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Nigerian cybercrime ring makes Sri Lanka as base to defraud overseas companies

Apr 19 (ST) Sri Lanka’s detectives have busted a multimillion dollar international cyber crime ring run by a group of Nigerians operating from Colombo and posing off as businessmen. CID officers said they had arrested 15 Nigerians who had allegedly been siphoning off millions of dollars from the bank accounts of several overseas companies. CID launched its investigation into the hacking scam following a complaint more..

'CMC asked to stop dumping waste at Meethotamulla in 2015'

Apr 19 (Island) The govt has decided to grant Rs. 100,000 compensation for each life lost in the catastrophic Meethotamulla garbage dump collapse and up to Rs 2.5 million in compensation will be granted for each property damaged, according to the Ministry of Finance. The compensation will be paid under the National Natural Disaster Insurance Scheme (NNDIS). In addition to that, the treasury will issue the required funds to pay more..

British company introduced by CM not competent enough: Megapolis Ministry

Apr 19 (DM) Responding to Western Province Chief Minister (CM) Isura Devapriya, Megapolis and Western Development Ministry said CM introduced British Company was not equipped with technical or fiscal capability to execute a project to generate electricity from garbage collected at Meethotamulla. CM Devapriya on Monday said he came up with a proposal in May last year to remove the garbage dump at Meethotamulla but more..

No provision detrimental to Country’s sovereignty should be included

Apr 19 (DM) The following are the gist of representations made by me before the People’s Commission to formulate a policy framework for international trade and treaties appointed by the Professionals’ National Front. The commission headed by former Vice Chancellor of Colombo University W.D. Lakshman has seven members, former Attorney General Palitha Fernando, Dr. Anula Wijesundara, former Director General of Commerce Dept more..

Ranil, Mahinda, Sirisena: Are they all the same?

Apr 19 (DM) Aged old boys – Ranil and Mahinda need each other to keep both politically afloat. If one is to win, is it due to the unpopularity of the other? Votes come less from the dwindling party cadres: others think twice before they vote? Sirisena needs to ride on the unpopularity of the other two for survival - being a nowhere kid, without the support of the Rajapaksas’ or the UNP, is unlikely to reach anywhere except home sweet home. Is this a battle of the unpopular - more..

For lasting peace, dismantle weapons industry

Apr 19 (DM) With the United States dropping the biggest ever 21,600-pound non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan a week after 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired at a Syrian Air Force base, the world appears to be on the brink of an Apocalypse with nuclear war drums also beating in the Korean peninsula. Most world news analysts believe that with the unpredictable President Donald Trump taking confusing, contradictory if not arbitrary or reckless decisions in US and North Korea’s more..

Meethotamulla Victims reject govt Compensation: Demand market value

Apr 19 (CT) Victims of the Meethotamulla garbage dump collapse rejected govt's offer of compensation in an amount of Rs 100,000 and an additional sum of Rs 2.5 million for construction of a new house. They have insisted that they will not budge from the site till such time as the govt is prepared to provide them with the precise market value of the houses destroyed in addition to compensation for value of land lost. more..

Belarus Grodno Medical University to branch out to Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (BelTA) Grodno State Medical University intends to open a branch in Sri Lanka. A delegation of Grodno University is now busy negotiating in Sri Lanka. “We intend to open a branch of the university's preparatory courses department. The idea will be implemented in 2018 if not in 2017. We are considering hiring local teaching staff. Specialists from Grodno will be sent to Sri Lanka for short-term business trips for the sake of control, performance review, & educational support” more..

Kotikawatta residents protest dumping of garbage

Apr 19 (FT) The solid waste management crisis in the country took a fresh turn yesterday when residents from Kotikawatta protested against the dumping of garbage in the area. Authorities reassumed dumping waste collected from Colombo in Kotikawatta yesterday, after the Meethotamulla garbage dump tragedy. However, protests by the community in the area led the CMC authorities to abandon the idea. The residents of the Kotikawatta claimed that the Govt had violated the ethics more..

Sifting through the aftermath of the Meethotamulla tragedy

Apr 19 (FT) Unwilling to leave their homes and the possessions they have collected over a lifetime, Ellen (76), her neighbour and daughter sit by the roadside staring at the Meethotamulla dumpsite. Across the small footpath from where she is seated, her partially damaged house bears the weight of two more houses which were uprooted during the disaster on 14 April. “We were getting ready to visit a relative for Avurudu. more..

NGOs take up cudgels for canines

Apr 19 (Island) The Collective of Citizens Organizations has accused Sri Jayewardenepura University administration of recently hiring a private pets control firm to remove at least 30 dogs ahead of a free sterilisation project. Chameerra Perera of Left Centre alleged that they suspected that the dogs had been buried after being made unconscious. Perera said that they had lodged a complaint with the Mirihana police and were in touch with Kohuwela based private firm, Perera said that more..

Graham Ford’s influence on Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (DS) Coach Graham Ford returned to the island for another important assignment in early 2016 when the team was struggling with transition after the retirement of Sangakkara, Mahela and Dilshan. Considering the side’s current form, Ford has done an outstanding job in all departments of the game. With a few crucial wins under the belt, the young Sri Lankan side rests as a very competitive unit ahead of the all-important ICC Champions Trophy in England later this year.  more..

Retired top officers contradict each other in CID cross-examination

Apr 19 (Island) Wartime Director Operations, Joint Operations Headquarters (JOH), the then Brigadier Kumara Herath has told the CID that Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Air Chief Marshal Donald Perera had told him that The Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga had been killed with a sharp object soon after the incident which occurred on the morning of January 8, 2009 at Attidiya, Dehiwela. more..

One-week training camp for Sri Lankan cricketers in Kent

Apr 19 (Island) SL’s cricketers will arrive in England a week before they are scheduled and will be based in Kent where, apart from training, they will play two ODIs against Scotland. SLC CEO Ashley De Silva said that the board has taken the initiative to book grounds, hotels and training facilities in Kent. "The team will arrive in England on the 18th May and will be based in Kent for a week. The board will bear all those costs during the team’s first week’s stay in England," De Silva said. more..

PRECIFAC to submit three reports to President this week

Apr 19 (DM) The reports on the investigations carried out by the PRECIFAC into three petitions including misappropriation of govt funds at the opening ceremony of the Hambantota Port would be handed over to the President this week. Several people including former minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena, former SLPA Chairman Priyath Bandu Wickrama and artistes Jackson Anthony, dancers and choreographers Channa and Upuli Wijewardene were questioned in connection more..

Garbage victims warned to move out two weeks earlier

Apr 19 (EN) CMC said it warned 25 households to evacuate, but only six of them accepted a rent allowance and left before the Kolonnawa garbage mountain collapsed killing 32 people. CMC Commissioner V.K.A. Anura said he had even painted warning signs on the walls of 25 homes that were identified as most vulnerable, but regretfully the advise was not heeded. "Six families accepted the rent allowance of rs. 15,000 a month more..

J’pura university denies killing dogs

Apr 19 (Island) Vice Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura Prof. Sampath Amaratunga said yesterday that stray dogs had become a nuisance. Prof. Amaratunga said there were more than 130 stray dogs living inside the university premises and they were a threat to students, academic and non academic staff members. The stray canines had bitten 18 students and non academic staff members during the last two months, Prof Amaratunga told The Island. more..

Meethotamulla tragedy: Viet Prez condoles

Apr 19 (CT) Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang expressed his and his govt's deepest condolences over the Meethotamulla tragedy that resulted in the death of over 30 individuals. During bilateral discussions held with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Vietnamese Govt said they would remain with all Sri Lankans in these tragic times. Furthermore, Quang added that Vietnamese Govt is ready to render all support necessary in order to prevent such disasters from happening in the future. more..

Political reasons fuelling India-Lanka fisheries tiff

Apr 19 (ENS) Politics, rather than science, is playing an important role in marine fisheries governance especially in South Asian countries, said Maarten Bavinck, a Dutch scientist, whose research projects include providing space for small scale fishers of India and Sri Lanka.  “The dispute between India and Sri Lanka over the fishing activities in the Palk Bay remain unsolved mainly due to political reasons, he said more..

Sanga to take up commentary duties during Champions Trophy

Apr 19 (Island) The ICC announced that Kumar Sangakkara will feature in the commentary panel for the Champions Trophy to be played in England and Wales in June. Sanga will be joined by Ricky Ponting, Brendon McCullum and Graeme Smith, who will be making their television debuts. Other big names who will commentate through the tournament include Sourav Ganguly, Shane Warne, Michael Slater, Nasser Hussain, Michael Atherton, Shaun Pollock, Ian Bishop and Ramiz Raja. more..

Court further remands former DIG over rugby player’s death

Apr 19 (FT) Colombo Additional Magistrate further remanded former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake until 27 April over the murder of Wasim Thajudeen, for allegedly concealing evidence. Counsel Dilan Ratnayake appearing for the Attorney General told the Court that the investigations on former Chief Judicial Medical Officer Professor Ananda Samarasekara, who has been held responsible for the missing body parts of murdered rugby player, will be concluded on 21 April. more..

Garbage piles up in Colombo with Meethotamulla dump site shut

Apr 19 (AFP) Hundreds of tonnes of rotting garbage piled up in Sri Lanka's capital Tuesday after the main rubbish dump was shut following an accident that killed at least 30 people. Authorities sealed the massive 300-foot (90-metre) rubbish mountain on the northeastern edge of Colombo after it collapsed Friday, destroying 145 homes nearby and burying victims in a garbage landslide. more..

Reforms yield faster growth in Sri Lanka: WB

Apr 19 (EN) After a slowdown last year, SL is now benefiting from its efforts to improve its fiscal sustainability and to reform its economy, World Bank has noted in a new report. SL is projected to grow by 4.7% this year and by marginally over 5% in the medium term, according to the bank’s South Asia Economic Focus report. Recent policy measures supporting fiscal consolidation and monetary tightening contributed to an improved outlook, against the backdrop of IMF program, it said. more..

RTC’s Magic Million a galloping success

Apr 19 (Island) The sleepy hamlet of Nuwara Eliya was bursting at the seams with the flood of visitors who seemed to pour in over the New Year weekend! It was a beehive of activity and resonated to the sound of music and celebration. In the thick of things and by far the most popular attraction was the Royal Turf Club, home of one of the most picturesque racecourses in the world. You wouldn’t be far off the mark in thinking that virtually all roads seemed to be converging on Little England as more..

Sri Lanka to offer India port development to balance out China

Apr 19 (TOI) Sri Lanka may find it difficult to wriggle out of China's clutches because of the massive debt it owes to Beijing but to balance things out, it is now set to allow India to jointly develop the Trincomalee port in northeastern part of the country. Diplomatic sources said Sri Lanka has readied an MoU for joint development of the project and that it's likely to be signed during PM Narendra Modi's upcoming visit to Colombo. more..

Proposed amendments to CSE Listing Rules open for public comment

Apr 19 (Island) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) seeks to obtain the views/observations of the general public and the stakeholders of the CSE, including Listed Companies, regarding the proposed amendments to certain Listing Rules of the CSE. The amendments have been proposed with a view to facilitate the implementation of an appropriate enforcement mechanism with the continuous listing rules by listed companies. Rules have been revisited to establish an enforcement mechanism more..

That lonely feeling … again

Apr 19 (ST) Silence. The house and surroundings were absolutely silent. No singing by Kussi Amma Sera (KAS), no shouting from the kitchen, no bloody interventions when home people on the phone (to borrow a phrase from writer Carl Muller). Absolute silence! Only dogs barking and the ringtones from the choon paan karaya down the road. Holidays are here and the home help have gone for their long summer sojourn to the village, taking away that much-needed gossip, more..

Netball star Tharjini moving Down Under

Apr 19 (DM) The biggest star Sri Lanka has ever produced in netball Tharjini Sivalingam left for Australia for a six-month playing and training contract in a move that may signal the end of an era. But the humble sports icon also gave a clear indication that it is still not too late if the country’s sporting authorities are ready to wake up to the reality and think about the country than playing petty sports politics. more..

Paying for the economic sins of short-sighted policy

Apr 19 (FT) Last week, President Maithripala Sirisena addressed a forum in Kandy where he extolled the dip in Govt revenue from tobacco and alcohol, and went on to say that despite the drop in revenue, this would serve as an investment for future generations. It is difficult to assess if he has been kept in the dark on some of the developments on the ground over the past six months, or if this be another fine example of shrouding the truth for the want of baseless applause.  more..

Plans to set up a Think Tank on the Blue Economy Concept

Apr 19 (GDI) State Minister Dilip Wedaarachchi said that he is willing to go beyond new and old models of THINK TANKS to deliver very productive results value to the society. “I strongly feel that it is the time to think of new model for Think Tank, one that takes full advantage of managing the available resources and some of the best practices from more established think tanks across the world. I am willing to go beyond new and old models, thinking entirely of new ways of delivering more..

Meethotamulla calamity : Voices of disquiet hearts

Apr 19 (DN) The scene remains grim at Meethotamulla, as countless members of the military crisscross the fallen garbage searching for signs of the missing. Distraught relatives of the disappeared, along with those who were lucky enough to have survived the ordeal unscathed, perch themselves on undamaged buildings, surveying the recovery efforts. Pools of stagnant water lie in the shadows of smashed, more..

Meethotamulla and the fate of the executive presidency

Apr 19 (Island) A few days after the Meethotamulla tragedy in Sri Lanka, a referendum was held in Turkey. The people of Turkey rejected Western liberal warnings and voted in favour of an executive presidency. Meethotamulla tragedy, which occurred utterly inauspiciously as it were during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year holiday, was symbolic. Two years into the neoliberal Yahapalana govt (and a perennially UNP Municipal Council), at least 30 people died horribly, more..

The Meethotamulla tragedy: The face not failure of development

Apr 19 (GV) On the afternoon of 14th April tons of garbage at Meethotamulla, one of the biggest dumping sites just outside Colombo, came crashing down destroying scores of homes. At the time of writing, the death toll was reportedly 26 but expected to rise. There have been serious allegations made by the affected community that rescue efforts did not even begin in earnest till very late into the night owing to lack of direction and failures of authority. According to Nuwan Bopage, more..

Sanath Nishantha

Meethotamulla and the Tale of Two Cities

Apr 19 (DN) Colombo’s garbage saga is really a tale of two cities. The affluent neighbourhood in Colombo 7 is cleaned not once but several times a day. At one O’ clock in the afternoon, street cleaners can be seen assiduously picking up a few stray leaves on Horton place. Environment Police is seen placidly patrolling as there is really nothing much for them to do. On the contrary, in the other City of Colombo (for example Colombo North) roads are blocked by wayside eateries and repair shops, more..

Resolving debt knots

Apr 19 (DN) Sri Lanka faces a serious problem: the country is heavily indebted; total public debt rose to Rs. 9,401,969 million as at Sept 2016. As a % of GDP, public debt stood at 76% in 2015 and the rating agency Fitch estimates this has increased to 77% of GDP by end 2016. More frighteningly, servicing this debt, paying the interest and the capital consumed 90.6% of total govt revenue in 2015. The debt service cost has remained at over 90% for most of the last 10 years and more..