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Arjuna slams Sanga and Mahela

Sep 17 (DM) World cup winning cricket captain, Minister of Ports and Shipping, took a dig at two recently-retired cricket greats Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene at a public ceremony in Nittambuwa. Ranatunga alleged that the two former captains held onto their batting positions in the side for a long period, preventing the opportunity for the youngsters to be groomed, in turn, weakening Sri Lanka’s batting. more..

Thajudeen’s phone: Tracing calls impossible without SIM: Expert

Sep 17 (CT) How are they going to use the phone of Ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen to get any information if the SIM card is not there and cannot be located? a forensic scientist cum expert asked. Senior Professor of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Colombo, Prof. Ravindra Fernando said that if the SIM card could not be located, mobile network operators and more..

CPA in TNA-GTF project to garner support for lasting solution

Sep 17 (Island) The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has joined the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in a project to garner support for their on-going efforts to reach an understanding with the Maithripala Sirisena-Wickremesinghe coalition. Asanga Welikala, Senior Researcher of the CPA will represent the CPA. President of the influential GTF, Rev. Father S.J. Emmanuel is scheduled to more..

JVP calls for immediate implementation of political reforms

Sep 17 (DM) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake today alleged that the govt had begun a process of carrying out their personal objectives rather than taking steps to implement peoples’ aspirations. He expressed these views at a news briefing organised by the JVP together with civil society groups and artistes in Colombo to its 20 proposals calling for immediate implementation of political reforms. more..

JVP reminds govt of its promise to increase private sector salaries

Sep 17 (Island) The JVP urged the govt to bring a Bill to Parliament to increase the salaries of private sector employees as they promised in the interim budget in January. JVP North Central Provincial Councillor and President of the Inter Company Employees Union (ICEU) Wasantha Samarasinghe said that Minister Ravi Karunanayake promised a Rs. 10,000 salary hike for public sector employees and Rs. 2,500 for the private sector workers in his budget speech on January 27. more..

Polonnaruwa excavations prove human habitation there 4000 to 5000 years

Sep 17 (Island) Director General of the Central Cultural Fund Prof. Prishantha Gunawardena said that recent archaeological excavations in Polonnaruwa had proved there were human settlements in the area 4,000-5,000 years ago. The excavations hitherto conducted near Shiva Devalaya II had unearthed foundation of a building complex belonging to the Anuradhapura Period which existed before the Polonnaruwa Period, he said. Prof. Gunwardena said the findings corroborated more..

Minister Champika Ranawaka

Rape, murder of a 5-year-old

Sep 17 (CT) The govt must not only have laws, but those should also be made to work. One of the recent cases of tragedy is the rape and murder of a five-year-old girl at Kotadeniyawa, Divulapitiya a few days ago. None has been arrested in this connection so far. It's the media which highlights such abuses; this is because Sri Lanka largely has a free press, which has been given an impetus after the 8 Jan 2015 regime change. The country has a plethora of laws to protect the rights of its citizens. more..

Economic diplomacy and SL embassies

Sep 17 (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 rest of the world via Foreign Ministries, more..

More Hepatitis cases reported, but at reduced rate

Sep 17 (Island) The number Hepatitis A cases in Moneragala has increased by 13 within the last three days, raising the total number detected from the beginning of this month till date to 119. However, the numbers being reported were dwindling gradually following the emergency control measures put in place with the help of local authorities and National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB). more..

Sri Lanka can attract Japanese companies, bank: Ambassador

Sep 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka has great potential to attract Japanese investors who are interested in investing in the island, and as a gateway to India and Pakistan, Kenichi Suganuma, the ambassador for Japan in Sri Lanka, said. Although India is a big market it is not easy to do big business there, he added during a meeting with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce led Sri Lanka–Japan Business Co-operation Committee (SLJBCC). ASEAN is saturated and Japanese companies are more..

Senasinghe’s FR case against police: Leave to proceed granted

Sep 17 (Island) The Supreme Court granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights violation petition filed by Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe. Leave was granted on the basis of alleged arbitrary treatment he had been subjected to by some officers of the Athurugiriya police station. Supreme Court also has ordered the police Department to stop proceeding with the ‘B-report’ against the petitioner until the Attorney General perused it and gave his opinion thereon to Supreme Court by the next date more..

TNA calls on govt to accept recommendations

Sep 17 (CG) TNA today called on the govt to accept a report released by the UN which calls on Sri Lanka to establish a special court to probe war abuses. Report which was released at the UNHRC, by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, called on the Sri Lankan govt to establish a hybrid court which included international judges and lawyers to try all those involved in war crimes during more..

UPFA MP Gunasekera suffers heart attack

Sep 17 (AD) UPFA MP Padma Udayashantha Gunasekara has been hospitalized due to a sudden illness while participating in a protest in the Monaragala area today. He was admitted to the Moneragala Hospital while arrangements are being made to transfer him to Colombo, the Hospital Director said. Gunasekara is a member of NFF led by ex-Minister Wimal Weerawansa and was elected to Parliament after contesting the general election from the UPFA ticket. more..

John wants to use Mattala to develop tourism

Sep 17 (Island) Tourism Development and Christian Affairs Minister John Amaratunga has given an undertaking to develop tourism with the help of the Mattala Airport. Minister said that a massive programme would be implemented to develop the tourism industry as the foremost foreign exchange earner. At present it ranks second. A special feature of the occasion was the participation of Fancisco Jos, who is the owner of most of the tourist hotels in the world. more..

USAID launches successful water access programs in East

Sep 17 (USE) The United States is providing people across the Eastern Province with better access to water for drinking and farming, launching three separate projects this week in Batticaloa and Ampara through its development arm, the USAID. “Through projects big and small, the United States is committed to improving the daily lives of Sri Lankans, especially those who suffer most from natural disasters,” more..

MR govt. didn’t do enough to bring about reconciliation: DEW

Sep 17 (Island) Communist Party (CP) welcomed Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s statement at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva as it had promised a solution to war crimes allegations through a domestic inquiry. CP Leader D.E.W. Gunasekera said that his party had been calling for such action since the end of the conflict in May 2009. Gunasekera said he had always appreciated President Rajapaksa’s leadership to ending the war. "As acting foreign minister at the end of war, more..

Sri Lanka tilts back from China

Sep 17 (EAF) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s failed bid to return to power as Sri Lanka’s PM is seen by many as a major blow for Beijing’s growing influence in the country and the region. The outcome of August’s parliamentary elections, which followed Rajapaksa’s ouster in January, seems to signal a return to Sri Lanka’s more traditional foreign policy orbit: balancing India’s security sensitivities with its pursuit of other relationships, including with China. more..

Showdown at the central bank

Sep 17 (EM) Vendettas waged by govt bureaucrats never look good but, in Sri Lanka, such higher-minded considerations seem to have evaded two powerful men who should know better. Arjuna Mahendran and Ajith Cabraal, the current and former governors of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, have been at each other’s throats over all-too-common allegations on the Indian Ocean island – corruption and insider dealing. more..

Interview: UN Report on Sri Lanka

Sep 17 (TD) The much anticipated UNHRC’s report on Sri Lankan war crimes is a grave indictment of the Sri Lankan govt and the Tamil rebels, accusing both sides of crimes against humanity. The Council has called for a special court – part international, part local – to try those involved in war crimes and give justice. Will the new regime in Colombo under Maithripala Sirisena succumb to international pressure and allow an outside agency to conduct inquiries and hold trials? more..

Shares fall; end at lowest since mid-July

Sep 17 (Reuters) Shares ended at their lowest in more than two months on Thursday, slipping for a third straight session, led by diversified shares as cautious investors awaited direction amid a weakening rupee and an upward trend in interest rates. The main stock index ended down 0.33% at 7,113.51, its lowest close since July 15. Turnover stood at 658 million rupees, well below this year's daily average of 1.12 billion rupees. Turnover has been about half of this year's daily average more..

Video: Ranjan to bring in death penalty

Sep 17 (DM) While condemning the statement made by the Chairman of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) Natasha Balendra, Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said he was taking measures to implement a motion in Parliament on Sept 22 to execute the death penalty again in the country. Referring to a statement made by the NCPA Chairman Natasha Balendra, Minister stated that NCPA is disagreeing more..

Zeid to visit SL before end of the year

Sep 17 (DM) Minister Mangala Samaraweera said they are expecting UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to visit Sri Lanka before the end of the year. The official invitation for High Commissioner Zeid to visit Sri Lanka was extended in February but no confirmation was made with regard to the dates of his visit. Last year, during Japanese PM Shinzo Abe's visit to Sri Lanka, former President Rajapaksa in a joint statement, invited the UNHRC Chief to visit SL within the year. more..

System fails to mete out justice to victims of sexual predators

Sep 17 (Island) National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) Chairperson Dr Natasha Balendra and its Deputy Chairman Sajeewa Samaranayake admitted that the legal system in the country had failed to mete out punishment to child abusers the way it should as court cases of that nature would last for about eight to nine years and the sentence would not amount to even ten year imprisonment. She was addressing a media briefing in the wake of brutal killing of Seya Sadewmi Bakmeedeniya more..

Sri Lanka's rupee float seen positive; more economic reforms urged

Sep 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has won a thumbs up from ratings agencies and economists for floating its rupee currency after last month's general election, but more reforms will be needed to support the currency and conserve the central bank's modest reserves. The rupee has fallen 4.4% to a record low against the dollar since it was floated on Sept 4, extending losses suffered in a year that has seen President Sirisena win power and more..

Only 95 MPs attend workshop

Sep 17 (CT) It is possible that 128 MPs who did not attend last week's workshop for MPs might not receive decentralized funds next year. A workshop for the 225 MPs who were elected to the 8th Parliament was held last week and addressing the MPs, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that those who do not attend the workshop will not receive the funds allocated annually for MPs. Only 95 MPs had attended the workshop. The workshop dealt with parliamentary traditions and procedure, more..

Seya’s murder: IGP directs CID to probe

Sep 17 (CT) Investigations into the murder of Seya Sadewmi have been handed over to the CID with immediate effect, police sources said. The case was referred to the CID following an order of the IGP N.K. Illangakoon adding that a special group of investigators was deployed in the area to carry out investigations. Police and the officers of the CID have also interrogated a man suspected of the murder and abuse of the five year old girl. According to the police, the suspect is a drug addict more..

Govt to extend Colombo port city agreement

Sep 17 (LBO) Cabinet has approved extending the much talked Colombo port city development project agreement for further six months, the govt said. The agreement signed between the govt and the relevant project company, CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, on 16th of Sept 2014 expired on 15th of this month. The proposal made by minister Arjuna Ranatunge, to extend the above agreement for further 6 months from 15-09-2015, more..

President hopes to have talks with Obama

Sep 17 (CG) President Maithripala Sirisena hopes to have talks with US President Barack Obama in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly at the end of this month. Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that during the talks with Obama and other world leaders, the President hopes to promote the Sri Lankan soldiers for peacekeeping operations. He also that the Govt has invited the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to visit SL sometime next month more..

'Only eminent people to be advisors to ministers'

Sep 17 (EN) New govt has decided to appoint only eminent people and those properly qualified as advisors to Cabinet ministers. The new Cabinet of ministers has decided to have policy on appointment of advisors to ministers and payment of allowances to them, minister Rajitha Senaratne, said. Advisors should be people who held senior positions in the private sector before being appointed as an advisor and those who have held senior most positions in the public service, he said. more..

Video: Mangala confirms international role in domestic mechanism

Sep 17 (DM) Although a definitive response was not expressed concerning the OHCHR recommended hybrid special court to deal with accountability issues, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera today confirmed an international role in the domestic inquiry mechanism and added the govt plans to conclude the proposed processes within 18 months. Hee said he planned to have the consultation processes on more..

Sri Lanka: A dictatorship of Morons & Frogs?

Sep 18 (CT) I am certain that most Sri Lankans are not happy with the current political situation. The crooks and frogs who were defeated and rejected are back as cabinet ministers, and the ostensible excuses given were: To make a stable govt; to unite Sri Lanka against any imminent international pressure. I am certain that the world is not mourning the decline of dictators, and Sri Lankans just got rid of a potential dictator. However, now, it seems like Sri Lanka is on a path to dictatorship more..

The Geneva games: Prince Zeid’s war on SL

Sep 18 (DM) Zeid Al Hussein and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, have declared open season on our country. The single most dangerous thing about his report is the utterly outrageous recommendation to the United Nations system and all member states of the United Nations, i.e. 193 countries, to initiate investigations and prosecutions against Sri Lankans under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction. Recommendation No. 36 on page 251 of the Report, addressed to more..

Mixed views on domestic or international mechanism

Sep 18 (SO) Renowned human rights activists Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Dr.(Mrs) Nimalka Fernando, Convener of the Platform for Freedom (PF) and Attorney-at-Law K.S. Ratnavale when asked whether they considered an international mechanism or a domestic mechanism as appropriate to conduct probes on the purported war crimes, on release of the UNHRC report more..

Zeid Al-Hussein’s remarks and Mangala’s Geneva speech

Sep 18 (CT) UN Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, referring to the Report on Sri Lanka which he plans to release on Wednesday, made comments which are dangerous, saying: “…Its findings are of the most serious nature. I welcome the vision shown by President Sirisena since his election in January 2015, and the commitments made by the new Govt under his leadership. But this Council owes it to Sri Lankans – and to its own credibility more..

Thirty Years of Ozone Protection

Sep 18 (DM) Every year, September 16 is observed as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer – the natural ‘shield’ in the upper atmosphere that protects all life on Earth from the Sun’s harmful ultra-violet rays. This is a special year for everyone concerned with the protection of the ozone layer. It marks the 30th anniversary of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, which serves as the international legal framework to protect the ozone layer. more..

'We will enhance quality of mass media'

Sep 18 (CT) While every govt in power promises to ensure media freedom, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake adds that this Govt will also go on to improve the quality of media ensuring the quality use of the media freedom promised by the govt. Q: As the Minister of Media and Parliamentary Reforms how do you intend to work on concepts such as National Govt and reconciliation? A: This is a new political culture, a new experience. more..

Good governance and a strange opposition

Sep 18 (NS) A unison governance or unity govt is not an easy task. The present Govt under President Maithripala Sirisena has landed in a difficult experiment and the people have to wait for some time to see its outcome. A unity govt or national govt should be meaningful and it should show it serves the purpose through its activities. These constructive activities will clear the little suspicion which exists in the minds of the common public. We have seen many govts with single party dominance. more..

The 19th should be revisited

Sep 18 (NS) Much has been said of the jumbo cabinet of the Maithripala-Ranil Government and the choices made by the decision-makers. There’s been hardly any cheering apart from the appointees and their supporters. The leaders have to pick from those available, this is true. However, it was they who nominated them in the first instance. Maithripala Sirisena is clearly the bigger culprit here. Revenge-intent and political expediency were clearly the overriding concerns for he made it possible more..

'Determination and grit make winners'

Sep 18 (CT) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said politicians should have grit and determination to contest independently at a general election. He also spoke against politicians who cross over from one party to another, constantly changing the tune of their praises to suit the leader in charge. Q: Are you satisfied with the Deputy Ministerial post you have been offered? A: Firstly I have to thank President Sirisena and PM more..