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State awaiting AG instructions on COPE report

Nov 22 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe informed Parliament that he will decide the course of action to be taken on the controversial Treasury bond issue after the AG Department gives instructions on the matter, stressing that he has done his duty. PM invited Opposition to handover the file to any legal expert they select, provided all party leaders agree, if they are not happy with the instructions from AG. more..

Parliamentarians, be truly honourable now

Nov 22 (DM) In a major step towards transparency and public accountability, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced that from yesterday parliamentary proceedings would be telecast live  on television.   The Speaker announcing the long-expected and much-acclaimed move, appealed to ministers and MPs to be on their best behaviour because in all parts of the country the sovereign people would be listening and watching. The appeal came in the aftermath of several recent incidents more..

Grandpa’s Supermoon & Limousines for MPs

Nov 22 (DM) On Ill Full Moon Day my neighbour, a retired school head, famously known as …… Sir, by his Mathematics students was on the road outside his home along with his two little grand children. They were gazing at the Eastern sky from 7pm, with clouds blocking the visibility. The former staunch Rajapaksa supporter turned Vote for Hansaya in Jan 2015, was gifted with a little knowledge of astronomy too. On that evening he was ready with his old camera and other paraphernalia to capture more..

Solution is Federalism: Siddharthan

Nov 22 (DM) TNA MP for the Jaffna District Dharmalingam Siddharthan speaks about the political solution, the aspirations of the Tamils and the way forward. He says that they need a Federal System of Govt. Q: How do you, as a Tamil politician who had links with the previous rule, see the change after the new Govt assumed office? A: We did not have any links with that Previous Govt as such because more..

Cars for MPs: Yahapalana govt feeding on people's hard earned money!

Nov 22 (CT) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake was recently caught lying and attempting to mislead the public over govt’s latest decision to provide vehicle allowances to 58 MPs. In one instance, the Minister, while responding to a question raised by BBC Journalist Azzam Ameen said that, the vehicle allowance was a temporary measure taken as some of the vehicles ordered for the use of these MPs had still not arrived. more..

Red card for orange uniform: New suits for suspects draw criticism

Nov 22 (ST) Ministers Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and D.M. Swaminathan are both claiming ignorance regarding a new uniform introduced by the Prisons Department. Introduced on Nov 1, the uniform has drawn the ire of Buddhist and Hindu religious leaders who say it offends religious sensitivities. The new uniforms are worn by suspects when they are taken to courts for identification parades. Fitted with a hood, it covers body, more..

COPE report: Parliament accountable to people

Nov 22 (DM) On 17 November the Organisation of Professional Associations organised a seminar on COPE- RESPONSIBILITY OF PARLIAMENT at its auditorium with the presence of Sunil Handunetti, Chairman of the COPE and S.C Mayadunne, the former Auditor General. The event highlighted the bond scam and explained the role of the COPE committee, evidencing reports from the committee as well as the Central Bank. more..

Programmes for clergy on importance of integration, reconciliation

Nov 22 (Island) The govt is planning to conduct programmes to educate the clergy of all religions on the importance of integration and reconciliation. The Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation is making arrangements to hold programmes to promote national reconciliation. Asked whether priests known for their hardline views would be invited, Minister A.H.M. Fowzie said that "govt respects all clergy and will surely invite even more..

Sri Lankan complains about earning $100K for zero work at US varsity

Nov 22 (NYP) He gets paid nearly $100,000 a year by CUNY, but has zero work to do — and he’s sick of it. Harendra Sirisena was director of the bursar’s office at the New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn for 8 years, responsible for all financial matters, including tuition collection, payroll and bank deposits. But in 2003, without any explanation, he was suddenly replaced by a young office assistant & reduced to a menial biller. more..

Demands of trade unions will be considered irrespective of party differences: President

Nov 22 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says the while considering the demands of the trade unions, the party differences will not be a criterion and genuine demands will be fulfilled.  He made these remarks during a discussion with the representatives of the Trade Unions of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment held at the Mahaweli Authority, today (21). This meeting was called by the President himself and more..

Sri Lanka joins the Foundation Council of the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP)

Nov 22 (AT) Sri Lanka has been admitted to the Foundation Council, the Governing Body of the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP). Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha represented Sri Lanka for the first time at the Foundation Council Meeting held last week (15) in Geneva. Welcoming Sri Lanka, Professor François Heisbourg Chairman of GCSP Foundation more..

Govt ambitious of economic transformation: EU head

Nov 22 (DN) Sri Lanka requires a re-balanced private sector led economic growth model which is able to develop and sell higher value goods and services in global and domestic markets, EU Ambassador and Delegation Head for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Tung-Lai Margue said. “The country is now focusing on many reforms and pursuing an ambitious journey of economic transformation and global trade integration. more..

Foreign Employment minister under fire

Nov 22 (SL) Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Thalatha Atukorale has come under fire over an agreement signed between Sri Lanka and the Saudi Arabian govt. Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agency fears that the deal by Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister would result in the country losing millions. Minister has not cleared her position about the agreement signed while more..

Access Denied, Law is ignored

Nov 22 (CT) Recently, Minister S.B. Dissanayake stressed that the Ministry of Social Empowerment and Welfare is to take legal action against the Local Bodies which approve plans of buildings which lack accessibility for people with disabilities. As per the Gazette Notification 1,467/15, every public place should be accessible to all people including those who are with disability. Gazette Notification specified that within three years public places should be made accessible to persons with disabilities and more..

The post war Sinhala Buddhist & Selective truth telling

Nov 22 (CT) The recent fire at the Fashion Bug store in Pepiliyana has given rise to new questions. For anyone who has been following the post war Sinhala Buddhist phenomenon, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Although conclusions are yet to be reached, and investigations into the cause of the fire are yet to be conducted- the voice of the company speaking to the media that night was telling. “We have suffered in the past, there is reason to believe that there was foul play. more..

Ceylon Today Cartoon

Mahinda S. takes JO to task for coup warning

Nov 22 (Island) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe flayed MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena for the latter’s statement in Parliament that there would be a military coup if the govt didn’t take immediate action to arrest the rapid deterioration of democracy in the country. "The JO leader has insulted the security forces and exhibited his irresponsibility and bankruptcy," Samarasinghe said. He said, "There are extremists everywhere and they make all kinds of remarks on various issues, more..

Brain fever under watch

Nov 22 (Island) Director General Health Services (DGHS) Dr Palitha Mahipala yesterday said the Health Ministry had initiated an entomological survey on type of mosquito species which caused Japanese Encephalitis (brain fever). Dr Mahipala said that brain fever had been reported from the Anuradhapura District approximately 25 years back. However, a successful immunization programme had been initiated by the Health Ministry to fight the disease. more..

'Budget’s focus on human development, soft infrastructure is a philosophical shift'

Nov 22 (DM) The 2017 budget presented by Minister Ravi Karunanayake a couple of weeks ago has drawn flak from the masses but a nod of approval from economists, analysts, etc., who have been calling for fiscal consolidation. As opposed to the previous two budgets of the good governance administration, budget 2017 contained a very little short-term relief to the people by way of price reduction of essential goods, more..

Suranga Lakmal fined for breaching ICC Code of Conduct

Nov 22 (CI) SL fast bowler Suranga Lakmal has been fined 50% of his match fee for an incident involving Zimbabwe opener Chamu Chibhabha during Monday's washout. According to an ICC release, Lakmal dangerously threw the ball back at Chibhabha at the striker's end in the second over of play, in breach of article 2.1.1 of the ICC code of conduct. In addition to the fine, Lakmal was handed two demerit points; a player who gets four demerit points in a 24-month period more..

Mongolian President invited to attend 2017 Vesak celebrations

Nov 22 (CG) Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj has been invited to attend the Vesak celebrations in Sri Lanka next year. Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku presented his credentials to Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sri Lanka to Mongolia (resident in Beijing), in a ceremony held at the at the Govt Palace of Mongolia in the capital Ulaanbaatar. During the Ceremony, the Ambassador extended warm greetings from more..

Sri Lankan doctor who killed husband, appeals to stay in Australia

Nov 22 (ABC) A Sri Lankan-born doctor who bludgeoned her husband to death with a mallet after years of abuse is appealing to the Immigration Minister to allow her to stay in Australia after serving her sentence. Dr Chamari Liyanage is serving a four-year prison term in Greenough Regional Prison after being convicted of manslaughter of fellow doctor Dinendra Athukorala at their home in Geraldton in June 2014. more..

Christian community not for largest Christmas tree

Nov 22 (CG) The Christian community in Sri Lanka, have in a joint statement, expressed disappointment at the construction of a large Christmas tree at Galle Face. The National Christian Council noted that the birth of Jesus or the commonly celebrated Feast of Christmas, is fundamentally a message and a commemoration of Hope. “We are saddened to note the latest addition to the celebrations in the erection of the tallest Christmas Tree in the world at Galle Face Green. more..

Norway to link small producer in north Sri Lanka to export markets

Nov 22 (EN) Norway is starting a project to link 2,000 families, with a third of them headed by females, in the war torn Northern Sri Lanka with private agro companies that will take their produce to export markets. Norway will provide Rs. 190 million to Int'l Labour Organization (ILO) to implement the project. "Generating sustainable livelihood and economic empowerment of the conflict affected communities is key to reconciliation economic development of the country," more..

SLC renews focus on club cricket, in bid to strengthen domestic cricket

Nov 22 (CI) SLC has announced it will invest heavily in the existing club-based domestic structure, although a provincial first-class tournament is also in the works. The board has promised a grant of Rs. 11 million for each of the 14 clubs in the first-class tournament, and has also said it will beef up facilities by providing bowling machines, mechanised rollers and other groundskeeping equipment. Ten Tier B clubs will get more..

Compensation assured to families of Jaffna shooting victims

Nov 22 (CG) Govt has assured compensation to families of the victims of the recent Jaffna shooting incident. Minister D.M. Swaminathan visited the families of the two students of the Jaffna University who were killed in Jaffna during a police shooting incident. Minister went to Jaffna to visit these families as it has been one month since the death of the two students. After inquiring about their wellbeing Minister promised to build two houses for the deceased students’ families. more..

The secrets of Sri Lanka

Nov 22 (IC) Sri Lanka might have emerged as the hot holiday destination of 2016, filling the Instagram feeds of a studiously beach-boho set drawn to its reliable surf and covetable new crop of chic boutique hotels, but the real highlight for me was somewhat scruffier, and far further inland.  Taking the (very) slow scenic train from the tea hills of Talawakelle to the mountain town of Haputale, I was not alone in hanging gleefully out of the windows, looking down at terrifying drops into more..

'Sri Lanka protected from nuclear accidents'

Nov 22 (DN) Maritime areas in the west, east and north of Sri Lanka are protected from the effects of any nuclear accidents that may occur at an atomic power plant in India, Deputy Minister Power and Renewable Energy Ajith P. Perera said. He said Sri Lanka is equipped with warning centres for radiation disasters, which have been set up in Colombo, Puttalam, Mannar, Delph Island, KKS, Galle, Trincomalee, and Kandy. more..

SLTB law suit: MR allowed to file objections

Nov 22 (DM) Law suit filed by Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) against former President Rajapaksa for the recovery of Rs. 143 million for using SLTB buses in election campaigns of last Presidential Election is to be taken up again on Jan 26. The plaintiff previously cited Mr. Rajapaksa, 2015-UPFA presidential election committee members Susil Premajayantha and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa as respondents but later amended the initial plaint to exclude both Premajayantha and Yapa. more..

SLFP report on Bond issue to the President

Nov 22 (NR) State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says the report on controversial Bond issue compiled by the SLFP will be handed over to President Maithripala Sirisena in the near future. State Minister Abeywardena said the SLFP report was compiled by using the reports compiled by the COPE, the Auditor General and the Central Bank. Meanwhile, Journalists at the media briefing raised a question over a statement made MP Dinesh Gunawardene in Parliament recently. more..

No change in SL’s policy towards Palestine

Nov 22 (CG) Govt today asserted that there was no change to Sri Lanka’s policy towards Palestine. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament that the relations between both countries is strong as ever. He recalled that Sri Lanka has supported Palestine in the international fora including in the UN. Minister said that successive Govts have backed the Palestinian cause and that policy has not changed. more..

Port City officials inspect quarry sites

Nov 22 (DN) The Megapolis, Port City & the project contractor China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) have begun inspections of the quarries that will be supplying material for the Port City project. Only licensed quarries can be used for the supply and the inspection tours are to ensure that all the conditions stipulated in the environment approvals are properly met. Nihal Fernando, Deputy Director General of UDA and Director of Port City Development Project, led first of the visits. more..

Speaker tells MPs to behave in Parliament

Nov 22 (FT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya urged all members of the Parliament to conduct themselves professionally as parliamentary proceedings are now aired live with effect from yesterday. He said the decision to telecast parliament proceedings live was an outcome of the meeting they had with the Party Leaders held on Sunday. The live telecast of the third reading of the 2017 Budget debate would be aired through Channel Eye of the SLRC from 9.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. till 10 December, more..

'India will not allow a military coup in SL'

Nov 22 (ENS) India will not tolerate a military takeover in Sri Lanka and will fully support President Sirisena to foil any attempts at it, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. He was reacting to an assertion by the Joint Opposition leader Dinesh Gunawardena in parliament last week that there could a military coup if the govt continued to suppress the opposition and democratic movements both within and outside parliament. more..

New cardiology unit in Lady Ridgeway hospital opens

Nov 22 (GDI) New heart surgery ward of the Lady Ridgeway Child Hospital, Borella was opened recently under the patronage of the Minister Rajitha Senarathne. Construction of the ward was carried out with financial aid worth Rs. 50 million provided by Mohomad Ali and Fathima Jafurji commemorating their daughter Fareeda Jifurji. In Sri Lanka about 2,500–3,000 children are born annually with heart diseases. Of them, nearly 2,000 are subject to surgeries where about 900 more..

Sri Lankan jailed for posing as another to get into airport holding room

Nov 22 (ST) A Sri Lankan national posed as a Briton and produced a forged India passport to enter the departure gate-hold room for a departing flight to New Zealand, a court heard. On Tuesday, the man and the Briton he was posing as - both unemployed - were each jailed 12 months for their respective offences. Vigneshwararaja Kajanan, 20, admitted to deceiving a Sats customer service officer into believing that he was Keeping Mark John by producing a forged India passport and more..

The day, I left the former regime was the most important day of my life: President

Nov 22 (PSL) “I gave up all positions and said good bye to the former govt on a day like today, two years ago. It the most important day of my political life”, said President Sirisena, recalling his historic decision to leave the former govt. President was speaking at a meeting with newly appointed and promoted officials of Mahaweli Authority. “It is the responsibility of the President of SL to treat similarly to those who voted for and voted against. more..

The engineer who sat on Speaker's chair threatens journos

Nov 22 (DM) The engineer, who reportedly sat on the Speaker's chair, is alleged to have threatened two lobby reporters after the media reported the incident. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said he would inquire into the complaint about the threats. Speaker gave this assurance when MP Ranjith Aluvihara informed him about the threats to the journalists. MP Dinesh Gunawardane also requested the speaker to look into the matter stating that threatening journalists was a dangerous precedent. more..

Powers removed from President may be vested in PM: Dayan

Nov 22 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe would set about the Constitution making process the way he handled the Central Bank bond scams, senior political analyst Dr Dayan Jayatilleka said. Addressing the public seminar under the theme, PM’s involvement in the Central Bank bond scam, Dayan said PM Wickremesinghe had brought in a Singaporean as the Governor of the Central Bank. Now, he had brought in an Australian friend (Prof. Suri Ratnapala of Queensland University) more..

Wigneswaran discusses concerns on funds with President

Nov 22 (CG) Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran met President Sirisena today and discussed concerns on funding for the North. Wigneswaran told reporters that President had responded positively to his concerns. CM also told reporters that the heavy military presence in the North even after the war between the LTTE and the military ended in May 2009, is a concern for the Tamils in the area. more..