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YJA calls for investigation on Sampur arrests

May 15 (FT) Young Journalists Association of SL in a letter to Human Rights Commission of SL (HRCSL) has called for an investigation to be launched regarding the arrests of four persons in Sampur for holding a commemoration event in remembrance of the Mullivaikkal war dead. The YJA said the police had obtained a court order prohibiting the distribution of porridge and there have been several similar instances in the past. “Despite the HRCSL’s 2016 recommendation to uphold the right to more..

අනුර සජිත් විවාදය වෙන්නේ නෑ

KDU gets almost 1,000 applicants for medical degree

May 15 (EN) General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) has received 956 applications for its paid medical degree program from students who passed local and London A Levels, State Minister Premitha Bandara Tennakoon said. “We have received 956 eligible applications; 868 from local syllabus and from London syllabus 88,” Tennakoon told reporters. Cabinet approved paid medical degrees at KDU on April 2024. KDU charges 12.5 million rupees for its medical degree. more..

A wise fool’s paradise

May 15 (FT) Sustaining Stability is the oxymoronic title of the recent panel discussion organised by the Central Bank. How to make a three-legged stool stand on two legs would have been a more commonsensical, down to earth title for the profoundly perplexing exchange of views by five panellists – all steeped in the science of economics. That makes it easy. A repetition of remarks made by participants or attempting to qualify who said what, is not necessary. more..

SL visa problem caused by technical issue

May 15 (TM) Sri Lanka’s visa problem that doubled the visa cost to $ 100 was due to a technical issue as the visa processing company missed out on the 30-day visa, Tourism Minister Harin Fernando said. Speaking to CNBC, he said that the technical issue happened in connection with the country moving away from Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) to requiring travellers to have an e-visa which was processed by VFS Global. more..

University non-academic staff to intensify their strike action

May 15 (AD) The Joint Committee of University Trade Unions says they have decided to further intensify their strike action due to delays in addressing their demands. Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee of University Trade Unions Dhammika S. Priyantha stated that the association unanimously agreed to withdraw from all voluntary services within universities. This includes halting the supply of water and electricity, as well as discontinuing internet facilities. more..

Court order issued against JVP trade unions’ protest in Colombo

May 15 (TM) Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court has issued an order on several trade union leaders of the JVP and others over a protest march planned in Colombo yesterday (15). Accordingly, the court order prevents K.D. Lal Kantha, Mahinda Jayasinghe, Ranjan Jayalal and other protestors from inconveniencing the public or pedestrians along several major roads in Colombo including Dean’s Road, T.B. Jayah Mawatha, Technical Junction, Ibbanwala Junction. more..

Indo-Lanka land connectivity most ambitious move: Indian HC

May 15 (DM) Indian High Commissioner Santos Jha, in an interview with a select group of journalists, discusses the current status of bilateral ties and the future direction. Q: It has been a little over four months since you assumed duties as High Commissioner here. What are your initial impressions? A: Coming to SL as India’s High Commissioner was in some way a homecoming for me - in a role with greater responsibility. more..

Public asked not to panic over AstraZeneca vaccine

May 15 (DM) In the wake of the recent mass withdrawal of AstraZeneca vaccines due to concerns over rare blood clots, SL health experts emphasized that individuals who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine need not harbour undue fears regarding its safety. Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama, Chairman of the NMRA, referenced a case in which the manufacturer of AstraZeneca acknowledged that complications from the vaccine are exceedingly rare, a fact they had previously admitted. more..

Court issues directive to halt deforestation at Bogahapalassa reserve

May 15 (AD) The Court of Appeal has issued an order to the Director General of the Wildlife Conservation Dept and the IGP to take action to prevent the illegal deforestation taking place within the Bogahapalassa Forest Reserve. This order has been issued by a judge bench consisting of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne and Justice Sasi Mahendran, while considering a petition submitted by the Centre for Environmental Justice. more..

අපි ගන්නෙ හරි බෙහෙත්ද?

Playing Blind man’s buff with SL’s Free Trade Agreements: Part 2

May 15 (FT) It is important to realise that the mere reduction of an import duty at the border, through an FTA does not mean free market access for SL goods to the Indian or any other market since there are many non-tariff barriers and trade facilitation documentation issues facing our exports to those markets. An UNCTAD Study on Non Tariff Measures in China and India (2020) noted that despite reduction in import duties at the border, a host of NTMs as sanitary and phytosanitary more..

Army Commander obtains order against YouTube channel under Online Safety Act

May 15 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court today issued a conditional order preventing a YouTube channel from publishing and communicating defamatory information against Army Commander Lt General Vikum Liyanage, under the newly enacted Online Safety Act. Colombo Chief Magistrate Thilina Gamage issued a conditional order in favour of the Army Commander in terms of Section 24 (1) and Section 24 (2) of the Online Safety Act No. 09 of 2024 and directed that more..

Russo-Ukraine war: PSC sought on retired soldiers’ recruitment

May 15 (TM) In the wake of growing concern about multiple rackets involved in sending retired SL armed forces personnel to Russia and Ukraine as mercenaries, Opposition MP Gamini Waleboda urged the Speaker of the Parliament to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to look into the matter. Over the last month, families of victims and Sri Lankan caught up in the mercenary racket have aired their grievances, some calling more..

Bakeer Markar in Parliament attributes Palestine crisis to global political interests

May 15 (FT) SJB MP Imthiaz Bakeer Markar said the current humanitarian crisis in Palestine is a product of international political interests. Speaking in parliament at the Adjournment Debate on the Palestine Issue, he also pointed out the contradiction in Israel’s stance. “While Israeli propaganda suggests an end to the conflict if Israeli hostages are freed, statements from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his govt ministers have emphasised their determination to continue the war, more..

As team leaves for New York: Visa delay leaves Kusal and Asitha stranded

May 15 (TM) Two players of the SL team namely batter Kusal Mendis and pacer Asitha Fernando were left stranded due to delays in their visas being issued on time, SLC CEO Ashley de Silva said. This happened as the rest of their mates flew out to New York via Dubai last morning (14), to contest the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup next month. He said the SLC was currently liaising with the US Embassy in Colombo to expedite the departure of the duo and expressed hope that before Friday (17), more..

US State Department gets involved in drafting local NGO law

May 15 (DM) U.S. State Dept has sought to intervene in the drafting of SL's new piece of legislation that, if enacted, will provide for the registration of both local and international NGOs in the country, a top source said yesterday. The final draft of the law titled ‘Non-governmental Organizations (Registration and Supervision) Bill is now pending with the Attorney General for certification before being announced more..

Sri Lanka’s simple bishop passes away

May 15 (UN) Bishop Vincent Marius Joseph Peiris, the auxiliary bishop of Colombo Archdiocese, who was known for his simplicity and pivotal roles in priestly formation and empowerment of lay people, has passed away. Peiris died at the Evening Star retirement facility in Colombo on May 13 at the age of 83, Colombo Archdiocese said in a notice. Catholics paid tributes to him for his simple, down-to-earth personality and his contributions to various Church ministries for decades. more..

FX Global Code to be rolled out by end 2024

May 15 (DM) In line with the objectives to foster a deeper and more liquid foreign exchange market and develop adequate systems for managing exchange rate risks, the Central Bank (CB) plans to implement the FX Global Code (FXGC) in the domestic forex market by the end of this year. CB recently revealed that it is in discussions with the ACI Financial Markets Association and market participants to enable it to implement the anticipated FX Global Code (FXGC). more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

Opposition leader’s proposal raises doubts over MPs’ loyalty amid liquor license issue

May 15 (DM) If the MPs who have applied for liquor licenses are to face punishment, as the Opposition Leader suggests, it raises suspicions on how many MPs will remain loyal to him, Finance State Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. He said no arrangements have been made to provide liquor licenses to any of the parliamentarians' friends or acquaintances. The Opposition Leader claimed no such project was launched, but he repeats that over and over again. more..

Return to work prioritising welfare of students: UGC Chairman

May 15 (DM) All non-academic employees are requested to return to work, prioritising the welfare of the students, UGC Chairman Sampath Amaratunge said. He said that due to the ongoing trade union strike by non-academic employees, the country's university system is facing a significant crisis. Due to the ongoing non-academic employee strike, most of the lecturers conduct lectures through online platforms. About 3,500 resident students of the Rajarata University have left their hostels. more..

Police foil illegal LTTE commemoration in Eastern Province

May 15 (DM) Sampur Police Station has obtained a court order from the Muthur Magistrate's Court to prohibit planned celebrations in several Eastern Province areas to commemorate deceased members of the LTTE, particularly those who died in Vellamulli Vaikkal in 2009. This is following information from the intelligence agencies. On attempting to enforce the court order, OIC of Sampur Police Station more..

I am satisfied with World Cup squad, says Wanindu

May 15 (DN) I am satisfied with the team for the T-20 World Cup. As a skipper I got the requested team for this World Cup and hope to do well said SL T-20 skipper Wanindu Hasaranga before the team departure yesterday. Few of our bowlers had chance to play IPL and they are added to the team after good exposure from IPL. Our batters also really performed well during T- 20 preparation matches at R. Premadasa Int'l cricket stadium. as a team we have good bowlers as well as batters more..

People’s Bank and EDB forge strategic alliance to boost exports

May 15 (DM) SL Export Development Board (SLEDB) yesterday announced it entered into a strategic partnership with People’s Bank to boost the local export sector. The partnership between EDB and the state bank endeavours to invigorate the country’s export landscape by identifying and supporting existing exporters, fostering potential market entrants, and catalysing economic growth through amplified foreign exchange earnings and enhanced employment opportunities. more..

රනිල් රාජපක්ෂලාට හීන් දාඩිය දාන්න...

A leading hotel in Derby, UK sold to Sri Lankan company

May 15 (FT) The historic Cathedral Quarter Hotel in St. Mary’s Gate Derby city centre in the UK has been bought by Lavendish Leisure, a firm owned by Sri Lanka’s Dedigama Group, a family owned, and managed diversified conglomerate. Reports from UK media said the Grade II-listed Cathedral Quarter Hotel in St Mary's Gate has been bought by Rashmi Dedigama and Peter Karan of Lavendish Leisure, a subsidiary of the Dedigama Group, for an undisclosed amount. more..

Tharaka bowls Sri Lanka ‘A’ to innings win

May 15 (DN) Paceman Nisala Tharaka finished with excellent figures of 6 for 42 as Sri Lanka ‘A’ recorded an innings and 26 run win over Afghanistan ‘A’ in their four day cricket game played at P. Sara Oval Stadium yesterday. It was a fine team effort by SL ‘A’ team led by Pasindu Sooriyabandara while Afghanistan ‘A in their follow on continued from 108 for 2 wickets overnight but Sri Lanka A bowlers from the beginning put more pressure while Nisala Tharaka SSC paceman was leading the way more..

Mathews buoyant of chances

May 15 (TM) Former SL skipper Angelo Mathews, speaking moments before the national team’s departure to the US for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup on Monday (13), was buoyant of his teammates’ ability to make their presence felt in the month-long event. “I think we were involved in some good preparatory work, during the past few weeks,” he told reporters gathered at the SSC grounds, before the team’s official send-off at the SLC. more..

Keen investor interest in Trinco industrial zone: Ports Authority chief

May 15 (SO) There is overwhelming investor interest in the proposed 600-acre industrial zone in Trincomalee, said Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Keith D. Bernard. This zone is to be developed jointly by the SLPA and the Board of Investment (BOI). He said that global fertiliser producing companies along with solar products manufacturing firms and others industrial related companies have already expressed interest towards this Special Economic Zone (SEZ). more..

NDB sees 1Q pre-tax profit expand 31% YoY to Rs.1.8 bn

May 15 (FT) National Development Bank said it commenced the financial year on a positive note, with resilient performance for the first quarter of the year ended 31 March 2024. NDB’s CEO Kelum Edirisinghe commented that the Bank continued to face challenges on relatively low credit demand due to subdued economic activity. “Strong alignment to our strategic blueprint built on three core focus areas viz. optimizing cost of funds, enhancing fee based income through transaction banking and more..

Rs 2,000 daily wage: Estate workers provisionally halt protests

May 15 (TM) In light of the Govt’s recent gazette notification that increased the daily wage of plantation sector workers to Rs. 1,700, plantation sector workers have provisionally halted the ongoing protests demanding that their daily wage be increased up to Rs. 2,000. Trade unions representing the sector assert that their protests have not, however, come to an end, and that their target of Rs.2,000 per day remains same. more..

ComBank begins 2024 with impressive growth

May 15 (FT) Commercial Bank of Ceylon Group said yesterday it has ended the first quarter of 2024 with a loan book of Rs. 1.316 trillion, continuing the Bank’s focus on lending in a period where the appreciation of the Rupee negatively impacted the value of the loan book and resulted in a contraction of the balance sheet. In a statement, the Bank said the Group reported a net increase of Rs. 20 billion in its loan book in the first three months of the year and Rs. 129 billion in the 12 months more..

1,000 midwives to be recruited

May 15 (TM) Family Health Bureau (FHB) of the Health Ministry said that it is working to recruit 1,000 new midwives to address the issue of a shortfall in available personnel. The move comes following observations made by medical trade unions and professional organisations that the national family and maternal healthcare system is facing a risk of collapse due to a dire shortage of midwives. FHB Director Dr. Chithramalee de Silva explained that the situation is not as critical as shown by more..

Ranjith Madduma Bandara

Will Rajapaksas support help or hurt Prez Ranil’s election chances?

May 15 (Island) Election Commission announced, late last week, the conducting of a presidential election, between 17 Sept and the 16 Oct 2024, in accordance with the Constitution and the relevant statute, The announcement comes as no surprise since the term of office of former Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa, being served out as Prez by his second PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe ends on 17 Nov. The next Prez needs to be elected at least one month before the end of the term, giving the newly more..

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