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President intervenes on behalf of Wijeweera’s family

Sep 23 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed relevant authorities to allow the family of the late Rohana Wijeweera, founding leader of the JVP, to stay six more months at a house belonging to the Welisara navy camp. Commander Indika de Silva stated that the President had taken the decision following discussions with the national security council. Wijeweera’s family, who have been living at the navy camp quarters since the ex-JVP leader’s death in 1989, were asked to more..

Alleged war crimes: PM pledges to set up domestic mechanisms

Sep 23 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that the govt would set up domestic mechanisms for truth seeking, justice and reconciliation to avoid recurrence of unpleasant incidents that marred the nation in the past. Making a special statement on the govt’s position on recent UNHRC report on SL, PM said accountability was a prerequisite for trust building among communities & restoring rule of law. more..

Superstition vs religion

Sep 23 (DM) The tragic incident that took place on Saturday in Gokarella where a ten-month-old baby was trampled to death by an elephant, when a relative attempted to carry the baby under the belly of the animal, occurred during a festival at the Medagama Devalaya. The parents had taken the baby to attend the festival and one of their relatives had attempted to carry the baby under the elephant’s belly. However, the man who had allegedly been under the influence of liquor more..

Rebuilding Sri Lanka’s image professionally

Sep 23 (DM) Sri Lanka unjustifiably retained US PR and lobbying firms in the post-2009 period at a massive cost to the country. This stands out as a gigantic fraud considering that the war had ended and there was no need for such expensive PR exercises. What this exercise also reveals is that Sri Lanka’s Embassy in Washington DC with no communications plans or effective strategies in place, had miserably failed to project and protect the image of the country. more..

Need of the hour: Rebuilding Sri Lanka’s image professionally

Sep 23 (DM) Minister of Plantation Industries, Navin Dissanayake said that the UNP has always been pro business. He said although the present govt is a joint one and not completely a UNP govt economic goals can be achieved as policies and the economic backbone are with the UNP. Q: Plantation companies do not seem to pay attention to reinvestment; for example in re-planting. What are your plans regard to reinvestment? more..

JVP complains of backdoor appointments

Sep 23 (Island) The incumbent govt had recruited 275 persons as clerks to the National Savings Bank during its 100-day programme without following stipulated procedures, JVP said in Parliament. "These appointments were given without calling applications. Candidates were summoned over the phone and given appointments," said JVP MP Sunil Handunetti moving a motion, for a debate on govt violating the accepted procedure in more..

Bird smugglers after Blu and Jewel

Sep 23 (ST) An increasing number of Customs detections in recent months of attempts to smuggle in exotic birds and animals have raised questions whether Sri Lanka has become a lucrative market and a regional hub for a multi-million rupee illegal trade. Customs officials have rescued exotic birds, including cockatoos, parrots and macaws, and even reptiles after they were found in smugglers’ bags. Each of these birds carry tale similar to more..

Million-rupee scam through Cancer drugs

Sep 23 (SL) There are around 40,000 cancer patients in Sri Lanka at present and from the time they are diagnosed, the govt spends around Rs. 1.5 million per patient per year. During the entire course of their treatment the Health Ministry spends between Rs. 9 – 15 million per patient. Yet, while the govt spends so much trying to provide the best care for these patients, there are some heartless persons who try to make profits more..

Gallows to be ready by November

Sep 23 (DM) Prisons Commissioner Rohana Pushpakumara said the Prisons Department was refurbishing the gallows at the Welikada Prison to be prepared in case the death penalty was reactivated on the orders of President Sirisena. “The death penalty was last carried out on June 23, 1976 as such it needs to be repaired and functional. We hope to have it ready by November,” he said. Several candidates for the post of hangman more..

Marapana explains dragnet laid to catch criminal who harmed Seya

Sep 23 (Island) The Cabinet had decided to set up a special committee to investigate crimes against women and children, Public Order and Prisons Reforms Minister Tilak Marapana told Parliament yesterday. Minister making a special statement on the killing of Seya Sadevmini of Kotadeniyawa said that three police teams had been deployed to conduct investigations. Two persons had been taken into custody on suspicion, more..

Video: JVP rejects hybrid court proposed by UNHRC

Sep 23 (LT) The JVP doesn’t accept an international mediation. Also, according to the la in our country foreign lawyers or professionals cannot interfere in our judiciary. In many other countries there are foreign mediations. In countries such as Africa, Fiji Islands, Nigeria judges from other countries are engaged in their courts due to a shortage of professionals and lack of experience of the judges in those countries. more..

Arjuna confident MS, RW won’t allow projects inimical to Sri Lanka

Sep 23 (Island) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga stressed that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt wouldn’t take decisions inimical to national interest. Commenting on Sri Lanka recently extending a contract with China for USD 1.4 bn Colombo Port City project for a further six-month period, he assured that President Maithripala Sirisena and Premier Wickremesinghe wouldn’t allow any project harmful to the country. more..

Jayalalithaa seeks PM Modi’s intervention to secure release of 15 TN fishermen

Sep 23 (TOI) Two days after 15 fishermen from Nagapattinam were arrested by the SL navy, TN chief minister J Jayalalithaa asked PM Narendra Modi to take steps to secure their release. The fishermen on two boats from Nagapattinam were apprehended by the Sri Lankan navy on Sept 21 and taken to Kankesanthurai. In a letter to Modi, Jayalalithaa said, "I call upon the Govt of India to take positive and concrete steps to secure more..

President leaves to attend UN General Assembly

Sep 23 (CG) President Maithripala Sirisena left for New York today to attend the UN General Assembly. He is scheduled to deliver a special address at the General Debate of the 70th UNGA. The President will have bilateral meetings with several leaders including PM of Malta Dr Joseph Muscat, PM of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, PM of New Zealand John Key, and PM of Australia Malcolm Turnbull during the summit. more..

Stocks little changed ahead of policy rate decision

Sep 23 (Reuters) Shares ended little changed on Wednesday ahead of central bank's policy rate decision on Friday. Main stock index closed near its more than two-month closing low hit on Monday, down 0.05% at 7,114.83. Central bank's monetary policy rate announcement is scheduled on Friday. "There was no real investor interest in the market," said Dimantha Mathew, a research manager at First Capital Equities, adding the market moved sideways as there was no clear direction. more..

JVP wants local govt polls conducted under previous system

Sep 23 (Island) JVP demanded that the next local govt elections be held under the proportional representation system as the delimitation process conducted under the previous govt was not acceptable. JVP MP Vijitha Herath claimed that the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt had amended the Local Govt Act in such a way that the reforms would benefit the SLFP. He said that then Minister of Local Govt and Provincial Councils M.L.A.M. Athaulla had promised to make new amendments to Act, more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

The SLFP: The moment of truth

Sep 23 (CT) SWRD Bandaranaike’s words, during a State Council debate in August 1936 now find an echo in the sentiments of President Maithripala Sirisena in his quest to form a national govt with the UNP. During the presidential election campaign in January, as the common candidate, Sirisena often talked about his dislike of Sri Lanka’s polarized and divided political culture and his determination to practice consensual politics. In achieving this aspiration, President Sirisena will be more..

Corruption in Prisons

Sep 23 (CT) Corruption in society is a reflection of the system, the cause of which is where the law, more often than not, is observed in the breach. The case in point is CID's evidence in Court on Monday in respect of alleged drug lord Wele Suda. It was said that he had allegedly paid millions of rupees as bribes, including bribes to prison officials. These payments however, had been made when he had been a free bird. He was arrested eight months ago in January. more..

President orders Avant Garde case to continue

Sep 23 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed relevant authorities to continue with legal proceeding regarding the controversial Avant Garde issue, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He said that they are content with the investigations being carried out regarding the case, however he conceded that there are still ministers and officials who are soliciting bribes. On the topic of investigating allegations of human rights more..

Cinnamon Life building costs hedged against rupee fall

Sep 23 (EN) Cinnamon Life, Sri Lanka's largest private sector property project valued up to US$ 800 million is hedged against falls in the currency, a top official said. John Keells Holdings Deputy Chairman Ajit Gunewardene said its main civil works contract has been given on a fixed price US dollar deal which is financed by dollar financing. Global commodity prices including steel, a key construction material and energy, which is used to fabricate many construction material has been falling more..

Another suspect arrested over Seya’s murder

Sep 23 (DM) Police today said they had arrested another suspect in connection with the sexual abuse and killing of five-year-old girl of Kotadeniyawa, Seya Sadewmini. The suspect was arrested in a special joint operation carried out in the Baduwathugoda forest. However, SSP Priyantha Jayakody said several suspects were being questioned. A 17-year-old schoolboy and another man aged-33 were arrested on suspicion by the Kotadeniyawa Police and were remanded. more..

Prisoner shot at Kaduwela Court

Sep 23 (DM) In a dramatic shooting incident at the Kaduwela Magistrate Court this morning, a remand prisoner, who was to be produced in court, sustained serious injuries to his chest, the Police said. The prisoner, in remand over three murder cases, was shot by an unidentified assailant on a staircase as he was being escorted by Prisons officials to the court house. He was immediately admitted to the ICU of the National Hospital. more..

Body of Australian found in hotel room

Sep 23 (DM) A 27-year-old Australian was found dead in a hotel room at R.A. De Mel Mawatha in Colombo yesterday. They said the victim and an Australian couple had stayed in two rooms after arriving in the country on Monday night. The body was found after the hotel owner informed the police that the guest had not left his room even by the time he was expected to check out. Police said they had found some packets believed to be heroin inside the room and suspect that an overdose of more..

RTI will be submitted to AG on Oct 5

Sep 23 (AD) The Right to Information Act (RTI) has already been prepared and it will be submitted to the Attorney General’s Department on Oct 5, Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka says. “The act will be presented to the Cabinet before Oct 7,” he added. Meanwhile, the Cabinet of Ministers have decided to instruct the Secretaries to the Ministries to take necessary steps to re-acquire the vehicles being used by persons who do not hold official positions, without further delay. more..

Wigneswaran calls on council to adopt victim-centred transitional approach

Sep 23 (DN) NPC Chief Minister C.V Wigneswaran called on the council to work for a resolution that fully adopts the recommendations of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and allows a victim-centred transitional approach to the accountability and reconciliation process. Writing a guidance note to the drafters of the upcoming consensus resolution on Sri Lanka and to member states of the UNHRC, the CM underscored more..

Special Police unit to probe crimes against women and children

Sep 23 (FT) The Govt will establish a special Police unit to investigate crimes and violence against women and children, Minister of Law and Order Tilak Marapana confirmed in Parliament, updating the House with details about the brutal killing of Seya Sadewmi. According to Minister Marapana, the new unit will be as strong as the CID and will have fullest State support to curb violence of this nature. “The Cabinet sub-committee will also be established to look into the issue. more..

VC welcomes foreign students to SEUSL

Sep 23 (CT) Foreign Students and academic staff who have selected South Eastern University of Sri Lanka (SEUSL) for their interactive study programme met the Vice-Chancellor Prof. M.M.M. Najim at the university last week. The visiting foreign students had cordial discussions with the Vice Chancellor and the Administrative staff on their future education, security, accommodation, excursions and other issues during their stay at the SEUSL. The students who have come from more..

China puts its weight behind SL on draft

Sep 23 (CG) China is putting its weight behind Sri Lanka and pushing for amendments to the first text of the draft resolution to be tabled at the UNHRC this week, demanding that it reflect the positive changes in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is pushing for amendments to the current text and it has found support in the form of China and Russia. The second informal briefing on Sri Lanka took place in Geneva yesterday on the sidelines of more..

Dinesh admits PM did not sign Rome Convention

Sep 23 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe did not sign the Rome Convention in 2002. Therefore it is not possible to bring the Sri Lankan war heroes before an International War Crime Tribunal. The latest UNHRC Report has demanded the PM to sign the same, MEP Leader and MP Dinesh Gunawardene said. He said in the latest UNHRC Report while proposing a hybrid special court to probe the so called war crimes, it demands that the Sri Lankan leader to sign the Rome Convention which more..

Navy Commander says it is safe for Wijeweera family to live outside

Sep 23 (Island) Navy Commander Vice Admiral R.C. Wijegunaratne yesterday said slain JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera’s wife and children had been asked to vacate Navy quarters at Welisara. They had been asked to vacate the camp because the country was peaceful and there was no need for them to live inside the camp. Asked who had ordered them to vacate, he said the Navy chief said it was a collective decision taken by the National Security Council. more..

Trade unionists urge: Create women workers’ forums in TUs

Sep 23 (CT) Trade unions and federations should create women workers' forums within the unions and the federations themselves should look specifically at female employment, and their demands, trade unionists announced. Fulltime trade unionist with the Progressive Plantation Workers' Union (PPWU), Sushovan Dhar said the graded employment system in the plantations basically pointed out to grave inequalities. more..

Building a new Sri Lanka that calls for political, not juridical, action

Sep 23 (ET) Report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka describes a painful truth that Sri Lanka has to confront, accept and act upon. It is welcome that the new, post-Rajapaksa regime promises to undo the damage and build an inclusive, democratic nation. It must be supported to make good on its word and held to moral and political account. Report quantifies and classifies the pain the most intense phase of Sri Lanka’s long civil war has inflicted on its people, more..

Instead of summoning MR before PRECIFAC, Commission members visited his residence

Sep 23 (CT) Former President and MP Mahinda Rajapaksa was questioned by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC) today. Mahinda Rajapaksa had been questioned over the money owed to state-owned ITN TV for televising ads promoting him at the 2015 Presidential Election campaign. Instead of summoning Rajapaksa to appear before more..

Sri Lanka cuts govt spending over foreign visits and security measures

Sep 23 (LBO) Cabinet decided to cut govt spending over various activities and introduced a new criteria to adopt in expending govt funds. PM has focused the attention of the following; Minimizing to the maximum level foreign visits by the Ministers, State Ministers, Deputy Ministers, all elected public representatives, and Govt officials. Even in undertaking essential foreign visits, to include in the delegation only persons more..

137,000 houses for war victims

Sep 23 (EN) Sri Lanka wants to build 137,000 houses for people in former war torn areas in the North and the East of the country, minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Cabinet had approved a proposal by D M Swaminathan, Minister for Rehabilitation and Resettlement to build the houses. Govt would call for proposals from domestic and international parties for the construction of 137,529 houses, he said. The planned houses are in addition to 44,000 house being built by India. more..

Govt. owns over 59,000 vehicles

Sep 23 (NS) The Sri Lankan Govt owned over 59,000 vehicles distributed among its Ministries, Departments and Govt Institutions. Accordingly, the number of registered vehicles belonging to Ministries, Departments and Govt Institutions numbers to 59,160 and a considerable number of these vehicles are still being used by the Ministers, Deputy Ministers, MPs and those who function in various positions of the former govt but not functioning in such positions at present. more..

Opposition MPs walk out in protest

Sep 23 (AM) Several UPFA MPs including Dinesh Gunawardena and Vasudeva Nanayakkara left parliament chambers in protest over taking up financial regulations for the debate today. They requested the Speaker for another date to take financial regulations for debate. However, the Speaker decided to hold the debate today after a party leaders' meeting. Following this some UPFA MPs waked out of the Chamber. more..

Import tax on edible oil increased

Sep 23 (AD) The Special Commodity Levy imposed on imported Edible oil has been increased by Rs 20 per kilogram with effect from today. The Ministry of Finance said that the Special Commodity Levy on imported Edible oil was increased to provide relief to local coconut industry. Earlier the Levy on Crude edible oil was Rs 90/kg and Rs 110/kg for refined oil. Edible oil is imported as a substitute for coconut oil in the country and in order to protect the local coconut oil industry, more..

Hospital to fully cooperate to carry out investigations

Sep 23 (DN) Director Medical Services (DMS) of Lanka Hospitals Dr. Wimal Karandagoda states that the hospital authorities will fully cooperate to carry out the inquiry jointly done by the Ministry of Health and Private Health Services Regulatory Council (PHSRC) with regard to the recent incident concerning diseased patient, Thilak Daluwatte. “While extending our condolences to the family of the diseased, we assure the health authorities that there was no medical negligence on more..