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Sri Lanka has no confirmed information on any incident planned for 13th: police

May 13 (EN) SL's security authorities or intelligence have not confirmed that any incident planned to take place on May 13, police spokesman Nuwan Gunasekera said. He said no information received by authorities is discarded and all information thoroughly probed and action is being taken to tighten security. "But security forces or intelligence units have not confirmed this information," he said. SL's state schools, which were closed after Easter Sunday bombings re-opened last week, more..

First session of political consultations between Sri Lanka and Turkey concludes

May 13 (FT) The first session of political consultations between Sri Lanka and Turkey was convened on 10 May at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombo. A new roadmap for enhanced cooperation in prioritised sectors between Sri Lanka and Turkey was identified at the first formal session of bilateral consultations. The head of delegation of SL and Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, welcoming the Turkish delegation to the consultations, reaffirmed SL’s commitment to more..

Suspect arrested on suspicion for killing of Vavunathivu Police officers released

May 13 (CT) Ajanthan Rasakumaran (41), who was taken into custody by the CID over the pre-dawn double murder of two Police Constables on 30 Nov 2018 at the Vavunathivu Police post, was released following a confession made by Zahran Hashim – the Islamic extremist ring leader’s driver Mohamed Sharif Adam Lebbe alias Gaffoor (53). Gaffoor admitted that it was they who were behind the two murders. more..

Indian tourist traffic to resume from May 15

May 13 (Island) Indian tourist traffic to Sri Lanka is expected to resume from Wednesday (15), SriLankan Airlines’ Regional Manager for North India, Nepal and Bangladesh Chinthaka Weerasinghe said. Soon after the Easter Sunday blasts rocked the island on April 21, Govt of India had issued an advisory, asking Indians to visit SL only if it is essential. Thereafter, tourist traffic from India saw a 50% drop. "But the situation is getting better and better in SL on a daily basis. more..

Navy rescues 10 fishermen distressed at sea

May 13 (SLN) A team of Naval personnel rescued 10 fishermen distressed at Southern seas today (11). Accordingly, a crew of a Inshore Patrol Craft attached to the Southern Naval Command rescued 10 fishermen distressed at the seas off Ambalangoda, due to capsizing their craft. This one day fishing craft had left the Hikkaduwa fishing harbour today morning and just after receiving information about the incident, a naval craft on petrol promptly reacted for rescue mission more..

Lasith Malinga final over helps MI seal historic fourth title

May 13 (CI) In a deeply tactical and wildly chaotic final, Lasith Malinga turned around a horror night in an exceptional final over to hand Mumbai Indians their fourth IPL title. The match went this way and that - both batting sides arguably underperformed, technology gave the third umpire a nightmare, catches went down and run-outs were missed - before it came down to Chennai Super Kings needing nine to win off the final over. more..

CSE, LSE sign MoU in London for dual listing of Lankan dollar bonds

May 13 (FT) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE) on Friday signed a MoU, aimed at facilitating the dual listing of dollar bonds issued by the Govt of SL, on both exchanges. The MoU will immensely strengthen Sri Lanka debt market offering as a gateway to a global exchange with truly world class regulation, technology and depth of market participants. This initiative provides investors the ability to invest in securities that are also listed in more..

Rugby to go professional aiming for medal at 2022 Asian Games Sevens

May 13 (DN) Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) is planning to have a professional Sevens squad with about 20 contracted players training for three years to target a medal at the Asian Games in 2022. They have submitted a proposal to the National Olympic Committee and Sports Ministry requesting funds for this ambitious long-term project for the XIX Asiad to be held in Hangzhou, China. “We have seen our chances of winning a medal in Asian Games is much higher if we have a professional more..

Judges debunk Gammanpila’s allegations; demand full investigation

May 13 (SO) Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya is likely to call for an inquiry into allegations made by UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila in Parliament last week, claiming that an official at the US Embassy in Colombo had sought information about ongoing trials against former Rajapaksa era officials while several judges were in Washington DC last month. On Friday (10), Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya convened more..

Mathews relishes new role in World Cup

May 13 (Island) Playing in his third World Cup, former skipper Angelo Mathews is keen to take up more responsibility as the team’s senior-most batsman. In the previous two editions of cricket’s showpiece event, Mathews’ role was different as SL’s batting heavily relied on the big three – Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and T.M. Dilshan. Now with all three retired and other senior players like Upul Tharanga and Dinesh Chandimal not part of the squad, he will have to shoulder more..

Edtorial: Terror and polls

May 13 (Island) Prez Sirisena, who once likened his executive powers to a sword (like King Arthur’s Excalibur?), has resorted to sabre-rattling. Speaking, at a public meeting, in Ampara, on Saturday, he said he would not resign despite calls, in some quarters, for him to do so. He thundered that he would not rest until terrorism was wiped out. If words were weapons, our yahapalana knights in shining armour would rid the entire world of the scourge of terror before one could say ISIS! more..

Wellampitiya terror factory: Police to question ex-sleuth

May 13 (ST) Did a onetime intelligence operative, forced to leave the service due to allegations of corruption, bring pressure on the Wellampitiya Police to play down investigations into the nine suspects linked to the pro-IS terror group’s bombings in SL? The Police Special Investigations Unit (SIU), now probing the background to why the Police did not object to bail for the suspects, is to question him in this regard. more..

Who is to blame? If it’s all about the Muslims, why have a State?

May 13 (Island) In the old story of the New Testament, Easter was the end of agony. It marked the glory of resurrection, yet another fable in humankind’s vain attempt to get past death. In Post- Easter SL, on the other hand, there is no glory, only agony; endless questions and loads of blame. Who is to blame? That is the question. There are indeed too many to blame, but too few to offer credible answers and even fewer, if any, to put anything right. more..

Fight against extremism should not be confused with Islamophobia

May 13 (CT) What happened on Easter Sunday is unforgivable and our rage and condemnation is beyond imagination. The nation should be complimented for their patience and maturity and the civilized way, they conducted themselves without allowing their baser instincts to take control over their rational thinking. Both Cardinal and Army Commander spoke in a balanced manner looking beyond the terror movement of the barbarians who carried out these dastardly attacks, more..

මෛත්රීට කොටි 19 ක් ගන්න ලැජ්ජා නැද්ද?

Islam is their burka: Terror is their faith

May 13 (ST) The clouds of Easter Sunday’s tragedy, heavy with the blood of the innocents, haven’t still drifted away. And even as tears continue to fall to soak the ground with exquisite sorrow and make the Moss Rose bloom in the memory of the dead, the outpouring of mass national grief has also served to sprout the weeds of hate. Anti-Muslim phobia is on the rise and, before it becomes a pestilence on a peaceful bed of roses, it must be nipped in the bud. Uprooted from the soil. The sooner the better. more..

A govt’s games and the peoples’ fear

May 13 (ST) With the shadow of tragedy looming over a still stunned nation in the wake of the Easter Sunday atrocities, there is a curiously stark contrast at play in Sri Lanka. Even as politicians shriek, lie and pontificate for partisan advantage, the triumph of the human spirit soars above this ugly cacaphony. Buddhist priests in vivid yellow robes join in sweeping the debris within the precincts of the devastated Katuwapitiya Church, a mosque offers its halls for Catholics to hold prayers more..

'IS planned to create a province of the caliphate in the East'

May 13 (CT) Professor of Security Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technology Uni, Singapore, Dr. Rohan Gunaratna will be the keynote speaker on the title Restore Harmony and Rebuild Trust, arranged by the Sri Lanka Muslim Civil Society at the SL Foundation Institute (SLFI) today (12). He tells Ceylon Today that the SL Govt failed to criminalise hate speech and incitement to violence, more..

Sensitivity, solidarity and social stability: A post Easter-Sunday reflection

May 13 (GV) The worship had just reached the Anamnesis, the affirmation of God’s intervention in history, when the police arrived. The officer was courteous but firm. The service had to be terminated and the people dispersed. Beyond this he remained tight-lipped. Pictures on people’s smartphones said the rest. Unbelievable scenes of death and havoc were to change all expectations of Easter harmony for Sri Lankans. When it became known that an extremist Islamist group was responsible, more..

Stemming wave of Islamophobia is crucial

May 13 (CT) Islamophobia is a term that gained currency in the 1980s in British English. It referred to prejudices against the Islam and Muslim people that had begun to spread in the UK since the 1970s. As a cultural, intellectual and political phenomenon, Islamophobia began to spread throughout the Western world after the 9/11 attacks in the US. The Christian Right in America has been the leading force that promoted Islamophobia as a new strand of political ideology in the world. more..

American Enigma: Blake & Gota 10 years on

May 13 (SO) A recent compliment offered by former US Ambassador to Colombo Robert. O. Blake Jr. on the management of the intelligence services by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has drawn the spotlight on to the long and complex relationship between the American diplomat and the American citizen who often dealt with him on behalf of Sri Lanka’s govt. While relationships between diplomats and more..

Madrasahs, Extremism and National Security

May 13 (GV) The nexus between Madrasah education and Islamic extremism have been in the global discussions ever since the emergence of the Taliban in Afghanistan. This phenomenon emerged in Afghanistan in Post-Soviet Occupation era where those who fought against the Soviets got engulfed in a bitter civil war between factions upon the exit of the Soviets. This brought lawlessness and anarchy in the country. It was about this time that Taliban (plural for taleb, which means student) more..

Muslim people must take down the jihadists

May 13 (Island) The govt and security apparatus (together with the Sate) can respond to information, seized arms and explosives and intervene in events. However in the long run it is the Muslim community and Muslims alone that can defeat jihadism; that is Wahhabism-Salafism, Islamic State infiltration and false prophets. Only the people can defeat these intrusions; the State is incapable of comprehending doctrine. There has to be a plan of action that Muslims & their leaders organise & execute. more..

The birth, growth and spread of IS terrorism in Sri Lanka

May 12 (ST) At least a section of the govt – those with the Presidency – appear to believe that the worst is over after the April 21 Easter Sunday carnage. This has in no small measure fueled euphoria and even overconfidence in them. In reality, the armed forces and the police through a coordinated campaign against IS-backed terrorists are slowly but surely, unravelling those behind a ruthless network, their financial operations more..

As Sri Lanka loses faith in the govt, it looks to a cardinal for leadership

May 12 (SCMP) It’s tense in Sri Lanka nowadays. Scarcely a day passes that the army does not discover a cache of arms, ammunition or other combat related material, such as radio-frequency jammers, in a mosque or nearby one. Even in a country almost inured to violence due to the nearly 30-year conflict between armed forces and the LTTE, such discoveries have left people stunned with fear because of what they suggest: terror and Islamic State. more..

Before inviting tourists, ensure locals return to normal lives: MR

May 12 (CT) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, said in Parliament that before inviting tourists to the country, the Govt should establish an environment in which local people can go back to their normal lifestyles which they had before the Easter Sunday terror attacks. “It is true that our tourist industry has suffered a deadly blow by these terror attacks, but we have to rebuild it. During the Parliamentary debates in the past few days, our MPs presented several useful proposals more..

New laws to regulate Madrasas; introduced by Muslim Affairs Ministry

May 12 (ST) The Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs Ministry has presented to the Govt a bill called the Madrasa Education Regulatory Act that seeks to set up a Board with powers of regulation, registration, supervision, control and development of education within Madrasas in Sri Lanka. The Sunday Times obtained a copy of the draft which is seen as a move towards addressing a longstanding vacuum in Madrasa regulation. more..

SL probes British bride's honeymoon death

May 12 (AFP) The husband of a British bride who died on her honeymoon in Sri Lanka will be kept in the country at least until a formal hearing on the death is held on Wednesday, police said. Khilan Chandaria is not under arrest or facing a charge, but has been stopped from leaving Sri Lanka since his wife Usheila Patel, 31, died on April 25. The bride died just six days after her wedding and two days after the couple checked into a hotel in the resort town of Galle, south of the capital Colombo. more..

Iran's non-Oil trade with SL exceeds $140m

May 12 (FT) Iran traded 256,551 tons of non-oil commodities worth $141 million with Sri Lanka in the last fiscal year (ended March 20, 2019) to register a 53.58% growth in tonnage and 8.22% decline in value compared with the year before, latest data show. Iran’s exports to Sri Lanka stood at 233,453 tons worth $51.11 million, up 69.50% and 28.33% in tonnage and value respectively year-on-year. Sri Lanka was Iran’s 39th export destination during the year. more..

President rushes to China for confab

May 12 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena will leave tomorrow for China on a three-day visit in a move that has surprised both political and diplomatic circles over its urgency. Formally, he is attending a Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations that will open on May 15. The official website of the event said, “more than 2,000 govt officials and representatives of various circles from 47 Asian countries” will attend. more..

Sri Lanka IMF deal to be reviewed on May 13

May 12 (Island) The executive board of the IMF is expected to review the resumption and extension of a program with Sri Lanka on May 13, which was stalled last year, as the country missed targets, partly due to operation of a soft-pegged exchange rate regime. The program will continue till June 2020, with a remaining US$ 500 million to be spread over three revenues. IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said the "extension will provide additional time to the authorities to anchor macroeconomic stability more..

Govt says no restrictions imposed on media

May 12 (AD) Department of Govt Information says that neither the Govt nor the Dept has imposed any restriction on media. The dept said it has established a formal mechanism to disseminate the information with the coordination of all media institutions, and the media spokespersons of the Tri Forces and the Police. “A meeting was held last week at the Dept of Govt Information with heads of media institutions to discuss how information can be disseminated to media institutions.” more..

Army Chief will not sign SOFA with U.S.

May 12 (CT) While noting that there are various regional and world powers trying to take advantage of the current situation, due to the strategic and geographical importance of SL’s location, Army Commander Lt. General Mahesh Senanayake vouched that he will not agree to sign the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the US. “How can we sign such an agreement? We can’t agree to what is stated in it. more..

Exporters fight back to keep momentum

May 12 (SO) The Exporters Chamber and the export community are working to achieve the set targets in terms of revenue and volumes, despite the setback suffered due to the recent Easter Sunday attacks. “We as the Chamber and the business community are confident that we could revert to our growth trajectory as fast as possible. “We all need to get back to our normal life in terms of functioning of offices and factories. We have taken every effort to restore confidence in the buyer communities more..

No more running around to answer a landline

May 12 (ST) While the use of landline is becoming more and more obsolete, pairing the landline to the mobile phone makes life easy without missing a telephone call or having to run around the house to answer a call. SLT on Wednesday launched its Voice App which diverts all calls that comes to the landline to the mobile phone. The app is available on GooglePlay and AppStore. Once downloaded, four mobile phones can be connected to the landline to make calls. more..

President says he won’t resign and allow terrorists to win

May 12 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena said that he was not affected by terrorism and that he would fulfill the responsibility of building a peaceful country after eradicating terrorism. President said that the law will be enforced against anyone who is responsible for the incident on April 21. He said this, addressing in the final progress review meeting of the Ampara district Rata Wenuwen Ekata Sitimu programme. more..