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Tying the knot with Japan

Oct 11 (CT) Last week, during his visit to Japan, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe made a very important remark. He stressed that the Japanese participation in South Asian Economic Development will add momentum to enable higher growth rates in South Asia adding such relations required multiple options to be pursued – including Japanese Connectivity to India through Sri Lanka. Such relations with South Asia seem to be a win-win situation for South Asia as well as to Japan. more..

'We Should Stand Together'

Oct 11 (SL) TNA calls for the Sri Lankan govt to commit to implement the UN resolution in full. While some members of the TNA constituent parties expressed disappointment at the UNHRC resolution that calls for a domestic mechanism, senior TNA member and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan says the UN resolution is in the best interest of the country and the victims. Sampanthan is on the view that the govt will be more more..

Udara and Bhanuka tons flush Lahiru blues

Oct 11 (ST) Besides a routine failure by Lahiru Thirimanne and an uncharacteristic first-ball dismissal of new hope Kusal Mendis, the Sri Lanka Board XI lads made a well made covering at the end of the second day of their three-day warm-up against the West Indies at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground, yesterday. Two youngsters, Udara Jayasundera and Minod Bhanuka made amends for the early folly as SLB President’s XI reached a commanding 232 for 3 at close of play after more..

SL set up South Korean quarter-final clash

Oct 11 (CT) Sri Lanka will face South Korean in the first quarter-final match after two convincing victories over Philippines and Malaysia in the first day of the third and final leg of the Asian Sevens Series kicked off at the Race Course International Rugby Stadium in Colombo. The Tuskers dominated Philippines in a 38 (6-tries, 4-conversions) – 7 (1-try, 1-conversion) win where the Kandy full back Nigel Ratwatte bagged a brace while his teammates Gayan Weeraratne, Srinath Sooriyabandara and more..

SEC to tighten, enhance surveillance mechanisms

Oct 11 (ST) The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is to tighten loopholes while enhancing its surveillance system in a bid to better combat market frauds, officials said. ”With a new system we want to detect manipulations/frauds early so that we can put a stop to such things immediately,” a SEC official told the Business Times. Currently the SEC has a system from Millennium Information Technologies (MIT) more..

Aruna erases Manoj’s record -Joyson renews pole vault record 5 times

Oct 11 (CT) Jaffna Pole Vaulter, Napthali Joyson, shattered yet another pole vault record as he renewed the previous record five times in the day and cleared a best of 4:21m in the boys Under-17 Pole Vault at the All Island School Games 2015 continued at Diyagama yesterday. Joyson of Arunodaya College Jaffna who trains under T. Pakeesvaran, cleared 4:01m to erase Madurangana Fernando's record of 4:00m set 13 years ago in 2002. Then he kept eclipsing those heights more..

Second century for Asalanka

Oct 11 (ST) Charith Asalanka leading the Sri Lanka Youth team proved his consistency and class by complementing his double century a few days ago came up with a well compiled 124 in the second day of the three-day Youth Test against the Pakistan Under-19 team which comenced at Sooriyawewa yesterday. Charith reached his century with a boundary off the bowling of Hayathulla facing 171 deliveries which included a dozen boundaries. Charith who may have been looking forward more..

Coca Cola case closed – Water Board

Oct 11 (NS) The National Water Supply and Drainage Board confirmed that Coca Cola Beverages Sri Lanka, which was riddled in a controversy surrounding its oil leak, has paid the relevant authorities including the NWSDB for the losses incurred and the matter is considered closed. Chairman of the NWSDB said that the Water Board had incurred losses amount to Rs.131 million which they had claimed from Coca Cola. more..

Umpires reluctant to call suspect actions

Oct 11 (ST) Two of SL’s leading Schoolboy cricketers who have been included in the twenty man squad for the current Pakistan tour and next years U-19 World Cup are reportedly having suspect bowling actions. One has already been reported by match officials following the conclusion of the first three day game against the touring Pakistan Under 19 team, earlier this week at Hambantota. Second player who was reported last year for a suspect bowling action has re modeled his action. more..

Seya’s father’s DNA ‘vital deciding point’

Oct 11 (SO) Results of the DNA tests of Upul Nishantha, father of Seya, the five-year- old girl raped and killed in Kotadeniyawa, will be released next week. The tests are currently being carried out at the Genetech Institute in Colombo. Head of Molecular Forensic Section, Genentech, Dr. Ruwan Illeperuma said, the report, once submitted to the Magistrate Court will be the final and vital deciding point at the High Court later. Dr. Illeperuma said it was he who called for a DNA sample more..

Alleged war crimes: Govt. to defend troops

Oct 11 (ST) Govt will hire counsel and pay legal costs to military personnel who may face charges of war crimes. The assurance has been given to military officers by Minister Champika Ranawaka. He has been tasked by President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe to speak to officers and men of the armed forces on the findings in the OISL report. During different meetings, Minister has explained more..

'Low quality vehicles flood the market'

Oct 11 (SO) Local consumers will face difficulties in buying good vehicles in the future as low quality vehicles are being imported, President, Vehicle Importers’ Association of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Sarathchandra said. Country’s foreign exchange reserves are wasted substantially and enormous costs are being incurred on fuel mainly due to huge traffic congestion experienced in Colombo and other main towns due to the indiscriminate import of motor vehicles. more..

CEB Engineers against Sampur resettlement

Oct 11 (SO) Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEBEU) warned against using the strategic Sampur area for human settlement, calling on the government not to let political decisions to override country’s future industrial needs. CEBEU President Athula Wanniarachchi said the decision to relocate people in Sampur may serve local politicians but would be a death blow to country’s future power needs. “Land close to deep sea is ideal for industries like coal power plants, more..

TNA-Pro LTTE clash at Paris meet

Oct 11 (CT) Chaos prevailed in La Chapelle, Paris on Friday around 4 p.m. when several members of the TNA came under strong verbal attack by a number of irate Tamil Diaspora members, mostly LTTE sympathizers, and the French Police had to be called in to rescue the MPs, who used tear gas to disperse the crowd. TNA members, namely MP Selvam Adaikalanathan, NPC member M.K. Sivajilingam, more..

New asset holding company to manage SoBEs

Oct 11 (ST) Sri Lanka’s 55 major state-owned business enterprises (SoBEs) are to be transformed to profitable ventures with a new management under an independent asset holding company putting an end to the accumulation of massive losses year after year, officials said. These enterprises have not been managed properly during the past 50 years and have become white elephants to the economy burdening the public, they said. Trustees of the proposed SoBE asset holding company are more..

Airport and Aviation Chairman & Board removed

Oct 11 (CT) Chairman of the Airport and Aviation Services (SL) Ltd, Ananda Wimalasena, and the Board of Directors have been removed from their posts last week. Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation Asoka Abeysinghe said, that it had been reported to him as well. However, he further said, anyhow, the Chairman including the Board of Directors of the Airport and Aviation Authority were not removed by the Minister that they had been informed to resign from their posts. more..

'Foreign remittances will not be taxed '

Oct 11 (CT) Governor of the Central Bank, Arjuna Mahendran, yesterday assured all Sri Lankan expatriates that their savings would not be taxed if they decided to remit their savings here. "There was a perception all this time that Sri Lanka was not a location to bring back their savings as they were under the impression that all their savings would be taxed due to the govt being cash strapped," Governor Mahendran told Ceylon Today. more..

Boardroom battles at Telecom, Mobitel

Oct 11 (ST) Fireworks erupted at the board meetings of SLT and Mobitel on Friday with Telecom Chairman P.G. Kumarasinghe vehemently opposing moves to suspend Mobitel CEO Ranjith Rubasinghe pending an inquiry. SLT Board meeting was held first at 4 pm. Soon disagreements broke out. Situation escalated so much that Harin Fernando, Telecom Minister, was called around 9.30 pm to defuse the tensions. He did so and helped the parties agree on certain decisions. more..

Deaths due to medical negligence being probed

Oct 11 (ST) Family members in two separate cases have urged authorities to probe deaths that reportedly occurred due to medical negligence. In one case, 46-year-old Ganga Hewage Kanthi from Dharmapala Mawatha in Galle, a mother of three and a teacher at Akmeemana Maha Vidyalaya, was admitted to the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital on September 29. She was healthy other than for a wound on her knee. “Five years ago we had to treat her for knotted veins on her left leg. more..

Crucial court verdict today on West Asian secret account of VVIP’s son

Oct 11 (ST) A landmark event in a West Asian capital will play out today and it will send shockwaves around Sri Lanka. This is when a court there hears a case where lawyers for Sri Lanka Govt are seeking an order to freeze nearly a half a billion dollars in a bank account. It has been established that this account is in the name of a young politician, the son of a former VVIP. It has also been established that there was well over a billion more..

Yahapalana going the way of Dharmishta?

Oct 11 (Island) The president’s office reacted swiftly to last week’s reports about the expenditure on the residence being prepared for him in Colombo. With regard to the house at Paget Road, it was stated that this was the amalgamation of two existing govt bungalows and the renovations included accommodation for the extensive security details of the president. The high-end BMW limousine and fleet of motorcycles for security escorts had been ordered by the previous regime and more..

Sri Lankans can say no to bridge without insulting India

Oct 11 (Island) The paper storm over a bridge too near, across the Palk Strait, shows all the small-country anxieties in the geopolitical dynamic involving two neighbouring countries, one big and the other small. To wit, the US and Canada; Australia and New Zealand; Malaysia and Singapore; European Union and Britain, to some extent; China and Taiwan; Sweden and its smaller neighbours; and of course India and Sri Lanka. What is unique to the Indo-Sri Lankan dynamic more..

President slashes New York bill

Oct 11 (ST) When he was in New York for the UN General Assembly sessions last month, President Sirisena was apparently mindful of the stories in this column about the extravagant spending by successive delegations when former President Rajapaksa was in New York. No porno movies, no overseas calls (except to Geneva where SL was negotiating a new resolution on accountability), and no room service at the Grand Hyatt Hotel more..

‘Separate state in Sri Lanka no longer in TNA agenda’

Oct 11 (Island) TNA MP, M. A. Sumanthiran said in London that fighting for a separate state in Sri Lanka is no longer in the party’s agenda. The MP, who arrived in London on October 2, held a meeting with Tamil activists at Ruskin hotel in East Ham, London the following day. He said the TNA is holding discussions with the Sri Lankan govt for the meaningful devolution of power within a unitary state. more..

Politicians fooling public with pension promises

Oct 11 (EN) Sri Lanka’s politicians have been duping the public all these years with promises of pensions, especially at election time, which are unsustainable as they are not properly costed and funded, a forum was told last week. Civil service pension schemes are not funded properly, said Nishan de Mel, Head of Research at Verité Research, a think-tank. “The money today needed to pay retired people tomorrow, more..

Big questions loom over little Seya’s killing

Oct 11 (ST) Nearly a month after the killing and rape of four year-old Seya Sedewmi, police investigations still continue and the mystery deepens. Repeated attempts by the police to match the DNA of three suspects have drawn a blank as they did not tally with the DNA samples found on the victim. Greentech, the company that conducts DNA testing, has issued negative reports on 17 year-old schoolboy, 33 year old man more..

Two SL Ministers meets with David Cameron

Oct 11 (Island) Two SL Ministers met with British PM, David Cameron, where discussions centered on current political developments. Ministers, Malik Samarawickrama, and Sagala Ratnayake, who attended the recently concluded Conservative Party Conference in Manchester held talks with British premier. UNP Campaign Manager, Mahinda Haradasa, was also a Sri Lankan participant at this conference. more..

Cautious Optimism about the Ohchr Report and the Resolution

Oct 11 (Island) Dr. Godfrey Gunatilleke will perhaps go down in history as spearheading the first comprehensive review of the Darusman Panel report. Marga Institute under his leadership brought together its own panel of experts to dissect the performance of the panel appointed by the UN Secretary General at a time when it was thought presumptuous by many to aspire to criticize a UN panel. more..

CAA Chairman under fire over doubling up to head Lak Sathosa

Oct 11 (Island) The unprecedented appointment of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) Chairman as the head of Lak Sathosa has drawn flak from industry players due to what they described as a clear conflict of interests, but the regulatory body’s boss assured that he would act independently to safeguard the integrity of both institutions. "It is a temporary posting as acting Chairman of Lak Sathosa", more..

Until the displaced are resettled there is no accountability

Oct 11 (CT) Chairman of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry which is engaged in the process of obtaining evidence regarding missing persons, Retired High Court Judge Maxwell Paranagama said that within the period in which a war commences and until the people who were affected by the war have been safely resettled in their villages, there is a possibility that international humanitarian laws can be violated. more..

Govt seeks SA assistance to establish Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Oct 11 (Island) The Sri Lanka government has sought the assistance of South Africa to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission following the UNHRC calling for an independent domestic mechanism to investigate alleged war crimes. The UNHRC on October 2 passed a resolution calling for accountability into alleged human rights violations by both govt forces and LTTE during the decades long more..

Military hierarchy yet to be questioned

Oct 11 (SL) The truth behind the disappearance of Lanka e-news journalist, Prageeth Eknaligoda, is now unfolding and vital information is to come to light in the next few days, following the Homagama Magistrate’s directive to the CID, to take the suspects who were arrested, to the Giritale Army Camp, where Eknaligoda was allegedly kept before his fate is decided. On the advice of the Attorney General the CID took the arrested suspects more..

The Jaffna Library

Oct 11 (Island) Although the Jaffna mans mind is preoccupied with money and matrimony, yet the thing that he treasures most above everything else is education and scholarship. For a Jaffna man, it’s the books, and not dogs, that are his best friends. He would pay more attention to a good book than to his dissatisfied wife. Books keep him company both in times of happiness and distress. They are one of the main sources of his knowledge. The best and inexpensive place for easy access to books more..

Proposed amnesty is an open invitation to more corruption

Oct 11 (Island) Generally, the first loyalty of an MP is to himself. Next in line are his close relatives and political supporters. One would expect that at least the third preference should go to the people who elected them. But that is not the case. Almost invariably, in the order of an MP’s priorities, the welfare of all other MPs, including those of different party affiliations, comes well before the interests of the people. It is just a matter of cautious insurance. It is no secret that, whilst Govt MPs more..

Defence allocation rises, education up four-fold, President’s budget slashed

Oct 11 (ST) The Defence budget will remain high next year also, but most significantly the allocation for education has been increased four-fold. The defence allocation is more than Rs. 306 billion. In contrast, the allocation for the Office of the President has been heavily reduced in comparison to allocations made under the previous administration. According to the 2016 Appropriations Bill, which will be presented to Parliament more..

International Arbitration Centre: Under corruption probe

Oct 11 (SO) Presidential Commission probing large scale corruption has launched a new inquiry into the alleged misappropriation of State resources including large amounts of funds used to set up the recently opened International Arbitration Centre. Inquiry into the Centre is the latest in a series of investigations launched afresh by the PRECIFAC, Commission Secretary, Lacille de Silva, said. "Based on public complaints, the Commission decided to initiate investigations on more..

WAN hails judgment on Vishwamadu rape case

Oct 11 (SO) Women's Action Network (WAN) has welcomed the October 6 precedent- setting verdict of the Vishwamadu military rape case (case no 1569/12) delivered by the Jaffna High Court. In a statement, WAN saluted the courage of both victims, especially one of them who pursued the case in-spite of physical harm, intimidation, insults and harassment since she registered her complaint on June 14, 2010. "Her tenacity in the midst of personal ordeal and structural obstacles placed more..

Mystery over Pakistn fighter jet deal

Oct 11 (SO) Mystery shrouds the future replenishment of Sri Lanka’s air defence as Air Force officials in Colombo strenuously denied persistent reports that the country is poised to buy more strike aircraft from long-time military supplier Pakistan. SLAF commander Air Marshal Gagan Bulathsinghala is due to pay an official visit to Pakistan next week, but when asked, SLAF officials refused to confirm that the SLAF chief would more..

Who’s Who of SL by well-known biographer

Oct 11 (Island) Chandrabhanu Samaraweera from Weligama, a journalist with roots in the south, has published another volume of biographical sketches in English of many well known personalities predominantly from the south. Samaraweera who now freelances for Arjuna Hulugalle Dictionaries having worked there for some years gained experience in various types of newspaper publications at Multipacks which published the very popular comic book-type Siththara journal. more..

CID tight-lipped about Thajudeen probe

Oct 11 (SL) CID is tight-lipped about the ongoing investigations into the murder of former Captain of the Havelock’s Sports Club Wasim Thajudeen. The rugger player’s charred remains were found inside his car on May 17, 2012 near Shalika Grounds, Kirula Road, Narahenpita. Although it was suspected of a foul play, the Narahenpita Police did not carry out a comprehensive investigation. Although the investigation was swept under the carpet earlier, after fall of Rajapaksa regime, more..