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JVP claims people’s trust in AG’s Department fast eroding

Sep 14 (Island) People’s trust in the judiciary was fast eroding under the new govt too for its dubious conduct over the case against LTTE’s chief arms procurer Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, JVP MP Vijitha Herath said. He said that his party had filed a petition on January 19, this year seeking an investigation into KP’s assets. They had levelled 193 charges in their petition. One of them was that KP owned 7 ships, foreign assets, more..

SF on Avant Garde, Rakna Lanka and KP

Sep 14 (NF) There was a Deputy Solicitor General called Wasantha Bandara who was working at the AG’s department on the issue relating to Avante Guard. He presented a report on the matter and it recommended that Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the owner of Avante Guard should be apprehended and that legal action should be taken against them under the Terrorism Prevention act. But Suhada Gamlath who is currently working in the capacity of Deputy Attorney General suspended the report and more..

CID probes threat on Thajudeen's relative

Sep 14 (CT) CID has commenced investigations on four persons who arrived at the office of a relative of murdered Ruggerite Waseem Thajudeen and had attempted to elicit information. The office of Thajudeen's relative is located in Wellawatte. The group has arrived in a motor car, which was parked at a by-lane in the area. They have then attempted to obtain information about Thajudeen's relative twice; at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. CID has commenced investigations after Thajudeen's relative more..

Two reports in House to coincide with UNHRC session

Sep 14 (DN) The Sri Lankan govt will table two important commission reports in Parliament to coincide with the UNHRC session in Geneva. The Presidential Commission Investigating Cases of Missing Persons (PCICMP) report would be tabled in Parliament towards the end of this month. The report was handed over to President Maithripala Sirisena by its Chairman Maxwell Paranagama, a retired High Court judge, two weeks ago. more..

CTB employees offered compensation for voluntary retirement

Sep 14 (SL) Employees of Ceylon Transport Board (CTB) have been offered compensation for voluntary retirement. Transport Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that there is an excess of staff at the CTB, so the voluntary retirement scheme has been offered to the employees. He said that he met Minister Ravi Karunanayake and discussed the voluntary retirement scheme and obtained approval for the proposal. Several people had been recruited to CTB without following proper procedures. more..

Tamils' march for Intl probe nears Jaffna

Sep 14 (ENS) A group of radical Tamils led by Northern Provincial Council (NPC) members MK Shivaji Lingam and Ananthi Sasitharan are at the tail end of their four-day march from Kilinochchi to Jaffna, demanding an international inquiry into the charges of war crimes against the Sri Lankan armed forces, and an international court to try the alleged perpetrators. Speaking from Kaithady, Shivaji Lingam said about 50 people are in the rally, which will wind up at Sangiliyan Thoppu in Jaffna, more..

Hear! hear! Geneva!

Sep 14 (FT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera will address the 30th Session of the UNHRC in Geneva today, after Govt quarters remained tight-lipped over the weekend about the copy of a highly anticipated report on the UN investigation it officially received on Friday. Both the UN and the Govt have maintained a stony silence about the report that has now been seen by the SL delegation and officials in Colombo, more..

If Health is in the market, the poor will die

Sep 14 (DM) Since the legislation for the setting up of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) was passed this year—after a delay of more than ten years and alleged sabotage by powerful transnational pharmaceutical companies—most people have been asking what is happening. The 13-member NMRA headed by Prof. Laal Jayakody, head of the Department of Pharmacology in the Colombo Medical Faculty, was set up in July and sworn in by Health Minister more..

After the elections Another case of empty promises or a Genuine turn-around

Sep 14 (DM) When the Boxing Day-Tsunami struck, Sinhalese, Tamils & Muslims attempted to help each other irrespective of race caste or religion. But the chance to shed our differences in the face of a national calamity seemed to pass us by, as the waves withdrew. On Jan 8, 2015 once again the country united to change a President. Yes, the elections –both presidential and parliamentary-- are over and done. At the Presidential election, a common candidate --Maithripala Sirisena— more..

UNHRC Sessions: Where are the patriots?

Sep 14 (DM) In the not-so-distant past, come September, paranoia hit over the roof. State media went on full swing to demean the traitors; civil society activists were harassed; Tamil collaborators intimidated, private media was told to tone down criticism. M/s. Mervyn Silva, Wimal Weerawansa and their goons got busy organizing protests in front of the UN office and Western embassies. That was also the time when more..

Sri Lanka spends US$447.5mn for peg defence in August

Sep 14 (EN) Sri Lanka has spent US$ 447.25 million in Aug 2015 to defend a soft-peg with the US dollar up from US$ 352.5 million in July amid continued money printing. Sri Lanka has a money printing central bank which targets interest rates by printing money and also tries to target an exchange rate peg, getting into balance of payments crises with almost boring regularity, analysts say. Country goes into balance of payments crisis more..

Half-boiled solution, say paddy farmers as PMB ups buying limit

Sep 14 (ST) As farmer protests grow countrywide, the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) has said it has upped its paddy-purchasing limit, but farmers say that it may still not be sufficient to solve the current crisis over the bumper Yala harvest. Long queues are still seen at the PMB purchasing centres around the country. PMB had now decided to buy up to 160,000 tons of rice and only 50,000 more tons needed to be more..

Women underrepresented in Sri Lankan company, govt senior ranks: ADB

Sep 14 (EN) Women remain underrepresented at senior decision-making levels in Sri Lanka’s corporate and govt sectors, with only 6.1% of directors of boards of listed firms being women, Asian Development Bank said. “The most blatant gender inequalities are in labor force participation,” the bank said. “The unemployment rates of women are more than double that of men at all age levels, and more..

Stop persecuting activist over Sri Lanka film, says HRW

Sep 14 (HRW) The Malaysian authorities should end their prosecution of a local activist for her role in showing a documentary film without censorship board approval, Human Rights Watch said today. Malaysia’s Federal Court will hear Lena Hendry’s challenge to the constitutionality of the Film Censorship Act on Sept 14, 2015. Hendry, a staff member of the human rights group Pusat KOMAS, was charged under the act for more..

Domestic v International probe: Battle begins

Sep 14 (SL) Sri Lanka’s attempt to seek support for a domestic mechanism to address allegations over the war shifts to Geneva this week as the 30th session of the UNHRC begins with Sri Lanka on the agenda. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe were due to arrive in Geneva today to begin meetings with member states of the UNHRC to seek support for the domestic mechanism. more..

The cry for an international inquiry

Sep 14 (CT) With the 30th session of the UNHRC on the horizon, several civil organizations as well as political parties have started to show a lot of interest in the issue. With the TNA wanting to remain neutral until the official reading of the report of the OHCHR is concluded, several other organizations such as the CHRD had taken the extreme road and have asked for an international probe on the alleged war crimes. more..

Sugar importers to meet Ravi K

Sep 14 (FT) The Essential Food Commodities Association will meet Minister Ravi Karunanayake this week to discuss the issues that might arise in the future as a result of the recent tax hike that was imposed on sugar imports. The Government last week imposed a special commodity levy of Rs. 12 per kilo with a ruling that the hike could not be passed on to consumers. Essential Food Commodities Association Chairman more..

'Welfare state no longer affordable'

Sep 14 (DN) Sri Lanka gets about 5-7% of the GDP from foreign aid, said former Director-Economic Affairs of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy. He said that two-thirds of that has been from the concessional window of the World Bank. “In addition about 15% is from Japan at an interest rate of 2% or less while the remaining aid has also been at a rate of less than 2%.” “With no more access to that more..

Kaushal undergoes test on bowling action

Sep 14 (PTI) Off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal on Monday completed testing on his bowling action at the ICC-accredited Biomechanics Laboratory and the Centre's findings and report will be sent to the ICC and Sri Lankan Cricket Board within a fortnight time. The 22-year-old bowler, who was reported for a suspect illegal bowling action by the match officials during the third Test match against India early this month at SSC ground, more..

Welgama's dream

Sep 14 (CT) SLFP/UPFA MP Kumara Welgama said that 47 SLFP/UPFA MPs who haven't got positions in the national unity rainbow govt comprising mainly MPs from the island's two largest parties, the SLFP and UNP, will sit in the Opposition. This is in the backdrop that the Speaker has already recognized TNA leader R. Sampanthan as the Opposition Leader. A strong opposition is healthy for a democracy. Welgama, parroting the words of Sampanthan when he was made Opposition more..

Army inquiry into alleged irregularities at Senehasa Children’s Home

Sep 14 (DN) Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said that an inquiry will be initiated on the instructions of Army Commander Lt. Gen. Crishantha de Silva to look into the alleged irregularities reported by the Senehasa Children’s Home, Narahenpita. “The situation is being studied in order to ascertain whether any misconduct had taken place at the Senehasa Children’s Home. We will be able to ascertain whether any irregularities had taken place only after the completion of an inquiry,” more..

Dayan Jayathilaka

Sri Lanka stocks end firmer, foreigners buy

Sep 14 (EN) Shares closed slightly firmer Monday with the benchmark index propped up by gains in banking, hotel and telecom firms and foreign investors net buyers, brokers. All Share Price Index rose 8.95 points or 0.13% to close at 7,162.44 while the S&P SL 20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks, gained 5.33 points (0.14%) to close at 3,919.60. Turnover was a low 697 million rupees a quarter of which came from crossings or off-the-floor negotiated deals, more..

Economic diplomacy & SL embassies

Sep 14 (CT) The term diplomacy refers to dealings with other states on Trade, War, Economy, Culture, Environment, Human Rights, Strategic advantages and many other areas. This is generally led by the leader of the State with the Foreign Minister and the Embassies around the world. In some countries the Foreign Minister is entrusted with the work personally handled by the head of the state. Some countries the head handles it in person. States deal with the rest of the world via more..

Aussie PM Tony Abbott ousted by Turnbull

Sep 14 (Reuters) Australia will have its fifth prime minister in eight years after the ruling Liberal Party on Monday voted out Tony Abbott in favor of longtime rival Malcolm Turnbull, following months of infighting and crumbling voter support. Turnbull, a multi-millionaire former tech entrepreneur, won a secret party vote by 54 to 44, Liberal Party chief whip said. Australia is set to hold elections before the end of next year, more..

Fitch withdraws Ceylon Income Fund rating

Sep 14 (EN) Fitch Ratings Lanka said it had withdrawn Ceylon Income Fund's National Fund Credit Quality Rating of 'A(lka)' as assets previously rated by another rating agency banned by the regulator were no longer monitored. Fund, managed by Ceylon Asset Management (CAM), primarily invests in corporate debt instruments. After the SEC did not renew the licence of Lanka Rating Agency (LRA), in July 2015 Fitch placed the Ceylon Income Fund on Rating Watch Negative. more..

'20 m sexual stimulant pills sold annually'

Sep 14 (DN) Around 20 million sexual stimulant pills are sold in Sri Lanka annually, Dangerous Drugs Control Board sources said. These stimulant pills are used without proper medical advice. People buy those over the counter from private pharmacies and use them. Medical professionals say the usage of certain types of drugs can cause paralysis or death. It is illegal to issue such drugs without prescriptions. In the past many similar drugs, creams and sprays were detected by health officials during more..

US to work with SL to address UN report

Sep 14 (CG) United States says it will work with Sri Lanka to address the important findings of the investigation report on Sri Lanka by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Erin M. Barclay, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Organization Affairs said that US is also eagerly anticipating the release of the report on Sri Lanka. “United States will engage with govt of SL with the objective to develop more..

SL at the UNHRC: Let the debate begin, again

Sep 14 (TD) A long-awaited report by the U.N. OHCHR has been delivered to the Sri Lankan govt. The report, a result of a UNHRC resolution passed on Sri Lanka in March 2014, deals largely with abuses by govt forces and the separatist Tamil Tigers that occurred during the end of the country’s civil war. The report will be made public imminently. Sri Lanka’s foreign minister, Mangala Samaraweera, will speak at the HRC today, the opening day of the HRC’s 30th session. more..

Japan gifts ambulance, fire engine to Army

Sep 14 (DN) A group of Japanese philanthropists extended their support to the Army by donating an ambulance and a fire engine at a brief ceremony at the Narahenpita Army Hospital premises on Saturday. The ceremony was held with the participation of Army Commander Crishanthe De Silva. Army Commander and the Japanese delegation was received at the venue to a warm welcome and Army Health Services Director General, Major General Sanjeewa more..

Girl was sexually abused & strangled to death: Police

Sep 14 (NS) The post-mortem which was concluded this morning over the suspicious death of five year old girl from Kotadeniyawa revealed that she was strangled and sexually abused. The magisterial inquiry was held this morning after the body was found yesterday early morning just 200 meters away from her residence. Girl was reported missing on Friday night and the parents had got into know only at Saturday morning. more..

Second national drugs prevention programme in Galle

Sep 14 (GDI) Second National Drugs Prevention Programme will be held under the auspices of President Sirisena at the Town Hall in Galle on Sept 18, Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said. The programme is being organized by the Presidential Task Force for Drugs Prevention which is committed to pave way for economic, social and cultural development through making Sri Lanka a drug free nation in accordance with manifesto of President; Compassionate Govt, a Stable Country. more..

New vehicle registrations up 31% in August; slows from July

Sep 14 (EN) Sri Lanka's vehicle registrations fell to 50,555 in August 2015, from 62,221 in July 2014, but were still up 31% from a year earlier. Sri Lanka's car registrations picked up in the last quarter of 2015 as credit recovered. In August total car registrations fell to 8,860 units from an all-time high of 9,736 in July, though up from 2,361 units in August 2014. Motor cycle imports fell to 25,655 units in August from 33,722 units in July 2015 though still sharply up from 18,997 in August 2014. more..

New Ministers for Western & North Western Provinces sworn in

Sep 14 (PSL) Ten new ministers for Western & North Western Provinces were sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Official Residence of the President, today. Chief Minister of the Western province Isura Devapriya received the portfolios of Finance & Planning, Engineering Services, Law and Order, Local Govt & Provincial Administration, Economic Promotions, Power & Energy, Environmental Affairs, more..

‘UN should probe war crimes in Sri Lanka’

Sep 14 (Hindu) UN should probe the alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, Second Deputy Chief Minister, Penang, Malaysia, P. Ramasamy, said. Addressing journalists, he said that whether or nor India supported such a move, countries around the world must come forward to urge the UN to conduct a probe as that would bring out the truth. Any internal investigation by Sri Lankan agencies was not acceptable. He also said the Sri Lankan govt must return the lands taken away from Tamils. more..

Several informal meetings on SL at UNHRC

Sep 14 (CG) Several informal meetings on Sri Lanka have been scheduled at the UN building in Geneva on the sidelines of the 30th session of the UNHRC which begins today. Leading human rights groups Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are among those who have booked meeting rooms at the UN office to hold discussions on Sri Lanka. The International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), the Pasumai Thaayagam Foundation, more..

President graces the Ven. Dharmapala anniversary celebrations

Sep 14 (PSL) It is the responsibility of the entire nation to use the philosophy of the great Anagarika Dharmapala to build the future of this country, said President Sirisena. He further said that there are many lessons we can learn from the Anagarika Dharmapala’s philosophy which endeavored to build a good society while strengthening national movement, Buddhist revival & campaign against consumption of alcohol. more..

Should Sri Lanka pick Hathurusingha over a foreign coach?

Sep 14 (DS) With ex-coach Marvan Atapattu’s departure subsequent to a series loss over India, Sri Lanka Cricket lately remains under a spot of bother in appointing a full-time coach before the end of 2015. For the moment, Jerome Jayaratne has filled in as the interim coach by taking the upcoming home series against West Indies into thought. However, Sri Lanka Cricket will unquestionably proceed in appointing a permanent head coach as the World T20 in India seems closer that we imagine, more..

Indika Gunewardena passed away

Sep 14 (CT) Former Cabinet Minister of Fisheries, Higher Education Indika Gunewardena, the eldest son of Philip Gunewardene has passed away this morning. He was 72-year-old when he passed away after a brief illness. He was the elder brother of former ministers Dinesh Gunewardena, Geethanjana Gunawardena and former Mayor of Colombo Prasanna Gunawardena. He was a member of the Communist Party and was elected to Parliament under the PA ticket in 1994. more..

Zaid says findings on SL of serious nature

Sep 14 (CG) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein today said that he will release his report on Sri Lanka on Wednesday. In his opening address at the 30th session of the UNHRC in Geneva today, Al Hussein said that the findings in the report are of the most serious nature. “Six years ago, we were confronted with serious violations and loss of civilian life in the last months of Sri Lanka’s long civil war. more..