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Jayamanne’s fingerprints not found on Lasantha’s car

Nov 1 (SL) With the revelations that the finger prints taken from the retired Warrant Officer Illandarige Jayamanne, who is said to have hung himself in Kegalle on Oct 14, not tallying with the finger prints obtained from the vehicle in which the Founding Editor of The Sunday Leader Lasantha Wickrematunge was travelling at the time of his murder, questions have now been raised as to on whose advice Jayamanne left a note more..

Drug price slash: A quick fix eyewash

Nov 1 (ST) The recent decision to slash prices of 48 medicinal drugs in Sri Lanka has unexpectedly triggered a barrage of criticism far more than praise from a cross-section of stakeholders including doctors, patients, drug-importers and pharmacists. Most of them who spoke to the Sunday Times, said the move steered by Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) more..

Houses for 971 families in 31 welfare centers

Nov 1 (SLA) The phenomenally unique symbol of tripartite combination of Army troops, ex-LTTE combatants and beneficiaries that erected 100 new houses within an incredible space of 4 months in Keeramalai, Jaffna for displaced families, was vested in 100 recipients this afternoon (31) during a culturally elegant ceremony, headed by President Maithripala Sirisena, Chief Guest. more..

Video: UNP says prepared to amend laws to recover losses

Nov 1 (DM) The Govt is prepared to amend the existing laws to enable the recovery of losses incurred in the controversial sale of CB bonds, UNP Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. He said that new legislation would be introduced in case the existing laws do not have provisions to recover the losses incurred. The deputy minister said JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti who heads the COPE could refer the bond scam more..

CB Bond Scandal: What COPE members have to say

Nov 1 (DM) The CB bond issue undoubtedly shook the Yahapalana govt which promised to uphold a corruption-free country. Even the pro-Sirisena parties were left speechless as the simmering bond scandal became a black mark to the concept of good governance. Meanwhile, the COPE started inquiries into the CB Treasury Bonds deal on May 26, 2015 and concluded recently amidst many more controversies. more..

Classified garbage collection programme inaugurated at President’s Official Residence

Nov 1 (PMD) The inauguration of the classified garbage collection programme was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s Official Residence, today. Marking the launch of this island-wide programme, the President handed over the properly classified garbage bins as degradable and non-degradable to the City Council. Expressing his views regarding the garbage disposal issue more..

Sri Lanka cracks down on owners of elephants taken from wild

Nov 1 (AP) In Sri Lanka, an elephant in the back yard has long been a sign of wealth, privilege and power. But these days it may also be a sign that someone is breaking the law. Capturing wild elephants has been banned for decades here. Registration records indicate there should be only 127 elephants in captivity, most of them older. Yet they are a staple of the South Asian island nation's 400 or so yearly processions — more..

UN Committee Against Torture to review SL

Nov 1 (NR) UN Committee Against Torture is scheduled to review Sri Lanka during the 59th session of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Convention is due to commence on the 7th of November and conclude on 7th of Dec. UN committee will also review several other countries including Ecuador, Finland, Monaco, Namibia, Turkmenistan & Armenia. more..

Act against CKDu before it’s too late

Nov 1 (CT) Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown aetiology (CKDu) has become one of the most prevalent diseases in the country, with patients being identified in over 12 districts. Although many a research material has been published and has made the limelight in public, it is rarely that the matter is given enough attention. Recently, Ministry of Health announced that Chinese govt has promised to assist SL to find reasons for the disease and its unknown aetiology in order to find a cure. more..

COPE report: Not two reports as claimed but single one by 25 members

Nov 1 (CT) The much talked about report by the Committee on Public Enterprises or COPE on the irregularities that are alleged to have taken place in the issue of Treasury bonds by the Central Bank from February 2015 to May 2016 was presented to Parliament on 28 October 2016. These irregularities have been popularly branded by the media as bond scams, bond scandals or bond fiascos implying that they have helped one party to profit at the expense of another. more..

The Island Cartoon

Shares hit fresh 3-mth closing low ahead of budget

Nov 1 (Reuters) Shares extended losses for a third straight session to close Tuesday at a fresh three-month low as investors shrugged off the central bank's decision to keep rates unchanged. The central bank held the benchmark interest rates on hold late on Monday, as expected, saying its monetary policy stance remained appropriate as credit growth slowed. CSE ended down 0.14%, or 9.06 points, at 6,400.17, its lowest close since July 29. The index lost 1.92% in October. more..

Fuller bench requested to hear PM’s proposal to Speaker

Nov 1 (Island) Attorney-at-Law Karunananda Kodituwakku has requested the Supreme Court to hear before a fuller bench, the fundamental rights violation petition, filed by him alleging that, the request made by the PM, to the Speaker of Parliament, to revoke the Supreme Court judgement in the Sinharasa Case is a violation of his fundamental right to freedom from arbitrary treatment and his right to freedom of expression. He wants the court to declare the same more..

Yahapalana Ministers & MPs robbing People's money with Duty Free Permits

Nov 1 (CT) Several frontline Ministers of the Yahapalanaya Govt and Parliamentarians has once again utilized the Duty Free Permits granted to them to enrich their personal coffers, which has resulted in the country losing millions of rupees in revenue. Ministers Malik Samarawickrama, Lakshman Kirella and D. M. Swaminathan, along with MPs M.S. Thowfeek & Nalaka Kolonne have imported luxury vehicles more..

Angry Hathurusingha sparked Bangladesh fightback

Nov 1 (Island) After putting up a somewhat ineffective show with the ball in the afternoon session, Bangladesh players got an earful from coach Chandika Hathurusingha at the tea break on the third day of Mirpur Test. Whatever their Sri Lankan mentor said, it worked, as the spinners came out all guns blazing in the final session to overwhelm the English batsmen and claim a historic 108-run win at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Sunday. more..

Sivajilingam appeals for calm in North

Nov 1 (Island) Tamil political leader and distant relative of late LTTE leader V. Prabaharan appealed to youth in the North to desist from violence in a bid to have their problems solved. By their engaging in violence, nothing could be achieved for the Tamils in the North and East, TELO stalwart M.K. Sivajilingam said, pointing out that such a course of action would hamper the progress of the Tamil community. "Following the recent incidents in the North, which were very visible during the past month more..

SL's simmering crisis spells bad news for PM

Nov 1 (EN) Simmering tensions within the unity govt has already undermined its ambitious political reforms and cleared the way for opposition manoeuvring to engineer defections and topple the Prime Minister. Insiders say there had been a lukewarm response to attempts at repairing the damage after President Sirisena's Oct 12 outburst against institutions under PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's administration. more..

New chief asked to be fearless in taking decisions

Nov 1 (DM) A rumour abuzz in political circles says that the new chief of the institution responsible for shaping and implementing the State’s monetary policy among other functions is being ‘troubled’ by some political sections. Given the uncomfortable situation he was placed in, the new chief had called on the Big Boss and they are said to have had a one-on-one discussion. The bonds affair that created a sensation in the country was among the topics that figured in their discussion. more..

Five-year-old helps woman steal jewellery worth Rs. 416,000

Nov 1 (Island) A jewellery shop owner of Akurana has complained to Alawathugoda police that CCTV cameras in his shop have recorded a five year-old child handing over to a woman a box containing jewellery before leaving the shop. The box contained jewellery worth Rs. 416,000, he has told police. Two women with two children aged two years and five years entered his shop and examined jewellery and went away saying they had not enough money to buy the jewellery at that moment. more..

Cricket stars Sanga and Mahela voice against violence

Nov 1 (DM) Two of Sri Lanka’s most celebrated cricketing legends on Thursday pledged their support towards creating awareness on violence against women in the country, partnering with the delegation of the European Union to Sri  Lanka and the Maldives.  Former skippers of the national cricket team Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara who are also actively involved in Trail – the ongoing walk which spans more..

Yahapalanaya: Raju Chandiram all set to continue Duty Free operation for 2 more yrs

Nov 1 (CT) SriLankan Airlines is said to continue its controversial partnership with its in flight duty free supplier Duty Free Partners formerly known as Phoenix Duty Free Rising Ventures for two more years, as their five year contract draws to a close in November 2016. Phoenix Duty Free Rising Ventures who kept changing its name several times over the years to Phoenix Duty Frees Services and then finally to Duty Free Partners, is headed by Sri Lankan born Canadian national and more..

JVP to hold seminars on TB scam

Nov 1 (CT) JVP said that it will be organizing a series of seminars to inform the public about what exactly happened in the controversial Treasury Bond (TB) scam. JVP Central Committee member and North Central Provincial Councillor, Vasantha Samarasinghe said that they will inform the public about who was behind the bond scam and about those involved in corruption. "The people are not being informed of the facts," Samarasinghe said adding that a seminar to raise awareness more..

Video: GL asks SLFP minister to resign

Nov 1 (DM) The joint opposition said today the SLFP ministers in the Cabinet should resign without criticizing the CB bond scam and former CB governor Arjuna Mahendran, who is responsible for the scam. JO member G.L. Peiris said SLFP Ministers shouldn’t continue to be a part of a Cabinet which was headed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as he was directly backing Mr. Mahendran. more..

Gammanpila seeks permission to attend wedding in Mumbai

Nov 1 (DN) PHU leader MP Udaya Gammanpila today sought court permission to travel to India in the next few weeks. Gammanpila whose passport was impounded by court for cheating Rs. 20 million and misappropriating Rs. 21 million in an allegedly fraudulent share transaction, sought Colombo High Court’s permission to temporary lift his travel ban. President’s Counsel Jayantha Weerasinghe with Senior Counsel Nalinda Indatissa appearing for MP Gammanpila, more..

Bahrain airport welcomes return of Sri Lankan Airlines

Nov 1 (TA) Bahrain Airport Company (BAC), the managing body of Bahrain International Airport (BIA), recently held a ceremony to welcome back SriLankan Airlines operations to the kingdom. The ceremony, heald at BIA, was attended by SL Ambassador Dr. Saj Mendis; Mohamed Al Binfalah, chief executive officer of Bahrain Airport Company; Samantha Nagahawatte - SriLankan Airline country manager; top officials from Civil Aviation Authority, Bahrain Airport Company & Srilankan Airline more..

MR was paid by JR to divide SLFP: CBK

Nov 1 (DM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said that the SLFP's then deputy leader Maithripala Senanayake, his wife and Mahinda Rajapaksa were paid by J.R. Jayawardena to divide the SLFP. At an event in Gampaha, she said she had ample proof to support her allegations. “I have the receipts to prove these transactions took place. Rajapaksa was paid Rs.35,000 on a monthly basis. more..

Bonus for Port workers: Ports Minister

Nov 1 (DN) Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) has decided to grant bonus premium without any changes to all the port workers in December 2016. The decision was made during the monthly progress review meeting, based on the advice of Minister Arjuna Ranatunga. SLPA announced that the bonus paid last year as the December premium was Rs.30, 088.00, and that amount would be paid this year as well. At the progress review meeting it was emphasized that productivity of port workers more..

Navy Intelligence officers involved in disappearances

Nov 1 (DM) Navy intelligence officers in Welisara were directly involved in the disappearance of two individuals in 2009, CID informed Colombo Magistrates Court today. Filing a comprehensive report before Colombo Additional Magistrate CID stated that Wadiwel Pakkilisami and Rathnasami Paramanandan were allegedly abducted by unknown individuals in a white van. According to CID both Pakkilisami and Paramanadan were not suspected of being engaged in terrorist more..

Video: Protesting disable veterans to get a pension

Nov 1 (AD) SL Army Headquarters announced that attention has been drawn towards the pension demand of protesting disabled ex-soldiers, who have voluntarily left the army before completing 12 years of service. Army HQ said that the relevant administration work is being carried out and that their demands will be met by Feb 2017. SL Army said that these disabled veterans are currently receiving their monthly wages, allowances more..

Investors, no airlines, seeking to buy SriLankan Airlines

Nov 1 (EN) Sri Lanka is likely to end up with narrow shortlist of about two or three investors out of about eight who expressed initial interest, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. Parties that expressed interest are currently engaging in due diligence to provide firm proposals, but there are no airlines among them, he told reporters. In 1998 Dubai based Emirates bought a 40% stake in Sri Lanka at a time when international air travel was restricted to favour state airlines.  more..

Video: Sand lorries should be GPS enabled from next year

Nov 1 (DM) Regulations are to be implemented from next year that will require all lorries transporting sand to be GPS-enabled, Mahaweli Development & Environment Ministry Secretary Udaya Seneviratne said. Lorries should be registered with Geological Survey & Mines Bureau and a valid licence obtained to transport sand and for sand mining. “From Jan 1, 2017, Geological Survey & Mines Bureau is to introduce and install a new GPS tracking system for each and every registered lorry. more..

Drug related arrests up by 23% last year

Nov 1 (Island) Handbook of Drug Abuse Information (HBDAI) - 2016 reveals that the total drug related arrests last year was 82,482 up from 67,025 made in 2014. HBDAI released by National Dangerous Drug Control Board (NDDCB) stated that drug related arrests had increased by 23% last year. The total number of drug related arrests in 2012 was 47,926. When compared with the year 2013 drug related arrests increased by 1.5% in 2014. more..

Sinhala Jury for Raviraj case

Nov 1 (CT) Colombo High Court Judge Manilal Waidyathilaka yesterday decided to hear the case related to the slaying of former MP Nadaraja Raviraj and his security officer before a specially constituted Sinhala Jury on a daily basis commencing 21 Nov. The accused in the case had previously requested the High Court to hear the case before a special Sinhala speaking Jury. However, the Counsel appearing for the interests of the deceased MP Raviraj opposed that move. more..

TISL calls for timely AG action on COPE report

Nov 1 (CG) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) is encouraged by the COPE issuing a unanimous report on the Central Bank bond controversy, following days of conflicting and contradictory statements. The report has now been forwarded to the Attorney General for his opinion. TISL calls on the Attorney General to ensure that his opinion and any related decisions are taken in light of the need to ensure justice and fairness, with the need for timely due process. more..

Implementing COPE decisions UNP totally bound: Kabir

Nov 1 (CT) General Secretary of UNP Kabir Hashim said that the UNP is 100% bound to follow the orders issued by the COPE. He emphasized that the new Govt of good governance will not provide facilities for thieves and corrupt persons to escape the law as was done during Rajapaksa administration. He said further that it was the UNP that took steps to appoint a MP of the Opposition as Chairman of COPE. more..

Northern Muslim expulsion; Tamil leadership

Nov 2 (CT) Last Sunday, Oct 30, 2016, a commemoration event was organised in Colombo by the newly formed group North Muslim Civil Society on the theme of A necessary Solution for Northern Muslims. I was struck by the fact that the chief guest and guest of honor were the prominent political leaders of the Sri Lankan Tamil community, and leaders of the opposition. These leaders are spokespersons of the rights of Tamils of Sri Lanka. I decided to travel to Colombo from Kandy, more..

Authority to deliver: Baby of a commission

Nov 2 (CT) Whenever a smoke-addict is under tension, he lights a cigarette and whenever the Govt becomes clueless, it appoints a Commission or Authority. This analogy came to my mind, as I read the news item, New body to monitor Public Service appearing in DM of 31st Oct. The news reports that Govt was seeking to introduce fresh legislation to establish a separate Authority to streamline the Public Service through measures, such as formulation of standards, more..

'Entire Police force is not to blame for this tragedy'

Nov 2 (CT) Jaffna District SLFP MP Angajan Ramanathan commenting on the recent police shooting incidents of two students, said police should have refrained from resorting to such drastic action. Under the current situation, the youth in Jaffna feel that they need greater protection and appeal to the President himself, claiming that similar incidents could occur in future too. "The decision of the police who were involved in more..

English, tourism & schools curricula Labour import to meet demand

Nov 2 (CT) Markets operate on the basis of supply and demand. This law in economics at times transcends national boundaries. For instance, in periods of drought, though Sri Lanka grows rice and is supposed to be self-sufficient in this, its staple diet, it is however forced to import this commodity to meet supply constraints and thereby satisfy demand. During the colonial era the British neglected rice cultivation, preferring instead, to transform Ceylon, as Sri Lanka was then known, more..

Constitutional Reforms: Unitary or Federal - Words do matter

Nov 2 (Island) In the course of an interview Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne (Dr. JW), who is central to the ongoing Constitutional making process, is reported to have stated: "We believe that we should not use labels. We are strongly for an undivided, indivisible country. Our position is that if a Provincial Council takes steps against the indivisibility of the country, the center must have the power to intervene. At the same time, we say the power to intervene must not be abused. more..