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'Disabled soldiers’ protest National security is of prime importance'

Nov 14 (CT) Defence Secretary Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi expressed his views in an interview with Ceylon Today. Q: The police used tear gas and water cannons against disabled security forces and police personnel in Colombo on Monday (7) in an attempt to prevent them from marching to the Presidential Secretariat. People and media interpreted it as an inhuman act. Why did the authorities resort to such a course of action? more..

It was Herath’s series!

Nov 14 (CT) Dimuth Karunaratne, though clinching the man of the series prize in the two Test series against Zimbabwe, was not the star for Sri Lanka. It was undoubtedly the diminutive skipper Rangana Herath who stole the show. Being given the leadership almost at the eleventh hour one has to concede that getting one's mind around to such a job is never an easy task. However weak and unprepared the opponents are, in sport, and especially in cricket, carrying the captaincy of more..

Airport with tremendous potential

Nov 14 (CT) The Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) has, instead of flights, attracted criticism. Many agree that this was an ego trip, amounting to a white elephant. As the present administration scratches its head over this, scattered voices disagree with the popular consensus and insist that the airport has tremendous potential. Joint Opposition's (JO) MP Kanaka Herath is one such voice. He speaks not as a politician, but as an experienced aerospace engineer more..

Kiriella says everything hunky dory, blames previous govt

Nov 14 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella recently said bank robbers, murderers, those who shot voters at polling booths and those who burgled houses and stole gold jewellery were blaming them today when the UNP brought forward an argument about the COPE report. He said  some people scolded the PM and govt based on the COPE report, they were engaged in criminal activities some years ago. When they were unable to answer more..

That pesky problem of calling a govt to account

Nov 14 (ST) When the Experts Panel of European Union (EU) released its Interim Report in August 2009 on the question of whether to renew GSP Plus benefits for Sri Lanka, it signaled an early warning of trouble to come. The report expressed considerable dismay in regard to multiple violations of the Rule of Law. This was opined to offend the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention against Torture (CAT) and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of more..

Foreign Ministry summoning Chinese ambassador

Nov 14 (Island) The writer is both shocked and surprised that the govt has apparently taken exception to a statement made by Chinese Ambassador, Yi Xianliang, at a recent press briefing. It was reported that he had, in response to a question, stated that corruption allegations were SL’s problem and that the Chinese govt need not accept responsibility. I presume the question was asked because it is alleged that in almost all project costs have been inflated to more..

Rs.4 mln website for licensing, attracting informal tourism industry

Nov 14 (ST) Govt has invested Rs.4 million on an online website to ensure that tourism industry establishments could renew and register their licences online and through that capture the growing informal sector. Minister John Amaratunga addressing journalists and industry stakeholders said that they have established this online licensing website to overcome the frequent visits that stakeholders have to make to Tourism Development Authority more..

Driving innovation through classrooms

Nov 14 (ST) Kussi Amma Sera may have got it wrong after all. Or did we? In our column two weeks ago we predicted an Achcharu budget or an unpredictable one and suggested some advice from our band of chefs but it seems the Finance Minister (and his master chefs) may have got it right after all. Praise when praise is due is our motto and on three issues close to our heart – education, innovation and technology – Maithripala, Ranil and Ravi (and teams from UNP and SLFP as the media was told more..

Old problems, but new vigour for Zimbabwe

Nov 14 (CI) The summer rains have arrived in Zimbabwe. Scattered showers have cooled the countryside after October's oven, and there is a palpable sense of relief in a country where many depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Zimbabwe's national cricket team doesn't include quite as many farmers (chicken or otherwise) as it once did, but they will also be somewhat relieved to be out of the unfamiliar cauldron of Test cricket and in more forgiving climes of ODI game. more..

Today is Ill Full Moon Poya Day

The whole nation heard the boom of Asalanka’s drive

Nov 14 (ST) Friday was a night never meant to be forgotten or undermined for some of the schoolboy cricketers, in particularly Charith Asalanka. These young lads had worked hard and done exceptionally well above the rest during the School Cricket season of 2015/2016 with the leather and willow. The night belonged to all those who had made it big and their schools proud by being selected as the best schoolboy cricketers of Sri Lanka. It was their night and they were in charge of more..

Capitol Developers break new ground for 50-storey skyscraper in Colombo

Nov 14 (Island) Capitol Developers of Sanken Group held the groundbreaking ceremony of its latest 470 apartment twin tower project - Capitol Twin Peaks on Saturday at # 24, Staple Street, Colombo 2. Minister Champika Ranawaka participated in the event as chief guest amidst customers, stakeholders of the project and govt officials. Scheduled to be ready for occupation by end 2020, the project is expected to be the most centrally located, high profile luxury real estate project more..

TN started training SL Tamil militants in 1983 ignoring New Delhi’s advice

Nov 14 (ENS) Soon after the July 1983 anti-Tamil riots in SL and the influx of Tamil refugees into TN, the training of Tamil militants began in TN with the knowledge  and patronage of the TN govt. India’s national intelligence agencies started their training program only in 1984, when New Delhi felt that TN’s initiative in the matter might not be in the overall Indian interest, says Air Marshal (Rtd) Bharat Kumar in his book Operation Pawan. more..

RPCs in quandary over 5000 acres rule

Nov 14 (ST) Confusion reigned within the tea plantation industry following Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s announcement of limiting the acreage owned by the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs). The proposal may mean RPCs lose about 28% of their current land use. It was announced that for more effective management the maximum acreage that can be held by any stand-alone company, without being allowed to consolidate will be restricted to 5000 acres. more..

Horizon Campus offers Forensic Sciences

Nov 14 (CT) Forensic Science has become an integral part of many criminal cases and convictions, with objective facts through scientific knowledge serving the defence and prosecution arguments. It is especially important that training and educating forensic scientists provides a solid and a broad base scientific background as the validity of their results depends on the knowledge, logical thinking, skills and experience. Forensic scientists apply scientific expertise to provide impartial evidence in more..

SL motor cyclists demand licence to die

Nov 14 (EN) A group of motorcyclists denounced the govt move to raise road fines and insisted that two-wheelers should have the right to get ahead and beat traffic congestion. Group calling themselves the Ceylon Motorcyclists' Association said it will ask members to wear black arm bands to protest the latest budget proposal to raise the minimum traffic fine to 2,500 rupees. "A motorcyclist trying to get ahead in thick traffic is more..

Manager of SL soccer team Ramees resigns

Nov 14 (DN) The manager of SL soccer team which took part in the Asian Solidarity Soccer Tournament in Malaysia M.M. Ramees has resigned from his post at the Executive Committee Meeting held on Saturday. He said he is disgusted with the performance of the Sri Lanka team at the tournament due to mistakes made by some players. At this meeting some Executive Committee members have blamed the manager regarding the selection of Sujan Perera as captain more..

JICA assists local health authorities for elderly healthcare

Nov 14 (Island) Though population aging is a universal phenomenon, it seems to be particularly so in Sri Lanka, which is having the fastest growing Aging Population in Asia. Sri Lanka's population above 60 years was over 6% in 1990. By 2000 it had increased to 9.2 % and according to the 2012 statistics, has grown to 12.4%, almost doubling the 1990 figure. It is predicted to be over 16% by 2020, 28.5 % by 2050 (an increase in comparison to 2000, matched by very few countries) more..

Near unanimity amongst public that buses not driven safely on SL roads

Nov 14 (ST) A BT-RCB poll last week on bus drivers, a menace on the roads has revealed some interesting data findings. Overall, there was unanimity that buses, both private and public, are not driven safely on the roads, according to the survey conducted on the street by RCB in Galle and Colombo, and on email by BT. Respondents were asked to answer five questions or statements with – A (Agree), D (Disagree), or N (no comment). more..

Teachers want filing fee scrapped

Nov 14 (DN) SL Teachers’ Association urged govt to withdraw the budget proposal which recommends the imposing of a filing fee when filing a Court case. In relation to charges for Court Cases/ Case Filing fee, budget proposals say that a filing fee will be imposed when filing a Court case by any person in any Court. Association General Secretary Joseph Stalin said that imposing a filing fee was not the remedy to control the exponential increase in Court cases and the delays in hearing them. more..

Sandya to Geneva as probe stalls

Nov 14 (SL) Investigations into the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda has taken a back seat. Eknaligoda’s wife Sandya Eknaligoda said that she will go to Geneva and seek int'l support if her husband’s disappearance is not investigated. She said that she had received information that there is pressure to delay the investigations. Last week, two remaining army intelligence officers, arrested in connection with the disappearance of Eknaligoda, were granted bail. more..

Vaccine administered by unidentified group: police probe girls’ fainting incident

Nov 14 (DN) Rajangana Police are conducting investigations into an incident where three school girls attached to Rajangana Sri Rahula Vidyalaya had fainted after a vaccine administered by an unidentified group who arrived at the school recently. Two of the girls were admitted to the Rajangana Hospital and later transferred to Tambuttegama Hospital by the parents. The persons who gave the vaccine was still unknown more..

Mattakkuliya shooting : Thirteen suspects further remanded till Nov. 25

Nov 14 (DN) 13 suspects arrested of being involved in the murder of four individuals following a shooting that took place in Samitpura, Mattakkuliya were yesterday ordered to be further remanded till Nov 25 by Colombo Additional Magistrate. Five people were killed and two others critically injured following a shooting that took place in Samitpura, Mattakkuliya on Oct 23. Police believe that the shooting was the result of a clash between two rival groups involved in heroin smuggling. more..

Budgetary allocation to PCs: Isuru cries foul

Nov 14 (CT) CM of Western Province, Isuru Devapriya said he would inform the President about the injustices to Provincial Councils caused by the Budget. "I have no problem with the Budget. If we look at the overall picture, I think it is good for the country. But when we consider how funds are allocated to Provincial Councils, it is obvious that there is an injustice," he said. Devapriya added that there has been a reduction of nine million rupees to the Western Province compared to last year. more..

LPBOA to hold talks with Finance Minister

Nov 14 (DN) Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association President Gemunu Wijeratne while vehemently opposing the minimum traffic fine increase up to Rs. 2500, however said the LPBOA will talk to the Finance Minister to iron out the issue. If talks fail. Wijeratne warned that the LPBOA and other private bus owners associations may launch an island wide strike, starting tomorrow. “A meeting will be held with all Private bus Associations more..

'Muslims & Tamils should unite'

Nov 14 (CT) State Minister for Education V. Radhakrishnan said Tamils and Muslims in the Northern and Eastern Provinces should unite before demanding for the merging of the two Provinces. He was speaking at an event where he declared open a laboratory and laid the foundation stone for a three-storeyed building at Pottuvil A.I. Kalam Maha Vidyalaya in the Eastern Province last week. Radhakrishnan, citing the exemplary reconciliation of the two major parties, UNP and SLFP, more..

Feast your eyes to a Supermoon today

Nov 14 (DN) Nov 14 presents the moon’s closest encounter with Earth in over 68 years, since Jan 26, 1948. The full moon today will feature the closest full moon until Nov 25, 2034. This natural phenomenon can be observed around 7.30 p.m. today as a bigger and brighter full moon. The moon orbits the Earth in approximate one-month cycles but rather than following a perfectly circular trajectory around our planet, it traces out an elliptical shape. As a result, it is notalways equidistant from the Earth; more..

Port to hold back over 50 containers to check for narcotics

Nov 14 (CT) Over 50 containers, which arrived from Brazil and are now in the Colombo Port, will not be released until they are thoroughly investigated, as officials suspect that some of these containers might contain cocaine. Investigators are specially keeping a tab on containers that are supposed to contain sugar. Recently, PNB discovered a cache of cocaine, worth Rs 450 million, inside a container, from Brazil, which was more..

Father arrested  for killing his two daughters and wife

Nov 14 (Island) A resident of Kinniya in Trincomalee had chopped his two daughters and wife (38) to death with a sword at their home, police said. Two girls had died on the spot and their mother had succumbed to her injuries after admission to Trincomalee Hospital. Deceased were L. Gayathri (10) L. Sandhyani (08) and Viswalingam Vidya (38). Though neighbours had tried to save the victims but in vain. The suspect had tried to attack those who came to save the victims, the police said. more..

'2017 Budget will deepen Sri Lanka’s Economic and political crisis'

Nov 14 (Island) The 2017 Budget is expected to reduce the local and foreign debt, by narrowing the foreign trade deficit and the budget deficit, through stimulation of economic growth to increase exports and reduce imports. But there is no coherent development strategy to achieve this. Instead a large number of half-baked and ad hoc measures are being mooted, and even if they succeed, which is doubtful, the desired economic recovery is unlikely to materialize. more..

Land Bank: Govt to bring all crown land under one body

Nov 14 (DM) Govt is to bring in new legislation providing for the transfer of all the State lands currently remaining under the purview of different bodies to a common institution named State Land Bank for the disbursement of them for development purposes when and where necessary. For this purpose, Cabinet Committee on Economic Management has decided to proceed with the draft bill to establish this Land Bank or a register more..

Well done Mr. Prime Minister

Nov 14 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe made an astounding speech in Parliament on Saturday on the pathetic state of war widows in the Northern and Eastern provinces. Since the civil war ended in 2009, the plight of war widows, the majority of whom are sole breadwinners was highlighted with statistics and several civil society organizations also launched campaigns to find solutions to solve their untold grievances. However, PM during his budget speech last Saturday, focused on more..

Poor sanitation kills

Nov 14 (DM) Saturday, Nov 19, is World Toilet Day, a day set aside to raise consciousness on the global sanitation crisis. In 2013, the UN General Assembly officially designated Nov 19 as World Toilet Day. World Toilet Day is co-ordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with govts and partners.  Most of us in Sri Lanka, take toilets for granted, but the World Health Organisation (WHO) points out that while 2.1 billion people have gained access to better sanitation since 1990, more..

Biggest road project going to bid-rigging Japanese company

Nov 14 (ST) The road construction arm of Taisei Corporation, a Japanese firm tipped to receive the contract for the costly third section of the Central Expressway (CE III), was charged with bid rigging by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) earlier this year. Taisei Corporation is also currently grappling with a yawning sinkhole that opened in a major street in Fukuoka, Japan, on Tuesday. Company is a key member of more..

How elitism in access to education is failing our young people

Nov 14 (SL) Budget for the fiscal year of 2017 has been presented before the Parliament. Once capital carrying costs are deducted from last year’s allocation, there has only been a marginal increase in the allocation for education. While some noteworthy steps such as increasing the student intake to universities, the provision of student loans and scholarships to top graduates, steps to uproot ragging more..

Sri Lanka gets tough with drivers as road deaths hit record high

Nov 14 (EN) Finance Minister Sunday vowed to get tough with errant motorists as the number of road deaths hit a record high last year with over 2,800 killed, mostly due to reckless driving. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the govt will not waver in its commitment to make Sri Lankan roads safer by instilling a greater sense of discipline and respect for traffic rules by slapping high fines for offenders. more..

Move to abolish PAYE tax exemptions to state sector workers hailed

Nov 14 (Island) Former Chairman of the COPE DEW Gunasekera praised Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s move to stop state institutions from paying PAYE (Pay As You Earn) tax on behalf of their employees. GHe said that all political parties represented in Parliament irrespective of differences over other issues should support Minister Karunanayake’s budget proposal. Minister has proposed that the PAYE taxes of more..

Ven. Rathana imports Land Cruiser, despite being vocal on anti-austerity & poverty

Nov 14 (CT) MP Athuraliye Rathana Thero who is very vocal on anti-austerity and poverty has imported a brand new Toyota Land Cruiser from Japan under the tax concessionary terms evading total tax revenue of rupees tens of millions. The customs declaration form which shows, the total tax waived off for Rathana Thero’s brand new Toyota Land Cruiser is approximately Rs. 33.5 million on the vehicle. more..

Budget 2017 is anti-poor and pro-rich says Alliance for Economic Democracy

Nov 14 (ENS) Alliance for Economic Democracy (AED) has described budget for 2017, as pro-rich and anti-poor, thus challenging Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s claim that it is meant to accelerate growth with social inclusion. AED points out that Karunanayake’s proposals for taxation, increasing investment (domestic & foreign), and expanding social services indicate a desire to cater to the rich rather to meet the needs of the poor. more..

Catholics castigated for extravagant spending in difficult times

Nov 14 (Island) Catholic Church has castigated the congregation for squandering money on weddings in spite of alarmingly rising cost of living. The wedding ceremonies had been turned into circuses with vast majority of Catholics engaged in foolish practices, the Church has declared. Rev Father Cyril Fernando strongly criticized the followers for extravagance though they couldn’t afford such wasteful spending. more..