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Bus strike called off after govt agrees to 12.5% fare hike

May 16 (AD) Private bus operators have decided to call off the strike action which was scheduled to commence from midnight today, after the govt had reportedly agreed to increase the bus fares by 12.5%. During the discussion held today between representatives of private bus trade unions and ministers and govt officials, govt has also agreed to increase the minimum fare to Rs 12. Cabinet yesterday approved an increase in more..

Southwest monsoon proper to hit Sri Lanka from May 23

May 16 (Island) The southwest monsoon, which brings seasonal rain to the Indian subcontinent, will hit SL on May 23, Met Department predicts. According to int'l weather forecasts, the monsoon is expected to reach the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on May 20 and advance further to SL and over East Central Bay of Bengal between May 22 and 23. Heavy rains being experienced in some parts of the country specially in Western, Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces would continue until more..

Mahindananda’s transfer application fixed for inquiry

May 16 (DN) A transfer application filed by former minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage seeking an order transferring a case filed against him to any other court of competent jurisdiction other than the Colombo High Court presided over by HC Judge Gihan Kulatunga was yesterday fixed for inquiry by the Court of Appeal. On a previous occasion, Court of Appeal issued notices on the respondents. However, the court did not make any interim order in connection with this transfer application. more..

GMOA to launch 24-hour strike tomorrow

May 16 (DM) GMOA would be on a countrywide 24-hour token strike tomorrow against the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed with Singapore and the proposed ETCA with India, GMOA Secretary Dr Haritha Aluthge said today. He said, however, the emergency treatment units, maternity, children, cancer, nephrology and Army hospitals would function as usual despite the token strike. He said the GMOA was forced to more..

Avant Garde Chairman files FR petition

May 16 (NR) Chairman of Avant Garde Maritime Services Nissanka Senadhipathi has filed a Fundamental Rights petition at Supreme Court today requesting Court to issue an order preventing his arrest by the CID. Nissanka Senadhipathi through the petition said the CID is attempting to arrest him over maintaining a floating armoury at the Galle Fort. The petition also states the CID is attempting to arrest and remand Nissanka Senadhipathi under the Explosives and Firearms Ordinance. more..

A land where brigands & bigots are bizarre buddies

May 16 (CT) We have a very interesting position in Sri Lanka in respect of the country’s ethnic problem, a perpetual killer force that raged throughout the north and east and now trying to emerge in some parts outside of this region. This ghastly position prevailed for thirty years because there were two main forces, a terrorist and a dodgy company of petty, prevaricating politicians. While the need of the hour is a resolution to this problem, the two main players did not want to resolve it more..

බදු මුදල්වලින් රජය නිසි ප්රයෝජන ගන්නවාද?

Strength of a weak govt

May 16 (FT) It is widely believed that this Govt is incapable. Even in the areas where it exhibits its capability, the progress is very slow. There is no doubt about it. However in certain areas, even though it displays an incapability, in fact it is not incapability but capability. In this article I would like to discuss the last point. The public consciousness of this country is formed to suit to an authoritative regime and not to a democratic regime. Parents think that the children should obey them. more..

US$ 200M Garbage Scandal

May 16 (CT) The story is told of the Greek Philosopher Diogenes who was found roaming the streets of Athens in broad daylight, carrying a lamp. When the Athenians asked him what he was searching for, he replied, I’m searching for an honest man. Diogenes may have had lived 2,500 years ago, but the moral of his story is applicable even today, especially to SL. This is in the context that a US$ 200 million World Bank (WB) funded garbage disposal programme, more..

Bus strike: SLTB ramps up service; leaves cancelled

May 16 (AD) The leave of all SLTB bus drivers, conductors and mechanical staff have been cancelled until the planned strike by private bus operators is called off, Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) announced today. SLTB Chairman Ramal Siriwardena said that the board has taken steps to provide 24 hour bus service and that relevant officials have been instructed to operate buses according to the needs of more..

Britain says disappointed by Sri Lanka’s pace of change

May 16 (DM) The British Govt on Friday said it was disappointed by the Sri Lanka’s pace of change in terms of fulfilling its international commitments and said there was much remaining to be done. Mark Field, Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific told British Parliament on Friday that he met Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana in the margins of the CHOGM in London and discussed about the progress achieved by Sri Lanka. more..

Prez under pressure to take action against those who destroy archaeological sites

May 16 (Island) Nationalist organisations have called upon President Sirisena to take action agaisnt those responsible for the destruction of an archaeological site in Ipalogama, Anuradhapura. "A historical site known as the Belumgala of ancient Vijithapura has been bulldozed purportedly for the construction of a housing scheme. It has been stopped owing to public protests. We demand action from the Prez more..

CEB denies charges of ashes spreading to Sri Maha Bodhi

May 16 (DN) CEB engineers and Norochcholai Power Plant officials refuted claims that toxic acids evaporating from the power plant posed a threat to the sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, in A'pura. It was reported that toxic fumes from the power plant which contained concentrated amounts of toxic acids and heavy metals could be swept as far away as the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi due to the onset of the oncoming Southwest monsoon. more..

CEB never agreed with PUCSL amendment

May 16 (CT) The Public Utilities Commissions of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) had informed President’s Secretary Austin Fernando in writing on 9 May, that the General Manager (GM) of the CEB had not objected to any amendments being made by them to the Least Cost Long Term Generation Expansion Plan (LCLTGEP) of the CEB. That letter, which had been compiled by the Chairman of the PUCSL, Saliya Mathew, was an utter lie, more..

Beauty and the beast

May 16 (ST) Despite the proliferation of cosmetics and skin care products containing dangerous levels of heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and arsenic, and rising numbers of women seeking medical help, there is barely any regulation, enforcement or legal cover, experts say. Suitcase traders are hauling in counterfeit cosmetics from China, Thailand, Middle East, India, Pakistan, and South Korea into the country and flooding more..

Why the pomp and pageantry?

May 16 (DM) What was the need for all the Pomp and Pageantry? Was it deserved in any way? We read that over a 1,000 questions and more than 1,000 petitions had to be set aside due to the prorogation!!! So, why the Pomp and Pageantry? As Minister Fonseka rightly pointed out, it is too late now for the Govt to even try to fulfil its promises. When the PM was bravely trying to justify the actions of this Govt at an interview he gave more..

The traditional tools of a Sri Lankan kitchen

May 16 (Roar) Like the traditional curries, sambols and other dishes which have a place of importance in the culinary world of Sri Lankan cooking, there are a handful of utensils which have their own place of importance in making a spicy pol sambol or flavourful dhal curry. Rice and curries are our staple meal, and many older Sri Lankans claim that one of the best ways to make a curry is to use traditional clay pots or mati walang. more..

Keith Noyahr saved because of my intervention: Karu

May 16 (DM) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said that senior journalist Keith Noyahr’s life was saved because of his intervention when Keith was abducted and he is prepared any moment to give a statement on this incident. The speaker said that the CID has informed him that they need to record a statement from him over the alleged abduction of journalist Keith Noyahr. He said that a date would be given to the CID today for this purpose. more..

'Serbia, Sri Lanka stand great potential for cooperation'

May 16 (DM) First Deputy PM and Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic, who had paid a visit to SL early this month, speaks about the latest initiative to revive historic relations between his country and SL dating back to the days of the summit of the non-aligned movement. Serbia, a country that faced with separatism, shares common experience with Sri Lanka. He says Serbia can serve itself as the gateway to Europe. more..

Shift of global economic dominance towards Asia: SL should seize the opportunity

May 16 (DM) Sri Lanka should seize the window of opportunity to make the country a developed nation when the world economic dominance shifts from the western hemisphere towards the Asian region by the year 2030, former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. Mr. Rajapaksa expressed these views at the Annual Convention of Viyath Maga Organisation held in Colombo on Sunday under the theme of An Intellectually Inspired Sri Lanka. Prof. Rohan Gunaratne, Vidya Jyothi Dr. Bandula more..

RTI, People's power and independent oversight

May 16 (DM) The idea of independent oversight bodies to remedy the ugly party politicization of State institutions was first mooted by the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. It was a partially successful experiment as politicians refused to let go of power and the President at the time, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga even refused to appoint a nominee of the Constitutional Council as the Chairman of the Elections Commission as she disagreed with the nomination. more..

Authority to inspect Norochcholai coal plant

May 16 (DN) A team led by Central Environmental Authority (CEA) Director General Hemantha Jayasinghe will make an inspection tour at the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant in the wake of rising complaints over the environmental pollution caused by it. CEA DG Jayasinghe said it was highly questionable how the Wayamba Provincial Environmental Authority had granted permission for certain industries to operate. more..

Polgampola arrested

May 16 (Island) Former Chairman of the Timber Corporation, Anuruddha Polgampola, was arrested yesterday by the CID for not appearing in court over an alleged financial offence, involving Rs. 8 million he had obtained to supply gravel for the reconstruction of the Northern railroad. CID has filed a case against Polgampola in the Kilinochchi court. He had been arrested on a previous occasion over the same offence and granted bail. Polgampola is a former JVP MP. more..

National cricket selectors’ term ends

May 16 (DN) The term of the current national cricket selection committee headed by former Sri Lanka fast bowler Graeme Labrooy ended yesterday and according to SLC sources they would be submitting the names for the new selection committee to the Sports Minister shortly. There is likelihood that the majority of members who served in the current committee namely Labrooy, Gamini Wickremasinghe, Gerry Woutersz, Sajith Fernando and Asanka Gurusinha will be retained more..

JVP comes out blazing against govt

May 16 (Island) JVP yesterday called on people to take to the streets against the exploitation by the govt of the masses to cover the cost of its extravagance and frauds. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said: "The govt has increased prices of fuel and now prices of all commodities will increase. It increased the prices of milk powder by Rs. 50. After slapping taxes the govt says it will spend tax money on free health care and education. more..

Rights group: At least 29 children disappeared in Sri Lanka

May 16 (AP) An international human rights group says at least 29 children disappeared in the custody of Sri Lanka’s military after surrendering with their ethnic rebel parents at the end of the island nation’s civil war. The South Africa-based International Truth and Justice Project said Tuesday that it has 280 names of people who surrendered to the military on or about the final day of the fighting nine years ago. It said some of the names could be duplicated because of nicknames used by more..

Kerosene subsidy to outboard motor boats, 47,000 off-grid houses

May 16 (EN) A subsidy for kerosene will only be paid to houses without electricity and owners of fishing boats with outboard motors, finance ministry said. A subsidy of 57 litre will be paid based on average consumption in the past. There are an estimated 47,555 houses without power and 24,282 fishermen with small boats driven by kerosene. The subsidy will be paid from June 01 directly to bank account of holders, but it will be effective from May 10, when prices were raised. more..

Primary industries to the fore

May 16 (FT) Bringing the Govt’s ambitious agriculture modernisation program to the fore, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe displayed renewed focus on expanding primary industries with sweeping new measures to modernise agriculture, create jobs and develop SL’s rural economy. As the latest step in this process, Social Welfare and Primary Industries Ministry kicked off a Rs. 16 billion project with a Rs. 9 billion loan more..

62-year-old gets death penalty

May 16 (CT) A 62-year-old man, who was convicted of causing the death of an individual during a gold jewellery robbery in 1992, was sentenced to death by the Colombo High Court on 14 May. The death sentence was handed down by High Court Judge Gihan Kulathunga to Malat Fernando, a resident of Kochchikade in Negombo. The suspect had been indicted with having gunned down the son of a priest of a devale, situated in the Maligawatta area, on 5 May, 1992 before stealing gold jewellery. more..

Facebook to empower entrepreneurs in SL

May 16 (DN) Facebook’s global Boost Your Business program is now available for the youth and entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka. Recognizing the potential of the country’s small business owners, Facebook has partnered with the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka to train 10,000 small business owners across the country by the close of 2018. In the first phase, the programmed will cover Colombo, Galle, Kandy and Jaffna. more..

CPC probing massive fraud

May 16 (CT) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has commenced an internal investigation into an alleged large scale fraud of more than Rs 80 million, committed by a top official at the distribution division of the CPC’s Kolonnawa terminal. A senior CPC official said that if this investigation was to find that such a fraud had in fact and indeed taken place, the official concerned could be interdicted from work. more..

Matchsticks industry to go up in flames

May 16 (CT) Sri Lanka’s largest matchsticks manufacturer employing 1,500 people will close down its plant at Kundasale on 18 May because of new Government regulations for the authorization of inflammable material required for production. Sri Lanka Safety Match Makers Association (SLSMMA) and Sun Match Company Limited Chairman B.D.R. Rajan said that the new Govt requirements of samples of inflammable material needed for the manufacture of matchsticks having to be more..

CPC to venture into bulk bitumen next month

May 16 (FT) State-run CPC will venture into supplying bulk bitumen from next month and has the capacity to cater to 50% of country’s demand. “The option of venturing into bulk bitumen was on the cards of the new management. We have been looking at it for a while and now we have put everything together. By mid-June we are going to produce bulk bitumen from our refinery at Sapugaskanda, which will have a capacity to produce 5,000 MTs per month,” more..

Prasanna Ranatunge extortion case: Threatening call played in open court

May 16 (DN) An audio recording pertaining to a threatening telephone call alleged to have made by former Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunge demanding money in a land deal was played in open court yesterday. An audio recording of a telephone call conversation between Prasanna Ranatunge and businessman Gehard Mendis, the virtual complainant in the alleged extortion case was played more..

Muslim Council condemns Israel’s attack on Palestinians

May 16 (FT) Muslim Council of SL in a statement yesterday vehemently condemned Israel’s deadly attack on the innocent Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and held Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump and the US Govt responsible for this pogrom. In a statement issued by its president N.M. Ameen, the MCSL said it condemned the violent aggression and murder of children, women and men carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border, more..

Walawa Supercross 2018: Ashan, Evon retain top titles in style

May 16 (DN) Ashan Silva and Evon Gurusinghe won the Best Driver and Best Rider awards respectively for the second consecutive time at the 8th Walawa Supercross 2018, conducted by the SL Army's Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Regiment in collaboration with the SL Motorcycle Club at the Craftsman Autodrom, Sewanagala, Ambilipitiya recently. The contestants were competed for 11 driving and 12 riding events at the meet while Best Driver and Best Rider received DEMAC more..