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Editorial: Pension bonanza for Prez

Oct 17 (Island) The govt is playing Santa. It has fattened Prez Sirisena’s retirement package, which is very attractive; he will be able to occupy his official residence at Paget Road. About five years ago, when President Sirisena declared, after his inauguration, that he would not move into the President’s House and had the Paget Road official residence converted into a presidential abode, we argued, in this space, that he was planning to stay there after retirement. more..

I will protect Media rights: Sajith Premadasa

Oct 17 (CT) Democratic National Front (DNF) Prez candidate, Sajith Premadasa, says the people must decide on 16 Nov, whether they are willing to go back to the dark days of the Rajapaksa regime, where people who demanded water at Rathupaswela, the FTZ workers who protested to safeguard their EPF, and the fisher folk of Chilaw who demanded fuel concessions were answered with bullets, or whether they are ready to hand over the task of ushering in a safe and secure Sri Lanka to him. more..

Cigarette smuggling in Sri Lanka: Hype vs. Reality

Oct 17 (TM) In the run up to elections, SL is once again witnessing various news activities highlighting how the govt is losing revenue due to increased consumption of illicit cigarettes and beedi. However, the wider govt policy on tobacco control is aimed to reduce smoking rates and the related direct and indirect costs – which was estimated to amount to 6% of govt revenue in 2015 – through taxation. This blog argues that although controlling the availability of illegal cigarettes in the market is important, more..

Basil Rajapaksa

Do the rich starve?

Oct 17 (ST) Probably, the issue that we dealt with last week ended with more questions than answers. The issue that we focussed on was that “there are too many people in rural agriculture sector in SL, producing too little”, so that they continue to remain in poverty without an adequate income. Our discussion led to an important question: “What is the best strategy to get them out of rural poverty”. The answer that we arrived at was that a significant number of people in the rural agriculture sector more..

Technology transformation, next biggest challenge: Dr Wijayasuriya

Oct 17 (DN) Technology transformation is the next biggest challenge as well as the biggest opportunity that is before us in the years to come, Chairman, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and CEO – South Asia region and Corporate Executive Vice President, Axiata Group, Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya told the 40th National Conference of Chartered Accountants organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA SL) on Monday. “This digital transformation paves the way for the rise of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0) more..

When people are discarded like garbage

Oct 17 (CT) It is no secret that our Govt authorities and institutions lack coordination, and in many cases, fail to work in alignment with a well-defined plan, with several measures implemented at the whims of whoever happens to be in the leader's seat. A recent case of such shortsighted strategies has resulted in a number of families losing their homes and driven closer to the brink of poverty. In this case, the Western Province Waste Management Authority (WPWMA) had taken steps to more..

The 3 Ex-Ex-Ex's!

Oct 17 (DM) Life consists of 3 Ex+Ex+Ex’s– Yesterday was Experience Today is Experiment and Tomorrow is Expectation our political morons have not yet learnt to use the Experience of their Experiments to achieve their Expectations!!! We should learn to treasure the Experience of Yesterday, in order to learn from it and add value to Today’s Experiment which should jointly fortify us to face Tomorrow’s Expectation or at least be prepared for it!!! more..

Are Sajith and Gota thinking like professionals?'

Oct 17 (DM) The election results in Elpitiya a few days ago underscored the fact that politicians can obtain benefits from investments if they’re done wisely. Many moons ago the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime invested heavily on the Southern Expressway. Political analysts point out that the people of Elpitiya, a village in Galle District, benefited immensely by this facility; largely because the folk in the village are involved in producing cinnamon, low grown tea, rice and rubber. more..

'Gotabaya can guarantee national security'

Oct 17 (CT) SLPP Founder and National Organiser, Basil Rajapaksa, says the people are asking for a country where they can live safely, without any fear or doubts. "That is why Gotabaya is coming," he said. Q: At the last moment, the SLFP decided to support the candidate of your camp. Actually, did you expect this to happen even at this last moment? A: Actually the leaders of the two parties and the people of this country expected that the parties will join together. more..

Intellectual hypnotism & Future of academic freedom in Sri Lanka

Oct 17 (CT) Public attention has been drawn towards SL academia and the State University sector when two prominent Vice Chancellors were sacked by the executive president of SL. After Prof. Ratnem Vignaswaran, the former VC of the Jaffna University was dismissed a handful of current and retired academics issued a statement condemning the situation and discussed the consequences that the academic community in the country would face. The latest dismissal of Prof. Sarath Chandrajeewa, more..

Presidential Election: The truth about the ULF’s stand

Oct 17 (CT) The Island newspaper of 12 October carried a report titled ULF reviewing its decision to back JVP; likely to support Sajith by Shamindra Ferdinando. The Sunday Observer of 13 October followed up with “United Left Front poised to change course and back Sajith?” This report said: “Speaking to the Sunday Observer, UNF Parliamentarian and United Left Front member Dr Jayampathy Wickremaratne confirmed that there had been calls for the party to change its decision. more..

Malaysia continues monitoring LTTE-linked photos and videos on social media

Oct 16 (TS) Bukit Aman will not discount any piece of evidence linking several individuals, including politicians, to the Tamil Tigers following the circulation of related videos and photos on social media, says Deputy Comm Datuk Ayob Khan. Counter Terrorism Division (E8) head said the police were aware of photos and videos of Malaysian politicians attending LTTE-linked events making their rounds on social media. more..

General amnesty period for Lankans staying illegally in Malaysia

Oct 16 (AD) The local employees in Malaysia, who are staying in the country while violating immigration and emigration laws, have been granted a general amnesty period. High Commission of Sri Lanka in Malaysia had informed the SL Bureau of Foreign Employment that this general amnesty period will be in effect until the 31st of Dec 2019. Accordingly, the Sri Lankans in Malaysia, who have overstayed their visas and do not have the passport stamp, are allowed to submit a letter of request more..

Rs 3.6 billion freshwater project a river for Jaffna receives Cabinet approval

Oct 16 (DN) Cabinet approval was granted to implement a five year project aimed at resolving the water issue in Jaffna, which was presented for approval by the Mahaweli Development and Environment Minister today. As there are no rivers in the Jaffna Peninsula, in order to resolve the shortage of water, a project termed A river for Jaffna has been designed to be implemented within five years. The project aims at reducing the salinity of the well water bordering Wadamarachchi lagoon, more..

SLPP faults State media for distorting Gota’s statement

Oct 16 (RN) SLPP today accused all state media of distorting and misinterpreting its prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s statements. Addressing the media, Gotabaya’s official media spokesman MP Dullas Alahapperuma said that the state media have distorted the statements made by Gotabaya during his first-ever press conference held yesterday. “All the State media whilst following a biased policy, are trying to tarnish more..

Igniting nation’s mojo via business leaders

Oct 16 (FT) The 40th National Conference of Chartered Accountants, organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), this year underscored the critical role business dynamism and agility in corporate leadership could play in driving a country forward and igniting its mojo. The three-day event was inaugurated on Monday at Waters Edge under the aegis of Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) President Fiona Wilkinson. more..

Galle Dialogue 2019 to be held this month

Oct 16 (MoD) SL Navy’s flagship annual int'l maritime conference, Galle Dialogue will be held in Colombo on 21st and 22nd of Oct. This year, the Galle Dialogue - 2019 will be held under the theme Refining mindset to address transnational maritime threats: A review of the decade. This was revealed at a media briefing held at the Navy Hq. Prez Sirisena, is scheduled to grace the inaugural ceremony of the annual maritime conference at the Galle Face Hotel as the Chief Guest. more..

Video: Over 80% voter turnout expected at prez poll: EC chairman

Oct 16 (AD) Chairman of Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya says the upcoming Prez Election will exceed 80% of voter turnout. He stated this addressing a press conference this morning. Commenting on the Elpitiya PS election, Deshapriya said it concluded peacefully and that the people of the area had shown such enthusiasm in casting their ballots that the voter turnout of some wards had exceeded 80-85%. more..

PAFFREL to monitor social media for election violations

Oct 16 (RN) Executive Director of People’s Action for Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL) Rohana Hettiarachchi said that they have set up two teams to monitor online content on social media to curb the spread of hate speech, fake news and racism during the Prez Election period. Speaking at a media briefing Hettiarachchi said that the teams will report to the Election Commission and social media networking sites for further action in the days leading up to the Prez Election on 16 Nov. more..

Gota and Mahinda betrayed soldiers on war crime by denying leading the war: Harshana

Oct 16 (RN) UNP MP Harshana Rajakaruna says although the Rajapaksa brothers Gotabaya and Mahinda are ready to take the credit for the war victory, they betrayed the troops by refusing to take responsibility of the alleged war crimes saying that they did not lead the army during the war. Rajakaruna said that Gotabaya Rajapaksa should have been able to speak with a backbone at the press conference yesterday when foreign journalists questioned him about alleged war crimes. more..

STF busts refuse tea racket: Three nabbed with over 14 MT of refuse tea

Oct 16 (DM) A large consignment of over 14,000 kg of refuse tea was seized by the STF during a raid at Kandegoda in Ambalangoda today. STF said three suspects were also taken into custody along with the consignment. Initially, the STF arrested two suspects who were transporting 4,000 kg of refused tea in a lorry. Further questioning of the suspects led the STF to raid a warehouse in the area and found another more..

Sri Lanka to set up debt management office in Treasury

Oct 16 (EN) Cabinet of ministers had cleared the setting up a debt management bureau as a separate unit in the finance ministry, the state information office said. SL’s domestic and foreign debt securities are now sold and managed by a unit in the Central Bank while foreign loans are raised by the external resources department of the finance ministry. The cabinet has also cleared the drawing of a debt management law. To develop the institutional framework, a five member debt management more..

Evidence hearing of Basil’s Divineguma case on Nov 7

Oct 16 (NR) The evidence hearing of the case filed against former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and four others at the Colombo High Court, under indictments on five counts, has been postponed to the 7th of Nov. High Court Judge Shashi Mahendran decided to postpone the evidence hearing because the High Court Judge hearing the case, R Gurusinghe was on leave today. The case was filed against former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and four others under indictments on 5 counts including charges of more..

SLFP MPs continue to get hooted

Oct 16 (TL) Acting Leader of SLFP Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa says that hooting is a nation custom in Sri Lanka. Referring to the hooting at SLFP MPs by SLPP supporters at SLPP election rallies, Piyadasa has told the media that Sri Lankans hooted as a method of communication from ancient times. “We hoot at someone to insult or ridicule him. We hoot in joy at musical shows and we hoot at singers more..

'Sajith held only one public day in 4 years'

Oct 16 (DM) While saying that the simplicity of NDF prez candidate Sajith Premadasa was not genuine, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa said today Sajith had held only one public day during the past four and half years as a minister. He said even this particular public day was also held very recently, which was made viral on social media under the instruction by himself. “When Sajith Premadasa gets onto the stage, he always speaks of the people and his immense concern on people. more..

Stone weapons used by prehistoric man found from Mankulam

Oct 16 (AD) Several stone weapons used by prehistoric man have been found in the area nearby Panikkan Kulam in Mankulam, Mullaitivu, says Prof Paramu Pushparatnam. Prof. stated that he had inspected the area after he was notified by the residents that artefacts belonging to the prehistoric times exist there. According to the estimation of Prof. Pushparatnam, the stone weapons recovered from the area had been used over 10,000 years and he added that these artefacts would be directed more..

AG instructs police to arrest former MP Jaya Sri Ranga

Oct 16 (RN) Attorney General Dappula de Livera has instructed police today to arrest the former MP and talk show host Sri Ranga Jeyaratnam aka Jaya Sir Ranga and 6 others including police officers over a fatal accident that took place in Vavuniya in 2011. According to police an unregistered vehicle driven by former MP Jaya Sri Ranga had met with an accident near the Settikulam hospital in Vavuniya on 30 July 2011. more..

Wimal's camp opposes Basil's stance on the decentralization of power

Oct 16 (TL) The NFF led by Wimal Weerawansa is said to be disgruntled by Pohottuwa organiser Basil Rajapaksa's comment to The Hindu in which he claimed that he will strive to ensure the decentralization of powers. The party, reporting on the matter on their website Lanka Lead News, is attempting to shape public opinion against Basil Rajapaksa's stance by presenting the opinion held by veteran author Gunadasa Amarasekara. "We must talk about what Basil Rajapaksa told more..

Suspicious vehicle in Mattakkuliya a false alarm, Police clarifies

Oct 16 (AD) Mattakkuliya Police Station has launched an investigation into a tip-off received by them regarding a suspicious vehicle parked near a church and a school in Mattakkuliya. Upon inspection, the police have discovered a luxury vehicle parked in the mentioned area, stated the Police Media Spokesperson. However, further inspection has revealed that the owner of the vehicle had left the vehicle there over a technical malfunction experienced last night (15). more..

Storm over Army Chief appearing in Gota advertisement

Oct 16 (RN) A potential political firestorm is brewing over the current Army Commander Lt Gen Shavendra Silva appearing in an advertisement carried in the weekend newspapers endorsing the candidacy of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Chief Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya told reporters today Oct 16 that it is wrong for the Army Commander to appear in an advertisement for a candidate. more..

60,000 complaints against charges made by parking meters in Colombo

Oct 16 (DM) Colombo Municipal Council has received about 60,000 complaints regarding alleged unfair charges made by parking meters installed in certain areas in the Colombo city limits, Colombo Municipal Councillor Sumith Passaperuma said. He said this system of automatic charging was implemented along the Galle Road and by-roads in 2015 but since it was met with many complaints related to unfair fines imposed, those fines were abolished in 2018 by the Colombo Mayor. more..

Brazilian sentenced to death for committing drug offences in Sri LAnka

Oct 16 (AD) A Brazilian national, who was arrested for smuggling in and being in possession of 600g of cocaine while in Sri Lanka, has been sentenced to death. He was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) by the Customs officers on the 16th of February 2018. He was later handed over to the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB). Following a lengthy trial, the Negombo Magistrate’s Court yesterday (15) sentenced the suspect to death. more..

සෞඛ්යය ප්රතිපත්තිය එළිදැක්වීම: අනුර කුමාර

A nation rich in human capital

Oct 16 (FT) This series is based on business leader Dhammika Perera’s recently revealed Economic Growth Strategy and Action Plan to increase GDP Per Capita from $ 4,000 to $ 12,000. The document outlines goals and action plans for 23 ministries and today’s column focuses on the Ministry of Higher Education. GOALS: Increase the number of graduates from Govt universities from 25,200 to 60,000 and graduates from local private universities from 15,000 to 105,228. more..

The crime in our democracy

Oct 16 (CT) A short scan through the weekend papers would suggest that Sri Lanka is verily poised on a keg that in its collectivity underscores the utter mess in which politics, and absolutely nothing else, has driven this nation into over the past several decades. The media is suffused with news of how this or that political party has done numerous things to hand on to us a life worth living. Bull dust. Sri Lanka's political society per se has singularly stood out as being completely responsible for more..

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