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Military displays prowess

May 20 (Island) The victorious SL military displayed an assortment of weaponry at the 6th edition of the annual tri-services parade held in Matara yesterday to celebrate the country’s triumph over separatist terrorists on May 16, six years ago. On display were weapons and equipment primarily acquired from Eastern European countries, China as well as Israel due to restrictions imposed by Western powers during the war. more..

SR100 a day fine if maid supply delayed

May 20 (AN) Ministry of Labor has appointed a team to study the high cost of labor imports and their comparisons to recruitment fees in other GCC countries. It issued an order fixing the ceiling for the recruitment costs from Bangladesh and Niger, while the rates for other countries such as the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam will be announced following completion of studies. Ministry has fixed 60 days as the maximum time to supply a worker by the recruitment establishment. more..

A ceremony marked with solemnity and grandeur

May 20 (SLA) The Ranaviru Commemorative Parade - 2015 under the theme Let’s be Committed to Preserve Peace Won on Tuesday (19) paid tribute to Sri Lanka’s success story over terrorism and saluted unparalleled sacrifices of the Tri-services, Civil Defence Force and the Police in a colourful ceremony at Matara, headed by President Maithripala Sirisena who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Hoisting of the National Flag by President Maithripala Sirisena, more..

Mayor of City of London lists priorities to make Sri Lanka a financial centre

May 20 (FT) Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Alan Yarrow yesterday shared a raft of key measures Sri Lanka should prioritise if it is keen on becoming a competitive financial centre in the region. Speaking at a CEO’s Forum Yarrow spoke on key factors such as innovation, legal structure, skills, product development, English, geography, ethics, infrastructure and hard work, which Sri Lanka should focus on in order to more..

Special traffic plan around Parliament today

May 20 (DM) A special traffic plan would be in place from 1pm to 7pm on the Parliament Road from Polduwa junction, the Japan Friendship Road from Kimbulawala junction, the road towards parliament from Palamthuna junction and the road towards parliament from Pelwatte junction because of the commemoration of war heroes in the parliament grounds tomorrow. Motorists are advised to use the following alternative routs Instead of the Parliament Road from Polduwa junction, more..

Biggest ever culinary art exhibition launched

May 20 (CT) The announcement of the largest ever Culinary Art Food Expo (CAFÉ) to be held at the BMICH in July 2015 was made at a press briefing on Monday. Speaking at the announcement, Chefs Guild of Lanka, Chairman, Gerard Mendis said: "This time culinary art competition would have two segments. They will be the Culinary Art Competition with chefs in the region competing and the other will be the Trade Exhibition on Hospitality, Food, Processed Food and Packaging. more..

Bond probe report: Check digital footprint of top Central Bank officials

May 20 (EN) The digital footprint of top central bankers should be checked, a three member committee that went in to an alleged Treasury bond scam has said, pointing out that its terms of reference was limited. PM Ranil Wickremasinghe appointed the three member committee following an outcry over alleged insider dealing in gilts by Perpetual Treasuries, a company connected to the son-in-law of Governor Arjuna Mahendran. more..

Brandix receives PVH Global Supplier of the Year award

May 20 (DM) One of the world’s largest apparel companies has adjudged the Brandix Group its Global Supplier of the Year across all product categories represented by its global vendor base, presenting Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter with the pinnacle award at the company’s Global Supply Chain Summit. PVH Corp., owner of the iconic Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Van Heusen and Arrow brands among others, presented this coveted award to Brandix at the company’s more..

CEAT Kelani invests in new advanced motorcycle tyre plant in Sri Lanka

May 20 (Island) A new state-of-the-art facility for the manufacture of motorcycle tyres for the local and international markets has been commissioned in Sri Lanka by CEAT Kelani Holdings, the company that manufactures half of the country’s tyre requirements. Set up within the CEAT Kelani complex at Kelaniya with an initial investment of Rs 95 million, the new plant will operate as Asian Tyres, a member of CEAT Kelani Holdings. It will have an initial capacity of 162,000 tyres a year more..

Bail requested for former Sri Lankan reconstruction agency official

May 20 (EN) Counsel for Saliya Wickramasuriya, a former official in Sri Lanka’s reconstruction agency, pleaded for bail, saying he required medical treatment and that the petroleum industry professional’s skills were needed in the offshore gas exploration effort. Wickramasuriya, former COO of the Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA), was suffering from acute back pain and too ill to appear in court Tuesday, more..

OZO Kandy up and running in record time

May 20 (Island) Thailand based ONYX Hospitality Group ventured into Kandy along with joint partners Sino Lanka Hotels Holdings and Kandy Hotels Company by opening OZO Kandy recently at an investment of nearly Rs. 2 billion or US$ 15 million. The OZO Kandy, which was completed in record time, would probably be best known as a pet-project which was initiated by business personality and Joint Chairman of Suisse Hotels Kandy (Pvt) Ltd., Bob Kundanmal. more..

BOI welcomes more Chinese investments

May 20 (DN) BoI Chairman Upul Jayasuriya said the govt wholeheartedly welcomes Chinese investments in Sri Lanka. He made these remarks addressing a match - making event organized by Sri Lanka -China Business Council between high powered business delegation from Qingdao and Sri Lankan enterprises in Colombo recently. "In the recent past, there has been a substantial interest from Chinese businesses in Sri Lanka. We' re happy to say that Sri Lanka is committed to promoting Chinese businesses more..

Ceylon Tobacco pumps Rs 21.3 b to coffers

May 20 (DN) In the first quarter of 2015, Ceylon Tobacco Company contributed Rs 21.3 billion to the Govt, an increase of 20% in comparison to the same period last year primarily driven by an excise led price increase experienced in October 2014 and higher volumes. The increase in domestic volumes of 11% during the quarter could be attributed to a higher level of consumer confidence and an increase in disposable income. more..

Rajapaksas’ USD 18 bn fortune

May 20 (Island) At the time President Rajapaksa took govt at the end of 2005, country’s external debt was US$ 9,568 billion. By the time he handed over the govt, in 2015, this amount was US$ 24,051 million. Therefore, during his period of govt, net external govt debt has increased only by US$ 14,483 million. In this process, govt has paid all the debt service commitments for the debt that successive govts had raised in the past. This outstanding amount includes foreign more..

Editorial: Grilling of DN

May 20 (Island) Some Buddhist monks and laymen have taken exception to the manner in which the police recently interrogated the Diyawadana Nilame (DN) of Sri Dalada Maligawa. What the police have done is tantamount to an affront to the sacred temple, they argue. However, there are others who point out that everybody is equal before the law and, therefore, the DN shouldn’t be given special treatment; he should be dealt with like any other ordinary citizen. more..

'We need a Federal system in a united SL'

May 20 (CT) EPRLF leader MP Suresh Premachandran said, people of the North and East fought for their rights. Although the LTTE is no more that does not mean the conflict is over. "We welcome the stand of the govt on appointing a Presidential Task Force for Reconciliation under the former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, and we feel it may be a new step but they are yet to begin the task," he said. more..

War to Peace and Reconciliation 6 years on...

May 20 (CT) Today marks the sixth year of the Sri Lankan Govt civil war victory and it is interesting to look at how far the country has progressed in terms of the reconciliation. War was, is and will never be a permanent solution to a conflict. It only provides a temporary halt to a problem. Sri Lanka is no exception. Although the war had ended and terrorism was subdued, military root causes of the war has to be addressed in order to provide a permanent solution to the problem. more..

Systems and the 20 A

May 20 (CT) What is an electoral system? Why is the SLFP gunning for change in the electoral patterns of the country? Do we actually need electoral reforms in the country at this juncture? An average Sri Lankan would have a million questions in his or her head, unable to fathom the current tsunami of fresh idiosyncrasies arising in Parliament. On one end of the table, there is a new UNP dominated govt headed by PM Ranil Wickremasinghe, appointed by SLFP Leader more..

'Strike Action prompted by govt inaction'

May 20 (CT) Today Trade Union Talk focuses on the Health Sector which never runs out of the issues and demands of employees. More than 40,000 minor staffs attached to Govt are due to strike work today demanding salary arrears. President of All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) Samantha Koralearchchi shared his views regarding injustices. Q: When is the strike is going to be held and what are the reasons for it. more..

Heartbreaking news from Kekirilanthaya

May 20 (NS) Deputy Minister Sherlock Senasinghe has finally admitted that he acted like a donkey in a horse corral immediately after the election of Maitripala Sirisena as the President. “I know I made a lot of baseless allegations that hurt people and their families. I am not sorry because those were the instructions I received from my good leader. But please don’t do the same to us because our families will be very hurt; especially if there is some truth in the accusations like with the bond deal. more..

Victory Day: Least that we forget

May 20 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne informed the media that “May 19, which was celebrated as ‘Victory Day’ during the Rajapaksa era will from this year onwards be observed as Remembrance Day to recall the sacrifices of all those who had fought to maintain the unity and integrity of the country irrespective of their ethnicity”. Towards this end, it would be of interest to briefly examine Remembrance Day and Victory Day in Europe held to commemorate men in uniform who fell more..

'MR being made a stooge by smaller parties'

May 20 (SO) Refuting claims that there are two factions within the SLFP, Minister Duminda Dissanayake said he doesn't think former President Rajapaksa, as a veteran politician who ruled the country for over nine years, would make any attempt to create divisions within the SLFP or prevent the party's second rung leadership getting into the next step. He said a certain faction within UPFA, which cannot face an election without more..

Ealam war, civilians, casualties and international law

May 20 (NS) The comments presented below are in response to an edited and abbreviated version of a legal opinion by Sir Desmond de Silva on “Permissible parameters of collateral damage” carried by The Island of April 10, 2015. The article states: “Currently whether or not an attack that results in civilian deaths is legal under international humanitarian law depends on whether the attack meets the requirements of three principles: (1) Distinction; (2) Military Necessity; and more..

Disappearances in custody six years ago today

May 20 (CT) On the 18 May 2009, a large number of witnesses saw more than a hundred LTTE military and civilian administration leaders surrender to the Sri Lankan army close to the Wadduvakkal Bridge. The vast majority of these people have subsequently disappeared and, according to eyewitnesses, were last seen in in the custody of the Sri Lankan military. Those who surrendered on 18 May 2009 were screened and mostly put in a barbed wire holding area just south of the Wadduvakkal Bridge, more..

President’s speech at Ranaviru parade

Sri Lanka IOC unit in losses after state directed fuel price cut

May 19 (EN) Lanka IOC, a unit of Indian Oil Corporation lost 1.06 billion rupees in the March 2015 quarter interim accounts showed, following a state directed price cut and spiking oil prices down from a profit of 722 million rupees a year earlier. The firm reported a loss of 2 rupees per share for the quarter. In the December quarter the firm reported a 610 million rupee profit. In the March quarter revenues fell 25% to 15.8 billion rupees following a price cuts and costs fell at a slower 17% more..

Sri Lanka’s tertiary education sector needs more private investments: Economist

May 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s public sector dominated education sector needs more private investments coming in through local or foreign channels to bridge the tertiary education gap, a senior economist said. “Sri Lanka will have to seriously consider bringing in the private sector to bridge tertiary education gap in the country with the new govt’s plan to increase education spending from 1.5% to 6% in the next five years,” Saman Kelegama, Executive Director, Institute of Policy Studies said (IPS) said. more..

Fishermen’s delegation members deny inclusion of smuggler in team

May 19 (ENS) Members of the delegation of TN fishermen who met Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena here on May 12 have denied the charge that one of the members of their team was a smuggler. “Do you think the fishermen’s delegation could have met the President of Sri Lanka without the members’ antecedents being thoroughly checked by his security staff?” asked delegation member B. Jesuraja, more..

Sri Lankan kidnapped in Nigeria, police escort killed

May 19 (PT) A Sri Lankan expatriate has been kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Ondo State. His escort, a ​​​mobile police officer, was killed during the attack, while his driver, Bitrus Dada, was shot. Mr. Dada was receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo in Ondo State. The hospital is said have also sent words to the driver’s relatives, a source in the facility said. Sri Lankan, who is yet-to-be identified, works with Burni Coli Construction Company in the state. more..

Prez Sirisena's intervention needed To solve Kolonnawa garbage dump crisis

May 19 (CT) An appeal has been made to President Maithripala Sirisena by the Chairman of Kolonnawa UC, Ravindra Udayashantha to visit Meethotamulla and Kolonnawa where people are undergoing untold hardships due to the mounting garbage heap. Several tonnes of garbage transported from Colombo on the directive of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) were dumped in the Meethotamulla area. However, the Courts allowed only two acres to be used for this purpose. more..

PM says gov't hopes to hold parliamentary elections in July

May 19 (Xinhua) PM Ranil Wickermesinghe has said that the govt expects to hold a parliamentary election in July. Ruling UNP which is led by Wickremesinghe has been calling for the parliament to be dissolved soon stating that the present parliament does not have a mandate to continue further. While no specific date has been fixed for the parliamentary election, the UNP has said the present govt which was more..

SC dismisses Rs. 180 m claim case by investor against BOI

May 19 (FT) Supreme Court in a landmark order recently has upheld the legal arguments made on behalf of the Board of Investment and dismissed the Appeal in the Supreme Court filed by a local company. The order, delivered by the Chief Justice K. Sripavan together with Justice C. Ekanayake and D. Dep P.C, upheld the objections raised by the BOI. Previously too the Civil Appellate Court of Colombo in a judgment by Justice Dehideniya and K.K.S.A.F. Perera had upheld the issue of more..

Positive step towards good governance: Asgiriya Prelate

May 19 (DN) The reduction of the legal immunity offered to the President and making him answerable to Courts on human rights cases is a positive step towards good governance, said Most Ven. Galagama Aththadassi Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter. Prelate said this in the course of an Anusasana when Minister Karu Jayasuriya called on him on May 17 to felicitate him on his new appointment as the Mahanayake Thera and discuss arrangements for the official ceremony to more..

Motions against Arjuna and Dilrukshi : No provision- UNP

May 19 (DM) The govt ruled out the possibility of entertaining the motions against Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and Bribery Commission Director General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe in Parliament because there was no provision for doing so. Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said that there was no provision to pass votes of no confidence against govt officials in Parliament in this manner. more..

GK depositors demand assurance in court

May 19 (NS) Golden Key depositors state that they will withdraw court cases filed against the company only if the Central Bank or the Monetary Board agree in court that their monies are paid. Head of the Golden Key Depositors Association, Dushyanthi Hapugoda made this observation in response to FM Ravi Karunanayake’s promise to repay the amount in full if they withdrew all cases against Golden Key. Minister had made this pledge during a recent meeting with the depositors, more..

SF’s parliament seat ruling on June 29

May 19 (AD) The court of appeal will rule on June 29 on the petition filed by DP leader, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, seeking an order to reclaim his lost Parliamentary seat and revoke the appointment of MP Jayantha Ketagoda. Respondents for the case include Parliamentary Secretary, Election Commissioner and the AG. In 2011, Ketagoda became a MP to fill the seat left vacant by the imprisonment of Fonseka who was sentenced to serve a 3-year jail term by a military court. more..