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CID to probe Avant Garde on money laundering

Oct 22 (DM) Galle Magistrate Nilupuli Lankapura allowed a CID request today to conduct further investigations into the floating armoury in the Avant Garde ship at the Galle Harbour under the Money Laundering Act. The Avant Garde ship was seized by the Galle Harbour Police on January 18, this year and handed over to the CID for further investigations. Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, more..

Sri Lanka to host french travel agents association annual congress 2016

Oct 22 (GDI) The French Travel Agents Association or the Syndicat National des Agences de Voyages (SNAV) has chosen Sri Lanka as the next venue for their annual congress 2016. This major feat garnered by the country would attract approx 600 French decision makers that would guide and steer the French tourism industry. Event will be a key image building exercise harnessing the potentials of Sri Lanka as a key travel destination for the French Market. more..

Cabinet approves moves to bring in laws against hate speech

Oct 22 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's cabinet has approved a proposal to amendment the Penal Code to prevent hate speech, govt said. The govt said that in the past decades instigation on communal basis, hate speech focusing various religious and ethnic groups and related printed material have caused in breach of communal harmony. A commission appointed by the former govt known as LLRC had recommended that laws should be enacted and empowered for prevention of such behaviours. more..

Video: Paranagama report more critical than UNHRC report: Rajitha

Oct 22 (DM) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne today said the recommendations of the Paranagama Commission report was more critical on Sri Lanka than the UNHRC report and added if it was published before the UNHRC report, the situation would have been more precarious for the country. He said Sri Lanka had to go a long way to finalize domestic mechanism as there was a large number of more..

Transparency needed in dealings with GTF

Oct 23 (CT) Time is up for mature debates on the exclusive dealings involving the new govt of President Sirisena/ PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and TNA with the UK based Global Tamil Forum (GTF). Though wider debates and expressions of discontents are taking place in the Tamil electronic and broadcasting media, the English media is taking a blind approach of rejuvenation from such polarising engagement. The pulses of the cross section of the expatriate Tamils in the UK more..

Repealing the PTA: Still not a top priority

Oct 23 (GV) Last Monday (12) a desperate situation raged across Colombo, Anuradhapura, Jaffna and Kandy as hundreds of prisoners who had been detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) began a death fast, demanding that their cases be expedited. Their actions revived a long-running debate on the PTA and its validity in a post-war climate. Minister Mano Ganesan shortly after visiting the fasting prisoners, said 6 of them in hospital after falling ill due to the fast. more..

'If 13A is strengthened, country will be offered on a platter to Eelamists'

Oct 23 (SO) President of NPM, Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera says by becoming co-sponsor of the detrimental Geneva Resolution, SL has burned its boats. He said, if the 13th Amendment, a piece of illegal legislation pushed down our throats by India, is strengthened by giving police powers, scrapping Prevention of Terrorism Act and the National Security Act, we will be offering the country on a platter to the Eelamists. more..

Free trading, subsidies and traditional budgeting

Oct 23 (NS) How far objective are we when it comes to development planning although it seems to be the pivotal aspect? It has been missed in planning for development and in pursuing targets thereafter. This country has seen enough Finance Ministers and witnessed their solutions. Obviously, each year, the govt spending has increased and this is due to the increased volumes in spending. After Liberation Privatization and Globalization (LPG) model entered the domestic scene, more..

UNHRC resolution: A repetition of 1815?

Oct 23 (NS) The 15th year of the last three centuries seems to be disastrous to this country. I am particularly comparing what happened to Sri Lanka at the UNHRC this year with that of 1815. In 1815, the independence of Sri Lanka preserved for 2,300 years was offered on a platter to the British by some of the Kandyan Chieftains, ostensibly to be rid of the Wadiga King who was described by the British as a tyrant. Of course the ceding of the country without a fight, for the first time, was done on more..

The all-important Thyroid

Oct 23 (ST) As if it has alighted in front of the windpipe just below the Adam’s apple under the skin in the front of the neck, this important brownish-red gland takes the shape of a butterfly. It is the thyroid. Small it may be, but it secretes thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), hormones or special chemicals essential not only in childhood but also in adulthood. Explaining some of the important functions performed by the thyroid more..

Where from here after Pillayan’s arrest?

Oct 23 (SL) Independent of prevailing perceptions, arrest of former Eastern Province Tamil CM, S Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan in connection with the Christmas Day church killing of TNA MP Jospeh Pararajasingham in 2005, has the potential to cut both ways. While it is reassuring that the new Govt has begun to act on the promise to the international community on accountability and war crimes, this particular arrest as a starting-point has the potential to open a can of worms for all stake-holders. more..

Feeding the Nation, Facing the Risks

Oct 23 (IPS) “My eyesight seems to be deteriorating. When my father was alive, he could see very well until the day he died. But I have a problem with my sight and it could be because of the strength of the chemicals I use. I do not use face masks and gloves every time I handle chemicals” says Wimalasena, a 57 year old paddy farmer from Kekirawe. In Sri Lanka, of the total informal employment, the highest (87%) is in the agriculture sector. A majority of agricultural workers are paddy farmers; more..

e-Z-cache: Insider look at the drug business within the prison system

Oct 23 (NS) The revelation that over a dozen prison officers have been bribed by drug dealers has shined a spotlight on how corruption within the prisons system has allowed underworld drug cartels to operate even inside prisons. Authorities have now launched extensive investigations into what is regarded as the biggest scandal to hit Dept of Prisons in recent times. 17 prison officers at Colombo’s Magazine Prison were interdicted more..

Free entry to school cricketers and schoolboys for second Test

Oct 23 (NS) SLC has extended an invitation to all school cricketers and schoolboys to come and meet the world’s greatest all-rounder Sir Garfield Sobers and support the Sri Lankan team when they play their final Test match against West Indies at the P Sara Oval starting on Thursday. Sir Garfield Sobers and former national captain Michael Tissera will be the chief guests at the match where a trophy named after them Sobers-Tissera trophy will be awarded to the winning team of the series. more..

The task before Prof. Siri Hettige

Oct 23 (CT) At last the dream for an Independent Police Commission (IPC) has turned into a reality. The much awaited IPC saw the light of the day when President Maithripala Sirisena officially approved the nominees to the Commission proposed by the Constitutional Council last Wednesday. The country had been yearning for the establishment of this Commission since the present Constitution was introduced in 1978 with the UNP wielding a five sixth majority in Parliament. more..

Warrican buoyed by Sobers' message

Oct 23 (CI) Strange things must happen on the ride between Galle and the P Sara Oval. Maybe it's a wormhole, or the spells of a highway wizard. More likely, given it is Sri Lanka, it may just be a jarring bump on the road. Because almost every time teams have played a second Test at the P Sara Oval the series takes a turn. Roles are reversed. Shoes switch feet. Most recently, India's spinners tied Sri Lanka's top order in knots more..

Unknown groups surround parliament

Oct 23 (Island) Parliament was in turmoil. An all-party meeting was convened by President Sirisena, who flew on a special American Sea Plane to the Diyawanna. It wasn't possible for PM Wickremesinghe even to travel to Parliament using a Japanese automobile. Japanese who were angry that his media misled the world over his address to the Japanese Parliament did not allow Premier to use any of their automobiles. He had to depend on President Sirisena to fly him to Diyawanna. more..

Pakistani cadets in Sri Lanka

Oct 23 (AT) A group of 4 officers and 15 cadets of Pakistan’s Cadet Corps, are on a visit to Sri Lanka to participate in Herman Loos & De Zoysa Annual Championship. The delegation called on High Commissioner of Pakistan Maj. Gen. (R) Syed Shakeel Hussain at the High Commission of Pakistan. While, briefing the delegation, the High Commissioner highlighted that Pakistan and SL continue to enjoy extremely cordial relations in all spheres, since establishment of diplomatic more..

'Tax collection not on par with economic growth'

Oct 23 (DN) Govts are elected on the basis of promises, but no govt can run on promissory notes, said former Indian Finance Minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram delivering the CA Sri Lanka's 20th Annual Tax Oration yesterday. "Govt needs money in cash. Govt needs money for its expenditure which includes both consumption and investment." He said that there are only five types of resources for a govt. He identified them as print money, more..

23 MPs want Sri Lankan expatriates allowed to vote at elections here

Oct 23 (Island) A request has been made by 23 MPs led by JVP MP Sunil Handunetti to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee to look into the possibility of enabling Lankan expatriates to vote at elections here. MPs emphasise that franchise is one of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. However, SL citizens employed abroad have been deprived of their right to vote though their contribution to national economy has been enormous. more..

'Arjuna the epitome of a gifted SL cricketer'

Oct 23 (CT) Former West Indian great Sir Garfield Sobers says former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga was the epitome of a tremendously talented cricketer to ever hail from the island-nation. "When I first saw him (Arjuna), I thought here was a tremendously talented cricketer," he told reporters while visiting Sri Lanka to watch the second and final Test match between the hosts and the West Indies which began at the Colombo Oval on Thursday. The series is being played for more..

EDB upheaval !

Oct 23 (FT) Giving a sudden boost to Sri Lanka’s national exports push, the country’s apex export facilitator, the Export Development Board (EDB) has been directed to perform as a private sector entity henceforth to realise the country’s export reforms. This makes the EDB itself a top reform target and formulation of sub sector level export targets with greatly increased export value addition is now on the cards. more..

Treasury guarantees water agency loan

Oct 23 (EN) Treasury is to guarantee a 3.7 billion rupee loan from state-run Bank of Ceylon to the Water Board to pay for a water supply project in towns east of Colombo. Contract for the project, scheduled to be completed in 2017, has been awarded to Maga Engineering Ltd. The Cabinet approved a proposal from the National Water Supply and Drainage Board to get a loan from the Bank of Ceylon amounting to 3.7 billion rupees, plus provisional sum of 793 million rupees more..

Housing demand to rise by 1.5M units

Oct 23 (CT) Sri Lanka's housing demand is expected to rise by an estimated 1.5 million housing units required in the next 15 years according to national housing policy, Candor Group of Companies CEO Ravi Abeysuriya said. He said that urbanization in Sri Lanka has compounded the housing need further in urban areas. Investing in real estate such as apartments or land in suburban Colombo is becoming an increasingly attractive investment plan. more..

A National Environmental Conference in SL

Oct 23 (PSL) Steps will be taken to hold a National Environmental Conference in Sri Lanka at the beginning of next year, President Sirisena said. He further said that all those who love the environment, including the environmental scientists, writers, literates, University students, school students can participate in this Conference. He made these remarks participating at President’s Environmental Medals awarding ceremony, more..

Basnayaka Nilame Mohan Panabokke dead

Oct 23 (Island) The cremation of Mohan Panabokke, Basnayaka Nilame of Sri Vishnu Maha Devale of Kandy and ancient Devale of Dedimunda in Aluthnuwara was held amidst a large gathering of mourners at the Mahaiyawa Crematorium on Wednesday. He was 58 at the time of his demise. Former Presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chandrika Kumaratunga paid their last respects to the late Basnayaka Nilame who held the office for 17 years continuously. more..

Four new ministers of Uva PC sworn-in

Oct 23 (PSL) Four new Ministers of the Uva Provincial Council were sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena, at the Presidential Secretariat. Governor of Uva Province – M.P. Jayasinghe also participated in the event. Newly appointed Ministers: Chamara Sampath Dissanayake, Chief Minister of the Uva Province- Minister of Finance and Planning, Law and Order, Education, Local Govt and Provincial Council Administration, Power and Energy, Construction, Rural Infrastructure. more..

SL Embassy in Washington relocated

Oct 23 (SLE) Sri Lanka’s Embassy in Washington D.C. moved to its new chancery premises on Oct 19th marking another milestone in the seven-decade long diplomatic presence in the United States. The Ambassador and the staff marked the occasion with a simple and solemn ceremony at the new premises on 3025, Whitehaven Street, NW, in the presence of religious dignitaries representing multiple faiths, who invoked more..

SL to start nation-wide consumer price index

Oct 23 (EN) Sri Lanka will start a nation-wide price index with 2013 chosen as the base year, minister Rajitha Senaratne said. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has proposed to the cabinet of ministers that the index be released from November. Sri Lanka already has a consumer price index covering Colombo. Sri Lanka had a country-wide index up to 2007, but it was suppressed when inflation reached 29% claiming that it was getting politicized because the then opposition UNP was criticizing more..

KDU to enrol foreign military cadets

Oct 23 (EN) State-run defence university is to train a batch of technical officers from Oman Navy on a fee-levying basis and also enrol paying students from foreign militaries. The General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU), under Ministry of Defence, holds the full membership of the Association of Commonwealth Universities in the UK, Minister Rajitha Senaratne. “It allows foreign officers and cadets to follow degree courses as a means of improving the friendship and more..

Top CEB officials get lavish Rs.10m foreign training tour

Oct 23 (DM) Controversy surrounds a lavish Rs.10.4 million foreign training tour, to be indulged in by 11 top level officials of the CEB, in Vienna, Austria in November this year, despite a recent govt circular to minimise the use of state funds. The group, comprising seven CEB deputy general managers, three chief engineers and an accountant will participate in a six-day training workshop in Vienna from Nov 9 to 13. more..

Govt to conduct archaeological fact-finding mission in Kuragala

Oct 23 (FT) The Govt has shifted its attention to Kuragala, an area both Buddhists as well as Islamic followers claim rights for over a long period, to conduct an archaeological fact-finding mission on Prague history and the evidence of Sri Lankan civilisation. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing Parliament revealed plans to dig for more clues in Kuragala area with the permission of Islamic religious establishments to confirm Sri Lanka’s history dating back over 8,000 years. more..

HRW delegation meets Defence Secretary

Oct 23 (GDI) A delegation of Human Rights Watch (HRW) led by Mr Brad Adams, Asia Executive Director met with the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Karunasena Hettiarachchi at the Ministry premises yesterday. The HRW representatives exchanged views with the Secretary on issues related to the follow-up of the resolution adopted in the Human Rights Council on Reconciliation and Accountability process in Sri Lanka. Discussions were also held on activities of HRW more..

Thajudeen murder: CID questions 31 persons

Oct 23 (DN) The CID yesterday informed Court that 31 persons have been questioned and their statements recorded in connection with the murder of former Havelocks rugby captain Wasim Thajudeen and apprised Court that the suspects responsible for the murder would be arrested and produced in Court in the future. Meanwhile, Colombo Additional Magistrate ordered the CID to expedite the investigations more..

'We will be forced to form a separate state'

Oct 23 (DM) TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah said that his party would be compelled to form a separate Tamil State with the help of the international community if any party resolved to form a Sinhala dominated state. He said so in Parliament in response to a comment by MP Wimal Weerawansa that people should come together to safeguard the Sinhala identity and the sovereignty of the state. “Statements such as these will push the Tamils towards separatism,” said Mr. Senathirajah. more..

Gambian model mooted

Oct 23 (Hindu) The Paranagama Commission on Missing Persons has recommended the Gambian model to try war crimes under the Sri Lankan judicial system. Calling the Gambian model a successful experiment, the Commission pointed out that a court, known as Special Division of the Supreme Court of Gambia, was set up in 1981 following an upheaval in which many died. It included judges from the Commonwealth. “This was a court that met both national and international concerns.” more..

Panel blames LTTE for killing of 51 girls

Oct 23 (Hindu) The LTTE has been blamed by a probe panel for the killing of 51 schoolgirls in Naddalamottankulam of the Northern Province and 17 employees of a French NGO in Muttur of the Eastern Province. This was the highlight of seven reports submitted by the Udalagama Commission, which went into 16 cases of alleged violations of human rights that took place between Aug 2005 and Nov 2006. more..

Wele Suda to be detained at Welikada Prison

Oct 23 (DM) Commissioner General of Prisons Rohana Pushpakumara said that Samantha Kumara alias Wele Suda who was sentenced to death by Colombo High Court Judge Preethi Padman Surasena on October 14 on charges of possessing of 7.05 grams of heroin will be detained at the Welikada Prison due to security reasons. He said that there were several ongoing cases against Wele Suda in Courts and therefore he should be produced in Court at least twice a month. more..

Geneva proposals: Govt firm on action within SL Constitution framework: President

Oct 23 (DN) The govt is firm on taking whatever action it deems appropriate to meet the Geneva proposals within the framework of the Sri Lankan Constitution, President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday told leaders and top members of political parties in the country. The President had called this meeting with the country's political party leaders to ascertain their opinion regarding how Sri Lanka should go about meeting the Geneva proposals. UNP and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, more..

Dinesh runs away with Mace: Sittings suspended

Oct 23 (DN) Parliament sittings were suspended for 10 minutes at 12.55 pm yesterday after Opposition member Dinesh Gunawardena took away the Mace alleging that the Chair had been biased towards the government in allocating time for them to speak. When the name of Minister D.M. Swaminathan was called by the Chair to address the House during the adjournment debate moved by the govt on Geneva based UNHRC resolution, more..