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Anti-SAITM protest was a calculated move by the GMOA: Rajitha

June 22 (AD) Minister Rajitha Senaratne stated that anti-SAITM protest which resulted in an attack on the Health Ministry was an organized execution by the GMOA. He stated that GMOA was hoping for a casualty to disrupt the status quo where the medical students were scheduled to recommence lectures on Monday. He also pointed out the irony of the situation, where the anti-SAITM protesters who attacked the Health Ministry more..

Petition filed by Gnanasara Thero retracted

June 22 (AD) The Fundamental Rights petition submitted by Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thero presented to the Supreme Court has been retracted by Ven. Gnanasara Thero. The petition was filed by Ven. Thero requesting Police Organized Crimes Division to not arrest him, as they had been planning on doing do previously. The presidential lawyer representing Ven. Thero, Tirantha Walaliyadda stated that the outcome expected from the petition had already been achieved, and more..

PM assures no digging up of the past

June 22 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that the objective of setting up the Office of the Missing Persons was not to dig up the past, but to facilitate reconciliation process by ensuring the right of families of the missing persons to know the truth. Moving the Office of the Missing Persons (Establishment, Administration and Discharge of Functions) (Amendment) Bill for debate, PM said that the OMP would not have any powers to hold criminal inquiries or file legal action more..

US Ambassador visits Eastern Province

June 22 (USE) U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap visited the Eastern Province this week to commemorate a milestone in U.S.-supported demining efforts and to attend the groundbreaking ceremony at a school to construct facilities to help communities displaced by natural disasters. During the visit, Ambassador also met leaders and activists working on post-conflict reconciliation and accountability issues. more..

Debate on student protest this evening

June 22 (NR) The Joint Opposition today called for a debate in Parliament pertaining to the unrest at the Ministry of Health last evening. Speaking in Parliament this morning leader of the Joint Opposition MP Dinesh Gunewardene called for a debate on the protest and the subsequent strike launched by the Govt Medical Officers Association. The Speaker and the Leader of the House Minister Lakshman Kiriella called for the debate to be held at 4:30 this evening. more..

Investigations on allegations made against Namal not over: FCID

June 22 (AD) The FCID  has informed the Court that investigations on the allegations made against Namal Rajapakse regarding the purchasing of a service supplier to Sri Lankan Airlines, have not concluded as of yet. The CID had informed the Additional Magistrate, Dulani Amarasinghe earlier today (22). The FCID added that they still have not received the requested bank account information registered under Namal Rajapakse, found in the United States and Australia.  more..

Video: GMOA denies intentional delay in providing medical assistance

June 22 (AD) Patients at state hospitals had to remain stranded across the country as doctors attached to the GMOA launched an islandwide strike on Thursday. The strike was held following yesterday’s attack on the university students who held a demonstration against the SAITM. Hundreds of patients had to turn away from the hospitals without medical attention as the strike was commenced since 8 am. more..

None wants to work under him now

June 22 (DM) A big-mouthed purohita who is among the architects of yahapalanaya has gone into a sulk over the appointment of a secretary to his Ministry without prior consultations with him. The irate purohita is said to have conveyed his displeasure to the highest echelons. “I don’t want that man,” the purohita had told Number One. He had later addressed the new secretary: “You are not wanted here. You had better go back to where you came from!” Meanwhile, secretary had received more..

SL to postpone SVAT abolition till end 2017

June 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s cabinet approval has been granted to postpone the abolition of SVAT system until the end of this year. Accordingly, the SVAT abolition will take effect from 1 Jan 2018 after the necessary legislation is passed through Parliament. This decision has been taken in order to give sufficient time period for exporters to adopt to the new system. Initially, the SVAT system was to be abolished on 01 January 2017 as announced in Budget 2017. more..

Video: Police probe students' entry to Ministry building despite Court Order

June 22 (DM) The Police had launched an investigation into the incident in which a group of university students had forcibly entered the Health Ministry premises and damaged public properties on Wednesday, Police Spokesman DIG Priyantha Jayakody said today. A tense situation prevailed at the Health Ministry building in Maradana, when the members of IUSF forcibly entered and besieged the building. more..

Lankan convict in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case seeks mercy killing

June 22 (Rediff) One of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, Robert Payas, a Sri Lankan national, petitioned the TN govt seeking mercy killing. In an emotionally charged letter to Chief Minister K Palaniswami, he said he should be killed on grounds of mercy and his body should be handed over to his family. "Payas has petitioned the govt through the Puzhal prison authorities," a top prison official said. Blaming the Centre -- both the previous more..

I respond to Gnanasara Thera because he is a politician: Dilan

June 22 (DM) The reason for responding to Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera was that he was considered a political leader, SLFP Spokesman and Minister Dilan Perera said. “I was not talking about the Asgiriya Chapter but about a political party. Ven. Gnanasara Thera was in a political party and contested the 2015 Parliamentary Elections but failed. I respect Buddhist monks” he said while addressing the media during the SLFP media briefing at the party headquarters today. more..

Lankan doctor loses appeal over manslaughter in Australia

June 22 (ABC) A Sri Lankan-born doctor who was jailed after being found guilty of killing her abusive husband has failed in her bid to have her conviction and sentence overturned. Chamari Liyanage was sentenced to a four-year prison term after being convicted by a jury in February last year of unlawfully killing Dinendra Athukorla in Geraldton in 2014. She was released on parole in March this year after a protracted more..

Dengue, garbage to be taken head on

June 22 (DN) Minister Rajitha Senaratne warned that dengue numbers could worsen in future and that proper waste management could help control the situation. Cabinet this week approved a proposal put forward by the PM on a program “to have disposal of waste to recognsed lands under environmental laws, take judicial action to prevent public protests on waste disposal, waste to be disposed only by grading, provide necessary tools for local govt authorities and more..

Banks to raise interest rates on Credit cards

June 22 (DM) Sri Lanka’s banks have jumped to raise the interest rates on their credit card and several other loan products as the Central Bank last month gave them the green light to price their loans to reflect market interest rates. Some banks have raised their interest rates as much as by 4% on products such as credit cards, which were hitherto capped at 24%, effectively raising the interest rate to 28% per annum. Central Bank last month lifted the interest rate caps hitherto placed on credit more..

Doctors refuse to treat wounded police

June 22 (EN) Doctors at Sri Lanka’s main hospital refused to treat four police officers who sustained injuries when hundreds of university students stormed the health ministry, official sources said. A total of 60 undergraduates and four police – a constable and three STF members – were admitted to the Colombo National Hospital following Wednesday’s clashes when the IUSF led the storming of the ministry. more..

Crisis and foresight analysis

June 22 (FT) The dawn of 4th Industrial Revolution brings with the promise of further human advancement. And yet, while humanity should be aspiring for a better life, disturbing events like the terrorist attacks in Manchester, London, and Philippines, and the recent white phosphorus attack in Raqqa, Syria, point to humanity’s burial of its own journey toward a better world. 17th century philosopher Pascal rightly explained, Humanity is great, because it knows itself to be wretched. more..

Hate Speech: Muslim, Tamil politicians also being investigated: Police

June 22 (Island) Hate speech complaints against some Muslim and Tamil politicians, were also being investigated, Police said. DIG Priyantha Jayakody, said that complaints of hate speech had been received not only against Gnanasara Thera, but also against some politicians including Rishad Bathiudeen and Shivagilingam. 12 Sinhalese, 2 Muslims and a Tamil have been arrested. Jayakody explained that the arrests had been made under two categories, hate speech & criminal offences. more..

Drought, floods slash Sri Lanka's rice production, threaten food security: U.N.

June 22 (Reuters) A severe drought followed by floods has slashed agricultural production in Sri Lanka, leaving some 900,000 people facing food insecurity, the United Nations said, warning that without help the situation might further deteriorate. Production of rice, the country's staple food, is forecast to drop almost 40% to 2.7 million tonnes in 2017, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) & World Food Programme (WFP) said. more..

SL navy arrests four Indian fishermen

June 22 (PTI) The SL Navy on Thursday announced it had arrested four Indian fishermen for illegally entering the country's territorial waters. SL Navy spokesperson Lt Commander Chaminda Walakuluge said that the arrests were made on Monday night. The authorities seized a trawler used by the fishermen. Sri Lanka had released 42 Indian boats, from a total of 143 in its custody, as a goodwill gesture following PM Narendra Modi's visit to the island nation in May. more..

CSE’s Rs 3 Trillion Journey

June 22 (CT) Coinciding with an article published in Ceylon FT in its 5 June issue under the heading Elusive Rs 3 Trillion Market Cap, Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), the following day, i.e. on 6 June, issued a press release under the heading CSE to include non-voting shares in Index Market Cap calculation which said, 'The CSE announces the inclusion of non-voting shares which are listed and traded on the exchange in its Index Market Capitalization (IMC) calculation. more..

රවී වගේ කම්බ හොරෙක් දක්කලම නෑ!

Piliyandala shooting incident: Pistol, bullets, magazine found

June 22 (DN) Mirihana Special Crime Operations Unit on June 20 recovered a 9 mm pistol along with eight live bullets and a magazine hidden in a mountain in the Kuda Uda area, Wawul Lena in Hadapangoda. This was related to the shooting incident at Piliyandala where information was given by the main suspect who is under detention. Police recovered the weapon after questioning the suspect for a long period. Crime Operations Unit further confirmed that weapon is in good condition. more..

Multiple inspections hurting Sri Lankan agricultural exports

June 22 (EN) Poorly designed and multiple inspection procedures are hampering Sri Lankan agricultural exports, raising costs and time for exporters, according to a new study of export competitiveness, which calls for reduced checks and transit times. “Every hour of delay caused by various procedures adversely affects the quality and competitiveness of perishable agricultural exports,” said the study by Verité Research, of difficulties faced by Sri Lanka agriculture exporters. more..

Cricketers to undergo high tension Physical Fitness programme

June 22 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket yesterday announced that it had established a high-profile evaluation and monitoring committee headed by Asanka Gurusinha to oversee the physical fitness & conditioning of the National Performance Squad ahead of their upcoming campaigns against Zimbabwe and India in Colombo. Issuing a statement the SLC said that the move comes in the wake of SL’s unfortunate exit more..

Sri Lanka declares Batticaloa district safe from landmines

June 22 (SLA) The formal declaration to mark The First Mine-Affected District of Sri Lanka Reaching a Level of Residual Risk after Sri Lanka Army - Humanitarian De-mining Unit (SLA-HDU), together with other INGOs and NGOs, have succeeded in clearing minefields in Batticaloa, was signed and handed by stakeholders during a ceremony at Batticaloa District Secretariat premises on Wednesday (21). more..

Perpetual Treasuries made highest profit from bond auctions

June 22 (Island) Assistant Director of the CB, Sudesh Sedera, said that out of the 16 registered primary dealers, Perpetual Treasures had earned the highest profit from the Treasury bond auctions from Feb. 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016. All other primary dealers had made a profit of Rs. 5 billion, but the net profit of Perpetual Treasuries amounted to Rs. 5.4 billion, Sedera told the Commission. Evidence was led by Dy Solicitor Gen. Milinda Gunatillake. more..

Civil society accusers govt, JVP, TNA of delaying polls

June 22 (Island) For the first time ever in SL history, all ruling and opposition political parties excluding the Joint Opposition (JO) were intentionally delaying the holding of LG polls, Election Observers and Civil Society Organizations alleged. Addressing the media, they said the UNP, JVP and SLFP members supporting President Sirisena did not want to hold the elections and therefore they should be held responsible for more..

Pakistan court acquits two over Srilankan team attack case

June 22 (Dawn) An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Wednesday acquitted two accused in the Sri Lanka cricket team attack case. Obaidullah and Ibrahim Khalil had been accused of providing arms and training to the terrorists involved in the attack on a visiting Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore on March 3, 2009. Seven people had been killed and 20, including seven Sri Lankan players, injured in the attacks. more..

Moragahakanda hydro-electricity plant ready to generate electricity

June 22 (PMD) At present, all the testing works of Moragahakanda hydro-electricity plant, which will generate 25MW hydro-power to the national grid, have been concluded. The engineers say the electricity generation could successfully commence when the water level rises in the reservoirs during the upcoming rainy season. Moragahakanda plant built within a shortest period of time in the history of the country. more..

Lives gone in a snap from an epidemic of selfie-obsession

June 22 (ST) Railway engine driver G G Hemachandra was on a routine run from Colombo Fort to Aluthgama last Sunday. Shortly after he passed the Kollupitiya Railway Station, about 100 meters ahead he noticed two children taking selfies. “I tooted the horn. As the train moved closer I saw a smaller child running away from the track and then the other boy jumping off the track to the opposite side," he remembered. more..

Ali Baba at Cricket and Politics

June 22 (DM) Cricket did not bring fame and shame, as ousting terrorism did, by the euphoria and despair that followed. Cricket is a small–time game played earnestly by eight nations, while most people on planet earth face lethal terrorism - overcame it by getting the act right, ignoring advice from roaming busybodies presently recipients of smaller doses and reacting worse than the long suffered locals. Triumph at cricket brings satisfaction to all more..

SL hands over petition to UNHRC Chief

June 22 (DM) Retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara yesterday handed over a petition to UNHRC President Joaquin Alexander Maza Martelli requesting that action be taken against Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid al-Hussein and Special Rapporteur Monica Pinto for forcing Sri Lanka towards Constitutional Reform, basing their reports on false information and bias. Addressing the 35th session of UNHRC more..

'I don’t mix religious meritorious acts with politics'

June 22 (SL) A much talked about politician during the previous regime was Mervyn Silva. He was most noted for his outspoken and sometimes arrogant attitude. Yet despite criticism he always spoke fearlessly about what he believed in. With the defeat of the previous govt, Silva too faded away from the public eye and had been quiet for some time. However, he is back in the limelight. That is with the new political party that he is more..

Poorest countries doing most for refugees

June 22 (DM) On World Refugee Day, June 20, we commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. The United Nations says that this year, World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the people to show support for families forced to flee. To do this, the UN Refugee Agency launched the With Refugees petition in June last year to send a message to governments that they must work together and do their fair share for refugees.    more..

The small problem of the big parties

June 22 (DM) How many times have we heard that there’s no room for any third party in SL politics? Third party as in an entity other than SLFP and UNP or else coalitions led by one of both. True, parties with extremely modest strength have on many an occasion effected change, played king-maker and even been part of govts; but always, always, it has been either UNP or SLFP that has dominated. Withdrawal of support or threats of support-withdrawal have often made the particular more..