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‘Joint Opposition should reveal stance’

Nov 26 (CT) The members of the Joint Opposition who are also with the govt must make a definite statement as to whether they oppose or support the 2016 Budget, JVP says. JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa said the JVP will work towards defeating the Budget but the so-called Joint Opposition was not opposing the Budget proposals and hence its intention of bringing a no confidence motion against Finance Minister is a ridiculous proposition. This is a Unity Budget proposed by Unity Govt more..

EP hospitals get cash injection

Nov 26 (Island) Health Ministry pledged to provide funds for completing the development of external resources in hospitals of the Eastern province by the end of 2016. Director General Health Services, Dr. Palitha Mahipala had visited Trincomalee General Hospital and, Muttur and Kinniya Base Hospitals on Monday to expedite development projects underway there. A special discussion had also been held at Trincomalee General Hospital between the DGHS, Ministry and Eastern Province health officials. more..

Govt to reduce women sent to work abroad

Nov 26 (CG) Govt says it wants to curtail the number of Sri Lankan women going abroad as domestic workers. Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva said that Govt policy is to create a new economic environment with ample opportunities to Sri Lankan women to contribute more to the economy while working in Sri Lanka. He was speaking at an event organized to handover compensation to families of deceased more..

Sri Lanka arrests 15 Indian fishermen

Nov 26 (PTI) At least 15 Indian fishermen have been arrested on Thursday by Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly poaching in the country’s waters, in the fifth such incident this month. Fishermen were arrested for poaching in the country’s waters off the north west of Talaimannar and Palk Strait this morning, Navy spokesman Akram Alavi said. Fishermen and their three boats were seized and handed over to the fisheries department officials at Talaimannar and Jaffna for further action, more..

Youth commits suicide in Jaffna over political prisoners

Nov 26 (CG) A youth committed suicide in Kondavil, Jaffna over the failure by the authorities to release all Tamil political prisoners. The youth had jumped in front of a train in Kondavil and committed suicide. Reporters in Jaffna said that the youth had left a suicide note explaining the motives behind the suicide. The victim was identified as 18 year old Rajeshwaran Senthuran, a resident of Kopai and a student of Kokavil Hindu College. Meanwhile students of the Jaffna university more..

Opposition disturbed by foreigners visiting military facilities

Nov 26 (Island) Joint Opposition claims says it is totally against allowing foreign officials to visit naval bases in the country, releasing of hard core terrorists and delisting of pro-terror groups. Former Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris said that govt had allowed US Ambassador to UN Samantha Power to visit the Trincomallee Naval Base during her recent visit to Sri Lanka. "It should not allow foreign officials to visit our military bases," more..

725 booked for breaking lane law

Nov 26 (DM) Police Department said that it had taken action against 725 drivers for violating the newly implemented lane law during the 10 hours period from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said further legal action would be taken in Court at respective areas against drivers and motorists who had violated the lane regulations. The Police today implemented the traffic lane law especially along the Sri Jayewardenepura Road from Jayanthipura to Colombo. more..

Empty nets burden Sri Lanka's fishermen

Nov 26 (UCAN) Anthony Justin Fernando has always made his living from the sea. For years, he lived comfortably by selling his daily catch at a church-run fish market in Negombo, outside the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. When business was good, he could even export different kinds of fish to overseas markets. But times have changed. Now, when he casts his nets, he hauls in fewer fish. "Fishermen face unexpected strong weather at sea," said the 54-year-old Catholic fisherman. more..

'No difference between Praba and Rohana'

Nov 26 (CG) MTNA leader Azath Salley says slain LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabakaran and former JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera are no different and if Wijeweera’s death can be commemorated in Sri Lanka then so should Prabakaran’s death. He said that govt must allow families in the North to commemorate those killed during the war, even if they are LTTE members. If the Govt is going to block such events more..

'SL EXIM Bank could be another disaster'

Nov 26 (EN) Sri Lanka's budget proposal to build an Export Import Bank to subsidise big business at the expense of the rest of society could be another state bank disaster, an economist warned. "The proposal to set up an Exim Bank with state participation to cater to the international trading sector is another misconceived venture though it is going to be a public private partnership," top economist W A Wijewardene warned. "Govt has already burnt its fingers in the banking sector by more..

Abolition of Executive Presidency: Two referendums or one?

Nov 26 (CT) Govt must clarify its position on whether it would go for two referendums, required in the case of abolishing the Executive Presidency through a constitutional amendment or whether it will resort to enacting a new Constitution to abolish the Executive Presidency, Attorney-at-Law Lal Wijenayake said. He said the decision must be taken soon as the former choice that includes a change in the electoral system would be easier to be passed in Parliament as opposed to the latter more..

Four respondents named in Rakna Lanka case?

Nov 26 (AD) Two former Commanders of the Sri Lanka Navy, a former Defence Ministry Additional Secretary and the Chairman of Avant-Garde Security Services have been named as respondents in the case filed over alleged financial fraud at Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd, according to sources. The presidential commission of inquiry to investigate large scale corruption, fraud and abuse of power named former Navy Chiefs, more..

Range Bandara clashes with Mahinda S.

Nov 26 (DN) State Minister Palitha Range Bandara, lashed out at the Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe's move to appoint retired Major General Gamini Hettiarachchi as Chairman of the Vocational Training Institute (VTI). Minister Range Bandara asked under which principle of the Yahapalanaya that Minister Samarasinghe deemed suitable to designate Hettiarachchi for the above post and who directed the so-called Special Operations Room under Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to inflict defeat more..

Sunil for COPE, Lasantha for PAC

Nov 26 (DM) JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti was appointed as the Chairman of the COPE while State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna was appointed as the Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts (PAC), following a decision taken by the govt today. It was reported that Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had also approved this decision. The other members of COPE include MPs Anura Yapa, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Wasantha Aluvihare, Ajith P. Perera, Ranjan Ramanayake, Asok Abeysinghe, more..

'Arrest of TN fishermen created sense of fear and unrest'

Nov 26 (PTI) With incidents of apprehension of fishermen from Tamil Nadu by Sri Lanka continuing unabated, the state govt today said that it created a sense of fear and unrest among the community. "The attacks on and apprehension of our fishermen continue unabated, creating a sense of fear and unrest among the fisherfolk in TN," Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said. In a letter to PM Narendra Modi, more..

Disdain corruption, British envoy tells Sri Lankan businesses

Nov 26 (EN) Business should stand for values like honesty and speak out against corruption while promoting reforms that spur investment, British High Commissioner James Dauris said. As leaders we need to act out and stand for our core values, what we believe is right and good,” he told the ational Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards Ceremony 2015. “As businesses we need to act out and stand for our business values – that we are honest and disdain corruption; more..

Arjuna vies for lesser role in SLC election

Nov 26 (PTI) Legendary captain Arjuna Ranatunga will contest for the Vice-President's post in the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) election to be held on January 3. "I will contest the post of Vice President with an eye to the future. Because I did not serve in the executive committee for two years I could not run to be President this time," Ranatunga said today. Ranatunga, current Minister of Ports and Shipping, is to contest independently of his younger brother Nishantha's team he said. more..

Ex-defence chief faces fresh probe

Nov 26 (EN) Presidential commission investigating serious abuse of power and financial fraud Thursday cleared the way for prosecutions of former defence chief Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and four others. Rajapakse cohorts include two former navy commanders -- retired admirals Jayantha Colombage and Jayantha Perera, additional defence secretary Damayanthi Jayaratne and Avant Garde chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi. more..

27th Nov: A date to remember for thousands

Nov 27 (CT) Is it wise on the part of the Govt to prevent the people from holding small religious events to commemorate the Great Heros’ day also known as Maaveerar Naal in Tamil which was held first on the 27th of Nov 1989, a quarter century back. Since then where ever the Tamils lived all over the world the Great Heros’ day had been commemorated in a big or small way, depending on the size of the Tamil population. Mr. Prabhakaran’s birthday falls on the 26th of Nov. more..

The black Abaya & Majjhima-patipada

Nov 27 (CT) The article Cultural harmony and the middle path (CT, 21.11.2015) referring to mine titled Cultural invasion – in the wake of the Abaya (CT, 19.11.2015), does not reflect a correct understanding of the views, I had expressed. Moreover, the Professor has traversed into certain areas which I had not even addressed in my article. So by way of explanation and clarification, I thought of writing this piece hoping it would be of benefit. In this, there is no one-upmanship but more..

Magnificence of Sri Munneswaram

Nov 27 (CT) Among the Shiva temples in SL, Sri Munneswaram is preeminent and is one of the five pancheswarams, the five most hallowed Shiva shrines, believed to have existed from prehistoric times, showering blessings on all devotees, low and high alike. The Temple is located just two miles off Chilaw on the Chilaw-Kurunegala road and is popularly known as the Munneswaram Maha Devale among local devotees. more..

Power Play in Sri Lanka

Nov 27 (Island) Govt has been singing hosannas for America’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Samantha Power, who was here on a brief visit. Is Samantha Power genuine genuinely interested in Sri Lanka or govt politicians are gullible? Is Sri Lanka bending over backwards to please the US? Power, who had a strained relationship with former President Rajapaksa, is a much welcome guest in Sri Lanka these days though she did not receive the same welcome in India. more..

Editorial: Toe-curling diplomacy

Nov 27 (Island) We witness a cringe-making performance on the part of our politicians whenever an envoy or a politician from a powerful country lands here. Without caring two hoots about protocol, like a bunch of overgrown schoolchildren, they try to ingratiate themselves with the visiting dignitary. They do so in respect of some Colombo-based foreign diplomats as well. The shameful practice of SL leaders tugging their forelock to self-important foreign diplomats is not of recent origin. more..

Why delay action against the corrupt?

Nov 27 (CT) Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said he was disappointed with the current state of investigations into allegations of corruption committed by the previous regime. "I am waiting and watching what would happen next," he said. Q: Before the elections you were considered as an aggressive character as you had challenged many corrupt actions. But why are you silent these days? A: I was just watching what is more..

Cry for help from Oluvil

Nov 27 (Island) A letter Engineering Students Union, South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, Oluvil had sent to Minister Lakshman Kiriella and State Minister Mohanlal Grero Ministry of Higher Education. We are three batches of engineering students from South Eastern University Sri Lanka (SEUSL). We write to you urgently because we feel sacrificed as a result of posturing by MPs, the Public, and Govt Officials at our expense, while they themselves make no sacrifice. more..

Pakistan HC hosts Women’s Cricketers

Nov 27 (Island) High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Maj. Gen. (R) Syed Shakeel Hussain hosted a brunch in Colombo to welcome the visiting Pakistan’s Women ‘A’ cricket team in Sri Lanka. Pakistan Women’s ‘A’ cricket team is currently in Sri Lanka to play a One-day and three Twenty20 matches against the Sri Lanka Women’s ‘A’ cricket team. While welcoming the women cricketers in Sri Lanka, High Commissioner said Pakistan is a well-known cricketing nation more..

Video: Govt shouldn’t ban Prabhakaran commemoration: Vickramabahu

Nov 27 (DM) NLF leader Vickramabahu Karunaratne said that if Rohana Wijeweera could be commemorated, the same privilege should be given to commemorate slain LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. He said the law should be applied equally to all communities without discrimination. “If the Sinhalese can commemorate their slain people, why cannot the Tamils do it? Just because you commemorate someone, more..

Why the new Drugs Regulatory Act places ordinary folk in danger

Nov 27 (DM) The writer is the appointed Attorney-at-law representing the Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry’s Secretariat. This article is by way of Right of Reply, to the many articles that have appeared in the Dailymirror that the above organization contends, has misrepresented the interests of patients, and other health sector stakeholders. Patients do not know just how much they have been short-changed due to short-sighted policy of a drug regulatory mechanism more..

BoC 9-month profit up 11% to Rs. 16.6 b

Nov 27 (CT) Stepping forward with the energetic performance recorded during last year, being the pioneer by recording the highest ever profit in the history, Bank of Ceylon (BoC) reported Rs 16.6 billion Profit Before Tax (PBT) for the nine months ended 30 September 2015. On year on year (YoY) basis, PBT showed 11% growth. Profit After Tax (PAT) stood at Rs 12.3 billion with a 10% growth. The BoC Group which includes 10 subsidiaries and five associate companies has reported more..

We pull no punches: Samantha Power

Nov 27 (FT) US Ambassador to the UN tells that while Washington may have softened its tone on Sri Lanka and believes steps taken by new Govt in Colombo warrants the shift, US remains concerned and alert about the human rights climate in Sri Lanka. Q: During your visit to the north, which key issues were flagged as being still unaddressed by SL Govt? A: Issue of demilitarisation. Recognition that the size of the military presence more..

Finance industry hugely welcomes removal of share transaction levy

Nov 27 (Island) Budget 2016 presented in parliament by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake will give a big boost to the capital market, finance industry analysts said. This budget, for the first time, introduces a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), as an alternative investment option for the real estate sector, which would enable smaller investors to benefit from returns generated by investing small amounts of money in the real estate sector, they said. more..

Tuskers threaten to pull out of Asian U20 Championship

Nov 27 (CT) As blunders continued, a disappointed Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA), threatened to pull out from the upcoming Under 20 Youth Asian Championship, if they did not receive the support of the parent body Rugby Football Union (SLRFU). Clubs affiliated to the Rugby Union taking a blind side move had forced youth players to avoid training with the Youth U-20 team that is preparing for the championship, which is scheduled to be held from Dec 13 to 20 in Singapore. more..

CSE to to set up counter-party unit

Nov 27 (DN) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has intensified its thrust towards the establishment of a Central Counter Party and guarantee settlement (CCP) of cash and delivery of securities for all secondary market transactions on the CSE. CSE Chairman Vajira Kulatilleke said that this CPP would be managed as a separate institution but would be a 100% owned company of the CSE. He said that already first two initiatives on this more..

Banks can overcome lease ban

Nov 27 (CT) Bankers may find alternative ways to overcome their leasing restrictions, which was proposed in the 2016 budget, analysts said. "Instead of giving direct leases they can utilize similar services as Vehicle or personal loans," they said. Fitch Rating Country Head Maninda Wickramasinghe said that those proposals may dampen banks' profits, but it is good for the leasing industry. "We are now studying the real outcome of these banks' leasing restrictions, more..

Norway mulls more investments in Lanka

Nov 27 (DN) A panel discussion on Norway, Sri Lanka Business Cooperation- Harnessing Emerging Opportunities was held recently at the Galle Face Hotel. Norway and Sri Lanka have strong diplomatic relations and business cooperation for several decades and also supporting economic development in Sri Lanka. To strengthen business ties, Norway hopes to expand its participation in several sectors of interests, which will benefit both countries. Sectors of interest for investment is based on more..

Tender to import coal challenged

Nov 27 (Island) Supreme Court granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights petition filed by SUEK AC of Switzerland, challenging the award of the tender, to import coal from Swiss Singapore Co. Petitioner has alleged that the parameters of the tender were altered after the opening of the bids. Among the respondents cited in the petition are Cabinet Appointment Procurement Committee, Cabinet of Ministers, more..

Permission refused for Aksha to travel abroad

Nov 27 (DM) Teledrama actress Aksha Sudhari who is presently enlarged on bail over charges of criminal breach of trust for allegedly having defrauded an Indian national of Rs 140 million (after having an affair with him) was refused permission to travel abroad by Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris today. A motion submitted by her attorney, Sarath Soysa, requesting permission for her to travel abroad was refused by the magistrate. He ordered CID to file objections, if any, more..

Sampath Bank wins Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2015

Nov 27 (FT) Sampath Bank emerged as the winner of the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2015, an annual event organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the country’s premier business chamber to recognise the sustainable champions of the local corporate world. Singer Sri Lanka and National Development Bank were awarded as the 1st and 2nd Runners Up of the competition respectively. The awards were given last night at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel. more..

Tainted Lanka Sathosa Chief Engineer back in the saddle

Nov 27 (DN) A top official attached to a leading state commercial establishment, who had been asked to stay out by the PRECIFAC due to his Involvement in alleged fraudulent practices has found his way back to a top slot in a ministry. The officer in question K. Ariyawansa, former chief engineer of Lanka Sathosa, whose services were terminated over an alleged multi-million rupee scam, has been appointed to a top position in more..

New Sri Lankan envoy vows to strengthen ties with KSA

Nov 27 (AN) New SL ambassador to Saudi Arabia has stressed the importance of improving the island nation’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. Ambassador Azmi Thassim was speaking during his recent visit to SL International School in Jeddah. “Our country is looking forward to a positive change and it is our duty as citizens to work together to put the country first,” he said. “It is as important to start educating our community back in SL that they should understand & respect laws of Saudi Arabia.” more..