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Rain-triggered mudslides kill 13 people

May 26 (AP) Mudslides and floods triggered by heavy rains in SL killed at least 13 people with four others missing. Minister Vajira Abeywardana said that adverse weather conditions could escalate. Govt advised people living closer to rivers and areas prone to landslides to evacuate, he said. Leave of govt workers has been cancelled, he said, adding that he had asked rescue and aid organizations to stay alert for the next 72 hours. more..

'Cabinet reshuffle portends a new direction'

May 26 (DN) The cabinet reshuffle built up the atmosphere to lead the country on a new direction and to create a new Sri Lanka, Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He assumed official duties at the Foreign Ministry premises yesterday, following multi religious observances. Making his maiden speech as the new Foreign Affairs Minister said that foreign affairs would be conducted in a manner more..

JVP flays govt. for bid to hand over 65,000 acres in Uva to foreign company

May 26 (Island) The JVP accused the govt of handing over thousands of acres of land in the Uva to foreign companies to set up factories without considering the attendant environmental damage. JVP Leader and Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the govt had brought up a proposal to grant 65,000 acres in Rideemaliyedda, Bibile, Madulla and Medagama to a foreign company to start sugar factories.  more..

Sri Lankan sex ring in Haiti reveals cracks in UN system

May 26 (AP) The general sat on a plastic lawn chair in the garden of his mother's home, the scent of tropical blooms filling the air as he talked about the alleged rape and sodomy of a Haitian teenager by a Sri Lankan peacekeeper. There was no rape, insisted Maj. Gen. Jagath Dias, who was dispatched to Haiti to investigate the 2013 case. He may not have been the best choice for that job — Dias had been accused of atrocities more..

People should enjoy fruits of state asset development: New Petroleum Minister

May 26 (FT) Newly-appointed Petroleum Resources Development Minister Arjuna Ranatunga refuted allegations of selling the Trincomalee oil tanks, dismissing it as a myth propagated by political refugees. At a press conference held after assuming duties, the Minister said the oil tanks in question are being leased and not sold. A framework is need, he said, to develop state assets through private investments while securing country’s more..

Curb on threewheelers called for as drivers show criminal bent

May 26 (ST) The brutal assault, robbery and attempted murder of a woman in Matara by a threewheeler driver earlier this week highlights how the vehicle is increasingly being used for criminal activities. 57-year-old victim had been waiting for a bus to travel home when a three-wheeler had stopped and the driver offered to drop her. Victim had mentioned that she needed to get off near Godagama exit of Southern hiway. more..

'Media obstacle to free and fair polls'

May 26 (Island) Justice and Buddha Sasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, alleged that a section of the SL media was an impediment to having free and fair elections. Minister launched the scathing attack on the media when he delivered the keynote address at the 14th International Electoral Affairs Symposium conducted by the Int'l Centre for Parliamentary Studies with collaboration of Election Commission of SL more..

CMC, UDA responsible for building collapse

May 26 (SL) In the realm of the collapsing of a five storied building under construction at Wellawatte, housing a reception hall last week, the quality, standards and safety assurances of several other buildings constructed along the canal reserve has become a major subject of discussion. Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said that officers from the relevant licensing authorities such as the CMC & UDA, who are responsible more..

'Insights from traditional medicine to treat Kidney Disease'

May 26 (DM) Dr. Channa Jayasumana, Head of the Department of Pharmacology at Rajarata Medical Faculty who has conducted extensive research into Chronic Renal Failure in SL, recently participated at the World Congress of Nephrology (WCN) in Mexico and submitted his research. He says valuable insights can be derived from traditional medicine to reverse the disease. Q: You recently made a presentation in Mexico more..

'Separate admin. unit for up-country Tamils is not a viable demand'

May 26 (DM) Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) stalwart Provincial Minister Senthil Thondaman, shares insights on the visit of Indian PM Narendra Modi to the upcountry. Mr. Thondaman, a nephew of MP Arumugam Thondaman, says it is a positive move. Q: After a long time, the CWC is in the govt without any ministerial responsibilities. How do you see the current political situation? A: We are in alliance with the SLFP. It is good that more..

Religious tension, A shot in the arm of communal politics

May 26 (DM) What could have been the reason behind recent spate of attacks against mosques and business establishments owned by Muslims and the resurgence of anti-Muslim verbal attacks by the BBS? It is a very difficult question to answer this time. When a similar situation prevailed during the last three years of former President Rajapaksa’s regime, where not only Muslim religious places but also Christian churches and Hindu temples had also been attacked, a few theories-though more..

Conserve fresh water; rain is not bad weather

May 26 (DM) Whether patterns now are largely unpredictable mainly due to the pollution of the ocean and the rising of the sea temperature. Hopefully in SL South-West monsoonal rain appears to have started in most parts of the country though hundreds of thousands of people are still without fresh water for drinking, cooking and other essential purposes. In what is selfish terminology we often describe rain as bad weather. Rain may be inconvenient and cause problems for some more..

Can bond scam probe be finalised in July due to breaks in public proceedings?

May 26 (Island) A senior spokesperson for the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing bond scams allegedly perpetrated by the Central Bank and Perpetual Treasuries said that its report could be finalized in July 2017 in spite of suspension of public sittings for more than three weeks in April as well as May-June. The Commission held its last sittings on May 19. Sittings will resume on June 5. more..

GMOA to take a definitive decision on TU action

May 26 (DM) GMOA said it would meet the trade unions that supported it to take a definitive decision on further action needed to be taken on the SAITM issue. GMOA Assistant Secretary Haritha Aluthge said they had warned the govt that further trade union action would be resorted to if this matter was not resolved. “We are continuing to urged the govt to solve this issue through discussion if it did not want to risk the lives of innocent patients and the quality of healthcare services,” he said. more..

Rs12 Million Narco haul in Galle

May 26 (CT) A stock of narcotics, including ecstasy tablets worth Rs 12 million, was discovered in Galle by the Sri Lanka Customs, yesterday evening. Customs Media Spokesperson Additional Director General of Customs Dharmasena Kahandawa said that 3,500 tablets of ecstasy and 55 g of cocaine were discovered in a Galle Passenger Baggage Warehouse. Preliminary investigations have revealed that the drugs had been dispatched from the UK on 11 May, the source added. more..

Govt tables Bill on rights of lawyers 

May 26 (Island) The govt presented a bill to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure Act to ensure the rights of lawyers representing suspects in police custody. The bill seeks to mend the Clause 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Act No 2 of 2013. The following section will be incorporated into the Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Act No 2 of 2013 and will have effect as Section 6A of that Act. more..

JVP rakes up again political appointments to Lanka’s DPL missions

May 26 (Island) Govt was accused by the Opposition of deliberately delaying answering the Opposition’s question on political appointments to foreign diplomatic missions of SL. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said that he had raised the same question over qualifications of the political appointments made to the foreign service four times but the govt kept postponing the response. MP has asked for the names, educational qualifications, service experience, appointed countries and more..

Why aren't disabled soldiers entitled to a pension: War heroes

May 26 (DM) If the Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka is entitled to a lifetime pension and other benefits then why are soldiers disabled in the line of duty not entitled to such benefits, National Movement for the Protection of War Heroes asked. The disabled soldiers staged a protest opposite the presidential secretariat to urge the govt to pay them a pension and said they had been neglected despite the sacrifices they made to safeguard SL's sovereignty and integrity during 3-decade armed conflict. more..

Video: Arrest Muslim racists before arresting Gnanasara Thera

May 26 (DM) Sinhala Ravaya General Secretary Magalkande Sudaththa Thera said stern action should be taken to arrest Muslim minsters who supported Muslim extremism before BBS General Secretary Gnanasara Thera was arrested. Sudaththa Thera said that Muslim political factions were trying to label Gnanasara Thera as another Prabhakaran who was igniting racism and causing harm to Muslim community. more..

Bodies of woman, infant found near Laxapana falls

May 26 (DN) The bodies of a woman and a female infant were found yesterday closer to a private hydro power plant located near the Laxapana falls. Norten Bridge police said the relatives have identified the bodies were of Selvarajah Susila, 29 and Radhakrishnan Aneesha, a two and a half years old infant. The relatives of the deceased have earlier filed a complaint with the police that the father of the child, Weerappan Sadayan and the mother of the child, who left their house together with more..

Commerce Minister refutes Lanka Sathosa privatization rumours

May 26 (DM) Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen rubbished rumours about a possible privatization of the state owned Lanka Sathosa chain to a diversified conglomerate in the country. “Though we usually do not bother about such social media propaganda, since a leading company is also mentioned, I am highlighting the truth here today” he said. The minister was addressing the award night of Lanka Sathosa-Hemas joint promotion campaign called more..

Another supplementary estimate to buy vehicles for ministers, officials

May 26 (Island) MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena said that the govt had submitted a huge supplementary estimate to purchase vehicles for the members and officers of the steering committee of Constituent Assembly. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake and JO MP Bandula Gunawardena, too, opposed the supplementary estimate. "How can the govt do so when Public Finance Committee has halted purchasing vehicles for ministers?" more..

AG being consulted on misuse of super luxury vehicle by Karuna

May 26 (DN) FCID conducting investigations into an incident where former Deputy Minister V Muralidharan alias Karuna Amman had allegedly misused a Presidential Secretariat bullet proof armed vehicle worth Rs.90 million, informed Court yesterday that they have sought Attorney General’s advice regarding future legal action against the former Deputy Minister. When the case came up before Colombo Chief Magistrate, FCID said that they were waiting for the AG’s advice more..

SPC asks President to remove four senior NTC members

May 26 (Island) Special Presidential Commission investigating serious financial crimes has requested President to remove four senior members of National Transport Commission with immediate effect. Commission said that its investigations had revealed that the said persons were alleged to have involved in over 70 incidents connected to bribery and corruption during the previous regime. A commission member said their continued presence in the NTC would hamper the investigations more..

Ravi complains about fake twitter account

May 26 (PTI) New Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake lodged a complaint with the police to probe into a false Twitter account in his name which had posted about the death of former Indian PM Manmohan Singh. In a letter to the CID, Karunanyake's secretary Sisira Wijesinghe said a twitter account in the name of the minister was a fake account and it had falsely claimed the passing away of the former Indian PM. more..

ICC committee recommends DRS shake-up

May 26 (CI) An umpire's call finding on a review may soon not cost teams a review. The ICC cricket committee, headed by India coach Anil Kumble, recommended on Thursday that teams do not lose reviews in those instances where an umpire's call comes into play. And if the ICC chief executives' committee approves it, the change could come into effect this October. Currently, sides are allowed two unsuccessful reviews in the first 80 overs of a Test innings, and one per innings in ODIs. more..

18-19% of Lankans suffer from hypertension

May 26 (CT) Hypertension, also known as High Blood Pressure (HBP), often goes unnoticed but if left untreated can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failures and many other serious health complications. High blood pressure can put extra strain on blood vessels, the heart and other organs such as the brain, kidneys and even eyes. It is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease and is one of the most common lifestyle silent killer diseases today. more..

Sri Lanka: A country trapped in debt

May 26 (BBC) China is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure and developments in Sri Lanka, but many local citizens feel the country is being sold to the Chinese. Normally the roads leading to Asian ports are bustling. Trucks loaded with cargo. Small shops where lorry drivers and workers take a tea break. Hambantota port is starkly different. Despite being open for seven years, the access road looks barely touched. more..

Some stock brokerage firms closing shop in the outstations

May 26 (Island) Several stockbrokers are now in the process of closing their outstation branches due to a lack of local investor participation in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). "Several leading stock brokering firms want to close their outstation branches because they feel that there is no point in maintaining outstation branches due to a lack of local investor participation in the CSE, president of the Colombo Stock Brokers Association Ravi Abeysuriya said. more..

Eshan Pieris becomes first Sri Lankan to win Rotax Max Asian Championship Race

May 26 (Island) Eshan Pieris, winning Round 3 of the Rotax Max Asian Championship in Malaysia on Sunday, created history. He is the first Sri Lankan to win a race in the most competitive Asian go karting championship and has succeeded in placing Sri Lanka on the international karting map. Eshan showed exceptional driving skills to win against highly experienced drivers and reigning champions from Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. more..

'Sri Lanka doesn’t mind underdog tag’

May 26 (PTI) Sri Lanka will embrace the underdog tag at the ICC Champions Trophy in England, according to skipper Angelo Mathews. A joint-winner in 2002, SL has only reached the semifinal stage once since, getting to the last four in the 2013 edition, also in England. In a pool also featuring India, Pakistan and SA, Mathews admits his team is being seen as an outsider to lift the trophy, but is confident SL has the firepower more..

Make the law against match fixers stronger

May 26 (CT) In this week's column my attempt is to touch on a very sour subject cricket in particular has come to endure and possibly live with. Thankfully it appears to have taken a backseat at the very moment though there is no guarantee that it wouldn't surface like a time bomb. It's dangerous and destructive and sadly destroyed a few cricketers lives and careers. Match fixing first and then spot fixing afterwards are terrible topics to discuss and understand though my question here is, more..

Sri Lankan who masterminded Maldives greatest victory

May 26 (Mihaaru) “There are talented players on your team. With the right training, they can reach far. I’m prepared to do this.” These are the words that Sri Lankan basketball coach, Supun Wimal, told Ahmed Ismail, the then manager of the Maldives National Basketball Team, during a tour to Sri Lanka in the year 1996. Three years later, Ahmed was appointed as the vice president of the Maldives Basketball Association (MBA). Shortly thereafter, the then sports minister more..

Ashmika Herath misses opportunity to compete in steeplechase

May 26 (Island) Both the Chairman of Selection Committee and the Manager of the Youth Athletics team to the just concluded Asian Youth Athletics Championship (AYAC) faulted the organisers of the AYAC in Thailand for the circumstances that denied SL’s gold medal hopeful Ashmika Herath a chance to compete in the 2,000 metres steeplechase. Kuliyapitiya Central runner who was entered for both 3,000 metres and more..

MMBL, Welcom Hotels Lanka India, to develop hotel chain: First City Hotel in Trinco

May 26 (DN) MMBL Leisure Holdings, a subsidiary of MMBL-Pathfinder Group and Welcom Hotels Lanka, a subsidiary of ITC Limited, India, have inked a MoU to develop a mid-market hotel chain in SL. MoU was signed between MMBL Leisure Holdings, Chairman, Bernard Goonetilleke and Welcom Hotels Lanka, Managing Director, Arun Pathak in the presence of Shri Taranjit Singh Sandhu, High Commissioner of India and Milinda Moragoda, Founder of MMBL-Pathfinder Group. more..

Court orders notice be gazetted to liquidate Lanka Sugar

May 26 (DM) Commercial High Court ordered that a notice be gazetted to the effect that a case had been filed to liquidate Lanka Sugar Ltd. Commercial High Court this week ordered that publication be made in gazette and in daily papers, to liquidate Lanka Sugar (Pvt) Ltd., on an application filed by Gal- Oya Planation Ltd. Gal –Oya Plantation (Pvt) Ltd., had filed this action in Commercial High Court of Colombo, in terms of sec 271 of the Companies Act. Gal Oya Plantation, states in its petition more..