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All eyes on off spinner Sayer as Sri Lanka take on Pakistan U-19

Oct 4 (ST) As Sri Lanka’s Preparations and count down for under-19 World Cup commence, all eyes will focus on promising off spinner Raveen Sayer not so much for the right reasons but for the wrong reasons. The former Trinity College Captain who finished with 96 wickets last season and 108 wickets in the previous season has been included in the potential 20 member World Cup Squad for the Pakistan tour which commences today. However as most wicket taking off spinners are more..

No response for cricket head coach

Oct 4 (NS) Applications for the post of Head Coach of the Sri Lanka cricket team closes on Tuesday. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) advertised for the post left vacant by the resignation of Marvan Atapattu in the newspapers as well as their official website on Sept 24. “We have not had any response so far but we expect those interested to apply before the deadline,” SLC CEO Ashley de Silva said. “It is a high profile post and those who have held it before have secured better positions elsewhere more..

Kaushal backed to get doosra cleared

Oct 4 (CI) Chairman of selectors Kapila Wijegunawardene is confident that offspinner Tharindu Kaushal can work on his action for the doorsa and bring it inside the ICC's 15-degree limit. After being reported for a suspect action during the home series against India and tested in Chennai, Kaushal was cleared to bowl the offbreak but his doosra was banned from international cricket. "Where Kaushal is concerned, more..

Access upbeat despite dip in profit, venturing overseas

Oct 4 (Island) Access Engineering, the premier civil engineering firm listed on the CSE which has successfully completed over 100 major projects since 2001 when it was founded, has seen top line growth in the year ended March 31, 2015 but seen attributable profit both at group and company level down 17.2% and 30.5 % respectively. However, the company remains upbeat about the future and has maintained a dividend level of one rupee per share during the year under review, more..

Clarification on Jehovah’s Witnesses breaching immigration rules

Oct 4 (Island) Referring to news story headlined Jehovah’s Witnesses breaching immigration rules in last week’s edition, the organization says that Jehovah’s Witnesses are a traditional Christian religion in Sri Lanka with 5,902 members and have at no time recruited tourists to engage in religious work. "Our needs for religious ministers from overseas is met by the provision of the religious visa category, which we have enjoyed since 1957, and which we have meticulously observed", more..

Ranil networks on enhanced science and technological collaboration with Japan

Oct 4 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe arrived here last afternoon on a five day official visit and began networking on enhanced collaboration in science and technology between the two countries. Wickremesinghe, who is also Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Development, served as Minister of Industries, Science and Technology in the Premadasa Govt of 1989 to May 1993. The PM’s delegation which included his wife, Maithree, more..

Delay in Kandy North water project causes hardship

Oct 4 (ST) The Rs. 3.4 billion Kandy North and Patha Dumbara water project is at a standstill causing hardship to the residents of the area who are awaiting the supply of drinking water. It is reported that the project which was introduced in 2013, is still awaiting govt approval despite foreign contractors being screened and approved. This project involves six divisional secretaries, 19 pump houses and 33 water tanks. The second phase of the project was initiated but more..

Lithuania opens Honorary Consulate in SL

Oct 4 (Island) Lithuania opened its Honorary Consulate in Sri Lanka with R.M. Manivannan, Chairman of SupremeSAT and proprietor of Supreme Global Holdings appointed Honorary Consul. Manivannan is known to be a big time private investor in emerging markets and has established large scale mining assets in many parts of Africa including Mauritania, DR Congo, Uganda, Madagascar and Kenya. He has investments in the space industry starting with SupremeSAT more..

Sacked official back at Sathosa job

Oct 4 (Island) In a shocking turnaround, a consultant of a key govt-owned trading company, whose services were terminated over an alleged multi-million rupee scam, has found her way back to a top slot in the same institution, due to what insiders described as political patronage. The contract of employment of this Lanka Sathosa official was terminated in Feb 2015 after being found guilty by an independent more..

Sigiriya to be open from dawn till night

Oct 4 (ST) The historic Sigiriya rock is to be kept open to the public shortly before dawn and late into nights on Poya days in a bid to attract more visitors under a new proposal by the Central Cultural Fund (CCF), a senior officer said. Visitors will be allowed from 5.00 a.m. onwards to the rock mainly to catch a glimpse of the sun rise and late into nights on Poya days enabling them to climb the rock with the help of the moon light, officer explained. ‘There have been requests mainly from foreigners to visit more..

Will ask North CM to explain: Sampanthan

Oct 4 (CG) Opposition and TNA leader R Sampanthan says he will seek an explanation from Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran over some comments he had made which went against the stand of the TNA. Sampanthan said that he had remained silent since the UNHRC was meeting in Geneva and Sri Lanka was being discussed. However now that the UNHRC session is over Sampanthan said that he will look to meet Wigneswaran and seek an explanation over more..

SLPA headless; Union claims Arjuna trying to appoint brother

Oct 4 (ST) Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has had no chairman, vice chairman or board of directors for the past one month and unions fear Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga wants his younger brother appointed to the topmost position. A union leader said he had no problem with Mr. Ranatunga but “if they bring family members into the SLPA they are setting the stage for corruption, not development”. more..

Private sector salary increment bill in Parliament shortly

Oct 4 (CT) Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations John Seneviratne said, that a Bill will be presented in Parliament very soon to increase the salaries of employees of the private sector by Rs 2,500 and to make the minimum salary of these private sector employees Rs 10,000. The minister further said that, all facts submitted by employers and trade unions were taken into consideration, during a discussion held with the National Labour Advisory Council, on Thursday. more..

Cameron says resolution on Sri Lanka a crucial step

Oct 4 (CG) British PM David Cameron says the resolution on Sri Lanka adopted by the UNHRC is a crucial step towards uncovering the truth about alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, ensuring accountability for the past and respect for human rights now and in the future. Cameron said Britain is committed to standing up for those affected by Sri Lanka’s civil war, and has been instrumental in UN investigation and adoption of this resolution. “I welcome the Sri Lankan govt’s commitment more..

Money looted by former VIPs: Govt faces dilemma

Oct 4 (ST) Govt’s campaign to recover foreign assets of leaders of the previous Govt has set a poser. It is unable to offer a general amnesty to Sri Lankans as an incentive to bring money deposited in foreign banks, particularly in Switzerland. The move prompted Minister Ravi Karunanayake, now on a campaign to shore up foreign exchange reserves, to declare that no questions would be asked. more..

Ex-Minister Abdul Carder passes away

Oct 4 (AD) Former Minister Abdul Carder has passed away at a private hospital in Kandy at the age of 79. Funeral is expected to take place in Gampola. A former Kandy District MP, Mr Cader entered Parliament from the UNP and served as the Minister of Cooperatives in the UNP govt formed in 2001. He later crossed over to the then ruling UPFA led by Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2012. he served as Deputy Minister of Environment in that govt. A businessman and politicians, more..

NCPA lacks legal power: Chair

Oct 4 (CT) Chairperson of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), Natasha Balendra said the Authority is powerless when it comes to legal issues faced by children. Referring to the issues that cropped up with regard to the arrest of a 17-year-old schoolboy on suspicion of the rape-murder of a toddler, Balendra said NCPA does not have the capacity to directly intervene when it comes to such situations. "We cannot directly intervene on behalf of children in the criminal justice system. more..

Serial killer in Kotakethana: Genetech test results point to one man

Oct 4 (CT) Genetech Molecular Diagnostics Research Institute (GMDRI), after analyzing bio samples taken from the crime scenes and the remains of the victims, has confirmed that four murders that were committed in Kotakethana and Kahawatte areas have been linked to a single person. Head of the GMDRI, Dr. Ruwan Illeperuma said that he has been able to locate a common DNA profile from four different cases. more..

More than 200 CB staff transferred; Governor says it’s routine

Oct 4 (ST) More than 200 officers and minor staff were transferred within the Central Bank (CB) on Thursday which Governor Arjuna Mahendran says is routine but has raised concerns amongst staff. Earlier on Sept 18, a batch of 15 senior officers were served with transfer orders including officials who had given evidence in the Central Bank bond probe by the Parliamentary Select Committee. On Thursday the transfer list was as follows: 13 senior staff officers, 75 staff officers, more..

IGP appoints new SIS Director: Kahawatte OIC transferred

Oct 4 (CT) IGP N.K. Ilangakoone has appointed SSP M.H. Marso of the State Intelligence Service as Director of the Special Branch with immediate effect. At the same time Director of the Special Branch SSP T.C.A. Dhanapala has been transferred to the Tangalle Police Division. Police Media Unit said that, these transfers were initiated on service requirements, by the IGP. In addition, Chief Inspector of Police L.P. Rajamanthri who was the OIC of the Kahawatte Police Station has more..

PM assures security forces chiefs over Geneva resolution

Oct 4 (ST) Placed on the table as they took their seats at the conference room of Temple Trees was the English text of the US backed resolution on Sri Lanka together with a translated Sinhala text. Army officers of two-star rank or Majors General and above were there. So were the equivalent counterparts, Rear Admirals of the Sri Lanka Navy and Air Vice Marshals of the Sri Lanka Air Force. more..

Question after Geneva

Oct 4 (Island) Sri Lanka’s Geneva month has come and gone. The final act in Geneva was so unlike during the previous Rajapaksa years that newspapers had to search for uncustomary headlines. SL Resolution adopted without vote, deadpanned one; UNHRC unites for Sri Lanka, enthused another. Between the two hangs the story of a resolution that the Sri Lankan govt co-sponsored and the 47 member Council unanimously endorsed. The question after Geneva is more..

The mote is seen, the splinter is ignored

Oct 4 (Island) There are a couple of characteristics that we Sri Lankans share and many more that the Sinhalese people demonstrate. We are genial, foreigners say, and smile freely and start conversations even more readily. Another national trait according to some expatriates, is that we are over-fond of discussing our ailments – both minor and major - at social gatherings and itemize very accurately the medicines we take. No wonder the many many pharmacies they say. more..

Cutout mania back again: Whither Yahapalanaya?

Oct 4 (ST) Soon after the Presidential election in January, orders went forth from the President’s office to remove posters put out by various politicians praising President Sirisena’s victory. That was probably Yahapalanaya. But last Friday was a different story. Hanging from the lamp posts, roundabouts and other available spaces in Colombo streets were posters hailing President’s achievement more..

Delay in Treasury fund transfer stalls GK repayments 2nd phase

Oct 4 (Island) The second round of reimbursements to Golden Key (GK) depositors have so far failed to get off the ground notwithstanding the Supreme Court (SC) approved one-month timeframe elapsing today, officials said. The repayment formula for depositors with holdings ranging from Rs. 2 million to 10 million should have been completed by October 4, 2015, in terms of the undertaking given to the SC, but the Treasury’s inordinate delay in more..

Seya case: Police handling of teenage suspect draws fire

Oct 4 (ST) The public focus on the Seya Sadewmini rape and murder case this week shifted to accusations of police brutality, prompting a police probe and sparking widespread condemnation from human rights activists and officials. Police Chief N. K. Illangakoon has ordered an investigation into the alleged assault on a 17-year-old schoolboy and a 32-year-old man taken into custody in connection with the sexual assault and more..

What happened to Vithya’s DNA evidence?

Oct 4 (CT) In May of 2015, an 18 year old Vithya Sivaloganathan's badly mangled body was discovered in Pungudutivu, Jaffna. She had been gang raped and murdered. The result of the DNA sample taken from her body has not yet been analyzed. Last month, September, four year old Seya Sadewmi's mutilated little body was discovered, she too had been raped and murdered. Of the three suspects arrested in connection more..

Probe on Namal’s companies

Oct 4 (SL) The police FCID has last week raided a company operated by former First Son and UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa as part of a probe being carried out under the Money Laundering Act. The FCID is carrying out a probe covering the operations of six companies operated by Rajapaksa – Hello Corp Pvt Ltd, Gowers Corporate Services Pvt Ltd, Gowers Solutions, Gowers Secretariat, Gowers Ceylon Holdings more..

BoC deprives the nation?

Oct 4 (SL) Controversy surrounds how the Bank of Ceylon (BoC) has deprived the nation of a staggering Rs. 55 million by writing off part of a loan obtained by millionaire businessman Dhammika Perera, who is a close ally of Kurunegala District MP, Mahinda Rajapaksa. Chairman and Board of Directors of BoC has written off Rs.55 million from Vallibel Lanka Shipping Ltd recently and questions have been raised as to on whose more..

Karuna ready to face inquiry

Oct 4 (SL) Former minister V Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman denied allegations directed at him by the recent report released by the office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Amongst many serious nature of crimes, the report highlighted extensive recruitment and use of children in armed conflict by the LTTE and by the paramilitary groups specifically highlighting Karuna group in the report. more..

JVP says human rights issue used as political tool

Oct 4 (CG) The JVP accused the current and former Govt of using the human rights issue used as political tool. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that the resolution on Sri Lanka adopted at the UNHRC last week is not a historic victory for the country as claimed by the Govt. He said that the resolution, which being watered down, still calls for foreign intervention in Sri Lanka’s domestic affairs. “There are some clauses we can accept but more..

Northern fishermen stand firm, requests Minister to seek solution through diplomacy

Oct 4 (ST) Leaders of the fishermen representing those from the North met with Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera on Monday reiterated their stand on boycotting the next round of talks with their Indian counterparts. The leaders have raised the issue of ongoing poaching by the Indian fishermen and the Govt’s position to solve the issue through diplomatic channels. Naganathy Ponnambalam, a leader representing more..

Police suck the blood of sex workers

Oct 4 (CT) A number of commercial sex workers – an unlucky 13 – six to seven of whom have families which include five or six children, living in seaside shanties adjacent to the Bambalapitiya Railway Station complain of being subjected to harassment on a daily basis by the officers attached to the Bambalapitiya and Colpetty Police Stations, sometimes on several occasions a day. Both, 40-year-old Manori, whose friends call her Mary more..

Does the PM really mean business?

Oct 4 (Island) The crucial clause in the UNHRC Sept 2015 Resolution on Sri Lanka reads as follows: "Welcomes the govt’s recognition that accountability is essential to uphold the rule of law and build confidence in the people of all communities of Sri Lanka in the justice system, takes note with appreciation of the Government of Sri Lanka’s proposal to establish a Judicial Mechanism with a Special Counsel to investigate allegations of violations and abuses of human rights and more..

A bridge too near: A major health risk of land-bridging India and Sri Lanka

Oct 4 (Island) Many have discussed the benefits and hazards to Sri Lanka of a land bridge which is being proposed between Talaimannar in Sri Lanka and Rameswaram in South India. In an article published in the Island newspaper of Sept 22, Mr Ashley de Vos has elucidated his concerns about the proposed bridge in which he cites the re-introduction of malaria to Sri Lanka as one of the plausible risks. We write as persons with some technical knowledge on the subject of malaria to endorse more..

President Maithripala Sirisena

Tamil Eelam is the solution: Ramadoss

Oct 4 (Hindu) PMK leader S. Ramadoss on Saturday said that if Sri Lanka was ready for an international inquiry into the “war crimes and human rights violations,” the United Nations should hold a referendum among the Sri Lankan Tamils across the world for the creation of a separate Tamil Eelam. “Tamils cannot live in peace and with dignity in a country that refuses to change its attitude and is not allowing an international inquiry,” he said in a statement. more..

AG yet to act on SC Judge

Oct 4 (SL) The CID has concluded the investigation carried out into the conduct of Supreme Court judge, Sarath de Abrew and the file has been handed over to the Attorney General’s Department. Sources at the Attorney General’s Department said that the CID has alleged that de Abrew has been found guilty of sexual harassment, criminal trespass, unlawful detention and hurt. It is learnt that the file on de Abrew was handed over to the AG’s Department by the CID about six weeks ago. more..

Ten districts are disaster prone, says NBRO

Oct 4 (ST) Ten districts in the country are at high risk of landslides, cut slopes and rock falls, a senior official of the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) said. Districts are Kegalle, Ratnapura, Matale, Kandy, Badulla, Nuwara-Eliya, Kalutara, Matara, Galle and Hambantota, said R.M.S Bandara, Director of Disaster Management Unit of NBRO. He warned that residents should be vigilant about more..

Political will the key says Mano

Oct 4 (SL) National dialogue failed not due to lack of mechanisms but due to lack of political will, says Minister of National Dialogue Mano Ganesan. He said the Department of Official Languages was established as early as 1956 and the Official Languages Commission came to a operation in 1991. “Hence, there has been mechanism established already for national dialogue. But there has not been a political will for that during the previous govts that came to power,” more..