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Lankan pilgrim's body found in Mecca

Oct 7 (DM) The body of the SL pilgrim who went missing along with with his wife following the stampede in Mecca in Saudi Arabia on September 24 has been identified by a relative of his at the mortuary in Mecca, Minister Abdul Haleem said. He said a couple from Colombo, 56 year-old Abdul Aziz and 55 year-old Roshan Aziz, who were on hajj pilgrimage had gone missing since the stampede and that search operations were underway to locate his wife who was still missing. more..

Gota’s FR case re-fixed for Jan. 28

Oct 7 (Island) Supreme Court yesterday re-fixed for hearing on Jan. 28, 2016, the fundamental rights violation petition filed by the former Secretary of Defence Gotabhya Rajapaksa, who had complained that he was unduly questioned by the FCID. The counsel for the petitioner Rajapaksa, Romesh de Silva, PC, told the court that since some of the cabinet ministers had changed, they had to amend the caption pertaining to the names of the respondents among whom were more..

War crimes: Pandemonium in parliament over hybrid court

Oct 7 (Island) Pandemonium reigned in Parliament yesterday following a protest mounted by opposition MPs inside the Chamber against the alleged moves to set up a hybrid court to prosecute the military personnel who crushed terrorism. The rumpus led to the suspension of sittings for ten minutes. When Parliament commenced notice of motions and orders of the day, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa sprang to his feet, claiming more..

Grade-5 Scholarship results and cut- off marks released

Oct 7 (DM) Examination Department announced that Grade 5 Scholarship results-2015 have been released and could be obtained from or Cut-off marks according to the district basis as follows 160: Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kandy, Matale, Galle, Matara, Kurunegala, Kegalle. 158: Hambantota, Ratnapura 156 - Anuradhapura, Pollonnaruwa. 155: Badulla, Monaragala, Ampara, Mulative, Puttalam. 153: Vavuniya, Trinco, more..

Lawsuit filed seeking permission for human organ bank

Oct 7 (DN) A lawsuit has been filed before the Colombo District Court seeking the court's intervention to issue an order recommending that a mechanism must be put in place by the Department of Buddhist Affairs giving opportunities to those who die of various forms of accidents, to donate their human organs to a human organ bank. This civil action had been filed by Swarna Bopitiya Foundation president Ms. Bopitiyage Dona Swarnalatha through Attorney-at-law R.P. Bandula. more..

Rs. 180 mn to refurbish President’s official residence; Rs. 70 million for his limo

Oct 7 (Island) Govt submitted a supplementary estimate seeking the approval of Parliament for an allocation of Rs. 180 million to renovate and refurbish the official residence of President Sirisena. The supplementary allocation of Rs. 180,688,000 was presented to Parliament by Minister Gayantha Karunatillake. It sought the approval of the House to allocate Rs. 96,391,000 to rehabilitate and improve more..

Libraries: will they fade into oblivion?

Oct 7 (DM) In order to grow and prosper, information which nourishes the human intellect, is seen as vital as food, air and water to the human being. As we live in a world where technology is rapidly expanding, information is readily available at our fingertips. But barely a century ago when the world was experiencing an information famine, libraries served as the best centres for public information. Now with the increasing rise of modern technology, libraries which acted as more..

War on poverty; Lanka to produce its own food

Oct 7 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena, moving proactively in the afterglow of the international diplomatic successes in New York and Geneva, on Monday launched what he described as a war to alleviate or eradicate poverty. Significantly, it was launched at Iranaimadu in the Killinochchi District and among those present was the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran who spoke in Sinhala to assure the Sinhala community that he was not against the Sinhala people more..

'Reconciliation cannot take place when truth is Suppressed'

Oct 7 (DM) The wounds of the civil war still exist today. In addition to soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the motherland, there were large number of families living in the North and the East that became victims of Asia’s longest civil war. Out of those who sacrificed their lives are missing persons who were taken away by different groups. In an interview, Dr. Thangamuthu Jayasingham, officer in charge of more..

Vocational training promoted to enhance value of youth entering job market

Oct 7 (Island) A cabinet paper would be submitted soon to recruit the National Vocational Training Qualification (NVQ) holders to local and foreign employment soon after their training period, Skills Development and Vocational Training State Minister Palitha Range Bandara said yesterday. He said that the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), along with countries of the European Union (EU) had provided more..

Wrong generation mix led to islandwide power outage

Oct 7 (ST) Monday’s island-wide blackout was caused by high voltage in the power system that led to a cascade collapse, CEB engineers said. It is the first time in five years that such an outage occurred. “There were nine island-wide power system failures from 2006 to 2010 but there were none since 2010 till the last incident,” said Athula Wanniarachchi, President of the CEB Engineers’ Union (CEBEU). more..

Koslanda displaced yet to receive permanent housing

Oct 7 (Island) Maj. Gen. Mano Perera alleged that for want of required cooperation from civil authorities, the army couldn’t complete a housing scheme for those who had suffered due to late last year’s Meeriyabedde landslide. Maj. Gen. Perera of the Army Training Command stressed that the army planned to accomplish the task within three months. The officer was participating in a special live Sirasa more..

Carlton sports uncovered by probe

Oct 7 (SL) Following the initial investigations carried out by the Police Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID), it has now come to light that the Carlton Sports Network (CSN) is owned by the Rajapaksa family, despite claims made otherwise when allegations were levelled against them for owning large amounts of wealth, after the fall of the Rajapaksa regime on Jan 8, 2015. It is alleged that Rs.230 million had been invested more..

Logos Hope brings international crew

Oct 7 (Island) Logos Hope, the world’s largest floating book fair, will soon bring its international crew with their life changing stories to Colombo, before she saiIs to Africa. "I was afraid of leaving my family and country," said Priyanga Ukwatte, 26 years old from Colombo. She has always had a passion to help the needy abroad, buts he was too afraid to go. When Logos Hope visited Colombo in 2011, she joined the more..

SL asks NTPC to shift planned plant again

Oct 7 (LM) In a fresh setback to the govt’s neighbourhood-first policy, Sri Lanka has asked India to change—for the second time—the location of a stalled $500 million power project to be built by state-owned NTPC Ltd. The long-delayed 500 megawatt (MW) power project is part of India’s strategy to wield greater economic and strategic influence in South Asia by helping to develop infrastructure projects. more..

Anura K wants to know steps taken against Coca Cola Company

Oct 7 (DN) Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake in Parliament questioned the measures taken by the govt with regard to the Coca Cola Company for allegedly polluting the Kelani river. Dissanayake was raising a question under Standing Order 23(2). He pointed out the investigations into the incident of the Kelani River water pollution on August 17 were not properly carried out. He directed the attention of more..

Environmental laws ignored due to selfish commercial interests: President

Oct 7 (PMD) Though there are sufficient laws and regulations related to environment preservation in development process, people act in contrary to them not because they are unaware of them, but for fulfilling their petty commercial interests and selfish private needs, says President Maithripala Sirisena. When the attention of entire world is paid on the environmental preservation, everybody should act to protect more..

Video: Sri Lankan sleuths say Maldives explosion pre-planned

Oct 7 (DM) The investigation, carried out by a team of four Sri Lankans on the explosion in the Maldivian President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s speedboat on Sept 28, had revealed that it had been pre-planned and was not due to a technical fault in the boat’s engine as claimed earlier. The Sri Lankan investigative team comprising Govt Analyst A. Welianga, Chief Inspector Dimuthu Samaranayake of the STF bomb squad and more..

Needed: A constitution with direct checks and balances to tame politicians

Oct 7 (Island) Whatever the form of govt, a state monopoly over power would be the end of all civilised politics. Experience has shown us that every man/woman vested with unbridled power tends to abuse it to carry his/her authority as far as it can go. The more politicians want power, the less they care for principles. As such, the existence of a constitution does not mean that there exists a democratic system to go along with it. At all stages of constitution making in the past our more..

Editorial: An unholy mess

Oct 7 (Island) A Sinhala newspaper, a few moons ago, carried a very rare picture of a minister bowing down before a layman, who was apparently a few years his junior, at a certificate awarding ceremony. Having previously worshipped a Buddhist monk who received a certificate from him the politician bowed low absent-mindedly when the next person walked up to him. It was obviously a faux pas. But, we believe, all ministers of education and higher education, both past and present, more..

War crimes probe Gotabhaya speaks out

Oct 7 (Island) Mangala Samaraweera had been SL’s Foreign Minister at the time the LTTE resumed hostilities, in Dec, 2005. Having helped the then Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa to win the Nov 2005 presidential polls, Samaraweera accepted the vital foreign ministry portfolio. In accordance with an understanding, with Western powers, President Rajapaksa, soon after assuming presidency, reiterated his commitment to the Oslo-led more..

Govt promises detailed answer on Avant Garde next week

Oct 7 (Island) The govt would not hide anything about Avant Garde deal and a detailed report would be presented to Parliament next week, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said yesterday. Responding to a question raised by JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who demanded to know from the government why there was a delay on its part in responding to a series of questions he had raised during a previous sitting of parliament, the minister said that the govt had nothing to hide. more..

Juicy returns expected from Nelna Agri Development’s mango exports

Oct 7 (Island) For the first time in Sri Lanka, a local company, Nelna Agri Development, a subsidiary of the Nelna Group, is planning to export fresh mango to Japan. This is considered one of the difficult markets to enter due its strict quarantine procedures and quality consciousness on fresh fruits. "With PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to Japan, we would be able to promote the Japanese market. We were able to clear strict quarantine procedures to penetrate the Japanese market more..

Temporary halt to Death Sentence

Oct 7 (DM) Sri Lanka has decided to temporary halt the enforcement of death sentence following a request made by the UN from all its member states and to be in line with the current global trends, Minister of Justice Wijedasa Rajapaksa informed Parliament. This statement comes despite several reports that death sentence will be enforced in the country shortly. Speaking during an adjournment motion in the House on the issue of imposing more..

Stocks end steady; policy clarity awaited

Oct 7 (EN) Sri Lankan shares ended little changed on Wednesday as gains in diversified shares helped offset losses in banking stocks, with many investors waiting for more clarity on policy direction, brokers said. The main stock index ended 0.01%, or 0.48 points, weaker at 7,085.45, falling for the third straight session. "The market is holding on as investors are awaiting to see the policy direction," said Dimantha Mathew, a research manager at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd. more..

Sri Lanka tile sales seen strong, industry risks losing protection

Oct 7 (EN) Ceramic tile manufacturers, controlled by the Royal Ceramics Lanka group, will see strong sales growth supported by the construction boom but risk losing protection against imports. Several hotels and condominiums under construction at present would reach completion during FY 2018 by which demand for tiles and bathware would rise, Bartleet Religare Securities said. Royal Ceramics Lanka’s recurring earnings per share grew 243% to 4.97 rupees in the first quarter more..

PM seeks Japanese support for national reconciliation

Oct 7 (LBO) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who is on a visit to Japan had said that, Sri Lanka needs Japanese govt support for national reconciliation and peace building process. “We are expecting support from Japan for the national reconciliation and peace building process in Sri Lanka,” Wickremesinghe said addressing Japanese MPs in Tokyo on Tuesday. “Especially we are hoping to get Japanese Govt support to more..

Lalith Weeratunga & Palpita released on bail

Oct 7 (DM) Former presidential secretary Lalith Weeratunga and former Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) director general Anusha Palpita, produced in the Colombo High Court on charges of misappropriating Rs.620 million were released on bail today. Colombo High Court Judge Kusala Sarojini released them on a cash bail of Rs.100,000 each with three sureties of Rs.1 million each. Mr. Weeratunga, who was TRC chairman during the tenure of previous govt, more..

Fisheries Minister flies to Spain, Italy

Oct 7 (Island) Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera will hold a series of bilateral discussions to obtain foreign technical know-how to develop the country’s fisheries industry during his six-day official tour of Spain and Italy. Amaraweera left for Spain yesterday to attend an international conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the code of conduct for responsible fisheries upon the invitation of his Spanish counterpart Isabel Gericia Jejerina and UNFAO Director more..

Video: Kondaya’s DNA not a match

Oct 7 (AD) The Minuwangoda Magitsrate was today informed that DNA samples found on Seya Sadewmi does not match Dunesh Priyashantha alias Kondeya who was arrested in connection with the murder and sexual assault on the child in Kotadeniyawa. The CID has submitted the report of the Genetech Research Institute regarding the DNA tests to the Minuwangoda Chief Magistrate this morning. more..

Video: Abandoned infant found

Oct 7 (DM) An infant girl, aged about 18 days has been found abandoned by a road near the Dangolla Junction in Peradeniya. The infant had been found last evening and officials of the Women and Children’s Bureau of the Peradeniya police had rushed to the scene and admitted the child to the Peradeniya hospital, immediately. During the investigation a note had been found left at the scene, written allegedly by the child’s mother, explaining her inability to bring up more..

Bangladesh Air Force War Course in SL

Oct 7 (NS) A 46-member delegation of the Bangladesh Air Force War Course (AFWC) – 2015 comprising senior Officers of Tri-Services from Bangladesh, paid a visit to the Sri Lanka Air Force Headquarters today (6). The delegation is headed by Brigadier General Md Mesbah Ul Alam Chowdhury. On their arrival to AFHQ, they were received by Air Vice Marshal Vijitha Gunaratne, the Director Training of the Air Force. A presentation was conducted by Group Captain Lasitha more..

Grade Five scholarship winners

Oct 7 (DM) Three students scored 196 marks and become island first in the Grade Five Scholarship examination conducted in August, 2015, the Department of Examinations said. These students are; Kavinda Unanthenna of Gampola Gangasiripura Vidyalaya, Kavishka Wanigasekera of Malmaduwa Makura Primary Collage, Kegalle and Melani Wijesinghe of Ussapitiya Sri Sumangala Primary College, Mawanella. more..

Sri Lanka controversial telecom levy withdrawn

Oct 7 (EN) Sri Lanka's ruling administration withdrew a controversial telecom tax from parliament Tuesday, amid a legal challenge. Leader of the House, Lakshman Kiriella said the bill was being withdrawn. It is not clear whether the bill would be re-presented after changes. Activists went to court saying the tax had payment dates and also penalties set in the past, making it a retrospective tax. The new administration brought a series of laws which harmed the expectations of more..

First poppy flower pinned on President

Oct 7 (PMD) The first poppy flower of the Poppy Day which falls on November 08 was pinned on President Maithripala Sirisena by Sri Lanka Ex-servicemen’s Association President Brigadier K.A. Gnanaweera at the President’s official residence today. The first copy of How Japan Bomb Tiny Ceylon book written by a Second World War soldier, H.G.P. Jayasekara presented to the President at this event. Secretary General of the Sri Lanka Ex-Servicemen’s Association, more..

Austrian President lauds peace and progress in Sri Lanka

Oct 7 (CG) Concluding his assignment as Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Austria, Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez paid a farewell call on Heinz Fischer, President of Austria, at Hofburg Palace in Vienna. Ambassador Azeez apprised the Austrian President of positive developments in Sri Lanka including progress in reconciliation, peace building and development improved bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Austria as well as more..

When loved ones are stolen can poetry repair the wound?

Oct 7 (AI) Amnesty International recently launched “Silenced Shadows”, a poetry competition on disappearances in Sri Lanka. Poet R Cheran, one of our competition judges, explains how literature can be a force for change. More than 80,000 people disappeared in Sri Lanka. Many people there, including me, have relatives or friends who have disappeared in the past 30 years during the war. It is still an open wound. When a friend or relative is killed, painful as that is, more..

Couple arrested for stealing gold bangles

Oct 7 (CT) Police have arrested a couple on Monday (5) on the charge of stealing two gold bangles from a jewellery store in Mirihana. The two suspects were arrested by the Unsolved Crimes Division of the Kegalle Police after the police identified the two suspects from the CCTV footage recovered from the jewellery store. According to the police the suspected couple, pretending to buy jewellery from the store, had stolen two gold bangles, worth Rs 200,500. more..

'Reject UNHRC resolution'

Oct 7 (DM) Janatha Sevaka Pakshaya General Secretary Somawansa Amarasinghe today said all the political parties should come together to reject the UNHRC resolution in order to prevent Sri Lanka from becoming a colony again. Former JVP Leader said the proposed all party convention to study the UNHRC report on Sri Lanka was similar to shutting the stable door after the horses have bolted. more..

Sri Lanka to use foreign missions to promote trade, investment

Oct 7 (Xinhua) The new SL govt on Wednesday said it will use its diplomatic missions overseas to promote the country's trade, investment and businesses. Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha De Silva, addressing a forum at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on economic diplomacy and winning global markets, said the govt headed by President Sirisena wanted to make better use of the country's foreign service to attract more investments, help businesses expand and create more jobs. more..