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Green light for tender racket

Nov 2 (DM) Railways Department’s effort to procure 200 sets of colour lights, to be installed in unprotected railway crossings, from a company which has not even fulfilled the basic requirements has become the topic of discussion today. When tenders were called for the procurement of sets of colour lights, five companies, both local and foreign, offered their bids. Casting away all these prospective tenders that fulfilled more..

SL's rugby dreams mauled by controversy

Nov 2 (AFP) SL's heady dreams of becoming an Asian rugby powerhouse have faded as match attendances dwindle and allegations of corruption -- and even murder -- sully the game's reputation on the island. Barely two years ago, with strongman president Rajapakse's sons on the pitch and the First Family cheering from packed-out stands, Colombo's Racecourse rugby stadium was the place to be seen in Colombo. more..

Tiran Alles, Emil Kanthan, 2 others remanded

Nov 2 (AD) Three persons including former MP Tiran Alles have been remanded till Nov 10 by Colombo High Court, on charges of misappropriating public funds through the Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA) in 2006. Alles, who is the former Chairman of RADA, Dr Saliya Wickramasuriya, former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of RADA, and Jayantha Dias Samarasinghe, former accountant of agency, more..

Poverty and inflation

Nov 2 (CT) With two thirds or 17 of the country's 25 districts mired in poverty, inflation may be considered as being Sri Lanka's public enemy number one, now that terrorism has been relegated to the dustbins of history. Considering that Sri Lanka's population is 21 million, that means that 14 million of the island's 21 million population may be living in poverty, simplistically put. Inflation is the rise in prices over a given period of time. In a country like Sri Lanka's, where seemingly 2/3 of more..

Bone marrow transplant for first time at Hope Cancer Hospital

Nov 2 (GDI) Ministry of Health has taken steps to perform bone marrow transplant surgeries at Apeksha Hospital, Maharagama. These surgeries will be conducted under the guidance of Prof. M. A. David of the Winston Hospital in Australia. This will be the first time such a bone marrow transplant surgery is to be performed for cancer patients in Sri Lanka. Up until now such surgeries were done in countries like Singapore or India which may cost around 30-40 million rupees. more..

Ada Cartoon

Mannar STF camp shifted to Parayanakulam

Nov 2 (DM) The STF camp in Mannar which was established in 2010 has been shifted to Parayanakulam with effect from yesterday, the STF said. “The camp was on a land belonging to the National Youth Corps. We vacated the premises when we were informed that the National Youth Services Council needed it for its activities,” STF Commandant Senior DIG M.R Latiff said. Ministry of Law and Order allocated a 38 acre land in Parayanakulam about 2 months ago, he said. more..

A fiasco by committee

Nov 2 (CT) The recent statements from Ministry of Megapolis sadly demonstrate utter disregard of the public and the law of the land, compounded by a pathetically low understanding of what science has taught us. Statement issued by Ministry announces that : “It has been proposed to form a special committee comprising of 10 persons to gauge the harm that could confront the fishermen with the construction of the Colombo International Financial city or the Port City project. more..

SIS document shows Gota ordered Lasantha’s phone to be tapped

Nov 2 (CT) A leaked State Intelligence Service document shows that former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa had ordered surveillance of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge’s mobile phone, just weeks before he was murdered, Colombo Telegraph can reveal today. According to the report in possession of the CT, Rajapaksa had ordered for several mobile numbers more..

SL products at Minas Food Show in Brazil

Nov 2 (Island) 30th Edition of the Super Minas Food Show was held from 18-20 Oct at Expominas Exhibition Center in Belo Horizonte, Capital of the State of Minas Gerais of Brazil with the participation of Sri Lanka. SL Embassy in Brazil in Collaboration with the SL Export Development Board organised the first ever Sri Lanka participation at this prestigious show which has a remarkable track record as one of the leading B2B platforms for Super Market food products. more..

Swede on a whale watching expedition dies

Nov 2 (CT) A 74-year-old Swedish national, who became seriously ill during a whale watching expedition, has died after he was admitted to the Matara Hospital yesterday. The deceased was a member of a group of foreigners, who had gone out to sea from the Weligama Fishery Harbour yesterday on a whale-watching expedition. The foreigner had died after he was admitted to the hospital. The cause of death is yet to be determined. Further inquiries are conducted by Police. more..

President sacks Army spy chief

Nov 2 (EN) President Sirisena bowed to his civil society supporters and ordered the removal of the army intelligence chief Tuan Suresh Sallay who had been accused of causing rifts within the coalition. Sallay was replaced by Brigadier Vijendra Gunatillaka with immediate effect, army said hours after Professor Sarath Wijesuriya and his fellow intellectuals met with Sirisena at his home on Tuesday. Prof Wijesuriya had gone public more..

JO wants PSC on COPE report

Nov 2 (DM) Joint Opposition today urged the govt to appoint a special Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to monitor the progress of the action taken by Attorney General (AG) into the COPE report on CB Bond sale issue. JO stalwart MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said the AG had proved to be inefficient when it came to certain cases and therefore it was vital to ensure that action was taken against the perpetrators.   “A PSC has the authority to summon the AG or the IGP and more..

Govt docs to hold protest today

Nov 2 (Island) The GMOA will initiate a series of protests from today countrywide against what it terms the intimidation of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) by supporters of the Malabe private medical college. GMOA Secretary, Dr Naveen de Zoysa said that a lunch hour protest would be held in several major hospitals in nine provinces including Ragama, Kurunegala, Karapitiya, Anuradhapura, Kegalle Teaching Hospitals, Kalutara, Vavuniya, Matara, Hambantota, Badulla, Ampara, more..

Monetary Board will probe Greek Bond issue: PM

Nov 2 (DM) Asserting that the COPE report was a victory for the Yahapalana Govt, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said he would call for a meeting of the Monetary Board of CB next week and take steps for probing the Greek Bond. PM was addressing a function to mark the appointment of Minister Sarath Fonseka as UNP organiser for Kelaniya. He said Parliament would also conduct a probe into Greek Bond issue more..

Cabinet approval granted to compensate Kilinochchi traders

Nov 2 (CG) Cabinet approval has been granted to provide compensation for the business owners affected by the recent Kilinochchi fire as per a Cabinet Memorandum submitted by Minister D.M. Swaminathan. The Cabinet paper was submitted on 21st Oct 2016, by Minister Swaminathan, in concurrence with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. As per the recommendations of PM it has been approved to pay 74 million rupees for the 122 affected owners of the business establishments. more..

Mihin stripped of its identity even before it ceases ops

Nov 2 (Island) Mihin Lanka flight MJ 118, an Airbus A321-200 arrived at BIA from Male at 01.20 am on Sunday, marking the end of Minin Lanka operations. At the time, govt terminated the budget airline which served 12 destinations providing competitive  air fares and easy travel to many Sri Lankan and International travelers. Airline sources said Sri Lanka had terminated Mihin Lanka at a time the Int'l Aviation Industry was promoting low cost travel and reputed Int'l Airlines more..

Sri Lanka clears environment concerns over port city project

Nov 2 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka on Wednesday cleared environment concerns over a Chinese funded port city project in the capital. Members of an Environmental Monitoring Committee (EMC) appointed by Sri Lanka's Coast Conservation Department (CCD) to oversee the environmental compliance of the Colombo port city project made an inspection tour at the project site. The EMC team which comprised of representatives from more..

Video: Invisible hand behind disabled veterans’ protest: Devapriya

Nov 2 (AD) The bid of the Joint Opposition to form a new political party only a dream of former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya says. Devapriya also went on to say that it is not the dream of the true SLFPers to form a new party which would jeopardize its political monopoly. CM also went on to say that the SLFP is ready to join hands with the JO, citing it as a key priority. “There is an invisible hand behind the recent protests of disable veterans. more..

Talks on Indo-Lanka fishing row bring hope, not solutions

Nov 2 (TOI) While Indian fishermen hope the fourth round of the bilateral talks with their Sri Lankan counterparts slated to be held on Wednesday, will end the deadlock over Sri Lanka’s ban on their fishing in the Palk Strait, one wonders if settling the fishermen issue with Sri Lanka will resolve the challenges Indian fishermen face. In 2016 alone, 700 Indian fishermen were apprehended and released after serving prison sentences in Sri Lanka which is yet to return more..

Chinese query Sri Lanka allegations of corruption in contracts

Nov 2 (Reuters) China has criticised Sri Lankan allegations of bribery in the awarding of contracts to Chinese firms worth billions of dollars, saying it should have a greater sense of gratitude for development assistance. The comments to reporters were the strongest since President Sirisena took office last year, vowing to investigate corruption allegations in projects such as the $1.4 billion Colombo port & real estate development deal more..

ADB lends Sri Lanka US$ 60 mln for clean drinking water in CKD prone areas

Nov 2 (Xinhua) Govt has obtained a loan of US$ 60 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to provide safe drinking water for chronic kidney disease (CKD) prone areas. Project will be set up in the districts of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Matale, Badulla, Monaragala, Puttalam and Kurunegala. The project will also contribute to improving priority infrastructure and basic services delivery in 29 local areas in Western, Southern, Central, North Western & Uva Provinces. more..

SAITM refutes allegations by GMOA

Nov 2 (NR) The SAITM has categorically refuted allegations by the GMOA which claimed that SAITM lacks the legal status to confer the MBBS degree. SAITM issuing a statement vehemently condemned accusations that claim the institute and its students are bringing about undue, unethical influence on Sri Lanka Medical Council. SAITM Chairman Dr. Neville Fernando said Institute was recognized as a degree awarding institute by an order published in a Gazette Extraordinary and more..

AAVA operate under auspices of Gotabhaya'

Nov 2 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the AAVA Gangsters in the North were operating with the knowledge of former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Responding to a question posed by a journalist, Minister lashed out: "Who was it that nourished the AAVA Gangsters? Which Brigadier? Which Major-General? I know him by name - who was it that created the AAVA Gangsters – who financed them and armed them?” more..

‘Tragedy caused by modified car racing on road’

Nov 2 (Island) The police said that a modified car involved in a fatal accident on the Negombo-Thalahena road last Saturday at 8.30 pm (Oct 29) had been racing with two other cars at the time. The accident claimed the lives of two police constables, Lalith Yasanayake (39) and Shaminda Shanaka (31) attached to the traffic branch of the Negombo police. Yasanayake recently earned the plaudits for rescuing an abducted advanced level student of Harischandra Maha Vidyala, Negombo. more..

Pakistan-SL Business Councils’ joint steering committee to resolve trade issues

Nov 2 (DM) The second Joint Business Council Forum of Sri Lanka and Pakistan was held recently in Colombo. The forum, a joint initiative of the Sri Lanka Pakistan Business Council (SLPBC) and Pakistan Sri Lanka Business Council, which was formed in 2015, is aimed at enhancing trade, investment and tourism opportunities between the two nations. It will also work together towards ironing out trade issues, etc. 18-member Pakistani delegation was led by Karachi Chamber more..

Wigneswaran complains to EU about army running schools in northern province

Nov 2 (ENS) CM of Northern  Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, has complained to the European Union (EU) human rights inspection team that the SL army is   running hundreds of schools in his province when it has no right to do so under the 13th amendment of the constitution.  Wigneswaran complained that in Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts, the army’s Civil Defense Unit is running 344 primary schools, more..

Sri Lanka seeks IMF, WB advice on bond auction overhaul

Nov 2 (EN) Sri Lanka has sought feedback from the IMF and World Bank on a proposed new auction system which will be less easy to manipulate, CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. "We are working on an auction system which will be more robust and less easy to manipulate," he said, in the wake of so-called bondscams where Perpetual Treasuries, a firm connected to ex-Governor Arjuna Mahendran allegedly made large profits from rigged auctions. more..

Investigations launched into Oman trafficking operation

Nov 2 (NR) Minister of Foreign Employment Thalatha Athukorala has directed officials to investigate an Oman based operation that allegedly traffics Sri Lankan women. Ministry announced the incident involves an official employed at the Sri Lankan embassy in Oman adding Minister ordered the official to be brought back to the country. Minster ordered the Special Investigations Unit of the Ministry to launch an investigation into the individual implicated in the issue. more..

Sri Lanka grants 25 year income tax waiver for Port City developer

Nov 2 (LBO) The Cabinet has approved granting of exemptions for the project company of Colombo Port City in terms of the Strategic Development Project Act 2008. CHEC Port City Colombo manages the project for Chinese investor, China Communications Construction Company. Cabinet recognized the development of Port City and establishment of a mixed development project as a Strategic Development Project. more..

SL: Is it Good Bye to Good Governance?

Nov 3 (CT) People who overwhelmingly voted the President Sirisena-PM Wickremesinghe alliance to power expecting it to fulfill their promise of yahapalana (good governance) have been shocked by President Sirisena’s strident comments questioning the integrity of the agencies carrying out investigations into cases of corruption, bribery, criminal and financial misconduct. President speaking at a function at SLFI warned that he would take action against CID, more..

In love with lyric writing

Nov 3 (DN) Every budding poet, at some point in his or life, tries to love on love. Experience is their biggest trump card and if they lack experience, they try to make up for that through words. The truth however is that there’s no guarantee that the experienced lover (jilted or requited) can be an experienced poet on romance, just as much as there’s no guarantee that the poet who writes on love though he or she hasn’t encountered it will turn out to be a dabbler. more..

Galle Fort: Fortified, yet open to all

Nov 3 (SO) In 1505, the Portuguese arrived in Ceylon, unintentionally, their fleet having been driven to shelter by a storm. They established a small trading port on the coast but it was not until 1588, when the coastline underwent a siege from the dynasties of the Sinhala Kingdom, that the Portuguese withdrew to Galle and built a small fort there. Nearly a century later, Dutch took over fort after a fierce battle and restored it. more..

Criminality within societies

Nov 3 (CT) Criminality is classified as violation of laws of a State. It means malfeasance, immorality and corruption and the tentacles of criminality have spread on a global scale. At present, to such an extent, that no single country is free of delinquencies. Law breaking is generally grouped into two segments - felonious and minor crimes. Exceptions to the rule are granted on the grounds of duress, insanity, intoxication and minor misdeeds. Punishment for all felonies may include more..

Window tint ban a safety measure

Nov 3 (CT) The entirety of last week was spent with the traffic police inspecting vehicles for tinted windows. When the news broke that those who own vehicles with tinted windows will immediately be prosecuted, many eyebrows were raised, especially in the tourism industry.  Badrin Roshan, who does freelance touring in his spare time, said the reason the two rear windows were tinted is because most foreigners dislike it when hot sunlight enters the car. "The tourists, mostly those from more..

Dealing with Corruption

Nov 3 (CT) The contentious statement made by President Sirisena pertaining to the independent commissions was a timely intervention at a time in which CIABOC was floundering, opined Chairman of the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission Rajiva Wijesinha. A former State minister in the interim Ranil-Maithri Govt following Jan 2015 presidential polls, Wijesinha added that corruption must be dealt more..

Editorial: Signs of desperation

Nov 3 (Island) UNP MPs who made a futile attempt to dilute the COPE report on the Treasury bond scams have sought to question the eligibility of AG’s Department to investigate the frauds at issue and put out a report thereon. They have blown, out of proportion, some limitations Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe has mentioned in the report as regards the investigation in question. (What they have left unsaid is that he has compared his department’s expertise etc with those of the CB.) more..

Fight in full swing to stop the dengue sting!

Nov 3 (DN) There can be little debate that Sri Lanka has made startling progress in the fight against dengue. The fatality rate from dengue was around five percent in 1996 and one percent in 2009, but it is now around 15 percent, as 67 deaths have been reported among the over 44,000 confirmed cases in 2016. Improvements in detection capabilities and clinical treatments have undoubtedly saved lives, as many hospitals are equipped with equipment to both diagnose and treat patients. more..

COPE: A bridge between despair and hope

Nov 3 (FT) COPE, a body of parliamentary oversight into the performance and fiscal discipline of corporations that are fully state-owned or in which the Govt has a financial stake, has conducted its sittings in-camera since its establishment in 1979. In other words, traditionally and by law its hearings and deliberations must occur behind closed doors. Its members, comprising MPs from parties represented in the legislature, more..

Ethnic issue in Sri Lanka: Power sharing is counter-productive

Nov 3 (CT) Many political and opinion leaders consider power sharing as a solution to the ethnic issue in SL. Yet, power sharing is counterproductive and more likely to bring a recurrence of escalating conflict. President Sirisena recently sought cabinet approval for an eleven-page draft of a national reconciliation policy based on the principle of power-sharing. In Delhi last year, PM Wickremesinghe also explained their effort in finding a power sharing and devolution based solution to ethnic problem. more..