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Actor Wimal Kumara De Costa passes away

Nov 21 (DN) Veteran actor Wimal Kumara de Costa died yesterday. He was 68. Costa died after being admitted to the Kalubowila Hospital. He was best known for characters he played in Ek Tam Ge (1980) , Eya Dan Loku Lamayek (1975), Bambaru Avith (1977), Sagarayak Mada (1980), Siripala Ha Ramanika (1977), Bandura Mal (1981), Maruwa Samaga Waase (1977) and Sihasuna (1974). Though many know him from his work in the movies, he began his acting career on stage. more..

Hakeem raps Wijedasa over ISIS remarks

Nov 21 (Island) Minister and SLMC Leader, Rauff Hakeem questioned in Parliament on what grounds Justice and Buddhasasana Minister, Wijayadasa Rajapakshe stated on the previous day that Muslim extremists had arrived in the country to teach in international schools propagating terrorism here. "Had he got proper sources? What he could have done was to provide them to the authorities so that such persons could have been deported or their visas cancelled. more..

Stoking racial, religious conflict: Arrest rabble-rousers: President

Nov 21 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed IGP Pujith Jayasundara to arrest any rabble-rouser, irrespective of his or her social standing, who makes statements which could cause ethnic and religious confrontations or clashes in the country. President's order had been given to the IGP at a special meeting at the President's official residence last Thursday night, immediately after the National Security Council meeting. more..

SC calls for guidelines to protect Good Samaritans helping accident victims

Nov 21 (ST) To protect Good Samaritans from unwanted legal and police hassles when they help accident victims, the Supreme Court has called on the Attorney General to appoint a body to recommend guidelines. The court’s order came in response to a fundamental rights petition filed under public interest litigation by Kasun Chandraratne, President of the Foundation for Civilian Bravery, an organisation committed to protect life and promote safety measures. more..

Wasting money on making more Crooks: New Constitution may have 240 seats: RW

Nov 21 (DM) Constitutional Assembly was looking at the possibility of increasing the number of MPs in the legislature to 240, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. PM, who was speaking at the Junior National Law Conference, said govt was looking at 240-seat Parliament, where 60% would be elected under the First Past the Post (FPP) system and the remaining 40% on a list. “We are looking at a mixed system similar to one in New Zealand. It is similar to the German system as well. more..

Dinesh warns of a coup if erosion of democracy continues

Nov 21 (Island) MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena, in Parliament, warned that there might be a military coup if the govt didn’t take immediate action to arrest the rapid deterioration of democracy in the country. Participating in the third reading of budget debate on the expenditure of heads of President’s and PM’s offices, JO leader said that democratic values were eroding under the present regime. When JO leader made the warning, more..

Let the National Anthem unite us

Nov 21 (DM) On Friday, November 18, 2016 the Supreme Court (SC) of Sri Lanka upheld the right of the people of Sri Lanka to sing the national anthem of the country, Namo Namo Matha in one’s own mother-tongue. What makes Namo Namo Matha unique is that it is a song of praise to the country alone. It does not glorify any race, caste, creed, community or religion. It is absolutely non-partisan and appeals to the patriotism of all the people of our country –Mother Lanka. more..

Beter late than never

Nov 21 (DM) Can Sri Lanka achieve economic growth and development without a significant reduction of corruption – sans good governance and rule of law?   These goals need to be achieved primarily for the government to ensure delivery of numerous promises made by the President and the Prime Minister during their election campaigns. Are they sincere about the need to reduce operational costs of the govt in carrying out governance reforms as promised?  more..

Education budget: Ministers throw the book at each other

Nov 21 (ST) Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam hit back at Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, who had charged that the Education Ministry’s 2017 budgetary allocation was cut because this year’s allocation was under underutilised. He said allocation was underutilised because of Treasury delays in releasing the funds on time. “Often, the money is not passed by Treasury when we want it. There are delays. more..

Jaliya gives part of swindled Rs. 52M to MR big wig

Nov 21 (SL) It is an open secret how former first citizen Mahinda Rajapaksa, his off springs and siblings, while serving for the motherland, looted out its wealth. This newspaper has repeatedly exposed many financial frauds committed by the Rajapaksa’s and their kith and kin amounting into billions of rupees and this time it is all about Jaliya Wickramasuriya, cousin of Kurunegala District MP, Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Sri Lanka could attract 2,500 Chinese companies: CB Chief

Nov 21 (EN) China has indicated that up to 2,500 companies looking to invest abroad could invest in Sri Lanka if the island can create an enabling environment Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. "They have said they can bring somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 companies if we are able to absorb it," he said. "This is because their costs are going up in South China and they are shifting capital, and more..

Seize the opportunity for investment: Ravi K.

Nov 21 (LBO) The Minister of Finance has called on local and foreign entrepreneurs to seize the opportunity given by the govt to invest in Sri Lanka, with incentives presented under the 2017 Budget. He assured that all proposals would be implemented on time and some of the proposals have already come into effect. “Treasury officials are working to spell out to giving life to other proposals that will be implemented on more..

Table investigative committee reports: JVP

Nov 21 (NR) JVP has requested the govt to table reports by investigative bodies appointed to investigate certain incidents reported during UPFA led govt. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said the delay in the reports is questionable. MP stated Human Rights commission said it would complete the investigations’ launched pertaining to the murder of Roshan Chanaka in two weeks, adding what took place was a murder. more..

ADB support to Sri Lanka less effective in policy reform

Nov 21 (CG) Asian Development Bank (ADB) has released an independent evaluation report that assesses its $5.5 billion program for SL in the 10 years to the end of 2015. Program made a substantial contribution to expanding infrastructure services in SL especially in lagging regions and former conflict-affected areas. ADB’s support for former conflict-affected communities underpinned the program’s overall success. more..

UNHRC orders Sri Lanka to compensate Canadian torture victim

Nov 21 (NP) A Toronto man who was imprisoned and tortured while visiting Sri Lanka must be compensated for the abuses he suffered, UNHRC has ruled. The decision calls for SL to prosecute those responsible and provide adequate compensation to Roy Samathanam, a Canadian who had filed a complaint with the committee three years ago. Samathanam, 46, called the ruling handed down in Geneva a measure of justice more..

PSC accused of letting down courageous public servants opposed to corruption

Nov 21 (Island) The Public Service Commission (PSC) has been accused of failure to protect those who courageously oppose questionable transactions in ministries. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake castigated the PSC for not throwing its weight behind such intrepid officials in spite of being aware of their plight. He said that failure and irresponsible conduct of the PSC had been raised in Parliament on Saturday by him more..

Controversy brews over Hong Kong length lease of Hambantota port to China: report

Nov 21 (EN) Sri Lanka's Ports Minister Arjuna Ranatunga had objected to a proposed 99-lease of Hambantota port to China, questioning its legality and asked for a standard privatisation deal based on a conventional concession agreement, a media report said. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had said 80 percent of the Hambantota Port would be sold to China for a $1 billion upfront fee, and later said it would be based on a lease. more..

Ministry of Agriculture: Rent Rs. 23.5 mn a month; Furnishing and partition Rs. 250 mn

Nov 21 (DM) Ministry of Agriculture would spend an additional Rs.250 million to improve facilities in the building at Rajagiriya, which is rented at Rs.23.5 million a month for Ministry office. Tenders have already been called for the supply of furniture and fixtures valued at Rs.140 million and for the partitioning of rooms and office cubicles costing Rs.110 million. “DPJ Tower was rented out in April for the use of the office. more..

Review of draft national trade policy

Nov 21 (CT) Sri Lanka Association for Political Economy (SLAPE) being a body of professional Economists engaged in discussing, formulating and appraising national economic development policies and strategies, felt it opportune to examine the Draft National Trade Policy, as the subject is very current, and relevant to the ongoing discussion on the proposed bilateral and regional preferential trade agreements. A panel discussion was thereby held on October 19th at the University of Colombo more..

Towards a new Constitution

Nov 21 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had, on Saturday, submitted the reports of the six Parliamentary Subcommittees, on Constitutional Reforms, to the Constitutional Assembly. The reports extensively cover fundamental rights, the Judiciary, law and order, finance and restructuring the State sector. Since the island nation is now focused on stabilizing peace and reconciliation in the country, a healthy new Constitution for unity and integrity as well as enhancing the economy, more..

Yahapalanaya: Before & After the Election

SDPT to have talks with JVP on devolution

Nov 21 (Island) The Social Democratic Party of Tamils (SDPT) is planning to have talks with the JVP soon on devolution. In a brief interview with The Island SDPT President, T. Sritharan said the thinking of the two parties was almost the same on many issues except the devolution issue. "The JVP is a people-oriented party like ours and campaigns for equality to all; it is against the caste system etc., but we differ on the national question, Sritharan, better known as Sukku said. more..

Bond scam: JO steps up pressure on govt

Nov 21 (Island) Alleging that the government hadn’t taken any tangible measures to have the Central Bank bond scams of Feb. 2015 and March 2016 investigated, the Joint Opposition has decided to step up its campaign to pressure the ruling UNP-SLFP coalition to initiate action. In accordance with its new strategy, leading members of the Joint Opposition will address activists at Public Library, Colombo, today. JO leader Dinesh Gunawardena, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, more..

TNA accuses Swaminathan of influencing MPs in ArcelorMittal deal to build tin houses

Nov 21 (CT) TNA has leveled serious allegations against the Minister D M Swaminathan of attempt to influence TNA members by calling several of them and urging them to support the controversial project to build 65,000 houses for the war displaced in the North and East. In a letter dated Nov 12, addressed to President and PM, TNA Parliamentary group comprising 16 MPs said, “We were dismayed to find that Swaminathan has more..

Domestic credit shrinks in August, forex reserves up

Nov 21 (EN) Sri Lanka's credit from commercial banks contracted Rs79 billion in August 2016, with credit to the govt and state enterprises shrinking, allowing forex reserves to go up. Total credit to the govt contracted Rs 94.1 billion to Rs 1.937 billion in August and state enterprise also repaid Rs30 billion to banks. Central bank had sterilised dollar purchases and contracted Central Bank credit to the govt by Rs59 billion during the month, allowing forex reserves to improve. more..

He was the culprit

Nov 21 (DM) A man who volunteered to help the police to conduct investigations of a burglary in Kotiyakumbura was taken into custody on suspicion and questioned to find that he was responsible for the incident. Police said the suspect had stolen jewellery and a tab (tablet computer) valued more than Rs.320,000. When the police arrived at the scene and initiated investigations the young man had also joined them and offered to help the police. However, the villagers who suspected him more..

Sri Lanka inflation accelerates to 5% in Oct

Nov 21 (LBO) Consumer prices as measured by National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) rose to 5% in October from the 4.7% reported a month ago. The NCPI for the month of October has been calculated as 114.7. In October 2016 compared to October 2015, the expenditure value of food group and non food group have increased by 2.3% and 2.8% respectively. The increase in expenditure value of food commodity more..

Zebra Crossings: From Yellow to White

Nov 21 (DM) All zebra crossings in the country which have been painted in yellow will be painted white from Dec 3. RDA Chairman Nihal Sooriyaarachchi said that the zebra crossings would be changed in line with international standards. “Implementing this will be advantageous as the white crossing can be seen more clearly, especially in the night,” he said.   A ceremony to launch the project will be held in each province, with the ceremony for Western Province scheduled more..

Ravi refutes JO’s charge of privatizing CB

Nov 21 (Island) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has refuted allegations made by a group of Joint Opposition MPs that the govt is planning to privatise part of Central Bank. Addressing journalists on Saturday Minister said that he had announced in Parliament that MPs such as Mahinda Rajapaksa, Dinesh Gunawardana, Bandula Gunawardana, Namal and Wimal had made diabolical statements that the Central Bank was going to be privatised. more..

Video: Demonetize Rs. 5,000 note: PHU

Nov 21 (AD) PHU has urged the govt to follow the example set by the Modi govt in India to destroy the black market. PHU leader Udaya Gammanpila urged the govt to demonetise Rs 5,000 currency note. He said, “Demonetisation would reveal the identities of those who have black money in the country. We can see if it is with Rajapaksa or the central bank thieves.” He lashed out at the Maithripala Sirisena for more..

Case against Weerawansa fixed for trial

Nov 21 (DN) The Colombo Commercial High Court re-fixed for trial, a lawsuit filed against NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa by JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva. Plaintiff Tilvin Silva is seeking an order restraining Weerawansa from printing, publishing and distributing the book titled Naththa Wenuwata Aththa. Case was re-fixed for trial for March 10 by the Judge. MP Weerawansa had sought a further date for the trial, citing that he is scheduled to attend parliament sessions. more..

Video: Eraj, Mahinda’s former lackey gets guts from Ranil

Nov 21 (LT) “I have killed JVP members. I’m the owner of PRAA. Write it down. I don’t care. Don’t try to be thugs. We are not scared of thugs, remember that!” This is how the SLFP organizer for Beliatta electorate appointed by President Sirisena threatened a group of youths at Gatamanna area at Beliatta on Friday. Marga organization is preparing to blast a rock in the area and the youths in the area engaged in an agitation against the move to destroy the environment. more..

Gunaratnam in custody for more than year; FSP launches fresh campaign for his release

Nov 21 (Island) FSP will stage a protest today to highlight the plight of its leader Premakumar Gunaratnam, who has been in remand for more than a year for violating visa conditions. Gunaratnam is an Australian passport holder. A senior party spokesperson said that the govt, just like the previous administration, was persecuting political opponents. A silent protest would be held on behalf of Gunaratnam in more..

Video: No room for Army Coup: Ajith P.

Nov 21 (DM) While decrying the claims made by MP Dinesh Gunewardane of an Army Coup in Sri Lanka, Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera claimed the whole nation would take to the streets if despotism would be prevailing in the country without considering political party discriminations. Addressing a function in Bandaragama, Mr. Perera said they would not let despotism prevail in the country by any means and added that this country could govern only by democratic govts. more..

FCID questions Ajith Nivard Cabraal

Nov 21 (DM) FCID today questioned former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal in connection with alleged financial irregularities at the CWG Hambantota (Pvt) Ltd. The statement was recorded from the Mr. Cabraal over two hours in connection with the investigations into the allegation of misappropriation of Rs. 690 million State funds in a bid to hold the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Sri Lanka. CWG Hambantota (Commonwealth Games Hambantota) was formed in 2011 to compete more..

Asian drug mafia in Sri Lanka: 4 foreigners with 2Kg heroin nabbed

Nov 21 (CT) Police have made another breakthrough in the foreign drug racket that is cropping up around the island. Four suspects were taken into police custody in Mount Lavinia for the possession of two kilograms of heroin early yesterday morning. Investigations were being carried out into a drug racket involving foreign drug racketeers when the four suspects were arrested. A Pakistani and three Maldivians were arrested more..

Govt promises hostels for all undergrads in need by 2018

Nov 21 (Island) The govt would be able to provide hostels to all university students by 2018 with the Stage III the hostel project getting underway last week. Additional Secretary to the Ministry and Director of the Expeditious Hostel Project P. G. Jayasinghe told The Island that 24 hostels with 100 rooms each would be constructed countrywide. He said 60 hotels constructed under the first and second stages of the project accommodated 24,000 students. more..

Special TV channel for live Parliamentary sessions

Nov 21 (DM) A special TV channel, which will only telecast parliamentary proceedings live, will be launched in three months time, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya informed Parliament. He said the proceedings were aired live on Eye Channel from today. “The Eye Channel will telecast parliamentary proceedings live except on the days where the West Indies, SL and Zimbabwe ODI tournament matches are on. Eye Chanel had got into an agreement to broadcast cricket matches live and more..

Sri Lanka constitutional panel recommends postponing Muslim personal law amendment

Nov 21 (ENS) Constitutional Assembly’s sub-committee on Fundamental Rights has recommended that within three months of the enactment of the new constitution, the President should appoint a five member commission to go into the constitutional validity of the existing written and unwritten laws (including personal laws) and submit a report to him within a year. President shall table the report in the parliament more..

MAS Holdings to expand India operations

Nov 21 (BS) MAS Holdings, a two-billion-dollar conglomerate with business interests in fashion and intimate wear, is bullish about the Indian market, in which it is exploring suitable investment opportunities. MAS Holdings managing director Ajay Amalean said there was huge untapped potential in India and the company was looking at emerging opportunities to take the final investment call. MAS Holdings operates its India operations through its subsidiary, MAS Brands India, Bangalore. more..