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Diana’s privileges: Parliament can probe if request made

May 14 (TM) Parliament has affirmed that it can, if there is a request to do so, conduct an investigation into former State Minister Diana Gamage's utilisation of Parliamentary and State Ministerial privileges despite not being a SL citizen. The Supreme Court (SC) ruled on 8 May that Gamage is ineligible to retain her Parliamentary seat because of her status as a United Kingdom citizen. Subsequently, various parties including the Parliamentary Opposition have called for the recovery of all expenditures more..

legislator seeks special envoy to rescue hundreds injured in Russia-Ukraine front

May 14 (EN) SL should make greater efforts to bring back citizens in mercenary companies who injured in a war between Russia and Ukraine, including sending a special presidential envoy, legislator Dayasiri Jayasekera said. At the moment there is no SL ambassador in Russia. “If we can, send a special envoy from the Prez to Russia, and discuss with Defence Secretary at least to bring back the injured in Russian hospitals,” more..

Fair marking scheme for Science paper

May 14 (DN) Minister Susil Premajayantha, commenting on the controversy regarding the Science question paper for the GCE O/L Exam, said a separate marking system will be prepared and marks will be given accordingly so as not to cause any injustice to students. Minister said that a problem has arisen regarding some questions in the Science paper given at the O/L Exam this year and the group of teachers who prepared the question paper met on Sunday and discussed more..

Japan offers more job opportunities

May 14 (Island) Japanese Embassy in Colombo announced that a new skills test in the field of Building Cleaning would be introduced in July 2024 in SL for those seeking jobs in Japan as specified skilled workers. The Embassy said that together with the existing skills tests in Nursing Care, Food Service and Agriculture that have been in place since 2022, as well as recently added Construction, Airport Ground Handling and Accommodation Industry, skills tests would be available in more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

Kanchana says no sale of CEB but only restructuring

May 14 (FT) Minister Kanchana Wijesekera in Parliament reassured that the restructuring of CEB will proceed as planned, as former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has not requested otherwise. Responding to a query from MP Lakshman Kiriella regarding the potential postponement of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) restructuring, Minister clarified that while Rajapaksa had urged the halt of State enterprise sales, he did not seek a delay in CEB’s restructuring process. more..

Verité Research forms governance and anti-corruption research division

May 14 (FT) Sri Lanka’s leading think tank Verité Research has established a governance and anti-corruption research division under the leadership of Sankhitha Gunaratne, an attorney-at-law who has championed transparent, accountable, and participatory governance for over a decade. Verité Research has made this strategic move against the backdrop of widespread, systemic corruption in Sri Lanka and the reform and accountability needs of the moment. more..

Central Bank advises businesses to grasp current exchange rate mechanism

May 14 (DM) Central Bank emphasised the importance of businesses in SL understanding the current exchange rate system. As it would enable them to establish more precise expectations, thereby reducing the risk of incurring losses due to currency exchange fluctuations. SL’s businesses, exporters in particular, recently called for a stable and competitive exchange rate, amidst the recent sharp appreciation of the rupee. more..

Facebook party raided inside Knuckles Reserve, over 20 arrested

May 14 (DM) A group of 22 young individuals, including five females, were apprehended by the Hunnasgiriya Range Forest Office for trespassing in the Knuckles Reserve and setting up illegal campfires, forest officials said. The suspects, hailing from various regions such as Bandarawela, Colombo, Badulla, and Kandy, are between the ages of 20 and 30. Among the arrested individuals are uni students, a person purportedly affiliated with the security forces & pvt sector employees. more..

Over 178,000 temporary residents under scrutiny for criminal connections

May 14 (DM) In light of reports indicating involvement in various criminal activities, including drug trafficking, originating from temporary residences, the police have gathered information on over 178,600 temporary residents during a two-day nationwide operation. The programme was initiated in response to observations that individuals engaged in various criminal activities, including drug trafficking, were residing in rented accommodations outside their permanent police jurisdictions. more..

දෙරණට ආපු වැදගත් නාමල්

IOM SL, Defence Ministry collaborate with SriLankan Airlines to curb human trafficking

May 14 (FT) International Organisation for Migration (IOM) SL and the Ministry of Defence (as the Chair of the National Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force – SL) in collaboration with SriLankan Airlines, recently conducted a program for the trainers of national carrier on human trafficking with a special focus on the role and responsibilities of airlines in identifying, reporting, and effectively responding to incidents of trafficking. The participants were capacitated with the knowledge, more..

'No regrets on turning down Test captaincy'

May 14 (Island) These days, the trend seems to be that every Sri Lankan cricketer wants to be captain. After barely spending three years representing Sri Lanka, players tend to think that they are eligible to become captain. Being Sri Lanka’s captain seems to be the crown jewel in the sport at present. In the last T-20 Sri Lanka played, against Bangladesh in March, apart from captain Wanindu Hasaranga, there were five other players who had already captained Sri Lanka. more..

Visa controversy: FSP makes fresh allegation

May 14 (Island) The ongoing controversy over external involvement in the issuance of on-arrival visas at the BIA has taken a dramatic turn with FSP spokesman Pubudu Jagoda alleging that a private company was being paid USD 10 per single entry visa out of USD 50 received by the govt. Jagoda has said the beneficiary is the VFS Global-led group. Dept of Immigration and Emigration recently finalised a tripartite agreement with more..

SLAF Commander discusses acquisition of Beechcraft King Air 350 from Australia

May 14 (Island) Commander of the SL Air Force Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa recently discussed the planned acquisition of Beechcraft King Air 350 from Australia during his recently concluded visit Down Under. Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa, participated in the recently concluded Air and Space Power Conference 2024 in Australia. The conference, themed Building readiness and resilience in National Air and Space Power, gathered high-ranking defence leaders, policymakers and more..

Hotel industry prepares to welcome winter travellers

May 14 (ST) The hotel industry needs to assess if it’s ready to welcome more tourists with improved quality and a unique experience with the added products and services in comparison with partners in the region. Hotel Show Colombo 2024 Chairman Trevine Gomez said that while the hotel industry has gone through tough times, however, they need to be ready to provide travellers with an improved experience by selling the product with high quality. It is in this respect that Hotel Show is important more..

Economic reforms: New law to include reforms besides IMF parameters

May 14 (TM) Amidst various concerns being raised by Opposition politicians and certain economic experts regarding the renegotiation of the IMF agreement by a future Govt, the Govt is to draft a comprehensive economic reforms law including both the IMF parameters and other economic reforms implemented by them (the Govt), to carry on the progress and stability achieved in the economy thus far. more..

London to host panel discussion today on Sri Lanka’s economic crisis

May 14 (FT) A panel discussion titled Sri Lanka’s economic crisis and beyond, organised by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London, will be held today in London, UK, chaired by Professor Jonathan Goodhand. The main presentation at the event will be made by Verité Research Executive Director Dr. Nishan de Mel, and the discussant will be Prof. Mushtaq Khan. The discussion will delve into the root causes of the economic crisis, assess the effectiveness of more..

Olympic Council of Asia presents IOC award to SL climber Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala

May 14 (CT) SL climber Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala was presented with the IOC Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Champions Award for Asia at the 43rd OCA General Assembly in Bangkok on Saturday. Jayanthi is a women’s rights activist with 20 years of experience and a rock climber/mountaineer for nearly as long. She has worked at national, regional and global levels as a technical adviser, advocate, trainer, researcher and programme manager on issues relating to more..

මහින්ද දැන් ඇති බං...!

AI and elections: Is Sri Lanka ready to face digital threats?

May 14 (CT) With this year being nominated as an election year and the presidential election on the horizon, many eyes are on the candidates and their popularity. While the previous presidential elections held in the country were largely two-sided, with only two main candidates leading the votes for the hot seat, the coming presidential election is believed to change that age-old dynamic of SL’s prez elections. With the younger generations of voters being tech-savvy, the securing of votes more..

Election commission at frontlines of democracy

May 14 (Island) Elections provide a unique situation where people become equal regardless of their class or ethnic and religious identity. This offers space to rival politicians to address their unmet needs. The govt has commenced several development initiatives that will take resources to the community level in a targeted manner. These initiatives would be beneficial to the govt in mustering support for it at the grassroots level. Those who wield governmental power have the ability to more..

IFC says ready to invest more in Sri Lanka

May 14 (FT) International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Asia Pacific Vice President Riccardo Puliti last week expressed readiness to enhance investments in Sri Lanka in tandem with improved outlook. This optimism follows the IFC, announcing its first equity investment of $ 10 million in Sunshine Holdings’ healthcare subsidiary to increase its pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity and expand the pharmaceutical retail footprint. more..

Afghans fight back after follow-on

May 14 (DN) Leg spinner Wanuja Sahan had a fine figures of 5 for 58 as Afghanistan ‘A’ were bundled out for 198 in the first innings and their follow on they were 108 for 2 wickets at close of third day’s play against SL ‘A’ in their four day cricket fixture played at P. Sara Oval Stadium yesterday. Afghans were trailed by 129 runs with 8 wickets in hand while Sri Lanka ‘A’ led by Pasindu Sooriyabandara is expected to put more pressure today the final day to get victory. more..

Royal and Navy sailors to represent Sri Lanka at 4th CAS International

May 14 (ST) A team of six sailors representing SL, including two from Royal College and four SL Navy, will leave the island tomorrow, to participate at the 4th Chief of Air Staff (CAS) International Open Sailing Championship, to be held in Karachi, Pakistan, from May 14 to 19. Two 15-year-old students from Royal College and four sailors from the Navy make up this year’s team of six after qualifying at selections held by the national sailing body, the Yachting Association of SL. more..

නාමල් රාජපක්ෂ

Untangling Sri Lanka’s messy govt structure

May 14 (DM) It would be an absolute surprise for someone walking into a local ministry to find everything crystal clear. Rather it could be just the opposite with the operation all over the place. SL’s system of govt has a history of assigning unrelated subjects to a single ministry, thereby including multiple departments and institutions under one roof. The latest blueprint document for rational govt by Verité Research reveals that the compositions of ministries had undergone changes 111 times more..

Unsuccessful bid to whitewash SLPP

May 14 (Island) Former Prez Mahinda Rajapaksa has sought to dissociate himself from the incumbent govt’s divestiture drive by taking exception thereto, in a media statement. He has bragged that he ruled the country from 2005 to 2015 without ever selling a single state-owned enterprise (SOE). Mahinda is the leader of the SLPP, which elevated Ranil Wickremesinghe, who stands accused of being in overdrive to divest SOEs and dispose of state assets at fire-sale prices, to executive presidency. more..

'I facilitated Gotabaya to leave to support Sri Lankan people'

May 14 (TM) Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was assisted to flee SL on 13 July 2022 during the height of the people’s movement (Aragalaya) to prevent the possibility of a SL President from being lynched and killed, undermining the island’s long-preserved democratic credentials, says one-time Maldivian PreZ and Speaker of the People’s Majlis Mohamed Nasheed, who facilitated Rajapaksa and his wife to more..

Paying lip service to environmental protection and mitigating climate change

May 14 (GV) In February this year SL received an UN award in recognition of its efforts to rebuild and restore its mangrove ecosystems, highlighting best practices and methodologies that could serve as a framework for future success across the world. Just 3 months later, the Minister of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation Pavithra Wanniarachchi issued an extraordinary gazette degazetting at least 1,000 hectares of an important and unique mangrove system on the Mannar coast. more..

May Day mess, selling the nation and arrogance of a fallen woman

May 14 (ST) This theatre of the absurd that is called politics in SL is becoming even more absurd and indeed highly controversial as the elections draw near. As though this Wickremesinghe-Pohottuwa govt has not already soiled its escutcheon with the kind of antics that seemed to throw the country’s constitution into the garbage while professing democracy and the rule of law, its last-ditch efforts to freely distribute the nation’s wealth and make appointments by the thousands more..

Taking a closer look at free school meals programme

May 14 (CT) Education and health are interconnected. In order to ensure success in education, students must maintain good health. Nutrition is one of the key pillars of good health and therefore, ensuring a sound nutrition intake via a balanced meal is essential for students to not just be healthy but also to succeed in education. The Free Meals for Primary Students initiative by Health and Nutrition Branch of the Ministry of Education more..

Tamil & Muslim voting trends in Prez polls

May 14 (DM) This is the fourth article in a series focusing on Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe and his evolving strategy to contest the forthcoming 2024 Prez Elections. In a political climate where deliberate attempts are being made to mislead people about Wickremesinghe’s Presidential Election plans and prospects, the objective of this series is to analyse in detail the game plan and stratagems adopted by Wickremesinghe to face the 2024 Presidential hustings. more..

Election merry-go-round

May 14 (DM) Election fever is in the air. Yet elections have not been announced. It’s Fun-O-Rama time for politicians who are having a ball. Past President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his time was a past master at splitting political parties that opposed him. This time around, the ex-president’s party-the SLPP- is one of the political outfits that is faced with several splits. The former chairman of the SLPP with 13 SLPP MPs defected and formed the Freedom People’s Congress. more..

Sunil Handunneththi

Girlfriend arrested over Kuliyapitiya youth murder

May 13 (DM) An 18-year-old girl, the girlfriend of the youth from Kuliyapitiya who was allegedly murdered while visiting the girl's house in Kuliyapitiya, has been arrested. Police said the suspect has been arrested on charges of aiding and abetting the murder and concealing the crime. The body of the youth, who had gone missing while visiting his girlfriend’s house, was recovered in the Panirendawa area of Madampe last week. On April 22, police launched investigations based on more..