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MR Foundation Chairman quizzed

Nov 11 (CT) FCID has questioned, and recorded a statement from Mustapha Sallay, Chairman of Mahinda Rajapaksa Development Foundation regarding a financial fraud of Rs 100 million in the construction of the Homagama, Diyagama Stadium that was named after former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Complaints had been received that financial donations received from various govt institutions and private organizations in the process of construction had been misused. more..

Crisis triggers emergency meeting of tea industry

Nov 11 (FT) A crisis over prices has triggered an emergency meeting of the tea industry stakeholders last week when a wide range of issues and their causes as well as possible solutions were discussed. Ex-Co of the Tea Exporters Association (TEA) convened the meeting with the Tea Producers sector stakeholders comprising Planters Association (PA), led by Chairman Roshan Rajadurai and SL Private Tea Factory more..

Confectionery manufacturing industry in jeopardy over Govt’s move

Nov 11 (FT) Continued success of the confectionery manufacturing industry is in jeopardy following the recent increase in import levies. Industry sources said that recently the Govt via Gazette notification increased the import levies of Confectionery Fats from 60% to 160% bringing it under Special Commodity levy structure. Previously a duty of Rs. 60 per kilo plus 5% Port and Airport Levy (PAL) was charged. The new arrangements amount to Rs. 175 per kilo sans PAL. more..

Maldives lifts state of emergency with immediate effect

Nov 11 (CG) Govt of the Maldives today has lifted the state of emergency in the country with immediate effect. With the lifting of the state of emergency, all fundamental rights that were suspended, have been restored. State of emergency was declared on 4th Nov for a period of 30 days. The emergency was initially brought in to aid security forces’ efforts in tracking down weapons associated with alleged plots against both political leaders and the general public. more..

UN tells families of missing to stay silent on meeting

Nov 11 (CG) the UN has told the families of those missing in Sri Lanka not to speak to the media regarding their meetings with the visiting UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (UNWGEID) held. When journalists asked Sandhya Eknaligoda, wife of missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda regarding a meeting she had late this evening with the UNWGEID at the UN office in Colombo, more..

PRECIFAC waits on President’s instructions to take legal action

Nov 11 (FT) PRECIFAC has handed over its third interim report to the President’s Secretary P.B. Abyekoon, last Friday. PRECIFAC Secretary Lacille De Silva told the Daily FT that the third interim report of the Commission was submitted together with the final report of misusing of state funds on alleged Negombo Lagoon development project. Former Deputy Minister of Fisheries Sarath Kumara Gunaratne, was earlier questioned by the PRECIFAC over his alleged involvement in more..

Mother of five being tried for allegedly allowing paramour to rape her teen daughter

Nov 11 (Island) A 38-year-old mother of five who allowed her paramour to rape her 15-year-old daughter in 2013 at Vasuvilan, Palali was remanded till Nov. 16 by the Jaffna Juvenile Court Magistrate, when the case was heard recently. The suspect had fled the area, police said. Police have been ordered to refer the mother of five with the rape victim to a psychiatrist and submit a report to the court when the case is taken up next. The suspect mother had an illicit affair with more..

Frontline Socialists want discussion with President, PM

Nov 11 (CT) Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) has sought a meeting with President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe to discuss the issue relating to Kumar Gunaratnam. Politburo member of the FSP, Pubudu Jagoda said that the party sent a letter to Presidential Secretariat and the PM's Office yesterday requesting an opportunity to meet and discuss the matters relating to the arrest of the FLSP leader Kumar Gunaratnam. more..

SL, NZ exploring ways to expand two-way goods trade beyond $280m

Nov 11 (Island) Sri Lanka, New Zealand two-way goods trade is currently worth $280 million and opportunities are abundant to do more business, a visiting New Zealand business delegation was informed last week at the Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo at a networking reception organized by the New Zealand-Sri Lanka Business Council of the CCC. Sri Lanka is New Zealand’s 31st largest goods export market worth S229 million while NZ is Sri Lanka’s 54th largest goods export market more..

Fisheries Ministry Consultative Committee meets after two years

Nov 11 (Island) The Consultative Committee of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry has last met in 2013, though it is supposed to meet once in three months. The ministry revealed this on Monday after Minister Mahinda Amaraweera had addressed the Consultative Committee meeting. He has said that a crippling European Union ban on Sri Lankan fish exports could be lifted early next year consequent to a high level EU delegation visiting Colombo shortly. more..

Hiring of Sri Lankan maid now costing over SR20,000

Nov 11 (SG) The cost of recruiting a housemaid from Sri Lanka has crossed the barrier of SR23,000 per visa during the past five months making it the highest among all manpower exporting countries. “This has surpassed the cost of recruiting housemaids from the Philippines which used to be SR19,000 per work visa,” said Yahya Al-Maqbool, chairman of the recruitment committee of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. more..

President meets four ex-commanders

Nov 11 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena had held talks yesterday with four former commanders of the armed forces, who had, a few weeks earlier, been summoned by FCID, informed sources said. Sources said that, at the invitation of the president, former Air Force commander Jayalath Weerakkody, former Army commander Shantha Kottegoda and former Navy commanders Wasantha Karannagoda and Thisara Samarasinghe had met the president at the Presidential Secretariat. more..

India notes strategic move by China in SL

Nov 11 (CG) The Indian Air Force says China’s investments in Sri Lanka and other south Asian nations were strategic moves to contain India. During an address at the Indian Center for Air Power Studies (CAPS), Indian Air Force (IAF) Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha chief said China’s investments in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and other south Asian nations were strategic moves to contain India. Raha, however, did not deliver the address personally and his speech was read out by more..

'Reveal Matale mass graves DNA reports now'

Nov 11 (CT) The Frontline Socialist Party (FLSP) is pressurizing the govt to publicize immediately the reports of DNA tests carried out to identify the skeletal remains discovered in the mass grave in Matale in 2012. The Frontline Socialist Party held a protest demonstration in the town of Matale demanding a fair, transparent and impartial investigation into the mass grave discoveries in Matale while going public with DNA reports. more..

NMSJ to discuss Sobhitha Thera’s plan with President, PM

Nov 11 (CT) National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) said that they will hold relevant discussions with President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to fulfil the principles introduced by the late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera. Professor Sarath Wijesooriya of the National Movement for Social Justice said that the cremation of the late Venerable Thera and the future activities of the Movement will be discussed with the President and the Premier. more..

CID ordered to obtain AG’s advice

Nov 11 (CT) Mount Lavinia Magistrate Mohammed Sahabdeen ordered the CID to send the report on investigations carried out into the incident in which Supreme Court Judge Sarath Abrew had allegedly assaulted a domestic at his residence to Attorney General and obtain the AG's advice on proceeding with its action. The order was issued when the case in connection with this complaint was taken up for hearing on Monday, when the CID informed Court of the relevant facts about the incident. more..

I will also not resign: Wijeyadasa

Nov 11 (CT) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said, he will not relinquish his ministerial portfolio because the charges against him are baseless. He added that he will also not allow former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to be arrested. He that the charges against him regarding the Avant Garde issues were made by deluded socialists in their overwhelming anger against him and that he has no links of any nature with more..

Democratic Rights of Prisoners and the National Security

Nov 11 (DM) Tamil prisoners who had been arrested under the infamous Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) have again started a hunger strike demanding their immediate release. They had suspended an earlier fast that was started on Oct 12 following intervention by President Sirisena followed by a promise by the govt ministers that action would be taken on the matter before Nov 7. On Nov 6, one day prior to the deadline, a high level meeting chaired by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe more..

Wrong road to reconciliation

Nov 11 (DM) The main aim of Govt policy and of the international community in relation to Sri Lanka is said to be political reconciliation between the Tamils and Sinhalese through accountability and constitutional change. An accountability push runs counter to a reconciliatory national consensus. The Good Friday Accords which brought peace to Northern Ireland did not have an accountability overhang. The legendary civil war in Spain in the 1930s continues to have as more..

'People gave mandate to arrest thieves'

Nov 11 (SL) Govt last week came under heavy criticism in parliament over their reluctance and lack of commitment to probe cases on fraud and corruption. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake accused the govt of having and protecting those who have been involved in corruption. Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake agreed with 90% of the speech made by Dissanayake in parliament. He added that the people gave them the mandate to arrest more..

Maldivian killed in Sri Lanka due to gang rivalry, police say

Nov 11 (Haveeru) Maldivian found murdered in Sri Lanka last week was due to the rivalry between two Maldivian gangs, Sri Lanka police said Wednesday. The victim identified as Hussain Razeen was killed for a contract of MVR 15 million. Another Maldivian and a Sri Lankan have been arrested in connection to the killing. The involvement of the Sri Lankan was revealed by the Maldivian suspect during interrogation while more..

Govt mulls alternatives for five Colombo mega projects

Nov 11 (ST) The govt is reviewing five major projects in the City of Colombo coming under the UDA to ascertain its feasibility as they are white elephants and running at a loss, a senior cabinet minister said. The UDA currently maintains completed projects of the former Rajapaksa regime for the beautification of Colombo including the Gold Centre and the Floating Market in Pettah, Arcade Independence, the Old Dutch Hospital and more..

'State enterprise strategic plan in progress, management skill the biggest issue'

Nov 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka is in the process of making plans to restructure the state owned enterprises and boosting management skill levels, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. “We have lots of plans and we are right at the beginning. We are in the process of creating the principals,” Wickramaratne said. “As it goes forward it will be different for institution to institution. Because institutions vary a lot. more..

Undergraduates threaten fresh protests over HNDA issue

Nov 11 (Island) Undergraduates have decided to continue their protests as the govt has failed to issue the circular making the Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (HNDA), an equivalent to the Bachelor of Commerce General Degree, despite the Cabinet having approved it nearly two weeks ago. Convener of the IUSF Lahiru Weerasekera said that following the police attack on HNDA students opposite the UGC, more..

Professionals want govt to consult them before inking pacts with other countries

Nov 11 (Island) The United Professionals Association (UPA) in a bid to provide its expertise Sri Lanka entered into agreements with other countries, has appealed to the govt to consult them in the national interest. Joint Convenor of the UPA, Gamini N. Gunawardane said that during the last few years the professionals of the country had not been given the opportunity to provide their expertise in various fields. more..

DEW sees danger in govt move to merge EPF, ETF

Nov 11 (Island) Former Chairman of parliamentary watchdog committee on public enterprises D.E.W. Gunasekera said that the move to amalgamate the EPF and ETF and move funds out of the Central Bank’s supervision wasn’t acceptable. Former Minister and Communist Party General Secretary was responding to a statement made by Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva at the Information Department on Monday. more..

Robber, security guard killed during bank robbery

Nov 11 (AD) A bank robber and a security guard have been killed in Kekirawa, today, after a hand grenade which the robber had in his possession exploded, the police say. Hand grenade exploded when the security guard had attempted to stop the robber. Both robber and the guard who sustained life threatening injuries following the explosion had died while they were being admitted to Kekirawa District hospital, police added. more..

No instructions from AG, Tamil detainees remanded

Nov 11 (CG) The first batch of Tamil detainees who were to be set free today were further remanded by Court as the Attorney General had no informed Court about the bail. The Court remanded 32 Tamil prisoners till November 24 when they were produced in Court today. Prisons Department said yesterday that the AG had informed the Department that 31 Tamil detainees will be given bail and can be freed today. more..

New sample testing for fertilizer stocks

Nov 11 (SL) The recent dispute of a leading private fertiliser company’s stock containing a high amount of cadmium about 23.5mg in a kg of fertiliser has triggered a change in the whole sample testing system of fertiliser stocks in the country by the Ministry of Agriculture. The new mechanism is aimed at preventing any influence from occurring within the laboratories in claiming fake reports which will result in the distribution of contaminated more..

Mafia, Politicians behind NDDCB chair issue?

Nov 11 (CT) "If you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the govt is to protect the drug cartel. That's literally true." These words of wisdom from American economist Milton Friedman ring as a truism with news reports of the tug-o-war for the chair of National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB). Reports came in last week of the simmering tug-o-war between Dr. Chamirman Nilanga Samarasinghe and former DIG Sirisena Herath for the chairmanship of the NDDCB. more..

Ven. Sobitha: Conscience of the nation & A leading light

Nov 11 (CT) I am saddened to hear about the demise of this heroic and courageous monk who was the pulse of the nation during a turbulant period of Sri Lanka’s recent history. Where others felt fear to speak up, he stood up. When others were hesitant to criticise the existing arrangements of governance, he did not hesitate. When others were lost for words to articulate the sufferings of people and what’s wrong in the path our leaders were taking the country forward, he found relevant more..

Harin Fernando

Shares fall; budget uncertainty lingers

Nov 11 (Reuters) Shares fell for a second session on Wednesday to their lowest in nearly a week despite foreign buying, while speculation and uncertainty over the upcoming budget dented sentiment. Brokers said investors kept to the sidelines, awaiting policy direction from the annual budget scheduled for Nov 20. The main stock index ended down 0.44% at 7,019.23, its lowest close since Nov. 5. "It's a dull day. Investors want to see the policy direction. more..

Mobile brothel raided at 5-star hotel car park

Nov 11 (Island) Maligakanda Magistrate on Monday fined three women and a man who pleaded guilty to having run a mobile brothel in a care hired from a famous cab service and charging USD 200 per 45 minutes from foreign customers in five star hotels. Driver of the vehicle pleaded not guilty and the case against him was put off to next year. Three women aged 34, 44 and 24 from Kandy, Mirigama and Panadura pleaded guilty and were fined Rs. 100 each and the man who had operated more..

Confusion over SLC permanent jobs

Nov 11 (DM) Confusions reigns over the awarding of permanent employment to all of Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) office and administrative staff as SLC denies receiving a ministerial order cancelling all such appointments. SLC issued letters of appointment effective Nov 15, 2015 to its contracted employees, numbering 70, on Nov 5, but hours later Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said he had asked SLC to cancel them. more..

BASL chief: Law is not just an ordinary ass

Nov 11 (Island) Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) in collaboration with Ministry of Justice and the Legal Aid Commission has declared the period from Nov 23 to 29 the National Law Week (NLW). National Law Week to be held under the theme, Towards a Just and Law-Abiding Society is aimed at raising public awareness of the country’s laws and citizens’ legal rights. Highlight of the NLW will be a legal aid clinic and an exhibition at Hulftsdorp Court Complex, Colombo on Nov. 28 and 29. more..

Why handle private sector wrongdoers with kid gloves?

Nov 11 (Island) Attorney-at-law Gomin Dayasri alleged that the private sector was being protected at the expense of the public Dayasri pointed out that the private sector had been exempted from fundamental rights applications as well as investigations by the CIABOC. Dayasri stressed that the public and private sectors should be treated alike. The private sector had been allowed to operate with impunity with the state turning a blind eye, Dayasri later told The Island, adding that more..

Horns over specified sound levels to be removed

Nov 11 (DM) An awareness campaign will be held to educate the public and to remove vehicle horns which exceed the sound levels specified in traffic regulations, the CEA said. The awareness programme will be held in the vicinity of Colombo Fort Bus Terminal and the Gunasinghepura Bus Terminal on November 20 from 9 a.m to 2 p.m. Handbills will also be distributed at the Castle Street roundabout in more..

Who hid heroin in bean seed curry

Nov 11 (CT) Slave Island Police arrested a suspect who had carefully hid heroin in the seeds of a bean curry and transported it. He was produced before the Fort Magistrate's Court. Subsequently, Magistrate and Additional District Judge, remanded the suspect until 23 Nov. The suspect is a resident of Slave Island. The suspect had split the seeds of the beans, removed the core, packed in heroin and pasted the seeds with gum. Suspect had then made a curry out of it and was taking the heroin to more..

Dewapriya-Stalin in navel war

Nov 11 (CT) Ceylon Teachers' Union (CTU) condemned the suggestion of the Western Province Chief Minister Isura Dewapriya to ban teachers wearing the saree below their navels. CTU General Secretary Joseph Stalin said this in reference to a statement made by the Western Province Chief Minister that a circular would be issued banning teachers from wearing their sarees below the much debated female navel. "He does not have the power to issue such a circular. more..