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Financial institutions ordered to reveal Palpita’s account details

Oct 22 (DN) The Colombo Chief Magistrate yesterday ordered the managers of 81 financial institutions to reveal to the CID, the details of accounts maintained by former Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, Anusha Pelpita, his wife and son. The CID had informed court that the FCID has received information that Pelpita had allegedly bought a land in Nugegoda for Rs. 16 million in addition to building a palatial residence in Colombo 7. more..

Wimal charged with housing fraud

Oct 22 (CT) Housing Minister Sajith Premadasa accused his predecessor of misusing a sum of Rs 60 million during the construction of several houses in Mattegoda and Kahathuduwa housing complexes. Premadasa said that the houses were constructed by a company that is affiliated to the former Ministry of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities. Company had constructed more..

President convenes all party meeting today

Oct 22 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena has convened an all party meeting today to discuss the war crimes inquiry mechanism. The meeting intends to inquire about the opinions of party leaders on how the govt should act with regard to the UN resolution. Leaders of 21 political parties representing parliament including, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition Leader R. Sampandan will participate. Three representatives from each party including the party secretary can participate in this forum. more..

New Bribery Commission to decide on Former CJ

Oct 22 (DN) Two cases filed against former CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake and her husband were fixed for Jan 21 by Colombo Chief Magistrate, to seek the opinion of newly elected Bribery Commission to decide whether it proceeds with the cases or not. The Commission to Investigate into Allegations of Bribery or Corruption had filed a case against former CJ Dr. Bandaranayake over non-declaration of assets during 2010, 2011 and 2012, at a time when she was holding the post of Chief Justice. more..

Paranagama panel moots change of laws to try war crimes cases

Oct 22 (ENS) The report of the Maxwell Paranagama commission on forced disappearances and war crimes, which was tabled in the Sri Lankan parliament on Tuesday, has said that Lankan domestic law has to be changed to try cases of war crimes, and the new law should be applicable retrospectively. Retired Justice Paranagama said that there is as yet no domestic law to try war crimes of the kind which more..

Editorial: Stolen treasures

Oct 22 (Island) Singapore has decided to return to India an eleventh-century bronze sculpture, depicting Hindu Goddess Uma Parameshvari, as we reported. Asian Civilisations Museum of Singapore had purchased the artifact from a disgraced New York art dealer for USD 650,000 in 2007, the news item said. Indian goddess will now return to the country of her origin after years of displacement! The aforesaid news report reminds us of our own Tara Devi statue kept at a British museum. more..

Restore public confidence in the Rule of Law

Oct 22 (DM) The restoration of the rule of law, the independence of the judicial and police services and the streamlining of the legal process, broadly defined as the law’s delays, were among the main promises of the new National Govt. More than nine months after the January 8 silent revolution, most independent analysts are raising questions about the rate of progress --with loads of allegations but a relatively few cases or convictions. This is not a surprise because more..

Pains of two innocents may never go away

Oct 22 (DM) On the 13th of Sept 2015, Sri Lanka was rocked with the harrowing tale of the rape and murder of a four-and- a- half year old girl. Three days later, in an attempt to solve the crime and bring justice to the victim’s family, two suspects were arrested by the Kotadeniyawa Police. What followed would be as horrendous as the crime of arresting the suspects. On the 16th of Sept, the two suspects, more..

Killings cannot be supressed forever

Oct 22 (SL) Among many things that have been discussed during the past are several unforgettable incidents. One of them is the wave of killings and disappearances that took place during the previous regime. While those who were affected by such unfortunate incidents have painful memories with disappointment, names of prominent journalists like the Founding Editor of Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge and journalist Prageeth more..

Independent Police Commission at last

Oct 22 (Island) The much-awaited National Police Commission has now been established with effect from Oct. 14 in accordance with the 19th Amendment. President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed five members including its chairman on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council. Professor of Sociology of the University of Colombo, Prof. Siri Hettige is the chairman and the other members are more..

U.S. Assistance to Polonnaruwa factory boosts local jobs and income

Oct 22 (USE) U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap recently visited the facilities of All Focus (Pvt.) Ltd. in Gallella to congratulate the managers and workers for successfully boosting employment in the Polonnaruwa region. New facilities and equipment are part of an innovative partnership between the USAID and private SL businesses. Since 2011, USAID has committed $22.4 million (3.1 billion LKR) in partnerships like this throughout SL. more..

SEC under probe for funding Ceylon Premier Sports Limited

Oct 22 (Island) A financial irregularity had been committed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by giving Rs. 5 million to the Tharunyayata Hetak for a market promotion programme, Parliament was told. Responding to a query raised by JVP MP Sunil Handunetti, State Minister Niroshan Perera said that providing of money to the Tharunyata Hetak was beyond the subject area of the SEC. more..

Sri Lanka, trade gap shrinks, import plunge, rupee pressured

Oct 22 (EN) Sri Lanka's imports plunged 11.7% from a year earlier to US$ 1,523 million in August 2015 with the trade gap also falling, data showed, while the rupee came under pressure from money printing. Intermediate goods imports plunged 30% to US$ 738 million in August 2015. Investment goods rose 8.9% to US$ 363.8 million, and consumer goods rose 28% to US$ 420 million. Exports fell 19% to US$ 798.9 million more..

Carpeted road stretch in Yala spells death to animals

Oct 22 (ST) Since the re-opening of Yala National Park on Oct 7, four Spotted Deer have been killed by speeding vehicles on the recently carpeted Kirinde – Yala road. An adult male antler that died of head injuries was among the four that were killed. The road from Kirinde up to the Park’s ticketing office was carpeted a few months ago. Earlier, motorists could not speed on this stretch due to the bad condition of the road. more..

India should stop treating Sri Lanka as a friendly country: DMK

Oct 22 (PTI) DMK demanded that India should stop treating Sri Lanka as a friendly country and take steps for a credible international enquiry into allegations of war crimes against the Lankan army during the conflict with LTTE. Citing the report by retired judge Maxwell Paranagama, tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, DMK chief M Karunanidhi stated that while backing a recent UNHRC report, Paranagama panel had recommended that more..

Hirunika admits her family, too, benefited from MR’s largesse

Oct 22 (Island) Having accused former President Rajapaksa of promoting and protecting the corrupt lot around him at the expense of good governance, UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra had to admit that Rajapaksa had created a position for her mother, Sumana, to enable them to retain a state-owned Summit flat which they were using for several years. Hirunika said that her mother had sought former President’s intervention more..

Hussein tells UNGA report on SL historic

Oct 22 (CG) The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein told the UN General Assembly that his report on Sri Lanka was historic. He made the comments on Sri Lanka after presenting the annual report of his Office for August 2014 to July 2015 to the Third Committee at the 70th session of the UNGA in New York. “In recent weeks my office issued a historic report on reconciliation, accountability and more..

Making Sri Lanka the miracle of Asia

Oct 22 (CT) Mr. Champika Ranawaka, ministerial authority for the Megapolis, has announced that the work on the Colombo Port City is to be resumed soon after renegotiating the contract with the Chinese authorities. Project has been halted by the present govt due to the irregularities found in the contract. The govt will not encounter any serious problem in rectifying the illegality of the contract and any irregularity can even be regularized if necessary by enacting new laws in the parliament. more..

Global economic divisions posing challenges for South’s small states

Oct 22 (Island) If commentators on the global economy have come to believe that the current times are characterized by increasing uncertainty, they are not far from the truth. The fluctuations in the economic fortunes of the world’s biggest powers have contributed in no small measure to this sense of uncertainty and countries ought to be reminded as never before that perceived economic autonomy is indeed a very fragile thing. No where could this impression of fragility and vulnerability to more..

Artha Tharka

Sri Lankan shares rise to over 1-wk closing high; policy awaited

Oct 22 (Reuters) Shares rose to a more than one-week closing high on Thursday, led by blue chips such as John Keells, but trading was dull as investors were cautious ahead of a key policy statement by the govt. The main stock index ended 0.19%, or 13.18 points, firmer at 7,068.85, its highest close since Oct 13. Turnover was 778.8 million rupees, lower than this year's daily average of 1.1 billion rupees. "It's a dull day. No big trades took place. But we saw foreigners were more..

Rajitha urges people to put patriotism on back burner now

Oct 22 (Island) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that patriotism was only required to overcome terrorism and conquer the enemy and not to intimidate the innocent. Spokesman Nipun Ekanayake, quoting the Minister Senaratne who had addressed the employees of the Health Ministry, said that Buddhism did not preach hatred towards other races. Even King Dutugemunu ordered his army and his ministers to show due respect when performing King Elara’s last rites. more..

TULF not invited to all party meeting, Anandasangaree dismayed

Oct 22 (DM) TULF leader V. Anandasangaree, in a letter addressed to President Sirisena, has expressed his dismay over the exclusion of his party from an all party meeting. President Sirisena had, in writing, invited 21 political parties registered in the country to discuss a domestic mechanism for inquiring into the alleged war crimes -- following last month's resolution at the UNHRC in Geneva. more..

NCPA invites media to carry out awareness raising campaign against child abuse

Oct 22 (Island) Chairperson of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), Natasha Balendra invited the media to carry out a positive awareness raising campaign against child abuse. Addressing the media during a Panel Discussion on Ethical Reporting on Child Abuse Stories in Media, Balendra said that despite good intentions of curbing child abuse through awareness, the media was also giving out negative vibes to society. "We do not want our children to feel cloistered, growing up into more..

Uber ride-sharing comes to Sri Lanka

Oct 22 (EN) Uber, a ride-sharing company that allows car owners and drivers to take passengers for a fee has been launched in Sri Lanka. "At Uber, every city that we launch outperforms its predecessor and we expect nothing less from Colombo," the company said in a statement. "In fact, for months now, we know that demand for Uber has been rapidly growing as more and more people and visitors are opening up the Uber app and trying to request rides in cities across Sri Lanka." more..

'Finance sector needs radical changes'

Oct 22 (CG) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that the sectors of the economy will be opened enabling the private sector as well to play an equal role with the govt. He said for the first time in the history, a separate department will be created at the Ministry of Finance for the private sector development from Jan 1, 2016. Minister said this while speaking at an interactive forum with the key private sector establishments where more..

Thavil beats from Jaffna

Oct 22 (Hindu) Yazhpanam Thedchanamoorthy Pillai may not be a familiar name for most people. But the fact remains that he was a name to reckon with in the field of thavil playing. Veteran percussionists, including the legendary Palghat Mani Iyer, have lauded his playing skills, and even hailed him as the eighth wonder. Now, this maestro is the subject of a new documentary made by film-maker Amshan Kumar. But how did Amshan end up making a film on a thavil artist from SL? more..

Video: Parliament suspended for 10 minutes

Oct 22 (DM) Parliament sessions were suspended for a brief period due to a tense situation over a dispute that arose over a list of speakers of the debate on the UNHRC report. The situation arose when Opposition MP Wimal Weerawansa objected to the pattern to which the debate would be conducted where govt MPs were given speeches instead of the common practice of shifting speeches from govt and opposition MPs. Then MP Dinesh Gunawardene joined in the cross talk. more..

Debutant Warrican takes four, Sri Lanka out for 200

Oct 22 (CI) Buoyed by a quicker pitch with some live grass on it, West Indies' three-pronged pace attack made light work of Sri Lanka's top order before debutant left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican claimed four wickets to wrap up the Sri Lankan innings at 200, two hours into the final session on the first day at the P Sara Oval. In response, the visitors lost Shai Hope lbw to Dhammika Prasad in the first over but more..

Compulsory prison terms for crimes against children, women

Oct 22 (Island) The govt is planning to amend the laws to enhance penalties against child abusers as a measure to arrest the wide spreading crimes against children, Minister Tilak Marapana told Parliament. Responding to a question raised by UNP MP Budhika Pathirana, Minister said there had been 5,762 incidents of child abuse, 311 rapes reported in 2014 and the law enforcement authorities conducted 67,315 raids on illicit drugs. Minister admitted that there were shortcomings more..

Dilan admires JVP for its stance on US-sponsored resolution

Oct 22 (AD) Minister Dilan Perera admired Sri Lanka’s leftist party JVP for maintaining a clear stance on the US-sponsored resolution that was adopted at the recently concluded UNHRC Sessions in Geneva. State Minister Perera also went into say some leftist party leaders including Tissa Vitharana and D.E.W. Gunasekara try to spread rumors regarding the resolution in their bid to promote racism, however. The observation was made at a press conference held in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka's opposition calls for referendum on proposed hybrid court

Oct 22 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's Opposition on Thursday called for a referendum on a hybrid court proposed for Sri Lanka by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. Al Hussein had called for a hybrid court with local and foreign judges to look into accountability issues over the final stages of a 30 year war. Opposition MP Wimal Weerawansa said that govt cannot blindly agree to set up the hybrid court. more..

DNA collected from Thajudeen's mother to verify his body : CID informs Court

Oct 22 (AM) The CID today informed the Court that they took DNA samples from the mother of former rugby player and Havlock’s captain Wasim Thajudeen in order to verify his body. CID also told that the reports were yet to be received. Moreover, statements from 31 individuals were recorded regarding the suspicious death of Thajudeen, CID informed. Further hearing on the case was postponed to Dec 10. On Sept 21, Senior Scientist of Genetech Institute Ruwan Illeperuma more..

UN Asst. Secretary-General Jenca meets Foreign Minister Samaraweera

Oct 22 (MEA) UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Miroslav Jenca, who is currently on a visit to Sri Lanka (21-25 Oct), called on the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera yesterday. His visit follows recent discussions between the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President Sirisena in New York in September. Mr. Jenca will call on the PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and also have meetings with the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) and more..

Video: Channa and Upuli summoned to PRECIFAC

Oct 22 (DM) Popular dancers Channa and Upuli Wijewardena, who own the Channa-Upuli Dancing Academy, were summoned to PRECIFAC, this morning to record a statement relating to the probe carried out into the expenditure of the opening ceremony of the Hambantota Harbour. The statement had been provided at the BMICH and it had been on a performance made by them at the harbor opening. It is reported that the lavish more..

Hybrid war crimes court: NJC accuses govt of betrayal

Oct 22 (Island) The establishment of a hybrid court in Sri Lanka was now a foregone conclusion as the govt had agreed to all the findings and recommendations of the OHCHR report, National Joint Committee (NJC) member, Manohara de Silva PC said. He said that govt had launched a campaign informing the public that there wouldn’t be a hybrid court, but only a local truth commission in line with what had been established in South Africa after dismantling of the apartheid rule. more..

SL at P Sara: 2 innings, 334 runs, 20 wickets

Oct 22 (CI) 4: Fifty-plus scores by Sri Lanka's No. 6 batsmen against West Indies in Tests before Milinda Siriwardana's 68. The last instance was Tillakaratne Dilshan's 62 in Port-of-Spain in 2008. Hashan Tillakaratne is the only No. 6 to make a century against West Indies - he made 204 not out and 105 not out at the SSC and Galle respectively in 2001. 3: Number of West Indies left-arm spinners to take a four-wicket haul (or better) on debut in Tests before Jomel Warrican. more..

No political prisoners in Sri Lanka: Govt

Oct 22 (DM) While reiterating that there are no political prisoners in Sri Lanka’s jails, govt today reassured that the issue of LTTE suspects incarcerated for alleged acts of terrorism would be addressed on a priority basis and those who have evidence of direct involvement of terrorist acts against them would be prosecuted as early as possible. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that President Sirisena had instructed relevant more..

Macrae urges local TV to show war film

Oct 22 (CG) The director of the Emmy-nominated feature documentary No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka has welcomed the conclusion in Sri Lanka’s long delayed Paranagama report that the video evidence in No Fire Zone is unlikely to be faked. The director, Callum Macrae, has called on Sri Lankan television networks to broadcast the film as soon as possible: “Now that our findings and our evidence have been so clearly vindicated, not just by the recent report released by UN more..

Video: Kodikara released on bail

Oct 22 (DM) UPFA Western Provincial Councillor Upali Kodikara, who was arrested and remanded under charges of obstructing a police officer from performing duties, was released on bail by the Colombo Chief Magistrate today. The Magistrate released him on a Rs. 10,000 cash bail and two sureties worth one million rupees. Kodikara was granted bail in order to facilitate his participation in an education tour in Indonesia that would be attended by 41 provincial councillors. more..