweera (SLFP) endorsed the National Security Council’s (NSC) decision to assign police personnel to the security detail of former President Rajapaksa in place of army commandos withdrawn on May 02. He said it was the NSC’s prerogative to decide on what type of security was required by VIPs. Minister said that President and PM had also been given police security and, therefore, it was not an issue for ex-President more..

Laggala traffic OIC interdicted over weapons stolen last month

May 5 (CG) Laggala police traffic OIC has been interdicted over the weapons stolen last month from the Laggala police station. OIC had allegedly consumed alcohol hours before the weapons had been stolen. A T-56 weapon and five revolvers were stolen from the Laggala police station in Matale last month. An individual had stolen the weapons and fled. The weapons were later found near a Temple in the area. Three policemen attached to the Laggala police station were earlier interdicted more..

Thewarapperuma, Ranaweera suspended for one week

May 5 (EN) Parliament today unanimously voted to suspend two of its members for a period of one week for instigating the worst brawl in the legislature in 12 years. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said an investigation led by his deputy found that UNP's Palitha Thewarapperuma and UPFA's Prasanna Ranaweera were the main instigators of Tuesday's punch up. Assembly through two resolutions suspended two MPs for one week more..

Minister Range Bandara indicted

May 5 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge served indictment papers on state minister Palitha Range Bandara. Attorney General has indicted Range Bandara on a charge of criminal breach of trust for having allegedly received Rs. 500,000 from a person called Dinesh Ratnayake for granting the licence for an SUV valid for five years. The counsel for Range Bandara, Kalum Kumarasinghe told the court that an appeal had been made to the Attorney General regarding the accusation. more..

Thirimanne joins team after getting visa

May 5 (ST) Lahiru Thirimanne, who was named as a last minute inclusion for Sri Lanka's upcoming tour to England flew one day after the team left today with team official Dupil Samarasekara. "Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to state that, Lahiru Thirimanne's Irish visa has been received by SLC. He and Computer Analyst Dulip Samarasekara will depart for UK on 5th May," SLC said. Earlier SLC stated that Thirimanne would join the SL squad shortly after his late inclusion in the SL Test squad to UK. more..

Malaysia explores the possibility of a FTA with Sri Lanka

May 5 (Bernama) The possibility of exploring a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Malaysia and Sri Lanka would take at least two to three years, said Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa. He said the timeline, which is considered reasonable, would also depend on the negotiations between both countries. "They can be quite tough as consultations among stakeholders, industry as well as the peoples for both countries, such as on tax duties, more..

Dr. Harsha de Silva in Saudi to Solve Pressing Issues of Sri Lankans

May 5 (GDI) Dr. Harsh de Silva visited Saudi Arabia from 1st to 4th May to resolve long-standing Consular and labour issues faced by Sri Lankan migrant workers there. During his meetings with Dr. Mofarrej Saad Al- Hoqubani, Labour Minister and Dr. Ahmed Al Salem, Deputy Interior Minister of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Harsha de Silva articulated the problems of stranded Sri Lankan employees and ýconvinced the two Ministers of urgent need for finding solutions in the immediate future. more..

Attempted rape: Man whose tongue was bitten off by victim still at large

May 5 (Island) Mawathagama police have so far failed to arrest the suspect who attempted to rape an 18-year-old schoolgirl. The intrepid girl succeeded in freeing herself from the clutches of the man who tried to rape her by biting off part of his tongue. It is being kept in a freezer. Investigations have revealed that the suspect had entered the victim’s house by removing roof tiles. Police acting on information provided by the girl took into custody a suspect but his tongue was intact. more..

Sri Lanka aims to increase exports to compete with regional markets

May 5 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan govt on Thursday said it hoped to increase its exports to 30 billion dollars by 2020, in order to strengthen its frail economy and compete with regional markets. Speaking at an event to launch the World Export Development Forum 2016, which will be held in Sri Lanka in October, International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrema said the country's share of global exports had been on the decline, and more..

CSE in investor rights campaign

May 5 (EN) The Colombo Stock Exchange, together with the CFA Society Sri Lanka, has launched a campaign to promote awareness of the rights of investors aimed at maintaining market integrity. A central focus of the campaign is the Statement of Investor Rights, which investment management professionals are encouraged to share with their clients and communities. The list applies to financial products and services such as investment management, research and advice, more..

UN given access to Joseph Camp

May 5 (Island) UN yesterday received access to Joseph Camp (Vanni Security Forces Headquarters). Sources said that Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E. Méndez had visited the base. The army has been accused of torturing suspects at that facility––a charge the military has vehemently denied. Member of the UN Panel of Experts Yasmin Sooka, too, accused the military of torturing suspects there. more..

Aravinda backs Thirimanne to find magic touch

May 5 (WI) Given his recent form across all formats, his recalling to the national Test side to tour England baffles many. But not Aravinda de Silva — the former batting great who was in charge of the cricket selectors for a brief 40-day period — who believes the misfiring Lahiru Thirimanne should be persisted with as the 27-year-old is destined for greatness. Soon after assuming duties as chairman of selectors for the brief 40-day stint in Feb, more..

FCID investigations: Premature to reveal names yet: Govt

May 5 (Island) Minister Sagala Ratnayake refrained from revealing the names of public servants, artistes and businessmen against whom the FCID has initiated investigations. Responding to a question raised by UPFA MP Prasanna Ranatunga, minister said that it was unethical and unjust to reveal the names as inquiries were in progress and none had yet been found guilty. There had been complaints against 114 public servants, 5 artistes and 18 businessmen to the FCID since Jan 8, 2015 more..

CSN used transmission towers sans authority

May 5 (CT) FCID last Monday questioned former Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) Chairman Mohan Samaranayake about an alleged misappropriation of public funds arising from permitting the television broascaster CSN to use the Kokavil transmission tower. FCID sources said that the former SLRC Chairman had been questioned for over five hours related to the issue. The sources added that from investigations carried out into the incident so far, it has been revealed that more..

'Sweeping bond scandals under the carpet biggest blemish on govt'

May 5 (CT) Good governance activist and former chairman of CCC, Chandra Jayaratne has warned President Sirisena that due to the bad governance at Central Bank, the good governance govt is facing its biggest credibility threat. In a letter addressed to Sirisena, Jayaratne reminded how civil society and media protested early in the administration under his leadership, when a purported bond scam was reported more..

Commendable act by JVP!

May 5 (CT) As usual, on the very first day of the month of May, all political parties celebrated the May Day, that is supposed to belong to the workers. Celebrations of the workers' day varied. Colombo as well as Galle was filled with the participants for the May Day rallies. By night, the show of May Day rallies was over. Participants had left for their homes, may be, after having a small drink provided as a token of appreciation for taking part in May Day rallies. more..

Shares edge up amid foreign inflows

May 5 (Reuters) Shares rose slightly on Thursday, hovering near their highest level in about four months hit in the previous session, as foreign investors turned net buyers. However, the gains were capped as investors were worried that the island govt's move to increase the VAT and impose new taxes effective from Monday would hit the bottom lines of companies. Sri Lanka is seeking to raise 100 billion rupees ($687.8 million) in revenue in 2016 by increasing VAT and new taxes, more..

පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්žරී දිලුම් අමුණුගම

Parliamentary blows & The South Asian Buddha: The case of dignity in Sri Lanka

May 5 (CT) The 3rd of May marks the world press freedom day. Among other factors, unimpeded violence against the press culminated in the Silent Revolution one year ago. Of this violence included injustice toward media giants, press freedom fighters such as Lasantha Wickrematunge and many others who were brutally assassinated. The contribution of Sri Lankan journalists over decades of civil war and before remains immense. Despite multifold limitations to freedom they continued work more..

SB asks MR: Did CBK and Anuruddha get proper security

May 5 (DN) Minister S.B. Dissanayake questioned former President Mahinda Rajapaksa whether he provided the required security for former Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte and former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga when they were prime targets of the LTTE. He said that the security of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has not been removed and he has been provided STF personnel. The STF personnel have been especially trained to protect VIPs. more..

First flag of War Heroes Commemoration Month pinned on President

May 5 (PMD) War Heroes Commemoration Month was ceremonially declared open with pinning of the first Ranaviru (War Hero) Flag on President Maithripala Sirisena at a function held today. Govt annually celebrates the War Heroes Commemoration Month to felicitate and commemorate the heroic soldiers who sacrificed their lives, eyes and limbs for the freedom of the Motherland. In parallel to the commemoration more..

Video: 'Govt must react to NPC resolution'

May 5 (AD) Leader of the JHU, Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thero, slammed the insufficient response from the country’s responsible leaders regarding the resolution adopted at the Northern Provincial Council for a federal solution, which he termed as a grave situation. He stated that while the Western Provincial Council had adopted a resolution against the NPC resolution the rest of the Provincial Councils have shown no similar backbone. more..

LTTE threat no longer exists: PM

May 5 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has received assurances from both the police and the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) that the LTTE had been wiped out; therefore there was absolutely no likelihood of the group staging a comeback. Premier said that he sought clarification from the police and the DMI in the wake of recent media reports in respect of resurgence of LTTE activity. more..

Why ex-Prez’s security being compromised, while moves are being made to revive LTTE?

May 5 (Island) The Joint Opposition said removing the army commandos from former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s security contingent posed a major threat to his life, while several moves had been made to revive LTTE activities. Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said the govt should reveal the reason for removing commandos from the former President’s security squad. more..

Sri Lanka budget targets, tax collection path could be bumpy: Moody's

May 5 (EN) A deal with the IMF would boost foreign reserves, but tax collections and smaller budget deficit targets may not be easy to achieve, given Sri Lanka's past record, Moody's a rating agency said. The govt has already raised value added taxes as part of prior actions pending the approval of the deal by IMF's board. "However, we expect bumps in the sovereign’s fiscal consolidation path because of difficulties in implementing more..

'Rajapaksa faction could not stomach Fonseka speaking on their leader’s security'

May 5 (Island) The govt said yesterday that a group of MPs led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was trying to revive terrorism in the country by terrorising Parliament. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the Rajapaksa Faction of the UPFA had behaved in that manner on Tuesday because they could not stomach Minister Sarath Fonseka telling them that STF security was sufficient for their leader. more..

Agents warn Sri Lanka losing thousands of West Asian jobs

May 5 (ST) A controversial deal between the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) and a Dubai-based insurance company to provide additional insurance cover to Sri Lankan migrant workers has put the country’s West Asian job market in jeopardy. The bad news could not have come to the Govt at a worse time with the country facing a foreign exchange crisis while the West Asian job market is shrinking due to more..

A democratic and plural Sri Lanka

May 5 (SL) We in Sri Lanka are going through an exciting period in our history and in the arena of Human Rights and Democracy. Many of the problems faced in our areas are shared by the countries of the Asia and Pacific. An year after a paradigm shift in democracy and human rights in our country, we live in an era where the hopes and fears of different peoplesare coming into play. There are many challenges ahead in Human Rights and more..

'Bopage's statement no big deal'

May 5 (DM) While admitting that Mass Media and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry Secretary Nimal Bopage's statement on the joint opposition was a blunder, Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranawithana appealed to the media to desist from creating a furor over it. He said a ministry secretary did not have the authority to issue statements on a personnel view and that the mistake was further aggravated because more..