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Use tab funds to buy security systems for schools

May 10 (DM) MP Bandula Gunawardane urged the govt to utilize the funds allocated to purchase tab computers to purchase modern security equipment so as to ensure the security for school children. He told parliament that it was the need of the hour to give priority for security purposes of the children than purchasing tab computers. He said a national plan should be initiated in coordination with all relevant sectors to ensure security for all school children. more..

New traffic plan at BIA

May 10 (EN) A new traffic plan has been put in place at Sri Lanka’s Bandaranaike International Airport to enable passengers to disembark or board vehicles at the departure and arrival terminals after new security checks inconvenience travellers. A spokesman for the Sri Lanka Air Force, which is in charge of airport security, said the air force was compelled to prohibit entry for vehicular traffic to the airport entrances soon after Easter Sunday’s suicide bombings which killed over 250 people. more..

Will urge President to arrest Rishad: SB

May 10 (DM) JO stalwart S.B. Dissanayaka continuing his verbal battle with Minister Rishad Bathiudeen yesterday said the govt had ample evidence to arrest minister Bathiudeeen and a team of JO members including him would urge Prez to direct law enforcement authorities to arrest him immediately. “We have information to prove that he has had close contacts with members of National Thawheed Jamaath (NTJ) and more..

HRCSL proposes guidelines when implementing emergency law

May 10 (CG) The Human Rights Commission of SL (HRCSL) has proposed a set of guidelines to follow when implementing the emergency regulations. In a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, the Chairperson of the HRCSL Dr. Deepika Udagama says the Commission does not dispute that emergency regulations are needed at a time like this in order to provide protection to the public and to restore normalcy. Similarly, Commission believes that if the regulations are implemented more..

Tourism revival Cabinet Sub-Committee meets today to iron out relief package

May 10 (FT) The Cabinet Sub-Committee tasked to revive tourism post-Easter Sunday attacks is scheduled to meet in full today, to iron out teething issues related to the relief package approved on Tuesday. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Minister Malik Samarawickrama, who could not attend the inaugural meeting last week due to being overseas, will participate at today’s meeting, along with five other Ministers of the Committee chaired by Tourism Minister John Amaratunga. more..

Cardinal urges forces to conduct security checks on all

May 10 (FT) Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday urged the country’s security forces to carry out proper security checks without pre-selection, finding fault with search operations carried out in Negombo during the past week. Speaking to media directly after a closed door meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena, who took time off from his only son’s wedding for the meeting, Cardinal said that govt has assured him of more..

Video: Govt Analyst inspects bomber brothers’ residence in Dematagoda

May 10 (AD) Govt Analyst today (9) conducted scrutiny at the residence of the two brothers who carried out the suicide bombings at Shangri-La and Cinnamon Grand hotels on Easter Sunday. The two bombers, namely Mohamed Ilham Ahmed and Mohamed Insaf Ahmed, were previously identified as the sons of local spice tycoon Mohamed Yusuf Ibrahim, who was taken into the custody of police following the terror attacks. Two females, who had served at the bombers’ residence at more..

BOI-FDI tops 2.14 bn in 2018

May 10 (DN) FDI, including foreign borrowings of Board of Investment SL (BOI) companies, increased considerably, reaching the historically highest level in 2018. Total FDI inflows, inclusive of foreign loans received by companies registered with the Board of BOI, amounted to US$ 2,136 million, in 2018, in comparison to US$ 1,910 million in 2017. Meanwhile, FDI, excluding foreign loans obtained by BOI companies, also increased notably to US$ 1,611 m, in 2018, from US$ 1,373 m in 2017, more..

Party leaders will be consulted on CTA: PM

May 10 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said discussions on the Counter-Terrorism Act (CTA) will be held with all party leaders in the coming weeks, to build consensus ahead of getting it approved by Parliament at the earliest possible opportunity. Wickremesinghe, speaking to media in Kandy, said the CTA was important to counter global terror in Sri Lanka, as it moved past the constraints of the existing PTA. more..

Decision to allow air hostesses to have babies cost UL dear

May 10 (Island) About 80 air hostess are currently pregnant and not flying after the SriLankan Airlines management decided to change a rule which prohibited them from having babies for six years, former head of Human Resources, Pradeep Kekulawala told PCoI. It had caused a significant financial drain on the company, he said. He made this statement when Counsel asked him whether he was aware that the previous law had caused some air hostesses to have abortions. more..

Moulavi arrested with CDs containing extremist sermons

May 10 (DM) A Moulavi has been arrested with several CDs containing extremist sermons during a raid by the STF at a house at Nawala in Rajagiriya. The STF also seized a mobile phone and several photographs of St. Anthony's church in Kochchikade along with the suspect. Investigations revealed that the Moulavi who had been at a mosque in Nawala area was sacked from the mosque two months ago as due to extremist preachings to the Muslims. It was reported that more..

Move to let SOEs borrow in foreign currency

May 10 (FT) New regulations were moved in Parliament, permitting the Govt and the State-owned enterprises (SoEs) to borrow in foreign currency from outside foreign sources. Moving the motion, State Minister Eran Wickramaratne said: “Under section 7.1 of the Foreign Exchange Act No. 12 of 2017, Minister shall in consultation with the Monetary Board and with the approval of the Cabinet authorised by more..

Moving Beyond the Easter Carnage

May 10 (Island) As this article is being penned, the Parliament of SL is engaging in a two-day adjournment debate on the devastating massacres launched against innocents on Easter Sunday in Colombo, Negombo and Batticala. In the course of the debate, Prez Sirisena, as Minister of Defense and Minister of Law and Order expressed confidence, that the security forces have got on top of the situation, arresting not only the conspirators but also negating the capacity for terrorism more..

Sunil Gunawardena to be appointed National Coach

May 10 (Island) Athletics Association of SL has decided to appoint veteran administrator and coach Sunil Gunawardena as the National Head coach ahead of a busy international season. The AASL announced the decision to appoint the former Olympian after a General Committee meeting yesterday. The decision, which is subjected to Sports Ministry approval, comes ahead of a crucial period for track and field sports. The AASL is planning to field strong teams for more..

Sri Lanka begin training in England ahead of World Cup

May 10 (Island) Sri Lanka have begun training in London ahead of their World Cup campaign having arrived in UK three weeks prior to cricket’s showpiece event that gets underway later this month. The national cricket team arrived in London on Tuesday and have begun training at a private facility – Merchant Taylor’s School. Dimuth Karunaratne’s side will stay in London until the 15th of May and then leave for Scotland to more..

Hotels and airlines to meet today to firm up offers to lure tourists

May 10 (FT) Hotels and airlines will have their second meeting today to firm up respective special offers they could introduce in a bid to lure tourists who have avoided Sri Lanka post-Easter Sunday terror attacks. Today’s meeting is a follow up to their inaugural discussions held last week. “We will discuss what each other can offer in terms of special deals and agree on what is most attractive,” an industry source said. Apart from national carrier SriLankan Airlines, at present, four other more..

SLIIT commences enrollment for June 2019 degree programmes

May 10 (Island) Ensuring students receive a head-start towards their higher education goals, SLIIT, nation’s largest private degree awarding institute announced the commencement of its June 2019 intake for Undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes. While all degrees offered at SLIIT are approved by UGC and Ministry of Higher Education, interested students can enroll in an impressive range of programmes conducted in affiliation with prestigious foreign unis & edu institutes. more..

IS fighters dispersing around the world

May 10 (TM) The Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka put the spotlight back on the Islamic State (IS) and its global operations, with attention being drawn to its operations in South Asia. IS has been known to be fairly active in Afghanistan and Pakistan and has carried out several attacks in those countries. Now, IS seems to have made inroads into Sri Lanka through a local outfit, posing a serious threat to both SL and its neighbours. more..

Edtorial: A sleeveless errand

May 10 (Island) The SLFP and the SLPP are planning to have the fifth round of talks, on 30 May, SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekera has reportedly said. They don’t seem to be aware that they are on a sleeveless errand. The previous rounds of talks ended inconclusively with no contentious issues being taken up. The two parties may go on talking, but the realisation of their goal of achieving reconciliation and unity will be possible when hell freezes over, given their leaders’ more..

All Joy and celebration over our future Prez of the MCC

May 10 (Island) As a nation we lose so much through complacency and pettiness, misjudgment and self-centred behaviour, but yet, invariably some streak or beam of light penetrates the darkness and lifts our spirit. This time around it is a single human being, and many others who have ignited the flash of light. Cassandra will first write glowingly of the single human being who shot through our gloom, and showed us that for every brain-washed terrorist who flashed crazily on the world scene more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Beacon of benevolence: Radiating warmth and light of wisdom!

May 10 (CT) “Suddenly, a silent silhouette, that was there but only a few noted, started commanding respect, not only among the flock but also by others, not only just as a man of God, but as a bridge that became a link between man and God not by the religious importance, but by his revolutionary thinking that has always been down-to-earth, carrying the message of God to all whom he considered as children of God, blending it with warmth and the light of wisdom and became more..

Muslim community under pressure for de-radicalization

May 10 (DM) Arabization of the local Muslims finally made way for the emergence of militants who blew themselves up on April 21 causing immeasurable damage to the country and its people. Only after the serial bombings that rocked the nation on April 21, some people, including the likes of top notched politicians, came to the realisation that a segment of the Muslim community was increasingly embracing the puritanical form of Islam or Wahhabism along with Arab culture. more..

Why Maithripala Sirisena hates SF

May 10 (DM) Presidency goes away beyond the holder’s personal likes and dislikes. It goes beyond the holder’s fears and pleasures; its scope is so large and extending beyond the personal boundaries of one’s lamentable limitations, a not-so-sophisticated intellect (if he has any) fails to embrace the immense responsibilities and demands that are rested upon the office. As this writer has enunciated in his previous columns, more..

Cost to tourism: LTTE $ 7.8 b, ISIS $ 1.5 b?

May 10 (FT) The country is yet grappling to come to terms with the manmade disaster on 21 April. The attendance at schools is slowly recovering whilst the private sector is returning to normalcy. The Army Commander’s announcement that Sri Lanka is safe and returning to ‘business as usual’ is very reassuring given that Sri Lanka has lost confidence on the political hierarchy. It is been widely reported in media that the key personalities in the Govt were informed of the impending attacks more..

Rising from 4/21 calamity

May 10 (DN) Almost three weeks after the Easter Sunday massacres, SL is now slowly beginning to feel the full impact of the bomb attacks carried out by extremists affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). It appeared that the greatest effect was on the sense of freedom Lankans enjoyed prior to the attacks. Country had been engulfed in a fear psychosis during almost three decades of Eelam war. When that conflict ended in 2009, Sri Lankans took to enjoying peace as never before. more..

The Importance of the Indo-Pacific

May 10 (DN) Former US Ambassador to SL and currently Senior Director (India and South Asia) of McLarty Associates based in Washington D.C. Robert O. Blake Jr delivered a speech at the Pathfinder Foundation – Joint Apparel Association Forum of Sri Lanka as second in the series of seminars held in BMICH on May 7. The following is Robert O. Blake’s full presentation. I return to Sri Lanka with mixed emotions. more..

A calamity of constitutional crises

May 10 (CT) We are going through a period of major tragedy with the blood of innocents, due to a massive failure in governance. Months away from the Presidential Election, and not too far from the next General Election, there is no serious discussion of the constitutional and legislative changes needed to face up to the rising trends of Islamic terrorism and the need to deepen democracy in the country. Political parties and civil society organizations with commitment to democracy, more..

Sirisena’s delusions of power

May 10 (CT) Maithripala Sirisena, the sixth executive president is the title and the subject of this essay. Dead man walking is a euphemism for a person trapped in an untenable position and is about to lose his exalted roost. Fifteen days after the carnage on Easter Sunday, Prez Sirisena appeared before parliament on Tuesday 7th May. With ill-disguised condescension he told parliament “I am the sixth person to hold this office”. Oh! Didn’t you know that? Was the implied refrain? more..

Sri Lanka suspends flight training near biggest air force base

May 9 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has suspended flight training near its biggest air force base due to security concerns after suspected Islamist militants killed more than 250 people last month, according to a govt directive seen by Reuters on Thursday. Sri Lanka has been on high alert since multiple suicide bombings on Easter Sunday targeted churches and hotels. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. more..

Govt asks schools vans not to charge fees for the emergency week

May 9 (NR) The govt has requested school van and bus services not to obtain fees for the days that schools were closed following the Easter Sunday attacks. The schools were due to reopen for the second school term on the 22nd of April. However in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks on the 21st of April, the reopening of schools was delayed. Schools opened for the second term on the 6th of May for students in Grade 6 and above with Grades 1 to 5 to reopen on the 13th of May. more..

Former PC member remanded over network jamming devices

May 9 (AD) Former SLMC Provincial Council member Shafi Raheem, who was arrested along with high-sensitive communication devices, has been remanded. Accordingly, he has been remanded until the 22nd of May on the orders of the Negombo Magistrate’s Court. On May 07 former SLMC Provincial Council member Shafeer Raheem was arrested along with 8 high-sensitive communication devices which could jam telephone and other networks. more..

Media instructed not to publicise seized swords, kris-knives

May 9 (DM) Govt Information Director General Nalaka Kaluwewa today instructed media institutions to refrain from publicising photos or videos of swords and kris-knives which are being seized during the special operations carrying out by security forces. At a meeting held with heads of media institutions at the Govt Information Department, Mr. Kaluwewa said President Sirisena had instructed the department not to publicise more..

Call back retired army personnel: Niroshan Perera

May 9 (AD) State Minister Niroshan Perera stated that he is requesting the President to further strengthen the security measures considering the prevailing situation in the country. He stated this at a press conference held in Colombo on the current security situation of the country. The state minister stated that he requests the president to utilize the assistance of the retired Army personnel considering that the country is facing a threat of terrorism. He points out that the service of army personnel more..

Three boys in heroic rescue of car, driver from river

May 9 (DN) A car travelling on the Mahiyangana road veered off and fell into the Vienna Canal near the 52nd milepost at Welampele around 4.00 pm on May 7, Police said. The driver who was the sole occupant, was rescued. Police said as the car was swept downstream for about 500 metres, three youths bathing in the river who noticed the accident had swum downstream and held on to the car with great difficulty and rescued the driver with the help of neighbours who rushed to the scene. more..

SL characteristics of country’s religions must be protected from extremism: PM

May 9 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that not only Buddhism, but all other religions in the country, be it Hinduism, Islam and Christianity; have special Sri Lankan characteristics to them which need to be protected. “It is because of these SL characteristics that we have a common Sri Lankan identity. We cannot allow extremism to suppress them. If extremism is attempting to suppress these characteristics, we have to more..