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SLFP Ministers unhappy with MS, contemplate quitting govt

May 22 (DM) When President Sirisena disregarded the call by the local authorities’ members of the UPFA to extend the terms of their local bodies, he earned the political wrath of UPFA MPs holding ministerial perks in his Cabinet. In fact, they stated they found the President’s move favouring the UNP over the SLFP, the dominant party of the UPFA at this trying time. Decision gave political connotations in this manner as the dissolution more..

Recognising factors behind the Jaffna hartal

May 22 (DM) On Wednesday, a tense situation prevailed at the Jaffna Court premises when some protestors stoned the court building and the police over an incident where an 18-year-old girl was gang raped and killed at Punguditivu in Jaffna. The protesters stoned the court for not handing over the suspects to them and urged the authorities to do so for. Police fired tear gas to disperse the angry protestors. It was on May 13, Wednesday. Sivaloganathan Vithya who was a student of more..

Women arise, before the gang rapists come for you

May 22 (DM) In the aftermath of World War II the German theologian Martin Niemöller gave humanity one of the most memorable war poems titled Then they came for me. It was about how good and righteous people kept silent when the Nazis slaughtered people here and there and there was no one left to speak when Hitler’s maniacs came for them. A similar crisis is developing in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the May 13 gruesome gang rape and killing of 18-year-old school girl more..

Bang bang over Bond

May 22 (FT) During an adjournment debate on the report of the committee appointed to look into the controversial Central Bank bond issuance, Opposition lawmaker Vasudeva Nanayakkara directed a torrent of abuse at PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa warned Nanayakkara over his foul language, pointing out that there were schoolchildren present at the public gallery. more..

Ranil has no real mandate: Nimal Siripala

May 22 (CT) Leader of the Opposition Nimal Siripala de Silva said yesterday that Ranil Wickremesinghe became the Prime Minister due to the benevolence of President Maithripala Sirisena as it is impossible for a party that does not command the majority support in Parliament to appoint its leader as the Prime Minister. He said this in response to a statement made by the PM in Nupe, Matara. Wickremesinghe said "the opposition leader is playing with the people's mandate. more..

Army still holds 5,000 acres of private land

May 22 (Hindu) At least 5,000 acres of private land, part of high security zones taken over by the SL Army since 1990, are still in their possession, according to a study. However, officials have declined to provide an exact figure of the extent of land held by the forces. On March 23 and April 10 this year, 1,013 acres in Northern Province, covering parts of Palai Veemankamam and Varththalaivilan, were released. Minister D.M. Swaminathan said a time frame for the release of remaining land more..

ICC sceptical about Sri Lankan govt

May 22 (DM) International Cricket Council (ICC) has questioned if Sri Lanka’s new govt is acting in the best interest of cricket, after SLC Interim Committee member Nuski Mohamed informed ICC of the actions taken by the govt. ICC had made their feelings clear to the Minister Navin Dissanayake in a letter sent by ICC Chairman N. Srinivasan and ICC CEO David Richardson on April 23. “On the basis of the information available to the ICC, more..

Mahinda still President had he appointed Maithripala as PM: Dilan

May 22 (DN) Mahinda Rajapaksa would have still been President had he made Maithripala Sirisena Prime Minister, former State Minister Dilan Perera said. Perera said they will extend their fullest support to get the 20th Amendment passed in Parliament. He said the same process the FCID used to trap former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa will be used to ensnare Housing and Samurdhi Minister Sajith Premadasa in future using the same guidelines. more..

Chinese envoy meets SLFP after powwow with Ranil

May 22 (Island) Close on the heels of a fence mending meeting with UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickrmesinghe, Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang has thanked the SLFP for its contribution to developing Sino- Lanka relations. Ambassador Yi had called on General Secretary of the SLFP Anura Priyadharshana Yapa MP on Monday in Colombo to thank the SLFP for strengthening bilateral ties and also friendly relations between the two countries. more..

Sri Lanka loses 2017 Asian Youth Games

May 22 (KUNA) President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah announced Thursday that the Council has withdrawn the 3rd Asian Youth Games in 2017 from Sri Lanka due to problems with the independence of the National Olympic Committee by the govt. OCA has offered the 3rd AYG 2017 to Jakarta, Indonesia, as a test event for the 2018 Asian Games, Sheikh Ahmad said following more..

Sangakkara Breaks Mahela's Record

May 22 (AM) Kumar Sangakkara once again entered the cricket records yesterday, breaking a SL record held by Mahela Jayawardena. Representing Surrey, Sangakkara scored his 52nd first class century yesterday in the game against Northamptonshire. Thereby, he became the Sri Lankan batsman with highest number of first class centuries. Sangakkara has scored 52 centuries in 372 first class innings. He has scored 17,757 first class runs at an average of 51.61. more..

Gayantha accelerates Galle City Project

May 22 (DN) Minster Gayantha Karunatilleke said he will take the leadership in accelerating balance work on the strategic Galle city development project which has been lagging behind and urged professionals and the public who desired the development of the Galle Heritage City without any political bias to come up with ideas and suggestions to transform the city into an attractive outpost in Southern Sri Lanka. He made this request presiding over a progress review meeting more..

Four SLFP ministers quit in high dudgeon

May 22 (Island) Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, State Minister of Housing and Samurdhi Dilan Perera, State Minister of Environment Pavithra Wanniarachchi and State Minister of Public Administration and Democratic Rule C.B. Ratnayake quit their ministerial portfolios yesterday. They sent a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena informing him of their decision yesterday afternoon. more..

India may offer credit for building houses in land released by Sri Lankan Army

May 22 (Hindu) India, which is funding the construction of 50,000 houses for internally-displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka, may offer a line of credit, this time for building houses in lands released by the Army from the high security zones. Indicating this, D.M. Swaminathan, Sri Lankan Minister for Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Religious Affairs, said the matter was discussed during his recent meeting with Sujatha Mehta, Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. more..

Modi’s Bodhi diplomacy to see a Buddhist centre in Delhi

May 22 (TOI) The Capital will soon have a centre for Buddhist learning and worship as an extension of PM Narendra Modi's larger outreach towards the religion. The move comes just days after Modi's trip to China where he visited the Wild Goose Pagoda, a shrine built to commemorate Chinese monk Huen Tsang's visit to India in 645 AD. Modi has, in fact, visited Buddhist shrines in several foreign countries, including Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Japan. Absence of a centre for Buddhist studies came up in more..

Now hiring: New CEO, CCO for SriLankan

May 22 (FT) SriLankan Airlines is looking for a fulltime Chief Executive Officer and Chief Commercial Officer, either nationals or non-nationals, with proven track records. National Carrier last week advertised the vacancy, which felt vacant following the resignation of Kapila Chandrasena, after taking up duties in August 2011. Board Director Rakhitha Jayawardena, an airline industry specialist, is overseeing in the interim period. more..

'National policy needed for resettlement'

May 22 (AM) JVP Politburo Member and WPC Member K.D. Lalkantha pointed out that there is a serious need for a national policy on resettlement and land issues. Taking part in Balaya political talk show on Hiru TV last evening, he said that if people in Wilpattu have been settled in illegally cleared lands, it could affect these people directly. Meanwhile, the environment system is being affected by any resettlement in the area, he also pointed out. more..

Remembrance Day celebrated in Washington

May 22 (AT) The Ambassador and the staff of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C. marked the sixth anniversary of the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka and the War Heroes Remembrance Day on May 19th, 2015, by observing a minute of silence followed by a ceremony. In his remarks at this event, the Ambassador recalled the national commemoration of the War Heroes Remembrance Day, which was held in Matara. The significance of this year’s national commemoration lay in more..

Failed SL refugee claimant gets reprieve

May 22 (VS) A Sri Lankan man who arrived in B.C. aboard the cargo ship MV Sun Sea in the summer of 2010 and claimed refugee protection for fear of political prosecution has been granted a judicial review of his case in his fight to remain in Canada. Federal Court Justice James O’Reilly granted the review to Packiyakumar Pathmanathan after a panel of the Immigration and Refugee Board previously dismissed the man’s claim, more..

Cathay Pacific ends deal with Finlays

May 22 (FT) Given the strong and sustained growth in Sri Lanka, Cathay Pacific has decided to shift to self-handling operations in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The move will result in the termination of the General Sales Agency (GSA) agreement with Finlays Plc. The global carrier said internationally it has moved away from GSA arrangements for online ports and the GSAs in Sri Lanka and the Maldives are some of the few remaining online ports in the network. more..

Masood, Amin tons drive Pakistan A to lead

May 22 (CI) Umar Amin and Shan Masood hit contrasting centuries to give Pakistan A a strong lead against Sri Lanka A on the second day of their third unofficial Test in Dambulla. The two added 204 runs for the second wicket after Pakistan lost opener Khurram Manzoor in the first over of the day, bowled by Lahiru Gamage, bringing the visitors to within 49 runs of Sri Lanka A's first-innings total. Amin was the one to depart, but not before he had hit his 11th first-class century. more..

Northern Governor praises sensible police action in Jaffna

May 22 (Island) Northern Province Governor H.M.G.S. Palihakkara said that had there been any lapse on the part of Jaffna law enforcement authorities, violence triggered by the brutal killing of 18-year-old schoolgirl Vinita would have caused a major crisis in the peninsula. He said that the Jaffna police had acted swiftly and decisively to bring the situation under control, though reasonable force was used against the unruly mob. more..

Reaching qualifying standards not enough to represent Sri Lanka: Sugath

May 22 (Island) The athletes striving to reach IAAF World Youth Championship qualifying standards at the forthcoming Junior Nationals will have to go beyond the set standards if they are to make the trip to Colombia in July. Sugath Thilakaratne, the newly elected president of the Athletics Association of Sri Lanka said that reaching qualifying standards would not be enough to make the trip. He was responding to a query at a press conference to announce the Junior National Athletics Championships more..

Given current scenario, 7% GDP growth for 2015 is good enough: CB

May 22 (Island) GDP growth is expected to be around 7% this year while inflation will be around 3%, Mahinda Siriwardana, Director of Economic Research, Central Bank said recently. He stated this while giving a public lecture titled, The State of the Economy as reflected in the Central Bank Annual Report 2014 at the Centre for Banking Studies where govt spending, foreign investment, net exports, aggregate demand and consumption were also discussed. more..

Troubled CIFL Directors write to Central Bank Cabraal ignored our revival proposals

May 22 (CT) The remaining Directors of troubled Central Investments and Finance PLC (CIFL) in a scathing attack, alleged that the former Central Bank Governor Ajit Nivard Cabraal ignored all the revival proposals which were put forward by them in 2013. Four remaining Non Executive Directors of CIFL, Lakshman Rupasinghe, P.V. Pathirana, D.J.D. Jayakody and H.G.A.P. Samarasinghe, in a letter to the Central Bank more..

Editorial: Jaffna mayhem

May 22 (Island) It was with shock and dismay that everyone received the news of the killing of a schoolgirl in the North the other day. Angry mobs wreaked havoc in Jaffna on Wednesday, demanding that the suspected murderers be either handed over to them for lynching or summarily executed inside the police station where they were being held. Their consternation is understandable. What we have just witnessed in Jaffna is typical of Sri Lankans who want justice hurried. more..

Hayleys Group posts Rs 4.9b profit

May 22 (DN) Hayleys PLC closed its financial year ending March 2014/15 on a high, consolidating the growth momentum generated over past years. The group reported a 32 percent increase in Profit After Tax (PAT), to close the year with Rs. 4.9 billion. Sector wise contribution was led by the Hand Protection Sector, showing strong recovery from a challenging period, supported by investments in new production facilities and expansions. The Hand Protection sector will add additional capacity more..

Sri Lanka small businesses not benefiting from tax breaks: study

May 22 (EN) Most Sri Lankan small and medium enterprises (SMEs) do not benefit from tax concessions granted by government, according to a new study which recommends a more effective and friendly tax policy. The prevailing fiscal incentive structure - tax exemptions and concessions - is largely skewed in favour of large enterprises, according to the findings of the study by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) of Sri Lanka. more..

Commercial Credit’s Rs1B Debenture oversubscribed

May 22 (CT) Commercial Credit and Finance PLC's issue of 10 million rated, subordinated, guaranteed, redeemable five-year Debentures at a par value of LKR 100/- each has been oversubscribed on opening day. Interest on the Debentures will be paid at a fixed rate of 10.50% per annum (AER 10.92%) on the Principal Sum quarterly each year. The Issue opened on Thursday 21 May 2015. Chief Operating Officer of Commercial Credit and Finance PLC Rajiv Casie Chitty said, more..

Distorted perspectives of governance

May 22 (Island) The reason for the disenchantment with the Presidential system was because of the misguided belief that the system provides opportunities for the Executive branch to engage in unilateral activities independent of other branches of Govt. This is incorrect. For instance, the non-Executive branch of Govt is expected to monitor and oversee Executive action. If they DO NOT exercise their due responsibilities, the non-Executive branch should be held as responsible & accountable more..

'Cooperatives are corrupt'

May 22 (CT) Minister of Food Security, Gamini Jayawickrema Perera is a champion of the cooperatives, which he calls the economic nervous system of the country. It is at this level that the poor invests, saves and trades and not surprisingly this is the least known sector in the country. In the past, politicians and trade unions alike have done their best to keep the cooperatives politicized, corrupt and powerless, so that more..

Judgment on Gota’s FR: A setback to govt

May 22 (CT) It was the Judiciary which gave strength to Chandrika to end Ranil Wickremesinghe's Govt in 2004. When the 18(a) Constitutional Amendment which barred Chandrika from dissolving Parliament after one year went before the Supreme Court, the then Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva and the bench halted it stating that a referendum was needed in addition to the two thirds majority in Parliament for that purpose. As a result, Ranil's Govt fell. more..

Nationalism and Patriotism: A withering line!

May 22 (NS) Much discussion has been on these two contentious notions of Nationalism and Patriotism, ever since the nation states came into being as a political arrangement. End of Cold War which dissolved the old political allegiances and alliances exacerbated by the impacting trends of globalization, created new security scars especially for smaller states. Infamous 9/11 atrocities paved the way for a new world (dis)order as Huntingtonian axiom of a clash of civilizations, more..

'Regional cooperation a cornerstone of our Foreign Policy'

May 22 (DN) Ambassador Daniel Carmon who is concurrently accredited to India and Sri Lanka, and based in New Delhi, was here recently to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries and to celebrate Israel's 67th National Day. Q: Sri Lanka and Israel maintain cordial diplomatic relations from the past. Was your stay in Colombo successful in strengthening the ties between the countries even further? more..

Only realism, truth and justice can lead us to peace

May 22 (SL) The 18th of May 2015 will be commemorated by all Sri Lankans as a turning point in the history of relations between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. The end of the war between the Sri Lankan govt and the LTTE meant two entirely different things with different rationale to justify their actions. For the Govt it was a victory over Tamil terrorism, end of a war and beginning of peace. But for the Tamils it was the culmination of another mass massacre of militants and civilians and more..

Issues concerning judiciary: MS & RW should take the full responsibility

May 22 (CT) Now, various statements are appearing in both electronic and print media, criticizing the Judges in the Superior Courts for bias. I believe that this approach simply shows lack of foresight on the part of the new regime. In my view, without blaming any, MS RW regime should blame only them for lack of coherence. New regime has already betrayed the people, as the 19th amendment expressly permitted the judges in the superior courts to hold office and continue to exercise & discharge the powers more..