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Govt takes over Avant Garde arms

Nov 13 (Island) Police headquarters said that the weapons they handed over to Rakna Araksha Lanka (RALL) on the instructions of Defence Ministry under the previous govt had been found on SL Shipping Company-owned Avant Garde (formerly MEROU) tug chartered by Avant Garde. Police headquarters stressed that there hadn’t been any weapons transfers to Avant Garde and the guns had been given to fully-state owned RALL. more..

Video: CMC parking meter areas to be expanded

Nov 13 (DM) CMC Mayor A.J. M. Muzammil said that the scheduled parking meters along the Galle Road, R.A de Mel Mawatha and all by roads would be expanded to other parking areas in the municipality as well. He said the installation of the parking meters in the Colombo Municipality would be done on the success of the pilot project. He expressed these views at a news conference held today to hand over the contract to Tenaga Car parks Ltd to commence their work on the project. more..

Schoolgirl killed on pedestrian crossing, elder sister injured

Nov 13 (Island) A nine-year-old schoolgirl was killed and her 13-year-old elder sister injured yesterday morning when a private bus transporting schoolchildren knocked them down at a pedestrian crossing at the Kotambapitiya Junction on Chilaw-Wariyapola main road, in the Hettipola police area. The bus driver had been arrested over the incident which occurred around 7.10 a.m. The injured girl being treated at the Hettipola hospital and the deceased was identified as Haleem Akeela. more..

Video: Stage set for snoopy spectacle

Nov 13 (DM) The stage is set to view the spectacular space show in the Southern coast from Matara to Hambantota when the space object WT1190F (aka Snoopy) enters the earth’s atmosphere and splashes into the Southern seas today. A team from the European Space Agency (ESA) has already arrived in Sri Lanka while the International Astronomical Centre had hired a special aircraft Gulfstream 450 to monitor more..

Expats remit US$ 450 mn back to Lanka

Nov 13 (DN) The request by Minister Ravi Karunanayake to expatriates to bring back funds in places such as Switzerland has heeded results with over US$ 450 million being received. Speaking at the Foreign Correspondents Association in Colombo he said that Sri Lanka has received 450 million dollars from deposits after the govt encouraged Sri Lankans to invest in Sri Lanka rather than in Swiss Banks. Minister also said that Sri Lanka will also pay a slightly higher interest. more..

Douglas visits striking prisoners

Nov 13 (DN) General Secretary of the EPDP and MP Douglas Devananda visited the Magazine Prison accompanied by National Dialogue Minister Mano Ganeshan to meet Tamil prisoners who launched a satyagraha campaign in prison on Tuesday. The visit was made at the request of parents and relatives of the pioneers. Commissioner General of Prisons Rohana Pushpakumara arranged a delegation of the striking prisoners to meet the visiting group at his office considering more..

Video: President calls for full report from IGP

Nov 13 (DM) Govt is concerned over the questionable behaviour of MV Avant-Garde just before the raid on it by the SL Navy early October and President Sirisena has asked Police Chief N.K. Illangakoon to submit a report to him on the whole episode and also on the take over of the Rakna Lanka security firm by the SL Navy under its wings, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said At the special cabinet meeting held on Monday it was decided to more..

The spirit of a just society comes alive

Nov 13 (DM) While a grateful nation said farewell yesterday to Sobitha Hamuduruwo who played a crucial and frontline role in the peaceful battle to build a just society, a note of consolation and hope was that the spirit of this courageous, prophetic prelate appears to be coming alive in the leaders of the new National Unity Govt. Columnist Ranga Kalansuriya in our newspaper today makes an interesting and significant observation. If the peaceful people’s revolution that took place more..

Let’s get real about Sri Lanka’s urbanization!

Nov 13 (DM) Level of urbanization is an indicator of a country’s economic development and the living standards of its people. Some purists might disagree, but it is universally agreed that urban areas -- cities and towns of various size and shape -- offer better facilities and opportunities for their residents. So how urbanized Sri Lanka is? Many among us keep repeating a notion that we are predominantly rural, but is it really so? The 2012 Census of Population and Housing more..

No solution in sight for Colombo’s garbage problems

Nov 13 (SL) Colombo is well known for its array of attractions it offers to its visitors and traditional Sri Lankan hospitality, our great city has so much to offer for its residents as well. Yet, the most disquieting fact about the city is that it continues to face an issue over solid wastage dumping. Even though the garbage is collected by Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) with the support of private companies, the task however is not being more..

Avant Garde press briefing called off

Nov 13 (DM) The special news conference scheduled to be held this morning by Avant Garde Maritime Services Chairman Major (Retd) Nissanka Senadhipathi to state their side of the controversy, had been postponed until further notice due to a sudden illness of its Chairman. Secretary to the Chairman, Kamal Gamage said the news conference was organized to educate the media on real facts referring to more..

It rained fish in Anuradhapura

Nov 13 (ST) Residents of Medawachchiya, had a surprise last Sunday evening when live fish fell from the sky. Residents of this small town of Maithiripura in the Anuradhapura area said that, at around 5.30 pm. there had been a heavy downpour, when suddenly they saw tiny fish slithering in the rain water. W.B. Lakshman, a resident said that, while returning home he saw the unusual sight of fish floating on the road. more..

SL committed to UN multilateral system

Nov 13 (CG) Sri Lanka says it remains committed to the UN multilateral system and the pivotal role it plays in maintaining international peace and security. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha, presided over the Meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) which opened on 12th November 2015 at the United Nations Office in Geneva. more..

Postal workers launch trade union action

Nov 13 (AD) Postal services across the island are expected to be disrupted today as several postal department trade unions have launched a 24-hour trade union action based on several demands. Co-convenor of the Joint Federation of Postal Services Union, Chinthaka Bandara, said that the postal workers have applied for sick leave as part of the trade union action which commenced from midnight yesterday. more..

Free at last, Ranjini is deemed not a security threat after all

Nov 13 (WAT) Ranjini, the Sri Lankan mother of three who has spent more than three years in detention after being deemed a national security threat by ASIO, has been freed. The Tamil refugee was given no reason why she was considered a security risk when when she was whisked into detention in May 2012 - and was similarly given no explanation for her unannounced release on Thursday. more..

Total hartal in Tamil areas demanding unconditional release of LTTE suspects

Nov 13 (ENS) Tamil majority areas in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka observed a complete hartal on Friday, demanding Presidential pardon for 217 Tamils detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) for suspected involvement with the LTTE. TNA leader and former MP, Suresh Premachandran, said that shops and schools were closed and public buses did not run. more..

Court summons Mahinda and 6 others over SLTB payments

Nov 13 (AD) Commercial High Court of Colombo today issued notice on former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and six others to appear before the court on March 10 over a case filed regarding payments due to SLTB for buses hired during the presidential election. Former UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha and former SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa are also among those issued notice by court. more..

Video: JVP sued by Wijeweera's wife Chitranganie

Nov 13 (DM) The JVP was asked to be present in the Commercial High Court on Nov 27 to inquire into a claim made by the late Rohana Wijeweera's wife Chitrnaganie that the JVP re-printed and published seven books written by Mr. Wijeweera. The order was issued by Commercial High Court Judge Shiran Gunaratne yesterday. In her petition filed in the Commercial High Court Ms. Wijeweera claimed that JVP leadership had more..

Space object WT1190F not sighted near SL

Nov 13 (CG) The space object WT1190F which was to crash near SL waters this morning, was not sighted and is believed to have burnt while entering the earth’s atmosphere. Scientists had earlier said that the manmade junk, officially designated WT1190F but nicknamed WTF, will fall this morning in the sea near Sri Lanka. Much of the hollow object, which may be a spent rocket stage or panelling shed by a recent Moon mission, more..

Regrettable component of GDP

Nov 13 (CT) This is a period of time that most of the concerned citizens are interested in economics globally. This is especially true for Sri Lankans because the national budget debate of Sri Lanka would begin in this month. Therefore, this period of time is more appropriate to discuss about certain economic concepts which would have an impact on the people. Regrettable component of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is one of such concepts. During the budget debates which more..

Chandrika still sabotaging Constitutional Council

Nov 13 (CT) Public concern has increased in regard to the processes of nomination followed by Constitutional Council (CC) appointed under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to nominate members to important commissions and key public service posts. Controversy arose some weeks back in regard to the Council’s nomination to the Commission on Bribery and Corruption of a senior police officer Neville Guruge, who had been directing investigations in the Commission more..

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha

Sri Lanka shares fall to over 1-week low

Nov 13 (Reuters) Shares edged down on Friday, losing for a fourth straight session to their lowest level in more than a week, led by large caps as speculation and uncertainty over the upcoming budget dented investor sentiment. Day's trading volume was low because investors were on the sidelines awaiting policy direction from the annual budget scheduled for Nov. 20. This week's daily average turnover was around 600 million rupees, around half of this year's daily average. more..

Police Sergeant’s nose slashed

Nov 13 (Island) The nose of a police sergeant attached to Elpitiya police station was slashed by a pillion rider when he and three other officers attempted to stop a motorcycle at the Yakkaduwa Junction yesterday morning. The sergeant was being treated at the Karapitiya hospital. A senior police officer said that four policemen had been deployed to arrest the two suspects believed to be chain snatchers. Police had not been able to identify the two suspects and more..

Circular issued against adding sugar into tea

Nov 13 (DM) In a bid to control the sharp rise of people falling victims to diabetes, Health Ministry has laid down regulations for tea shops, restaurants and state and private sector institutions to follow when serving tea, coffee and soft drinks. Tea, coffee and milk served at state events such as workshops, meetings and functions should be prepared without sugar with a bowl of sugar and spoons made available so that guests could more..

Navel bigger than empty classrooms

Nov 13 (CT) We cannot comprehend, despite the many hours spent pondering on it, how and why Western Province Chief Minister Isuru Dewapriya suggested bringing a ban for teachers wearing the saree below their navels. Speaking to the media earlier this week Chief Minister Dewapriya had said that he hoped to introduce a circular, banning the school teachers in the Western Province wearing sarees displaying their navel. This report became notoriously condemned and criticized more..

Mihin Lanka resumes flights to Maldives

Nov 13 (Haveeru) Mihin Lanka has resumed flights to the Maldives on Thursday. Mihin Lanka’s General Sales Agent in Maldives, Ace Aviation Services said the decision was made to offer cheaper airfares for Maldivians travelling for the school holidays. "We've made arrangements for people to start bookings from today. People who purchase tickets within this period will get special rates," an official said. 78 passengers were on the first flight from Colombo to Male on Thursday while 145 passengers more..

End of an era...

Nov 13 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena said in his eulogy yesterday at the funeral of the Most Venerable Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, at the Parliament Grounds, that he would do everything in his power and ability to abolish the Executive Presidency, which was what the Ven. Sobhitha Thera wanted. Addressing the throngs at the funeral which included members of the clergy, MPs, diplomatic corps, and former President more..

Health Ministry to crackdown on its employees doing private practice

Nov 13 (Island) The Health Ministry yesterday warned it would come down hard on government health workers engaged in private practice during working hours. Spokesman for MHIM, Nipun Ekanayake said Health Minister, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne had warned that the govt medical officers and other health worker engaged in private clinical services, and private hospitals would be severely dealt with. He said the Health Ministry had received many complaints in that regard. more..

Sri Lanka sets up agency to oversee southern development

Nov 13 (EN) Sri Lanka is to set up a new private sector-style body with a board of directors to handle economic development of the entire southern region, an economically lagging area part of which is a stronghold of ousted former president Rajapaksa. The proposed southern Provincial Development Board has been tasked with formulating and implementing programs aimed at social and economic development of the southern region. It will be funded by the national govt budget and more..

Sri Lanka releases 126 Indian fishermen held for poaching

Nov 13 (PTI) Sri Lanka today released 126 Indian fishermen held for allegedly fishing illegally in the country's waters, naval authorities said here today. Navy spokesman Akram Alavi said that 78 of them were handed over to the Indian coast Guards vessel sagar off the coast of Kankesanturai while the remaining were handed over to the Indian vessel Raj Kamal off the coast of Talaimamnar in the north. more..

Movement for Equal Rights demands release of all political prisoners

Nov 13 (Island) Movement for Equal Rights has called upon the govt to release all political prisoners immediately. Addressing a press conference, Convener of the MER, Ravindra Mudalige said that there were hundreds of inmates being kept in custody by the government without charges being brought against them. "Some of them have spent more than 20 years in detention," Mudalige said. MER Convener said that the TNA was trying to gain political advantage out of the issue. more..

Encroachment of Wilpattu: Petitioner asks for information about those resettled

Nov 13 (Island) Counsel Ravindranatha Dabare, who appeared for the petitioner, Centre for Environmental Justice, told the Court of Appeal, that it would be appropriate if the District Secretary, Mannar, could inform the petitioner about the number of persons settled in the Wilpattu National Forest up to date. State Counsel Manohara Jayasinghe, who appeared for AG told the Court that the re-settlement of persons, who had been displaced during war was now complete. more..

Voting rights for migrant workers not possible: Thalatha

Nov 13 (DM) Offering voting rights for all SL nationals working abroad is not possible at the moment as it could be used towards election malpractices, Minister Thalatha Athukorala said. She made this remarks in response to a petition containing around 3200 signatures of migrant workers who sought voting rights via the petition which was presented by Ethera Api organization, SL group working for rights of migrant workers. more..

NZ Women seal 5-0 with another thrashing

Nov 13 (CI) New Zealand Women completed a 5-0 thrashing of Sri Lanka Women with another solid win, of eight wickets, in the fifth and last match of the series in Christchurch. The visitors were bowled out for another paltry score for the fourth time in a row as legspinner Erin Bermingham took career-best figures of 4 for 16 and the hosts chased down their target of 100 in under 18 overs. Sri Lanka got off to another slow start after opting to bat and started losing wickets in a flurry more..

State sector employment for educated youth

Nov 13 (CT) UNP has decided to reorganize all branches of the party to capture power in 13 local govt bodies in the Trincomalee District. The elections to these local authorities are scheduled to be held next year in March or June, said Eastern Provincial Councillor Dr. Aruna Sirisena, at a discussion held in Kantale on Wednesday. As a first step, of the re-organization project, UNP youth branches would be formed in every village in the 13 local authorities, giving preference to more..

Video: SLFP can’t win under current chairman: Lohan

Nov 13 (DM) UPFA MP Lohan Ratwatte said person who defeated the SLFP was the party chairman and as such the party could not win under present chairman. “SLFP supporters at grassroots level are not in favour of the present party chairman as he was the one who worked against the party and defeated it. I like to tell our supporters to be patient until the right opportunity comes,” he said. He said the party should either remain in more..

Nagadeepa/Nainathivu debate: Do not incite racism based on a name: Shivajilingam

Nov 13 (CT) Since the names Nagadeepa and Nainathivu are both used for the same place, it should not be used to incite racist sentiments, member of the NPC, M.K. Shivajilingam of TNA said. He also said that Sinhala people refer to the Nainathivu Island as Nagadeepa and that Tamil people, as well as in English the name Nainathivu is used for the Nagadeepa Island. Shivajilingam said that a certain group in the NPC has initiated a dialogue to change the names but more..

India slashes visa fee for Sri Lankan tourists

Nov 13 (CG) The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka announced today that the visa fees for Sri Lankan nationals applying for e-Tourist Visa (e-TV), which was introduced from 14 April 2015, has been reduced. Accordingly the new visa fee is only US$ 25 (plus bank charges of 2.5%), instead of US$ 60 (plus US$2 bank fee) charged earlier. High Commission of India hopes that more Sri Lankan nationals will avail of the opportunity to visit India using the e-Tourist Visa. more..

Sri Lanka on UNESCO Executive Board

Nov 13 (ST) Sri Lanka was elected to the Executive Board of the UNESCO for the period 2015-2019 receiving 149 votes at the 38th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO in Paris on 11th Nov 2015. The country was placed third amongst the Asia –Pacific group after Malaysia and Vietnam ahead of the Republic of Korea, Pakistan, and Iran. Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, will represent SL as chairperson at this august assembly. more..