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Editorial: Cost of doing little

Oct 22 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya may be wondering whether someone got him appointed to that post by way of punishment. During the past several weeks, he must have grown several years older than his chronological age. It would have been far easier for him to run a preschool than to control a bunch of infantile grown-ups. Not even mild-mannered Speakers have been able to prevent their tempers from fraying in the House. In the mid 1990s, during a stormy parliamentary session where more..

It is our UN, our responsibility

Oct 22 (DM) On the theme Strong United Nations. Better World, the main world body reaches a milestone tomorrow – its 70th anniversary. UN Day marks the anniversary of the adoption in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the Security Council’s five permanent members, the UN officially came into being. October 24 has been celebrated as UN Day since 1948 and in 1971, the UNGA recommended that more..

Rupee ssue: A litmus test for the new govt

Oct 22 (SL) The Sri Lankan rupee took another turn for the worse last Friday when the value of the Sri Lankan rupee was recorded as low of Rs. 143 per US dollar. With this revelation a dark cloud of uncertainty has engulfed the Sri Lankan financial sector and especially the Sri Lankan imports sector. Sunday Leader this week features an in depth analysis on how the depreciation of the SL Rupee will affect the future functionality more..

Boat people: From economic trap to legal net

Oct 22 (ST) The number of Sri Lankans attempting to undertake the risky boat ride across the Indian Ocean to get to Australia has hit rock bottom this year, due to the concerted effort by govt authorities to stop illegal migrants. But the lives of those who attempted the perilous journey and ended up being apprehended now face an uncertain future, caught between the law and economic hardships. While a majority of those who left the country more..

Logos Book Fair opens to public

Oct 23 (Island) Finishing its Asia tour and marking its last tour of Colombo for the next eight years, MV Logos Hope, the world’s largest floating book fair was yesterday officially opened to the public at the Colombo Port under the patronage of Ports Authority Chairman Dhammika Ranatunga and Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping L.P Jayampathi. Addressing the opening ceremony on-board the ship, Logos Hope, more..

'Far greater perks enjoyed by MPs in old parliament'

Oct 22 (Island) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that MPs had been served bacon, sausages, pork and provided a range of other services, including liquor in the past. Members had got an opportunity to have a drink before joining the sessions, Dr. Senaratne said. He was responding to a query by The Island regarding the taxpayers having to spend as much as Rs. 4.6 mn for a single day’s parliamentary sittings. more..

Govt working in unison to take on UN resolution on Sri Lanka: Dilan

Oct 22 (Island) UPFA MP Dilan Perera said that there was no tug-of-war among govt allies over the UN resolution on Sri Lanka. Perera said said the UN Resolution was not as bad as it was expected to be and some of the clauses therein had been watered down. "The report has not accused any individual of any war crimes, but some elements who claim to know too much about the resolution are giving wrong interpretations," more..

U.S. Embassy discusses school and hospital renovations in South and East

Oct 22 (USE) Members of the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently traveled to the South and East to survey schools and medical facilities in disaster-prone areas to identify potential infrastructure assistance. The team visited schools from the Tamil, Muslim and Sinhalese communities across the Eastern Province, as well as schools and medical care facilities in Hambantota. more..

Sarath Amunugama takes oaths as minister of special duties

Oct 22 (AM) Dr. Sarath Amunugama took oaths before President Maithripala Sirisena as the Cabinet Minister for Special Duties today. Amunugama was appointed to the Parliament through the UPFA National List following Aug 17 General Election. He has served as Cabinet Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs, Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning and Cabinet Minister of Higher Studies earlier. more..

Drug dispensing laws not in touch with reality: PTASL

Oct 23 (Island) Pharmaceutical Traders Association of Sri Lanka (PTASL) Medicines Regulatory Authority Act (NMRAA) pertaining to their industry. PTASL President Kapila de Zoysa said that Act had made it compulsory for the pharmacies to have a qualified pharmacist fluent in all three languages to dispense medicine. NMRAA had made it compulsory to dispense the medicines by pharmacist or a registered apprentice more..

Police accused of torture, ill-treatment of suspects: HRW

Oct 23 (CG) Sri Lanka’s police forces regularly torture and ill-treat criminal suspects in custody, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. The authorities should create an independent oversight authority and adopt concrete steps to end police abuse that has had such corrosive effects across Sri Lankan society. “The Sri Lankan police treat the use of torture as an ordinary way of obtaining confessions,” more..

MP Weerawansa arrested for travelling on stolen passport

Oct 22 (EN) UPFA MP Wimal Weerawansa was arrested by the CID as he tried to leave the country using a stolen passport. Weerawansa said that he was leaving for Dubai, Italy and France when he was stopped at the immigration counter of the BIA. CID took him into custody after immigration records showed that the passport used had been reported stolen and on that basis he had applied and obtained a new passport. more..

SC grants Basil et al time to file counter objections

Oct 23 (Island) Supreme Court yesterday granted time till June 14, 2015 to petitioners former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Kithsiri Ranawaka, Director General Divineguma Development Project, Dr. Nihal Jayatillake, the former Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Development and R. Bandula Thilakasiri, the former Coordinating Secretary of Divineguma to file counter objections. The respondents, the Director of the FCID, the IGP, Cabinet of Ministers and the Attorney General had more..

Recalling Black October LTTE expulsion of Muslims from the North was ethnic cleansing

Oct 23 (DM) A quarter of a century has elapsed since the atrocious eviction of Muslims from the Northern Province by the LTTE which marked a clear and calculated episode of ethnic cleansing. On the morning of October 23, Anjaneyar, the then Jaffna leader of the LTTE summoned the Muslims in Jaffna to the town centre and ordered them out of Tamil Eelam within two hours, leaving behind every cent they had earned within the territory of Tamil Eelam. No pleas were entertained, more..

Duminda Nagamuwa

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.2%

Oct 23 (LBO) Sri Lankan stocks closed up 0.18% on Friday for a fourth consecutive day with gains in the leisure sector city hotels showing gains, brokers said. The Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index closed up 12.64 points at 7,081.49 up 0.18%. S&P SL20 closed 6.48 points higher at 3,825.55 higher 0.17%. “Market is up on anticipation of positive earning results” Lanka Securities said. Turnover was 1.1 billion rupees with 87 stocks closing positive against 60 negative. more..

Ranatunga brothers sail in to port

Oct 23 (CT) Good Governance Go by the Board. Ranatunga Brothers have sailed in to Port. The morals of cricket are gone. Lunacy of the sport lingers on. The crowd pleasing, crowd drawing capacity of cricketers can get them elected. When elected, they leave behind fair play and level playing field on entering parliament. Fairness implies treating everyone equally and impartially. Fair play in Cricket is to conduct oneself in accord with the spirit of the sport. more..

Sri Lanka grow lead after West Indies' 163

Oct 23 (CI) Dhammika Prasad bounded in, making the early incisions, allrounder Milinda Siriwardana struck either side of lunch, and offspinner Dilruwan Perera took care of the tail, as West Indies were bowled out for 163, giving Sri Lanka a 37-run lead by tea on the second day, at the P Sara Oval. The lead was built further by Kusal Mendis and Kaushal Silva, who added 54 together, highest partnership of Test so far. more..

Prasad's four-fors and Samuels' SL woes

Oct 23 (CI) 2006: The last time before today when Sri Lanka took the first-innings lead after making 200 or fewer while batting first in Tests. They had bowled out Pakistan for 176 in the first innings at the SSC, after they themselves were dismissed for 185. Overall this is only the fourth such instance for Sri Lanka in Tests. This is also the seventh time that West Indies have conceded a first-innings lead after bowling out their opposition for 200 or less. The previous such instance for more..

Sri Lanka, India standards deal proposed

Oct 23 (EN) A Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) has been proposed between Sri Lankan and Indian authorities to overcome non-tariff barriers faced by the island’s fruits and vegetable exporters. Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said the proposal was made after Verité Research, examined difficulties faced by the island’s exporters in shipping products to India. “Non-tariff barriers (NTBs) have been identified as a key constraint faced by SL exporters in entering the Indian market,” more..

Video: Kondaya reveals his story

Oct 23 (DM) Dunesh Priyashantha alias Kondaya today alleged he was coerced while in detention at the CID to sign a false statement indicating he had confessed to the killing of five-year-old Seya Sandewmi of Kotadeniyawa. Appearing before the media for the first time just after he was granted bail by the Gampaha Magistrate, Dunesh charged that he was brutally beaten by CID officers before he was forced more..

Police directed to seize state vehicles still being used by former ministers

Oct 23 (Island) The police have been directed to seize state-owned vehicles used by former UPFA ministers. Media Minister Gayantha Karunatilleke yesterday said that the govt was taking action to regain vehicles as many former ministers continued to use them. The post-Cabinet media briefing was also told that President Maithripala Sirisena had transferred 126 vehicles previously assigned to the Presidential Secretariat to various needy ministries. Both Co-Cabinet Spokespersons more..

Tanagalle beach resort murder convicts’ appeal re-fixed for trial

Oct 23 (Island) The two special leave to appeal applications filed by the four Tangalle Beach Resort murder convicts and the Attorney General were both called before the Court of Appeal yesterday and re-fixed for trial on April 28, 2016. The appellants want the convictions of murder and rape, along with the consequential sentence of 20 years rigorous imprisonment set aside. The Attorney General has appealed to get the sentence enhanced. The convicted appellants are Sampath Vidana more..

White-flag massacre was botched Rajapaksa deal: PM

Oct 23 (EN) The controversial white flag killings were actually due to a botched surrender arranged by former president Rajapaksa to save some of the senior Tiger leaders who had helped him to come to power in 2005, parliament was told. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told the assembly that Rajapaksa had wanted to save the LTTE's peace secretariat chief S. Puleedevan for engineering his election victory in 2005 by more..

Health Minister tells Ayurveda practitioners not to withhold knowledge

Oct 23 (Island) Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne has said that to develop indigenous medicine, Indigenous medical practitioners should pass on all their knowledge to those studying under them, withhold nothing. Spokesman quoting the Health Minister, addressing the National Seminar on Indigenous Medicine, said that indigenous medicine had a longer history than western medicine. Ayurveda medicine had been popular during the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa eras. more..

Rajitha family discharged from case involving minor

Oct 23 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne's family members - Eksath Senaratne, Chatura Senaratne and Dr. Sujatha Senaratne, were discharged by Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya today from an alleged charge of abducting a minor Dinitha Aloka Ranasinghe from the custody of her parents. At the onset of inquiry into a habeas corpus case filed by the parents of the minor girl, Senior Counsel Saliya Pieris informed court that the parents had withdrawn habeas corpus case in High Court more..

'Foreign involvement in mechanism a political decision'

Oct 23 (AD) The Chairman of Sri Lanka’s three-member probe commission says that certain isolated incidents that may have occurred outside the activities of the war should be investigated in depth to come to conclusion. He said that whether to permit foreign involvement in the mechanism, more than observing, is a political decision. “Those are political decisions we never wanted to tread,” Maxwell Paranagama told Ada Derana. more..

Kondaya bailed out by mother

Oct 23 (DM) Dunesh Priyashantha alias Kondaya who remained in custody despite being released on bail few days ago, was released today after his mother came forward to bail him out. Kondaya was released on bail by Gampaha Magistrate on Wednesday in relation to two separate cases of unauthorized entry into a residence and assault charges. He ordered the suspect be released on two sureties of Rs.50,000 each. However, Magistrate ordered that Kondaya be remanded more..

SL clothing exports set for further growth

Oct 23 (JS) The Sri Lankan clothing industry has built up a good reputation for quality delivery among buyers in the markets of developed countries and has the potential to capitalise further on its inherent strengths, according to a new report. Also, the industry has been a pioneer in adopting environmentally friendly manufacturing and waste management methods in order to improve its market at a time when the clothing industries in other countries have struggled to maintain theirs. more..

Video: Wimal released on bail

Oct 23 (AD) UPFA MP Wimal Weerawansa, who was arrested over a discrepancy in his passport, has been released on bail by the Negombo Magistrate’s Court. Magistrate ordered his release on a cash bail of Rs 10,000 and two personal bails of Rs 100,000 each. Colombo District MP was arrested earlier today and produced before the Negombo Magistrate Court after a statement was recorded from him regarding more..

Bandara, Madushan guide SL to series win

Oct 23 (CI) Kaveen Bandara's 91 and debutant Udith Madushan's 3 for 41 helped Sri Lanka Under-19 beat Pakistan Under-19 by 85 runs in the fourth youth ODI in Colombo, and take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series. After being inserted, Sri Lanka's openers added 49 to give the team a solid start. Hasan Mohsin removed Avishka Fernando for 3, but the 94-run third-wicket stand between Bandara and Kamindu Mendis led the team's recovery. more..

Sri Lanka’s initiatives commended at Cairo global meet

Oct 23 (CG) Initiatives for migrants from the Asian region taken under Sri Lanka’s Chairmanship of the Colombo Process (CP) was commended at the Fifth Global Meeting of Chairs and Secretaries of Regional Consultative Processes on Migration (RCPs). The global meeting organized by the International Organization on Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the League of Arab States, brought together representatives of 18 Regional Migration Processes as well as more..

Sri Lanka detains soldiers in case of missing cartoonist

Oct 23 (Reuters) Police have detained 11 people, most of them soldiers or former soldiers, in a widening probe into the disappearance of a cartoonist that has become a test case of the new govt's resolve to address human rights abuses. Prageeth Eknaligoda, a fierce critic of former president Rajapakse, went missing near Colombo more than five years ago, triggering allegations from his wife and rights activists more..

US$200mn loan from ADB for rural roads

Oct 23 (EN) Sri Lanka is to get two more low-cost long term loans amounting to US$ 200 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the third phase of a rural road modernisation program. It aims to improve road connectivity within selected rural centres by rehabilitating national, provincial, local authority and feeder roads, Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Total program covers 3,108 km of rural roads and 248 km of national roads at an estimated cost of US$ 906 million of which more..

Yala Park to be made mobile phone free zone

Oct 23 (Island) The Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) and Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (TRC) are having talks to block mobile phone signals in the Yala National Park, DWC Director General H.D Ratnayake says. Ratnayake said that a pilot project to assess the impact of the suspension of mobile communication on visitor behaviour and on the movement of selected vehicles in the national park using GPS tracking had been completed last month. more..

Mendis, Vandersay, Shehan picked for ODIs

Oct 23 (CI) Sri Lanka have returned Ajantha Mendis and Nuwan Kulasekara to the ODI squad, and named three uncapped players - Shehan Jayasuriya, Jeffrey Vandersay and Danushka Gunathilaka - to play against West Indies. Also in the squad are ODI rookies Dushmantha Chameera and Milinda Siriwardana. Kulasekara had been overlooked for July series against Pakistan, after he had had a modest World Cup. more..

No Desmond de Silva report: PM

Oct 23 (CT) Referring to media reports on an alleged report by reputed human rights advocate Desmond de Silva, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe informed the House that there was no such thing as a Desmond de Silva Report on reconciliation or on human rights issues of Sri Lanka. "I have been accused in the media by some persons of not tabling a report by Desmond de Silva when I tabled the reports of Paranagama Commission and Udalagama Commission the other day. more..

Dr. Deepika Udagama heads reconstituted HRCSL

Oct 23 (CT) Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has been reconstituted and Head of the Department of Law at the University of Peradeniya Dr. Deepika Udagama has been appointed as the Chairperson of the Commission. From the nominations put forward to the HRCSL by the Constitutional Council led by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, President Sirisena has also appointed Attorney-at-Law Hamad Ghasali Hussain, the Deputy President of the Bar Association more..

UN has failed in maintaining global order: JVP

Oct 23 (DM) UN has failed to perform its duty of maintaining global order, Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament. He said the UN had been acting in an unfair manner and had not treated all countries alike. “One cannot rely on the UN when it comes to bringing redress to Tamil people" he said stating that he would like to remind the TNA of this point. He said one could not rely on India and USA as well. more..

Wettimuny shafts sponsors files with SLC CEO Ashley’s help

Oct 24 (CT) The never ending saga and controversy surrounding Sri Lanka Cricket has kicked off yet again. This time whilst the current test match is been played between Sri Lanka and the West Indies at the P. Sara Stadium, the Interim Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket headed by Chairman Sidath Wettimuny, Secretary Prakash Schaffter and SLC’s CEO Ashley De Silva seem to be playing a different ball game altogether by themselves. This is where the disclosing of sensitive and confidential more..