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TNA must drop united stand

Oct 25 (CT) In 1976, the Vaddukoddai Resolution called for separatism that nurtured terrorism that ran its course with the three decade war. That situation worsened when they called for the devolution of power as the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was brought into action. However, the Tamil community maintained that the powers embodied in the 13th Amendment to the Constitution were not adequately devolved to the periphery. That claim is justifiable. more..

Justice can be done in Sri Lanka

Oct 25 (ST) The tabling of two reports from domestic inquiries — the Presidential Commission of Inquiry Into Complaints of Abductions and Disappearances (commonly referred to as the Paranagama Commission) and the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Alleged Serious Violations of Human Rights (Udalagama Commission) on the by-products of the protracted 30-plus year northern insurgency — raised a hornets’ nest this week. more..

'Govt hopes to adopt new constitution'

Oct 25 (SL) A committee has reportedly been appointed under the guidance of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to make recommendations to formulate a new Constitution. In the discussion of formulating a new Constitution, attention has been drawn to electoral reforms and devolution of power. Govt national list MP of ULF Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne said new Constitution should be formulated in a manner more..

Passports to fame or was he framed?

Oct 25 (ST) My Dear Wimal sahodaraya, I thought I must write to you when I heard that you were the main actor in a drama at the airport the other day, getting arrested, detained and then finally being bailed out all because you got your passports mixed up. So, instead of visiting Europe, all you got to see was the courthouse in Negombo. Wimal sahodaraya, no one can stop you from generating headlines almost on a daily basis but in this instance you picked the wrong day to do so because more..

SLFP-UNP power sharing strategy for L-G pollsfor L-G polls

Oct 25 (SO) A heated verbal battle broke out at the SLFP parliamentary group meeting with President Sirisena last Monday evening over another gathering held earlier at MP Gamini Lokuge’s house in Colombo. The person who stirred up the hornets’ nest was Minister S.B. Dissanayake who lashed out at certain SLFP MPs for holding what he called a conspiratorial meeting at Lokuge’s house. Dissanayake alleged that Udaya Gammanpila, Dinesh Gunawardena, Bandula more..

'UNHRC resolution should be fully implemented'

Oct 25 (SL) TNA has reassured their support for the govt to implement the UNHRC resolution in full with honesty and credibility. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said TNA is ready to play their part in implementing the UNHRC resolution in full. As they see it as a way forward for reconciliation in the country. He added that at a point where the discussions are made related to formulating a new Constitution, it is also critical to look at more..

Weerawansa’s passport travail

Oct 25 (Island) Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s passport travails at Katunayake will hopefully attract official interest on the number of diplomatic passports that have been issued by SL. As is commonly known, a diplomatic passport entitles its bearer to various privileges and the greed to enjoy such privileges and conveniences plus the willingness of a fawningly sycophantic bureaucracy to freely issue these travel documents have resulted in their being spread around like confetti. more..

Colombo call by Mega SIMATECH carrier

Oct 25 (Island) SIMATECH Shipping, the world's 27th largest carrier celebrated its brand new Mv. Sima Giselle's maiden port call here on Oct 19 at the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) of SLPA. Chinese built Mv. Sima Giselle which is Singapore flagged is operated in the AGI (Asean - Gulf - Isc) is the largest vessel in the SIMATECH owned fleet. It is considered the largest feeder vessel owned and operated by a common carrier feeder operator with a capacity of 4,400 TEUs. more..

Demarcate area for blended teas

Oct 25 (CT) Tea exporters have proposed to the Minister Ravi Karunanayake and the Treasury to have a specially demarcated area for importing teas for value addition. Tea Exporters Association (TEA) has proposed that the industry be liberalized by allowing import of tea for value addition and re-exports. An exclusive area may be demarcated for this purpose under necessary supervision with strict labelling requirements more..

Govt policy is to grow SMEs: Secretary

Oct 25 (CT) Sri Lanka has launched a National Policy Framework for Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) Development Industry and Commerce, Ministry Secretary T.M.K.B. Tennekoon said. "This SME Policy Framework aims to promote high potential, promising SMEs and improve business environment to allow them to realize their full potentials in today's globalized economy," he told reporters. According to government statistics SL's SME sector represents Rs 300 million more..

Motorcyclists told only SLSI approved helmets from next year

Oct 25 (ST) From next year, motorbike riders will have to wear helmets that conform to Sri Lanka Standards (SLS) specifications, Police Traffic Chief Amarasiri Senaratne said. Regulations to this effect have already been gazetted in terms of the Consumer Affairs Act. DIG Senaratne said the regulations, recommended by the National Council for Road Safety and the Traffic Police, would come into force from September next year and would be strictly enforced. more..

Four loss-making SoBEs to be immediately restructured

Oct 25 (ST) Four loss-making, state-owned Business Enterprises (SoBEs) – Lanka Salu Sala, National Paper Company, SL Cement Corporation and Lanka Cement Ltd are to be restructured with independent management under the newly established Ministry of Pubic Enterprise Development, govt officials said. Based on a cabinet decision, the immediate priority of the Ministry is to turn around these units to profit making more..

Legal action to recover loans from LCs

Oct 25 (ST) Legal action is to be taken against local bodies which have failed to repay their loans, Minister Faiszer Musthapha said. At present 18 local bodies owe Rs. 659 million to the ministry. These funds were channeled through the Local Govt Loans for Development Fund (LLDF), he said. He said he had directed officials to take legal action to recover the money from the local councils. Ministry Secretary Kamal Padmasiri said a letter of demand would be sent to the councils more..

More rains to come, warns Met. Department

Oct 25 (ST) Showers and thundershowers will occur round the country and rainfall could reach up to 100 mm in some parts of the country including the drought-affected North, North Western, Southern and Sabaragamuwa provinces, Department of Meteorology said. Department also warned people of temporary localised strong winds during these thundershowers. Thundershowers are to be expected around 2 p.m. in A'pura, Colombo, Galle, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Ratnapura & Mannar more..

Massive Rs. 50 M Tourism scam

Oct 25 (CT) A scam of over Rs. 50 Million has been unearthed at the SL Tourism Promotion Bureau, making an absolute mockery of the Yahapalana Govt. Attempts to pay over Rs 50 million without Board approval, including CHOGM electricity bills and Perahera donations by the former Managing Director, have been unfolded at the Bureau. Tourism industry sources question why Tourism Minister John Amaratunga dissolved more..

Buddhist motifs for Brand Amaravati

Oct 25 (Hindu) As it goes about building its new capital, Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh is emphasising the Buddhist aspect of its long history of two and a half millennia to attract investments from East and Southeast Asia. It is a strategy stressed by the Buddhism-loving staff of CM Chandrababu Naidu, and eagerly adopted by him as it fits in well with his mission of raising finances from the cash-rich economies of China, Singapore and Japan. Ever since the plans for the new capital began to more..

Modi has let down SL Tamils: Narayanasamy

Oct 25 (Hindu) AICC general secretary and former Union Minister for State V. Narayanasamy has charged PM Narendra Modi with indulging in doublespeak in pressing the Sri Lankan govt for an international probe into the alleged war crimes and human rights violations during the civil war in 2009. He said the erstwhile United Progressive Alliance (UPA) govt and the then PM, Manmohan Singh, had constantly insisted that an international probe should be conducted into the war crimes. more..

‘Feasibility study on road to Talaimannar’

Oct 25 (Hindu) Centre will soon carry out a feasibility study on establishing a road link between Rameswaram and Talaimannar in Sri Lanka, said Pon. Radhakrishnan, Union Minister. “India is keen on implementing the project. It needs the consent of both countries. The project needs to be discussed at various levels,” he told reporters here on Saturday. Stating that the Centre had begun consultations to carry out a feasibility study more..

Sri Lankan leaders for closer ties with UN

Oct 25 (Hindu) The troubled relationship the pervious Rajapaksa govt had had with the UN came to the fore at an event here on Saturday to mark the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the UN and completion of 60 years of Sri Lanka’s membership. President Sirisena, who visited the U.N. premises on Bauddhaloka Mawatha for the first time, recalled how a Minister of the earlier government [Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa in July 2010] observed a fast in front of the UN office with more..

Increase in liquor licences last year

Oct 25 (ST) Excise Department issued 83 new liquor licences last year and obtained Rs. 69,123 million as excise revenue despite a Government initiated programme to control the consumption of liquor and cigarettes. The issue of new liquor licences last year was limited to institutions approved by Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority. The number issued last year is 20 more than the licences issued in 2013, according to the department’s performance report submitted to Parliament. more..

Nonsense! says Sir Desmond

Oct 25 (CT) Chairman of the Legal Advisory Committee of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry Into Complaints of Abductions and Disappearances (Paranagama Report), Sir Desmond de Silva admitted that a few pages of his opinions by way of inputs to the Paranagama Report went missing early this year. "This is nonsense. What was attempted to be tabled in Parliament were in fact part of the missing documents which more..

Macrae willing to testify in local Court

Oct 25 (CT) No Fire Zone Director Callum Macrae told Ceylon Today that if Sri Lanka's own accountability process is credible, supported and has the trust of the victims, he would be very willing to come and testify in any local Court. He added that however that in the interests of confidentiality he would not reveal the identities of people who spoke to him or provided evidence. "No self-respecting journalist would ever do that; they would rather go to jail. more..

Suspicious recruits in Presidential Secretariat

Oct 25 (SL) The Presidential Secretariat has allegedly recruited a large number of employees without a proper background check or considering intelligence reports on them, Presidential Secretariat sources said. When an employee attached to the Presidential Security Division and those directly attached to State security are recruited to the President’s Secretariat, they are appointed on a one month probation period. During this month, their personal details including more..

The inside story of the Rs. 125 mn Customs bribery detection

Oct 25 (Island) The recent arrest of three Customs officers who allegedly solicited and accepted a Rs. 125 million bribe from a spare parts importer in Colombo hit the headlines. It was described as the biggest-ever detection made in the history of the Bribery Commission. Sunday Divaina spoke to the importer, who tipped off bribery sleuths about what he called the "persistent demand by the three Customs men for a hefty gratification to more..

Govt says no to amnesty

Oct 25 (SL) Despite demands of the Tamil political parties in the country, the govt will not consider giving an amnesty for the Tamil political prisoners. When questioned Minister Thilak Janaka Marapona whether the govt would consider giving an amnesty for the Tamil political prisoners as a solution to their issue, he said the govt will not give an amnesty but will address their issues soon before mid November. “There is nothing called amnesty. We will look at case by case. more..

MR’s hidden palace unearthed

Oct 25 (SL) Information about an underground palace built under the direct purview of former President Rajapaksa inside the President’s House in Fort has now been unearthed. The construction of the palace had commenced during the war, and it had been completed two months after the January 8 presidential election this year. Two-storey place comprises six rooms. While participating at a ceremony recently, President Sirisena had confirmed the existence of such a palace. more..

'Robert Blake pushed for US resolution against Sri Lanka at UNHRC'

Oct 25 (ST) Many in the US administration had resisted the proposal for a resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC but Robert O. Blake, former US Ambassador in Colombo, pushed it after he was promoted to Assistant Secretary of State, an international rights advocate said this week. US might even have given up calls for justice had SL’s former Govt shown genuine commitment to reconciliation, said Brad Adams, more..

Kadawatha-Kerawalapitiya section on OCH gets green light

Oct 25 (DM) Cabinet approval has been granted to complete the construction of phase three of the Outer Circular Highway connecting Kadawatha to Kerawalapitiya. RDA Project Director of the OCH phase three N.K.L. Netthikumara said the interchange proposed to be constructed on the Peliyagoda – Puttalam road would be removed because an interchange has already been constructed in Kerawalapitiya. “This section of the OCH from Kerawalapitiya to Kadawatha more..

Top names in sports firm connected to Tharunyata Hetak

Oct 25 (ST) Some powerful names have figured in the controversial transaction involving the SEC donation to Tharunyata Hetak, a youth organisation which was run by Namal Rajapaksa, son of former President Rajapaksa, souces said. Apart from the former SEC Chairman Nalaka Godahewa and Ronnie Ibrahim, Director – Ceylon Premier Sports Ltd (to which the ‘donation’ was given by the SEC), some 11 names have figured pertaining to an enquiry over this transaction, a source said. more..

PM: Kadirgamar killing linked to Rajapaksa deal with LTTE

Oct 25 (ST) That roads in the Greater Colombo area are bursting at the seams due to the mounting traffic sank into some Govt and Opposition leaders on Thursday. They were at a meeting with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya at the Parliament complex. When it was nearing completion, it was time for them to attend the All Party Conference at the Presidential Secretariat. If they were to travel by road, over an hour’s more..

Justin Trudeau: Canada’s new Millennial PM

Oct 25 (Island) On Monday, October 19, Canadians elected a majority Liberal government led by a handsome, young politician with a famous last name. Justin Trudeau, Canada’s new PM, is the 43 year old son of Pierre Elliot Trudeau (1919-2000), one of Canada’s better known world figures and a former Prime Minister for 16 years from 1968 to 1984. The young Trudeau has become a global celebrity in his own right almost instantly after his Party’s stunning electoral victory. more..

Geneva resolution: What we must do

Oct 25 (Island) The unacceptability [to use a polite term] of the Geneva Resolution [L.29] against Sri Lanka, of which the Government of Sri Lanka was a co-sponsor and therefore complicit, which amounted to surrendering Sri Lanka’s integrity and sovereignty to foreign powers, has been the subject of excellent analyses by several individuals and groups of individuals. One such is by the National Committee on the Resolution Co-sponsored by the USA and the Govt of Sri Lanka. more..

'Physical planning for development need further infrastructure inputs..

Oct 25 (Island) The Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI) launched eBuild Sri Lanka 2016 – Housing & Construction Expof, last week. Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Champika Ranawaka, the chief guest at the launch, made pointed remarks that although the CCI was geared for development, public sector participation was relatively minimal, and in most instances completely lacking. more..

Pharmaceutical industry complains of humiliating treatment at NMDRA

Oct 25 (Island) National Medicinal Drugs Regulatory Authority (NMDRA) has come under flak over what pharmaceutical industry players called its "callous and indifferent attitude", which they asserted, has dealt a crippling blow to the business as "arrogance" has replaced what was earlier a "decent service". "We are being unfairly accused of manipulating the trade and treated like pickpockets by a panjandrum when we visit more..

Who can hold whose NIC

Oct 25 (Island) A group of ticket inspectors of the Ceylon Govt Railway or CGR, as it is better known, boarded a train bound from Panadura to Maradana. This was at Ratmalana. Learning from their past mistakes, one of them stood guard at the entrance to compartments whilst others began checking tickets. Not surprisingly, nearly a half of those did not have tickets, a phenomenon which has contributed to losses in the CGR. more..

Port city deal to be amended

Oct 25 (CT) Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Karunasena Hettiarachchi said that the Colombo Port City project's original concession agreement will undergo amendments and the Attorney General's (AG's) Department is now effecting those amendments. He added that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the Colombo Port City project will be amended as it had been found there were some lapses with more..

Fear grips Kotakethana as authorities look on

Oct 25 (SL) Fear started lingering once again in Kotakethana, Kahawatta when another mother and daughter reportedly had seen recently an unidentified armed man in their backyard which triggered their fear of the traumatic experience of murders in the past in that area. The Police Media Unit reported that around 400 police and Police Special Task Force personnel were deployed soon after the incident was reported. more..

Rameshwaram fishermen stage fast against Sri Lanka

Oct 25 (CG) Local fishermen in Rameshwaram launched an indefinite strike and observed a day’s fast on Saturday, protesting against the repeated arrest by the Sri Lankan Navy, and seeking release of 87 fishermen with their 39 trawlers. Facing threat to their livelihood after the Sri Lankan Navy stepped up the offensive, the fishermen anchored about 750 trawlers at the fishing jetty and stayed away from the sea, while more..

Kondaya lost in Love

Oct 25 (CT) When the arrest took place Priyashantha has been at his sister's residence when two police officers in civvies visited his sister's residence and questioned him. He said, "The police in civvies checked my National Identity Card, questioned my sister and brother-in-law, checked his phone and his clothes as well." Furthermore, they did not inform him that he was being questioned for Seya's murder. more..

Urgent bid to save tea industry

Oct 25 (ST) The Ministry of Plantation Industries is to ask the Govt to infuse Rs. 800 million to provide a guaranteed price to tea producers until global prices stabilise. This is to prevent a collapse of the tea industry due to low prices. PM will chair a criss meeting in this regard on Tuesday. “Our Ministry is seeking Rs. 800 million as emergency assistance, so we may immediately launch guaranteed-price scheme,” more..