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Indo-Lanka Naval Exercise from October 27

Oct 27 (DN) The Sri Lanka Navy and the Indian Navy Joint Naval Exercise (SLINEX) is scheduled to be held from Oct 27 to Nov 1 in the seas off Trincomalee. Six naval ships and six Fast Attack Craft of Sri Lanka Navy and three ships of the Indian Navy will take part in the joint training this year. This exercise paves the way for operational effectiveness through common understanding of neighbouring Navies. Moreover, it concerns on maintaining effective maritime security in the region more..

Bittersweet tussle over sugar prices

Oct 27 (FT) Despite Govt efforts to enforce strict laws on imported sugar prices, vendors island-wide continue to sell sugar disregarding the controlled price imposed. Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) confirmed that it had received over 100 complaints island-wide about sugar sold disregarding the controlled price, a senior investigation official of CAA said. The Govt annually spends about Rs. 60 billion for sugar imports more..

Young MPs on a tour to China

Oct 27 (DM) Nearly 17 young parliamentarians from all political parties in parliament today left for China on a familiarization tour under a programme sponsored by the Chinese Govt, it is learnt. The programme has been organized for the MPs to get a better understanding of the Chinese system of governance and its policies. This is the first official tour undertaken to any country by a parliamentary delegation after the new parliament was formed. List of MPs: Anuradha Jayaratne - Group Leader more..

Kashmir Black Day to be observed in SL

Oct 27 (FT) Kashmir Study Forum and Pakistani community in Sri Lanka with support of Sri Lankan friends will be organising a peaceful assembly today at 11 a.m. opposite the United Nations Office at Baudaloka Mawatha to mark Kashmir Black Day. A memorandum urging the UN to play its role to resolve the oldest unresolved dispute on the UN agenda since 1947 will also be handed over to the UN office. Similar peaceful assemblies will also be held in other parts of the island including more..

No bunker under Temple Trees: Sagala

Oct 27 (DM) Minister Sagala Ratnayake denied reports that there was an underground palace or bunker at Temple Trees. “We were surprised after hearing former President Rajapaksa’s claims that there was a bunker under Temple Trees. It is not true, no such things are found under Temple Trees. Anyway now we are checking whether former President Chandrika Kumaratunga had built a palace under Temple Trees,” he said more..

Memorial plaque robbed

Oct 27 (CT) The memorial plaque that was erected for laying of foundation stone on 26 October by the Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Chandima Weerakkody for the carpeting of the Pituwalahena-Mayakaduwa Road was removed by some group on 25 Oct night. After the team that was engaged in the decorations in connection with this occasion had finished their work in the night and had left the venue. Some unknown group had removed this plaque and spirited it away. more..

254 Colombo IRCs to be Screened

Oct 27 (CT) Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris yesterday (26) ordered 254 Island Reconvicted Criminals (IRC) in Colombo to appear at Colombo Crimes Division, so that Police can take their photos and fingerprints. Officers of the Colombo Crimes Division told the Magistrate that the photos and fingerprints of Island Reconvicted Criminals have not been taken in a decade. Therefore, it has become difficult to identify them now. ASP Nuwan Wedasinghe of more..

Leadership Training Programme in universities: Grero

Oct 27 (DN) The Leadership Training Programme for university entrants will be conducted at university base, Minister Mohan Lal Grero said. The leadership training will be carried out after enrolling students at university base. Accordingly, the training will be given at the university premises by the particular university for selected undergraduates, he said. Grero was addressing a meeting with Higher Education more..

FR against President for appointing over 30 ministers

Oct 27 (DN) A fundamental rights petition filed by a lawyer challenging President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to increase the number of Cabinet ministers from 30 to 48 was yesterday fixed to be mentioned on Nov 17 by the Supreme Court. This petition had been filed by attorney-at-law Aruna Laksiri. He has cited President Sirisena and the Attorney General as respondents. When the petition came up before Supreme Court Justices Upaly Aberatne and Anil Goonaratne, more..

Kondaya complains to NPC

Oct 27 (CT) Former suspect in the recent rape and murder of a toddler in Kotadeniyawa, Dunesh Priyashantha alias Kondaya yesterday lodged a complaint at the recently appointed National Police Commission headed by Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Siri Hettige. The complaint outlined that Priyashantha had been assaulted by the CID, while critically highlighting the conduct of Police Media Spokesman, ASP Ruwan Gunasekera, Attorney-at-Law Udul Premaratne said. more..

Some Tamil prisoners to get bail

Oct 27 (Hindu) Sri Lankan govt on Monday decided to move court for bail in respect of a section of Tamil prisoners. A decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting attended by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Ministers Tilak Marapana, Mano Ganesan and D.M. Swaminathan. The prisoners, numbering 217, have been accused of having indulged in terrorist activities and held under Prevention of Terrorism Act or more..

A slice of Sri Lanka in the contest

Oct 27 (Hindu) With Sri Lankan links coming to the fore, electioneering in the Estate ward of Kulathupuzha panchayat in Kollam district may not appear to be one for a local bodies’ election in Kerala. That is because the medium of campaigning in this ward is Tamil and that tradition is linked to Sri Lanka. Along with politics, a Sri Lankan connection is also vital for a candidate to win from the ward. The history of the ward shows that only a candidate with such a link has made it more..

GoSL align with global beggars: Gammanpila

Oct 27 (CT) The current govt is in liaison with global beggars, contrary to the speech made by the Prime Minister at the UN day celebrations last Saturday which accused the Rajapaksa government of doing the same, said the general secretary of the PHU Udaya Gammanpila. He said, "Perhaps the Prime Minister is still of the opinion that China is a poor country as it was 20 years ago. He may not be aware that China has risen to be a super power in the recent past. more..

Krishnamoorthy back in Chennai as Lankan envoy

Oct 27 (TOI) Former deputy high commissioner for Sri Lanka in India who served in Chennai between 2009 and 2012 has returned as the deputy chief of mission at the Sri Lanka deputy high commission in the city for a second stint. Ambassador Vadivel Krishnamoorthy, a senior career diplomat, took charge recently. Earlier he was handpicked by former President Rajapakshe for this important region after the end of the war more..

Sri Lanka’s Army plays by the old rules

Oct 27 (HRW) “Our ancestors lived here,” said the elderly woman. She and a dozen other Muslim inhabitants of the village of Kasankurni spoke to a Sri Lankan activist and me last week from outside makeshift homes where they have struggled to survive for four years. “The army started by taking our maize and other crops. Then they blocked our children from going to school. They said the land belongs to them.” Kasankurni lies astride a crocodile-infested river an hour’s drive south more..

Kumar Sangakkara’s and Mahela Jayawardene’s Live Events launched

Oct 27 (Island) Live Events, the First and Only Locally-based Destination and Events Promotion Company, made its mark in the corporate world recently, with a glitzy and glamorous trade launch attended by Sri Lanka’s political and corporate elite including Minister John Amaratunga, SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ajith Dias, Sampath Bank Deputy General Manager Tharaka Ranwala, MAS Holdings CEO Nathan Sivagananathan, Hameedia’s CEO Fouzul Hameed, more..

Forum plans to challenge SL move to penalise fishermen trespassing IMBL

Oct 27 (ENS) National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) is planning to approach the International Court of Justice or the UN on the Sri Lankan government’s proposed move to draft a bill to impose hefty penalties on foreign vessels poaching in Lanka’s waters, NFF chairperson, M Ilango said. Ilango said that the NFF, along with other representatives of fishermen on coastal regions, will approach the Central govt to pursue, more..

Allegations and probes

Oct 27 (DM) It is taken as a fact that Lakshman Kadirgamar -- Foreign Minister from 1994 to 2005 with a three-year break in-between -- was SL’s best diplomat who played a major role in getting the LTTE banned as a terrorist group in the US and the European Union. His outstanding diplomatic skills helped Sri Lanka to go through some of the worst years of the war and win international support from the United States and Western Europe, India, Russia and China till he was assassinated on more..

The big and the powerful get their way

Oct 27 (DM) War against the LTTE ended several years ago when the armed forces of Sri Lanka crushed the Tigers that ran wild and free for almost thirty years. It was a great relief for all Sri Lankans because it signaled an era of peace, change and opportunities for the country to emerge from the dregs of the conflict. It was unfortunate that the post-war development programmes for the country’s betterment especially of mega kinds ran into thick banks of fog of various kinds created by a more..

Role of postgraduate research in an efficiency-driven economy

Oct 27 (DM) Following are excerpts from the keynote address delivered by Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, President’s Counsel, at the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Annual Research Symposium held at the University of Colombo on Oct 25. According to the Global Competitiveness Index, Sri Lanka is ranked at 73 out of 144 countries in 2014/15 and positioned at efficiency driven stage, where efficiency becomes main contributory more..

Demarcation headache brings in new committee

Oct 27 (ST) A second committee will now look into the findings of the Delimitation Committee’s report into the demarcation of electoral boundaries in local govt wards with time slipping away before final arrangements are due for next year’s elections. Decisions to be made from the report are already behind schedule. Cabinet sub-committee has already been looking into issues faced by local bodies islandwide as a result of demarcations. more..

No end to human-elephant conflict

Oct 27 (SL) The human-elephant conflict has existed since people started invading the habitats of elephants causing them to invade the villages and areas where people live, in search of adequate food and water. Elephants live in their own space even if there is a change in the population but as for humans, they clear forests and protected areas for wild life to get more lands to settle down ignoring the fact that it will result more..

Media get Tilanga’s goat

Oct 27 (Island) Deputy Speaker Tilanga Sumathipala, frowned on the reportage of privileges such as subsidized food made available to members of parliament. Emphasizing the responsibility on the part of the parliament to provide a good meal to members, the National List MP stressed the need to maintain standards. According to him, the food provided to members could be compared with a menu at a three star hotel. more..

Paranagama Commission: Foreign technical assistance and observers sought

Oct 27 (Island) Retired High Court judge Maxwell Paranagama, who headed the Presidential Commission to Investigate Into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons yesterday told The Island that in case the govt of Sri Lanka established a purely a domestic mechanism without the participation of foreign judges, the proposed tribunal should secure international technical assistance. Commission also called for the process to more..

NFF accuses govt of playing politics with Wimal’s PP issue

Oct 27 (Island) NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa, has said that due to an inadvertent error on the part of party workers handling his foreign travel, a passport revoked after it was found to have been misplaced was used by him leading to last Friday’s detention at the BIA. Having informed relevant authorities, MP Weerawansa had obtained a new passport. Weewawansa was planning to address a series of meetings in more..

No common amnesty for fasting prisoners

Oct 27 (Hindu) “There will be no common amnesty for over 200 prisoners, mostly Tamils, who staged a hunger strike in jails throughout the country,” the Sri Lankan govt said on Tuesday. Prisoners went on a six-day protest hunger strike demanding swift procedural action including a common amnesty. “There was a meeting held yesterday with the patronage of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. A few decisions were taken. more..

Top US official on women’s issues in SL

Oct 27 (CG) Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the US State Department, Catherine Russell is on travel to Sri Lanka Oct 27 – 29. While in Sri Lanka, Ambassador Russell will meet with government officials, members of civil society, entrepreneurs, and religious leaders to discuss a broad range of issues, including gender-based violence, women’s economic empowerment, and women’s inclusion in peace and security. more..

Sri Lankan officials say ready for El Niño

Oct 27 (CG) Sri Lankan officials say the country is prepared to face the El Niño weather phenomenon in the last quarter of 2015 and take precautions based on the experience of the recent past. Temperatures have remained above average this year and a prolonged dry spell has left over 200,000 in the Northern Province thirsting for safe drinking water. But, officials at the Meteorological Department & Disaster Management Centre more..

Massive piece of space junk to fall near SL

Oct 27 (CG) A huge piece of space debris – which may date from the Apollo space missions – is on a collision course with Earth and is expected to fall near Sri Lanka. Scientists warn the manmade junk, officially designated WT1190F but nicknamed WTF, will strike Earth at about 6.15am on Nov 13. Much of the hollow object, which may be a spent rocket stage or panelling shed by a recent Moon mission, more..

Embattled media: On a unique book & A seminal launching event

Oct 27 (CT) The book Embattled Media: Evolution, Governance and Reform in Sri Lanka, edited by Dr William Crawley, David Page and Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena, was launched at the Senate House of the University of London on 20th Oct 2015. The launch involved an all-day conference, rich in contributions on a range of issues, from governance and media law reform in Sri Lanka, free speech jurisprudence in India, jurisdictional and political constraints to media freedom, teaching media, more..

Facing the Development Challenge

Oct 27 (DM) There cannot be any doubt about the fact that the development challenge facing Sri Lanka today is enormous. Any serious economist knows that the macro-economic fundamentals of the country have not been good for quite some time now. And these fundamentals cannot be changed overnight, just because there is a change of regime. One can identify many aspects of the economy that are not very encouraging, i.e. the sectoral composition of the economy, composition of more..

Ceylon Today Cartoon

Sri Lanka consumer durables demand to stay healthy: Fitch

Oct 27 (EN) Sri Lankan retailers could see better profit margins next year with demand for consumer durables seen staying healthy despite a weaker rupee and higher import tariffs, Fitch Ratings Lanka Limited said. Fitch expects a further improvement in leverage of the two Fitch-rated entities Singer (Sri Lanka), rated A-(lka) with Stable outlook, and Abans, rated BBB+(lka) with Stable outlook in 2016. This is due to improved free cash flow generation amid increased profitability and more..

Range Bandara flays MR for skipping Geneva debate

Oct 27 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa should reveal to the nation why he had skipped a three-day parliamentary debate on Geneva resolution, Minister Palitha Range Bandara said. He that Rajapaksa had skipped the parliamentary debate last Friday as he was speechless on Geneva issue. The Minister was addressing a party meeting in Puttalam. Former President refrained from participating in the adjournment debate on Geneva UNHRC report that alleged human rights violations more..

Warning to pharmacies for selling drugs at higher prices

Oct 27 (DN) A flying squad will be set up to detect private pharmacies selling drugs at higher prices violating the agreement made in connection with the prices of drugs, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. He expressed those views during a meeting held with around 100 district pharmacy organizations representatives 18 districts. The meeting held in Ratnapura recently. According to Minister Senaratne all should pay attention towards the contents in the rules more..

Police search for ‘SF Lokka’ for A’pura killing

Oct 27 (Island) Anuradhapura Police are still hunting for the main suspect named SF Lokka who is alleged to have killed Karate Champion and Guinness Record holder, Alexandra Wickrama de Zoysa (57) inside his nightclub in Anuradhapura on Saturday night. Detectives probing the daring attack carried out by dozens of assailants yesterday managed to arrest eight suspects believed to have taken part in the crime. "SF Lokka evading police is an army Special Forces deserter," more..

French artist gives face lift to prison wall

Oct 27 (DN) French professional artist, Rose Robinson has embarked on a project to paint and beautify the outer wall of the Galle prisons. The endeavour started on Oct 20, aims to give an idea to people by painting the beauty of the nature. Earlier she has painted Jaffna Railway station and the children’s ward at Karapitiya with her paintings. This has been carried out on the request of Galle Prisons Head Jagath Werasingha and with the monetary assistance of Seradipit Trust Institute. more..

Former Sri Lankan minister to stand trial for 1987 murder in Chennai

Oct 27 (TOI) Former Sri Lankan minister Douglas Devananda is all set to stand trial before a Chennai court through video conferencing from Colombo in 28-year-old murder case. It was in the preceding night of Diwali in 1987 that Douglas and nine other Sri Lankan Tamils were involved in a shootout at Choolaimedu in Chennai. One person was killed in the incident. Though all were arrested, they absconded after being released on bail. more..

Jayalalithaa seeks Modi's help to secure release of 34 fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan navy

Oct 27 (TOI) TN chief minister J Jayalalithaa wrote a letter to PM Narendra Modi seeking his intervention to secure the release of 34 fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan navy on Monday night. "I request you to immediately direct the concerned officials in the ministry of external affairs to contact their counterparts in Sri Lanka and ensure that the 34 fishermen arrested on October 26 are released forthwith along with the 86 fishermen who are due to be released on October 28," more..

Sixteen dud Rs 5000 notes detected

Oct 27 (Island) Bingiriya police nabbed a person with 16 dud notes of the Rs 5000 denomination on Sunday. The suspect disclosed to police that he had printed the counterfeit currency notes of the same denomination to the tune of Rs. 600,000. The suspect was taken into custody at the Tharana, Udamala in the Bingiriya Police area. On information elicited from him, the police have taken into custody three other persons who aided the suspect. The suspects are from more..