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The other oppressed minority

Oct 26 (Hindu) About 25 years ago, on Oct 30, 1990, the Tamil Tigers evicted the Muslims from the Sri Lanka’s Northern Province. A politically marginal population of about 75,000 people, constituting 5% of the Northern Province, was subjected to ethnic cleansing with military precision; the Muslims were given between two and 48 hours to leave with just their clothes and a meagre 500 rupees. more..

Slack export demand, cause

Oct 26 (CT) Slack demand in Sri Lanka's major importing economies have seen box rates fall steeply by between 50%- 75% in the last two years, causing a cash crunch to the island's shipping industry, market sources who didn't want to be named told Ceylon FT. As a result, sea freight costs to the EU region, the island's number one export destination, have seen prices on 40 foot container shipments, known as 40 foot equivalent units of containers (FEUs), decline steeply from more..

Seylan Bank PAT surges to Rs. 2.7 billion

Oct 26 (FT) Seylan Bank recorded an impressive performance with profit before income tax reaching Rs. 4,062 million for the nine months ended 30 September 2015. Profits after tax reached a record Rs. 2,730 million, a 21% increase compared to the Rs. 2,253 million reported in the corresponding nine-month period. The quarterly PAT figure (Q-3 2015) was reported at Rs. 989 million, compared to the Rs. 1,041 million reported in the corresponding three months of last year. more..

Budget 2016 aims to incentivise middle class

Oct 26 (ST) The Govt, keen to win the hearts of Sri Lanka’s middle class numbering over 18.5 million, is expected to provide concessions for them, incentivising their savings and offering relief from the upcoming 2016 budget, official sources said. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed the Finance Ministry to submit a detailed report on incentives and concessions that could be given to the middle class from the 2016 budget. more..

Needed, a more credible mechanism

Oct 26 (Hindu) The recent findings of two inquiry commissions in Sri Lanka underscore the need for a formal process to investigate and prosecute those responsible for grave crimes during the armed conflict that spanned three decades. The submission of the reports in Parliament should be welcomed, although it could also be interpreted as a signal to the international community that the domestic mechanisms are strong enough. Maxwell Paranagama Commission, mandated to more..

TNA Demands Action

Oct 26 (SL) The TNA has urged the govt to take action those against whom clear evidence have been presented in the reports compiled by the Udalagama and Paranagama commissions. TNA MP M.A Sumanthiran said that in number of cases which the reports have examined and reported on, there is clear evidence against certain persons – and action must be taken against them. He insisted that now the govt has made the reports public according to recommendations of UN report, more..

Korean company eyes US$ 5 bn project in SL

Oct 26 (DN) Top officials from one of the world’s leading township developers, Korea Land and Housing Corporation is now in Sri Lanka looking for a township development project to the value in excess of US$ 5 billion. Team met senior officials of Megapolis Authority and informed that they are here on a fact finding mission to build a mega township development project which would be one of the biggest in South Asia. more..

Commercial sex workers to go to SC

Oct 26 (CT) The Centre for Sex Workers' Rights explained that they will be filing a series of Fundamental Rights applications in the Supreme Court against the Police and the Ministry of Law and Order with regards to the violation of the rights of commercial sex workers. Attorney-at-Law Lakshan Dias addressing a press said that cases will also be filed against the Registrar General's Department, the Department of Registration of Persons and the Ministry of Home Affairs with regards to more..

Wele Suda's sister continued drug racket

Oct 26 (CT) CID is still interrogating Gampola Widanalage Dilini Nilmini, the sister of Wele Suda over the domestic circulation of Rs 1,250 million of black money. It has also been revealed in the initial interrogation sessions that the external drug trafficking racket was carried out by the sister and the best friend of her husband, Nissanka Madushanka, while Wele Sudha was held in custody. The suspect Nissanka Madushanka is also in remand custody. more..

LTTE prisoner release: Govt meets today

Oct 26 (DN) The govt will meet today to discuss how they can facilitate the implementation of a road map for LTTE prisoner release. Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe said they will meet PM to discuss what kind of release they should grant to hundreds of LTTE prisoners. Asked if the govt was considering releasing all LTTE prisoners, he said: “We will move on all matters pertaining to the release of LTTE prisoners. more..

New ETUs, blood banks for all state hospitals

Oct 26 (DN) New Emergency Treatment Units and Blood Banks will be set up at state hospitals covering all districts, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. After opening the new Emergency Treatment Unit at Rathnapura General Hospital constructed at Rs. 798 million, Minister Senaratne said that there are about 1,000 state health institutions countrywide and around six million people receive treatment annually from hospitals. Over 80 percent of them visit the ETUs and more..

Supporting Sri Lanka's Heritage

Oct 26 (VoA) As part of its continuing efforts to preserve Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage, the Embassy of the United States of America is providing new grants totaling $300,000 (42.1 million LKR) to help preserve the ancient Buddhist Rajagala Monastery and improve the conservation and display of artifacts at the Anuradhapura Archaeological Museum. Under its new grant, the University of Sri J'pura will receive $150,000 from the U.S. Embassy through Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation more..

Video:Temple Trees also has an underground bunker: MR

Oct 26 (DM) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said today that his govt had to build a safety bunker under President’s House in Fort to shield VIPs from potential LTTE air strikes. He said the Defence Council met at President’s House during the previous regime when the war was going on and the bunker was built as a security measure to protect the defence officials from unexpected terrorist attacks. more..

Biomass Supplies, SL’s first smallholder project in SEA to earn RSB certification

Oct 26 (FT) Biomass Supplies Ltd., a company based in Sri Lanka, earned the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) certification for biomass produced from branches pruned from live fences of gliricidia trees. The certification covers Biomass Supplies’ work with 30,000 small farmers who have planted 60 million new trees on their fences. Gliricidia is a fast-growing, short-rotation tree found naturally in Sri Lanka. Principally grown for its leaves, which provide more..

Assault and shooting: Two UNP politicians arrested

Oct 26 (Island) A UNP Councillor of the Central Province and a UNP member of the Moneragala Pradeshiya Sabha have been taken into custody yesterday by police for two different incidents. Central Provincial Councillor Tissa Bandara Herath was taken into custody when he surrendered to the Dambulla police for allegedly assaulting a person at the Dambulla Economic Centre recently. The victim had lodged a complaint with the Dambulla police on Oct 24, Police Media Unit said. more..

Channa, Upuli rebuff reports on cash transactions

Oct 26 (DN) Issuing a press statement Channa Wijewardena and Upuli Panibharatha rebuffed reports that said that their performing arts foundation had accepted Rs 15 million for their dance presentations at the Hambantota Harbour opening. The Channa-Upuli Performing Arts Foundation said they handed over all invoices and cash receipts related to the transactions concerning their staging of events on Aug 15 of 2010 at more..

60,000 youth drug addicts annually: JVP

Oct 26 (CT) JVP noted that every year 60,000 youth were becoming drug addicts, adding that the percentage of drug addicts in the country was 5%. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said that out of the Govt statistics of over 100,000 drug addicts, 60% were youth. Drug traffickers and drug dealers who engage in large scale drug smuggling do so with the knowhow and blessing of those in the judicial and legal system, the Police and politicians, he noted, adding that the incumbent govt did not have more..

Kondaya to file FR in SC

Oct 26 (CT) Former suspect in the recent rape and murder of a girl in Kotadeniyawa, Dunesh Priyashantha alias Kondaya will be filing a Fundamental Rights application before the Supreme Court by the end of the week. Attorney-at-Law Udul Premaratne said that the Inspector General of Police N.K. Illangakoon, Police Media Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekera and the Director of the CID SSP B.R.S.R. Nagahamulla would be named as the respondents. more..

Rajarata Iron man hacked to death

Oct 26 (DN) Wasantha Soysa alias Rajarata Iron man, the holder of several Guinness world records was hacked to death by an unidentified group inside a night club owned by him in Anuradhapura on Saturday night. Soysa, a famous Karate champion and a highly respected martial arts instructor, is said to have been attacked by about 25 people, inside his nightclub at Kadapanaha, Anuradhapura, close to midnight. more..

Railway line from Maradana to Battaramulla

Oct 26 (DM) A feasibility study on establishing a 10 km railway land line from Maradana to Battaramulla via Dematagoda would be started today. Railway Department Superintendent Vijaya Samarasinghe said the plan of the proposed 10 km railway line would be finalised this week. “The Ministry of Transport had proposed the new railway line from Maradana to Battaramulla to ease traffic congestion. After a steering committee comprising officials from the UDA and Transport Ministry met, more..

SL’s new envoy to Saudi aims to give new boost to tourism

Oct 26 (DN) Sri Lanka's new ambassador to Saudi Arabia Azmi Thassim will arrive in Riyadh on Wednesday. The ambassador designate, Azmi Thassim, succeeds former envoy Hussein Mohamed who left the Kingdom in August on completion of his tenure of duty. Several social service organisations in Colombo hosted receptions in honor of Thassim on his new appointment. During a reception in Colombo hosted by the All-Ceylon YMMA conference, Thassim said he intends giving more..

Maxwell Report: Noncompliance to cost civic rights

Oct 26 (Island) Anyone refusing to cooperate with the proposed domestic accountability procedures and post-war reconciliation process would free the prospect of losing his or her civic rights according to the Report on the Second Mandate of the Presidential Commission on Inquiry Into Complaints of Abductions and Disappearances. Retired High Court judge Maxwell Paranagama headed the inquiry. more..

Police stations not torture houses

Oct 26 (DM) The National Govt says it is giving top priority to human rights issues in the wake of the 2015 Geneva resolution and also on the basis of its conviction that all people—the rich and the poor, the powerful and the powerless—are equal and their human rights need to be respected. To reach this noble vision and goals, the rule of law needs to be restored and stabilised with the judicial service and the Police also being given the freedom to act independently. more..

Platform to seek Int’l support to achieve National objectives

Oct 26 (DM) This Govt has placed Economic Development as its main platform and we need to seek the support of the world to achieve this objective. The new Govt, I presume, has worked out a plan using the best Multi-disciplinary talents available in the country and has also worked out a strategy and is in the process of establishing the machinery to achieve its goals. I do hope that a new Ministry that would be established should be under the PM himself; as it would facilitate more..

'Country has become a laboratory for LGs'

Oct 26 (DM) Deputy Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Govt Karunarathna Paranawithana in an interview with the said that the Ministry was keen on introducing a community governance system where community actively participated and said the Provincial Council system had to be upgraded in order to maximise its efficiency. He added the next Provincial Council elections would be held under mixed system. more..

Sri Lanka accountability process would be purely domestic: FM

Oct 26 (Island) The process to fix accountability as mandated by the latest UNHRC resolution for the alleged rights abuses during the conflict with the LTTE will be completely domestic, Minister Mangala Samaraweera has said rejecting claims that it was a hybrid mechanism. He told Parliament that the process would be completely domestic and dismissed the Opposition’s claim that it would instead be a hybrid mechanism more..

EU recommendations fulfilled, lifting fisheries ban awaited

Oct 26 (ST) The Fisheries Ministry has implemented almost all the recommendations outlined by the European Union (EU) early this year and is awaiting the EU technical team to arrive and determine whether the ban on Sri Lankan fisheries products could be lifted. A technical team from the EU is due to arrive on Nov 13 to evaluate and inspect the ongoing implementation process of the Govt. more..

Stage set for national govt’s first budget

Oct 26 (SL) With the Appropriation Bill for 2016 being approved by the Cabinet of Ministers, the Presentation or the first reading of the Budget came to a conclusion last Friday. At a recent press conference minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that the Parliamentary Programme for the Budget 2016 which was approved at the previous meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers was amended according to a proposal made by more..

Escalating crime rate: Govt appoints PSC

Oct 26 (Island) Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe has submitted a motion to Secretary General of Parliament seeking the approval of House for the appointment of a Parliamentary Select Committee to investigate and propose mechanisms to arrest escalating crimes in the country, according to Parliament sources. The motion has been entered in the Addendum to Order book of Parliament under the undated motions. more..

MPs prefer 9mm Lugers to revolvers

Oct 26 (DM) Thirty five new MPs have requested semi-automatic pistols (instead of revolvers) of the type issued to ministers and senior MPs -- in a letter sent to the Parliament authorities. These MPs, including 2 women, have signed a letter to say they should be provided with same type of 9mm pistols that are given to senior parliamentarians and the ministers, as .38 revolvers are obsolete. more..

Jackson to be summoned before PRECIFAC

Oct 26 (DM) Popular artiste Jackson Anthony is to be summoned before the PRECIFAC to obtain a statement on the exorbitant finances spent on the entertainment acts performed at the Hambanthota harbor opening, sources said. Anthony was the creative director for the ceremony held in 2010 and Rs. 15 million had been spent for the dance acts alone, which was performed by Channa-Upuli Dance Academy more..

India assures solution on SL fishing row

Oct 26 (CG) Seeking a permanent solution to the problems faced by TN fishermen, a delegation of AIADMK MPs met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and demanded the Centre’s immediate intervention for release of Indian fishermen languishing in Lankan jails. 49-member delegation led by senior AIADMK leader and Deputy Speaker M Thambi Durai also sought a special package of Indian Rs. 1520 for more..

PRECIFAC summons 3 ex-navy commanders

Oct 26 (DM) Three former commanders of the Sri Lanka Navy are to be called before the PRECIFAC, within the next few days, for questioning and to have their statements recorded with regard to the alleged fraud and corruption in connection with the Rakna Lanka Security Company. These commanders are due to be called before PRECIFAC to obtain further details about matters that have been revealed during more..

Herath and Siriwardana seal 2-0 series win

Oct 26 (CI) Sri Lanka had come into the series against West Indies in a state of flux, after having lost two home Test series in a year for only the second time. Sangakkara had retired after the second Test against India, and coach Marvan Atapattu had resigned. However, they rallied to sweep West Indies 2-0, after a 72-run win before tea on the final day of the second Test at P Sara Oval, despite four sessions getting washed out. more..

Lucky to be Channa and Upuli

Oct 26 (CT) Never in the history of Sri Lankan medium of Art, had any popular artiste been paid a staggering amount of Rs 15 million: be it for a film, a choreographic act or a musical show. To name popular legends, Gamini Fonseka was one who led the film industry as an actor, who performed alongside British and Indian artistes. However, Gamini Fonseka was never paid more than Rs 1.5 million. This sum charged by the late actor is published with confidence and authority. more..

Why prostitution should be legalised in SL

Oct 26 (CT) There are many reasons which can be considered valid as to why adults do sex work, whether it is their main livelihood in the absence of more respectable means, a temporary solution to survive a difficult period, or an opportunity to supplement other income, having aesthetic qualities that are in demand. Some people find that sex work offers better and quicker income and more flexible working conditions. I will outline some aspects that make the case for legalisation stronger, more..

Presidential scrum

Oct 26 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena revealed on 22 Oct that there is a palace with luxury facilities thirty feet underneath the President's House located in Fort, Colombo. He had showed a group of students and teachers who had come to the President's House when he awarded Environment Pilot Medals to schoolchildren. Head of the President's Media Unit Dharmashri Ekanayake said that President Sirisena had stated, if he were more..

Herath joins Mahela and Bravo's second-innings returns

Oct 26 (CI) 0: Tests won by West Indies out of the 11 they have played in Sri Lanka. There are only three other instances of a team failing to win a single away Test in ten or more matches in any country. Sri Lanka themselves haven't won a Test in India or Australia from 17 and 11 Tests respectively. Bangladesh have no wins from the ten Tests they have played in Sri Lanka. For West Indies, Sri Lanka remains one of the two countries where they haven't won a Test. They have lost both the Tests more..

Unidentified gunmen kill Opposition MP’s body guard

Oct 26 (Island) Two unidentified gunmen who arrived on a motorcycle on Saturday shot dead a private security guard of former Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena at the Kande Vihara junction at Kaluwamodera in Beruwela. The deceased was Akurumuni Gamini Silva Ananda Silva alias Rala, Aluthgama police said. According to police there were a several cases against the victim pending in courts and it is suspected that the reason for the incident was a private dispute. more..

PRECIFAC to board MV Avant Garde on Wednesday

Oct 26 (DM) A Police team attached of the PRECIFAC would board MV Avant Garde vessel at the Galle Port for investigations on Wednesday, Oct 28. The team would be sent to verify whether there were a connection with MV Avant Garde and the Rakna Arakshana Lanka Ltd. (RALL), Secretary to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to Investigate Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, more..