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Fisheries Minister informed of malpractices

Nov 17 (Island) Minister of Fisheries, Mahinda Amaraweera says he has been informed of financial malpractices in the Fisheries Corporation and will not hesitate to initiate legal action against the wrongdoers. Amaraweera made the observation when he recently inspected the Peliyagoda Central Fish Market and met fish suppliers of the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation. Fish suppliers provided fish to the Corporation and obtained payments on a bill-to-bill basis, Minister said more..

Video: Govt attempting to belittle PTA: GL

Nov 17 (DM) Though the purpose of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) is to protect the people from security threats, govt is attempting to make out that the PTA as something frightening, former UPFA MP G.L. Peiris charged. He claimed that the govt was using the PTA to arrest and punish security forces personnel while releasing former LTTE cadres detained under the PTA. He criticized the govt move to release ex-LTTE more..

Progress: Towards what? for whom?

Nov 17 (CT) Ninety one years earlier in 1924 , Rabindranath Tagore in a lecture on civilization and progress told his audience “We have for over a century been dragged by the prosperous West behind its chariot, choked by the dust, deafened by the noise, humbled by our own helplessness, and overwhelmed by the speed. We agreed to acknowledge that this chariot-drive was progress, and the progress was civilisation. If we ever ventured to ask, progress towards what, more..

India releases 29 Sri Lankan fishermen

Nov 17 (Island) 29 Sri Lankan fishermen from Negombo were released from the Mangalore prison in Karnataka state on Monday. They, along with seven other Sri Lankan fishers freed in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, will be repatriated in a day or two. This means all the Sri Lankan fishers in custody in three different Indian states are now free to go home. "The logistics of their repatriation are being worked out," WM Dharmapala, a minister in SL Deputy High Commission in Chennai, more..

Video: 6,000 Avant Garde employees risk losing jobs

Nov 17 (DM) Days after the operations of Avant Garde Maritime Security was taken over by the Sri Lanka Navy, thousands of its employees today claimed that they risked of losing their jobs. AGMSL's Former Senior Manager of Commercial Vessels Protection Operations, Lt. Colonel (Rtd) Nilantha Jayaweera said despite legal assurances that the Avant Garde security firm had defence ministry clearance to operate, more..

Will Swaminathan act according to conscience?

Nov 17 (CT) Eastern Provincial Councillor Govindan Karunakaram (Gnana) of the TNA posed the question, whether the newly appointed Prisons and Prison Reforms Minister D. M.Swaminathan would act according to his conscience regarding the release of Tamil political prisoners; or follow the path of late Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar who while in power as Foreign Minister under the Chandrika Govt had told the world leaders that there was no ethnic strife in Sri Lanka but only terrorism. more..

Specialists call for upgrading Batticaloa Teaching Hospital

Nov 17 (Island) The Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) in the Eastern Province, called for upgrading of the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital to cater to the needs of the Eastern population. Eastern Province AMS Coordinator Dr S Mathanalagan said that the hospital was over 50 to 60 years old and renovations had to be carried out urgently. Dr. Mathanalagan said they hoped that the govt would approve the master plan for upgrading the hospital infrastructure. more..

Video: BBS warns govt of impending attack by ISIS

Nov 17 (DM) BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera sounded a warning to the govt over an ISIS attack on this country within a year. “Several bomb blasts will rock Sri Lanka within a year. We make this prediction with responsibility. As predicted by us earlier, a Sri Lankan Muslim from Galewela was killed while fighting for ISIS in Syria recently. Every prediction we have made have become reality,” more..

Sri Lanka Police signs MOU with Interpol

Nov 17 (NS) Sri Lanka Police strengthens its services with the Interpol signing agreement on facilitating cross-border investigations. Sri Lanka Police and Interpol had come to an agreement recently over the subject. IGP N. K. Illangakoon and Secretary General of Interpol Jürgen Stock had signed the MoU on November 04, in Kigali, Rwanda during the Annual International Police Conference which was attended by the Heads of the police representing many countries. more..

Riot and Responsibility: Governance in SL

Nov 17 (IPCS) One of the greatest Buddhist monks of Sri Lanka, Most Ven Maduluwawe Sobitha, who spoke fearlessly to overthrow the previous Govt to usher in a better political order, has passed away. The entire nation mourns the loss of this great human being. In his speech at the book launch of this author’s Towards a better world order, a clear statement was made: politics in Sri Lanka is a direct ticket to hell. First serious shock to the new govt was the resignation of Minister of Law and Order more..

Dual citizenship given to 2000

Nov 17 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena said dual citizenship was what most of the Sri Lankan expatriates asked for, whenever he met them during his tours abroad and the govt had expedited in accordingly. He said this at a ceremony held at Temple Trees to award dual citizenship to 2,000 Sri Lankans this morning. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said the support of Sri Lankan expatriates would be vital in fulfilling govt’s more..

Sri Lanka announces ambitious export target

Nov 17 (F2F) Despite falling global trade, the Sri Lanka is aiming for a highly ambitious five-fold jump of its top export product - apparels while China's premium knitting sector is gearing up to partner with surging Sri Lankan apparel sector. “We are looking to increase total apparel exports by five-fold, to $20 billion. And by 2020 we are aiming at $50 billion national exports, which is an ambitious goal,” said Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe, at inaugural Intex South Asia International apparel Fabrics more..

'Bond scams take place even now'

Nov 17 (AM) Convener of Voice Against Corruption Wasantha Samarasinghe stressed that Central Bank bond transaction frauds continued to take place under the new govt. He said that the govt seemed to be unaware of the danger the country could face in future because of these illegal transactions taking place even at the moment. Moreover, the company that belongs to the son-in-law of the Central Bank Governor is buying treasury bonds and selling them to ETF back, he said. more..

Uncapped Jayasundera picked for NZ Tests

Nov 17 (CI) Sri Lanka have named uncapped batsman Udara Jayasundera in their 15-man squad for the Tests in New Zealand and announced squads for ODIs and T20s as well. Jeffrey Vandersay, who has played only T20s at the international level, was named in all three squads and Kithuruwan Vithanage was included for Tests and T20s, but not for ODIs. Top-order batsman Lahiru Thirimanne was left out of the Test squad, after missing out more..

Govt keen to sustain good governance

Nov 17 (CG) Govt says it is keen to establish and sustain good governance within Sri Lanka. Delivering the keynote address during the Code4Good Sri Lanka in Colombo today, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne stressed that in order for governance to be good, it needs to be democratic. Moreover remarking on the fundamental aspects of democratic governance he noted that the process by which political leaders are appointed should be legitimate and credible. more..

Joint opp. threatens to withdraw from APC

Nov 17 (CG) The joint opposition today threatened to withdraw from the All Party Conference (APC) if the APC does not address the real issues faced by the country. NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa said that the joint opposition has no issue in taking part in the APC if it has an acceptable goal in mind. However he said if the joint opposition does not agree with the ultimate goal of the APC then it will discuss the stand to be taken with the leader of the newly formed join opposition, more..

Video: President to present Cabinet Paper to abolish Executive Presidency

Nov 17 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena will present a Cabinet Paper to abolish the Executive Presidency and to introduce a new electoral system at the Cabinet meeting scheduled to be held tomorrow. “Cabinet Paper will be presented tomorrow to abolish the Executive Presidency and to transfer its powers to the Parliament,” President said during an event held at the Temple Trees today. more..

Disaffection in SLFP behind Sirisena bid to abolish executive presidency

Nov 17 (ENS) Growing disaffection in his SLFP appears to be behind Sri President Sirisena’s sudden announcement that he is going to take concrete steps to implement two of his main pledges in the run up to the Jan 8 Presidential election, namely, abolition of the Executive Presidency and institution of a new electoral system. President said on Tuesday that he would present a paper to the cabinet on Wednesday giving his proposal to abolish the EP and usher in a parliamentary form of more..

Tamil prisoners end hunger strike

Nov 17 (AD) Inmates of several prisons who were engaged in a hunger strike demanding speedier action to release them either through rehabilitation or general amnesty have ended their fast following assurance from the govt. Minister D.M. Swaminathan said that they ended their fast from 8am this morning. Hunger strike was launched by inmates, arrested and detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), at Batticaloa, A'pura, Jaffna and Colombo Magazine prisons. more..

Video: 'Minister’s son tried to spy on me'

Nov 17 (DM) Minister Harin Fernando said today he would brief the Cabinet tomorrow on the incident where a minister’s son intruded into his ministry and tried to spy on him. “I will not allow sons of any ministers to do politics in my ministry. We cannot allow family rule to continue as in the past,” he said. The minister said he had no reason to do any deals with anyone and said he could have done so even before January 8, more..

Nepotism & The Political Brats

Nov 18 (CT) When Mervyn Silva, the political outcast from Kelaniya is fading away another Mervyn is in the making in the Gampaha district. He is none other than Chathura Senaratne, son of Rajitha Senaratne, the current Minister of Health and one of President Maithripala Sirisena’s closest confidantes. Chatura is becoming a law onto himself and his mouth is as bad as that of the dentist with the bad mouth. His actions are second only to the now discarded Mervyn Silva. more..

Ven Maduluwawe Sobitha & The imperatives of true tribute

Nov 18 (CT) I first met Ven Madoluwawe Sobitha Thero almost a decade ago, through my father-in-law Padmavarna Wijayatilake. The first impression marked me. There was an aura about Sobitha Hamuduruwo. That’s why when a friend, Martin Pieris, wanted to write a book about prominent Sri Lankan personalities, I said that Sobitha Hamuduruwo not only has to be in it but deserves to be featured in the cover. In all my encounters thereafter the impression I had of Sobitha more..

A vibrant voice stilled

Nov 18 (SO) Vibrant voice of an influential Bhikkhu and prominent social justice activist who fought tooth and nail to build a society free of corruption and restore, rejuvenate and reinstate a dying democracy in Sri Lanka, was silenced a few days ago. At a time when the space for political dissent had shrunk and the govt became increasingly authoritarian, ethno-nationalist and corrupt, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera more..

Justice for a Sri Lankan gruesome massacre

Nov 18 (SL) The house has been empty nearly 10 years, the local aid worker told me. No one wants to live there. The small, one-storey building is enclosed by a low cement wall on a secluded, tree-lined street off the main thoroughfare in the town of Muttur, in Sri Lanka’s northeast. Its sky blue siding with white horizontal stripes gives the house an incongruous festive appearance. I’ve often imagined the house in Aug 2006 after rebel fighters from the LTTE had unexpectedly overrun the town. more..

Hope for families of the missing

Nov 18 (SL) The visit by a UN group on missing persons has raised the expectations of the families of those missing during the war with many having hopes of a breakthrough. Sandya Eknaligoda, the wife of missing cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda, is among those who feel something positive will come out of the visit by the UN group. Amnesty International (AI) said UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) visit to SL offers an important opportunity more..

'TUMSJ ready to strike'

Nov 18 (CT) Convener of the Trade Union Movement for Social Justice (TUMSJ) Saman Ratnapriya spoke about the state of affairs in the country, and what the working class expected from the Budget. Q: What do you think on the progress the govt has made so far? A: The country's civil society was instrumental in changing the Executive on 8, January and the Parliament on 17, August. Leader of NMSJ Venerable Maduluwawe Sobhitha more..

Empowering women to win the world: Films of winfluence

Nov 18 (DM) Women make the world and they can also change the world. Though society would have changed, and we can see women in every field, excelling in Arts, Politics, Legal, Business and Educational fields, the concept remains the same – that is, women are the weaker sex and still the male dominates. It is high time that we changed this concept - and gave women more encouragement and influence to make them independent, strong, and get appreciated for what they do. more..

Australian town Badagini named by Sinhala migrant labour in 1880s?

Nov 18 (DM) Earliest recorded evidence of Sri Lankan immigrants to Australia was in 1816; they were, Major William O’Dean, a SL Malay and his Sinhalese wife Eve. Most of the early immigrants from SL (then Ceylon) were generally absorbed into Aboriginal population. Other early references of SL migration date back to the 1870s when the administrative system in Queensland Australia sought out the possibility of importing labour from Ceylon for work on sugar cane plantations. more..

Why I quit the Cabinet

Nov 18 (ST) My association with Avant Garde Maritime Services began in January this year. They came to see me with another known lawyer. I learnt that the company was providing maritime security, a requirement necessitated by increasing incidence of piracy in the seas in some areas near SL. Their vessel MV Mahanuwara was holding weapons for maritime security and had been raided by Police. more..

Editorial: MR at 70

Nov 18 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa turns 70 today. Candles must now be costing him more than the cake as Bob Hope famously said. Nothing hurts a politician who has savoured power more than being voted out. Mahinda made the mistake of banking on people’s gratitude to win elections without giving a tinker’s cuss about allegations of corruption, nepotism, cronyism, abuse of power, scandals etc. against his govt. He thought people would continue to more..

Govt’s statement on economic policy

Nov 18 (Island) The practice of presenting broad economic policy before Parliament is to be much applauded. The public is informed of policies which govt intends to follow and those proposals can then be subjected to debate in Parliament. It is a symbol that PM Wickremesinghe intends to make Parliament the most important branch of govt in matters of policy making. It was the right thing to arrest the practice of the Rajapaksa administration to make the President’s office more..

An undergrad for a change

Nov 18 (Island) Sri J'pura University athlete Danushka Sandaruwan emerged as the best athlete at the Athletic Championship of the 27th National Youth Sports Festival concluded at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Diyagama on Sunday. Sandaruwan, who is also attached to SL Air Force, had never scaled such heights at top level athletics championships but the weekend’s feat of 7.78 metres not only won more..

Dope free Sport walk on Saturday

Nov 18 (DN) Sri Lanka Anti Doping Agency has organized a walk on Saturday, Nov 21 in Colombo under the theme of dope free sport. Chairman of Sri Lanka Anti Doping Agency, Dr Seevali Jayawickrama addressing the media yesterday said it has been organized with the objective of enlightening the sports community and the general public over the adverse effects of doping related to sports. The walk will start at 6.30 am from the premises opposite the National Art Gallery, more..

Technopolis mooted for SL metro project

Nov 18 (EN) A special zone where research outfits could be linked with industry should be created in Sri Lanka’s proposed megapolis covering the entire wester province urban agglomeration, a top economist has proposed. W.A. Wijewardena, former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, said the only way the island can avoid the middle income trap, where countries stagnate at lower middle income levels, is to export high-tech products and services. more..

Laugfs invest $80m for South Asia’s largest import/export LPG terminal

Nov 18 (FT) Laugfs Terminals Ltd., a subsidiary of Sri Lankan energy conglomerate Laugfs Gas PLC signed agreements with China Huanqiu Contracting and Construction Corporation (HQC) to construct South Asia’s largest import and export liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) terminal with an investment of over $80 million. Firm intends to invest $58.1 million in the first phase of the construction with a capacity of 30,000 MT more..

Navy provides relief assistance to flood victims in Madagal and Kayts

Nov 18 (SLN) Naval personnel attached to SLNS Uttara, SLNS Kanchadewa and SLNS Agbo provided relief assistance to the civilians affected by the floods in Madagal and Kayts areas. They distributed food, water and other essential items to the affected residents and ferried civilians to safe places as many of the roads in Iranamadu had been inundated. 198 persons belonging to 55 families in Sendenkulam GS Division, 112 persons belonging to 68 families in Madagal West GS Division, more..

Arjuna willing to help SLC develop school cricket

Nov 18 (DN) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said that he was willing to lend a helping hand to Sri Lanka Cricket to develop school cricket in the country. “School cricket standards have declined in the last few years, not only in Trincomalee but also in the entire country,” said Minister Ranatunga speaking at a function held at the jetty of Trinco Harbour. “The reason is that some senior national players got involved in politics and dictated terms to the hierarchy of Sri Lanka Cricket. more..

US Ambassador says SL is an excellent location for assembling and logistics

Nov 18 (Island) US Ambassador Atul Keshap yesterday said in Colombo that Sri Lanka is an excellent location for Assembling and Logistics among other commercial endeavours as Sri Lanka is so close to important regional markets in South Asia, complemented with its emerging trend to make doing business easier. Starting off his speech with typical American sense of humour before opening the US Trade Show 2015 more..

Sri Lanka should forge FTA with USA: PM

Nov 18 (DN) Sri Lanka's economy is facing tough challenges and to overcome this the country should look at a FTA with USA and also similar economic partnerships with other countries, including India, Singapore and China, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Speaking at the annual Business Today Top 20 awards ceremony at Colombo Hilton, Chief guest, PM said that Vietnam is emerging as a top performing hub while both Bangladesh and Myanmar are fast becoming low wage more..

STC General Trading gets new Chairman

Nov 18 (DM) STC General Trading Company, Sri Lanka’s state supply giant once named as the best state institute by COPE, has a new Chairman who was a two-time Provincial Councillor. “The vision of President Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is to not to burden the Lankan consumers and STC is one way of achieving this by the govt,” stated Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the staff of STC under him having appointed Dr. A.M. Jameel as new Chairman. more..