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Embilipitiya killing: JVP alleges foul play, govt promises probe

Jan 13 (Island) Minister Sagala Ratnayake told Parliament that there was no evidence to prove the allegation that the youth who died recently after being injured in a clash with the police had been plunged off the upper floor of the house where the incident occurred. Responding to a series of questions raised by JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, minister said that investigations into the incident were more..

SLC sack U19 manager ahead of World Cup

Jan 13 (DM) In an unprecedented move, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) sacked Under 19 team manager Shane Fernando just three days ahead of the team’s schedule departure to the U19 World Cup in Bangladesh. The Youth World Cup will be held from February 27 to March 14 in India with the participation of 16 teams, including seven associate teams. Fernando has been replaced with chief junior selector Ranjith Madurusinghe who will act as more..

Building unity

Jan 13 (DM) The new National Govt, having restored democracy, judicial and media freedom to a large extent, is now moving into the second crucial stage of sustainable eco-friendly development intended to bring about a just society with a more equitable distribution of wealth and resources. The media -- the print, electronic and social -- have a crucial role to play in giving the people a full and balanced awareness on important issues so that the people could go even beyond making more..

Mr. Sampanthan, do not forget, you are the Opposition Leader

Jan 13 (DM) What is Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan’s stand on the alleged involvement by UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra in the abduction of a youth from a shop in Dematagoda last month? What has he got to say about the escalating of the Chronic Kidney Disease in the North Central Province? What does he suggest to make Mattala International Airport productive? Why doesn’t he speak about the incredible and highly suspicious delay in taking action against multi-million more..

Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrama

Paddy at MRIA to be removed tomorrow

Jan 13 (AD) Paddy stored at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) would be removed tomorrow, Ministry of Rural Economic Affairs says. Therefore, steps will be taken to remove some 4054 metric tons of paddy stored at MRIA. MRIA, built with Chinese funds, at southern port district of Hambantota was commissioned in 2013. Sri Lanka’s second international airport, built at a cost of USD 210 million, had been used as a temporary paddy storage facility, more..

Video: Duminda released on bail

Jan 13 (DM) Former MP Duminda Silva was granted bail today in relation to cases filed against him by the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption. Commission had filed cases against former MP Duminda Silva related to the failure by Silva to declare his assets. The cases were filed at the Colombo Magistrate’s Court in relation to the failure by Silva to declare his assets in March 2013 and March 2014. Silva was not given nominations to contest the Parliamentary election this year more..

Sri Lanka Cricket: Thilanga commences Ranatunga residue mop up operation

Jan 13 (CT) Recently elected SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala is determined to wipe out Ranatunga’s support base from Sri Lanka Cricket administration, sources within the cricket board said. Taking the first casualty, with barely three days to depart for the U-19 Cricket World Cup scheduled to take place in Bangladesh, Shane Fernando the appointed Manager of the team had been removed from his duties and replaced by selector more..

Bill before Parliament to increase women’s representation in LG bodies

Jan 13 (Island) The govt yesterday presented a bill to Parliament seeking to create 1,495 slots in local govt institutions for women. The bill titled Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) was presented by Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka. Currently there are 4,486 members in 335 local govt bodies. According to the provisions of the bill presented to the House yesterday the number of local govt members would be increased by one third of the current number. more..

No bail for Pillayan, remanded until Jan. 27

Jan 13 (AD) The Batticaloa Magistrate today further remanded former Eastern Province Chief Minister S Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, who was arrested in connection with the murder of ex-MP Joseph Pararajasingham, until Jan 27. The suspect was further remanded when the case was taken up for hearing before the Batticaloa Magistrate today. Pillayan was arrested on October 11 when he arrived at the CID to give a statement in connection with the assassination of late Tamil politician, more..

Video: FEB brings back 90 housemaids

Jan 13 (DM) Ninety housemaids who were provided alternative shelter by the Sri Lankan High Commission in Kuwait arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport today. Foreign Employment Bureau had intervened in bringing them back to Sri Lanka. The housemaids were accommodated at safe houses after complaints of being subjected to various forms of harassment including the non-payment of the wages by their employers. more..

'Sri Lanka should end price floor on Colombo hotels'

Jan 13 (EN) Sri Lanka should end price controls on 5-star grade hotels in the capital Colombo and allow market forces to work, Mandeep Lamba, Managing Director of Hotels and Hospitality and Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate consultancy said. "The minimum rate should no longer be in existence in our opinion and hotels should compete in a free market," Lamba told reporters in Colombo. He said price controls may have made sense at one time but it was no longer helping. more..

Power and Energy Minister transfers some subjects to his Deputy

Jan 13 (Island) Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya has delegated some functions and subjects coming under the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy to Deputy Minister Ajith Perera. The relevant gazette notice has been released recently. All parliamentary affairs related to the ministry, labour relations of all institutions under the purview of the ministry, coordination of the activities related to the Sampur Coal Power Project and coordination of all the activities related to generation plan of CEB more..

Rs. 3 bn loss due to Prado racket: Customs union writes to President

Jan 13 (Island) Secretary to President Maithripala Sirisena had officially informed All Ceylon Customs Service Union (ACCSU) that he had received the latter’s written complaint of a fraud, ACCSU’s chief secretary, J.A. Gunathilake said. ACCSU has, in its letter dated Jan. 07 to President by the ACCSU, sought an appointment with the President to discuss a colossal loss the Treasury has incurred due to fraudulent release of more..

Special training to discipline VIP vehicle drivers

Jan 13 (DN) The Motor Traffic Commissioner's Department has launched a programme to provide a special training to drivers of VIP vehicles, Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. He said this will ensure that those drivers observe road rules to the letter and set an example to other road users. The minister disclosed this at a training workshop on the issuing of commuter service driving licenses held at the SLTB Head Office at Narahenpita on January 11. more..

Pharmaceutical chamber showers praise on health minister

Jan 13 (Island) Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industries (SLCPI) has said that it highly commend Minister of Health, Dr Rajitha Senaratne, for initiating the introduction of a transparent and indubitable new tender procedure for purchasing drugs and medical equipment for all state sector hospitals and clinics in the country. The SLCPI has said that the transparent tender procedure was a dire need in view of alleged irregularities, waste, corruption and fraud. more..

BBS and ESMP make proposals to amend Constitution

Jan 13 (CT) Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Bodu Jana Peramuna (BJP) and Eksath Sinhale Mahajana Peramuna (ESMP) called on provisions to be included in the new Constitution changing the name of the country from Sri Lanka to Sinhale. CEO of the BBS, Dr. Dilanthe Withanage said, the BBS which had previously contested at General Election under moniker BJP would be contesting independently at the LG elections as ESMP. more..

Iran’s new ambassador submits credentials

Jan 13 (MNA) Iran’s new envoy to Sri Lanka officially presented his credentials to the Asian country’s president. At the meeting which was also attended by Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Iran's new ambassador Mohammad Za'eri conveyed the warm greetings of the Iranian President to president of Sri Lanka. Za’eri expressed satisfaction towards his appointment as envoy of Iran to Sri Lanka adding “I will put all necessary efforts to expand the ties between the two countries.” more..

Two women killed by train

Jan 13 (Island) Two women while crossing the railway track near the Kandy police station on Monday late afternoon were knocked down by a train. One was killed on the spot and the other died at the Kandy General Hospital the following day. The two were crossing the Kandy-Matale railway line while the rail gate remained closed for the passing of the Matale bound train. The deceased were identified as V. T. G. Dayawathie (45) and her daughter-in -law Manjula Priyadarshani (26). more..

Part of Health Ministry shifted to building on monthly rent of nearly Rs 11 mn

Jan 13 (Island) A health sector trade union alleged that a part of Health Ministry had been moved to a private building owned by a minister on a monthly rent of Rs 11 mn. President of ACNU Gamini Kumarasinghe said that a part of ministry had already been shifted to the building on Darley Road, Colombo. "This building is owned by a powerful minister of govt and it was used as a store of Economic Affairs Ministry," more..

Govt urged to invite UN envoy on sexual violence

Jan 13 (CG) The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) has welcomed the announcement by the Govt of Sri Lanka that it has endorsed the G8 Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict. However ITJP has called on President Maithripala Sirisena to demonstrate his commitment on this issue by immediately extending an invitation to the UN Secretary General’s Special Rapporteur on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura, to visit Sri Lanka. more..

Govt. backtracks on NBT, VAT revisions

Jan 13 (DM) The amendments proposed to Value Added Tax (VAT) and Nation Building Tax (NBT) Proposed in Budget 2016 would not be implemented until the relevant legislative enactments were passed by Parliament, Finance Ministry said. However proposed exemption of deemed VAT on wholesale and retail trade would come to effect from Jan 1, 2016, considering its impact on cost of living. Further, vehicle importers who have imported motor vehicles for personal use on letter of credits more..

SF challenges MS, RW to remove Wijeyadasa

Jan 13 (DM) Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka today challenged President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe to remove Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe from the govt, if they wanted to maintain Good Governance in the country. He said the Minister continuing to defend the Avant Garde Maritime Security Company and its floating armoury, when it had been proved that the floating armoury was illegal. more..

Customs to release motor vehicles by March

Jan 13 (DM) Sri Lanka Customs said today they had decided to release motor vehicles imported by individuals for personal use on a Letter of Credit opened before the effective date of the 2016 Budget. Customs media spokesman Leslie Gamini said a directive on this matter had been sent by the Finance Ministry to Customs Director General Chulananda Perera on yesterday. He said nearly 3,000 vehicles were being detained at the Hambantota Port awaiting clearance and more..

D.S., Kingswood Principals’ under scrutiny

Jan 13 (DN) Royal College Principal Upali Gunasekara who was transferred this week has been admitting students to the school outside of Ministry regulations, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasm revealed. “The Principal has also added an extra class in Grade Seven, without ministry approval,” he said. “The information came into light in an audit query conducted by Education Ministry, Gunesekara has been transferred to Ministry of Education since last Monday,” he confirmed. more..

Mathews unaware of player misconduct in NZ

Jan 13 (CG) Captain Angelo Mathews says he is unaware of any incident where players had misbehaved during the just concluded tour to New Zealand. Team Manager Jeryl Woutersz said that he has been asked to submit a report to Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera over the allegations. However speaking to reporters Mathews said that as far as he is aware there were no major incidents of misconduct involving the players. more..

'Time to expand Sri Lanka - Danish links'

Jan 13 (GDI) Boosting Sri Lanka’s international investment profile, two top global multinationals are moving for SL entry –they are the world’s largest shipper Maersk Line and the frontline warrior battling the global diabetes pandemic, Nordisk A/S-and yet to be identified two other giants in green-tech and water management are also busy studying a Sri Lanka entry, Ministry of Industry and Commerce said. New Delhi based Danish Ambassador for Sri Lanka Peter Taksøe-Jensen revealed more..

Video: ASP Liyanage writes to IGP to probe gold and cash rumour

Jan 13 (DM) Businessman A.S.P. Liyanage has urged the IGP to launch an investigation with regard to reports that former President Rajapaksa had stashed away gold and cash packed in polythene bags inside a swimming pool at the Peacock Mansion, which belongs to Mr. Liyanage. When the mansion was prepared to be gifted to Mr. Rajapaksa, several changes in the mansion had been made according to architects’ instructions, including filling swimming pool with sand. more..

US based Sri Lankan sets Guinness record for fastest half marathon in a suit

Jan 13 (FC) Gihan Amarasiriwardena, who trained in engineering at MIT, likes to run his apparel company, Ministry of Supply, like a tech company. Gihan was articulating a philosophy of apparel design that closely resembled that of tech design: rapid prototyping, constant iteration, A/B testing, and so on. Now, though, Gihan has taken his philosophy to a whole new level, having attempted a new kind of extreme performance testing. more..

A soldier & A learned man

Jan 14 (CT) Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe describes himself as a Maha Pragnnaya – a great intellectual. Undoubtedly he is a learned man. He made a frightening and shocking pronouncement on 9th Jan 2016 –the first Anniversary of the Maithri Ranil consensual coalition. Intervening in a live program on TV he said that Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka was a mentally retarded – Mandha Budhdhikayek b. was corrupt and had amassed a sum of Rs 887 lakhs more..

Academic autonomy: Free the State Uni.s

Jan 14 (CT) In recent times as the horrible goings on at our universities receive increasing exposure, the authorities cite academic autonomy to explain why they should not intervene. University autonomy is a good thing. But we do not understand it. According to the European University Association, academic autonomy refers to a university’s capacity to manage its internal academic affairs: 1) Organizational autonomy: This requires setting the selection procedure and criteria in hiring more..

Yahapalanaya at One: When will our leaders walk the talk?

Jan 14 (GV) My wish for 2015: To be a free citizen of Sri Lanka, not just a servile subject! I shared those words one year ago on Twitter and Facebook through a simple web meme. At the time, it was very much an aspiration, as we Lankans were still living under a regime that harboured monarchic delusions and had little regard for our rights as citizens. And a week later, at SL’s 7th presidential election, we citizens sent that regime home. more..

There are lessons to learn from D.B. Wijetunga

Jan 14 (Island) Sirisena Cooray, who could be called the Basil Rajapaksa or Gotabaya Rajapaksa of the Ranasinghe Premadasa era, once related an interested story. He was speaking at a time when Mahinda Rajapaksa was President and seemingly invincible. He was speaking about the decisions that had to be made immediately after President Premadasa was assassinated. The following is the gist. "I have two regrets. The first was when it came to the Prime Minister’s post. more..

Strict rules enforced on Dambadiva pilgrimage organizers

Jan 14 (ITN) Many join in pilgrimages to Dambadiva under the guidance of various establishments and organizations. However, there are instances when problems had surfaced with regard to the standards of the pilgrimages and security. Taking cognizance of this matter, the Buddha Sasana Ministry has decided to implement a new programme. Accordingly, establishments organizing Dambadiva pilgrimages should register with the Buddha Sasana Ministry. more..

'I have so much to tell you but I can’t. It is too dangerous'

Jan 14 (CT) Sonali Samarasinghe, wife of slain editor the late Lasantha Wickramatunga, says the investigators were not allowed to continue their probe on the killing of her husband. The process was very slow. "I believe now there is a political will to continue the investigations. There are no interferences," she said. Q: You are a well-known journalist who was the chief editor of The Morning Leader. How is your new position as more..

Ingredients for new Constitution in place

Jan 14 (Island) The govt set the stage for the drafting of a new constitution when PM Ranil Wickremesinghe presented a resolution to Parliament on Jan 9 that would convene it as a constitutional assembly. The timing was symbolically important as this was the date that marked the commencement of President Maithripala Sirisena’s second year in office. President Sirisena was also in Parliament to make a special address to Parliament. President’s commitment to stripping himself more..

No retreat permissible on hybrid-mechanism

Jan 14 (Island) Seven years have passed since the LTTE was wiped out but it has not been time enough for the Tamils to find their feet. Thirty years of civil war cast a pall; the LTTE conjured up phantasmagorical images of a leader and an imagined Eelam divorced from all reality; war-crimes seared people’s lives. The Jehan Pereras, bless their souls, who advocate reason and reconciliations are a minority in Sinhalese polity. To most Sinhalese: "The LTTE has been vanquished, more..

MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake

Report card: Sri Lanka president falls short after one year at helm

Jan 14 (AT) The initial excitement among his supporters seems to have dampened after Sri Lanka president Maithripala Sirisena completed his first year in office on Jan. 9. He’s being called to account for delivering a large number of pre-election promises which continue to be mostly rhetoric since his electoral triumph of 12 months ago. On Jan. 8, 2015, Sri Lanka’s went to the polls to vote for change by voting out the once powerful Mahinda Rajapaksa from the presidency and more..

In a Nutshell

Jan 14 (SL) The helayas who joined the yahapalana bandwagon are feeling quite isolated these days. With the cash inflow marked for Wanna-sinha being defeated in the council that governs the west, supported by the blue members in the yahapalana clan, the helayas are a disgruntled lot. Champ-ika decided to take the matter to Ra-kneel, who, after listening to the hela woes, requested the green types not to isolate the helayas in the council that governs the west. more..