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UFO sighting above Gal Viharaya?

Oct 12 (CT) Residents of Polonnaruwa report seeing an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) floating in the sky above the famous Gal Viharaya in Polonnaruwa. During the initial inquiry, Ceylon Today was able to locate a photograph of the UFO that was taken by photographer Gamini Obeysekara. He noted that the sighting was observed by several witnesses on the last Poya day on 27, September. The object was observed for an hour in the night sky between around 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. more..

BBS writes to IGP

Oct 12 (CT) It is a twist of fate that Minister of National Dialogue, Mano Ganesan has admitted in public that Muslim extremism is at play in the City of Colombo, particularly in Barber Street, Colombo 13, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) opined. Writing to the IGP with copies of the letter sent to Presidential Secretariat, PM's office, Hindu Affairs Minister's Office, Cultural Affairs Minister's Office, Opposition Leader's office, all MPs, all Provincial Councillors and the Colombo Mayor, more..

Govt to take ties with China to higher level

Oct 12 (CG) The Govt says it wants to take the relationship between Sri Lanka and China to a higher level. A Foreign Ministry statement said that Special Envoy and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Govt of the People’s Republic of China, Liu Zhenmin, during his visit to Sri Lanka, discussed wide-ranging matters. He called on President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe during his official visit to Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka deceiving nations: Karunanidhi

Oct 12 (ENS) DMK leader M Karunanidhi on Sunday charged Sri Lanka with using its geographical location to deceive other nations and asked the Union govt to take steps to safeguard the livelihood of the fishermen of TN. Karunanidhi cited Lanka rejecting the Indian govt’s request to allow TN fishermen to fish in Lankan waters for 65 days and not to arrest them when they crossed the international maritime boundary, referring to the arrest of 19 fishermen from Nagapattinam. more..

No action to stop corruption: SF

Oct 12 (DM) Democratic Party Leader Filed Marshal Sarath Fonseka charged that no action has been taken to stop the corruptions by the government and individuals who robbed sum of Rs 600-900 million. “The law should be applied for all, there is no punishment to those in large scale robbery. We have reputedly told the public about these things,” Filed Marshal Fonseka said addressing a meeting of Democratic Party organizers in the Kandy district on Saturday. more..

Forest density to be increased through a national program: President

Oct 12 (PMD) Forest density in the country which is now at 29% will increase to 32% through National Tree Planting Program, to be implemented in January next year and carry out for three years, says President Maithripala Sirisena. Support from everybody including politicians is needed on this regard, he added. President made these remarks at VanaRopa National Tree Planting Ceremony held today (11) in Kothmale. more..

Hybrid court order in an international relations theory framework

Oct 12 (Island) The Prince was also showing the tip of a stick to Sri Lanka by recommending to the United Nations system and all member states should initiate investigations and prosecutions against Sri Lankans under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction. The neocons and their lapdogs at the UN have found the Sri Lankan govt delegation they had to deal with, the foreign minister in particular a babe in the woods. The recently released UN report that accuses Sri Lanka of more..

Did green leaf subsidy destroy the tea market?

Oct 12 (ST) During the last Presidential election campaign the then opposition made an announcement that if they come to power that they would provide a price subsidy up to Rs. 80 per kg of green leaf to leaf suppliers. In an article I published on Feb 5, I outlined a mechanism describing several possible ways that the government can implement the promised guaranteed price scheme (GPS) of tea green leaf for the suppliers and leaf producing smallholders in the country. more..

Sexual favours sought for India-built houses in Sri Lanka?

Oct 12 (ST) A joint investigation has been launched by the Indian High Commission (IHC) and the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) into complaints of soliciting sexual favours from women in the North in return for houses from the Indian Housing Project, an Indian High Commission spokesman said. “IHC took up the issue with SLRCS officials and investigations are under way. India will not condone any such activity by any of more..

SL and Indian’s navies hold talks at IMBL

Oct 12 (Hindu) Senior officials of the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard met their counterparts from Sri Lanka on board a navy patrol vessel near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) recently and discussed operative effectiveness of the forces. While the Indian team was led by Commodore Alok Bhatnagar, Naval Officer In-charge (Tamil Nadu & Puducherry), the Sri Lankan team was headed by Rear Admiral Piyal De Silva, Commander Northern Naval Area. more..

Shuffle at Mobitel

Oct 12 (DN) Sri Lanka Telecom CEO Dileepa Wijesundere was likely to be appointed to overlook Mobitel as Chief Executive Officer sources said. It was speculated that Mobitel CEO Ranjith Rubesinghe was suspended for three months pending an inquiry subsequent to a Board meeting held last Friday. It was pointed out at this volatile Board meeting that Rubesinghe has used company funds to fund the last Presidential election in support of a candidate that lost the election. more..

Now, 71 university dons come out openly against UNHRC resolution

Oct 12 (Island) Close on the heels of a statement issued by 41 university academics supporting the recent UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka, more than 70 scholars have now come out vehemently opposing it. The dons describing themselves as Responsible and concerned group of senior academics in the Sri Lankan University System opposed to the resolution, including about 30 professors, have written to President more..

GoSL's borrowings set to rise to Rs 1.4T Grant, concessional aid, only way out

Oct 12 (CT) Govt of Sri Lanka's (GoSL's) borrowings by selling gross Treasury (T) Bills and T Bonds to the market is set to increase to Rs 1,383,914 million (Rs 1.4 trillion) in the calendar year to date by Wednesday (14 October), when the govt plans to sell Rs 25,000 million worth of T-Bills on that day. In the commensurate period the previous year, the former regime borrowed a mere Rs 578,025 million from the market on a gross basis, by selling T-Bills and T Bonds. more..

Housemaid in Kuwait assaulted by Sri Lankan women

Oct 12 (DN) A Sri Lankan housemaid in Kuwait who was brutally assaulted by a group of Sri Lankan women working at a job recruitment branch will be brought back to the country within the next three days, SL Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) media spokesman Upul Deshapriya said. SLBFE officials who investigated the incident following a video which went viral on social media websites, said woman had been assaulted at Kuwait branch of a job agency located at Kurunegala. more..

Controversial arms carrier belongs to Shipping Corp.

Oct 12 (Island) The on-going investigations into a ship, Avant Garde taken into custody for carrying weapons on the morning of Oct. 6 off Galle have taken a different turn with the revelation that the vessel, in fact, belongs to Sri Lanka Shipping Corporation Ltd. Well informed sources said that the Avant Garde Maritime Services (AGMS) owned by Maj. Nissanka Senadhipathi (retd) had chartered the vessel in 2012 and more..

Dignity in Mental Health

Oct 12 (DM) Thousands of people with mental health conditions in Sri Lanka and around the world are deprived of dignity and their basic human rights, including freedom from violence and abuse, inclusion in the community and in policy-making and freedom from discrimination. On Saturday Sri Lanka and the international community marked World Mental Health Day on the theme dignity in mental health– to raise awareness of what can be done to ensure people with mental health conditions more..

With Japan, US and India: We are on the right side, at the right time

Oct 12 (DM) After decades of foreign policy miscalculations, many of which were deliberate ideological fallacies committed to boost the over-sized images of local political leaders, we finally seem to be getting onto the right side, at the right time. One way to gauge an emerging rapport between the States is to observe how respective leaders are treated by their counterparts. On that account, even by the standards of our historically-good bilateral relationship with Japan, more..

Southern hiway: Threatened with landslides

Oct 12 (SL) Out of all development projects that had taken place recently the Southern Expressway that was constructed at a cost of over US$ 700 million has attracted more attention and discussion than any other. A few days ago, Southern Expressway was in the news again when a section of the highway was faced with a threat of an earth slip. With the bad weather is battering the southern part of the island questions more..

Political prisoners: Simmering tension grips families

Oct 12 (CT) Tamil political prisoners is currently the hot topic in the Northern and Eastern Provinces after their children launched an awareness protest on 30 September in Jaffna pleading for the release of their fathers who have been in prisons for many years without any trial. The plight of political prisoners and their families is another sorrowful chapter unknown to many, especially the children of the prisoners who more..

New traffic plan for Colombo to ease morning rush hour

Oct 12 (AD) A new traffic plan will be implemented in some parts of Colombo and its suburbs from today between 7.30 a.m. and 8.45 a.m. to ease traffic congestion. Police Traffic Chief Amarasiri Senaratne said the plan was largely aimed at easing the morning hour traffic congestion in Battaramulla, Maharagama and Borella. DIG said Police had identified the stretch from Welikada Junction to Devi Balika Vidyalaya junction more..

Bigwigs to show tourism’s way forward

Oct 12 (FT) Several prominent persons in the leisure industry are to be appointed to the Tourism Advisory Board this week, the Daily FT learns. The appointment to the Advisory Committee by Tourism Minister John Amaratunga is in line with Tourism Act No. 38 of 2005 under Section 32 to advise the Minister on any matters in relation to the travel and tourism industry. Among top persons to be appointed are more..

'All domestic airports to be made operational'

Oct 12 (DN) Transport Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said the country’s domestic airports will be made operational, to transport tourists and for public transport purposes. He was speaking during a tour to inspect the renovation work at the Batticaloa domestic airport yesterday. He said there are 14 domestic airports across the country and all of them were not opened to the public due to the conflict situation. more..

President declares open new building complex in Negombo Hospital

Oct 12 (PSL) President Sirisena says he would take action to further increase the fund allocation for free health and free education in the country in the budget for next year. “Govt has already allocated a higher amount of funds for free health and free education. It is the govt’s ambition to provide better health service and better education”, he said. President made these remarks at the opening ceremony of new building complex more..

'Lies perpetrated in the name of Human Rights resolution'

Oct 12 (Island) The Geneva process against Sri Lanka was aimed at making use of human rights to change Sri Lanka’s social, political and economic environment, said senior Journalist Mohan Samaranayake last week. Delivering the key note speech at a seminar titled Billo Avith (Bogeymen are here) organised by the Yuthukama Sanwada Kavaya, Samaranayake said that there were differences between the objectives more..

LG polls issue: UNP & UPFA not in consensus yet

Oct 12 (CT) A senior official from the Election Commissioner's Department has stated that the preparation for the Local Govt Elections in march 2016, has been hindered due to the fact that the two main political parties, UNP and the UPFA are not yet in consensus about the format of which the elections ought to be held. An Act which indicates that the local govt polls must be conducted in the First-past-the-post system more..

Dramatic expansion in country’s agriculture sector during last 12 years

Oct 12 (Island) Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector has shown a dramatic increase during the past 12 years, the Department of Census and Statistics figurers reveal. Director General of the Department of Census and Statistics Dr A.J. Satarasinghe says that the number of agriculture holders in the country has increased by 33.4% between 2002 and last year. Country now has a total of 4,291,395 agriculture holders, he notes. more..

Surf Sri Lanka

Oct 12 (NYT) I blame Bethany Hamilton. Repeat viewings of Soul Surfer, the 2011 movie about the young surfer in Hawaii who lost an arm to a tiger shark only to return to competition, have left my two young fearless in the ocean and enthralled with the sport. So, with air miles to spare and vacation time to burn, my wife, two offspring and I made for Sri Lanka. Best known for its tea and tradition, the island once called Ceylon has more..

Two arrested for burial of infant

Oct 12 (CT) Two suspects were arrested for burying the body of a male infant behind their house in the Welikanda Police Division on Friday (9) said the Police Media Unit (PMU) Saturday (10). ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said yesterday (10) that the Welikanda Police received information regarding a male infant who was buried behind a house in the Sevanapitiya area in Welikanda. According to information, the infant had died after birth, and was buried behind the house. more..

Dealing with the Devil

Oct 12 (CT) As Ceylon Today opined in the editorial of October 04, 2015, the attempts to revive the LTTE through several advocate groups, started off badly after a clash ignited between several TNA and pro LTTE supporters last Friday in Paris. Pandemonium stuck the streets of Paris, 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 rescues the MPs. more..

Tutor arena and mothers' tuition craze

Oct 12 (CT) Coming home after a tiresome day at work something surprisingly alarming struck me and it made me peep my head out of the vehicle and inquire as to why there were so many children, (many between the ages of 6 to 9 maybe) out on the streets at a time they should not be. The little children had flocked together with their parents and on either of side of the main road they were waiting to catch the earliest bus home; more..

Stocks end little changed; corporate earnings eyed

Oct 12 (Reuters) Stocks closed little changed in dull trade on Monday as investors waited for earning clues from Sept-quarter results. The main stock index ended 0.06%, or 3.94 points, higher at 7,100, its highest close since Oct. 2. Analysts said trading was dull amid uncertainty ahead of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's policy statement next month outlining govt's economic priorities. Turnover stood at 988.3 million rupees, compared with this year's daily average of 1.11 billion rupees. more..

Former sports minister’s pet Warnaweera out; Dad’s pal Nuski next !

Oct 12 (CT) Minister Navin Dissanayake's pet Jayananda Warnaweera is finally out. He has been on the run for nine long years avoiding ICC Anti Corruption Security Unit officials on match fixing related charges since 2006. This too being in the protected custody of the big wigs of SLC all this time. Next on the cards is Minister Dissanayake’s Dad’s (the late Gamini Dissanayake) pal and former Mahameweli Secretary Nuski Mohamed, who is schedule to bid adieu hopefully soon. more..

Video: 12 persons arrested over bus attack

Oct 12 (DM) Twelve persons have been arrested for attacking a bus during a tense situation that prevailed in Hambanthota this morning. The incident had occurred at the Bandagiriyia junction, located along the Hambantota- Tissamaharama road when a protest was staged by residents of several villages, demanding the facilitation of a drinking water supply system. The protestors accused the more..

Laugfs Gas buys Petredec of Bangladesh

Oct 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Laugfs Gas acquired 1.8 million ordinary shares, or 69% of the total issued shares, in Petredec Elpiji Limited, a company incorporated in Bangladesh for a purchase consideration of 18.75 million US dollars. “We see tremendous potential for expanding LPG as a domestic and commercial energy source in Bangladesh,” W.K.H. Wegapitiya, Group Chairman of LAUGFS said. Petredec Elpiji Limited is engaged in downstreaming business of LPG more..

Health Minister tells his bureaucrats to be flexible in recruiting graduates for nursing

Oct 12 (Island) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has said that bureaucrats should not lay unnecessary conditions when recruiting graduates as nurses and there should not be gender bias. Addressing the Ministry officials recently the minister told them not to be strict on physical attributes as height or other aspects of the candidates. He requested the nurses not to ask for transfers whimsically and added that there were 4,341 vacancies for nurses, while 7,046 were being trained at more..

Video: Abandoned infant: Police to obtain court order for foster parents

Oct 12 (DM) The Peradeniya Police said they were hoping to obtain a court order to find suitable foster parents who wish to adopt the now 22-day-old infant girl, who was abandoned by a roadside near the Dangolla Junction, until such time a permanent arrangement could be made. The infant was admitted to the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital after she was transferred from the Kandy Teaching Hospital after undergoing surgery. more..

Getting reconciliation right after Rajapaksa

Oct 12 (WPR) It has been a bad year for former President Rajapaksa and his nationalist support base, which comes predominantly from country’s majority Sinhalese ethnic group. Rajapaksa’s rout in January’s presidential election, followed by his August defeat in parliamentary elections, can be seen as nothing short of a mandate from the SL people to distance themselves from his authoritarian tendencies and divisive policies and move toward political reform & reconciliation. more..

'UN Resolution preamble confusing'

Oct 12 (CT) Although the preamble paragraph (Pp) four of the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka reaffirms the commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, Pp 12 reaffirms that it is a unified land, Attorney-at-Law Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa noted. He said that the resolution pushed the country towards the devolution of power, the enactment of a new Constitution and punishing offenders. The govt must consult all political parties to solve more..

The man preparing SL for life after Herath

Oct 12 (CI) If there was ever an opposition against whom Sri Lanka could consider a set of try-outs, West Indies would be it. In the light of Tharindu Kaushal's current entanglements over his action, Sri Lanka will certainly need to test the spin options that will be available to them in a post-Rangana Herath world. The team's strength at home in the era after Murali has revolved around Herath. more..

Police track extortionist via phone call

Oct 12 (CT) A suspect was arrested for allegedly extorting Rs. 25,000 from a resident of Kadawatha by impersonating as an official of the CID. On 12 August the victim had received a call from a mobile number, where the caller has identified himself as an officer from the CID and accused the former of forging documents on a vehicle sold five years ago. The caller has also stated that the CID was carrying out investigations into the matter, thus, in order to terminate the investigation more..