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Lanka laments landslides loss
Thursday, 19 May 2016 - 10:59 AM SL Time

Fatalities from the flash floods and landslides climbed steadily throughout the day, ending at 37 dead and 362,000 affected by the inclement weather conditions caused by a low pressure area moving across the island.

Two big landslides in the Kegalle District was the major focus of rescue operations since Tuesday (17) night. The mountain slip in Aranayake practically buried three remote villages and displaced over a thousand people who took shelter in four displacement camps set up in schools and temples in the area.
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U.S. supports Sri Lanka to restore its rightful place as a leader in international community - envoy
Monday, 16 May 2016 - 10:04 PM SL Time

The United States will support Sri Lanka`s efforts to restore its rightful place as a leader in the international community with more support, resources and expertise, the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap told a group of legislators today. `The United States looks forward to opportunities to provide more support, bring more resources, and share more expertise in your efforts to restore Sri Lanka`s rightful place as a leader in the international community, one that contributes to the global economy promotes human rights, accountability, transitional justice, and democracy and that helps to uphold international law,` the Ambassador said.
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Grandma raped and killed
Monday, 16 May 2016 - 9:24 AM SL Time

Sri Lankans lived in a civilized, disciplined society before Victorian morals were rooted in the island. Folklore says that a beautiful woman wearing all 64 traditional jewellery could walk safely from Point Pedro to Dondra (Devundara) even at night.
How did such a society transform itself into a one in which fathers raping their own daughters, grandfathers raping their granddaughters and even grandmothers_day.jsp' class=black>mothers being raped? Is it the impact of Western culture or is it the bad times we are going through?
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Indian PM, Sri Lankan President hold bilateral discussion on trade, fishermen issue
Saturday, 14 May 2016 - 7:19 AM SL Time

New Delhi- India`s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday held bilateral discussions with the visiting Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on a range of issues including ways to boost trade and a permanent solution for the nagging fishermen issue. Hosting a working dinner for the Sri Lankan President, who is on a two-day visit to India, at the Hyderabad House Friday, the Indian PM discussed all major bilateral issues. Full Story     Post Reply To This     Read Replies ( 164 )

Basil arrested by FCID
Thursday, 12 May 2016 - 1:27 PM SL Time

Former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa has been arrested by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) a short while ago, sources said. Mr. Rajapaksa arrived at the FCID this morning to give a statement over an irregularity in purchasing a land in Matara.
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Holidaying at public expense!
Thursday, 12 May 2016 - 1:51 AM SL Time

This white collar high-up heading a key State establishment has a daughter domiciled abroad. She and her family members were here on a holiday recently and the indulgent father generously used the resources of the State-owned body he helms to provide all facilities necessary for them to enjoy their holiday here, they say.

The white collar bigwig placed a Merc and a van belonging to the establishment at the disposal of the holiday makers to go places in comfort. He also had made it a point to fix new tires to the Merc at a cost of Rs.195, 000 before releasing it for the use of the privileged holiday-makers.
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Full List: Sri Lankans Named In Offshore Leaks
Tuesday, 10 May 2016 - 1:25 PM SL Time

Here are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. As the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists suggests, we do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly.

We publish below the list of Sri Lankans published by ICIJ in 2013.

Ahmed Ismail Hossain
Akhter Mahmud
Aliakber Saifudeen Jeevunjee
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Torture continues in Lanka due to weaknesses in law: UN
Sunday, 8 May 2016 - 5:00 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka continues to use torture mechanisms even after the end of the civil war due to weaknesses in law, a top UN official said here today and described the condition of detention camps and prisons in the country as `deplorable`.

`Torture continues in the system due to weaknesses in law,` said Juan E Mendez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.

Mendez was on an 8-day visit to Sri Lanka with the UN Rapporteur on Independence of Judiciary Monica Pinto. Full Story     Post Reply To This     Read Replies ( 233 )

No Sri Lankans involved in ATM scam: CID
Wednesday, 4 May 2016 - 4:42 AM SL Time

No further arrests have been made in connection with the ATM scam involving two Chinese men who were arrested on Friday, the CID said today.

They were arrested on charges installing an illegal electronic device on some ATMs to skim the data of those using the ATMs.

The arrests were made after the CID had received several complaints from banks in Colombo stating that electronic devices had been installed at ATMs. The illegal devices had been handed over to the CID.

The CID arrested the two suspects at Wellawatta while they were attempting to remove one of the devices from an ATM. They were remanded till May 11 by Mount Laviniya Magistrate.
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World Bank gives US$45mn to protect Sri Lanka s natural habitats
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 - 10:57 PM SL Time

The World Bank has approved a 45 million US dollar loan to help protect Sri Lanka s natural habitats and resources from degradation and exploitation.

The money will also help improve the lives and livelihoods of neighboring communities, who suffer the most from natural resource loss and degradation, a statement said.

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No honesty in Jayalalithaa`s claim on Sri Lankan Tamils issue: DMK MP Kanimozhi
Monday, 25 April 2016 - 8:51 AM SL Time

DMK MP Kanimozhi on Sunday slammed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, saying the latter has no right to talk on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue as she highlights the same just before the elections.

`She is the one who actually was against the entire Sri Lankan problem. In the 2014 general election, she spoke about this (Sri Lankan issue) and after that during her entire tenure she didn`t talk about it. There is no honesty and integrity about her stand when it comes on the Sri Lankan issue,` Kanimozhi told ANI.
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EU lifts ban on fisheries products imported from Sri Lanka
Friday, 22 April 2016 - 1:21 AM SL Time

The European Union (EU) today lifted the ban on fisheries products imported from Sri Lanka.

The European Commission said that after a lengthy dialogue process Sri Lanka has now successfully reformed its fisheries governance system.

Sri Lanka was issued with a yellow card in 2012 and listed by the Council in February 2015. This was the result of a long standing failure to address serious shortcomings in the implementation of control measures, a lack of deterrent sanctions, as well as the failure to comply with international and regional fisheries rules.
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Economic focus on IMF, political focus on May Day rally
Sunday, 17 April 2016 - 3:31 PM SL Time

Govt. negotiators in Washington to press for enhanced bailout of US$ 3 billion, but even then more taxes and price hikes
Wide criticism of Cabinet obesity with number nearing 100: Rs. 5 million a month to maintain each minister
Show of strength on May Day: Maithri s SLFP meeting in Galle, Joint Opposition formally invites Rajapaksa for Kirulapone meeting

Concerns over Sri Lanka s deteriorating balance of payments crisis have heightened after an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission concluded its staff level talks with the Government last Monday.
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B`desh bank heist: Sri Lanka in the clear
Friday, 15 April 2016 - 3:25 AM SL Time

The Bangladeshi Police team in the island investigating the Bangladesh bank heist said they did not think that there was a direct link between those in Sri Lanka and the hackers who stole the money.

`We suspect that they were only using Sri Lanka as a place to transfer money easily. They just may have had associates here,` an officer said.

She said the hackers were trying to find the easiest routes to transfer the money out.
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DEW blows whistle on another CB scam
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 - 2:35 PM SL Time

Communist Party (CP) leader D. E. W. Gunasekera yesterday urged the government to give an explanation regarding the issue of treasury bonds by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) worth Rs. 80 billion on March 29, 2016 after announcing that it would issue treasury bonds worth only Rs. 40 billion.

Addressing a press conference at the Dr. N. M Perera Centre in Borella, former COPE Chairman Gunasekera stressed that the recent incident was the second biggest financial controversy within a year.
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Ravi predicts enhanced economic growth this year
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 - 1:17 AM SL Time

With 6% GDP growth forecast for this year, up from 4.8% in 2015, `Sri Lanka is on the move,` Finance Minister, Ravi Karunanayake maintained in his keynote address at the Asian Investment Conference at Hotel Conrad in Hong Kong last week (8).

Since a new president and prime minister took office at the beginning of 2015, the government had worked to get the country back onto a path of strong economic growth, Minister Karunanayake said. `It was necessary for fiscal consolidation to take place.` A key priority had been to better manage debt and trim costs. To this end, Sri Lanka was set to agree on a standby facility with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this week.
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Security withdrawn not to disgrace MR
Saturday, 9 April 2016 - 4:54 PM SL Time

State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene today said the withdrawal of military personnel from former president Mahinda Rajapaksa s security detail was never aimed at humiliating him or putting his life in danger. Addressing a ceremony to amrk the launch of the fifth phase of the `Virusara` Privilege card at the Light Infantry Headquarters in Panagoda, the minister said specially trained police personnel would replace military personnel in Mr. Rajapaksa s security division. Minister Wijewardene further said that military security was not given even to President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe or to himself as the State Minister of Defence. The State Minister emphasized that tri-forces security should be provided not for VIPs, but for the national security. According to the Security Council s decision to withdraw military security from VIPs, no politician will be provided with military security hereafter, the minister added. During the last regime, our military personnel had to carry even sandbags when they participated in some sports events organized by the children of VIPs, he recalled. - See more at: Full Story     Post Reply To This     Read Replies ( 209 )

Sri Lanka hoping to wrap up billion dollar deal with IMF next week
Thursday, 7 April 2016 - 8:58 PM SL Time

Sri Lanka is expecting to finalize and agreement with the International Monetary Fund next week which may involve a loan of about a billion US dollars, State Minister for Finance, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said.

`By next week we are hoping to reach an agreement with the IMF,` Minister Abeywardene said.

`It is not that they tell us what to do. We have to present our plan and show we are going to manage the economy.`
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Tough action against those who violate party discipline
Wednesday, 6 April 2016 - 1:05 AM SL Time

The SLFP Central Committee will sack the parliamentarians who attend the proposed rival May Day rally to be organized by the joint opposition on May, a senior SLFPer said today. When asked about the reported preparation by the joint opposition to hold a separate May Day rally at Kirula Grounds in Kirillapone, th said he believed that no SLFP parliamentarian would participate in that rally by violating party instructions and discipline, but assured that the Central Committee would definitely take punitive action against any MP who participates in that rally. It is true that the SLFP CC was lenient and did not take any disciplinary action against those who participated in the joint opposition rally at Hyde Park on March 17 despite strict instructions by the SLFP hierarchy not to do so. As a political party which gives a prominent place to discipline, we have decided to take tough action against those who participate in a rival May Day rally, he said and added that those who violate party discipline might probably be expelled. Meanwhile, UPFA General Secretary and Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the main SLFP May Day rally would be held in Galle under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena. `We have invited all constituent parties of the UPFA for the May Day rally in Galle and expect them to attend, he said. The minister said he would not give up his efforts to unite the SLFP, as divisions in the party would diminish the chances of returning to power in 2020. No one I spoke to was agreeable to the forming of a separate political party. I have already spoken to Communist Party leader DEW Gunasekara, MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardana, Deshavimukthi Party Leader Appuhami, parliamentarians Keheliya Rambukwella, Kumara Welgama and Udaya Gammanpila,who had earlier refused to talk to me. They all want to contest the forthcoming local government poll under the UPFA, he said. The minister said the SLFP CC last week decided to suspend the party membership of 10 local government heads who failed to respond to the letters of explanation and failed to appear before the CC when summoned. They are, former Maharagama mayor Kanthi Kodikara, former Moratuwa mayor Saman Lal Fernando, former Walallawita PS chairman Udeni Athukorala, former Gampaha PS chairman Ranjith Gunawardana, former Attanagalla PS chairman Priyantha Pushpakumara, former Mirigama PS chairman Sarath Nandasiri, former Matale PS chairman Kapila Bandara, former Ukuwela PS chairman W.Somasiri, former Dambulla PS chairman K.G. Somatilaka and former Boralesgamuwa Urban Council chairman Aruna Priyashantha. The minister said the local government polls would be held in six months, after the issues pertaining to delimitation were addressed and the necessary ground work was in place. Full Story     Post Reply To This     Read Replies ( 110 )

Crucial talks with IMF as Govt. grapples to avoid financial crisis
Sunday, 3 April 2016 - 12:07 PM SL Time

The Government this week stepped up efforts to resuscitate the country s economy in the wake of a looming financial crisis. Towards this end, top level talks got under way on Friday with an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission which arrived in Colombo the previous day. It is headed by Todd Schneider who has led previous IMF missions to Sri Lanka. Representing the Government were Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrema, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and Prime Minister s Advisor R. Paskaralingam.
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