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COPE report on Bond sales before June 30

June 19 (SO) Parliamentary watchdog, Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) headed by Chairman and JVP MP Sunil Handunetti said that a report on the Treasury Bonds issue would be finalized and handed over to Parliament before June 30. He confirmed that the Auditor General's Department was in receipt of a dossier submitted by the Central Bank which contains important information relating to the Treasury Bond Sales. "We can confirm that we have received it," he said. more..

That sugar coated cocaine bust

June 19 (CT) For the first time in its history, Ministry of Finance has got a Drug Raiding Unit. It was opened by Minister Ravi Karunanayake, despite the fact that there are other govt bodies empowered to carry out the task, namely, SL Customs, Excise Department, Police Narcotics Bureau, etc. Minister manned the new unit with officers from the Police Narcotics Bureau and gave them powers to monitor Customs & Excise Depts, more..

FMM condemns STF DIG’s threats

June 19 (Island) Condemning STF Commandant, DIG Ranjith Perera’s threats and intimidation aimed at journalists at a news conference he called on June 17, Free Media Movement (FMM) said the government should conduct a full-scale investigation into this incident and initiate legal action. DIG had accused the media of slinging mud at the STF while working in collusion and being in the pocket of the mafia and the underworld and that he knew how to punish such journalists, more..

Only surviving officer narrates horrifying story

June 19 (CT) It was 11 June 1990. The Poson full moon Poya had dawned. The LTTE escorted 600 Police personnel, who had surrendered to them, into the jungle. There they hacked and shot them to death. That was 26 years ago, but it is unforgettable history written in cold blood. Three Police officers miraculously escaped this massacre. Shantha Ranaweera, a resident of Galgamuwa was then a Sub Inspector at the Kalmunai Police. "It was the time of peace talks between govt & LTTE. more..

CID seeks details of SF’s security personnel in Lasantha’s murder probe

June 19 (SL) Despite last minute efforts by the hierarchy of the SL Army to prevent a motion being presented by the CID to the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court with regard to the case over the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge, Magistrate M. Sahabdeen last week granted the motion and gave several orders to the Army holding Army Commander responsible for the cooperation of Directorate of Military Intelligence more..

Why TNA is increasingly critical of govt

June 19 (Hindu) TNA, till recently seen as friendly towards Colombo, is now turning increasingly critical of Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt. After R. Sampanthan and Mavai Senathirajah, another prominent TNA leader, M.A. Sumanthiran, has raised criticism against the govt. Mr. Sumanthiran, who was in the U.S. early this week, told the Congressional caucus on ethnic and religious freedom in SL that the initial euphoria among Tamils was now turning into disappointment. more..

Ranil to Media: Stop playing same old tunes

June 19 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that the media should stop playing the same old tunes to the detriment of peace and development. He said "I call upon the media to stop playing the same old tunes and assist the govt in achieving its goals of reconciliation, peace and economic development." Stressing that there was no time to be wasted on irrelevant issues, he emphasized that the focus should be on improving the lives of all Sri Lankans which Rajapaksa regime had failed more..

Simmering battle in hill country

June 19 (SO) A fresh political battle is simmering in the hill country with the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA), a coalition partner of the National Unity Govt, threatening to take stern political action if the govt decides to offer ministerial portfolios to Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), led by Arumugam Thondaman. Leader of the National Union of Workers (NUW) a constituent party of TPA, more..

President appoints committee

June 19 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena, at a discussion held on 17 June, at the Presidential Secretariat, appointed a special committee to provide relief to the people who were affected by the unexpected explosion at the Armoury in Salawa, Kosgama. President advised the committee to coordinate all relief measures, until normalcy returns to the lives of the affected people. He also instructed the officials not to make circulars obstacles to the process. more..

STF chief threatens journalists over cocaine detection

June 19 (ST) DIG Ranjith Perera, the head of the Police Department’s commando arm, the STF, on Friday publicly threatened to punish the media in the way they (STF) dealt with the criminal underworld. “Why isn’t anything being written against the Army, Navy or the Air Force? If you write against them, they will send a team and break your hands.” he said. “ We don’t do such things,” he added. The remarks came at a news conference he had called to speak on the detection of 80 kg of cocaine more..

More borrowing, more taxes; Govt struggles to overcome crisis

Oct 19 (ST) One of the biggest woes for the UNF Govt appears to be the never ending saga of imposing taxes, recognising thereafter that it had affected some sections of society and amending them. It began with the budget 2016 which Minister Ravi Karunanayake introduced in Parliament in November last year. The periodic revision of his revenue proposals came mainly from President and PM. more..

Academic passivity in the face of criminal ragging

June 16 (Island) CIMOGG has constantly emphasized that it is the duty of the State to punish, without discrimination, citizens who commit criminal offences, subject to the general principle that all relevant steps are carried out in strict accordance with the law by duly authorised institutions and agents. This view is undoubtedly supported by all law-abiding citizens. Consequently, the public cannot understand why a situation has been permitted to develop in the universities, more..

The right to communicate

June 16 (Island) Ten years ago, a leading private telecom company cut off all call and data services for hundreds of thousands of families in the North and East. There was no big outcry. There was no judicial order or review of the suspension of these services. It just happened. Mobile telephony and data services were introduced to the North after the Ceasefire Agreement in 2002. On my first visit to Jaffna on the A9 in early 2002, singed and mostly topless Palmyra trees dotted the landscape. more..

Shielding a corrupt friend; disregarding the country

June 16 (Island) The name in the title notwithstanding, this article is not so much about an individual as it is about the politics and propriety of public institutions and the promise of good governance. The controversy over re-appointing the current governor of the Central Bank to a full six year term seems to be dividing the govt and the parliament right down the middle, even though the division is clearly along party lines. more..

Yahapalana ethics observed? Minister’s company gets contracts for Rs. 3.6 b

June 16 (ST) Has a company associated with a UNF cabinet minister been awarded contracts for two road rehabilitation projects which will cost the taxpayer Rs 3.6 billion? Insiders say the company has been under the minister’s name. Since they began bidding for projects under the present Govt, the name has been changed and overall management responsibility placed with a member of his family. Insiders reveal that more..

First consignment of fish handed over after the ban lifted by EU

June 19 (GDI) First consignment of fish to be exported to the European Union was handed over to the European Union Ambassador in Sri Lanka David Daly at the Dikovita Fisheries Harbor on Friday (17). The European Union lifted its ban on Sri Lankan fish exports on Thursday (16). At this occasion Ambassador Daly officially announced the lifting of the ban on Sri Lankan fish exports to the European Union. more..

Hunt for business tycoon cum cocaine baron

June 19 (SO) Teams of CID and Narcotics sleuths are now hunting for little-known business tycoon Selvarajah Jegatheeswaran, suspect co-conspirator in last week’s billion-rupee cocaine detection, Sri Lanka’s single largest ever drug bust. At stake is the location of dozens more cargo containers believed to have slipped through the Customs net into the country possibly carrying more of the expensive illegal stimulant drug. more..

Brutal, despicable murder of a toddler

June 19 (CT) In 2009 there had been 94,000 cases of domestic violence recorded by the Children and Women's Bureau Desks of Police Stations around Sri Lanka. However, these cases only represent a fraction of the actual incidents as there are many which tend to be buried and concealed, without being bought to the attention of the authorities. Though statistics are generally dismissed as mere numbers, some incidents more..

Navy rocks the boat as Avant Garde cries foul

June 19 (SL) In a statement given to the Galle Magistrate’s Court with regard to the ship MV Avant Garde that was taken into naval custody on October 6, 2015, the Galle Harbour Police OIC has said that a complaint had been lodged with them by Deputy Naval Commander, Southern Naval Base Nilantha Heenetigala. The police told court that while the Avant Garde was being given naval protection, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had written to more..

Figure-fudging charge: Five HSBC senior managers fired

June 19 (ST) At least five senior managers of HSBC Sri Lanka, including its Head of Corporate Banking, have been sacked after an investigation into allegations that they fudged incentives-linked performance figures. Two others, the Head of Human Resource and Head of Compliance, were asked to resign over separate irregularities and at least one other senior manager — the Chief Risk Officer — was suspended more..

No torture or humiliation of terror suspects

June 19 (ST) Police and Armed Forces have been given new directions by President Maithripala Sirisena on the arrest and detention of persons over terrorism related offences. The move on Friday came in the wake of the ongoing UNHRC sessions in Geneva. An oral brief on SL is to be given by Human Rights Commissioner Zaid Al Hussein on June 27. President Sirisena has said the person making the arrest or detention more..

Victims get only Rs 50,000 compensation

June 19 (CT) "Are they asking us to camp out for the rest of our lives? The govt only came and asked us what the damage has been. They wrote it down and stormed off and never came back. Even the so-called ministers came but did nothing. All they did was sight-see from the comfort of their air-conditioned vehicles. If they are going to kill us for talking like this, let them go ahead. We have lost everything and losing life is now nothing." more..

Hiatus at NMRA ends: Prof. Asitha De Silva steps in as Chairman

June 19 (Island) The weeks-long hiatus at the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) has finally ended with the appointment of Prof. Asitha De Silva, one of SL’s most eminent pharmacologists, as its Chairman. With intense head-hunting following the resignation of the then Chairman and CEO of this apex regulatory body in the pharmaceutical industry, Minister, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne opted for the Kelaniya Uni more..

After dad's murder, Sri Lankan family struggles to keep Staten Island home

June 19 (SIL) She's learning to do a lot of things since her husband, Hilton Joseph Dias, was murdered while visiting their hometown in Sri Lanka on April 11, 2016. She's cooking hamburgers at McDonald's, fixing things around her Mariners Harbor house, raising her six children alone. "It's too hard," Ruwini says quietly through a translator, her friend Sherine Desilva. The heartache of losing the love of her life is a challenge enough. Holding her children, ages 8 to 19, more..

An open plea to safeguard and reopen the Colombo Museum

June 19 (Island) I am writing to you like the proverbial Phoenix that rises above the debris in hope for renewal. I hope that many people with some value of the arts or at least with some moral imperative and power will try and raise the red flag regarding the closure of Colombo National museum for well nigh a year. There are some small sections open but the entire collection is under jeopardy. I pass it daily to work and I see little if any movement or attempt to finish it’s so called renovations. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

The Colour of the Future?

June 19 (Island) In Diamonds and Toads, a fairy tale by Charles Perrault, good sister Rose is blessed to have a jewel, gold or a flower fall out of her mouth every time she speaks and bad sister Fanny cursed to have toads and vipers jump out of her mouth every time she speaks. All too many politicians, the world over, do not need the intervention of a curse to have objectionable objects drop out of their mouths every time they speak. Such politicians are often a bane to their friends more..

Stars set minds to spin for Sri Lanka success

June 19 (CC) Australia's top female players head to Spin Camp at the NCC as they prepare for their tour of Sri Lanka. The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars are hoping an eight-day spin intensive in Brisbane will give them a big advantage when they tour Sri Lanka later this year. The Australian squad will spend the next week focusing on all things tweak at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane. Batters and bowlers alike will be put through their paces on both the unique hybrid wicket more..

'Gammanpila, first victim of govt’s political hunt'

June 19 (DM) The NFF Leader and Opposition MP Wimal Weerawansa today interpreted MP Udaya Gammanpila, who was on Saturday arrested and remanded, as the first victim of the govt’s political mission to hunt leaders of the Joint Opposition. While condemning PHU Leader Gammanpila’s arrest on behalf of the Joint Opposition, he said it was a planned act and alleged the arrest was made on a false complaint more..

President says unaware of tax reforms on Mahaweli lands

June 19 (DM) President Sirisena said he was not aware about new tax reforms or a new taxation method applied for lands belonging to the Mahaweli Authority. He was addressing at the opening ceremony of a Relics Mandhir at Sri Bodhiraja Dhamma Institute in Embilipitiya, on an invitation of its Chief Incumbent Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera. However, he assured that he would look into the matter thoroughly and would take measures to give the maximum relief to the people. more..

Korea’s Vice Minister and top business delegation due in Sri Lanka

June 19 (Island) Kim Kyung Hwan, Vice Minister of Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka from June 19-21, accompanied by high-level officials and a large business delegation comprising both state-owned and private corporations representing the infrastructure sector, including Korea Expressway Corporation, Korea Land and Housing Corporation, and Korea Water Resources Corporation. The growing economic cooperation between more..

Reclaiming Sinhalese settlement rights in Tamil dominated Jaffna

June 19 (ENS) Supported by the SL govt machinery, Sinhala nationalist outfits and Buddhist monks from Colombo, a group of 57 Sinhalese families from South Lanka have settled in Navatkuli in Jaffna in a determined bid to reclaim their rights there in the teeth of opposition from the Tamil political parties. It was in late 2009, following the end of Eelam War IV, that then govt of President Rajapaksa took the decision to aggressively more..

Politico involved in illegal tree felling

June 19 (SL) A leading politician is said to be involved in an illegal tree felling trade in Ratnapura, Minister Thalatha Athukorala claimed. She said that she had lodged a complaint with the police after receiving information over the trade. SLFP member is supporting the group involved in the trade. Minister said that the illegal felling of trees in Kahawatte has been going on for several years. She said that the trade has been damaging the environment in the forest area in more..

Living off hopes of life down under in SL

June 19 (ENS) The dirt road leading to the Sri Lankan refugee camp at Kottur in Pollachi is littered with trash and debris. Stray dogs lie along the stretch, basking in the sunlight, watching dully as people move about. It rained a few days ago and mosses have grown on the metal sheet roofs of the ghetto-like tenements, which the refugees call their home. Even as this reporter was taking in the scene that lay before him, a young Sri Lankan refugee in 20s pulled over his motorcycle. more..

Eranga undergoing heart tests in hospital

June 19 (CI) SL seamer Shaminda Eranga has been admitted to hospital in Dublin to undergo tests on an elevated heartbeat. He is understood to be in a stable condition but will remain in Ireland until Monday while the rest of the team returns to the UK. Eranga experienced discomfort during Sri Lanka's 136-run win over Ireland at Malahide on Saturday. He came out to bat and faced final ball of the innings but did not bowl more..

Hygiene and the street food vendor

June 19 (ST) Food and drink sold on the city’s pavements by street vendors ranging from drinks — prepared along dirty pavements– to lunch/dinner packets sold at open air food stalls are a common sight in towns and cities island-wide. The street food vendors fill a void by providing an essential service to the city’s hard-working manual workers who have literally no choice but to quench their thirst and appease their hunger at these wayside outlets. However, while the street food vendors more..

3 students released

June 19 (CT) Fort Magistrate Thursday released on personal bonds of Rs 200,000 each, three students who were in remand on charges of violating a Court order. He severely warned them, if in future they were to repeat the offence, their bail would be revoked and they would be promptly arrested again. The three students who were released by the Fort Magistrate were identified as Amila Hewawasam, Dimuthu Tennakoon and Hansamali Perera. The main Students' Union of Kelaniya University more..

The battle in Geneva

June 19 (CT) Against the backdrop of a statement made by former Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa that there's no Tamil problem for a political solution, TNA, a democratically elected political party called as the mirror of Tamil Tigers, and some others seeking a balanced justice for all Sri Lankans killed either by LTTE or security forces, govt is in the process of narrowing the outsized UN resolution passed on SL. more..

School- turned relief camp in Aranayake to open tomorrow

June 19 (ST) Sumangala Vidyalaya in Aranayaka the only school that was turned into a relief camp for those affected by the devastating landslide in the area, will be opened for students tomorrow, as the people have been transferred to three other camps. Relief camps have now been set up at Madiliya Rajamaha Viharaya and the two Muslim schools in Thalgaspitiya and Vilpola which are closed for the period of Ramazan. Temporary shelters will be ready in 2 months in Kalugala in Aranayake. more..

Trinco Oil Tank Farm to be developed with Indian assistance

June 19 (Island) The Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm would be developed with Indian Indian assistance, the govt said on Friday. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the media at Temple Trees, revealed that talks between Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and the Indian authorities were continuing and a mutually beneficial agreement would be reached soon. The Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm built by the British, has never been used to its full capacity. more..