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EPF enters stock market with blood in the streets

May 17 (EN) Sri Lanka's 2.3 trillion rupee state-managed Employees' Provident Fund, has returned to the Colombo Stock Exchange, Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said with the benchmark index hitting seven year lows. "The EPF has bought shares in one company last week," Governor Coomaraswamy told EconomyNext. The governor said that EPF policy does not allow him to disclose the new investment. more..

Iran-funded Uni in Badulla: Dilan Perera Allegedly radicalising Tamils

May 17 (CT) MP Dilan Perera alleged that another local education institute branch is being funded by the Al-Mustafa International University in Iran to radicalise non-Sinhala communities to rebel against the Sinhala community. Perera claimed this particular institute is located in the Badulla District and is under the supervision of Badulla District MP Aravinda Kumara, who has attended all the ceremonies held by the institute. more..

TNA takes up Pulmoddai land dispute with Prez, PM

May 17 (Island) TNA leader R. Sampanthan has sought the immediate intervention of President and PM to settle a simmering land dispute in Pulmoddai in the Trincomalee district. The following is the text of MP Sampanthan’s letter: A Monk lives in the area known as Arisimalai within the Pulmoddai Grama Sevaka Division, and within the Kuchchaveli Divisional Secretary’s – Division in the Trincomalee District. more..

What they left behind: Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday bombing victims

May 17 (Reuters) In SL’s capital, Colombo, a lane that used to be alive with the sound of children playing is silent. An entire family, including three children, died in an explosion at St Anthony’s Church on Easter Sunday, one of a series of coordinated attacks by suicide bombers that killed more than 250 people. The youngest of the child victims was only 11 months old. Bevon, 9, and Clavon, 6, also died in the April 21 blast. more..

Sri Lankan army defends rehiring major amid outcry from rights groups

May 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka’s army on Thursday defended its decision to reinstate an intelligence official arrested in 2017 on suspicion he attacked journalists, saying he is the right person to investigate the Easter bombings claimed by Islamic State. Major Prabath Bulathwatte was arrested on suspicion he assisted in the abduction and torture of editor Keith Noyahr in 2008. He was also accused in the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunga, more..

Cinnamon Grand bomber’s copper factory case takes a new turn

May 17 (DM) Wellampitiya Police OIC Gamini Senarath Hewawithana had complained to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) early this week demanding an inquiry against Colombo Magistrate Court Judge Priyantha Liyanage over the release on bail of nine employees of the copper factory in Wellampitiya. It was reported that the factory, which belonged to the Cinnamon Grand suicide bomber Inshaf Ahamed, more..

Riots in Minuwangoda: Pasta company owner says yes to law and no to divisions

May 17 (DM) As mob violence erupted in Minuwangoda on May 13, fire ripped through the country’s largest pasta manufacturing facility, endangering the lives of seven employees present at the time. Diamond pasta, a sister company of the PMM Group of companies which has been operating in food manufacturing and sales for five decades, was a target in the worst outbreak of sectarian violence SL has witnessed in a decade. more..

From Islamic extremism to marauding Sinhala-Buddhist violence

May 17 (DM) Just four days short of a month after the April 21 Easter Sunday tragedy that could have been averted, this country is still left in panic mode, in fear of terrorist attacks. At least that fear is what’s carried over and sustained in this post-Easter Sunday period. Yet, all that we see around us is Sinhala-Buddhist extremism, in their most violent anti-Muslim outbursts. It is being whipped up in vulgar forms through fake notices, unconfirmed and unsubstantiated stories, gossip and more..

Is it safe, because they say so?

May 17 (DM) Given the present tense situation in the country the upcoming Vesak Festival might have to be celebrated at home. If we don’t send our children to school due to safety concerns then we do have serious issues regarding security in this country. But the Govt authorities, including the prime minister, keep maintaining that the unhealthy situation that prevailed a few days ago has been brought under control. Vesak is a festival which attracts the participation of folks more..

Attacks on Muslims by organised mobs: Army Chief

May 17 (FT) Army Commander Major General Mahesh Senanayake yesterday said anti-communal violence carried out in at least three districts this week was perpetrated by well-organised groups. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, he denied allegations that the military was ineffective in cracking down on the groups that carried out well-coordinated attacks across a number of areas, including Bingiriya, Hettipola, Kuliyapitiya, more..

Climate peaceful for Vesak celebrations: Army Commander

May 17 (DN) A peaceful environment and security will be provided for everyone to enjoy their Vesak and to celebrate the tenth year of the end of terrorism in peace without overstepping the laws of the land, Army Commander Lt. General Mahesh Senanayake said. “The situation in the country has been brought under control since April 21 terrorist bombings. We have contained terrorism in spite of the occurrences of a few incidents on May 13 and 14, which were brought under control,” more..

Muslims ready for introspection and to rectify shortcomings: Kabir Hashim

May 17 (CT) Muslim community is prepared to look at themselves critically and rectify any shortcomings, said Minister Kabir Hashim yesterday. He told the Media held at the SL Foundation Institute that he was speaking on behalf of the Muslim community. Former MP Imithiaz Bakeer Markar, Ferial Ashraff and M.U.M. Ali Sabry (PC) also attended the Press conference. “What happened on Easter Sunday hurt our community a lot. It has created a rift between us and all the other cultures in Sri Lanka. more..

Release of copper factory workers by Court: Fate of W’pitiya OIC worries Police

May 17 (CT) Many top ranking Police officials have raised concern over the granting of bail to nine suspects, linked to Easter Sunday bombings, by Colombo Additional Magistrate, Priyantha Liyanage despite opposition raised by the Wellampitiya Police & blaming OIC of Wellampitiya Police, Gamini Hewavitharana for giving bail to suspects who were working at a copper factory belonging to one of the suicide bombers. more..

Accused held in Sri Lanka suspected handler

May 17 (DNA) The software engineer suspected by authorities in Sri Lanka of providing technical and logistical support to the suicide bombers of April 21, 2019 attack, was also a suspected handler of two IS operatives arrested by Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) two years back. Reportedly, Sri Lankan software engineer identified as Aadhil Ameez, a 24-year-old, was link between groups that attacked churches and hotels in Sri Lanka and killed more than 250 people. more..

Thowheed urges Lanka to protect Muslims

May 17 (Hindu) Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamat leaders met officials in the SL embassy in Chennai on Thursday to express their solidarity with the Easter bombing victims and urged them to prevent violence against Muslim community that erupted after the incident. “Terrorism has no religion and we Muslims condemn any act of terrorism happening in any part of the world. We pray for the return of peace in SL. We have also conducted a massive protest against bomb blasts in Sri Lanka more..

Video: Rishad called me thrice over suspect of Dehiwala bombing: Army Commander

May 17 (AD) The Commander of Sri Lanka Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, states that Minister Rishad Bathiudeen had called him three times over an arrest of a suspect linked to the Dehiwala bombings on Easter Sunday. The Army Commander revealed this today (16) at a press conference, answering a question raised by a journalist regarding a point in the non-confidence motion against Bathiudeen. more..

PCoI probing irregularities at UL, Mihin stops open hearings as no response to ...

May 17 (Island) Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka, yesterday, stopped all open inquiry sessions. The tenure of the PCoI will end on May 31 as there has been no favourable response so far from the President to a request made by the Commission for an extension. However, lawyers from the AG’s Department will be able to submit affidavits and supporting documents. "If there is an extension and more..

Galadari Hotel starts $ 15 m refurbishment

May 17 (FT) Looking at opportunities through the crisis period, Galadari Hotel is investing a total of $ 15 million to refurbish its property completely by 2021. It is the first time the hotel is undergoing a refurbishment since its opening in 1986. “We are making maximum use of this low occupancy period to go ahead with our refurbishment which was already on our cards. The refurbishment will be done in two phases where we hope to complete the entire project by 2021,” more..

Muslims leaders espouse middle path

May 17 (FT) In the wake of anti-Muslim attacks this week, representatives of the community yesterday appealed for moderates of all religions to step up to foster inter-communal harmony, insisting that violence was detrimental to all Sri Lankans. Minister Kabir Hashim, former Ministers Ferial Ashraff and Imthiaz Bakeer Markar, and President’s Counsel Ali Sabry, speaking to media, made multiple appeals not to group more..

No advance auditing of air tickets of President Rajapaksa due to security reasons

May 17 (Island) Accounts department of the Presidential Secretariat received information about chartered flights taken by VVIPs during the Rajapaksa administration only after they had undertaken the journey and thus they were not in any position to check invoices, PCoI was informed. Former Chief Accountant of Presidential Secretariat, Don Gunaratna told the PCoI that due to security reasons they were informed of the chartered flights booked after the journey was completed by more..

Asos tycoon who lost children in Sri Lanka attacks thanks public

May 17 (TG) The Povlsen family have thanked the public for their condolences after they lost three of their four beloved and beautiful children in the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka. Anders and Anne Holch Povlsen, who own an estimated 80,000 hectares (200,000 acres) in the Scottish Highlands, said the many words of comfort they had received since the attacks last month had touched their hearts. Alma, 15, Agnes, 12, and five-year-old Alfred were among 253 people killed more..

GMOA opposes special status for Sharia Uni, uses RTI law to expose project

May 17 (Island) The GMOA says new medical faculties shouldn’t be allowed to be set up unless they meet the prescribed standards and adhere to Sri Lanka Medical Council stipulated basic requirements for enrolment. On behalf of the GMOA, its Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge laid down four conditions in case the govt intended to recognise Shariah University of Batticaloa as an institution authorised to offer medical degrees. more..

Sri Lanka Railways gets container, oil wagons

May 17 (EN) Sri Lanka Railways has taken delivery of the first batches of new container carrier wagons and oil wagons as part of efforts to improve its freight transport. The transport ministry said 10 container carrier wagons were unloaded at Colombo port Thursday morning along with five oil wagons. The wagons were part of an order for 20 container carrier wagons and 30 oil wagons from India under an Indian govt loan. SL Railways now has 25 container wagons and 160 oil wagons. more..

ICCSL strongly condemns current violence delaying tourism sector recovery

May 17 (FT) The International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) in a statement yesterday strongly condemned the violence and destruction of business property in the country during the last few days. Following is the full statement: It is profoundly sad that the country continues to experience such acts of violence after nearly one month of the Easter Sunday terror attacks that claimed over 250 innocent lives. It is regrettable that after enjoying 10 yrs of peace more..

IMF keeps Sri Lanka’s growth unchanged at 3.5% despite attacks

May 17 (FT) IMF yesterday said it was keeping Sri Lanka’s growth projection of 3.5% unchanged despite the Easter Sunday attacks, and did not see any fresh risks for debt repayments, but called on the Govt to continue reforms to ensure growth picks up in the medium term. IMF Mission Chief for SL Manuela Goretti said that the extension of the $1.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) to June 2020 would give the chance for more..

‘Future wave of local TV viewers’

May 17 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom is operating in accordance with the newest trends from the industry was once again demonstrated with the launch of the PEO TV go application, that enables their viewers to enjoy more than 50+ local and int'l channels on the go, on different devices. In order to bring the newest technology and a new form of entertainment to SL, Beenius partnered with Broadpeak, Verimartix & MillenniumIT. With this project, Beenius, together with the referenced partners, more..

CBSL to assess damage to economy

May 17 (CT) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has commenced a study into the damage caused to the economy by the 21 April attacks, a reliable source indicates. Furthermore, the Non-Cabinet Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution, Dr. Harsha De Silva noted the short and long-term effects on the economy will be identified separately. The Minister said that the tourism sector has suffered the worst impact due to the terror attacks. An informed source further indicated more..

Hakeem appoints team to assess damage suffered by Muslims

May 17 (Island) SLMC Leader, Minister Rauff Hakeem, said that he had appointed a team to visit the riot torn towns and villages to evaluate the damages caused to Muslims, their properties and mosques, according to a statement issued from his office yesterday. He this statement following his visit to the Kurunegala and Puttalam districts in the North Central Province, where the Muslim settlements were vandalized by more..

Ethnic bonding through Commonwealth Cricket

May 17 (CT) SL High Commission in London hosted the visiting Sri Lanka Cricket Team for the ICC World Cup 2019 to a reception at its Hyde Park Gardens premises on Thursday 9 May 2019, attended also by the UK dignitaries, the diplomatic corps and cricketing professionals in the UK Sri Lankan community. A warm welcome was extended to the team by the High Commissioner for SL in the UK, Manisha Gunasekera. The reception commenced with the observation of more..

WC 2019: All you need to know about SL

May 17 (NIE) SL cricket has been at the centre of match-fixing and corruption allegations for some time now. Recently, the ICC charged the team’s performance analyst Sanath Jayasundara with two counts of breaching the anti-corruption code and handed him a provisional suspension. Former players Nuwan Zoysa and Avishka Gunawardene were also suspended by the ICC for breaching the Emirates Cricket Board’s anti corruption code. Sanath Jayasuriya, former captain and more..

Apparel industry likely to miss export target

May 17 (DN) The apparel export industry is facing several short and long term challenges following the Easter Sunday attacks, the industry officials said. One of the key issues faced by the industry is to meet the delivery time set by the buyer community. Chairman, SL Apparel Exporters Association, Rehan Lakhany said, some factories had to undergo work force absenteeism due to the location of those factories and more..

The bungling political circus, continues unabated!

May 17 (Island) Why, oh why human behaviour seems to regressing to the dark ages, in spite of the vast strides made in science and technology and ever-expanding education? The world is in chaos, as sinister forces are trying to gain power with religious misinterpretations, using terrorism as an accessory. To overcome this grave threat, the need of the hour is strong leadership but, sadly, this seems to be totally lacking in our political class! Though there are a few exceptions, most politicians have more..

Avoiding a July ’83 pogrom against Muslims

May 17 (Island) Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapakse has gone on record, advising the public to avoid a repetition of the black July’83 pogrom and this time against the Muslim community. Excellent advice indeed from the former President and current leader of the opposition, one which unfortunately seems to have been observed in the breech by events which had been occurring the past few days in the North Western Province and the Gampaha District in particular. more..

From cradle to grave: NOC to amend constitutions to allow unlimited terms

May 17 (ST) Just over a year after the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) introduced term limits to promote good governance and avoid concentration of power around a few individuals, the local body wants to revert to the old system which allows the President and Secretary General to stay on without restriction. The existing constitution allows two four-year terms to the President and Secretary General. more..

Grandmother worries over future of grandchildren orphaned by blast

May 17 (ST) Three weeks after the Easter Sunday bomb blast at Katuwapitiya Negombo, the faithful of the Church of St. Sebastian’s are trying hard to come to terms with reality. While the church remains closed with army guards at its entrance, there were some devotees lighting candles inside the church. The iron fence surrounding the church was obscured with sympathy banners portraying the images of those persons lost in the blast. Echoing the sentiments of the area people, more..

Norway: A consistent partner for our common future

May 17 (CT) In Norway, today, 17 May, marks the signing of the Norwegian Constitution that took place in 1814. This is Norway’s National Day and everyone, especially children, celebrate this event with street parades all over the country. This year, as we mark our National Day, less than a month after the senseless Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, Norway stands in solidarity with Sri Lanka and its entire people. Norway has been with Sri Lanka through many different phases more..