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Thajudeen Killing: Security men spoke to Top Politicians

Jan 16 (CT) Information has come to light that phone conversations had taken place between security officials who were present at the scene of the crime and several VIPs, whose names have been connected to the killing of national rugby star Wasim Thajudeen. These details have apparently come to light following reports of phone conversations being turned over to the investigators by telephone service provider companies. Though the govt had initially said that CCTV footage more..

Opinion divided over revival of Valaicheanai paper mill

Jan 16 (Island) National Paper Corporation Limited (NPCL) had not yet been given any future development plans for the year 2016 by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, NPCL Chairman S.B Niyangoda said. Niyangoda said that ministry would decide on the Corporation’s future plans including the currently closed Vailaichchenai Paper Mill’s future activities. Paper Mill had to be modernised more..

SL tyre markers targeted in dumping case

Jan 16 (EN) Sri Lanka's off-the-road (OTR) tyre makers have been targeted in an anti-dumping case by a protectionist US manufacturer who wants to block cheaper imports. "Too many domestic industries have been overwhelmed with unfair trade practices that capture sales of U.S. companies, depressed prices, reduced profitability and inability to maintain facilities and jobs," Titan International Incorporated said in a statement. "Titan has been fighting for the last eight years to safeguard more..

Ten school principals to be investigated

Jan 16 (DM) Allegations had been made against the principals of ten popular schools in Colombo and the outstations, and they are to be investigated by Ministry of Education, said a senior official of the ministry. He said the main charges against them were that they had admitted children to their schools in violation of the ministry's circulars, and collected money illegally from parents and pupils. He said that audits were being carried out in the schools and disciplinary action would be taken if more..

Video: No UK influence in drafting new constitution: Swire

Jan 16 (AD) UK Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire says that the UK govt will not interfere in formulating the new constitution of Sri Lanka. UK Minister Hugo Swire made the observation at a press conference held in Colombo today. He added that “UK govt will neither pressurize nor influence the new constitution making but welcomes govt’s initiative in its changes.” more..

Gammanpila welcomes decision of SLFPers to contest local polls under new front

Jan 16 (Island) Leader of PHU and MP Udaya Gammanpila said that SLFP members had made a sensible decision to contest the next local govt elections from a different alliance. He said that SLFP local govt level politicians had realised that they could no longer trust President Maithripala Sirisena, who had predicted that the UPFA would lose at the last general election and said that he would not give the prime ministerial post to former President Rajapaksa even if the UPFA won. more..

John says UNP will benefit if SLFPers abandon UPFA

Jan 16 (Island) Senior Vice President of the SLFP and Minister W. D. J. Seneviratne said that the UNP would gain immensely if the SLFP members contested the next LG polls from another party or a political front. He said that no responsible SLFP politician should ever think of contesting from a different alliance. Commenting on a statement made by SLFP local govt members at a press conference in Colombo on Thursday to the effect that they would contest the forthcoming polls under more..

'SL peace process would have benefitted from greater international effort'

Jan 16 (AC) A broader international commitment would have ensured the success of an effort to end an over two-decade-long war between the Sri Lankan military and Tamil separatists, Erik Solheim, a former peace negotiator, said on Jan 14. In the absence of such a commitment, the Sri Lankan military continued a fierce offensive against the LTTE fighters as ceasefire agreements between the warring sides collapsed. more..

As vegetable prices soar, thieves plunder the fields

Jan 16 (ST) The prices of vegetables in Nuwara Eliya have risen steeply as a result of rainy weather which caused much damage to crop fields. Prompted by the high prices, thieves have started entering fields at night and stealing root vegetables. Many such incidents have been reported in Nuwara Eliya. On the night of January 7, thieves entered a field at Vajira Mawatha and made off after uprooting around 500 kilograms of carrot. The field owner has complained to the police. more..

‘Diesel, petrol can be priced at Rs. 70 and Rs. 90 a litre’

Jan 16 (Island) Consumer Rights Protection National Organization has called upon the govt to give the people the benefit of the sharp world crude oil price drop by reducing the prices of fuel in the local market immediately. President of CRPNO Ranjith Vithanage said that world crude oil prices had plummeted to a record low yesterday––USD 29.88 a barrel. He said the world market price of crude oil crashed to a 12-year low. It now costs USD 29.88 a barrel for the first time since 2004. more..

TN entrepreneurs eye opportunities in Eastern Sri Lanka

Jan 16 (ENS) As many as 125 entrepreneurs from Tamil Nadu will be among 400 from the world over, attending the Second International Investor Forum on Eastern Sri Lanka to be held here on Jan 28 and 29. Naseer Ahamed, the dynamic Chief Minister of the multi-ethnic Eastern Province, where Tamils form a third of the population, told the Foreign Correspondents Association, that out of the 125 from TN, a hundred are from Madurai more..

Embilipitiya Saga: Police face the music after party ends in deadly brawl

Jan 16 (ST) It was supposed to be a happy family dinner party in Embilipitiya but by the time it ended one person was dead, more than 10 injured, seven persons remanded and allegations made that police had brutally attacked the partygoers, including a pregnant woman. The party started shortly after dusk and went late into the night with dinner supplied by a caterer and music managed by a DJ. Shortly after midnight a team of police officers visited the house; the party had been in more..

CEA continues to curb Kelani River pollution

Jan 16 (NS) A special process has been adopted by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) to scrutinize companies located along the Kelani River in order to curb water pollution. Acting Deputy Director General of the Environmental Pollution and Control Division of the CEA, Dr. R.M.S.K. Ratnayake told Nation that the move was taken to control the waste that was dumped into the Kelai River, thus polluting the water and the environment. The monitoring process was initiated following more..

3rd time ban on polythene yet to be enforced

Jan 16 (Island) The govt announced a ban on the manufacture and sale of polythene products less than 20 microns in thickness for a third time on January 01 but its enforcement is yet to take place. Under section 23W of the National Environmental Act No. 47 of 1980, a gazette notification was issued banning the use of polythene that is less than 20 microns in thickness. Violators of the law were to be charged in courts and fined or jailed. more..

PM’s speech in Jaffna: Hope rekindled

Jan 17 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe promised to repeal the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and introduce new laws to repel any threat from international terrorism, in line with the norms and laws of the United Kingdom. He made this statement at the Thai Pongal celebrations held in Jaffna on Friday. In addition, he said, steps have been taken to identify what lands in the North are suitable for development and what land should be given to the people. more..

Police and Implementation of justice

Jan 17 (SL) A policeman’s lot has never been a happy one, anywhere even when records were not kept as well as after records were made. The policeman loyally served his ruler who rewarded his doughty services with a pittance even though a slight mistake could have made his head roll. Would the Sri Lankan policeman of 2016 fare better? From the days of British sahibs whom he served under the British Empire and thereafter to Senanayake, Bandaranaike, Jayewardene and Rajapaksa more..

'Focus on constitution-making: TNA mandated to seek a solution'

Jan 17 (SO) TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran is of the view, given the fact that Tamils have repeatedly given overwhelming mandates to the party to work for a just solution to their problems, it would be appropriate that a lasting solution to the issue comes from the TNA. MP who is also a respected Human Rights lawyer says TNA proposals to Constitutional Assembly would be drawn from Mangala Moonesinghe more..

Talawakele, Embilipitiya, Kolonnawa, Rathupasvala, Katunayake . .

Jan 17 (SO) In addition to, perhaps, unseasonal heavy rains (thanks to global warming), the towns referred to in the title of this Sunday's editorial comment all have another thing in common in recent times - reported brutality against the public by the guardians of law and of national security. In Talawakele last week, thankfully, no one died. But in Embilitiya a week earlier, one young father got killed tragically. Whether he fell or jumped off a building fleeing a police charge or, more..

Constitution making while economy collapsing

Jan 17 (ST) Is it going to be a Constituent Assembly or a Constitutional Assembly? Will the provisions of the 13th Amendment be expanded to provide for more devolution; is it going to be Federal or Unitary or United; how much powers will Parliament and the PM have and the President not have; what is going to be the future of the electoral system. The number of mind-boggling questions that beg an answer seems daunting, to put it mildly. Govt began its second year in office with announcement more..

'Focus on constitution-making: All ethnic identities require equal protection'

Jan 17 (SO) UPFA MP, Dinesh Gunawardena, who believes in the paramount importance of preserving the identities of different communities when drafting a new constitution, says devolution should be considered only after a dialogue with the groups demanding devolution. Following a model of another country won't help us, he says. He stresses there must be people's participation, irrespective of more..

The games the sports minister plays

Jan 17 (ST) My dear Dayasiri, I thought I must write to you because you seem to be in the news these days, whether you like it or not, mostly since you are the man supposedly in charge of sports in general and cricket in particular. But I am not sure whether you are in charge, judging by what has happened in the past few weeks. Remember, you approved of the recent elections at the place that controls the game? After all the shouting was over and the votes were counted, Dark Horse was elected more..

Cost of Living Vs. Development

Jan 17 (SL) Cost of living’ is generally a term which gets thrown around regularly in modern society, especially with the gradually increasing and diversifying living standards / conditions of the world. Therefore, it is timely to plot the graph to determine whether rapid development has a negative or positive impact on the cost of living. On the eve of new govt completing one year in power and the first of anniversary of President Sirisena’s ascension to Presidency, it seems timely to do so. more..

'Reconciliation can only be achieved through dialogue'

Jan 17 (SL) Over 20 years in politics, and one of the politicians who has had the most number of attempts on his life, Leader of the EPDP, Douglas Devananda claims that having denounced violence he had embraced democracy and only believes that true reconciliation can only be achieved through dialogue. He said that TNA is engaged in duplicitous politics where they are not doing anything for the Tamil people but more..

Good Governance checkmates MR and Joint Opposition

Jan 17 (SL) As the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) enters its second year in office, the challenges before the new system have increased in several fronts. Among them the key challenges are in the political and the economic fronts. President Maithripala Sirisena with his oratory skills and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe with his economic vision will now have to put their years of experience to good use in order to meet the expectations of the general public. more..

Six Sri Lankan players in squads

Jan 17 (CT) Former legends from almost every cricket playing nation have been brought together to play the game once again in the forthcoming Masters Champions League (MCL) 2016. Six teams named after the Zodiac signs and including the world greats will play a tournament of Twenty20 matches. Each of the teams will play one match against each other in the group stage. The top four teams will qualify for the two semi-finals and the winners will face each other in final match. more..

All is not well between Maithri and Ranil

Jan 17 (CT) Soured relationships between the echelons of the Executive reached highest levels recently with Head of the State President Maithripala Sirisena calling off his participation in two important events in the penultimate hour. Discomforts, if there were any, were not made obvious by President Sirisena or PM Ranil Wickremesinghe for the past twelve months, yet the things seem to slip from the grip as more..

Rubber boss dreams US$ 10b solid tyre industry

Jan 17 (CT) The newly elected Chairman of the Sri Lanka Association of Manufacturers & Exporters of Rubber Products (SLAMERP) Prabhash Subasinghe said that the govt must allow and ensure that manufacturers in Sri Lanka can import their shortfall of natural rubber so that they can add value and maintain the capacities of their factories. Addressing SLAMERP's 30 year celebration event in Colombo Subasinghe, who's also the Managing Director of Global Rubber Industries Ltd. stressed more..

New Constitution: Debates within ruling coalition over executive presidency

Jan 17 (SO) Although the national unity govt has embarked on its mission to introduce a new constitution to the country, the process has already been marred – at least to some extent - due to differences of opinion between key stakeholders of the govt. At the Presidential election in January, last year, the combined opposition, led by its Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena, pledged to abolish the all-powerful Executive Presidency in toto. It also promised to change current electoral system more..

SL seeks India’s help for refugee repatriation

Jan 17 (Hindu) With one more batch of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees returning from Tamil Nadu, India to their motherland in a few days, the Sri Lankan govt is keen on getting assistance of the Indian govt to enable quicker voluntary repatriation of the remaining refugees. “We would like the Indian govt to help us with regard to housing and road development in places of resettlement,” V. Sivagnanasothy, according to Secretary, more..

A tale of controversy

Jan 17 (NS) The remarks made by Sri Lanka’s interim coach Jerome Jayaratne to an appreciative gathering of media personnel at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Jan 13 with regards to the islanders’ controversial tour of New Zealand suggested that those hired to serve this institute lacked commitment. A statement such as, I am not desperate for the job, goes on to suggest that Jayaratne is not over enthusiastic about being in charge of the senior national cricketers. more..

Wrong signals far worse to youngsters

Jan 17 (CT) Telltale signs indicate that the hunt has begun on those who backed the wrong horse. Accusations were rife from the wrong horse's camp about the mafia that was in the race. Now it seems they have begun their revenge on targets that chose wrong. That is not cricket. Now Sports Minister wants to investigate the behaviour of the downfallen team. If what is to be investigated is based on the manager's report, then the question arises what was the manager up to during those nights more..

Wigneswaran faces the axe

Jan 17 (SL) Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran will face pressure to resign or a no-confidence motion will be brought against him at the NPC if he fails to tow the line of the TNA. TNA NPC members will meet Wigneswaran today for key talks after having similar talks last week. TNA NPC member M.K. Sivajilingham said that today’s discussion will be a follow up to last week’s talks but dismissed claims more..

Meet seeks to pass on Tamil’s heritage

Jan 17 (Hindu) Tamil-speaking families from across the world on Saturday joined common cause to discuss ways to pass on the legacy of the language and its literature to a generation of youth with little or no access to their mother tongue. Over 100 delegates from different countries shared a platform under the aegis of International Movement for Tamil Culture on Saturday seeking to enrich and conserve the cultural heritage of Tamil language in countries where the Tamil-speaking population more..

No hurrah for the big bra -ha-ha-ha!

Jan 17 (NS) Most Sri Lankans have been brought up in the shadow of civic-minded parents who have taught them the importance of respect, social order and hierarchy. The most striking aspect of SL life is that the majority of its people have not lost their cultural identity as a result of more than 400 years of colonisation. The big brouhaha, or more precisely the bra-ha-ha, over the Enrique Iglesias concert appears to have enraged President Sirisena to wish severe punishment on the organisers. more..

Used, not new, cars in future for govt servants

Jan 17 (ST) Cash-strapped govt will stop the practice of buying new vehicles for govt agencies and instead hire used or reconditioned vehicles as a cost cutting measure. This decision was announced at a high level meeting held at Finance Ministry, Treasury will call for bids from service providers to hire vehicles. A standard procedure would be followed for this purpose following the identification of required more..

Sri Lanka govt pursuing export credit insurance, not Exim bank: Eran

Jan 17 (EN) Sri Lanka’s govt will not rush into setting up an Export-Import Bank as proposed in the budget but is considering other ways such as export credit insurance, Eran Wickremeratne, deputy minister of public enterprise development, said. “Our govt believes exports need to take centre stage,” he told the annual general meeting of the National Chamber of Exporters. But although the govt had proposed setting up an Exim bank it should be done carefully, Wickremeratne said. more..

Galle attack: Focus on breakdown of school discipline

Jan 17 (ST) Major questions about student misbehaviour and the causes for it have arisen after the shocking case where a student is alleged to have attacked a vice-principal with a cricket stump. In the incident at Galle’s Siri Dhamma Vidyalaya, a 17 year old boy in Grade 12 is alleged to have hit the vice-principal with a stump causing serious head injuries. This has placed many teachers in a dilemma as to how they should discipline students. Vice Principal suffered head injuries more..

Match-fixing probe: Kusal asked to get out below 18

Jan 17 (ST) Sri Lanka’s cricket captain Angelo Mathews was summoned on Thursday to the FCID and asked to appear again tomorrow to give his views on the match fixing issue that has taken local sports by storm. National cricketers Kusal Janith Perera and Rangana Herath had been grilled by the FCID for about six hours on January 12, over their own complaints that they were approached to under-perform during more..

One captain for national cricket to be adopted

Jan 17 (ST) Once again the national cricket team will adopt the one captain policy instead of one captain for the Test and ODIs and a separate captain for the T-20 segments. In all possibility this change would happen before the Lankan team tours India for a short three T-20 match series from February 6 to 16. A spokesman for SLC told the Sunday Times “Yes, we have taken a decision on these lines, but, still we have not got the executive committee sanction for it. more..

Finance Ministry seeks more time to reduce oil prices

Jan 17 (SO) Finance Ministry has sought more time for a mechanism to reduce fuel prices in keeping with world oil prices, which are at an all-time low. This follows a proposal submitted by Petroleum Minister Chandima Weerakkody to the Cabinet. He told the Cabinet on Jan 13 that Finance Ministry officials sought more time to implement a reduction in oil prices. “We are yet to make our observations on this matter, as it needs time,” a Secretary to the Treasury Dr. R H S Samaratunga said. more..