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Confiscated tusks to be destroyed in keeping with international norms: Minister

Jan 23 (DN) A haul of African elephant tusks confiscated by the Sri Lanka Customs should necessarily be destroyed on par with international norms and practice, said Minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera. He said that Sri Lanka is signatory of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora popularly known as the Washington Convention of 1979 and these elephant tusks worth Rs.4.2 billion should necessarily be destroyed. more..

Sri Lanka refugees from Tamil Nadu not welcome in Australia

Jan 23 (DC) Australian govt made it clear that Sri Lankan refugees from TN are no longer welcome in its country as they are not from refugee camps approved by UNHRC. Nearly 1,200 Lankan refugees tried to travel in boats from Indian subcontinent to Australia between the years 2009 and 2013 died before reaching their destination. Sean Kelly, Australian consul-general to South India pointed out that Australia is not in position to more..

Independence Day at Galle Face

Jan 23 (NS) 68th Independence Day celebrations will be held at the Galle Face Green on Feb 4, officials at the Ministry of Public Administration and Management said. All preparation activities are in the process of being planned by the relevant officials and would be finalized during the next few days. The Police in the meantime said that it was yet to receive the programme schedule for the Independence Day celebrations to map out the security arrangements on the day. more..

Govt to step up investment talks with China

Jan 23 (FT) International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama will be flying to China next month to kick off discussions to increase investments in Sri Lanka ahead of a visit by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. The visit is part of an ambitious investment promotion plan the Govt has through the Board of Investment (BOI) has unveiled to be launched next month targeting $ 5 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) over the next three years. The plan has already been formulated by more..

29 cases put on hold after govt suspension

Jan 23 (DN) Following govt's suspension on kidney transplants for foreigners, 29 cases scheduled to undergo the procedure has been put on hold. The ministry has also taken a number of key measures in an attempt to streamline the approval process, including spot visits to observe Ethics Committee proceedings at each private hospital by Health Ministry officials, Director of Private Health Services Department, said. more..

SC fixes Tiran petition for argument

Jan 23 (DN) Supreme Court fixed for argument the Fundamental Rights petition filed by former MP Tiran Alles in connection with an alleged fraud at the Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA) in 2006. When the petition was taken up before Supreme Court two-judge-bench, matter was fixed for argument on March 30. Supreme Court had earlier granted leave to proceed with this Fundamental Rights petition and observed that there was no reason to arrest him immediately. more..

Census Dept. kicks off 4 major surveys

Jan 23 (FT) Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) stated it would conduct four household surveys in 2016 including Fieldwork of Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) and Labour Force Survey (LFS) and Child Activity Survey (CAS) has already been commenced. Fieldwork of the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) DCS will commence from June 2016. Labour Force Survey (LFS) has been conducted on quarterly basis since 1990. Important statistics such as more..

Ready to leave govt to catch thieves: Rajitha

Jan 23 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said resigning from the govt and joining the civil society to fulfil the promises given with regard to catching thieves was not a big deal. He said he would consider if the civil society requested him to leave the govt. Dr. Senaratne had along with Minister Champika Ranawaka met President to discuss matters pertaining to catching thieves, following which civil society organizations too had met Sirisena. more..

Editorial: Rhetoric and reality

Jan 23 (Island) President has told BBC that foreign judges and prosecutors should not be involved in a probe into Sri Lanka’s alleged war crimes. There is no need to import specialists, he has said, stressing, "I will never agree to international involvement in this matter’. He is of the view that SL has enough experts. Interestingly, his bold statement virtually coincided with an agreement his govt and the EU reached on implementing the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka fully and speedily! more..

Police to fight planets at sea sand pool

Jan 23 (Island) Police Commission will soon have to decide whether the Police Department is to have an astrology and occult sciences unit. Why do you think it should be part of their investigative process? Why not? But there is urgency, because of that issue about removing sea sand from the swimming pool at a Rajagiriya residence. What is so special about that? That complainant ASP (not police) Liyanage says the Welikade Police are delaying the removal of the sea sand. more..

Petition claiming Kataragama devalaya hereditary rights

Jan 23 (DN) The Supreme Court ordered the status quo to be maintained until April 1 over an interim order restraining Basnayake Nilame of Kataragama Devalaya from appointing former Kapurala Pathmasiri Adhikaram as the Kapurala of the Ruhunu Kataragama Maha Devalaya. Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice K. Sripavan made this order sequent to a fundamental rights petition filed by more..

'SLIIT trying to cut links with Mahapola'

Jan 23 (ST) Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) recently returned to Mahapola Trust Fund Rs. 408 million which Mahapola had paid in the early 2000s towards the construction of the Institute’s main building in Malabe. This week, a former SLIIT board member accused the Institute of trying to sever ties with Mahapola in disregard of the fact that the total money defrayed from Mahapola is an investment made by the Trust on more..

Land grab in Mullaitivu

Jan 23 (SL) The armed forces occupied many properties in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of the country during and after the civil war. The former govt with its powerful politicians, allegedly encouraged the process of illegally grabbing land in the North and East during its tenure. Issue of encroaching into public lands has still not been addressed by the relevant authorities, even after the change of govt last year. more..

Another US State Department official in SL

Jan 23 (CG) Another US State Department official is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka next week as US continues to strengthen its relationship with SL. Macon Phillips, Coordinator for Bureau of Int'l Information Programs is expected to arrive tomorrow or early Monday on a short visit. His first role in the Obama Administration was at the White House, as a Special Assistant to the President and Director of Digital Strategy. more..

Sex education from Grade One soon?

Jan 23 (Island) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said that it had, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, discussed possibilities of introducing sex and relationship education into school curriculum from Grade One. NCPA Chairperson, Dr. Natasha Balendra, addressing the media at the Information Department said that training of teachers and developing the school curriculum would be an onerous task. more..

Singapore Police finds NO SEX in a TOUCH

Jan 23 (NS) Singapore Police on Wednesday concluded its finding on the CCTV video clip that Central Provincial Councillor Manel Bandara had not committed an act of sexual harassment in touching a Singaporean woman on her shoulder during a study tour, well informed sources revealed. Bandara was taken into custody following a complaint to the police that the Councillor reportedly harassed her sexually while more..

MPs Code of Conduct on tortoise walk

Jan 23 (NS) A Code of Conduct for MPs, the key objective listed in 100-Day program of President Sirisena, continues to be on the backburner over more than a year after he was sworn in as President. When contacted, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake admitted there had been little progress in formulating such a code of conduct for MPs. He noted he was unsure when the process of introducing such a code of conduct would even begin. more..

Some principals, PPAs partners in school crimes

Jan 23 (ST) While highly-publicised ceremonies were held in schools on Wednesday to mark the admission of some 250,000 Grade 1 children, a shocking a scandalous scam where large sums of money have been obtained from parents for admission has been exposed. This came after extensive investigations by Education Ministry. At least 10 leading schools are under investigation while principals of Royal & D.S. in Colombo more..

IGP asks police commission to clear his name

Jan 23 (Island) IGP N.K. Illangakoon wrote to the Chairman of the Police Commission (PC) requesting the latter to conduct a thorough probe into the allegation leveled against him by some print media and an attorney at law at a recent media briefing, as regards the recent Embilipitiya incident. A man succumbed to his injuries sustained during a clash with the police. He also requested the NPC chairman of the PC more..

Rail track extension: Hambantota loses; Polonnaruwa gains

Jan 23 (Island) The government has cancelled the construction of the Beliatta- Kataragama stretch of the Matara-Kataragama railway line via Hambantota and in favour of a new rail track between the Kurunegala and Habarana under the Polonnaru Udanaya project. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that Kurunegala–Habarana rail track would be constructed as a priority project via Dambulla and Galewela while more..

2015 hottest year on record and its getting hotter

Jan 23 (DM) If any more evidence was needed for burning climate change issues to be given priority in the socio-economic development policies of all countries, it came from world weather experts this week. Last year 2015 was Earth’s hottest year on record and it appears the planet is still getting hotter. Barely three weeks into the New Year, are climate researchers from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) more..

Video: Match-fixing: Punishable by Sri Lankan laws?

Jan 22 (AD) Sri Lanka currently has no national criminal law provisions applied to corruption in sport, specifically match-fixing, according to the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL). However, it cannot be said that no action can be taken regarding match-fixing, President’s Counsel Geoffrey Alagaratnam said. He stated that it can come under the cheating offence under the Penal Code of Sri Lanka. Mr Alagaratnam stated that he believes it will be very good if more..


Daham back on nepotic road inspects Army

Jan 23 (CT) President Sirisena’s son Daham who went into hiding after attending the UNGA in New York, has re-emerged and is back on the nepotism road Colombo Telegraph can reveal. Daham Sirisena just like his sister Chathurika Sirisena who went on a fact finding mission earlier and to also express her father’s dreams for his people, has yesterday visited the Mihindu Seth Medura, a special complex managed by Ministry of Defence, to hear grievances of disabled soldiers. more..

Why Eelaventhan should not be deported

Jan 23 (CT) With his application for asylum in Canada denied and all appeals against his deportation order exhausted, except for a pre-removal risk assessment process and possibly an application for a National Interest exemption, I share here the major concerns I have why former TNA MP, M K Eelaventhan should not be deported to Sri Lanka. Earlier in April 2014, in an application for judicial review of the findings made by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), more..

Monsignor Rayappu Joseph: Controversial Catholic Bishop Emeritus of Mannar diocese

Jan 23 (DBS) A news report from Vatican Information Service (VIS) datelined Jan 14th 2016 stated that His Holiness Pope Francis has accepted the resignation presented by Bishop Rayappu Joseph upon reaching the age limit, from the pastoral care of the diocese of Mannar. VIS report further said that Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Joseph Kingsley Swampillai, Bishop emeritus of Trincomalee, as apostolic administrator of more..

Prez, govt urged to speak with one voice on accountability process

Jan 22 (Island) Alleging that President Maithripala Sirisena and the UNP-led govt had simultaneously issued vastly contradictory statements in respect of accountability issues and the role of the international community in the process, National Front to Protect Security Forces urged the govt to speak with one voice. Retired Maj and attorney-at-law Ajith Prasanna convenor of the front said people shouldn’t be deceived as regards the understanding between govt and UNHRC. more..

Lankan Tamil youth arrested in Tiruchi for bid to kill police officer

Jan 22 (CG) A 19-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil youth has been arrested in Tiruchi on the charge of attempting to murder a special sub-inspector of police attached to the city police, Hindu newspaper reported. The special sub-inspector Thangasamy of Airport Police station who sustained grievous injury on his head is undergoing treatment in a private hospital here. The offence took place on Thursday night when the special sub-inspector was on regular rounds in his jurisdiction. more..

Indian fishermen decides not to participate in church festival

Jan 23 (PTI) The fishermen from here today decided to boycott the two-day festival at Anthony's church to Katchatheevu to protest against Sri Lanka not releasing 67 boats belonging to them. As per an Indo-Sri Lankan agreement, Indian fishermen have right to fish near Katchatheevu, dry their fishing nets there and offer worship at the church. While SL govt was allowing worship, they were harassing fishermen who put out sea more..

The Presidential fixation with constituency

Jan 23 (DM) When one holds an all-powerful office, one really does not need to worry about a constituency. When one has declared that a second term would not be sought, one does not need to worry about a constituency. Even after some rudimentary pruning of executive powers (which, by the way, is a far cry from what was pledged and what those who turned an idea – abolishing the executive presidency – into a movement in their wide-eyed innocence were convinced would more..

President visits INS Vikramaditya at Colombo

Jan 23 (BS) His Excellency, Maitripala Sirisena, Honble President of Sri Lanka visited INS Vikramaditya this morning. He was received onboard by Rear Admiral Ranveet Singh, NM, Flag Officer Commanding, Western Fleet and Captain Krishna Swaminathan, Commanding Officer of the ship. His Excellency YK Sinha, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka and Vice Admiral Ravindra C Wijegunaratne, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy were also present. more..

Thowfeek to fill Hafeez’s seat in Parliament

Jan 22 (AD) Elections Commission said Mohamed Shariff Thowfeek has been appointed to fill UNP National List seat vacated with the resignation of A.R.A. Hafeez. M.S. Thowfeek was nominated by General Secretary of UNP, it said. UNP MP Abdul Hafeez resigned on Tuesday, citing personal reasons. He had stated that it was voluntary decision in order to make way for an SLMC member representing a district which is currently not more..

NCPA wants lengthier paternal leave

Jan 23 (DM) National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) was contemplating on urging Govt to enact or amend laws to grant lengthier paternal leaves, NCPA Chairperson Dr. Natasha Balendra said. “Currently, fathers of new born babies are given only three days’ leave,” she said. The decision had been made with the purpose of strengthening and enhancing the responsibility vested in fathers on their children, she said. "Common adage, which says it, is mother who is more responsible for more..

Oil leak continues to wreak havoc on lives, livelihoods and environment

Jan 23 (ST) Muthurajawala oil leak, after two weeks, has left more trees dead, rotting animals and the lagoon unusable for villagers, as authorities were trying to take remedial measures. Fishermen complained the oil is still found in between the mangrove roots and are further killing the plants as well as wildlife. Head of the Fishermen’s Association, said that all small water bodies within the lagoon, as well as a small canal at Ithiyogama, still hold oil residues. more..

GMOA to launch protest against PMC on Monday

Jan 23 (Island) The GMOA will stage a demonstration opposite the Avissawella Base Hospital on Monday demanding the govt to acquire the Private Medical College (SAITM) at Malabe. SAITM students will commence their clinical practices at the Avissawella Base Hospital and Kaduwela Medical Officer of Health Unit shortly as the Health Ministry has agreed before the Supreme Court to allow them to use those two institutions. more..

IMF, ADB reiterate sustained funding

Jan 22 (CT) An IMF delegation will be in Colombo in the first week of February to open discussions with the govt on the provision of further standby assistance, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has in talks with PM Wickremesinghe on the sidelines of the Davos Forum reiterated IMF's positive assistance to help Sri Lanka deal with economic flashpoints in 2016. PM said earlier that IMF assistance to Sri Lanka would also more..

'Country needs common man’s Constitution'

Jan 23 (CT) Process of obtaining views and opinions of the grassroots level people for the new Constitution must be given wider publicity like a candidate's or political party's election campaign, Attorney-at-Law, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa said. He said political parties too had thus far shown a lack of interest in participating in it and with the Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms (PRCCR). There is a suspicion that govt already has a model of a Constitution in mind more..

Sampanthan declared living hero by CTC

Jan 23 (Island) An influential Canadian Diaspora organization which had been proscribed by the previous Sri Lankan govt for being an LTTE front has provided funds for resettlement of the war displaced at Sampur in the Trincomalee district. Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) had recently raised over $ 110,000 for Sampur resettlement project. The CTC had raised nearly $ 300,000 over the six previous years for more..

Rajitha & Co. disgusted

Jan 23 (CT) Ministers Rajitha Senaratne, Arjuna Ranatunga and several civil society groups, who were responsible for the formation of the current UNP-SLFP National Govt, are set to meet President and PM for a special discussion next week. Ministers and the civil society groups during these discussions are expected to draw the attention of President and PM to the failure of govt to punish members of the former Rajapaksa regime found guilty of large-scale fraud and corruption. more..

NCPA receives 10,732 complaints of child abuse last year

Jan 23 (Island) National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has received a total of 10,732 complaints of child abuse during the course of last year, a slight increase over the 10,315 cases in 2014. NCPA Chairman, Dr. Natasha Balendra, said the highest number of complaints of 1,522 had been received from the Colombo District. Complaints from Gampaha, Kurunegala, Galle, Kalutara, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura and Puttalam had been 1187, 827, 700, 634, 622,573 and 540 respectively, more..