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Defence Ministry reviews banned LTTE front organizations

Nov 1 (CT) The Defence Ministry will be submitting a review report on the 16 banned LTTE fronts and the names of over 400 individuals accused of supporting terrorism, to the Foreign Ministry this month in a prelude to a possible lifting of the ban on them. Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiaarachchi said that the Defence Ministry and Foreign Ministry are jointly reviewing the banned LTTE front organizations and 400 individuals more..

Digambaram accuses minsters of conspiracy against him

Nov 1 (CT) Minister Palani Digambaram, alleged that the transfer of the housing project to rebuild homes of those affected by the Meeriyabedda landslide from his Ministry to the Ministry of Disaster Management was effected by political collusion behind the scenes. He said that there was political conspiracy between the former Minister of Disaster Management A.H.M. Fowzie, the former Deputy Minister of Disaster Management more..

White flag to save Puleethevan’s life: Gota refutes Ranil’s claims

Nov 1 (SO) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa denied his govt organized the controversial white flag scene to save head of LTTE peace Secretariat S. Puleethevan, during the final stages of the Eelam War IV. Responding to allegations by the govt that Rajapaksa administration made special allowances to secure Puleethevan’s life, He said, “We did not have any contact with Puleethevan,” more..

Main suspect in Raviraj’s murder: TMVP’s Charan to be extradited

Nov 1 (SO) The Colombo Chief Magistrate has issued an arrest warrant on Sivakanthan Vivekanandan alias Charan, who had migrated to Switzerland, and plans are underway to have him urgently extradited on the basis of his serious involvement in the killing of TNA MP, Nadarajah Raviraj. Raviraj was shot and killed close to his Colombo residence in November 2006. The govt’s report submitted to 133rd session more..

FBI contradicts Lankan findings in Maldives blast probe

Nov 1 (CG) The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has contradicted findings by a Sri Lankan investigations teams into the blast on the Maldives President’s boat. The US agency said it had found no evidence an explosive device had caused a blast aboard a speedboat carrying the president. Following the blast, several countries were quick to dispatch experts to the Maldives to help local authorities in their investigation. more..

Foreign Ministry says not yet presented any formal nomination for SL HC post in London

Nov 1 (Island) The govt has not as yet presented any formal nomination for the post of Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the Court of St. James, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said last week. Clarifying The Sunday Island story headlined Foreign Secretary new SL’s HC in London, the Ministry said that Mrs. Chitranganee Wagiswara has not been nominated to head the mission in London. Note by our London Correspondent more..

Minister attacks police, blames director for Students’ riot

Nov 1 (ST) Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that what he saw as a highly uncalled for police attack on students on Thursday could have been easily avoided if an official conveyed the ministry’s decision the previous day to heed all their demands. Official – Dr. Hilary de Silva, Director General of SL Institute of Advanced Technological Education – “neither told students about our decision nor inform me that they were protesting,” more..

Officials get ready to collect hundreds of millions in extra taxes

Nov 1 (ST) With six finance bills coming into effect from Friday, the Govt is taking measures to collect hundreds of millions of rupees in taxes, Inland Revenue Commissioner General Kalyani Dahanayake said. She said the department would be moving to collect the taxes with retrospective effect as provided for in the new laws. Among the taxes and levies which have come into effect are the mansion tax, mobile telephone operator levy, more..

We were just trying to help

Nov 1 (CT) Note: This is a mere parody of events, written for the sole purpose of entertainment. Add a bit of smiles to your serious lives, eh? The Police Department issuing a press communique, following their onslaught against a student protest, stated that they were deeply hurt by how the media was criticizing their actions. SSP Champika Siriwardana of Police Department said that the police never intended to hurt the student protesters but were only trying to help them. more..

Sybil Weththasinghe committed to build a beautiful world for children: President

Nov 1 (GDI) “Our honor should be extended to Mrs. Sybil Wettasinghe who is committed to build a beautiful world for children in a great way as a writer”, says President Maithripala Sirisena. He participated in the 88th birth anniversary of Mrs. Sybil Wettasinghe held on Saturday at the M.D. Gunasena Lilian Auditorium in Colombo. “When the govt has started a new journey to win the children’s world for them, writers such as Sybil Wettasinghe who remove harmful things from more..

Ada Cartoon: National Sports in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka and its political detainees

Nov 1 (GV) The jail system in Sri Lanka and the fate of prisoners who are being held therein have been discussed on several occasions, when major violence occurred within the system. However, the most recent discussion was based on a hunger strike a group of detained political prisoners had launched. According to the information we have received, these detainees have been held without charges for a period much longer than the time they would have been spent, even if they had more..

President left for Thailand

Nov 1 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena left for Thailand today commencing a four-day state visit on the invitation of the Prime Minister of Thailand General Prayut Chan –o- cha to participate in a ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relationship between Sri Lanka and Thailand. The President Sirisena left the island at 7.20 a.m. in UL 882 passenger flight of the Sri Lankan Airlines. The President also scheduled to attend several ceremonies in Thailand. more..

Private sector opposes Super Gains Tax

Nov 1 (CT) The private sector yesterday expressed total opposition to the imposition by the govt of a 25% super gains tax, effective today, on companies which have reported a post tax profit of Rs 2 billion or more for the year 2013/2014. The super gains tax, which was imposed during the interim budget of the 100-Day Govt which took office after the 8 Jan 2015 Presidential polls, has been implemented retrospectively with effect from yesterday. more..

The state of the city’s streets

Nov 1 (ST) On rainy days huge pot- holes and open storm drains turn into veritable death traps to both man and beast, while vehicle users are jolted to and fro as they attempt to manoeuvre between potholes and scarred road surfaces. Unfortunately the citizenry appear to be getting accustomed to our fatally flawed bad stretches of road and seem to have accepted them as the norm, with both pedestrians and vehicle users passing them by with scarcely a second glance. more..

Basnayake Nilame-elect vows to restore Kandy Perahera to its authentic traditions

Nov 1 (ST) The newly elected Basnayake Nilame of the Kandy Kataragama Devale, Gemunu Walisundera, yesterday vowed to restore the traditions associated with the Kandy Perahera as at present it is not held in the manner it should be. He said, as the most Senior Basnayake Nilame in the country, he will teach how the Kandy Perahera should be conducted, to both the Diyawadana Nilame and the Basnayake Nilame’s, as it is not held in the traditional manner it should be held. more..

Legal hurdles in Sri Lanka and India hold up release of fishermen

Nov 1 (ENS) Legal hurdles both in Sri Lanka and India are apparently holding up the release of 120 TN fishermen and 34 Lankan fishermen currently in detention in Lanka and India respectively. A highly placed Lankan source said that Lankan authorities are hamstrung by the fact that 11 out of the 120 TN fishermen in their custody have cases of assault against them. While the Lankan Foreign and Fisheries Ministries favor more..

Kirthi Sri passes away

Nov 1 (DM) Veteran couturier Kirthi Sri Karunaratne who excelled in the field of fashion and design for almost six decades, passed away in Colombo this morning at the age of 84. One of the pioneers in the fashion field, Kirthi also designed costumes for several movies and theatre productions while acting in some of them too. He was the costumes designer in Nidhanaya and also acted in it. His role as Mr. Nirwasthara in Colamba Sanniya is one of the most popular roles played by him in cinema. more..

SL Navy arrests five more TN fishermen

Nov 1 (PTI) Sri Lankan Navy arrested five TN fishermen today and seized their boat on charges of crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line and fishing in their waters. Rameswaram fishermen Association President S Emirit said the fishermen were fishing near Katchatheevu islet when the navy personnel arrested them. The navy had on Oct 2 arrested seven fishermen who went for fishing in the sea from here while on Oct 10, 19 fishermen hailing from Nagapattinam were arrested. more..

Karuna now blames Prabhakaran sting for leaving LTTE

Nov 1 (ENS) V Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman, who was Special Commander of LTTE in Batticaloa and Ampara, says that the rift between him and LTTE Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran took place in Dec 2002 when the Tiger chieftain accused him of betrayal of the kind Mahendrarajah alias Mahatthya was accused of in the early 1990s and executed. Prabhakaran was livid with Karuna for persuading his chief negotiator, Anton more..

MR’s convoy vehicle collides with motorcycle; two injured

Nov 1 (DM) Two persons including a woman had been injured after a convoy vehicle of former President Rajapaksa collided with a motorcycle in Pitigala this afternoon, the Police said. They said the former president’s vehicles were traveling from Elpitiya to Pitigala. The driver of the vehicle had been arrested and the vehicle involved in the accident was also taken into the custody. Police said the injured were admitted to the Elpitiya hospital with minor injuries. more..

Injured boy’s mother beaten by employer when she asked for leave

Nov 1 (ST) Mother of the 16-year-old boy who died tragically after being impaled on a stick after falling from a tree, had to endure beatings from her Kuwaiti employer and borrow money from a friend to make it back home to see her son who was in hospital critically injured. Her son, Thushara Lakshan (16) of Galhena, Bulathsinhala died on Friday from the serious injuries he suffered when a sharp stick pierced his neck as he fell from a mango tree he had climbed to pluck some fruit. more..

'NPC must regret en masse expulsion of Muslims by LTTE'

Nov 1 (ENS) TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, has suggested that the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) pass a resolution regretting the en masse expulsion of Muslims from the Northern Province by the LTTE in Oct-Nov 1990. Sumanthiran made this suggestion at a function here earlier this week to mark the 25 th. anniversary of the infamous expulsion of 70,000 to 90,000 Muslims. “Just as it passed a resolution more..

Largest stock of refuse Tea raided

Nov 1 (DM) A large consignment of refuse tea weighing over 114 metric tons ready for export had been seized by the STF in a container and at a warehouse at Sapugaskanda last night, the STF said. According to the STF this was the largest refused tea stock that had been recovered so far this year. The STF said four suspects including the warehouse owner had also been arrested during the raid. The STF said that they had seized 10,000 kgs refuse tea from a container last night and more..

CSN had office at Presidential Secretariat

Nov 1 (SL) Despite claims that the Carlton Sports Network (CSN) is not owned by members of the Mahinda Rajapaksa family, questions have now been raised as to why the Rajapaksas allowed the CSN to maintain an office at the Presidential Secretariat during the previous regime. Highly reliable sources from the Presidential Secretariat confirmed that the CSN was given a separate spacious room to do their work with all the security provided and that the office was not used by more..

Lasantha Wickrematunge murder: Former IGP to be quizzed?

Nov 1 (SL) A former IGP is to be questioned along with several senior police officers in connection with the murder of the Founding Editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper, Lasantha Wickrematunge, in 2009. The CID is gearing to interrogate former IGP Jayantha Wickramatatne along with several former senior police officers at Mount Lavinia Police in connection with Wickrematunge’s murder case. more..

End of the rainbow for two smalltime lottery ticket counterfeiters

Nov 1 (ST) National Lotteries Board (NLB) directed Lottery ticket sellers to be more vigilant when handing out prize-money to winners, after a scam where forged lottery tickets bearing the winning numbers to obtain money fraudulently, came to light. Lottery agents have been instructed to note the National Identity Card (NIC) numbers and names of the winners, before handing over the prize-money, officials said. Lottery agents are authorised to pay Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,000 to those producing more..

Call to move shipping lane further south from Sri Lanka to save whales falls on deaf ears

Nov 1 (S24|7) Efforts by a NGO to get containerlines to slow down when transiting south Sri Lanka and to transit the area further south to protect whales in the area have thus far fallen on deaf ears. Pigmy blue whales and other whales feed and breed in the area of the Indian Ocean just south of Sri Lanka. The same area is crossed by more than 5,000 ships per month. Not only do whales die from colliding with these ships, but the sound from the vessels affects breeding and the local ecosystem, more..

Marapana should resign if police acted unilaterally: JVP

Nov 1 (DM) Minister of Law and Order should resign his portfolio if the police had unilaterally decided to baton charge the students of Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (HNDA), JVP said today. JVP Leader and Anura Kumara Dissanayake told a media briefing that the Law and Order Minister Tilak Marapana should resign if the police had on its own and without the prior knowledge of the minister had decided to attack the students during more..

Estate pay deal revives industry

Nov 1 (SO) The plantation industry is likely to revert to normal production after months of suspense over workers’ pay demands following a deal fixed with an intervention last week by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. 22 plantation management companies had, since the expiry of the biennial collective agreement in March 2015, resisted estate labour union pressure to raise workers’ salaries. During the preceding months of negotiations with the powerful unions, estate managements had more..

Swaminathan contradicts military

Nov 1 (SL) Military contradicts the claims made by Minister D.M Swaminathan on the army having business ventures. Minister said the SL Army has given him assurance last week that they are going to demilitarise the commercial ventures they run. “The Army has given me assurance last week that they are going to demilitarise the commercial ventures they run. At the moment, there are only six commercial ventures that the Army run which they will release in due course,” he added. more..

The party that turned into a murder spree

Nov 1 (ST) Former Special Forces soldier organised a party for his friends at a guesthouse in Anuradhapura last Saturday. About 40 pals turned up, and with plenty of liquor and bites on offer, were enjoying the occasion. Around midnight, the host made a request: he asked his guests to join him in wrecking a nightclub run by Wasantha Soysa, a rival businessman popular in the area for his karate expertise, and whose feats of strength are more..

No policy decision on fishing issue

Nov 1 (SL) Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development says no policy decision has been taken yet to seek compensation from India for the damage caused to Sri Lanka’s marine resources by Indian fishermen. At a last week press conference, Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the govt will seek compensation from India for the damage caused to Sri Lanka’s marine resources by Indian fishermen. However, when contacted, Minister Amaraweera said more..

Families of political prisoners seek TNA response

Nov 1 (CG) The families of Tamil political prisoners have written to the TNA seeking clarity on their stand on the Tamil prisoners. In a letter to TNA leader R. Sampanthan, families of 217 Tamil political prisoners who launched a fast recently, have said they want to know the stand the TNA has taken with regards to the issue before Nov 7. President Sirisena had assured a solution to the prisoners before Nov 7 which resulted in the prisoners suspending their recent fast. more..

'LTTE detainees likely to be released before Deepavali'

Nov 1 (DM) Minister Tilak Marapana said he hoped that the LTTE detainees could be released before the Deepavali festival on Nov 10. Addressing the opening ceremony of the modernized prison in Jaffna, he said the country’s prisons had about 18,000 detainees, but most of them were not those who should have been detained. He said several of them had been put in the jail for minor offences or for want of legal aid. more..

Uni & student protests: Too much blood

Nov 2 (CT) Sri Lanka has a lot of protests, most of them conducted by local universities. We protest everything – governments, private education, scholarships, private education, private education… you get the picture. It seems that every other month there’s a couple of metal barricades and one of them water cannon machines rolling up the road. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of being caught up in a couple of these, and the level of thought gone into these is incredible. more..

Restoration of Muslim-Tamil relations

Nov 2 (CT) Saturday 31 Aug. witnessed the gathering of a few hundred persons at Trimmer Hall at 3:30 PM. The event was chaired by Ahilan Kadirgamar for The Forum for Tamil Muslim Relations. Proclaimed the banner on the stage, “Forum for Tamil Muslim Relations – Justice, Equality, Relations,” drawing our attention to the need for concerted efforts at justice for the displaced Muslims, and help to resettle them. Senior Lecturer Dr. Ms. S. Krishnakumar of the University of more..

Mahinda hit Sir John with mango seed

Nov 2 (CT) Former Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa says that his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa is facing what Sirimavo Bandaranaike faced after 1977. "But people are still with him. He could rest without contesting and come to politics after a while when people demand. But he was pushed to take that decision". Q: What is your full name? A: Chamal Jayantha Rajapaksa. Q: Names of the parents? more..

Taking heed of clear warning signals

Nov 2 (ST) Certain aspects of the functioning of the Wickremesinghe-Sirisena govt raise valid concerns as to whether anti-democratic Rajapaksa policies of the previous era are being continued but in a far craftier and skilful manner. This is a concern that ranges across the spectrum, from the accountability question to basic issues of good governance and the Rule of Law. As even the most fervent admirers of former President Rajapaksa must admit, subtlety was not his strong point, more..

Mahinda’s temple sermon on Geneva conceals the cause, distorts the effect

Nov 2 (ST) Shunning Parliament where he was listed to speak on the Geneva report last Friday, where his no show had wrapped him in a silence that far outweighed all the gold in King Solomon’s fabled mines, Mahinda Rajapaksa found comfort in seeking refuge at his political office in Narahenpita’s Abayaramaya Temple on Sunday, to give voice to his considered opinion on the UNHRC’s report on Lanka’s alleged war crimes. There, closeted amongst an audience of yes men given to more..