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Dambara Amila Thera appointed NMSJ convener

Nov 18 (AM) Executive committee of the National Movement for Social Justice has decided to appoint Dambara Amila Thera as the convener of NMSJ. The post was earlier held by Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera who passed away on November 08. It is reported that a special meeting between Amila Thera and the executive committee was taken place recently regarding the appointment. Dambara Amila Thera is a lecturer of Archeology at the University of Sri Jayawardenapura. more..

TNA meets UNWGD, wants truth seeking mechanisms established

Nov 18 (Island) TNA has stressed the importance of establishing the required judicial and truth seeking mechanisms to ascertain the fate of persons who had disappeared or were under detention. Jaffna District TNA MP M. A. SumanIslandthiran during a meeting with the visiting UN Working Group on Disappearances (UNWGD) in Colombo yesterday had raised the concerns expressed by families of persons who had gone missing or detained without trial for long periods, informed sources said. more..

I was not pulled up for Avant Garde comments: Rajitha

Nov 18 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said he had not been pulled up by PM Wickremesinghe for making comments on the Avant Garde controversy. Sending a special message from Brazil, minister said he had come to know of several rumours that had been circulating which led many to believe that he had been criticized by the Premier. “I left for Brazil on Monday and didn’t have an opportunity to meet the Premier before I left. more..

President concerned about flood situation in the North

Nov 18 (CT) President Sirisena has given directives to relevant officials to provide the necessary assistance to flood victims in the North. According to Northern Province SLFP MP Angajan Ramanathan, President had contacted him on Sunday and verified in detail about the flood situation in the Northern Province. Angajan Ramanathan further said: President discussed about the current state of the flood affected people particularly in Kilinochchi and Jaffna, in responding to the President, more..

Professor enlarged on bail in criminal breach of trust case

Nov 18 (Island) Prof. Albert Dharmasiri was enlarged on bail by the Nuwara Eliya Magistrate when he was produced before him by the officers of the FCID for alleged criminal breach of trust and alleged criminal misappropriation of property in relation to 19 paintings of David Paynter worth over Rs. 37 mn. ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said that acting on a complaint by University of Visual & Performing Arts that the paintings of famed painter David Paynter should have been handed over more..

Prices of ten essential commodities to fall

Nov 18 (DM) The expansion of the tax net and reduction of prices of ten essential commodities will be among the main proposals of The Budget 2016 to be presented in Parliament by Minister Ravi Karunanayaka tomorrow. Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said that the first budget speech of UNP led consensual govt would be a development, investment, revenue growth and relief oriented one with the target to achieve more..

Kumar Gunaratnam further remanded

Nov 18 (AD) FSP political committee member Premakumar Gunaratnam, who was arrested for visa violations, has been further remanded till November 27 by the Kegalle Magistrate’s Court. He was arrested on November 04 by Kegalle Police in the Aguruwella area. Popularly known as Kumar Gunaratnam, the former JVP politburo member had arrived in Sri Lanka from Australia on January 1, just days before the Presidential Election. Gunaratnam, who holds Australian citizenship, more..

Recruit principals to fill vacancies: CTU

Nov 18 (DN) Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) urged the govt to recruit candidates for the principals' post in accordance to the prevalent vacancies. CTU requested govt to make suitable amendments to the gazette notification issued in April this year. Education Ministry on April 10 called for applications for principals’ third class service recruitment through the gazette notification number 1910. Gazette notification had only called for 4,431 applications although there are over 6,000 vacancies. more..

'MRP for six new essential items'

Nov 18 (DM) Minister Rishad Badhiutheen said that Consumer Affairs Authority had brought in a new set of Maximum Retail Prices (MRP) for six new essential consumer items, and these new prices with immediate effect. “New MRPs are introduced to safeguard consumers from sudden market price hikes, especially in the forthcoming festival season. “Prices of five essential items have not been changed, while MRPs have been more..

Govt tells court it will take important decision on Port City project soon

Nov 18 (Island) Govt would take an important decision in respect of the Port City Project within the next few days, Deputy Solicitor General, Arjuna Obeysekera told the Court of Appeal. He explained that the state would shortly submit the latest Environmental Impact report in respect of the Colombo Port City Project to the consideration of Secretaries to the Ministries. DSG Obeysekera, who appeared for AG told the Court that all aspects of the project had been covered by latest report. more..

City of gems minus precious stones in its museum

Nov 18 (Island) Ratnapura known as the city of gems worldwide has a museum sans a gallery for precious stones. Director, National Museums, Thanuja Kasthuriarachchi, asked for comment, admitted that it was a shortcoming. "I agree with you that visitors may be disappointed when they notice that the Ratnapura National Museum is without a well-equipped area for the display of gems. Of course, there are a few artificial gems, but these do not quench the thirst of the visitors, more..

Probe Ven. Sobitha Thera's death: GMOA

Nov 18 (DM) Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) today requested President Maithripala Sirisena to launch a comprehensive, impartial, and swift investigation into the death of the Chief Incumbent of the Kotte Sri Naga Viharaya Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera. Ven. Sobitha Thera who was also the convener of the National Movement for a Free & Just Society passed away at Mt Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore on Nov 8. more..

Gunaratnam can apply for dual citizenship

Nov 18 (CT) Kumar Gunaratnam, leader of FSP who is currently in remand, can apply for dual citizenship, Minister S.B. Nawinna said. He said Gunaratnam cannot apply for citizenship while he is in Sri Lanka. That can be done after he returns to Australia. Minister however, added that he did not know what Court would decide about Gunaratnam. Yesterday, 2,000 applicants were granted dual citizenship at Temple Trees at an event attended by President Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Ranjan files complaint at bribery commission on Avant Garde Voice Clips

Nov 18 (AM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake lodged a complaint with the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption with two voice clips allegedly related to the Avant Garde controversy. The voice clips are recordings of two telephone conversations between Avant Garde Maritime Services Chairman Major (retired) Nissanka Senadhipathi and Minister Rajitha Senaratne's Secretary Sayuru Samarasundara. First clip was released to internet yesterday, more..

UN experts demand action over suspected secret Sri Lankan prisons

Nov 18 (AFP) UN experts Wednesday urged Sri Lanka to speed up probes into suspected secret detention centres after they inspected a former illegal prison complex in the island's northeast during their visit. Wrapping up a 10-day trip to the country, UN delegation said it toured the little-known 12-cell prison hidden inside a sprawling naval base in Trincomalee. Prison had markings on the walls that indicated more..

‘A Problem from Yahapalanaya hell’

Nov 19 (CT) Ahead of her visit to Colombo, a meet was held in Colombo between President Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Following that meet, Gotabaya revealed that the President had given him an assurance. Assurance is that the President would never betray the trust of Armed Forces. Gotabaya held media conferences after meeting the President to emphasize that the President had accepted his (Gotabaya's) view point with regard to war crimes allegations more..

Sobhitha Thera: wonder star of buddhism

Nov 19 (CT) There are strings of yellow flags all along our route and huge banners of sympathy carrying the image of the Thera. The Bhikkhu seems to look at us with compassionate eyes and a gentle smile. "I imagine an image of splendour of a Bhikkhu through that particular picture for my drawings. I imagine an image of an attractive compassionate Bhikkhu with a tall well-built body, kindness, pity and that smile and appearance." This is what a well-known artist and art teacher, more..

When the mountains rumble

Nov 19 (SO) In a year since 37 people were buried alive under a mountain of mud in Meeriyabedda in Koslanda, researchers and families affected by the tragedy have often asked what the authorities have done since, to avert these disasters or insulate them. The responses have been lukewarm and uncertain. Meriyabedda landslide was one of the deadliest landslides in recent history. Rainfall data from Poonagala gauging station more..

UNWGEID is here to gradually get us

Nov 19 (Island) Before getting on to the substantive issue to be addressed, apologies are in order to all the prigs who might have a problem or two with the use of the split infinitive (to gradually get) in the title: the writer is aware that usage snobs consider the split infinitive the currency of the uneducated. It is also granted that in all of William Shakespeare’s work it can only be found only once. Also, the works of writers such as John Dryden (third greatest playwright after Shakespeare & Ben Jonson), more..

Executive presidency going, going …

Nov 19 (Island) Wielding unbridled executive powers is like chasing the dragon. Being out of power or going political cold turkey is torture for politicians. Late Presidents, J.R. Jayewardene and R Premadasa, in spite of their failings and abuse of power, were less hypocritical than their successors anent the executive presidency. They neither pretended to have any aversion to that institution nor offered to scrap it. They made no bones about their desire to arrogate to themselves more..

'We need the PTA'

Nov 19 (CT) It is too early to do away with the Prevention of the Terrorism Act (PTA), said Minister M.L.A.M. Hizbullah, whilst emphasizing the fact that Sri Lanka must learn from its experiences in fighting terrorism to ward off future threats, especially as international threats of terrorism have worsened in the recent past. Q: After assuming office in September, what is the progress of your ministry? A: we have already planned for more..

Allowing armed forces to run businesses is too dangerous

Nov 19 (FT) As reported in the media, on Wednesday (11) the President had held talks on the controversial Avant Garde Maritime Services (AGMSL) with all heads of State Security Forces, AG’s department representatives, relevant ministry heads and MPs. The following day (12) the media quoted Minister Rajitha Senaratne as having said the President had instructed relevant authorities to revoke all agreements with AGMSL and to hand over all operations back to the Navy. more..

The monk who lived in the island next to the Dead Sea

Nov 19 (Island) There was an island closer to the Dead Sea. Of course, you all know where the Dead Sea is. Don’t you? For those who are ignorant about the Dead Sea, let me explain that though its known as the Dead Sea, it has got sea water. But, today we are talking about the island next to the Dead Sea. In this island, there was a Monk who was very vociferous and active. Some didn't like him, but many held him in very high regard. He had a history of battling all and sundry for a just society. more..

'Only way out of budgetary crisis is to tell people the truth'

Nov 19 (Island) Opposition MP Bandula Gunawardene speaks about the way out of the looming budgetary crisis. Q: As regards the forthcoming budget, the factor that looms large in everybody’s mind is the colossal deficit. How do you think the govt is going to handle that? A: Expectations that were given to the people through the mini budget earlier this year have all come a cropper. That is a major political issue confronting the govt. more..

Science, technology and innovation, key to Sri Lanka's future

Nov 19 (EN) Sri Lanka’s avowed goal today is to move from the current lower middle income country to a high income country within the next 2 decades. One problem it faces in realising this goal is the possibility of getting snared in what economists call the middle income country trap. A poor country with its abundant cheap labour could produce labour intensive products for the rest of the world and move up in the ladder to become a middle income country. However, it will get stuck as a middle income more..

Mother of child left on tank bund tells her story

Nov 19 (DM) The mother of the three year old boy who had been abandoned near a bathing spot on the bund of the Mahakanadarawa tank in Mihintale surrendered to the Mihintale Police on Wednesday. She confessed that her husband had left her a long time ago and that she was working on a poultry farm in Kuliyapitiya. “I keep the child at a friend’s house in Mahakanadarawa as I cannot take him with me. I go to the place where he is staying and look into his needs every weekend. more..

Bryce Hutchesson Australia’s next High Commissioner to SL

Nov 19 (MFA) Today I announce the appointment of Bryce Hutchesson as Australia's next High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. Mr Hutchesson will also have non-resident accreditation to the Maldives. Australia has a close and long-standing bilateral relationship with Sri Lanka, underpinned by growing trade and investment ties and extensive people-to-people links. Two-way trade in 2014 was $830 million and Australia is home to more..

Indian oranges head for Sri Lanka for first time in years

Nov 19 (FE) Sri Lankan market has opened to Indian oranges. For the first time in many years, around 52 tonne of oranges from Maharashtra have been exported to SL. Bangladesh has been a regular importer of oranges from India, though no authentic data is available since road transport is used, authorities of the Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB) said. Consignment has been exported through the Export Facilitation Centre established by MSAMB more..

Nigeria interested in SL Navy's patrol craft construction and operation

Nov 19 (SLN) A three-member Nigerian naval delegation called on the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne at the Naval Headquarters on 18th Nov. Delegation headed by Rear Admiral GA Anyankpele included Commodore AC Ononome and Captain DIRI Onyenma of Nigerian Navy. They held cordial discussions on a range of issues which were of mutual interests and bilateral importance. Special attention was made to SLN’s Inshore Patrol Craft (IPC) construction, more..

US envoy Samantha Power to visit Jaffna

Nov 19 (CG) US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power will travel to India and Sri Lanka from Nov 18-23. In Sri Lanka, Ambassador Power will highlight the US’ commitment to strengthening the bilateral partnership, and she will underscore U.S. support for the country’s efforts toward reconciliation, accountability, and lasting peace in the aftermath of a devastating civil war. In Colombo, she will meet with senior govt officials, more..

NSB’s 9-month profit up 31% to Rs. 9.1 b

Nov 19 (Island) NSB reported a Profit before Tax of Rs. 9.1 billion for the nine months ended 30th Sept, and impressive growth of 31% as compared to same period last year. Profitability for nine month period was mainly fuelled by the growth in traditional lines of business. Net interest income of the Bank increased to Rs. 20.6 billion which is an increase of 38% as compared to corresponding period of last year. As the interest income of the Bank grew by 7% to reach Rs. 58.4 Billion, more..

Nominations for SLC elections from Nov 24

Nov 19 (DN) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said that nominations for Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) elections will be accepted from Nov 24 till Dec 4. Sports Ministry had earlier stated that the date fixed for the SLC election is January 3 and there will be some key changes to the current Sports Law prior to the elections. SLC is currently administered by an interim committee appointed by previous Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake on April 1 on the grounds that the govet wanted to more..

Elite Cricket plans look doomed

Nov 19 (DM) Retired cricket star Mahela Jayawardene has masterminded what has been promoted by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) as a long-term plan to restructure the entire domestic cricket set-up, basically shifting the present club-based system into a predominantly zonal system but the meticulously planned new move is most likely to face a disappointing stillbirth in the face of mounting opposition from the game’s more..

Police soft-pedaling inquiry on Kotadeniyawa schoolboy's arrest

Nov 19 (AM) The police is soft-pedaling on the inquiry in to the arrest of a 17 year-old school boy for the murder of a five-year-old girl in Kotadeniyawa last September. The inquiry was ordered by the IGP on October 4 and was to be overseen by Senior DIG Pujith Jayasundera. The IGP called for an interim report, to be submitted on October 7. However, its report is yet to be received by the IGP, ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said. The committee had asked for additional time since more..

Hemas and Minor Hotel Group introduce luxury brand Anantara to Sri Lanka

Nov 19 (FT) Hemas Holdings in partnership with Minor Hotel Group will be introducing the leading hospitality brand Anantara to Sri Lanka with a soft opening of its first luxury property, Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, in December 2015 with the official launch in early 2016. With a project value of approximately $ 50 million, the exclusive Tangalle property boasts 120 rooms and 32 standalone private pool villas, six restaurant & bar venues, an exclusive Spa, a 25-metre swimming pool, more..

Girls picked up for prostitution from probation homes

Nov 19 (Island) A raid on a brothel at Bassrock area in Gampola has unraveled a criminal cartel that obtained girls for prostitution from children’s homes under the Probation and Child Care Services Department. Sleuths of Gampola police who raided the brothel several times in the past always found that the sex workers there were below 20 years. Police in a bid to find out how the brothel owner managed to have a continuous more..

SriLankan Cargo revolutionises air freight from the Middle East

Nov 19 (DN) SriLankan Cargo will revolutionise air freight to Colombo from seven cities in the Middle East with the launch of its A Dollar A Kilo! service this month. New service has been especially designed to cater to the needs of SL's migrant workforce in the Middle East, who often send gifts, baggage and other items back home through sea freight. The service has no restrictions on size and weight, and can be used by anyone to send anything from the Middle East to Colombo. more..

Premier Limited Over tournament to be shown on TV

Nov 19 (CI) The three knockout matches of the forthcoming Premier Limited Over domestic tournament will be broadcast on national television for the first time in three years, the SLC has announced. The beginning of the tournament has also been postponed by a week, to November 27, due to prevailing rain in Colombo. The semi-finals of this tournament will be played on Dec 23 and 24, and the final on Dec 30. Sri Lanka's top players will be unavailable for the tournament, more..

Second phase of all party meeting successfully concluded

Nov 19 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says every action in relevant to Geneva Proposals will be taken in accordance with the Constitution of Sri Lanka. The President was speaking at the second phase of the all party meeting held today (17) at the Presidential Secretariat. He said the all party meeting will be held according to a fixed agenda and time frame in the future. more..

Yahapalanaya: MPs can contest SLC AGM

Nov 19 (CT) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera says he has no objections against any politician contesting the forthcoming AGM of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). When contacted, the Minister said what was important to him was not who the individual is, but his or her agenda to develop the sport concerned and bring glory to the country. He made this remark in the wake of media reports that incumbent Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thilanga Sumathipala was intending to contest the post of President more..