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Sarath Silva does another U-turn
Former Chief Justice Sarath Silva launching a scathing attack on the present government, saying that it ‘was illegal from its inception.’ He said that he ‘regrets having lit the fire’ by opposing President Rajapaksa’s candidacy.
Silva, in a speech at the Organisation of Professional Associations lashed out at the government listing three aspects in which he believed the government had failed. (Daily Mirror)
Cabinet expected to decide on 20th Amendment to Constitution today
The Cabinet of Ministers of the Sri Lankan government is likely to take a decision on the 20th amendment to the Constitution at its meeting scheduled for today, sources said.
The cabinet is expected to reach a final decision on the draft bill formulated to change the electoral system before it is presented in parliament. (Colombo Page)
Basil’s FR fixed for June 4,5
The hearing of the Fundamental Rights Petition filed by UPFA MP Basil Rajapaksa seeking an interim order to release him from remand custody was fixed for June 4 and 5 by a three judge bench of the Supreme Court today. (Daily Mirror)
Sri Lankan journalists asked not to misuse media freedom
Finance Minister of Sri Lanka Ravi Karunanayake has called on journalists and media institutions to be careful and not to misuse the media freedom that has been ensured by the current government.
The Minister has said that journalists should verify their facts and figures before writing news stories based on certain agendas. (Colombo Page)
Former Sri Lanka army chief says he would welcome war crime investigation
Sri Lanka’s wartime army chief says his conscience is clear and he would welcome a war crimes investigation to prove his innocence.
“The allegations are there,” Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said in an interview with the Guardian. “We have to clear our name.” (The Guardian)
Govt. to secure services of CDF, police for city beautification project
President mentions GR’s good work
The government intends to recall the Civil Defence Force (CDF) personnel to ensure a clean environment in Colombo and its suburbs.
The government will also involve the police in a fresh city clean-up project amidst growing public criticism over the failure on the part of relevant authorities to keep up with the maintenance efficiency introduced by the previous government under the guidance of then Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. (The Island)
Sri Lanka's Marxist party decides not to attend National Executive Council sessions
Sri Lanka's Marxist party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) says the party will not attend the National Executive Council in the future.
JVP Leader, MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake made this comment at a seminar organized by the party in Anuradhapura yesterday. (Colombo Page)
Mahinda rejects Ranil’s assertion that he should apologise to women
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that his government had done more than any other administration for the empowerment of women and he had done no wrong to them during his tenure.
"Therefore, there is no need to apologise to women though the Prime Minister is asking us to," he said. (The Island)
Shiranthi to appear before FCID
Former first lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa has been asked to appear before the police Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) on June 1, over alleged corruption in connection with a bank account of the ‘Siriliya Saviya’ Foundation,MP Namal Rajapaksa told Daily Mirror.
An investigation was underway into the bank account of the ‘Siriliya Saviya’, whose patron is the former First Lady.(Daily Mirror)
Sri Lanka to cut recruiting charges for housemaids
Sri Lanka’s job agents have agreed to reduce the recruiting charges of housemaids from SR15000 to SR11,000 to sustain the Saudi market.
Speaking to Arab News during his visit to the capital, Faizer Mackeen, president of Association of Licensed Foreign Agencies (ALFEA), said that the members of the association have reached a consensus on decreasing the charges. (Arab News)
Sri Lanka Army troops to support medical services in strike-hit hospitals
The assistance of the Sri Lanka Army has been offered to conduct emergency skeletal services at island-wide government hospitals following a trade union action, staged by the minor staff working in hospitals Tuesday (26) morning.
At the request of the Ministry of Health, the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva has accordingly directed Army formations at provincial levels to deploy Army personnel in order to assist conduct of essential services. (Colombo Page)
Sri Lankan court bars protests in Chunnakam suburb of Jaffna over gang rape and murder
A Sri Lankan court in Jaffna has ordered a ban on protests for 14 days in a suburb of Jaffna over the gang rape and murder of student.
The Mallakam court in Jaffna on the request of Chunnakam Police has banned staging demonstrations in Chunnakam in Jaffna for 14 days. (Colombo Page)
Sri Lanka rupee spot falls near record low; pressure remains
Sri Lanka's central bank permitted the spot rupee to fall by 20 cents to a near record low on Tuesday but prevented it from falling further amid importer dollar demand while exporters held on to the greenback, dealers said.
The central bank allowed the spot rupee to slip 0.15 percent or 20 cents to 133.90, near its record low of 134.10, hit on June 28, 2012, Thomson Reuters data showed. (Business Recorder)
Striking health sector employees face suspension if not reported for duty
The Health Ministry of Sri Lanka warned that the temporary and substitute health sector employees who are on a work strike would be suspended if not reported for duty.
The Ministry has said that the casual and substitute employees who reported for work but refrained from the duties were also considered as vacated their posts, state nedia reported. . (Colombo Page)
Husband turned a woman
In a strange turn of events a 30-year-old woman in a complaint to the police has said her 'husband' with whom she had been living for the past eight years was after all a woman and not a man.
The complainant told police that she had been deserted by her paramour after she had a child by him several years before she met the suspect through a marriage proposal published in a newspaper. She said her 'husband' was a mason by profession and after marriage they lived in a rented house in Colombo.(Daily Mirror)
Sri Lanka opposition emphasizes SLFP's commitment for the 20th Amendment
The Opposition Leader of Sri Lanka parliament has rejected the allegations that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) is not interested in the 20th Amendment to the Constitution to bring electoral reforms and emphasized that the party is dedicated to get the legislation adopted.
Issuing a special statement, Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva said the political structure was hindered through the Executive Presidential system and the preferential voting system affiliated to it. (Colombo Page)
Sri Lanka rejects Indian proposal to solve fishing dispute
The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday said it had refused to agree to a proposal from India to allow Indian fishermen to catch fish in Sri Lankan waters.
Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that India had requested Sri Lanka to allow Indians to catch fish for 65 days a year in Sri Lankan waters in an attempt to resolve the Indo-Lanka fishing issue.(XinhuaNet)
President visits Jaffna over gang-rape anger
Sri Lanka`s President Maithripala Sirisena flew to the island`s former northern warzone of Jaffna on Tuesday to defuse rising tensions over the gang rape and murder of a teenager, a spokesman said.
Sirisena met relatives of the 17-year-old school girl killed in the minority Tamil stronghold two weeks ago, an incident that sparked clashes between residents and police, who were accused of failing to act swiftlyd. (Zee News)
Trade advises caution in Sri Lanka's push for open skies
Sri Lanka is planning to adopt an open skies policy to boost tourism numbers as it guns for 2.5 million arrivals in 2016, but aviation and travel experts are urging the government to proceed carefully.
Speaking at the ongoing Hospitality Investment Conference Indian Ocean in Colombo, finance minister Ravi Karunanayake said: “We are adopting an open skies policies similar to the Maldives to attract more visitors and encourage more investments.” (TTG)
Non-tariff barriers largest road block to ties with India, says Sri Lanka minister
A banker turned politician, Sri Lanka’s deputy minister for highways and investment promotion Eran Wickramaratne says trade and investment with can grow exponentially but makes a strong case for reduction in non-tariff barriers (NTBs) by India. In an interview with Sanjay Jog, Wickramaratne explains how both the countries can prosper and help the region. (Business Standard)
Secretary to former Sri Lankan president to be indicted over misuse of TRC money
Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa along with two others will be indicted in the high court over the misuse of Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) money, according to a media report.
Weeratunga, who was the Chairman of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission during the previous government, and two others are accused of misusing Rs. 620 million of TRC money for election campaigns of former president. (Colombo Page)
Sri Lanka parliament launches new inquiry into government bond deal
Sri Lanka's parliament will launch a new inquiry into a controversial government bond deal after the main opposition party said an initial investigation that cleared the central bank chief of any direct role was not independent.
The opposition United People's Freedom Party (UPFA), which has a majority of seats in parliament, has alleged corruption in the Feb. 27 sale of a 30-year treasury bond. (Economic Times)
Opposition MPs complain to IMF against Central Bank Governor
A group of parliamentarians of Sri Lanka's United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has lodged a complaint with the representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Sri Lanka.
Former ruling party MPs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Bandula Gunawardena, Dullas Alahapperuma and Udith Lokubandara have complained to the resident representative of IMF over the controversial Central Bank bond sale and the Central Bank's Governor Arjuna Mahendran (Colombo Page)
Mob attacks Palai Police team
A Police team from Palai came under attack from residents, when they had attempted to arrest a suspect of an assault who had resisted the attempt to the arrest last evening.
The suspect a resident from Palai, had allegedly assaulted a person following a dispute after which a complaint was lodged at the Palai Police station on Saturday. (Daily Mirror)
Viral flu invades country
Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala yesterday said a viral infection was fast spreading in the country and the worst affected were pregnant women. He, however, said it was not bird flu and the Medical Research Institute (MRI) had identified it as A/H1N1.
Dr. Maheepala said the Medical Supplies Division (MSD) had been instructed to provide all necessary drugs to the hospitals to battle the disease. (The Island)
Sri Lanka government welcomes Cannes prize for Dheepan
Sri Lanka's government has hailed the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or award for Dheepan, a film about the bloody with Tamil Tiger (LTTE) separatists, hoping that it will draw attention to its "reconciliation efforts".
Dheepan tells the story of a Tamil Tiger guerrilla who flees the country with a woman and girl who pose as his family and ends up on a crime-ridden French housing estate. (rfi)
Sri Lanka police probe death of US pilot
Sri Lankan police have launched a probe into the death of a US Air Force pilot whose body was discovered from a hotel room in the capital Colombo last week, an official said.
Police Media Spokesperson ASP Ruwan Gunesekare told Xinhua that the victim's body was discovered on Thursday night from a room of a five star hotel where he had checked in a day earlier. (Global Times)
Film on Sri Lanka’s Tamil refugees wins Palme d’Or
French film “Dheepan” won the top Palme d’Or prize for director Jacques Audiard at the 68th Cannes International Film Festival on Sunday, crowning a good night for French cinema but a bad one for Italy and actress Cate Blanchett.
The choice of a film that revolves around the lives of Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka’s civil war moving to France was seen as sending a political message, but the awards overall left some critics and festivalgoers dumbfounded. (Japan News)
More ministers to resign, including UNPers: Dinesh
More SLFP as well as UNP Ministers would quit the government following the steps of the four ministers who resigned on Thursday, UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena said today. - See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/73677/more-ministers-to-resign-including-unpers-dinesh#sthash.d1hkHQg5.dpuf
Sri Lanka Freedom Party seeks nominations for remanded members
A group of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) members have sought nominations for members who are in police custody for various acts of corruption.
The Colombo Page website quoted former minister T.B. Ekanayake, as saying that none of the members in custody had been proven guilty, and therefore, nominations should be given to them. (New Kwrala)
Sri Lanka police bust fake Indian currency racket
Two persons have been arrested in Sri Lanka for printing fake Indian currency, police said today.
Following information received by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) two people were arrested on Saturday, spokesman and Assistant Superintendent Ruwan Gunasekera said (Economic Times)
Director General of Sri Lanka Customs resigns
Finance Minister of Sri Lanka Ravi Karunanayake today said that Director General of Customs Jagath P. Wijeweera has tendered his resignation to the Finance Ministry Secretary.
The Minister told a news conference that the exact reason for Wijeweera's resignation has not yet been revealed. (Colombo Page)
Sri Lankan shares little changed amid political concerns
Sri Lankan shares were little changed on Monday as investors awaited clarity on the political front and the timing of a parliamentary election as concerns over political stability weighed on sentiment, stockbrokers said.
The main stock index ended down 0.05 percent at 7,284.76. (REUTERS)
Former minister further remanded
Former Co-operatives and Internal Trade Minister of Sri Lanka Johnston Fernando was remanded further when he was produced before the court today.
Kurunegala Magistrate Ravindra Premaratne further remanded former Minister and parliamentarian Johnston Fernando, who is in remand custody over an alleged financial fraud, until June 8 when he was produced in Kurunegala Magistrate court Monday. (Colombo Page)
Sri Lankans in Los Angeles Commemorate Victory Day
A memorandum calling on President Maithripala Sirisena expressing concern on growing signs of an LTTE comeback and urging him to stand firm against separatism was handed over to the Sri Lankan Consulate General's office at 3250 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles. (weebly.com/)
Keheliya says he said no to Ranil’s offer
Former Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella alleged that following the Presidential Election in January, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had offered him a ministerial portfolio if he were to join the United National Party (UNP).
The Parliamentarian said he was contacted by the Prime Minister who offered him a portfolio if he would leave with the 26 SLFPers who joined the government.(Daily Mirror)
Comprehensive national security plan under preparation in Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan government plans to devise a comprehensive national security plan covering all aspects of necessary areas of security in the island nation, President Maithripala Sirisena said Sunday.
The national security plan has already been taken up in the National Security Council and will be finalized shortly with the support of tri-services after consultations, the President stated. (Colombo Page)
Number of HIV cases in Sri Lanka are rising – statistics reveal
The Ministry of Health has says that the number of HIV cases in Sri Lanka are on the rise.
According to available statistics, Sri Lanka has 75 children under the age of 15 with HIV/AIDS, and there are 3,000 documented cases of HIV/AIDS in total within the country, with a majority of those infected being males. (Hiru News)
Sri Lanka will engage with the diaspora
The Sri Lankan Government has reiterated that it will engage with the diaspora and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs intends to take the lead in organizing a diaspora festival where persons of Sri Lankan origin from around the world in all possible fields could participate and explore means to work closely with Sri Lanka including in reconciliation and development efforts.
This was stated by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera who just concluded a visit to Germany which was was focused on renewing relations with Germany, Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner in Europe, the Foreign Ministry said today. (Colombo Gazette)
Gem smuggling Indian national nabbed in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Customs at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Colombo have nabbed this morning an Indian national, who had allegedly attempted to smuggle out a stock of gems worth Rs. 9.7 m million.
The suspect was arrested when he was at the airport to board a flight to Dubai. (Colombo Page)
On the architect's trail in Sri Lanka
For fans of Geoffrey Bawa, there is an excellent tour that visits buildings he designed, his homes and the places that inspired him. A highlight of the tour is that you get to stay in properties designed by him. Your tour starts off in Sigiriya, where you stay at the beautiful Kandalama Hotel designed by Bawa.
During your stay, you get to explore Anuradhapura and Avukana in the Cultural Triangle, as well as the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Then you head for the historical city of Kandy, stopping off at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage en route. (Sunday Times)
Rs.2.7 trillion Treasury Bond probe to begin on Tuesday
Following Friday’s bombshell dropped by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that Treasury Bonds totalling Rs.2.7 trillion had been issued through private placements between 2012 and 2014, COPE is to commence its probe into the allegation on Tuesday.
"We, will begin our inquiry into the accusations made by the Prime Minister, the recent Rs.10 billion Treasury Bills issue and any other malpactices, by summoning the Treasury Secretary on Tuesday. (Sunday Island)
Court order issued banning demonstrations in Jaffna
The Jaffna Magistrate Court has issued an order preventing any protests in the town of Jaffna.
The order has been issued against Northern Provincial Councilor Anandi Sashidharan and 2 other organizations. (Hiru News)
Sri Lanka Navy brings home 16 fishermen released from India
Sri Lanka Navy Saturday brought home 16 Sri Lankan fishermen released from custody by the Indian officials.
Indian Coast Guard Ship "Rajtarang" has handed over the released fishermen to the Sri Lanka Navy at the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in the seas north off Kankasanthurai on 23rd May 2015, the Navy said. (New Straits Times)
Sri Lanka police slammed over ex war zone gang rape
Sri Lankan police came under fire Saturday for their failure to act after the gang rape and murder of a teenage girl in the district of Jaffna, as tensions heightened in the former war zone following angry protests over the incident.
Children’s Affairs Minister Rosy Senanayake slammed police for their response to a complaint after the 17-year-old student – identified as Vidya – went missing in Jaffna last week. Her bruised body was found a day later near her home. (New Straits Times)
Positive agreement on 20th amendment: says SLFP
SLFP representative and Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera says that they will present the draft bill of 20th constitutional amendment which includes the changes to the electoral system at the next cabinet meeting.
The Minister stated that final rounds of talks are held regarding the matter (Hiru News)
Sri Lanka women cricketers 'forced to do sexual favours'
Sri Lankan authorities will charge two men managing the country's women's cricket team following allegations they demanded sexual favours from team members to guarantee their positions.
Sports ministry spokesman Srilal Gomes said a disciplinary inquiry initiated in November uncovered evidence of "sexual harassment" against women players. (tvnz)