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Drug Lord Wele Suda paid Thro' eZ Cash

Sep 22 (CT) Notorious drug dealer Samantha Kumara alias Wele Suda has paid million of rupees in the form of bribes to 174 people using electronic fund transfer methods – eZ Cash via mobile phones. The CID informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate's Court that Wele Suda transferred money to the corrupt officials through the eZ cash method provided to users by mobile service providers. This was revealed when the Police more..

CB to revise mobile payment guidelines

Sep 22 (DN) The Central Bank is in the process of revising mobile payment guidelines. The revised guidelines will be published on Jan 31, 2016. The bank has already requested stakeholders to submit their views with regard to the new mobile payment guidelines. "The mobile payment sector has witnessed a considerable growth over the last couple years and the Central Bank as the regulator will facilitate this area while maintaining proper risk management practices in a bid to more..

Revenue Act Amendments to House today

Sep 22 (CT) The govt will re-submit the controversial Revenue Act amendments to Parliament today, Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga said. "We will re-submit those long delayed amendments to the Finance Act and Inland Revenue Act without any single omission or revision", he said. The Ministry is confident that it will get required parliamentary approval without any hassle. "First of all we have to re-submit it and then we have to wait another week for approval," he added. more..

SLFP rebels accept Sampanthan

Sep 22 (DN) SLFP MPs planning to function as opposition MPs from today have decided to accept TNA R. Sampanthan as the Opposition Leader. Explaining reasons leading to the decision, UPFA MP Prasanna Ranatunga said his group felt it was not an opportune moment to challenge Sampanthan as it might be used by some interested parties to convey a wrong message to the international community. more..

Hirunika's dilemma: How to address MR?

Sep 22 (DM) UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra said she was uncertain as how to address former President Rajapaksa since he was also now an ordinary MP. “Mahinda Rajapaksa lost his reputation because of his extreme hunger for power. If he stayed at home without contesting the parliamentary election, we could have still addressed him as the former president. Now I am in a dilemma as how to address him, whether to call him Manthri Thuma (parliamentarian), sir or former president. more..

Thalatha wants to halt women leaving as housemaids

Sep 22 (CT) Minister Thalatha Athukorala said she is willing to halt overseas employment as housemaids within the next five years to protect the dignity of the country. Athukorala said she wants to stop more housemaids going overseas for work during the next five years because she has recognized the plight of the innocent people who suffer abroad. She also said, "Workers in the garment sector which was about one million in 1994 has come down to about 300,000 by last year more..

Differences of opinion among Tamil diaspora lead to bitter personal attacks

Sep 22 (Island) Differences of opinion and conflict of interests among Tamil Diaspora and division within the ranks of TNA resurfaced at a meeting in Bern, organised by Switzerland-based diaspora members on Friday. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran criticised NPC’s resolution demanding an international war crimes investigation and added that the NPC resolution was a foolish move. He blamed NPC CM Justice C.V. Wigneswaran more..

Listen to heart-cry of the ocean

Sep 22 (DM) hose were the days when people could peacefully sit on Sri Lanka’s golden beaches and sing with the well-known Nina and Fredrick the beautiful song, “Listen to the ocean, echoes of a million seashells; forever it’s in motion, moving to a rhythmic, unwritten music that plays eternally.” Over the past few decades a selfish and greedy world has virtually destroyed this beauty and harmony. Last Saturday was the International Coastal Clean-up Day. more..

Yahapalanaya is at a tangent

Sep 22 (DM) Berty from 68 Watte, a slum, was the owner of a battered three-wheeler he hired hoping to make ends meet, but couldn’t. The jalopy certainly looked ready to receive its last rites; but Berty was too broke to give it a chance to live a bit longer through an overhaul. He was not alone; many others living in poverty wanted the government to provide, provide and continue to provide. But, that wish never came true and Berty needed regular stints of unburdening in the company of more..

Women under siege

Sep 22 (SL) The recent rape and murder of a 5-year-old girl in Kotadeniyawa sent another shockwave through the country instigating people to question how to put an end to violence committed against women and children. While many factors may contribute to the degradation of moral values in the society, evidently, serious lack of law enforcement in the country allows rapist & sex offenders to walk away scot-free, more..

Grero promises to increase university intake to 40,000 from current 25,000

Sep 22 (Island) Newly appointed State Minister of University Education Mohal Lal Grero said that his aim was to increase annual university intake up to 40,000 within the next five years. He said that when increasing the university intake which was currently around 25,000 annually maintaining the quality of the education was also very important. The country needed a quality assurance and accreditation framework for more..

Left wants special commission to probe national list appointments

Sep 22 (DN) Members of Leftist political parties yesterday said they were planning to make a request to Parliament to appoint a special commission in Parliament to investigate the violations of Parliamentary traditions which occurred when appointing MPs through the national list. LSSP leader Prof. Tissa Vitharana said Sri Lankan Leftist Parties have made a vital contribution towards the progress of the country since the past. more..

Jumbos at receiving end with no let up in conflict

Sep 22 (ST) They are maligned, hooted, jeered, taunted and shouted at, showered with terrifying fire-crackers and spattered with buckshot leaving festering wounds which make them suffer in slow agony. These days, after a series of episodes in the tragic human-elephant conflict (HEC), these majestic animals are getting deeper and deeper into the bad books of people. Emotion aside, there is a need to look at these episodes rationally, and more..

'SL Army saved Tamil civilians, LTTE killed them'

Sep 22 (ENS) Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, who commanded the Sri Lankan army during Eelam War IV, says that it was the LTTE which targeted Tamil civilians and not the Lankan armed forces. "It was the LTTE which fired on civilians trying to flee to the army-controlled lines and killed them. The Lankan armed forces on the other hand had a policy of welcoming them and providing them safe shelter," Fonseka said. more..

'Number of Opposition MPs depend on Govt perks offered to SLFP MPs'

Sep 22 (DN) The number of MPs who will sit in the opposition depends on how many new posts and perks are offered by the Govt to the SLFP MPs who support the Govt. There is speculation that the SLFP MPs will be offered 44 more State Ministerial posts and hundreds of Provincial Development Committee Chairmanships which entitles them for vehicles, fuel etc, said PHU Leader and MP Udaya Gammanpila. more..

Strip MPs who switch sides of their seats: JVP

Sep 22 (Island) The JVP has called for the establishment of an independent domestic Truth and Reconcilation Commission which could provide relief to those affected by the war after ascertaining the truth about their allegations and grievances. The proposal contained in a 20-point formula calling for immediate socio political reforms was handed over to President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe last week. more..

UN defends silence on genocide in Sri Lanka war crimes report

Sep 22 (Hindu) OHCHR has defended the findings of its report on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, which drew criticism from several quarters for its silence on genocide in the island nation. Responding to a question sent by The Hindu in this regard, Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the High Commissioner, stated via email: “This [U.N. report] does not preclude such a finding [that genocide was committed] being made more..

Ms. Wijeweera hits out at JVP attitude towards them

Sep 22 (DM) The late JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera's widow Chitrangani today said she wondered how the JVP was now saying that the party would take care of her family, since the party had failed to look into the well-being of her family for the past 26 years. The widow and children of the late JVP leader had been asked to vacate the Navy quarters they had been occupying in Welisara on Oct 1. Earlier, the party’s general secretary more..

Plea for int'l probe into genocide in Sri Lanka

Sep 22 (Hindu) Volunteers of TVK were arrested when they attempted to block a train in Mandapam on Monday even as cadres of MDMK and NTK staged demonstrations here, seeking international probe into alleged genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Led by TVK youth wing leader Jerome Kumar, 21 volunteers attempted to block the Madurai-Rameswaram train as part of the party’s State-wide agitation, seeking an international more..

Twin Destabilizers

Sep 22 (CT) A weak rupee and the current UNHRC sessions in Geneva are the twin destabilizers of SL, economically and politically, at present. US Dollar is going through the roof due to contractions in the global economy led by China, world's second largest economy. China crisis had its immediate origins due to a fall in exports which led Beijing to sharply devalue Yuan last month. That caused an exodus in Chinese stocks leading to its sharp decline, with reverberations in global economy. more..

Puttalam hospital’s critical nursing shortage leads to trade union ultimatum

Sep 22 (Island) The Health Ministry of the North Central Province agreed to release 25 nurses currently attached to the Puttalam Base Hospital once replacements were found in response to a demand by the All Ceylon Health Service Union (ACHSU). There was a dire need for more nurses at the Puttalam Base Hospital and the issue had led to a tug of war between the provincial health authorities and another nurses union recently. It said that the hospital needed at least 200 nurses. more..

Ceylon Today Cartoon

Death penalty distracts from real need: FF

Sep 22 (CT) Friday Forum is deeply disturbed at the prospect of judicial executions taking place again in Sri Lanka after a gap of nearly 40 years. This is, we believe, an understandable but simplistic and counter-productive reaction to horrible crimes. It is a measure that will divert attention from the real need, which is to seek why and how these appalling things are occurring, and then take preventive action. The true incentive to crime is that perpetrators feel that they can get away with it. more..

Stocks close up 0.2% on three week high

Sep 22 (LBO) Sri Lankan stocks closed up 0.2% on Tuesday with gains in John Keels Holdings and poultry stocks. The Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index closed up 14.01 points at 7,118.38 higher 0.2%. S&P SL20 closed 17.98 points higher at 3,899.02 up 0.46%. Turnover was 806 million rupees, up 667 million rupees Tuesday with 82 stocks closing positive against 96 negative. The main index showed gains in John Keels Holdings closing at 175.30 rupees, up 2.30 rupees more..

Sri Lanka brings back retrospective, telecom, small car importer tax

Sep 22 (EN) Sri Lanka has re-introduced to parliament, a series of taxes including a controversial retrospective punitive tax and a levy aimed at hindering small car importers. The administration elected in January was not able to pass the taxes as the then opposition did not support the taxes. Opposition members at the time said the taxes amounted to taking vengeance on some companies including telecom more..

Observation visit to Sri Lankan-German Training Institute site in Kilinochchi

Sep 22 (GDI) Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe and the State Minister Palitha Range Bandara made an observation visit last Saturday to the site of the Sri Lankan-German Training Institute (SLGTI) in Kilinochchi. The visit was to inspect the construction work of the SLGTI. SLGTI is a landmark project initiated by German development cooperation agency GIZ in 2012, as part of its Vocational Training in the North (VTN) Project more..

On genocide; An open letter to Sumanthiran

Sep 22 (CT) Dear Mr. Sumanthiran MP, Permit me to begin by saying, that the use of the G word should be measured. That said, I want to make it abundantly clear what happened in Mulliyvaikal was indeed Genocide and fits the definition perfectly – if you as a lawyer feel that you can’t prove it as such with the mountain of evidence available, your certificate is not worth the paper it is printed upon. I’ve never cried Genocide for what happened to our beloved Tamil people and more..

MR urges govt to reject the report by OHCHR

Sep 22 (AD) Former President Rajapaksa has urged the Govt to reject the report by the OHCHR on war crime allegations. Issuing a statement Rajapaksa said, “as the former head of state, I think it would be appropriate to make known to the public my observations on the recently released report on Sri Lanka by the OHCHR. My govt did not cooperate with this investigation for many reasons, foremost of which was that more..

Confusion as Ministers get subjects

Sep 22 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena today announced the subjects he has allocated to ministers, but the distribution of functions has added more confusion to an already complex cabinet. The Clutural Affairs Ministry gets the cultural affairs department as it should be, but the responsibility to maintain cultural heritage sites and managing the Central Cultural Fund, a cash cow, is allocated to the Education Ministry. The Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) has been removed from more..

SL raises doubles import tax on large onions

Sep 22 (EN) Sri Lanka has doubled a tax on large onions to 20 rupees from 10 rupees a kilo ahead of a domestic harvest, the finance ministry said. Sri Lanka's agriculture is protected and prices are kept high artificially through import duties at the expense of the poor and the hungry. Rice, potatoes, onions and maize is also taxed to keep prices above the rest of the world. Famers of these products have political clout to block imports but their quality is not good enough for export unlike more..

Parliament approves civil society representitives of CC

Sep 22 (AD) The Parliament today approved the 3 names nominated to represent the civil society in the Constitutional Council (CC). The names of Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne, Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy and Shibly Aziz were nominated for the council, which will comprise seven members from the Parliament and three independent members. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and Opposition Leader more..

Lankan Navy arrests 15 TN fishermen; chase away boats

Sep 22 (PTI) Sri Lanka Navy arrested 15 fishermen for allegedly fishing in Lankan waters and also chased at gun point fishermen near Katchatheevu in the Palk Straits, officials said today. The 15 fishermen had put to sea in two boats from Akkaraipettai in Nagapattinam and were arrested when they were fishing at Kaarai Nagar last night. They have been taken to Kangesanthurai in Sri Lanka, Joint director of Fisheries department Subburaj said. In the other incident, more..

Seating arrangements in parliament changed according to seniority

Sep 22 (AM) The seating arrangements at the Parliament have been changed according to the seniority of the MPs. Some MPs of the national govt have been assigned seats at the back row of the opposition. Several senior SLFP MPs who joined the national govt have been assigned front row seats on the govt side. Meanwhile, Minister Champika Ranawaka has been also assigned a front seat. Meanwhile, former President Rajapaksa will be given a seat near Opposition Leader more..

Video: No cookie-cutter model for reconciliation: German FM

Sep 22 (DM) There is no cookie-cutter model that can be applied to achieve reconciliation and the efforts should instead be focused on a holistic approach that incorporates several elements, German Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier said this morning. Delivering his press statement a short while ago at the Foreign Affairs Ministry following bilateral discussions with his Sri Lankan counterpart more..

5 monks Nabbed with Cannabis

Sep 22 (CT) Five suspects who were Buddhist monks were taken into Police custody by the Police in Nawinna on Sunday night for being in the possession of Cannabis. The five monks had attended a musical show that was held in the Nawinna Playground when the Police apprehended them because they were behaving in a suspicious manner. Police were able to uncover 2 g of ganja in small packets in the possession of the five monks who were dressed in civilian clothing. more..

Army Intelligence Chief clueless on Prageeth

Sep 22 (CT) The CID investigations have revealed that Chief of the Army Intelligence Division did not know anything about the disappearance of popular journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda. When a special team of officers of the CID recorded a statement of a Chief of the Army Intelligence Division last weekend, this information was revealed. It has come to light that on the day of the incident, the two senior Army officers now in the custody of the CID, who allegedly had come to Colombo to fetch Ekneligoda to more..

Subjects for Ministries allocated and gazette published

Sep 22 (CG) The subjects for the Ministries of the new Cabinet have been finally allocated and and the gazette was published today. Reports said that according to the gazette, twenty bodies including the Sri Lanka Central Bank, National Youth Services Commission, Exchanges and Securities Commission will fall under the national policies and economic affairs coming under the purview of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Sri Lankan rupee hits record low on importer dollar demand

Sep 22 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee fell 0.11% on Tuesday to an all-time low due to importer demand for dollars, while exporters held on to the greenback on expectations of further depreciation. The rupee hit an life-time low of 141.00, surpassing its previous low of 140.98 hit on Sept 17. Dealers said the currency recovered slightly as a state bank, through which the central bank usually directs the market, sold dollars at 140.98 per dollar to limit the fall. Spot rupee ended at 140.95/141.05 per dollar, more..

Tilak must turn words into action

Sep 22 (CT) Law and Order and Prison Reforms Minister Tilak Marapana PC, calling on the prelates of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters said the govt had allowed unreserved freedom to police without political obstructions as it would help curb crime and corruption in the country. He made this statement in response to the Most Ven. Mahanayakes of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters who said that crimes such as murder and rape were increasing at an alarming rate in the country. more..

Problems at the Central Bank

Sep 22 (ST) As a series of unexpected transfers at Central Bank were effected at the banking regulator causing uncertainty amongst officers on Tuesday, more transfers were likely to be put in place in coming days, sources said. 15 senior officers were transferred from their positions, including a few officials who had given evidence before the Parliamentary Committee that probed the bond issue, sources said. more..