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Avant Garde tell their side of story

Oct 31 (SO) Avant Garde Maritime Services has denied all allegations leveled against them on discrepancies in the consignment of weapons and ammunition on the MV Avant Garde ship. In a recent press statement, MV Avant Garde owner, Avant Garde Maritime Services, said that the daily updated inventory was maintained by Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Limited (RALL) representatives on board and it 'tallies exactly with the details more..

Was Ravana’s Dandu Monaraya parked here?

Oct 31 (CT) When we arrived at the Kadiralena Purana Vihara, the Chief Incumbent had gone to a distant place. We sought permission to photograph the temple premises from an aged man who was the Chief Incumbent's helper. He had white hair and a beard. He compared the four corners of the temple with today's conditions and told us that it would be more suitable for us to climb the rock before midday. We got to know that only one Monk was living at the Kadiralena Raja Maha Vihara, more..

Translator: A bridge between two cultures

Oct 31 (CT) "A translator is a person who joins two cultures. He can do an immense service to society by exposing the details of a foreign culture. Sri Lankan translators could have done a better service in uniting the Sinhala and Tamil societies, prior to and also during the time of the war," stated Hasitha Kekulawala. Having studied at Asoka Vidyalaya, Colombo 10, he has completed his higher education at University of Sri J'pura with an honours degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies. more..

Memories of woe, 25 years on

Oct 31 (CT) Travelling down the winding roads in Ethale, Puttalam, I noticed that the scenery had changed drastically. Concrete walls were replaced with thatched partitions, the houses were smaller and some can only be described as huts. These people were refugees who fled the throes of war 25 years ago. Meeting the Cassim family, temporarily residing there for 25 years, was the focus of this journey. more..

Revisited The 1988 Maldivian coup that failed

Oct 31 (DM) On 28 Sept 1988, quite out of the blues news trickled through of an attempted coup on the Maldive Islands. Sri Lankans were more shocked when it was learned that the coup leaders -Maldivians led by Abdullah Luthufi- were assisted by a SL Tamil militant group -the PLOTE. How did a group of Sri Lankans get involved in planning a coup in another country? A past PLOTE spokesman –Skanda- said he had met Luthufi together with PLOTE Leader, Uma Maheswaran on a more..

A new Ministry: The need of the hour

Oct 31 (DM) A new Ministry MUST be established under the PM himself since the govt has placed economic development as its main platform, we need to seek the support of the world to achieve this objective. The govt must now work out a plan using the best Multi disciplinary talent available in the country and has also to work out a strategy; we must now establish the machinery to achieve this goals. The new Ministry must be under the PM himself for if any Ministry or Department comes within more..

Sri Lanka's Democratic Transition

World's largest sovereign wealth fund from Norway invests in Sri Lanka

Oct 31 (EN) Norges Bank, the world's biggest sovereign wealth fund with about a trillion dollars invested in equities, fixed income securities and real estate has started to buy into Colombo-listed companies. Norges Bank has bought 7.5 million shares in Textured Jersey Lanka, a Colombo-based knit fabric maker with operations in the region, according to data released this week. The fund started investing in TJL around September and is now the seventh largest shareholder. more..

Royal retain Orville Abeynaike Memorial Trophy

Oct 31 (DN) Royal College continued it's winning streak as it edged out S Thomas' College by two goals to one in their annual hockey encounter for the Orville Abeynaike Memorial Trophy played at the Astro Turf, Race Course, Colombo on Friday. The Reid Avenue School dominated the match as their seasoned campaigner Pasindu Charuke's two goals gave Royal this hard-fought win. S Thomas' scored their only goal in the second half through their centre forward Kavindu Mahawansakkara more..

How and why the LTTE evicted Muslims from the Northern Province 25 years ago

Oct 31 (DBS) The Investigation launched by the OHCHR 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. The focus on these particular years has naturally led to the overlooking of many more..

‘80% of local population uninsured’

Oct 31 (Island) Sri Lankan insurance industry has great potential for growth and development because only 20% of the total population is insured with some sort of an insurance policy. The lack of confidence in and low awareness level on the insurance sector coupled with some insurance agents' irregular activities have been negatively impacting the market, Managing Director Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) T.M.R. Bangsa Jayah said. "Sri Lanka's insurance market is huge because more..

JR the versatile sportsman remembered

Oct 31 (CT) 19 years ago on the 1 Nov, Sri Lanka lost one of most versatile sportsmen, sports benefactor, philanthropist and gentleman and a former President J.R. Jayawardene. JR, as a school boy, tasted both victory and defeat. He played cricket for Royal in 1925 and was a team member of the battle of the Blues. In that encounter JR was dismissed for a duck but he held the match winning catch that brought victory to Royal College. He also played cricket for Law College and more..

No graves for Sri Lanka's disappeared

Oct 31 (UCAN) S.M. Premasilee commemorates All Souls' Day but is not sure whether she should or not. That's because she doesn't know if her husband and two brothers are still alive or dead. 61-year-old Tamil woman nonetheless travels more than 250 km to pay homage at a specially erected monument for those who have no tombs — people like her relatives, who disappeared at the hands of Sri Lankan security forces in the late 1980s. more..

Speaker approves six Financial Bills

Oct 31 (DN) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday approved six financial Bills passed by the new govt in the eight Parliament. The six Bills are the Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill, Nation Building Tax (Amendment) Bill, Gaming and Betting and Gaming Levy (Amendment) Bill, Economic Service Charge (Amendment) Bill, Value Added Tax Amendment Bill and a Financial Bill. Sources said one of the newly passed Bills contains the imposition of the Mansion Tax which was introduced in Interim Budget more..

Sri Lankan group submits proposals for island’s budget

Oct 31 (AN) A Dammam-based umbrella organization called the Sri Lankan Migrant Workers Alliance (SLMWA) has submitted a 20-page national budget proposal to the Finance Ministry of Sri Lanka ahead of the island’s annual budget to be presented in Parliament next month. The set of proposals was focused on the welfare of migrant workers which includes issues related to monthly payments for migrant workers, as well as in relation to retired, deceased, disabled, harassed, injured and more..

Govt signs two loans with Saudi Fund for development

Oct 31 (FT) Govt has signed two new loan agreements with Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) to obtain part financing for the $140 million rehabilitation of the A5 Road corridor from Badulla to Chenkaladi. The A5 corridor is one of the major highways linking parts of the Central Province to Eastern Province geopolitical zones of the country which carries the bulk of the traffic between Batticaloa and Peradeniya via Badulla and more..

Extra days for Budget’s 2nd reading

Oct 31 (CT) Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake has expressed strong opposition to the proposal made by the ruling party at the meeting of Party Leaders to increase the number of days for the debate on the second reading of the budget from seven days to 12 days. This has postponed a final decision on the issue. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran had agreed with Dissanayake. Dissanayake had pointed out that only a maximum of seven days can be allocated for debate on second reading more..

Aluthgama murder suspects arrested

Oct 31 (CT) The Kalutara Divisional Crime Investigation Unit arrested the two main suspects in the Aluthgama murder at the bus station of Bandaragama on Thursday. Police Media Unit said that a locally manufactured revolver, two bullets and a motorcycle used for the murder were also recovered. The suspects were handed over to Aluthgama Police along with the weapons and the motorcycle. The suspects are residents of Dharga Town, aged 23 and 32 years. more..

'We need a political strategy to empower state enterprises, reduce tax payer burden'

Oct 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka needs to have a political strategy to support the implementation of reforms and restructurings of state owned enterprises to reduce the burden on the treasury or the tax payer, deputy minister of state owned enterprises (SOEs) said. “We have a situation in which the tax payer at large is paying for the expenses of a few who actually benefit directly from those enterprises,” deputy minister more..

Empowering students in Sri Lanka to form mobile-app startups

Oct 31 (MIT) Growing up in a small suburb of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Dumindu Kanankage never dreamed that he would one day build his own company from the ground up. Now in 2015 — four years since the MIT Global Startup Labs (GSL) launched its program in the island nation — Kanankage is the proud cofounder of 4Axis Solutions, a mobile-app startup. “When the GSL Program was first introduced to our university, we didn’t know much about entrepreneurship,” more..

Sri Lanka to study whales

Oct 31 (Hindu) Sri Lanka, known for its well-established whale watching industry, will take up a study on whales. This was decided by the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers which met in Pandang, Indonesia, during October 20-23. Harsha de Silva, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, represented Sri Lanka. The research project, called the non-economic value of the whale watching industry in Sri Lanka, would cover issues concerning conservation and management. more..

Finally, plantation Tamils may get houses

Oct 31 (Hindu) The proposed construction of 4,000 houses for Tamils engaged in the plantation sector in Sri Lanka may finally see light at the end of the tunnel. Cleared by the Indian govt nearly four years ago, this proposal, coming under the govt’s $270-million housing programme, has remained a non-starter due to a host of factors. The absence of deeds and assigning land to beneficiaries is the issue which requires to be resolved by govt. more..

No female student were attacked: Police

Oct 31 (DM) Police said that no female student were attacked during the protest carried out by the students of Higher National Diploma in Accountancy in Town Hall and that the media has reported about one particular photo which shows a female student being attacked by an officer in a misleading manner. SSP Champika Siriwardane said police officers had only attempted to remove the particular student from the location but media has used the photo in a misleading manner. more..

Hospitals short of 1987 consultants

Oct 31 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said, the country's health services needed 4,000 more doctors to meet the demand for doctors in the country's hospitals. He added that the situation was aggravating as the year's end drew near. Senaratne said nearly 700 medical officers were going on retirement by the year's end, and that compounds the situation further making it more difficult for the Health Ministry to manage the demand for doctors in the system. more..

Govt wants ideas of scholars & intellectuals to build the country: President

Oct 31 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says the new govt’s objective is to take the ideas and proposals of the scholars and intellectuals to utmost consideration for the forthcoming program to build the country. The President was addressing the 30th annual summit of Sri Lanka Economists’ Association, held in the auditorium of the Center for Banking Studies Sri Lanka, today (30). more..

Look into issue of resettling Muslims with more concern: Hakeem

Oct 31 (DN) The govt should look into the issue of resettling the Muslims with more concern, Minister Rauf Hakeem said. He was speaking at the commemoration ceremony of the 25th Anniversary of the Expulsion of Muslims from the North held in Colombo yesterday. The resettlement issue of the Northern Muslims evicted in 1990 still remains unresolved, he added. Hakeem said the Lesson Learnt Reconciliation Commission is of the view that durable solutions should be found to address more..

JVP slams govt suppression

Oct 31 (CT) Several civil society organizations and the JVP condemned Thursday's police assault on demonstrators of the Students' Collective of the Higher National Diploma for Accountancy (HNDA). JVP politburo said that the govt of President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had resorted to student suppression as their predecessor did and last Thursday's attack was clear evidence of it. JVP said the students were forced to take to the streets in this manner more..

Video: ITN auditor gives contradictory evidence at PRECIFAC

Oct 31 (DM) Proceedings at the PRECIFAC had to be suspended when the evidence given by ITN Chief Internal Auditor appeared began to contradict himself. A senior PRECIFAC official said ITN Chief Internal Auditor Majula Alagiyawanna had contradicted what he had said previously and resulted in the recording of his evidence being stopped halfway through. He said proceedings were postponed for Nov 19-20. more..

Foreign Ministry Secretary summoned to PCI

Oct 31 (CT) The PRECIFAC will record statements from three public officials today (30), General Secretary of PRECIFAC Lacille de Silva said. PRECIFAC is set to record the statement of an official regarding purchasing of 50 buses by Department of Prisons, de Silva added. In addition a statement will be recorded in connection with irregularities that allegedly occurred at Coconut Cultivation Board, he said. PRECIFAC is scheduled to record a statement of the Secretary of more..

Student protesters get bail

Oct 31 (Island) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday granted personal bail to 31 students arrested by the police during a protest near the Ministry of Higher Education at Ward Place, Colombo 7, on Thursday. The students are attached to the Institute of National Diploma in Technology and Accounting, Colombo. They protested over the alleged curtailment of their education benefits and further demanded that the Mahapola payment be increased from Rs 1,500 – Rs 5000. more..

Absence of UGC officials to listen to students, cause of incident: Police

Oct 31 (Island) Police justified the use of force on Thursday to disperse a group of protesting students of Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (HNDA). 9 students including girls suffered head injuries at the hands of the riot police. 9 students were injured. Police said some of their men, too, had suffered injuries. 39 students were arrested. 31 of arrested protesters were bailed out yesterday as police did not raise objections; more..

13 still in hospital after police crackdown

Oct 31 (Island) National Hospital yesterday said that students and policemen injured on Thursday were still receiving treatment. National Coordinator of Training and Team Leader of Triage and Information Unit, Pushpa Ramyani Zoysa, said there were 13 of them comprising seven men and six women. Although in the immediate aftermath of the incident only one policeman was reported injured, Zoysa said that there were three policemen among those being treated at the NHSL. more..

Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation 2015 awarded to 3 Sri Lankans

Oct 31 (FT) Ambassador of Japan Kenichi Suganuma formally awarded the Foreign Minister’s Commendations to Upali Stanley Jayasekera, Chitral Jayawardane and G. Kulatilake of Sri Lanka, at a special ceremony held on 26 Oct at the Ambassador’s residence in Colombo. The Foreign Minister’s Commendations are awarded to individuals and groups for their outstanding achievements in international fields, to acknowledge their contribution to promotion of friendship more..

NPC and HRC to conduct separate investigations

Oct 31 (DN) National Police Commission (NPC) and the Human Rights Commission (HRC) are to conduct separate investigations into the brutal assault by riot Police on Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (HNDA) students protesting opposite the UCG on Thursday. The two commission members will conduct thorough investigations into this incident which left seven students injured. more..