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Adverse weather: Nearly 125,000 affected

May 24 (NR) The Disaster Management Centre says the water levels of primary rivers in the island continue to remain at flood levels, due to heavy rains reported across the country. Deputy Director and Media Spokesman of the DMC Pradeep Kodipilli said over 124,000 people have been affected by the adverse weather while over 56,000 people are presently residing in temporary shelters in various districts around the island. more..

'Resignation not due to internal conflict'

May 24 (NR) Speaking to NewsRadio on his decision to resign from the National List MP post, MHM Navavi said he resigned from the Parliamentarian post due to an agreement reached when he was appointed. Accordingly, an agreement had been made to for MHM Navavi to serve as an MP representing the All Ceylon People's Congress for a period of two and a half years, following which another party representative more..

Mayantha calls for change of UNP leadership

May 24 (Island) As elder brother Naveen Dissanayake assumes duty today as UNP National Organiser his younger brother Kandy District MP Mayantha dropped a bombshell and said that their party members expected an imminent change in the UNP leadership. The party rank and file hoped that the change should be made as soon as possible for its future benefit, Mayantha Dissanayake said. Addressing a press conference held at more..

USD 700M LNG plant in Hambantota

May 24 (CT) The Govt yesterday revealed that the agreement for a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) power plant in Hambantota, at a cost of USD 700 million, had been signed and approved recently. At a symposium hosted by the Chinese Embassy, Minister Malik Samarawickrama said that China came forward to help SL to get out from a difficult situation by assisting and negotiating with Sri Lanka regarding the Hambantota Port project. more..

Are CEB officials and interested politicians lying for coal lobby?

May 24 (Island) The officials in charge of the energy sector are misleading the public about the actual cost of electricity produced by using coal, Executive Director of the Centre for Human Rights (CHR), Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said. He said that "I took part in a TV debate with CEB and Ministry of Power officials about the Norochcholai power plant. During that debate Dr Wijekoon Banda, Chief Engineer (transmission and planning) more..

Be vigilant about unfair treatment of students by some teachers, says President

May 24 (GDI) President Sirisena says that it has been revealed about the unfair treatment to students by some teachers. These are evident in the facts revealed in the letters and phone calls received by him and during certain discussions held. They also highlight details about the quality and excellence of the interconnection between the teacher and student as well the unfair treatment to students by some teachers. more..

Astrologer Sumanadasa gives evidence in case against Basil

May 24 (Island) The case against former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Tirukumar Nadesan where they are charged with misappropriation of state funds for the purchase of a 16 acre land in Mapitigama, Malwana, Dompe and building a palatial bungalow with a swimming pool and a running a farm was yesterday taken before Gampaha High Court Judge Nimal Ranaweera. Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige appearing for more..

Why do authorities fear Right to Information Act

May 24 (DM) Come June this year it will mark the completion of two years after the Right to Information Act was passed in Parliament. Act came into force on 3rd of Feb last year. An international seminar on this subject organized by the SL Press Institute is being held these days to coincide with the passing of this piece of legislation. Under the heading Gamata Nogiya Thorathuru Panatha (Information Act which did not reach village) more..

‘President doesn’t want me to step down’

May 24 (DM) Uduwatuwage Janath Priya Thilanga Sumathipala tendered his resignation as the Deputy Speaker of Parliament last month after voting in favour of the no-confidence motion against PM. Sumathipala, who is also the Incumbent President of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), is contesting the upcoming SLC Elections seeking re-election. Sumathipala aired his views on the dramatic political scenarios and crossovers, his thoughts on more..

Fuel prices burn over-burdened masses

May 24 (ST) There is more pain to come from the sudden, sharp increase in oil and gas prices by the Govt in such a brief period, although crude oil prices in global markets have been rising gradually over several months. Crude oil prices in London and New York climbed to new record highs this week as of Friday. Prices of daily necessities, already heavily taxed by a fiscally irresponsible Govt, will rise further. more..

Elections: The Yahapalanists’ true fear

May 24 (DM) Minister Mangala Samaraweera, speaking to the media on Tuesday, stated that knowing well the crimes committed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, he is in fact frightened of the former defence secretary. That’s political-speak, obviously. Mangala, after all, was never scared of the LTTE, was never scared of Chandrika Kumaratunga and certainly not of Ranil Wickremesinghe, even though the names of these individuals were directly or indirectly mentioned along with certain more..

25 years of bio diversity; Let’s preserve our silver

May 24 (DM) Bio- Diversity may be a strange or uncommon word for those concerned mainly about their selfish interests but it is a crisis of life or death for Planet Earth. May 22 was the International Day for Biological Diversity and the United Nations in a statement says while there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to present and future generations, the number of species is being significantly reduced by certain human activities. more..

Weather worsens

May 24 (CT) As weather conditions predictably worsened, NBRO, yesterday, issued new red notices to four Districts, warning of potential landslides in those areas and urging the public to evacuate to safe locations. The red notices were issued to Ratnapura, Kegalle, Nuwara Eliya, Kalutara and Galle, warning the public of landslides. The red notice will be valid as long as the rain continues in those districts. more..

ACMC MP Navavi resigns

May 24 (FT) UNP National List MP MHM Navavi yesterday resigned from his MP post. He had handed over his letter of resignation to Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dassanayake, according to Parliament sources. Navavi was appointed to the National List MP post of the UNP by the All Ceylon Makkal Congress, which is headed by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. A new member is expected to be appointed as a national list MP from the same party. more..

CEB engineers serving flood affected areas not involved in work-to-rule protest

May 24 (Island) CEB Engineers deployed in flood affected areas were not taking part in their work-to- rule campaign to ensure the well-being of the flood affected people, a spokesperson for the CEB Engineers Union said. "CEB Engineers in flood affected areas are not in the TU action. They are doing their best for those affected people," he said. Meanwhile the Katunayaka, Bolawatta, Pannala, Puttalam, Maho, New Chillaw and Old-A'pura Grid Substations have been adversely affected more..

China strongly committed to helping Sri Lanka become prosperous: Envoy

May 24 (FT) China expressed stronger commitment to help Sri Lanka realise its goal to become a prosperous country, allaying fears over growing engagement and stating it has to do with gratitude and cooperation, and not ulterior motives. “China and Sri Lanka have strong complementarities, and the potential for cooperation is still waiting to be explored. With concrete efforts and under the guidance of our leaders, more..

SLC tie up with new Casual Clothing Partner

May 24 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has joined hands with LiCC (Long Island Clothing Company) as the organization’s Official Casual Clothing Partner. With this timely sponsorship, two giants in their respective fields have come together and now form a partnership that will put Sri Lanka’s cricketers ahead in style and comfort and add sartorial value to an already iconic team. Under the Official Casual Clothing Partnership with SLC, LiCC will provide stylish casual apparel more..

48-hour railway strike on June 6 midnight

May 24 (DM) Railway Trade Unions Alliance (RTUA) said it would launch a 48-hour strike from June 6 midnight, urging the relevant authorities to resolve six of its issues. RTUA Co-convener S.P. Vithanage said Railway Administrative Board proposal made by the Cabinet subcommittee headed by Minister Sarath Amunugama should be withdrawn forthwith, and that the structure of the Railways Department not be changed when the service improves. “Employee recruitment procedures to more..

Files on Tamil Tigers and MI5 in Sri Lanka erased at UK Foreign Office

May 24 (TG) Britain’s Foreign Office destroyed almost 200 files on Sri Lanka dating from the start of a Tamil Tiger uprising during which MI5 and the SAS secretly advised the country’s security forces, it has emerged. Loss of the files means that there is almost no record of the British govt’s work with the SL authorities at the start of a famously brutal civil war. Destruction of the files raises fresh concerns about more..

Speaker says Ranil will consult SLFP to decide on PC polls this week

May 24 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe would consult the SLFP and arrive at a decision on Provincial Council Elections this week. Responding to JO MP Dullas Allahapperuma, Speaker said the topic had been discussed several times at the Party Leaders’ Meetings and that the PM requested time to discuss it with the SLFP. Allahapperuma questioned over the delay in moving the Delimitation Committee Report on PCs for debate more..

German Buzz touches hearts in Eastern Province

May 24 (FT) For the second time, German Buzz, a joint initiative of the German Embassy, the Goethe-Institut, the GIZ and TAFA toured Sri Lanka, this time in the Eastern Province. A group of 30 volunteers and professionals visited four schools to bring a day of joy and fun to over 1,200 children in and to donate equipment to the underprivileged communities. The group toured Batticaloa Province to visit schools in remote and underprivileged communities. The days were filled with: more..

Docs declare war on foreign funded civil society groups

May 24 (Island) Alleging that civil society groups were a threat to the country, GMOA has declared war on Purawesi Balaya and National Movement for a Just Society (NMJS). They played a pivotal role in Jan 2015 campaign to oust Rajapaksa administration. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge alleged that those groups interfered and obstructed legitimate trade unions such as the GMOA and were engaged in a project inimical to the country. more..

Ceylinco Life’s net profit grows to Rs 9.47 bn

May 24 (DN) Ceylinco Life’s net profit for the year ending December 31, 2017 is Rs 9.47 billion, including a one-off surplus of Rs 3.46 billion generated by a change in the basis of the valuation of Life Funds under Section 96A of the Regulation of Insurance Industry Act No 43 of 2000. On the same basis, the Company’s profit before tax has been re-stated as Rs 9.81 billion, the company said. Consequently, Ceylinco Life’s earnings per share for the 12 months increases to Rs 189.35 more..

Drugs via courier posing detection challenge

May 24 (CT) The National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) pointed out that courier and internet based services, which are currently being used as dealing mechanisms and methods of drug trafficking, in particular in relation to new psychoactive substances, posed the greatest challenge to detection. Assistant Director at the Board, Pradeep Kumara Koholanagedara said in view of the upcoming International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, more..

JVP blows whistle on forest reserve land grab for solar power

May 24 (Island) JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake told parliament that the govt was planning to build solar power plants by clearing forest preserves. Ratnayake, said: "Now this govt is planning to build solar power plants by clearing forest reserves. What sort of a stupid action is this? No one would build solar power plants by clearing remaining forest reserves in a country. What should we call the ones who take such decisions?" more..

CIC to grow hybrid agriculture seeds for export, local market

May 24 (DN) CIC Holdings PLC will be tying up with a South American company to grow hybrid agriculture seeds for exports and local use. CEO of CIC Holdings PLC, Samantha Ranatunga said that a team from the South American Company visited them last week and also visited some of the CIC sites. He said that they were also looking at growing sweet corn for which there is an increase in demand. Ranatunga said that in addition CIC was involved in growing high value vegetables more..

Kishu quits Chevron after long stint

May 24 (FT) Popular corporate personality Kishu Gomes has resigned from Chevron Lubricants Lanka Plc after a 22-year stint at the multinational giant. Kishu said he was taking a break from a highly-engaged corporate life and would explore new options in the coming months. However he confirmed that he was keen to spend more time in helping nurture young talent in the country and make them more dynamic. Kishu is likely to expand his social engagement as part of giving back more..

Two more days of weather fury

May 24 (Island) Heavy rains, and floods continue to wreak havoc as the South West monsoon continue to hit the south western part of the country today and tomorrow. Number of lives claimed by the adverse weather has reached 11 and approximately, 7,526 families have been evacuated into 194 welfare centres due to flood and landslide risks, according to DMC. More than 100,000 people have been affected by the rains, more..

International Research Seminar to be conducted by University of Jaffna

May 24 (DN) Several members of the academic staff of the Jaffna University who represented the Teachers’ Union of the Jaffna University, discussed with Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama, the international research seminar on dry zone agriculture to be conducted by the Agriculture Faculty of the Jaffna University. During the discussion the minister expressed the view that in order to develop the agriculture sector research should take place and through research more..

Cabinet approves BOT system for public buildings

May 24 (FT) Cabinet yesterday approved a proposal by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to call for private sector investors to construct public buildings under the Build, Own and Transfer (BOT) system. Wickremesinghe, presenting the Cabinet paper as the National Policies and Economic Affairs Minister, had pointed out that construction and maintenance of large public buildings including schools, universities, hospitals and vocational training centres required substantial public funds. more..

Eran exposes in Parliament ETI Group past shady deals

May 24 (FT) State Finance Minister Eran Wickramaratne in Parliament exposed some shady deals of the past of ETI Group whilst noting new investors will help depositors and revive the business. In response to questions from the JVP, Wickramaratne said Blue Summit Capital Management, a Singaporean-based company, is set to take over ETI and Swarnamahal Financial Services, which has been bogged down by more..

BOC introduces self-service, cheque deposit kiosks

May 24 (Island) Bank of Ceylon once again has proved its ability to reach its diversified clientele through unparalleled digital means by introducing Self-Service Kiosks with wide range of features that is tailor-made for next generation of banking, and Cheque Deposit Kiosks. The new Kiosk service was ceremonially opened by C Amarasinghe (Deputy General Manager, Sales & Channel Management) with the presence of Corporate and Executive Management, at BOC head office. more..

Tiran Alles' Travel ban temporarily lifted

May 24 (NR) The overseas travel ban imposed on former UPFA MP Tiran Alles has been temporarily lifted. The ban was lifted following a request to travel to Singapore in a bid to seek medical attention. The travel ban has accordingly been lifted till the 20th of July. Colombo High Court Judge Vikum Kaluarachchi also lifted the order issued for Former MP Tiran Alles to visit the CID monthly for the next two months. The case will be taken up once again on the 24th of July. more..

Postal Dept operating loss of Rs 5.6B in 2017

May 24 (CT) Ready availability of alternative modes of communication, decreasing use of international mail and parcel services and increasing operating costs are causing heavy losses to the Department of Posts (DOP). The DOP’s operating expenditure has increased by 2.6% to Rs 12.6 billion, resulting in an operating loss of Rs 5.6 billion during 2017, in comparison to the Rs 5.7 billion loss in 2016. more..

A celebrated Sri Lankan in Sydney

May 24 (Island) Sydney is full of friends and dear friends who became close to my heart. Many of them had no false pretensions and were honest and we continue our friendships. While sipping a beer at the Bucket List in Bondi, I called Peter Kuruvita to say hello. To my surprise, he was in Sydney at the time doing an assignment for Dilmah tea as its Brand Ambassador. He had time to meet me. We met later at one of the most famous Chinese restaurants in Sydney, The Golden Century, more..

Schools Rugby League Postponed

May 24 (Island) In a shocking turn of events, the Singer Schools Rugby League 2018 has been postponed indefinitely following instructions from Minister Faiszer Musthapa. Last weekend, Singer U-19 rugby games involving Wesley College versus Royal College, Maliyadeva College versus S. Thomas’ College and D. S.Senanayake versus Science College saw many unfortunate turn of events following the full-time whistle where the spectators invaded the ground; acted unruly. more..