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New laws contemplated to prevent breach of privacy through internet

Oct 8 (Island) The govt is contemplating a new law to regulate social media, particularly in a bid to curb posting of sexual images and defamatory material. The move is to protect the privacy of individuals in the wake of a spate of complaints received by relevant authorities. The Law Commission of Sri Lanka has closely studied existing laws in other countries pertaining to the issue. It is in the process of seeking opinion more..

Vision 2020; eye care for all

Oct 8 (DM) Today is World Sight Day. According to International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), which coordinates this campaign with World Health Organisation (WHO), this annual day of awareness is held on the 2nd Thursday of October to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. This year is the third year of the WHO’s Global Action Plan and IAPB encourages its members and partners to continue with their rolling theme, Universal Eye Health. more..

We can face inquiry without any shame

Oct 8 (DM) Feelings are mixed, like/dislike Ranil Wickemesinghe is irrelevant – look objectively. His macho brashness [We have taken it back into our hands] referring to the joint US-Sri Lanka resolution is refreshingly transparent. Distinguishable from the officialdom of the previous administration that slept without implementing the LLRC report or its leaders who failed to hold the needed domestic inquiries. In our hands mean laws and rules are local. We can interpret laws/rules judicially without more..

Resilient Economy…

Oct 8 (DM) The recent declaration made by Minister Ravi Karunanayake, in the midst of the govt’s on-going campaign to shore up its foreign exchange reserves, that no questions would be asked from Sri Lankan nationals who bring back to the country the monies that they hold in foreign banks – a move described by many as a virtual amnesty for foreign exchange remittance -- has triggered a diverse spectrum of public opinions more..

Inventors losing patience over patents

Oct 8 (ST) Long delays at the National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) in Colombo in obtaining patent rights for new products are causing concern to local inventors who say their overseas competitors are winning out over them because of these delays. Officials at the NIPO, the body that gives patent rights for products, attribute the delay to a shortage of staff but applicants attribute sinister motives for the delays. more..

Fowzie : A Minister without subjects

Oct 8 (SL) Although one of the senior ministers of the SLFP and the UPFA, A.H.M. Fowzie has been given a ministerial position in the Govt, any ministries, departments, or corporations have not been allocated to him. He has been given the ministerial portfolio of State Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation, which now seems just a position without any responsibilities. more..

A broad program to uplift sports: President

Oct 8 (PMD) President Sirisena said an extensive program will be implemented to provide assistance to uplift the field of sports in collaboration with all sectors. When comparing with the experiences of the last few decades, we have seen a collapse in the field of sports during the recent past, the President said, adding that the Govt will correct all the mistakes and will create an environment where our athletes and more..

Work on Uma Oya project to restart

Oct 8 (CT) Director of Uma Oya multipurpose project Dr. Sunil De Silva said that it will be possible to restart construction work on the Uma Oya project after 15 November. Engineers of the Iranian company FARAB have informed him that they expect to complete sealing the water leak which occurred in the Karandagolla tunnel of the Uma Oya multipurpose project, which is being carried out now, by 15 November. more..

Raviraj and Prageeth killings: CID on the hunt for ‘Sharan’ in Zurich

Oct 8 (CT) The CID has sought Interpol assistance to take into custody a person named Sharan, who is said to be the brain behind the planning of the murder of former MP of the Jaffna District of the TNA, Nadaraja Raviraj. A high-ranking official of the CID said that, since Sharan was taking political refuge in Zurich, Switzerland, the permission of the Court of the country is required in order to hand him over to Sri Lanka. more..

A new judicial structure to address HR violations

Oct 8 (Island) The govt says that it is planning to create a new judicial structure to inquire into human rights violations. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, addressing the Japanese Parliament on Tuesday, said that under the leadership of President Sirisena the national govt they had established after the Jan 9 presidential election and continued after August 17 parliamentary polls had initiated a series of measures to revive democracy, more..

Dispute in House over recognized political parties

Oct 8 (Island) Minister Rauff Hakeem in Parliament made a single-handed attempt to counter arguments of UPFA opposition group who alleged unjust allocation of parliament time and other privileges to them. UPFA opposition group leaders complained to the Speaker that they were not given time to participate in debates and attend party leaders’ meetings. Their voice had been silenced by the govt by making use of technicalities, more..

'Shed ethnic diffrences and join forces to champion workers’ cause'

Oct 8 (Island) Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne has called for trade unionists of all ethnic groups to unite to fight for their rights. Minister, Senaratne, addressing the members of the Health Department’s Co-operative Thrift and Savings Society recently said that he had urged Sri Lanka Health Services Union President W.A. Wimalaratne to invite the govt Health service employees in the North to be a part of the union’s executive committee. more..

Warnaweera suspended as Galle curator

Oct 8 (DM) Former Sri Lanka Test cricketer turned cricket official Jayananda Warnaweera failed to turn up yesterday for a match-fixing investigation conducted by ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ASCU) and has been suspended by SLC from all his official duties as the curator of Galle International cricket stadium. Two ASCU investigators had flown down to Colombo from ICC for the inquiry scheduled for last morning more..

Book recalcitrant VIPs

Oct 8 (CT) The arrest of former UPFA MP and Matale District MP Janaka Bandara Tennakoon in connection with a murder committed in December 1999 shows that the island's justice system, though being battered and bruised, is still working. These are crimes which have had taken place in the South, where the writ of Colombo reigned, even in the dark days of the LTTE, where the terrorists' writ ran in most parts of the North and East (NE) at that time. During the period this murder was committed, more..

To stop impunity & recurrence, major perpetrators must be prosecuted ...

Oct 8 (CT) There is no conclusive evidence to say that punishments alone can deter recurrence of human rights violations or war crimes. However, without a comprehensive system of punishments there is no other way to move towards deterrence in preventing continued violations and crimes, whether ordinary or war related. Rehabilitation and/or reform measures alone might not work without a measure of punishments. All adults in society should be able to, educated to and compelled to take more..

Sithijaya Sirasa TV

Petitioner refuses to withdraw case against Wilpattu reserve settlements

Oct 8 (Island) Centre for Environmental Justice would not withdraw their petition, even if already 1,500 families had been settled in the Wilpattu Periyamadu, Mariachchkachchu area, said Counsel Ravindranath Dabare in the Court of Appeal. Those settlements were bad in procedure, the counsel argued. Court of Appeal yesterday gave the Attorney General and other respondents, time till Nov. 12 to file objections to the writ application filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice more..

Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Seychelles accredited

Oct 8 (AA) The new resident High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Seychelles, Dr. Tikiri Herath Gunathilake, presented his credentials to President James Michel at State House this morning. The President and the High Commissioner discussed several fields of cooperation such as health, education, tourism, agriculture and the Blue Economy. High Commissioner Gunathilake issued a statement to the press after the meeting where he praised the relationship between Sri Lanka more..

Protected no more?

Oct 8 (CT) A visitor was taken by surprise at Guruge Nature Park in Ja Ela recently, when he found protected animals on display within the nature park. Guruge Nature Park has in the past being subjected to criticism by environmentalists when animals were found to be kept illegally, in small cages. They were also subjected to ill-treatment by Nature Park officials. Environmentalists however say that wildlife officers more..

Seya’s father to undergo DNA test

Oct 8 (CT) The Minuwangoda Magitsrate today allowed the CID to carry out a DNA test on the father of Seya Sadewmi after he agreed to do the test, the police say. Earlier, the Court was informed that DNA samples found on Sadewmi do not match Dunesh Priyashantha alias Kondeya and his elder brother who were arrested in connection with the murder and sexual assault on the child. However, the CID earlier apprised the Court that the elder brother of Kondaya has confessed to the murder. more..

Parliament sessions to be telecast live from today

Oct 8 (DM) Parliament sessions will be telecast live on State TV for one hour from today following a decision madeby the Consultative Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, sources said. They said the sessions would be telecast live via Rupavahini TV channel on an experimental basis. The telecast will continue uninterrupted if the initial exercise proves a success. This would be the first time that parliamentary debates will be shown live on state TV. However, a few debates such as more..

Budget 2016: Revenue Rs1,789bn; Expenditure Rs 3,138bn

Oct 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s total borrowing requirement from both foreign and local sources for the year 2016 will be 1,349 billion rupees, revealing 2016 budget figures the govt said. The revenue at the prevailing rates structure and foreign grants have been estimated to be around 1,789 billion rupees. Total expenditure provision for 2016 without budget proposals to be introduced at the budget is estimated at 3,138 billion rupees. more..

Tea prices stagnate below 2013 levels

Oct 8 (EN) Sri Lankan tea prices have fallen to their lowest levels since March 2012 with low grown varieties, which make up the bulk of the crop and are produced by small farmers, the worst affected. The Colombo tea auction monthly average price for Sept 2015 was 368.18 rupees a kilo, down 71.33 rupees from 439.51 rupees a year ago, Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said. The average prices for all three elevations were down with low grown teas, cultivated in the southern plains, the worst hit. more..

Gotabhaya at Presidential Commission again

Oct 8 (DM) Former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and few others arrived at the PRECIFAC to give statement on the Rakna Lanka issue. Commission Secretary Lacille De Silva said statement was being recorded from them with regard to deploying of Rakna Lanka staff for election campaigning of the former president Rajapaksa during the last Presidential election and the related expenditure. Statement was recorded from Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Duminda Silva and more..

Video: New bridge over Kelani River

Oct 8 (DM) Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has agreed to give a Japanese ODA loan (Yen Loan) for the construction of the new bridge over the Kelani River, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. “The JICA had agreed to provide the loan up to a total of Yen 35,020 million for assistance for the new bridge to ease the traffic congestion,” he said. “The Automobile Engineering Training Institute, now situated on a land more..

SC dismisses Gunasekera’s petition

Oct 8 (AM) Supreme Court today dismissed the Fundamental Rights petition filed by Communist party General Secretary DEW Gunasekara, against nominating lost candidates at UPFA National List MPs. A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice K. Sripawan, Justice Sisira de Abrew and Justice Anil Gunaratne directed that there was no legal basis to continue the case further. Gunasekara filed the FR petition on September 02 against the national list nominations. more..

MP Pararajasingham’s killing: Two ex-LTTEers arrested

Oct 8 (DM) Two ex-LTTE cadres were arrested by the CID in connection with the killing of former TNA MP Joseph Pararajasingham, police said today. Mr. Pararajasingham was shot dead on Dec 25, 2005 while inside St. Michaels Church in Batticaloa. Two unidentified gunmen had slipped passed hundreds of worshippers to carry out the shooting in which eight others including several children were injured. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said the suspects were arrested on Tuesday at Batticaloa. more..

Thalatha gets tough with foreign job racketeers

Oct 8 (Island) Foreign Employment Minister Thalatha Athukorala yesterday promised strict and swift action against job agents involved in foreign employment rackets. She said that her ministry had bared a racket where Sri Lankans were sent abroad on tourist visas for employment. Eleven Sri Lankan women who had been sent to Kuwait on tourist visas had been deported, minister said. Athukorala said once the licences of such more..

Foreign judges in a local Court unusual: NMP

Oct 8 (CT) National Movement for Peace will be organizing a series of public meetings across the country to explain to the masses the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka and also for purposes of promoting reconciliation. Attorney-at-Law Lal Wijenayake said, establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission would be the first in the order of business. Commonwealth Judges sitting on a bench of a local Court is a more complicated matter, he explained, more..

Parliament adjourned for ten minutes

Oct 8 (AD) A tense situation arose at the Parliament and the Speaker adjourned the House for ten minutes, a short while ago on Thursday afternoon, Ada Derana reporter said. The tense situation sparked when a request was made to the Speaker to table a letter submitted to the House by former Minister Dinesh Gunawardena was dismissed, the reporter added. The letter was about the transfer of several senior officers attached to the Central Bank, it was reported. more..

Sri Lanka to get Euro 43.7mn grant, technical assistance from EU

Oct 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka will be getting 43.7 million euro as grant and technical assistant from the European Union, govt told reporters Thursday. EU has agreed to provide grant assistant of 30 million of euros to finance in support of the integrated rural development programme in Central and Uva provinces, which intends to improve livelihood, in come level, health and nutrition of the low income people of the provinces, more..

Sri Lanka Tourism must focus on Asian Tourism as arrivals reach 45%

Oct 8 (SLT) The changing landscape of Sri Lanka tourism is seen in the latest tourist arrivals with Asian tourism accounting for 45.3% to the total crossing 595,583 arrivals as at end Sept 2015, as against Europe contribution dropping to 39% during the same period which is the reality we must face said Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Chairman Dr Rohantha Athukorala. Sri Lanka Tourism will be the Tourism partner Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union( SLRFU) in the third leg of more..

Gautam Buddha's ashes to travel from Sri Lanka to Maharashtra next week

Oct 8 (DNA) Presenting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the people of Maharashtra, especially the Buddhists, Gautam Buddha's ashes will be being brought to India next week for a 10-day trip of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. The urn containing the mortal remains will be brought to Nagpur airport on October 14. Then, it will be taken on a rath across the state, covering Nagpur, Bhandara, Sakoli, Gondia, Chandrapur, Rajnandgaon, Durg, Bhilai and Raipur. more..

U.S. announces increased funding for demining in Sri Lanka

Oct 8 (USE) In a meeting today with Minister D.M. Swaminathan, U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap announced an additional $1.745 million (245 million LKR) for demining activities of international and domestic partners and the National Mine Action Committee (NMAC) under Ministry of Rehabilitation, Resettlement, and Hindu Religious Affairs. In total, the US has dedicated over $43 million (6 billion LKR) for demining assistance more..

Stocks end steady; policy clarity awaited

Oct 8 (Reuters) Stocks ended little changed on Thursday as gains in beverages and diversified shares helped offset losses in banking stocks, with investors waiting for direction on economic policy from the govt. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is expected to make a statement next month outlining the economic priorities of the newly-formed govt, before the country presents its budget for the next fiscal year, which is estimated to show a 1.35 trillion rupees borrowing requirement from more..

Sugar, salt consumption at dangerous levels

Oct 8 (CG) Sugar and salt consumption in Sri Lanka is at dangerous levels, a UN Taskforce said at talks with Sri Lankan food and beverage manufacturers and exporters at the Export Development Board (EDB). UN Taskforce began working with the EDB to formulate national recommendations for the manufacturing and supply sectors. “Sri Lankan sugar consumption is at dangerous levels. Salt consumption is way higher. It is no surprise we see high Non-communicable Diseases (NCD) more..

Video: FCID noticed to show cause

Oct 8 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Pieris today noticed the FCID to show cause as to why it had violated the court procedure and produced former President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunge and Former TRC Director General Anusha Pelpita in High Court without producing them before a Magistrate. Magistrate issued notice on OIC of the FCID, DIG and Western Province ASP to show cause more..

1,500 Tamil youths to be recruited as PCs

Oct 8 (GDI) Police Department has decided to recruit 1,500 Tamil youths of the North as Police Constables. The necessary initiatives have already been drawn up. It has been decided to recruit 1500 Tamil youths as Constables with the intention of imparting an efficient Police Service to the Northern civilians. There is a dearth of Police Officers who are fluent in Tamil. As such it has been decided to undertake these recruitments. Interviews for the recruitment of Police Constables for more..

TNA calls for release of Tamil political prisoners

Oct 8 (CG) TNA called for the release of all Tamil political prisoners. TNA leader R. Sampanthan raised the issue when Parliament discussed a proposed agreement with China on crime related matters. Sampanthan urged the govt not to look at the issue on political prisoners as a legal issue. He said that the issue had been raised with Justice Minister Wijeydasa Rajapaksha and he urged the Minister to look into it. Sampanthan also questioned the actions the new Govt hopes to take to more..

Video: Ten-member committee to review Port City deal

Oct 8 (DM) The govt, determined to go ahead with the controversial Colombo Port City Project has appointed a ten-member committee of officials to review the tripartite agreement with necessary amendments the govt intends to bring soon. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the Cabinet on Wednesday gave approval to sign an Extension Agreement to the Agreement that had been signed between the project company more..