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Maldives says detained SL trained sniper

Nov 9 (Haveeru) Maldives maintained its assertion Monday that the Sri Lankan sniper arrested in connection to an assassination attempt on the president is indeed a trained shooter. The assertion by Maldivian authorities come after some Sri Lankan media outlets reported that the man was an importer of Maldives dry fish. However, a source familiar with the investigation said that the SL media outlets were mistaken due to more..

Video: Marapana resigns

Nov 9 (AD) Explaining his stance on the decision to resign from his post as the Minister of Law and Order, Tilak Marapana asserts the conduct of the operations at the Avant Garde Security Service were legal. Marapana during a press conference held at his residence in Colombo this morning added operations of the Avant Garde ship still continue. He also went into say he believes the controversy surrounding the Avant Garde more..

Avant Garde throws UNP into confusion

Nov 9 (CT) Today President Maithripala Sirisena and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe will have one-on-one talks over the controversial Avant Garde Armoury deal under probe. These talks are crucial as it would decide the fate of ministerial portfolios of Ministers Tilak Marapana, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and Vajira Abeywardena. The recent statements by Ministers Marapana and Rajapakshe supportive of Avant Garde created uproar in Parliament and political circles. more..

Role model of a politically concerned Bhikku

Nov 9 (CT) Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha may be regarded as a role model of a politically concerned bhikku. Sri Lanka has had many bhikkus who got involved in the political game-play but all of them didn’t play that game rightly keeping the different roles of the bhikku and the politician distinct. There was no conflation of these two roles at any stage reflected in the public image of Revd Maduluwae Sobitha. In the mid-fifties we had the disgraced Buddha Rakkita of the Kelaniya temple more..

JVP press conference

Artistes campaign for release of Gunaratnam

Nov 9 (Island) A group of artistes and activists gathered at the Centre for Society and Religion in Colombo yesterday to decide on a campaign to secure the release of leader of the JVP splinter group FSP, Kumar Gunaratnam, who is currently in remand. Vidarshana Kannangara of the Activists for Political Freedom said: "We campaigned hard to send the previous regime home in the hope that a govt under President Sirisena would not suppress the political rights of the people. more..

Shares slip in dull trade ahead of holiday

Nov 9 (Reuters) Shares ended a tad weaker in thin trade on Monday despite foreign buying as investors sold blue-chips ahead of a holiday. The main stock index ended down 0.13% at 7,050.21, slipping from its highest close since Oct 29 hit on Friday. Foreign investors, who have been net sellers of 3.76 billion rupees worth of equities so far this year, bought a net 64.9 million rupees worth of shares. The day's turnover was 491.8 million rupees, less than half of this year's daily average more..

UN group on missing begins meetings

Nov 9 (CG) UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances began meetings in Colombo yesterday as part of its official visit to Sri Lanka which will conclude on 18 Nov. During its mission, UN experts will study the measures adopted by State to prevent and eradicate enforced disappearances, including issues related to truth, justice and reparation for the victims of enforced disappearances. more..

Video: Wele suda’s sister re-remanded

Nov 9 (DM) Drug kingpin Samantha Kumara alias Wele Suda’s sister Dilini Nilmini and her two accomplices were ordered to be further remanded till Nov 23 by Maligakanda Magistrate Dulani Jayasekara today for possessing 111 grams of heroin worth more than Rs.1.7 million. The Police told the Magistrate that the report on the seized heroin had yet not received from the Govt Analyst Department and investigations were underway upon the information revealed from the suspects. more..

Minister unaware of tampered guns

Nov 9 (EN) Sri Lanka's outgoing law and order minister Tilak Marapana said he was unaware of tampered weapons aboard a floating armoury of his client Avant Garde which triggered his resignation ahead of his unceremonious sacking. Marapana told reporters at his Nugegoda home that Avant Garde operation was above board and the company handled only legitimate weapons, some of which belonged to the governments of at least three European nations. more..

Video: Harsha explains on EPF move

Nov 9 (DM) Dismissing various statements that the proposal to remove the administration of EPF fund from the purview of the Central Bank would create a safety issue, the Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva today said the proposed move would only ensure more security to the fund. He said that the new move would end the ongoing conflicts of interests. "Whenever the government borrows funds from the EPF more..

Tamil political prisoners resume fast

Nov 9 (CG) Tamil political prisoners resumed their fast today in protest over the failure by the Govt to keep its promise and release all of them. At least 29 Tamil detainees at the Anuradhapura prison were among those who resumed the fast today. Govt was to release 30 Tamil detainees today and another 32 by next week but the detainees wanted all those arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) to be set free. Nearly 200 Tamil detainees had launched a hunger strike recently more..

Lanka –China relationship enhanced because of Sobitha Thero: Ambassador Yi

Nov 9 (AD) Ambassador of China to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang has expressed his deepest condolence to the passing away of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero. “I am writing to you to express my deepest condolence to the passing away of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, who is deeply admired and loved by the people for his unremitting efforts in promoting Buddhism and social equity and harmony among the people. As a good friend of Chinese people and a patron of Sri Lanka-China more..

JVP criticizes Ranil for inviting The man who broke the Bank of England

Nov 9 (LBO) The JVP today criticized PM Ranil Wickremesinghe for inviting Hungarian-born American businessman George Soros to Sri Lanka, one of the 30 richest people in the world. Presenting third-generation economic reforms in Parliament Wickremesinghe revealed that world famous author and billionaire investor George Soros will be participating in an economic summit in Sri Lanka in the near future. more..

Will fast-track probe into Avant Garde: MS to Cabinet

Nov 9 (DM) President Sirisena has assured those present at the special Cabinet meeting held this morning that prompt action would be taken on the Avant Garde controversy and other large scale corruption allegations after discussing matters with the officials conducting the investigations, Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said. He said the ministers has expressed their opinion on these matters at the Cabinet meeting and pointed out that the President and the PM would together find solutions more..

Public urged to protect the Govt

Nov 9 (CG) The public have been urged to protect the Govt and not be misled by what they see taking place in Parliament on television. Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said that after 20 years the UNP was able to form a Government. He said that no one believed the UNP, which was in the opposition this time last year, could form the next Govt. Kiriella said now that the opposition has formed a Govt, the public must take efforts to protect the Govt. more..

Video: Trial against Lalith and Anusha fixed for Feb 12

Nov 9 (DM) The trial against former presidential secretary Lalith Weeratunga and Sri Lanka Telecom Regulatory Commission's former director general Anusha Pelpitawas fixed for February 12, 2016 by Colombo High Court Judge Kusala Sarojini Weerawardane today. They are charged with misappropriating Rs.600 million belonging to the SLTRC. Attorney General had on an earlier occasion indicted the suspects on more..

My pension was Rs.25,000: Chandrika

Nov 9 (DM) Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga said she received a pension of Rs. 25,000 per month until Cabinet increased it to Rs. 98,500, last week. She said that the president's salary was Rs. 25,000 when she first took office as president in 1994, and it had not been increased when she completed her term in 2005. However, she said ministers' salaries had been increased from Rs. 14,000 in 1994 to Rs. 35,000, in the hope that they would not be susceptible to bribery. more..

Maldives briefs Sri Lanka on sniper's arrest

Nov 9 (Haveeru) Maldives top representative in Sri Lanka has briefed the country's foreign office about the arrest of a Sri Lankan sniper in the Maldives, the Maldives foreign ministry announced Monday. In a tweet, the foreign ministry said Maldives High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Zahiya Zareer met with the Sri Lankan foreign secretary “in a scheduled meeting” Monday morning. “… Zahiya meets Sri Lanka [foreign secretary and] briefs about the arrest of Sri Lankan national more..

Citizens peace prize to venerable Sobitha

Nov 9 (CG) National Peace Council has decided to award the Citizens Peace Prize to the late venerable Maduluwave Sobitha thero. Prior to his untimely demise the National Peace Council had decided to award the venerable Sobitha its Citizens Peace Prize, to which he gave his consent. This prize is awarded to those in SL who have demonstrated public commitment and taken risks to uphold values of human rights, more..

Law and Society Trust alarmed at police action

Nov 9 (CG) Law and Society Trust (LST) says it is alarmed and concerned over the incident at Ward Place, Colombo, in which 39 Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (HNDA) students were arrested including 2 monks and 2 female students by the police. Students who were engaged in a peaceful protest march in front of Ministry of Higher Education and UGC, organised by the Inter Student Collective for the Protection of HNDA, urging the authorities to enhance the status of HNDA more..

Moves to oust Wigneswaran from TNA

Nov 9 (CG) Moves are underway to remove Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran from the TNA. The move follows statements made continuously by Wigneswaran against the TNA leadership. The Jaffna based media quoted some TNA parliamentarians as saying they support moves to remove Wigneswaran from the TNA. Wigneswaran contested the last Northern Provincial Council elections under the TNA ticket and won the polls and was made Chief Minister. more..

JVP seeks chairmanship of COPE

Nov 9 (DM) JVP has sought the chairmanship of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) of the present Parliament, party officials said yesterday. For the COPE, 12 MPs have been nominated. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said his party fought with all vigour against financial frauds and irregularities throughout, and therefore it deserved the chairmanship of COPE, a watchdog committee overseeing public finances. Mr. Ratnayake said there had been a tradition of offering more..

Narine reported for suspect action

Nov 10 (CI) Sunil Narine, the West Indies offspinner, has been reported for bowling with a suspect action during the third ODI against Sri Lanka in Pallekele. Narine finished with figures of 0 for 24 in the Pallekele ODI, which Sri Lanka won by 19 runs based on the Duckworth-Lewis method. The match officials' report, handed to the West Indies team management after the game, cited concerns about the legality of Narine's deliveries. Narine will need to undergo testing on more..

Sri Lanka courts free 126 Indian fishermen

Nov 10 (CG) Sri Lanka today freed 126 Indian fishermen arrested for poaching in Sri Lankan waters. The fishermen were freed through courts in the North. Both Sri Lanka and India today completed the formalities for the release of Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen detained in each other’s country for allegedly fishing in each other’s waters. Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that Sri Lanka took measures to release the 126 Indian fishermen arrested by more..

Dilshan and Mathews seal thumping win

Nov 10 (CI) A rollicking 91-run opening partnership, brisk stands through the middle, and a violent Angelo Mathews finish sent Sri Lanka hurtling to 215 for 3 - the highest ever T20 international total on the island - and set the scene for a 30-run victory. Tillakaratne Dilshan top-scored with 56 off 37 balls, but it was Mathews' 13-ball 37 that grew Sri Lanka's total from imposing to enormous. Andre Fletcher cracked 57 off 25 balls in response, more..

The direction of the govt

Nov 10 (FT) The direction of the Govt is being criticised by many. It was stated that the Govt is not efficient and it is slow. It gives confusing signals and being dragged to different directions. It catches the sprats and not the sharks. It accommodated defeated Parliamentarians through National List not only to the Parliament but also to the Cabinet. Politicians perceived as corrupt or who broke the law are in high positions. All in all this is an achcharu Govt which has no direction. more..

Of pirates & a privateer with a Midas touch

Nov 10 (CT) Minister of Justice and the Minister of Law and Order are eminent practitioners of the law. They both had good reasons to say what they said during the Avant-garde floating armory debate. The Minster of Law and Order Tilak Marapana is a former Attorney General. The Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe is a former Chairman of the Bar Association. Both are trial lawyers who rely on the law. We cannot and we should not expect them to concern themselves with abstract notions more..

Bracing for friday the 13th

Nov 10 (SO) While the world is preparing to observe the mysterious space junk named WT1190F plunge to earth near Sri Lanka's southern coast on Friday Nov 13, the people responsible are complacent and not in any hurry to prepare for any eventuality. All stakeholders need to be in the forefront of action but at this point of time, the Disaster Management Centre, the Navy, Fisheries Dept as those who should be in the know more..

Now it's Kiriella Vs The Police

Nov 10 (CT) Minister Lakshman Kiriella having collected all facts that led to the recent clash between the Police and the Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (HNDA) students and the subsequent untruths unfolded by the Police to the public is now ready to take on the Police to recommend tough action against the culprits in the Police. The Police earlier claimed that the students became aggressive as there were no officials at the UGC to meet the students. more..

Sobitha Thero left us when the country needed him most

Nov 10 (CT) Around 6 in the morning on Sunday 8 Nov, I received an SMS message informing that Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero passed away in Singapore though he looked okay and walking on TV few days ago. That was the most depressing news I got for some time. Popularly called Sobitha Thero, Ven. Maduluwawe, is one person whom I always respected for his brave and historic role in bringing about the political change in the country though the mood within months today is more..

'Political prisoners TNA should boycott Parliament'

Nov 10 (FT) Former ITAK Leader, Prof. S.T. Sittampalam said TNA MPs should boycott parliamentary sittings as the initial step to solve the issue of political prisoners. President should consider granting general pardon to all prisoners. "Also the Opposition Leader can consider resigning his post to support political prisoners," he said. Q: The TNA initially demanded that all political prisoners should be released by giving them more..

Editorial: A heart of gold stops beating

Nov 10 (Island) There wasn’t a dry eye in this country when sad tidings came on Sunday that Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera had breathed his last in Singapore. His loss will be felt for many more years to come. The govt has declared Thursday, when the venerable Thera’s funeral is scheduled to take place, a day of national mourning. But, unofficially, it will be decades of mourning for Sri Lankans who will be left without an honest, courageous Buddhist monk to battle social evils and more..

What Maithri and Ranil should do!

Nov 10 (CT) Minister of Law and Order and Prisons Reforms, Tilak Marapana tendered his resignation as Minister to President Sirisena yesterday following his controversial statement in Parliament on the Avant Garde Armoury deal which was challenged by his party colleagues and the JVP Opposition. Media said on Sunday that a one-on-one meet between the President and PM was due last morning, but Marapana who met Premier on Sunday decided to tender his resignation yesterday. more..

Most fitting tribute to venerable Sobitha is to uphold good governance

Nov 10 (Island) Buddhist monks have been central figures in Sri Lanka’s history. It is they who recorded the early history of the country and its people in the ancient chronicle of the Mahavamsa. They were the guides of the Sinhalese kings and the protectors of the Buddhist religion. When foreign powers invaded the country they even accompanied the armies that went to confront the invaders. They were, and remain, the guardians of more..

SL Air Force deploys replacement UN aviation unit to Central African Republic

Nov 10 (SLAF) The annual changing of personnel of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Aviation Unit under the United Nations helicopter deployment in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) departed the country early hours today (9). The contingent of 94 personnel departed to Central Africa from Bandaranaike International Airport. Senior officers of the Air Force and the family members of the departing personnel were also present at the departure lounge. more..

Narine's latest magic trick

Nov 10 (CI) Arjuna Ranatunga, once Sri Lanka's chief needler, used to amble between the wickets and invite fielders to have a shy at the stumps, as he stood a metre out from the popping crease. When they threw the ball, he'd quickly ground his bat and look for an overthrow. Tillakaratne Dilshan hasn't quite got Ranatunga's talent for irking opposition, but he did try this move at least twice. West Indies' fielders were too smart to be sucked in, though. Perhaps if Dilshan gained 20kg and more..

Video: Marapana resigned under directions of Premier: Gammanpila

Nov 10 (DM) MP Udaya Gammanpila claimed that Law and Order Minister Thilak Marapana had to resign from his portfolio under the directions of Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe because he disclosed the truth in Parliament last week, when he said that the Police raided Avant Garde ship in January to score points. He said former minister Marapana was pressurized from several parties to resign after he made the controversial more..

Second SL-WI T20 moved to Nov 11

Nov 10 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has brought forward the second T20 against West Indies to Nov 11, after the original date of November 12 was declared a day of mourning by president Maithripala Sirisena. The second T20 will be played at Khettarama as scheduled. "Tickets purchased for the Nov 12 (2nd T20) are valid for Nov 11," an SLC release said. "As a mark of respect, musical instruments (papare bands) will not be permitted to be played on this day." more..

Hayleys Sept quarter net up 6% to Rs 629mn

Nov 10 (EN) Hayleys PLC said group net profit for the Sept 2015 quarter rose 6% to 629 million rupees from a year ago supported mainly by strong gains in its transportation, activated carbon and textiles businesses. Sales fell 4% to 22 billion rupees from the previous year, interim accounts filed with the SEC showed. Finance income in the September quarter shot up 159% to 271 million rupees. Quarterly earnings per share rose to 8.39 rupees from 7.89 rupees the year before. more..