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SEC gets tough on too smart investors

Sep 20 (ST) The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) is keeping a close watch through its surveillance mechanism and has warned a few stockbrokers for trying to be too smart. Informed sources said that warning comes on the back of the regulator bracing itself for an internal restructure in a bid to enhance its efficiency level while getting some pending issues sorted fast. The SEC has warned a few stockbrokers verbally since January for derailing. more..

Police fail to arrest Dy. Minister

Sep 20 (SL) Police have failed to arrest newly elected Kegalle District MP Dushmantha Mithrapala who is now the Deputy Justice Minister, despite a warrant being issued for his arrest. Kegalle Magistrate had issued an arrest warrant on Dushmantha Mithrapala for allegedly threatening and interrupting police officers on election duty on the day of general elections last month, police media unit said. more..

Critical days ahead

Sep 20 (CT) The coming days are crucial for Sri Lanka. It's when the international community led by the USA deliberates on the island's future. UNHRC in their deliberations on alleged war crimes abuse by the Govt of Sri Lanka (GoSL) in their war against the LTTE spanning a period of over seven years only, i.e. from 2002 till the war end in April 2009, couched in diplomatic jargon, has called for a hybrid inquiry into alleged war crimes where the accused are GoSL and the LTTE. more..

Silent Protest at Independence Square today against Child Abuse

Sep 20 (Island) A silent protest – White Balloon Day - will be held today from 5 pm to 6 pm at the Independence Square in Colombo as a public protest against the spate of child abuses in Sri Lanka. Organized by Women in Management (WIM) under the theme of Protect Children, this public demonstration aims at bringing nationwide focus to the following objectives: * Educate children on safety. * Sex education is a must - include this in the school syllabus. more..

Navy orders Wijeweera family to vacate quarters

Sep 20 (CT) Navy has informed the wife of first leader of the JVP, late Rohana Wijeweera, and family to move out of the Welisara Navy Camp. Chithranganie Wijeweera and her family have been staying at the Welisara Navy Camp since 1989. She has been informed by the Navy in a letter dated 26 Feb 2015 to vacate the Navy quarters they are occupying by 1 Oct. Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra more..

I’ll throw the book at the book mafia: Ranil

Sep 20 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremeisnghe pledged to confront the text book mafia which prevented students from gaining access to quality text books. At the opening of the Colombo International Book Fair at the BMICH, PM said the Education Ministry was involved creating a monopoly of few publishers leaving out those known for quality text books. “Our govt will be accused of giving contracts to mudalalis but we will have to find good publishers who are prepared to supply quality text books,” more..

Probe on state funds for Rajapaksa guild

Sep 20 (ST) Officials from 29 state institutions are to be questioned by the FCID on how state funds amounting to Rs. 80 million were transferred to an organisation known as the Mahinda Chinthana Sahurdha Sansadaya (Mahinda Chinthana Fraternity Guild). The FCID has obtained an order from the Maligakanda magistrate’s court to record statements from official of state banks, the State Timber Corporation, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, the Foreign Employment Bureau, more..

Seya’s tragedy: The search, the discovery and heartache

Sep 20 (ST) She enters the room supported by two women. A faint sob escapes her as she looks at the man seated at the edge of the bed, his head in his hands. “Lamayage walata pas tikakwath danna yamuda? (Shall we go and put some soil on our child’s grave?),” she asks her husband. She is greeted with silence and a look of confusion. The two people in the room are the parents of four-year-old Seya. more..

Duty free vehicle bonanza: 63 new MPs to get vehicle permits

Sep 20 (SO) Some 63 new MPs elected to the 8th Parliament on August 18 are eligible for duty free vehicle permits. According to sources, a newly elected MP is entitled to a duty free vehicle permit worth US$ 50,000. A vehicle permit is issued to MPS who have not received a vehicle permit for the last five years. The vehicle permits issued for MPs until 2012 were not transferable within five years. However, the present vehicle permits issued to MPs are transferable. more..

Prices of essential food items going up

Sep 20 (ST) Essential imported food times have gone up in price with the rupee ending weaker against the dollar. The prices of dhal, dried chilies, cowpea, sprats, gram, big onions, potatoes and other items have increased as the rupee fell to a record low of Rs. 140.98 against the US dollar on Friday. In view of the increase, the Pettah Traders Association has sought a meeting with Minister Ravi Karunanayake to discuss the difficulties in maintaining stable prices on food items. more..

Mahinda will not assist hybrid court

Sep 20 (ST) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has rejected the proposed hybrid court saying he will not assist it in any way. Rajapaksa is of the opinion that Sri Lanka does not require foreign judges to rule on domestic issues as Sri Lanka has well-experienced and capable judges, Rajapaksa’s spokesman said. He said the former President is prepared to assist a domestic investigation into incidents related to war but not a hybrid court. more..

Sajin ordered in court on 23rd

Sep 20 (SL) The Colombo High Court Judge has given directives for the FCID to present the report on the investigations conducted into the FCID case on former Monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena on the 23rd of this month. The bail application filed by Vass Gunawardena is also to be taken up for hearing on the date. It was reported that when the bail petition was taken up in the Colombo High Court on the 16th of this month, the AG has informed the Colombo High Court judge that more..

Water levels of rivers rising

Sep 20 (CT) The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) requests people living in the low-lying areas of Kalu, Nilwala and Gin River banks to remain cautious due to the rising water levels of those rivers with the prevailing weather conditions. The DMC said due to prevailing rainy weather the water levels of the Kalu River have increased in Ratnapura and Nilla areas; the water in the Gin River has risen in Thawalama while the Nilwala River water level has risen in Pitabeddara. more..

Ready to face trial: Fonseka

Sep 20 (Hindu) DP founder and former SLA Commander Sarath Fonseka on Saturday, offered himself to face a domestic court of law on allegations against military operations during the Eelam War. Mr. Fonseka, who was conferred by the present regime with the highest military rank of Field Marshal, said “if there are allegations against military operations, I am ready to face anybody and present the right picture. There is no problem. more..

Two more former CIFL officials arrested

Sep 20 (ST) Two more high profile suspects have been arrested and joins Deepthi Perera, former chairman of the failed Central Investments and Finance Co (CIFL), in temporary custody over the CIFL crash. CID took into custody J.K. Wickramaratne, former CEO and S. B. Kondadeniya, a former Director, CIFL and produced them before Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya on Tuesday who ordered that they be remanded till September 23. more..

NSACP ready to raise awareness among u’grads

Sep 20 (CT) Health Ministry's National STD/AIDS Control Programme (NSACP) is prepared to conduct programmes at any university, if an invitation is received to raise awareness among university students on STD/AIDS. Director of NSACP Dr. Sisira Liyanage said that in the past, new students who were admitted to universities were informed about these diseases under the Leadership Training Programmes and now since the Leadership Training is not being given, that opportunity is lost. more..

What next at UNHRC: Govt ponders its options

Sep 20 (ST) Days ahead of the official release of the report on alleged war crimes by troops and Tiger guerrillas, the UN Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera were in regular telephone contact. In one such phone call from Geneva to Samaraweera in Colombo, Zeid said the investigation report of the OHCHR, tagged the OISL, would be made available to Govt of SL more..

The Report on Sri Lanka: Horrific vs Ethnic Facts and External vs Internal Hybridity

Sep 20 (Island) Two h-adjectives have come into circulation after the release of the UNHRC Report on Sri Lanka, last Wednesday, in Geneva: horrific and hybrid. There is nothing new in the facts stipulated as horrific in Geneva, but stipulating them as horrific does not bridge the ethnic gap in the agreement about those facts. What is new is the recommendation to establish a hybrid court having international jurists collaborating with their local counterparts. more..

Let’s defeat pathological racism

Sep 20 (Island) A deputy minister appointed on 9 September is widely believed to be connected to the heroin trade. He has not been convicted in a court, hence entitled to his rights, but what government disinclined to suicide appoints such people to ministerial positions? Another is said to have imported ethanol for moonshine; thugs and crooks are alleged to be dime a dozen. Ali Baba was not the only one with forty associates of disreputable genre! What will be the state of mind more..

No CEPA says MS, RW

Sep 20 (SL) Weeks of controversy over the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was put to rest last Friday by President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe by saying they have not had any discussion on the pact. Sirisena said at a meeting with media heads that while there has not been any discussion or any form of action on CEPA, some forces were playing petty politics by creating an issue. more..

Talks with Sri Lanka on $5.19 bn road project to begin by Oct

Sep 20 (PTI) Keen on fostering ties with neighbours, India is set to engage in high-level talks with Sri Lanka by October for an ambitious USD 5.19 billion road project to connect both the nations through a sea-bridge and an under water tunnel. The development follows Minister Nitin Gadkari meeting Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe last week with plans to expand the existing motor pact with Bangladesh, Bhutan more..

Collective Cabinet responsibility to be strictly enforced ahead of difficult decisions

Sep 20 (Island) Collective responsibility of the Cabinet of Ministers which had been taken for granted is to be enforced strictly with a code of conduct being formulated ahead of difficult decisions that the govt would have to take in the coming months. A Cabinet sub Committee has been appointed to draw up the Code of Conduct and the Ministers would be called upon to swear allegiance to it within one month of the written document more..

Power cuts possible in 2018

Sep 20 (CT) Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy Dr. Suren Batagoda warned that electricity consumer will definitely have to face power cuts in 2018, if steps are not taken to swiftly start construction of the Sampur Coal Power Plant which will add 550 MW to the national power grid. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that he reached an agreement with Indian PM Narendra Modi during his visit to India, to commence more..

The drone buzz over Sri Lankan farms

Sep 20 (SD) High spatial resolution images captured by drones are bettering those generated by satellites, and enabling researchers in Sri Lanka to study crop health and irrigation in greater detail. A team of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) has been testing the Swiss-manufactured eBee, or Electronic Bee in the skies above the Anuradhapura district, this month. “Usually, the clear sky window doesn’t more..

UN war crimes probe: Concerned citizens call for President’s intervention

Sep 20 (Island) A group of concerned citizens has requested President Maithripala Sirisena to table the Report on the 2nd Mandate of the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons immediately at Human Rights Council. The following is the full text of the statement sent to President Sirisena by a concerned group of citizens, ex-public officials, retired diplomats, former members of parliament and human rights activists: more..

TNA hits out at LTTE, calls on govt to accept OISL report

Sep 20 (ST) The TNA has fired a strong salvo at the LTTE after the OHCHR report accused them of committing war crimes. The TNA called upon the Tamil people to “use this moment of introspection into our own community’s failures and the unspeakable crimes committed in our name.” It said that the alliance would “accept and undertake to carry out our responsibility to lead the Tamil people in reflecting on the past” and more..

We can’t massage lies: Weeratunga’s lobby claims dismissed

Sep 20 (ST) Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to President Rajapaksa, told editors and senior journalists in January last year that Sri Lanka could get nothing done in Washington without lobbyists. According to a Congressional aide, nothing is further from the truth. “It’s one thing to hire a lobbying firm, to help with communication, but if the Govt they represent isn’t making the right kind of changes, the right kind of reforms, it doesn’t matter more..

Millions paid to US lobby firms to do basic embassy work

Sep 20 (ST) There were small companies, big companies, medium sized ones. There were others which many on Capitol Hill had not heard of. They drafted media statements, propaganda material, speeches and talking points for Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Washington, DC. They scheduled meetings, made phone calls and sent out emails. They carried out many tasks that well-trained Sri Lankan staff could have done. more..

Tamil diaspora back Zeid’s recommendations

Sep 20 (CG) The Tamil diaspora have backed the recommendations made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in his report on Sri Lanka and urged the UNHRC to adopt a resolution calling for the full implementation of the recommendations. The London based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) said it welcomes the OHCHR report that strongly indicated war crimes and crimes against humanity more..

Muzzle the professional protester!

Sep 20 (Island) People in our country revel in protests. They are constantly looking for a cause to protest about.  To protest! It can be for or against any cause chosen. Most of the time nothing constructive is offered while all that the people receive is the expiration of lots of steam.  The protests we citizens are compelled to listen to are made by attention seekers with the intent of projecting their personalities.  In this way they demonstrate to the public how articulate more..

Opposition must not play politics with war crimes issue

Sep 20 (CT) Sri Lankan politicians are known to panic over minute issues that surface at international forums. When the ongoing UNHRC sessions proposed a Hybrid International Court many in the Opposition panicked that the incumbent govt was giving way for international interference in domestic affairs with regard to the alleged war crimes. Basically, it was only a proposal by the UNHRC Chief Zied Al Ra'ad Hussein based on extracts of the original UNHRC Report on more..

Remembering MHM Ashraff the legendary leader of SLMC

Sep 20 (DBS) September 16th 2015 is the fifteenth death anniversary of Mohammad Hussein Muhammad Ashraff, the uncrowned sultan of the Amparai district Muslims and legendary leader of the SLMC. The pioneering president of the SLMC was Ahammed Lebbe of Kattankudi with whom Ashraff co-founded the party in September 1981. It was however MHM Ashraff who gave the SLMC a new vision and direction after more..

Facing the UNHRC resolutions

Sep 20 (DM) United States of America has not ratified the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC). Consequently, it is unlikely that the USA will accept the jurisdiction of the ICC extending its tentacles into any challenges they faced in armed conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Remember, in Sri Lanka’s case, we are talking about investigations into the internal affairs of Sri Lanka and not for example the elimination of Bin Laden on foreign soil. more..

Jumbo Cabinet

Sep 20 (CT) When Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected to the office of President, there was a minority govt. Although the UPFA secured 105 MPs at the parliamentary election held in 2004, 39 out of them were from the JVP. The JVP decided to sit in the Opposition in June 2005. Thereafter, the govt was reduced to 68 MPs including two Opposition members who had crossed over to the govt. In other words, the Rajapaksa Govt was short of 45 MPs to achieve parliamentary majority. more..

War Crimes probe: New laws for local mechanism

Sep 20 (CT) The govt will discuss with all stakeholders whether it is a requisite to amend the Constitution to accommodate a domestic mechanism to address alleged human rights violations mentioned in the report tabled by the UNHRC, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said. He said that in order to accommodate a domestic mechanism they would hold discussions with political party leaders and discuss the issue in Parliament. more..

Sri Lanka’s fund management prospects ripe with aging workforce

Sep 20 (EN) Sri Lanka’s aging society lacks proper savings schemes for people to manage their retirement, creating opportunities for professional fund management services, a senior analyst at a stock brokerage said. Murtaza Jafferjee, Managing Director of JB Securities, said there was a low level of financial literacy in the island with most savings assets confined to banks. “For the vast majority of people, their finances are a mess, living way above their means. more..

Learner driver kills pedestrian

Sep 20 (ST) A pedestrian was run over and killed by a person taking driving lessons on the Kaduwela road last Sunday, a coroner’s court heard. The driver had lost control of the vehicle and hit the accelerator before crashing into three cars and running over the man. Three other individuals were injured in the accident. The deceased identified as Navin Perera, 40, a father of two from Battaramulla, had been walking along the side of the road when the car hit him from behind. more..

GK repayments to depositors stalled

Sep 20 (Island) Amidst rumblings over the two-week delay in kick-starting the second phase of reimbursements to Golden Key (GK) depositors, a high-ranking official of the company expressed optimism of honoring the financial commitment within the stipulated October 4 timeframe. "There is a process to be followed in transferring Treasury funds", GK’s Chairman, Priyantha Fernando said, referring to the more..

Dormant billions in pension and ETF funds stifle growth

Sep 20 (Island) Fitch Ratings convened a forum last week on the subject Sri Lanka Investment Fund & Asset Management in Colombo. CEO & Country Head, Fitch Ratings Lanka Ltd., Maninda Wickramasinghe, in his opening remarks, said the potential for Sri Lanka to enter into the regimen of stable and sustainable growth was good. Particularly transfer of knowledge in relation to the funds industry was considered within the vortex of developing markets. more..

Bus drivers will need PTT before hitting the road

Sep 20 (ST) Private bus drivers and conductors will soon have to possess a certificate of Passenger Transport Training (PTT) from the Motor Traffic Department (MTD) before getting on the job. The department has launched a programme to educate crews of private busses in order to provide an efficient service to the public. Accordingly all bus drivers and conductors will have to follow a four day training workshop conducted by the MTD where road rules and safe driving practices more..