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Shah-jin becomes VIP again as Marvin is left out, and the ex-King has tea in court

Oct 24 (SO) Shah-jin, the right hand man and official troubleshooter of the former King, watched the results of the last Parliamentary polls on the small TV in his remand cell. He lost his MP seat as the blue-party had turned its back on him when it came to nominations for the parliamentary polls. Even his political bosses, for whom Shah-jin worked tirelessly over the past 10 years, did not walk the extra mile to get nomination for the poor fellow who was languishing in jail. more..

Abdicating responsibility

Oct 24 (SO) While the video footage of a Sri Lankan housemaid getting assaulted allegedly by her agents in the Kingdom of Kuwait went viral, questions are being raised as to why the victim, 40-year-old Kanthi Thilakalatha was released by the Sri Lankan mission to the agency before the investigation concluded. Thilakalatha is reportedly under medical treatment at a hospital in Kuwait while her family claims she has never required more..

All fallow lands to be cultivated!

Oct 24 (CT) I am an economic analyst and a macroeconomic researcher. If anybody wants to see further than others on any subject he or she has to do one thing. This was eloquently told by Sir Isaac Newton the great scientist. He said that, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” This quote is from a letter written to fellow scientist, Robert Hooke in February 1675. The phrase is understood to mean that if Newton had been able to discover more about more..

Dileepa to empower talent within SLT Group

Oct 24 (SO) Group CEO, Sri Lanka Telecom, Dileepa Wijesundera during a recent interview reflected on his un-dogmatic approach to his triple value propositions for the SLT in the next five years; namely the People Proposition, the Value Proposition and the Profit Proposition. His receptiveness to new ideas and his ability to get the job done apparently come from his professional maturity spanning over 35 years in cross-cultural experiences in international corporate arena. more..

Attanayake still in the UNP

Oct 24 (CT) Q: What are you up to these days? A: I am not involved in any political activity these days. I am spending my holiday at my residence. I do visit my friends and relatives and participate in their weddings and funerals but that is about it. Q: Do you regret the decision you made during the Presidential Election? A: I made such a decision as a result of a conflict between members of the UNP and me when I was part of UNP. more..

Heartbreaking news from KEKIRILANTHAYA

Oct 24 (NS) PM Wickremesinghe says he will arrange a training session on parenting for the country’s occasional lawmakers and frequent lawbreakers. PM said that children raised by ethically-challenged parents find it difficult to grasp concepts such as accountability, good governance and abuse of power. Yahapalana, like charity must begin at home, the PM said. A close associate of former President Rajapaksa says former 1st family’s US $500 millon is not at that Dubai bank. more..

Politidbits of the week

Oct 24 (NS) Congrats MS & Co!: Over 270 days have passed since Maithripala Sirisena became President. That’s 170 days beyond the 100 Days by the end of which we were led to believe Sri Lanka would be a different country. All promises have been kept. Three hearty cheers for Maithri, Ranil, Champika, Chandrika, Rajitha and Rev Athureliye Rathana. Bandagiriya?: There is no water issue in Bandagiriya. Therefore there weren’t any protests about water scarcity. more..

'Govt must deliver on expectations or prepare to go back home'

Oct 24 (FT) “This Govt was elected for a reason; people don’t expect us to repeat the same mistakes made by the previous regime,” said Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake. The Deputy Minister stressed that if immediate action was not taken to get back on the right track and deliver what is expected by the people, the Govt should prepare to go back home. He pointed out: “If people were bold enough to send home the President more..

Murali Harmony Cup showed that there is abundant talent in North East

Oct 24 (ST) The 4th Murali Harmony Cup T20 cricket tournament which ended recently in the northern district showed that it not only builds bridges of friendship that brings together young cricketers from across the island but showed that there is abundant talent in the northern eastern districts of Sri Lanka. This was evident by the scintillating performances put in by teams by the Jaffna Combined, Mannar/Vavuniya Combined and Kilinochchi/Mullaitivu Combined Schools more..

Deteriorating athletic standards a serious matter

Oct 24 (ST) The deteriorating standards of athletics in Sri Lanka, which has caused a serious medal drought at international level is a concerning factor and a long standing setback yet to be addressed by the correct people. Who, what and where does the remedy for this debacle can be found is the biggest question that needs to be answered at the moment. Here are some of the views from former experts and present day officials and athletes. The most important thing we need to improve more..

Elephant rides face oblivion from European call to action on cruelty

Oct 24 (ST) Elephant rides in Sri Lanka face the ignominy of being goaded into extinction as a result of a global campaign to end this cruel sideshow of the tourism industry. A campaign called Wildlife – Not Entertainers by London-based conservation group World Animal Protection, has so far gained the support of 82 global travel companies (groups and individual agents) which have stopped selling elephant rides and shows to tourists. more..

Sangarees in politics in SL and Canada

Oct 24 (CT) Sathyasangaree Anadasangaree popularly known as Gary Anandasangaree, second son of TULF Leader V. Anandasangaree has gained an impressive victory at the Canadian parliamentary poll. Victorious 43-year-old Gary Anandasangaree in his message to his supporters in Scarborough – Rouge Park appealed to keep away from negativity & divisiveness and work towards unity and integrity. Scarborough is described as Little Jaffna with a significant number of Tamil migrants from SL. more..

Antics of Wimal and Anger of Mavai

Oct 24 (CT) Verbal battle between Wimal Weerawansa and Mavai Senathirajah in Parliament last Thursday stems to mind the dark days in Parliament in the early 1980s where Cyril Mathew and A. Amirthalingam argued on racial lines which paved the way for communal disharmony and mistrust between the two communities. At the beginning President J.R. Jayewardene gave a free hand to Mathew to launch attacks on the TULF on political lines, but it turned racial more..

West Indies suffer a Chaplinesque collapse

Oct 24 (CI) Batting collapses come in a range of shapes and sizes. With 11 of the last 12 Tests played in Sri Lanka having yielded results, it's fair to say the island has seen its share. There are the classic dramatic capitulations. These begin poorly, grow steadily worse through the middle, and end so spectacularly bad that the arrival of the apocalypse is sometimes suspected. One such was India's fourth-innings in Galle that prompted more..

Fitch affirms ratings on five Sri Lankan banks

Oct 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Fitch Ratings has affirmed the National Long Term Ratings on five small and mid-sized Sri Lankan banks. The rating announcement is reproduced below. Nations Trust Bank PLC (NTB) has been affirmed at ‘A(lka)’, Pan Asia Banking Corporation (PABC) at ‘BBB(lka)’, Sanasa Development Bank (Sanasa) at ‘BB+(lka)’, Union Bank of Colombo (UB) at ‘BB+(lka)’ and Amana Bank (Amana) at ‘BB(lka)’. A full list of rating actions is at the end of this commentary. more..

We brought in a Govt; what do we have now?

Oct 24 (FT) In the Daily FT of 21 October, R.M.B. Senanayake and Bert Gunawardena have given vent to the mounting frustration and incredulity of many, about the immature conduct and unbelievable utterances of many who are holding high office through our vote. Some of them seem to be mouthing these incredible statements while standing on their heads with their arms and legs splayed. One which surely takes the hat and the bulbous nose is the trumpeted blanket amnesty more..

Sports law to be amended: Dayasiri

Oct 24 (CT) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara promised to take immediate steps to amend the sports law in line with the Olympic Charter before December and hold the elections of sports associations of the country from March onwards according to the new law. He disclosed this during a press conference. "I want to make the law for sports, not for personal vendettas of certain individuals and settling this problem is my priority more..

Fertilizer stock sealed due to high cadmium levels

Oct 24 (DM) Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake who made a surprise visit to a private fertilizer company in Peliyagoda today ordered to seal a stock of 673 tonnes of fertilizer found to contain high levels of Cadmium. Cadmium is a substance injurious to health and a main attributing factor for kidney diseases. Although the standard cadmium proportion for one kilogramme of fertilizer is 5 mg, more than 20 mg of cadmium had been found in each kilogramme of seized stock. more..

Heartbeat 2015 walk organized to overcome adverse health habits

Oct 24 (GDI) The Walk organized by schools within the Colombo division themed Overcome Adverse life styles – Safeguard the Present Generation will commence today. President and the PM are scheduled to join in the walk titled Heartbeat 2015. No Proper attention is directed to the health of many due to the present busy environment. As such the intention of this walk is to educate parents as well as children on safeguarding the present generation, overcoming the adverse life styles. more..

'Govt will enhance quality of Police service'

Oct 24 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says the new govt’s aim is to provide required facilities sufficiently to enhance the quality of police service. He added that the police has a vast responsibility in the process of building a better society to protect law and order in this country. “I trust the Police Department will be committed to fulfill that responsibility”, he said. President made these remarks at a passing out ceremony of more..

African Union flag flies high in Sri Lanka

Oct 24 (FT) The new African Union flag was ceremoniously unveiled and hoisted yesterday in Colombo by South African High Commissioner G.Q.M. Doidge, who highlighted the strong historical links between SL and Africas. “We are proud to announce that immediately after the recent 25th African Union Summit held in South Africa; South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma decreed that South Africa’s National Flag be permanently flown together with African Union Flag in all govt buildings more..

WB funds $ 50 m to implement Early Childhood Development project

Oct 24 (FT) The Govt of Sri Lanka in its development strategy has recognised the importance of investing in early childhood care and development to ensure a safe, protective and enabling environment for children below the age of five, by improving access to health, nutrition and the quality of care and development. To accelerate economic growth, Sri Lanka needs to strengthen its human capital and bridge human development gaps. Research undertaken globally indicates that more..

Sri Lanka war crime probe: Panel rejects zero civilian casualties claim

Oct 24 (Hindu) An inquiry commission on missing persons has dismissed one of the claims of the previous Rajapaksa regime that “there were zero civilian casualties” in the final phase of the Eelam War, which ended in May 2009, and acknowledged that shelling by the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) undoubtedly led to a number of significant deaths. Constituted by the former govt in August 2013, 3-member panel, headed by more..

SAG Selection trials on 3rd and 4th Dec

Oct 24 (CT) The national athletics team for the forthcoming South Asian Games will be sent for training in Pune, India around 28th December for six weeks said AASL Chief Sugath Thilakarathne. Replying to a query from Ceylon Today, Thilakaratne said since SAG had been postponed for a month to February 10th from its original date of 10th January, they are hoping to send athlete after the National sports festival which is to be held from 17th to 19th December at Diyagama. more..

Foreign Service diplomats visit Kilinochchi

Oct 24 (MoD) A 26 member delegation of local diplomats visited the Security Forces Headquarters - Kilinochchi on Wednesday. The diplomats, who are slated to assume posts at foreign missions had visited the region as part of their study tour to the North. The delegation led by Mrs. Pamela Deen, Director General of the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute (BIDTI) was given a briefing on the post conflict situation of the region and development projects, more..

Appropriation bill for 2016 presented

Oct 24 (DM) Govt presented the Appropriation Bill depicting state expenditure for the year 2016 which totals up of Rs 1954.4 billion compared to Rs 1600 billion, which was the approximate total expenditure in 2015. Total recurrent expenditure for 2016 is 1,314 billion while the capital expenditure will be Rs 626 billion. Projected expenditure for the President will be Rs 2.3 billion. more..

Video: Yahapalanaya rallies with thieves

Oct 24 (LT) Yahapalanaya (good governance) govt has rallied with thieves says the convener of Voice Against Corruption (VAC) Wasantha Samarasinghe. He said this when members of the Executive Committee of VAC visited Anti Corruption Committee Secretariat to follow-up nearly 30 complaints presented to the Secretariat by VAC regarding frauds and corruption. “We came here today to find what has happened to the complaints we made to Anti Corruption Committee more..

‘Uneasy ties with foreign judges’

Oct 24 (Hindu) Even as Sri Lanka continues to debate the nature and extent of participation of foreign judges in the proposed judicial mechanism to go into allegations of human rights violations, a report of the Udalagama Commission (2006-2009) has shed more light on the panel’s troubled relationship with a group of international experts. Calling the invitation to the experts a unique feature, the Commission, in its report of May 2009, stated that from the beginning, the group, more..

MR skips debate on UNHRC report

Oct 24 (CT) Parliament sources revealed that time was allocated for former President Rajapaksa to speak in the debate on the UNHRC report on alleged human rights violations during the latter stages of the war, but as he had rejected the opportunity his time had been divided between other UPFA members. The former President had been listed as the fifth speaker from the Opposition and had been allocated 15 minutes. more..

'FTA with China will be a boon for SL'

Oct 24 (FT) Minister Rauff Hakeem this week in Beijing said that the Free Trade Agreement with China would be a boon for Sri Lanka and the new Government looked to the Asian giant as a major source for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). He made these remarks when he addressed the China-Sri Lanka Economic Cooperation in Beijing at the inaugural event of Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank. “The trade relations between China and Sri Lanka are decidedly in favour of China. more..

10% of 3-wheeler drivers narcotics couriers

Oct 24 (CT) Chairman of the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB), Dr. Chameera Nilanga Samarasinghe said, a study conducted on 3,500 three-wheelers has revealed that about 10% of the drivers are drug couriers. The NDDCB has submitted a proposal to the President to bring in a law limiting the issue of three-wheeler licenses only to persons over 25 years of age. A large number of 18-year-olds who complete their school careers and are without jobs buy three-wheelers and more..

Ranil delivers rallying cry on reconciliation

Oct 24 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe set the stage for the second day of the Adjournment Motion on the resolution passed by the UNHRC on Sri Lanka by telling his fellow lawmakers yesterday that it was better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. “We all suffered due to terrorism, which spread, making racism its base. There was tremendous loss of human life as well as property during the conflict. more..

North Infested with RAW Agents: Anura

Oct 24 (CT) Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake said yesterday that the Jaffna Peninsula was infested with agents of India's premier intelligence agency – the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) engaged in destabilizing the North. The leader of the JVP made this allegation, while taking part in yesterday's debate on the UNHRC Report on alleged human rights violations during the latter stages of the war. "Jaffna has become a den of RAW agents" he said. more..

COPE, PAC members appointed

Oct 24 (CT) Parliament has appointed members to the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) and Public Accounts Committee (PAC). COPE comprises Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Dayasiri Jayasekera, Wasantha Aluvihare, Dr Harsha de Silva, Ajith P. Perera, Ranjan Ramanayake, Ashok Abeysinghe, Chandrasiri Gajadeera, Sunil Handunnetti, Bimal Ratnayake, M.A. Sumanthiran and Ganamuthu Srineshan. PAC comprises Mahinda Samarasinghe, P. Harrison, more..

'Govt will investigate white flag case'

Oct 24 (CG) Govt says it will investigate the white flag case where LTTE officials who surrendered to the army during the final stages of the war with white flags in their hands, had later been found dead. Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament that just as much as govt has investigated the murder of 600 policemen who surrendered to LTTE in the Eastern Province, there is a need to investigate white flag more..

United we stand

Oct 24 (DM) In what was perhaps one of the greatest acts of unity since independence, the leaders of 21 political parties on Wednesday had a friendly two hour dialogue with President Sirisena to work out a consensus on the Geneva resolution. For more than a decade, the All-Party Representatives Committee meetings have been held but the UNP and the main Tamil party, the TNA did not attend. Former Minister and LSSP leader Tissa Vitharana did a good job with several reports and more..

Editorial: Reminiscing of old parliament

Oct 24 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s revelation on Wednesday that a single parliamentary sitting cost the taxpayers Rs. 4.6 mn hasn’t had the desired impact on the misbehaving MPs. Some MPs ran riot on Thursday as well, and sittings had to be suspended for five to ten minutes. Minister Rajitha Senaratne, has said that the Old Parliament by the sea provided better facilities to its members and they were even served liquor. (Were the MPs in good old days entitled to duty free vehicles, more..

Credible investigations on a slow track

Oct 24 (SL) Accountability was the main platform that the Maithripala Sirisena-Ranil Wickremesinghe alliance fought the January Presidential election on. When Sirisena crossed over to the UNP led campaign, he promised that the crimes committed by the administration that he was a part of would be exposed and those responsible would be held accountable. It has now been 10 months since Sirisena secured Presidency. more..

SC calls for Cabinet memorandum on Uma Oya

Oct 24 (DN) The Cabinet has taken a decision to provide certain relief to the people affected by the Uma Oya multi-purpose project, the Attorney General informed the Supreme Court. Deputy Solicitor General Parinda Ranasinghe appearing for the Attorney General informed the Supreme Court that the Cabinet of Ministers has taken a decision to provide certain relief, including a water supply project and providing compensation to more..

25h Anniversary of Muslim mass expulsion from North by LTTE

Oct 24 (DBS) The Investigation launched by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has in accordance with its terms of reference probed the period of time from the 2002 February ceasefire until the end of the war in May 2009 to ascertain whether war crimes, crimes against humanity and human rights violations occurred in Sri Lanka during the final phase of the war as alleged. more..