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Release of LTTE suspects: An election pledge being fulfilled: Ex-President

Nov 20 (Island) The release of LTTE suspects was an election pledge and the govt was only honouring git, former President Rajapaksa said in Kandy on Thursday. He was in Kandy to pay his homage to the sacred tooth relic and call on the prelates of Malwatte and Asgiriya. Ex-president was in Kandy after attending religious observances in Anuradhapura the previous day to mark his 70th birthday. He met Anunayaka Thera of Malwatte Ven. Dr. Niyangoda Sri Vijithasiri more..

Govt to abolish vehicle permits

Nov 20 (EN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake has proposed the end tax free cars given to the elected ruling cars and state workers, which freedom advocates say will help create tax equity and justice. "I propose to abolish all the vehicle permits granted under different schemes, including to MPs," Minister said in the text of a budget for 2016. "However, I ensure all govt officers will be financially compensated more..

White Ferns finally tested by Sri Lanka

Nov 20 (Stuff) The White Ferns finally had to dig deep before securing a tense 11-run win over Sri Lanka in their second women's Twenty20 cricket international at Saxton Oval on Friday. The win enabled Sara McGlashan to celebrate becoming the first to play 200 games for the White Ferns across all international formats. Since debuting in 2002, she has represented her country in two tests, 131 ODIs and now 67 Twenty20s, with the retired Nicola Browne next highest on 180 appearances. more..

CC approves President's recommendation for SC Judge

Nov 20 (DN) Constitutional Council (CC) approved President Maithripala Sirisena's recommendation to appoint Appeal Court Judge K.T. Chithrasiri as a Supreme Court Judge. K T Chithrasiri will take oaths as a Supreme Court Judge before the President at a future date. The CC which met yesterday at the Parliamentary complex met the Chairmen and Members of newly appointed Elections Commission, Finance Commission, Delimitation Commission and National Procurement Commission. more..

Several concessions announced in 2016 budget

Nov 20 (CG) Minister Ravi Karunanayake today announced several concessions during the presentation of the 2016 budget. Among the concessions he announced was a reduction in gas and kerosene prices as well as a cut in the price of local milk powder. In the budget speech, Karunanayake proposed to reduce the price of 11 selected essential commodities as promised. “I propose to reduce Special Commodity Levy more..

Cultural Harmony & Middle Path

Nov 21 (CT) The article Cultural invasion – in the wake of the Abaya that appeared in the Colombo Telegraph attempts to justify make out that the phenomenon of the Black Abaya accords with the Middle Path in Buddhism. The Buddhist Middle Path constitutes a rejection of two mutual opposite extremist positions. Buddhism praises the middle way when it is practiced in human behaviour; it does not exclude even the acts of dressing and eating. Black Abaya mentioned by the writer, more..

Flawed Western approach to reconciliation

Nov 21 (CT) Reconciliation is a process where former adversaries in a conflict or war come together and forge new relations after the conflict has been ended. Sri Lanka’s ethnic war was terminated by military means in 2009. The Western world, including the US, was involved in the conflict as well as the peace process. However, when the govt headed by Mahinda Rajapaksa decided to mount an all-out attack on the LTTE to finish it off, most of the Western states either tacitly more..

A story of being homeless and helpless

Nov 21 (SO) Somewhere along a nondescript and bumpy but scenic B road between Bandarawela and Beragala Junction in Badulla lies the abandoned Mahakanda tea factory. For 10 months, this has been home to dozens of families whose houses were destroyed by the massive landslide that hit the village of Meeriyabedda near Koslanda on Oct 29 last year. Crammed into 55 rooms - created by wooden partitions and more..

Disability is not inability

Nov 21 (ST) The Activity Centre in the CFS Prithipura Home is humming with chatter and bustle as its staff and residents prepare for their Christmas sale and fundraiser this week. In one corner, Styrofoam balls are being transformed into serene-looking, long lashed snowmen with scarves and colourful winter hats. While some residents are busy with the preparations, others occupy themselves with building blocks or educational toys. Ruwan* has pushed aside the decorations he has been more..

Ajinomoto turns weedicide

Nov 21 (CT) He added that for every acre the farmers would use 200 grams of MSG in eight tanks full of agrochemicals to be sprayed in the fields including in paddy fields. Now that glyphosate under the trade name Roundup is no longer available in the market due to a ban, the farmers are purchasing MSG from shops which sell it in the area, shops which also sell them to eateries of all sorts, he noted. "It is now known that MSG in foodstuffs causes cancer. more..

Citizen Power guarding democracy

Nov 21 (CT) Convener of Citizen Power, Gamini Viyangoda said there was no Yahapalanaya (good governance) to speak of; and that Ministers in the so called Yahapalanaya Govt were protecting the corrupt; especially in cases such as Avant Garde. Q: Why was Citizen Power formed? A: There were few people in support of Citizen Power; there were like 10 to 12 individuals within the organization. more..

Editorial: Unending dreams

Nov 21 (Island) President Sirisena may contest the next parliamentary polls to secure premiership after abolishing the executive presidency, one of his top aides has said. Those who made Sirisena President, expecting him to rise above partisan politics and make tough decisions in the national interest without eyeing another term as the head of state, must be disappointed. It may be recalled that, initially, the self-appointed champions of good governance who engineered the Jan 8 regime change wanted more..

Cheers to power of boozy, smoky pleasure

Nov 21 (Island) If you’re having your first drink of the day or just lighting up your first cigarette, here’s cause for joy. Despite all the warnings about the dangers of drink and smoke, and those horribly senseless pictures displayed on cigarette packs today, just know that you are part of a political power in the country today. We have it from the President himself, who knows the billions the State earns as tax from from cigarettes and alcohol. The President has said he would much rather more..

Come walk with me: I want to live

WGEID’s revelations: Prelude to investigations

Nov 21 (CT) You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time – Abraham LincolnIn the backdrop of the Sri Lankan Govt yet to launch the investigation into the alleged war crimes and human rights violations which were believed to have been committed during the civil war period in the North and the East, the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) has made startling revelations on more..

Domestic swimming pool safety vital

Nov 21 (SO) Who or what is to be blamed for the death of the five-year-old who drowned in a domestic pool. Is it the irresponsibility of the parents or was it their interest in earning money, leaving the child in the care of an elderly parent? Is there a safety dimension too to this tragic incident? This is left to the experts and law enforcement authorities to find the answers. Nevertheless, Sri Lanka, a country where there is a construction boom and where swimming pools in private residences more..

Looking back and into the future

Nov 21 (ST) Kannadi has been the business of their family, a legacy passed down from father to sons and now grandsons, with a clear focus on taking it to different heights. The highpoint at the moment is the production right here in Sri Lanka of UV+420cut lenses, which successfully ward off ultraviolet rays without absorbing them, in a home-grown factory in Polgasowita, an achievement which probably is limited only to Japan, Korea and China. more..

Dengue awareness in SL via cell phone

Nov 21 (ONT) Celltick announces its partnership with the National Dengue Control Unit, to spread awareness about the dengue epidemic to an estimated five million mobile users in Sri Lanka. This campaign is aimed to raise awareness and provide information to the public on prevention methods. With the help of Celltick’s LiveScreen™ platform, Celltick will send tips from the ministry of health on dengue prevention, symptoms, first aid medication, and precautions. more..

VAT: Throwing the Baby with the Bathwater

Nov 21 (ST) A school of thought has gained pre budget momentum that Sri Lanka should abandon VAT and revert to Turnover tax (TT). Prudent analysts would agree that this is an ill-considered measure in the context of the globalization of VAT in addition to the reasons for VAT being a far superior form of taxation compared to Turnover tax. This is indeed a case of throwing the baby with the bathwater. This article seeks to shed light on globalisation of VAT and fading away of TT more..

Mahinda at 70: How Mahendra Percy Rajapaksa began his political journey

Nov 21 (DBS) Mahendra Percy Rajapaksa known to the world at large as Mahinda Rajapaksa reached magical age of 70 on Nov 18th 2015. Age of seventy or three score and ten regarded as span of life has a special aura about it. Bible says “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away”. more..

High risk borrowing a dilemma for Northern residents, study says

Nov 21 (ST) Northern residents have access to an abundance of formal credit offered by banks, finance companies and microfinance institutions that have recently entered that market, a new study on borrowing and financial counselling (advice) in Sri Lanka’s north has shown. Offering attractively packaged loans, banks entice people to borrow without much hassle. Even though borrowers are well aware of high interests rates associated with such institutions, they choose easy access to more..

Good days ahead for Athletics

Nov 21 (CT) The govt through its budget proposals for 2016 has suggested bearing the full cost incurred by selected track and field athletes and their coaches when participating at international events. The incumbent president Sugath Thilakaratne was very happy to hear the news and said that's huge relief for them. "If it happens we don't have to worry about the budget when selecting a team anymore and can select a good team for competitions without limiting our options" Thilakaratne said. more..

SLC creates pathway for younger generation

Nov 21 (DN) SLC has drawn up a carefully thought out international cricket calendar for our cricketers in the post Mahela-Sanga era so that by 2017 the national team with the exposure they will get should have reached maturity. "We have drawn up the matches in such a manner that the national team gets every opportunity to mature into a strong unit by 2017. A lot of thought process was gone through keeping in mind that team was more..

Best athletes of Youth Sports Festival yet to receive awards of previous edition

Nov 21 (Island) The best athletes of the Athletic Championship of the 26th National Youth Sports Festival are yet to receive the motor bikes they were awarded even after the latest edition was concluded at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Diyagama. "The 27th championship concluded last week. But we are yet to receive the motor bikes which were awarded at the closing ceremony of the previous edition," an athlete who emerged as the best athlete in one of the age categories more..

JITF 2016: Largest exhibition and consumer fair in the North

Nov 21 (Island) The northern region of Sri Lanka will welcome once again for the 7th consecutive year, the Jaffna International Trade Fair (JITF 2016). Considered by the people in the North as the largest exhibition and consumer fair, the event takes place from the 29th to 31st of January 2016 in Jaffna. Exhibition which has grown to a ‘must attend’ event by the citizens, businessman, traders and entrepreneurs of the North will be held at the Municipal Grounds in Jaffna. more..

Germany plays an active role in Sri Lanka’s reconciliation: Ambassador

Nov 21 (FT) Germany is providing Sri Lanka with support and assistance to deal with its many complex challenges and playing a very active role in the area of reconciliation, German Ambassador to SL Dr. Jürgen Morhard said. In an interview with a German magazine, the Ambassador Morhard acknowledging that Sri Lanka has made significant progress this year, said Germany is encouraging the SL govt to more..

Sri Lanka renews commitment in working towards well-being of Asian migrant workers

Nov 21 (DM) Sri Lanka renewed its commitment last week in working towards the well-being of all migrant workers in Asia by leveraging the support of other Regional Migration Processes along with groups of nations and civil societies. In a bid to push this endeavour, a Colombo Process Technical Support Unit (CP TSU) was established at the two-day Senior Officials’ Meeting of the Colombo Process, which was held recently. Unit was established with the objective of extending support more..

Indian women entrepreneurs to visit SL

Nov 21 (Hindu) A delegation comprising 22 members from WE (Women Entrepreneurs), a forum of TN Chamber Foundation from Madurai would be visiting Sri Lanka for five days beginning Nov 25, said WE chair person Rajakumari Jeevagan. Exploring business opportunities on the one side, the visit would also be an intellectual tourism for the delegates who would be able to understand the requirements of the island nation during one-on-one interactions with business houses in SL. more..

'Ousted NDDCB Chairman’s claims baseless'

Nov 21 (Island) Presidential aide and attorney-at-law Shiral Lakthilake alleged that some of the claims made by Dr. Nilanga Samarasinghe, in his capacity as the Chairman of the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board were baseless. Lakthilake stressed that a list containing the names of politicians involved in heroin trade which Dr. Samarasinghe claimed was in hands hadn’t been made available to any responsible agency. more..

SL youth delegation visits Aiwan-i-Quaid

Nov 21 (PO) A 20 member youth delegation from Sri Lanka, paid a visit to the Aiwan-i-Quaid, Fatima Jinnah Park, on Friday. Delegation headed by Ali Din Amir, an educationist from Sri Lanka, is on a 2-week study tour to Pakistan. Visit is a part of Pak-Lanka youth exchange programme. Escorted by the Principal, Modernage Public School and College Abbottabad, host organization and main office of NPC Abbottabad Chapter, delegation was welcomed by Ishrat Masum, Director (Programmes). more..

FCID probing irregularities on tyre imports

Nov 21 (ST) The Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) has opened an investigation over irregularities at the Customs regarding the imposition of levies and taxes imposed on import of tyres. The investigation came following a complaint to the Anti Corruption Committee Secretariat by Kandy Tyre House (Pvt) Ltd which claimed that the Government was losing more than one billion rupees as revenue due to an under-invoicing racket by certain importers. more..

Mahela proposes All-Stars v USA in future

Nov 21 (CI) Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has proposed having greater participation from the USA national team players in future endeavours involving the Cricket All-Stars, including the potential for a USA v All-Stars exhibition match. "If the opportunity arises, the ideal scenario would be for an All-Star team to play the USA team, if we come next time around," Jayawardene said in Los Angeles, more..

Artists kick off India festival in Sri Lanka

Nov 21 (Hindu) Over a dozen artists, representing six classical dance forms of India, enthralled the audience at the inaugural event of the Festival of India here on Thursday. Called Nrityarupa, the event was the reflection of a mosaic of the Indian dance forms — Bharatanatyam and Kathakali of the south; Kathak of the north; Odissi and Chhau of the east, and Manipuri dance form of the northeast. The Sangeet Natak Akademi and National Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama more..

Avant Garde Chairman does not appear before Commission

Nov 21 (DN) Avant Garde Maritime Security Services Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi who was summoned before the PRECIFAC yesterday did not appear before the Commission. However Senadhipathi informed the Commission that he would be unable to report to the Commission as he was under medical treatment abroad. PRECIFAC Secretary Lacille de Silva said an alternative date would be made available for Senadhipathi to report to the Commission. more..

Rajapaksa faction slams budget; calls it lengthy, complicated

Nov 21 (FT) The consensus Govt unveiled its maiden budget yesterday, presented by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, 20th person to hold the portfolio. Minister Karunanayake’s budget speech ran over three hours, but the proposals found favour from most MPs on both sides of the aisle. The Rajapaksa faction, however, only had disdain and strong criticism for the new govt’s economic forecast for 2016. more..

Posters in Vavuniya urge public to light lamp on Nov 27

Nov 21 (DN) An organised group pasted posters in the Vavuniya town and suburbs urging the people to light a lamp in each house and school to mark Mahaviru Day on Nov 27 to commemorate LTTE terrorist leader V Prabahakaran. These posters read: Our target is Tamil Eelam- Let's celebrate Mahaviru Day. Meanwhile, ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said police in Vavuniya had not seen such posters in the town. "I have made inquiries from senior police officials in Vauniya but they confirmed that more..

Sri Lanka makes it more difficult to start and run a business in Budget 2016

Nov 21 (EN) Sri Lanka has put in number of new regulations and processes to start a business and keep and incorporated body alive, in a budget for 2016. "It has been noted that most of the registered companies are not functioning," Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said in a budget for 2016. "In order to make such companies activated, I propose to impose an annual fee on all the registered companies collectible by the Registrar of Companies. more..

President Sirisena in the thick of a multi billion kickback scandal

Nov 21 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena has effectively violated all norms of good governance, gone back on several key election pledges including a vow to end nepotism and cronyism, and severely dented investor confidence in moves associated with a deal between the troubled telecommunication service provider Hutch and Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the latter now chaired by his brother Kumarasinghe Sirisena. more..

Avant Garde pistol from Mahanuwara vessel missing

Nov 21 (DN) A complaint has been lodged with the Galle Harbour Police that a pistol belonging to Avant Garde Security Company has been misplaced from the Mahanuwara vessel, now anchored in the harbour. Captain Akram Alavi stated that all weapons of the Avant Garde Security firm which had been stored in vessel Mahanuwara were taken into Navy custody on Wednesday. 2,410 weapons belonging to 20 sea protection companies were sent to the Ordnance of Southern Naval Camp. more..

Wigneswaran, TNA to iron out strains

Nov 21 (ST) Northern Province’s Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran will soon hold a meeting with the leadership of the TNA to sort out differences on key issues. TNA’s deputy leader in Parliament Mavai S. Senathirajah said Mr. Wigneswaran, in a letter to TNA chief R. Sampanthan, had proposed the meeting. Mr. Senathirajah, who is also the ITAK president, said there were various issues, including those concerning the Council, that had to be discussed. more..