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Fisheries funds spent to boost Rajapaksa image

Sept 1 (SL) The UPFA regime is accused of lavishly spending millions of rupees to build Rajapaksa’s image in order to reinforce the party’s attempt to hang on to power by deceiving people with public funds. Such an incident was revealed last week where a staggering Rs.13.2 million had allegedly been spent for just one public meeting, where former President Rajapaksa attended in Negombo in the run up to 2015 presidential more..

Tea plantation workers wage hike talks is in deadlock

Sept 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s planters association says that higher wage demand issue of the tea planation workers is still dragging, making more trouble to both plantation companies and workers. “Status remains as it is since no one came for a final solution,” Roshan Rajadurai, President of planter’s association of Ceylon said. “We also could not afford for almost 50% wage hike that workers demands, as the industry more..

FCID completes probe against Godahewa, charges soon

Sept 1 (ST) The FCID is preparing to file charges against some top names in the capital market industry allegedly involved in corrupt deals with most investigations over. “The FCID has completed the probe against former SEC Chairman Nalaka Godahewa and Ronnie Ibrahim, Director Prime Sports pertaining to a donation to Tharunyata Hetak, a youth organization run by Namal Rajapaksa, son of former President Rajapaksa,” more..

Ishant, Prasad, Chandimal and Thirimanne charged by ICC

Sept 1 (CI) India fast bowler Ishant Sharma and Sri Lankan players Dhammika Prasad, Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne have been charged by the ICC for their roles in several angry exchanges during the fourth day of the SSC Test. "Details to be announced after the conclusion of the Test," the ICC said on Twitter. Ishant and Prasad faced off during the final session of 4th day when Ishant, after being bounced more..

SL's parliamentary election, seen up close

Sept 1 (TD) I arrived in Sri Lanka on Aug 10, a week before the country’s Aug 17 parliamentary election. Our group of short-term international election observers would spend the first few days in Colombo, the capital, before heading out to the locations from which we’d be monitoring the election. Shortly after my arrival in Colombo, I learned that I would be in Jaffna on voting day. Having spent several years more..

How safe is our drinking water?

Sept 1 (Island) The Federation of Environmental Organizations (FEO) asked the govt to reveal to the public whether the water supplied to Colombo was safe to drink owing to the contamination of part of the Kelani Ganga. FEO’s Prof. Praveen Abhayaratne said that the public was still receiving conflicting information about the safety of drinking water. The public had a right to know if the issue had been sorted out more..

PCoI summons ex-ITN chief

Sept 1 (DM) The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) will today interrogate former ITN chairman Anura Siriwardena over a loss of Rs.115 million incurred by the state-owned television station for broadcasting ex-president Rajapaksa's advertisements, which were not paid for. PCoI Secretary Lacille De Silva said the probe into the losses incurred by the TV channel had revealed that whilst the ITN was running ads for more..

President worships sacred tooth relic

Sept 1 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena who visited the Kandy City yesterday (30) to view the Esala Perahera, paid homage to the Temple of the Tooth relic and received blessings. Thereafter the President visited Malwathu Maha Viharaya and called on the Maha Nayaka of the Malwatta Chapter Most Ven. Tibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Nayaka Thero. Maha Nayaka of the Malwatta Chapter commended the President more..

Parliamentary consensus needed for reforms, new constitution, freedom

Sept 1 (EN) Sri Lanka's parliament faces a challenge of working together to reform govt, change the constitution to bring back freedom, party leaders said. PM Wickremesinghe said the parliament faced a challenge of consensus based politics. UNP, which emerged the largest party in polls is planning a unity administration with the opposition SLFP of President Maithripala Sirisena. Wickremesinghe said a number of reforms more..

Shares, rupee steady ahead of president address

Sept 1 (Reuters) Stock and forex markets were steady in thin trade on Tuesday ahead of President Sirisena's address on govt policies. Newly elected Parliament held its first session on Tuesday, and Sirisena is expected to address the session at 0930 GMT. Cabinet of ministers is expected to be announced later in the week. Analysts said investors were also waiting for some direction on both market interest and exchange rates after the central bank held key policy rates steady late on Monday more..

A tribute to a dear friend: Shanthi Anusha Sachithanandam

Sept 1 (CT) I had the privilege of having known Shanthi Sachithanandam since about the 1980s when she and her husband Mano would attend the many meetings and discussion circles which were going on about the crisis in the country as result of the pogroms unleashed by President Jayewardene after his massive election victory in 1977. JR. Jayewardene had won the elections with a four fifths majority and his first act as the President was to unleash a reign of terror on the SLFP and more..

Ceylon Today Cartoon

Cabinet: How big is too big?

Sept 1 (DM) Opposition has been growing among the people for over a decade over the huge Cabinets many govts have been appointing since 1990. There have been times when only one or two members of the ruling party were left without ministerial portfolios. The first manifestation of this opposition of the masses was the pressure exerted by the JVP on the Parivasa Govt led by Chandrika Bandaranaike in 2001 where the President had to shrink her Cabinet to 25 ministers the Prime Minister, more..

Odel plans mega mall, closes outlets

Sept 1 (EN) The new owner of Sri Lankan retailer Odel PLC has closed down some of its stores but plans to build a Mega Mall of 300,000 square feet adjoining its present flagship outlet in Colombo. Odel chairman Ashok Pathirage, whose Softlogic Group bought the retailer last year, said luxury retailers are benefitting from income gains among the top earners in the island and are thriving. “Growth in this sector is a key factor in driving expansion across the board,” he told shareholders more..

President Maithripala Sirisena

Rs 100,000 worth of liquor found in illicit tavern

Sept 1 (Island) The Excise Special Crimes Division on Saturday night raided an unlicensed bar at Higgolla, Matale and took into custody over Rs.100,000 worth of liquor and arrested one person. The suspect (21) is a resident of Matale. Among the items taken into custody were 42,000 litres of arrack and 74,000 litres of beer. Under interrogation, the suspect has told the excise men that he had stocked the alcohol to be sold on the Poya day. The illicit tavern was in close proximity to more..

Cardiac treatment unit for children opens at Peradeniya

Sept 1 (Island) The second cardiac treatment unit for children has been established at the Sirimavo Bandaranayake Specialist Children Hospital, Peradeniya (SBSCH) at a cost of Rs. 20 million. The spokesperson for the Health Ministry, Lakshmi Kumari said that the main aim of the unit was to provide in-ward facilities for paediatric patients. The unit which was inaugurated by Director General Health Services (DGHS) Dr Palitha Mahipala comprises 21-bed strength. more..

Defence Seminar - 2015 begins with a packed crowd of participants

Sept 1 (SLA) The inaugural sessions of the Defence Seminar - 2015, themed on National Security in the Context of Emerging Global Threats got to a start today at Colombo Galadari Hotel, amidst a packed audience of scholars, intellectuals, policy makers and military leaders, drawn from more than 40 countries, excluding diplomats based here. The arrival of the day’s Chief Guest HE Hamid Karzai, Former President of Afghanistan, more..

PMB nears 50% of paddy purchasing target

Sept 1 (Island) Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) had by yesterday purchased 40,934 MT of paddy out of its targeted amount of 114,500 MT for Yala season this year. The purchasing of paddy has commenced in Ampara, Anuradhapura, Batticaloa, Hambantota, Kilinochchi, Kurunegala, Matale, Moneragala, Mullaitivu, Polonnaruwa, Puttalam, Ratnapura, Trincomalee and Vavuniya. PMB Chairman M.B Dissanayake said that the govt had expedited the purchasing by deploying additional officers to more..

Lankan Navy arrests 16 TN fishermen

Sept 1 (PTI) 16 fishermen from Jagadhapattinam in Pudukottai district were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on charges of violating the International Maritime Boundary Line this morning. Fishermen's Association president S Emiret said the fishermen were fishing in Indian waters off Kodiakarai coast. The fishermen had been taken to Kangensanthurai in Jaffna district along with their three boats. Meanwhile, Selvaraj, a fisherman, fainted and died in a fishing boat while fishing more..

Terrorism should be looked at as Common Threat: Karzai

Sept 1 (SLA) “Unless the International Community begins to see terrorism as a common threat to the very survival of the world, they are cannot be an end to the chain of extremism, coupled with terrorism,” so said former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, keynote Speaker at the inaugural session of the Defence Seminar - 2015 at Galadari Hotel. Karzai calling Sri Lanka as a country which is very close to his heart predicted that more..

Chinese Ambassador thanks Sri Lanka for helping defeat facism

Sept 1 (Island) The Chinese Embassy in Colombo convened a commemoration meeting to mark the 70th Anniversary of the war victory over fascism and the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese aggression in Colombo last Thursday. It was held at the BMICH in collaboration with the Chinese Culture Center in Sri Lanka, Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Sri Lanka Overseas Chinese Association. Well known scholars from Sri Lankan think tanks, representatives from more..

Sri Lanka gem shows expects 10,000 visitors

Sept 1 (EN) Organisers of FACETS Sri Lanka 2015, the island’s main gem and jewellery show, said they expect 10,000 visitors during the four-day event from Sept 3 to 6. Philatelic Bureau of Sri Lanka will issue four stamps at the show, being held for the 25th consecutive year to commemorate the anniversary. International exhibition, organized by the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA), will have a mix of local and foreign participants with all booths being sold out. more..

Persistent India complete rare series win

Sept 1 (CI) You spend hours planning for outside edges and lbws, pegging away just outside off and breaking backs bowling bouncers, sweating, despairing, hoping for slip fielders to take the catches, praying the umpires agree with your lbw appeals, debating over DRS and no-balls, and then a Test turns on a reverse-sweep. Coming together at five down with 78 overs to survive, captain Angelo Mathews and debutant Kusal more..

Sri Lanka civil society cries foul over missing journalist case

Sept 1 (PTI) Attempts are being made to suppress an investigation in the missing of a prominent journalist in Sri Lanka ahead of the 2010 presidential polls while he was working for former Army chief Sarath Fonseka, civil society activists have claimed. "Please do not try to cover up the investigation. We have noticed lethargy on the part of certain officials," Saman Ratnapriya, a civil society activist said. "Despite the local and international interest on the case, no proper investigations were done," he said. more..

FR case against UPFA National List on Sept 10

Sept 1 (Island) Supreme Court fixed for support on Sept 10, the fundamental rights violation petition filed by Somaweera Chandrasiri, Vice Chairman of the MEP, a UPFA constituent. He has complained that the names of some defeated UPFA candidates were among the National List MPs to be appointed. The names of those defeated candidates had not been published prior to the August 17 general election, he has said. Counsel, Manohara de Silva President’s Counsel said that more..

'Sri Lanka - India relations on sound footing as never before'

Sept 1 (SLA) Dr Arvind Gupta, Indian Deputy National Security Advisor contributing to the Session 1 on the theme Nature of Threats Affecting the National Security of a Nation of the Defence Seminar - 2015 at Colombo Galadari Hotel opined that the ever increasing India - Sri Lanka relations are now on a sound footing and Sri Lanka is a vital component in the periphery as regional development is taking root. more..

Esoteric stream of Buddhism practised here during seventh and eighth centuries: Don

Sept 1 (Island) Findings of the recent excavations at the Vijayarama Monastery site near the Abahayagiriya stupa in Anuradhpaura indicated that esoteric versions of Buddhism were thriving in ancient Sri Lanka during the period of seventh and eighth centuries AD, Director in charge of Central Cultural Fund’s Anuradhapura project, Prof. T. G. Kulathunga said. There are evidences to prove that Vajrayana and Tantrayana also known as Tantric Buddhism, offshoot streams of Mahayana more..

Gammanpila's talk of armed struggle shouted down

Sept 1 (DM) PHU Leader Udaya Gammanpila's speech in parliament was met with protests by some govt members when he mentioned an armed struggle. In his speech to extend his congratulations to new Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, he said the parties had unanimously elected the new Speaker. He said there were attempts to revive federalism in the new parliament to achieve certain objectives which were initially tried through an armed struggle. He said the armed struggle was defeated militarily more..

Sri Lanka war crimes probe: NPC rejects domestic mechanism

Sept 1 (ENS) Tamil-controlled Northern Provincial Council today demanded an international probe into the alleged war crimes committed towards the end of civil war with the LTTE, while dismissing the domestic mechanism backed by the US and the international community. In a resolution passed today, the NPC questioned the legal possibilities of conducting a credible domestic investigation in preference to more..

Former president takes oaths as MP again

Sept 1 (CT) For the first time in the country's history, a former President would take oaths as a MP today. Given that MPs in general have been criticized for having more privileges than necessary, it is learnt that former President and Kurunegala MP, Mahinda Rajapaksa would enjoy the benefits that accompany both titles. Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said by law, Rajapaksa is entitled to the salary and perks of the MP, as well as the privileges he was enjoying as former President of the country. more..

Five soldiers injured in attack by detainees

Sept 1 (DM) Five army personnel were injured when attacked by a group of detainees at the Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre for drug addicts in Kanda Kadu, Welikanda, Polonnaruwa last evening. Commissioner General for Rehabilitation, Major General Janaka Ratnayake accompanied by Deputy Commissioner Brigadier Darshana Liyanage had visited the centre to deliver a lecture to the detainees. The vehicle convoy had been attacked on the way back by a group of detainees more..

China says ties with Sri Lanka only for development

Sept 1 (CG) China says the cooperation between China and Sri Lanka is only for the peace and development and that it has no intention to target a third party. “I can clearly declare that there is no ulterior purposes or hidden agenda in the cooperation. We also urge and would like to see all the countries in the Indian Ocean region to play a positive and constructive role in promoting the regional security and cooperation, and more..

All 60 wickets to India bowlers, and a rare comeback

Sept 1 (CI) 4: Number of Tests Sri Lanka have now lost at home this year, this is the most they have lost at home in a calendar year. The last time they lost more than two home Tests in a calendar year was in 2003-04, when they lost three Tests. 1993: Last and the only other time Sri Lanka lost two home series in a calendar year. Sri Lanka had lost two of their four Test series in that year, to India and South Africa. In 2015, they have played two and lost two including the one against Pakistan earlier this year. more..

Stay order on full-face helmets extended

Sept 1 (AD) Court of Appeal on Tuesday further extended the stay order issued against the circular imposing a ban on full-face helmets. The stay order was extended until Oct 13 when the petition filed against the circular was taken up for hearing. A recent surge in crimes such as bank robberies and shootings committed by individuals wearing full-face helmets had led to the police department introducing the ban, which has been widely criticized by motorcyclists and politicians alike. more..

Mathews finds positives in tremendous Kusal

Sept 1 (CI) Sri Lanka have lost a series at home to India for the first time in 22 years, but on the final day, had a performance to be upbeat about. The hosts were 107 for 5 when Kusal Perera took guard for his second Test innings. He joined Angelo Mathews in a 135-run stand that grew Sri Lanka's hopes of an unlikely win, but was dismissed for 70 from 106 balls. Kusal had also hit a 55 from 56 alongside the tail in the first innings, more..

How India killed two birds with one stone in the region

Sep 2 (CT) When fools look to the future, wise men play it by the day. Wise men take the extra mile in one stride. And, that is how they meet two goals in one strategy to find one solution to two problems. That was how India put out two fires by a single shower in her region. Deep rooted Indian strategies surface when the final phase of Mahinda Rajapaksa's Presidency is recalled with regard to the developments in Indian Ocean. Mahinda held a different view for the call to grant 13 plus more..

Governance & Institutions have now become important in Sri Lanka

Sep 2 (CT) A new Govt promising the delivery of good governance to citizens has now been voted to power in Sri Lanka. With that development, governance issues have become all the more important in the country today. But governance cannot be delivered without supporting institutions. Hence, as an integral part of the new system to be implemented in the country, institutional building should go hand-in-hand with governance measures. Governance refers to how an individual more..

Up, up in the sky

Sep 2 (SO) National Kite Festival 2015 titled Nil Ahase Wasanthaya will take place for the 7th time on Sept 12 and 13 at Galle Face Green. Organized by Kite Sri Lanka, this year’s competition will feature over five hundred kite enthusiasts from around Sri Lanka. Several international competitors are also expected to participate in the two-day event. That creates a platform for thousands of local and foreign kite lovers to enjoy kite-flying more..

Comments on India’s gift of a ship to SL

Sep 2 (CT) India has handed over a Coast Guard ship to Sri Lanka Navy as a gift. Tamil Nadu political leaders have strongly condemned it because SL Navy had used such gifts from India to attack our fishermen and destroy the Sea Tiger boats during the Eelam War. MDMK leader Vaiko has described it as a betrayal of Eelam Tamils and TN fishermen. What are your views on this?, a TV news channel asked me. India’s Sri Lanka policy is not solely guided by what happened in Eelam War more..