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Politinkering with the Constitution

Sep 17 (NS) Ideological orientation can divide those who preach the same thing. It is hence astounding how those who favor end bicker over process. It is also unbelievable that those who privilege certain (political) outcomes can debate with (and against) both colleague and foe. Federalists, hence, have a gripe with nationalists, but this does not preclude them from arguing with other federalists. Jayampathy Wickramaratne authored the much praised & little understood 19th Amendment, more..

'Think green and use less fuel'

Sep 17 (CT) Chandima Weerakkody who is a novice in the field, first time Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Gas, vows to change the way we deal with fuel consumption in the country. He believes that the ministry's objective should be to get people to think green and use less fuel in the long term rather than simply reduce fuel prices. Q: The govt has been reducing oil prices twice this year, can CPC, cope with such reductions? more..

Maithri, will it be Que Sera, Sera?

Sep 17 (CT) The spiritual guidance says, "No man puts new wine into old bottles, else the new wine will burst the old bottles, and the wine is spilled and bottles marred. New wine must be put to new bottles". This spiritual saying stemmed to my mind while studying the composition of the SLFP or the UPFA ministerial contingent appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena last week. In January, people gave a mandate to Maithri to establish Good Governance with men above board. more..

The shape culture and life in Sri Lanka

Sep 17 (SL) The honest, but awkward, manner in which S.C. Mayadunne, retired Auditor General and JVP National List MP, resigned immediately after taking his oaths as a MP makes it impossible to beg the simple question that he answered in the affirmative: Are Sri Lankan voters undeserving of the right to elect those who have, literally, power of life and death over them? At a recent pocket meeting to enlist a potential MP and Cabinet Member to spearhead upgrading of a road to bring it up more..

'We warned Mahinda of international regime change conspiracy'

Sep 17 (Island) When it came to the presidential elections, we warned Mahinda that an American led regime change conspiracy was afoot in this country and we suggested ways out of this trap. But astrology outweighed scientific socialism and the country is now faced with this situation. A part of the conventional political wisdom in this country was that the SLFP loses when they contest elections on their own but more..

Sri Lankan community assists the flood-affected of Japan

Sep 17 (Island) The Sri Lankan community based in the Prefecture of Ibaraki, along with the officials of the embassy of Sri Lanka in Japan, extended assistance to the flood affected people by providing food and other necessities. The recent unprecedented floods in the Prefectures of Ibaraki, Miyagi and Tochigi were devastating and a large number of houses and properties were destroyed. Further, over three million people were evacuated at the time of the devastating floods more..

Big powers, regime change & Syrian crisis

Sep 17 (Island) The involvement of external powers in a Southern country’s political crises would increase in magnitude and kind to the degree to which the crises in question aggravate and are seen as affecting these outside powers’ interests. In Sri Lanka’s case, since the political changes referred to were of an entirely democratic and bloodless nature, conditions that could have prompted external military involvement, for example, were absent. But this is not the case in conflict zones of Middle East. more..

'Accountability framework for SL’s own sake'

Sep 17 (FT) Moments after he delivered a ground-breaking speech before the UNHRC in Geneva on Monday, Minister Mangala Samaraweera told the Daily FT outside the Council chamber that he was committed to the hilt to deliver justice to victims in Sri Lanka. Addressing the opening session of the UNHRC’s 30th Session, Minister unveiled an ambitious Govt plan for transitional justice, laying out first tangible framework to address serious more..

Editorial: Billion rupee question

Sep 17 (Island) Three bigwigs of the former Rajapaksa govt were hauled up yesterday before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources, and Privileges. They were questioned on the state-owned ITN’s failure to recover Rs. 115 million from former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for telecasting his election advertisements in the run-up to the last presidential election. A spokesman for the presidential more..

BOC goes for Rs. 8 b debenture

Sep 17 (FT) Bank of Ceylon plans to raise Rs. 8 billion via a listed debenture issue offering five options on interest rates. It will offer 50 million unsecured subordinated redeemable debentures at Rs. 100 each with an option to issue a further 30 million debentures in the event of the original amount being oversubscribed. The public can subscribe to the issue from Friday onwards whilst the official opening is on 1 Oct. The debentures will be of five- and eight-year tenures. more..

CB’s vehicle import directive to have ripple effect on economy

Sep 17 (FT) The Leasing Association of Sri Lanka (LASL) cautioned that the directive enforced by the Central Bank to have maximum loan-to-value (LTV) at 70% on vehicle imports with effect from yesterday would have a ripple effect on the economy. The Central Bank yesterday directed finance companies not to provide any vehicle loans amounting to more than 70% of (the loan to value ratio) of the price of a vehicle. more..

Lyceum, St. Mary’s, St. Joseph’s and Asian Grammar share sprint titles

Sep 17 (Island) Sprinters from Lyceum International, Wattala, St. Mary’s College, Chilaw, St. Joseph’s Balika, Kegalle and Asian Grammar School shared the titles of Under-14 and Under-15 sprint events on day two of the Sir John Tarbet Junior Athletic Championship at Anuradhapura on Wednesday. Kavindu Bandara of Asian Grammar School won the Under-15 boys 200 metres with a time of 24.2 sec after a close contest with Shalika Santhush of St. Benedict’s College, Kotahena (24.2 secs). more..

MTD Walkers ties up with SAP Commercial Project Management

Sep 17 (Island) SAP SE, announced that MTD Walkers PLC has selected SAP Commercial Project Management (SAP CPM) to strategically supplement its operations in the areas of construction, manufacturing and engineering. MTD Walkers plans to deploy SAP CPM as well as SAP for Engineering, Construction and Operations (SAP EC&O) in order to improve and increase accuracy of financial planning, accurately monitor the status of projects and precisely analyze every project more..

Establishment of 44 Industrial Zones: Govt identifies core areas, locations

Sep 17 (CT) The govt, in its endeavour to establish 44 industrial zones in a bid to create a million employment opportunities, has identified core subject areas and geographical locations in which a diversified array of industries will be established. Some of the core areas that will be established will be industrial zones for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, apparel, vehicle manufacturing, agro and agri-based products, more..

Nawaloka Construction goes to Maldives To build US$ 60 m five star hotel

Sep 17 (CT) Nawaloka Construction Ltd will construct a US$ 60 Million five star hotel in Maldives, making it its first overseas project in Maldives, EFZY Holdings Pvt. Ltd, the client has designed to develop a luxury resort of 150 units located in Vakkaru Island. It will have a total of 120 villas include 55 water villas and a spa, the rest being island villas with all other modern five star facilities Nawaloka Group Chairman Jayantha Dharmadasa told a news conference. more..

CA gives AG time till Oct 7 to submit stand of the state

Sep 17 (Island) Court of Appeal gave the Attorney General time till Oct 7, to submit the stand taken by the State in respect of the allegation of illegal clearing of the Wilpattu Sanctuary, and the erection of unauthorised constructions, therein. The petitioner, the Centre for Environmental Justice has said that the animal life, bird life and the natural vegetation of the sanctuary are being destroyed owing to the project. The petitioner has requested the court to direct the respondents, more..

TN urges Centre to seek international probe into war crimes in Sri Lanka

Sep 17 (Hindu) TN Assembly on Wednesday unanimously asked the Centre to move a strong resolution in the UNHRC for an international probe into the alleged war crimes and genocide in the final phase of the civil war in Sri Lanka. CM Jayalalithaa urged the Centre to move a resolution along with US and other countries at the UNHRC for the international probe against all the perpetrators of human rights violations and more..

Colombo Fashion Week Resort moves to Galle this season

Sep 17 (Island) HSBC Colombo Fashion Week Resort, third season in the annual CFW calendar, will take place at the iconic Galle Fort, this season. CFW Resort was introduced in 2012 and alternates between Negombo and Galle to showcase the latest resort wear collections by both Sri Lankan and international designers. CFW Resort 2016, hosted by Jetwing Hotels, will take place from 29 Sept to 3 Oct 2015. "With three seasons in a year, we feel that SL designers have got into a momentum more..

Between Jayalalithaa and Sri Lanka sea

Sep 17 (TT) Narendra Modi govt was tonight grappling with a toss-up between two crucial strategic partners - one domestic and the other international - after a key UN report recommended international participation in a probe into possible war crimes in Sri Lanka. UN report said SL state forces and Tamil Tiger rebels most likely committed war crimes, including mass killings of civilians, during their conflict that should be prosecuted by a special court with international judges. more..

Girl retracts claim: Court to follow procedure

Sep 17 (DM) A 22-year-old girl, who had made a complaint to the Police Headquarters alleging that she had been continually sexually exploited by a wealthy businessman in Colombo, informed Court that she made a false complaint against the businessman over a personnel issue. Filing an affidavit before Colombo Fort Magistrate, the complainant Tharuka Nadee Kumari informed Court that she was not sexually exploited by more..

DEW’s FR case fixed for support on Sept. 23

Sep 17 (Island) The Supreme Court fixed for support on Sept 23, 2015 the fundamental rights violation petition filed by Communist Party Leader D.E.W. Gunasekera, complaining that the appointment of defeated candidates as National List MPs is a violation of the people’s franchise. The petitioner’s counsel, Nagananda Kodituwakku requested permission of the court to submit written submissions explaining why he wanted a full Bench of the Court to hear the petition. more..

Additional Rs. 3,000 m to purchase paddy

Sep 17 (DN) The govt which earlier decided to purchase 120,000 mts of paddy from farmers has decided to purchase another 40,000 tons on the instructions of President Maithripala Sirisena as there is great enthusiasm among farmers to sell their produce to the Paddy Marketing Board, Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake said. He said an additional Rs. 3,000 million had been released in consultation with the Finance Ministry to facilitate the purchasing exercise. more..

Geetha's election challenged

Sep 17 (DN) Several residents in Galle and suburbs have challenged the election of Geetha Kumarasinghe as a MP by way of a petition filed in the Court of Appeal. Geetha Kumarasinghe was elected as a MP at the General election held on Aug 17. Petitioners have filed an application in the Court of Appeal seeking a writ of quo warranto against the sitting Parliamentarian in terms of article 140 of the constitution. more..

Jayalalithaa gets bouquets from all quarters

Sep 17 (ENS) State leaders hailed CM J Jayalalithaa for introducing a resolution in the Assembly calling for an international investigation into the genocide of Sri Lankan Tamils by the island govt. Welcoming the resolution, DMK leader M Karunanidhi said Indian govt should bring a separate resolution at the UN calling for independent, credible international investigation into the war crimes that occurred in Sri Lanka. He also recalled that he had condemned possible efforts by the US to more..

UN identifies key Sri Lankan personnel facing war crimes scrutiny

Sep 17 (EN) The first UN war crimes report on Sri Lanka has identified several top militrary and police personnel in charge of key units held responsible for extra judicial killings, rape and degrading treatment of civilians. Individual culpability is not specified in the 261-page report, but it has clearly identified the command structure of the armed forces, down from commander in chief Mahinda Rajapaksa to field commanders. It also names individuals such as Palitha Kohona and minister Basil Rajapaksa more..

Sri Lanka sees China-funded port city project as part of megapolis development

Sep 17 (Xinhua) The new Sri Lankan govt has said it will continue with a China-funded multi-billion-U.S. dollar mega port city project in order to develop Colombo. Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Champika Ranawaka said that the govt hopes to transform the country into a smart and technologically advanced nation in the coming five years and the port city project will be included in its development plans. more..

War crimes report on Sri Lanka: UK to study recommendations

Sep 17 (Island) Foreign Office Minister of United Kingdom Hugo Swire yesterday welcomed the release of the report from the investigation on Sri Lanka by the OHCHR. Minister Swire said that UK would study the report’s recommendations closely, and work with Sri Lanka and other partners at the UNHRC in response to it. "We will study the report’s recommendations closely, and we look forward to working with Sri Lanka and other partners at the UNHRC in response to it. more..

Indian Oil keen to set up 6-mtpa greenfield refinery in Sri Lanka

Sep 17 (FT) State-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is planning to set up a 6 million tonne per annum (mtpa) greenfield refinery in Sri Lanka. The proposal was discussed between petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in New Delhi on Tuesday. Though IOC’s proposal has been there for a while, New Delhi now feels that its relationship with the new govt in Colombo could be reinforced with extended economic ties. more..

Perpetrator names will never be published

Sep 17 (DM) Despite many expecting a naming and shaming in the content of the UN report on Sri Lanka, UN sources in Geneva state that the names of individuals accused of perpetrating the alleged abuses during the final phases of the conflict in Sri Lanka were never intended to be published in the report. Sources said that the names of the accused were never intended to be included as part of the report as OISL (OHCHR investigation more..

Namal slams call for hybrid court in SL

Sep 17 (CG) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son Namal Rajapaksa has slammed the proposal by the OHCHR to have a hybrid court in Sri Lanka to investigate incidents related to the war. Namal Rajapaksa, whose father was President when the alleged war crimes took place, said that the proposal in complete insult to the entire legal system in Sri Lanka. The member of parliament said that Sri Lanka is fully capable of conducting any domestic inquiry that is needed. more..

SL seeks finalisation of CEPA by next year

Sep 17 (ET) Sri Lanka sought finalisation of the long-pending Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India by next year, saying it will significantly enhance two-way trade besides opening up new areas for economic engagement. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said both the countries should at least reach an agreement in principle by end of this year and firm up the pact next year. After holding extensive talks with PM Narendra Modi, he said enhancing bilateral trade with India more..

Hybrid healer for horrors

Sep 17 (FT) The UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has called for the setting up of a special hybrid court comprising international judges and prosecutors after a report by his Office revealed horrific violations strongly indicating that war crimes were most likely committed by both government forces and the LTTE and declared the country’s justice system incapable of dealing with the seriousness of the crimes. more..

SL plays major role in protecting ozone layer

Sep 17 (DM) As the world yesterday marked International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, the UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon had some good news that effective steps had been taken to protect the ozone layer and he appealed that similar steps be taken by the world in a joint effort to curb climate change. The UN Chief in a special message said the stratospheric ozone layer was on the road to recovery by the middle of this century and thus up to 2 million cases of skin cancer more..

Good leadership is the need of the hour

Sep 17 (DM) The year 2015 will go into history as a relatively significant year to all Sri Lankans for good reasons. It was because President Maithripala Sirisena used strategy initially to topple the former Government and he has now securely established a two thirds majority in Parliament, through an unprecedented UNP/SLFP coalition. The President openly announced that the PM would be Ranil Wickremesinghe in his Govt during the Presidential election campaign. more..

Genuine voice for war affected now in parliament

Sep 17 (SL) TNA MP Shanthi Sriskandharaja who was appointed to parliament through the national list is a newbie in the parliament. MP Sriskandharaja said that she believes it to be a rewarding opportunity for her to serve the people in the north, especially, with the war affected, vulnerable groups. Sriskandharaja contested the last general election under the ITAK ticket from the Wanni District yet failed to more..

Campaign against threats to national interest

Sept 17 (Island) Over 60 organisations will meet this morning in Colombo to launch a nationwide campaign to counter what they call new threats to national interests. Organisations would meet at the Sri Sambuddhaloka Vihara to unveil a five-point plan to devise a national political agenda for that purpose, Member of the Chairmen Board of the newly formed Jathika Ekamuthuwa (National Collective) Dr Gunadasa Amarasekera said. more..

CEA to retest Colombo’s drinking water

Sep 17 (FT) The Central Environment Authority (CEA), which assured that there was no arsenic in the drinking water in Colombo, is again carrying out testing on drinking water to reconfirm the absence of arsenic to ensure public safety. CEA Deputy Director-General Dr. Sanjaya Ratnayake said that no arsenic had been detected in drinking water supplies after water analysis had been conducted by the CEA and the NWSDB. more..

The KP mystery: Still no concrete evidence, but not exonerated

Sep 17 (ST) His status has become controversial once again. He is Shanmugam Kumaran Tharmalingam alias Kumaran Padmanathan (KP), a former top LTTE leader and chief weapons procurer for the terrorist organisation. He is still wanted in India in connection with the assassination of former PM Rajiv Gandhi and listed by the Interpol as a wanted person. Yet he continues to operate a children’s home in Kilinochchi. more..

Kadawatha-Kaduwela Expressway to open after 9pm

Sep 17 (DM) The Kaduwela - Kadawatha section of the Colombo Outer Circular Expressway, which is scheduled to be opened today, will be open to the public after 9 pm today. The govt has spent 44 billion to construct this section which is 9 kilometres in length. A toll of Rs. 100 will be charged from light vehicles that travel from Kadawatha to Kaduwela on the Expressway while Rs. 200 will be charged from heavy vehicles. more..

UN members should back hybrid court: HRW

Sep 17 (HRW) The call by the United Nations’ top human rights officer for a domestic-international hybrid court to address allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka should receive strong endorsement by members of the UNHRC in Geneva, Human Rights Watch said. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, released a report on human rights abuses by SL govt forces and the LTTE more..